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INTRODUCTION

Diplomacy is a wonderful game from Avalon Hill, set in Europe between 1815 and 1914. If you think that Risk is a wonderful strategy or war game, you probably won't like Diplomacy. Comparing Diplomacy to Risk is like comparing poker to a hide-and-seek game.
There are many sites where you can play Diplomacy; nevertheless, this one has some peculiarities:  our games are played by people of different nationalities and in different languages; we are so far publishing in five languages (Italian, Macedonian, Portuguese, Spanish and English), but others will be added in future: anyway, we have no knowledge of other sites where you can play Diplomacy in Macedonian! Moreover, we attach the deepest importance to the ambientation of the game. Our players receive their Embassies' reports, breaking world news, requests to answer interviews, intelligence reports, models of treaties to use in the game, and maps of the political situation in Europe. Public diplomacy finds its place here as well as secret diplomacy: public declarations of the players, interviews to Ministers and Kings, texts of the public treaties and rumours of secret ones that are intentionally leaked out by players - all are published together with analytical articles about the current situation. At every season we publish a drawn map with the updated situation and
articles of the journalists taking part to the game. In the team-played version, constitutional rules set duties and rights of every player within the team. Classic Diplomacy lovers should not be scared: all that just creates the ambientation, but standard rules of classic Diplomacy survive and apply.
Reserve a place on next game by sending an email.

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RULES

01. HOUSE RULES
In this page we only publish a short summary and the "House Rules" to play over the Internet. The rules we observe are those published by Avalon Hill in the year 2000 (find them here in english in .pdf format)
, except for what is stated in this page, on the FAQs or established during the game. You can ask a set of rules in English at this email , but remember that you will not receive the official rule.

02. NUMBER OF PLAYERS
Positions are available by invitation from the GM. Those players who show interest by sending an email to the GM are also invited to participate.
The GM sets a deadline for the acceptance of the invitation. The game starts only if at least seven (7) players have responded. In the case that too many people have responded to the invitations, the GM will decide which of the candidates are finally appointed and apply whatever criteria is to be used in the selection. If at least 14 players have responded, then a team game will be possible and at the discretion of the GM will be established using the rules below.
NOTE: The GM maintains the right to refuse a position to any person in the game. All positions are at the pleasure and discretion of the GM.

03. DATA ASKED OF PLAYERS
When a player requests to take part to the game, he is asked to provide some data: first name, citizenship and main email (this information will be published); city where he lives (for statistical purposes); surname, mother tongue, other languages he knows, second email, telephone number, mobile phone number, password (these data are asked for possible needs during the game; they will be not published).

04. LANGUAGES OF THE GAME
This site's management will do every effort to ensure that your mother tongue be included as an official language; nevertheless, for obvious reasons, we cannot guarantee it. Your help will be very welcome in that case!
We consider as "working language" (used for multilateral communications between the GM and the players) the language spoken by all players; if there is not a language spoken by all players, two or more languages will be choosen as working languages. "Official languages" (used for bilateral communications with the GM and on the site) are the mother tongues of the players. All other languages that can be used by the players to communicate among them, are known as "vehicular languages".

05. PLAYER ASSIGNMENTS TO COUNTRIES
The GM assigns the Countries to players randomly. In Team-Games, the assignment can be based on the basis of the criteria that will be published, typically to allow team mates to share the same common language or country of origin.

06. TIMING OF THE GAME
For the first set of orders, players have two weeks (four if it is a team-game). After that, one week will be allowed for every movement (two weeks in the team-game). For technical delays, for special needs of the GM or for the needs of the game , the normal deadlines can be extended una tantum by a previous email of the GM to the players. To appeal the GM's decisiones, to build/unbuild Units, for retreats, 24 hours are conceeded (48 or 72 in the team-game).

07. DEVELOPMENT OF THE GAME
Diplomatic negotiations are made by email, telephone, personal meetings, through mediators, etc.

08. PLAYER'S EMAIL OF RECORD
Players are asked to have one "Main" Email address, that is published on the game record website; they are also advised to have at least one "Secondary" Email address to be provided to the GM for a back up. Communications informing that the main Email address is going to be changed must be sent to the GM exclusively by the "registered" (main or secondary) addresses.

