by Pierre Lavaurs First published in French by Jean-Phillippe Hubsch in Vortigern 60. Translated by John Marsden and published in English in Ode 21.
Variant Rules And Description:
1. The 1971 Diplomacy Rulebook applies, except where amended below.
2. After Spring retreats, and after Winter adjustment~, an additional phase takes place: Seismic Events
3. Each player may order one Seismic Event each season.
4. There are two kinds of Seismic Event, as follows:
(a) Seperation and Connection:
This involves four provinces (land or sea) forming this kind of configuration:
The order is: A and B separate, C and D connect.
If the order is applicable, the configuration becomes:
Note that 'C' and 'D' may be the same area. For example: Por & Spa separate, MAO & MAO connect, leaves Portugal an island in the MAO. It can occur that an order of this kind is ambiguous; such orders will be disallowed unless the player makes his intentions clear.
If three provinces form this configuration a release order would be A and C connect.
If the order is applicable, the configuration becomes:
. England, Spring 1901: Por & Spa separate, MAO & MAO connect. . France, Autumn 1901: Por & Bre connect.
Portugal thus becomes a peninsula attached to the south corner of Brest.
5. Switzerland and the Outside of the board, which are considered as impassable provinces, can be included in Seismic Orders.
- England, Spring 1901: StP & BAR separate, Nwy & Out connect.
- Russia, Spring 1901: NWG & BAR separate, Nwy & Out connect.
- England, Autumn 1901: Nwy & BAR separate, Out & Out connect.
The Barents Sea thus becomes trapped in the outside and inaccessible.
- Italy, Spring 1902: BAR & Tun connect.
BAR now becomes a lake attached to the south of Tun
6. If two or more players make the same Seismic order, this has the effect of support - conflicting orders succeed if thus supported.
7. Seismic orders are inadmissible in the following cases:
(a) If there is another Seismic order, equal or greater, which, if applied with the offending order, would have the effect of dividing a province into parts.
(b) If there is an equal or greater Seismic order which, if applied after the offending one, would not make sense.
- Austria: Bul & Gre separate; Ser & AEG connect.
- Turkey: Bul & AEG separate; Gre & Con connect.
- Austria & Russia: Bul & Gre Separate; Ser & AEG connect.
- Turkey: Bul & AEG separate, Gre & Con connect.
In the first case, the effect would be to split AEG into two; in the second case Austria's order succeeds because it is duplicated by Russia and Turkey's then fails because separating Bul & AEG would not permit Gre & Con to connect.
case #3 spring orders:
- England: For & Spa separate; MAO & MAO connect
- England: For & Ire connect.
- France: Por & Bre connect
The successive application of these orders would have the effect of dividing MAO in two.
8. The application of a Seismic order can cause a coastal province to be divided into two or more coasts when it previously had one or none, or to divide a previous coast into more than one. In this case, players must give provisional orders as to where a fleet in such a province should be placed. In the absence of such orders the GM will determine this randomly, or according to a convention agreed at the start of the game.
If, following Seismic orders, the coast on which a fleet is located disappears, and that province possessed other coast(s), the fleet is automatically relocated - conditional orders being accepted if there were three or more coasts. Should a fleet be left in a province without coasts, it is trapped and may only stand until a coast is opened for it. It may be supported in standing.
9. Certain provinces are regarded as 'straits provinces'. If they possess coasts on both of the following sea areas, those coasts are regarded as one: Con with BLA & AEG; Kie with HEL & BAL; Den with SKA & BAL; Swe with SKA & BAL; Nap with ION & TYS
Comments And Gameplay Observations:
“I’ve spent a bit of time thinking about possible seismic orders and tactics, and I will try to give a resume of the ideas I’ve had so far.
The Seismic orders can be used to move units around the board faster, for example, after Italy has convoyed to Tunis, on the same move as he moves to NAf he can order MAO & WMS separate, Naf and Spa connect. This gives Italy the opportunity to bring an army up through France’s backside more easily, particularly if backed up by an army in Pie. Alternatively, Italy could attack Turkey fast, ordering AEG and Gre separate, Bul and Ion connect, or Austria can be attacked more easily by Ads and ION separate, Apu and Alb connect. Similar possibilities exist for the other countries. The result of this kind of attacking order will be to promote unusual alliances, in that, say, Turkey can have a profound effect on the France-England front, if he wants to, perhaps in exchange for favours against a common enemy at a later date.
