Friday, November 11, 2022

Using Heptarchy Map (Diplomacy Variant) for a SAGA Campaign

 Over the years, I have used Diplomacy maps (especially variant maps) for a number of different wargaming purposes.  Many years ago, I ran a very fun 9 player campaign using Hordes of the Things for tactical battles, and the Diplomacy variant map, Bretwalda for the campaign map.  That map, and the Diplomacy rules for it were written by Geoff Bache.  Geoff also write another British Isles Dark Ages variant, named Heptarchy IV which features 7 kingdoms.  Those kingdoms are listed here:

  • Anglia
  • Cornubia
  • Ireland
  • Mercia
  • Northumbria
  • Scotland
  • Wales

Each of these starts the campaign with 3 military units (which may be armies or fleets), except for Mercia which starts with 4 units (but has the advantage of having the most neighboring kingdoms).

Here is a simple framework set of rules for a campaign. You may want to add more to this.

  1. Each kingdom writes orders for their units each turn. There are two map move turns in a year (Spring and Fall) and one supply turn (Winter). 

  2. During Spring and Fall, a Map unit can have one of several orders -  Move, Stand, Support, Convoy, Convert.

  3. If you give a unit a Move order, you list the Unit, and it's starting space, and the adjacent space you want to move to. Armies can move from one Land space to an adjacent Land space. Fleets can move from one Sea or Coast space to an adjacent Sea or Coast space    

  4. If you give a unit a Stand order, you give the unit, and it's province, and it stays there this turn.

  5. If you are next to a space that another unit (yours or an ally) is either Standing in, or next to a space that the other unit is Moving into, then you can give a Support order. You list your unit, the province it is in, and the space (and unit) you are supporting.

  6. A fleet can be given a Convoy order - it stays in the space it is in. If that space is next to a friendly Army unit that has a Stand order, then the Fleet can move that Army unit to another coastal area that the Fleet unit is adjacent to. Example - if there is a Scottish Fleet in the North Channel, and a Scottish Army in Stanraer, then the Scottish Fleet can be given a Convoy order, to move the Scottish Army from Stanraer to Belfast. Note, the Scottish army at Stanraer cannot be given any order other than Stand. If you issue a Convoy order to move an army unit belonging to another player, then the other player must Authorize the move.

  7. Convert - you may give a unit a Convert order, if it is in a coastal province that has a city. An Army unit may Convert to a Fleet, and a Fleet may convert to an Army.

  8. All orders are written simultaneously, and turned into the Judge, but the judge interprets the order, one nation at a time, in the order printed on the Northeast corner of the map. If a unit is given a Move, or Convoy order into a province with another player's Unit, then the moving or convoying unit must either retreat back to where they came from, or there is a battle.

  9. Battles are always fought with 6 point Saga armies. That is true for both Fleet and Army units fighting on land. For each unit that has a Support order into a space where you are fighting, you may add 2 points to your Saga army total.

  10. Rules for naval conflict must be devised, but just an opposed dice roll is good enough.

  11. A unit that fights a battle and loses must retreat to an adjacent space to where the battle was fought (note, if the battle is fought, then the loser can choose any adjacent space to retreat to - this is different than if the unit retreats immediately before the battle).

  12. Spring orders are followed by Spring adjudication and battles.
    Fall orders are followed by Fall adjudication and battles.

  13. Winter is no move. Instead, count all the cities that you still control (if you controlled it last Winter, then you still control it, unless there is an Enemy unit there). At that point, make a note of the total cities you control. You should have that many Map units. If you need to add new Map units, they can only start at Home cities. If you need to destroy excess Map units, they can be destroyed anywhere.

     If you try this, please let me know the results.


No comments: