Multinational Diplomacy

by Rien Kooy

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Multinational is a diplomatic game played on a USA-map combined with some states in Canada and Mexico, but it can be played on any map you want to use. The rules aren't depending on the map you are using.

In Multinational the multinationals rule the modern world, where there are so many more possibilities than simply fleets and armies. The goal in the game for all multinationals is to gain control over the world by conquering 18 or more capacity centers. Once a player has achieved this goal he is declared the winner and the game is ended. Two players controlling together at least 26 capacity centers can win the game together when they both claim the shared victory in the same turn. Players can always agree on ending the game by mutual agreement, deciding for one for more winners.

It's almost impossible to win the game without cooperating with the other multinationals. Every player can make agreements with the other players, but there's no guarantee for any player that the agreements are kept. Agreements are based on trust, but stabbing is a logical part of the game.

In Multinational it's hard to defend one's (home) centers against an attack, while the opponents can simply move large areas with their units and land behind your front line. The ruling multinationals have gotten several powers to their disposal.

The Military power is fleet and army in one, the unit can move over land and over seas just the same. The Economical power is less effective on the short range, but it can move two states at once, just crossing through enemy territory and attacking behind the front lines. Economical powers aren't limited by the only one step ahead. The Political power is a real stabbing unit. The attacking power is rather small, but it can reach up to three states far. The Political power has a very large attacking range, it can strike surprisingly almost anywhere. It is just like politicians whom you can never really trust. Political power has only few limits, like in real life.

When all this makes it not hard enough to defend yourself or easy enough to attack other players, there's also the possibility of a Fly Over (FO). Specially for Military powers this is very useful to move your unit from one front to another. The FO brings your unit in one turn wherever you want it as long as the journey is done over neutral or controlled territory.

Multinational is a game with a lot of opportunities, not meant for defensive players, since defense is hard to do. Offensive players can have a lot of fun with all the possibilities in this game.

The game

1. In the game there are 52 states of which 34 have a so called power capacity.

Pennsylvania and Virginia are separated by the water of the North Atlantic Ocean, although it's not clear on the map. There is no connection between SPO and GME and there is no connection between Dur and GME. On the map the multinationals and their powers are shown with the first (capital) letter for the multinational (A, C, E, G, I, P or T) and the second (small) letter for the kind of power (e, p or m).

2. For a good understanding of the rules it's important to define the terms that are used in these rules.

Capacity center: a state which has a power capacity
Home center: a capacity center which is a home state of one of the multinationals
Sea area: an area on the map which is not a state, but a sea
Bordering state: a state that directly borders the state
Second line state: a state that borders to a bordering state
Third line state: a state that borders to a second line state
Neutral state: a state which is not a capacity center and is at the moment not occupied by any power
Controlled state: a capacity center which is controlled based on the rules for capacity centers
Occupied state: a state which is at the moment occupied by a power
Uncontrolled state: a capacity center, that isn't under control of a multinational
Allowance to FO: allowing a power of another multinational to fly over states you control or occupy
Power: a fighting unit with a certain strength, owned by a multinational
Building year: all even playing years, starting with 1992, where players build or remove powers

3. The game is open ended, it will last as long as there is no winner or mutual agreement to end the game. The game is divided in years, starting with the year 1990. Before the game starts all players can give their preferences for which multinational they want to play. Every game year represents a turn in the game. The game ends when one player controls 18 out of 34 capacity centers or when two players who own together 26 capacity centers both claim a mutual victory in the same turn. The players are free to decide to end the game with a draw or an agreed winner, but such a decision must always be made unanimous.

Start of the game and the powers

4. The seven Multinationals control each at the start of the game three capacity centers, which are their home centers. The multinationals in the game with their home centers are:

Multinational Home Centres
A T & T H Uta (MP), Neb (EP), Kan (PP)
Citicorp Vir (MP), Pen (EP), Vmo (PP)
Exxon Tex (MP), Nme (EP), Coa (PP)
General Motors Mic (MP), Wis (EP), Ils (PP)
Philip Morris Grg (MP), Ala (EP), Flo (PP)
IBM Mon (MP), Nda (EP), Alb (PP)
Time Warner Ore (MP), Cal (EP), Bca (PP)

Each multinational starts with one Economical power, one Political power and one Military Power. They are free to decide to divide these powers over their home center.

