The Two Towers (5/5)

A 5 player Middle Earth variant by Terry Kuch and Don Miller. GM'ed by Nopunin10did.

Moderator: Morg

The Two Towers (5/5)

Postby NoPunIn10Did » 06 Jun 2016, 20:17

The Two Towers
2016 Revised Edition of "Middle Earth II"

Image

Updated (06 July 2016):
Per request from players, I've replaced the original picture with the easier-to-read map that uses simpler fonts.
Here's a link to the full names of each region, also in simpler font.
Here's a link to the original.


Introduction
This variant is an update to an older creation from 1966 (link), by Terry Kuch and Don Miller. Please note that the map and rules have changed somewhat for this edition.

This is also my GM certification game. I have had considerable experience as a GM for Play-By-Email (PBEM) games, but this will be my first crack at running a PBF game on PlayDiplomacy.

You will be playing one of five powers on Middle Earth starting in the year 3001 of the Third Age. Unlike many fantasy variants, the rules for this one are pretty straightforward.

Rules
Standard Diplomacy rules apply except as where follows:

Supply Center Rules:
  1. There are 29 Supply Centers on the map.
  2. Solo victory is achieved when a player controls 15 Supply Centers. (This differs from the cited "Middle Earth II" rules.)
  3. Each player starts with 3 SC's that serve as their only build locations.

Terrain Rules:
  1. Tolfalas (tfl) is a "hybrid" space. It is both water and land.
  2. Fleets and Armies may both pass through Tolfalas en route to other adjacent destinations.

Fleet/Convoy Rules:
  1. During Winter builds, players may only build Armies. Players may not build Fleets.
  2. Armies may not be convoyed by Fleets.
  3. Armies may Convert to Fleets (or vice versa) in the following manner:
    • This variant adds a new order type, "Convert".
    • This order may be given during either a Fall or Spring Orders phase in lieu of a Move, Hold, or Support order.
    • An Army or Fleet must be on a coastal or hybrid space to be given a Convert order.
    • During adjudication, an Army that Converts successfully will be replaced with a Fleet, and vice versa.
    • Units given Convert orders may receive Support-to-Hold from other units.
    • A Convert order fails if the unit is dislodged.

The Five Powers & Their Home SC's:
  • Gondor - Blue
    • Minas Tirith (mtr)
    • Lamedon (lam)
    • Dol Amroth (dam)
  • Mordor - Black
    • Minas Morgul (mmg)
    • Udun (udu)
    • Barad-Dur (brd)
  • Isengard / Rhohan - Red
    • Isengard (isg)
    • Helm's Deep (hdp)
    • Fangorn (fng)
  • Rhovanion - Green
    • Erebor (erb)
    • Esgaroth (esg)
    • Dol Guldur (dgu)
  • Eriador - Gold
    • Rivendell (riv)
    • Weathertop (wea)
    • The Shire (shr)

Image of Map with Full Names
Click the link to get to imgur, where you can access the full-resolution version.
Image

Region Abbreviations Table
Code: Select all
Abbr.   Full Name
---------------------------
and     Anduin
anf     Anfalas
ang     Angmar
bof     The Bay of Belfalas
brd     Barad-Dur
bro     Brown Lands
brw     Brandywine
can     Cair Andros
car     Carrock
cel     Celebrant
dag     Dagorlad
dam     Dol Amroth
dem     Dead Marshes
dgu     Dol Guldur
dun     Dunland
edo     Edoras
enm     Ered Nimrais
ent     Entwash
enw     Enedwaith
epd     Ephel Duath
erb     Erebor
erl     Ered Lithui
erm     Ered Mithrin
esg     Esgaroth
eve     Evendim
fld     Forlindon
fng     Fangorn
fow     Forodwaith
frh     Far Rhun
gla     Gladden Fields
grh     The Grey Havens
haw     Haradwaith
hdp     Helms Deep
hld     Harlindon
ibf     Ice Bay of Forochet
irh     Iron Hills
isg     Isengard
ith     Ithilien
kha     Khand
lam     Lamedon
lef     Lefnui
lor     Lorien
mis     Misty Mountains
mit     Mittle-Sea
mmg     Minas Morgul
mnh     Minhiriath
mor     Moria
mtr     Minas Tirith
mwk     Mirkwood
nha     Near Harad
nrh     Near Rhun
nur     Nurn
nwa     Northern Waste
por     Poros
rau     Rauros
riv     Rivendell
sgo     South Gondor
shr     The Shire
sou     South Sea
tfl     Tolfalas
thb     Tharbad
udu     Udun
umb     Umbar
wea     Weathertop
wil     Wilderland
wol     Wold
Last edited by NoPunIn10Did on 08 Nov 2016, 16:31, edited 14 times in total.
NoPunIn10Did
Lead Volunteer Developer

