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Twisted Confessional | Dip

Cherry Diplomacy

Cherry Diplomacy (might as well name it after me):

  • Ireland (IRE) is passable, and a Supply Center. A land bridge connects IRE to CLY. (The irish sea is still IRI)
  • Iceland (ICE) is also passable, and a Supply Center.
  • Venice is renamed Venizia. It is no longer a supply center. (Still VEN)
  • Combine Naples (NAP) and Apullia (APU) - it is now just Naples (NAP). Thus, NAP additionally borders VEN and ADR. This gives the new Italy a SC on the Adriatic.
  • Sicily (the island) is now a supply center, named Palermo (PAL). Italy has a second fleet starting there. Palermo has a land-to-land connection to Naples.
  • Prussia is now a supply center, and belongs to Germany. It is renamed Danzig (DAN). A German army starts there.
  • An Austrian army, rather than a navy, starts in Trieste.
  • A British navy, rather than an army, starts in Liverpool.
  • Switzerland (SWI) is passable, and an SC. Merge Tuscany (TUS) into Rome (ROM) to give an Italian Army a quicker march to SWI.
  • Split St. Petersberg in three pieces: STP, Archangel (ARC) and Karelia (KAR). The smallest piece (STP) keeps the western coast of the old STP. It borders Finland, Archangel, Karelia, Livonia, Moscow, and BOT (see below). Archangel is the eastern part and keeps the old northern coast, and is another SC. It borders BAR, STP, Karelia, and Moscow. Karelia is a non-SC that borders STP and Archangel, as well as Finland, Norway, and BAR. Archangel starts with a Russian Fleet and thus gives England a serious competitor for Norway (STP, meanwhile, gets a Russian army). Karelia also buffers both STP and Archangel from Norway, so it's not a simple one-move operation.
  • Divide Moscow (MOS) in half, with the eastern 2/5ths to be called the province of Volga (VOL). Divide Sevastopol (SEV) with the eastern 2/5ths to be called the Caucasus (CAU). This gives Russia more of a "we are big" feel without adding more S Cs? and having absurdly extending supply centers that run off the end of the board.
  • Syria (SYR) has been renamed Damascus (DAM) and is a Turkish SC. At the same time, Smyrna (SMY) has been renamed Konya (KON) and is no longer a Turkish SC. This flip-flop makes it more difficult for Turkey to establish a dominant position in the southeast corner of the map. The Turkish army that formerly started in Syria now starts in Damascus.
  • Split the Mid Atlantic Ocean (MAO) into two parts, drawing a line west from the middle of Portugal. The new part is the South Atlantic Ocean (SAO).
  • Also divide the North African Front (NAF) into two pieces. The western piece is called Morocco (MOR) and is a supply center. It has a land-bridge to Spain (SPA). The eastern piece is called Algeria (ALG), and is not a supply center. Tunis is now called Tunisia (still TUN).
  • Sardinia (SAR) is a supply center. Corsica (COR) is passable, and you can move an army between COR and SAR. Finally, Cypress (CYP) is a passable space.
  • Crete (CRE) is a Supply Center. There is a land bridge between Crete and Greece. Also to homage Crete's connection to the Ottoman Empire, there is also a land bridge between Crete and Konya.
  • A new water area is added, the Hebrides (HEB) - draw a line from Ireland north to Iceland, slice off everything in NAO east of that line, as well as the triangular area in NWG. Cly and Lvp both no longer border NAO, and Edi no longer borders NWG - instead they border the Hebrides.
  • Add Bay of Biscay (BOB), going from Northern Spain to Brest. It does not border ENG, but does border SPA, BRE, GAS, and MAO. SPA still borders MAO on the north, as well as BOB; Brest also still borders MAO.
  • Also add theMalta Sea - draw straight down from the tip of the boot. ION no longer touches TUN, PAL, or TYS. Malta Sea borders TUN, PAL, NAP, ION and TYS.

Summary:

  • Two non-center spaces (APU and TUS) were removed in Italy. Italy was given one back in the form of Venizia, and gets another useful space in Palermo. Three non-center spaces were added to Russia, giving it more of a chance to retreat. Russia was also given one new Center, as was Germany (also with new starting units). Two non-center spaces were added in neutral territory (Corsica and Crete). Turkey gained one non-center space in Cypress, although its use is questionable.
  • Three new sea areas were added - the South Atlantic Ocean, the Hebrides, and the Malta Sea.
  • Nine supply centers have been added to the map, and one removed. That gives us 43 on the board, and a victory condition of 22. Only six of those nine are new neutral centers (cre, ice, ire, mor, sar, and swi).

