Aberration VI (cn15)

by Rod Walker

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The Aberration variant of diplomacy follows the most of the rules as standard diplomacy with a modified map.  The idea behind the game was to have powers which history had basically passed by.  Each of the 9 great powers is a nation which might have become a great power in the modern period if history had gone a little differently than it did.

This judge version was designed by Nicholas Fitzpatrick, based very heavily on Rod Walker’s Aberration III (ca01).


1)  Except as noted below, the standard rules of play for Diplomacy on the judge apply.

2)  There are 9 great powers.  The Sicilian player must use the letter “C” rather than “S” when signing on since “S” is reserved for Spain, and the Byzantine player must use “Z” rather than “B” as “B” is reserved for “Burgundy”.  The starting units are as follows:

A Dijon
A Brussels
F Hague 
A Rome
F Naples
F Palermo 
A Alcluyd
F Dublin
F Edinburgh 
 A Budapest
A Szeged
F Zara 
A Damascus
A Jerusalem
F Cairo 
A Warsaw
A Riga 
F Gdansk 
A Toledo
F Santander
F Valencia
A Kiev
A Odessa
F Yalta
A Athens
F Constantinople
F Smyrna

3)  A player may build on any supply centre he/she owns which is vacant as long as he/she still own atleast one of his/her original centres.

4)  Six provinces have interior waterways, inland canals, or bordering canals. Each of these provinces operates exactly as does Kiel, Constantinople or Denmark in the regular game.  They are:  Cairo, Constantinople, Denmark, Holstein, Sinai, and Taurida.  The Suez canal separates the provinces of Sinai and Cairo, units can pass from Sinai to Cairo.  So in one turn the moves F Delta Sea-Sinai and F Red Sea-Cairo would both succeed.

5)  The Caspian Sea, Crete, Iceland, Corsica and any other unnamed space is not passable.

6)  There are 52 supply centres.  The victory criterion is possession of 27 supply centres at the end of any Fall retreat.

7)  The game begins in 1901.

Province Abreviations

All province are abbreviated by the first three letters of the province, except the following:

ebs     East Black Sea
ems     Eastern Mediterranean Sea
gob     Gulf of Bothnia
gol     Gulf of Lyon
pal     Palermo
plm     Palma Sea
nao     North Atlantic Ocean
nor     Norway
nmk     Norromark
nth     North Sea
nwg     Norwegian Sea
tyr     Tyrol
tys     Tyrrhenian Sea
wbs     West Black Sea
wms     Western Mediterranean Sea


Here are some brief suggestions to what may have happened to these powers such that they achieved greatness, while those that we know so well didn’t.

Burgundy    The final confrontation between the civilization of the Seine and the Saone was no sure thing for the Parisian monarch.  In this instance the victor was the Burgundian dynastic state, stretching from the Rhone to the North Sea.

Byzantium: This empire might have survived had the Turks failed to make a landing in Europe.  The population of western Asia Minor was still basically Greek in the 1400s.  Some strong emperors could have given the Greek state a new lease on life.

Hungary: She was a budding great power until the Turkish invasions.  A strong Byzantium would have prevented that and Hungary, not Austria, could have become the great Danubian power.

Eire: If Irish missionary activity had been followed by political action on behalf of their fellow celts, the Anglo-Norman imperium at London might have been still-born.  All the Irish needed was some real unity, which the almost achieved on occasion.

Israel: This could be a continuation of the ancient dynastic state under descendants of the Maccabees, or the Herods.  More likely, however, it would be representative of the final victory of the Crusaders in the Middle East.  It might therefore be called the “Kingdom of Jerusalem”

Poland: The Poles had many opportunities to overwhelm both the Russian and the eastern Germans.  We must here assume that one opportunity finally worked.

Sicily: This island once had an excellent chance of gaining control of most of Italy under a powerful and aggressive Norman dynasty. These rulers died out, and Sicily became  the pawn of others. Here we assume that the Norman dynasty did not die out.

Spain: The could be a Christian Spain which somehow remained powerful despite a long succession of cretinous monarchs.  Perhaps they were spared the third-rate Hapsburgs and Bourbons which were thrust upon them.  OR this is a Muslim Spain, which case we should refer to it as the “Caliphate of Toledo” (a change of capital from Cordova).

Ukraine: The original Russian state was centred at Kiev, and we suppose here that this southern centre remained dominant rather than losing out to the northern centres at Vladimir and Moscow.  These people would, however, continue to call their land “Russia” or something like it.

Differences from Aberration III

Some changes were made to Aberration III, to allow it to be played on a judge.

The West, South and East Africa spaces were eliminated.  The naval shipyard in Karelia was removed.  In addition, some spaces had their names altered or changed, and a name Lemberg was given to a province whose name had been left off the NAVB map.