The Internet can be a confusing place to navigate, but we're going to
try to make things easy for you. A few minutes spent here might save
you a lot of grief and frustration as you get familiar with Diplomacy
on the Internet. Everything you see here assumes that you already know
how to play Diplomacy, that you have the rules to the game in your
possession (you won't find them anywhere on the Internet, for copyright
reasons), and you're ready to play on-line. And in case you're wondering,
none of the options for on-line play that we're aware of cost anything
other than your free time (and perhaps frayed nerves, whilst waiting
to see how that Fall movement stab turned out).
E-Mail Diplomacy for New Players
Email lends itself perfectly to Diplomacy, as long as the games are
lengthened to deal with the natural delays that are caused by the fact
that not all players are reading and writing their email at the same
time. For instance, you might email a suggestion to an ally in the
afternoon, but he might not read it until the next morning and might
not reply until later the next day! Because of this, most games move
much more slowly than when played face-to-face -- generally, it takes
at least a day or two for each turn and at least four to six *months*
for an entire game.
This is an important realization. If you join a game, the other
players are going to expect you to stay with the game for half a year --
or more! If you can't reasonably guarantee to yourself that you'll have
continuous access to the Internet and that you'll stay with the game for
the duration, then you shouldn't make that commitment in the first place.
There are a number of different options available to the Internet Diplomat:
Judge games, Hand-Adjudicated games, AOL, Compuserve, E-Zines, Real-Time Dip,
and the commercially available computer Diplomacy game with Internet access.
Playing Using the Internet "Judges"
By far, the most popular method of playing Diplomacy on the Internet is
through Judges. These are computer programs that are located on
various servers around the world that allow players to play Diplomacy by
means of Email messages. Once registered on a Judge, you can create
games, join existing games, order your units, send diplomatic message to
your opponents and read their replies. In addition, the Judge will
adjudicate the orders that everyone sends in (once it has error-free
orders from all seven players) and set the deadline for the next set
of orders. It will also send all the results of the moves to all the
Sounds great, huh? It is!
The Diplomatic Pouch runs its own Web-and-Email based judge, called
the "DPjudge." To get to it, just click here.
You must register to use it (don't worry -- everything about Net Diplomacy
is easy, free of charge, and hassle-free), which you can do at
The Diplomatic Pouch Player Database (DPPD).
The DPjudge is both Web and e-mail based. At
the DPjudge Website, you can
get all the information you need on how to use the DPjudge. Just click
on "About the DPjudge" and "Common Questions."
If you're looking for the
judges that are only e-mail based, these are the so-called "Ken Lowe"
judges (named for the original code-writer). [The DPjudge's e-mail
interface is based on the "Ken Lowe" judge interface, with nearly identical
Some find it a somewhat daunting task
to learn the interface with the Ken Lowe Judge. First, you have to
register with a Judge before you can use it. The easiest way to do
this is by using The Pouch's Judge Registration
Once registered on a judge, there is a certain syntax that must be used
in your e-mail messages to the judge. It is quick to learn, and literally
thousands of players have succeeded in doing so, so certainly you can too!
To get started with Diplomacy on the Internet through the Judges, we
recommend two web sites:
E-Mail Diplomacy Using the Ken Lowe judges for New Players
The Newbies' Guide to the Ken Lowe Judge
A longer, more detailed version of the introduction in the second site is presented
Playing Using the Hasbro/Microprose CD-ROM Game
If you've purchased the 1999 Hasbro/Microprose computer game Diplomacy,
chances are that you're at least a little disappointed with the quality
of the computer opponent. Unfortunately, support for online play with
the Hasbro computer game has faded. It's no longer supported at
Microsoft's Gaming Zone and Hasbro doesn't run a meeting place for players.
There's a mailing list for online Diplomacy with the computer game by
Microprose. Click to join
There's a Yahoo Club as well:
The traffic in both places seems to be very light, though . . .
Playing "Hand-Adjudicated" E-mail Games
Some folks don't like to deal with the syntax-heavy interface of the
Judges and prefer to play Hand-Adjudicated games. The advantages
here are that you write email directly to the other players and to the
Game Master and you don't need to know anything more complicated than
the rules of the game and the language spoken in the game (usually English!).
The disadvantages are that people are less responsive than machines and
you won't always get a confirmation of your email. Also, with human
adjudication comes human error, so be on the look out for mistakes!
If it's not on a Judge, it's hand-adjudicated, but there are lots of
forums for play. Quite popular is
CAT23, with over
800 members as of 2002. They stress "Community Diplomacy," where real live people
run all the games and you can develop friendships as you develop your
skill at Diplomacy.
Diplomacy 2000 hosts
about fifteen games that are connected to the Zine/EZine "Spring Offensive".
Redscape is a smaller group
with a classy website,
The Diplomat hosts
a few games.
There are a number of Yahoo Clubs that host games:
Denmark House (a group for Danish players),
Mike Dean's Psychopath Webzine
is an excellent source for what he calls "insane ramblings" and what we
call useful Diplomacy information.
Sirius hosts games in
Swedish and English, and
Diplored hosts games
There is also an introduction into how to get started
playing Diplomacy on Compuserve,
complete with information on who to contact.
Playing in the "E-Zines"
Some full fledged E-zines (Electronic Magazines) host games in addition to
publishing the issues of their magazine. Here's the
The Diplomatic Pouch E-Mail Zine Registry.
If there are others who'd like to be listed, let me know!
Playing Real-Time Diplomacy On The Net
There are two options for Real-Time Diplomacy: on the Judges (The Pouch's
Web- and e-mail-based judge, the DPjudge, is well-suited for this) and on ICQ.
To play on a Ken Lowe Judges, you've got to learn how to use the Judge first. After
you're finished there, the
Guide to Real-Time Diplomacy
will help you play Real Time games.
Ready to Play?
Once you've figured out where you want to play online, you'll might
still have some questions. With any luck, these references will be able
- The rec.games.diplomacy MiniFAQ
(Frequently Asked Questions list)
- A must-read for people new to PBEM Diplomacy, the Mini-FAQ is posted
regularly on the
- The Diplomacy Subject Index
- The Diplomacy Subject Index, maintained by Simon Szykman,
is a comprehensive index, organized alphabetically by subject,
covering all the major topics related to the PBEM diplomacy hobby.
If you need the answer to a question, the index should be able
to tell you where to find it.
- The Diplomatic Pouch Judge Registration Service
- Register with any of the PBEM judges from this page.
- The Diplomatic Pouch Judge Openings List: long version
- This is a list of all the openings on all the public judges,
automatically updated every few hours. The list has undergone
a number of revisions since its inception and is currently maintained
by Hans de Graaff.
- The Diplomatic Pouch Game Queues
- Having trouble getting into games of a certain type because of their
popularity? Get in an orderly line using The Pouch's game queues.
- The Electronic Protocol House Rules
- The Electronic Protocol House Rules, originally created by
the now-defunct EPCC, under which most PBEM games are run.
- Judge Help Files
- This is a list of the PBEM judge Diplomacy information files.
These HTML versions are identical to the plain-text counterparts
available by FTP or by email from the judges but are nicer-looking
and full of hyperlinks and anchors.
- Running Newbie E-Mail Games
by Jamie Dreier
- An article from The Pouch Zine for GameMasters, giving tips on running
games for players new to the hobby.