09. TRANSMITTING ORDERS
Orders can be sent only by email.
In that case there is no garantee you will find the GM at home nor that he will understand/write the orders correctly; moreover, those orders won't receive any confirmation.
By writng orders, you should pay attention to the game's syntaxis:
as shown in the abbreviations table, Units are identified by a capital letter (A or F), territories by three capital letters (PIC, ROM, etc.), orders are identified by two signs (xx means holds, >> means attacks, ^^ means convoys, // means supports, << means retires, ++ means builds, -- means unbuilds).
Orders are given to Units by writing them to the GM
. Your email should contain all following data (and no more than this): in the subject, "COUNTRY - season and year (order number)"; in the text: orders (each Unit on a different line).
Example:
AUSTRIA-HUNGARY - Spring 1901 (3)
F TRI // A SER >> ALB
A SER >> ALB
A VIE xx

The order number underlines that this set of orders is (totally) substituting a previous set. An advice: send your sets of orders every time you have a new idea and always send a set of provisional orders upon receipt of the game report. The GM will consider the last set of orders received before the deadline. LATE EMAILS WILL BE NOT ACCEPTED; the GM will consider as valid all orders received on his first download of emails after the deadline. Therefore you should not assume that it is safe to reveal your plans after the deadline. In case you didn't mark your orders with an order number, the GM will accept the last set of orders received; nevertheless e-mails can get delayed and it is not unusual for a later set to arrive BEFORE an earlier set. Then ALWAYS WRITE your order number.

10. INTERPRETATION OF THE ORDERS
Whenever possible, the GM will confirm the orders he received. The players are advised to send the orders early enough before the deadline, to receive the confirmation and correct possible syntax errors. Poorly written orders that can be interpreted with only one reasonable manner are considered as valid. In order to avoid irreparable errors, during the week players can ask the GM explanations about the consequences of their possible orders; the accepted formulation is "if I move my Units in such way and Russia moves in such other way what happens?"; or "can I give the following order?". Answers are NOT promised as they depend from the GM's availability in that moment. Orders that didn't arrive to the GM, or that arrived with errors, or that arrive late, will be considered as "hold" orders to all the Units. If no orders are received for reteats or adjustments (Build and Disband), the GM will decide the action in a random manner excluding the possibility of intentionally retreating off the board, or in the case of builds, declining to build.

11. APPEAL AND FINAL DECISIONS
You can appeal (or ask explanations) from every decision of the GM; usually, a deadline is given for appeals. You should convince the GM that he didn't consider any fact or any rule in the due manner. The GM will consider every appeal, eventually asking the advice of other judges; if a big doubt arises, the GM can call an international diplomatic conference. Anyway, after discussion, the GM's decision is final on any interpretation of the sources of rules (rules of Diplomacy , these house rules, FAQs, previous decisions, realism of the game, etc.).

12. REBELLION
A player willing to abandon the game before it really ends, has the two following options:
- retire from the game, leaving all Units in a state of rebellion; in that case, the GM will try to find a substitution;
- leave his place to another person, WHO CANNOT BE ONE OF THE PLAYERS ALREADY IN THE GAME (in this case both players involved will be excluded from present and future games); a player who has been substituted cannot re-enter the game.
The following rules are applied to the player who omits to send his orders:
- at the first omission, he will be contacted by the GM to confirm whether he wants to go on playing or to leave the game;
- at the second omission: if on-a-row, he will be expelled; if not on-a-row, he will be substituted only if there is a candidate to take his place (if it is a team-game, it is also requested the consent of the team);
- at the third omission, he will be expelled.

13. PEACE CONFERENCE
In order to establish the final arrangement of the geopolitic map of Europe, at the end of the game a Peace Conference is convoked under the GM's chairmanship; during the Conference, the Powers change territories, define special statuses, identify free cities, disarmament conditions, war reparations, etc.
In whatever moment, each player can ask the GM (even asking him to remain anonimous to other players) to convoke an anticipated Peace Conference: after obtaining from the others players a general consent, the GM will convoke and chair the Peace Conference, playing in it a POLITICAL role. In case the Conference fails its target, hostilities restart. In the case an agreement is reached, the quality comparative  classification will take in consideration the behaviour of the players during the Conference; nevertheless, the winner will be the player which, at the moment the Conference is convoked, controls the biggest number of supply centers. It is not admitted that two or more players agree a "draw".

