Investment Diplomacy (re16)

Peace and Prosperity Diplomacy - A New Variant

by Larry Cronin

Inspired by the need to restrain the relentless bloodthirsty ravaging encouraged in regular Diplomacy I have tried to develop a variant which puts curbs on this without taking the fun and action out of the game. This game puts PROSPERITY as the goal, a necessary ingredient to attain prosperity being PEACE. Ambitiousness certainly plays its usual part, but militarism is more cautious. Overall I hope the game is just as exciting and also enlightening as a better representation of world politics. Here it is:

We use the SAME BOARD, SAME TACTICS, SAME NATIONS, SAME TERRITORIAL AREAS, SAME NUMBER OF PLAYERS.

CHANGES involve the pieces, purpose, and some procedures:

1) We use the SAME PIECES but "BUILDING BLOCKS" are added. Each SUPPLY CENTER in 1900 has FIVE BLOCKS in the supply center. These blocks have a value of ONE POINT EACH. A NICKEL or 5 cent piece can be used, by placing it in the province. In PBM games, the number of these blocks occupying any given territorial space can be signified by a number after each territorial name, e.g. LPL-5, etc. How these are expanded is described below. All supply centers are worth five points initially, including the neutral ones. (A map pin the color of the given nation, could be placed in the supply centers of each player to avoid confusion regarding ownership.)

2) STARTING UNITS: I have designed 3 different scenarios. The game can be started in any on the three following manners. The first is exactly like regular dip. This allows players to use their usual tactics and to compare the two games. In the second 1900 starts without military units, but income would be distributed for the first year and players decide what they want to build (see below for how to build). This version reflects the reality that some nations never had fleets and some did not necessarily have to militarize. In the third, there are a REDUCED NUMBER OF STARTING UNITS: each country has ONLY ONE NAVY and ONE ARMY, all in the usual places except there is none in EDIN, MARS, VEN, BUD, MUN, WAR, and SMY. This reduces warfare and focuses on NATION BUILDING and avoids the initial confusion of spending the first year's income.

3) PLAY begins as usual. In fall 1901 five POINTS are earned for possession of each INTACT (see below) supply center (as opposed to the usual "one point" in regular dip). This reflects the five points in each supply center. It will COST five points to maintain each military unit and five for each new build (basically the same as in regular dip). REMAINING POINTS can be placed as BLOCKS in any of the supply centers a player possesses. Pennies, nickels, and dimes can be used to signify this. This placing of blocks is the "BUILDING OF PROSPERITY" or "NATION BUILDING"! (All points must be spent each year, although this rule can be changed to develop a treasury or to allow loans and grants, etc., if so desired). Military units may be built only in the supply centers of the home nation (just as in regular dip).

4) INCOME GENERATION: Each year income is determined by how many POINTS are in each player's possession (in the supply centers). For example if England owns LON, EDI, LPL, BEL, DEN, NOR, and the following number of points are in each LON-8, EDI-7, LPL-12, BEL-3, DEN-2, NOR-4, then England's income is 36. It could have a total of 7 military units or less and use remaining income to build further. Neutral supply centers put their income back into themselves. This can be done in two different ways. It can be only as blocks OR a neutral army can be built in 1901 which will make capture of these centers more difficult in the future. The neutral supply centers will maintain one army each as long as there is income to do so each year.

5) An additional rule addresses the conquering of supply centers in battles. All warfare follows the usual dip rules. When a supply center is taken by another power without opposition by simply moving a unit in, the number of blocks remain the same. But when it is taken in a battle, it suffers economically, as in reality. Nonetheless the conqueror gains something. In this case, he gets ONE HALF THE NUMBER OF BLOCKS which were present, odd number rounded up. This is called the RUBBLE RULE. The remaining blocks must stay in that supply center. (The other half are rubble, returned to the box.) This applies only when a supply center is taken by force from another power, i.e. that there was resistance.

6) DISBANDING: To encourage peace and reflect reality, armies may be brought home and DISBANDED, in home centers only, allowing the income to be spent elsewhere on further nation building. Likewise fleets may be SCRAPPED for 3 points in home centers.

7) A few OPTIONAL CHANGES are recommended. First, to speed up play, years may not be divided into seasons. Building can occur after each year (each move). Another, but more complicated modification, would involve the economic system of Fred Davis' Economic Dip IV. This could be added to give every territory province some economic generating value. Blocks could be built in any province. Fred also recommends a price differential of 5 for fleets and 3 for armies.

THE GOAL OF THE GAME is for a nation to accumulate 100 POINTS OR BLOCKS (or any pre-specified number) - TO HAVE BUILT ITS "CITY ON A HILL"!). If all territories are supply centers or economic assignments are given to each territory (per Economic Dip IV), then the final numerical goal needs upward adjustment.

Appendix 1: Perhaps a more realistic game would have supply centers valued 3, military units cost 1, and income by only one third the number of points a player has. All other rules would be the same. The rather unrealistic idea that a nation realizes 100% profit on investment is avoided.


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