Aircraft in Diplomacy (first design)

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Aircraft in Diplomacy (first design)

Postby Lukan » 28 Mar 2015, 20:03

Not the first or last person to attempt this, but I thought I would have a go at creating solid rules for use of aircraft units in Diplomacy.
So, without further ado, here are my rules:

1. Aircraft as a unit
In my rules the aircraft unit will have a strenght of zero on the map, where all the other units have one.
The aircraft unit can be considered as sort of a ''ghost unit'' as it can move to an occupied square (occupied by one of his own color)
The aircraft unit is unable to take over a center, even if the center is unoccupied.
Aircraft units are destroyed once a unit of different color moves to the province they are in.
Aircraft units are linked to the number of SCs a player has, but on a different level than the rest of the forces.
For every three centers you get one aircraft unit in addition to your regular fleets and armies.
(right now I decided no army shall have aeroplanes in year 01, but since the rules are likely to change anyway, this is a bit early to say)

2. Aircraft unit orders
Aircraft units can be ordered to:
HOLD
MOVE
STRIKE
PATROL
EMBARK

Hold needs no explanation, so let's skip that. Move is a regular order that allows you to move one square to an adjacent territory. Note that you cannot be blocked out of territory by your own units, but you will be blocked out by another country's unit.
Now, the strike order is what actually makes the aircraft unit useful. This is probably the main idea of the post.
An aircraft unit can strike any territory that is within its reach (being two squares) For example Aircraft London could STRIKE Belgium. And what does ''STRIKE'' do? Basically, it means the aircraft will fly to a province, bomb it and fly back, so the unit itself does not move. The province it has targetted gets occupied with infinite force, so any unit moving there or holding there is blocked or dislodged. Also, no retreats to this region will be possible. So, basically aircrafts are completely unstoppable. The only thing that can stop a plane is another plane, which is given either a STRIKE order or a PATROL order (which basically means you will fly two squares and back without bombing a province)

Now to give a few examples:

German Army Ruhr HOLD -----> dislodged by airstrike
French AirCraft Paris STRIKE Ruhr via Burgundy -------> resolved

but with another aircraft joining the party:

German A Ruhr HOLD -----> resolved
French AC Paris STRIKE Ruhr via Burgundy -------> bounced
German AC Kiel PATROL Burgundy via Munich -------> bounced

It is basically assumed you moved over a square to a square and can be blocked on either one. Making the rules easier, you basically are on two squares at the same time and both have to stay clear of any other aircraft.

The last order: EMBARK allows you to board a fleet. It is a one square move order to a fleet (which needs to be given a hold order for it to work) which gets your Aircraft on the fleet. From now on you can move with the fleet or perform strike orders from the fleet. Note that if a fleet is dislodged while your aircraft was given a STRIKE or PATROL order, it is immediately destroyed.

3. One additional rule that might be cool

It would seem fun to me if you were able to destroy a SC. You would issue a DESTROY order to an Aircraft unit and let him target any SC in range. I think due to the drastic nature of this order, the DESTROYing of a SC can be stopped by a regular army or fleet unit occupying that center. If the order succeeds, however, the game from there on will have one less SC.

I hope my thoughts are structured well enough. Let me know.
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Re: Aircraft in Diplomacy (first design)

Postby glacialice » 28 Mar 2015, 20:09

Could aircraft convoy armies as paratroopers to other land areas?
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Re: Aircraft in Diplomacy (first design)

Postby Lukan » 28 Mar 2015, 20:22

glacialice wrote:Could aircraft convoy armies as paratroopers to other land areas?



That would be epic, wouldn't it. I haven't really thought about it, but it would be something like this.

1. AC and A unit have to be in the same square to begin with.
2. Army unit is given a MOVE order, Aircraft unit is given a ''DROP''(?) order
3. The square where the units are dropped has to be empty. If it not empty, the dropped army is destroyed.
4. Dropped armies have 0.5 in strenght, but can be supported by any unit, just like with any order ''MOVE"' order.

Example:
English A London MOVE Belgium
English AC London DROP army in Belgium
French A Picardy MOVE Belgium

The english army gets destroyed by the French (shot in the air, defenseless whilst moving down)
but...

English A London MOVE Belgium
English AC London DROP army in Belgium via English Channel
French A Picardy MOVE Belgium
German F Holland SUPPORT Army London to Belgium

Would mean France is bounced back and Army London lands in Belgium
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Re: Aircraft in Diplomacy (first design)

Postby glacialice » 28 Mar 2015, 20:33

That sounds reasonable.

