MAP (GIF) (118 Kb)
1. All 1971 rules of Diplomacy apply, with the following alterations.
2. An army may be converted to a fleet, or a
fleet to an army, in Spring or Autumn, if it is in a coatal space, does not move
nor support in the season and it is not attacked in that season.
3. There are 34 supply centres. A player wins when he
has 19 units on the board.
4. A unit in its home fortress centre (not that of another player) has a defence strength of two. Thus an
attack with one support will not dislodge the defending unit. An unsupported
attack still cuts the support of the defending unit.
5. There is only one movement season, Summer (as opposed to two in regular Diplomacy -- Spring and Autumn). Retreats are
taken in Autumn Adjustments are taken in the Winter. Normally, Winter
adjustments and the Autumn retreats can be called for with Summer moves in
postal play. The game begins in Third Age 3000.
6. Players are ARNOR, ANGMAR, ELVES, ROHAN, GONDOR,
RHUN, Dwarves and Men of RHOVANION, and MORDOR. Note that the Elves have four
home supply centres and that the home centres for Mordor are Barad Dur, Nurn and
Dol Guldur. Each player begins with one army in each home centre.
I wanted to experiment with an eight-player configuration. 8 player
variants are rare, and since 8 is really too many for a circular configuration,
I decided to try a two-sphere configuration and see what happened. Since I'd
just received An Atlas of Fantasy with a good Middle-Earth map of the
correct size, and since Middle-Earth is a popular subject, I chose this setting.
In attempting to vaguely represent the War of the Ring, I was thrown a
bit off the original track. I could not find a way to give Rohan and Rhun strong
interaction without doing too much violence to the scenario , and so I settled
for a less than ideal set-up. I also decided, after I'd begun, to experiment
with one season instead of two. This makes each move crucial since there is no
time to set up a manoeuvre.
The game was designed for rapid development, face-to-face rather than
postal play being uppermost in my mind. The low ratio of units to players
contributes to the brevity of the game The
rapid development means that one poor player can screw up the game more than in
regular Diplomacy, and a stabbing type of player has more opportunities in the
early going because players must takes more chances in order to come out of the
opening game with a good, solid position.
This game shows that one cannot design a board
in a vacuum. The board is designed for one-season play. Try it with two seasons
and see how much the power relationships change. Mordor, in particular, is hurt
when each year contains two movement seasons. Last, fortresses were added to
help counteract the influence of a one-move game year. I didn't want players
frozen into their home areas.
published by John Boyer in Impassable.