ALB & GSB

Blinded

Introduction

This variant is quite tricky for players and perhaps worse for the GMs but worth having a go!

Blinded means that the players' units can only see the provinces their currently positioned in together with contiguous provinces. Thankfully maps used on Pre-Spring 1901 are seen by all, however as war starts in S01 vision are partly lost.


Vision

Suppose in S01 France moves like this:

If all moves are successful this is what they see: Black = No vision

As that was the first move and the units are not far from each other however consider this. The units are in F(NAO), A(Spa) and A(Mar) and their sight is:

Which means any country can move to Bre or Par or both without the French knowing.

In case you wonder as to whether France knows that in A01 they lost Bre or Par or both and they themselves did not move towards them, the GMs adjudication will tell. Remember if it did happen, France will be told they lost it but not the country (perhaps countries if both SCs where lost) who gained it. Equally the country who gained will not know who did have it but if it was early in the game they can guess.


Vision Without Seeing

If two or more countries units attempt to enter a province they will not only know they were bounced but will know which country was involved and where they came from. If you think that is odd and think you should not know where they came from, consider this. If you are on board the ship and find another ship trying to do the same, you will know which direction they came from.

The other way of vision without seeing can happen if two or more units are side by side pre and post the moves. This is an example if you are Germany:

Germany bounced but due to this they know what the English fleet did and obviously a bit more. Needless to say, England will know Germany was bounced.


Support

It is possible for a country to see a foreign unit supporting them but it is based on the position of the units prior to the move. Take this example:

As Russia wasn't able to see the Turkish fleet before the move they will not know they were supported however this layout of the units will show them:

Prior to the move Russia can see the Turkish fleet and also they are sailing into BLA, which touches Arm therefore they will see the support.

In case the second part of that sentence did not quite register I will use a couple of other countries and explain it a bit further. Austria and Germany sent me these orders:

Assuming that Germany did move they will not know about the support. If however the move fails they will get to know it was offered but as we know the support does not count.

Taking this on suppose Germany stays put however the Austrian support is cut by someone else, this is what Germany will be told:

They will know the support was cut but will have no idea how it happened unless it came from Tyr or Sil or both.


Retreats

As this and other Diplomacy games are played by using the two-season game year it means that after S01 all orders must also have any possible retreats or disbands and in Autumn possible builds or disbands must be shown. If none are shown then the GM does what is written in the House Rules.

When adjudications are shown to the respective players there will be a slight difference between units being moved to a location as opposed to retreating to it. To give an example, look at the following seasons. In S03 adjudications showed an Austrian-Hungarian A(Tri) and an Italian A(Ven). Italy submitted, for A03, A(Ven) S Austria-Hungary A(Tri) however when the adjudication is shown that A(Ven) is not there. In S04 Italy simply stands in Ven but the adjudication shows the Austria-Hungary A(Tri). If Austria-Hungary did move to Tri then that would be fine however it did not. In A03 Austria-Hungary moved to Ser however in S04 Turkey ordered A(Gre) S A(Bul)-Ser which meant A(Ser) was retreated to Tri. Based on that the Italian will know that was a retreat.


Builds

If a country cannot see their home SC but they still own it, they can build there. By doing so their sight improves.

If you thinking, "Well, why as they cannot see it"? The reason is more aimed at allowing the game to progress quicker rather than the opposite. If they were unable to build they would have to leave units as guards and not use them as attacking forces.


Misorder or Not?

Suppose you support a country that you cannot see. In standard Diplomacy games a misorder is shown but in Gunboat the country giving a misordered support is shown as stand. In the Blinded game the misorder is not shown and the order is displayed even though it is a total failure. The reason is that if the order is shown as a misorder or a stand, the player giving the order will get an advantage other some of the others.


Negotiation or Not?

This can be played in two ways, the players' can communicate with the others but who knows if they are told you the truth, e.g. "I'm over here", then they are there. The other is this being a variant of a variant, i.e. it can be played like a Gunboat.

Just after putting this article on the site seven readers said they would like to play. The game is being played as a Blinded Gunboat.


End Game Proposal (EGP)

EGP are not allowed.

The reason behind that is two-fold. First being a player, submitting the EGP, may not know which country is still on the board and therefore the EGP would be invalid. The second point is to stop any tactical EGP tool.

If the game turns into a stalemate game, then the GM can finish it and call a draw for all those still playing.


Conclusion

It is true that there are many variants and perhaps you read some other article, which has a similar name to this but those rules are different to the above. From what I gather variants are designed by people who love the game of Diplomacy and want to put something into the game and do so by creating variants. I understand there is no copyright on the variant name, e.g. Blinded, but if there is I will change the title.

More or less left with you, if you would like to play in this variant, e-mail me and state whether you want to play a normal game or Gunboat or both.


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