Play by Forum Diplomacy

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Matt Robertson

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Play by Forum Diplomacy
« on: June 19, 2013, 02:22:13 PM »


WHAT IS DIPLOMACY
Diplomacy is a board game that was created in 1959. It is elegant in its design and simplicity. It is even more elegant to play.
Here is a link to the actual game on BoardGameGeek: Click Here

In the game, players represent one of the seven "Great Powers of Europe" (Great Britain, France, Austria, Germany, Italy, Russia or Turkey) in the years prior to World War I. Play begins in the Spring of 1901, and players make both Spring and Autumn moves each year. There are only two kinds of military units: armies and fleets. On any given turn, each of your military units has limited options: they can move into an adjoining territory, support an allied unit in an attack on an adjoining territory, support an allied unit in defending an adjoining territory, or hold their position. Players instruct each of their units by writing a set of "orders." The outcome of each turn is determined by the rules of the game. There are no dice rolls or other elements of chance. With its incredibly simplistic movement mechanics fused to a significant negotiation element, this system is highly respected by many a gamer.

WHAT IS HYBRID DIPLOMACY
Diplomacy is generally played in one of two ways. Face to Face or Play by Email. Both of these methods have benefits and drawbacks. When you play face to face, the interactions can be more humorous and engaging. It is more intense in many ways to play face to face. One of the big drawbacks of face to face play is that it is easy to spot alliances and much harder to be discrete with your own alliances. It is more difficult to form complex alliances and have protracted discussions with other players in private in a face to face game. PBEM games allow for more intricate private discussions by lack the intense personal nature of a face to face game.

A hybrid game combines the best of both ways to play. All of the players meet for the initial gathering and selection of the countries. A game moderator is assigned and all of the moves have to be submitted to the game moderator on a regular basis, much like a PBEM game. Some of the key differences are that the players are local and can meet to plan and plot their moves. Also, the moves can be revealed at a regularly scheduled time and place to keep the magic of the face to face meeting alive. This method captures the tension and interaction of face to face play, while allowing complex strategies and alliances to form in secret. All of the game developments will be posted on this site to give a running history of game development and allow additional commentary and game interaction. :)

ORDER WRITING
Because order writing is so strict, we probably should go over them a little. Diplomacy order writing is fairly simple...or so it should be.

The 4 main type of orders are:
Move
Hold
Support
Convoy


Here are detailed explanations of the four types of orders:

Move Orders
Move orders are simple, you just tell the GM what Army or Fleet you are moving and where that unit is moving to. In this format:
[unit] [start location] - [end location]

Common examples:
Fleet Sevastopol - Black Sea
Army Liverpool - Yorkshire
Army Constantinople - Bulgaria

You can also use abbreviations of F for Fleet and A for Army. Additionally, each country has its own abbreviation.
F Sev - Bla
A Lvp - Yor
A Con - Bul

Be very careful when using abbreviation, there are many that are similar, and diplomacy uses specific abbreviations. If it is not exact the order will not be executed.

Hold Orders
Hold orders are very simple:

F Sevastopol Hold
or
F Sev H

If you do not give a unit an order it will be considered to be holding.

Support Orders
Support orders are a bit trickier. You must list the unit where it is, and then give the exact indication of the support order for the unit your supporting.
If your supporting unit has different orders then the unit it is supporting, the support order will not be executed.

Example:
F Edinburgh Supports F London - North Sea
F London - North Sea
or
F Edi S F Lon - Nth
F Lon - Nth

If the unit you are supporting does something different the order isn't valid.
for example:

F Edinburgh Supports F London - North Sea
F London Holds

Well, the fleet in London is no longer moving to the North Sea, so the support order is not valid. Even though you are still supporting the same unit, you are not supporting EXACTLY what that unit is doing.

If you want to support the fleet holding it should look like this.

F Edinburgh Supports F London Holds
F London Holds

This mostly comes into play when you are supporting an "allied" unit, and he changes his mind as to what he is doing.

Convoy Orders
Convoy orders are a combination of the move and support order. The unit moving just lists its move as normal.

A Edinburgh - Portugal

But then each fleet must list a convoy (just like the Support order) with the unit's exact movement.

F English Channel Convoys A Edinburgh - Portugal
F North Sea Convoys A Edinburgh - Portugal
F Mid-Atlantic Ocean Convoys A Edinburgh - Portugal

Other countries can convoy each others units.  so lets say this was France's fleet.

F Mid-Atlantic Ocean Convoys A Edinburgh - Portugal

England doesn't write this order.  His french Ally must do this in his orders since it is a French Fleet.
If France "forgets" :confused: to write this order, the convoy fails.

REMEMBER: Any orders that are omitted or are invalid when submitted will revert to a HOLD order for that unit.

FORMAT FOR PLAYING ON SASKGAMES
We now have a discrete area on SaskGames for Play by Forum Games. As games get established, each game will have a discrete thread where the game moderator can post updates, rules and formats specific to the game they are running, and other items. It is also a good place for players to engage in public banter. :)

Here are some guidelines for game moderators. These may be changed or modified to suit your needs.
  • All orders are to be sent to the game moderator via a Private Message on this website.
  • Orders must be submitted to Game Moderator within 7 days from the time New game turn is posted.
  • Retreat Orders must be submitted to Game Moderator within 2 days from the time update is posted.
  • Builds and Disbandment Orders must be submitted to Game Moderator within 2 days from the time update is posted.
  • All messages are time stamped. Your First set of Orders ONLY will be accepted.  Any "I didn't like what I sent" orders will be ignored
    This is actually part of the real game.  Once orders are committed you can't take them back because you change your mind.
  • Any incorrect orders will be discarded, no exceptions.
  • If a time extension is needed please notify the Game Moderator ASAP. (Vacations, etc.)
  • Make sure that after each order, you have a line break (ie, press your enter key!!!).  Not two line breaks or several dozen but one (1).

DISCUSSIONS & NEGOTIATIONS
Discussion is a free for all. E-mail, pm, phone, and even posting on the forum {true or not... :excited:}

VICTORY
1st country to control 18 Supply Centers
Remember supply centers only change control at the end of the Fall turn.
In some cases, players may agree to play down to three players then declare a victor. The parameters of victory should be discussed before the game starts.

SOFTWARE
The following software will be used to adjudicate game moves and post map updates. Each player should have a copy of the software installed on their computer. This will allow them to import updated game files after each move and the software can be used to generate the orders you send to your game moderator.
You can make diplomacy moves just by dragging the units and then it will out put the orders.
The game file will be small enough that it will be posted on the forums and you can use it for the next turn to play around with moves.Game updates will be posted on the forum by the game moderator in a .DPY format from this software.

http://realpolitik.sourceforge.net/

RULES & RESOURCES
Rules for Diplomacy
Planning Map
Teaching Guide
« Last Edit: June 19, 2013, 05:01:46 PM by SaskGamesAdmin »
My KARMA ran over your DOGMA

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celticgriffon

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Re: Play by Forum Diplomacy
« Reply #1 on: Today at 10:38:40 AM »
If anyone is thinking about running a new game of Diplomacy via this play by forum group I would be interested.

Cheers,
Michael
I wonder if you could be anyone would you be yourself? - yup it's mine..