1648 is a nine-player Diplomacy variant set in Europe following the Peace of Westphalia, the first adjucated season being Spring 1649.
1648's rules are based upon those of Ambition & Empire, a variant designed by Jeff Kase and Baron Powell. As its most striking departure from Standard Diplomacy, the latter first featured armed neutrals whose actions players may secretly influence by bidding Diplomacy Points (DPs).
Should you be interested in joining or observing a future game, contact me.
The map (v5.1) with starting units:
The map (v5.1) with space abbreviations:
All the rules of standard Diplomacy apply save those noted below:
Austria: A Prague, F Trieste, A Vienna. Denmark-Norway: F Christiania, F Copenhagen, A Holstein. England: F Bristol, F London. France: F Brest, A Marseilles, A Paris. Poland-Lithuania: A Cracow, A Vilna, A Warsaw. Russia (Muscovy): A Moscow, A Novgorod, A Voronezh. Spain: A Flanders, A Madrid, F Naples, F Seville. Sweden: A Abo, A Riga, A Stettin, F Stockholm (East Coast). Turkey (Ottoman Empire): A Belgrade, F Constantinople, A Damascus.
Home Supply Centers (HSCs)
Austria: Prague, Trieste, Vienna. Denmark-Norway: Christiania, Copenhagen, Holstein. England: Bristol, London. France: Brest, Marseilles, Paris. Poland-Lithuania: Cracow, Vilna, Warsaw. Russia (Muscovy): Moscow, Novgorod, Voronezh. Spain: Madrid, Naples, Seville. Sweden: Abo, Riga, Stettin, Stockholm. Turkey (Ottoman Empire): Belgrade, Constantinople, Damascus.
Note: Flanders is not considered a Spanish HSC and therefore does not serve as a Spanish build site.
In a addition to being able to build in the above-listed HSCs, powers may build in their vassals' SCs (once controlled).
In addition to the nine Great Powers, there is also a host of "minor powers", which are non-player neutral Supply Centres (SCs) representing the smaller states of Europe, North Africa and the Near East. These include (space names in bold) the following:
- The Regency of Algiers (an autonomous province of the Ottoman Empire)
- The Electorate of Bavaria
- The Electorate of Brandenburg
- The Venetian Colony of Candia
- The Duchy of Courland (an autonomous fiefdom of Poland-Lithuania)
- Croatia (representing independent-minded nobles and corsairs)
- The Rhineland (representing various territories belonging to the Lower-Rhenish, Electoral Rhenish and Lower Saxonian imperial circles)
- The Khanate of Crimea (a vassal state of the Ottoman Empire that includes the lands of the Crimean and Nagay Tatars)
- The Kingdom of Ireland
- The Duchy of Lorraine
- Lower Saxony (representing various territories belonging to the Lower Saxonian and Lower Rhenish-Westphalian imperial circles)
- Mecklenburg (representing the Duchies of Mecklenburg)
- The Principality of Moldavia (a vassal state of the Ottoman Empire)
- The Sultanate of Morocco
- The Papal States
- The Kingdom of Portugal
- The Duchy of Prussia (an autonomous fiefdom of Poland-Lithuania, called "Ducal Prussia" in the game as there's also a "Royal Prussia" space)
- The Duchy of Savoy
- The Electorate of Saxony
- The Kingdom of Scotland
- Swabia (representing various territories belonging to the Swabian and Upper Rhenish imperial circles)
- The Swiss Confederation (Switzerland)
- The Principality of Transylvania
- The Regency of Tunis (an autonomous province of the Ottoman Empire)
- The Khanates of Turkestan
- The Grand Duchy of Tuscany
- The United Provinces of the Netherlands
- The Republic of Venice
- The Cossack Hetmanate of the Ukraine
- The Principality of Wallachia (a vassal state of the Ottoman Empire)
Each minor power, although a "non-player," starts with a unit (unit color is white). All minor powers start with an army except for the following minors that start with a fleet: Algiers, Candia, Courland, Portugal, Tunis, the United Provinces and Venice.
Minor power units prevent a Great Power from simply moving into an empty space and gaining control of the SC. To occupy a minor power SC, a Great Power will need to move in with support. A minor power unit that is forced to retreat is disbanded. If a Great Power does not occupy the minor power SC at the end of a Fall turn, the minor power’s unit is automatically rebuilt in the Winter.