14. STALEMATED GAME
If the GM notes that the game appears to be stalemated, he may at his discretion call a Peace Conference.

15. OBSERVERS
Observers are welcome to sign on and observe the game. If they'd like to take a more active role, they are asked to register as journalists, mediators, ambassador (if accepted by one of the players or of the teams), as a Chief of a third Country and so on.

16. WHAT IS ALLOWED AND WHAT ISN'T
1. Forwarding an email is not considered "netiquette"; nevertheless it is accepted by these house rules.
2. Negotiating regarding builds or retreats is actually against the strict letter of the rules; never
theless, it is accepted by these house rules based on the fact that, contrary to the face-to-face game, there is no mean to control whether players are communicating each other.
3. It is extremely bad manners to drop out of a game simply because things are going badly for you.
4. You are expected to sign onto a game as a free agent, not restricted by any pre-existing agreements you may have made with other players
.
5. Obscene or overly insulting language is considered absolutely inadequate to this game and will be discouraged by the GM.

6. It is considered uncorrect to contact the GM in order to obtain informations which he cannot give, trusting on his good faith or maybe in his ingenuity.
7. It is uncorrect and incredibly stupid to attempt to overrule the GM, ignoring the status of the GM as the final authority on game matters.
8. It is forbidden to attempt to influence a player in the current game by offering threats or concessions in a future game
or in another game played simultaneously on another site. This is called "cross play" and is strongly discouraged. It is a fortiori forbidden and incredibly unfair to influence a player or the GM by offering threats or concession in real life.
9. You cannot sign twice to a game pretending you are two different players; if that happens, you will be excluded from current and future games.
10. A player may not hand over control of his email to another player, not even of his same team, UNDER ABSOLUTELY NO CIRCUMSTANCES; if that happens, both players will be excluded from current and future games. By the way, presenting onself as another person is considered a crime in many countries.
11. It is forbidden and unfair to use your knowledge on informatics to take an advantage over other players, for instance taking their passwords, cracking their mails, making up your emails as to appear to be another player or the GM, etc. This is a Diplomacy game where the email is just a mean for communications; it is not a competition for the best hacker. Ignoring this rule may lead to permanent exclusion from current and future games.

12. Just because you can find a loophole or a mistake in the house rules does not entitle you to exploit it. If you doubt whether something you're contemplating doing is actually forbidden, just ask the GM.
13. A
busive behavior of any sort, especially behavior that continues after the GM asks a player to rein it in, may be grounds for removal from the game.

17. PLAYING IN TEAMS
Playing in teams means that the 7 Powers are ruled by more than one player, simultaneously, based on "internal" rules.
Advantages of playing in teams are: all people willing to play can take part in case there are more than 13 candidates; a home affairs' dimension is added to the game. Characteristic of the team-game is that each kind of decision (orders to Army, orders to Navy, building orders, etc.) is taken by a different player of the team; nevertheless, after the orders arrive to the GM, the game goes on exactly as a normal 7-players game, in a way that, examining the movements from an external point of observation, nobody could notice any difference from a 7-players game.
Candidates admitted to the game are gathered in teams by a drawing of lots made by the GM; the draw can be restricted by any limitation (that will be communicated to players): for instance, players who speak the same language could be gathered in the same team. All teams will have the same number of players and the powers of each player will depend on the number of players, as you can see in the following table.