Forum Administrator

Variant GM & Designer
User avatar
NoPunIn10Did
Premium Member
 
Posts: 2438
Joined: 17 Aug 2011, 00:17
Location: North Carolina
Class: Ambassador
Standard rating: 1000
All-game rating: 1471
Timezone: GMT-5

Re: The Two Towers (Revised "Middle Earth II")

Postby NoPunIn10Did » 06 Jun 2016, 20:17

House Rules
Order Submission Schedule (Non-Standard)
I will run a three-season rotation for orders submission: Spring, Fall, and Winter, with two seasons executed per week and retreats handled ad-hoc. Assuming no delays, this works out to 3 weeks for every 2 game-years.

This schedule does not run on a standard days-per-phase model (e.g. 2/1/1 or 3/1/2). I find that adjudication is quicker, and NMR's fewer, when players are given a regular weekly schedule instead.

All seasonal orders (movement and builds) will be due on Mondays and Thursdays by 7:00 PM (19:00) New York Time, which is EDT (UTC-4) or EST (UTC-5), depending on the time of the year. I will try to send out reminders on the morning-of, but those are not guaranteed. If you live in a time-zone that makes this timing (particularly the reminders) inconvenient, please let me know ASAP, and we can work something out.

Reminders for seasonal orders are not guaranteed, and they may be less than 24 hours.

If everyone gets their orders in early, I can adjudicate much more promptly. However, I will not adjudicate movement or build turns earlier than the due date/time.

All retreat orders are due within 24 hours of the adjudication report. If you happen to miss a retreat order, I do not always automatically disband those units. See the section below on missed retreats.

Unlike seasonal orders, I will report retreats as soon as I receive all of them for a given turn.

Reminders for retreat orders will not be given.

Extensions
I can and do grant extensions at my own discretion. Please try to ask me about them as soon as possible. Saying you need one 5 minutes before the orders-due time is really frustrating to everyone.

At my discretion, if I grant an extension, I may amend the schedule for subsequent due dates. My goal will be to ensure any seasonal due date/time occurs at least 48 hours after the last season's adjudication and at least 24 hours after retreats are reported.

Additionally, I may institute a delay or extension to compensate for changes in my own schedule.

Depending on the length of any given delay, I will either:
  • Push the due time back a few hours (e.g. same day, but 2300 ET instead of 1900 ET).
  • Skip one due date altogether, moving the schedule back to the following date (e.g. Monday's Spring Orders now due Thursday, Thursday's Fall orders now due the following Monday, et cetera)
  • Propose two or more alternate schedules to be voted on by the group. If unanimous support cannot be established, I will default to the most lenient option.

Sample Schedule
Assuming no major delays, this could be a typical schedule.

Code: Select all
Week 1  Monday      19:00   1903 Spring Movement due
                    20:30   1903 Spring report goes out
        Tuesday     20:30   1903 Spring Retreats due (reported soon after)
        Thursday    19:00   1903 Fall Movement due
                    20:30   1903 Fall report goes out
        Friday      20:30   1903 Fall Retreats due
Week 2  Monday      19:00   1903 Winter Builds due
        Thursday    19:00   1904 Spring Movement due
        Friday      08:00   1904 Spring reported (maybe I granted an extension)
        Saturday    08:00   1904 Spring Retreats due
Week 3  Monday      19:00   1904 Fall Movement due
        Monday      20:05   1904 Fall report goes out
        Tuesday     20:05   1904 Fall Retreats due
        Thursday    19:00   1904 Winter Builds due
Week 4  Monday      19:00   1905 Spring Movement due, et cetera…


Grace Periods (Not in Effect at Game Start)
Grace periods are not automatically in effect at the beginning of a game. I will sometimes be forgiving to a person that's within an hour of the deadline for an early turn (since first-year NMR's are a pain for everyone, including the GM), but that's totally up to my own discretion.

