Chained Lightning (rb50)

by Steve Doubleday

In a sense this is an abstract variant, in that the basic twist in the variant is one which is Quite Simple (?) and should cause no great problems for either the players or for the gamesmaster.

0. The normal rules of Diplomacy will apply except where started below.

1. Besides the normal unit orders available, there are four further orders one of which can be made when a unit is not ordered to move (i.e. when it is standing, convoying or supporting).  The four supplementary orders are as follows:

Abbreviation – Description

LS – Lightning Strike

EO – Earth Out        

LE – Link Earth

CL – Chained Lightning

2. A unit may be ordered to carry out a Lightning Strike on any neighboring province; any units in that province or moving to that province (successfully or not) where that province has not been successfully Grounded, then those units are removed from the board.  Example:  A(Bre)/LS ENC/sup A(Par).

3. It is possible for a unit neighboring another unit to order extra or Chained Lightning, to “support” that neighboring unit’s Lightning Strike.  The unit ordering Chained Lightning need not be adjacent to the province which is the target of the Lightning Strike.  Note that the final destination is not specified and neither is the country.  Example:  A(Bre)/LS ENC/sup A(Par); A(Par)/CL Bre/sup A(Bre).  This doubles the power of the Lightning Strike into the English Channel.

4. Lightning can be chained for a long distance, i.e. lightning can be chained across a number of provinces.  Example:  A(Bre)/LS ENC/sup A(Par); A(Par)/CL Bre/sup A(Bre); GER A(Bur)/CL Par/stands.  This makes the Lightning Strike on ENC worth three.

5. A non-moving unit can Earth itself Out.  This would cancel a single power Lightning Strike.

6. A non-moving unit can Link Earth in the same way that a non-moving unit can Chain Lightning.  If the example quoted in 4, above. a successful Earth Out could be achieved via the following:  Example:  A(Bre)/LS ENC/sup A(Par); A(Par)/CL Bre/sup A(Bre); GER A(Bur)/CL Par/stands; ENG F(ENC)/EO/con A(Lon)-Bre; F(NTH)/LE ENC/sup A(Kie)-Hol; F(MAO)/LE ENC/sup A(Lon)-Bre.  In this example the Lightning Strike is successfully Earthed Out.  Note that the Link Earth order can be made serially or in parallel, as in this case (it might be that F(MAO) did not exist – the same effect could be achieved via F(NWG)/LE NTH/sup F(NTH).

7. All moves are simultaneous and thus units can be destroyed by Lightning Strike, but still have an effect as far as the normal movement goes.  A unit moving from a Lightning Struck province moves with the force of itself and the LS!  Example:  A(Bre)/LS ENC/sup A(Par)/CL Bre/sup A(Bre); GER A(Bur)/CL Par/stands; ENG F(ENC)-Bre which makes the ENG F worth 4!