Gunboat refers to any diplomacy game in which identity of the players is known only to the GM. Player-to-player negotiation is not allowed. This style of play can be used on any map or in any variant. It is generally a much faster-paced game owing to the fact that diplomacy between players is impossible.
Some gunboat games allow press to be published by the GM as a means to facilitate some communication between players. Depending on the game, some or all of the following may be allowed:
- White Press - statements that are attributed correctly to the author
- Gray Press - statements that are published anonymously
- Dark Gray Press - statements unofficially attributed to an author (either the correct one or otherwise)
- Black Press - statements officially attributed to an author other than the actual writer
A Full Press Gunboat game allows all the above types of press.