1st player 2nd player 3rd player 4th player 5th player 6th player
1 player per team The only player makes it all.
2 players per team Prime Minister: takes all decisions. Free (1). He has the right to send back-up orders at every turn. Back-up orders will be accepted only if the Prime Minister fails to send his orders; the Second Player will then be given the opportunity of taking the Prime Minister's post. In this case, the 4-years count-down to the new elections will start again.
3 players per team Prime Minister: he takes the command of Army or Navy (at his choice); he appoints the other players and can annul the appointments; he decides which Units should be built and where. Second Minister: he commands the Army or the Navy, according to the Prime Minister's decision. Free (1). As an opposition, the player may send "shadow-orders", which will be accepted in the case of omission by the entitled Minister: in that case, the 3th player keeps the Second Minister's post and maintains it for one year at least. In the case of both the Prime Minister and the Second Minister miss their orders, the third player takes the Prime Minister's office.
4 players per team Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs: takes all  decisions, but doesn't trasnmit the orders himself. He decides which units are to be built and where to do it. He appoints the other players and can annul the appointments. Minister of War: commands the Armies. Minister of the Navy: commands the Fleets. Free (1). As an opposition, the player may send "shadow-orders", which will be accepted in the case of omission by the entitled Minister: in that case, the 4th player keeps the Minister's post and maintains it for one year at least.
5 players per team Prime Minister: appoints the other players and can annul the appointments; he decides which Units are to be built. Minister of Foreign Affairs: takes part to international conferences, signs the registered treaties (3) and presents the appeals. Minister of War: commands the Armies and decides where new Armies will be built. Minister of the Navy: commands the Fleets and decides where new Fleets will be built. Free (1).  
6 players per team Prime Minister: appoints the other players and can annul the appointments. Minister of Foreign Affairs: takes part to international conferences, signs the registered treaties (2) and presents the appeals. Minister of War: commands the Armies. Minister of the Navy: commands the Fleets. Minister of Economy: decides which Units will be built and where they will. Free (1).
1) "Free" means that his role is decided by the Prime Minister, which can appoint him to whatever charge not implying the control of units. For instance: journalist (who writes articles on the press); Spokesman (who speaks with the press and circulates official declarations); Chief of the juridical service (who examines all GM's decisions to see if there are mistakes, and prepares the appeals); Ambassador (who takes care of the relations with one Country); translator; Chief of the Secret Service (whose official role is different; actually he tries to unveal secrets, anticipates movements, looks for contacts, observes the enemies and report to the Government); Minister of Propaganda (who spreads the ideology of the State and explains the reasons for which those decisions have been taken), etc.
(2) Treaties are considered as "registered" if they are sent to the GM by all subscriber parts in order to deposit them.

The table obviously reports the prerogatives that are juridically relevant; nevertheless, the Prime Minister takes all political responsability as he has the power of annul the appointment of his Ministers; practically he can give them orders and dictate the political, diplomatic and military line, engaging the State and communicating with other teams from the highness of his role.
The Prime Minister is chosen by every team by unanimous agreement or by elections. In the case of elections, players of the team may be candidates for Prime Minister and all cast one vote with the player who gets the majority of expressed votes assumes the charge of Prime Minister for a term of four game years.
If in an election two or more players get the same number of votes, "journalists" will be invited to choose the Prime Minister; their power of vote will depend on the number and quality of the articles they have published during the game. If after that a play-off is still needed, the GM will decide who's the PM.
Even before his four-years-period expired, the Prime Minister can be dismissed (i. e. overruled) by the majority of the players of his team, provided that they agree on the name of the new Prime Minister and that at the same time the Prime Minister forms the new Cabinet. In this case, the 4-years count-down to the new elections will start again.
The number of players per team may change during the game.

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FAQAbout the site - About the game rules - About the house rules - About playing in teams - About the Peace Conference

other questions

 

About the site

Do you know all these languages that you publish in or do you have help translating into them?
First versions are usually written by myself for most languages; I then welcome revisions. For other languages I have had the help of people in the hobby. Occasionally I asked help to professional translators.

Would you ever be interested in expanding your site to play in Asian languages as well (for instance Middle Eastern, Indian, Pakistani or Thai languages)? A multi-national, multi-continental, multi-cultural Diplomacy website would be extremely cool, don't you agree?
I totally agree and don't have any opposition against Asian languages. I'd love to have more variety on the site, including languages like Hindi, Urdu, Arab or Thai. I normally include new languages when I have players whose mother-tongues are not included in the translated languages, and I ask their help. Nevertheless, I don't overestimate the willingness of people to help with translations: it's a difficult job (even if not so long-drawn-out as it may appear) and by my experience, people rarely keep their promises. If anybody is willing to help with a new language, here are the mother-tongues of people who are in my mailing list (by number of people): Italian (35), English (33), Portuguese (29), Spanish (23), German (6), Macedonian (3), Chinese (2), French (2), Hebrew (1), Polish (1), Arabic (1), Afrikaans (1). And every other player, every other language are welcome: write me and sign up!

