Fiascomacy (rf13)

by Martin Edwardes

1. Any number of players from 3 upwards can take part. the game is played on a standard Diplomacy board, and all standard Diplomacy rules apply, except where amended below.

2. Each player starts with 8 political factors (PFs) which he can allocate to any of the seven intial countries in any combination he wishes (e.g. Russia 4, Turkey 2, England 1, France 1). Each player also submits orders for all countries in which he has invested Political Factors.

3. The move for each unit is then determined by calculating the number of Political Factors which have been invested in that country for each particular order and the unit is then moved in accordance with the wishes supported by the most Political Factors – in the event of a draw the unit stands. Players should also provide retreats and adjustments as necessary.

For example:

Country: Russia (Spring 1901)

PlayerAlfBertCardewDenisOrder Values
PFs invested in Russia2132 
F(StP)sc Std.
F(StP)sc-Gob=4; F(StP)sc Std.=3; F(StP)sc-Fin=1; F(Sev)-Rum=4; F(Sev)-BLA=4; A(War)-Gal=3; A(War)-Ukr=2; A(War)-Pru=2; A(War)-Mos=1; A(Mos)-Sev=3; A(Mos)-Ukr=3; A(Mos)-StP=2

Therefore the orders for Russia in Spring 1901 are: F(StP)sc-GoB (4 Points); F(Sev)Std. (a 4-4 points tie); A(War)-Gal (3 Points); A(Mos)Std. (a 3-3 points tie).

4. The interaction and combat between Powers follws normal Diplomacy rules.

5. At the end of every Spring and Autumn season, each player receives a further two Political Factors which he can invest in the following season. After each Autumn season players also receive a bonus of two Political Factors for each Power in which they have the largest (or equal largest) investment of Political Factors, minus one Political factor if that Power has ended up with a dcrease in its supply centre count that year. Once invested, Political Factors can never be moved and the investment in the country concerned remains (it is not lost). Political Factors must be spent the season after they are received, they cannot be retained for use later.

6. The game continues until one Power gets 18 centres or everyone gets bored. The winner of the game is determined as follows:

(1) If there is an outright victory and one player has more Political Factors invested in that Power than any other player, then he is the winner.

(2) If there is an outright victory and more than one player has equal most number of Political Factors invested in that Power then the winner is determined between those players involved in the draw in accordance with the formula in (3) below.

(3) For the purposes of (2) above or in the event that the game is terminated prior to an outright winner emerging then the winner is the player with the highest Score. The Score is calculated as being equal to the total number of PFs each player has invested in each country times that country’s supply centre count at the end of the game.

Comment by Stephen Agar

It is inevitable that over the years some Diplomacy variants have been published which were never picked up by the Variant Banks that existed at the time. Indeed, until the early 80’s the UKVB was never really geared up to collecting variants on its own initiative, and so many British designs from the early 70’s are today only available from the North American Variant Bank (which was better organised at the time). As I catalogue the zines which I have been given for the Diplomacy Archive I do occasionally come across the odd variant that has, until now, been lost altogether. Of course, there might be very good reason why such designs have been lost (after all, some of them are not very good), but the archivist in me can’t bear to leave variant designs languishing in the dark forever.

Purists would call this Fiascomacy II as I have inserted the rule in 5. above which awards bonus PFs to players who have the highest investment in Powers after adjustments. The original rules did not have bonus PFs with the result that there was no reward for controlling any Power other than the ultimate winner. I wanted to encourage people to invest in the minor Powers.

Reprinted from Bellicus 31