Versailles rules

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Versailles rules

Postby super_dipsy » 06 Dec 2013, 18:34

Versailles is played on a modified Classic map which includes extra countries and some restructuring to allow for 14 countries and 43 supply centres. The game is still a 7-player game but each player controls a major power and a minor power. When the combined total of SCs between a player’s major / minor pair reaches 22 that player has won. The original Versailles map and game were developed by Martin Kennedy and can be found on the Variant Bank.

The map below shows the map and the starting positions of the countries; major powers start with the normal number of SCs, minor powers all start with a single SC.

NOTE: It is STRONGLY advised that anyone wanting to play Versailles should have the 'Show territory / unit ownership details on hover' option checked in their Account Profiles; with 14 countries, some of the colours are very close, and the hover facility is invaluable to avoid accidents!

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The majority of rules are the same as in the Classic game, but the introduction of minor powers brings about some important differences. Below is a summary of additions or changes to Classic Diplomacy in the PlayDiplomacy implementation of Versailles. NOTE: the PlayDiplomacy rules for Versailles are not the same as laid out on the Variant Bank or the Diplomatic Pouch; anyone familiar with those rules should note that our PlayDiplomacy version blends together elements of both the 'standard' and 'advanced' rules as well as some additions of our own. So even if you are an experienced Versailles player, read the following carefully to avoid getting surprised!

Major / minor power allocation
Major powers are allocated as normal based on the game choice (ie Random, Preferences, FCFS). Once the game starts, a random minor power is tied up with each major power. This minor country assignment is anonymous and the game attempts to keep it so, although there are situations where player actions will cause the minor identity to be revealed (covered later). Of course players are free to make whatever ownership claims they wish throughout the game!

Major / minor power operation
Each player controls a major and a minor power. These two countries are operated by the player independently, with their own messages and shoutbox posting, colour scheme and home SCs. Players switch between their major and minor countries to operate each one. Be careful; you may have read all your messages received by one power, but that does not mean your other powers has not got unread messages. Your major and minor can attack each other, support attacks on each other, cut each other's supports, dislodge each other and capture SCs from each other, except for the special case of national centres...

National supply centres
This exception case overrides the previous statement about one power capturing SCs from its partner. If one power conquers one of its partner's national SCs (assessed at the end of the Fall move as usual), it does NOT take ownership of it. In variant versions, 'national SC' is taken to mean the starting positions(s) of a country's units. There are two situations here depending on who owns the partner national centre at the time. If the SC is owned at the time by the partner power, then nothing happens; the SC remains under the partner's ownership and does not change hands. if instead the SC is currently owned by an enemy power, ownership is transferred (or perhaps more appropriately, returned) to the partner power. So for example Sweden's national centre is Stockholm. If Sweden is partnered with Britain, currently owns Stockholm and Britain has a unit in Stockholm at the end of the Fall move, Stockholm remains in all senses a Swedish centre and does not count towards the British centre count. If instead Stockholm were in German hands but was conquered by the British, at the end of the Fall move ownership of the centre would transfer not to Britain but to Sweden, adding to the Swedish centre count. Note that this rule applies whether it is a Major conquering its associated minor national centre or vice versa. Also note that conquering one of your partner national centres will immediately expose the identity of your major / minor pair since as soon as the SC does not change hands it will be obvious to all, so be careful!

Destroy / Build special case
There is a special case in the Build Phase. Because of the previous circumstance, it is possible for one country to have a unit on one of its partner's SCs even though that SC is owned by the partner. In the previous example, for instance, if Britain liberated Stockholm from Germany, there would be a British unit on Stockholm even though it is now actually owned by Sweden. In most cases this will mean Sweden cannot build a unit on that SC, because of course it is occupied. But if Britain is due to destroy a unit and Sweden is allowed to build a unit, special dispensation is given to allow the player to destroy the unit in Stockholm and then immediately build a Swedish unit there (assuming Sweden is allowed a build).

Dormant countries
Because national centres can be returned to their original owners by their partners as described above, players should be aware that countries in Versailles have THREE states, not just two; they can be alive (they have units and/or SCs), dead (out of the game) or dormant. The distinction between dead and dormant is that if a country has no national SCs and no units then its status depends on its associated power. If the associated power is still in the game, then the dormant power can be resurrected if the associated power liberates its national centre. However if the associated power also has no units or SCs then both powers are truly dead and out of the game. Whether a power is dead or dormant has implications on things like Draws.

Draw proposals
Draw proposals can include any number of the 14 countries, but the proposal will always be announced as having come from the major power of the pair. major powers only are listed in the voting. Players get ONE vote on the draw that can be cast by either their major or minor country, but the vote is only announced and registered against the major country. This ensures anonymity is protected as much as possible. Note that this may mean a country that is 'dead' appearing on the voting list. For example, a player controls France and Sweden; France is dead and gone but Sweden is still alive. When Sweden responds to the draw offer, it is announced and registered as a vote for France. This still conceals which minor country is associated with France / the player. If a draw proposal is agreed, finishing the game, the draw is processed as a normal draw would be between the number of PLAYERS in the draw proposal ( not powers). So if either one or both your countries are included in the draw, YOU are in the draw. A 14-country draw will be processed as a 7-way draw (since all 7 players will have countries in the draw). You get no additional benefit from having both your major and minor power in the draw. Note also that apparently dead countries can be included in draw proposals since they could be dormant rather than dead and could later come back to life. The only restriction is that Surrendered countries can never be included in a draw proposal.