Since you have several flags for Spanish, why is there only the American one (not the British or Canadian) for English?
The flags represent the nationalities of the players of the ongoing game. In the third game, there were only Americans for English, while there were Venezuelans, Spaniards and one Argentinian speaking Spanish.

Where are you located?
The location of Casus Foederis is "World". The GM has not a permanent location: he started in the Balkans, passed to Italy and is now moving to South America.

Can you publish my banner among your links?
My policy on links:
I only publish in my link page links to sites who reciprocate the link;
I can publish the link on the "personal" banner of every player upon his request.

How often would I need to access my computer or the site if I join a game?
I'd say that you should access your PC on a minimum basis of once a week, if it is a team-game. Though this is probably not enough to win a game. I suppose that winners access probably at least once a day.

How does your "point" allocation get awarded as it does not seem to relate to supply centers or rankings?
There are basically two graduatories.
The first is more "official" and very simple. You win if you are in the winner team at the end of the game, regardless if you entered it one turn before the game ends. You get one point for every game you won, regardless to the role you have had in your team. No victory, no points. As stated on the house rules "draws" are only permitted if all players still "alive" agree. (It happened on the first game, while the second and the third ended with 18 territories conquered).
The second scoring system regards diplomacy (not Diplomacy-TM) as an art, not as a mathematic calculation of ratios, participations and territories. Every player gets 0 to 20 points for each game they take part to, even if thet didn't take part to the entire game. You take less points if you abandon a game, more points if you answer emails, less points if you are rude, more points if you win, less points if you are a bad diplomat, more points if you enter in a difficult situation and try to "save" your country", and so on. It's somehow like competing in an ice-skate olympic competition. Who decides how many points? The GM, basing his decisions on 5 basical criterias that change at every game.

Is it a custom to send a message to all new players to say "hello", "welcome to the game" and "what do you think"?
The GM always welcome new players also by sending them an introduction to the game and to the house rules. All other communication is not a matter of rules, but of international courtesy. Some players introduce themselves; I would find it polite to say "welcome" or "good bye" (when players arrive or leave the game). This kind of politeness is also considered in the point allocation system!

Is there software available that I can download?
No software, you'll just email the GM for your orders. If you want to use a software to check the results, I advice Realpolitik.

 

About the game rules

A Unit (1) is supporting a Unit (2) attacking a sector. Can a Unit (3) support the Unit (1)?
Yes. Giving support engages the power of Unit (1), but it doesn't imply that the Unit (1) is not supportable by another Unit (3). You can support a Unit that is by itself supporting another Unit.

Let's say France enters these orders: A ROM >> NAP; F TYS // A ROM >> NAP; and let's say Italy enters F NAP >> ROM. Assuming the supporting F TYS is not attacked (and thus cut), and assuming there's no other support for either move, does the French move succeed because it had support, even though normally two units could not switch places?
The only way Units can exchange positions is being convoyed. What happens, then, in the case you suggested? A ROM and F NAP engage the battle; A ROM is supported by F TYS; F NAP is not supported; then, A ROM wins; F NAP should retreat.

Which is the advantage of registering a treaty?
Say that A and B have a treaty and that A does not respect it:
1) if they don't publish the treaty, B can claim, in front of the international community, that the treaty has not been respected by A; nevertheless A may accuse B that there was no treaty at all
2) on the contrary, if the treaty is published, B can ask the GM to publish it: in that case A will have no possibility of denying the existence of the treaty, because the GM certifies the text.
(Nevertheless, the GM will never say WHICH is the right interpretation and which party is guilty.)

 

About the house rules

Does CM mean GM?
CM means Casusfoederis' Master, which stays for Game Master, too.

When will a new game start?
We will most probably start next game in November 2005; it is impossible to say how much an ongoing game will take to end. You should always add a pause of 1-2 months after the end of the ongoing game. If tha game already started, take in serious consideration to enter the waiting list and join the ongoing game: this will not affect your score on the site and will help you for the next game.

Can we choose our Country?
No, decisions about Countries are left to chance.

