Troubleshooter (ys02)

by Der Garvey


Troubleshooter is similar to Bourse in that it is played in conjunction with a game of Diplomacy by observers to the game.  Each player takes the role of a Troubleshooter and a Businessman, travelling around Europe and investing money in the units of various countries.  As that country’s units increase or decrease, so the Troubleshooter’s investment increases or decreases. As a Troubleshooter travels from one country to another, his money must change from one currency to another, according to the current rate of exchange.  The rates of exchange are determined by all the players through their activity as Businessmen.. The players, as Businessman, will try to arrange for currencies to be as cheap as possible when their Troubleshooters have to buy that currency, and a valuable as possible when they are to be sold. Thus, the Troubleshooter must predict future trends in the game of Diplomacy so he can invest in countries that expand and try and manipulate the currency markets to his own advantage. Players in the Diplomacy game may not play in Troubleshooter. 

The Rules 

The Businessman 

1.    Each player begins with a number of units of each currency; Francs, Lira, Crowns, Pounds, Piastres, Roubles and Marks. 

2.    At the start of the game each unit of each currency equals one dollar. 

3.    The numbers of units of each currency the players start with depends on the numbers of players: 

             4 players = 1000 units of each currency
             5 players =  800 units of each currency
             6 players =  650 units of each currency
             7 players =  550 units of each currency
             8 players =  500 units of each currency
             9 players =  450 units of each currency
            10 players =  400 units of each currency 

4.    Each time 100 units of each currency are sold, the value of that currency in relation to the dollar drops by 1 cent and vice versa.  E.g. if in the first season the total of orders submitted by Businessmen results in 500 more marks being sold than are bought, the price for the mark for the following season drops to 95 cents.  Similarly if 1000 more Lira are bought than are sold, the price of the Lira rises to $1.10.  However all fractions are lost, thus if 999 more Lira are bought than are sold, the price of the Lira only rises to $1.09. 

5.      Players must buy as much as they sell in relation to dollars.  E.g. (using the example above) if in the second turn a player sold 100 Lira he would raise $110, with which he could buy 115 Marks (as 110 / 0.95 = 115).  All fractions are lost.  The player should do these calculations themselves and submit them with their orders to be checked.  If there is an error in the player’s favour, the GM will buy as much as possible in the currency of which the player has bought the most of that season. 

6.    All income from sales of currency must be spent in the same season.  Any money not spent is forfeited. 

7.    The maximum amount of each currency which may be sold in any given turn depends on the number of players: 

             4 players =  500 units of any currency
             5 players =  400 units of any currency
             6 players =  300 units of any currency
             7 players =  300 units of any currency
             8 players =  250 units of any currency
             9 players =  250 units of any currency
            10 players =  200 units of any currency 

8.    A player may buy as many units of any given currency as he likes (and can afford). 

9.    If a country is eliminated from the Diplomacy game, that currency becomes valueless and all trading in that currency ceases. 

10.      Transactions begin with the S01 moves for the Diplomacy game. 

The Troubleshooter 

11.   Each Troubleshooter (“TS”) begins the game with $10,000 in Switzerland.  Switzerland is passable to all TS’s. 

12.   Each season a TS may be moved across the board like any Diplomacy piece, land or sea.  However, movement must be paid for at the following rate: 

            -1% of TS cash for each move to a land province

            -2% of TS cash for each move to a sea province  

E.g. a TS wanting to move from Lon to Par would order TS(Lon)-ENG-Pic-Par at a cost of 4% (2%+1%+1%). 

13.   If a TS ends a move (Spring or Autumn) in a home s.c. his money is automatically converted into that country’s currency, according to the current rate of exchange, and then divided up equally between that country’s units.  The TS must then remain there until after that year’s winter adjustments.  In the Spring the TS has the option of either leaving that country and thus withdrawing its loans to that country’s units, or staying for one more game year.  If a TS withdraws his loans from a country’s units he cannot return until the following game year.  Even if a TS withdraws his loans, his money will stay in the current currency until entering another home s.c. 

14.   A home s.c. which is not controlled by the original home power is not considered as a home s.c. for the purposes of rule 13 unless and until it is recaptured by the original owner.  Therefore it is impossible to invest in a power which has lost all its original home centres.  However, even if a home s.c. of a power is occupied in a Spring move, a TS may still enter it and invest his money in units of the original home nation, since ownership does not change hands until the Winter adjustments.  If after the Winter adjustments have been made the s.c. occupied by the TS changes hands, his loans are immediately repaid and he may not invest in that country again for 1 game year. 

15.   All currency adjustments as a result of Businessman activity are made before adjudicating TS movements and investments. 

16.   Money invested by a TS is considered to be a loan on the following terms: 

If any unit captures a s.c. then that unit repays the loan with 100% interest.  If a s.c. is lost, then the loan to the unit that was sustained by that s.c. is also lost.  Other units repay their loans without interest.  

E.g. A TS enters Warsaw and after conversion of his money he has 1,200 Roubles.  If Russia has 6 units, the TS invests 200 Roubles in each unit.  If after the Winter adjustments Russia has 8 s.c.’s then the TS is repaid 1,600 Roubles.  On the other hand if Russia was to fall to 5 s.c.’s then the TS would only receive 1,000 Roubles. 

17.   After all currencies are converted and money divided all fractions are lost.  E.g. if, after conversion a TS has £1,045.6 to be divided between 8 units, each unit would get £130.7, but since the fraction is lost each unit would be considered to have been loaned £130. 

18.   As for the Businessman, first moves are S01. 


19.   The winner of the game is the player whose TS has the most money at the end of the game, after all money has been converted into dollars at the current exchange rates. 

20.   The end of the game is variable.  Each season from S08 onwards the GM rolls a D6 and there is a one in six chance of the game ending.  The game ends after that move, so the players will not know in advance.  Should the Dip game end first, Troubleshooter ends automatically. 

Reprinted from Spring Offensive 3