There are plenty of good defensive possibilities available, which should give trailing countries chances to survive long enough to regroup. To take the example of the frequent conflict between France and England, an England in trouble has the opportunity to make a French invasion difficult, whether he has units in position or not. Orders such as Lon and ENG separate, Wal and NTH connect should make London more secure, particularly against a French F(ENG).” - Comments by Mike Woodhouse in Blackmail No. 4 (June 1981)
Revisions by AceRunner
1. House Rules apply, except where amended below.
2. After retreats, an additional phase takes place: Seismic Phase. So, each year progresses:
Spring --> Spr Retreats --> Spr Seismic --> Fall --> Fall Retreats --> Fall Seismic --> Fall Adjustments
3. Each player may order one Seismic Event each Seismic Phase.
4. There are two kinds of Seismic Event, as follows:
(a) Separation and Connection: Two adjoining provinces (ex. Prussia and Livonia) separate, and the two adjacent provinces (e.g. Warsaw and Baltic) connect. The order is written as: “Prussia and Livonia separate, Warsaw and Baltic connect.” Note that the two connecting provinces may in fact be the same area. For example: Portugal and Spain separate, MAO and MAO connect, leaving Portugal as an island in the MAO.
(b) Release If one province (A) is completely isolated within another (B), then 'A' may be connected to any province bordering 'B'.
Example: Spring 1901: Por & Spa separate, MAO & MAO connect. Autumn 1901: Por & Bre connect. Portugal thus becomes a peninsula attached to Brest.
5. Switzerland and the Outside of the board are both impassable provinces that can be included in Seismic Orders.
Examples: Munich & Burgundy separate, Switzerland and Ruhr connect. Tunis and Outside separate, Ionian and NAf connect. [Note: it is possible to isolate a province entirely within Switzerland or Outside. Movement to or from such a province is impossible until/unless the province is reconnected to another province via the Release procedure in Rule 4(b).]
6. If two or more players make the same Seismic Order, this has the effect of support (much the way one supports the movement of a unit).
7. A Seismic Order fails in the following cases:
(a) If there is an equal or greater Seismic Order which contradicts the order (and 'contradicts' means that both orders cannot topologically be processed at the same time).
Example (assume S1901): Austria: Bul & Gre separate; Ser & Aeg connect. (*Fails*) Turkey: Bul & Aeg separate; Gre & Con connect. (*Fails*) It is impossible to simultaneously perform both sets of orders, so they both fail.
Conceptual Note: Players should be aware that every possible Separation/Connection order (Rule 4(a)) contradicts and is contradicted by four other possible orders. For instance, for the separation of the Bul/Gre border (in red) by Austria in the example above, the four possible contradictory separation orders (in black) would be:
- Bul/Aeg separate; Gre/Con connect
- Gre/Aeg separate; Bul/Ion connect
- Gre/Ser separate; Alb/Bul connect
- Bul/Ser separate; Gre/Rum connect
Another Conceptual Note: In every case where two orders contradict, the contradiction involves the separations of two adjacent borders… except for contradictions involving Release orders (Rule 4(b)).
(b) If there is an equal or greater Seismic Order which in conjunction with the offending order would have the effect of dividing a province into pieces.
Example 1 (assume Portugal is an island in MAO): England: Por & NAO connect. (*Fails*) France: Por & Bre connect. (*Fails*)
Example 2 (assume that Por & NAf are connected but otherwise form an island within MAO) England: Por & NAO connect France: NAf and Bre connect [Both examples fail, since the processing of orders would divide MAO into two parts].
8. A Seismic order can cause a coastal province to be divided into two or more coasts by release (Rule 4b) or by the deletion of a canal or strait. In this case, a player who owns a fleet on an affected coast will be given the choice as to which coast the fleet is to occupy. If the player does not submit a choice, the GM will determine a coast randomly, or according to a convention agreed at the start of the game.
If, following Seismic Orders, the coast on which a fleet is located ceases to exist, and that province possesses other coast(s), the fleet is automatically relocated (the player may choose coasts if more than one exists).
Should a fleet be left in a province without coasts, the player may choose to either disband the fleet or to allow the unit to become trapped. A trapped unit may only Hold until a coast is opened for it. It may be supported in holding.
Note: players may submit conditional orders for the above scenarios, but players will always be given 24 hours in which to designate a coast after the processing of Seismic Orders.
9. ISTHMUS RULES: An isthmus is defined as any location where two land provinces share a border that is flanked by two sea provinces. On the standard map, there are four such locations: Swe-Den Den-Kie Bul-Con Por-Spa
ALL ISTHMUS OPTIONS MUST BE SUBMITTED ALONG WITH SEISMIC ORDERS. IN THE ABSENCE OF ISTHMUS OPTIONS, THE GM WILL ADJUDICATE ACCORDING TO RULES SET OUT BELOW. Conditional orders are not permitted for isthmus options.
