Spring of Nations Diplomacy Variant

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Spring of Nations Diplomacy Variant

Postby EnlightenedMonarch » 21 Jul 2016, 23:24

Hello Everyone! I'm pretty new to the site and diplomacy, but I recently came up with what I believe to be an interesting variant idea, so I'd like to share it. I've played in a few PbF games, but I'm still inexperienced and would love any help that anyone can give.

The game is inspired by and loosely based upon the Revolutions of 1848 (also called the Spring of Nations), a wave of popular yet short-lived rebellions that swept Europe during the year. To mimic this, the seven players on a normal diplomacy board will receive Political Points that they can spend to spark revolutions in the cities (SC's) of others, and to protect their own cities from rebellion. These rebellions, in keeping with the events that served as their inspiration, should be relatively easy to undo and should not on their own determine the game. Ideally, they will serve as an effective complement to the normal diplomacy units. I have tried to strike a happy medium between historical accuracy, ease of play, and balanced mechanics, however I am sure that there are faults in all of those (for one thing, Germany and Italy didn't normally exist in 1848).

This game will likely require many tweaks to get the balance just right and ensure that it flows smoothly. I would love to hear any questions, comments, or suggestions anyone has on how to improve the game. A draft of rules are posted below, I know they look like a lot but I tried to eliminate any possibility of misinterpretation. If anything is unclear please let me know.

Thanks everyone,
EnlightenedMonarch

Spring of Nations Dip Draft Rules wrote:General Overview
This variant idea is inspired by and loosely based on the Revolutions of 1848, a wave of short-lived rebellions all around Europe often referred to as the "Spring of nations". In it, players receive Political points that they can use to start revolutions in others' countries, as well as protect their own cities from rebellion. On each spring and fall orders move, countries may issue Revolution orders spending their political points on any SC, allocated either to REVOLT or to ORDER. If a revolt does occur (determined by the amount of PP's spent on each side), any unit in the SC will be dislodged and the city will be controlled by an independent mob (army unit) that holds until it is disloged or enough PP's are spent for the original owner to reassert power using political points.

Specific Rules

All regular rules of diplomacy apply except as amended below. This game is played on a standard diplomacy map.

