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Range War

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by Colin Bruce



Variant Rules

1. The standard rules of Diplomacy (1971 Rulebook) apply, except as amended below.


2. There are eight players, representing seven powerful Ranches (LONE STAR, RANCHO GRANDE, RED RIVER, LAZY S, SOUTH FORK, MULE RIDGE and LONESOME PINE) on the Texas/Mexico border, plus the local band of Outlaws (THE DEVIL'S HOLE GANG).


3. Printed on the game map are 15 supply centres - 8 home centres (the seven ranch houses, plus the Devil's Hole), 6 neutral centres (the Rio Grande Mine plus the towns of Tombstone, Cripple Creek, Medicine Hat, Broken Jaw and Santa Elena) and one owned centre (the town of High Noon). The latter is exactly the same as a neutral except that when the game begins it is already under the control of the Devil's Hole Gang. These 15 centres do not move.


4. Not printed on the game map are, at the start of the game, a further 21 centres - 8 owned and 13 neutral, These centres are herds of cattle, and they can move.

All the players start with one herd (abbreviated 'B') except for the Lazy S and the DHG. The Lazy S starts with two herds, the DHG with none.


5. The only other unit used is the Gang (abbreviated "G") of ranch hands or outlaws. The lazy S starts with three gangs, the other seven players have two apiece. Gangs move as do Armies in regular Diplomacy.


6. Initial Placement:-

Devil's Hole Gang: G(Devil's Hole), G(High Noon)


Lazy S: G(Lazy S), C(Crazy Horse Mtn), G(Cocgan's Bluff), H(Crazy Horse Mta). H(Coogan's Bluff)


Lonesome Pine: G(Lonesome Pine), G(Fir Mtn), H(Fir Mtn)


Lone Star: G(Lone Star), G(Culpepper Canyon), H(Culpepper Can.)


Mule Ridge: 0(Mule Ridge), G(Eagle Peak), H(Eagle Peak)


Rancho Grande: G(Rancho Grande). G(Isla San Juanito), H(Isla San Juanito)


Red River: G(Red River), G(Rattlesnake Creek), H(Rattlesnake Creek)


South Fork: G(South Fork), G(Kansas Valley), H(Kanses Valley)


Unbranded Herds: H(Cactus Creek Sth), H(Conmanche Ridge), H(Nth Range), H(Montana Valley), H(Pine Crest), H(Cougar Ravine), H(Box Canyon), H(Cactus Gulch), H(High Sierra), H(Red Dog Ridge), H(Florida Valley), B(Indiana Valley), H(Echo Canyon)


7. A board space may only be occupied by a maximum of one gang and one herd at any time. It may never be occupied by two gangs, nor by two herds. Herds may be left unattended.


8. Although each player includes any herds he controls in each set of orders (e.g. "G(Coo)-Lzy, G(LPR)-Fir, H(Val)") herds may never move on their own. Nor may they give support in any way. The only way to move a herd is to move it with a gang (e.g. "GH(ISJ)-Rio"). Note that "GH" is not a permanent unit - it merely shows that the gang and the herd are moving together. Like gangs, herds may move only one space.


9, When a gang is ordered to move to a space with its herd, including the case where it enters the space against opposition (i.e. it is successfully supported into a space) it may take its herd with it (the 'GH' order is used) provided the space entered does not already contain a herd. If it does, the attacking gang's herd remains where it is and the gang moves on its own. However, gangs forced to retreat from a space may never retreat their herds with them. If a gang is removed through being forced to retreat but having no retreat orders (or no available retreat spaces) its herd remains in place, intact.


10.Any herd in en area occupied by a gang may be moved (as per 8 and 9) by the player owning the gang, who includes the herd on his orders for that turn.


11,There are two seasons per year, Summer and Winter, with Branding (i.e. Adjustments) in the Spring. ownership or supply centres is determined at the end of the Winter move. However, any herd in a space occupied by a rival gang during the Summer move is returned to neutral status unless the owning player can recapture the herd before the Spring Branding count. (This represents the nuisance value of fence-cutting raids, and does not apply to non-movable supply centres.)


12.Builds may be of two types - new gangs or new herds (but see 13), These must be placed on the board on a player's home centre if it is available. (Note that a gang occupying a space does not block the building of a herd and vice versa. A gang and a herd may be built in the same space at the same time if it is completely empty.) railing this, a player may build in any other non-movable supply centres he owns (including captured home centres). If none of these are free, he may build in any space occupied by one of his herds. (Note that these builds must therefore be gangs.)


13.Whenever a player captures a rival home centre for the first time, he may choose to make one of his builds a herd (provided he has some builds coming to him) during the following Spring. Herds may not be built at any other time, including the subsequent recapture of that home centre by the same player. Herds built in this way do not require a supply centre to sustain them -they are counted, in fact, as supply centres in their own right when the next Spring Branding count begins.


14.It is perfectly possible for herds to occupy non-movable supply centres. Any player having control of that space at the end of the Winter move thus controls two centres, and reaps the benefits.


15.There are two rivers on the map - the Red River and the Rio Grande, The Red River in no way impedes movement (e.g. "G(CCN)-Tom" and "G(COS)-CON" are both legal) but the Rio Grande, which divides the board into Texas and Mexico, forms three board spaces of its own. Any herd left unattended in one of these at the end of a move is removed from play.


16.The victory criterion is the sole control of 19 supply centres. The game starts in Summer 1870.

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