Al-Andalus Diplomacy: Definitive Rules

Game with 5 'countries' plus 3 advisors able to work for any nation. Devised by lordelindel and GMd by asudevil. Winner Zarazoga {pjkon)

Al-Andalus Diplomacy: Definitive Rules

Postby Aeschines » 25 Oct 2014, 03:56

Have you ever thought - "Man, diplomacy is so cool! But it does a terrible job of replicating the intrigue that could happen within a country's political leadership during the game!"

If so, you're a lot like me and you should sign up to play Al-Andalus Diplomacy. It's a variant of diplomacy set during the historical period that is, arguably, the closest to operating like actual diplomacy. 5 small Princedoms squabbled and cheating and lied amongst eachother until one of them (historically: Castille) emerged the victor and (re)conquered España (i.e. solo-ed).

What makes Al-Andalus Diplomacy different from regular dip is that in addition to the 5 regular players ("Princes") there are 3 additional players who serve as advisors to the Princes but whose loyalty can't be counted on. The Wazirs, as they are called, serve individual Princes and through their administrative prowess allow those Princes to use an additional unit. However, the loyalty of a Wazir is never fixed. While there are 5 Princes there are only 3 Wazirs, meaning some Princes always operate without the benefits of the Wazir's advice and skill... so what can they do? They can convince a Wazir who is employed by a Prince to betray that Prince and join them at their court.

You see, part of getting help running your kingdom from an independent agent means you necessarily give that agent the seeds of your own destruction.

To make a long story short, Al-Andalus Diplomacy asks the question: can you trust you closest advisor and can you afford not to?

Rules
The Rules of Al-Andalus Diplomacy are the same as regular diplomacy except as noted below:

The powers in Al-Andalus are:
Kingdom of Castille [red]
Taifa of Zaragoza [yellow]
Taifa of Badajoz [dark blue]
Taifa of Seville [purple]
Taifa of Granada [cyan]

Princes (i.e. "Regular Players")
  • Cannot move all of their units every spring or fall
    -Must order at least one unit to HOLD (or not issue it an order at all) every spring or fall
    -If a Prince has only 1 unit remaining they can issue and order to that unit irrespective of whether they have a Wazir
  • Can hire a Wazir by including in their orders (spring or fall)
    The Prince of Zaragoza hires Wazir lordelindel.

  • The hired Wazir must issue the order
    I go to the court of the Prince of Zaragoza.
  • A Prince can onlyever have one Wazir hired at a given time
  • A hired Wazir may issue an order to a unit owned by the Prince (allowing the Prince to command all of their units in any given move season)
    -If the Prince gives a unit a HOLD order and the Wazir also gives it a move/support order then Wazir's order will override the Prince’s HOLD
    -If the Prince gives the unit a move/support order and that order conflicts with the order given by the Wazir then that unit HOLDs (the unit is confused and doesn’t know who to obey)
    -If the Prince gives the unit an order that matches the order given by the Wazir then that unit carries out the order given but is counted as if the Prince had given the order -> in this case (assuming the Prince did not leave any other units fallow) one of the Prince's units will auto-hold (see below), even though the Wazir gave an order to a unit
    -If the Prince does not issue that unit an order at all then the order given by the Wazir is carried out [this is the ideal way to use a Wazir]
  • A Prince can fire their Wazir by giving an ARREST order during the spring or fall
    -When a Prince gives an ARREST order their Wazir, unless they had switched Princes that turn, loses half of their Dinars and is forcibly removed from court (becoming a free agent). However, all of the Prince's units must hold to execute an ARREST order
    -An ARREST order counters (and invalidates) a PLUNDER order (see below)
    -When a Prince gives a successful ARREST order they take half of their (former) Wazir's Dinars (rounded down). Those Dinars then wait patiently for the Prince to hire another Wazir who then immediately gains all of them

Wazirs (i.e. Special Counselors)
  • Owns no territory or units on the board but rather seeks to win through wealth (Dinars)
  • Wins the game (automatically is included in a draw) by collecting more Dinars than any other Wazir (the Wazir still loses if a Prince solos unless the Wazir qualifies for a solo)
  • Wins a "Solo Victory" by collecting more than 3 Dinars per supply center owned by the strongest player at the end of the game, regardless if the games ended in a draw or a solo (see discussion below)
  • Earns Dinars through being at a Prince's Court
  • May join a Prince at court by issuing the order (spring or fall)
    I go to the court of the Prince of Zaragoza.

    -Corresponding Prince must issue the corresponding order (that same season):
    The Prince of Zaragoza hires Wazir lordelindel.

    -An employed Wazir may issue an order for one of "their" Prince's units in the spring and fall (allowing the Prince to command all of their units in any given move season)
    -A Wazir transfer happens during regular order resolution for a turn (spring or fall). Thus, on a turn where a Wazir is leaving one court to join another they cannot issue orders to any units nor PLUNDER any Prince. They spend that turn packing up and moving.
  • An employed Wazir earns 1 Dinar for every unit owned by 'their' Prince who is issued a HOLD order (so Princes can pay their Wazirs at the cost of HOLDing units)
  • If the Wazir so desires they may issue an order to PLUNDER during the spring or fall
  • If a Wazir issues a PLUNDER order all of "their" Princes units hold (even if the Prince had given them orders) and the Wazir gains 1 Dinars for each of those units
  • A Wazir can be fired if "their" Prince gives an ARREST order
    -A Wazir who has not given the order to switch Princes when their current Prince gives an ARREST order (spring or fall) loses half of their Dinars (rounded down) and is forcibly removed from court (becoming a free agent). However all of the Prince's units must hold that turn.
    -When a Prince gives a successful ARREST order they take half of their (former) Wazir's Dinars. Those Dinars then wait patiently for the Prince to hire another Wazir who then immediately gains all of them

Here is the map:
Wazir Diplomacy Unitless Map.gif
Wazir Diplomacy Unitless Map.gif (34.78 KiB) Viewed 3384 times

Wazir Diplomacy 1080.gif
Wazir Diplomacy 1080.gif (35.74 KiB) Viewed 3384 times


Some notes:
  • The game has 27 supply centers and will end either with a draw or when one Prince has captured 14 of the centers. When the game has ended on the board then the number of Dinars owned by each Wazir are counted and a victor is determined.
  • The number of Dinars owned by every player (including Princes) is public knowledge to all players.
  • A Wazir cannot influence any movements during the build and retreat phases (unless they are a Wazir-General: see below)
  • The affiliation of Wazirs with particular Princes is public knowledge. The GM will publish the 'hiring' orders for all to see (that includes attempts to hire a Wazir away from a Prince that fail- due to the Wazir choosing a different Prince or to remain at court).
  • Wazirs cannot become free agents of their own volition. The only way for a Wazir to stop being affiliated with a Prince is to be ARRESTed. If a Wazir attempts to move Princes and is not accepted by the second Prince then the Wazir stays put (and doesn’t issue orders to either Prince’s units). The Wazir in this scenario will be paid like normal, however.
    -The policy reason for not allowing Wazir's to become free-agents of their own accord is that as free-agents Wazirs are invulernable. Allowing them to become free-agents of their own volition would permit a wealthy Wazir to protect their riches by becoming a free-agent and simply waiting for the game to end. Thus, the only way for a Wazir to become a free-agent is as part of an arrest action, which costs half their dinars).


