by Stephen Agar and Richard Walkerdine
The purpose of this version of Multiplicity is to reflect the fact that in real combat military units of the same nation do not stand each other off! The concept of the self stand-off is a natural consequence of the fact that two units cannot co-exist in regular Diplomacy. Once multiple units are allowed, self stand-offs become an unnecessary artificial device. Unlike original Multiplicity where the ability to merge was seen as an extra type of move, these rules see merging as the usual state of affairs. The demise of the self stand-off and the introduction of multiple and even multinational units will no doubt lead to new tactical considerations and increase the likelihood of multiple units forming.
0. The regular rules of Diplomacy apply, save where varied below.
1. Initial Placement. Players may choose their initial set-up (which may include multiple units) provided that the number of units does not exceed 3 (4 in the case of Russia) and all units start on a home centre. Thus not all home centres need start the game with a unit on them. A fleet of A/F starting the game in StP may be on either coast (though the south coast is assumed unless the contrary is indicated).
2. Multiple Units. The essence of Multiplicity is the multiple unit, thus multiple units may exist subject to the rules below (Eg. 2A, 3A, A/F, 2A/F etc). Each component part of a multiple unit requires a supply centre to support it.
A multiple unit may distribute its supports into different spaces and need not support with its full strength.
3. Stand-offs. Stand-offs can only occur between units belonging to different Powers. Units of the same Power ordered to move to the same space are deemed to be attempting to merge.
4. Merging. A multiple unit is formed when two or more existing units of the same nationality would, but for the presence of each other, exist in the same space under the regular rules (Eg. A(Mar)-Bur & A(Par)-Bur creates 2A(Bur)).
(a) All forces attempting to move to the same space are deemed to be supporting each other (except for A/F’s – see rule 6 below), thus if in the above example Germany ordered A(Mun)-Bur the merge would still succeed.
(b) If unit(s) are attempting to merge with a stationary unit then the stationary unit is deemed to be supporting all attempts to merge with itself (such support can of course be cut under the usual rules), provided it has not been ordered to support some other action. Similarly, all units attempting to merge with a stationary unit are deemed to be supporting that unit in place while attempting to merge.
(c) If a unit tries, but fails, to leave a space and other units of the same nationality are ordered to the space that it has failed to leave, then a merge will take place.
(d) Support for a merge in a given space may also be given by a non-participating force (Eg. English A(Pic) S FRENCH MERGE (Bur)) in which case the support is given to all units of the specified nationality attempting to move to that space.
(e) Multiple units may also be formed by a player building on a home supply centre which is already occupied.
5. Multinational Units. Any 2 players may create multiple multi-national units both players concerned provide clear and unambiguous orders to that effect (eg. A(Par)-Bur MERGE with ITALIAN A(Mar)-Bur). Thereafter the GM will accept the integrity of that multiple unit until orders are received from the players that result in the multiple unit splitting in the usual fashion or one or both players attempt to displace the others unit(s) from the multiple unit in question according to the following rules.
(a) A player can choose to attack the foreign component of a multi-national multiple unit in which his forces are participating and for this purpose a component of such a multiple unit can attack foreign units occupying the same space as itself provided such an order is clear and unambiguous. For example, if a 2A(Bur) comprised French A(Bur) and Italian A(Bur) then France could order A(Par) S A(Bur) attacks ITALIAN A(Bur) or even A(Par)-Bur MERGE A(Bur) and support attack on ITALIAN A(Bur).
(b) In the event of such a successful attack on the foreign component of a multiple unit then the foreign unit(s) concerned must retreat. In the event of a failed attack on the foreign component of a multiple unit then the component of the multiple unit which took part in the attack must retreat. Should both players simultaneously attack each other in this fashion and neither attack is successful then both components of the multiple unit must retreat (leaving the space previously occupied by the multi-national unit vacant).
6. Combat. A multiple unit stands, moves and fights with a strength equal to the number of units present in the multiple unit. Thus a 2A will displace an unsupported army.
Support given by a multiple unit is cut up to the strength of the strongest attack on that multiple unit (not the total of the attacks on the multiple unit). Where a multiple unit is supporting units in different spaces the support orders for different spaces will be cut in any order specified by the player attempting to cut the supports in question. Thus it is up to the attacker to make it clear which supports he wants to cut first. In the absence of any clear indication of priority by the attacker the order in which the support orders are written by the defender will be taken to indicate priority, so the last written support order is cut first etc. Where such a situation arises with a multinational unit in the absence of a clear priority being given by the player cutting the support(s) then supports are cut alphabetically.
This may sound very confusing, but any support from a force in province A for an attack from province B into province C is not counted for the purpose of cutting support from a force in C supporting an attack from D against A. For example, FRANCE: 2A(Par) S A(Bur)-Pic. ENGLAND: 3A(Pic) S A(Bre)-Par. The French 2A(Par) cannot cut supports for an attack on itself, therefore only one of the three supports offered by the English A(Pic) is cut (as opposed to all three), thus A(Bre) attacks the 2A(Par) with two valid supports, thus the move A(Bre)-Par succeeds and the 2A(Par) is dislodged.
7. A/F Combinations. The usual Abstraction A/F rules are not used in Multiplicity. However, A/F combinations are permitted along the same lines of other multiple units and an A/F may move into a sea space (as opposed to a coastal space) provided it is seaworthy (the number of fleets is the same or exceeds the number of armies). Thus a 2A/F could not move into the MAO, but an A/2F could. An A/F combination in a multiple coast space occupies a specific coast. A seaworthy A/F can be created in a sea space (Eg. A(Lon)-ENG & F(MAO)-ENG creates A/F(ENG)), but in this event the army cannot support the merge. An Army may only disembark from a Fleet at sea if the Fleet is not ordered to move (ie. it must be standing or supporting). In any conflict over a sea space, only the fleet component of an A/F is taken into account when adjudicating any combat.
8. Multi-national A/Fs. Multi-national A/Fs in a coastal space are no different from ordinary multinational units. However, when a multinational A/F is at sea, the order written for the fleet will always prevail, though the Army may attempt to disembark into an adjacent coastal space at any time as usual provided the fleet is not attempting to move.
9. Convoys. A/F units can also convoy armies according to the usual Diplomacy rules, provided that the sum of the A/F and the unit(s) being convoyed is seaworthy. Thus an A/3F in ENG could convoy a 2A(Lon)-Pic. Only armies or multiple armies may be convoyed.
10. Splitting. During a movement season a player may split a multiple unit into two or more component parts by ordering the units to different locations (Eg. 4A(Par): A(Pic)Std, 2A(Pic)-Bur, A(Pic)-Gas). The movement of each unit splitting follows the usual rules and a unit may split and merge in the same move.
If a component of a multiple unit fails to leave the space in which the multiple unit was situated then it will merge with any units remaining or moving to that space, but it is not considered to be part of the multiple unit in question for the purpose of adjudicating any attacks on that multiple unit and does not support any merging in that space.
If the failure of any component of the A/F to split means that the resulting A/F at sea would be unseaworthy, then all fleets attempting to split from the multiple A/F will fail. There is no exception to the rule that an A/F at sea must be seaworthy.
11. Retreats. Merges and splits are allowed as usual during retreats. If two or more forces belonging to different Powers are ordered to retreat to the same space, the stronger unit will succeed and the weaker will disband unless both players specify that the units concerned may form a multinational unit.
12. Seasons. For postal play it may be easier if Multiplicity Plus is played to a 3 season year: Spring; Spring retreats and Autumn; Autumn retreats and adjustments. Players should determine the relevant system of play at the outset.