KAT Napoleonic: Updated Renders & New Alphas

We are less than eight weeks from the KAT Napoleonic Group Buy, which starts November 9th. I have new renders and alphas to share, including support for JIS, ANSI-JP, Eurkey, and Latin American Spanish.


First are some new and revised renders from manzel:

  • New: the Abacus numpad by SomeGreekGuy (unreleased). Shown here with the Austrian White numpad kit and the Minard deskmat.
  • Updated: the Boardrun by Shensmobile (IC on Reddit). These renders now show the most up-to-date version of the Uhlan alpha kit, with the Lithuanian legends now shown in red.

Alpha Kit Revisions

Based on survey responses and other feedback, three new kits have been added.

  • Nagasaki
    • Japanese JIS & ANSI-JP layouts
    • Katakana sublegends in gold
    • Compatible with the standard US layout.
    • 3u spacebar included for JIS.
    • Fullwidth / Half-width key included for JIS in all three colorways.
  • Blücher
  • Agustina
    • Spanish (European & Latin American)
    • Replaces the Murat kit

The Austerlitz and João VI alpha kits have been sidelined at this time due to lack of interest.

KAT Napoleonic: Sept. 8th Updates

Multiple updates have been made to the KAT Napoleonic main page.

  1. Vendors
    1. HEX Keyboards has joined on as our Southeast Asia vendor.
  2. Alphas: Error Fixes & Minor Tweaks
    1. Act of Mediation
    2. Alexander
    3. Austerlitz
    4. Bépoleon Nonaparte
    5. Karađorđe
    6. Marie Louise
    7. Pondicherry
    8. Sequoyah
    9. Waterloo
  3. Alphas: Combined Language Redesigns
    1. In the kits below, gold still represents AltGr sublegends for the primary language. Red represents the primary legends of the alternate language.
    2. Alpha kits where two languages are displayed simultaneously, but neither displays AltGr characters, are still slated to use the gold coloration for all sublegends.
    3. Updated Kits:
      1. Chateauguay – Canadian Multilingual & Canadian French
      2. Doppelkaiser – South Slavic Latin & Hungarian (replaces Illyria)
      3. Uhlan – Polish & Lithuanian (will now differ from render)
  4. Alphas: Other Substantial Updates
    1. Bernadotte – Added several keys to provide correct AltGr legends, particularly with regard to the <> key.
    2. João VI – Some legend updates. Clarified in description that this is the European Portuguese layout.
    3. Murat – Removed all AltGr legends in order to expand compatibility to the Italian 142 layout. Clarified in description that this is the European Spanish layout.
  5. Core Mod Updates
    1. Various Russian Green – The 1u version of Backspace is now “Back” instead of “Bksp”.
    2. Various French Indigo – The translations for “Lower” and “Raise”have been updated to “Dimin” and “Augm”
    3. Ortho – Four of the 1.5u keys that were convex are now R2 for better Iris/Corne support. A couple 1u blanks in R2 were also added.
    4. Forties – Major updates to kit contents, particularly for spacebars.
    5. Ergo – Lower/Raise are now R2 to make them usable on the thumb clusters if desired. Two 1u convex blanks were added.
  6. Miscellaneous Kit Updates
    1. Mac & Vortex kit is now back to being just a Mac kit, and its contents were reduced significantly to make it more affordable.
    2. Spacebars kit – Major updates to kit contents.

Keycaps & Tournaments

Over the past few months, I’ve been working on a non-Diplomacy-related project: a custom mechanical keyboard keycap set called KAT Napoleonic. I’ll be hosting information about it here, since this is the WordPress site that I already have up-and-running.

As of my writing this post, the page for KAT Napoleonic is not yet publicly viewable; that will probably change in the next few weeks.

In Diplomacy variant news, I am getting ready to host another Tournament Through Time in 2021. Similar to the 2018 Tournament Through Time, the 2021 TTT will be a series of advanced Dip variant games played online via Discord over the course of the year. This time, the tournament will not be team-based, though players will be able to appoint proxies to play on their behalf during periodic absences. I’ve enlisted some assistant GMs to be able to run more than one board per round, and my plan is to have three rounds total, with each round fielding approx. 3 tables.

Similar to many face-to-face tournaments, the final round will include a “top table” made up of the highest-ranked players so far. The winner of the top table will be the victor of the whole tournament, while other awards will go to the players with the highest scores. Players whose scores were “Best in Division” will likewise be recognized (a multi-variant equivalent to “Best <Country>” awards).

Official registration has begun (quietly), with all rules and planning currently posted in the 2021 TTT Discord Server. Additionally, check out the registration form if you are interested in competing.

Diplomacy World Staff Openings

Diplomacy World has several staff openings.  If you’re passionate about Diplomacy, and you’re willing to write a few articles each year, you should have a look.

Diplomacy World

Hi folks!

Right now I am looking for new blood to fill the vacancies in the Diplomacy World Staff ranks.

Effectively, these are the open spots at the moment (a few have people in them but they’re just waiting for someone else to come forward):

Co-Editor: Vacant!!

Strategy & Tactics Editor: Vacant!!

Variant Editor: Vacant!!

Interview Editor: Vacant!!

Club and Tournament Editor: Vacant!!

Technology Editor: Vacant!!
Original Artwork Vacant!!

The positions themselves (except Co-Editor and Artwork) basically mean you will commit to a minimum of three articles per year in your area of focus, and that you will also work to solicit articles from other Diplomacy players.

If you’re interested in any of these and would like more information, or details on Co-Editor or Artwork, please email me at dougray30@yahoo.com

I hope to hear from a few of you in the coming weeks!

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Recruiting for Dissolution in 2019

Dissolution Logo

Next year, starting in January or February 2019, I will GM a game of Dissolution, a 10-player Diplomacy variant* of my own creation. Dissolution is set in the 1990’s, just after the breakup of the Soviet Union. The variant is DP-based like Ambition & Empire and 1936; all three of these variants were included in the 2018 Tournament Through Time.

Contact me if you are interested in either playing or observing this unique Diplomacy experience!

Variant Features

  • Stationary Wings, a unit type that behaves like an airbase
  • Neutral Minor Powers & DP allocations, adapted from Ambition & Empire
  • Neutral Nuclear Powers with Invulnerable Units, an extension of the DP rules that keeps that mechanic relevant for the entire game
  • The Favor Map, which abstracts the diplomatic relationships between the players and the neutral Nuclear Powers using Embassy units

Starting Map


Full Rules & Files

The most up-to-date draft*** of the full rules can be found on this site:

The rules are admittedly complex, though the rulebook is full of illustrations and examples. If the length of it (75 pages) gives you pause, please have a look at the two-page summary**. It introduces all major concepts in Dissolution (though it does assume the reader is already familiar with DP variants).


This game will use a Google Group to host and deliver adjudication emails. Players will use email to submit orders. Players will primarily communicate with one another via instant messaging (either Slack or Discord, not sure which yet), though they may use email as well.


I run a three-season rotation (Spring, Fall, Winter), with one season due each Monday and Thursday night. Retreats are handled ad hoc in between these regular deadlines. This pace amounts to 3 weeks for every 2 game-years. A similar schedule is currently being used for the Tournament Through Time.

Previous / Ongoing Games of Dissolution

Other DP Variants

* While the core rules are still recognizable as Diplomacy, Dissolution might be thought of as its own game at this point (similar in complexity to Machiavelli).
** This also contains some rather colorful language and some poorly constructed 90’s jokes.
*** There are some typos in the current draft that I’m working on correcting, with some help from an actual editor.