Rules to the Backseat Driver Variant

Below are rules for the Backseat Driver variant. Different rules apply to players who control powers and to observers. Please make sure you know all the rules and adhere to the correct ones. If you have any questions or if something isn't clear, please let me know.

The following rules apply only to players who control powers:

  1. As far as powers are concerned, this is a no-press gunboat game. You may not send any press messages whatsoever. NOTE: There is no way to set a game to be no-press for powers while still allowing press for observers. Thus, although the judge will not prevent you from sending press, doing so is against the rules. The only exception is sending messages to the Master using PRESS TO M.
  2. You may not sign on to this game as an observer.
  3. You may not ask somebody you know to sign on to the game as an observer.
  4. As with any no-press gunboat game, you may not attempt communicate with any players (powers or observers) in any manner except in "usual" non-verbal ways, such as using supports, convoys, etc.
  5. The integrity of the game depends on adherence to the above rules. Any player found violating these rules will be ejected from the game.
  6. Observers will act as advisors to the powers. Their advice is non-binding. At any point in the game, you may follow it or ignore it. I will try to make sure that every power gets at least one advisor, but there are no guarantees. You can still play without an advisor - you just won't have anybody suggesting moves or strategies to you.

The following rules apply only to participating observers:

  1. As far as observers are concerned, this is a no-partial white press game. Messages will be BROADCAST and seen by all players (powers and observers).
  2. Press in the Backseat Driver variant is assumed to come from "advisors" to the powers. The players who control the powers may decide to take the advice given by an advisor or ignore it and do what they want.
  3. Each observer can control two advisors. This means you may take on two distinct personae. Selecting what powers to advise will take a bit of thinking. You might decide to be an advisor to two neighboring powers, and get them to work together, or you may give "bad" advice to one in order to help the other. You might be an advisor to two weak powers to help improve their chances of winning. You may even decide to use both your advisors to advise the same power, giving similar or conflicting advice. It's entirely up to you.
  4. Observers may not "play" more than two advisors.
  5. White press games differentiate between powers, but the judge refers to all observers as just "observer". Therefore, to make the game white press, all messages must identify the advisor (not the player) and the advisee. A good standard to adopt is for all players to begin their messages with this information in brackets, e.g. "[Sir Laffalot, advisor to England]". Having the information at the beginning of the message makes it easy for all readers to identify the sender without having to read to the bottom of the message. Observers can, of course, sign their messages in whatever fashion they wish, and will have different signatures for each advisor they play.
  6. No anonymous messages are allowed. If you accidentally send an unsigned message, please send a correction as soon as you notice.
  7. Since this is white press, observers may not forge messages using the signatures of other advisors. The copies of messages received by the Master show the sender's address, even in gunboat games, so the identity of anyone attempting to forge messages will be known to the Master.

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