As in standard Diplomacy, a Great Power controls a minor power SC when one of its units occupies the space after a Fall turn has been played and completed. Once a Great Power gains control of a minor power SC, it can leave the SC vacant and still keep control of it as long as that SC is not occupied by another Great Power at the close of a Fall turn.
Minor power units do nothing but hold in place, unless the unit has been ordered by a Great Power using its Diplomacy Points.
Each Great Power receives a set number of Diplomacy Points (DPs) every Spring and Fall turn. France gets 6 DPs, while the other Great Power are allocated 3 DPs each.
During each Spring and Fall turn, each Great Power may allocate none, some, or all of its DPs to minor powers that still have units on the map, though no more than two of its DPs may be allocated to a particular minor power. France may only allocate 2 DPs to two minor powers (leaving 2 further DPs to be allocated separately from another). (Design Note: This is a departure from the Ambition & Empire rules.)
For each DP allocated, the allocating Great Power submits an order for that particular minor power’s unit. A Great Power may only order a minor power to hold or support. A minor power can not be ordered to move/attack.
Unused DPs may not be carried over into the next turn. They are simply lost.
Players are not required to tell each other how they allocated their DPs. Just as with negotiations, players may honour their agreements with other players or not, as they see fit. Only the GM will know how Great Powers have allocated their DPs. DP allocation is not published in the adjudication; only the end results are published.
The GM determines how DPs have been allocated. In the event of a conflict, an order for a particular minor power’s unit is followed if it is supported by more DPs than any conflicting order. See the following example:
In Spring 1649, Austria allocates one DP to Swabia to get it to support an Austrian attack on Bavaria. France allocates one DP to Swabia to get it to support a French attack on Lorraine. In support of Austria, Spain allocates one DP to Swabia to get it to support the Austrian attack on Bavaria. Although Austria, France and Spain each allocated one DP to Swabia, the Austrians get the Swabian support because the Spaniards supported the Austrian diplomatic efforts with the Swabians.
A minor power may be the vassal of a great power (i.e. its suzerain).
Benefits of being a minor power's suzerain:
- The vassal SC serves the suzerain, once controlled, as a build site.
- Any DPs a Suzerain allocates to a vassal are boosted by one in value.
These are the respective powers' vassals:
England: Ireland, Scotland. France: Lorraine. Poland-Lithuania: Courland, Ducal Prussia, Ukraine. Russia (Muscovy): Crimea. Turkey (Ottoman Empire): Algiers, Crimea, Croatia, Tunis.
As soon as one Great Power controls 18 SCs, the game ends immediately and the player representing that Great Power is the winner.
If two Great Powers each gain control of 18 or more SCs at the same time, the player representing the Great Power with the most SCs is considered the winner. If the two Great Powers each control the same number of SCs, the game continues until one player has 18 or more SCs and that player has more SCs than any other player.
Players may terminate the game by mutual agreement before a winner is determined. If this occurs, any decision reached by the players (e.g., concede game to one player, concede game to an alliance) must be accepted unanimously. If the players cannot agree, all players who still have pieces on the board when the game ends share equally in a draw.
• Constantinople, Copenhagen, Ingria and Scania are canal provinces and hence fleets located there are not designated as being on any particular coast. Note the Neva river (a thick blue line) runs through Ingria.
• Red arrows indicate that two spaces are adjacent to another.
• Constantinople encompasses Northwestern Anatolia, much of mainland Greece and Thrace as well as the Sea of Marmara. So the space borders the Ionian Sea (among other spaces) to the West.
• Note that the Atlantic and Indian Oceans adjoin. In other words, fleets may "circumnavigate Africa".
• Ducal Prussia and Courland are adjacent, whereas the Baltic Sea and Samogitia are not.
Civil Disorder (Optional Rule)
If a player is lost during the game, the GM is strongly encouraged to find a replacement player for the affected Great Power rather than have it lapse into civil disorder. In the event no replacement player is found and the GM declares the Great Power to be in permanent civil disorder, the following rules apply:
- All units of the Great Power in civil disorder (GPCD) are immediately disbanded.
