Welcome to Diplomacy.
Diplomacy, the board game, was created in 1954 by Allen Calhamer and released in 1959 by Avalon Hill. The game is intended as a simulation of the alliance system that launched the war to such devastating consequences. You, gentlemen, are each heads of a Great Power, and will be responsible for forging alliances (and breaking alliances) to help secure your country, expand its borders, and seek to dominate Europe.
Courtesy of the Diplomacy Pouch, a clear map of the game board:
We will not be using this map. We will be using the free, somewhat lower quality one that came with my free Diplomacy adjudicator. This map, however, contains the names of all the provinces and should be quite helpful to explain the set up of the game.
There are 34 supply centers (hereafter referred to as SCs) on the board. Each country begins the game with 3 SCs excepting Russia, which begins with 4. The number of SCs you possess is directly tied to the number of armies and fleets you can support. If you have 9 SCs, for example, you can have a combination of up to 9 armies and fleets. The game ends when one player controls 18 SCs.
The game's turns are dealt with in cycles of "years," two turns to each game year. For convenience's sake, the first turn is Spring 1901. Each movement turn is followed by a retreats phase, and at the end of a year, there's a builds-disbands phase in which the player harmonizes the new number of SCs he possesses with the number of units on the board (destroying excess ones and building new ones).
Spring 1901 is a movement phase. Summer 1901 is a retreats phase. Fall 1901 is another movements phase. Winter 1901 is both retreats and builds/disbands. Those four actions together are a game year. This game will move at a year every two weeks. Once a week we will do a movements phase. When retreats phases are necessary, we will deal with them quickly over the following day or so.Combat
Unlike many other board games, there is no chance involved in Diplomacy. There are no dice. Combat is directly calculated by the amount of force you have bearing on a space. If two armies have equal force aimed at a certain space, they deadlock (or "bounce"). If one has more support than the other, it will take that space. Similarly, if an army "attacks" with more support than the defender can bring to bear, it "dislodges" the defender, who has to either retreat or disband.
Every turn you can perform an action with each of your units. They can move, hold (stay in place), support a movement somewhere else, support a unit holding somewhere else, or convoy (a land unit using naval units as a bridge to cross a body of water). A unit can support to a province it borders: it does not have to border the unit it's supporting. A land unit cannot support a move to a sea province, a naval unit may support a move to a coastal land province. Naval units, of course, cannot move inland.
You will submit orders in a variation of this fashion:
(Example orders for England)
F Edinburgh-Norwegian Sea
F London-English Channel
If you prefer, you can use province abbreviations, but I don't insist on it (Edinburgh becomes EDI and so forth).
If multiple single armies are headed for a province, they bounce. If there's support, one might make it (though it escalates: a unit with one support and another unit with one support will cancel out).
Remember always that your allies have their eyes on the prize of 18 SCs, and that they are likely to only be faithful to you as long as you are helpful to that end. Your friends may want to backstab you, so maybe you should backstab them first.
Communicate with each other using PMs, and PM me your orders. I will expect them in by Midnight on Saturdays (EDT) and will adjudicate on Sundays. Because we're starting on a Tuesday this week, if you cannot get your orders in by Saturday, I will be happy to give an extension.
If you have any further questions regarding the rules of Diplomacy, PM me or check on one of the numerous sources online.