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A long time ago, I created with abandon. I thought those times were behind me... It's time to pick up the pen once more...


While cleaning out her basement, Cheerilee comes across a long forgotten board game. Deciding to give it a shot, she invites her friends over for a night of fun. Unfortunately, she's unaware of the reputation this game has gained. For you see, in Diplomacy, the number one rule is: Never play this game with friends, or you may need to find new friends...

Takes place in the Lunaverse, season 2, during the Winter arc. There really do need to be an option for six tags, but until then, an additional tag for Cheerilee.

This has a sister-story named Six Best Friends Play Diplomacy, which features the Mane six instead. It isn't going to be the same story with swapped names; each group has different personalities so both games will be very different. I just couldn't decide which group of six would be more interesting, so I wrote both. I must hate free time...

Oh My God, my first story to get featured! Thank you, everyone! 7/27/14

Chapters (10)
Comments ( 149 )

Diplomacy is on my 'do not play' list, along with Monopoly, for the very same reason. And there are some people I will never play Munchkin with again, simply because the first time you do anything to inconvenience them, they declare undying hatred on you and spend the rest of the game picking on you exclusively even as the other players threaten to win.

I can't pretend to be following the game properly, but then we're really here for the metagame anyway, aren't we?

So is this game like Risk?

Do you really have to use different colors for player pegs and territory flags? Seems needlessly confusing.
I am also guessing their version of the board doesn't have the little suns on it for supply centers.

If it's not too much hassle could you put arrows or lines to show army movement? I'm never going to memorize all the names of the territories.

Daga actually has another story right now that has the M6 playing Diplomacy.

It's actually just about as exactly unlike Risk as you can possibly get and still had it be a board game about taking over the world...

3039995 Yeah, I tried it a couple times but it was kind of a non-starter. There doesn't seem to be a lot of strategy involved, just convincing people to like you more than the other players. Sort of like Apples to Apples without the humor.

Oh oh oh things are already going dark... My bet is Trixie and Cheerilee are going to be totally blind sided by Lyra, Carrot Top and Ditzy.

Kinda feel bad for Raindrops, she seems like an accesory to Cheerilee and Lyra's conflict.

oh this won't end well.....


I guess the important question is, was Diplomacy actually created by Discord or his cultists in order to break up potential Harmony bearers as part of an extremely long-term plan?

Trixie's overconfidence is so endearing! It's just not going to go well for her.

I'm really liking this idea, I love the idea of Cheerilee being into board games. Don't know if you have played The Werewolves of Miller's Hollow but that would be an interesting thing for the L6 to play, you'd need a couple of extras too. Of course Diplomacy is definitely the poster child for games to test friendships. I've only played it once and that was enough.

This is an interesting concept.

Are you playing against yourself or are their other people playing each character / faction?

This could get ugly.

Like, Game of Thrones ugly.

3041493 Interesting way to write a fic. Somepony needs to start something like that...

You hit the nail on the head. The metagame and the interactions between the players are the real focus of this story, the game is just a means to drive the plot along. That said, I'm having way, way too much fun playing the game while I write, so at least the game is fun for someone!:scootangel:

I think you're right. Now that I look at it the different colors don't really look good. I switch that starting next chapter.

The spaces on the map and the moves of the game aren't really what's important. What I want you to focus on is how they are playing and dealing with each other. I'll think about adding arrows if people need it, but...

Oh, stick around, terrycloth. You just wait until I show you just how many ways one can bend the rules of this game into interesting shapes...:raritywink:

I would never be able to convince my friends to play a game of Diplomacy, even by proxy. (Well, maybe RainbowDoubleDash.) I'm playing by myself, but I am getting advice from plenty of friends. Most of this comes from how I imagine each pony would approach the game, but a fair bit comes out of personal experiences. You'll be able to tell when something I've personally done in this game gets written!:twilightblush:

On behalf of the hater alliance, I give this story the global seal of disapproval:

The Lunaverse mane 6 really do need their own tag

No, they do not, because then we would have to accommodate all the other alternate universe characters and the backlash that would bring up.

If Monopoly is taking far too long to play it means one of two things: You aren't playing by the actual rules[0] or no one has realized that the game is about trading properties, (or hasn't figured out that you can 'lose' every trade you make while still ending up ahead of everyone else).

Now, Dip _is_ a game where you have to consider what kinds of friends you have and how they are at separating what happens in a game from what happens in real life[1]. Some of us have gotten used to playing environments where the typical reaction to an utterly nasty and deceitful stab is to go tell others the story, (because, it _was_ a masterful stab, too bad that the target was _me_).

[0] The three big errors are: Forgetting to auction off properties when someone lands on them but doesn't buy, forgetting that there are 12 Hotels and 32 Houses, no more, (and that you really do need to have four Houses before you build a Hotel), and that (exp.del.) Free Parking jackpot house rule[2].

[1] I have heard tell of a game of Dip that cancelled a wedding. On of the couple thought that being engaged meant that they wouldn't stab each other, she was under no such delusion. (It was probably for the better that they found out he would react like that before they were married.)

[2] Rightly considered one of the worst house rules of all time for any game.

3041710 The main difference between Game of Thrones and a well played game of Diplomacy is that in Diplomacy you only wish you could execute your opponents.

My GOD! Diplomacy certainly isn't a new game...

...it makes me feel old that I've played it and I'm only 16...

Oh dear lord, I sense a Gambit Pileup of epic proportions. Everyone is gonna end up betraying everyone at some point or another I think. :trixieshiftleft:
The real question is, who will still be around when the smoke clears?:trixieshiftright:

3043662 Already in the other story you had a technicality utterly screwing Fluttershy that would have made me quit playing. :ajbemused:

Great opening chapter, I really liked how the game was described and it did a good job setting the scene. Twilight's fear of them playing was fantastic!

