Mate Against Mate (8 players)
The Mate Against Mate variant is an alternate history starting in 1973 allowing 8 players to struggle for control over Australia and surrounding territories.
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Variant Parameters (Version: 2.1.1):

Special rules/information:

Background:

In 1901 the British colonies on the Australian continent federated into a single country. But what if that didn’t occur and each colony – like New Zealand in real life - became its own independent nation?

This variant is set in 1973 at the height of the world’s first oil shock and when the Australian political landscape was lead by characters larger than life. The nations in the region are eying each others’ rich supply centres, whether that’s cities, oil fields or uranium mines. Anti-colonialism drums are banging with Indonesia preparing for an invasion of the Portuguese territory of East Timor. Who will you make the first move against?

This game draws on pre-Federation history to guess what an Australian continent in an alternative 1973 would be like. What we know now as the ‘Northern Territory’ became part of South Australia in 1863. If Australia never federated it probably would have stayed as being part of South Australia. Similarly Queensland was given permission by Her Majesty Queen Victoria to annex Papua in 1883 with German New Guinea being added after the outbreak of World War One. The resources boom and oil shocks of the 1970’s see mining and oil interests as SC’s on the board: North West Shelf (oil and gas), Bass Strait (oil), Kakadu (uranium), Coober Pedy (precious gemstones) and even the Great Barrier Reef and Antartica(two of the world’s largest oil fields and mineral deposits in this alternate history.)

Rules:

Mate against Mate is played like any normal game of Diplomacy with only a few minor differences:

  1. 25 supply centres are required to win
  2. The oil fields of North West Shelf, Bass Strait and the Great Barrier Reef can obviously only be captured by fleets. A flag in these territories indicates possession
  3. Like St Petersburg in normal Diplomacy, fleets can’t move overland (think St Petersburg north and south coasts.) As a result this rule applies to Jakarta. Indonesia can only building fleets in Jakarta on the north coast
  4. The combined water and island territories of Bali and Lesser Sunda Islands are analogous to Kiel, Constantinople or Denmark in normal Diplomacy allowing them to be occupied and passed through by armies and navies (provided the move is legal)
  5. Standing neutral armies are set in East Timor (Portuguese colony) and New Caledonia (French colony.) As with normal Diplomacy you’ll need two units to dislodge the unit and occupy the SC. The Portuguese and French will complain bitterly to the United Nations but will do nothing in return against you
  6. A string of land bridges lay along the Indonesian archipelago. This allows armies to pass across water between Jakarta and Bali, Surabaya and Bali, Bali and Lesser Sunda Islands, and Lesser Sunda Islands and East Timor (and vice versa.) A similar land bridge connects the New Zealand territories of Wellington and Marlborough. No other land bridges exist
  7. Two navigable rivers exist on the Australian continent: the Murray and Darling. Navies can progress inland along territories adjacent to these rivers and can occupy territories. But remember navies can’t pass across land where there is no natural connection between waterways (eg a navy in Broken Hill on the Darling River can’t be dragged across the desert onto Eyre’s beaches)
  8. Players start with a set number of SCs and units: 3 for all players except Victoria and New South Wales who begin with 4 due to their population size. At the beginning of the game most nations also have SC’s within their boundaries (these initially are shown as an SC with a square around them), however these don’t count toward your build count until you occupy them at the end of an autumn
  9. Indonesia begins the game with 3 SC's but 4 units. It must capture an additional SC before the end of autumn to ensure it isn't forced to disband a unit
  10. The are five points in which 4 different territories meet each other: armies 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. The four crossing points are:
    • Perth-Albany-Esperance-Kalgoorlie
    • Snowy Mountains-South Coast-Gippsland-High Country
    • East Nullarbor Plain-West Nullarbor Plain-Great Sandy Desert-Alice Springs
    • Mount Isa-Matilda Track-Alice Springs-Tennant Creek
    • North West Shelf-Timor Sea-Broome-Port Headland