Is it accepted that a player discusses his orders together with another player?
Of course it is, as this is the fundamental part of the game.
Therefore, it is allowed: to discuss orders among players (which would be an alliance); a player saying to another one which orders he has to give (that would be the submission of one Country to another); a player receiving orders from another player and just forwarding them to the GM (that would be a puppet-Government).
Nevertheless it is forbidden: a player to give his password to another player so that the latter can control the first's email and issue orders there from; one player to agree with a second player to create a new mailbox with the first player's name, being this mailbox actually controlled by the second player in order to hide the real identity of the second player. (Furthermore, to present oneself with another's name is considered a crime in many Countries).
In conclusion: a player is allowed to subjugate his Country to another player if he likes so; the limit is that he should control directly and physically the mailboxes he's using in the game.
Absolutely read rule 16 to know what is allowed and wat is not.

Should players be CCing everything they say to the GM as well?
Only if you like. There are basically two reasons to do that and two not for doing it. Reasons for doing it: 1) because you please the GM, allowing him to observe the game; 2) because you speak to the GM, and talking is the basic wheapon of any spy (nevertheless I always deny the possibility of saying any secret to players). Reasons not for doing it: 1) you may do some mistake and send the email with your strategy to any enemy; 2) you may distrust the GM and fear he could speak about your plans with other players (nevertheless I always deny the possibility of saying any secret to players).

Where did you come up with such a strange system of notation? I have never seen such a system! In fact you created a new language that nobody knows!
It is the output of a reflection on how to have only symbols to indicate orders (every order, two symbols); in order to mantain the multilanguage aspect of the site. The new language is also more clear for newbyes, to which I devote a particular attention.
Actually, "s" for "support" and "c" for "convoy" is in English; if you play in non-English sites you can find different letters for support and convoy. In the Italian rules it is APP ("appoggia") and TRA ("trasporta"). "Convoy" is understandable for Italians (convoglio=group of ships), not for portuguese (comboio=train), and you even have big differences between Brazil (train=trem) and Portugal (train=comboio). And so on.
Moreover I wanted the number of letters (digits) to be fix:
- 3 letters for sectors
- 2 letters for orders
- 1 letter for Units
Note that A and F is the first letter for Army and Fleet for all 5 languages used in the site and even more (French, German, Russian, etc.). About sectors: people of all languages are most used with English abbreviations; nevertheless, at the beginning of every game, I ask to the players what set of abbreviations would they prefere to use.
About the working language. It is fixed by comparison of the players' declarations on which languages do they know; the working language is the minimum number of languages that ALL players can understand. English is normally enough, because usually all (or almost all) players understand it. In other situations, two or more languages could be used for every communication of the GM. Finally, what I think is the most important: I accept orders even if they're written in another notation, provided that no doubts can arise on what the player wanted to do. This leaves an open door to players to gradually understand the new system.

What is the “progressive number” all about?
You mark your first orders with (1). If your change your mind you send a new set marked (2). Then, (3)... That helps the GM to understand in which progression you changed your orders' sets. It happens sometimes that -say- the set (2) arrives after the set (3). If the sets are numbered the GM can know what is your real intention. There's a rule on that.

Would you accept two season's orders at a time? (This way there would always be a turn of orders in reserve).
I normally ask please to wait the beginning of the season, for several reasons: to keep in order my files, (in the team games) to grant that a PM leaving for a long period be forced to pass his power to another player of his team, and also (in the team games) because I believe that 2 weeks is a more than reasonable period for thinking about the orders.

Will players' messages be published in future?
Whatever message I receive is published only with the permission of the sender. I need an explicit authorization to publish, I don't publish "because I thought I was authorized to".

 

About playing in teams

Does "teams" means that few players are playing together one Country or does it mean to be allied in advance (e.g, England and Germany form a "team" so they will be allied and they know that even before the game started)?
See rule 17: it means that more players play together a Country.

How does Diplomacy work with teams?
1st: the rules of the game are those of the standard Diplomacy; therefore, I don't consider our team-game a "variant"; what is affected by playing in team is the decision making of the Country. 2nd: there are different rules depending on the number of players per team: we played with 14 players (2x7) and with 21 (3x7); it is important that EVERY team has the SAME number of players.

