Imperial Diplomacy

Michael David Roberts

This is a global variant set in the mid-19th Century. It was designed to provide on-line players with a (hopefully) fun and challenging global game in a historical setting. However, this variant was not designed to recreate historical events. It merely uses them as a springboard.


This variant follows all of the rules in Standard Diplomacy, except the following.

Start Date

The game begins in Spring 1861. The Seasons work just like Standard Diplomacy (Spring\Fall).

Victory Conditions

A short game requires a player to possess 70 supply centers at the end of any fall retreat. A long game requires a player to possess 84 supply centers at the end of any fall retreat. As an optional rule, the game will also end on Spring 1901 should no player possess the required number of supply centers.

Occupation of Home Supply Centers

If a Power occupies an opposing power's Home Supply Center, he may build from it as if it were his own. Example: USA occupies Richmond. Until another power occupies Richmond, it is considered a Home Supply Center for the USA.

Map Clarifications

Impassable - (Great Lakes, Rocky Mountains, Andes, Switzerland, Sahara Desert, Himalayas)

Island Chains - (Hawaiian Islands, Galapagos Islands, Society Islands, Bahamas, Virgin Islands, Azores, Cape Verde Islands, Falkland Islands, South George Island, Corsica, Crete, Seychelles, Maldives, Andaman Islands, Okinawa, Carolines, Marshalls, Fiji, and New Zealand)

Large Island Chains - (Cuba\Haiti and Luzon\Mindanao)

Straits - (Constantinople)

Land Bridge - (Victoria <-> Vancouver, Victoria <-> Washington, Detroit <-> Minnesota, Nova Scotia <-> Quebec, Atlanta <-> Bahamas, Bahamas <-> Cuba, Cuba <-> Haiti, Hait <-> Virgin Islands, Dublin <-> Edinburgh, Gibraltar <-> Morocco, Denmark <-> Norway, Denmark <-> Sweden, Cypress <-> Angora, Cypress <-> Syria, Singapore <-> Malaysia, Luzon <-> Mindanao, Kagoshima <-> Edo, Edo <-> Sapporo, Sakhurlin <-> Vladivostok)

Wraparound - (Bering Sea, Westerlies, West Pacific, Equatorial Counter Current, South West Pacific, Antarctic Pacific)

Starting Positions

F London (LON)
F Edinburgh (EDI)
F Nova Scotia (NVS)
F Falkland Islands (FLK)
F Gibraltar (GB)
F Aden (ADE)
F Bombay (BOM)
F Singapore (SP)
F Hong Kong (HK)
A Dublin (DUB)
A Quebec (QBC)
A Vancouver (VNC)
A Delhi (DEL)
A Perth (PRT)
A Paris (PAR)
A Marseilles (MRS)
A Grain Coast (GCS)
A Cambodia (CMB)
F Nantes (NAN)
F Corsica (CRS)
F Cayenne (CYN)
F Monrovia (MNV)
F Cochin (CCH)
F Society Islands (SCT)
A Moscow (MOS)
A Warsaw (WRS)
A Georgia (GRG)
A Orenburg (ORN)
A Omsk (OMS)
A Irkutsk (IRK)
A Vladivostok (VLA)
A Ancorage (ANC)
F St. Petersburg[wc] (STP)
F Sevastopol (SEV)
F Port Arthur (PA)
F Holland (HOL)
F Cape Town (CTN)
F Ceylon (CEY)
F Sumatra (SUM)
F Java (JVA)
A Paramariso (PRM)
A Transvaal (TRN)
A Borneo (BOR)
F Angora[nc] (ANG)
F Cypress (CYP)
F Baghdad (BAG)
A Sofia (SOF)
A Constantinople (CON)
A Cairo (CAI)
A Peking (PEK)
A Shanghai (SHA)
A Manchuria (MNC)
A Canton (CAN)
A Wuhan (WUH)
A Chungking (CHK)
A Sinkiang (SNK)
A Berlin (BER)
A Prussia (PRS)
A Silesia (SIL)
A Ruhr (RH)
A Vienna (VIE)
A Venice (VEN)
A Budapest (BUD)
F Croatia (CRT)
A Edo (EDO)
F Sapporo (SAP)
F Kagoshima (KG)
F Okinawa (OKI)
A Washington DC (WDC)
A Detroit (DET)
A Chicago (CHI)
A San Francisco (SFR)
F Oregon (ORG)
F New York (NYO)
A Richmond (RCM)
A Atlanta (ATL)
A Austin (AUS)
A New Orleans (NOL)
A Mexico City (MXC)
F Merida (MER)
F Mazatlan (MAZ)
F Rio De Janeiro (RDJ)
F Recife (REC)
A Brasilia (BRA)
A Oliveira (OLI)

