The classic board game with a full suite of features are available to all
players for free at PlayDiplomacy, and there is a wider selection of variants
for premium members as a “thank you” for supporting the site. This page
provides a summary of different game options and key features with links to more
detailed information in the forum. For more details on playing on site, check out
the Information forum and post a question there if it has not already
Choosing Games to Join
Users come to PlayDiplomacy
with a wide range of experience and expectations regarding the game and even
languages they use, and pick-up games on the site reflect that diversity. Many
games include titles or descriptions that will give you an idea about the kind
of game being sought. PlayDiplomacy is the largest and most active Diplomacy
site in the world and has games for all tastes.
As you are looking
for games to play, please don’t join any game if you do not intend to play
until the end. As a rough rule of thumb, you can expect a game to last as many
months as the orders deadline is days long (i.e. a game with 12-hour orders
will last a few weeks, a game with 3-day orders will last about three months,
games, ranked games, games with longer deadlines, and games that are advertised
in the Find a Game forum, especially password protected games, tend to have
more serious players and to be more competitive.
After finishing at least one game (ranked or not ranked,
game-start or replacement position) without surrendering, you may be eligible
to join the Classicists, a club dedicated to respectful, high-reliability
players. Apply by posting in the Classicists’ Applications forum and become
eligible for their games.
In addition to “new”
games which are starting up, “active” games have
surrendered positions. Consider taking a replacement position in an active game
as a favor for your fellow gamers. If just a third of our players picked up an
active position for every new game they started, every surrendered spot would
Basic Game Features
Game Types (“Stats”)
There are four basic
game types. “Ranked” and “not ranked” games are identical except in one
respect; only the results of ranked games are included in the site’s rating system. Note: not ranked games are used in
determining player class.
“Friends” games are
also excluded from the site’s rating system, and in addition, they are exempt
from the player class system and many house rules, including rules regarding meta-gaming. These are intended to be games for people that
know each other and can police their own games.
introduce an extra participant in the game, the “teacher”, who does not control
a power but can communicate with the players, sees all messages in the game, and
can moderate public press. Schools games are excluded from the rating and player
class systems and are exempt from many house rules.
Voting for draws can
be conducted by “open ballot”, each voter and their vote is identified in
public press when cast, or “secret ballot”, where only pass/fail for a draw
proposal is indicated in the “Status” drop-down box. In an open ballot game,
the proposer automatically votes for the draw proposed, while in a secret
ballot game he need not. Secret ballots tend to provide for more competitive
games, especially in a non-DIAS setting. Draw proposals expire at the end of the
first full orders phase after they are proposed.
Draws include all survivors
(“DIAS”) requires that all powers still controlling an SC be included in any
draw proposal. If this option is not selected (a “non-DIAS” game), then draws
may be called that exclude powers still in play, however, the draw vote must
still be unanimous among all the players still in the game. Note: surrendered
powers never stop a draw from passing and are never included in any draw, even
if they hold SCs and even if they were included in the draw proposal.
Solo-only games have
no draw functionality at all. Ranked games may never be played solo-only.
Deadlines and Finalizing
The length of
deadlines can be set individually for each type of phase. By default, if all
players with orders for a phase finalize, the deadline expires early and the
phase is resolved immediately. If the “fixed deadlines” option is selected,
then all phases run their full time limit.
Finalizing is always
optional. If a player does not finalize, the system will use the last orders entered
to adjudicate the phase.
Games with finalize
orders and surrendered powers proceed as follows: during the phase in which a power
surrenders, the turn will not process if the surrendered country is not
finalized, and the deadline will run its full length. In subsequent phases, if
all of the active powers with orders due finalize, the phase will
process. If no active power has orders due, then the phase will process when any
provides an exception to standard deadlines. If a deadline will fall from
midnight Friday through midnight Sunday, then it will automatically be extended
to a time chosen at random on Monday. Note: the weekend is based on GMT
+1. If all players finalize during the weekend period, the deadline
will still expire early and the phase will resolve immediately.
“Ambassadors Only” games have restricted access. All users
are divided into two player classes, “diplomat” or “ambassador”, based on their history
of surrenders and NMRs. (“Star ambassador” is an honorific; it is functionally
identical to “ambassador”.) “Ambassadors
Only” games restrict entry to that class of player, providing for an automated
way to play games with higher reliability players.
“NMR Protect” games
reset if a player NMRs in the first phase of the game. The offending player is
auto-surrendered and the game will return to waiting for players. All messages are
saved and are available once the game re-starts (at the beginning of the first
phase) after a replacement player joins.
In 6- and 5-player
games, Italy or Italy & Germany are in CD for the duration of the game. In
4- and 3-player games, players control between one and three powers each, and
victory is achieved when a single power (not a single player)
controls 18 SCs. 2-player games follow house rules that differ from the
rulebook. Italy is impassable in 1901 and reverts to CD thereafter for the duration
of the game. The victory condition for a two-player game is to control 24 SCs
aggregated across all the powers under a player’s control.
may not be ranked and are never included in the player class calculations.
Some games are
created with passwords restricting who may join. These may be invitationals or
open games advertised in the forum. In ranked and not ranked games, the
password is only effective at the start of the game. Should a
player leave the game, anyone can take the position in replacement. In friends
and schools games, the password is in force for the duration of the game.