The characteristics of the powers are:

Economical Power (E):

defensive strength : 3
attacking strength : 2 against bordering states
2 against second line states

Military Power (M):

defensive strength : 3
attacking strength : 3 against bordering states
none against other states

Political Power (P):

 

defensive strength : 3
attacking strength : 1 against bordering states
1 against second line states
1 against third line states

All powers can move as far as their strength reaches. M's can move only to bordering states, E's can move also to second line states and for P's also the third line states are within reach. A second line state or a third line state can never be reached over a sea area. They can only be reached by flying over land.

5. In the first year (1990) the players only decide about the starting position of their units. The following years (1991, 1992, 1993, etceteras) all players will give orders to their powers. Every 'even' year is a so called building year, which will be explained later on. Between all years the players have gotten the possibility to negotiate confidential with the other players to achieve support for its moves and/or exchange information. These negotiations are a crucial part of the game. All players are free to keep or break any agreement they made, no player is bound on any agreement that was made.

After the negotiations phase all players write orders for their multinational for the coming year. The orders must include one clear order per power of those multinational, conditional orders in case retreats is needed and every even year (a building year) also conditional orders for building and/or removing powers. The players can agree on playing separate phases for retreating powers and/or building and removing of powers.

Schematic the playing scheme is:

pre 1990: preferences expressed by the players and multinationals assigned to the players

1990: starting positions chosen for the initial powers

1991: first real game year: orders given, conditional retreat orders

1992: first building year: orders given, conditional retreat orders, conditional building and removal orders

1993: like 1991

1994: like 1992

Between every year there is a negotiation's phase and players may decide to play separate retreat and/or building/removal-phases.

The orders

6. Every power can be ordered to either attack, hold, convoy, support or fly over, but only one action is allowed per year. With a (successful) attack order the power moves to the state or sea area that is attacked, with the other orders the power stays in the same state or sea area.

Move/Attack:

A military power can only attack states or sea areas which border, while an economical power and a political power can also attack second line and third line states, but not sea areas. Through a convoy the range of possible states to be attacked can be enlarged. Any unit can attack any state to which it can be convoyed by a military power (sea the convoy order). Such an attack follows the usual attacking rules, where the attack is counted as an attack on a bordering state.

Whether an attack succeeds depends on the total strength of attack and defense. The total attacking strength is the sum of the attacking strength of the attacking power together with the total attacking strength of all (successful) supporting powers. There is only a defensive strength if the attacked state/sea area is occupied by another power. The total defensive strength is the sum of the defensive strength of the defending power (always 3) together with the total attacking strength of all (successful) supporting powers. If the power that occupies the attacked state/sea area is successful in attacking another state/sea area, there is no defensive strength at all.

A player can never be successful against a defending power of his own multinational, independent from attacking and defensive strength.

If there are more powers attacking the same state/sea area, there are several total attacking strengths. Only the power with the highest total attacking strength can succeed. If two or more powers attack with the same total attacking strength, then none of them will succeed, independent from the fact if their attacking strength is higher than the defensive strength.

The move/attack order can simply be given with a '-' sign:

M Ida - Ore means that a military power in Ida is ordered to attack Ore.

A move/attack through a convoy is given the same way:

E Mai - Nca means that a military power in Mai is ordered to attack Nca. The order can only succeed is also a convoy order has been given by a military power in NAO: M NAO C E Mai - Nca.

Hold:

The hold order means that the power is ordered to stay where it is without any other action. A hold order is possible for all powers and it can be supported. The hold order must be given explicitly by the player.

The order is given by 'hold':

M Ida hold means that a military power in Ida is ordered to stay there.

Convoy:

A convoy order can be given only to a military power, which is in a sea area. A convoy order means the military power transports another power (all powers can be convoyed) from one state to another. There can be more than one convoying powers for one convoyed power.

A power that is ordered to convoy stays in the sea area, where it already was. It can also be supported to hold by another power.

The following rules apply on a convoy:

- both the current state as the state that is attacked must border directly to a sea area

- for all sea areas that must be passed, there must be a military power which is ordered to convoy the (attacking) power

- all convoy orders must be successful, if one convoy order fails the whole convoy fails

- if the military power which is ordered to convoy, is successfully attacked by another power (and has to leave the sea area), the convoy order fails

- if the attack fails, the attacking power stays in its original state

The convoy order is given by a 'C':

M NAO C E Mai - Nca means that the military power in NAO is ordered to transport an economical power from Mai to Nca.

An example of a double convoy order is:

M NAO C E Mai - Flo and M SAO C E Mai - Flo means that the military powers in NAO and in SAO are ordered to transport an economical power from Mai to Flo.

Support:

A power can be ordered to support the order of another unit. The support can be given for an attack or to hold. A convoy itself can never be supported, but supporting the convoying power to hold, it can be prevented that the convoy fails due to an attack. A support order must always be given to an explicit order of the supported power. A supporting power and a convoying power can both be supported to hold its position. A supporting power will always try to keep its position.

