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1936 v1.3

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1936(v1.3) is a seven-player Diplomacy variant set in the mid-thirties – at a time when the precarious order established after the Great War was increasingly undermined and finally destroyed.

Next to the seven great powers vying for influence, the two main factions in the Spanish Civil War – the Nationalists and Republicans are playable. Nationalist Spain is controlled by its main sponsor – Italy, whereas the Soviet Union champions the cause of Republican Spain.

1936'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.


1936 v1.3 initial setup
1936 v1.3 initial setup
1936 v1.3
1936 v1.3


All the rules of standard Diplomacy apply save those noted below:

Minor Powers

In addition to the seven Great Powers (and the Spanish factions), there also are a host of "minor powers" that represent the smaller states of Europe.

Each minor power controls one unit (two in the case of Yugoslavia) and the SCs they occupy. All minor powers start with an army except for the following minors that start with a fleet: Denmark, Greece, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal and Sweden.

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.

Diplomacy Points

At the start of the Spring and Fall turns, each Great Power receives one Diplomacy Point (DP) for each SC it controls, up to a maximum of three DPs per turn. 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. (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 also consolidate all of its DPs (if it has more than one) into a single order. 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 negotia-tions, 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 examples:

Example 1. In Spring ‘36, Germany allocates one DP to Austria to get it to support a German attack on Czechia. No other major Power allocates a DP to Austria so the Austrian unit supports the German attack on Czechia.

Example 2. In Spring ‘36, Germany allocates one DP to Austria to get it to support a German attack on Czechia. Italy also allocates one DP to Austria to get it to support an Italian attack on Switzerland. Since Germany and Italy each allocated one DP to Austria, neither controls Austria and the Austrian army simply holds in place.

Example 3. In Spring ‘36, Germany allocates two DPs to Austria to get it to support a German attack on Czechia. Italy allocates only one DP to Austria to get it to support an Italian attack on Switzerland. Since Germany allocated one more DP to Austria than Italy did, the Austrian support the German attack on Czechia.

Example 4. In Spring ‘36, Germany allocates one DP to Austria to get it to support a German attack on Czechia. Italy allocates one DP to Austria to get it to support an Italian attack on Switzerland. In support of Germany, Turkey allocates one DP to Austria to get it to support the German attack on Czechia. Although Germany, Italy and Turkey each allocated one DP to Austria, the Germans get the Austrian support because the Turks supported the German diplomatic efforts with the Austrians.

If, during a Spring or Fall turn, a Great Power allocates more DPs to minor powers than it is entitled to, all of that Great Power’s DPs are forfeited for that particular turn.


Yugoslavia is a minor power initially consisting of two units/SCs (i.e. A Croatia and A Serbia). As such, A Croatia may not help dislodge A Serbia (and vice-versa). DPs are allocated to A Croatia or A Serbia rather than to Yugoslavia as a whole.


The Italian player submits orders for Nationalist Spain, while the Soviet player does the same for Republican Spain. However, the two powers under the control of the same player are treated for all purposes as separate powers. Special rules apply to determining victory (see further below).

Burgos, Madrid and Valencia are home supply centres for both the Nationalists and Republicans. Initially the Nationalists control Burgos, the Republicans Valencia (their respective provisional capitals), whereas Madrid is neutral and controlled by neither. There is no neutral garrison in vacant Madrid – unlike all other neutral SCs at game-start.

Each Spanish civil war faction initially receives merely one DP per turn as they both control merely one SC each. This may increase up to the normal maximum of three DPs per turn according to the number of SCs controlled.

Until a faction controls either all three Spanish Home SCs or it is the sole surviving Spanish power, DPs may only be allocated to Portugal or to another minor power provided the submitted order either supports the Spanish faction under one’s control or supports an attack against the opposing civil war faction.

Victory Conditions

As soon as one player controls 18 Victory Points (VPs), the game ends immediately him being the winner. For these purposes the number of SCs controlled by either Nationalist or Republican Spain are halved (thereupon rounded up) and added to the VP total of their respective controlling player (i.e. the Italian player in the case of Nationalist Spain and the Soviet player in the case of Republican Spain). One controlled SC corresponds to one VP in the case of the Great Powers.

If two players each gain 18 or more VPs at the same time, the player with the most VPs is considered the winner. If the two players each control the same number of VPs, the game con-tinues until one player has 18 or more VPs and that player has more VPs 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.

Civil Disorder

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 the Minor Powers rules. 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.

Special Rules

• The first turn of the game begins in Spring 1936.

• France, Britain and Italy may not build units in their respective colonial SCs, i.e Algiers and Beirut for France, Tripoli for Italy and Suez for Britain.

• Austria serves as an additional German build-site, while Latvia, Lithuania and Rumania are additional Polish build-sites.

• Britain starts the game with a fleet located in Gibraltar, whereas there’s no unit in Liverpool.

