Martian Diplomacy (rm46)

by Jonathan Lingard

Based on the book War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells. In the book strange cylinders crash down onto the earth’s surface having come all the way from the planet Mars. Strange noises emanate from the white cylinders, too hot for people to investigate. Eventually, out from the heat emerge great towering fighting machines equipped with the deadly heat ray. From then on the martians, in their fighting machines, begin to systemically destroy human civilization and almost succeed, only finally stopped by bacteria with which the martians infect themselves when drinking the blood of their human victims. The martians, being unused to such organisms, just keel over and die leaving the surviving humans to mop up the mess.


1) Rules are exactly as for standard Diplomacy except as stated below.

2) An eighth power is present on the board at some time during the game, this is in the form of the martians. The martian movement is controlled by the GM.

3) The martians are not present on the board at the beginning of the game.

4) Attack waves: Before the game starts the GM should write down the number of martians launch from Mars to the last season depends on when they discover that bacteria on earth kill them. If one of the martians from the first attack wave is still around after four years then it will die from the bacteria and the martians will withdraw from earth relatively quickly, but if the earth forces manage to defeat the first few waves successfully the martians will not find out about the bacteria until much later. This provides an interesting dilemma for the players. The GM should cancel all the planned attack waves as soon as a martian is afflicted by bacteria.

5) If a martian capsule arrives and lands on a sea area it will float on the sea and then randomly move about on the following turns. After 3 consecutive turns at sea the martians will be permanently at 1/2 strength (due to rust on capsule and sea-sickness). After 5 turns the martians will have died of

chronic sea-sickness and the vessel will have fallen apart.

6) Any fleet may specify the order to PICK-UP a floating capsule. The order is written: F(GoL) P. The fleet has got to start the turn in the same space as the capsule. The fleet will then follow the capsule to whatever space the capsule moves to, the capsule will then be captured and under the fleet’s control. If, however the capsule moves to an occupied province the fleet cannot follow and therefore fails to capture. If the capsule moves to a coastal province the fleet does capture it just before it is washed ashore. Once a capsule is under the control of a fleet, the fleet may act and move as normal, transporting the capsule (if it wishes) to any coastal or sea province. At any time the capsule may be unloaded. If it is unloaded in a coastal province the capsule will beach immediately.

7) When a capsule lands on solid ground either directly or from being washed up on the beaches, the martians begin to make their fighting machines, which continues on all through the next turn. Then, two turns after they landed the martians emerge from the capsule destroying the province that they are in. The following turn the Martians army can move normally (according to normal Martian rules).

8) A unit which is in the same square as a Martian unit just about to emerge the next season may, instead of the usual orders, order the unit to BLOCKAGE the Martians in, an action that the occupying unit may carry out because of the significant advantage from height, space and time. The order should read: (for example) A(Tyr) BL. The blockade will not work if the unit is attacked, unless the number of units defending the square is greater than the number attacking it. The blockade happens in the season which the martians emerge and may continue on for as many turns as you wish. The Martians will continue to try and emerge until they do or die.

9) A martian unit has a unit strength of 2, except when at 1/2 strength when the unit strength is 1, thus a martian unit coming into conflict with an ordinary unit would win.

10) Martian units will never enter sea provinces.

11) Each turn the GM will randomly determine which province the units will move to. Units will move to untouched provinces in preference to barren wastelands. A unit will prefer not to move to a province that it moved from to reach the present province.

12) In the turn following that in which a unit arrives on an undisturbed province, the Martians will not move but instead turn the province into a barren wasteland, eating the inhabitants and destroying (temporarily) any supply center in the province.

13) Martian units never retreat or support each other. If a martian unit is attacked with a unit strength of greater than 2 it will simply be destroyed.

14) 6 turns after a martian first tried to emerge it will get struck down by bacteria and it becomes a 1/2 strength martian for the next turn and die the turn after that.

15) A 1/2 strength Martian unit still has the same powers as a full strength one.

16) The turn after the martians emerge, Red Weed will occupy the province.

17) Red Weed only grows between the Autumn and Spring turns. It will grow into all adjacent barren landscape provinces and sea provinces. It will not enter a sea province except via a land province. Red Weed will not spread from sea provinces.

18) A unit can order to exterminate the Red Weed in a province with the order: F(Bla) XR.

19) Non-Martian units may not move if they are in a province occupied by the Red Weed.

20) If a province is unoccupied by Red Weed, a unit may want to repair the SC that existed there before. The command A(Ber) Repair must be used on two consecutive turns uninterrupted by attacks, the SC will then have been restored.

A summary of the possible orders:

For Notation Order

A/F A(Wal)-Lon A movement

A/F F(ENC) S A(Wal) A support

F F(MAO) C A(Spa)-Bre) A convoy

A/F A(Bul) Hold Holding position

F F(GoB) Pi Fleet capsule a cylinder

A/F A(Mos) BL A unit blockades the martians in

A/F F(NTH) XR Exterminate Red Weed

A/F A(Kie) Repair Repairs SC (For 2 turns)