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Oceania V 1.0

Oceania is a seven player Diplomacy(© Hasbro) variant designed by Frank Bacher. A very special thanks to René Krokowski for lots of advice on design and gameplay issues as well as steadily motivating me to make this variant finally available.

Hugh Polley 'This variant has been playtested and worked well!'.

Rules:

I. Powers involved and their starting positions:

Australia(A): F Cairns (cai) F Brisbane (bri) A Coral Sea Islands (coi)

France(F): A Avarua (ava) F Papeete (pap) A Pitcairn Islands (pit)

Indonesia(I): A Sorong (sor) F Timor (tim) F Jayapura (jay)

Japan(J): F Manila (man) A Ryukyu Islands (ryu) F Nampo-Shoto (nsh)

New Zealand(N): F Christchurch (chc) F Wellington (wel) A Kermadec Island (kei)

USA(U): F Midway (mid) A Honolulu (hon) F Christmas Island (chr)

Marshall Islands(Z): F Kwajalein (kwa) F Southern Marshall Islands (smi) A Majuro (maj)II. Island chains:

Not suprisingly, Oceania consists of lots of island chains. These chains have some special characteristics:

1. To identify island chains without a doubt they don't have the usual dark blue sea colour around them but are coloured "light blue". Island chains consist of Islands and the water around them. Therefore these chains can be occupied by a fleet or an army, but of course not by more than one unit at a time.

2. Basically two different types of island chains exist: Chains with only one space (e.g.Pitcairn Islands (pit) and so called multispaced island chains (e.g.Solomon Islands (nsi/ssi). Within such a multispaced chain both, armies and fleets, may move to adjacent parts of the chain (e.g. A or F nsi - ssi and vice versa).

3. The most important feature is that armies can move _directly_ from one island chain to another ("island hopping") as long as both chains (independent of being multispaced or singlespaced) border the same sea province. This feature is restricted to armies. Examples:

A Kermadec Island (kei) - Tonga (tog) is a valid move (valid as well: kei to cha, sfi, sao and ava).

A Avarua (ava) - French South Polynesia (fsp) is valid as well.

A Kermadec Island (kei) - Fiji (fij) is invalid as Fiji doesn't border a sea which is adjacent to Kermadec Island.

A fleet would have to move to the sea space first unless it sits on a multispaced island chain (see II.2.).

4. Armies dislodged on island chains cannot retreat to island chains bordering the same sea province. They can however retreat to a _directly_ adjacent part of the multispaced island chain. This retreat proceedure isn't presentable with Realpolitik. GM's have to take care that no illegal retreats occur themselves. Although illegal, RP allows those retreats. Fleets can retreat to all adjacent sea spaces.

Examples:

A dislodged army in Papeete (pap) could retreat to the Eastern Archipelago des Tuamotu (eat) but not to the Pitcairn Islands (pit) though it could normally move to Pitcairn.

5. A fleet occupying an island chain can convoy an army as it could in a normal sea space. It may convoy an army to an adjacent space or further away with the help of more fleets.

Examples:

A Southern Solomon Islands (ssi) - East Micronesia (emi)

F Northern Solomon Islands Convoys (nsi) A Southern Solomon Islands - East Micronesia

F Southeastern Marianas Sea (sms) Convoys A Southern Solomon Islands - East Micronesia

6. Please note that larger landmasses like New Zealand (wni, wel, chc, sou), Australia (per, noa, tow, cai, bri, syd, ade), Tasmania (hob), Celebes(cel), the island of New Guinea (jay and pmo), the Philippines (man,ceb, dav) and Borneo (mal, sam) can't be reached or left by "hopping armies" from/to neighbouring island chains. Fleets can't convoy while they occupy such a space.

The reasoning behind these rules is that in our time movement from one island chain to another is easily possible by air, be it helicopters or water planes or whatever. Consequently fleets can't be transported by air and have to move between Island chains at "a slower pace". As for disbanding dislodged armies it should be logical that Air support isn't available in case of a stronger attack.

III. Coasts:

There is only one bicoastal territory. It's Townsville (tow) in the Northeast of Australia which has a west(wc) and an east coast (ec). The Torres Strait is adjacent to both coasts.

IV. Movement across narrow straits:

Wherever direct movement between two nonadjacent spaces is possible, this is indicated by arrows. There are three regions where this is possible. These are: Sorong(sor) / Jayapura(jay), Christchuch(chc) / Wellington(wel) and Southern Marshall Islands (smi) / Majuro (maj). Movement is possible in both directions for fleets and armies.

V. Impassable spaces:

South China and Taiwan are impassable and therefore marked in a darker brown than passable spaces. The occasional island(s) in a sea space which has no name is as well impassable even if not marked in dark brown.

VI. Dates and phases:

The game begins in 2000 with a Spring movement phase. The Standard rules apply as far as turns are concerned. There is a Spring and a Fall movement phase followed by retreats as well as an adjustment phase after Fall retreats.

VII. Build mode:

As in Standard you can only build in vacant and owned home supply centres.

VIII. Supply centers and Victory:

As the map has 39 supply centres, victory criterion is possession of 20 sc's after a Fall retreat phase.

IX. Remarks:

Some home centers of powers involved have been chosen not according to real nationalities but to balance the game somewhat more. E.g. the northern part of the Philippines isn't japanese as well as the Pitcairn Islands aren't french (they're british for those who are interested).

As well it wasn't that easy to closely follow naming conventions as some island chains do not have towns of a significant size. Suggestions for better names will anyway be carefully considered as the names are far from perfect. Comments, suggestions, ideas, criticisms etc. should be directed to bacher@graue-substanz.net and are very welcome. If you want to play a game of this variant please drop me a note as well to allow me observing the game (and maybe afterwards improving the variant).

Hope you have a lot fun hopping through Oceania;-)

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