Rules for Chesspolitik (4p)
Chesspolitik is a variant map for Diplomacy that uses a Chessboard and some Chess mechanics. Except as specified below, ordinary Diplomacy rules apply.
- Player Count: 4
- Game Starting Year: 1601
- Total Supply Centers: 32 (the darker spaces)
- Total SCs required to Solo: 17
Each player starts with five SCs and four units. They will play the first year short a unit. Two units for each player intentionally start in non-SC spaces, and three of each player’s SCs are intentionally left vacant.
The game of Chesspolitik for four players is played on a standard 8×8 chessboard grid. Spaces are labeled numerically by row (bottom to top 1-8) and alphabetically by column (left to right A-H). Supply centers are located in the grid coordinates that would normally correspond to black squares on a chessboard.
One player power is on each side of the board. The setup for each player is equivalent to every other players’ initial setup, only mirrored or rotated.
The names of these powers are only provided for flavor; they can also just be referred to by color.
- Ottoman Empire (Red) – left side, nearest to column A
- Mughal Empire (Green) – bottom side, nearest to row 1
- Ming Dynasty (Yellow) – right side, nearest to column H
- Tsardom of Russia (Blue) – top side, nearest to row 8
There are two types of units: Kings (K) and Knights (N). Alternately, use fleets for Knights and armies for Kings. Each unit moves and supports according to the adjacency they would have in chess.
Kings treat all spaces that are immediately adjacent orthogonally or diagonally as adjacent for all movement and support purposes.
For example, a king in space D4 can treat these spaces as adjacent for all purposes: C5, D5, E5, C4, E4, C3, D3, & E3.
Knights “jump” from point to point in a move that makes an “L” shape (see the Wikipedia article on Knights for examples). This means that the only spaces a knight may move to or support to are the endpoints of those jumps. Likewise, a Knight may only support units to hold if those units are located at the endpoint of a jump.
For instance, a hypothetical Knight currently at space B1 can be ordered to:
- Move to A3, C3, or D3
- Support another unit’s move to A3
- Support another unit’s move to C3
- Support another unit’s move to D2
- Support another unit to hold in A3, C3, or D2
During build phases, players may build in any vacant SC that they currently control in the two rows/columns closest to their side of the board.
- Ottoman Empire (red) can build in vacant SCs they control in columns A & B.
- Mughal Empire (green) can build in vacant SCs they control in rows 1 & 2.
- Ming Dynasty (yellow) can build in vacant SCs they control in columns G & H.
- Tsardom of Russia (blue) can build in vacant SCs they control in rows 7 & 8.
For example, The Ming Dynasty (yellow) can build in any of these spaces, provided that they control them: G7, G5, G3, G1, H8, H6, H4, or H2.
Likewise, the Mughal Empire (green) can build in A1, C1, E1, G1, B2, D2, F2, or H2, provided that they control the SC in question.
Avoiding Unit Type Confusion
During build orders, please be clear whether you want a King (K) or Knight (N) unit. If you just submit “Build K H2” it should be assumed to be a King, not a Knight. It is suggested that you write out the whole name (“King” or “Knight”). The following alternate names and abbreviations are also legal.
Alternate Names & Abbreviations for Kings (K)
- Armies (A)
- Monarchs (M)
Alternate Names & Abbreviations for Knights (N)
- Fleets (F)
- Horses (H)
There are no retreats. All dislodged units are taken off the board.
Coasts & Water
There is no distinction between land, water, coasts, or canals. All spaces in Chesspolitik are hypothetically available to all units, provided they are positioned to move there.
There are no convoys.
Ending the Game
Apart from the different solo requirement (17 SCs), normal rules for Diplomacy apply, and the game may end in a solo or draw. Please follow house rules for whatever conditions are placed on how draws may be composed and voted for.
Rules for Chesspolitik (2p)
A two-player variant of the game has also been formulated but has received no playtesting.
- Player Count: 2
- Game Starting Year: 1401
- Total Supply Centers: 18 (the darker spaces)
- Total SCs required to Solo: 12
- Note that this requirement is two thirds of available centers, not just a simple majority.
Each player starts with three SCs and three units. Two units for each player intentionally start in non-SC spaces, and two of each player’s SCs are intentionally left vacant.
The game of Chesspolitik for two players is played on a 6×6 chessboard-like grid. Spaces are labeled numerically by row (bottom to top 1-6) and alphabetically by column (left to right A-F).
One player power is on each side of the board.
- Kingdom of France (Blue) – bottom side, nearest to row 1
- Kingdom of England (Red) – top side, nearest to row 6
As with four-player Chesspolitik, players may build in any vacant centers in the two rows closest to their side of the board, provided that they control those centers.
- France may potentially build in A1, C1, E1, B2, D2, or F2.
- England may potentially build in B6, D6, F6, A5, C5, or E5.