From DipWiki


The Arctic Ocean has received much press recently due to two major issues: global warming and the resultant melting of the polar ice cap, and the potential for harvesting oil in the area, much it offshore (represented by offshore supply centers). This variant is based on the premise that the five Arctic nations may soon be competing for this oil, and of course will have to deal with each other and the environment in the process.


Variant Rules

  1. The regular rules of Diplomacy apply, except where amended below.
  2. Progression of time: Instead of two movement and retreat seasons and one adjustment season per year, everything is doubled, so there are four movement seasons (Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter), four retreat seasons (Spring Retreats, Summer Retreats, Fall Retreats, and Winter Retreats), and two adjustment seasons (Summer Adjustments and Winter Adjustments). In practice, there is no change to the flow of gameplay; the reason this change is included is to accomodate the rules regarding ice territories (see below).
  3. The game starts in Fall 2010 (yes the "middle" of the year).
  4. There are 26 supply centers, so the victory criterion is control of 14 supply centers at the end of any Summer or Winter retreat season.

Ice territories

  • The landscape of the Arctic changes drastically over the course of every year due to the melting and formation of large areas of ice over the sea, and this variant takes this into account. Thus, over the course of every game year, certain territories will transform from sea territories to ice territories, and vice versa.
  • Ice territories are the equivalent of non-coastal land territories in that that armies may occupy them and fleets may not, even if the territory is bordering a sea (the idea being that fleets cannot traverse the coast because the coast is ever changing). However, fleets may support armies occupying a bordering ice territory, support armies to a bordering ice territory, or convoy armies to bordering ice territories.
  • There are three types of ice territories: those that are ice only in winter (W), those that are sea only in summer (S), and those that are permanently ice (P).
  • List of ice territories:
    • Alpha Ridge (P)
    • Arctic Mid-Ocean Ridge (P)
    • Arctic Wasteland (P)
    • Baffin Bay (W)
    • Beauford Sea (S)
    • Chukchi Abyssal Plain (S)
    • Chukchi Sea (W)
    • East Siberian Sea (W)
    • Franz Joseph Land (S)
    • Kara Sea (W)
    • Laptev Sea (S)
    • McKenzie Delta (W)
    • Mendeleyev Ridge (P)
    • North Pole (P)
    • Northwest Passage (W)
    • Severnaya Zemlya (S)
    • Yermak Plateau (S)
  • Transformations between ice and sea happen in the middle of the movement phase as the units move. Thus orders should be submitted as if the territories are whatever type of territory they are listed as for the season one is submitting orders for. For example, say that one is submitting orders for Winter 2010 and has an army in Yukon. One can order A Yukon - McKenzie Delta and, provided nothing stops it, the order will succeed.
  • If a unit is ordered to a territory to which it cannot be ordered at that time, the order is void and the unit holds. For example, say one is submitting orders for Fall 2011 and has a fleet in Novaya Zemlya. An order of F Novaya Zemlya - Franz Joseph Land is void because in the fall Franz Joseph land is ice, and thus a fleet cannot move there.
  • If a unit remains in a territory which has transformed, the unit is disbanded during the following retreat phase. For example, say one is submitting orders for Summer 2011 and has an army in Chukchi Abyssal Plain. If the army does not successfully exit Chukchi Abyssal Plain that season for any reason (it is not ordered to move, it bounces, ect.) the army is disbanded during the retreat phase. However, such a unit may be given a non-move order and that order will succeed before the unit is disbanded. The one exception to this rule concerns the islands of Franz Joseph Land and Severnaya Zemlya: if an army is on one of these when the ice melts, the army may survive on the island; however, it cannot move to any adjacent territory without a convoy until the ice returns (except an army in Severnaya Zemlya may move to Yakutsk via the land bridge, see below).
  • Coastal territories bordering only ice are not considered coastal at that time. For example, if one has fleet in Yukon at the end of winter, that fleet is disbanded as McKenzie Delta is ice and that fleet is without any water on which to float.

The Five Arctic Nations

Russia (Grey)

Russia is the current frontrunner in the Arctic, having already established drilling sites on and off shore and famously having planted a flag on the sea bed at the North Pole, but the Motherland may have trouble controlling all the oil along its vast Arctic coastline from other nations. Russia starts with an army in Archangel and an army in Pevek. Russia's third home supply center is Magadan, but Russia's third starting unit is a fleet in the Sea of Okhtosk. If it is under Russian control, Russia may build in Western Siberia.

Norway (Red)

Norway's long coastline should definitely prove fruitful for Arctic expansion, especially into the oil-rich Barents Sea. But the key to Norway's success in the Great White North may well be Svalbard, Norway's even more northernly holding. Norway starts with a fleet in Oslo, a fleet in Tromso, and an army in Longyearbyen.

Canada (Pink)

With the recent opening of the Northwest Passage due to global warming, Canada has been part of an ongoing debate about whether that soon-viable traderoute is international or Canadien-internal waters. Canada claims a great amount of land in the Arctic, but will need to actually expand there in order to be successful. Canada starts with a fleet in Nain, an army in Churchill, and an army in Yellowknife. While not a supply center, Canada is also permitted to build fleets, but not armies, in Western Canada.

