1936 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).
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BRITAIN: F Edinburgh, F Gibraltar, F London, F Suez
FRANCE: A Algiers, A Beirut, F Brest, A Marseille, A Paris
GERMANY: A Berlin, F Hamburg, A Munich
ITALY: A Milan, F Naples, A Rome, F Tripoli POLAND: A Cracow, F Gdynia, A Warsaw
SOVIET UNION: F Leningrad, A Moscow, A Stalingrad
TURKEY: A Ankara, A Istanbul, F Izmir
NATIONALIST SPAIN: A Burgos
REPUBLICAN SPAIN: A Valencia
All the rules of standard Diplomacy apply save those noted below.
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.
At the start of the Spring and Fall turns, each Great Power receives 3 Diplomacy Points (DPs). Exception: France receives 5 DPs. During each Spring and Fall turn, each Great Power may allocate DPs to minor powers that still have units on the map, though no more than two of its DPs may be allocated to any particular minor power SC. (Design Note: This is a departure from the Ambition & Empire rules.) Additional restriction: A Major Power may not allocate any DPs to a minor power SC it intends to attack during the current game turn.
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 move, hold or support. A minor power's unit given a move order won't actually move. However, the move action may cut support and bounce other units.
If a minor power unit is given a move order that under Standard rules would result in it moving, the order will result in the unit remaining in its starting territory, but no other unit may retreat or move into the territory the minor successfully attacked. A unit already in the target territory at turn start will not be dislodged.
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 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.
Should a Great Power (patron) invest any DPs in a minor power designated as a client (i.e. lesser ally, junior partner, protectorate, state within a power's sphere of influence), those DPs are increased by 1 in value.
These are the various Great Powers' clients:
BRITAIN: Egypt, Iraq
FRANCE: Belgium, Czechoslovakia (i.e. Czechia), Morocco, Rumania, Yugoslavia (i.e. Croatia, Serbia)
GERMANY: Austria (also a potential German build site), Bulgaria, Hungary
ITALY: Bulgaria, Hungary
SOVIET UNION: Czechoslovakia, Lithuania
As a visual cue, minor power SC dots are partially coloured in their patron's colours. Austria's SC is fully coloured grey to account for it being also a potential German build site.
Yugoslavia is a minor power initially consisting of two units/SCs (i.e. A Croatia and A Serbia). As such, the Yugoslav A Croatia may not attack, help cut or dislodge its fellow Yugoslav unit in 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 other than victory as separate powers.
Either faction may be declared the winner in the Spanish Civil War. To be deemed the victor, a faction needs to control all three Spanish Home SCs or be the sole surviving faction. It is considered to have attained Great Power status.
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.
A faction victorious in the Spanish Civil War receives 3 DPs. In all other circumstances, factions do not receive any DPs.
Should a faction's sponsoring Great Power (Italy for the Nationalists, the Soviet Union for the Republicans) be eliminated, its faction is immediately put into civil disorder (see the below rules section). Therefore the controlling player is entirely eliminated from the game.
As soon as one player controls 18 SCs, the game ends immediately and the player representing that Great Power is the winner. 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 continues until one player has 18 or more VPs and that player has more VPs than any other player.
For the purposes of this rule Italy & Nationalist Spain are considered one Great Power. The same applies to the Soviet Union & Republican Spain.
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.
• The first turn of the game begins in Spring 1936.
• France may not build units in Beirut, nor may Italy do so in Tripoli (as a visual cue these SCs are filled with white colour).
• Austria serves as an additional German build-site.
• Britain starts the game with a fleet located in Gibraltar, whereas there’s no unit in Liverpool.
• Gibraltar and the Dodecanese are sea spaces that contain land. This means that a fleet stationed in Gibraltar or in the Dodecanese can convoy an army. Equally, army movement between Gibraltar and Madrid, Grenada or Morocco is allowed. Much as between the Dodecanese and Izmir.
• Hamburg, Suez, Denmark and Istanbul 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.
• Sicily and Naples are adjacent as shown by the landbridge arrow. Both fleet and army movement across the Straits of Messina is possible.
• Edinburgh, Northern 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.
• 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 (*).
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 Central Germany CGe 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
Franconia Fra 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 Lodz Lod
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 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 Tuscany Tus Valencia* Val Venetia Ven Volhynia Vol
Wales Wal Warsaw* War Western Ukraine WUk Yorkshire Yor Adriatic Sea ADR
Aegean Sea AEG Arabian Sea ARA Arctic Ocean, ARC Atlantic Ocean ATL Baltic Sea BAL
Bay of Biscay BOB Black Sea BLA Caspian Sea CAS English Channel ENG Gulf of Bothnia GOB
Gulf of Danzig GOD Gulf of Lion GOL Ionian Sea ION Irish Sea IRI Levantine Sea LEV
Libyan Sea LIB Northern North Sea NNS Northern Tyrrhenian Sea NTS North-Western Approaches NWA Norwegian Sea NRG
Skaggerak SKA Southern North Sea SNS Southern Tyrrhenian Sea STS South-Western Approaches SWA Western Mediterranean WES