Diplomacy – The Gathering (rg18)

by Stephen Agar

0. All usual rules of Diplomacy apply except when they don’t.

1. This game is limited to 8 game years (16 seasons).

2. Each Power has 20 Spell Cards in their deck as follows:

1 x Double Trouble. This card may be played against any unit on the board and makes that particular unit into a 2F or 2A for the rest of the game. Any attack on a double unit cuts all support given by it and support by a double unit may not be split.

1 x Walk on Water. This card may be played on any Army and thenceforth confers on it the ability to move on Sea areas (but not convoy) as well as on land.

1 x Sail on Land. This card may be played on any fleet and thenceforth confers on it the ability to move on land as well as sea.

1 x Utter Destruction. This card is played against a supply centre and makes the space a non-supply centre for the rest of the game (subject to a Garden of Eden Card).

1 x Protective Amulet. This card protects that Power’s units and SC’s from all adverse Power Cards for the next two seasons (i.e. Utter Destruction, Sudden Death, Turn to Stone, Remove Magic), apart from Black Hole Cards.

1 x Garden of Eden. This card is played against a non-sc land space and thenceforth makes it into a SC initially controlled by the player playing the card. If the non-sc space is in the player’s original home country then it becomes a Home SC.

2 x Sudden Death. These are played against a particular enemy unit, resulting in that unit being removed from play immediately.

2 x Turn to Stone. These are played against an enemy unit which must stand without giving support for the next two seasons, though it may receive support.

2 x Black Hole. These cards are played against a particular space and any unit which end that season in that space is removed from play and immediately reappears at some other randomly determined location on the board at least three space distant from the space it started from. Fleets do not reappear inland nor do armies reappear at sea.

2 x Teleport. These are played against a unit and enable that unit to move to any space on the board which is identified, provided it is vacant after movement and combat are resolved that season. Teleport moves occur after normal movement and may not be supported. A unit may successfully teleport even if it was dislodged that move.

2 x Faster then Light. These are played against a unit and permit that unit to make up to two moves to adjacent empty spaces prior to the resolution of that’s season’s orders.

4 x Mystical Shield. These card may be played on any unit any will cancel out the effect of any Power card on any unit on the board. Sometimes this may result in a unit being out of its natural element (e.g. F(Bur)) in which case the unit may not move or support, but may be supported.

3. Before the game begins, each Power separates their deck into a Primary Deck of 16 cards (one of which must be played before every season or put into a Discard Pile) and a Secondary Deck of 4 cards (one of which may be played at the beginning of any season). The maximum number of cards that may be played at any time is 2. The playing of cards from the Primary Deck may not be conditional on what any other Power does, though the playing of a card from the Secondary Deck may, if desired, be conditional on the playing of any particular card from another Power’s Primary Deck.

4. The winner is (a) the first Power to control an absolute majority of active SC’s on the board at any time or (b) the Power who at the end of the game has the most units on the board by a margin of at least 3 units over any other Power (e.g. 10 units to 7 units). Failing either of these criteria being satisfied, the winner is the Power with the most Spell Card Points left both in its Secondary Deck and in its Discard Pile (x1 cards being worth 4 points, x2 cards being worth 2 points, x4 cards being worth 1 point). If after that there’s still a tie then you have to share the glory.

5. This game is not to be taken seriously by any of the players under any circumstances and the writing of silly press is encouraged. However, the game isn’t quite as silly as it first appears and may even be quite entertaining at a tactical level. It’s a variation on Vain Rats I suppose, though.