God Save The Zine

Diplomacy House Rules (v2)

Diplomacy House Rules  v2 (July 2023)

1.     General

1.1 Except as mentioned below the current Diplomacy Rulebook will be used (the most recent edition is © 2023).

1.2 Deceiving me is never allowed and in particular it is not acceptable to forge orders from another player. All players must be open and honest in their dealings with me.

1.3 My decision is final on any interpretation of the rules of Diplomacy, these House Rules or any eventuality not covered by the two documents combined. Where I have discretion under these House Rules, my decision will be final and accepted in good grace by all players.

2.     Starting a Game

2.1 Players should apply to me (Stephen Agar) if they wish to play a game of Diplomacy. Preference lists for countries will be used if supplied, but final allocation of countries is entirely at my discretion.

2.2 I must be aware of the real identity of all players. It is not necessary for a player to play under their real name – using a false name / email address is permitted provided that I am aware of the true identity of the player concerned.

2.3 Obviously, a player cannot play more than one Power in any given game.

2.4 If a player changes their email address they should inform me and the other players immediately.

3.     Game System and Orders

3.1 The game will be played on a TWO SEASON game year.

Thus, Spring orders should contain retreats (which may be conditional on that season’s moves) for vulnerable units, in the absence of which any dislodged unit will be disbanded.

Autumn orders should similarly include conditional retreats and conditional builds/removals.  The conditional builds may be conditional on the previous season’s moves or retreats. This is not as difficult as it sounds. Trust me, I used to be a lawyer.

3.2 If two or more players attempt to retreat to the same space they will stand each other off and both will be removed from play, though a player may indicate which unit is to have priority if both the units are his.

3.3 If a player fails to submit build orders in an Autumn move then no builds will be made even if due.

3.4 Unless there is a clear instruction to the contrary “Remove A(Par)” means “remove the army that was in Paris before this season was adjudicated but may not be now.” – though if there was no Army in Par at the beginning of the move, but there is at the end of the move, then that A(Par) will be removed instead.

3.5 If a player fails to submit removal orders in an Autumn move (or the country is in Civil Disorder) then I will disband units which are not in supply centres as necessary. The distance of any such unit from the nearest home SC will be calculated and the furthest unit removed. In the event of a tie units in sea spaces are removed first, then units outside the home country, fleets are removed before armies and if all else fails disbands are made alphabetically. Thus, England would remove F(HEL) and F(SKA) before A(Pic), but A(Pic) would go before F(ENG) or F(NTH). A(Bel) and F(Hol) would not be removed.

3.6 Orders should be clear. However, I will accept any orders that are unambiguous, however badly written.

3.7 It would greatly assist if orders for different games were sent in different emails. Ideally, each set of orders should state player’s name, game, country, year and season.

3.8 Implied orders will be accepted, for example “A(Mun) S A(Ruh)-Bur” is a valid order to both units, however, a contradictory explicit order (E.g. A(Ruh)-Bel, A(Mun) S A(Ruh)-Bur;) will override an implied order, the unit is not considered to be ordered twice.  Thus, in this instance A(Ruh)-Bel would be a valid order while A(Mun) S A(Ruh)-Bur would be a misorder.

3.9 A misordered unit purporting to move can be supported in place (as is made clear in the most recent edition of the rules).

3.10 Orders should be submitted in good time for the deadline set in the most recent issue of the zine.  It is a good idea to send a set of provisional orders upon receipt of the game report, just in case.

3.11 Late orders will usually not be accepted, but I reserve the right to accept late orders at my discretion if not to accept them would result in a NMR and if it doesn’t inconvenience me too much. Therefore, you should not assume that it is safe to reveal your plans until you receive the adjudication.

4.     No Moves Received (“NMR”), Civil Disorder and Replacement Players

4.1 Failure to submit orders by the deadline will usually result in an NMR (“No Moves Received”), subject to rule 4.5 below.

4.2 I will not start a game with a NMR even if it means holding the game over and finding a new player.

4.3 Two successive NMR’s means that the offending player has left the game. The general rule is that if this happens the country will be placed in Civil Disorder, subject to rule 4.6 below.

4.4 When a country goes into Civil Disorder all its units will stand unordered but may be supported by other players.

4.5 NMRs ruin games. I will endeavour to remind all players once or twice before the deadline. I reserve the discretion to prompt a potentially NMRing player to send in some orders in order to protect the integrity of the game, but I don’t guarantee that I will, it depends how busy I am.

4.6 If a player NMRs up to and including Spring 1902, then I will advertise for a replacement player to send in orders to take over in the result of a dropout. If the player does indeed dropout, I will hold the game over for one season to enable the replacement player to get into the game. A similar process will be followed if a person resigns from the game or dies up to and including Spring 1902.

4.7 In the unfortunate event that a player were to die whilst a game is in progress, the protocol is to declare that player to be the winner of that particular game, but for the game to continue from its existing position under a new designator. I doubt any games player would ever want their own death to stop a game of Diplomacy.

5.     Abbreviations

5.1 In game reports provinces will be abbreviated to the first three letters of their names, capitals for sea spaces, lower case for land spaces.

5.2 Exceptions are: GoB = Gulf of Bothnia; GoL = Gulf of Lyons; Lvn = Livonia; Lpl = Liverpool; MAO = Mid Atlantic Ocean; NAf = North Africa; NAO = North Atlantic Ocean; NTH = North Sea; Nwy = Norway; NWG = Norwegian Sea; TYS = Tyrrhenian Sea.

5.3 Other abbreviations used in game reports are: NMR  = No Moves Received; NRO = No Retreat Ordered; NPRO = No Possible Retreat Ordered; MS = Mutually Supports; Std. = Stands; A(Kie)-Hol = Failed Move; A(Kie)-Bur = Illegal or Impossible Move or non-existent unit; *  =  Retreating Unit

6.     Errors

6.1 In the rare instance of an error creeping into an adjudication the error should be brought to my attention immediately. Do not assume that someone else will do this.

6.2 Any errors carried over for more than one season will stand, however bizarre.

6.3 Obvious errors (e.g. failing to underline a failed move) should not delay the game and players should always submit orders on the basis that the moves printed were correct (even if the game report was incorrect as to the consequence of those moves).

7. Skulduggery

7.1 Impersonation of me is not allowed. This is a departure from the traditional rule in postal Diplomacy games. However, given the ease with which the technologically competent can forge emails (and the difficulty of detection by those less well versed in the skill of reading email headers) this rule has been altered to take account of the realities of the situation.

7.2 On the other hand, it would be a shame to outlaw all skulduggery, therefore impersonation of another player is allowed, other than in dealings with me.

7.3 Forwarding an email from one player to another player is allowed (though some may think it bad manners). Of course, recipients of such emails will be aware that the contents of forwarded emails are easily altered.

7.4 A player may “cc” or “bcc” another player in on any emails he sends, including communications with me.

7.5 Players must accept that Diplomacy is a game in which behaviour normally deemed unethical in civilized society is permitted. Therefore, they should not be offended if others attempt any manner of scams or confidence tricks not prohibited by these House Rules in order to gain an advantage.

8.     Game Endings

8.1 A game may be ended at any time on any terms proposed by any player or by myself by a unanimous vote of the players.

8.2 Normally, the first time a game-end is proposed NMRs and forgetting to vote will be taken to be dissent. If the same game-end proposal is defeated but then then re-proposed the following season, then abstention shall be taken to be assent (whether or not the player abstaining on the second occasion voted on the proposal the previous season).

8.3 At my discretion when putting forward a proposal to end the game I may declare that abstention will be taken as assent on a first vote, so read endgame proposals carefully!

8.4 I retain a discretion not to end the game in accordance with an endgame proposal if more than half of the non-NMRing players have made no mention of the endgame proposal in their orders. This is to prevent absurd results.

8.5 The identity of the player proposing the game-end will not be revealed, nor how individual players voted.

8.6 The rules of Diplomacy state that “Draws include all survivors”. However, players may agree an endgame result where surviving players are not ranked equally on the basis that all players are agreeing that if the game had continued it would have resulted in some of the extant players being eliminated.

9.     Proxies

9.1 A player may sign over control of one or more units to another player at any time and indefinitely, provided that the player so doing continues to receive the zine. In the event that the player giving the proxy stops receiving the zine (which could be evidenced by an email bounce) then the proxy immediately ceases to have effect.

9.2 Any proxy arrangement may be cancelled at any time, without notice, by the player concerned.

10.   Press

10.1 Press releases for publication alongside the game are welcome and may be conditional on that season’s moves.

10.2 I will have a reserved dateline that may not be used by the players. My reserved dateline is “Versailles”.

10.3 The names of the seven capitals (Vie, Lon, Par, Ber, Rom, StP, Con) or the seven Powers followed by “(Govt.)” are reserved for the players concerned and are thus any press using this dateline is guaranteed to be genuine.

11. Maps

11.1 Regular Diplomacy games in the zine will usually have maps with the game reports, however they do not form part of the adjudication. I will have no sympathy with anyone who misorders on the basis of an error in a map, if the game report was correct.

12. Data etc.

12.1 Obviously, I need to record some personal data to be able to send you the zine. This is usually your email address and/or a postal address. I will publish your email address in a gamestart. When sending out mass communications I will “bcc” subscribers, so as not to pass on email addresses. You can ask to be removed from the circulation email database at any time.