1933 Diplomacy

5-player game set in Europe as the Versailles Treaty begins to break down; Players bid for control of minor powers. Designed by Pharaoh of nerds and GMd by asudevil. Draw between France (thelastchris) and Germany (BoomstickS)

1933 Diplomacy

Postby Pharaoh of nerds » 04 Feb 2012, 18:45

I thought it would be fun to make a variant of pre-WWII Europe, and eventually decided to start with 1933, when the Versailles Treaty Borders were still in place but the Nazis were starting to scheme about expanding beyond them. I would greatly appreciate any feedback you might have regarding the map and rules, which I have provided below:

The standard rules of Diplomacy apply, except as noted below:

1) Major Powers
The playable countries (hereafter the "Major Powers") are as follows:

England (Fleet London, Army Liverpool, Army Edinburgh, Fleet Cairo)
France (Army Paris, Army Marseilles, Fleet Brest, Fleet Algiers)
Italy (Army Venice, Army Rome, Fleet Naples, Fleet Tripoli)
Russia (Fleet Leningrad, Army Sevastopol, Army Moscow, Fleet Stalingrad)
Germany (Fleet Hamburg, Army Hanover, Army Berlin, Army Munich)


2) Minor Powers
In addition to the playable powers, there are also a number of Minor Powers, which the players control. These are marked by white territories with colorful borders. They are:

Finland (Army Helinski)
Poland (Army Warsaw)
Hungary (Army Hungary)
Rumania (Army Bucharest)
Spain (Fleet Madrid)
Turkey (Fleet Constantinople, Army Smyrna)

These are controlled by the Major Powers through Influence Points (IPs).

Players bid IPs each year in the Minor Diplomacy Phase, at the beginning of every Spring Turn (The game starts in Spring 1933). The player with the most IPs invested in a Minor Power gains control of it.
At the beginning of the Minor Diplomacy Phase, each player collects 3 IPs for every Supply Center the control (IMPORTANT: The Build center in Arkhangelsk counts as one supply center when collecting IPs. The other build centers count for nothing. However, Russia may not bid more than 12 IPs on one minor power in Spring 1933). Each Minor Power has a square box at the bottom of the board. IPs, represented by tokens the color of the power that controls them, are in the boxes.
Before bidding starts, Influence decays. The IPs of each power left over from previous turns (those that are already in the boxes) are reduced by half. In the case of odd numbers, round up, unless doing so would cause there to be a tie with a player that had a greater amount of IPs before the reduction, in which case round down. After that, for every supply center annexed by the Minor Power the previous Winter, the Major Power controlling it is awarded 3 additional IPs in that box, and loses 3 for each center lost (to a minimum value of 0 IPs).
Next, Players write down what they bid for each power. Players may talk to one another at this time. Players may not trade or give away IPs, but may bid IPs (both new ones and ones carried over from previous turns) in a coalition with another player, if specified in the orders. Once everyone is done or until the phase is over (recommended 5 minutes for FtF games, 12-24 hours for online games), whichever comes first, bids are read aloud. The bids are added to the pre-existing IPs in the boxes. Whatever Player has the most invested in a Minor Power gains control of it for the year. In the case of a tie, control goes to whatever player controlled it the previous year.
If the player who controlled a Minor Power the previous year is not part of the tie, Coalition Control is established. If that happens, each power in the tie writes orders for the Minor Power. For each unit, whatever order is submitted by the most powers is what happens. In case of a tie, the unit holds.
If a player takes a home supply center from a Minor Power he or she controls, he or she loses control of said Minor Power and may never bid for control of it again. Control is transferred to the player with the most IPs invested in it. If there is a tie, a Coalition controls it until the next bidding phase. In addition, the belligerent power loses all built-up influence with other Minor Powers, and in the future they only collect 2 IPs from each supply center they own instead of 3.
[OPTIONAL]:
Control of Minor Powers in not revealed except to secretly inform each player what Minor Power they control. Players communicate with Minor Powers (through the GM for postal/email games), not knowing which Major Power they are talking to. When communicating as Major Powers, players may lie about their control of a Minor Power. When communicating as Minor Powers, they may lie about what Major Power they are. What information is revealed is left to the discretion of the GM, but I recommend revealing before each bidding phase (but after adjustments in influence for decay and captured and lost SCs are made) the numbers of IPs invested in each power, but not who bid each number.
Thus, the GM would send something like this to everybody:
Turkey (7, 4, 3, 1)
Rumania (3, 1)
Hungary (1)
Poland (11, 9 with 1 support)
etc
with something like this to each player:
You have 7 in Turkey, 1 in Rumania, 1 in Hungary, and 1 in Poland (in support of Germany)


