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The following are from a variant of Diplomacy, a boardgames I play.   The original game was set around the turn of the 20th Century and there were seven players who presided over the major European countries at that time.  Each player starts out with three or four supply centers that each support an army or navy.  There are 34 supply centers in play.  The player who gets to 18 supply centers wins the game. The game is played on a map of europe and move your units across provinces that the map has been divided into.  The game combines strategy, tactics and diplomacy.  You have to able to convince other players to work with you in order to get anywhere.  Below are emails from the variant which involves the whole-world,, not just Europe.  I am the Nigerian player.  I thought had an agreement with Mali..but that unraveled.  Mali is like to the North of me; France has some units between me and Mali; Chinese are to the East and very powerful. And to the South is Congo and he never communicates with anyone.  So hopefully that will provide enough context for what is going on in the emails.          

1.    Non-verbal communication


Funny, Nigeria this year got the same message from Mali, France and China: "Any last words..."


Interim President of Nigeria


I think you should check the French email address at least, it's not from France ;-)

And I thought Mali and China are friends of Nigeria? Otherwise, how come you are still here?


Still 100% French

with reduced fat!


It was non-verbal communication--soldiers, tanks, airplanes,etc moving in our direction...we're only sticking around long to transfer as much loot as possible into our Swiss accounts...don't worry you'll still get emails from a Nigerian prince asking for money...          


2.    Nigerian President Makes a generous offer to the Malian President


We've kept a seat open for the Malian president in our plane out of Africa…


3.  Everyone is Sympathetic


Well, seems I'm on the way out. Every ally stabbed me rip. [Player of Unknown Country]

There, there. Here's a tissue. And some thread to sew up your many stab wounds… [me]

Ok..I tried to hold back..

Et tu Brute?


God, am I dense! I am Brutus approaching Caesar after he has been stabbed like 623 times and offering him a tissue and thread? know, next time please send your jokes with a detailed explanation to the Defense Intelligence Agency (yeah, the very same office that missed all those Chinese, Malian, and French tanks--it seems appropriate that jokes be sent there…) [me]


4.  A Plane Trip


From a remote airfield in Lagos. Near a private jet. A meeting of ex-African presidents.


The Nigerian President: "Hey, Mr President (the Malian president)!Glad you could make it. Things did not work out between you and the Frenchies and Chinese?"


Malian President: "There were fatal disagreements between us--we could no longer work together"


Nigerian President: "Seems like things worked out pretty well for them, but no matter...btw, I apologize for the behavior of my troops in Bam, simply deplorable....Hey, there's Silent Bob from the Congo. How 'ya doing Silent Bob? Too bad about your country, at the very least it would have been nice to have used one of those nukes against the darn Chinese."


Silent Bob: ...........


Nigerian President: "Great, Great...well, shall we board, gentlemen? I think I hear the sound of gunfire."


The party proceeds to enter the airplane. The Malian president is very fat and cannot get in.


Nigerian President: "darn, they make these doorways so narrow--let me help you (kicks the and shoves the Malian president a few times to get him through)...there you go."


Later after take-off over cognacs...


Nigerian President (to the Malian president): "What went wrong in our alliance. What did the French and Chinese have to offer that Nigeria does not have? I mean, how could you work with these foreign imperialists?"


Malian President: "The French offered wine, women, gourmet food. The Chinese have lots of money. What is African solidarity compared to that?"


Nigerian President: (tentatively) "Well...we have lots of oil"


Malian President: "What can a man do with oil? The Chinese and French offered things I can use.


Nigerian President: "Ok, ok...but we had a deal"


Malian President: "What did the German Chancellor say about the guarantee over Belgium neutrality in WWI--it's just a scrap of paper! Paper does not matter between countries; power does. Anyway, there was the matter of your failure to build a fleet to be used against France after 1901."


Nigerian President: "oh come on. You sent that suggestion right before the deadline at about 3:30 am my time. I had already sent in my build orders and there was no reason to check my email at that point. You had a good plan but sending it right before the build deadline when the plan depended in part on a fleet build was not fair to Nigeria."


