by Randolph Bart
1) The standard rules of DIPLOMACY apply except where noted below.
2) After each Spring and Autumn turn, after retreats (but before adjustments), the GM will randomly select one of the 75 provinces on the board to become a BLACK HOLE. The province selected can be either a land or a sea province.
3) The province selected by the GM will cease to exist immediately, and any unit in that province is annihilated. If the province is a supply center, it is removed from the adjustment chart, reducing the total number of provinces by one. Black-Holing lasts for the rest of the game.
4) If a unit is dislodged but given no retreat orders, the GM will retreat the unit in the following fashion: measuring from the geographic center of the province previously occupied, the unit will retreat to the North, or if that province is not vacant then the nearest empty province in an anti-clockwise direction from due North.
5) The victory criterion is a majority of UNITS on the board, and control of the then extant supply centers. Note that victory can thus occur on a Spring move as well as an Autumn move.
6) Each player may designate with his Spring 1901 orders ONE home supply center to be immune from the effects of Rules 2 and 3. If no preference is indicated, the GM will select one. The decision cannot subsequently be changed, with only ONE exception: if a player loses control of his exempt center to another power, and is left with only two of his home centers, then if one of the latter is Black-holed he may change exemption to his last remaining center. This may only be done once per player in the course of the game.
7) The choice of exempted home centers is not revealed unless a player specifically requests the GM to announce his or her choice.
8) If any country is eliminated entirely from the game, whichever of his home centers was at that time exempted from black-holing shall cease to be exempt and shall return to the “pot”.