Dean Gordon and Jeff Serandos
The variant is similar to Payola, but with a little more sanity tossed into the bowl. The variant allows a "what if" to take place: what if England had only armies? What if Russia started out with a fleet in the *north* coast of St. Petersburg? What if France had an army in Brest instead of a fleet?
The variant uses a typical standard map and winning conditions. What differs [or what may differ] is the starting positions of each power.
Each power starts out with 5 votes plus 5 votes per native SC that they are in control of. Observers logged on *BEFORE* Spring 1902 also get 5 votes. Each additional neutral SC [Por, Spa, Rum, etc] beyond the initial startup is worth 1 extra vote and each additional non-neutral SC beyond the initial startup [ie, your neighbour's HSC - Home Supply Centre] is worth 3 votes.
Example - England with 10 SCs would get 31 votes [5 power + 15 from its original Lon, Edi, Lvp SCs + 6 from controlling opponent HSCs Stp, Bre + 5 from controlling neutral SCs Nor, Swe, Den, Por, Spa].
An eliminated power retains their 5 initial votes. Votes can not be carried over from one adjustment to the next.
The variant is setup to allow broadcast grey press to allow observers to interact with the players and other observers [very important when it comes to trolling for votes].
A power may vote one of two ways: no build, a fleet or an army [for coastal SCs]; or no build or an army [for inland SCs]. The only exception is St. Petersburg, which has two coasts. The voter must specify which coast a fleet should be built at. If no specification, the choice will default to the south coast. The votes do not have to be limited to their own units [ie, vote strategically]. Example - If you are France and you have 20 votes [5 power + 15 from native HSCs Par, Bre, Mar] and you really do not want to see a fleet start in London, then put 15 votes on "no unit in Lon".
All votes are to be sent to the GM who enters the adjustment orders based upon the votes cast by each power and each eligible observer [with the exception of the initial setup which is entered by the JK]. The vote results are made public but *not* who voted where. Individuals may announce how they voted at their own discretion. Votes should be sent to the GM *prioritized*. The order of the votes, rather than the number, is very important when it comes to the tie-breaking mechanism. A 24hour notice will be given once all votes are in and those with voting rights can change their mind right up until the end of the 24hour period.
The votes are not secret. After the votes are cast, the GM broadcasts the results [but not who voted what] in this format:
Lon - 13 votes fleet, 12 army, 9 nothing
If a tie occurs the results line would tell the country that he or she has to make a quick choice.
Russia has one build and voted for the f stp(sc). He is forced to choose among the three other choices, none of which may appeal to him, but that's Democracy.
Russia has one build and voted for f stp(nc). Tie goes to the home country and f stp(nc) is built.
Russia has one build and voted for both f stp(nc) and a mos. Given that all votes are sent prioritized, Russia's first preference [ie., first on the ballot] was f stp(nc) and that is what gets built.
As the prioritization system is used for tie-breaking and Russia listed f stp(nc) first, the GM is to assume that Russia wants f stp(nc) [Note: In many Democracies that use proportional voting systems, the first choice at the ballot is used in any run-off or tie-breaking system. It seems only fitting to use it here]. The best way to ensure that this does not happen is for players to put the build they *really* want at the top of their list.
During adjustments, voting will take place when it is time to build. All those who are eligible to vote will place votes on what should be built during that season's adjustment phase [even if they have nothing to build]. This is where building friendships will come in handy.
Example: The above-mentioned England has 10 SCs worth 31 votes [Edi, Lvp, Lon, Nor, Swe, Stp, Den, Por, Spa and Bre] and has 1 build. Germany has 22 votes [5 power + 15 from Kie, Ber, Mun + 2 from Hol, Bel] and no builds. France has 15 votes [5 power + 10 from Par and Mar] and no builds. England places 31 votes on building a fleet at Edi and Germany and France (both at war with England) place 22 votes on no build in Lon and 15 votes on no build in Lvp. The English build goes through. However, if Germany and France combined and placed 37 votes for no build in Edi, England gets no build *unless* it can convince Russia, Turkey, Italy, Austria or some of the observers to support the English build. Since the game is broadcast only it will allow for some creative strategic press and trolling [ie, groveling, pleading, begging] for friendship votes.
Other than the above, standard diplomacy rules apply [ie., you can only build in HSC that you control].