Stonehenge Diplomacy II
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Rules (revised 1996)
All the rules for Diplomacy apply with
the following amendments.
Conditions: There are 50 supply
centres, so a player must control 26 supply centres to win. Players may agree on
any lesser number and play a shorter variant.
and Initial Set Up: There are ten powers. Their initial set up is as
ANGLES: A(Mercia); A(Lincoln); F(Yorkshire)
DANES: F(Odensland); F(North Jutland); A(South Jutland)
FRISIANS: F(Frisian Isles); A(Friesland); A(Holland)
NORMANS: A(Loire); A(Picardie); F(Normandie)
Fylke); A(Hordaland Fylke); F(Ostfold)
Highlands); A(Aberdeen); A(Lothians)
SAXONS: F(Sussex); A(London); A(Kent)
F(Inner Hebrides); A(Argyll)
WELSH: F(North Wales); A(Damnonia): A(Devon)
In addition to these home supply
centres, there are twenty supply centres that begin the game neutral. These
spaces are: Anglsey, Armagh, Bretagne, Carlisle, Chester, Flanders, Gloucester,
Iceland, Isle of Lewis, Middlesex, Northumberland, Orkney Islands, Suffolk,
Sutherland, Sweden, Upper Saxony, Westphalia, Wight, Wiltshire, and Zetland.
Provinces: Island provinces may contain either an army or a fleet. Fleets
occupying an island province may move to adjoining island provinces, land
provinces, and sea spaces. They may support armies and fleets in adjoining
provinces. They may convoy armies while occupying island provinces. Armies
occupying island provinces may not move to adjoining provinces unless moved
there by a convoying fleet unit. Armies occupying island provinces may not
support units in adjoining spaces or provinces. Armies may not move directly
from a mainland province to an island province, or vice versa. Armies occupying
provinces that adjoin islands may not support units in the island province.
Islands do not have coasts and may be entered by fleets from one adjoining
province or space and left by any other adjoining province or space.
The following provinces are island
provinces: Anglsey, Channel Islands, Faeroe Islands, Frisian Isles, Inner
Hebrides, Isle of Lewis, Isle of Man, Odensland, Orkney Islands, Skye, Uist,
Wight, and Zetland.
These rules can be illustrated by the
1. F(Orkney Islands) holds - OK
2. A(Orkney Islands) hold - OK
3. F(Caithness) - Orkney Islands - OK
A(Caithness) - Orkney
Islands - Invalid
4. F(Orkney Islands) - Zetland - OK
A(Orkney Islands) –
Zetland - Invalid
5. F(Orkney Islands) S A(Caithness) –
A(Orkney Islands) S A(Caithness) - Invalid
6. F(Caithness) S A(Orkney Islands) –
A(Caithness) S F(Orkney
Islands) - Invalid
7. F(Orkney Islands) S F(Pentland) -
Caithness – OK
A(Orkney Islands) S
F(Pentland) – Caithness - Invalid
8. F(Caithness) S F(Pentland) - Orkney
Islands – OK
A(Caithness) S F(Pentland) -
Orkney Islands - Invalid
9. F(Orkney Islands) C A(Caithness) -
Zetland - OK
10. F(Pentland) C A(Orkney Islands) -
Zetland - OK
11. F(Pentland) - Orkney Islands; NEXT
TURN F(Orkney Islands) – North Sea - OK
Coasts: South Jutland and Upper Saxony have two coasts (east and west). These should
be treated like Spain in Diplomacy.
Year: The game begins spring of 851.
Effects of the Revisions
There are still clearly some powers
that have an advantageous position relative to other powers. In this version, I
have tried to compensate for this some. Here is a quick summary of my thinking
about the process of revising this variant.
In general every power is so weak and
vulnerable that negotiation is where the game will be won or lost for all of
them. Negotiation really ought to be the soul of the matter anyway.
They are still rather safe from early
threats from continental powers so their early prospects are better than that of
the Saxons or Welsh. They have access to Northumberland without having to worry
about attack from the Scot fleet that used to start in the Lowlands and could
threaten York from the sea. Couple this with access to several centres that
weren't present before and the Angle position is much stronger than it was. This
power was an underachiever in the maybe twenty face-to-face games I've played of
the old version. It should be considerably stronger now.
They will still make life hell for
either the Norse or the Frisians. There is no other growth pattern for the
Danes. The addition of a few neutral centres will make the stakes higher in the
early going and will make the Danish position more fluid. Danish players are
still faced with a poverty of early options. They must either attack the
Frisians with Norman help, or attack the Norse with Pictish help. Their other
options boil down to forming impractical and short-lived coalitions.
The home centres have been repositioned
to improve the defensive posture of this marginally tenable power. The new
Frisian position resembles in most ways their neighbours the Danes. They must
either eliminate the Danes with Norse help, or approach the Saxons, Welsh, or
Irish about attacking the Normans. The lack of a strong possible ally against
the Normans makes the Frisian position still quite difficult. The relative
weakness of potential Frisian allies is compensated for by their numbers (3) and
likely willingness (the Irish, Welsh, or Saxons should jump at the chance to
eliminate the Normans).
Formerly known as the Celts, this
position used to be rather powerful. The Irish, along with the Norse and
Normans, enjoy a superb defensive position. The Irish are still weak
offensively. In the revised version, there is no guaranteed build for the Irish.
If the Scots open fleet Inner Hebrides - Donegal Bay it will take two units to
move into Armagh and that will leave Galway open. The shortage of neutral supply
centres in the vicinity of the Irish will require heavy fighting early on to
break out of their defensive shell. Even at four units the Irish can be very
dangerous for the Scots, Normans, and especially the Welsh.
This position hasn't fundamentally
changed. The isolation of Norman home centres from the High Atlantic should give
both the Irish and the Normans more options. Other than the Frisians, the
Normans have no neighbours. Protracted offensives will require the Normans to
send forces far from home and will leave the Norman home centres quite
vulnerable. This is still an advantageous position provided that a coalition
does not form to eliminate so threatening a power.
This position hasn't really changed.
The only amendments are that the Danes will want to discuss who gets Sweden and
this may increase the possibility of war with Denmark (a change meant to help
the Frisians), and Zetland is now a guaranteed build instead of something gained
at the pleasure of the Scots. Like the Frisians and the Danes, the Norse must
choose between two enemies. Either they will attack the Picts or the Danes.
There really aren't many other options. This power is quite comparable to the
Normans, but with slightly more dangerous neighbours.
The Picts have switched positions with
the Scots. This decision was based on a map of the region during Alfred's reign
in England. On this map, eastern Scotland has the word "Pict" clearly
written on it while the western side of Scotland has the word "Scots"
on it. This map may be flawed, but having a soft spot for Pictish culture it
serves as justification enough for me. The Pict position improves drastically if
some sort of truce can be forged with two of the following: the Norse, the
Scots, and the Angles. That requires some hard negotiating. At the very least
some understanding has to be reached with the Scots. These two powers are less
entangled with one another than they used to be, but they are still joined at
This used to be a hopeless position,
now it’s just a poor position. One of the most important revisions was the
introduction of a wealth of supply centres within reach of the Saxons. Wight is
still the only guaranteed gain, but negotiations with the Angles and Welsh
should yield one or two of the following: Suffolk, Middlesex, and Wiltshire.
Redrawing the Straits of Dover should cut down on the early Saxon eliminations.
No power has access to more neutral centres than the improved Saxons, but it
will be a rare Saxon player who can keep from fighting a continental power and a
British power simultaneously in the mid-game.
This position, formerly called the
Picts, has many more options thanks to disentangling its centres from those of
the Picts and placing two home centres on islands where they are safe from
armies. Four neutral supply centres in the area give the Scots plenty of
options. Argyll is either a very vulnerable home centre, or army Argyll is a
potent offensive threat depending on how you look at it. The Scots still enjoy
few options in the early going. They can either join the Welsh in fighting the
Irish (always a slow task), or they can join the Norse in fighting the Picts
(which results in a threatening Norse position to deal with later). At least the
Scots have the inside track to Iceland!
Wales had a good track
record in the old game, but it had to be strong play rather than any natural
advantages. The Irish offer a deadly danger from the west. The Welsh home
centres are spread out and hard to defend. The position is centrally located, a
distinct disadvantage. The power's good track record made me resist making too
many changes. Whereas the old Wales had few neutral supply centres to gobble up,
the new board affords the Welsh a wealth of choices, but only Gloucester is
automatic. To gain Anglsey the Welsh have to leave a home centre vulnerable to
the Angles. There are six neutral centres within reach of the Welsh during 851.
This increase of offensive prospects is compensated by improvements made in the
Angles’ and Saxons’ prospects. Negotiations with the Angles and Saxons will
be crucial. Wales must either appeal for unity among central powers, or side
with one or the other and try for a quick two-on-one kill.