And that was only a light hearted mistake, nothing intentional... or so they think...:raritywink:

In all seriousness, the game is specifically set up so anything written in those little books must be taken as written. This means that tiny mistakes like these can be used intentionally if you can get the hang of it! Something that will occur to Fluttershy in just a little bit, as she realizes her mistake actually protected her this turn. :twilightoops:

This kind of tactic probably won't occur to anyone in this story, but there's a whole different bag of tricks the L!6 are more suited for... :pinkiehappy:

Great chapter! :pinkiehappy:

Wow a I ever behind on my reading. Oh well, better late than never. Anyway, good first chapter, nice immersive lead in to set the tone, and actually whipping up a real game board and playing out each turn as you write is a commendable amount dedications. Curiosity, did you purposely assign each pony's nation, or did you randomly draw them as I the story?

I did initially find the decision to play have the playing at the library a bit odd, thinking Trixie's residency would probably also be big enough, but after Twilight was appointed referee the narrative reasons for the choice of venue became apparent enough. It's interesting to see her hesitancy here, both with involving herself with the L6 and with how she 's the only one hear who has the experience to be weary of the game itself.

Anyway, onward to chapter 2. :pinkiehappy:

....is this the same game from the sister story? the pegs look EERILY familiar.
Or maybe they're just cursed.

Each pony's nation was drawn randomly out of a hat. Had it been my decision, there was no way Raindrops wouldn't have been the Barbarian Queen of the Elks. Because I love references! :derpytongue2: Still, I do not regret how the nations fell. It has given me an opportunity to make some very interesting alliances...

They are two separate games, but each game does start the same. Some nations, especially the Tapirs, have the same opening moves because there's almost no reason to do anything else. But this game is personality based, and heavily dependent on player interaction, so the maps will start looking different very soon.

Maybe, but Diplomacy is very thematically appropriate to nature of the Lunaverse, what with the Nightcourt and everything.

Well, narratively I'd think Raindrops could also have worked just as well for the Buffalo, but that's beside the point as the cards weren't past out with narrative concerns in the first place.

Also, will there be more of those immersive imagine spots like the flashforward from Ch1, or will it all just be the ponies talking to each other between rounds? It probably makes sense to focus on the actual L6 for the opening few moves as they learn the rules, but I do hope we also get more chance to see the game itself played out as a sub-narrative as well.

There is going to be at least one chapter that will be entirely from the perspective of the nations. I'll also be peppering the story here and there with them, but we have to wait until each nation further develops their "personalities". Should only be a couple more chapters before I'll start getting to them.

Can't say I can follow the map very well but I really like the reactions of the ponies and the moves they make, Also I think you're doing a good job showcasing the differences between this story and the mane six one. Looking forward to how each progresses! :pinkiesmile:

I'm gonnna need more popcorn. I'm just waiting for when the REAL backstabbing kicks in.


We have now passed the stage I've been mentally calling the "set-up". From this chapter on, things are going to get interesting.:twilightsmile:


YOU KILLED ULTIMA! FU- wait, that's not right

Oh dear, rules disputes. This is what happens when you don't have the Internet for authoritative rulings from the writers. I think Twilight's right - they really shouldn't be playing this game.

...but then we, the audience, wouldn't be having any fun. :scootangel:

Was mentioning this game L!Twilight's cunning plan to destroy the Elements?

We shall see....


At this point I'm predicting Carrot Top to win.

Comment posted by LonMcGregor deleted Jan 9th, 2017

Trixie held a hoof up to her eyes and then swivelled her fetlock one-eighty degrees to point at Carrot Top.

I love this image, I'm not sure if it works well without fingers through.

Carrot Top: the accidental Napoleon.

I have no idea what's happening.
Like not even a little.
But I'm sure it's amazing.

I shall now summarize Carrot Top's entire position in this simulated war:

“I understand,” Ditzy responded. “There’s just something I need to know. How do these games usually end?”

Six grey ponies, a bunch of useless necklaces and a big crown thingy, and chocolate rain everywhere. Already some of them are starting to fall apart. :fluttershysad:

I sure hate writer's block, how about you?

4 months, 1 week, 2 day; I'd say and counting, but I just sent EoI:Ch8 off for final proffreading and hope to have it posted in the next day or two.

Anyway, I'm still loving all the interactions between the cast, even if I'm having difficulty following the actual game. The pace is definitely picking up and lines, however blurry, are beginning to form. Trixie certainly doesn't seem to be coping with the pressure very well, but she's also a stage performer, so maybe it really could all be an elaborate ruse. Then there is poor, poor CT who remains utterly lost and clueless, yet keeps making surprisingly good moves despite her naïve ignorance. As for Lyra, can't really feel sorry for her; she made her bed and now she's got to pay the piper.

I have no idea whats going on in this story. Yet I find the fact that everypony already wants to stab everypony else in the back amusing.

Tactical horse simulator is best game.

Great writing. Everyone really feels in character. Fav and up vote.
Twilight's apprehension towards the game makes me anticipate great amusement to come. :pinkiehappy:

I love Carrot Top's actions and reactions. Her not knowing what to do and just relying on her gut feelings/intuition is great. It is a good unintentional strategy. The whole beginner's luck thing when you're not over thinking or completely second guessing yourself. I really really want Carrot Top to win.

A friend of mine was unstoppable at We Didn't Play Test This for the same reason. She just put down cards because she didn't know what she was doing. She kept winning. If you have played that game you know that it mostly ends with no one winning.

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