- All SCs controlled by the GPCD that are unoccupied are immediately considered newly independent minor powers. Minor power army units are built in those minor power spaces.
- All SCs controlled by the GPCD that are occupied by a unit belonging to another Great Power are unaffected. If the occupying Great Power moves its unit out of the GPCD’s SC so that the SC is unoccupied at the conclusion of a Fall turn, a minor power army unit is built there and that SC is considered a newly independent minor power.
- For the remainder of the game, all newly independent minor powers are subject to the provisions of regarding minor powers. In particular, this means the new minor power can be influenced using Diplomacy Points.
- Once a Great Power is declared to be in permanent civil disorder, it may not be played by an active player again.
Two detailed articles about the variant may be found in previous DIPLOMACY WORLD issues:
Note that these articles are based on an earlier variant version.
Brief Introduction to the Major Powers
- Emperor Ferdinand III (1637-57)
- Head of Privy Council: Max, Count Trauttmannsdorff (1634-50)
AUSTRIA is bang in the centre of the map. Lots of growth options (especially HRE, Italy, South-Eastern "Borderlands" minor power cluster), but doesn't really have the prospect of ever establishing a secure edge position.
- King Frederick III
DENMARK-NORWAY is stringed along a North-South Axis. Effectively sandwiched between England and Sweden. Well-positioned to expand southwards into the HRE goodies. But that further stretches DN on that vertical axis. So at some point Denmark will have to consolidate a more compact position by either turning East or West. Position favours a nice mix of fleets and armies.
Commonwealth of England
- Oliver Cromwell (Lord Protector, 1653-58)
ENGLAND starts off smaller than any other power. But in a good position to secure her Celtic backyard and thus gain those extra build sites. A major advantage balancing her modest initial size is that she holds considerable diplomatic trump cards. Danish-Swedish and Franco-Spanish relations have a lot of in-built friction. That's something Cromwell needs to exploit to good effect. Under wise rule, England will often prosper (as in the present game). Intially small, diplomatically favoured, most navally oriented power, island position: Those factors make England very unique.
- King Louis XIV, the Sun King (1643-1715)
- Chief Minister: Jules Mazarin (1643-61)
FRANCE enjoys the most compact starting-position of any power. All three initial SCs adjoin. This considerably helps home defence. Louis XIV is well-positioned to secure Lorraine, a potential French build site. Good access to the central minor power cluster. Plus access to the Atlantic sphere. One key question the Sun-King will have to adress is how to deal with Spain - a power which half-encircles "la hexagone". A Franco-Spanish alliance could be very strong. But the temptation for either power to attack the other is also there. Already a sortie by the Brest fleet into the Cantabrian Sea creates considerable difficulties for Spain. Though a move to ENG is also strong and might smother England before Cromwell can consolidate his position. More defensive play might mean bouncing A Flanders in Normandy and thus concentrating on the East for early builds. Successful eastward expansion could bring France into collision course with the Emperor. Indeed seizing the Imperial Crown is possible! But one can also nicely divide the central spoils with Austria: Lorraine, Switzerland and Savoy being within the French sphere, Swabia possibly left as a minor power buffer and Austria taking Saxony-Bavaria-Venice. With such an arrangement extended by France taking Tuscany and Austria the Papal States, the only place where the two spheres immediately touch would be on the Tus-Pap border. A perfectly sustainable arrangement for both, allowing France to focus on other theatres of operations. Or not, if France opts for a continued push eastwards.... I believe France faces lots of interesting challenges and options. Compact, somewhat more land-based than naval orientation, interesting question regarding Spanish "encirclement", Turkey very much a natural ally... Some key facets of France's position.
- King John II Casimir (1648-68)
POLAND-LITHUANIA is a central power. Key for her is the Russo-Swedish-Polish triangle. I rate Austria and Denmark as natural allies. Good access to minor powers. A whopping three additional potential build sites promises considerable flexibility. Very much a land-based power. Non-contiguous home SCs somewhat complicate home defence. Though Warsaw is the only great power home SC no other rival can threaten within the opening year. So that compensates for Vilna being fairly vulnerable to attack. Relations with Russia are tricky. A bit like Austro-Turkish relations in Standard. Though with Sweden and Turkey on Russia's flanks, there are ways to keep the Czar honest without actually storming the East. Though if doing so, Poland might anchor her position along the map edge.
