Recruiting: Allegiance Diplomacy variant

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Recruiting: Allegiance Diplomacy variant

#1 Post by bilbert » Mon Jan 16, 2023 8:25 am

Allegiance Diplomacy

These rules are prepared for a game of the classic strategy game Diplomacy to be played entirely on Discord in 2023. The territory map will be the same as in classic Diplomacy. All rules follow standard Diplomacy rules except what follows below.

The map to be used in this game is the classic map and uses an Adobe Illustrator file made by another and offered for the community’s use: ... _editable/

The game’s rules are roughly based off two other variants: Diplomacy for Dukes (variant creator not found) and its associated Diplomacy for Popes (rules by C.C. Helwig 2019). Resemblance to any other variant is incidental.

Game Timeline
The game will be run entirely on Discord ( It will run for a maximum of 8 game years, ending then with a ranked victory (see Win Cons), assuming a draw has not been called or a solo victory achieved.

Deadlines will be 3/3/1/2/2 (Spring/Fall/Retreats/Builds/Allegiance).

The game is scheduled to begin March 1 and expected to end by May 28. If less than 22 players have been recruited by that date, the game will not launch.

Map and Starting Rules

The game will be played on the standard Diplomacy map, but factions do not begin with units. The game will begin in Winter 1900, allowing each faction to build whatever unit type they’d like at the start.


Rather than the standard seven players and seven countries, a unique player controls each owned SC. This means Russia is controlled by four different players, one in StP, one in Mos, one in War, and one in Sev. The other six countries are each controlled by different three players. A full game would include a total of 22 players. Neutral territories remain vacant and uncontrolled.

Factions will be chosen by a blind auction. Each player will get 100 points to distribute however they want. Players that choose not to submit bids will give all factions a bid of one. The player that bids the most for a faction will get that faction. When bids are tied, the bid winner will be chosen randomly.


The game begins with seven empires: Austria-Hungary, England, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, and Turkey. The players in the game can switch membership to other established empires during the Allegiance Phase.
An empire is a group of players that share allegiance to one single player, the emperor/empress (the masculine word is used for all instances hereafters for simplicity, clarity, and the fact I often blank on how to spell the simple word “empress”). This emperor of each empire for the year is selected each Allegiance Phase. At the start of the game, players controlling Berlin, Constantinople (Istanbul), London, Paris, Rome, St. Petersburg, and Vienna are his/her empire’s ruler.

Adjudication among Compatriots

In adjudication, members of the same empire treat other members as if they are the same power. This means they cannot capture each other’s SCs and cannot follow an order that would directly dislodge a compatriot’s unit.

Allegiance Phase

After each winter builds and captures, there is an Allegiance Phase. During this turn, players may give the following orders:
• Pledge fealty to a player in the game, either in their own empire or another, if that player controls their own starting territory (a player cannot receive fealty of others if they cannot maintain their own capital territory). The order is “I pledge fealty to XXX.” The player may use the name of the player or that player’s starting city. That player will become a member of whichever empire their new liege lord belongs.
• Declare self as emperor of current empire. This may only be done by players in control of their own capital territory.

Current rulers have the following constraints:
• They may not pledge fealty to a member of another empire, even if that member simultaneously becomes a member of the ruler’s current empire.
• If a current ruler pledges fealty to a member of his/her own empire, but that individual leaves the empire, the order of the current ruler is changed by the GM to declare self as emperor.

The ruler of an empire is the player that . . .
• Was a member or ruler of that empire the previous year.
• Receives the most fealty votes.

Example Allegiance Phase for Russia in Winter 1901:
- St. Petersburg pledges fealty to Moscow.
- Warsaw pledges fealty to Moscow.
- Moscow declares self as emperor.
- Ankara pledges fealty to Sevastopol.
- Sevastopol declares self as emperor.
- Budapest pledges fealty to Ankara.
- Smyrna pledges fealty to Ankara.

The result of the above vote is that Moscow is now the emperor of Russia, as it gets two votes to Sevastopol’s one vote.

Note that Ankara is not considered for the role of emperor, as he/she was not part of Russia the previous year. Ankara, Budapest, and Smyrna are all members of the Russian Empire after the Allegiance Phase.

If multiple players tie for the most pledges of fealty, the player that declares themselves as emperor is emperor.

If multiple players tie and multiple of those tied declared themselves emperor, the empire is thrown into civil war (see section below).

If multiple players tie and none of those tied declare themselves as emperor, the previous emperor remains on the throne.

