Crazy Whako Heptadiplomacy

by Mark Nelson

CW Heptadiplomacy is copyright © 1990 by Mark Nelson.  The UKVB and NAVB may not distribute this design.  It may be reprinted by zine-editors provided that they mail me a copy of the reprint.

This game is based on ideas from Don Miller, Lew Pulsipher and Jef Bryant.

1. The 1971 rules of Diplomacy will apply except where amended in the following.

2. There are seven players and seven playing boards.  There are two main options: 

A: Each player plays the same country on all seven boards, and

B: A player plays a separate country on each board.

In this latter case the GM will try and ensure that the players are spread out, and that the same players do not neighbor each other in all seven games.  It is recommended that the GM chooses option A. Option B is extremely complicated and will probably never run to completion.

3. Movement between the boards is possible.  The seven boards will be identified by the numerals 1 to 7. There are three possible options for movement between the boards, the GM should state which one he is using before play starts.

Module 1: Players may attempt to move to the same province on any other board.  However, only units on the board to which the unit is moving may support this move.  Normal rules on support apply. Example A(1:Par)-3:Par, A(3:Bur)SA(1:Par)-3:Par.

Module 2: Players may attempt to move to any province on any board a unit which it could normally move on its starting move.  Example A(1:Tri) can move to Ven, Tyr, Vie, Bud or Alb on any board.  This also applies to convoys.  However multi-fleet convoys must be on the same board.  Fleets may be of mixed nationality as the normal rules.

Module 3: (The Bruce Gyerk game.) This is the same as module two but fleets may be used from any board in any combination for convoys.  Additionally, support may be given by the correct units on any given board!  This may lead to a nervous breakdown of the GM!

I recommend that module 2 be used, as module 1 is a little dull and module 3 is too frightening for consideration!

4. All valid moves may cut support.  Example:

A(1:Lon)-Wal, A(2:Wal)SA(2:Cly)-2:Lpl, A(2:Cly)-2:Lpl, A(2:Lpl)-H. All moves fail.

5. All units should be marked with the board on which it was built.  If a unit on board four captures a supply center (SC) on board five, then it is owned by the board four nation which may only build on board four.  GMs must keep a careful track of who owns what, and which units are where.

6. If Option B is being used, then a player may cut his own support if he uses a unit of a different nationality. Example.  Suppose a player is Austria on board one and Italy on board five.  Then AUSTRIA A(1:Tri)-5:Tri will cut the support of ITALY A(5:Tri)S…(Exception, if module three is being used then it would not cut the support of ITALY A(5:Tri)SA(5:Tyr)-1:Tri by the normal rules of diplomacy.

7. There are 238 SCs. A winner requires 70 centers at the end of an Autumn adjudication.  In the case of multiple wins occurring, all winners are declared first equal.  A two-way win may be declared by players having a total of 130 or more SCs between them with each power having 63 or more SCs.  A three-way win may be claimed by players having a total of 185 SCs between them, each player having at least 58 centers.

There are no draws.  The game must finish in one of the three possibilities above.

A player can make a claim for winning conditional on another player’s moves and on his/their SC holdings.  He can also make them provisional on another player’s builds.

A claim for more than one victory may be made each Autumn adjudication but it should be written carefully.  If any problems arise with any particular claims they will be discounted.  It is acceptable for player one to submit orders such as the following.  Two-way win with player four.  If this isn’t possible then a three-way win with players four and seven, or if this isn’t possible then with three and four.

In my experience those games with large numbers of SCs and complex victory criteria often become dull. Either stalemate lines exist or the games become very boring in the hard struggle for victory.  The criteria above are based on those of Mercator.  By reducing the victory criteria I hope to ensure that diplomacy will continue throughout the game at a frantic pace.  A group of strong powers will have to consider the relative merits of going for a solo win against declaring a joint win.  This works well in Mercator.

8. Situations may well arise where the adjudication  isn’t covered in these rules.  The GM should use his common sense.  The designer is willing to advise on how he feels ‘difficult’ adjudications should be resolved.