V – Variant Descriptions

VAIN RATS (Richard Sharp and others)

(1) Pete Sullivan in C’Est Magnifique 55, July 1988.

So called because it’s a mixture of variants. Each player has one (or, in most versions, two) special powers chosen from a list at the start. These vary from version to version, but normally include things like Petrol Rationing (allows multiple moves), Evil Eye (may re-order another player’s unit), Leper (can give `leprosy’ to units it meets, killing them), Double Armies and so on. Usually won by the player who chooses the best special powers at the start and makes the best use of them.

(1) JAMES NELSON in SPRINGY 45 (February 1991)

This variant has many different versions which are all very similar. There is a collection of `special powers’ and each country receives one or two of these. Examples of Special Powers are Double-Strength units (attack and support as a 2A or 2F), Leaper (can leap over one space), Evil Eye (may order one unit of any other power), etc.

The difference between versions is in which powers are available, how they’re allocated and how many are given. In some versions, each player has one power for the whole game which many be used once per season. In other versions each power has a stockpile of powers and may use them whenever desired (although no more than one power per season), once used the power is lost for ever.

VAIN RATS II (Richard Sharp)

(1) STEVE AGAR and JON LOVIBOND in ??? (circa 1979)

This is one of the `silly’ variants that are played for fun. It is played on the regular board with all the regular rules. The amendments consist of a list of 12 or so special powers — the players send in a preference list saying which of these powers they would like to have. An example of a Special Power is the `Spring Raid’: This player establishes ownership of a supply centre by occupation in any season; he may build after the Spring moves for any centers gained. Also, every power has a `hyperspace’ joker — this enables him to connect any two provinces on the Diplomacy board for one season, although the GM must be informed the season before the link is made. A `different’ game.

VOTE (Steve Doubleday) Gallimaufry ??? (29/4/78)

(1) STEVE AGAR in ??? circa September 1980

The principle behind Vote is that everyone receiving the zine is assigned to a team which plays one of the seven powers in a Diplomacy game. All members of the various teams are invited to vote on which moves their units will take, points being awarded to the team members depending on how accurate their votes/prediction were — pure democracy between team members being used to determine the real moves.

Alternatively, players can subvert (vote for) a foreign unit; gaining points if their vote/prediction takes place and giving them an opportunity to switch to a more successful team.

The game works quite well if some of the players can muster up a bit of enthusiasm. A revised edition appeared in Gallimaufry ??? (3/11/78)