Malian President: "It was obvious that you needed to build a fleet--even President Trump of the USA would have done it! Must I tell you the obvious!"


Nigerian President (sotto voce)--ouch, that hurt. It's not my fault this is my first time to play this variant...

Nigerian President: "Silent Bob, can you help a fellow exiled prez out here?


Silent Bob from the Congo: ............

Nigerian President: "Uh, thanks..."


Aircraft Pilot: "Mr. President, Mr President, a French Rafale jet has locked on to our radar."


Nigerian President: "&$*!%! Well, we have a chance at least. That jet sucks...dang Silent Bob, you lost your country and no more movies with Kevin for me, I would rather be in Cleveland!”


5.    The French make a generous offer


Aircraft Pilot: "The French president is on the line."

Nigerian President: (sotto voce) maybe I can make a deal..." Bonjour, Mr. President how is your trip/conquering of Africa going for you?"


French President: "Very well, thank you. I'll get right to the point. I'm offering you a job to become a propaganda mouthpiece on behalf of the French government as head of the Nigerian government in exile."


Nigerian President: "And if I refuse?"

French President: "We shoot down your place."

Nigerian President: "Can I keep...the souvenirs I have kept from my beloved country."

French President: Yes, can keep the loot you took from your country. Deal?

Nigerian President: "Yes. I accept"

French President: Incidentally, have you seen the Malian president? I was going to offer him the same deal...

Nigerian President: "Can't say as I have..."

(Sotto voce) Guess I didn't need to throw the Malian president out of the plane in order to increase speed..


6.    Chinese Are Great Inventors


The Chinese invented the car, along with gunpowder, rockets, fireworks, and mushroom clouds.

The French later ripped off the invention of the car and through clever (and sleazy) marketing (propaganda), sold their "invention" right onto the pages of the history books.

The reason they only have one is they ripped off the prototype car drawing from the Chinese, the blueprints of which only specify a quantity of one. Leave it to the French… [French Player]


Yes,the Chinese were great inventors...around the time of the Bronze Age. But other than the possible exception of Kung Pao Chicken, Chow Mein and Moo Goo Gai Pan what have you done for the result of the world in the past 500-600 years? [me]


7.    Crash Landing


Somewhere over the Atlantic...


French President:  "What, you got rid of the Malian president?

Nigerian President: "Not rid..he, uh, slipped and fell out of my airplane."

French President: Sorry, Monsieur, that was a package deal. The deal is off. Good luck at dodging missiles."

Airline Pilot:  "Incoming missiles...taking evasive action"  BAM!!!


Several minutes later... a man in rowboat


Nigerian President:  "Wow. that was miraculous. We were shot down but we were able to crash land.  I was able to grab a rubber raft and some emergency provisions before the plane sunk. Who is that dog paddling over there... another survivor? Oh no,  it's the Malian president.,. should I hit him  with my paddle. No, I have a better idea."

Nigeria President:  "Mr. Malian President! So glad to see you alive! I can't believe Silent Bob threw you out of my plane...

Malian President:  "I seem to recall your hands on me as I was thrown out of the emergency exit. Fortunately, I had a parachute underneath my shirt. Can you help me into your boat?

Nigerian President: "Well, there is just one small favor you could do for me before I do that. One of your units that has been defeated on the battlement can retreat either to Tom or Cha.  I want you to order the commander to retreat to Cha.

Malian President:  "Help me into your boat and I will give the order. I know the telephone number--let me have your cell phone.

Nigerian President (helps Malian president into the boat): "Ok, here is my phone."

Malian President dials the number. General answers.


Malian President:  "Hello is this General Killerman? This is your president. Do you recognize me?

General Killerman:  Yes, of course.  But we had heard you fled the capital."

Malian President.  "Lies, lies, Put out by my enemies. You probably believe everyone you see on Fox news, too? Anyway, I heard of your recent defeat and that you have two retreat options--either to Cha or Tom.  Ok, I want you to retreat to Tom and take out as many Nigerians as you can.

General Killerman.  " Sure..that is kind of my name, isn't it?

