Diplomacy is best played by seven players, though as few as two may play. Each player represents one of the Great Powers of Europe in the years just prior to World War I: England, Germany, Russia, Turkey, Austria-Hungary, Italy and France. Each is independent of the other. At the start of the game, the players choose three Great Powers in priority.
As soon as one Great Power controls 18 Supply Centers, it is said to have "gained control of Europe", and the player representing that Great Power is the winner. Players may terminate the game by mutual agreement before a winner is determined, in which case all players who still have pieces on the board share equally in a draw.
Since gaining control of 18 supply centers takes a long time, players may agree beforehand to stop the game at a certain time. Players may agree to regard the player who has the most pieces on the board at that time as the winner.
Combinations and agreements among the players may affect the course of the game a great deal. These are determined during the diplomacy period which takes place before each move. This period is the time between the deadlines of the moves.
During diplomacy periods, a player may say anything he wishes. The conversations go over E-Mail. They try to keep the content of their conversations secret. The conversations usually consist of bargaining or joint military planning, but they may include such things as exchanging information, denouncing, threatening, spreading rumours, and so forth. Public announcements may be made and documents may be written and made public or not, as the players see fit. The rules do not bind a player to anything he says; deciding whom to trust as situations arise is part of the game.
Certain provinces on the board, 34 in all, are designated "supply centers". Supply centers are marked with a black dot. Each of these provinces produces supplies sufficient to keep an army or fleet in being. A country may have only as many armies and fleets on the board as it controls supply centers. Consequently, there may never be more than 34 armies and fleets (hereafter called "units") in the board at one time. A country gains or loses units in accordance with the number of supply centers it controls.
THE BOARD. The physical features shown on the board, except for the coastlines, are purely decorative. The countries are set off by heavy, solid, black lines. The Great Powers are also cut into "provinces" by light, solid, black lines. The smaller countries are each one "province". The seas are divided into "bodies of water" by light, solid, black lines. Each province or body of water is a "space".
UNITS. "Armies" are denoted by square icons (with the tank silhouette) and represent control of a province by military forces. "Fleets" are denoted by the other square icons (those with the submarine silhouette) and represent control of a body of water or a coastal province by warships or their associated land forces.
STARTING POSITION. At the start of the game each Great Power, except Russia, controls three supply centers and has three units. Russia controls four supply centers and has four units. These units begin play, one in each home supply center, in the following positions (where A means army and F means fleet):
The twelve remaining supply centers are not occupied at the start of the game.
MOVEMENT. Only one unit may be in a space at a time. On each move each Great power may order all his units, or some, or none of them.
A unit may be ordered to do only one thing on each move: an army may be ordered to move, hold, or support; a fleet may be ordered to move, hold, support, or convoy.
An army may move to any adjacent province unless this move causes it to conflict with another unit, under the rule that no two units may occupy the same space at the same time. A fleet may move to any body of water or coastal province which is adjacent to its current location, unless this move causes it to conflict with another unit.
When a fleet is in a coastal province, the warships are assumed to be at any point along the coast of that province. The fleet may move to an adjacent coastal province only if it is adjacent along the coastline, so that the vessels could move down the coast of that province; for example, a fleet may move from Rome to Tuscany or Rome to Naples, but not from Rome to Venice, because these two provinces, although adjacent and both coastal, are adjacent only along an inland boundary, not along the coastline.
Units may not move to islands, except to England, nor to Switzerland, nor to any location not specifically named on the playing board.
ATTACK. A move order, correctly given, will sometimes in these rules be called an attack upon the space to which the unit has been ordered to move.
MOVEMENT IN CERTAIN UNUSUAL POSITIONS ON THE BOARD
KIEL AND CONSTANTINOPLE. By virtue of the waterways through these two provinces, fleets may enter them along one coast, and, on another move, leave from the other coast. Armies may also pass into and out of these provinces, freely bridging these waterways. Note that this does not mean that pieces may jump over these spaces.
PROVINCES HAVING TWO COASTS (Bulgaria, Spain, and St.Petersburg). A fleet entering one of these provinces enters along one coast and may then move only to a space adjacent to that coast; it nevertheless occupies the entire province. If a fleet is ordered to one of these provinces and it is possible for the fleet to move to either coast, the order must specify which coast, or the fleet does not move.
