Model House Rules Version 3.4 is Now Available

Archived from groups: rec.games.diplomacy (More info?)

The newest version (3.4) of the Model House Rules for Non-Judge E-Mail
Diplomacy (the "MHR") may be found at
http://diplomiscellany.tripod.com/diplomacy/id7.html . Rule VIII.(3)
("Review of GM Decisions") has been edited, and Rule VI.(8) ("Effect of a
unit convoyed to an adjacent province if a unit originating in the
destination province of the convoy dislodges the convoyed unit") has been
added.

Comments or suggestions on these rules, the rest of the MHR, or on possible
new rules to be added are always welcome, and since the MHR is presented as
an aid to the entire Hobby changes to it may be of more than academic
interest. Several Diplomacy tournaments and Diplomacy forums, as well as
many GMs, have based their House rules in full or in part on the MHR, so
changes to the MHR can have an impact on many games in the future.
7 answers Last reply
More about model house rules version available
  1. Archived from groups: rec.games.diplomacy (More info?)

    David E. Cohen wrote:
    >
    > Comments or suggestions on these rules, the rest of the MHR, or on possible
    > new rules to be added are always welcome, and since the MHR is presented as
    > an aid to the entire Hobby changes to it may be of more than academic
    > interest.

    Great publication. I have a couple of things.

    1) Typo in II.6. "requests requests".

    2) The term "contingent retreats" is not clearly defined. I've never
    played PBEM with this kind of rule, so I'm not sure exactly how specific
    a player would have to be. Giving a hypothetical retreat for each unit
    with each set of orders makes sense, but then there's the issue of what
    happens when two units will hypothetically retreat to the same place,
    and then both are dislodged. Does the player have to specify whether
    one, the other, or both will retreat in that case ahead of time? Or
    will there be some brief period allowed to do this? Also, the decision
    on where to retreat often depends on the overall outcome of the season;
    contingent retreats seem not to allow this. Or do they?

    3) Typo in III.5. "Any unit adjudged by the GM".

    4) How about an addition to VI.2: "Alternative D: the move will
    succeed if either the land or convoy route yields a successful move."

    --
    Will Berry
    Co-founder, Second Brain website hosting
    http://www.secondbrainhosting.com/
  2. Archived from groups: rec.games.diplomacy (More info?)

    Thank you. Look for a change or two in Version 3.4.1 Good catch on the
    typo in II.6.

    I don't see what is wrong with III.5, typo-wise. As far as the substance of
    III.5 (the contingent orders rule) is concerned, it is sometimes called
    "British style" or "two-turn year", and yes it can get pretty complicated,
    but it is doable, as long as the possible retreats are listed sequentially,
    and based upon conditions wholly fulfilled (or not) by the movement
    adjudication preceding the retreat phase. I am not a big fan of it myself,
    though I have played it on occasion, and have done well (i.e., gotten a dot
    because someone didn't account for all my possible retreats) because of the
    rule. I prefer a five turn year, with negotiation prior to retreats, even
    though this is against the actual rules in the rulebook, which were, of
    course, drafted with FTF play in mind. Though I think it should be pretty
    obvious what is meant after a reading of the rulebook, I don't think that
    fleshing things out would hurt.

    Regarding your take on Rule VI.2, I try not to have the MHR deal in
    hypothetical interpretations just for the sake of having every possibility.
    Is this interpretation (a) a reasonable one based upon any edition of the
    rulebook, or (b) used by anyone in their own house rules?

    "Will Berry" <wberry@wberry.org.x> wrote in message
    news:df2xc.17590$1s1.8285@bignews4.bellsouth.net...
    > David E. Cohen wrote:
    > >
    > > Comments or suggestions on these rules, the rest of the MHR, or on
    possible
    > > new rules to be added are always welcome, and since the MHR is presented
    as
    > > an aid to the entire Hobby changes to it may be of more than academic
    > > interest.
    >
    > Great publication. I have a couple of things.
    >
    > 1) Typo in II.6. "requests requests".
    >
    > 2) The term "contingent retreats" is not clearly defined. I've never
    > played PBEM with this kind of rule, so I'm not sure exactly how specific
    > a player would have to be. Giving a hypothetical retreat for each unit
    > with each set of orders makes sense, but then there's the issue of what
    > happens when two units will hypothetically retreat to the same place,
    > and then both are dislodged. Does the player have to specify whether
    > one, the other, or both will retreat in that case ahead of time? Or
    > will there be some brief period allowed to do this? Also, the decision
    > on where to retreat often depends on the overall outcome of the season;
    > contingent retreats seem not to allow this. Or do they?
    >
    > 3) Typo in III.5. "Any unit adjudged by the GM".
    >
    > 4) How about an addition to VI.2: "Alternative D: the move will
    > succeed if either the land or convoy route yields a successful move."
    >
    > --
    > Will Berry
    > Co-founder, Second Brain website hosting
    > http://www.secondbrainhosting.com/
  3. Archived from groups: rec.games.diplomacy (More info?)