  1. Game Start - Powers will be determined by blind auction. The game will begin in the 1901 Spring Movement phase, with normal setup.
  2. Political Points - each country has political points that it will use to cause revolutions in other powers' SC's and prevent revolutions in their own SC's.
  3. Starting Country Political Points: Each country starts the game with an amount of Political Points, loosely based upon historical events.
    1. England: 5 PP's - England's limited representative government, flawed though it is, gives hope to the people that they can accomplish change without dramatic revolution. Abroad, English propaganda can be very effective in inciting revolt of the working classes.
    2. France: 3 PP's - The Bourbon's had been overthrown in the 1830 revolution, however French are finding that the "Citizen King" Louis Philippe is not much better, only catering to the upper crust of society and doing nothing for the poor. The masses of French build up their resolve for drastic action.
    3. Germany: 4 PP's - In a bit of counterfactual history, Germany's quest for unification is realized decades earlier with the 1848 Frankfurt Assembly creating a unified German state under Prussian King Frederick Wilhelm IV. Patriotic spirit is present, yet balanced by the fragile nature of the large federation.
    4. Russia: 3 PP's - The autocratic and repressive policies of Nicolas I are turning the Russian peasants against the government. Nationalism in conquered regions such as Poland also weakens the state's hold over its people, as well as Russia's failure in the Crimean War.
    5. Italy: 5 PP's - The 1820 and 1830 Carbonari Insurrections are, this time, quite successful and since then Italy has succeeded in becoming an independent state. Living up to the republican ideas of Giuseppe Mazzini, Italy is full of proud citizens eager to play a part in Europe.
    6. Austria: 4 PP's - Austria-Hungary is still a strong empire, yet repressive policies begin to turn the people against it. Nevertheless, Metternich's power and his conservative alliances with other powers allow the empire some stability.
    7. Turkey: 4 PP's - The Ottoman Empire is still reasonably strong, and it's citizens are reasonably happy. However, this is balanced by the fact that they are unpopular in Christian regions and the enemies of much of Europe.
  4. Country Political Point Gain: Each Winter, every country will be given a number of Political Points according to the number of SC's they have according to this chart:
    1. 1-3 SC's: 2PP's per year
    2. 4-6: 5 PP's
    3. 7-9: 8 PP's
    4. 10-13: 10 PP's
    5. 14-15: 12 PP's
    6. 16-17: 13 PP's
  5. Starting SC Political Points: All Home Centers of each nation will start with 3 PP's allocated to ORDER. These cannot be removed by any player (however may be removed by the actions of other game mechanics).
  6. Political Point Allocation: With each Spring and Fall move, each country may allocate any number of PP's from their supply to a city. They can be allocated to either REVOLT or ORDER, which must be specified in the order.
    1. Political Point Allocation Orders: Orders should be written as such - "Allocate (#) points to (SC) for (REVOLT/ORDER)".
      Ex: Allocate 4 points to Denmark for REVOLT
    2. Withdrawing Political Points: Political Points may be withdrawn by the country that put them there if they are allocated to ORDER. They may NOT be withdrawn if allocated to REVOLT. Withdraw orders should be written as such - "Withdraw (#) points from (SC)".
      Ex: Withdraw 5 points from Brest
    3. Immediate Use of Withdrawn PP's: Withdrawn PP's MAY be used on the same turn they are withdrawn. They are judged to be returned to a country's supply before adjudicating other PP orders.
    4. Grace Period: No points may be allocated to REVOLT until 1902.
  7. Revolutions: A Revolution will occur when, after any movement phase, the number of PP's allocated to REVOLT in a given SC is both (a) greater than 6 and (b) greater than twice the amount allocated to ORDER in that SC. When this occurs, any unit occupying the SC will be dislodged and the SC occupied by a mob (army) unit.
    1. Dislodged Unit Retreat: A unit dislodged by a revolution will retreat in the subsequent retreat phase, as with all other retreating units.
    2. Revolution Adjudication Time: All Revolutions (and Revolution Ends) will be judged to have occurred AFTER all moves have processed.
    3. Mob Unit: A city in rebellion will be occupied by a mob (army) that has standing orders to HOLD. It may be supported to hold. If dislodged, it auto-disbands.
    4. Rebellion Rebuild: If, during the Winter Adjustments, the mob unit has been disbanded but the SC is still in mob ownership (i.e. no Peaceful Revolution End has occurred - see rule 8a), then a new mob unit will be built in the SC.
    5. Winter Adjustments: An SC in rebellion DOES NOT count as a territory of its previous country during Winter Adjustments, and cannot support a unit other than its mob.
  8. Revolution End: A Revolution may end in one of two ways - Peaceful or Forced
    1. Peaceful Revolution End: If, at the end of any subsequent movement phase, the number of PP's allocated to REVOLT no longer exceeds twice those allocated to ORDER, the revolution ends. The mob unit is immediately disbanded, and ownership of the SC will immediately return to the country that possessed it before the revolution.
      ****NOTE: Ownership of the SC will still return to the original country even if it occurs during a spring turn and no unit occupies the city after the fall turn.
    2. Forced Revolution End: If the territory in rebellion is controlled by a country at the end of Fall Retreats, the rebellion will end and ownership of the SC is transferred to that country. If this country is the same one that possessed the SC before the revolution, all PP's in the SC will be removed, except for three allocated to REVOLT. If it is a different country, then the same rules apply as when SC's change hands otherwise, as stated below. (Rule 9a)
  9. SC Capture and Winter Adjustments:
    1. PP Reset: If an SC changes hands in the winter adjustments, all PP's in the city are reset and returned to zero. This occurs also if the SC was in the rule of a mob, and was captured by a country other than the one it belonged to before the rebellion.
      ****NOTE: This occurs during Winter Adjustments, NOT when the foreign unit first dislodges the mob.
    2. Supply: Each country must make adjustments as usual. All centers owned by that country and NOT currently in rebellion will count for purposes of supply.
    3. Peaceful Revolution End: If a peaceful revolution end occurred in either the spring or fall of the year and there was not another rebellion after that, then that SC will still belong to its previous country (the one that controlled it before the rebellion) even if there is no unit in it after the fall turn. It will act completely as a normal center, and can sustain a unit.
  10. Sequence of Events: Many events happen in sequence over the length of a year (Spring moves->Spring Rebellions->Spring Retreats->Fall moves->Fall Rebellions->Fall Retreats->Adjustments). Because of this, many events may happen but be immediately overturned by a subsequent event.

