1885-III (hp03)

by Fred C. Davis Jr

1982 (with amendments in 1984)

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All the regular rules of Diplomacy apply, as outlined in the 1971 and 1976 Rulebooks, except as noted below.

There are 47 Supply Centres, and with the addition of Sweden and Spain there are nine Great Powers. Austria, Germany and Turkey have 4 Home Supply Centres; Russia has 5. Austria and Germany begin with 4 units on the board; Russia with 5. All other Powers begin the game with 3 units on the board, (See map for changes, especially the borders of the Turkish Empire as of 1885).

The Great Powers will begin the game with the following new units, or units changed in type or locations, in addition to the units and locations specified in the Regular rules:

AUSTRIA: A(Cluj), F(Split) [there is no Trieste].

ENGLAND: F(Liverpool) [Instead of Army].

FRANCE: No change.

GERMANY: A(Dresden) added.

ITALY: Choice in Rome (Army or Fleet).

RUSSIA: Choice of one unit in either St. Petersburg or Sevastopol being changed from a Fleet to an Army, The Army in respect of the Archangel home centre starts the game in Siberia instead.

SPAIN: A(Madrid), F(Cadiz), F(Valencia).

SWEDEN: A(Stockholm), F(Gothenburg), Choice in Oslo (Army or Fleet).

TURKEY: F Sinope (there is no Ankara). There is no unit in Macedonia SC at start of the game (see Rule 10).

The chosen type of the initially undetermined units in Italy, Russia and Sweden do not have to revealed before the first move.

The first move of the game is January 1885, and each subsequent move will take place during a single month. The Build/Removal seasons will be in March, June, September and December.

Victory Requirements:

a. For a Single player, the Victory Criterion is 24 Supply Centres.

b. Any two players may obtain an “Alliance Victory” if they jointly own at least 34 Centres at the end of a Fall move, with neither owning less than 12 Centres.

c. Any three players may obtain an “Alliance Victory” if they jointly own at least 38 Centres at the end of a Fall move, with no Power owning less than 8 Centres.

d. The game may also end if all the Powers agree to concede the game to one Power or a coalition before any one country has obtained 24 Supply Centres.

Special Characteristics of Certain Provinces:

a. Sicily is a Build Centre for Italy only. It is part of Italy from the start of the game, and Italy may build units there in a Winter season whenever she owns the province (was the last Power to occupy it in any season) and it is vacant.

b. The following Neutral Supply Centres may be used for building units if owned by the specified Powers: 1. Ireland, if owned by England; 2. Portugal, if owned by Spain; 3. Persia, if owned by Russia.

All convoys involving the crossing of more than one sea space will be undertaken by the formation of an Army /Fleet according to the following rules (note, all A/F examples use the regular board).

Move Sequence. Embarkations are adjudicated prior to simultaneous movement. Disembarkations occur during simultaneous movement and are adjudicated as being simultaneous with and independent of whatever happens to the fleet element of the A/F.

Fast Ferry. A convoy as described in the Diplomacy rulebook is limited to the crossing of a single sea space via a single fleet. To avoid confusion with A/F convoys, a regular single space convoy is referred to as a “Fast Ferry” (“FF”). If a fleet attempts to FF an army, but is unable to disembark the army, then the army remains on board the fleet and an A/F is formed (see below).

Embarkation. An army may embark on to a fleet either before simultaneous movement is adjudicated and thus a legal embarkation move can never fail. If an army has embarked on a fleet and cannot disembark for whatever reason, it will remain on board the fleet as an A/F.

A/F Operations. A convoy of more than one sea space can only be undertaken by the formation of an “Army/Fleet” (“A/F”) to carry the army on board. In a given move, an army may board a fleet in an adjacent sea space (thus creating an A/F), the A/F may them move to an adjacent sea space, and the army may then also disembark the army into a coastal space adjacent to the second sea space. For example, A(Lon) boards F(ENG), A/F(ENG)-MAO, A disembarks Por.

An A/F has the same combat value as a single fleet and may attack, support and be supported, but it may not FF. An A/F may support operations in coastal provinces, although it may never enter a coastal province.

Disembarkation. Disembarkation is simultaneous with other movement, thus an army may disembark from an A/F at the same time that the fleet is moving elsewhere or supporting another action. For example, A/F(ION) disembarks A(Tun), F(ION)-EMS. However, if disembarkation fails, then the A/F remains intact and any fleet movement (but not support) will also fail (because if it succeeded the army would be left behind to drown).

It follows that if an A/F is disembarking an army then the fleet element may use its move to support the disembarkation of the army. For example A/F(BLA) disembarks A(Sev) S by F(BLA) will displace an unsupported A(Sev).

If an A/F attempting to disembark an army attempts to move or is dislodged, then the disembarkation will be unaffected as it is considered independently of the fleet.

Exception. In order to avoid circular reasoning, there is an exception to the general rule that disembarkations are simultaneous with other movement. The disembarkation of an army from an A/F, which in turn would have had to move successfully to be in a position to disembark the army, may not have an direct or indirect effect on the success of the movement of the A/F in question, and if it does so the disembarkation will fail.

