APPROVED: War in the Americas

Subforum for soliciting and discussing feedback on the next map to come to PlayDiplomacy: War in the Americas.

APPROVED: War in the Americas

Postby NoPunIn10Did » 08 Apr 2019, 19:43

I am filing a proposal for War in the Americas (WitA) to be considered for site inclusion. WitA was designed originally by Macario Reyes in 1998-1999 and has been tweaked over time by the Play-by-Forum community.

Image
The draft above is a version of the map that uses the latest version of the map as played in PbF as a basis, tweaking only aesthetic matters like border appearance and region naming. It does not yet include the rivers that are a significant aspect of the North American map configuration.

Basic Information:
  1. Variant Name: War in the Americas
  2. Player Count: 10
  3. Setting & time period: North, Central, & South America, circa 1840.
  4. Variant's rules changes:
    1. Very few rules differ from classic Diplomacy.
    2. Most of the "special" rules are standard matters of geography, adjacency, or the SCs required for victory.
    3. See notes below regarding the victory condition, which may be recommended as less than the majority (31 of 61).
  5. Rules:
    1. The latest rules, as played on PbF, can be found here.
    2. The original rules of the variant were a casualty of the untimely termination of the Variant Bank.
    3. I was able to harvest a copy from the Wayback Machine, and I will post them in a reply downthread.
Proposal Q&A:
  1. Has this variant been played via the PlayDiplomacy forums or Discord?
      Yes. It has been played a total of 8 times on the PlayDiplomacy forums.
  2. Is this variant already supported on another Dip site? If so, which one?
      Currently, it appears the answer is no, though I've been told that it was previously supported on DPJudge.
  3. Where have you played or GM'd this variant before?
      I was a player in one of the latest PbF games of WitA (WitA 8).
  4. What about this variant would distinguish it from those the site currently supports?
    • It supports ten players, which is higher than any variant we currently support.
    • It would occur in a setting for which we have no variants.
  5. If there are multiple disparate versions of the variant, why do you like the particular ruleset for this version?
    • I would use the most recent PbF standard rules for WitA with the following caveats:
    • Borders
      • As stated above, early copies of the rules for this variant were difficult to retrieve.
      • What I was able to find was ambiguous with regard to several unclear borders on the map.
      • Should we elect to add this variant to the site, I would actually like to discuss a few minor border/adjacency changes that would improve the visual clarity of the map, particularly with regard to the Great Lakes region.
    • Victory Condition
      • The PbF community has also tried out a few iterations of build rules and victory conditions.
      • At this time, it seems that maintaining classic build rules (build in home centers) as the default would be preferred.
      • I expect that the exact number of centers required to solo will be a matter of some debate, but it appears that acquiring a majority of 31 may be far too high a threshold.
      • Should the victory condition be set lower than the majority, WitA would follow the standard set by 1900 in regard to handling scenarios in which multiple players achieve the victory condition simultaneously.
      • NanookTheEskimo, who has played and GM'd this variant multiple times, will probably recommend a number between 21 and 31.
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Re: Variant Proposal: War in the Americas

Postby NoPunIn10Did » 08 Apr 2019, 19:53

Original rules as harvested from the Wayback Machine

Code: Select all
All of the Standard game rules apply, except one:  units may be built on any supply center owned by a power at the beginning of the year, as in the Chaos variant.
Starting Positions
Power   Letter   Starting Positions
Argentina   A   F Buenos Aires   A Cordoba   A Santa Fe
Brazil   B   F Rio de Janeiro   A Sao Paulo   A Minas Gerais   F Bahia
Colombia   C   A Bogota   A Cartagena   F Cali (NC)
Mexico   E   A Mexico   F Veracruz   A Guadalajara
Great_Britain   G   A Montreal   F Trinidad   F Jamaica   F Halifax   F Malvinas
Chile   H   A Santiago   F Temuco   F Valparaiso
Peru   P   F Lima   A Arequipa   A Cuzco
Spain   S   F Havana   F Puerto Rico   F Santiago de Cuba
United_States   U   A Washington   F New York   A New Orleans   A Atlanta
Venezuela   V   F Caracas   A Maracaibo   A Bolivar
Notes on the WITA map

1. Canals and waterways in Americas (they all act like Kiel in Standard):

    New York City/New York State- the Erie Canal, allows passage from New York Bay to Eastern Great Lakes
    Panama - the Panama Canal, although it was not open until 1912 it is used in the game to cross between the Atlantic and Pacific areas.
    Magallanes - Magallanes Strait, allows an extra passage between oceans at the bottom tip of South America.
    Montreal - St-Lawrence waterway, allows passage from Gulf of St. Lawrence to the Eastern Great Lakes
    Trinidad - These groups of islands are treated as a sea/land territories and movement of fleets is allowed from one side to the other, while armies can move through land from West Indies to Trinidad and from Trinidad to Delta.

