by Rien Kooy
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.
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.
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:
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):
Military Power (M):
Political Power (P):
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:
Between every year there is a negotiation's phase and players may decide to play separate retreat and/or building/removal-phases.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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,
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.
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:
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:
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:
Total 'revised' attacking strength is the sum:
Total defensive strength is the sum of:
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:
a. E Clm - Alb
b. E Clm - Alb
c. E Clm - Alb
d. E Clm - Alb
e. CC: E Clm - Alb
f. E Alb - Sas
g. M NPO C M Clm - Cal
h. M NPO C M Clm - Cal
i. M Sas - Chi FO Mon Wyo Cld Nme
Retreats, building orders and removals:
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:
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.
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:
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.
All states indicated with a * are capacity centers
Last revision made on May 29, 1998.