Pen pictures of the Forum Games

Play a Diplomacy variant with a human GM using either forum PMs or Discord for communication. PbF games include a wider variety of maps and rules than what our site (or any site) can support!

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Pen pictures of the Forum Games

Postby Pedros » 05 Jun 2010, 16:36

What follows is one person's attempt to summarise the different games played here as 'Forum Games' - all sorts of variations on the classic diplomacy game. It arose out of my frustration when I was attempting to find a good game for 6 or 7 to play with a group of friends who wanted a change from classic Dip, and I discovered that the only way was to plough through an endless series of different topics to get the basic information.

For each game I have tried to answer, or at least suggest answers, to these questions:-
    How many players?
    What kind of map (factual map of all or part of the earth, complete invention, etc)?
    Standard Diplomacy rules, big variations, or just a few?
    Is it any good?

Note - there is a list of these games according to thenumber of players involved at posting.php?mode=edit&f=34&p=316070

Others have asked whether there could be a link to the topic on the Forum, and also an indication or how important negotiation skills are in comparison to tactical ones; I have not guaranteed to include these in existing summaries, but will try to do so in future ones. Links, usually to the initial topic where the game and rules are explained, are included for most but not all (thanks due to QueenofHearts for many of these)

The Is it any good question is the most difficult, and by and large I haven't been able to answer it very clearly. Many Forum games do not have any sort of AAR after them, and even where they do they tend to concentrate more on the action than on whether the game was any good or not. So I've tried to note things like - did people want to play it again? Did a lot of players (or GMs!) drop out? I also sent the draft paragraph to somebody closely involved with the game on site - the designer, original GM, etc - for comments on the paragraph in general and the quality question in particular. Most responded freely and quickly; most of those who didn't are no longer active on the site. If you have been involved in any of these games, do please comment on them either in this thread or by PM. Links to the main game thread and an indication of how important diplomacy is compared to tactical skill are being added after the first batch of games were summarised, so coverage is very patchy.

What is here? Only Diplomacy variations, not any of the other games played in different corners of the Forum, are covered. All of those in play at the beginning of March 2011, and almost all archived games, are included at present (if a game is omitted is doesn't mean it isn't any good, just that I haven't got round to it yet!) Others will be added as and when time permits, but I hope to complete the set sooner rather than later.

I am not promising to keep the list up to date. I'll hope to add new games as they come along, and I'll correct serious errors as they become known to me. But essentially, this is a one-off attempt to provide a tool for other players looking for a good, different game.

The Forum Games
1492 Four player game devised by Edwin Godfrey and introduced by TribalDominator. Players explore the New World (combat and entering other player's territory in continental Europe is forbidden) and know only those parts they themselves discover - the GM devises the map. Uses modified Army/Fleet rules. First game on site beginning September 2011

1600 Europe-based map devised elsewhere by Tommy Larson; 9 players. Has run twice on the Forum. Game 1 began (presumably 1601) in January 2009 and ran until 1906 in August 09. Game 2 began in October 2009 and ran until March 2010 (3-way draw). Said to be a great game, though long and complicated.

1870 Five player game on a map of the Eastern Mediterranean area devised by Spekulatius. Standard Dip rules but Winter 1870 initial builds. First (Beta) game on site began May 2011 and finished August. Comments after the game were positive although a number of suggestions for map changes next time.

1900 Extension of classic Diplomacy eastwards and especially into north Africa, with some changes to mainland Europe. 7 players (classic countries). Some special rules especially re movement. Run 3 times on site. Game taken from an original devised by Baron Powell. The first game, which began (1900) in Jan 2009 and ended March 2009 (Fall 06 – draw agreed) included some high quality players (including Diplomat), and was reckoned to be extremely good.

1938 7-player variant devised by Niakan with a map of Europe extended to include North Africa. The nations are different from those in Classic (reflecting the boundaries pre-WWII), and the most obvious difference is that there are a much larger number of SCs (about 80) than in Classic. First game began January 2011 and is continuing.

