Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Imperator (draft)

This is a very simple Diplomacy variant for 8 players: The Emperor has died and no clear successor stands, 8 generals rise up in the provinces and vie for the throne, each commanding a single legion. It is the year one of your reign... or is it of that of a rival?

The factions have no names (either initial province or color can be used initially) but I would encourage players to take up a fictitious (or historical if you wish) Roman name such as a romanization or your real name (as used to be common up to the Renaissance, mine could be Ludovicus) or a funny sounding name such as Pompous Maximus (example taken from Caesar II).

To do: mostly I want to add navigable rivers in the Nile, including a very historical canal to the Red Sea, Danube and Rhine. Maybe I want to split some provinces like Lugdunum, Cappadocia or Carthage, which are maybe too large. Maybe make the Egyptian player begin with a fleet. Creta will probably be made a province for naval mobility reasons.

Victory conditions: 11 centers (over a total of 20) and one must be Roma (optional Late Empire rule: Roma or Byzantium). Draws are possible but only players controlling at least 5 centers can enter in them, under 5 centers you lose-lose-lose no matter what (you can still veto the draw as long as you have at least one center, as usual). So a draw can include at most 4 players (this is quasi-historical: when the Empire was split, there were never more than 2-4 Augusti/Caesari but it's also conceived to discourage the most stupid versions of draws such as draws including too many players or players that cannot stand on their own forces: you must be a real contender to be acknowledged into a "partial victory" of sorts).

Players control no province when they begin, so even the players that begin at one center province still need to conquer it in the fall of year 1 in order to gain a center. That means that year 1 and year 2 everybody has only one unit (or zero if you play horribly), 2 at most in year 3, 4 at most in year 4, etc. No victory is possible before year 6, but of course it won't be so easy, will it?

Grey areas are of course impassable (no barbarians, no desert foxes and no Persian wars take place in this scenario). 

The following provinces have two coasts: Tarraco, Ravenna, Roma, Thessalonica and Alexandria (when I implement the navigable rivers, canal and Red Sea). 

Arrows allow land movement between:
  • Londinum and Belgica
  • Tingitana and Baetica
  • Syracusae and Neapolis
  • Byzantium and Nicomedia
  • Byzantium and Ephesus
Movement between Mare Aegeum and Pontus Euxinus must be done by the coast of the intermediate land provinces (either Byzantium or Nicomedia + Ephesus

Balance notes: West and East (as historically divided in the Constantinian partition) have each 10 centers. Most centers (15) border the Mediterranean Sea (8 the Western part, 7 the Central part and 7 the Eastern part). 

Initial accessible dots (can only get one in any case in year one):
  • Britannicus: 4
  • Germanicus: 5
  • Hispanicus: 3
  • Africanus: 2
  • Pannonicus: 4
  • Dacius: 5
  • Syriacus: 3
  • Aegiptianus: 4

Early campaign problematics:  you can be easily eliminated very early on for a diplomatic error, for example an accidental bounce in Ravenna or Thessalonica is something that Pannonicus does not want at all (but surely not either his potential competitors, unless they do that from a center such as Byzantium).

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