    David E. Cohen wrote:
    >
    > Regarding your take on Rule VI.2, I try not to have the MHR deal in
    > hypothetical interpretations just for the sake of having every possibility.
    > Is this interpretation (a) a reasonable one based upon any edition of the
    > rulebook, or (b) used by anyone in their own house rules?

    I'd like to argue (a), even though I can't point to any rulebook that
    actually encourages this policy directly. All editions of the rulebook
    that mention it say that one route must be considered and the other
    disregarded.

    But here is why I don't like that policy. The rules have done an
    about-face since 1971 on the issue of multiple convoy routes. In 1971,
    the rule was that if two or more convoy routes are possible, but at
    least one is *broken*, the convoyed army cannot move. We also had the
    messy house-rule business of specified routes and all that. Now in
    2000, we have the opposite of 1971: if two or more convoy routes are
    possible, and at least one is *unbroken*, the convoyed army may move.

    I interpret this rare repentance in the official rules as a consensus
    among the players and the creators that it is the better policy. And it
    just makes sense that because everything in Diplomacy is simultaneous,
    the convoyed army will "wink out" of the original province and magically
    appear at the destination; the "route" is merely the set of all fleets
    that were able to carry it. The whole thing reminds me of quantum
    mechanics and tunnelling, and that may be no coincidence.

    But back to my point. The present policy of choosing between the land
    route and the convoy route is an artifact of the previous, now-discarded
    convoy philosophy of having the route matter. The present philosophy
    is, you either have a route, or you don't; this is evidenced by the new
    and cleaner 2000 rule on multiple convoy routes. If we apply this
    philosophy to the land-versus-convoy-route problem, the resulting rule
    is that if either route is good the army will move.

    There are some other reasons to adopt this rule as well. For one, the
    "via convoy" specification is clearly a "hack" to the language of the
    rules to allow choosing a route in that one specific case. With the
    cleaner rule this can be done away with and our judge parsers
    simplified. Also, I've heard far more people than not say that being
    able to give unwanted convoys improves the overall quality of the game.

    I have tried to find paradox situations or weird, unpleasant side
    effects resulting from this policy, and have found none so far. I think
    the rule I advocate is completely sound.

    However, to directly address your question, it is to my surprise and
    chagrin that I cannot think of a single case outside my own group of
    friends where this idea was even seriously considered. So I will
    understand if you do not put this into your house rules.


    --
    Will Berry
    Director, Techwood Con gaming convention
    http://www.techwoodcon.com/
  4. Archived from groups: rec.games.diplomacy (More info?)

    Will Berry <wberry@wberry.org.x> writes:

    >David E. Cohen wrote:
    >>
    >> Regarding your take on Rule VI.2, I try not to have the MHR deal in
    >> hypothetical interpretations just for the sake of having every possibility.
    >> Is this interpretation (a) a reasonable one based upon any edition of the
    >> rulebook, or (b) used by anyone in their own house rules?

    >I'd like to argue (a), even though I can't point to any rulebook that
    >actually encourages this policy directly. All editions of the rulebook
    >that mention it say that one route must be considered and the other
    >disregarded.

    >But here is why I don't like that policy. The rules have done an
    >about-face since 1971 on the issue of multiple convoy routes. In 1971,
    >the rule was that if two or more convoy routes are possible, but at
    >least one is *broken*, the convoyed army cannot move. We also had the
    >messy house-rule business of specified routes and all that. Now in
    >2000, we have the opposite of 1971: if two or more convoy routes are
    >possible, and at least one is *unbroken*, the convoyed army may move.

    I could be wrong because I'm arguing from memory, but I thought
    that the 1971 interpretation was viewed as a confusion that was
    never meant to be part of the rules (go back further and read
    earlier editions) and that was "corrected" in 2000. This is one
    of the FEW things I really like about the 2000 rules, because it
    codifies my general theory about movement: when you issue an order,
    it should be followed if it is POSSIBLE to follow it. Then all the
    action is in defining what is possible. I think it makes for cleaner
    interpretations.