A fleet which may move to one of these provinces may "support" an action in that province (see section IX, THE SUPPORT ORDER) without regard to the separation of the coastline. Thus, because a fleet in Marseilles may move to Spain, although only to the south coast, it may nevertheless support an action anywhere in Spain, even if that action is an order to a fleet to move to, or to hold in, Spain (north coast).
It should be clear that the converse is not true: a fleet in Spain (north coast) cannot support an action in or into Marseilles, because it cannot move to Marseilles at all in a single move.
SWEDEN AND DENMARK. An army or fleet may move from Sweden to Denmark, or vice versa. A fleet moving from the Baltic Sea to the Skagerrak or vice versa must first move to Sweden or Denmark. The common border with Denmark does not separate the coast of Sweden into two coastlines; and Denmark does not border on Berlin.
MECHANICS OF WRITING ORDERS. Each player submits his orders via the Order Form, usually keeping them secret. An illegal order is not followed, and the unit so ordered simply stands in its place. A mistaken order, if legal, must be followed. An order which admits of two meanings is not followed. A badly written order, which nevertheless can have only one meaning, must be followed.
GAMEMASTER. The gamemaster is the one person controlling, updating and maintaining the game.
DATES. Orders for the first move are dated "Spring 1901"; for the second, "Fall 1901"; for the third, "Spring 1902"; and so on.
FORMAT. In each set of orders, the space each unit is in is written first, followed by its order. It is convenient to make a list of your units and their spaces for easy reference during conferences and then to write your orders on the same list. The first three letters of any space will almost always form an unambigious abbrevation, except for spaces beginning with "Nor". In these rules, the following abbrevations will be used: North Sea(Nth), Norwegian Sea(Nrg), Norway(Nwy), North Atlantic(NAt), North Africa(NAf).
If two or more units are ordered to move into the same space, none of them may move. If a unit is not ordered to move, or is prevented from moving, and other units are ordered to its space, those other units may not move. If two units are ordered, each to the space the other occupies, neither may move. These three situations are called "stand-offs". Like the other rules governing conflicts, these rules apply whether the units involved are armies or fleets, which are essentially equal in power and different only in the spaces to which they may move. These rules also apply (with two major exceptions noted in IX.3. and the note to IX.6.), whether the units involved belong to the same or different Great Powers.
ORDERING SUPPORT. A unit may give up its move in order to support another unit trying to hold or enter a space. This space must be one to which the supporting unit could have moved if not opposed by other units; that is, the space which is the destination of the action being supported must be adjacent to the space in which the supporting unit is located, and must be suitable for an army or fleet, whichever the supporting unit may be. To order a support, it is necessary to write the location of the supporting piece, the word "supports" or its equivalent, and both the location and destination of the piece recieving support. The letter "S" may be used to mean supports. Thus, A Tyr-Mun, A Bur S A Tyr-Mun; or for units of another country, A Sil S RUSSIAN A War-Pru. Fleets may support armies and vice versa; but, as implied above, a fleet may not give support into an inland province, nor into a coastal province not adjacent along the same coast, and an army may not give support into a body of water, because it cannot move there even if unapposed.
EFFECT OF SUPPORT. A unit moves with the strength of itself and all its valid supports. Unless it is opposed by a unit equally well or better supported, it may make its move, the rules under CONFLICTS above not withstanding. Equally supported units which conflicts in the situations described in Section VIII, CONFLICTS, follow those rules. A unit which otherwise would have remained in the space attacked by a better supported unit is dislodged and must retreat or be disbanded.
SELF-DISLODGEMENT PROHIBITED. One exception mentioned in Section VIII, CONFLICTS, is that an order to move into a space occupied by another unit of the same country may not succeed if the second unit fails to leave that space. The order would still be valid for other purposes, however, such as standing off an equally well or less well supported attack on the same space by units of other countries. Similiary, an order by one country which supports an attack by another country against a space occupied by one of the first country's units does not permit a move dislodging that unit, but may be valid for other purposes.
Example 1. ENGLAND: (F Den-Kie), (F Nth-Den), F Hel S F Nth-Den. RUSSIA: (A Ber-Kie), F Bal S F Ska-Den, (F Ska-Den). Moves in brackets fail. England cannot dislodge his own unit, but his supported attack on Denmark is sufficient to stand off the supported Russian attack on the same space.
