The Game of the Clans III

by Stephen Agar

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Introduction

The appeal of this variant is the fact that the home centres of the various players are mixed up, which means that diplomacy is at a premium. I ran a game of Wayne Hohiesel's Game of the Clans I postally back in 1978 and it soon became apparent that the game was distinctly biased in England's favour. Therefore I developed it into Game of the Clans II, reducing the pro-English bias by completely redesigning the map so as to move more of the clans home centres inland, introducing a new rule to ensure that the clans can always build, and gradually removing England's off-board supply centres. Game of the Clans III removed the Boat Bunch rules which added complexity for no additional gameplay - and thus increased the pace of the early game.

Rules

0. The usual 1971 Diplomacy rulebook applies, except as amended below.

1. This is a ten player variant with the following starting positions:

ENGLAND: A(Carlisle); A(Newcastle); A/F(South Channel); A/F (Blyth Bay)

CAMPBELL: A(Stalcair); A(Tarbert); A(Rothesay); A(Loudoun); A(Cawdor).

FRASER: A(Dingwall); A(Tordarroch); A(Invergarry); A(Philorth); A(Muchalls).

GORDON: A(Rothiemurchas); A(Cluny); A(Aboyne); A(Gight); A(Aberdeen).

GRAHAM: A(Montrose); A(Claverhouse); A(Mugdock); A(Dalhousie); A(Avandale).

KEITH: A(Berriedale); A(Inverugie); A(Caskieber); A(Dunottar); A(Crichton).

MacDONALD: A(Kiessimul); A(Armadale); A(Eilean Tioram); A(Finlagan); A(Skipness).

MacLEOD: A(Lewis); A(Aultbea); A(Eilean Donan); A(Duart); A(Ardverck).

STEWART: A(Blair); A(Buchanan); A(Stirling); A(Crookston); A(Morton)

After the first Spring 1491 moves (and retreats) England builds another A/F in both Blyth Bay and South Channel, ready for use in Autumn 1491.

2. Calendar. The first move of the game is Spring 1491.

3. Builds.

(a) The Clans may only build armies in their home centres, though in the event that a Clan controls less than two of its home centres it may nominate another centre or two under its control to be a temporary build centre until home centres are regained.

(b) England may build either armies in Carlisle and Newcastle or fleets in Blyth Bay or the South Channel. Save where noted above England may not build A/F's. England starts the game with eight off-board supply centres, but loses one of these eight off-board supply centres at the beginning of every year from Spring 1492 onwards.

4. Scots armies are deemed to have available to them sufficient local fishing boats to enable them to move through sea spaces as if they were land spaces, subject to the following rules:

(a) Scots armies may not enter Seas or Oceans (e.g. Upper North Sea, Central Atlantic Ocean etc.).

(b) A Scots unit is always dislodged by an English fleet, irrespective of supports etc.

5. English A/F's. English fleets may convoy as in regular Diplomacy. In addition they may form A/F units and carry armies around the board. Embarkation and disembarkation of an army takes a full move, during which the fleet must stand (not support). A/F's can only exist at sea. A fleet carrying an army may not attack a coastal province or support any land action (Eg. A/F(Cuillin Sound) may not support F(Sound of Arisaig)-Duart). An army may not retreat on to a fleet. Due to excessive draughts, English fleets may never enter the following spaces: Solway Firth; Wigton Bay; Luce Bay; Galloway Strait; Firth of Clyde; Bute Sound; Wemyss Bay; Sound of Jura; Firth of Lorne; Loch Linnhe. Note English fleets may enter coastal spaces (e.g. Carlisle, Gretna etc.).

6. Victory Criteria. England is eliminated is both Carlisle and Newcastle are captured by Scottish armies, irrespective of how many other units England has on the board and all remaining Clans then share a joint victory. There are 68 supply centres on the board. A player must control 35 centres to win outright or any two players can announce a joint win provided they have 35 supply entres between them (and the smaller of the two has at least 12 centres).

Notes on the Map

Finlagan and Oban are considered to be connected by land, but there is also a sea passage between them permitting movement between the Sound of Jura and the Firth of Lorne.

Duart and Morvern are not connected by land, neither are Skipness and Brodick.

Multi-coast spaces are Armadale (nc and sc), Eilean Donan (nc and sc) and Tarbert (ec) and (wc).

Ireland is impassable.

 


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