3) Ferry Borders
Land territories joined with double-headed arrows border one another, and as such both armies and fleets may move directly between them. Thus, Wales and Edinburgh each border Irish Free State, Liverpool borders North Ireland, and Seville borders Morocco. Passage between these territories is blocked if all Water Territories bordering both of the linked territories are occupied by fleets of another power, unless that power specifically writes to allow passage in their orders.


4) Victory:
A victory requires 25 SCs, including those of any Minor Power you control with 10 more IPs than the next highest player


5) Optional Air Units
1) The new unit "Wing" will be added
2) Wings will function on a separate plane from the other units, like another board floating above the surface board. The air board will be identical to the surface board in territory shape and type. The Wing pieces will be placed on the regular board, but they will operate separately. Thus, they can share territories with surface units (but not each other!) because it's not really the same territory. The air territories will be written in orders with the same name as the corresponding surface territory, with the suffix "-Air" added. This would be abbreviated "-A." Thus, the air territory above London would be written as "London-Air,or abbreviated as "Lon-A."
3) Wings must end each turn in an Air Base, which is an air territory above a supply center controlled or occupied by the power the air unit belongs to, or a fleet of that power in a sea territory.
3) Wings can do one of five things each turn: Move, Support, Bomb, Intercept, or Hold
4) Move: Wings may move to another air base one or two territories away. If a move fails, the Wing returns to the original air base. A move fails if it is bounced by an enemy air unit or if the air base is not friendly at the end of the turn. Wings may attempt to move to air bases that are not friendly at the start of the turn (either expecting it to be captured that turn or attempting to bounce or cut the support of an enemy Wing). If they are on an air base on a fleet that is moving that turn, they move with the fleet automatically and may still do something else that turn, though limited to territories that are within range of both the original territory and the territory they are moving to (this can include supporting the fleet they are on moving to another territory).
5) Support: Wings may support one another moving into air bases one or two territories away, or holding. They may also support surface events in the territory they are above or territories adjacent to it. Support may be cut by another Wing, in the same way surface units cut the supports of one another.
6) Bomb: Wings may bomb a surface territory up to 2 away from the territory it is above. If it is occupied by an enemy army or fleet, this has the effect of cutting any support that unit might be giving that turn. If it's a supply center, it decreases production in that center that year by 0.5 supply points. This move fails if an enemy Wing intercepts it.
7) Intercept: Wings may attempt to "intercept" (cause to fail) an enemy Wing from bombing any surface territory adjacent to it. It does not have to specify which territory it will intercept, as it will intercept any single attack on an adjacent surface territory. The player should, however, provide a list in order of preference the territories it could intercept an attack against, in case of multiple attacks adjacent to it when it would have to chose which one to intercept. If the player fails to do so and multiple attacks occur, it holds in it's air base in confusion. For example, A British Wing in London attempting to intercept might write the following:
Wing London Intercept (North Sea, English Channel, Wales, Yorkshire)
8) Hold: A Wing holding is interpreted as supporting any friendly surface unit in the territory it is above holding. If no orders are submitted for the Wing at all, it doesn't even do that.
9) Surface armies in supply centers, or fleets anywhere, may support air events in the air territory directly above them, with a combat value of 0.5. This uses up their turn.
10) A Wing is displaced if the air base it is on is captured (or in the case of fleets, destroyed), or if an enemy Wing moves to the air base with superior force. Displaced Wings may retreat to an empty air base within range of a Move.
7) Air units cost half of a build point (the yearly production of an un-bombed SC) to build. Thus, each supply center may support one surface unit or two Wings. Each turn a supply center is bombed reduces it's production output for that year by half, or the value of one Wing.


