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Thread: How to play Diplomacy: Rules, Maps and Links

  1. #1
    L-O-L-A Lola
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    How to play Diplomacy: Rules, Maps and Links

    Q: WTF is Diplomacy?

    Diplomacy is an old Avalon Hill board game. 7 players each play one of the great powers of 1900's Europe. The goal: To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentations of the women.

    Q: Why would I want to play it on the internet?

    Diplomacy is very well suited to internet play, for a few reasons:

    - Games can be very long, if played in a traditional face-to-face manner. Few people have an entire day to invest to a complete game of Diplomacy, and finding 7 people whose schedules mesh can be difficult. When playing on the internet, moves can be spread over many days, so that the time required per turn is very small, and can be done at the player's leisure. You never have to show up at 5:30pst in order to play Diplomacy, you fit it in whenever you have leisure time during a day.

    - Communication is a key component to the game - in fact, the largest portion of the game is simply talking to the other players. Email and IRC facilitate this excellently.

    - The board is very simple. "The Judge" is the term for an automated system that keeps track of the game state, automatically processes all the players' moves every turn, and publishes (via email and web interface) the results of each move.

    Q: Describe the flow of the game

    At the beginning of each turn, all of the players may contact each other at their leisure to discuss their moves, intentions, fears, lies, threats or wild conspiracy theories. During this time, each player decides what orders to give to his units, and submits them to the Judge whenever he feels he is ready (but before the deadline).

    The Judge holds on to all of the orders, and once they are all submitted, the Judge reveals them to everyone, as well as the results and new map/game state. There are no dice rolls, no random elements. All of the moves are resolved simultaneously - there is no first or last - each turn, all 7 players' orders are done at once.

    After the moves are resolved, the game moves to the next turn, and the wheeling and dealing begins anew.

    Q: How do I learn how to play?

    THE RULES (read these first) (Avalon Hill finally made the rules available online in a PDF format)

    Q: How do I learn how to play well?

    Here's a list of useful strategy articles (I recommend starting with the country-specific articles)

    Q: What do I need to do before I can play Diplomacy online?

    In order to be allowed to sign up for any game online, you will need to register at the DPPD first.

    For those who have played before, but never used a Judge, I recommend starting with http://devel.diplom.org/Email/

    (For the research-friendly, http://www.diplom.org/ contains everything you need to know about playing Diplomacy online.)

    Q: Is there, like, an IRC channel?

    Yes! All players (and anyone with questions) should attempt to idle in #diplomacy on irc.progameplayer.com as much as possible.

    Q: Where can I find maps of the game board?

    Several maps are attached below.

    An interactive map, you can move units around on:http://realpolitik.sourceforge.net/JavaDip/index.html

    Q: Does it cost anything to play?

    No. All you need to play is a copy of the rules (above) and the map (below). The Judge to which moves are submitted is a free service.

    Q: What if I've never played before?

    Read the rules, and come talk to me afterwards. Also, please take the test before signing up for any games.

    Q: How much time does it require to play?

    This depends heavily on the time between moves and settings of a particular game. Time required may range from 5 minutes per turn for a no press game, where communication between players is forbidden, to many minutes (or hours) per turn twisting arms and negotiating with other powers.

    Q: Can I play it at work?

    If you have email or web access at work, yes. Communication between powers can take place either on IRC or via email (or AIM or ICQ, etc), and can be done either simultaneously or asynchronously. Moves may be submitted either via a web interface or email.

    Q: Do I have to download anything?

    No. All you need is an email client and a web browser.

    Q: Is there any sort of graphical interface?

    All game moves and communication can be done via email - new players will need a map for reference purposes (attached below). There is a web interface with automatically generated maps of the current game status, and which allows for more convenient order submitting. The web interface to a game looks like this: http://www.floc.net/dpjudge/?game=hoss5

    Q: How long does a game take?

    An "average" game may take as many as 20-50 turns. The frequency at which turns take place depends on the speed of the players, and the deadline (maximum turn time span) settings. A fast game has deadlines every day, while slower games may only be every 2-4 days (or more for incredibly slow, communication-intensive settings)
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  2. #2
    L-O-L-A Lola
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    A couple of blank maps, may be easier for some to print out/make notes on, and a couple of color maps.
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  3. #3
    L-O-L-A Lola
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    Added a bunch of Q's I've been asked, for new players.

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