A support order can be given by all powers, but the supporting power must be able to attack the state/sea area to which an attack is supported. A political power can support any attack on bordering, second line or third line states, but a military power can only support an attack on a bordering state or sea area. The same rule goes for supporting to hold. To support a hold order a power must be able to attack the state/sea area where the supported power is staying.

The supporting order fails,

- if the support is given for holding, while the supported power attacks

- if the support is given for an attack, while the supported power holds or convoys

- if the support is given for another attack than is ordered by the supported power

- if the supporting power is attacked by power of another multinational, unless it's the power that's being attacked; it doesn't matter if the attack is successful or not, any attack will do

The support always is either successful or it fails, a partly successful support is not possible.

If the supporting order is successful, the attacking strength of the supporting power is added to the attacking strength of the attacking power.

A support order is given by an 'S':

E Mon S M Ida - Ore means that the economical power in Mon is ordered to support the attack of the military power in Ida towards Ore.

E Mon S M Ore holds means that the economical power in Mon is ordered to support the military power in Ore to hold its position.

Fly over:

Every year a multinational can order maximal two fly over orders for all its powers. A fly over means that the power doesn't attack, but only moves to another state. Such a move can have any state as its destination, independent of the distance, but there are several limitations:

- a fly over can never have a sea area as destination, nor can a sea area be passed during the fly over

- a fly over is only possible with flying over neutral states, over your own occupied or controlled states and over states for which you explicitly get allowance from the multinational that occupies or controls these states

- a fly over is only possible with as destination a neutral state or a state controlled by your multinational; an uncontrolled SC can never be reached this way, nor can you fly over an uncontrolled SC

- a fly over fails if it conflicts with any other order

If a fly over fails, the power stays in its original position.

A fly over is ordered by '-' and 'FO' together:

M Clm - Mri FO Alb Mon Sda Neb Kan means that the military power in Clm is ordered to move to Mri by passing the mentioned states.

A fly over must always mention the full route, or it will fail.

Allowance to fly over

In case you want to allow another multinational to fly over your territory you must explicitly give allowance to fly over. This allowance is an order for a multinational, not an order for a power. The allowance can be given in three different ways:

a. a general allowance for another multinational to fly over any state/sea area for all powers of that multinational

b. a general allowance for one or more specific power(s) of another multinational to fly over any state/sea area

c. an allowance to fly over only for specific mentioned states/sea areas, either for any power of that multinational or limited to one or more specific power(s)

General ordering rules:

A self standoff is allowed by ordering two units to the same state/sea area with the same attacking strength. This way one can prevent another multinational to enter the state/sea area successful.

Support can be given to any power in the game, it's possible to support powers from another multinational. Such support is rather usual in the game. The order can simply be given by adding the multinational to the order:

E Mon S CC M Ida - Ore means that the economical power in Mon is ordered to support the attack of the military power of Citicorp in Ida towards Ore.

For all abbreviations you can look at the list of abbreviations given as an appendix to the rules.

For all powers must always be given an order, it's not allowed to give no order to a power. A power that got no order is however assumed to be holding. Besides that a multinational can order an allowance to fly over, but that is not an order for a power.

Conditional orders are not possible, there must be a clear order. Only one order per power can be given, but a support order and a convoy order implicitly mean that the power also will hold.

Results of (conflicting) orders:

7. The main rule for the orders is, that all orders that don't conflict with another order, succeed. Moving into an empty state/sea area, which is not attacked by any other unit, does succeed automatically. Holding a position or supporting another power always succeed when there is no attacking on the holding/supporting power. A convoy order itself always succeeds if no attack is launched on the convoying power, but the actual convoy can always fail due to other circumstances. If orders do conflict, there are a number of rules to decide over whether the order succeeds or not.

Important is to calculate the total attacking and defensive strengths in case of conflicting orders. The calculation is as follows:

Total attacking strength is the sum of:

- attacking strength of the attacking power itself

- attacking strength of all successful supporting powers, the attacking strength of the supporting power is taken as if these power would attack itself

Total 'revised' attacking strength is the sum:

- attacking strength of the attacking power itself

- attacking strength of all successful supporting powers, the attacking strength of the supporting power is taken as if these power would attack itself

- deduction of the support given by any power of the same multinational as the defending power

Total defensive strength is the sum of:

- defensive strength of the attacking power itself

- attacking strength of all successful supporting powers, the attacking strength of the supporting power is taken as if these power would attack itself

The support orders always fail if the power is attacked by a power from another multinational, independent from the strength, unless the attack is made by the attacked power.

