As the original England player, here is my EOG statement.

I need to start by putting the record straight on a few matters. Bismarck has had fun with his comments and was understandably frustrated with the situation but his assumption that I simply abandoned the game because of a stab is just not true.

The first major missed deadline happened when I was away on holiday. I had asked the GM for an extension to which he said (copied from his email), "Hi there Mark! I will keep that in mind: don't worry." I came back from holiday to find the deadline hadn't been applied and I had been logged as being late. This coming at the point when Bismarck stabbed me didn't look very good. Anyway, I made my moves and the game lurched on. However, I had also bought back a severe illness from my holiday and subsequently got laid up for a week whilst various samples were sent off to hospital for analysis. During this time, it was impossible for me to get access to my email to continue the game and I came back to find myself abandoned, taken over and the butt of Bismarck's ridicule. I tried taking back my position but my dedication level had been clobbered and wasn't allowed so I signed in as an observer and watched the game out. At no point did I deliberately abandon the game, afterall, why would I want to having built a relatively strong position?

Anyway, sorry about the pedantic start to this message but I needed to get that off my chest.

So... Sapato... well, this was my first attempt at e-dip with press and as I was allocated my home country, I naturally was keen to make a good job of it. Perhaps getting a bit carried away with the English theme, I took on the persona of a WWII RAF fighter pilot called Biffo -yes, they really did have names like that!

Anyway, initial communication channels with Germany and Russia went well and I felt that either could offer a good alliance but unfortunately, not both. With France sabre-rattling before I had even said anything, I felt that Germany would make a better partner and decided rather ruefully to stab Russia. Sorry about that but I had to chose one side and as stated, France was very influential in this area!

Together, Italy, Germany and myself set about dismantling France and this proceeded smoothly until Italy went AWOL where upon, Germany and myself decided to remove Italy as well. I tried pulling Turkey in on this but Turkey seemed unable to commit himself to any aggressive moves. The game moved on with E & G becoming the dominant powers and a two way draw on the cards. If anything, you could say the game was boring as it became a simple mopping up operation but there was a sting...

I was always aware that if E or G were to stab each other, G would be in a better position as I was largely sea based and away from German centres. When the stab came, I was a little surprised but more disappointed as I felt a good level of trust had been built up between us and that was now broken. However, such is the nature of the game so my next objective was to minimise German damage and unfortunately, that is more or less where my involvement in the game ended. I don't know if Germany could have been stopped at that point but at 10 versus 15, I still felt there was a chance.

It was a great shame and highly irritating that I couldn't play the game out to it's conclusion but my congratulations to Bismarck for his victory and my thanks to the other players for taking part.


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