Diplomacy with Escalating Technology (re06)
by Der Garvey
0. All rules of Economic Dip IV by Fred C Davis apply with the following vicious mutilations. [IV uses the regular board but does away with scs and gives each space a yield of "credits" as follows: Lon Ruh 4; all old scs except Lon, Spa, Tun, Ank, StP, Tri, plus Ukr, Yor, Bur 3; the rest 2 except Alb, Arm, Apu, Sicily 1. (Oops, add Piedmont 3). Stp is divided into Arcangel 1 and StP3 by a line from Fin to Mos. Tri is divided into Tri2 and Zara2 in the South, by a line from ADS to Bud. Spa is divided into NSpa2 and SSpa2 by a line from Por to a four-point-meet with Gas/Mar. Each autumn a player gets the income of the spaces he controls in the Regular sense: each army retained or built costs 4 credits; each fleet 5, there is no build cost per se, but units are paid for in advance and there's no rebate if they get killed in Spring. Builds are only in the old home scs. Units may be disbanded by choice in winter to save credits.]
1. Initially each country has research teams for the field of economics, military and naval. Teams may be ordered to operate at a cost of 2 credits per spring or autumn, have a % chance of inventing something useful. Each team starts with an expertise level of 1, each time it succeeds this level rises 1 and can never be lowered. If it fails the level temporarily rises 2: a success after one or more failures bring the temporary level back to the permanent one. A convenient way of writing this (ripped off from Hyperec like the basis of the variant) is x-y with permanent first, eg a team at 4-7 goes to 5-5 if it succeeds, 4-9 if it fails. The chance of success if 10% per level for the first 6, then 5% per level up to 10 which is the maximum attainable. An alternative to researching is for one team to teach another all it knows: both must be ordered to operate @ 2 credits and both end at the same level as the higher.
2. At the end of each Autumn enough talent develops for various new teams to be set up by the highest bidder. Possibilities are: biological; theoretical; nuclear; sundry. The first two will only go to a country with a total permanent level in its teams of 7, nuclear teams need 12 to consider a country. Two teams appear and are auctioned with reserve prices of 4 credits each.
3. Teams can create a variety of things when they succeed, abbreviated to MR for military research factor, NR for naval etc. Rs, credits and teams are freely transferable between countries at any time, and sending them may be conditional on receiving others. Note orders of units cannot be conditional on anything, nor anything on them.
4. An ER1 can be assigned to a space and will increase its normal yield by 1, but if it was already 5 or more it rises by 2. An ER2 can be applied to a stockpile of credits and will add 50% to it. It can only be used once and on only the credits owned by one country. An E team success has an equal chance of being an ER1 or an ER2.
5. An MR1 can be assigned to any army and allows it to double-move each season afterwards. ie it acts as though trying to move into both its destinations, unless the first half fails. eg A(Bur)-Ruh-Kie, A(Mun) S A(Bur)-Ruh will allow A(Bur) to get to Kie even if an enemy unit attacks Ruh, and it would be stood off although Ruh would end empty. An MR2 allows a unit double strength when standing or supporting a stand order. ie it requires the strength of at least three units to dislodge. An MR3 gives an army double strength in all things, so it can mow down unsupported units alone. At levels 1-4 there are equal chances of an MR1 or 2, and over 4 equal chances of all 3 types - if the team is successful at all. Once assigned a factor cannot be taken back, and dies with the unit.
6. NRs correspond exactly to MRs but apply to fleets rather than armies. Both types have no power on the move they are assigned.
7. BR1 is a blight that cuts the yield of the target province by half rounded down until a BR2 is assigned to cure it. A BR3 can be used against a stockpile of credits to destroy 1/4 of them, rounded down. A BR4 is a plague factor. It blights the province, it's assigned to and immobilizes any unit in it, then moves at random one space each move doing the same thing until hitting a province to which a fresh (ie unused) BR2 has been assigned. (ie you have to guess where it's going and permanently commit a BR2 there.) Note BRs can only be applied against a space or country adjacent to a space or unit of the country doing it. The same applied to ERs. At level 1-4 there are equal chances of BR1 or BR3 and double that chance for a BR2. Over level 4 there's also a chance of a BR4. (ie 1 in 5 because of the weighing toward BR2s.)
8. A TR1 can be assigned to any team - even a theoretical one - and adds 2 to the permanent level. A TR2 is a false lead which can be used to take 2 permanent levels from any rival team. At levels 1-4 chances are 2:1 in favor of a TR1 over a TR2. At level 5 and above the same odds apply but there's a 50% chance of success being doubled.
9. Nuclear Rs are abbreviated AR. An AR1 defends the space it's currently assigned to from one nuclear attack. Alternatively it may try to block an attack to an adjacent space with a 50% chance of success. It is not reusable, though it may be moved between provinces even after being assigned: it defends nothing on the move it's moved. An AR2 can be assigned to any province or sea space and has the effect of annihilating any unit in there at the end of the move, cutting the yield to 0 credits for the following two years, and making it impassable for the following two moves. An AR3 is much more fun and does the above to the target space and all those adjacent to it with the times doubles on the target itself. Although all research results are published, AR1 placements are not disclosed. At level 1-4 chances of an AR1 are 2:1 over an AR2, and at 5 and over the ratios are 3:2:1, ie only one chance in 6 of you new AR being an AR3.
10. Sundry teams are much more eccentric and unpredictable. At level 1-4 a success may be in the field of any other team. At 5 or more the following become possible too: SR1 a submarine pack which costs 3 credits per year to run and cannot gain control of spaces, but it has hidden movement when in sea provinces and can sink any fleet standing where it does or moving the same way as it does. NRs may be assigned to it for extra speed. (By the way, several Rs can be applied to the same unit to give it the strength and speed of many, stoppable only by similar blockbusters or nuclear devices - cor!) Each attack by the subfleet involves a 10% chance of being depth charged to death. It may only do two such attacks without returning to a friendly land province, and must "snorkel" in winter, ie get its position published.
SR2 is an air factor which costs 2 credits a year to run and may move 6 spaces unladen or four (or less) carrying an army. Pick up and debarkation require no time at all but are blocked by an attack of any sort on the space where it occurs. An air-factor has no combat strength when on the ground and can be captured if it enters the same space as an enemy unit while on the ground. It may reduce the strength of one unit per move by 2 by flying over it unladen. If ordered to bomb the space containing subs it has a 50% chance of knocking them out.
SR3 is a camouflage factor giving the unit it's assigned to hidden movement thereafter.
SR4 is a spy factor which allows one team to get to the level of any other team of the same kind anywhere on the board without the permission of that team. That team need not cooperate by paying 2 credits and doing no research, but the educee ((sic)) must. If an SR4 is made there's half a chance there'll be two.
SR5 is a sabotage factor which reduces the permanent level of any target team by 4 and destroys any of less than level 4. It may be used on only one team once.
11. As well as armies and fleets National Guard units may be built in any land province controlled by the builder or players designating it friendly for this purpose for four consecutive moves prior to the winter the NG is built in. It costs 2 credits per year to run and may make no moves other than standing or supporting a stand. Movement Rs may not be assigned to it but strengths may. An MR3 only adds the power of doubly supporting a movement by another unit. If forced to retreat an NG disbands.
12. Ownership of a military unit or province may be transferred freely by agreement and appropriate orders.
Errors: another change in the board is a new Turkish province, Persia, bordering Sev, Arm and Syr with a value of 2. It makes a Russo-Turkish stalemate less likely.
Acknowledgements to Fred of course, and to Geoff Challinger, Steve Norris, and Don Miller, one of whom probably invented the research concept all the above is based on: also the NGs.