DIAS or non-DIAS

What does DIAS mean: Draw Including All Survivors. Depending on the type of diplomacy game you are  playing there are multiple options for ending the game. Any player that has 18 supply centers at a certain point wins, this is a given. However, when we go into the world of draws (several players agreeing to win jointly), DIAS becomes an important concept.

Let’s say Russia, France, and Italy all have 10 supply centers, but Turkey and England are still on the board, owning two centers each. This means that although there are only three actual powers remaining on the board, a draw in DIAS-style (remember: Including All Survivors) would be evenly split between five countries. So, you might feel that when you are playing Italy, you do not get your fair share of the victory.

There is also another tricky point in DIAS-games. Let’s say Turkey has been stabbed by Russia in this example, and want to do everything to stop Russia from winning anything (Turkey is played by the emotional type). Turkey can just vote against every draw. Especially if these votes are anonymous, this could cause a lot of distrust between the main three players in the three-way alliance, leading to additional conflict. The main strategy in DIAS games to prevent this is by eliminating powers. Any negotiation becomes easier if fewer parties are involved.

For face-to-face game, especially when you are playing with friends or familiar people, I would always recommend a non-DIAS game. The main reason for this is the social element. DIAS games usually take longer to finish, as you will not want to do a draw where very small powers (less than 3 supply centers) are still on the board. However, eliminating these powers could take quite some time.

For online games, I believe DIAS is an interesting concept to play. It could be an extra test for two or three way alliances if nobody is eager enough to try and reach a solo victory.

Already in the middle stages of the game, it is smart to pay attention on the type of game (DIAS or not) you are playing. It could be a reason to let certain smaller powers live (like Turkey/England in the example in this article) or to ensure that as little powers are on the board as possible. The latter option usually makes negotiations for a draw easier.