Diplomacy is a game of skill rather then luck, in which each player represents a European power in the late 19th century. Playing Diplomacy successfully will require skilled negotiations and an ability to plan complex strategies.

I.          Players and Countries and the Object of the Game
Diplomacy and Negotiations
Supply Centers
The Playing Board
Writing Your Moves/Move Order
Cutting Support
Gaining and Losing Units

Basic Rules

Players and Countries and the Object of the Game

    The object of the game is simple: the team that gains the most Supply Centers by the end of class wins.

Diplomacy and Negotiations     

    A large part of Diplomacy is the ability for players to make secret agreements and pacts. The idea is to add another dimension to the game involving trickery and deception. Any agreement made does not have to be kept, in other words: lying, cheating, spreading rumors, trading information and things like that are not only allowed but encouraged.

Supply Centers     

    Some places on the board contain black circles which represent Supply Centers. There are 34 in all and each one can support an army or a fleet (called units; these are the only units in the game). The amount of units you have fluctuates with the amount of Supply Centers you have.

The Playing Board     

    The playing board (supplied in the map you need to download for class) consists of countries, provinces, and bodies of water. Countries are separated by thick black lines and are subdivided into provinces. Every body of water and every province is a space.

    The units in Diplomacy consist of armies and fleets. On a real playing board armies are represented by squares or stars or whatever and fleets are represented by long blocks or little ships or whatever, but on the maps at this site they are both represented by a province filled with the color of their respective players.

    At the start of each game every country has three supply centers, and three units, except for Russia which has four. Every supply center has a unit in it, whether army or fleet. The starting position is:

England (Dark Blue) F London F Edinburgh A Liverpool
Germany (Black) A Berlin A Munich F Kiel
Russia (White) A Moscow A Warsaw F St. Petersburg (sc) F Sevastopol
Turkey (Yellow) A Constantinople A Smyrna F Ankara
Austria-Hungary (Red) A Vienna A Budapest F Trieste
Italy (Green) A Rome A Venice F Naples
France (Light Blue) A Paris A Marseilles F Brest

There are twelve supply centers not listed here which remain independent at the start of the game. (A represents an army and F represents a fleet.)

Writing Your Moves/Move Order     

    Only one unit can occupy one province or one body of water at once and a unit can only do one thing a turn. An army can be ordered to hold, move or support while a fleet can move, hold, or convoy. An army can move to any adjacent province unless there is a unit in conflict with it and a fleet can move into any body of water or coastal province that is adjacent to it as long as it is not in conflict with another unit. No unit may move into one of those unnamed islands or anything else that isn't named. When a fleet is in a coastal province it may move to another coastal province as long as those provinces are adjacent along the coastlines.

    Your team's moves are generally a secret. If you submit an order that makes no sense then the order isn't followed and that unit or those units just stay put. If you make a mistake, too bad. Try to be careful when you submit your moves (to me, in written form) because sloppiness can obviously hurt you. Each turn lasts five minutes.


    If two or more units are ordered to be in the same space, none of them can. Likewise, if a unit tries to move into a space but cannot another unit trying to move into the space that the first unit tried to leave cannot enter. Also, if two units try to move into each others spaces then neither of them can move. These three situations are called stand-offs. These rules apply to both armies and fleets.


    A unit has the ability to support another unit when its moving or staying still. If a unit is a supporting a another unit in moving then the supporting unit must be in a space adjacent to both the space where the unit is and where its going. Put simply, to support you have to be next to the unit and next to where its going. The letter S represents support. For example a moving unit's orders could be: A Try-Mun, and a supporting unit's orders could be: A Bur S A Try-Mun. A unit can also support units of another country. That's always handy and you can write it by inserting the name of the country after the letter S, A Bur S Russian A Try-Mun. A fleet can only give support into a coastal province and an army cannot support into an ocean.

    When a unit moves it moves with the force of one unit. But if it is supported it moves with the force of itself plus all supporting unit. If a unit moves into conflict with another unit and it has more force then the unit it is "attacking" it can make its move and it dislodges the unit that was there. A draw in force goes to the defender. This is the principle behind attacking and gaining your 18 supply centers which is the goal of the game. Here are some examples.

ENGLAND: F Den-Kie, F Nth-Den, F Hel S F Nth-Den
RUSSIA: A Ber-Kie, F Bal S F Ska-Den
Underlined moves fail.

England cannot dislodge its own unit, but its supported attack on Denmark is sufficient to stand off the supported Russian attack on the same space.   

FRANCE: A Bur Holds
GERMANY: A Mun-Bur, A Kie S Austrian A Boh-Mun
Underlined moves fail.

The German support for the Austrian unit does not enable it to advance so as to dislodge a German unit.

Cutting Support     

    What do you do if your about to be out-forced in an attack? If a unit that is giving support is attacked or dislodged then its support is undone or cut.


    When a unit becomes displaced it must retreat. A unit can retreat to any adjacent space with a few exceptions. A unit cannot retreat to a space where another unit is present or where the attacker came from or a space that is empty because of a standoff. If a unit cannot retreat, it must be disbanded.


    Fleets have the ability to convoy armies across bodies of water. The mechanics of writing convoys  the fleet are F (where the fleet is) C A (Original Location)-(New Location) and for the army being convoyed, A (Original Location)-(New Location). Fleets can convoy foreign armies but can only convoy one unit at a time and only once a turn. An army may be convoyed across multiple bodies of water as long as there are fleets convoying in every body of water that the army is passing over.

Gaining and Losing Units    

    The number of units a team has is directly proportional to the number of supply centers that they control. To control a supply center all the team needs to do is occupy it during winter (after the fall turn, or every second turn). Once a team has control they no longer need to stay on that space, but you lose control if another team manages to place a unit in the supply center during winter.
    After the fall turn is complete every team must have the same number of supply centers as units. If the team has lost supply centers then that team must pick which units they want to disband until the number is equal. If a team has gained supply centers then they are allowed to build new units in their home or original supply centers until they number of supply centers and units is equal. If they have lost all their home supply centers then they cannot build any units. Also you can't build more units then you have have home supply centers.


Basic Rules

1. Basic Rules
      a. Unit
            aa. Fleet
                  aaa. can move between bodies of water
                  bbb. can move into coastal provinces
                  ccc. can support an action into a coastal province
                  ddd. can transport an army across bodies of water (if attacked, convoy fails)
                  eee. cannot move across land
                  fff. cannot support & convoy at the same time
            bb. Army
                  aaa. can move across land
                  bbb. can support other units
                  ccc. needs assistance to traverse bodies of water.
      b. Engagement
            aa. each unit has an effective force of one (1)
            bb. a defender is only moved by greater force
            cc. a defender who is forced to retreat cannot retreat to where he was attacked from.
            dd. if equal force is applied to a zone, the zone remains vacant.
      c. Builds
            aa. take place in Winter of each year
            bb. can only take place in empty home supply centers.