Germany 1648 (7 players)
Seven powerful noble Families fight for the conquer of the Free Imperial Cities and the Holy German Empire.
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Variant Parameters (Version: 1.0 / Code: 1.1.4):

Special rules/information:

Background:

Germany, 1648. The Thirty Years' War has just finished, leaving the German lands on the edge of destruction. The country is divided in hundreds of potentates with different ambitions, from powerful Electorates eager to rule all Germany to minor powers only worried about defending themselves from their closest neighbors. From this chaotic panorama, seven major Powers emerge: each one of them does have enough influence to aspire to the throne of the Holy Roman Empire. The Spanish branch of the House of Habsburg, which once bore the title of Emperor, is now settled in the western part of the Empire. The Austrian Habsburg have managed to develop their vast domain in the eastern old Empire. The prominent family of Wittelsbach controls the Electoral Palatinate: their possessions are not only concentrated in the Rhine basin, but extend in the whole country. The Bavarian branch of the Wittelsbach family controls a tough Electorate in the southern Germany. The Wettin family has reached the honorable title of Elector of Saxony, and plans to further extend his territories. The noble House of Hohenzollern owns the Electorate of Brandenburg, as well as a number of smaller potentates spread all over the Empire. The Church still owns huge terrains, ruled by influential Bishops and Archbishops; even if they formally pay their respect to the Pope, sitting far in Rome, they administrate their domains as they prefer. The lands of the Empire are scattered with dozens of Free Imperial Cities, which somehow have gained their independency and are determined not to lose it. Shall one Power reduce them to obedience, and unify once again the Holy Roman Empire?

Rules:

  1. Except as noted below, the standard rules of play for Diplomacy apply.
  2. Every power (but the Ecclesiastic Lands) starts with more units than supply centers; they are thus forced to conquer new centers during the first year of play, or lose armies.
  3. Scattered through the Empire, there are fifteen Free Imperial Cities; each one of them counts as a supply center, and hosts a holding army, which does not belong to any power, and will be disbanded if forced to retreat.
  4. The noble families cannot display any fleet; nevertheless, besides their loyal men-at-arms, they can rely on a powerful war weapon: the cavalry. Since a knight rides a horse, he can move twice faster than a standard army; he can move to every adjacent territory, and again in another adjacent territory, in the same turn. Furthermore, he can easily slip between the enemy lines: thus, he can move to a territory that is two-move distant even if there is an army or another knight in the territory in the middle, and even if another army or knight moves throughout the same middle territory. For example, a knight in the Franche-Comte can move in a single turn to the Duchy of Bar, even if there is an army in the Duchy of Lorrain, and/or if another knight moves from the Duchy of Bar to the Bishopric of Strassburg. Apart from that, the standard rules apply: for example, if two knights, or an army and a knight, try to go to the same territory without support, they will bounce. A knight can support other moving or holding units in every territory that he could reach in that turn. Despite their abilities, the knights have an important drawback: they cannot move to any of the Free Imperial Cities, nor give any support to armies moving or holding in any of them.

Notes on Geography

  1. The thick red line signals the formal boundary of the Holy Roman Empire in the 1648. Any area outside that line, painted in gray, as well as any sea zone, is declared out of the game, and cannot host any unit.
  2. The Free Imperial Cities border with the territories which are visually adjacent in the map, as any other territory.
  3. There is one point of the map (BoM-BoP-CoL-CoR) in which 4 different territories meet each other: units present in one of the areas are allowed to move only to one of the two adjacent territories, and not to the exactly opposite one.