Two-player WWI-powers variant?

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Two-player WWI-powers variant?

#1 Post by mattallan624 » Mon May 10, 2021 2:39 pm

Introducing my son to Diplomacy.
We attempted to play the physical board game (actual board, pieces, etc.) using the two-person variant mentioned in the rulebook (Eng/Fra/Rus vs Ger/Aus/Tur, first to 24 supply centers win), but the admin processes (orders writing, determining/adjudicating all the outcomes) took absolutely forever.
We ended up giving up and calling a draw at 3am.

In an online/computerized game, these processes take only seconds to complete, so the game can focus on the interactions and strategy, etc.
I was hoping to move to an online/computerized environment and try again, but just with 2 players, for starters.

However, I can't find such a game. The closest I could find was Fra/Aus or Ger/Ita games, but those rules are only to 18...which basically turns it into a scramble for the neutral territories: not the same.

Is there a computerized variant (on WebDiplomacy, Backstabbr, etc.) where we can play the 2 (or 3 or 4) -person game variant(s) that are mentioned in the Diplomacy rulebook?

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Re: Two-player WWI-powers variant?

#2 Post by azcat1990 » Mon May 10, 2021 8:41 pm

Not a great answer perhaps but if you're the experienced one you can write your orders down while he simply positions his pieces on the physical board (halfway across the border for a move, standing upright against a move for a support etc). He might even enjoy the more tactile experience.

Of course he'd have to wait for you to write them but if you're good with the shorthand maybe go a touch faster.

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Re: Two-player WWI-powers variant?

#3 Post by RoganJosh » Mon May 10, 2021 9:06 pm

If you create a Gunboat game on this site (i.e., "Game messaging" is set to None), then you can select "Fill empty spots with bots." Make the game private, and have only you and your son join. You'll get one power each, and the other powers will be played by the AI.

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Re: Two-player WWI-powers variant?

#4 Post by gimix » Mon May 10, 2021 9:19 pm

I don't know of any site offering the rulebook 2-players variant.
But you may want to have a look to webDiplomacy's sister site,, since they have literally tons of variants available. The Cold War variant in particular may be good for you, although it is played on a totally different map and setting.
And anyhow let me recommend France vs Austria, which is far better balanced than most 2-players variants.
Enjoy your games with your son!

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Re: Two-player WWI-powers variant?

#5 Post by captainmeme » Mon May 10, 2021 9:32 pm

You can play the rulebook 2-player variant over at I think that is the only site which does it.

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