Spy Diplomacy

by Jim Burgess

1. Unless otherwise specified, the standard rules of Diplomacy apply. 

2. Players receive adjudications for their own armies and fleets, but not the armies and fleets of other powers. Similarly, each player sees only his or her own section of the supply center chart. 

3. In addition to the standard units, an unit called a "spy" is added. 

A) Each of the seven powers begins with a spy in each home supply center. 

B) Spies are supplied only by home supply centers (i.e. Russia may have as many as four spies at a time while other powers are limited to a maximum of three). 

C) Spies are "built" and "disbanded" in Winter seasons at the same time as other units. 

D) There is no limit to the number of spies that may be present in any province and spies may be “stacked” with armies or fleets (exceptions are listed in Rule 6). 

4. Spy Reports 

A) Spies report the location and nationality of armies and fleets in the province they occupy and all adjacent provinces immediately following the standard Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall seasons (i.e. just prior to the spy movement seasons). Spies can differentiate between units in retreat and successful attackers when two units "occupy" a province. 

B) Spies also report the nationality of spies in the province they occupy and the presence (but not nationality) of spies in adjacent provinces at the same time. 

5. Movement of Spies 

A) Spy movement follows the collection of spy reports, so orders to spies may be made conditional on any information gathered by spies on opposing troop movements or the adjudication of one's own units. 

B) Spies move after each of the following standard seasons: Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall (note that all spy movements PRECEDE Autumn retreats), beginning with Winter 1900. 

C) Spies move as armies do with the following exceptions:  

a) Spy movements cannot be stood off by movements of any other unit. 

b) Spies may be convoyed by fleets of any power during any of the four movement seasons for spies. The convoy orders for fleets in these seasons must be ordered by their owner in the usual fashion or else the spy convoy movement fails of execution. Fleet convoy orders for spies may be made in addition to regular Spring and Fall moves (note, however, that the fleets themselves never move during spy movement seasons).  

c) Spies may also be "picked up" and carried by fleets of any power. Embarkation and debarkation are moves that must be made during a spy movement season and "permission to board" is not required. Embarkation consists of a movement from a land province to an adjacent sea province containing a fleet. Debarkation consists of a movement from a sea province containing a fleet to an adjacent land province. A spy may not "switch fleets in midstream". Once boarded, a spy may only get off by debarking. After boarding a fleet, the spy moves with the fleet during regular movement. A spy may not debark from a fleet awaiting retreat (e.g. if a fleet carrying a spy is dislodged in Spring, the spy may not debark until the spy movement season following the standard Summer retreat season). 

6. Spy Mortality 

A) This rule will outline the circumstances under which spies may be captured or killed. Spies may be disbanded in Winter seasons at the same time as other units to meet the requirement that a power may not have more spies than the number of currently held home supply centers and spies are annihilated when they are on board a fleet that retreats off the board. Otherwise, spies may only be removed from the board (there is no difference in the game between capturing and killing a spy, but players should feel free to delineate between the two states in writing press) immediately following the four spy movement seasons. 

B) Spies killed or captured in a given season do not submit written spy reports for that season, though their final movement may have been made conditional on that spy report. Players may never know for sure how a spy was lost, just as in real life. 

C) Spies are "killed" by being assassinated by other spies. When a spy moves, he or she may attempt an assassination, specifying the nationality of spies to be executed if discovered. Each spy may hunt for only one nationality in each of the four seasons. The following rules and examples will govern the adjudication of assassinations: 

a) A spy may attempt an assassination without moving (for instance if the target is in the same province). In this case, any spies of the target nationality that end the spy movement phase in that province are assassinated with one exception. If the spy attempting the stationary assassination is himself or herself assassinated by a moving assassin then that spy assassinates no one in that season (not even a potential target other than the one that assassinates that spy).  

b) A spy attempting a moving assassination (may include a move of embarkation or debarkation from a fleet) is always successful in assassinating spies of the target nationality that finish the spy movement phase in the province that the spy moves to. This makes "mutual assassinations" possible. 

c) Example: French spy is on board a French fleet in the Channel. An English spy is in London. Both powers specify assassination attempts against the spies of the other. If the English spy embarks on the French fleet in the channel (remember that embarkation does not require the permission of the fleet being boarded) and the French spy doesn't move, the French spy is killed, but the English spy isn't (he may be immediateIy captured, however, see part D). If a German spy is also on board and the French spy tried to assassinate the German spy, that operation would fail as well. If the French spy debarks to London at the same time, the two spies "pass in the night" and neither is killed. 

D) Spies are "captured" by opposing armies and fleets. Players may attempt to capture spies, specifying the nationality of spies to be captured if discovered. Each army and fleet on the board may search for spies of one nationality in each of the four seasons. The following rules and examples will govern the adjudication of attempts to capture spies:  

a) Players may specify a nationality to be hunted separately for each unit or they may issue blanket searches to be applied to all units. 

b) At the end of the spy movement phase, any spies of the nationality specified in the same province are captured (for example, if the French player specifies a hunt for English spies on their Channel fleet in the above example, then the English spy is captured).  

c) Players are informed when they successfully capture an opposing spy. Note that the "owner" of the spy, however, is not informed of the capture. Communication just is cut. This rule is the only exception to the general rule that armies and fleets are blind. It is possible to play the game without allowing capture of spies by armies and fleets if one wishes to allow freer movement of spies (i.e. Rule D may be ignored). 

7. It is suggested that the game be adjudicated in four separate seasons in the following order: 

A) Spring: (for Spring 1901 this sequence is preceded by a spy movement phase (no spy reports are necessary) followed by assassinations or captures) 

a) Standard movement by fleets and armies, adjudication reported only for one's own units  

b) Spy report phase, spies collect information  

c) Spy movement phase, spies move according to Rule 4  

d) Spy assassination and capture phase 

B) Summer:  

a) Standard retreats by fleets and armies, adjudication reported only for one's own units  

b) Spy report phase, spies collect information  

c) Spy movement phase, spies move according to Rule 4 

d) Spy assassination and capture phase 

C) Fall: 

a) Standard movement by fleets and armies, adjudication reported only for one's own units  

b) Spy report phase, spies collect information  

c) Spy movement phase, spies move according to Rule 4  

d) Spy assassination and capture phase 

D) Winter:  

a) Standard Autumn retreats by fleets and armies, adjudication reported only for one's own units  

b) Standard Winter builds and removals, also applies to spies  

c) Spy report phase, spies collect information  

d) Spy movement phase, spies move according to Rule 4  

e) Spy assassination and capture phase 

 These rules have been produced by Jim Burgess (with helpful comments from Bernie OakIyn and Dick Martin). Permission is granted to reproduce and use these rules without restrictions. The author would be interested to hear any comments and criticisms regarding any aspect of the play of this variant. The rules have been deposited with the North American Variant Bank. They are also available from the author for the cost of postage or free by E-Mail. 

(Revised Dec. 1986)


Home
- Alphabetical Index of Variants - Variants by Subject - Variants by No. of Players - ARDA Classification
Variant Articles - Variant Descriptions - Variant Bank PolicyAdvice for Designers - Regular Diplomacy Rules