How to Play France in Diplomacy.

The French maginot openings are where an army attempts to go to burgundy in the spring. As france before the first move you want to establish who out of England and Germany will be your friend.

Indeed are these two going to gang up on you from the start? It is possible of course to get a 3 way alliance, but this is rare.

Also consider the position of Italy. An Italian attack on France is pretty weak from 1901, but still needs to be taken into consideration. Can you get them to go Turkeys way?

Germany will usually go into Rhur in spring 1901, so burgandy will probably be left free. England will probably go north.

So you probably dont have to worry about the English channel.

So usually the maginot variation where you support an army into burgandy is probably only going to upset the German (who may now side with England).

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Continuing my look at the maginot style openings for France. If france goes into the English channel from the off then this is really problematic for England.

If facing a strong opponent in Germany, you might choose the burgandy opening just to slow him down. After all any german player who gets a 3 unit start will be trouble.

However, things can go wrong. If the germans suspect you will move into burgandy then the german can bounce you out of burgndy leavign you stuck with an army in paris (i guess it tries again and fails again in the fall of 1901)

If the idea works well and you are looking to attack germany, if you can enlist the help of russia and get him to move into silesia, support him or you into munich in fall 1901 AND move to the baltic sea (fall 1901) then germany is in trouble.

However with the french it might be worth waiting a turn or two before your attack becomes obvious as an early attack may lead to england and germany ganging up on you.

I now go into the gascony openings where army paris goes to gascony on move 1.

If the fleet in MAO hangs around in fall 1901 and the two armies can make it into portugal and spain, then you have a springboard for an attack on england or the mediteranian with no loss of speed.

Now you can build F Bre or F Mars depending on which way you want to go with 2 fleets available immediately.

I show the best way to attack england is via MAO and one of the irish sea or the NAO, convoying into liverpool.

I continue my look at Iberian or Gascony based openings. With france if you can get to five units you will be very difficult to knock out owing to its defensive "edge" position.

You can get to the same position of 2 armies in iberia, and a fleet mao in a variety of ways. I show the moves.

The golden rule with french openings is that england can hurt you quicker than germany, so you want to disguise any 1902 attack on england as much as possible.

In the second part of the series on how to play France at diplomacy I go past the opeining systems in an ideal world and look at nightmare scenarios where France is attacked! I finish up by looking at the sealion opening where France and Germany dish out trouble for england

I look at how Italy can attack france in 1901 and how ineffective this can be. I show how this works out with the various french systems.

however the french player can look out for how italy and austria are behaving towards each other. If the alliance is strong with a lot of trust (they are sending units away from the hotspot of venice - trieste) then you may be faced with a two fleet attack near french waters.

This can be repelled with two fleets (providing england doesnt join in).

I now look at nightmare situations where you are facing more than one opponent gang up on you to attack the french homeland

In these situations the iberian openings whilst in theory are a sound defence, allow the foreigners onto french soil and give you less pleasant options vs the more common maginot system.

Of course wher you are facing three opponents you are going to lose anyway. However making the battle long a protracted may just allow sof those those nations enough time to be attacked elsewhere.

How do you defend again an english move into the english channel in the spring in 1901. one idea is to let England take brest with a fleet. However any serious english attack with come with at least two fleets, and the french will be at a dissadvantage in building fleets quick enough to get them into the action.

One the plus side it slows down any backstabs (esp from france to england) so may help with a long term arrangement.

If the a liv goes to wales in the spring of 1901 as well as a move to the english channel its a def attack on your homesoil, an english fleet in the eng channel alone may just be an attempt to win belguim.

The idea of this opening is to convoy the army wales onto french soil, prbably to picardy with the idea of winning brest the net year.

However if Germany also join in the attack on france with England then germany may well get three builds in 1901.

If they get that then the dreaded three unit army front will come to bear upon the french position. this is almost impossible to stop at the start of the game.

So if you suspect this then the maginot opening will at least give germany something to think about in the fall of 1901 (you are on the border of munich)

The french system of openings where they concentrate on the north (particularly belgium) is called the picardy openings.

Here the army paris moves to picardy in spring 1901. The idea is that you will have some say in who gets beligium (england, france or germany) and hopefully sway one of the others to side with you.

Lastly, the sealion is an attack on england combined with germany. Also ideally you want russia to go north as well (2 units sent up north in the spring of 1901)

Germany plays a blitkrieg opening (so england still doesnt suspect anything), France goes into the english channel (raising some alarm bells) but the key move is for the french fleet to support the german fleet into the north sea.

France follow up in 1902 by staying in the english channel building a fleet bre and sending it to ht eirish sea in the spring of 1902. Now armies can be convoyed into liverpool for the destruction for england.

So thats it for France. Did I miss anything out? Do you find France difficult to win with? Certainly there are many opening systems out there. What do you think? Have you had success with France? Do you attack England early or like to play along with them for a number of years. Please leave your comments on my facebook page - lets discuss.

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