Surrenders, replacements and substitutes
Surrenders and replacements are actioned for the major/minor pair, not for individual powers. WARNING: If you surrender ANY power you will be surrendered from BOTH your powers; If ANY of your powers gets auto-surrendered, your powers will BOTH be auto-surrendered. Note: entering orders / finalizing IS still an individual country activity, so if you forget to submit orders for one of your powers twice in a row, even if you finalize your other power, you will BOTH be auto-surrendered. The golden rule is ‘pay attention’!

Scoring
Scores are all calculated on the basis of this being a 7 PLAYER game. So as already mentioned, a draw involving a 5 country spread across 3 players is a 3-way draw for scoring purposes. A surrender will cost you a full loss based on a 7 player game, not a double loss (two countries). Replacements will sign up for a Major power (which is all that will be offered) and the corresponding minor will be assigned to them at join time. This does mean that someone joining cannot see the whole position because the identity of the minor power is concealed from them until after joining. Substitutes will step in as both your powers until you return.

Miscellaneous
In order to help players to get an accurate picture, the totals on the Active Games list (eg number of orders outstanding, whether there are unread messages) are aggregated across the major / minor power pairs. So if you have 3 units in your major and 1 in your minor, the Active Games display will tell you that you have 4 orders. The mechanism for switching between powers is a switch option next to the ‘Playing as’ line at the top of the game display. The game remembers which country you were last playing and will return you to that power, so be careful; you do not always enter the game from your Active Games list as the major power. Again, the tip is ‘pay attention’. Finally, players are strongly advised to set the ‘Assisted Display’ option in their Account Profiles if playing Versailles; with 14 countries the colours can sometimes be difficult to distinguish, and the hover facility that confirms the ownership of territories and units is invaluable.
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Re: Versailles rules

Postby super_dipsy » 14 Jan 2014, 08:44

Some guidance that may help.

- PLEASE read the rules in this thread. Versailles is tricky and there are a number of confusing points. Read carefully. No sympathy for people who don't bother.
- Sometimes the colours may be confusing. Use the Assisted Display (hover) option in your My Account profile. This will clearly tell you which territory/unit belongs to who!
- Don't conquer the national centres of your partner country if you want your minor ownership to remain anonymous
- Be careful when proposing draws; you may be giving away more information than you intended!
- DON'T FORGET TO ENTER ORDERS for BOTH your countries. If ONE country gets auto-surrendered, YOUR OTHER WILL BE SURRENDERED TOO!
- Don't surrender. It is very unfair in Versailles, because although it may not be obvious immediately it will be apparent quite quickly what your major/minor pairing was.

IF YOU WANT TO PLAY IN ONE OF THE TWO EARLY GAMES, the password is majorminor
:)

(I put the password here so noone can join if they have not seen the rules :lol: )
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Re: Versailles rules

Postby super_dipsy » 15 Jan 2014, 18:06

GUIDANCE ON DRAWS:

Although this was outlined in the rules int he OP, this list may help to clarify because it can be a bit confusing ;)

1. A Draw can be proposed by either a major or minor country
2. A player can only respond once; this response is implemented for both the major and minor. The response can be issued by either country but applies to both.
3. Proposals and responses are announced in the Shoutbox as normal EXCEPT that any action (proposal or response) by a minor is ANNOUNCED as the major (to conceal identities).
4. Similarly, the draw proposer and response status in the Statistics display only lists MAJOR powers, never minor ones.
5. Draw proposals can include major AND minor powers, and are listed as such on the Statistics display.
6. Accepted draws are processed based on the PLAYERS included, not the countries. If a player has either one or both countries in the draw, that person is in the final draw.

So some examples, but first a general rule of thumb to remember. THE ONLY TIME YOU SEE A MINOR COUNTRY NAME in anything related to Draws is in the 'draw proposed for' list. The proposer country, the shoutbox announcements of proposal and response, the vote responses status, ALL REFER ONLY TO MAJORS.

Sarah is playing Turkey (major) and Sweden (minor) (DAMN those stupid random number generators ;) ). While operating Sweden she proposes a draw for Turkey, Germany, Rumania, Spain, USSR.
The following things happen:
- Shoutbox says: Draw proposed by TURKEY for Turkey, Germany, Rumania, Spain, USSR
- Statistics display shows;
Draw for Turkey, Germany, Rumania, Spain, USSR proposed by TURKEY.
Britain - no response
France - no response
Italy - no response
Germany - no response
Poland - no response
Turkey - accepted
USSR - no response


Now Spain (the minor power of the player playing Germany) accepts the draw.
- Shoutbox says: Draw accepted by GERMANY
- Voting status says: GERMANY accepted

Italy (also playing Rumania) accepts.
- Same as above but with ITALY as the acting country

If the draw is accepted by everyone, then the draw is processed. The PLAYERS included in the draw are (identified by major country)
TURKEY
GERMANY (actually the draw proposal included both GERMANY and its minor, Spain, but that is irrelevant; you do not get a bonus for having both your countries in the draw!)
USSR
ITALY (note that since ITALY's minor Rumania was in, the Italian player is in)

So it is a 4-way draw.

I hope this helps.
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