I have started playing diplomacy online. Here I am printing some of my commonly used opening messages so that I can reuse them in future games.
From a recent game as Austria:
Conventional wisdom states that Austria and Turkey should each recruit allies and attack the other. However, I think that is a terrible idea. Why? Because, we both have bigger fish to fry in the beginning. Italy threatens your ability to dominate the Mediterranean and Russia will always be eyeing your territory in order to establish a good defensive position in the south with the inability to be flanked (the stalemate line runs right through Turkey. For Austria, it is nearly impossible to actually attack Turkey. No, it is impossible for Austria to attack Turkey’s homeland. Not only that but Germany, Russia and Italy are all eyeing Austria’s lands. I would therefore like to propose an alliance. An Austrian Turkish alliance. We will split up the Balkans 2-2 your choice on whether you want Rumania or Greece I will take the other and we can both agree to attack the enemy of your choosing (Russia or Italy) depending on whether you are interested in pursuing a naval strategy or northern strategy. This will allow Turkey early expansion opportunity and Austria some time to make her homeland safe.
Please consider my proposal,
Your friend, Austria
Perhaps nobody shares the security concern of the dual monarchy and the tsar. Not only do we both have 4 hostile neighbours, but we are both part of the dreaded central triangle (Germany, Russia, Austria). My experience says that a Russo-Austrian alliance is more beneficial, long term than a German-Austrian. We can collaborate more (on the Germans and the Turks), and more importantly an Austrian alliance seals off one of the more important defences in Russia.
As you are aware, the center must hold. Austria and Italy are more or less forced to ally on the first turn. Italy needs help expanding (either into France) or into Turkey. Expanding into Turkey with Austria is the most popular option with good reasons. Your homeland is safe due to the alliance with Austria, and you get to attack Turkey through their most vulnerable location, Smyrna and Syria. I would suggest a Lepantao:
Naples to ION,
ROM to APU or NAP
VEN to PIE (note that the typical DMZ of PIE does far more for France than it does for Italy (and depending on your relationship with Germany and England, it gives you opportunity for growth.
Let me know your thoughts,
Austria and Germany both have the most complicated security relations on the board. For good reason they rarely attack each other in the beginning. The last game I played saw a Germany attack Austria and they were both eliminated by 1904. I would like to propose a mutual security pact. Right now you are probably more interested in the west, and I am more interested in the south, however I believe that it is in both of our interests to gang up on Russia if they come after either of us. If Russia is attacking the German or the Austrian, then we should work together to rid the world of such behaviour.
Your are perhaps Austria’s only natural ally in this game, by that I mean, you are close enough that we can help one another, but far enough away that neither of us covets the other’s territory. I have two issues I want to discuss. The first is Scandinavia. I believe that you should make it a priority to go after Scandinavia. The four supply centers can be held by only three units. I believe that it would be in your and my best interest if you were able to hold the nordic countries. More importantly, it would deny Russia and Germany those supply centers which they would only use to attack us.
The second discussion I want to have is on Italy. I believe next to a Turkish attack, the French opening is one of Italy’s bolder moves. Spain, Marseilles and Tunis make a good base of operations for Italy, so you might find a willing ally. On your end, that would leave you as the dominate naval power in the north and sitting in very good position. If I were you I would feel him out on this issue.
Your Friend, Austria