Intimate Diplomacy* Rules

Index: Jon's home, ID home, bottom, Basis, Bidding, Earning Credits, Home Countries, Initial Reserve, Introduction, Overbidding, Rules, Sequence of Play, Stalemates, Two Players, Uncontrolled Mercenaries, Victory.

Intimate Diplomacy* was created by Steve Doubleday and Adrien Baird. These rules were adapted by me from the originals, based on GMing several games (including a round-robin tournament) using the Judge and a mini-adjudicator which i wrote. It is my belief that my interpretations are clarifications, rather than changes.


By Steve Doubleday

Unlike most variants, this game has been widely played, even having had its own tournament with a cash prize. It is widely acclaimed as far superior to the two player game described in the official rules. It is, however, not suitable for players who are just getting to know Diplomacy*, and two people wishing to learn the rules by playing should stick to the official version.



The official rules of Diplomacy* apply except where amended below.

Two Players

ID (Intimate Diplomacy*) is a two-player variant. Each player controls one country (his "Home" country) for the entire game. The remaining five countries are known as "mercenaries", and can be controled by paying them credits.

Initial Credit Reserve

At the start of the game, countries have the following credit levels:


The difference in starting credits is to even out the relative strengths of the countries.

Home Country Selection

To determine home countries, each player submits a preference list of seven countries. If their first choices are different, both players get their first choice. If their first choices are the same, but their second choices are different, then both players get their second choice. If the second choices are identical then each gets their third choice etc. If both preference lists are identical then the players draw lots with the winner getting their first choice and the loser their second choice.

Sequence of Play

The bidding season is called "Thaw", and occurs between Winter and Spring. The game starts in Thaw 1901. The sequence of play during one game-year is Thaw bids, Spring moves and retreats, Autumn moves and retreats, Winter adjustments. In Spring and Fall play is carried out exactly as in regular Diplomacy* with each player submitting orders and retreats for the countries which they control. In the winter season, all builds due to neutral countries must be taken where they are possible.

Earning Credits

Credits for bidding are awarded during each Winter season. Each player is given one credit for each SC owned by his home country. E.g., If your home country controls 10 SCs, 10 credits are added to your credit balance.

Bidding for Mercenary Control

Control of the mercenary countries is determined each game year by bids. Bids are written down and both players reveal them simultaneously. The highest bidder for each country has their bid deducted from their credit reserve and gains control of that country for the following year, including the winter adjustments. Unused credit is carried over to the next year.


Players are permitted to bid more than their credit will cover. However, if a player's successful bids would cost more credits than they hold, they loose all of their credit, and all of their bids are set to zero. Their opponent's bids are each set to half price, rounded up.

For example, suppose G has 8 credits and F has 4. The initial bids are:

   A E I R T
G: 3 2 2 2 2
F: 1 4 1 1 0

Germany wins A, I, R, T, and France wins only E. Germany's bill for their successful bids would be 9, so they're overdrawn. France's bill is 4, so they're not. Germany loose their reserve and bids nothing on any power. France's bids are each set to half-price, rounded up:
   A E I R T
G: 0 0 0 0 0
F: 1 2 1 1 0

France's new bill is 5, which is more than they have. They loose their reserve and bid nothing on any power. The net result is that both powers loose all their credits, and all mercenaries are uncontroled.

Uncontrolled Mercenaries

When bids for a country are equal, neither player controls it, and it is treated as if in CD for the year. When an uncontrolled mercenary must disband a unit, use the following procedure:

For each unit not in a supply center, count the number of moves (`n') between the unit and the nearest home supply center regardless of ownership of that center. The unit with the highest value of `n' is disbanded.

If two units have the same 'n', armies are disbanded before fleets. To chose between units of the same type with the same value of 'n' use alphabetical order of the names of the provinces they inhabit.

Note that the number of moves is not necessarily the same for armies as it is for fleets. For an Austrian army in PIE, the value of 'n' is PIE-VEN-TRI=2. For an Austrian fleet, 'n' is PIE-TUS-TYS-ION-ADR-TRI=5.

Victory Criterion

The game ends when one player occupies one of their opponents home centers with one of their home country's units in any phase. If this happens to both players simultaneously, then the player occupying the most home SCs of his opponent wins, with the exception that occupying 4 Russian home centers counts as no better than owning 3. If a tie remains, the game is won by the player with the largest credit balance (counting credits won during the season in which the home centers were invaded). If a tie still remains, the game continues.


A game may develop into a stalemate situation once all neutral countries have been eliminated with neither player being able to break through a defensive line to meet the standard victory conditions. In this case the winner is the player with the most supply centres. Note that unlike standard Diplomacy*, a game does not end just because one country reaches 18 Supply centres.

* Diplomacy is a registered trademark of the Avalon-Hill Game Company

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© 1998 Jon Stewart-Taylor, all rights reserved. Send comments or questions to

Jon Stewart-Taylor

Last modified: Tue Feb 3 16:09:24 EST 1998