One thing though:

3. The square where the units are dropped has to be empty. If it not empty, the dropped army is destroyed.


This makes sense if the dropped army doesn't have support, but with support could a army drop into occupied space?
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Re: Aircraft in Diplomacy (first design)

Postby Lukan » 28 Mar 2015, 20:35

glacialice wrote:That sounds reasonable.

One thing though:

3. The square where the units are dropped has to be empty. If it not empty, the dropped army is destroyed.


This makes sense if the dropped army doesn't have support, but with support could a army drop into occupied space?


Basically, the strenght of the dropped army is 0.5 and whenever it loses it is destroyed. If there is a unit occupying the territory, it has 1 force, so the dropped army dies. If the dropped army gets supported, it will have 1.5, so it will land just fine.
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Re: Aircraft in Diplomacy (first design)

Postby jakofipa » 28 Mar 2015, 20:51

Sounds like an interesting thought.
Got a few questions on the mechanics of how they would work.
1. For the STRIKE and PATROL orders, what happens if both orders go through the same territory? eg.

Germany:
Air Kiel STRIKE Belgium through Ruhr
France:
Air Bur STRIKE Holland through Ruhr

Do these bounce or go about their merry way and hit the targets?

2. Can these STRIKES be supported by multiple airforces? If two countries both want to hit the same territory will that count as a STRIKE of double force, or will they bounce?

3. Does a PATROL order protect both territories? eg

Germany
Air Kiel PATROL Bel through Holland
France:
Air Bur STRIKE Hol through Ruhr
Air Paris STRIKE Bel through Pic

are both of the French attack repelled, or is it only one? If so, which one should it be? I would say it should be the Holland one which is bounced as it is the first one encountered by the pilots on their way to Belgium.

4. What is the use of the EMBARK order? Does it tie the Air unit to that fleet? Surely you would also need a DISEMBARK order as well to take it back onto land? Can the fleet move and the air unit order a strike at the same time, or can the Air unit only be used when the fleet is stationary? If the fleet can move, I assume the 2 space limit applies to where the fleet is, not where it is going to.

I probably have more questions, but I can't think of them now!
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Re: Aircraft in Diplomacy (first design)

Postby Lukan » 28 Mar 2015, 21:00

Good questions, jakofipa, I will have to think about them for a bit, since these are the difficult points of the rules.

To simplify things, I would say Aircraft Units occupy both of the provinces they fly through and any combination of aircraft units flying through or targetting the same province, will always bounce eachother.

Germany
Air Kiel PATROL Bel through Holland
France:
Air Bur STRIKE Hol through Ruhr
Air Paris STRIKE Bel through Pic

This would all bounce.

Now, as force the EMBARK-order, creating an aircraft carrier, which is awesome, the rules form a problem. The Aircraft should fly to its target, then fly right back, but if the carrier moves, that would mess things up. One could argue that the fleet cannot move when the aircraft flies, but then the advantage of having an aircraft carrier is questionable. This is the only solution I can think of right now.
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Re: Aircraft in Diplomacy (first design)

Postby Gavrilo Princip » 28 Mar 2015, 21:11

I have been following this thread from the beginning and I'm very excited about the prospects. I have often thought about how it could be having aircraft in the game. These ideas aren't quite the same as mine, but actually they're more involved and maybe even better. but the real question is, when are we going to have a variant so we can actually try it? :D
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Re: Aircraft in Diplomacy (first design)

Postby Lukan » 28 Mar 2015, 21:25

Gavrilo Princip wrote:I have been following this thread from the beginning and I'm very excited about the prospects. I have often thought about how it could be having aircraft in the game. These ideas aren't quite the same as mine, but actually they're more involved and maybe even better. but the real question is, when are we going to have a variant so we can actually try it? :D


I'll have to test it myself for a bit to see if the standard dip map is suitable. With all the multiple squares of flying, I could imagine we would need a bigger map.
Apart from that, I have GM'd a test run before and found it quite difficult, actually. However, this was mostly because I had too little acces to a decent pc at that specific time. That is all better now.

So, I'll test it out on my own board a bit and see with what results I can come up.
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Re: Aircraft in Diplomacy (first design)

Postby mcboyes » 28 Mar 2015, 21:32

I don't know about the planes bouncing each other. I think it would be more interesting if the planes just ignored each other.

Or there could be two kinds of planes, Bombers and Fighters. Bombers would do more or less what you describe. Fighters would have a longer range and destroy Bombers upon contact.

I guess that would probably be just a bit to confusing though.
Last edited by mcboyes on 28 Mar 2015, 21:53, edited 1 time in total.
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