    For example, a foolish Italian leader may attempt to stab Austria by supporting Venice into Trieste on the same turn as spending enough PP's to start a revolt there. This would result in him taking the city, then immediately being forced to retreat from it by the mob (both the Austrian and Italian units would be forced to retreat from Trieste).

    In another example, a Peaceful Revolution End could succeed in the fall, removing the mob and returning the SC to it's owner, only to see a foreign unit retreating from an adjacent province waltz into the now unoccupied center and capture it.

    So, think carefully about what the results of all of your orders will be, and don't complain about it.
Last edited by EnlightenedMonarch on 22 Jul 2016, 19:49, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Spring of Nations Diplomacy Variant

Postby EnlightenedMonarch » 21 Jul 2016, 23:26

NOTE: I devised the mechanics for this, but I will not GM it if a game does end up happening (for one thing, I have no idea how to make those fancy maps). I would really appreciate it if someone else volunteers to GM. If you do volunteer, make sure to read the rules carefully and think through all of them, because during the game the final decision on adjudication will be yours.
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Re: Spring of Nations Diplomacy Variant

Postby Antigonos » 22 Jul 2016, 02:12

I studied the Revolutions of 1848 extensively when younger and I am very interested in playing.

I have some questions. In most variants I have played Influence Points are used for one turn only and once used are lost. If I am understanding the rules here they remain in pace in the location and for the purpose designated. Is this correct? You also give each nation a starting number of IPs. Is this an amount given each year and does it remain the same or does it increase as a nation accumulates supply centers as in some other variants.

Have you given any thought to the length of phases - it is a complex game/
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Re: Spring of Nations Diplomacy Variant

Postby EnlightenedMonarch » 22 Jul 2016, 03:06

Antigonos wrote:I studied the Revolutions of 1848 extensively when younger and I am very interested in playing.

I have some questions. In most variants I have played Influence Points are used for one turn only and once used are lost. If I am understanding the rules here they remain in pace in the location and for the purpose designated. Is this correct? You also give each nation a starting number of IPs. Is this an amount given each year and does it remain the same or does it increase as a nation accumulates supply centers as in some other variants.

Have you given any thought to the length of phases - it is a complex game/


Glad you're interested! In my original plan, IPs would remain in a city until removed by capture or revolution. As far as getting new IP's you start with the ones I described, then gain more each year based on how many SCs you have (see rule 4).

As far as phase length, that would be up to the GM if one decides to run this. I don't think it's that terribly complex though, most of the rules are just making sure that there's no gray area and possible problems are accounted for.
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Re: Spring of Nations Diplomacy Variant

Postby Antigonos » 22 Jul 2016, 04:27

EnlightenedMonarch wrote:
Antigonos wrote:I studied the Revolutions of 1848 extensively when younger and I am very interested in playing.

I have some questions. In most variants I have played Influence Points are used for one turn only and once used are lost. If I am understanding the rules here they remain in pace in the location and for the purpose designated. Is this correct? You also give each nation a starting number of IPs. Is this an amount given each year and does it remain the same or does it increase as a nation accumulates supply centers as in some other variants.

Have you given any thought to the length of phases - it is a complex game/


Glad you're interested! In my original plan, IPs would remain in a city until removed by capture or revolution. As far as getting new IP's you start with the ones I described, then gain more each year based on how many SCs you have (see rule 4).

As far as phase length, that would be up to the GM if one decides to run this. I don't think it's that terribly complex though, most of the rules are just making sure that there's no gray area and possible problems are accounted for.