Grace Period Details
If I announce a standing 12-hour grace period policy for all seasonal orders (never retreats), here's how it works. The due date/time does not change: it's still 1900 New York Time (EST/EDT) on Mondays & Thursdays.

However, I will accept missing orders up to 12 hours late. In practical terms, this means that I will never adjudicate any earlier than 1900 EST/EDT, but after that point I will adjudicate as soon as I receive some orders from everyone (within that 12 hour window). I would advise you not to attempt corrections or changes to prior orders within that 12-hour window; while it's not forbidden, it's totally within my discretion to accept them or not (usually depending on whether I've started the adjudication).

Players should not use the 12-hour window to negotiate. Please don't try to game the system by waiting until the absolute last minute of the grace period to send orders. It's meant to provide breathing room to the busy and the tardy, and I don't take kindly to those who seem to be abusing the privilege.

Occasionally I will institute a 24-hour grace period policy, using these same stipulations, but I will do so only on a temporary basis. 24-hour grace periods only last one game-year unless reinstated, and I only institute them when given considerable advance notice of a legitimate time conflict.

Example: one of my former players was an election official and was working late hours prior to a national vote. He gave me a week's notice that he'd be unusually busy, and I instituted the 24-hour policy for the affected game-year to give him some breathing room. As it turned out, I never actually had to use it (which made me quite happy).

Assignment of Powers
I will assign powers via blind auction. You may be familiar with the blind auction process from other games of Diplomacy; it’s become fairly standard procedure.

Blind Auction Procedure
Each player has 50 bid points to divide between the following five choices.

  • Gondor (Blue)
  • Mordor (Black)
  • Isengard / Rhohan (Red)
  • Rhovanion (Green)
  • Eriador (Gold)

For each of the five choices, you must place assign a number of bid points (whole numbers only). The maximum bid for a choice is 30, and the minimum bid is 1.

Multiple bids from the same player may not be the same value. Each bid must be unique, forcing you to apply some order to your preferences.

Your bids can add up to less than 50 bid points, but I recommend allocating all points.

If you have no preference, I will assign 1 bid point to all choices on your behalf (this being the one exception to the unique-bids rule).

Once I receive all players’ bids, I will begin assigning powers in order from highest bid to lowest, using a random number generator to resolve the priority of same-valued bids.

Please do not talk about your preferences or bids in the forum. Contact me if you have any questions.

Adjudication Mistakes
If I make a mistake in adjudication, please point it out ASAP. The window to do this is until the next season’s orders are due.

This means that you can potentially spot an error from the Spring Movement adjudication after the Spring Retreats have been reported, but not once the Fall Movement has been reached.

Depending on the timing of the correction, I will probably declare an extension for players to revise their orders.

I reserve the right to use my own judgment in applying such corrections.

Missed Orders (NMR)
A player that does not submit seasonal orders to me by adjudication will receive an NMR (no moves received) for that phase.

If you NMR during a movement phase, all of your units will hold. If you NMR during a retreat or build phase, I will provide orders for you in the manners described below.

Missed Retreats
Unlike the standard Diplomacy policy of disbanding all missed retreats, if you miss providing retreat orders, I will retreat your dislodged units using the following priorities (from highest to lowest):

  1. Retreat to a province with another player’s SC.
  2. Retreat to a province with player’s own SC.
  3. Retreat to a water space (fleets only).
  4. Retreat to a land/canal/hybrid space with no SC.

If more than one possible retreat location has the same priority, I will use whichever region’s three-letter code comes first in alphabetical order.

I will give no consideration for whether some other retreating unit (even your own) can retreat to the same space.

Missed Winter Orders
Similar to normal Diplomacy, if you miss submitting Build orders for a Winter turn, you will forfeit the relevant build(s) that turn.

If you were required to submit one or more Destroy orders that turn, but didn’t, then I will destroy units using the following priorities:

  1. Find the unit that’s the furthest from a valid build location controlled by the unit’s power.
  2. Destroy fleets before armies.
  3. If units are still equal in priorities 1 and 2, destroy the unit whose region’s three-letter code comes first in alphabetical order.

Repeated Missed Orders & Player Replacement

If you miss turning in two seasons in a row, or at least three seasons overall, I may replace you. Because retreats are intentionally handled over a shorter period of time, an NMR for a retreat phase is not considered as part of this count.

