Prufrock's Wargaming Blog

Prufrock's Wargaming Blog

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Machiavellian hijinks

Last Sunday we managed to get six of us together for a game of Machiavelli, that Renaissance scion of Diplomacy

Image by user Aingeru at
None of us had played before, but Pat explained the game well and we got into it after about 30 minutes of rules info.
The game was a lot of fun.  Most of us were a little cautious to start with and set about trying to consolidate our positions rather than look at any grand long-term strategy.  Funnily enough, the two most experienced gamers, Luke (as Naples) and Pat (as Turkey), got into strife with each other almost immediately. 
The highlight of the game for me (as Florence) was seeing Luke pull off some clever naval play to put Pat on the back foot, which allowed me to take advantage of Pat's sudden weakness and Luke's goodwill to demand concessions from helping the one while simultaneously backstabbing the other! 
Everyone started to find their feet as the game went on and although we all made some mistakes no one had a shocker.  It was a good day all round, with much humour on display.  We were forced to finish after three game years due to time constrants, but it was just getting to the point when attention spans were starting to give out, so it was a good time to pull up sticks anyway.
Next game is on Saturday up at Luke's, where he will umpire a Modern Spearhead battle for Pat and I.  I'm looking forward to it, though I may have to watch Luke suddenly screaming 'remember Naples!' and employing his umpire's prerogative in dastardly fashion!


  1. No, how can I honestly blame Aaron for raiding my capital when it was left unguarded? I'd have done the same in his shoes. Or fleet, as the case may be.

    I really liked the game - it's the random touches that elevate it above standard Diplomacy into a "proper" game.

  2. Hi, I was amazed to see this classic in your blog. There are just a few players world-wide now. If it got a re-release I am sure loads more would play.

    There is a small but committed online-group that has set up. We are in our forth game (even though it is called mach0005). Chris Babcock masters the games (and is very willing to teach people the judge-syntax). He is a brilliant master - the best. If you or your friends were interested in online play, you could watch the game in progress (on the automated maps):

    Click the 'Current board' and 'Last moves' gif on the page:

    If you agree not to send my moves emails to my enemies, I could even send you those, so you could quickly learn the judge syntax, if you wanted to prepare yourself for the next game.

    It’s got everything; bribes, assassination, plague, famine. (We typically use the version 1 map and the version 1 rules on ownership, but everything else is exactly the same as your version 2 rules.)

    Chris's website is at:

    His contact info is here:


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