Powers and Pirates (ce03)

by Curt Gibson

Most rules of standard Diplomacy apply, but these changes enter:

1. An 8th power, the Piratic League (or Squad), has its supply centers 4:  Erin, Tunis, Sicily, & Syria.  It may “build” only fleets, presumable army merchantmen it captures.  The player’s identity will be unannounced, but the GM will give that information to the pro-Italy if he waives his option (see #2).

2. Italy may build a fleet Rome, W. 1900, or opt for known Piratic identity.

3. Insert neutral (non-s.c.) Basqia, a buffer between Spain & France, tapers to a point at its E. end (no Lyo coast), but extends to middle of So. Coast of Biscay.

4. Turkey may move its fleets from Bla to Aeg, or v.v., in one step, and may let any other power do the same, by stated permission in the same season as that power so orders, or by implying same in a support or convoy order (i.e. con doesn’t interrupt an extended convoy by Turkey or such ally).

5. Russia may build fleet Stp only on the S Coast.

6. Assignment of powers will be by lots drawn by the GM.

7. (GM Optional)  With Spring ’01 orders the players vote whether to use (A) a normal “no time limit”, or (B) a set time limit, or (C) a flexible time limit.  Their ballot will include their preferred set limit in case (B) wins the median length is used.  If (C) wins, a re-vote on preferred limit occurs in the winters of even number date.

8. N. Af is a neutral s.c.

9. Eng is call Britain; Hel is HBi

10. (GM Optional)  Any power owning Den or Swe may use the Kategat as a strait like Gibr, but Ger will need to own both.


The Piratic League lacks the historic realism of the other 7 powers of 1901, but only slightly.  Ireland, Tunis, Sicily, & Syria (with Lebanon) (& Iraq, etc?) all had enough rebellious urges or potentials so that if a war had broken out all over Europe in 1901, they might have all stoush for independence.  The Bay of Tunis was theoretically independent.  Queen Victoria died that year, we had a “world war” broken out the Irish officers in the British Navy might have plotted with Smn, Fein, etc., and taken out enough ships for an Irish fleet.  Only farfetched feature is these 4 independents forming a league, but that is not as farfetched as Turkey’s possessing naval building capacity in 1901.

The Piratic League does some unbalance but does improve Austria’s chances as much, and the added rules are all designed to correct the imbalances.  It does leave Germany the strongest power except that Russia north fleet build would now always threaten it, and Aus is now too strong to be its client as in standard Diplomacy.  If a Piratic League seems too big and bulky, note that its broken up domain is a factor of unique weakness.  Only smart diplomacy will give the Piratic League success.  Pro-Italy is the weakest, but knowing the Piratic League identity can be a big asset.