2. Continuous coasts. Movement by fleets is allowed along the coasts of Toronto, Michigan and Delta as if they were canals, like Denmark in the standard variant.

3. Navigable Rivers. There are two:

    The Mississippi-Missouri. Which allows the passage of fleets from the Gulf of Mexico to the Western Great Lakes, passing through the provinces of New Orleans, Mississippi, Kentucky, Missouri, Chicago and Minnesota.  Using this waterway, a fleet can move from the Great Lakes to the Ocean or viceversa in 4 turns ordering WGL-Min (or WGL-Chi), Min-Mso (or Chi-Mso), Mso-NOr and NOr-GOM.
    The Amazonas. Which allows the passage of fleets through he provinces of Para, Amazonia and Loreto.

4. Provinces that have two coasts: Cali, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, Chiapas, Ontario and Washington.

5. Misiones province in Argentina has access to the Rio de la Plata, therefore Buenos Aires and Uruguay are not adjacent by land.

6. Supply Centers. There are 61 supply centers, therefore victory is obtained by gaining control of 31 centers. Some of these are within the countries, but are considered unsettled or unstable areas that are yet to be conquered.
 

Original Province Abbreviation List
Code: Select all
Acapulco   Aca   Land   
Aconcagua   Aco   Land   
Acre   Acr   Land   
Alaska   Ala   Land   SC
Amazonia   Ama   Channel   SC
Andes   And   Land   
Anegada Channel   ACH   Sea   
Antofagasta   Ant   Land   SC
Appalachian Bay   APP   Sea   
Araucan Gulf   AGU   Sea   
Araucania   Ara   Land   
Arequipa   Are   Land   SC
Artic Ocean   AO   Edge Sea   
Asuncion   Asu   Land   SC
Atacama   Ata   Land   
Atlanta   Atl   Land   SC
Bahama Islands   BIs   Land   SC
Bahia   Bah   Land   SC
Bahia Blanca   BBL   Sea   
Bahia Grande   BGR   Sea   
Baja California   Baj   Land   
Barquisimeto   Bar   Land   SC
Beni   Ben   Land   
Bering Sea   BER   Edge Sea   
Bermuda Triangle   BTR   Sea   
Bogota   Bog   Land   SC
Bolivar   Bol   Land   
British Guyana   BGu   Land   SC
Buenos Aires   BAs   Land   SC
Cajamarca   Caj   Land   
Cali   Cli   Land   SC
California   Cal   Land   SC
Camaguey   Cam   Land   
Caqueta   Caq   Land   
Caracas   Car   Land   SC
Cartagena   Crt   Land   SC
Cayenne   Cay   Land   
Central Pacific Ocean   CPO   Edge Sea   
Chaco Austral   CAu   Land   
Chaco Boreal   CBo   Land   
Chesapeake Bay   CHE   Sea   
Chiapas   Chp   Land   
Chicago   Chi   Channel   SC
Chihuahua   Chh   Land   
Chiriqui Gulf   CHG   Sea   
Coast of Brazil   COB   Sea   
Coast of Mexico   COM   Sea   
Coast of Peru   COP   Sea   
Corcovado Gulf   CGU   Sea   
Cordoba   Cor   Land   SC
Costa Rica   CRi   Land   
Cuzco   Cuz   Land   SC
Dakotas   Dak   Land   
Delta   Del   Channel   
Drake Pass   DRA   Edge Sea   
Dutch Guayana   DGu   Land   SC
East Caribbean Sea   ECS   Sea   
East Coast   ECO   Sea   
Easter Island   Eas   Land   SC
Eastern Great Lakes   EGL   Sea   
Ecuador   Ecu   Land   SC
El Salvador   ESa   Land   
Florida   Flo   Land   
Florida Strait   FST   Sea   
Galapagos Islands   Gal   Land   SC
Greenland   Gre   Land   SC
Guadalajara   Gdl   Land   SC
Guajira   Gjr   Land   
Guanabara Bay   GBA   Sea   
Guatemala   Gua   Land   SC
Guayanas Sea   GSE   Sea   
Gulf of Alaska   GOA   Sea   
Gulf of Campeche   GOC   Sea   
Gulf of Fonseca   GOF   Sea   
Gulf of Guayaquil   GOG   Sea   
Gulf of Honduras   GOH   Sea   
Gulf of Mexico   GOM   Sea   
Gulf of Panama   GOP   Sea   
Gulf of San Lorenzo   GOS   Sea   
Gulf of Santa Catarina   GSC   Sea   
Gulf of Tehuantepec   GOT   Sea   
Gulf of Uraba   GOU   Sea   
Gulf of Venezuela   GOV   Sea   
Haiti   Hai   Land   SC
Halifax   Hal   Land   SC
Havana   Hav   Land   SC
Hawaii   Haw   Land   SC
Honduras   Hon   Land   
Hudson Bay   HUD   Sea   
Humboldt Sea   HUM   Sea   
Jamaica   Jam   Land   SC
Kansas   Kan   Land   
Kentucky   Ken   Channel   
La Paz   LPa   Land   SC
Labrador Sea   LAB   Sea   
Lima   Lim   Land   SC
Loreto   Lor   Channel   
Magallanes   Mag   Channel   
Malvinas   Mal   Land   SC
Maracaibo   Mar   Land   SC
Marajo Bay   MBA   Sea   
Massachusets Gulf   MAS   Sea   
Mato Grosso   MGr   Land   
Mexico   Mex   Land   SC
Michigan   Mic   Channel   
Mid Atlantic Ocean   MAO   Edge Sea   
Mid Pacific Ocean   MPO   Sea   
Minas Gerais   MGe   Land   SC
Minnesota   Min   Channel   
Misiones   Mis   Land   
Mississippi   Msp   Channel   
Missouri   Mso   Channel   
Montreal   Mon   Channel   SC
Mosquito Bay   MOS   Sea   
New Caledonia   NCa   Land   
New England   NEn   Land   
New Mexico   NMe   Land   
New Orleans   NOr   Channel   SC
New York Bay   NYB   Sea   
New York City   NYC   Channel   SC
New York State   NYS   Channel   
Newfoundland   New   Land   
Nicaragua   Nic   Land   SC
North Atlantic Ocean   NAO   Edge Sea   
North Caribbean Sea   NCS   Sea   
North Pacific Ocean   NPO   Edge Sea   
Northwest Territories   NWT   Channel   
Nuevo Leon   NLe   Land   
Oaxaca   Oax   Land   
Ohio   Ohi   Land   
Ontario   Ont   Land   
Oregon   Ore   Land   SC
Orinoquia   Ori   Land   
Pampas   Pam   Land   
Panama   Pan   Channel   SC
Para   Par   Channel   
Paranagua Bay   PBA   Sea   
Patagonia   Pat   Land   SC
Porto Alegre   PAl   Land   
Potosi   Pot   Land   
Puerto Rico   PRi   Land   SC
Quebec   Que   Land   
Rio de Janeiro   RdJ   Land   SC
Rio de la Plata   RLP   Sea   
Rocky Mountains   RMo   Land   
Rupert's Land   Rup   Land   
Santa Cruz   SCr   Land   SC
Santa Fe   SFe   Land   SC
Santaren Channel   SCH   Sea   
Santiago   San   Land   SC
Santiago de Cuba   SdC   Land   SC
Santo Domingo   SDo   Land   SC
Sao Paulo   SPa   Land   SC
Sargasso Sea   SAR   Sea   
Sea of Cortes   SOC   Sea   
Sierra Nevada   SNe   Land   
Sonora   Son   Land   
South Atlantic Ocean   SAO   Edge Sea   
South Pacific Ocean   SPO   Edge Sea   
Strait of Yucatan   SOY   Sea   
Tarapaca   Tar   Land   
Temuco   Tem   Land   SC
Texas   Tex   Land   SC
Tierra de Fuego   TdF   Land   
Toronto   Tor   Channel   SC
Trinidad   Tri   Channel   SC
Tucuman   Tuc   Land   
Uruguay   Uru   Land   SC
Valparaiso   Val   Land   SC
Veracruz   Ver   Land   SC
Virginia   Vir   Land   
Washington   Was   Land   SC
West Caribbean Sea   WCS   Sea   
West Indies   WIn   Channel   
Western Great Lakes   WGL   Sea   
Yucatan   Yuc   Land   SC


Prior existing maps of WitA:
(note that some regions have undergone multiple name/abbreviation changes over time)

warinamericas.gif
Earliest known version of WitA map
warinamericas.gif (45.02 KiB) Viewed 6356 times

WitA_Blank_Map.png
Recent blank version of WitA map with Great Lakes adjacency visually clarified
WitA_Blank_Map.png (50.42 KiB) Viewed 6356 times
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Re: Variant Proposal: War in the Americas

Postby Nanook » 08 Apr 2019, 20:51

Marking. I’ve played this twice and GMed it twice. I have thoughts.
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Re: Variant Proposal: War in the Americas

Postby AKFD » 09 Apr 2019, 02:36

That map is great!

I am at a loss for words. NoPun is probably the best map-maker in the website!

I agree with this masterpiece being in the main website!
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Re: Variant Proposal: War in the Americas

Postby NoPunIn10Did » 10 Apr 2019, 16:36

Units (High Resolution Version)
Note that the variant's original creator erroneously had Colombia as a power for a map set roughly around 1840. Colombia did not exist until 1863; the country that would eventually become Colombia was named New Granada at that time.
Image
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Re: Variant Proposal: War in the Americas

Postby Nanook » 11 Apr 2019, 21:16

This is going to be mostly written from my phone, cause I just don’t have time to write a proper one from my (newly fixed!) laptop.

The bullet points are (I can expand on these if needed):

31 SC is too high a total for a solo. 24-28 is the sweet spot, and my recommendation would be for 24. There’s math behind this (courtesy of nopun) that I can get into later. 31 is too hard for most countries to get to playing with standard build rules.

What happens if two people reach 24 at the same time? Luckily, we already have a precedent on site for what to do, in 1900. I would propose the same rules apply to WitA.

Are the rivers really necessary? In a word...yes. They make the USA position much more interesting and dynamic, and they make it so Brazil has a reasonable chance to ally with Venezuela (without rivers, peace between the two is very tricky).

Is the game balanced? Balanced enough to be fun/fair. The problem countries had been Spain and Argentina, but Spain in game 5 and Argentina in game 7 showed enough to me that I believe the map is balanced enough for competitive play.

What else is there to say? WitA has widespread positive reviews from the people that have played it and GMed it, and even the people that don’t love it are mostly neutral on it as opposed to hating it. This speaks to its enjoyability as a map, and I think indicates it would make an excellent addition to the main site.
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Re: Variant Proposal: War in the Americas

Postby NoPunIn10Did » 11 Apr 2019, 21:55

Note: we will indeed be keeping the rivers for this map. They just aren't added yet to the art, and we may need to make some adjustments to how they are currently configured in the Great Lakes region.
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Re: Variant Proposal: War in the Americas

Postby Amby » 18 Apr 2019, 11:34

On nanooktheeskimo's point re: balance, I must admit looking at the map it appears that South American "free kicks" are limited compared to North America. Might be totally wrong but I'd expect the south to be a brawl while the north grows too much. But that's purely looking at the board.
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Re: Variant Proposal: War in the Americas

Postby Nanook » 18 Apr 2019, 14:25

Amby wrote:On nanooktheeskimo's point re: balance, I must admit looking at the map it appears that South American "free kicks" are limited compared to North America. Might be totally wrong but I'd expect the south to be a brawl while the north grows too much. But that's purely looking at the board.

The south does tend to have a bit more fighting just due to the fact that there's more countries there--6 compared to the north's four (counting Spain as a northern country, as that has typically been where Spain has focused early in PbF games thus far). It doesn't really advantage any one northern country, though, they seem to be about even in terms of opportunity--yes, somebody is probably going to come out of the north, but that's not really any different than saying somebody is bound to come out of the East in classic dip.

Perhaps there's a juggernaut USA/Mexico alliance, or some other northern pairing, that will emerge as the meta...but I kind of doubt it. Despite the appearance of a lot of free kicks in the North, those free kicks tend to have two or three countries each thinking they rightfully should be the ones picking them up, which tends to lead to tension. You also have as many if not more natural tension points between northern powers as between southern ones.


I'd say the main difference between the north and the south is maneuverability. The south is more crowded, but it can take a bit to get somewhere. The north isn't as crowded, but it doesn't take long to launch an attack. Those things tend to balance each other out, so that nobody is coming out of one theater or the other consistently ready to overwhelm the rest of the board.
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Re: Variant Proposal: War in the Americas

Postby AKFD » 18 Apr 2019, 15:15

nanooktheeskimo wrote:
Amby wrote:On nanooktheeskimo's point re: balance, I must admit looking at the map it appears that South American "free kicks" are limited compared to North America. Might be totally wrong but I'd expect the south to be a brawl while the north grows too much. But that's purely looking at the board.

The south does tend to have a bit more fighting just due to the fact that there's more countries there--6 compared to the north's four (counting Spain as a northern country, as that has typically been where Spain has focused early in PbF games thus far). It doesn't really advantage any one northern country, though, they seem to be about even in terms of opportunity--yes, somebody is probably going to come out of the north, but that's not really any different than saying somebody is bound to come out of the East in classic dip.

Perhaps there's a juggernaut USA/Mexico alliance, or some other northern pairing, that will emerge as the meta...but I kind of doubt it. Despite the appearance of a lot of free kicks in the North, those free kicks tend to have two or three countries each thinking they rightfully should be the ones picking them up, which tends to lead to tension. You also have as many if not more natural tension points between northern powers as between southern ones.


I'd say the main difference between the north and the south is maneuverability. The south is more crowded, but it can take a bit to get somewhere. The north isn't as crowded, but it doesn't take long to launch an attack. Those things tend to balance each other out, so that nobody is coming out of one theater or the other consistently ready to overwhelm the rest of the board.


I have to agree. The positioning of Mexico and USA really present a lot of fighting options.
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