Nigerian President:  "What, you lied to me--you said  you would tell him to retreat to Cha."

Malian President. " I did, didn't I...that was your fault for trusting me! You pushed me out of the plane and I told a little lie--I think I have a ways to go to catch up to you on the equities involved here."

Nigerian President:  "I am not sure I have the hang of this Diplomacy thing...


8.  Brexit


Don’t want to hijack the game with a debate, I’ve heard everything already!, but you guys are from all over, how does it look from there? Being a Brit, I’d like to say something about nutballs. UK voted for “independence” and I have no idea what that means. Bring back the Empire?   Paul


I think the British were just jealous with the attention we were getting for having Trump as a candidate and decided to one-up us...quite pathetic really the British need for attention…


Well then there are so-called experts that say that (1) the British have always been a bit uncomfortable being entangled with Europe and under the thumb of Brussel bureaucrats (2) that for those outside of London the effects of globalization have not been great, (3) the perception that  immigrants were coming into to take jobs, and (4) the government not listening to and not really doing anything to help those negatively affected by globalization and integration into the EU.  Me.



9.  The Chinese are persuasive…


Somewhere in the Atlantic...A cell phone rings


Nigerian President:  "Yes?"

Female Voice:  "I'll connect you to the Chinese premier."

Nigerian President. "Wait a sec". Hmm, I need this conversation to be private. Oh, I know. "Hey, Mali there's our rescue ship". The Nigerian president points in a direction that causes the Malian president to turn his head whereupon he takes a paddle and knocks him out of the boat with it. "How do the equities add up now? Swim for a while so I can make some phone calls."

Nigerian President returns to the phone call. "I'm back"

Female Premier: "I'll connect you to the Premier"

Nigerian President: "Is that you Deng? Seems like it's been a million years since we talked."

Chinese Premier: "Well, not a million years, more like 20--Deng has been dead for 20 years. Perhaps you talked to him in a seance?"

Nigerian President. Oops, that was a little faux pas..."Sorry, news travels a bit slow to Africa, my belated condolences...So what's on your mind."

Chinese Premier: "I would like to discuss ending this terrible war."

Nigerian President: "Yes, of course. We thought we had a good relationship with your man in Africa (Rob)--he said the Chinese and Nigerians are like brothers.

Chinese Premier: "What he meant was like brothers share a home we wanted to share the Nigerian homeland. You see, Rob is quite clever."

Nigerian President: " Yes, that does stretch the meaning of brothers in an entirely new direction...anyway, what kind of peace deal are you proposing"

Chinese Premier: " It's called the Chinese African Reorganization Edict or C.A.R.E. For short. One must come up with a good acronym for peace treaties."

Nigerian President: "When you use edict that does not sound like much of a deal..what if I don't sign"

Chinese Premier: "We have an extra nuke left over from the attack on the USA as a means of persuasion."

Nigerian President: "The Nigerian people will never give in to threats like that. Your threats mean nothing to me."

Chinese Premier: "We are not going to use it against the Nigerian people; we are going to drop it in your vicinity."

Nigerian President.  "But you don't know where I am. Wait a minute do you own Verizon, my carrier"?

Chinese Premier: "No...but we own the US government and we have them tell Verizon what to do."

Nigerian President: "I am starting to see the merits in this CARE deal...

The phone call is concluded as the deal is agreed to. The phone rings again.


Nigerian President: "Mr. Vice-President! So glad to hear from you."

Vice-President: "I did not hear from after you left for a heroic tour of the battlefield. We are so proud that you led our soldiers to victory in the historic victories in the enemy homeland in Bam and in our homeland in NGR."

Nigerian Presidents: "it is hard to believe that I was involved in such historic what's up Veep?"

Vice-President: " We were wondering when you were returning to the capital."

President: "Unfortunately, there are no roads back to the capital from where I am...I am counting on you to organize the defense of the capital"

Vice-President:  "You can count on me sir. We will defend it to the last man."

President:  "That's the spirit."


Nigerian President: Wonder if I can get asylum in Venezuela--their leader seems like a nice chap. I'll row in that direction...


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