(a) Creating a Strait or Canal If a Seismic event leads to the creation of an isthmus, the player(s) submitting the responsible Seismic Orders may specify the nature of any water connection between sea provinces. The player has four choices (called Isthmus Options): 1) A strait may pass between the land provinces (as exists between Den-Swe). The land bridge between provinces does not create separate coasts. Fleets in both provinces may move freely across the land bridge. 2) & 3) A canal may pass through either the 'left-hand' province or the 'right-hand' province (as with Constantinople or Kiel). The province with the canal has no separate coasts. Fleets may move freely across that province. The province without the canal has separate coasts a la Bulgaria. No movement is permitted from one coast to the other. 4) No waterway passes through the isthmus (technically, Spa-Por have this relationship on the standard map, but since Portugal is a peninsula, the effects only impact Spain). Fleets on one coast may not pass through to the other coast. Period. If the player(s) does not specify an Isthmus Option – or if multiple players submit conflicting Isthmus Options without there being a plurality order – the following defaults apply: a) If the two land provinces in the isthmus shared a land border previous to the Seismic Order, then no waterway passes through the isthmus (#4 above). b) If the isthmus in question was formed by pinching off two water provinces (ex. Alb connects to Apulia, Sweden connects to Livonia, Belgium connects to London, etc.), then a strait forms (#1 above).
[Note: conflicting Isthmus Options do NOT invalidate a Seismic Order. For example, if two players both order Mar/MAO connect but with different Isthmus Options, then Marseilles will still connect to MAO, and the default of no waterway will apply.]
[Note: sometimes, an isthmus may be formed by multiple Seismic Orders in one turn. For instance, Gre/Alb separate + Gre/Bul separate yields a scenario in which Greece and Serbia form an isthmus. Likewise, Apu/Ven separate + Rom/Tus separate creates a scenario in which Rome and Venice form an isthmus. If a player is at all uncertain whether his/her order will create an isthmus, the player is advised to specify an Isthmus Option – at worst, the Isthmus Option will be discarded as irrelevant; it will not invalidate the rest of the Seismic Order ].
(b) Deleting/Modifying a Strait or Canal
Sorry, this will sound complicated but is actually fairly straight-forward. Hopefully, the illustrations will help. The term terminal refers to the water provinces at which a strait or canal terminates.
(1) A strait is deleted when the two land provinces in question become separated. Example: Den/Swe separate; Ska/Bal connect.
(2) A strait remains if the strait is disconnected from one of its two terminal water provinces due to the connection of a land province with a water province. Example: S1901 – Swe/Bal separate; Den/GoB connect. This causes the Den-Swe strait to no longer end at the Baltic Sea; it ends at the Gulf of Bothnia instead. The strait persists (between Ska and GoB). See illustration
(3) The player submitting the Seismic Order has a choice to convert or delete a strait if the strait is disconnected from one of its two terminal water provinces by the connection of two land provinces. Example: S1901 – Germany orders Kie/Swe connect (Bal/Den separate). The player may either: (a) Eliminate the strait; or (b) Convert the strait into a canal passing through the connecting land province (i.e. in this example, the canal could pass through Sweden). Note: One consequence of the above rule is that a strait can never extend longer than one border segment. Note: A strait may be converted to a canal, but a canal may never be converted to a strait.
(4) A canal is deleted when then the two terminal water provinces become adjacent at their border with the canal province. Example: S1901 – Germany orders Hel/Bal connect; Kie/Den separate.
(5) A canal is deleted when the land province in question no longer joins two water provinces due to the connection of two land provinces. Example: Germany orders Den/Hol connect; Kiel no longer borders Helgoland Bight. Therefore, the canal in Kiel ceases to exist.
Note: One consequence of the above rule is that a canal never passes through more than one land province.
Hol/Den connect; Kie/Hel separate. The canal must disappear. (6) The player submitting the Seismic Order has a choice to keep or delete a canal if the canal is disconnected from one of its terminal water provinces by the connection of a land province to a water province. Example: S1901 – Germany orders Kie/Nth connect (Hel/Hol separate) F1901 – Germany orders Den/Nth connect (Hel/Kie separate). Kiel no longer borders Helgoland Bight; however, it does border North Sea. The player may eliminate the canal or shift its western terminus to the North Sea.
Land and Water provinces (Den/Nth) connect. Kie/Hel Separate. Player may either remove the canal (left) or attach it to a new terminal water province (right).
(7) The canal remains if the canal is disconnected from one of its terminal water provinces by the connection of two water provinces. The player submitting the Seismic Order chooses the new terminal water province. Example: S1901 – England orders Ska/Hel connect (Den/Nth separate) Germany orders Kie/Nth connect (Hel/Hol separate) F1901 – Germany orders Kie/Ska connect (Hel/Den separate). S1902 – Germany orders Ska/Nth connect (Hel/Kie separate). Germany has the choice of which water province becomes the new canal terminus. Note: the choice does not affect immediate movements, but it may affect future Seismic events.
After F1901 After S1902
Two Water Provinces (Ska/Nth) Connect. Kie/Hel Separate. Player may elect to attach canal to either water province (Ska or Nth). Canal may not be deleted.