The following explanation is limited to the case of 3 players per team.
One player is the Prime Minister (PM) and Minister of War (for England, Minister of the Navy); another player (2M) is the Minister of the Navy (for England, Minister of War); the 3rd player (3P) has another duty, as Minister of Propaganda, Min. of Foreign Affairs, Spy, etc.
Every 4 years an election among the players decides who'll be the PM for the next 4 years. The PM has the right to appoint the 2M choosing him among the 2 players left; and also what will the the role of the 3P be. He can switch them if he's not satisfied with the action of his 2M. The 2M and the 3P may agree to overrule the PM (coup d'état).
The PM is the only entitled to send the orders to the Armies (the British one to the Fleets); the 2P is the only entitled to send orders to the Fleets (the British one to the Armies).
The 3P holds a sort of a "free" position. It is very useful for when the PM wants another person in the "military" Government or when one of the players of the team has a period of absence due to real life engagments (vacations, hard work period, exams, etc.): in that period he holds the free position of 3rd Player and avoids prejudicating his team.
This was a "technical" explanation: when you insert human defects and virtues in that "technical" box, you get an incredible variety of realistic "home affairs" behaviors: the game assumes an "internal" politics dimension and gets much more realistic.

The following explanation applies to the case of 2 players per team.
The PM (Prime Minister) is the only person entitled to send orders. This may open many different scenarios in the internal politics of the Country, for instance:
1) PM and SP (Second Player) collaborate and discuss orders; they can even agree to share the lead of the Country (ex. by leading it for alternate periods of 4 years).
2) The SP makes an active opposition to the PM: he doesn't collaborate and even tries to take power with a coup d'état (explanation below). The SP may even inform other powers that he has different ideas and when he'll take power the foreign policy will change. Needless to say, this selfish attitude may take the Country to disgrace, even if it may add interest to the game. In fact, the PM will try to avoid this scenario sharing with his SP important decisions.
3) The SP disappears and practically doesn't play. It's accepted, but it's not interesting: the game in teams wasn't exactly intended to have SPs disappearing.
Whatever may outcome, when forming the Cabinet, the PM appoints the SP to a charge (he can -of course- welcome his SP's suggestions or have a previous discussion with him): possible charges include Spokesman, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Propaganda, Spy.
Now: how may the SP overrule the PM? See the different possibilities:
1) by agreement: for instance, if the PM has a big period of work in real life, he can agree with his SP to change the positions;
2) by elections: every 4 years, either the two players agree who will be te next PM, either an election is organized;
3) by force ("coup d'état"): if the SP always sends a "backup" set of orders (even if agreed with his PM), in the case of the PM missing the deadline, two consequences will rise:
A) the SP's orders will be accepted in absence of the PM's ones (the SP saves his homeland!!)
B) he has the right of CLAIMING the PM's place and get the power: that's the coup d'état!

How do we know if we will be playing with 7 people or 14 people, etc.?
Actually we don’t, until we start the game. Nevrtheless, you can ask the Webmaster, who could try to guess... 

Is there a way that we can only play in a 7 person game or is there only one game going on at once?
There is only one game going on at a time.

Is there a rule that says that the "free player" of a team cannot also be specifically appointed to be -say- the Ambassador to one Country, in addition to his post as Journalist or Spokesman? Can the Prime Minister be also Ambassador to a Country?
Not really a rule. I'd say that it would be an incongruency: an Ambassador is something very very far from a spokesman.... Anyway, the Prime Minister can inform any other power that his "free player" is plenipotentiary to negotiate with it. It is up to the Prime Minister to convince of that his adversary / potential ally.
The Prime Minister being Ambassador, on the contrary, would be a nonsense: the Ambassador obtains his power/authority from the Goverment, while the Prime Minister already has all the authority to negotiate with whatever other power.
In the two-persons-games, practically, the Prime Minister plays a normal Diplomacy game and lets his second player help him in the way he preferes. All the rest is fantasy!

Being the Second Player of a team, may I send a set of orders on behalf of the Prime Minister in the event that he doesn't get orders in?
Back-up orders are accepted for Second Players in the 2-players-per-team game and for Fourth Players in the 4players-per-team game.

Shouldn't we set up a list on Yahoo? Or has this been tried and failed?
I've been thinking about it, but I also thought: will all people like to register themselves, understand how does it works, etc.? I already have enough trouble in getting a simple answer like "yes" from some player!

