by Andreas Kueck
With Taskdip, Diplomacy can be played even with less than seven players in an excellent and interesting way. It is especially suitable for two players. It is essential that the basic rules and map of Diplomacy are maintained and nevertheless, every game de velops in a new way. The reason for this is that in the beginning, the powers and corresponding tasks ( Table 1) are drawn by lots so that every game starts with a new initial situation.
The basic rules are those of Diplomacy. Additionally , the agreements described in the following items are valid in Taskdip.
Objective of the Game: Victory Conditions
A player wins
If more than one player fulfil one or more of their victory conditions in the same Fall phase (including retreats) each of those players is equally participated in a draw between those players.
Allotting the Powers to the Players
With two or three players, two powers, and with more than three players, one power, are allotted by lots to every player before the Spring 1901 phase. In connection with game and ruling, the units of two powers allotted to one player are always considered not as countrymen but as units of individual powers. Each of the powers that was not allotted to any player before the Spring 1901 phase is considered as „originally neutral power“.
Assigning the Tasks to the Powers
For each of the powers, there is a set of tasks according to Table 1. To each of the powers allotted to a player before the Spring 1901 phase, a task from its set is assigned to it by lots. The task assigned this way may only be known to the player playing the power and is to be hidden to the other players till the end of the game. Therefore, it is recommended to draw the lots by playing-cards drawn by the players. The tasks corresponding to the playing-cards are shown in Table 1, too. If a power gets a task that requires the control of at least one home center of the other power that was allotted to the same player, the player has to announce that, and another task from the remaining tasks in the set requiring only the control of adversary or originally neutral centers is assigned instead. After a task has been assigned to each power the Spring 1901 phase begins.
Status of the Originally Neutral Powers
Each of the units of the originally neutral powers is treated as if it holds in every phase. The neutral units may be supported in holding by units of the allotted powers (for instance if Austria is originally neutral the support Italian A Ven S F Tri H is possible and taken into consideration). The status of neutrality changes in the sequence of that phase when a player violates the neutrality of an originally neutral power. As violation of this neutrality, the following orders are considered (whereby it is unimportant if the orders are successful or not):
As province of the originally neutral power, each of the (land or coastal) fields is considered that lies within the coulored marked border of the originally neutral power (e. g. Sil is a German, Cly an English and StP a Russian province).
Already from that phase on following the violation of neutrality, the originally neutral power is allotted to one of those players who have been respecting the neutrality (if there are only two players it is the adversary). If the neutralitity was violat ed by all the players the originally neutral power is allotted to one of those players as well. If there are more than one player fulfilling the above described allotment criteria, the allotment is made according to the following criteria listed in the ord er of priority:
After allotment of the originally neutral power, it gets its orders for all the following phases from that player who it has been allotted to without being assigned a task to. However, a player may win by such later allotted power by controling eighteen SC s or the HSCs of two powers originally or later allotted to an adversary. The assignment of tasks in the beginning remains valid. Example: In the beginning, a player has Russia and Italy. Italy has the task to control the three Turkish HSCs. This task rema ins valid even if Turkey is allotted to that player during the course of the game.
It is recommended to assign the tasks to the participating powers by drawing playing-cards. The assigment of the drawn playing-cards to the tasks is given in Table 1.
SC: Supply Center, HSC: Home Supply Center
Table 1: Tasks
Independent from its task, a player wins also if, by one of his powers originally or later allotted to him, he controls eighteen SCs or the H SCs of two powers originally or later allotted to an adversary.
Example for Game Start
Two players: Andreas and Katja. The lots give Austria and Italy to Andreas, and Turkey and Germany to Katja.
Andreas draws the Eight for Austria and is to redraw because this task would require conquering his other power´s HSC. Andreas draws again, he gets the Nine. So Austria´s task is the control of three Russian HSCs and Bul, Gre, Rum and Ser. For Italy, Andr eas draws the Eight. Italy´s task is the control of one English HSC.
Katja draws the Seven for Turkey and the Nine for Germany. So Turkey´s task is the control of Por or Spa, Germany´s task is the control of three Russian HSCs and Bel, Den, Hol, Nwy and Swe.
Neither Andreas nor Katja know the tasks of their adversary´s powers. The Spring 1901 phase begins.