In addition to automatically
adjudicated games, in the Play-by-Forum Diplomacy Variants forum you will find a variety of different games
with human GMs, usually played with different maps, sometimes with the same
rules, but often including some very different features which are described in
the introductory posts for the individual games. There are different historical
games (colonial Asia, early Britain, the whole world), games which
bring in wider political or economic features, Lord of the Rings and other
fiction-based games, and many others. In addition, in the Other Play-by-Forum Games forum games not necessarily related to
Diplomacy are played.
“Live games” are the
closest thing to face-to-face Dip the web has to offer. Players are online
throughout the game, which will last a predetermined number of hours, with
fifteen minutes for orders and five minutes for retreats and builds. Games either
end as an imposed draw once the live period ends or may continue as a normal
game with new deadlines. Games are organized in the Live Games forum as well as in the chatbox on the home page.
In all types of
anonymous games, players must not reveal their participation in the forum or
other means outside of the game. Once a game has started, players may choose to
claim a particular identity using in-game messaging (if available) but there
will be no way to verify such claims until the game ends. “Anonymous Players”
games are completely anonymous, whereas in “Anonymous Countries” games, players
may know who is playing in the game, but not who is playing which power.
“Public Press Only” games
are also anonymous, but in this case only public communication through the shoutbox
is allowed. “Gunboat” games are again anonymous and have no messaging at all. Often
players will “communicate” in Gunboat with support or other orders and with
If a player in an
anonymous game wishes to advertise for a replacement or a substitute, anonymous accounts for posting in the forum can be used for that purpose.
“Fleet Rome” is identical
to the classic game with one change; Italy starts with a fleet in Rome instead
of an army.
“Winter 1900” begins
the game with a builds phase before Spring 1901 allowing all the powers to choose
their initial units in their home centers. In this variant, the initial builds
phase is double-length.
“Build Anywhere” is identical to the classic game with one change;
powers may build new units in any controlled, vacant SC rather than only home
“Age of Empires”
incorporates both Winter 1900 and Build Anywhere rules,
and in addition, each power begins with only one home center (e.g. Vie, Lon,
Par, Ber, Rom, Mos, and Con on the classic map). The game begins in 1900 BC
rather than AD, and the years count downwards – confusing at first!
“Chaos” is a house
variant that scatters each players’ starting three
supply centers at random across the 34 centers on the map. Winter 1900 and
Build Anywhere rules are included.
“Fog of War” restricts
what can be seen on the map to the provinces in which your pieces located, adjacent
provinces, and any SCs you control. The rest of the map is covered in a gray
fog. There is no order history and no list of the outcome of orders. If you receive
e-mails telling you that phases have changed, then the e-mail will give you a
record of your orders.
“Stuff Happens” is a house variant where at random points events
occur that affect the game. There are no defined events list.
If stuff happens, it is communicated to players through a correspondent.
“Ancient Mediterranean” is a 5-player variant with players
controlling Carthage, Egypt, Greece, Persia, and Rome. At two points on the map
that are 4-way joins between provinces allowing movement between all of them. The
Nile is an inland waterway allowing fleets to travel as far as Bayuda. The
Baleares is a special province that can be occupied by armies and fleets and through
which convoys are allowed (unlike coastal provinces).
“Milan” is played on
a map very similar to the classic game except for changes to northern Italy. The
Italian home centers are Milan (army), Rome (army) and Naples (fleet). Short-handed
games are also supported on Milan.
“1900” includes significant changes to the map and rules. Ireland
and Iceland are both passable and armies can cross from Clyde to Ireland (even
if an enemy fleet is in the North Atlantic!). Switzerland is passable and a
neutral supply center. England and France start with units in North Africa, although
they are not home centers and builds are not allowed there. England also starts
with a fleet in Gibraltar which is not an SC, rather than Liverpool (which is)!
There are 39 SCs in
total, and 18 SCs are required for victory.
If two powers control 18 SCs in the same year, the power with the
greater number is the winner; if there is a tie, the game continues.
The “Suez Canal rules”
provide that units may move between Mid-Atlantic Ocean and either Egypt or
Hejaz. (The Red Sea is not passable.) Fleets rounding Africa arrive with a strength of only one-half, but if they have support, a
supremacy of one-half is sufficient to win a battle. Armies convoyed from east
to west around Africa attack at full strength, while armies convoyed west to east
have half-strength. Fleets may retreat around Africa, but if a local fleet
retreats to the same province, the local fleet takes the space and the other is
Emergency Measures rules” provide that if at any time Russia does not control
all of its home centers (but still controls at least one) it can build one unit
more than its SC count, and during this time Russia is allowed to build in
Siberia. If Russia subsequently regains
all four home centers, or loses its last, this bonus ends and Russia must
regularize its unit count in the next builds phase. Note: REM does NOT
apply in any game including the Build Anywhere rule.
You will find the
designer’s detailed explanation of these slightly complicated rules in the 1900 article at DipWiki.
“Versailles” is a 7-player game with 14 powers, each player
controlling one major power and one minor power which
is secretly assigned. Majors and their minors communicate and operate independently.
The board is set in 1930s Europe and has 43 SCs. Victory is achieved when a
player controls 22 SCs aggregated across both powers.
The “Liberation rule”
provides that if a power conquers a home supply center of its partner, the SC
is liberated and reverts to the ownership of the original power.
Tournaments of a
variety of styles are organized regularly for premium members. Details of
current and past events are in the Tournaments forum.