As a journalist, may I make interviews through e-mail to the players?
Of course; but remember that players are not forced to answer your emails.

May I be a journalist and also belong to the waiting list?
Yes, there's no incompatibility. If apart of belonging to the waiting list, you are a journalist:
- you will receive all multilateral emails and, if you wish, take part to the debates;
- your email will be published on the site;
- we'll wait, at least sometimes, an article or an interview in wathever language you prefere;
- the journalists may also have a role in the election of the Prime Ministers (see rule 17).

 

About the Peace Conference

What do you mean by "Peace Conference"?
The Peace Conference is the last act of the game and it is structured by rule 13. There is a Peace Conference to settle the European map after one player has been declared winner (i.e. after conquering 18 supply centers). A Peace Conference can also be organized when one player asks it in whatever moment of the game. In that case, the Conference will be organized and chaired by the GM, provided that all the players who have at least one Unit yet in the game express their consent. Note that in the second case (Peace Conference BEFORE having a winner):
- accepting the Peace Conference doesn't mean accepting whatever result the conference may end in;
- if no consensus is obtained, hostilities will start again;
- defeated Countries will also be invited; they will be recognized with a limited negotiating capability;
- observers of Neutral Countries can be invited and even actively take part as mediators;
- whatever result the Peace Conference may have, the winner will be the Country who controls the bigger number of supply centers at the moment the Conference is called.

When is the Peace Conference effective? immediately as all Countries accept it, or is it announced officially at the time of the deadline?
The Peace Conference is announced as soon as all Countries accept it. When the Peace Conference is officially summoned, the deadline countdown is stopped. If the Peace Conference fails to achieve a result, the countdown re-starts (not necessarily from the same point where it stopped, in order to assure that the deadline is set on suitable time and day).

Do journalists have access to the Peace Conference emails?
Journalists don’t sit at the Conference table, but they can read the official reports from the Conference, every day on the site (ongoing game page). Moreover, participants to the Conference can forward their emails to the journalists if they wish so.

What does "paraphed" mean?
The paraphs are the seals (or the initials) that the plenipotentiaries (for instance, the Ambassadors) add at the end of the text of a treaty as to avoid that the text be changed by the counterpart. The text will be, after, signed (say by the Ministers) and ratified (by the Parliaments). The "paraph" means "Ok, we agreed this text, now let's see if our Ministers accept to sign it".

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ABBREVIATIONS

A army BOH Boemia NTH North Sea
F fleet BOT Gulf of Bothnia NWG Norvegian Sea
xx stays BRE Brest NWY Norway
>> goes to BUD Budapest PAR Paris
// supports BUL Bulgaria PIC Picardie
^^ convoys BUR Bourgogne PIE Piedmont
<< retreats CLY Clyde POR Portugal
++ building CON Costantinople PRU Prussia
-- disbanding DEN Denmark ROM Rome
(E) East EAS Eastern Mediterranean Sea RUH Ruhr
(N) North EDI Edinburgh RUM Rumenia
(S) South ENG English Channel SER Serbia
AT Austro-Hungary FIN Finland SEV Sevastapol
DE Germany GAL Galizia SIL

Silesia

FR France GAS Gascoigne SKA Skagerrak
IT Italy GRE Greece SMY Izmir
RU Russia HEL Helgoland's Bay SPA Spain
TR Turkey HOL Holland STP St. Peterburg
UK Great Britain ION Ionian Sea SWE Sweden
GM Game Master IRI Irish Sea SYR Syria
@ supply centers KIE Kiel TRI Trieste
ADR Adriatic Sea LON London TRL Tyrol
AEG Egean Sea LVN Livonia TUN Tunisia
ALB Albania LVP Liverpool TUS Tuscany
ANK Ankara LYO Gulf of the Lyons TYS Tyrrhenian Sea
APU Apulia MAO Mid Atlantic Ocean UKR Ukraina
ARM Armenia MAR Marseille VEN Venice
BAL Baltic Sea MOS Moscow VIE Vienna
BAR Barents' Sea MUN Munich WAL Wales
BEL Belgium NAF Northern Africa WAR Warszava
BER Berlin NAP Naples WES Western Mediterranean Seal
BLA Black Sea NAO Northern Atlantic Ocean YOR Yorkshire

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