Diplomacy in Surprisingly Bad Taste (vj16)

by Mick Bullock

0) All rules of Regular Diplomacy 1971 apply with any combination of the following additions.

1) Manic Depression: the strength of all units depends on the happiness of the units at the time. Each unit starts at level 3 and may be conveniently written as 3Aa and 3Fs although they are in no way multiple units. If a unit is stood off or supports a move which is stood off or tries to convoy unsuccessfully, it loses a happiness point. If dislodged it also loses 1 so it is possible to lose two points in one season. A unit winning a battle (i.e. causing another unit or units to be stood off while its own move succeeds) gains 1 point, and making an enemy unit retreat or disband earn 2 points. The score of each unit is its strength for the next move: all units being fairly moody therefore. When a units drops to 0 it cannot move and is disbanded if forced to retreat (and it can be by a 1A or 1F of course). The only way for a unit in such depression to get a grip on itself is to know someone really cares, i.e. by being supported and not attacked, which puts it up to 1 point: only 0As and 0Fs can be lifted by support like that.

2) Liverpool is a triple supply center, i.e. whichever country owns it is entitled to three units for it (though see rule 4 for another condition if that rule is used).

3) Religion: with S01 moves each country must announce its religion: Christian (good) or Heathen (evil). Christian countries may not enter the scs or attack the units’ positions of other Christian countries, Heathens can do anything. Countries may only change religion in winter seasons. There is a special unit starting in Rome called a Pope. It may only be moved by a unit whose owner has control over it and brings the owning player various powers. Each year the Pope can perform one miracle or it cumulatively. (But if a Pope saves up some miracles for later and is killed his successor is not entitled to his spare miracles.) The options are: Smiting The Heathen Hordes (destroying a Heathen unit adjacent to the Pope), Bringing Down the Manna (acting as a supply center for a year) or Parting The Waters (convoying an army across an empty sea and simultaneously rendering it impassible to fleets and other armies). The Pope has to be adjacent to the sea he is parting. The Pope may excommunicate any Christian unit, taking one off its happiness but letting it act Heathen. When its country goes fully Heathen it is returned to normal Heathenism. The Pope may also put any Christian country under interdict, converting it instantly to a Heathen one, although this has no effect unit the following move. A country put under interdict cannot become Christian again until the current Pope agrees. If the unit carrying the Pope is forced to retreat the dislodging unit gets him, he may be killed by the unit that has him standing and doing that instead of supporting or convoying and not being dislodged. If he is killed a new one is “built” in Rome in the next winter. Players getting new Popes should name and/or number them as they are otherwise quite homogeneous.

4) (Only usable in conjunction with Rule 2 really.) There are special armies in London and Liverpool at game start led by pieces called Sharp and Haven respectively. After the first move they must try to separate from the Fs in their home scs as multiple units are not really allowed. These units have strange conceptions of loyalty and always belong to the controllers of their home centers: thus if France captures London it gets no build for it but the Sharp army wherever it is. If it’s in supply center then that instantly becomes French too. If Sharp were in Liverpool then France would also get two builds and Haven for that and might get another sc if Haven were in one. For some reason the S and H units would rather be disbanded than forced into adjacent spaces, and never support anything in a space adjacent to the other either. Their happiness behaves as normal except that the distance between them (the minimum distance in legal moves that is) affects it. At four spaces they are normal, at three they each loss a point, at two they each lose two points, at five they gain one, at six they gain two and so on. This means they begin as a 1S and a 1H. They are immune to being Smitten even while Heathen and are too stable for schizophrenia to strike. England starts with F+S (Lon), F+H (Lvp) and F(Edi). If this rule is not used it has the ordinary units and is two short at first.

5) Once a year a player may order a schizophrenic attack on any one unit and write its orders. This is completely anonymous and the GM does not reveal which units are acting as ordered by their countries and which are not quite themselves. The excuses for stabbing are obvious. The Pope is immune to this sort of thing and although the unit controlling him can be attacked like that it cannot be used to influence him of split-personality sets.