English Civil War IIa

By Stephen Agar

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This variant was first published in Pigmy 27 (June 1979) and was revised by Michael Heaton in Bats 7 (December 1980). This version was revised in June 1992 by Stephen Agar.

0. The rules of Diplomacy apply, except where amended below.

1. This is a 2 player game set in the English Civil War, one player representing the Royalists and the other the Parliamentarians.

2. Seasons. There are three movement seasons, followed by a points/build season (see below). The game begins with a points/build season (December 1642) and proceeds as follows: movement (Jan 1643), movement (Feb 1643), movement (Mar 1643), vote/build (April 1643) etc.

3. The Board. There are 44 spaces on the board representing some 48 counties and London. For the sake of play balance the welsh counties have largely been amalgamated into South Wales (equivalent to 3 counties), Mid-Wales (equivalent to 3 counties) and North Wales (equivalent to two counties) for movement purposes.

All counties have a bias rating towards one or other of the factions as indicated on the map. A rating of "0" indicates a neutral county. A county is nominally controlled by the player that it is sympathetic to. The bias rating of the counties will change as the game proceeds.

4. Influence Points. Players are awarded a number of influence points at the beginning of each points/build season equal to the number of counties controlled by that player divided by three (rounded up). Thus in Winter 1642 both players have 8 influence points. Royalist influence points are positive, Parliamentarian influence points are negative. These points may be allocated by either player immediately in order to affect control of the various counties or saved and carried forward. If both players allocate influence points to the same county the result is cumulative.

For example, in December 1642 the Royalists could choose to use 4 influence points in Pembrokeshire to turn a county with a -3 bias into a +1 (and thus deprive the Parliamentarians of a supply centre). However, if the Parliamentarians simultaneously allocated 2 influence points to the defence of Pembrokeshire then the resulting bias would be (-3) +4 -2 = -1.

5. Occupation. If an army and/or a leader unit spends an entire movement month in a county which is controlled by the other player then the bias of that county is modified by one influence point towards the occupying force.

6. Supply Centres. Supply Centres are marked on the map and in the above list of counties. A Royalist supply centre may not be used as such by the Parliamentarian player and vice versa. If a supply centre is occupied and/or controlled by the other player then it ceases to be a supply centre until it is once again controlled by the player to whom it was originally dedicated. supply centres may be built (see Leader Units).

In addition to the 12 supply centres built by the players each of London, North Riding, Mid Wales, Gloucester and Oxford act as regular Diplomacy supply centres and support one army each determined by occupation (London 2 armies) in addition to their initial status.

7. Builds and Removals. In a Points/Build season each player adjusts the number of armies he controls to equal the number of supply centres he still controls and are unoccupied by the enemy. Note actual control is necessary, it is not sufficient for the supply centre to be neutral. Armies may be built in any vacant supply centres controlled by the player making the build.

8. Leader Units. Each side has four Leader Units:

Royalist: King Charles I; Prince Rupert; Sir Ralph Hopton; Duke of Newcastle.

Parliament: Oliver Cromwell; Sir Thomas Fairfax; Earl of Essex; Sir William Waller.

A LU may exist independently of an army or co-exist in the same county as a regular army and up to one other LU. A LU on its own has the combat value of a regular army provided it is in a county controlled by that player (it is not sufficient for the county to be neutral). A LU with a regular army adds one to the strength of the army, but may not act independently unit the LU splits from the army. A LU may not exist independently in a county controlled or occupied by the other player - if this should happen then the LU is captured.

If a LU stands in a non-supply centre county for three consecutive movement months, irrespective of what supports it gives or whether it is unsuccessfully attacked and the county in question is controlled by that player throughout those three moves, then that county becomes a supply centre for that player. LUs cannot be built or replaced.

9. Multiple Units. Multiple units are allowed as specified in the standard Multiplicity II rules as they apply to armies contained elsewhere in this package.

10. Initial Placement. Each player starts the game with an Army in each of their 12 Supply centres or a 2A in North Riding, Mid Wales, Oxford, Gloucester and London. LUs start the game in any of the home supply centres as determined by the players in the first build/vote season.

11. Victory Criteria. The winner is either the first player to have twice the number of units (LUs and armies) on the board as the other player in any month or to have more units than the other player and to have captured/killed King Charles or Oliver Cromwell respectively.

This is a much simplified version of the original variant I designed back in 1979 which featured Trained Bands. The map overleaf was drawn by Peter Calcraft and originally printed in spirit of the age. Several games were run postally in the early 80’s.


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