Auto-Holds:
If a Prince orders all of their units to move/support (whether they have a Wazir or not!) then the unit that automatically receives a HOLD order is determined this way:
    1) A unit that was also given an CONFLICTING order by a Wazir HOLDs
    2) If no unit was given a CONFLICTING order by a Wazir then the unit which holds is determined in the same way as automatic destroys due to NMRs in diplomacy with respect to the province all the units are in (not where they were given orders to move to)

NMRS:
  • In the event of a Prince's NMR their NMR functions like a regular ARREST order
  • In the event of a Wazir's NMR their NMR functions like their Prince simply hadn't employed a Wazir (the Wazir can still earn money)
  • For the purposes of replacing players a Wazir who leaves the game (through voluntary departure or 2 NMRs) will be replaced and the replacement will pick up with the same employer and all the former Wazir's Dinars
  • If a Prince leaves the game (through voluntary departure or 2 NMRs) they will be replaced either by their current Wazir or an alternate (the Wazir's decision)

Death of a Wazir:
  • If a Prince without a Wazir captures another Prince's final supply center the conquering Prince may either take the defeated Prince's Wazir as their own or EXECUTE them, removing that Wazir from the game. If the conquering Prince already has a Wazir they may EXECUTE the defeated Prince's Wazir or allow them to become a free agent. An EXECUTED Wazir's Dinars are lost to the ether.

Wazir Solos:
  • Soloing as a Wazir is very challenging, and it is meant to be. A Wazir is always in danger of being arrested just before they would otherwise win the game as a “solo”. The primary (though not exclusive) way for a Wazir to solo would be to go to work for a weak Prince, who can't win the game, with whom the Wazir has built up a good relationship over the course of the game. Because Wazir's don't own land/troops a ‘solo’ victory requires having convinced one of the Princes to let them win. The weak Prince can enact their revenge on the stronger Princes who have betrayed them by harboring the Wazir who can then solo.

OPTIONAL RULE: WAZIR-GENERALS
  • In any move season, other than the move season in which the Wazir was hired, a Prince may appoint their Wazir general of one of that Prince's units
  • A Wazir who is a general of a unit has complete control over that unit in every season but loses the ability to issue orders to any other units
    -The Prince can issue orders to all of their remaining units
  • A unit with a general attacks at 1.5 strength (but defends and supports with single strength)
  • Territory captured by a Wazir-General counts towards the Wazir's Prince's SC count
  • A Wazir-General can still plunder/be arrested like normal
    -The unit of the Wazir-General HOLDs with the rest of the Prince's units for that turn in either scenario
  • If a Wazir leaves their Prince voluntarily SCs captured by the Wazir-General's unit remains under the control of the Wazir
    -If the Wazir becomes a free-agent the Wazir-General retains control of their generaled-unit so long as the Wazir has at least 1 SC
    -If a Wazir-General joins a different Prince's court any territory controlled by the Wazir-General is transferred to the new Prince (i.e. counts towards that Prince's SC total and allows that Prince to build additional units)
    -If a Wazir-General is arrested any territory controlled by the Wazir-General and his unit are returned to the control of his (now former) Prince
  • A Wazir-General cannot build any units
    -The Wazir-General continues to control their unit (and that unit continues to count against whichever Prince they work for's unit total) until that unit is destroyed, the Wazir runs out of SCs (and is a free-agent), or they voluntarily give up command (and cede that unit and all their territory to whatever Prince they currently work for)
    -The Wazir’s unit may be destroyed by a Prince like any other unit if that Prince has destroys in the Winter adjustments (in which case the Wazir’s land immediately goes to that Prince)


As you can see the game becomes a very intense (and diplomatic!) version of rock-paper-scissors. Each Prince wants to have a Wazir so they can have a unit advantage over the other players but having a Wazir leaves them open to PLUNDER actions, which can dethrone a player very close to a solo, and force them to use an ARREST order which can steal them enough wealth to maybe secure the loyalty of a different Wazir... Or maybe not!
Last edited by Aeschines on 14 Dec 2014, 23:31, edited 22 times in total.
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Re: Medieval Spanish Diplomacy 0/8

Postby nanooktheeskimo » 25 Oct 2014, 04:05

I think it should be a choice whether you want to be a prince or wazir (great choice to use that instead of vizir, by the way!). Because personally, I'd love to play as a wazir, but don't really want to play as a prince.

