Rule Variant: Surrender

by Tahseen Hasan

The Surrender rule variant for Diplomacy seeks to prevent player elimination and help end the game faster. When playing casually it is quite disappointing when a friend gets eliminated early on in the game and can no longer directly participate. Moreover, another common complaint is that Diplomacy takes too long to finish. Surrender addresses both these issues.

In Surrender, a nation may choose to surrender its territories to another nation if it is down to 2 SCs or less. If Nation A accepts surrender offered by Nation B, Nation A would become the Protectorate of Nation B and Nation B would become a Client State of Nation A.

The Client State can still control its own units and diplomacy, however it cannot directly dislodge or cut the support of any unit belonging to its Protectorate. That is, while a Client State can directly attack or provide support against its Protectorate's unit, it cannot dislodge it or cut its support (same as how a player cannot dislodge his/her own unit or cut the support of his/her unit by attacking it with another one of his/her own unit). However, the Protectorate may freely attack its Client State at any time as it would attack any other player. The Protectorate will technically ‘own’ every SC belonging to the Client State and therefore can use those SCs towards achieving victory. The Client State can participate normally in draws (and is entitled to any other applicable winnings), however, by design it cannot win the game until it achieves independence.

Q1. How does the process of surrendering work?

Q2. What are the benefits of becoming a Protectorate?

Q3. What happens to the Client State after offering Surrender?

Q4. What are The Conditions of Surrender?

Q5. Can a Client State nation gain independence? - Yes

Q6. Can a single nation have multiple Client States or Protectorates? – Yes (multiple client states) and No (single protectorate)

Q7. Can a Client State nation become a Protectorate of another nation? - Yes

Q8. Can an eliminated nation still offer Surrender and rejoin the game? – Yes

Q9. What are the benefits of becoming a client state?


I created Surrender simply as a fun alternative to the standard game, that people can enjoy with friends without running the risk of ruining someone’s night.

In a serious setting, getting eliminated is the worst possible result but when having fun with friends, the feeling of getting excluded from the game, while everyone else is still playing and having fun, is even worse. So I think most people would opt to Surrender and keep playing despite the exponentially more difficult odds of winning the game once they do. However, thanks to the rule changes I think this problem has been minimized.

Email writer thumbnail Tahseen Hasan

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