Example 2. FRANCE: A Bur H. GERMANY: (A Mun-Bur), A Kie S AUSTRIAN A Boh-Mun. AUSTRIA: (A Boh-Mun). The German support for the Austrian unit does not enable it to advance so as to dislodge a German unit.
Note, however, that if Austria had supported its attack on Munich with one of its own units, say AUSTRIA: A Tyr S A Boh-Mun, then the German unit in Munich would have been dislodged and forced to retreat.
SELF-STANDOFF. While a country may not dislodge its own units, it can stand itself off by ordering two equally well supported attacks on the same space. However, if one of the attacks has more support than the other, it will succeed.
Example 3. AUSTRIA: A Ser-Bud, (A Vie-Bud). RUSSIA: A Gal S AUSTRIAN A Ser-Bud. The Austrian move A Ser-Bud succeeds dut to the Russian support. It would not succeed if there were an Austrian army already in Budapest. Note that the move succeeds whether the support is from a foreign unit as illustrated or from a unit of the same country.
BELEAGUERED GARRISON. Since dislodgement occurs only when another piece enters the space in question, as indicated in IX.2., above, it follows that if two equally well supported units attack the same space, thus standing each other off, a unit already in that space is not dislodged.
Example 4. AUSTRIA: A Ser H. RUSSIA: (A Rum-Ser), A Bud S A Rum-Ser. TURKEY: (A Bul-Ser), A Gre S A Bul-Ser. Note that nothing happens to the Austrian Army. If it tried to support, however, its support would have been cut by either or both of the two attacks.
HOLDING AND RECEIVING SUPPORT. A unit not ordered to move (i.e., one that is ordered to hold, ordered to convoy, ordered to support, or not ordered at all) may receive support in holding. A unit ordered to move may receive support only for its attempted movement. It may not be supported in place in that the event that its attempted move fails. Thus, A Mun H, A Boh S A Mun is valid, but if A Mun-Ber, then A Boh S A Mun is not valid because A Mun was ordered to move.
Note that a unit need not be next to a unit it is supporting; it must be next to the space into which it is giving support and it must be able to move to that space if unopposed by other units. Support cannot be convoyed. A player may not, by an attack, cut support being given by one of his own units (see X, CUTTING SUPPORT).
DISLODGMENT OF A PIECE PARTICIPATING IN A STANDOFF. It follows from the above rules that, where two or more equally well supported units are ordered to the same space, neither may move, even though one of them has been dislodged by a supported attack on the same move. However, if two units are ordered to the same space, and one of them is dislodged by a unit coming from that space, the other unit may move.
Example 5. TURKEY: (A Bul-Rum). RUSSIA: A Rum-Bul, A Ser S A Rum-Bul, A Sev-Rum. Again, moves in brackets fail. The Turkish A Bul is dislodged. The Russian A Sev, even though ordered to the same space as the Turkish A Bul, nevertheless moves because A Bul was dislodged by an attack from that space (i.e., both the Turkish A Bul and the Russian A Sev are ordered to Rumania, but since the Russian Army moving from Rumania is able to dislodge the Turkish A Bul, the Russian A Sev is then able to move into Rumania).
Example 6. TURKEY: (A Bul-Rum), F Bla S A Bul-Rum. RUSSIA: A Rum-Bul, A Gre S A Rum-Bul, A Ser S A Rum-Bul, A Sev-Rum. Even though it has support, the dislodged Turkish unit fails to prevent the unsupported Russian move into Rumania because the Turkish unit was dislodged by a unit coming from Rumania.
Note that in each example above, if Russia had not ordered A Sev-Rum, Rumania would have been vacant for purposes of another unit's retreat because Rumania was not vacant due to a standoff. It may be said that a dislodged unit has no effect on the space its attacker came from.
If a unit ordered to support in a given space is attacked from a space different from the one into which it is giving support, or is dislodged by an attack from any space, including the one into which it is giving support, then its support is "cut". The unit that was to have received that support then does not receive it.
Example 7. GERMANY: (A Pru-War), (A Sil S A Pru-War). RUSSIA: A War H, (A Boh-Sil). The support of the army in Silesia is cut by an attack from Bohemia.