Aberration Variant designed elsewhere by Rod Walker for 9 players on a map of Europe – they are the powers which might have become great if history had worked differently. Standard rules apply. 2 games on the forum. Game one began (1900) in March 09 and continued until May 09 (1909) – result 2-way draw. Game 2 began Jan 2010 and is still running (1904)

Africa 6-player game introduced by sroca from a variant by Phil Reynolds. Standard classic Dip rules on a 36-centre map of Africa. Two games on site – the first (March-May 2009) ended (2009, beginning in 2001) in a 3-way draw; the second (July-Oct 09, with a slightly modified map) ended in 2006 in DIAS with five countries remaining (loss of GM) People seem to have stayed involved with the game, which is a good sign!

Alternate Agenda Standard 7-player game on regular board devised by SidneyKidney, except that it can be won by fulfilling other conditions rather than the standard one of 18 centres. The GM gives each country its allocated (secret) task before the start, including such things as Own and occupy a certain number of coastal SCs or don't engage a foreign power in military action for a certain number of years. Played twice, with mixed responses.

American Diplomacy USA map for 7 players devised by The Sea People. Mostly standard rules but rivers and other waterways are important (and can be built as the game progresses), and there are some other special movement rules. The one game on the site seems to have had a lot of public press at the outset, but no set of moves were ever recorded. Some discussion about the West being cut off from the rest of the country. A feeling that the map needed significant modification before being played.

Ancient Mediterranean 5 player variant devised originally by Don Hessong. Covers the whole Mediterranean area; no special rules. Third game on site currently running - first ran March-May 2009 (6 game years). The second game was played as Fog of War (considerable demands on the GM presumably) and began March 2010 (01, century unspecified!) it ran until May (Winter 04) when it died through player drop-out. The third, (not FoW) began (officially 1900 AD!) in May 2010; only initial builds and first orders to date.

Arctic deanchuk’s makeover of an existing variant (Zeus, by Chris Northcott and Fred Davis). Although it’s called ‘Arctic’ and centres on the Arctic, it actually covers most of the northern hemisphere. 7 players. Currently in its second game on the site. Game one began June 09 with initial build phase (Autumn 1939); ended Oct 09 in winter 1944 with a 2-way draw. Game two began Nov 09 and is in Winter 1944 at present (2 May 2010) AARs were written for game 1. Reaction to the game was very positive, and players were eager to sign up for game two. ‘One of the best games on the site’ (Deanchuk)

Balkans Diplomacy 4-player variant devised by QueenofHearts. Standard rules on a map reflecting divisions at the time of the Balkans conflict of the 1990s (although the game dates begin with 1901). Game began (1901) in May 2010, and at present has reached Spring 03. The speed of the game suggests good player involvement so far.

Baltic 4-player game introduced by Redbird from a variant by David Caldwell. Classic Diplomacy rules (although there is an unclear canal rule for two canals) on a 22-centre map of the Baltic Sea. Two games played on site. The first (April-June 2009) seems to have come to an end
(loss of GM?) shortly before it was expected to reach a result (!907); the second (Oct-Dec 2009) ended in a 3-way draw after 1908. Such player feedback as there was seemed positive.

Battle for the Skies Developed by Jus. 7 player game with fighter and bomber aircraft as well as normal fleets and armies, played on the classic map with a parallel ‘airspace’ map. One game played July-August 2009, ending after two years when the GM lost his computer and no replacement was available. Unclear how players felt about it.

Battle Isle Totally artificial map designed originally by René Krokowski and Frank Bacher and introduced to the Forum by retard.in.denial. 6 players. Main feature is a series of bridges across waterways to and around the Isle. Feedback after the one game played on site (March-May 2009, 7 game years) was extremely positive. An attempt to play a second game in November failed to get off the ground

British Diplomacy 7-player game on a map of the British Isles developed by coolcam262 with classic rules. One game played on site September 2009, which lasted only Spring 2000-Spring 2001 (loss of GM). No clear opinions about the quality of the game, and one player said that after such a short experience he couldn’t really judge.

British Isles Regional Diplomacy (BIRD) 7-player game based on a map of the British Isles and drawn from the online Variant Bank. The one game played on-site fizzled out fairly quickly (began and ended in March 2010 – 3 seasons played) due to GM computer problems.

