Prufrock's Wargaming Blog

Prufrock's Wargaming Blog

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Allan B. Calhamer

Sad to see that Allan B. Calhamer, the inventor of the classic board game Diplomacy, has recently passed away.

Diplomacy was the first board game I bought, and it left quite an impression.

My first playing memory of it is a two-player affair in the back of a station wagon with my cousin on a road trip.  We were about thirteen; it was all very seedy.  Some years later the cousin got arrested for stealing assault rifles (or so the rumour goes).  I'm sure it was more than just coincidence.

I also remember that at high school a group of schoolmates got together for a game.  I was Turkey, and I remember being publicly vituperative to my Russian ally when he stabbed me.  Of course, I could afford to be high-and-mighty: a Turkey allied with Russia doesn't need to do any stabbing!  But I must've laid it on a bit thick, because next turn we found a couple of players had jumped out a window during a 'secret meeting' and run off!

I'm sure that everyone who has played the game has got similar tales to tell.

So here's to Mr Calhammer: thank you for a magnificent game and some great memories.


  1. Never played Diplomacy but I did have an incident during a game of Civilization where I yelled at my girlfriend at the time for trading something I had desperately needed with my ex-roomate after I had pointedly asked her for it. It wasn't the end of our relationship, but we never played the game again.

  2. we used to play it when I was a lad. Memorable for the backstabbing and nefarious stuff. You could only win by entering treaties then hitting the treatee at the best moment. Great stuff.

    1. Yes, a classic. Good way to ruin a friendship though!


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