The Classical Variant
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Contents Basic Rules
· Basic Rules
· Map Notes
· Design Notes

The normal rules of the game of Diplomacy apply, with the following additions, exceptions, and clarifications.

The map that is used is a representation of the Mediterranean Sea and the land that borders it, with political boundaries describing the ancient empires of the region.

The five powers in the game, and the initial positions of their units, are shown below:

Rome Fleet Cumae Army Brundisium Army Roma
Carthage Fleet Panormus Fleet Leptis Magna Fleet Carthage
Macedon Fleet Cassandreaia Fleet Kallatis Army Pella
Syria Fleet Tyre Army Antioch Army Damascus
Egypt Fleet Alexandria Fleet Memphis Army Thebes

The game-year proceeds as in the standard game (Spring, Fall, Winter) except that the game's first year is 273 B.C., the second game-year is 272 B.C., and so forth.

The map contains thirty-five supply centers, so the victory criteria (18 supply centers) is the same as in the standard game.

A power may build in any vacant supply center it owns during an adjustment phase, assuming at least one of the original SCs of that power is owned by that power. Thus while there are permanent "home centers," as long as you own one, all owned centers act like home centers. For example, Carthage may build in Syracuse if:

  • it is vacant,
  • Carthage owns it,
  • Carthage is eligible for a build and
  • Carthage still owns at least one of: Panormus, Carthage, or Leptis Magna.
[Note: This is known as "aberration-style" builds, from the Aberration variant in which they first appeared.]
Map Notes

All Coastal provinces are assumed to have only one coast. Thus, for example, a fleet can enter Athens from Euboea and exit to Corinth the following turn. The same holds for Fleets entering Sinai from Memphis and proceeding to Petra (and vice versa), and for Agrigentum as well. For those who need to add realism to this rule, assume the wooden triremes and quinquiremes of the period were sufficiently light to portage within a single province. [Note, however, that two neighboring coastal provinces may not necessarily be adjacent for the purposes of sea travel. For example: Etruria and Cisalpina are both coastal provinces, but they do not touch on a water border, and thus a fleet in Etruria may not move to Cisalpina or vice versa.]

  • The Nile is navigable up to Thebes. Once in Thebes, a fleet may move to the Sinai, Sea of Reeds, or Nubian Desert via "portage." [Note: This is just a regular move order; that is, a "portage" from Thebes to Nubian Desert is just Fleet Thebes to Nubian Desert, with no special indication that the fleet may have had to be lifted across a stretch of desert. However, Fleet Thebes cannot move to Libya, for the same reasons that Fleet Cisalpina to Etruria is not allowed.]

  • The Rhodes space in southeastern Asia Minor consists of the island of Rhodes proper and the mainland province of Caria, which Rhodes controlled. They are one province despite being separated by water. Thus, for example, a unit entering Rhodes from the Sea of Alexander may move to Pergamum in the following season (and vice versa). Note however, that the Lycian Sea and the Cretan Sea are adjacent (as are Lycian and Kos), despite this unusual land province.

The game has several land bridges, designed to improve interaction among the five powers. [Note: Rhodes also has a land bridge indicated, but its special nature is defined by the rule above.]

  • Units (army or fleet) in a province with a land bridge may move to the opposite shore at full strength. In addition, a unit in such a province may give support to a unit on the other side, or support a move into the space across the bridge, also at full strength, regardless of the presence of a fleet in the waters between the land bridges.

  • None of these land bridges precludes movement across the sea spaces they cross. For example, an army moving from Thrace to Troy will not impede a fleet moving from Propontis to Lesbos. In addition, these land bridges do not prevent convoys, so an army in Bithynia may convoy via Propontis and Lesbos to Pergamum, or even, should the need arise, directly across the Propontis to Thrace (this might be used to swap two units which would otherwise bounce).
Design Notes

The Classical variant was created by Andy Schwarz and Vincent Mous. A commercial version of the game is offered for sale by Stupendous Games.

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