Chaos (otherwise True Chaos) Ultimate Chaos, in which 34 players take one SC each on the classic board with classic rules. (Age of Empires meets Chaos!) Two games played on site - Feb-April 2009 (ended Winter 1906), the second May-September 2009 (ended Fall 1909). AARs for both games, which were clearly enjoyed by the participants. Sheddy (one of the second game winners) points out that organising a game with 34 isn’t going to be easy, and there are likely to be plenty of NMRs and drop-outs, but it’s great fun for those who stick to it and survive. Diplomacy is all, especially in the early game.

China DiplomacySeven player game developed by deadman20 based on warring factions in China in the 9th century AD. Main variations revolve around occasional changes to the map due to storms etc, negotiatied by an annual Council of all surviving players. First game began October 2010 but died when it lost its GM after two years.

Climate Change Diplomacy Variant for 8 (?) devised by lordelindel. Played on a 1900 game map, each year changes can happen to SCs as a result of climate change; these can be prevented by declaring SCs green (and using their resources to build solar panels and reduce human impact) The one game appears to have struggled slightly due to bad timing on the GM's part (testing + game = dead GM)

Colonial Variant marketed commercially by Avalon Hill. Map is just about the whole of Asia. 7 colonial powers (includes China, Japan and Turkey in their homelands!) A few special rules. Second game on the site in progress. Game one began April 2009 (Spring 1871) and ended with a 4-way draw in August 09 (after 1875 builds – the game had just lost its second GM). Game 2 began in Nov 09 and is currently in Fall retreats 1884 (waiting for a replacement Holland). 2 players from Game 1 signed up for Game 2. No AAR thread. Colonial is often said to be unbalanced, and France and Turkey are often mentioned but France has done well in both games and Turkey is doing well in Game 2. Britain has done badly in both of these games, but in the first was plagued by NMRs and surrenders.

Congress of Vienna Designed by deanchuck. 7 players, map of Europe and including north Africa and extending slightly eastwards beyond classic Dip’s Russia. Two games played on site. Game one began October 09 (Spring 1915) and died unresolved in October 09 (1916 builds). Game two began February 2010 and ended April (Spring 1823) with a 2-way draw (France and Austria). Deanchuk calls it ‘his best map’, although he agreed with some players about the need for some changes.

Continental Diplomacy 6 player game by mat.gopack on a cylindrical world map where each player plays a continent. Classic rules plus (optional) Build Anywhere. Game began (1901) in May 2010 and has so far reached the end of 1903.

Crowded 11-player game played on an almost classical map (Ruhr is an extra SC). All SCs are part of one of the new nations - Scandinavia, Iberia, Lowlands, Balkans. Otherwise standard. A long-standing variant of unknown authorship, introduced here by Master Radishes and played 3 times on site (last game 2009). There seemed to be general enthusiasm for the game. Description written by Pedros and not commented on by anybody involved in the game

Deluge A game for 7 (by Tim Sharrock and Stephen Agar) played on the classic map (including Iceland). The whole of Europe is gradually flooded year by year until only Switzerland (passable) is left in Winter 1908. The occupant is the winner! Most other rules the same but Army/Fleet rules operate, and armies can become fleets. Some additional SCs to replace flooded ones. First game on site began May 2010.

Deviant Diplomacy Seven player variant devised originally by Phil Reynolds and introduced by tarheel86. The game begins with standard map and rules but each year each player can propose one rule change (including changes to the map). In the Fall there is a vote with each owned SC getting one vote; the winning proposal comes into effect for the next year. First game on site began April 2011.

Diplomacy 19000000 A game for 7 devised by Magmaniac on a world map many years into the future following a world-wide tectonic trauma which has completely rearranged the way different land-masses fit together. One game played on site, April-May 2009. Lost its GM after Spring 19000005 and never restarted. No AARs but a couple of those who played (including me) felt that it was a great idea but had flaws.