Thanks I somehow missed Rule 4. BY complex I really meant the variables introduced by the IPs and the negotiations that they might involve. By the way I would call them Political Points (PP) as they really operated in a different way than IPs.
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Re: Spring of Nations Diplomacy Variant

Postby EnlightenedMonarch » 22 Jul 2016, 04:32

BY complex I really meant the variables introduced by the IPs and the negotiations that they might involve. By the way I would call them Political Points (PP) as they really operated in a different way than IPs.

Ah, okay. Yeah, I suppose Political Points would work too.
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Re: Spring of Nations Diplomacy Variant

Postby nanooktheeskimo » 22 Jul 2016, 08:07

One note: having the number of IPs (or PPs--I liked Antigonos' suggestion to rename them Political Points!) equal to the number of SCs controlled may be an issue. It could lead to a somewhat unbalanced game, if there is no cap on PPs (if there is and I missed it reading over the rules, feel free to ignore this). The reason for this is that if one power is close to a solo, they can wield enough power to make it impossible to stop them from soloing. Now, maybe you're OK with that being a byproduct, in which case ignore this and carry on. To me it feels somewhat unfair. My suggestion would be to attach PP allocation to a range of SCs, rather than a straight conversion, if that makes sense. So something like for every additional 3 SCs you capture after your starting SCs, you receive 2 PPs. That's just a rough example, but it can help to balance the game a little bit better towards the end game, especially if there's a potential soloist, giving the other powers who have presumably banded together a fighting chance, but not punishing the potential soloer if the other powers can't work together well.

Other than that one small comment, I would say that it looks pretty solid!
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Re: Spring of Nations Diplomacy Variant

Postby Antigonos » 22 Jul 2016, 16:20

nanooktheeskimo wrote:One note: having the number of IPs (or PPs--I liked Antigonos' suggestion to rename them Political Points!) equal to the number of SCs controlled may be an issue. It could lead to a somewhat unbalanced game, if there is no cap on PPs (if there is and I missed it reading over the rules, feel free to ignore this). The reason for this is that if one power is close to a solo, they can wield enough power to make it impossible to stop them from soloing. Now, maybe you're OK with that being a byproduct, in which case ignore this and carry on. To me it feels somewhat unfair. My suggestion would be to attach PP allocation to a range of SCs, rather than a straight conversion, if that makes sense. So something like for every additional 3 SCs you capture after your starting SCs, you receive 2 PPs. That's just a rough example, but it can help to balance the game a little bit better towards the end game, especially if there's a potential soloist, giving the other powers who have presumably banded together a fighting chance, but not punishing the potential soloer if the other powers can't work together well.

Other than that one small comment, I would say that it looks pretty solid!


I think that this is an excellent suggestion. It also points out an interesting difference between PPs and IPs, IPs grow in the amount one can get and reach a kind of crescendo especially in a game like World Influence but are useless once all the neutrals are taken. PPs will never cease to be important and I suspect that as the number that each power can deploy each turn grows (either with a cap or not) a well focused use could be particularly devastating. It seems very much in keeping with the historical and political theme of the game.
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Re: Spring of Nations Diplomacy Variant

Postby Aeschines » 22 Jul 2016, 18:24

Additionally, I would even suggest that players begin to receive penalties from growing too large, i.e. the number of PPs grows as you grow until your empire hits a point where it begins to be unweidly and then the PPs plateau and then slowly decline.

While that would tend towards longer games/draws as stopping a single strong player would be easier, I think it would tailor nicely with the realities of governing a diverse 19th Century Empire.
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Re: Spring of Nations Diplomacy Variant

Postby EnlightenedMonarch » 22 Jul 2016, 19:41

Those are some good suggestions. So thinking maybe something like this:

1-3 SC's: 2PP's per year
4-6: 5 PP's
7-9: 8 PP's
10-13: 10 PP's
14-15: 12 PP's
16-17: 14 PP's

Does that seem more balanced? My one worry is that at the endgame it is a lot easier for players stopping the solo to coordinate using PP's than it is normally using units, and I don't want to make a solo too hard.

Another option would be to cap the PP's that you can use each turn, which could work too.
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