Excellent story and well written. I quite enjoyed it.
Now what you describe represents different types of players. I discussed all types of players in Section 3.4 of Total Diplomacy. There are basically four types of players:
- Aggressive/Expansionist. Kaiser is this type.
- Deal maker/Negotiator. Napoleon is this type.
- Conservative/Isolationist. Attila is this type.
Kaiser and Napoleon are in constant war simply because they can’t agree to any deals and the only choice of action left is war. The best continent for an isolationist such as Attila is Australia which you seem to start from. So everything seems to be consistent.
In the book I have identified the weaknesses of each type, what they are good at and how to deal with them. Here I go briefly through the case you have provided.
Basically, you need to take advantage of each type’s qualities. Make deals with the deal maker. If you want to stay isolated, that’s fine as long as others don’t attack you. Well, you have an expansionist player in the game who just likes to attack. That’s fine. Just direct that expansion towards somewhere else. So, make a deal with Napoleon to secure your borders. Now Napoleon has only got Kaiser to fight with. Kasier would love to do that, and you can keep growing while they fight.
For example, make a deal over Middle East and get Napoleon to attack North America all the time. Create a conflict between them and let it take its course. Expand in Europe and Asia. Don’t try to get Asia because they will both get concerned and will turn on you. So might as well not worry about it. Instead, be ready to eliminate one of them as soon as you can, or make one of them very weak. A weak player, especially one with cards, is subject to elimination. If you are playing a three player game, you can always turn the game around and start attacking the strongest player. The problem is that the game can go forever, but the upside is that you won’t get eliminated. Staying in the game is probably better, so always watch out for the strongest.
Would like to know what happens when you play again. Family games can be quite entertaining, especially when it comes to Risk.