by Tom Swider
Blood & Iron is a five player Diplomacy variant based on the Bismarck era. The game was designed to be playable in one evening.
1. The rules of the latest version of Diplomacy are in effect unless otherwise stated.
2. Setup: Each of the five players receive an army determined at random in each of the three start areas separated by thicker lines on the map: Prussia (includes Berlin), Bavaria (includes Munich) and Saxony (includes Hamburg). Players should create a fictitious name which will serve to identity the name of their country. The game begins with the year 1865, with turns progressing in a traditional Spring-rail-Winter fashion.
3. Starting in Spring 1866, Austria and France enter the scenario in the form of a double army placed in their respective home countries. The home countries may never be entered by a unit; they serve only as a starting location for the two major powers. Each player writes an order for those pieces and one is chosen at random. In fall turns, the foreign armies must be legally ordered to attack a supply centre. Should the chosen set of orders send the army to a non-sc, discard that order and draw again. If nobody legally ordered the unit, it attacks the province which occurs first alphabetically. If a foreign army fails to occupy a supply centre at the end of a fall turn1 it is removed from play. Austria and France never build.
4. Starting in 1868 and every even game year afterwards, the Diplowinn rule is applied to net sc count. The number of units a player has on the board is adjusted to be one less than the number of Supply Centres controlled by each country. Two winters afterwards1 this becomes two less, and so on. Victory is control of 10 SC’s (or sole survivor).
E.g. You have six centres and it is W’67. If you gain one centre in 1868, you would control 7 ACTUAL, centres – 1 (for the W’68 rules adjustment) = 6 net The one centre gained was needed *just* to stay even. If you stayed at 6 SC, you would be -1 sc.
5. This game is only played with armies. No fleets may be build. Build new units in any owned vacant centre. Use three letter abbreviations when writing orders. The full names of each province is as follows (supply centres underlined):