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The countries I'm thinking about are England and Turkey (northwest and southeast). This type of alliance seems unlikely to develop "naturally" in the real world, since they're nowhere near each other, but they have a common enemy, Russia.

I have to assume that more pressing concerns for each are "taken care of" by "natural" rivalries, Italy vs. Austria, and Germany vs. France.

But if England and Turkey succeed in partitioning Russia, can they find "common ground" in a war against say, the Germanic countries, Germany and Austria-Hungary? Or possibly in alliances with them against the "Latins," Italy and France?

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2 Answers

It really depends on what you're trying to accomplish. Corner alliances are quite different from neighbor alliances.

Pros:

  • Information sharing is often more effective, because there is little reason for your corner ally to try to deceive you, and other players often overlook this and tell your ally information thinking that "It doesn't matter if he knows".

  • While I generally agree with Oltarus that you need to plan for when an alliance will end, corner allies have relatively limited ability to attach each other effectively, so its unlikely that a stab from them will put you out of the game.

Cons:

  • Because your opponent is generally between you and your ally (at least early on), there isn't much you can do to help each other attack. You can't support each other's attacks until the battle is mostly over, and Russia can hold out for quite a while against you if other players don't join in.

  • As England, if you don't choose a side in the EFG triangle, its likely that F and G both end up attacking you (since fighting each other 1 on 1 leaves them both weak). So you will likely need to work with someone there first, and then transition to an attack on Russia after your first target is on the ropes. Turkey has a bit easier time focusing on Russia, but if Italy is gunning for you, you're likely to have to spend a lot on defense, even assuming Austria is friendly.

So I definitely encourage you to be friendly with your fellow "witch", but it is difficult to make this an effective "primary" alliance, at least in the early game.

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Well, having allies is never a bad strategy, whether it is in Diplomacy or in real life wars. But the one thing I've learnt about Diplomacy is that an alliance never lasts long. There is only one winner at the end of the game. If you agree with the other country that Russia will be destroyed and that you will share the remains, it is a good idea. The question you should ask yourself is: "should I betray the other before he betrays me?"

Let me answer your question in a more generalistic way. Whenever two countries are allies in Diplomacy, each part should have these two strategies:

  • What will I do if we are allied? What do I want from my friend? What do I do when I have what I want?
  • What does my ally want? What do I do if I am betrayed? Is there a way for me to forsee that betrayal and use it to my advantage?

So basically, yes, it is a good idea to team up with a distant country, but until when?

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