On the Game Search Page you will see that you have four search options. If this is your first
time signing up for a 1483 game, skip the Advanced Search. You should also skip the "List All
Games" search. What you will want is to search for a new game that is forming (Option #3) or
to search for an ongoing game with open positions (Option #2). See the image below.
If you are patient and are willing to wait a few days (up to a week sometimes, perhaps) for the
game you sign up for to get started, you may select a nation that is available in a newly
forming game. (Option #3). This lets you pick a nation in a game that has not started yet and
you can begin with a fresh diplomatic slate. The down side is, you must wait until all 28
player positions have been filled before the game will begin. That takes a few days, usually.
If you are looking to just sink your teeth on 1483 Online and get a handle for game play, or
you have a natural desire to take on a challenge, then search for "Ongoing Games with Open
Positions". This will give you a list of games that are currently running and where at least
one or more nations has been abandoned and is now available for a new player to assume
command. Signing up to these positions means you can get started nearly right away, but
abandoned nations sometimes are challenging positions to play.