Sunday, 4 November 2012

Completing the Set

It was @johnthelutheran who tipped off Eileen, who passed this piece of information to me.

According to the Telegraph website, the British have now invaded 90% of all countries on earth, leaving only 22 to go.

Of course, I am not a warlike type. But I am a collector. When I realised that the only station I had not visited on the London Underground was Chesham (due to its branch-line position off the outer edges of the Metropolitan Line), I immediately bought a Travelcard, took the train in to London and then made my way to Chesham, changing at Chalfont and Latimer. It was a long and fraught journey - for the Metropolitan Line can get a bit bouncy out west of Finchley Road - but it was worth it to complete the set. I was wandering around Chesham seeking out any real ale pubs worthy of note when I met Marston Moretaine who, it turned out, works there. Had I known, I would have been saved a major trek across London and being looked at strangely by that man between Great Portland Street and Baker Street. but it was the thrill of the chase that mattered - and surely the difficulty added to the sense of achievement?

But it is the collection that matters, and not always the thrill of the chase. Which is why, given the list of countries that Britain has invaded, I would suggest we should start with Sweden. The opportunity to attack the others will no doubt arise, in the usual course of British foreign policy, but the Swedes generally get out of this kind of thing by being (a) nice and (b) neutral. In the eyes of the cold-blooded collector, of course, this means that they won't see us coming, and will probably all be in the sauna when we invade. They are also conveniently on the coast, and therefore we should be able to get the lifeboat that is all that remains of the Royal Navy up the Skagerrak (such a key sea area in Diplomacy, I think) before they have even stopped listening to Abba on the CD players in their Volvos.

Eileen has pointed out to me that the British owe Sweden an invasion in any case, as "the bloody Vikings caused enough trouble in Peterborough". So for once, we are in agreement.

So if the British Government take my advice, they should attack Sweden first. After this, Monaco is conveniently on the Mediterranean coast - and the French might be grateful to us if we help them "tidy up" their own back yard. We, after all, don't need to keep it - we just want the sticker in the album, as it were. If we can avoid any more Defence cuts, we should have all twenty-two knocked off in a decade or so.


  1. Wouldn't tomorrow be the perfect day to invade the Vatican City? Admittedly the pretext would be 407 years old, and a bit flimsy, but why let that stop us?

  2. Where might I be able to play Diplomacy with Burton? Does the nearest real ale pub do a session on Tuesday evenings?


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