Black Hole Diplomacy
In this variant, after each movement phase, one province turns into a black hole and disappears. All provices that were adjacent to that one are now adjacent to one another.
When a new black hole is created I will describe its effects (for instance if Marseilles were black holed in the coming Spring, the effects would be that the unit in Marseilles at the end of that turn is destroyed, Burgundy gets a coast, Gascogne gets two coasts, and since there would now be 33 SCs left the victory condition becomes control of 17 SCs instead of 18). Rules are very simple (taken from 'Tinamou', David Partridge's subzine in Jamie McQuinn's 'Crossing the Rubicon'):
(1) After each Spring and Fall season, a black hole will come into being. A space that has been black holed becomes, in effect, a thick border. All spaces that were adjacent to the space before it became a black hole are now adjacent to each other. Any space on the board, with the exceptions noted below, may be black holed.
(2) Retreat orders are submitted separately. However, retreats are considered to have occurred prior to the creation of the black hole. Thus the retreat is made with the foreknowledge of where the black hole will go. Therefore, a unit forced to retreat from a space that is black holed is not destroyed, but may retreat. A retreating unit may NOT make use of the new black hole as it has not yet been placed. If the only legal space to retreat to is black holed, then the retreating unit is destroyed.
(3) Each power designates one of its home centres as immune to black holes. This designation is secret and known only to the player and the GM. Don't forget this!
(4) Switzerland may not be black holed.
Black Hole Diplomacy I
(rr01) By Randolph Bart
1) The standard rules of DIPLOMACY apply except where noted below.
2) After each Spring and Autumn turn, after retreats (but before adjustments), the GM will randomly select one of the 75 provinces on the board to become a BLACK HOLE. The province selected can be either a land or a sea province.
3) The province selected by the GM will cease to exist immediately, and any unit in that province is annihilated. If the province is a supply center, it is removed from the adjustment chart, reducing the total number of provinces by one. Black-Holing lasts for the rest of the game.
4) If a unit is dislodged but given no retreat orders, the GM will retreat the unit in the following fashion: measuring from the geographic center of the province previously occupied, the unit will retreat to the North, or if that province is not vacant then the nearest empty province in an anti-clockwise direction from due North.
5) The victory criterion is a majority of UNITS on the board, and control of the then extant supply centers. Note that victory can thus occur on a Spring move as well as an Autumn move.
6) Each player may designate with his Spring 1901 orders ONE home supply center to be immune from the effects of Rules 2 and 3. If no preference is indicated, the GM will select one. The decision cannot subsequently be changed, with only ONE exception: if a player loses control of his exempt center to another power, and is left with only two of his home centers, then if one of the latter is Black-holed he may change exemption to his last remaining center. This may only be done once per player in the course of the game.
7) The choice of exempted home centers is not revealed unless a player specifically requests the GM to announce his or her choice.
8) If any country is eliminated entirely from the game, whichever of his home centers was at that time exempted from black-holing shall cease to be exempt and shall return to the "pot".
Black Hole Diplomacy II
(rr09) By Rob Nelson and Harry Drews
1. The 1971 Rules of Regular Diplomacy are to be used with the following changes.
2. The rules of Black Hole Diplomacy I are to be used with the following addition.
3. Any province adjacent to a black-holed spaces becomes, by virtue of that black-holing, adjacent to any other province also bordering that black-holed province. However, two or more units may not exchange places across a black-holed province, as per the Rules of Regular Diplomacy.