It is a very crowded playing area, and within the first year of play (that's two turns), most players will have to navigate problems on more than one border.
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This is where the diplomacy comes in. Somehow you have to appear fair and reliable in a game where treachery is rife. Seven players cannot survive very long usually at least one nation is wiped out or reduced to a single unit (as good as dead) as one or two nations start to gain more armies and fleets than the other.
Diplomacy is another one of those games where you kind of want to make out you are doing worse than you are so that the other players don't get jealous and decide to gang up on you.
One of the best ways of winning, similar to risk to try to appear awkward to attack, without ever really commiting to one courseof action.
Wait for others to throw themselves on thier swords so to speak.
I also have the official diplomacy variants book from the late 70s, and since the book was published whole sets have come out based on other maps.
I have played a game based around Japan and china for example.
This is not a game to play to make friends with owing to the back stabbing nature of the game but it is a game to hone your diplomacy skills, and the chess like strategy is also very pleasing.
More tactics and information on diplomacy is available here
Diplomacy Strategy (Youtube Playlist)
Diplomacy. How to Play Diplomacy. Never Give up. Diplomacy. Play England. Diplomacy. Play Germany. Diplomacy. Play Russia. Diplomacy. Play Austria-Hungary. Diplomacy. Play Turkey. Diplomacy. Play Italy. Diplomacy. Play France. Diplomacy. Full Games (All Nations). Diplomacy. Full Games (1 v All Nations).