(Some of this was inspired by this article and this variant and also this variant - which in turn led to Island Diplomacy, a lesser relative of this)

Reasons:

  1. Germany is given 4 units (and an additional army) as its armed forces were pretty much a big deal back then.
  2. Russia is given an extra unit to help it stay the biggest on the board, a choice I liked.
  3. Britain is given 3 fleets as its navy was pretty much a big deal back then, and its army was rubbish. It will need to work in 1902 to get troops.
  4. Austria gets 3 armies to start because, well, its navy wasn't worth sneezing at, at the time.
  5. Giving Italy "Palermo" (and a fleet there) and removing Venice gives a Fleet-Rome twist, and removing Venice addresses what's considered the biggest weakness for both Austria and Italy (the neighboring S Cs?). Combining Venice and Apullia puts an Italian SC on the Adriatic, to give pause if a fleet shows up in Trieste.
  6. The "neighboring Suppy Centers" issue is then transformed into an issue for Germany and Russia, which are both given an extra unit. (And may mirror the issues in Europe a bit more - Germany and Russia did seem to have issues)
  7. Making Switzerland passable and an SC may be historically inaccurate but it kills a lot of stalemate lines, which I hate. Combining Rome and Tuscany gives Italy a chance to influence the outcome of that province.
  8. The Hebrides and the Bay of Biscay were added to keep the naval game in the north interesting, especially with the British starting more naval. This is also the reason behind Iceland.
  9. Sardinia/Corsica/Crete/Cypress were added to make the Mediterranean more interesting as a naval theatre (not to mention the Malta Sea, and even Palermo).
  10. North Africa as a single area looked bland and boring, and Africa should be a more lively theatre of operations. Morocco also has been an important place. So I split NAF, and created the SAO as somewhat of a buffer for Morocco. Besides, 'north atlantic' and 'mid atlantic' begged for a third piece.

Opening Considerations (untested):

  • Austria - Trieste no longer bordering an Italian supply center gives Austria a bit more breathing room, but not much. With its 3 armies it could make a concerted push for the Balkans (though that might make Turkey nervous). Russia's army in Warsaw has Danzig to worry about, so Austria may not have as much fear from its northeastern neighbor. Switzerland is a tempting target for Austria, however, and reachable as well.
  • England - In the original game, England can usually count on Norway. Now Russia is a serious contender for that spot. There's also Ireland, a new "gimme" center for England, as well as Iceland. This might tempt England to stay off the continent for the first year. On the other hand, with the temptation of Morocco, France may be more interested in looking westward, giving England more room to consider the Low Countries.
  • France's opening strategy appears to be the most unchanged on this map. The biggest thing is the availability of Morocco through Spain - France may not consider looking east at all, letting England and Germany battle over the Low Countries. Switzerland, however, is a tempting target for France, and they may turn their eyes that way.
  • Germany's new army in Danzig borders a Russian supply center, and will want to protect it. The rest of Germany's opening strategy is likely relatively similar to the original game, although it may not have to worry about France so much in the Low Countries, given the temptation of Morocco. Switzerland is a tempting target for Germany, and they may turn their eyes that way.
  • Italy - Losing Venice to get Palermo fixes the 'Weak Sisters' problem on Italy's side. It and Austria may get along, now? Instead of just Tunisia as a 'given', Sardinia is also pretty much available without contest. Also, Morocco can be reached, if Italy wants it, though that might start friction with France. France heading toward Morocco might encourage Italy to put its army in Tunisia, though. Of course, Italy can also head to Greece, but that might cause problems with Turkey and Austria. Italy can reach Crete, but that will almost certainly cause issues with Turkey. Italy's one army can march to Switzerland.
  • Turkey - Turkey's position in the Balkans is precarious, as Austria now has three units to bring to bear, and Warsaw's involvement is in doubt. Also, since they are rearranged, their second army is less likely to be an issue in the Balkans that first year. Instead, Turkey will probably want to use that army to take Crete in the first year, leading to talks with Italy about looking west.
  • Russia's army in Warsaw probably won't be doing much, at least without talking to Germany. And Russia needs to talk to England about Scandinavia (especially since its path to Sweden is going to be moving the army in STP through Finland - thus threatening Norway - rather than a navy through BOT). Russia's relationship with Turkey is likely not going to change, although with the extra Austrian influence in the Balkans, that entire area is going to be a big question mark.