Shadow Worlds (rs14)
by Nicky Palmer
1. Rules as standard DIPLOMACY except where stated.
2. Each player has the same country in two simultaneous games, "A" and "B".
3. Before the Winter adjustments in the simultaneous games, each player lists the centers he owns in either game, counting his home centers only double if owned in both games; all non-home centers only count once even if held in both games. Thus if Italy owns (A) Ven, Rom, Nap, Tri, Mar; (B) Ven, Tri, Nap, Vie, Tun, he is counted as holding 9 centers: 2 x (Ven, Nap) + Rom, Tun, Mar, Tri, Vie - not 10 as it would be if Tri were counted twice.
4. These centers may be divided each year between the two games as the player wishes; in the example, If Italy had 6 units in "A" and 2 in "B", he could build one in either game - or disband a unit in one and build two in the other, or cut his losses and go down to zero in "B" and build three in "A". (Note that this would not preclude his rebuilding in "B" in a later year, if his build centers had not yet been captured.) Play continues on both boards until one player has all 34 centers in his control list (not necessarily all on the same board). If two achieve this simultaneously, the result is a draw. For a shorter game, substitute 18 for 34.
COMMENT: The fastest growth is achieved by stabbing in opposite directions on the "shadow worlds" - but this risks alienating one's allies in each! Added to this tricky strategic problem are various tactical twists: when to strip one board to benefit the other, and balanced growth vs. alternating drives on each board. Note the one can win even if wiped out on one board - but only just, by completely conquering the other.