The hold order succeeds if the attack fails, whatever the reason for the failure was.

The convoy order itself succeeds if the defensive strength is equal to or higher than the attacking strength.

A fly over order only succeeds if there is no conflict of any kind.

The attacking order succeeds only if all following conditions are fulfilled:

- the attacking strength is higher than the defensive strength

- the 'revised' attacking strength is higher than the defensive strength

- the attacking strength is higher than any other attacking strength if there are more attacks on the same state/sea area

- no reciprocal attack with the same strength (if the defending and attacking powers attack each other with the same result)

- all necessary convoy orders succeed

Examples:

a. E Clm - Alb
E Mon S E Clm - Alb
E Alb - Mon
Attacking strength: 4 (2 Clm, 2 Mon), the support is not cut
Defending strength: 3 (Alb)
The attack succeeds.

b. E Clm - Alb
E Mon S E Clm - Alb
P Wyo - Mon
Attacking strength: 2 (2 Clm, 0 Mon), the support is cut
Defending strength: 3 (Alb)
The attack fails.

c. E Clm - Alb
E Mon S E Clm - Alb
E Alb - Mon
M Sas S E Alb hold
Attacking strength: 4 (2 Clm, 2 Mon), the support is not cut
Defending strength: 3 (Alb), the support is not valid
The attack succeeds.

d. E Clm - Alb
E Mon S E Clm - Alb
E Alb hold
M Sas - Alb
P Sda S M Sas - Alb
Attacking strength Clm: 4 (2 Clm, 2 Mon)
Attacking strength Sas: 4 (3 Sas, 1 Sda)
Defending strength: 3 (Alb)
The attack fails due to both equally strong attacks.

e. CC: E Clm - Alb
PM: E Mon S CC E Clm - Alb
GM: E Alb hold
EX: M Sas - Alb
GM: E Wyo S M Sas - Alb
Attacking strength Clm: 4 (2 Clm, 2 Mon)
Attacking strength Sas: 5 (3 Sas, 2 Wyo)
Revised attacking strength Sas: 3 (3 Sas)
Defending strength: 3 (Alb)
The attack fails, while the revised attacking strength is equal to the defending strength. An attack can never succeed due to the support of ones 'own' power. GM can't support EX into his own Alb, but he can keep CC from getting into Alb, although the attacking strength of Clm is higher than the defending strength.

f. E Alb - Sas
M Sas - Alb
P Sda S M Sas - Alb
E Clm S A Sas - Alb
Attacking strength Alb: 4 (2 Alb, 2 Clm)
Defending strength Sas: 3
Attacking strength Sas: 4 (3 Sas, 1 Sda)
Defending strength Alb: 3
Both attacks fail, due to the reciprocal attack with equal strength, both attacks score 4 against 3.

g. M NPO C M Clm - Cal
M Ore S M Clm - Cal
M Cal hold
E Bca S M Cal hold
M SPO - NPO
Attacking strength Clm: 6 (3 Clm, 3 Ore)
Defending strength Cal: 5 (3 Cal, 2 Bca)
Attacking strength SPO: 3
Defending strength NPO: 3
The convoy succeeds, while the attack of SPO fails. The attack on Cal also succeeds.

h. M NPO C M Clm - Cal
M Ore S M Clm - Cal
M Cal hold
E Bca S M Cal hold
M SPO - NPO
M Was S M SPO - NPO
Attacking strength Clm: 6 (3 Clm, 3 Ore)
Defending strength Cal: 5 (3 Cal, 2 Bca)
Attacking strength SPO: 6
Defending strength NPO: 3
The convoy fails, while the attack of SPO succeeds. The attack on Cal also fails, while there was no successful convoy.

i. M Sas - Chi FO Mon Wyo Cld Nme
P Son - Chi
The fly over fails due to a conflicting order.
For a successful fly over Mon, Wyo and Nme should be either controlled or occupied or that must be an allowance to fly over. For Cld the same counts, unless Cld is empty, in which case a fly over is always possible. Cld is a neutral state.

Retreats, building orders and removals:

8. Retreat

When a power is attacked successful, it is forced to leave the state, while only one power at a time can stay in a state. The multinational can choose where his power will retreat to with the following limitations:

- a retreat is only possible to bordering states and for military powers also to bordering sea areas

- a retreat is only possible to a state which is not occupied by any other power

- a retreat is not possible to any state to which any power tried to move in the running game year (with an attack or a fly over), but where the move failed due to any reason

When there's no retreat possible the power is disbanded off the board (OTB), which means that the power disappears. A multinational is allowed to decide to disband a power voluntarily OTB in stead of retreating it to another state.

