An Invitation to Play College of Cardinals

Recruitment for and discussion of online Dip games/tournaments that aren't run on the PlayDiplomacy website or as part of the PbF community.

An Invitation to Play College of Cardinals

Postby VonPowell » 06 Jan 2018, 20:26

Hey Gang,

I am Baron Powell, the designer of the 1900 variant. I want to wish everyone a happy new year. I also want to give anyone who is interested an opportunity to kick off 2018 by participating in a variant Tim Hayward and I have created called College of Cardinals. College of Cardinals is a twelve player variant set in Medieval Europe at a time when crusading zeal within the Catholic community was still high. Each player plays a Monarch in charge of one of the great Dynasties of the day, seven of them Catholic, three Islamic, and two Orthodox.

College of Cardinals follows standard Diplomacy rules, but has some additional provisions that add layers of intrigue that players must navigate through. These additional provisions also give College of Cardinals its unique historical flavor. These provisions include:
- Armed minor realms. Each of the twenty-seven minor realms has a unit (one minor realm has two!). These units prevent the Major Realms from simply moving in without opposition. Monarchs will discover that the minor realms have a lot to say about what goes on around them.
- Diplomacy Points (DPs). DPs represent resources (e.g., political clout, military strength, treasure) at the disposal of each Monarch. Monarchs use DPs to gain control of minor realm units, foment rebellions in neighboring realms, and prevent rebellions at home. Catholic Monarchs also use DPs to influence the actions of Crusader armies and to show fealty to the Church.
- The “Religious Rule.” This rule reflects the bitter enmity that is at the heart of relations between the three great religions (Latin Catholicism, Islam, and Eastern Orthodoxy) that vie for supremacy in the College of Cardinals world. The Religious Rule restricts what Monarchs of one faith may order the unit of a minor realm of a different faith to do.
- The Holy Roman Empire. The Empire consisted of the Kingdom of Germany, the Kingdom of Arelat, the Kingdom of Bohemia, the Kingdom of Italy, and numerous other territories. As the Pope’s designated heir to Rome’s glorious legacy, the Holy Roman Emperor held special place amongst Catholic Monarchs. There are troubles in the Empire, however. Imperial cities in Italy are in open rebellion against the Emperor’s authority. The Emperor’s most powerful subordinate is refusing to answer a call to arms. Most significantly, the Emperor is never far from the Pope’s thoughts, as only the Emperor has the stature and capability to mount a serious attack on the Church’s ability to invest its own leaders.
- Rebellions. Realpolitik existed in the Crusader Era. With the proper inducement from a foreign realm such as arms, funds, or promises of direct intervention, local nobles would declare vows to their sovereign void and announce their loyalty to a new lord. This was especially true if the intervening foreign realm once controlled the area in question.
- The Papacy. In today’s increasingly secular Western world, it is hard to comprehend the power, prestige, and influence the Pope once held, especially in Catholic Europe. He had the ability to protect realms from the “self-serving” attacks of their Catholic neighbors, arbitrate military matters between Catholic protagonists, invest bishops to high offices in areas where he deemed the local noble was following policies inimical to the Church, demand Catholic nobles engage in crusades to protect or expand the interests of Catholic Christians, and punish even the mightiest temporal rulers for deviations from Church law. Just as the office of the Papacy was arguably at the center of any narrative on Medieval Catholic Europe, the position of the Pope is a vital component of this variant. Each Monarch in charge of a Catholic realm also plays a Cardinal in the College of Cardinals, the body that selects a new Pope each decade. Control of the Papacy can have significant consequences for all the Monarchs in the game.

The addition of these special rules unquestionably makes College of Cardinals more complex than classic Diplomacy. Because of this, College of Cardinals may not appeal to everyone, particularly those Hobby enthusiasts who believe classic Diplomacy’s elegant simplicity is what makes the game so special. There is good news, however, for the players who find the brief summation of the special rules intriguing and continue to read on. Consider:
- The new mechanisms the designers introduced are not so radical that they are unable to work seamlessly within the context of a familiar classic Diplomacy contest. The four basic phases (i.e., Turn 1 moves, Turn 2 retreats, Turn 3 moves, Turn 4 retreats/adjustments… repeat cycle until game ends) are still in place. The significant change is that the non-move phases have more activities in them that might impact on the Monarchs in charge of Catholic Realms. This means the non-move phases will often require Catholic Monarchs to have the same level of interaction that they have during move phases.
- The players remain the sole drivers of the game. There are no dice or deck driven events. There are also no charts or tables that players need to reference to determine results and no score keeping other than the simple counting of controlled SCs.
- College of Cardinals’ special rules create more opportunities for skilled negotiators to test their abilities. What is not to like about increased prospects for duplicity and mischief?

Tim and I have been working on College of Cardinals constantly since 2010. There have been four successful playtests. Our study of game results and the player feedback we received have all contributed to the evolution of the variant. We believe the current map and rules make for an intriguing variant that is balanced, captures the history of this exciting time, and provides plenty of opportunity for players of our favorite game to test their mettle.

As for the game itself:
- This game WILL NOT be played on PlayDip. Instead, it will be an e-mail contest. I will serve as the GM and provide the adjudications.
- Moves will take place on Tuesdays. Retreats, adjustments, etc., will take place on Thursdays.
- Players will bid for the Major Realm they play using auction rules that I will provide.
- Based on previous playtests, I estimate the game will run from February through June.

I am looking for clever, devious, and reliable players who will see the game through from start to finish. Several such players are already on-board. I will fill the remaining seats on a first come-first serve basis. If you are interested in playing or observing (and I cannot have enough observers), please contact me at vonpowell@aol.com. I will send you a copy of the map, variant rules, auction rules.

Baron (VonPowell)
User avatar
VonPowell
 
Posts: 21
Joined: 02 Jan 2012, 22:28
Class: Diplomat
All-game rating: (1000)
Timezone: PST

Looking for One More Player

Postby VonPowell » 21 Jan 2018, 07:25

Hey Gang,

I had a full board of twelve players, but one of them had something come up that he felt would affect his ability to give the game its due. Though I am disappointed I lost a player, I know there are folks out there that can step into his place.

If you love the game of Diplomacy with its focus on player-driven action and absence of random events...
If you have an interest in variants that are well thought out and backed by successful play testing...
If you are fascinated by history, especially the history of the great Crusades of the 11th and 12th centuries...
If you crave a forum to display your mastery of the various tools of diplomacy...
If you are clever and devious, and enjoy plots that involve wheels turning within wheels...
Then College of Cardinals is the game for you!

Please contact me at VonPowell@aol.com. First come is first served. I will catch you up with everyone else and ensure you are ready for the 6 February game-start.

I am sure you will be glad you took up this challenge.

Baron

PS: As stated in the original game announcement, this will be a PBEM game (i.e., players will communicate with me and I will communicate with them via e-mail. How they communicate with each other is their business). This game IS NOT appearing on PlayDip.
User avatar
VonPowell
 
Posts: 21
Joined: 02 Jan 2012, 22:28
Class: Diplomat
All-game rating: (1000)
Timezone: PST


Return to Offsite Games & Tournaments

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest