Quick Guide: The Convoy

Some questions come up a lot... look here for simple explanations of the rules.

Quick Guide: The Convoy

Postby jaelis » 29 Jul 2011, 04:31

A convoy is a move in which one or more fleets "ferry" an army from one coastal province to another. It is one of the trickiest moves in the game, both in the sense of potentially surprising your opponents and also in the sense of being a bit complicated to pull off. As such, it can be the source of much confusion.

How to Order a Convoy:
To order a convoy, the army being convoyed is simply ordered to move to its final destination. For instance:
--- London MOVE Brest ---
or
--- Smyrna MOVE Spain ---

In order for the move to succeed, you also need a continuous chain of fleets from your starting point to your destination. Each of the fleets must submit the order: CONVOY <starting point> TO <destination>. For instance:
--- English Channel CONVOY London to Brest ---
or
--- Aegean Sea CONVOY Smyrna to Spain ---
--- Ionian Sea CONVOY Smyrna to Spain ---
--- Tyrrhenian Sea CONVOY Smyrna to Spain ---
--- Gulf of Lyon CONVOY Smyrna to Spain ---
The fleets do not need to belong to the same nation as the army. You can convoy your ally's units, or even your enemy's.

Only fleets in the open sea have the option to order a convoy, not fleets in coastal provinces. This prevents, for instance, a convoy from London to Livonia, since the convoy would have to pass through Sweden, Denmark, or Kiel, all coastal provinces and thus ineligible for convoying.

There can be more than one possible chain of convoying fleets for a given move. For instance, if England orders
--- London MOVE Belgium ---
--- English Channel CONVOY London to Belgium ---
--- North Sea CONVOY London to Belgium ---
then the route taken by the convoy is ambiguous. This doesn't matter. As long as at least one continuous route exists, the convoy will be valid.

When you move an army between adjacent coastal provinces and there is a fleet in the adjacent sea province, you are asked whether you want to move by land or by convoy. If you intend to convoy the army, you must indicate that the move is by convoy. This is to make sure that the army isn't convoyed unwillingly.

Preventing a Convoy:
There are two ways to prevent an enemy's convoy from occurring. You can either bounce/stand-off the army at the destination space (just like for any other move) or you can dislodge one of the convoying fleets. Simply attacking a convoying fleet is insufficient, you need to actually dislodge it.

For instance:
--- Paris MOVE Brest ---
will bounce London MOVE Brest, regardless of the convoy. Or
--- Irish Sea SUPPORT Mid-Atlantic Ocean to English Channel ---
will dislodge the fleet in the English Channel, and invalidate the convoy even if Brest is undefended.

Supporting a Convoy:
Since there are two ways to prevent a convoy, there are two ways to support it. First, you can support the army move. For instance:
--- Picardy SUPPORT London to Brest ---
would give London MOVE Brest a strength of two, and thus overcome a defense strength of one. This works just like any other supported move: the supporting unit must be able to itself move to the destination square.

Second, you can support a convoying fleet to hold. For instance:
--- North Sea SUPPORT English Channel to English Channel ---
could prevent the fleet in the channel from being dislodged, and thus save the convoy.

You Can't Convoy Support:
Only actual moves can be made via convoy. So for instance, these orders would NOT work:
--- Picardy MOVE Brest ---
--- London SUPPORT Picardy to Brest ---
--- English Channel CONVOY London to Brest ---


You can't retreat via convoy either.

Convoy Paradoxes:
The convoy rules in Diplomacy aren't entirely consistent, and can occasionally lead to some unresolvable situations. You can read about this here:
http://www.diplom.org/Zine/W1995A/Tactics/section3.htm
The resolution used on this site is that paradoxical convoys automatically fail. However, this situation comes up so rarely that you probably don't need to worry about it.
Last edited by jaelis on 07 May 2012, 20:19, edited 11 times in total.
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Re: The Convoy

Postby slippydippy » 29 Jul 2011, 12:12

I have a fleet in Paris, can I convoy it to Rome?
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Re: The Convoy

Postby vabatista » 11 Oct 2011, 02:50

How I order a Convoy to a far land with two or more fleets?

Assume that I have:
Army in Smyrna
Fleet in Aegean Sea
Fleet in Ionean Sea

I want to move my army in Smyrna to Tunisia

Which orders should I do?
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Re: The Convoy

Postby super_dipsy » 11 Oct 2011, 06:40

vabatista wrote:How I order a Convoy to a far land with two or more fleets?


jaelis wrote:In order for the move to succeed, you also need a continuous chain of fleets from your starting point to your destination. Each of the fleets must submit the order: CONVOY <starting point> TO <destination>. For instance:
- English Channel CONVOY London to Brest
or
- Aegean Sea CONVOY Smyrna to Spain
- Ionian Sea CONVOY Smyrna to Spain
- Tyrrhenian Sea CONVOY Smyrna to Spain
- Gulf of Lyon CONVOY Smyrna to Spain

The fleets do not need to belong to the same nation as the army. You can convoy your ally's units, or even your enemy's.
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Re: The Convoy

Postby vabatista » 11 Oct 2011, 12:09

sorry :(
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Re: The Convoy

Postby cheesers52 » 30 Jan 2012, 17:31

Does a convoyed army arrive to shore with a support from the convoying fleet, or not?

