Escalation Variant - RULES

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Escalation Variant - RULES

Postby super_dipsy » 15 Nov 2016, 18:05

Escalation is a variant, like Age of Empires / Winter 1900 / Build Anywhere / Chaos. It can be applied to different types of games and options, but there are some restrictions (see below).

WARNING: WHEN PLAYING ESCALATION PLEASE PAY ATTENTION TO THE INFORMATION MESSAGES AT BOTTOM LEFT OF MAP!! YOU NEED TO BE PATIENT AND WAIT FOR THE ESCALATION-SPECIFIC ACTIONS TO BE ACKNOWLEDGED!

The 'official' rules are here https://www.wizards.com/avalonhill/rules/Diplomacy_Escalation.pdf but note that we have had to massage the rules a bit for our online environment.

In Escalation, you place units in player turn on the map (anywhere - can be SC or non-SC or even sea!) until you have reached the required limit. This happens in a placement phase (like a Winter 1900 phase), a srot of pre-game Build phase. After the placement phase has completed, the game is normal Diplomacy except for the fact that in the 1901 Build phase the first thing each player has to do is nominate which 3 centres (or less if the player owns less than 3 centres!) will be the country's National centres (ie where you can Build). Escalation games are NOT build anywhere! From nomination on, you will only be allowed to build on your nominated centres, just like in a normal Diplomacy game. If you lose the centre, or it is occupied, you cannot build there.

Escalation has a number of benefits for site games:
- It provides variety (and some skill!) in positioning your units in the placement phase
- It can work with 'any' number of players (but initially until I test it out we will go with a max of the board being played eg 7 in Classic Diplomacy)
- Unlike other shorthanded variants, if playing with less than the full complement there are no artificial matchings of countries or countries in CD; instead, players get to place more units
- It is very suited to Live play (particularly the placement phase)

There are however some challenges playing Escalation online, where we have had to take some decisions. So here are the wrinkles:

Placements phase (prior to Spring 1901)
* The number of placements per country is governed by a table in the referenced rules, starting at 12 units each for a 2-player game to 3 units each in an 11-player game
* Remember, you can place units in ANY location; SC, non-SC; Sea etc
* We will use a snake approach to placement order; starting with first country to last, then last to first, etc
* As soon as you make a placement (or two if you are at the end of a turn of the snake) the deadline resets to its full length (but see maximum restriction below); so it is sort of a 'rolling' deadline
* The Placement phase rolling deadline will be restricted to a maximum of 24 hours regardless of normal Build deadline (otherwise the placement phase could run for far too long)
* The map is updated after each placement (although you will need to refresh to see it)
* Any NMR (missed placement before deadline) results in a random unit placement, SC if any available or otherwise anywhere
* 2 NMRs in the placement phase = immediate surrender whether consecutive or not
* Surrendered countries will auto-place immediately and randomly
* No communications are allowed in the placement phase
* You will get an email when it is your turn to place (if you are playing Live, though, just keep refreshing and you will see when it is your turn!)
* The last placement immediately ends the placements phase and the game goes into a full Spring 1901 Orders

National Centre Nominations (prior to building in 1901 Build)
* You don't get to change them once confirmed, so don't misclick!
* Your National Centres (but only yours) will be listed on the Stats display under your country entry (coz I know people will forget what they nominated!)
* (After 1901 Build phase, you will see ALL National Centres listed, not just yours. It is only in the Nomination phase that you see only yours)
* If you do not have 3 SCs, you will play the entire game with however many you CAN nominate (bad luck, plan better ;) )
* A surrendered country will have random nominations put in for its build centres

General
* Any escalation game played with other than the normal complement of players for that board cannot be ranked
* In order to help optimize placement times, all games will be Random Countries, and placements follow the snake from country 1-7 (in the normal game that is England - Russia, ie the order on the game roster) and then 7-1 etc. This means each player has an idea whether his or her placement turn is coming up based on the map showing who has placed and who hasn't (but remember surrendered countries place IMMEDIATELY!)
* Fog and NMR protect both create problems for escalation (and the current shorthanded option makes no sense) so Escalation is not supported for these games (sorry)
* Escalation is supported for all the maps except Versailles. This is because the Versailles concept of secret second countries is impacted by placing units.

TIPS FOR PLAYING ESCALATION - PLEASE READ
After feedback from the test game, players may find the following helpful:
- When selecting national centres and also when placing units (at the turn of the snake), please pay particular attention to the game messages (bottom left of the map)!!! Wait until your action has been acknowledged in this message before going to the next one.
- In other words - BE PATIENT ;)
- Please note that in the Fall 1901 Build phase, you choose your national build centres AND THEN you then do your Builds/Destroys. This all happens in the one phase.
- If you have two placements because you are at a turn of the snake, you have to do BOTH before you can refresh to see the updated map.
- Don't forget that once you have chosen your national centres, they are always listed on the Status tab under your country information so you don't forget.
- Remember the placement phase rolling deadline (each time some has placed) is a max of 24 hours, even if your normal build deadline is 7 days!
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