About this picture
The idea for this variant is based on a simple but significant deviation from the standard adjudication rules. In standard Diplomacy, attacks are transitive. In other words, if one attack can defeat a second, and the second attack can defeat a third, then the first attack defeats the third. In logical terms, this can be expressed something like:
In Arpiesse Diplomacy, attacks are not transitive, so that it is possible to have a set of attacks where a > b, b > c, and c > a. Such a set of attacks would not be consistent with the standard rules, but they can occur in Arpiesse Diplomacy.
In order to make adjudication possible, each unit in Arpiesse Diplomacy is assigned a color -- either red, purple or silver. The bulk of the rules of Arpiesse Diplomacy dictate the way attacks are adjudicated based on the color of the units involved. There are actually few rules, but they can result in all sorts of interesting cases, so a number of examples will be given. These rules cover as many cases as I could think up. It is possible that there is some case that I missed, so if you note any instances that are not covered by the rules, or any rules that contradict one another, please let me know.
Some people might find it odd to use colors since game pieces already have colors. This shouldn't really matter, since I don't expect that anyone playing this variant would go and add colors to game pieces. More likely, the "colors" for each of the units would be recorded on paper. The alternative would have been to use some label other than colors, but that would still require some way of recording the label for each unit. I find that picturing units with a certain color makes it easier to play out a combination of orders in my head, while picturing a "rug" army attacking a "phone" army that is supported by a "ski" fleet is pretty meaningless. If you find some alternative set of three labels preferable, feel free to substitute them for the colors. The rules will work just as well.
These simple modifications to the rules make for new (hopefully interesting) dynamics. By changing the way attacks are adjudicated, they affect strategy quite a bit. The tactical game can be quite different as well. Succesful set up of attacks and use of the support order will differ considerably from the standard game, and the traditional way of setting up stalemate lines won't work. Playing out various situations, even mentally, will bring out some of these differences.
|Color||Is Superior To||Is Inferior To|
Two units of the same color are said to be equivalent to one another.
Or, put another way:
R < P, P < S, S < R, R = R, S = S, P = P
(If you can figure out where the name for Arpiesse Diplomacy came from, it will be easy to remember the order of precedence without referring to the rules. If you can't and want to know, drop me an e-mail and ask.)
Italy: Red A Ven -> Tri
Red F Adr S Red A Ven -> Tri
Austria: Red A Tri HOLDS Result: This is an equivalent attack, so the attack of strength 2 defeats the defense of strength 1. The Italian move to Tri succeeds and the Austrian unit in Tri is dislodged.
For attacks among non-equivalent units:
Germany: Red A Pru -> War Russia: Silver A War HOLDS
Silver A Mos S A War
Austria: Silver A Boh -> War
Silver A Gal S A Boh -> War
Silver A Ukr S A Boh -> War
Result: The German attack on War is a superior attack and succeeds regardless of strength. In other words, the attack succeeds even though Russia is defending with strength 2 while Germany is only attacking with strength 1. Similarly, the Austrian attack fails, regardless of strength, because the German attack is a superior attack. Had the German unit not been involved, this would be an equivalent attack and Austria would succeed as per the standard rules.
England: Purple F Nth HOLDS France: Red F Bel -> Nth
Red F Eng S F Bel -> Nth
Result: The English fleet remains in Nth because the inferior attack fails regardless of strength.
Austria: Purple A Rum HOLDS Russia: Silver A Sev -> Rum Turkey: Red F Bla -> Rum Result: The Russian move to Rum succeeds because it is a superior attack. The Turkish move to Rum fails because it is an inferior attack and once failed it cannot later succeed. Therefore it is incorrect to reason that the Austrian unit is dislodged due to the Russian move, and given the Russian and Turkish moves to Rum the Turkish move should succeed because the Red Turkish fleet is superior to the Silver Russian Army.
Turkey: Red A Bul HOLDS
Purple A Con -> Bul
Result: Although the attack on Bul is a superior attack, it fails because an attack may not dislodge a unit belonging the same power.
England: Silver A Bel HOLDS France: Red A Bur -> Bel
Red A Pic S A Bur -> Bel
Germany: Red A Ruh -> Bel
Red A Hol S A Ruh -> Bel
Result: Despite the fact that the French and German units are superior to the English unit, due to the beleaguered garrison rule the English unit is not dislodged because the attacks into Bel are of equal strength and bounce.
Italy: Purple A Ven -> Tri Turkey: Red A Ser -> Tri
Red A Alb S Red A Ser -> Tri
Austria: Silver A Tyr -> Tri
Silver A Bud S A Tyr -> Tri
Silver A Bud S A Tyr -> Tri
Result: The Italian attack is superior to the Turkish attack, the Turkish attack is superior to the Austrian attack, and the Austrian attack is superior to the Italian attack (the superiority of an attack is unaffected by supports and associated attack strengths). These attacks cannot be resolved so all attacks fail. Love that non-transitivity.
Russia: Red A Sil HOLDS
Purple A War S A Sil
Silver A Pru S A Sil
Result: Because the unit in Sil is receiving support from a superior unit in War, it defends as a Red and Purple unit. It does not receive the color Silver from the army in Pru because that unit is not a superior unit.
England: Purple F Lon S F Nth
Red F Nth S F Eng
Silver F Eng HOLDS
Result: The unit in Nth is receiving support from a superior unit, and therefore defends with that unit's color as well as its own (i.e., Red and Purple). The Silver unit in Eng is also receiving support from a superior unit. However, it cannot receive the color Purple to defend with, even though it is receiving support from a superior unit, because Purple is an inferior color for the Silver unit. Eng can only receive the superior color, Red in this case, and therefore the fleet in Eng defends as Silver and Red, but not Purple.
"Unit-1 exchange with Unit-2"
(any non-ambiguous syntax is acceptable, such as omitting the word "with" or using "Exch" or "X" rather than "exchange").
Italy: Purple F Adr X A Tri Austria: Silver A Tri X F Adr Result: The units in Tri and Adr both have submitted an order for the same exchange. Since the fleet in Adr is located such that it could support Tri to HOLD, the units exchange colors even though the army in Tri cannot support the fleet which is located in a body of water.
Russia: Red F StP(SC) X F Nwy England: Purple F Nwy X F StP(SC) Result: Although the fleet in StP(SC) cannot support the fleet in Nwy to HOLD, the fleet in Nwy can support the fleet in StP(SC) to hold, so the units exchange colors.
France: Red F Gas X F Mar
Silver F Mar X F Gas
Result: Although the Mar and Gas fleets are adjacent to one another, neither fleet can support the other to HOLD so the exchange order is not valid. If either unit had been an army, the exchange would succeed.
[Note: In the rules above, I haven't provided quite as many examples as I wanted to, particularly in sections VIII and IX. I'll plan on adding some more examples next week. If you have any opinions or feedback (good or bad) I'd be interested in hearing from you. And if you are interested in trying a game of Arpiesse Diplomacy, let me know. If I get seven players, I'll start a game, though I suspect the adjudication will be quite a challenge.]
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