For example, would London convoyed via English Channel to Brest have a strength of two and be able to dislodge a holding fleet in Brest, or have I misread something!
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Re: The Convoy

Postby jaelis » 30 Jan 2012, 17:39

Nope, the convoy doesn't add any strength to the army move. You would need to support the move with yet another unit to achieve that.
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Re: The Convoy

Postby farsider3000 » 20 Mar 2012, 05:20

Why does the game client ask me to specify whether an army is moving by land or by sea, when it is travelling along the coast and there is a relevant fleet in an adjacent sea zone? According to my understanding of the official rules, if there are multiple routes available (as explained above):

There can be more than one possible chain of convoying fleets for a given move. For instance, if England orders
--- London MOVE Belgium ---
--- English Channel CONVOY London to Belgium ---
--- North Sea CONVOY London to Belgium ---
then the route taken by the convoy is ambiguous. This doesn't matter. As long as at least one continuous route exists, the convoy will be valid.


a move is valid.

What happens in the situation where, say, a German army in Holland moves to Belgium, and a French army in Belgium moves to Holland. Ordinarily they would stay put. But an English fleet in North Sea could order a convoy of the French army to Holland. In the original rules, the convoy would take effect, but as far as I can tell from the client, the convoy would only take effect if the French ordered the move to be made by sea, rather than by land.

Can this be clarified? The requirement to specify the land/sea route goes beyond the original rules, and seems to eliminate an interesting tactic.
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Re: The Convoy

Postby SidneyKidney » 20 Mar 2012, 11:01

farsider3000 wrote:Why does the game client ask me to specify whether an army is moving by land or by sea, when it is travelling along the coast and there is a relevant fleet in an adjacent sea zone? According to my understanding of the official rules, if there are multiple routes available (as explained above):

There can be more than one possible chain of convoying fleets for a given move. For instance, if England orders
--- London MOVE Belgium ---
--- English Channel CONVOY London to Belgium ---
--- North Sea CONVOY London to Belgium ---
then the route taken by the convoy is ambiguous. This doesn't matter. As long as at least one continuous route exists, the convoy will be valid.


a move is valid.

What happens in the situation where, say, a German army in Holland moves to Belgium, and a French army in Belgium moves to Holland. Ordinarily they would stay put. But an English fleet in North Sea could order a convoy of the French army to Holland. In the original rules, the convoy would take effect, but as far as I can tell from the client, the convoy would only take effect if the French ordered the move to be made by sea, rather than by land.

Can this be clarified? The requirement to specify the land/sea route goes beyond the original rules, and seems to eliminate an interesting tactic.


In the example you have quoted what you are effectively saying is 'I will do everything I can to get London into Belgium.' Both fleets are offering the convoy. Add a few more units into the mix:

Germany: f(HEL)-NTH, f(SKA) supports f(Hel)-NTH

Now assuming F(NTH) has no other support, your f(NTH) would be forced to retreat and the convoy would not take place ordainarily.
But in the set of orders you have shown in the quote there is still a chance it would happen since f(ENG) is also offering the convoy. It can be a useful tactic if France and Germany are both offering to support you in there but you dont know which to trust. However you rarely see it in practice because it is often seen more useful to SUPPORT the convoy using the second fleet ie. f(ENG) convoy Lon-Bel, a(Lon)-Bel, f(NTH) supports Lon-Bel.

The land route is best demonstrated using Iberia. Say you are France, have an army in Spa, a fleet in Por and a fleet in MAO. Doesnt look too anti-Italian, right? Well if you wanted to swap Spa and Por around to have the fleet in Spa SC ordainarily you cant do it. However, if you CONVOY a(Spa)-Por via f(MAO) water route and take f(Por)- Spa SC via land route that IS permitted. Suddenly you look much more anti-Italian dont you? Useful move in a western triple. If timed right Italy can do very little about it.

I am 99% certain this is all correct. Can anyone confirm this please?
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Re: The Convoy

Postby asudevil » 20 Mar 2012, 15:23

SidneyKidney is correct...

HOWEVER, the reason our client asks you to clarify if you want to do a convoy or by land when you are moving to an adjacent spot and their is a fleet there, is before that interface went up, enemy fleets could "kidnap" your army.

So if you were using that army to cut support, and they had a fleet there, even though you wanted to go by land...the fleet could convoy you against your will to that place. Then instead of bouncing against that unit, they could just walk in and have the fleet convoy you to the space you were trying to cut support into.

Does that make since. Now, if you want to convoy, you have to specify it, so you cant be convoyed by an enemy fleet against your will
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