This summary of the
rules is adapted from “Teaching Diplomacy: A 5 Minute Teaching Guide” by Edi Birsan, which covers almost all of the rules of the game.
If you have questions, the complete rulebook is online and there are several
the forum which go over the most common trouble spots.
The Map, Units, & Object of the Game
represent the major powers of pre-WWI Europe: Austria (red), England (orange),
France (dark blue), Germany (beige), Italy (green), Russia (purple), and Turkey
The map is divided
into named “provinces”. There are three types of provinces: inland, coastal and
There are two types
of units, “armies” and “fleets”. Armies can move (or retreat) to inland and
coastal provinces, fleets to coastal and water provinces.
Only one unit can be in a province at a time.
All units have the
same strength, a
force of 1.
Units combine their
force with “support” orders. In conflicts, the unit with the most combined
There are 34 “supply
centers” (provinces marked with stars). Powers start with 3 or 4 supply
centers, their “home centers”.
To win, a power must
control 18 supply centers. If
all the players still in the game agree, a game can end with survivors sharing
equally in a draw.
Sequence of Play
proceeds through five phases: Spring orders & retreats and Fall orders, retreats, & builds. Retreats and builds
phases are skipped if no player has orders to be made.
The game starts with Spring 1901 orders and ends when
there is a winner or a draw is declared.
1-on-1 or in groups, using the messaging system during any phase in the game.
Orders are entered
secretly for each phase and revealed and resolved for all of the powers
simultaneously at the end of the phase.
You may give orders
to all of your units. Units may be ordered to do one of the following:
Hold in place.
Move to an adjacent province. Armies in a
coastal province may move to a non-adjacent coastal province if convoyed.
Fleets in a coastal province may only move to provinces adjacent to the
Support. A unit holds, adding its force to
another unit. A unit can only support an adjacent province to which it could
Convoy. A fleet in a water province holds,
convoying an army. (A fleet in a coastal province cannot convoy.) Convoys can
be by one or a chain of fleets. The first fleet must be adjacent the moving
army, each fleet in the chain must be adjacent the prior, and the last fleet must
be adjacent the destination.
You may support and
convoy another power’s units.
A unit ordered to
move cannot be supported to hold. A
unit ordered to hold, support, or convoy may be
supported to hold.
If units of equal
force move to the same province, they “bounce” and neither advances. If one of
the units has greater force, it advances.
Units ordered to
each other's province with equal force bounce and do not switch places
(unless one is being convoyed.) Three (or more) units can rotate positions.
A unit can only be
forced out of its province (“dislodged”) with greater force than the unit plus
all of its support to hold. For example, a unit moving with two supports versus
a unit holding with one support, a force of 3 vs. 2,
dislodges the holding unit.
A unit with a move
order that is bounced retains a force of 1 to defend against an attack in the
province where it started the phase.
Support is “cut” if
the supporting unit is attacked from any province except the one where support
is being given. Cut support is not added to the force of another unit.
Dislodged units have
no effect on the province that dislodged it. A dislodged unit’s support is
You cannot dislodge
or cut support of your own units.
If there is a unit
in a province where a bounce occurred, it is not dislodged.
A convoying fleet
that is dislodged disrupts the convoy and the army being convoyed does
not move. Attacking without dislodging a fleet in a convoy has no effect.
A dislodged unit
must either retreat to a vacant province where it could have moved or be
destroyed. Units may not retreat to a province where there was a bounce or from
where the attack came. Armies may not retreat via a convoy. If there is no
legal retreat for a dislodged unit, it is automatically destroyed. If two units
try to retreat to the same province, they are both destroyed.
You gain control of
supply centers by occupying them after the Fall
retreat phase. They are yours until another power gains control of them. For
every supply center you control, you may have one unit on the board. During the
Fall builds phase, if you are short units, you may
build new ones in unoccupied home centers, while if you have too many
units, you must disband the excess.
Petersburg, and Spain have split coasts. A fleet moving to those provinces must
select which coast it will move to and can only move on to other provinces
adjacent that coast. However, the fleet occupies the entire province for
all other purposes. Accordingly, a fleet cannot switch provinces with a second
fleet moving to a different coast, and a fleet can receive support from
a second fleet that is adjacent to the province yet not adjacent to the
coast the first fleet is on. The Quick Guide on Coasts provides helpful examples to clarify
Denmark and Kiel do not have split coasts. They have inland waterways that
fleets may use to move to adjacent provinces. You may not convoy through these
(or any other) coastal provinces.
with Sweden and armies can move between them, though Sweden does not have a
The Baltic Sea is
not adjacent to the Helgoland Bight, North Sea, or Skagerrak. Fleets cannot move
between them in one step but must move through an adjacent province (e.g.
The Aegean and Black
Seas are not adjacent. North Africa and Spain are not adjacent.
still have rules questions, check out the Rules
Questions forum. Most common questions are
already answered. If not, users will answer posted questions, usually within