by Sergio Lidsell

Support for 19 Machiavelli variants (for 4-9 players) was added with the updated nJudge software. These updates include support for 2nd edition play and the possibility to use the Machiavelli maps for Standard Diplomacy play (not just 2nd edition, but real Diplomacy). Playing Mach on the Standard map is also supported.

This short article will describe how to set up Basic, 2nd edition and Diplomacy style games. A section on some fun optional rules for hand-adjudicated games has also been added. An overview of available variants will be published later in the series.

How to play with only the Basic rules

Basic rules do not include most of the stuff a Machiavelli aficionado appreciates, but are a good way to get the feel of the basic (sic!) game mechanics. The following settings will set up a game without money, bribes, bankers, disasters and special units on the judge:

set nodice (this removes disasters, variable income and more)
set nomoney (this removes all use of money)
set nospecial (this removes the use of elite and militia units)
set coastalconvoys
set noforts
set disband
set noassassinations (used with bribes, not really necessary as nomoney is set)
set noadjacency (used with bribes, not really necessary as nomoney is set)

With nomoney set you can only own one unit per controlled city if you also control the province that the city is located in.

How to play a clean 2nd edition game

There are some notable differences between Mach 2 and Classic, which require a different rule engine to be set. Notice that excommunication, as it is impossible to implement fairly, and strategic movement are not supported the judge. To play a 2nd edition scenario game you should use the Machivelli2 specific maps. To play with advanced and optional rules you use the following settings:

set mach2 (this turns on Mach2 rules parsing)
set nocoastalconvoys
set noforts
set nodisband

And should you wish to play a Basic Mach2 game you also apply nodice, nomoney and nospecial as noted above.

How to play with Diplomacy rules on a Machiavelli map

Of course you can also play with standard Diplomacy rules on any Machiavelli map by setting up a Mach2 game with no summers and garrisons. The following settings are used:

set mach2 (this flag enables the diplomacy build rules)
set nosummer (this removes the summer moves and plagues)
set nogarrisons (this removes the use of garrisons)
set nodice (this removes disasters, variable income and more)
set nomoney (this removes all use of money)
set nospecial (this removes the use of elite and militia units)
set nocoastalconvoys
set noforts
set nodisband (removes the disband movement order)

DipMach — How to play Standard with Classic Machiavelli rules

And yes, you can of course play Classic Machiavelli on a Standard Diplomacy map. To do so you need to use the Dipmach variant map. Notice that in St. Petersburg you may choose to build on the north or south coast, and that a garrison may convert to fleet to either coast. E.g. G STP C F /NC or G STP C F /SC. Whether or not the nJudge software supports this or not I am not sure. I will get back to this variant in a later article.

Some unofficial optional rules

These rules are not supported by the nJudge, nor part of the official rules, but may be fun to use in hand adjudicated games. They have been gleaned from various sources during the years. Enjoy…

Unit bribes

  • Buy autonomous A/F: 15 ducats.
  • Convert committed F to autonomous F: 12 ducats.
  • Convert committed A to autonomous A: 12 ducats.
  • Disband autonomous A/F: 9 ducats.
  • Convert autonomous G to autonomous A/F: 9 ducats.
  • Convert autonomous A/F to autonomous G: 6 ducats.
  • Order autonomous unit to advance into adjacent province: 6 ducats.
  • Order autonomous unit to convoy: 9 ducats.
  • Order autonomous unit to support move: 6 ducats.
  • No limit on assassination bribe. Meaning you may spend 72 ducats to ensure a successful assassination.

Cavalry units

Light cavalry (C) is a new special unit with the strength of one. It may move two provinces unhindered by any unit present in the intermediate province. If convoyed it may only move one province. Will only bounce if target province is occupied or another unit enters target. Retreat is to preceding province in move path. If that province is occupied normal retreat rules apply. Support can only be given into adjacent provinces as with an ordinary land unit. Control is not gained of intermediate provinces. Move example: c pav m mon m gen. It costs 6 ducats to buy/maintain and twice the normal amount to bribe.

Armoured cavalry (AC) is a new special unit with the strength of two. Behaves like light cavalry. It costs 9 ducats to buy/maintain and twice the normal amount to bribe.

Cause famine (scorched earth tactics, plunder and chevauchée)

“A scorched earth policy is a military strategy which involves destroying anything that might be useful to the enemy while advancing through or withdrawing from an area. It is a military strategy where all of the assets that are used or can be used by the enemy are targeted, such as food sources, transportation, communications, industrial resources, and even the people in the area.” The Cause famine expense simulates this. It can be used in any season. Any units in the affected province will be eliminated after retreats. 3 ducats. Order format: CAUSE FAMINE PROVINCENAME.

Cause plague

It happened that a besieging army threw corpses over the city walls to weaken the defenders. But also that wells were poisoned. The following expense simulates that. As cities usually closed gates in times of plague a garrisoned city is only affected if the city is besieged. Any units in the affected province will be eliminated before movement. 9 ducats. Order format: CAUSE PLAGUE PROVINCENAME.

Forced taxation

This will immediately add double province income to your coffers. E.g. if you own Genoa province and city and force tax it you will gain 2x(3+1)=8 ducats. It can be done in any season and is performed before expenses and bribes! Which means you can then use the money for a bribe of your choice. As an effect the province and city will immediately rebel. The province and city will also not generate income, nor be possible to use for builds in the following spring. You must control the province or city that you force tax. A rebelling province or city cannot be taxed by force. A province can only be force taxed once per year. Orders must indicate if only the province, or only the city or both city and province are force taxed. This “expense” cost’s nothing. Order format: TAX PROVINCENAME, TAX CITY PROVINCENAME, TAX BOTH PROVINCENAME.

Trade provinces

The lords of the time could by marriage or agreement get to own new lands. This “expense” allows players to give provinces in their control to other players. Notice that any contained city is always included. Disputed provinces, i.e. whith one power in the city and another in the province cannot be given. Giving can be done either before movement or after retreats. It may also be done before and after adjustments. A power may only give one province once a year. Normal control rules apply, thus any units present in the area will affect the outcome. The giving player will always lose control of the province regardless of if the recipient can gain control. This “expense” cost’s nothing. Order format: GIVE PROVINCENAME TO POWERNAME.

"Realistic" plague

A plague will continue to expand into adjacent provinces every season until it reaches the sea or the end of the map. Roll dice before movement to see if the new province is affected. If the coastal province has an anchor, and a flet is present, the plague will jump coast. Roll 1d6 1-3 affected, 4-6 unaffected. E.g. plague strikes FLO in U1457. In F1457 roll to see if it has spread to PISA, PST, BOL, ROMAGNA, URB, ARE and SIE. As SIE and BOL are affected you will in S1458 have to check for plague in PIO, PER and PAT, and LUC, MOD; MAN, FER. Only PIO is affected as PISA has already been struck by the same plague. But as there was a fleet in ETS the plague will jump coast to TIV, MES and PAL as those do also have ports. And in U1458 you roll for those provinces too.

This rule is both very complicated to use and will wreak havoc on the game, so I’d advise against using it.

Sergio Lidsell

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