1861, A Brief Look

The 1860's were the crossroads of the 19th Century. The Concert of Europe was beginning to fall to a growing tide of nationalism. The Americas were thrown into turmoil with the formation of the Confederacy. Asia and Africa had not yet been carved up between the competing British and French Empires. How the great powers of the time reacted set the course for the 20th Century, leading to the Alliance systems of the Great War, the Second World War, and the Cold War. Keep in mind that some of the powers of the 1860's no longer exist because of how they reacted.

By 1861 the British Empire was the greatest power on the planet. Its influence was felt on every continent, but the British Empire had not yet reached its peak, and its colonial holdings could just as easily been torn from it as Spain's had during the 1870's.

France competed with Britain on virtually every level. Though it was not as powerful as its sometime rival, sometime ally, France was still neck and neck with Britain in its colonial holdings. France is the only power in 1861 that can wage war with Britain on an equal footing.

The Russia of the 1860's had not yet suffered the crippling events of the Russo-Japanese War and the 1905 Revolution. Its power spread from Eastern Europe through Asia and into North America. Though it eventually fell to internal conflict, the Russia of the 1860's was still very much a world power.

Though Holland wasn't much of a power on the European continent, its colonial holdings in the Far East, Africa, and South America gave it the leverage to compete on about the same level as France and Russia

The Turkey of the 1860's stretched from the Balkans to the Persian Gulf and south into Africa. Though it was considered the `Sick Man of Europe', destined for oblivion in the fires of the Great War, Turkey's central location and strength could have easily turned it into one of the world powers of the 20th Century.

19th Century China was rapidly falling to Western hands. By the 1860's China had already been forced to open its ports to foriegn control. However, Europe had not yet turned its full attention to Imperial domination of the Orient. China still had the chance to regain its standing amongst the Great Powers.

Prussia was rapidly reaching its peak by the 1860's. By 1870, Prussia had unified Germany under its rule, radically shifting the balance of power in Europe away from Britain and France. As Germany, its political and military strength dictated the policies of both Britain and France during the latter half of the 19th Century.

One of the great European powers of the 19th Century, it was destined for economic ruin and political destruction by the end of the Great War. However, by 1861, the wars of unification had not yet happened in Germany and Italy. Austria still had the capacity of becoming a great power of the 20th Century.

Its gate forced open just 10 years prior, Japan was scrambling to `Westernize' itself for survival. Historically, Japan's standing in the eyes of the world was cemented by the Russo-Japanese War of 1905. However, it could have suffered the same fate as China just as easily.

With the Secession of the Confederacy, the United States was thrown into turmoil, and its future was in no way secure. The 1860's was dominated by the bloodiest war in US history, and though it ended with the defeat of the Confederacy, it could have ended with the creation of a new and powerful neighbor in North America. Regardless of the outcome of the war, the United States was forever changed.

The Confederacy was struggling for its independance from the United States during the early 1860's. Though it was defeated, the Confederacy had the potential of radically changing the balance of power in North America and eventually the world. If it had survived, it could have easily become a great power in the 20th Century.

By the 1860's, Mexico had gone through a series of revolutions and distasterous wars. It was on the decline. If it had taken advantage of the Civil War, Mexico might have been able to turn its fortunes around, eventually reclaiming territories it had lost to the US in the 1840's.

One of the few major powers on the South American continent, Brazil faced few challenges to a possible expansion. It would have had the capacity to make its mark in world affairs, rising to the status of great power by the 20th Century.

Map Notes

Th map for this variant was designed for GM'd PBEM play. The map should be viewed in 256 colors, and players trying to read it should do so at a zoom of 100%-200%, though they can easily make out the state of affairs at a zoom of 50% or smaller. Included on the map file are army and fleet icons designed for use with the game. Take a look at the map legend in the upper left hand corner.


Thank you for downloading this Diplomacy Variant. I hope you enjoy playing it as much as I did designing it. If you wish to send comments, you may send them to: [email protected]