- Tsar Alexis (1645-76)
RUSSIA enjoys an edge position. But it may not feel like one. For, by design, it's nothing like the fairly secure corner position Standard's "witches" can call their own. Russia is best-placed to seize the Crimea. A potential Russian build site. The Polish-Swedish-Russian triangle (or Baltic quadrangle, if you include Denmark in the equation) is a key concern for the Czar. Courland being a point of Polish-Swedish contention presents considerable diplomatic opportunity. Regarding the Sublime Porte, Russia arguably holds the better diplomatic cards in that it can more gravely threaten Turkey than vice versa. Austria and especially Spain might prove very handy allies in a crusading campaign. A more secure edge position beckons following such a campaign. And would make Central Asia (Persia, Turkestan) an undisputed Russian domain. Russia is among the least maritime-oriented powers. But it has immediate access to the Northern Seas, potential access to the Baltic and Black Seas (also Caspian, but that is very much a backwater which very rarely should see any action).
- King Phillip IV (1621-65)
SPAIN is all over the place! Flanders and Naples are very far removed from Iberia. Of these, Naples is far more important. Indeed, I rate Naples as Spain's most useful home SC. Building an empire in the Central Mediterranean may be key to Spanish success. As for Flanders, it's not even a home SC! So really no prospect of reinforcements there. It's more of a diplomatic pawn than a base for sustained expansion. So A Flanders should best be viewed as being subservient to Spain's wider cause. The Army of Flanders could indeed prove a useful wandering nomad. Spain's fundamentally a Mediterreanean power. She will try to secure the Maghreb for herself and link up Iberia with Naples. Naturally such Mediterranean ambitions impinge on Turkish interests. Spain's nightmare is a Franco-Turkish alliance against her. As such, any attack of hers against either could see the other quickly joining the party. This danger seriously complicates plans for attacking either and means that Spain should adopt a very broad diplomatic outlook, making sure France and Turkey are kept preoccupied in other theatres of operations. Spain, yet more than other powers, needs to play the whole board! Spanish summary: Far-flung domains, four initial units, threat of Franco-Turkish alliance, generally naval orientation, needs to play the "whole board" yet more than others, generally perceived as strong and as such probably often at a disadvantage in DP contests, can consolidate a powerful Mediterranean corner position.
- Queen Christine (1632-54)
SWEDEN shares two characteristics with Spain: Both have four non-contiguous initial SCs. Though these are all arrayed around the Baltic. As such, turning the Baltic into a Swedish lake should be a priority. Denmark most immediately poses a threat to such Baltic hegemony, but so might Russia and Poland further down the road. As for expansion at the expense of minor powers, Stockholm might not have the easiest time of it. In Northern Germany, Sweden has the first claim to Brandenburg, but beyond that SC, it'd be stepping on other powers' toes. Indeed, the HRE might be described as a dangerous pool of sharks. Especially the two Scandinavians' spheres of interest tend to overlap there. As for the Baltic SC cluster (Ducal Prussia, Courland), expansion there poses potential difficulties with Poland. In brief: Sweden may be envied by others for starting off with four units. But in all likelihood with have to work harder for her first gains! Indeed, such are those difficulties that Sweden may be among those powers most ready to immediately invade another great power. The position thus encourages early aggressive play as befits Vasa warrior-kings!
- Sultan Mehmed IV, the Hunter (1648-87
- Regent: Kösem Sultan
- Grand Vizier: Sofu Mehmed Pasha (1648-49)
TURKEY might consider itself a corner power. But that corner is initially very vulnerable. Her neighbours have good reason not to let her consolidate that corner position. To the West, the two Habsburg powers are natural allies. They could very effectively pool DPs. The Venetians on Crete could thus help the Spaniards storm Constantinople. Or the Wallachians ease the Austrians' path into Belgrade. And then there's the Czar... Any move by the Czar into Armenia will cause the Sultan fits! So while Turkey benefits from plenty of growth options around her, I'd say no other power is as vulnerable to a devastating opening attack. If the Sultan overcomes that initial vulnerability, then much can be made of that position. Armies and fleets may well play an equal role in Turkish plans. Perhaps moreso than any other power. Diplomatically speaking, France is very much a natural ally. And Spain arguably the most dangerous foe. The Med may often amount to an expensive Turkish-Spanish zero-sum contest and may often be Turkey's primary theatre of operations.