Unless the players agreed on a separate retreat phase in the game a player must give (conditional) retreating orders for any power that might be forced to retreat together with his other orders.

In case there's no retreat order available for a power, the retreat is made in order of availability to a neutral state, an uncontrolled state (not being a home center of any multinational) and a home center. When there are more states available with the same status, a random decision is made. When no state is available for a retreat the power is disbanded OTB.

Control of capacity centers

At the end of every building year (= every 'even' game year) the balance of controlled capacity centers is made. Every capacity center (CC) is controlled by the multinational that occupies this CC at the end of the current building year or when the CC is not occupied by the multinational that occupied the CC in the most recent building year in which the CC was occupied. A home center of a multinational stays under control of that multinational as long as no other multinational occupies that home center at the end of any building year.

A capacity center that has once been occupied by a power of a multinational stays under control of that multinational until a power of another multinational occupies that CC at the end of a building year. A building year is only ended once all retreats have been done, so a retreating power can also occupy a capacity center.

Building/removal:

The number of capacity centers that is controlled by a multinational decides how many powers a multinational can keep in the game. While the number of controlled capacity centers can only change in a building year, this means that adjustments in the number of available powers also only changes in a building year. When the number of powers that are in the game at the end of a building year (after retreating orders), differs from the number of controlled capacity centers, the multinational must make adjustments.

If a multinational is entitled to more powers, he can build powers up to the number of controlled capacity centers. If a multinational has more powers than controlled capacity centers, he must remove powers down to the number he is entitled to.

The removals are fully free to decide for the player, for the building of powers there are some limitations:

- building a power can only de done in a home center of the multinational

- the home center must be unoccupied by any power and the home center must still be under control of the multinational

- only in case no home center is available, the multinational is allowed to build a power in any other controlled capacity center that is unoccupied; only one power can be build this way (per building year)

When a multinational has fewer possibilities to build than he is entitled to new powers, he will 'short': with fewer powers than he could have had.

A multinational is fully free in his decision which kind of powers he builds.

Unless the players agreed on a separate building/removal phase in the game, the (conditional) building orders and removals must be given by all players together with the other orders in the building year.

In case there are no or too little removal orders available, the powers will be removed in order of availability from neutral states, controlled states and home centers. When there are more states available with the same status, a random decision is made.

In case there are no or too little building orders available, the multinational will 'short': with fewer powers than he could have had.

New building orders for a multinational playing 'short' is only possible in the next building year.

Abbreviations

Multinational Abbreviation
A T & T AT
Citicorp CC
Exxon EX
General Motors GM
IBM IB
Philip Morris PM
Time Warner TW

 

Water Body Abbreviation
Gulf of Mexico GME
North Atlantic Ocean NAO
North Pacific Ocean NPO
South Atlantic Ocean SAO
South Pacific Ocean SPO

 

State (* indicates
support centre)
Abbreviation
Alabama * Ala
Alberta * Alb
Arizona Ari
Arkansas * Ark
Baja California * Bca
California * Cal
Chihuahua Chi
Colorado Cld
Columbia Clm
Coahuila * Coa
Durango * Dur
Florida * Flo
Georgia * Grg
Idaho * Ida
Illinois * Ils
Indiana Ind
Iowa * Iow
Kansas * Kan
Kentucky Ken
Louisiana Lou
Maine Mai
Manitoba * Man
Michigan * Mic
Minnesota Min
Montana * Mon
Missouri Mri
Mississippi Msp
North Carolina * Nca
North Dakota * Nda
Nebraska * Neb
Nevada * Nev
New Mexico * Nme
New York * Nyo
Ohio * Ohi
Oklahoma * Okl
Ontario * Ont
Oregon * Ore
Pennsylvania * Pen
Quebec Que
Saskatoon Sas
South Carolina Sca
South Dakota Sda
Sonora Son
Tennessee * Ten
Texas * Tex
Utah * Uta
Virginia * Vir
Vermont * Vmo
Washington Was
Wisconsin * Wis
West Virginia Wvi
Wyoming * Wyo

All states indicated with a * are capacity centers

Miscelaneous Abbreviation
Economic Power E
Military power M
Political Power P
Capacity Centre CC
Capacity Centre *
Fly over (without attack) FO
Allows to fly over AL
Holds H
Convoys C
Moves/attacks -
Supports S
Retreats R
Disbands D
Retreats off the board OTB

Last revision made on May 29, 1998.


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