1) The GM is God, but in his/her infinite fairness players have the right to a mutually agreeable ombudsperson in the event of any dispute. The ombudsperson would have the right to force me to adhere to accepted standard hobby practice, whatever that might happen to be. Basically, I abhor the concept of house rules, causing me to do revisions only every fifty issues or so (originally appearing in issue 32, 84, 134, 157, 211, and now 343). Yes, it has been a while. If you don't like a ``loose'' style, I suggest you play elsewhere. Players may inquire at any time concerning how I would rule on any particular ``peculiar situation.'' In the strict sense, those are the house rules. PERIOD. I will, however, fill about a page explaining what might better be called ßtandard practices."
2) If I fail to obtain orders from a player, a standby will be called. Please note that NMR follow ups to attempt to get orders usually will be made after the deadline. Phoned or E-Mailed orders will be accepted up until the time the game is adjudicated.
3) Country selection is by preference list, but the preference lists generally will not be used unless all or almost all players submit one. Otherwise, countries will be assigned by random draw.
4) Any GM error must be pointed out by the next deadline or the error stands until discovered. Once discovered repairs will be made if possible; however, turns and movement will not be taken back. Please note that since all seasons are separated (except Autumn/Winter), that means that players must write immediately if they detect an error. Deadlines customarily will be on Saturdays, NMR requests will be made over that weekend, and the adjudications will be E-mailed as soon as possible in the following week. Deadlines fall at monthly intervals.
5) NMR's in Spring 1901 will not be allowed. If a player cannot be reached, the game will be delayed and a standby will be called.
6) Orders should be submitted in a clear manner and obtained via a verifiable source (such as postally, by phone or from a known E-Mail address). ``Nth'' is my standard abbreviation for the North Sea. ``Nor'' always is held to be ambiguous and the order will not be followed. All other abbreviations should not permit more than one meaning. I have a tendency to try to interpret player intentions though I try to keep it under control. If you wish an order to be intentionally miswritten, point it out to me or prepare to face the consequences. I realize that this could be construed as limiting the use of miswritten orders, but imagination is limitless. I always will back a player who intentionally miswrites orders as falling in the ambiguous category. Handwriting shall be no messier than mine if you submit postal orders. Conditionals seldom are necessary, but be sure to have an ``in all other cases'' clause if you use them. If not, units without a condition will hold. Conditionals may be made based on who is playing a potential standby position.
7) Draws may be proposed at any time. Players may wish to specify the season in which they are to be voted on, the default is the one immediately following (even if it is a Summer season). Draw votes are never confirmed in public for any reason by the GM and must be unanimous to pass. Failure to vote counts as a no vote, unless specifically amended by the GM with at least two seasons warning in extraordinary cases.
8) All games are black press unless three players request otherwise (status may change in the middle of a game). Press generally is encouraged strongly. The GM reserves the right to edit but wields a very loose editing pen. Abuse of the GM is required if you intend to abuse other players.
9) Maps generally are provided with all adjudications for regular Diplomacy games, though occasionally they are are omitted for reasons of space on Winter or Summer seasons only. Maps in Spy Diplomacy are provided for each season separately to each player.
10) I blatantly ripped off Bruce Geryk and Melinda Holley in producing the original version of these house rules (way back in issue 32) and have edited them very little yet again in the present version (lazy bastard that I am). Nevertheless, I reserve the right to change these standard practices at any time with little warning.