Version Changelog since v2.0
- Asterisk = SC province
- @ = adjacent to
- > = renamed
- Space Additions: Karelia, Persia*, Polotsk, Trondheim, Tunis*, Urals
- Space Removals: Archangel, Foix, Lancashire, Lyon*, Smolensk
- Altered Adjacencies: Constantinope* @ Belgrade*/Illyria, Leon @ Gascony/Aragon, Novgorod* @ Norwegian Sea, Seville @ Morocco, Voronezh @ Armenia/Persia*
- Name Change: Vitebsk > Smolensk
- Space Additions: Caspian Sea, Mesopotamia, Sardinia
- Altered Adjacencies: Astrakhan @ Persia*
- Altered Adjacencies: Christiania* @ Lapland
- Name Changes: Trondheim > Northern Norway
- Space Additions: Azerbaijan, Candia*, Permia, Turkestan*
- Altered Adjacencies: Norwegian Sea @ Karelia, Novgorod*, Permia
- Name Change: Urals > Siberia
- Space Additions: Hesse, Lower Saxony*
- Space Additions: Cantabrian Sea, Sicily
- Altered Adjacencies: Flanders* @ North Sea, Bavaria* @ Saxony*
- Space Addition: Lake Ladoga
- Space Additions: Gulf of Sidra, Luxembourg, Strait of Sicily
- Altered Adjacencies: Lombardy @ Papal States*, Paris @ Luxembourg
- Space Additions: Franconia, Royal Prussia
- Altered Adjacencies: Armenia @ Karaman
- Name Changes: Normandy > Picardy, Prussia > Ducal Prussia
- Space Additions: Onega, Smolensk
- Altered Adjacencies: Moscow* @ Norwegian Sea/Permia
- Name Changes: Polotsk > Polish Livonia, Smolensk (old space) > Vitebsk
- Rules Change: Victory criterion lowered from 18 to 15 SCs
- Space Additions: Arabia, Indian Ocean, Sahara, Terra Incognita (impassable)
- Altered Adjacencies: Damascus @ Indian Ocean (thereby bicoastal), Franconia @ Hesse
- Name Changes: Eastern Mediterranean Sea > Levantine Sea, Western Mediterranean Sea > Barbary Sea, Mid-Atlantic Ocean > Atlantic Ocean, North-Atlantic Ocean > Caledonian Ocean, North Sea > German Sea
- Rules Change: England is entitled to 3 DPs each (rather than just 2) for the opening year's spring and fall seasons.
- Space Additions: Black Ruthenia
- Altered Adjacencies: Brest* @ Marseille*
- Space Additions: Extremadura, La Mancha
- Altered Adjacencies: Lombardy @ Tyrolia
- Rules Change: Victory criterion increased from 15 to 16 SCs
- Altered Adjacencies: Black Ruthenia @ White Ruthenia
- Name Changes: Rhineland-Westphalia > Rhineland, Marseilles > Marseille
- Cosmetic Map Change: Lombardy's borders redrawn so as to include the Free State of Grisons (i.e. the later Swiss canton of Graubünden) instead of a portion of Venetian territory.
- Rules Change: HRE-specific rules abolished
- Space Additions: Albania, Bosnia, Styria
- Space Removals: Azerbaijan, Devon (incorporated into London), Illyria, Onega
- Altered Adjacencies: Astrakhan @ Siberia, Moscow @ Severia & White Ruthenia, Novgorod @ Karelia, Permia & Siberia, Belgrade @ Adriatic Sea
- Rules Change: France gets 6 DPs, while the other Great Powers receive only 3.
- Altered Adjacencies: Franconia @ Vienna
- Space Removals: Styria
- Rules Change: Victory criterion increased from 16 to 17 SCs
- New Minor Power: Croatia (i.e promoted to SC/minor power status)
- Space Removals: Gulf of Sirte
- Altered Adjacencies: Bristol @ Ireland
- Rules Change: Victory criterion increased from 17 to 18 SCs
- Space Additions: Cornwall
- Rules Change: Certain powers have vassals. Their DPs allocated to these are increased by one in value. Once controlled, the vassal's SC serves its overlord as a build site.