Map Clarifications

• Gibraltar and the Dodecanese are sea spaces that contains land. This means that a fleet stationed in Gibraltar or in the Dodecanese can convoy an army. Equally, army movement from Gibraltar to Spain much as from the Dodecanese to Izmir (and vice versa) is allowed. Gibraltar's land portion divides Spain's southern coastline in two, while Morocco has merely one coast.

• Hamburg, Suez, Denmark, Istanbul and the Dodecanese are canal provinces. Hence, they have merely one coast.

• The Arabian Sea and the Atlantic Ocean are adjacent and are divided by a line in the Red Sea. Blue bands along the map edges indicate that these portions of the Red Sea respectively belong to the Arabian Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.

Four-way Intersections:

• Sicily and Naples are adjacent as shown by the landbridge arrow. Both fleet and army movement across the Straits of Messina is possible.

• Northern Ireland is an integral part of Edinburgh. Edinburgh, Ireland, the North-Western Approaches and the Irish Sea all border each other.

• Gibraltar, Morocco, the Atlantic Ocean and the South-Western Approaches all border each other.

• Greece, the Aegean Sea, the Eastern Mediterranean and the Ionian Sea all border each other.

• Sweden, the Gulf of Bothnia, the Gulf of Danzig and Baltic Sea all border each other.

• Stalingrad, Georgia, the Eastern Ukraine and the Black Sea all border each other.

Space Names and Abbreviations

All spaces on the 1936 map, along with their abbreviations, are listed below. SCs are annotated with an asterisk (*).

Abruzzo                 Abr
Albania		     	Alb
Alexandretta		Ale
Algiers*		Alg
Ankara*			Ank
Archangel		Arc
Austria*		Aus
Beirut*			Bei
Belgium*		Bel
Berlin*			Ber
Bosnia                  Bos
Brest*			Bre
Bulgaria*		Bul
Burgos*                 Brg  
Burgundy		Bur
Byelorussia		Bye
Catalonia               Cat
Cracow*			Cra
Croatia*                Cro
Czechia*		Cze
Denmark*		Den
Dobruja                 Dob
Dodecanese              Dod
Eastern Anatolia        EAn
East Prussia		EPr
Eastern Ukraine	EUk
Edinburgh*		Edi
Egypt*			Egy
Estonia			Est
Finland*		Fin
Galicia                 Gal
Gascony			Gas
Gdynia*			Gdy
Georgia                 Geo
Gibraltar		Gib
Granada                 Gra
Greater Poland		GPo
Greece*			Gre
Hamburg*		Ham
Hungary*		Hun
Iceland			Ice
Iraq*			Ira
Ireland			Ire
Istanbul*		Ist 
Izmir*			Izm
Kazakhstan		Kaz
Konya			Kon
Kurdistan		Kur
Kuweit			Kuw 
Latvia*			Lat 
Leningrad*		Len
Lithuania*		Lit
Liverpool*		Liv
London*			Lon
Lorraine                Lor
Madrid*                 Mad
Marseille*		Mar
Milan*			Mil
Morocco*		Mor
Moscow*			Mos
Munich*			Mun
Naples*			Nap
Navarra                 Nav
Netherlands*		Net
Norway*			Nwy
Palestine		Pal
Paris*			Par
Persia*			Per
Picardy			Pic
Piedmont		Pie
Pomerania		Pom
Portugal*		Por
Rhineland		Rhi
Rome*			Rom
Rumania*		Rum 
Sardinia                Srd
Saudi Arabia		SAr
Saxony                  Thu
Serbia*                 Ser
Siberia			Sib
Sicily			Sic
Silesia			Sil
Slovakia		Svk
Slovenia                Slo
Southern Algeria	SAl
South Tyrol             STy
Stalingrad*		Sta
Suez			Sue
Sweden*			Swe
Switzerland*		Swi
Syria			Syr
Thrace                  Thr
Transylvania            Tra
Tripoli*		Tri
Tunisia			Tun
Valencia*               Val
Volhynia		Vol
Wales			Wal
Warsaw*			War
Western Ukraine		WUk
Yorkshire		Yor
Adriatic Sea		ADR
Aegean Sea		AEG
Arabian Sea		ARA
Arctic Ocean,           ARO
Atlantic Ocean          ATL
Baltic Sea		BAL
Bay of Biscay           BOB
Black Sea		BLA
Caspian Sea		CAS
Eastern Mediterranean	EAS
English Channel		ENG
Gulf of Bothnia		GOB
Gulf of Danzig		GOD
Gulf of Lion		GOL
Gulf of Sidra		GOS
Helgoland Bight		HEL
Ionian Sea		ION
Irish Sea		IRI
Libyan Sea              LIB
Ligurian Sea            LIG
North Sea		NTH
North-Western Approaches NWA
Norwegian Sea		NRG
Skaggerak		SKA
South-Western Approaches SWA
Tyrrhenian Sea		TYS
Western Mediterranean	WES

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