by Nicky Palmer
1. Rules as standard DIPLOMACY except where stated.
2. In every year in which a player neither gains a center from, or loses one to, another player, an extra unit can be built in any home center. Such units are referred to as “bonus units” and are marked with an asterisk, e.g. F* Kie-Hol. Bonus units reflect extra economic strength for powers not interested in major territorial changes.
3. In every year in which the condition in Rule 2 is not satisfied, the player loses one bonus unit (his choice). When all bonus units have been lost this has no effect – losses are not saved up, and a “year of peace” will again generate a bonus unit.
4. Bonus units are built and removed in Winter. Removals cannot replace or be replaced by regular removals – the two types of units are accounted for separately. Bonus builds can be saved up.
5. Victory is by overall majority of centers, not units.
COMMENT: The purpose of this variant is to add a new alternative strategy: holding back (except for neutral conquest) and building up forces for a big offensive later. Not, perhaps, put pacifism! – but an intriguing alternative to non-stop attack. Secondary virtue: gives hope to 1- and 2-unit powers who may have a better chance of avoiding center changes than the “superpowers”.