- Space Additions: Styria
- Space Removals: Cornwall
- Altered Adjacencies: Bristol no longer borders Ireland
- Vassal Status Change: Croatia is considered a Turkish vassal.
- Unit Change: Austria starts with a fleet in Trieste instead of an army.
- Since v2.0 a new 35 spaces have been added to the game, while 11 have been removed, i.e. a net addition of 23 spaces (among which are 4 SC provinces). The game now includes 135 spaces. 59 of these are SC provinces.
- As such the map now has a considerably higher buffer-to-SC ratio. It rose from 1.91 to 2.29 (v5.1). Standard Diplomacy clocks in at 2.2 and Stephen Agar once recommended variants remain within the 2.0 to 2.5 range. If you remove Iceland and the Caspian Sea from the equation - both being of very marginal use - 1648 v5.1's ratio falls to 2.25. In other words, the map density is quite alike Standard's.
Space Names and Abbreviations
All spaces on the 1648 map, along with their abbreviations, are listed below. SCs are annotated with an asterisk (*).
Abo* Abo Adriatic Sea ADR Aegean Sea AEG Albania Alb Algiers* Alg
Arabia Ara Aragon Arg Arctic Ocean ARC Armenia Arm Astrakhan Ast
Atlantic Ocean ATL Baltic Sea BAL Barbary Sea BAR Bavaria* Bav Bay of Luebeck BOL
Belgrade* Bel Black Ruthenia BRu Black Sea BLA Bohuslan Boh Bosnia Bos
Brandenburg* Bra Brest* Bre Bristol* Bri Bulgaria Bul Caledonian Ocean CAL
Candia* Cnd Cantabrian Sea CAN Caspian Sea CAS Christiania* Chr Constantinople* Con
Copenhagen* Cop Courland* Cou Cracow* Cra Crimea* Cri Croatia* Cro
Dalmatia Dal Damascus* Dam Dauphiné Dau Ducal Prussia* DPr Egypt Egy
English Channel ENG Extremadura Ext Finnmark Fin Flanders* Fla Franconia Fra
Gascony Gas German Sea GER Greater Poland GPo Gulf of Bothnia GOB Gulf of Lion GOL
Helgoland Bight HEL Hesse Hes Holstein* Hol Hungary Hun Iceland Ice
Indian Ocean IND Ingria Ing Ionian Sea ION Ireland* Ire Irish Sea IRI
Karaman Krm Karelia Kar Lake Ladoga LLA La Mancha LMa Lapland Lap
Leon Leo Levantine Sea LEV Lombardy Lom London* Lon Lorraine* Lor
Lower Saxony* LSa Luxembourg Lux Madrid* Mad Marseille* Mar Mecklenburg* Mec Mesopotamia Mes Moldavia* Mol Morocco* Mor Moscow* Mos Naples* Nap
Norwegian Sea NORn Novgorod* Nov Papal States* Pap Paris* Par Permia Prm
Persia* Per Picardy Pic Podolia Pod Polish Livonia PLi Portugal* Por Prague* Pra Pskov Psk Riga* Rig Rhineland-Westphalia* Rhi Royal Prussia RPr
Sahara Sah Samogitia Sam Sardinia Sar Savoy* Sav Saxony* Sax
Scania Sca Scotland* Sco Severia Svr Seville* Sev Siberia Sib
Sicily Sic Silesia Sil Skagerrak SKA Slovakia Slo Smolensk Smo Stettin* Ste Stockholm* Sto Strait of Sicily SOS Styria Sty Swabia* Swa
Switzerland* Swi Transylvania* Tra Trieste* Tri Tunis* Tun Turkestan* Tur
Tuscany* Tus Tyrolia Tyr Tyrrhenian Sea TYS Ukraine* Ukr United Provinces* UPr
Venice* Ven Vienna* Vie Vilna* Vil Vitebsk Vit Volhynia Vol
Voronezh* Vor Wallachia* Wal Warsaw* War White Ruthenia WRu Yorkshire Yor