6) Miscellaneous:

Constantinople and Denmark function as in standard Diplomacy. Hamburg functions as Kiel did.

Territories such as Arkhangelsk and Damascus with squares on them are Build Centers. The player that starts with it may build units on it, but it gives no supplies. With the exception of Arkhangelsk, they give no IPs
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Last edited by Pharaoh of nerds on 02 Feb 2013, 02:16, edited 37 times in total.
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Re: Proposed Varient: 1933 Diplomacy

Postby Bluewolf » 04 Feb 2012, 18:53

it's ok. however: rename scotland edinburgh, egypt cairo, syria damascus, and lybia tripoli. if egypt and italy are not able to build on lybia and egypt, don't rename them.

i would be interested in a test run.
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Re: Proposed Varient: 1933 Diplomacy

Postby Pedros » 04 Feb 2012, 18:54

Hi Pharaoh and welcome.

I'm not sure how you tried to upload your maps, but they haven't come out at my end. You need to go through the "Upload attachment" tab below the message writing panel. I suggest you edit your first post and try again.
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Re: Proposed Varient: 1933 Diplomacy

Postby Pharaoh of nerds » 04 Feb 2012, 18:55

Thank you for the advice, I intend to implement it shortly. How would I go about making a trial game?
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Re: Proposed Varient: 1933 Diplomacy

Postby Bluewolf » 04 Feb 2012, 19:10

i would like that
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Re: Proposed Varient: 1933 Diplomacy

Postby joebishop » 04 Feb 2012, 19:33

I would be available for a test run....victory conditions still the same?
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Re: Proposed Varient: 1933 Diplomacy

Postby Pedros » 04 Feb 2012, 19:39

Good - the map's there now.

First, don't rush it. There's a lot of experience out there always ready to make suggestions (you won't get much from me on that - I don't feel that I get much idea about playability, balance, strengths and weaknesses from just looking at a map!) Give time for a good discussion - no point wasting time playing a test run to find out things that couldhave been spotted in advance. All of this will give you time to read and think through the material in Start here which is pretty essential reading for new GMs.

Then when you're ready invite people to sign up; it shouldn't take you long to recruit five players. When you're ready to go (having a reserve or two befrore you start is well worth waiting for as well - there is usually a drop-out somewhere along the line) check by PM that they're all still available and set the ball rolling. PM me at that point and I'll set up your own sub-Forum in Active. Then you're away.

Best if you decide early on how you want to allocate countries. There's some discussion about this in viewtopic.php?f=148&t=20967#p287053 where I describe Blind Auctions for Country Assignment - favourite these days with most Forum Games players. If you're going to follow that youneed to say so from the off, because it's important that players don't start indicating their preferences publicly. But a trial run may be an exception - in a trial, it might be good for players to pick their own country first come first served. It could show up extra strengths and weaknesses.

Finally, Forum Games take time to GM. We stress how important it is that you (as well as the players) commit yourself to staying with this; anything else wastes a lot of people's time!

Best of luck
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Re: Proposed Varient: 1933 Diplomacy

Postby Pharaoh of nerds » 04 Feb 2012, 21:10

Thank You. That is very helpful. I think what I will do is set up a trial run and discuss the map simultaneously. I've put a lot of thought into it, both making and tweaking it, and while by no means do I think it is perfect, I feel like it would be enjoyable to play the way it is. I also think doing so might help shed light on some areas where it needs to be improved. But that's not to say that a fresh perspective might not have something to add even if they haven't played.
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Re: Proposed Varient: 1933 Diplomacy

Postby diplomat42 » 04 Feb 2012, 21:39

I like much! I'd like to join.

However, one thing (I'll critique the map later; I'd like it critiqued fully BEFORE we start so there's balance):

For forum games on this site, due to time zone differences, every phase should be at least 24 hours. Phases with a lot of negotiation (bidding+orders) should be 2 or 3 days.
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Re: Proposed Varient: 1933 Diplomacy

Postby Spekulatius » 04 Feb 2012, 22:00

This looks totally rad. I would absolutely love to be included!
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