Diplomacy/Middle Game Strategies
Definition of the Middlegame in Diplomacy
As in chess, the middlegame in Diplomacy is difficult to define. Some define it as the elimination of the first power, others as the elimination of the second. A less strict, but fuller definition of middlegame in Diplomacy is the point at which a power completes its first set of objectives and moves on to its second.
Middle Game Strategies
The middle game usually starts around 1903-1905 and ends 1910-1914. During this time, the large power blocks formed at the beginning of the game will either disintegrate, or continue on to a second set of objectives. Common examples of this are France and Germany dismantling England, then France turning to attack Italy and the Mediterranean, while Germany drives toward Russia. An alliance between Russia and Italy starts with the two splitting Austria, then moving on Turkey.
The middlegame is an important time to determine where your country is going to find the eighteen centers required for victory. This is especially important for the corner powers, England and Turkey, and to a lesser extent, France. If getting WAR, MOS, or MUN looks unlikely, England will sometimes try to capture TUN from Italy in the middlegame to make 18.
Entertaining stabs occur in the middlegame, as first-turn stabs are usually unnoticed except by the two parties involved. Endgame stabs, where one long-time ally will capture centers from another in order to win the game outright, are also uncommon. A middlegame stab occurs when one ally grabs centers from another, often in a bid to capture a solo victory. The result is usually a race between the stabber and the rest of the board to try and establish a stalemate before the stabber can take the 18th center.