by Andy Mansfield
Imagine. It’s a hot August night, the temperature is still rising even as night draws in. Temperatures are running as high as the mercury. South of the river is quiet, all the good citizens are asleep at home behind the chintz curtains. However, north of the river the atmosphere is tense. Seven groups of people are hot, angry and organised. Flash points all along the river Thames are patrolled by the Special Patrol Group primarily to stop the trouble spreading over the six main bridges. As the sun sets the battle begins.
0. All usual regular Diplomacy rules apply, save where amended below.
1. There are seven players who each control a faction:
A. Theatre-Goers. Due to the cancellation of all performances by wild cat electrical strikes, disgruntled customers are now out for revenge. They have supply centres in Covent Garden, Leicester Square, Shaftsbury Avenue and Russell Square and start the game with a unit in each of them. Due to their ability to blend in with the background, the Theatre-goers orders are only reported when they are in conflict with the other players or their supply centres. All retreats and adjustments are reported in full.
B. Shoppers. Cut off from returning home by transport strikes a huge band of shoppers have joined together for retribution. They have supply centres in Knightsbridge, Tottenham Court Road and Oxford Circus and start the game with a unit in each save that the unit in Knightsbridge is a 2A. A 2A can always be built in Knightsbridge if a player uses two builds to do so.
C. East Enders. Disgruntled at the goings on in the night, the residents of the East End are out in force. Their supply centres are Shoreditch, Bethnal Green and Spitalfields, though the start the game with only a 3A in Shoreditch. This 3A cannot be rebuilt.
D. Nurses. Angry because of harsh working conditions and low pay the Nurses are on strike and have taken to the streets. They have supply centres in Gray’s Inn Road, Kings Cross Road and Clerkenwell and start the game with a unit in each. Every season the Nurses can elect one of their units to be a 2A and other player’s orders cannot be made conditional on their choice.
E. The Royals. Threatening to abdicate or even get a divorce unless they are left in peace, the Royals seek revenge on the tabloid readers. Leaving behind the most fortified area in london they raid and pillage. The area of The Mall and the Palace Gardens are fortified and have an inherent defensive value of one unit. Their supply centres are The Mall, the Palace Gardens and Trafalgar Square and they start the game with one unit in each.
F. Taxi Drivers. Furious over loss of business due to the recession, the taxi drivers are out to clean up the streets. Their supply centres are in Barbican, Charterhouse and Goswell Road and they start the game with a unit in each. One unit each move can make a double move as follows: the first move is made before all other movement is adjudicated and thus will always succeed provided the destination space is vacant; the second move is simultaneous with usual movement and is part of usual combat etc. The Taxi Drivers must always try and make use of their double move option.
G. City Boys. The City Boys are the unemployed Stock Exchange workers left out in the cold due to the crash. They are very violent and know where 50% of all hidden supply centres are (see below). They begin with units on their supply centres in Old Street, Finsbury Circus and Threadneedle Street.
2. Multiple Armies. Multiple armies (2A or 3A) move and support with all their value, but a single attack on a multiple army will cut all support. Multiple armies can never be split.
3. The Police. Each space adjoining the north bank of the Thames is defended by a Police unit (St. James Park; Whitehall; Victoria Embankment; Strand; Queen Victoria St.; Blackfriars; Canon Street; Cornhill; Traitor’s gate and The Tower). A Police unit cannot move more than 2 spaces away from the river. The GM will write the orders for the Police with the rationale of protecting south London before seeing any of the player’s orders. No diploming is possible with the Police, although the Police may support the other layers if they choose to do so.
4. The Bridges. There are six bridges across the Thames: WEB = Westminster Bridge; WAB = Waterloo Bridge; BLB = Blackfriars Bridge; SOB = Southwark Bridge; LOB = London Bridge; and TOB = Tower Bridge. Movement on to bridges always succeeds and any number of units can co-exist on a bridge. No fighting takes place on a bridge. However, the normal movement rules apply to all spaces adjoining bridges.
5. Supply Centres. There are 22 home supply centres, 19 neutral supply centres south of the river and 10 hidden supply centres north of the Thames. The hidden supply centres are distributed by the GM at the beginning of the game randomly and the GM then informs the City Boys player where five of them are (chosen at random). If a hidden supply centre is discovered, its existence is revealed in the game report. Ownership of a supply centre only changes on the hour.
6. Timing and Builds. Each round (Diplomacy season) is 30 game minutes in duration, starting at 19:30, August 3rd. Adjustments take place on the hour. The game ends at dawn which is 06:00 August 4th. Builds may be made in any supply centre owned by the player concerned which is north of the river.
7. Victory Criteria. The winner is the player who scores the most at the end of the game according to the following formulae:
[northern s.c.’s held] x [southern s.c.’s held]