Example 8. GERMANY: A Pru-War, A Sil S A Pru-War. RUSSIA: (A War-Sil). The German support is not cut by the attack from Warsaw because that is the space into which support is being given.
Example 9. GERMANY: (A Ber-Pru), (A Sil S A Pru-War). RUSSIA: A Pru-Sil, A War S A Pru-Sil, (F Bal-Pru). Here, the German army in Silesia is doslodged by the Russian army coming from Prussia. The support of the Silesian army is thus cut and the German A Ber can only standoff the Russian F Bal.
Example 10. GERMANY: A Ber H, (A Mun-Sil). RUSSIA: (A Pru-Ber), (A Sil S A Pru-Ber), A Boh-Mun, A Tyr S A Boh-Mun. Note here that the German army in Munich is dislodged by a Russian attack, but that it is still able to cut the support of the Russian A Sil and thus prevent the Russian A Pru from entering Berlin.
After all the orders have been read, the conflicts resolved, and the moves made, any dislodged unit makes its retreat. It must move to a space to which it could ordinary move to if unapposed by other units; that is, to an adjacent space suitable to an army or fleet, as the case may be. The unit may not retreat, however, to any space which is occupied, nor to the space its attacker came from, nor to a space which was left vacant due to a standoff on the move. If no place is available for retreat, the dislodged unit is "disbanded"; that is, its marker is removed from the board.
WRITING RETREATS. If two or more units must retreat after a move, the retreats are written down immediatly by the players concerned, using the "Give Orders Form" as if giving orders. It is up to the players to check if they need to retreat a unit after each turn! All retreat moves are due 24 hours after the turn result (Example: If the order is due midnight Fridays, the retreats must be in by midnight Saturdays). Units not retreated within this time is automatically disbanded.
OTHER RETREAT RULES. A player may choose to disband a unit rather than retreat it. If two or more units may retreat only to the same space, they are all disbanded, unless only one of the units is ordered to retreat and the others are ordered to be disbanded. In that case, the one unit ordered to retreat may do so. If two or more units are ordered to retreat to the same space, they are all disbanded. If a player fails to order a retreat when necessary, the unit is disbanded. Retreats may neither be convoyed nor supported.
CONVOYING AN ARMY ACROSS A BODY OF WATER. A fleet in a body of water may convoy an army from any province on the coast of that body to any other province on the coast of that body. To do this, the army must be ordered to the intended province and the fleet must be ordered to convoy it. The letter "C" may be used to mean "convoys". The order to the fleet must give both the location and the destination of the army being convoyed. The orders must specify the same destination or the army may not move. Thus: A Lon-Bel, F Nth C A Lon-Bel. Foreign armies may also be convoyed: for clarity the player may wish to indicate the foreign nationality, as F Nth C ENGLISH A Lon-Bel.
A fleet may not convoy more than one army during one move.
CONVOYING AN ARMY ACROSS SEVERAL BODIES OF WATER. If two or more fleets control adjacent bodies of water, an army may be convoyed through all these bodies of water on one move. Thus, ENGLAND A Lon-Tun, F Eng C A Lon-Tun, F Mid C A Lon-Tun; FRANCE: F Wes C ENGLISH A Lon-Tun.
DISRUPTING A CONVOY. If a fleet ordered to convoy is dislodged during the move, the army to be convoyed remains in its original province and has no effect on the province to which it was ordered. An attack on a convoying fleet which does not dislodge it does not affect the convoy.
Example 11. FRANCE: (A Spa-Nap), F Lyo C A Spa-Nap, (F Tyr C A Spa-Nap). ITALY: F Ion-Tyr, F Tun S F Ion-Tyr. The fleet in Tyr is doslodged; consequently, the army does not move from Spain to Naples.
MORE THAN ONE CONVOY ROUTE. If the orders as written permit more than one route by which the convoyed army could proceed from its source to its destination, the order is not void on account of this ambiguity; and the army is not prevented from moving due to dislodgement of fleets, unless all the routes are disrupted.
Example 12. ENGLAND: A Lon-Bel, (F Eng C A Lon-Bel), F Nth C A Lon-Bel; FRANCE: F Bre-Eng, F Iri S Bre-Eng. The army had two convoy routes, of which only one was disrupted.
