I'm planning a game of Diplomacy with my friends for this weekend. The problem is, none of us have ever played before, so I'm trying to fill the gaps in my understanding so that our inexperience doesn't reduce the fun.
One of the issues I'm worried about is someone getting eliminated, or practically eliminated, early in the game. I'm not sure how often eliminations happen in the game, but I really don't want to ask someone to reserve four hours of their time to play, only to have them get taken out of the running very early and have to watch the rest of us play. Note that I'm not opposed to someone getting eliminated, but to someone not having fun because they were eliminated.
How often do early eliminations happen in Diplomacy? Do you ever find player elimination to be a problem? What, if anything, do you do to reduce the potential negative impacts of player elimination? What tips would you give a group of noobs with regard to eliminations?