    >I interpret this rare repentance in the official rules as a consensus
    >among the players and the creators that it is the better policy. And it
    >just makes sense that because everything in Diplomacy is simultaneous,
    >the convoyed army will "wink out" of the original province and magically
    >appear at the destination; the "route" is merely the set of all fleets
    >that were able to carry it. The whole thing reminds me of quantum
    >mechanics and tunnelling, and that may be no coincidence.

    Precisely, good analogy. I keep trying to get people OFF of the
    idea that these are "real armies and fleets".

    >But back to my point. The present policy of choosing between the land
    >route and the convoy route is an artifact of the previous, now-discarded
    >convoy philosophy of having the route matter. The present philosophy
    >is, you either have a route, or you don't; this is evidenced by the new
    >and cleaner 2000 rule on multiple convoy routes. If we apply this
    >philosophy to the land-versus-convoy-route problem, the resulting rule
    >is that if either route is good the army will move.

    Again, the point I've long argued. And this is "cleaner".

    >There are some other reasons to adopt this rule as well. For one, the
    >"via convoy" specification is clearly a "hack" to the language of the
    >rules to allow choosing a route in that one specific case. With the
    >cleaner rule this can be done away with and our judge parsers
    >simplified. Also, I've heard far more people than not say that being
    >able to give unwanted convoys improves the overall quality of the game.

    I'm on the side of that 100%.

    >I have tried to find paradox situations or weird, unpleasant side
    >effects resulting from this policy, and have found none so far. I think
    >the rule I advocate is completely sound.

    I've thought about this for years. I've never found one, except
    from those people who say "I didn't REALLY want to move to Portugal,
    I was just cutting a possible support" when they receive an
    unwanted convoy from Spain to Portugal. And I don't accept that
    excuse. If you don't want to move to Portugal, don't order
    your unit there.

    >However, to directly address your question, it is to my surprise and
    >chagrin that I cannot think of a single case outside my own group of
    >friends where this idea was even seriously considered. So I will
    >understand if you do not put this into your house rules.


    >--
    >Will Berry
    >Director, Techwood Con gaming convention
    >http://www.techwoodcon.com/

    Really? I like it....

    Jim-Bob
  5. Archived from groups: rec.games.diplomacy (More info?)

    I'm not dismissing it at this point. Anyone else want to weigh in?