For example, consider the following orders:

ENGLAND: A/F(NTH)-ENG, disembarks A(ENG)-Bre, F(MAO) S disembarkation A(ENG)-Bre


The result will be that the French move to Brest succeeds and England will have an A/F in ENG. The reasoning here is if the English disembarkation in Brest succeeded, the French move F(ENG)-Bre would fail and therefore the English move A/F(NTH)-ENG would fail. Thus the disembarkation has a direct effect on the success of the movement of the A/F it came from, therefore the disembarkation fails.

Retreats. If an A/F is forced to retreat to a coastal space, it reverts to a fleet and the army is disbanded. An dislodged army may retreat on to an adjacent fleet in a sea space and create an A/F.

Circular reasoning. In the event that any movement cannot be adjudicated due to circular reasoning, then all units will stand.

Direct Passage/Four Point Meets. There are four 4-point meets where Fleets may move, support or convoy to or through any of the adjacent spaces, as shown by the arrows). Such links exist between Hebrides Sea, Edinburgh, North Sea and Clyde; Valencia, Gulf of Lions, Western Med., Alboran Sea; Ionian Sea, Malta, Southern Med., Tripoli; Tyrrhenian Sea, Sicily, Naples, Ionian Sea. All four provinces which meet in this way should be visualised as coming together at a point and any movement between two such provinces has no effect on movement between the other two. Armies may move and support between Naples and Sicily without convoy, although this does not prevent Fleets from moving and supporting between the Tyrrhenian and Ionian Seas.

Retreats and Removals.

a. Retreats are made by Just’s Right-Hand Rule if a player fails to submit a Retreat order (unit retreats to first space to right of attack, then first space to left of attack, then second space to right of attack and so on). A player may not write an “Off the Board” or Disbands retreat order. A unit will only be disbanded if no retreat is possible.

b. Removal of units in a postal game will be made by the GM when a player fails to submit a removal order. There is no requirement that a GM must remove fleets before armies, or Away units before Home units, where he finds that such a removal would result in the gift of a Supply Centre to another Power. In all such cases, the GM is required to remove the unit which, in his judgment (which is final and cannot be questioned), the removal of which would have the least effect on the course of the game.

There is no Turkish unit in Macedonia at the start of the game. Turkey starts with 3 units on the board. If she still controls Macedonia after February 1885, she may build a unit for that Supply Centre in any Home S.C. in March. She does not have to occupy Macedonia to do so.

The Suez Canal is in the provincce of Egypt. Fleets moving between the Southern Mediterranean and the Red Sea must remain one turn in Egypt. Both parts of Egypt are a single province.

Egypt touches Arabia (arrows). Red Sea does not touch Levant.

High Ocean Box Rules: The High Ocean Box connects the North, Mid and South Atlantic Ocean spaces with the Red Sea and Indian Ocean spaces. Any number of Fleets may simultaneously occupy the High Ocean Box, a move to the Box can never fail and a Fleet can never be dislodged from the Box. A Fleet within the Box may support another Fleet within the Box attempting to move into an adjacent sea space. Similarly a Fleet in an adjacent sea space may also support another Fleet within the Box attempting to move into an adjacent sea space.

Armies may be convoyed by the A/F method through the High Ocean Box, but not Azores. An Army may occupy Azores.

There are no two-coasted provinces in this variant. Fleets in Copenhagen, Jutland and Gothenburg all move in the coastal waters surrounding Copenhagen (which is actually on an island named Själland).

Non-standard abbreviations on the Map:

Alg; Algeria; Lap Lapland; ALB Alboran Sea; Lev Levant; Ara Arabia; Mac* Macedonia; Ark* Archangel; Mad* Madrid; ARO Artic Ocean; MAL Malta Sea; Ast Asturia; Mor* Morrocco; Azo* Azores; Nav Navarre; BoB Bay of Biscay; Osl* Oslo; Cad* Cadiz; Per* Persia; Cat Catalonia; RdO Rio de Oro; Clu* Cluj; RIG Riga Sea; Cop* Copenhagen; RED Red Sea; Cou Courland; Sib Siberia; Cro Croatia; Sic Sicily; Dre* Dresden; Sin* Sinope; Egy* Egypt; SAO South Atlantic; Got* Gothenburg; SMS Southern Med.; HEB; Hebridean Sea; Spl* Split; HOB High Ocean Box; Sto* Stockholm; Ice* Iceland; Sud Sudan; IND Indian Ocean; Swa Swabia; Ire* Ireland; Swi* Switzerland; Jäm Jämtland; Tri Tripolitania; Jut Jutland; Val* Valencia; Zar* Zara

SA For the sake of completeness, archivists should note that I have used the province names suggested by Per Wrestling in Lepanto 4-Ever No.10 (August 1990) As a true pedant, let me take this opportunity to point out that William II did not open the Kiel Canal until 20th June 1895, so players who really want to play an 1885 variant had better make Kiel into a two-coasted province.