Diplomacy of the Empire A complex variant for 7 devised by President Muffley and based upon the commercial game Conquest of the Empire. There are many differences from classic Diplomacy (there are, for instance, no supply centres and growth is achieved through economic gains, and units have different abiities) and the rules need careful study before playing. The game begins in 43BC after the assassination of Julius Caesar and portrays a power-struggle throughout the Roman empire. One game on site ran from June-August 2009 covering six game years and ending in a two-way draw. Muffley considered the rules over-complicated and proposed a revised set for a second game, which never however happened. There was some indication of player enthusiasm at the end of the first game.

Dune 7-player game based on the Frank Herbert books and devised by Zanmor and Jclash4686. Map based on books and rules tailored to the setting. No game ever managed to start.

East Asia 5 player variant discovered by Jobson15 (includes Australia so rather more than Asia). Although the game was due to begin it never managed to record any orders – possibly due to the same computer problems that scuppered British Isles! (March 2010)

Easter Island Extremely simple variant introduced by The Doctor from a game by Simon Cole (see Variant Bank) in which 3 players are on an island with 4 provinces (one SC each and the fourth landlocked). Three games on site , none of them lasting longer than three years. It’s an impression only, but players seemed to have enjoyed playing. Diplomacy is all!

Everybody plays Standard game if classic Dip except that anybody (not anybody ‘in the game’ – anybody at all!)who wishes to can submit orders for any one country each season! For each country the set to be used is chosen randomly. No individual winner, only country. The first attempt (April 2010) didn’t produce enough submitted orders to process.

Exploration Magmaniac’s modification of an existing variant. 7 players start with a map of Europe and no knowledge of what lies beyond its borders. The rest of the world is designed by the GM and may be occupied by native tribes. The world is cylindrical (ie you can sail right round the world in either direction). There is no combat within the original known world! There are various other special rules (in particular that the game is won by the first player to win a majority of the SCs in the originally unknown world – the total is announced at the beginning).
The third game on site is now in progress. Game one began in March 2009 (Spring 1494) and ended (1501) in June 09. The end was interesting – Magmaniac declared himself unable to continue GMing because of the time involved and stated that the game had ended and the players had to decide who had won. So far as I can see the debate was unresolved!
Game two began in July 2009 and ended in October 09 with the GM promising to announce the winner in his opinion – but again, I couldn’t find this. Game three started in February 2010 and is currently in 1499.
However, it’s clear that those who played it thoroughly enjoyed it, with a high level of returning for future games.

Fable Diplomacy (Up to) seven player variant devised by AlphaActive, 'for fun'! Classic map and Winter 1900 start. But you can invent any kind of goofy units with any kind of rules as long as the GM accepts them to be of appropriate strength. Imagination and humor is advisable.

Fall of the American Empire 10-player variant devised by Vincent Mous covering the whole of North, Central and South America. Classic rules except initial Winter 1900 builds and Build Anywhere. On-site game began (Winter 1900) in April 2010 and ended early after losing its GM (serious personal reasons) and subsequent loss of several players in Spring 1902 (May 2010).

Feudal Devised by his_flyness, this variant is too complex to describe briefly! 15 players are needed, and there are kings, lords (vassals to the king) and the Holy Roman Emperor and the Pope. Players can be declared traitors or even excommunicated, which weakens them! One game played (not completed) – began 11 January 2010 in Spring 1100; it only reached Winter 1101 before it died – the GM had been absent for a while (R/L issues) and it proved impossible to restart it on his return. Several players wanted either to carry on or to start a new game, but there was no real feedback. Another game possible later this year

Game of Thrones 8-player game based on the Westeros series by George R.R. Martin. Idea introduced by Hazza88 and developed by asudevil. Standard rules with optional special powers. First game on site began Dec 2011

Geophysical Diplomacy Variant devised by Jeremy Maiden, beginning as Classic with Winter 1900 builds; classic seven nations. Each season players can order major geological upheavals destroying and creagting provinces and SCs. First game on site started February 2011 and continues. Fast and brutal!