I do have one question regarding gameplay: I assume a Prince can be eliminated by losing all his SC's, but can a wazir be eliminated? And if so, how?
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Re: Medieval Spanish Diplomacy 0/8

Postby Aeschines » 25 Oct 2014, 04:13

Alright! So I'll do random or preference with respect to Princes but those who want to be Wazirs can be guaranteed that particular role.

At present there is no method by which a Wazir can be eliminated but I had been considering this rule (which I can add in if people think it would add):
If a Prince without a Wazir captures another Prince's final supply center the conquering Prince may either take the defeated Prince's Wazir as their own or EXECUTE them. Removing that Wazir from the game. If the conquering Prince already has a Wazir they may EXECUTE the defeated Prince's Wazir or allow them to become a free agent. An EXECUTED Wazir's Dinars are lost to the ether.
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Re: Medieval Spanish Diplomacy 0/8

Postby fedorbear » 25 Oct 2014, 04:20

I'd be happy to play either role!
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Re: Medieval Spanish Diplomacy 2/8

Postby fijikilo0 » 25 Oct 2014, 04:30

I would be down for a prince. Its been a while since i played a DVFG and this seems like a fun one.
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Re: Medieval Spanish Diplomacy 0/8

Postby nanooktheeskimo » 25 Oct 2014, 04:34

lordelindel wrote:Alright! So I'll do random or preference with respect to Princes but those who want to be Wazirs can be guaranteed that particular role.

At present there is no method by which a Wazir can be eliminated but I had been considering this rule (which I can add in if people think it would add):
If a Prince without a Wazir captures another Prince's final supply center the conquering Prince may either take the defeated Prince's Wazir as their own or EXECUTE them. Removing that Wazir from the game. If the conquering Prince already has a Wazir they may EXECUTE the defeated Prince's Wazir or allow them to become a free agent. An EXECUTED Wazir's Dinars are lost to the ether.

Great, I'll sign up as a Wazir in that case!

I'm in favor of that rule...makes sense to me to have a way for a wazir to be eliminated (much as I might regret this later on!).
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Re: Medieval Spanish Diplomacy 3/8

Postby fijikilo0 » 25 Oct 2014, 05:02

So does a wazir transfer happen at the end of a season or just somewhere in between? And if at the end of a season can s wazir plunder and change courts at the same time?
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Re: Medieval Spanish Diplomacy 3/8

Postby Antigonos » 25 Oct 2014, 05:04

This is not a good time for me to start a new game with new rules but I am very interested in any future game that might be organized.
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Re: Medieval Spanish Diplomacy 3/8

Postby Aeschines » 25 Oct 2014, 05:49

fijikilo0 wrote:So does a wazir transfer happen at the end of a season or just somewhere in between? And if at the end of a season can s wazir plunder and change courts at the same time?


A Wazir transfer happens during regular order resolution for a turn (spring or fall or winter). Thus, on a turn where a Wazir is leaving one court to join another they cannot issue orders to any units nor PLUNDER any Prince. They spend that turn packing up and moving. However, because Wazir can transfer Princes during winter they can arrive in time to help a Prince with their spring orders.

Antigonos wrote:This is not a good time for me to start a new game with new rules but I am very interested in any future game that might be organized.


That's a shame! But I hope this gets off the ground and we have enough enthusiasm for a game 2! :D
Last edited by Aeschines on 28 Nov 2014, 21:39, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Medieval Spanish Diplomacy 3/8

Postby Antigonos » 25 Oct 2014, 09:06

Antigonos wrote:This is not a good time for me to start a new game with new rules but I am very interested in any future game that might be organized.


That's a shame! But I hope this gets off the ground and we have enough enthusiasm for a game 2! :D[/quote]

Let me try to look carefully at the rules over the weekend and perhaps if you still have room for me I will give it a try. It really does seem like it could be quite challenging.
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