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World's Most Primitive Search Engine Ever [16 May 2016] For searching Diplomacy articles published in the DP Zine.

When I'm doing stuff online, if I'm not researching wemic lore or running a Dungeons and Dragons game, odds are I am playing Diplomacy. For those unfamiliar with the world's best board game, in Diplomacy you try to take over the board, per Risk, but there are no dice, and everybody starts with an equally powerful position. The victory goes to the person with the best ability to negotiate alliances and with the best grasp of strategy.

Anyway, I recently found a new place online to play, where I jumped into a game of Ancient Mediterranean. (Another good resource for this Diplomacy variant is this one.) The standard game is based on the struggle of Great Powers in Europe just before WWI. Ancient Med simulates the rise of great empires in the time before the Common Era. I've played the variant before, but I wanted to get some tactical advice. Naturally, I thought of The Diplomatic Pouch, and especially about articles in the DP Zine. With content going back to 1995, maybe there would be something useful deep in there!

I found a couple search options on the site, but, alas, all broken. There is a table of contents for each issue of the zine, but no easy way to search them all at once.

So I concatenated all the tables of contents for all the DP Zine issues ever, pasting them all into one long master Table of Contents Web page. That way, you can go to the master ToC page and -- just using the Find function in your browser -- search within the tables of contents of every DP Zine issue.

So, here is a link to my master page of DP Zine articles. Feel free to steal my source code, if it looks at all useful to you!

And did I find what I sought, at last? I did! There are good articles on Ancient Med here, here, and here -- by the creator of the variant!

July 2016 update: Well, I lost my game of Ancient Med ... badly! I blame the online Web interface at the site I tried. My first and last game at Yeah, that's the ticket. I'm going back to PBEM through Judge servers! That's where my tactical genius will shine forth!

April 2018 update: As it turns out, after 20-some years, it was only about 6-9 months after I wrote this post that went dark forever. Yes, quantum physics is correct: you cannot measure something without changing it, or in my case, killing it. Alas.

HOWEVER, a lot of the content on the site was archived by the Wayback Machine! That means odds are you can find it online, with some poking around. Here's how:

  1. Copy the broken URL that does not work any more.
  2. Go to the Wayback Machine.
  3. Paste the lost URL into the search box and click the Browse History button.
  4. The Wayback Machine shows you a calendar with the dates marked dates on which it visited the URL. Click those to look for your lost page.

As for me and the original point of this post, I did find those articles on Don Hessong's Ancient Mediterranean Diplomacy variant in the Wayback Machine. Here they are:

If you come to love the Wayback Machine as much as I do, consider making a donation to support it.

Home | This page last modified: 15 April 2018