PbF: Common Ruleset for DP-based Variants

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PbF: Common Ruleset for DP-based Variants

Postby NoPunIn10Did » 30 Apr 2019, 19:19

Common Ruleset for DP-based Variants
This document is meant to provide a common basis for all Diplomacy variants that use a Diplomacy Points whereby players allocate DP secretly to neutral units to control their orders.

Any variant that uses a DP system is likely to have amendments or adjustments to these rules. PbF GMs and variant designers should feel free to link to these rules (or quote them) when posting rules for individual variants in the forums.

Neutral Units
Units not controlled by a specific player are Neutral units.

Neutral units belong to Minor Powers. Minor Powers' territories tend to be colored with one or more shades of a single color per map, typically tan or brown, and the unit design varies from variant to variant.

Examples:
  • In Ambition & Empire, Minor Powers' emblems are designed to show their religious affiliations and their historical (and build-related) connections to the Great Powers.
  • In 1936, Minor Powers' emblems are adapted from their national flags. Their Supply Center markers display their "client state" affiliations.
  • In Dissolution, Minor Powers' emblems are adapted from the emblem for the United Nations.
Minor powers' neutral units occupy neutral Supply Centers that can be captured by players during the course of the game.

The orders given for Neutral units are determined via DP allocations (see later section below).

Stationary Units & Sortie Attacks
In most DP variants, all Minor Powers' units are stationary. Stationary units can be given orders just like any other unit. They can be ordered to hold, support, move, or (when applicable) convoy. They can be ordered to move via convoy as well.

However, while stationary units can be ordered to move, they will never actually move. Instead, their moves will always bounce. This is called a Sortie. For example, a stationary unit's move order can be used to cut an adjacent unit's support or protect an adjacent empty province from a potential invader.

Because stationary units cannot leave their current locations, they cannot dislodge other units.

Stationary Units & Retreats
Stationary units cannot retreat. If a stationary unit is dislodged, it is always destroyed during the Retreat phase. If a stationary unit's move order bounces in an otherwise uncontested province, that province is not an eligible retreat location during the subsequent Retreat phase.

Minor Power Adjustments
In the case that a neutral Minor SC is vacant during an Adjustments phase, that Neutral Minor Power will always rebuild an Army or Fleet there (whichever unit type was present at the game's start).

Diplomacy Points
Diplomacy Points (DP) are the system by which players determine the orders of Neutral units. Each Orders Phase, every player receives an allotment of DP; the amount allotted varies by variant. That DP is use-it-or-lose-it; none can be stored or carried over into the next turn.

Allocating & Adjudicating DP
Along with orders for their own units, players can submit potential orders for one or more neutral units. Each potential order must come with a DP allocation, and the total DP allocated by a player must not exceed their total allotment for that phase. The DP expenditures act like "votes" for that order. Other players may vote for that same order and allocate DP to it. A single player with 2 DP, for instance, can potentially spend 2 DP on a single units' order or allocate 1 DP each to two different units' orders.

At the time of adjudication, the GM analyzes all of the submitted DP allocations for a given unit. The order that has the most DP spent is the one that will be given to the unit. If two or more orders tie for DP spent, or if no DP is allocated to that unit, it will be given a default order instead. Except where specified in the specific variant's rules, the default order for any neutral unit is Hold.

All DP allocations are kept secret. Only the "winning" orders will be known publicly but not which players (if any) allocated DP to those orders. For most variants, all DP allocations will remain secret until the entire game has completed.

Limitations on DP Allocations
Individual variants tend to come with additional restrictions regarding who a neutral unit or Minor unit will attack or support, which players may spend DP on a given unit, and how much DP may be spent on a single order per turn. These restrictions tend to be customized to reflect the setting of the variant and the affiliations of the Minor Powers. However, one rule is nearly universal, particularly for stationary minor powers.

The Attacking & Allocating Rule:
If a player's own unit is attacking (or supporting an attack on) a minor power, that player may not allocate DP to that minor power during the turn the attack or support is taking place.

This rule lessens some of the inherent "gullibility" of minor powers. Most commonly, it prevents a player from allocating DPs to a minor power for the purpose of having the minor power unit move, thereby making it ineligible to receive support-to-hold during the player’s attack on that minor power.


DP Allocation Examples
The following examples use the original Dissolution map to demonstrate how DP allocations determine units orders.
NOTE: The examples below come from Dissolution, which is a highly complex DP variant. I plan to update these with examples from a simpler variant in the future.

DP Allocations Example A
Using the Dissolution map, Assume that all units are in their starting positions. Yugoslavia & Poland are each trying to use Austria's order to assist them in dislodging a neighbor. They each have 2 DP to spend.

Code: Select all
Poland:
PO  A War - Pra

DP
2:  A Aus S War - Pra

---
Yugoslavia:
YU  A Bgd - Hun

DP
1:  A Aus S Bgd - Hun

---

Because Yugoslavia only spent 1 DP on Austria's order, and Poland spends 2 DP on Austria's order, the GM will use "A Aus S War - Pra" as the order given to Austria for that adjudication.

Code: Select all
Results:
PO  A War - Pra             Completes
YU  A Bgd - Hun             Bounced 1v1

    A Aus S War - Pra
    A Pra H                 Dislodged by A War (2v1)
    A Hun H


DP Allocations Example B
Now assume that, in addition to the orders from Example A above, Yugoslavia has requested some DP help from Kazakhstan.

Code: Select all
Poland:
PO  A War - Pra

DP
2:  A Aus S War - Pra

---
Yugoslavia:
YU  A Bgd - Hun

DP
1:  A Aus S Bgd - Hun

---
Kazakhstan:
DP
1:  A Aus S Bgd - Hun

---

Now, the two orders granted to Austria each have an equal DP total of 2. The GM, having secretly counted these allocations and finding a tie, will use "A Aus H" as the order given to Austria for that adjudication. Both attacks will bounce.

Code: Select all
Results:
PO  A War - Pra             Bounced 1v1
YU  A Bgd - Hun             Bounced 1v1

    A Aus H
    A Pra H                 
    A Hun H


DP Allocations Example C
In this example, Yugoslavia decides to not compete for Austria DP, spending 1 DP each on two orders for other units.

Code: Select all
Poland:
PO  A War - Pra

DP
2:  A Aus S War - Pra

---
Yugoslavia:
YU  A Bgd - Hun

DP
1:  W Ram - Aus
1:  A Cro S Bgd - Hun

---

Assuming no one else has allocated DP to Croatia, Austria, or the NATO Wing in Ramstein, all three orders will be given to those units. However, by using Ramstein to cut Austria's support and Croatia to support the invasion of Hungary, Yugoslavia achieves his goal while stopping Poland's.

This example highlights that just because a DP allocation might "win" in the voting, the order eventually granted still has to be adjudicated as normal. No amount of votes can guarantee a support won't be cut by some other unit.

Code: Select all
Results:
PO  A War - Pra             Bounced 1v1
YU  A Bgd - Hun             Completes

NA  W Ram - Aus             Bounced 1v1

    A Aus S War - Pra       Cut by W Ram
    A Pra H                 
    A Hun H                 Dislodged by A Bgd (2v1)
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