Vain Rats III (rg07)

by Richard Downes

There are so many versions of Vain Rats about that I could not decide to use so I thought what better than to devise my own. I believe it is Richard Sharp we have to thank for this, one of my favourite variants. Basically each player has extra powers that he may use as best described below.

1. The 1971 Diplomacy rule book will be used except where amended below.

2. Each player has two unique powers. One major and one minor. These powers override the normal diplomacy rules and some override each other (see later).

3. Each player has one hyperspace joker. This may be played at any point during the game. It allows a player to connect two provinces together for the following season only.

4. The game starts in Winter 1900. Players should a preference list for the powers. Then players with defensive units or garrison may place them on the board. Plus players may if they wish play their hyperspace joker immediately. The orders may be conditional on the powers allocated.

5. Retreats: Because of the nature of the game unexpected dislodgements may occur. Retreats will be made using ‘Just’s Right Hand Rule’ which states that if no retreat is ordered then the unit will try to retreat to the province to the immediate right of its attacker, then to the left the next right, next let etc. However, this rule ONLY applies if NO retreat orders are given for that unit.

6. The GM will keep the powers secret for the duration of the game. Although may will become apparent as the game progresses.

7. Major Powers

1. Evil Eye: This allows the player to submit orders each season for one unit belonging to another player thus countermanding that players original order for the unit. However a unit of the same country may not be ordered for two consecutive seasons.

2. Pirate: Similar to the evil eye. This allows the player to take control of another player’s fleet to convoy his/her army to where he/she desires; This order countermands the original order as well as any evil eye order. Again the same country may not be affected consecutively.

3. Thief: Each season the thief may steal a unit belonging to another player. The stolen unit is removed from play. Defensive armies, Double strength Macron units and the invisible units of the chameleon are immune. Units of the same country may not be affected two seasons in a row.

4. Napolean: Any unit that unsuccessfully attempts to move into a province containing a unit belonging to the Napolean player that did not move that season is annihilated. (The Napolean’s units of course being excepted.)

5. Amphibian: All units owned by this player exist equally well on land and sea. Once revealed such units are designated “U” and not “F” or “A”.

6. Extra Petrol: Each season one unit of this player may make a double move (E.g. F(Nap) – ION – Gre) either or both parts of the move may be supported. If only the second part of the move fails then the unit will remain at the intermediary stage.

7. King: Each season one unit may be designated a king. This piece is then at double strength for that season. (i.e. its move/stand/support has an extra support added)

8. Minor Powers

1. Macron: The original armies of this player are double strength (cf king). These armies may not be rebuilt if lost. In the case of England, the first army build will also be a Macron.

2. Defensive Armies: Two extra armies may be built at any time (usually Winter 1900) within the player’s home borders. These act as normal armies except that they cannot move or support outside their home country.

3. Crooks Tourist: A unit may be built, from Winter 1901 onwards in any unoccupied neutral supply center (i.e. not a home supply center). However, this does not mean that the player now owns the province. He/she must be there to claim it normally in the Autumn.

4. Garrison: Once during the game a garrison may be built in another player’s supply center. This is a double strength unit that may not support anything or move at all.

5. Spring Raid: This player has a Summer build season as well as the usual winter season.

6. Neutral Builder: Units may be built in any non-supply center in another country. Each country may only be used once for this purpose.

7. Chameleon: The original units of this country (excluding F StP(sc) in the case of Russia) are invisible. Their movements will only be reported if they are involved in a conflict. No chameleon units may be built when the original ones are lost.