An NMR during the first Spring orders phase of the first year will result in an immediate ejection from the game, and the game will be put on hold until I can find a replacement.

This is entirely at my discretion, and I reserve the right to replace players that I deem to be problematic.

End of Game & Draws
Draws do not have to include all survivors, but approval must be unanimous (with all votes in approval or abstaining).

Draw proposals expire at the beginning of the following season (ignoring retreat phases).

Votes for draws may be sent to me privately, or announced publicly, but I will reveal everyone's vote once all votes are collected (or the draw expires).

Forced Draws
In the unlikely event that you end up in a messy stalemate, and you can't get unanimous agreement for a draw, I'll force the game to end in a draw, including all surviving players, if and only if:

  • Half or more of surviving players vote for it.
  • No change to the state of the map has occurred for the duration of the past two game-years.

I also reserve the right to forcibly end any game in a draw, even if it does not match these exact stipulations, but as a GM, I hope never to have to invoke that right.
Last edited by NoPunIn10Did on 08 Nov 2016, 16:37, edited 2 times in total.
NoPunIn10Did
Lead Volunteer Developer

Forum Administrator

Variant GM & Designer
User avatar
NoPunIn10Did
Premium Member
 
Posts: 2438
Joined: 17 Aug 2011, 00:17
Location: North Carolina
Class: Ambassador
Standard rating: 1000
All-game rating: 1471
Timezone: GMT-5

Re: The Two Towers (Revised "Middle Earth II")

Postby NoPunIn10Did » 06 Jun 2016, 20:18

Recruitment

The game has begun, though I'd be happy to add more names to the reserves.

A few players have personally expressed interest in playing my GM certification game, whenever that might occur. Those players have been contacted privately, so they may receive priority. Otherwise, first-come, first-serve.

I reserve the right to alter the list of players based on player reputation and reliability. Since this is my first time as a GM here, I will be leaning on the advice of other GM's in this regard.

Players
  1. asudevil
  2. Gooderian
  3. MinnesotanKaiser
  4. GhostEcho

Eliminated
  • JonS

Reserves
  • joe92
  • Verona22

Ejected
  • Elric Hazard

Resigned & Replaced
  • Antigonos


When my player list is full, and I have a few reserves, I will start the blind auction. Your response and bids will mark you as confirmed.

Depending on how long that takes, we will then begin the game on a Monday or Thursday in the near future. I will try to allot some additional time for initial negotiations.
Last edited by NoPunIn10Did on 08 Nov 2016, 16:33, edited 17 times in total.
NoPunIn10Did
Lead Volunteer Developer

Forum Administrator

Variant GM & Designer
User avatar
NoPunIn10Did
Premium Member
 
Posts: 2438
Joined: 17 Aug 2011, 00:17
Location: North Carolina
Class: Ambassador
Standard rating: 1000
All-game rating: 1471
Timezone: GMT-5

Re: The Two Towers (Revised "Middle Earth II") (0/5)

Postby GhostEcho » 06 Jun 2016, 22:45

As a first "certification" game, you're normally required to have a current GM "behind the scenes" as a 2nd Eyes. I can't tell from your OP whether you've got someone lined up already, but if not, I'd be happy to fill that spot for you.

(Unfortunately, I've got too many games on right now to play myself at the moment.)
"When you absolutely don't know what to do any more, then it's time to panic." - Johann van der Wiel
"I'm not panicking, I'm watching you panic. It's more entertaining." - Elli Quinn
"[Diplomacy:] No dice or chance. Just calculated insincerity." - Counter Trap
User avatar
GhostEcho
 
Posts: 1839
Joined: 10 Aug 2008, 04:56
Location: Baltimore
Class: Ambassador
Standard rating: 995
All-game rating: 979
Timezone: GMT-5

Re: The Two Towers (Revised "Middle Earth II") (0/5)

Postby Antigonos » 06 Jun 2016, 23:03

I am not young and I find it difficult to make out the letters of the center's names which would make writing out orders difficult for me. I am interested in playing. Is there any chance of using a more readable style of lettering?
Classicists Platinum, Oldies & soldier in Cavalry to the rescue
Samnites 3 draw Ad Arma
Prussia draw Ambition & Empire
USSR in 3 draw Blitzkrieg[
England solo Renaissance
Germany in 6 draw World Influence
Athens 4 draw Greek City States
Zaire solo Africa
Iran 3 draw ModEX II
Antigonos
Premium Member
 
