Second Chance Diplomacy II (rb90)

by Fred C Davis and Don Del Grande

Back in 1981, Don Del Grande produced a variant called “Second Chance Dip” (Catalogue # rb21/07), in which every unit could be given two sets of orders. Should the first order for a unit fail, the GM would use the second order. If, and only if, both sets of orders failed would the results of these failures (stand-off, dislodgement, annihilation) be effectuated by the GM. This came back to me as I was adjudicating a recent game. After writing down my thoughts, I went into my files and took out and re-read Del Grande‚Äôs original rules, to compare them with my ideas.

After comparing these sets of rules, I came up with a slightly modified version of Don’s creation, which I called “Second Chance Diplomacy II”.  Here it is:

1. Each player writes two sets of orders, labelled “First set” and “Second set”, for each of his units. These orders must be for different actions (moves, supports, hold or convoy), or any combination of these.

2. If the first order for a unit fails, the GM will use the second order. If both orders fail, the GM will only print the second order. If the first order succeeds, the second order will not be printed.

3. If a player fails to submit a second order for a unit, and the first order fails, the GM will use the order “Hold” for that piece.

4. Only one set of orders may be given for builds, removals or retreats.

5. In a multiple fleet convoy, where the army fails to disembark in the new land space the fleets will be reported as having performed their convoying function properly (if not dislodged), so no second sets of orders have to be used.

Note that where a first order fails, use of the second order may result in a self-stand-off for some units. As Don said “That’s what makes this variant so challenging – you just never know what’s going to happen”.