Gobble-Earth See On top of the World

Heptarchy 7-player game on a map of Britain in the Dark Ages (starts 650 AD) introduced by sroca and designed by Geoff Bache. Classic rules. Third game on site currently being played (as part of the Forum Games Tournament). First game played March-April 2009, ending in a 2-way draw in 655; second played June-November (ended 656). Detailed AARs for Game one, which recommended the game very highly. Sroca wrote “It did seem to be the most liked one of the three I hosted (Africa, Aberration, Heptarchy)”

Imperial Diplomacy 13-player game (actually two games, with different maps. The second, which has found more favour by players, was developed by Michael David Roberts – under the name of The Twentieth Century and introduced to the site by WatericeMan) played on a wrap-around map of the whole world (several larger countries have colonial outposts in distant places!); rules as classic (with the addition of Modern/Colonial-style canals which can be passed through without stopping at the land province.) Third game currently being played on site. Previous players very keen to return and play again.

Imperium Variant for 6 players introduced by Firestorm94 (found on [url=http://jdip.sourceforge.net/jDip[/url]). The Roman empire has collapsed and surrounding tribes compete for supremacy. A large map where all players start in the north and west with noSCs and many neutral supply centres over the rest of the board (grab one before the first Winter or you’re out!) This means that one player can be dominant after the first year. Game ran May-June 2009 (3 game years) Few AARs but positive. High premium on diplomacy (especially year 1).

Into the darkness Another game devised by Magmaniac and played in the fog – with no shared initial map at all and players starting in different parts of the world, knowing only a few other countries/players with whom they can communicate. Various variant rules (eg Army/Fleet units and varied land and sea terrains). 19 major powers and another player to play minor powers. First game began (1500AD) in February 2010. The game died in March 2010 because of the workload on the GM. Comments from the players after that indicated that they had been enjoying it although it was only three turns old.

Kirby For 5 players, “Practically normal Diplomacy with the ability to upgrade bonus powers to your Units”. Totally zany map devised by Thungbard. One game played from May to July 2010. Players appear to have enjoyed it.

Known World This game wasn't a Forum Game, but a play-be-e-mail playtest was recruited here by David E. Cohen. For details follow the link.

Loeb9 Expanded European map for 9 players devised by Danny Loeb. This is a well-established variant which seems to have been valued by previous generations of Dip players, but the recent attempt to play it on the Forum has stalled several times.

Long Live the Republic 5-player variant on a fictional setting. Classic rules (but draws limited to two people). A test game began and ended in May 2010 after one season (drop-out of a key player); another test due to start.

Lord of the rings Game for 15 based on the book. Devised by Magmaniac. Two games played on site. First one ended in summer 2009 after loss of GM; Second game finished May 2010 with a DIAS after decline of player interest. Some players returned for game 2. viewforum.php?f=39&start=0

Mario's World - variant designed by Trouble, originally 5-player but in Game 2 seven player. Does what it says on the tin, with fairly standard rules apart from the possibility of warp movement across the board from one warp pipe to another. Two games on site, both ended prematurely, but there seemed to be enthusiasm from the players

Medieval Game for 8 covering all of Europe (extended slightly east), beginning in 1411 AD. Devised by superplayer (based on an unidentified previous variant). There do not appear to be any special rules. The test game began in early April 2010 and after 4 weeks has reached Spring 1413.

Middle East Game for 5 devised by deanchuk. Two games played, and deanchuk’s intention is to revise the map before Game 3. Game one began (Spring 1948) in April 09 and ended (end 1957) in August with a 2-way draw between Cyprus and Arabia. Game 2 lasted only three game years is a draw between Syria and Arabia. In the current version it looks to me somewhat unbalanced; deanchuk says it’s ‘easy and simple – ideal for beginners’

Modern A variant for 10 players developed in several versions by different people. Starting in 1995, an extended Europe has lost its large alliance structure. Some versions involve planes, but the version played here does not seem to do so. Game 1 on the Forum began (1995) in April 2009 and ended in November (Fall 2005) in a solo win for Steppenwulf. Game 2 began March 2010 and by May had reached Fall 1997, at which point 2 players had gone missing.

Modern World A variant still being developed by members of the site led by Waterice man. 11 players are needed. The map covers the whole world and is cylindrical; it aims to show some of the major world powers (including some multinational conglomerations ) and what would happen if the world were to go to war. There are no special rules. Development is not active at present (May 2010), but there are plans to run another three year test from July.

Napoleonic Wars 5-player game on a map of Europe devised by James Nelson and introduced (modified) by deanchuk. Control of SCs brings "influence points" which can be used to buy control of minor powers for the coming year. One game on site, began June 2009 (Winter 1800) and ended September (Spring 1803) in a 3-way draw (two players dropped out.) No indication of player reaction to the game. (This summary posted by Pedros without comments from those involved in the game)


On top of the World 14-player variant on a world map introduced by Snake IV under the name Gobble Earth (original designer unknown). Classic rules apart from the list of starting units and home centres. One play test to date on site (ran August 2010 - Feb 2011). There seemed general enthusiasm from the players, although improvements were suggested for a later version. (This summary posted by Pedros without comments from those involved in the game)

Post-Modern Diplomacy A spin-off from Modern Diplomacy (qv) introduced by thegame. 13 player game on a map of Europe/Africa/Asia (part) The game includes an option for winged units in addition to armies and fleets (cf Modern Diplomacy). First game on site began March 2011

Quadrophenia Definitely different game for 28 players, devised by Dunkelseele. It's a game of Classic Dip except that each country is played by four different teams of players who play in turn, one set of orders (moves, retreats, ...) each. Totally anonymous - you don't even know who else is playing your country and certainly not what deals they've made. You can only communicate with your own set of opponents. Not surprisingly, loss of players meant that the game didn't finish! Description written by Pedros and not commented on by anybody involved in the game

Renaissance Diplomacy Seven player variant devised originally by Earle Ratcliffe and Michael Cuffaro and introduced by TheYank. Played on a classic map (with Switzerland passable and a neutral SC), the seven countries are different and reflect powers at the time of the Renaissance. One game on site began June 2010 (1454) and ended in September (Spring 1457) when it disappeared without trace - it was preceded by a full set of orders! There is no indication of the reason. Description written by Pedros and not commented on by anybody involved in the game

Rise of Imperialism 10-player variant devised by deanchuk, played on 4 interlocking maps (of Europe, North & South America, and Africa). In colonising America and Africa, the European nations can buy territories from each other. Two games played –the first began (Spring 1800) in October 2009 and was ‘cancelled’ (Winter 1801) in November that year. Game 2 began in December 2009 and ran only to 1803. It was agreed that in its present form the game has considerable imbalances, and the number of maps makes the game complex (especially for the GM!) There is some discussion of further development but little action to date.

Rise of Kingdoms A game for upwards of 20 players devised by TheRedArmy, in which players can become ruler of an entire emerging kingdom, or an officer choosing to serve one king or another. I confess to being confused about the object of the game and even whether it bears any resemblance to the game mechanics of classic Diplomacy (a lot of the language used is similar, about armies advancing and kingdoms controlling cities, but a post from TRA claims ‘it’s … nothing like standard Diplomacy.’ One game was undergoing the complicated setting-up process during November and December 2009, when TRA left the site and the game disintegrated. If any of the players can tell me more, I’ll gladly include it!

Rome Diplomacy See The Struggle for Rome

Seismic Diplomacy Variant devised originally by Pierre Lavaurs, played on a classic map with generally classic rules. After each season surviving players orders one ‘Seismic event’ which, if successful, separates two neighbouring areas on the map and connects the adjacent areas. The first game - 'Tectonic Fun' began (1901) in February 2010 and completed in late May (Winter 1907) with a E/F Draw. A replacement for Austria was required early in the game. The second game 'Quake' starts June 2010. Considerable interest in the second game, especially from previous players.

Simple Diplomacy For 7 players on a map of Europe which has only 7 territories, each a supply centre bordering 3 or 4 others.. Diplomacy is huge. One game played on site from April-May 2009 (4 game years), ending with the loss of the GM. viewforum.php?f=58

Six-Player Diplomacy Variation for six players on an artificial map devised by Kurcicks. Rules are standard. First, test game began March 2011 and continues.