Posts: 1505
Joined: 23 Jul 2013, 02:30
Location: New York
Class: Star Ambassador
Standard rating: (1483)
All-game rating: (1517)
Timezone: GMT-5

Re: The Two Towers (Revised "Middle Earth II") (0/5)

Postby TreciKorpus BiH » 07 Jun 2016, 01:52

Sounds interesting, I'll join in.
If anyone is looking for a game with 24/24/24 orders or longer and is ranked, please PM me to join.
Previously known as BROCKENBROUGH
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=STqIRY7nHes
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XW2JdBb3sJM
User avatar
TreciKorpus BiH
 
Posts: 195
Joined: 21 Oct 2015, 14:39
Location: A winter hell
Class: Ambassador
Standard rating: (961)
All-game rating: (970)
Timezone: GMT-5

Re: The Two Towers (Revised "Middle Earth II") (0/5)

Postby NoPunIn10Did » 07 Jun 2016, 02:33

Antigonos wrote:I am not young and I find it difficult to make out the letters of the center's names which would make writing out orders difficult for me. I am interested in playing. Is there any chance of using a more readable style of lettering?


When you pull up the full resolution version of the map with abbreviations on it (the first one), can you read those?

I can also render it with a simpler font.
NoPunIn10Did
Lead Volunteer Developer

Forum Administrator

Variant GM & Designer
User avatar
NoPunIn10Did
Premium Member
 
Posts: 2438
Joined: 17 Aug 2011, 00:17
Location: North Carolina
Class: Ambassador
Standard rating: 1000
All-game rating: 1471
Timezone: GMT-5

Re: The Two Towers (Revised "Middle Earth II") (0/5)

Postby NoPunIn10Did » 07 Jun 2016, 02:35

GhostEcho wrote:As a first "certification" game, you're normally required to have a current GM "behind the scenes" as a 2nd Eyes. I can't tell from your OP whether you've got someone lined up already, but if not, I'd be happy to fill that spot for you.

(Unfortunately, I've got too many games on right now to play myself at the moment.)


Morg didn't mention that being necessary, but I don't have a problem with it. What would that entail?
NoPunIn10Did
Lead Volunteer Developer

Forum Administrator

Variant GM & Designer
User avatar
NoPunIn10Did
Premium Member
 
Posts: 2438
Joined: 17 Aug 2011, 00:17
Location: North Carolina
Class: Ambassador
Standard rating: 1000
All-game rating: 1471
Timezone: GMT-5

Re: The Two Towers (Revised "Middle Earth II") (0/5)

Postby Antigonos » 07 Jun 2016, 02:48

nopunin10did wrote:
Antigonos wrote:I am not young and I find it difficult to make out the letters of the center's names which would make writing out orders difficult for me. I am interested in playing. Is there any chance of using a more readable style of lettering?


When you pull up the full resolution version of the map with abbreviations on it (the first one), can you read those?

I can also render it with a simpler font.


Even with the full resolution it is difficult for me to read. The font is quite attractive and in keeping with the game subject but for me a simpler, cleaner font would be much better (I think).

Sorry for the trouble.
Classicists Platinum, Oldies & soldier in Cavalry to the rescue
Samnites 3 draw Ad Arma
Prussia draw Ambition & Empire
USSR in 3 draw Blitzkrieg[
England solo Renaissance
Germany in 6 draw World Influence
Athens 4 draw Greek City States
Zaire solo Africa
Iran 3 draw ModEX II
Antigonos
Premium Member
 
Posts: 1505
Joined: 23 Jul 2013, 02:30
Location: New York
Class: Star Ambassador
Standard rating: (1483)
All-game rating: (1517)
Timezone: GMT-5

Re: The Two Towers (Revised "Middle Earth II") (1/5)

Postby TheMadImperator » 07 Jun 2016, 03:58

I would very much like to play in this. It will only be my 2nd forum game, (I'm still in my 1st one), but I can give you references that I'm an active player that gets orders in on time.
TheMadImperator
 
Posts: 3
Joined: 29 Mar 2016, 20:36
Location: Charlottesville, Virginia
Class: Ambassador
Standard rating: (1176)
All-game rating: (1177)
Timezone: GMT

Next

Return to The Two Towers {All Maps Visible}

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest