The classic board game
with a full suite of features are available to all players for free at
PlayDiplomacy, and there is a wider selection of variants for premium members
as a “thank you” for supporting the site. This page provides a summary of
different game options and key features with links to more detailed information
in the Forum. For more details on playing on site, check out the Information
forum and post a question there if it has not
already been answered.
Choosing Games to Join
Users come to PlayDiplomacy with a wide
range of experience and expectations regarding the game and even languages they
use, and pick-up games on the site reflect that diversity. Many games include titles
or descriptions that will give you an idea about the kind of game being sought.
PlayDiplomacy is the largest and most active Diplomacy site in the world and
has games for all tastes.
As you are looking for games to play,
please don’t join any game if you do not intend to play until the end. As a
rough rule of thumb, you can expect a game to last as many months as the orders
deadline is days long (i.e. a game with 12-hour orders will last a few weeks, a
game with 3-day orders will last about three months, etc.)
Ambassadors only games, ranked games,
games with longer deadlines, and games that are advertised in the Find
a Game forum, especially password protected games, tend
to have more serious players and to be more competitive.
finishing at least one game (ranked or not ranked, game-start or replacement
position) without surrendering, you may be eligible to join the
Classicists, a club dedicated to respectful,
high-reliability players. Apply by posting in the Classicists’ Applications forum and
become eligible for their games.
In addition to “new” games
which are starting up, “active” games have surrendered positions.
Consider taking a replacement position in an active game as a favor for your
fellow gamers. If just a third of our players picked up an active position for
every new game they started, every surrendered spot would get filled.
Basic Game Features
Game Types (“Stats”)
There are four basic game types. “Ranked”
and “Not Ranked” games are identical except in one respect; only the results of
Ranked games are included in the site’s Rating
system. Note: not ranked games are
used in determining Player Class.
“Friends” games are also excluded from
the site’s Rating system, and in addition, they are exempt from the Player Class
system and many house rules, including rules regarding meta-gaming.
These are intended to be games for people that know each other and can police
their own games.
“Schools” games introduce an extra
participant in the game, the “teacher”, who does not control a power but can communicate
with the players, sees all messages in the game, and can moderate the Public Press
window. Schools games are excluded from the Rating and Player Class systems and
are exempt from many house rules.
Voting for draws can be conducted by “open
ballot”, with each voter and their vote identified in public press when cast,
or “secret ballot”, where only pass/fail for a draw proposal is indicated in
the “Status” drop-down box. In an open ballot game, the proposer automatically
votes for the draw proposed, while in a secret ballot game he need not. Secret
ballots tend to provide for more competitive games, especially in a non-DIAS
setting. Draw proposals expire at the end of the first full orders phase after
they are proposed.
Draws include all survivors (“DIAS”)
requires that all powers still controlling an SC be included in any draw
proposal. If this option is not selected (a “non-DIAS” game), then draws may be
called that exclude powers still in play, however, the draw vote must still be
unanimous among all the players still in the game. Note: surrendered powers
never stop a draw from passing and are never included in any draw, even if they
hold SCs and even if they were included in the draw proposal.
Solo-only games have no draw
functionality at all. Ranked games may never be played solo-only.
The length of deadlines can be set
individually for each type of phase. By default, if all players with orders for
a phase finalize, the deadline expires early and the phase is resolved
immediately. If the “fixed deadlines” option is selected, then all phases run
their full time limit.
Finalizing is always optional. If a
player does not finalize, the system will use the last orders entered to adjudicate
Games with finalize orders and
surrendered powers proceed as follows: during the phase in which a power
surrenders, the turn will not process if the surrendered country is not
finalized, and the deadline will run its full length. In subsequent phases, if
all of the active powers with orders due finalize, the phase will
process. If no active power has orders due, then the phase will process when any
“No Weekend” provides an exception to
standard deadlines. If a deadline will fall from midnight Friday through
midnight Sunday, then it will automatically be extended to a time chosen at
random on Monday. Note: the weekend is based on GMT +1. If all
players finalize during the weekend period, the deadline will still expire
early and the phase will resolve immediately.
only” games have restricted access. All users
are divided into two Player
Classes, “diplomat” or “ambassador”, based on
their history of surrenders and NMRs. (“Star ambassador” is an honorific; it is
functionally identical to “ambassador”.) Ambassadors only
games restrict entry to that class of player, providing for an automated way to
play games with higher reliability players.
“NMR Protect” games reset if a player
NMRs in the first phase of the game. The offending player is auto-surrendered
and the game will return to waiting for players. All messages are saved and are
available once the game re-starts (at the beginning of the first phase) after a
replacement player joins.
In 6- and 5-player games, Italy or Italy
& Germany are in CD for the duration of the game. In 4- and 3-player games,
players control between 1 and 3 powers each, and victory is achieved when a
single power (not a single player) controls 18 SCs. 2-player
games follow house rules that differ from the rulebook. Italy is impassable in
1901 and reverts to CD thereafter for the duration of the game. The victory
condition for a 2-player game is to control 24 SCs aggregated across all the
powers under a player’s control.
Shorthanded games may only be set up as
Friends class games.
Some games are created with passwords
restricting who may join. These may be invitationals or open games advertised
in the forum. In Ranked and Not Ranked games, the password is only
effective at the start of the game. Should a player leave the game, anyone
can take the position in replacement. In Friends and Schools games, the
password is in force for the duration of the game.
In addition to automatically adjudicated
games, in the Play-by-Forum
Diplomacy Variants forum you will find a
variety of different games with human GMs, usually played with different maps,
sometimes with the same rules, but often including some very different features
which are described in the introductory posts for the individual games. There are
different historical games (colonial Asia, early Britain, the whole world), games
which bring in wider political or economic features,
Lord of the Rings and other fiction-based games, and many others. In addition,
in the Other
Play-by-Forum Games forum games not necessarily
related to Diplomacy are played.
Additional Game Types
“Live games” are the closest thing to
face-to-face Dip the web has to offer. Players are online throughout the game,
which will last a predetermined number of hours, with 15 minutes for orders and
5 minutes for retreats and builds. Games either end as an imposed draw once the
live period ends or may continue as a normal game with new deadlines. Games are
organized in the Live
Games forum as well as in the Chatbox on the home
In all types of anonymous games, players
must not reveal their participation in the forum or other means outside of the
game. Once a game has started, players may choose to claim a particular
identity using in-game messaging (if available) but there will be no way to
verify such claims until the game ends. “Anonymous Players” games are
completely anonymous, whereas in “Anonymous Countries” games, players may know
who is playing in the game, but not who is playing which power.
“Public Press Only” games are also anonymous,
but in this case only public communication through the shoutbox is allowed.
“Gunboat” games are again anonymous and have no messaging at all. Often players
will “communicate” in Gunboat with support or other orders and with draw
If a player in an anonymous game wishes
to advertise for a replacement or a substitute, anonymous
accounts for posting in the forum can
be used for that purpose.
“Fleet Rome” is identical to the classic
game with one change; Italy starts with a fleet in Rome instead of an army.
“Winter 1900” begins the game with a builds
phase before Spring 1901 allowing all the powers to choose their initial units
in their home centers. In this variant, the initial builds phase is double-length.
is identical to the classic game with one change; powers may build new units in
any controlled, vacant SC rather than only home centers.
“Age of Empires” incorporates both Winter 1900 and Build Anywhere rules, and in addition, each
power begins with only one home center (e.g. Vie, Lon, Par, Ber, Rom, Mos, and
Con on the classic map). The game begins in 1900 BC rather than AD, and the
years count downwards – confusing at first!
“Chaos” is a house variant that scatters
each players’ starting three supply centers at random
across the 34 centers on the map. Winter 1900 and Build Anywhere rules are
“Fog of War” restricts what can be seen
on the map to the provinces in which your pieces located, adjacent provinces, and
any SCs you control. The rest of the map is covered in a gray fog. There is no
order history and no list of the outcome of orders. If you receive e-mails
telling you that phases have changed, then the e-mail will give you a record of
Happens” is a house variant where at random
points events occur that affect the game. There are no defined
events list. If stuff happens, it is communicated to players through a
Mediterranean” is a 5-player variant with players
controlling Carthage, Egypt, Greece, Persia, and Rome. At two points on the map
that are 4-way joins between provinces allowing movement between all of them. The
Nile is an inland waterway allowing fleets to travel as far as Bayuda. The
Baleares is a special province that can be occupied by armies and fleets and through
which convoys are allowed (unlike coastal provinces).
“Milan” is played on a map very similar
to the classic game except for changes to northern Italy. The Italian home centers
are Milan (army), Rome (army) and Naples (fleet). Short-handed games are also
supported on Milan.
significant changes to the map and rules. Ireland and Iceland are both passable
and armies can cross from Clyde to Ireland (even if an enemy fleet is in the
North Atlantic!). Switzerland is passable and a neutral supply center. England
and France start with units in North Africa, although they are not home centers
and builds are not allowed there. England also starts with a fleet in Gibraltar
which is not an SC, rather than Liverpool (which is)!
There are 39 SCs in total, and 18 SCs
are required for victory. If two powers
control 18 SCs in the same year, the power with the greater number is the
winner; if there is a tie, the game continues.
The “Suez Canal rule” provides that units
may move between Mid-Atlantic Ocean and either Egypt or Hejaz. (The Red Sea is
not passable.) Fleets rounding Africa arrive with a strength
of only one-half, but if they have support, a supremacy of one-half is
sufficient to win a battle. Armies convoyed from east to west around Africa
attack at full strength, while armies convoyed west to east have half-strength.
Fleets may retreat around Africa, but if a local fleet retreats to the same
province, the local fleet takes the space and the other is destroyed.
The "Russian Emergency Measures rule”
provides that if at any time Russia does not control all of its home centers
(but still controls at least one) it can build one unit more than its SC count,
and during this time Russia is allowed to build in Siberia. If Russia subsequently regains all four home centers,
or loses its last, this bonus ends and Russia must regularize its unit count in
the next builds phase. Note: REM does NOT apply in any game including the
Build Anywhere rule.
You will find the designer’s detailed
explanation of these slightly complicated rules in the 1900 article at DipWiki.
“Versailles” is a
7-player game with 14 powers, each player controlling one major power and one minor
power which is secretly assigned. Majors and their
minors communicate and operate independently. The board is set in 1930s Europe
and has 43 SCs. Victory is achieved when a player controls 22 SCs aggregated
across both powers.
The “Liberation rule” provides that if a
power conquers a home supply center of its partner, the SC is liberated and
reverts to the ownership of the original power.
Tournaments of a variety of styles are organized
regularly for premium members. Details of current and past events are in the Tournaments