Definitive Vain Rats (rg09)

by Mark Nelson

Copyright (c) 1988, 1989 by Mark Nelson. This variant may not be reprinted or distributed in any way without the written consent of the designer.

As you can see from the above, Mark did not want this variant made freely available. Mark, if you change your mind let me know.

If you want to know what it is like, here are some reviews of earlier versions:

VAIN RATS (Richard Sharp and others)

(1) Pete Sullivan in C’Est Magnifique 55, July 1988.

So called because it’s a mixture of variants. Each player has one (or, in most versions, two) special powers chosen from a list at the start. These vary from version to version, but normally include things like Petrol Rationing (allows multiple moves), Evil Eye (may re-order another player’s unit), Leper (can give `leprosy’ to units it meets, killing them), Double Armies and so on. Usually won by the player who chooses the best special powers at the start and makes the best use of them.

(1) JAMES NELSON in SPRINGY 45 (February 1991)

This variant has many different versions which are all very similar. There is a collection of `special powers’ and each country receives one or two of these. Examples of Special Powers are Double-Strength units (attack and support as a 2A or 2F), Leaper (can leap over one space), Evil Eye (may order one unit of any other power), etc.

The difference between versions is in which powers are available, how they’re allocated and how many are given. In some versions, each player has one power for the whole game which many be used once per season. In other versions each power has a stockpile of powers and may use them whenever desired (although no more than one power per season), once used the power is lost for ever.

VAIN RATS II (Richard Sharp)

(1) STEVE AGAR and JON LOVIBOND in ??? (circa 1979)

This is one of the `silly’ variants that are played for fun. It is played on the regular board with all the regular rules. The amendments consist of a list of 12 or so special powers — the players send in a preference list saying which of these powers they would like to have. An example of a Special Power is the `Spring Raid’: This player establishes ownership of a supply centre by occupation in any season; he may build after the Spring moves for any centers gained. Also, every power has a `hyperspace’ joker — this enables him to connect any two provinces on the Diplomacy board for one season, although the GM must be informed the season before the link is made. A `different’ game.