Solar 7-player variant by President Muffley based on a 2-D map of the solar system (planets move as the turns progress). There are numerous special rules. On-site game began (3901) in April 2010 but one month later no moves have been recorded.

South American Diplomacy Game for 5 GMd originally by The Doctor (I can’t trace the original idea). Appears to be standard Dip rules. Game one began (1901) April 2009 and continued until May (1905) after ‘everyone lost interest’. Game two began November 09 and the last moves were in March 2010 (1906) after which time the thread died.

Speech of War Variant devised by deanchuk in which a regular game is played on site by generals, but the seven countries also have ‘Leaders’ who are required to make speeches responding to events both on the board and off it. There are regular votes for the best speechmaker/Leader. The game started in August 2009 and ended in a 3-way draw between England, France and Turkey. Appeals to the role-playing members!

Survivor Diplomacy (Big Brother meets Diplomacy!) For 7 players. Very simple – a game of diplomacy (could be any variant if desired). In the winter of every second year all players vote privately on who should be voted out of the game. The one selected is eliminated and their units hold for the rest of the game. Introduced from the Variant Bank by DRifteR. One game on site from April to June 2009 (Fall 1908) when the game was reduced to the last player (therefore the winner!). There are several AARs which suggest that the game was enjoyed by the players – ‘Requires a lot of personality!’ (sroca, winner)

Tectonic Fun See Seismic Diplomacy

The Great Lakes Seven player game based on the Great Lakes area of North America, devised by Tadd Moskal and introduced (with minor modifications) by Ceebs. One game played on site, began August 2010 (1901) and ended January 2011 (Spring 1911, 3-way draw.) After-match comments were mostly very favorable, and the first playtest was considered a success by all. Further trials are recommended, perhaps with minor map modifications.

The Spiral Game for (originally) 23 players , reduced for the game on site to 11, on an artificial map which is, as the name suggests, a spiral of land separated internally and externally by areas of sea. Everyone starts with one SC and there are no neutrals. The game started with Winter 1900 builds in February 2010 and is currently in Fall 1905.

The Struggle For Rome Variant for 6 players devised by Tooth1066. The map covers Italy and the area around it, and to win a player has to win 10 SCs including Rome. Game began (264 BC) in March 2010 and by late May has reached Spring 260. Only one player has dropped-out – reason unknown.

Three Kingdoms is set in China in 220AD and was designed by Magmaniac for 8 players. Standard Diplomacy rules are used. The game began (Sp 220) in October 2009 and ended (Fall 224) in December. The GM was unable to carry on and proposed a DIAS which was agreed. Magmaniac felt that the game was worthwhile but a few map revisions were needed, which he offered to make if the game were to run again. Some players expressed a wish to play again.

True Chaos - see under Chaos

United States Diplomacy 10 player variant based using the 50 states of the USA as the map, devised by tarheel 86. Standard rules apart from initial builds and subsequent Build Anywhere. Each player starts with a single SC with choice of state First come first served. First game began in January 2011 (Winter 2000) and is currently playing 2009.

Versailles For 7 players. Introduced by thegame after a design by Martin Kennedy (see the Variant Bank). Each player controls a major power as usual but also a minor power with one home SC. The game starts in 1929 and is played on a map covering essentially the same area as the classic map, but with more territories and SCs; classic rules. Played twice on the Forum; Game one was played from May-July 2009 and finished after Spring 1935; game two (in which the minor powers were controlled by an additional seven players) from January-March 2010 but disintegrated after Fall 1930 and DIAS was agreed. The game was well received after the first run (AARs.

War in the Americas 9-player game on a map of the Americas, devised originally by Macario Reyes and introduced (with some map modifications) by QueenofHearts. One game played on site, began June 2010 (1901) and ended January 2011 (Winter 1914, solo victory Mexico). There was considerable player commitment to sticking with the game, which ran to its conclusion.

Warring states 8-player variant based in China devised by superplayer with political rules to be followed by each player. The one game (started April 2010) failed to start.