CONVOYED ATTACKS DOES NOT CUT CERTAIN SUPPORTS. If a convoyed army attacks a fleet which is supporting an action on a body of water; and that body of water contains a convoying fleet, that support is not cut.
Example 13. FRANCE: (A Spa-Nap), F Lyo C A Spa-Nap, (F Tyr C A Spa-Nap); ITALY: F Ion-Tyr, F Nap S F Ion-Tyr. Without this rule, France could argue that the army cut the support of the fleet in Naples, thus protecting the convoying fleet from dislodgement, while Italy could argue that dislodgement of the fleet disrupted the convoy so that the army could arive at Naples to cut the support.
BOTH A CONVOY ROUTE AND AN OVERLAND ROUTE. If an army could arrive at its destination either in overland or by convoy, one route must be considered and the other disregarded, depending upon intent as shown by the totality of the orders written by the player governing the army.
OCCUPYING SUPPLY CENTERS. Occupation of a supply center by a Great Power occurs when one of its units is located in that supply center after a Fall move has been played, complete with retreats. Once occupation has been established, the center may be left vacant for as long as the player sees fit and the occupying Great Power may continue to maintain one unit on account of this supply center so long as this center is not occupied by another Great Power at the close of a Fall move. Note that occupation occurs only during the Fall move; a unit which moves into a supply center during a Spring move and moves out of it during the Fall move of the same year does not affect the occupation of the center. The current owner retains occupation of the center so long as, at the end of each Fall move (with retreats), the center is either vacant or is occupied by one of his own units.
BUILDING AND REMOVING UNITS (ADJUSTMENTS). After the Fall moves have been played, and the retreats (if any) made, each player's number of units must be adjusted to equal the number of supply centers his Great Power controls. If he has fewer centers than units, he must disband the excess units only, by removing them from the board (using the "Order Form" within 48 hours after the turn was run). The units removed may be any of his units he chooses. If he has more centers than units, he may build units by placing them, one in each unoccupied supply center, in his home country only (provided that such supply centers are still under his control). He must specify a fleet or army in a coastal supply center (if Russia builds a fleet in St.Petersburg, he must specify the coast on which it is to appear, or the build is invalid). If his home supply centers are all occupied by his own units, or owned by other players, he must wait until the next Fall move on which this situation can be corrected to raise any unit to which he may be entitled at the time, though by occupation of supply centers he may reduce the forces of some other country. From this it should be clear that if a player has lost all his home supply centers, he may not gain units until he recaptures a home supply center and leaves it vacant at the close of a subsequent Fall move. As with retreats, builds and removals (adjustments) are written using the "Order Form" no later than 48 hours after the turn is run, and without any preceding diplomacy.
CIVIL DISORDER. If a player leaves the game, or fails to submit orders in a given Spring or Fall season, it is assumed that civil government on his country has collapsed. His units hold in position, but do not support each other. If they are dislodged, they are disbanded. No new units are raised for this country. A player who temporary fails to submit orders may, of course, resume play if he returns to the same game and still has some units left. It is probably more desirable, if sufficient persons are present, to allow a person who has not previously had a country (or failing that, whose country has already been eliminated from play) to replace any player who has left the game. Players should decide what policies they will follow in this regard in advance of starting the game.
CIVIL DISORDER REMOVALS. If a country in civil disorder has to remove units, because it has lost supply centers, the unit farthest from home (most distant from the nearest home supply center as computed by the shortest available route, including convoys) is removed first, the fleet before the army. If more units are equally eligable fro removal than should be removed, priority is established by the names of the space in which they are located, the earliest in alphabetical order coming off first.
PLAYERS SHOULD NOTE THAT: Fleets in Kiel and Constantinople, and in any other coastal province, may not convoy.
The rule that "if two units are ordered, each to the space the other occupies, neither may move", does not apply to three or more units exchanging positions in rotation: A Hol-Bel, F Bel-Nth, F Nth-Hol.
Two pieces may exchange places if either or both are convoyed. Thus, ENGLAND: A Lon-Bel, F Nth C A Lon-Bel; FRANCE: A Bel-Lon, F ENG C A Bel-Lon.
LENGTH OF GAME. The game ends when one player controls 18 or more supply centers at the end of any Fall turn. Also, a time limit can be established before the game begins (Ex. The person with the most supply centers after the Fall 1910 turn is the winner).