Denmark (Purple)

While Denmark itself does not border the Arctic, Denmark possesses Greenland, the worlds' largest island, and from there must start its quest for success in the Arctic. Denmark also contols the Faeroe Islands, a small territory in the Atlantic that could serve as a useful port. Denmark starts with a fleet in Torshavn, a fleet in Nuuk, and an army in Station Nord.

United States (Blue)

Because of its possession of Alaska, the United States will be sure to have its say in the fate of the Arctic and already has the infrastructure, such as the Great Alaska Pipeline, to take advantage of whatever oil it can get its hands on. But the energy-hoarding Americans can never get enough oil, and thus will be looking to expand beyond their relatively small Arctice enclave. The USA starts with an fleet in Juneau, an army in Anchorage, and and an army in Barrow.

Map Notes


  • Banks Island, the island just to the northeast of Victoria Island, is considered part of one territory with Victoria Island, which thus borders McKenzie Delta.
  • Victoria Island never has two coasts.
  • The strait between mainland Canada (Churchill) and Baffin Island is considered part of the Northwest Passage territory, and thus Northwest Passage and Hudson Bay border each other.
  • The straits between mainland Canada (Churchill/Yellowknife) and Victoria Island, Victoria Island and Banks Island, and Ellesmere Island (Queen Elizabeth Islands) and Greenland are impassable; thus Northwest Passage does not border McKenzie Delta and Baffin Bay does not border Arctic Mid-Ocean Range.
  • Both Barents Sea and White Sea border Kara Sea. White Sea does not border Novaya Zemlya and Barents Sea does not border Ural Mountains.
  • The Queen Elizabeth Islands are considered one coastal land territory (fleets may move there, though note the islands do not always border a sea).
  • The Baltic Sea/Gulf of Bothnia is not a territory and cannot be entered; Lapland therefore only has one coast.
  • Northwest Greenland has two coasts, east and west; however, note that the east coast can only be accessed in the summer, when the Yermak Plateau is sea.
  • The Alleutian Islands are not part of Anchorage, and thus Anchorage does not border North Pacific Ocean.

Land Bridges

The following Land Bridges exist, connecting the two named territories:

  • Ural Mountains and Novaya Zemlya
  • Yellowknife and Victoria Island
  • Churchill and Victoria Island
  • Churchill and Baffin Island
  • Baffin Island and Queen Elizabeth Islands
  • Queen Elizabeth Islands and Northeast Greenland
  • Severnaya Zemlya and Yakutsk

The Bering Strait

The Bering Strait, represented by a small, unmarked circle, is not itself a space, but marks a point at which all five territories that border it (Seward Peninsula, West Bering Sea, East Bering Sea, Kamchatka, and Chukchi Sea) meet. All five of these territories are considered adjacent, and therefore direct movement between them is possible.

List of Territories

Note: *=home supply center, **=neutral supply center

  • Alpha Ridge: Alp
  • Anchorage: Anc*
  • Archangel: Arc*
  • Arctic Mid-Ocean Ridge: AMR
  • Arctic Wasteland: AWL
  • Baffin Bay: BfB**
  • Baffin Island: BfI**
  • Barents Sea: Bar**
  • Barrow: Brw*
  • Beauford Sea: Bea**
  • Chukchi Abyssal Plain: CAP
  • Chukchi Sea: Chk**
  • Churchill: Chu*
  • Denmark Strait: DMS
  • East Bering Sea: EBS
  • East Siberian Sea: ESS
  • Europe: Eur
  • Franz Joseph Land: FJL
  • Greenland Sea: GrS
  • Gulf of Alaska: GoA
  • Hudson Bay: Hud
  • Iceland: Ice**
  • Juneau: Jun*
  • Kara Sea: Kar
  • Labrador Sea: Lab
  • Lapland: Lap
  • Laptev Sea: LpS**
  • Longyearbyen: Lyb*
  • Magadan: Mag*
  • McKenzie Delta: McK**
  • Mendeleyev Ridge: Men
  • Nain: Nai*
  • North Atlantic Ocean: NAO
  • North Pacific Ocean: NPO
  • North Pole: NP
  • Northwest Greenland: NWG
  • Northwest Passage: NWP
  • Norwegian Sea: Nws
  • Novaya Zemlya: Nov
  • Nuuk: Nuu*
  • Oslo: Osl*
  • Pevek: Pev*
  • Queen Elizabeth Islands: QEI**
  • Sea of Okhtosk: Okh
  • Severnaya Zemlya: Sev
  • Seward Peninsula: Sew
  • Station Nord: Nrd*
  • Trans-Siberian Railroad: TSR
  • Tromso: Tro*
  • Torshavn: Tor*
  • Ural Mountains: Ura
  • Victoria Island: Vic
  • West Bering Sea: WBS
  • Western Canada: WCa
  • Western Siberia: WSi**
  • White Sea: Whi
  • Yakutsk: Yak
  • Yellowknife: Yel*
  • Yermak Plateau: Yer
  • Yukon: Yuk