    "Jim Burgess" <burgess@TheWorld.com> wrote in message
    news:ca54p2$ddc$1@pcls4.std.com...
    > Will Berry <wberry@wberry.org.x> writes:
    >
    > >David E. Cohen wrote:
    > >>
    > >> Regarding your take on Rule VI.2, I try not to have the MHR deal in
    > >> hypothetical interpretations just for the sake of having every
    possibility.
    > >> Is this interpretation (a) a reasonable one based upon any edition of
    the
    > >> rulebook, or (b) used by anyone in their own house rules?
    >
    > >I'd like to argue (a), even though I can't point to any rulebook that
    > >actually encourages this policy directly. All editions of the rulebook
    > >that mention it say that one route must be considered and the other
    > >disregarded.
    >
    > >But here is why I don't like that policy. The rules have done an
    > >about-face since 1971 on the issue of multiple convoy routes. In 1971,
    > >the rule was that if two or more convoy routes are possible, but at
    > >least one is *broken*, the convoyed army cannot move. We also had the
    > >messy house-rule business of specified routes and all that. Now in
    > >2000, we have the opposite of 1971: if two or more convoy routes are
    > >possible, and at least one is *unbroken*, the convoyed army may move.
    >
    > I could be wrong because I'm arguing from memory, but I thought
    > that the 1971 interpretation was viewed as a confusion that was
    > never meant to be part of the rules (go back further and read
    > earlier editions) and that was "corrected" in 2000. This is one
    > of the FEW things I really like about the 2000 rules, because it
    > codifies my general theory about movement: when you issue an order,
    > it should be followed if it is POSSIBLE to follow it. Then all the
    > action is in defining what is possible. I think it makes for cleaner
    > interpretations.
    >
    > >I interpret this rare repentance in the official rules as a consensus
    > >among the players and the creators that it is the better policy. And it
    > >just makes sense that because everything in Diplomacy is simultaneous,
    > >the convoyed army will "wink out" of the original province and magically
    > >appear at the destination; the "route" is merely the set of all fleets
    > >that were able to carry it. The whole thing reminds me of quantum
    > >mechanics and tunnelling, and that may be no coincidence.
    >
    > Precisely, good analogy. I keep trying to get people OFF of the
    > idea that these are "real armies and fleets".
    >
    > >But back to my point. The present policy of choosing between the land
    > >route and the convoy route is an artifact of the previous, now-discarded
    > >convoy philosophy of having the route matter. The present philosophy
    > >is, you either have a route, or you don't; this is evidenced by the new
    > >and cleaner 2000 rule on multiple convoy routes. If we apply this
    > >philosophy to the land-versus-convoy-route problem, the resulting rule
    > >is that if either route is good the army will move.
    >
    > Again, the point I've long argued. And this is "cleaner".
    >
    > >There are some other reasons to adopt this rule as well. For one, the
    > >"via convoy" specification is clearly a "hack" to the language of the
    > >rules to allow choosing a route in that one specific case. With the
    > >cleaner rule this can be done away with and our judge parsers
    > >simplified. Also, I've heard far more people than not say that being
    > >able to give unwanted convoys improves the overall quality of the game.
    >
    > I'm on the side of that 100%.
    >
    > >I have tried to find paradox situations or weird, unpleasant side
    > >effects resulting from this policy, and have found none so far. I think
    > >the rule I advocate is completely sound.
    >
    > I've thought about this for years. I've never found one, except
    > from those people who say "I didn't REALLY want to move to Portugal,
    > I was just cutting a possible support" when they receive an
    > unwanted convoy from Spain to Portugal. And I don't accept that
    > excuse. If you don't want to move to Portugal, don't order
    > your unit there.
    >
    > >However, to directly address your question, it is to my surprise and
    > >chagrin that I cannot think of a single case outside my own group of
    > >friends where this idea was even seriously considered. So I will
    > >understand if you do not put this into your house rules.
    >
    >
    > >--
    > >Will Berry
    > >Director, Techwood Con gaming convention
    > >http://www.techwoodcon.com/
    >
    > Really? I like it....
    >
    > Jim-Bob
  6. Archived from groups: rec.games.diplomacy (More info?)

    Jim Burgess wrote:
    >>--
    >>Will Berry
    >>Director, Techwood Con gaming convention
    >>http://www.techwoodcon.com/
    >
    > Really? I like it....

    Yes indeed. And of course I'll be doing everything in my power to
    ensure that there will be "Dippage" at next year's con.

    --
    Will Berry
    Director, Techwood Con gaming convention
    http://www.techwoodcon.com/
  7. Archived from groups: rec.games.diplomacy (More info?)

    "Jim Burgess" wrote:
    > >But here is why I don't like that policy. The rules have done an
    > >about-face since 1971 on the issue of multiple convoy routes. In 1971,
    > >the rule was that if two or more convoy routes are possible, but at
    > >least one is *broken*, the convoyed army cannot move. We also had the
    > >messy house-rule business of specified routes and all that. Now in
    > >2000, we have the opposite of 1971: if two or more convoy routes are
    > >possible, and at least one is *unbroken*, the convoyed army may move.
    >
    > I could be wrong because I'm arguing from memory, but I thought
    > that the 1971 interpretation was viewed as a confusion that was
    > never meant to be part of the rules (go back further and read
    > earlier editions) and that was "corrected" in 2000. This is one
    > of the FEW things I really like about the 2000 rules, because it
    > codifies my general theory about movement: when you issue an order,
    > it should be followed if it is POSSIBLE to follow it. Then all the
    > action is in defining what is possible. I think it makes for cleaner
    > interpretations.
    This has been changed already in the 1982 rules. The advantage is that
    you don't have the problem of foreign fleets, that are almost certainly
    dislodge, and that gets a convoy order, to break the convoy. In the DPTG
    there is a complete paragraph on this issue, with the rule that all
    convoys must be disrupted before the move fails, this issue does not
    exist any more.

    I am not in favor of the 'via Convoy' directive anymore, but you should
    properly formulate the alternative. See choice c of issue 4.A.3. of the
    DATC:

    In case of a convoy to an adjacent place:

    "The land route is taken except when the unit in the target area moves
    in opposite direction and there is an undisrupted convoy route.".

    This is unambiguous and can be adjudicated by programs.

    Regards,

    Lucas
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