Civil War

All members of an empire thrown into civil war . . .
• Have their orders adjudicated as if they are their own nation—i.e., they may dislodge compatriots’ units and capture compatriots’ SCs.
• Cannot move out of their empire’s territory (either “colored-in” non-SCs or owned SCs), whether by an attack order or retreat. May also not enter support orders where the destination of the movement or hold is outside of the empire. Other empires not in a civil war have no constraints; they are able to capture and enter the civil war-stricken empire as they please.

The civil war may end at an Allegiance Phase (including the very next one) where an emperor is chosen without a tiebreaker—i.e., one player receives more votes than any other player.
If one player in an empire eliminates all other players in the empire during a civil war, that player becomes the emperor by default.

Special Capture Rules

After fall adjudication, players may give additional orders for newly captured territory.
• The owner of the unit capturing a territory may capture the SC “in the name of the emperor”, thereby giving ownership of that SC (and a build) to the current emperor.
• The ruler of an empire may reallocate one newly captured SC by any member of the empire a year and give it to another member of the empire. The emperor may not give that SC to him/herself.

If a territory is captured “in the name of the emperor”, any reallocation of the territory by the emperor is overruled.

Example of special captures rules post Fall 1901:
- Player Sevastopol sends this order: “F Rumania captures Rumania in the name of the emperor.”
- Player St. Petersburg (and current emperor) sends: “Rumania is awarded to Warsaw.”

In the above set of orders, Player Sevastopol whose unit occupies Rumania gives the SC to the emperor in StP. The emperor’s edict to award the newly captured territory to Player Warsaw is overruled. The SC is given to the emperor and the emperor gets an additional build. If neither of the above orders were given, Player Sevastopol would capture the SC for her/himself as usual.


Builds follow standard Diplomacy rules: a player may only build in their own starting SC.

Win Conditions

The game can end in a solo victory, ranked victory, or draw.

When one empire controls 18 SCs, the emperor of that empire is given the solo victory. Note that an empire in civil war does not have an undisputed emperor, so the game continues until an emperor is chosen, at which point if the empire still has 18 SCs, the new emperor is the solo victor.

If the GM has set a time limit to the game (which for this run is 8 game years) and the game ends on time, a ranked victory is given to the emperor of the largest empire at the game end. If when the game ends, multiple emperors have claim to the largest empire, the tied emperors share a draw, excluding all players. Note that empires in civil war at game’s end do not have an emperor to be considered for ranked victory.

At any time, the game may end with a draw if all sitting emperors declare a draw. A called draw includes all players, though only the rulers vote on the draw. Note that a draw may be called even though an empire is in civil war, leaving it without a vote. A draw vote can be initiated by any sitting ruler, but only one draw vote may be initiated per year. Draw votes are public.


As the game involves a lot of players, there needs to be a special rule for NMRs. The emperor of each empire may give orders for member players. If the member player NMRs, the orders by the emperor will take effect instead of the default hold. If there is no NMR, the associated emperor’s orders will be discarded by the GM.

In all things, the GM’s word is law.

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Re: Recruiting: Allegiance Diplomacy variant

#2 Post by JECE » Mon Jan 16, 2023 3:55 pm

bilbert wrote:
Mon Jan 16, 2023 8:25 am
I often blank on how to spell the simple word “empress”
Huh, I find emperor easier to misspell as 'emporer' or something since the second and third vowels sound pretty much identical. But I guess that empress is similar to 'emperess', albeit with three syllables instead of two.
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Re: Recruiting: Allegiance Diplomacy variant

#3 Post by bilbert » Wed Jan 18, 2023 5:22 am

Not the part I was expecting a comment on, but yes. Every person has their struggles. I often write "emperess".

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Re: Recruiting: Allegiance Diplomacy variant

#4 Post by bilbert » Tue Feb 14, 2023 10:19 pm

We're up to 14/22 players. Two weeks left!

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Re: Recruiting: Allegiance Diplomacy variant

#5 Post by steephie22 » Wed Feb 15, 2023 5:11 pm

Interesting. Has this been played before? What are your expectations on what the dynamic will be like? I find it hard to imagine how a game plays out based on just the rules.

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Re: Recruiting: Allegiance Diplomacy variant

#6 Post by bilbert » Wed Feb 15, 2023 8:08 pm

To be honest, no idea. Therefore the time control. I suspect there is a cyclical nature to being the man on top, so you'd want to time your moment in the limelight for the game's end.

This is the first playtest.

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Re: Recruiting: Allegiance Diplomacy variant

#7 Post by wulfheart » Sun Feb 19, 2023 4:01 pm

This sounds interesting. However, I am not sure if I have the time currently to play such a variant in a foreign language. :(

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