World Diplomacy This game for 18 players is played on a cylindrical map of the whole world and is played under standard Dip rules. To date there have been 4 games, although the fourth ended when the GM disappeared, and the forum contains the beginnings of analysis and strategy articles based upon them. Some of the best players on the site have remained committed to this variant, which suggests that it is one of the best.

World War II A very complex game devised by Waterice Man with numerous additional rules including the political alignments (communist, fascist etc) of different countries and an economic element (‘coup points’). In the version being played 22 players are involved (every nation from that period is [or at least was intended to be!] on the board). The first game began in March 2010 (Winter 1935) and in late May has reached Fall 1936.

WW4 30 player variant played on a cylindrical world map. Standard rules except build anywhere as long as it’s been owned for at least two years! On-site game began April 2010 (Spring 2050) and by late May had reached Spring 2053. an49, the GM, says ‘It’s a great game but we won’t often have the opportunity to play it’ (presumably because of the number of players involved.

Youngstown One of the oldest and still favourite variants, introduced by The Doctor and designed originally by Rod Walker and others. For 10 players on a map of Europe, Asia and North Africa. The map is seen as cylindrical and movement from one side to the other is by means of Off the Board spaces. Three games on site. Game 1 began May 2009 and ended (Fall 1908) in October that year - 3-way draw. Game 2 began April 2010 and came to an inconclusive end (1903) in May (loss of GM and then loss of player interest). Game 3 began November 2010.
Last edited by Pedros on 15 Nov 2010, 14:52, edited 33 times in total.
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Re: Pen pictures of the Forum Games

Postby laurens » 05 Jun 2010, 16:41

that is really quite useful, thanks, well done :)
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Re: Pen pictures of the Forum Games

Postby deanchuk » 05 Jun 2010, 18:18

I think this is one of the best things someone did here in the forum games. Really great! gives a lot of information and suggestions to beginning GM's. What is shorter, more successful, simpler\ complicated and so on.

Its also benefiting new map creators, that can learn how to make their maps from other maps here on the site (again, how long the map is and how it effects interest of players, how big it is and how hard is to start and GM it... etc...)

Really great job Pedros! If you need any more help il be more than glad to help you!
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Re: Pen pictures of the Forum Games

Postby TheChosen1 » 05 Jun 2010, 18:44

I suggest that you'll add for every game what level it is and if its more about the tactics or the diplomacy.
That can be very very usefull.
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Re: Pen pictures of the Forum Games

Postby Pedros » 05 Jun 2010, 19:00

Good point Chosen, but it would mean a lot more work than I've been putting in, and apart from things like Speech of War it isn't always easy to tell from outside the game. Perhaps people who've played them could say how they see it - a rough description ('Similar to classic' - Diplomacy more/much more/less important' would probably be the way to do it. Although one of the things I've noticed in Forum Games I've played is that there is very much less diplomacy going on even where I'd say the game should be of a similar diplomatic level)
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Re: Pen pictures of the Forum Games

Postby Telenoth » 06 Jun 2010, 06:35

Kudos Pedros on this project! Long Live The Republic will be starting signups for the next test run sometime later in the summer.
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Re: Pen pictures of the Forum Games

Postby TheYank » 06 Jun 2010, 17:41

Telenoth wrote:Kudos Pedros on this project! Long Live The Republic will be starting signups for the next test run sometime later in the summer.


Please be sure to let me know when that's happening. I was excited for how it all started out.
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Re: Pen pictures of the Forum Games

Postby Pedros » 06 Jun 2010, 17:57

Telenoth wrote:Kudos Pedros on this project! Long Live The Republic will be starting signups for the next test run sometime later in the summer.

Is Kudos the latest version of Karma?
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Re: Pen pictures of the Forum Games

Postby Bob.Durf » 06 Jun 2010, 19:24

If your going for the best one, I think 1900 is the most balanced for 7 people. It is very good, my friends and I played it.


Great list!
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Re: Pen pictures of the Forum Games

Postby Waterice man » 06 Jun 2010, 21:20

A few comments on accuracy

Ancient Med – there was another game that began in March 2009 and finished in the June. There appear to be two separate subforums.

Lord of the Rings – finished with a DIAS after player interest began to decline


But certainly a good product with time and work evident!
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