Escaltion Variant of Diplomacy

By: Dennis B. B. Taylor

Escalation Variant of Diplomacy

The game where negotiation and strategy take center stage

Welcome to the exciting world of the Escalation variant of Diplomacy! Prepare to experience all the thrills and challenges of one of the most renowned strategy games of all time – Diplomacy – with a unique twist. In this variant, the stakes are higher, the tensions rise, and the negotiation skills are put to the ultimate test. Get ready to navigate a web of alliances and rivalries as you vie for global dominance.


In the Escalation variant of Diplomacy, the name of the game is diplomacy. As a player, I’m not just an army general or a conqueror; I am a diplomat, constantly engaging in conversations and negotiations with the other players. Diplomacy becomes the key to success, as I forge alliances, strategize, and make deals to further my interests and achieve victory.

The beauty of the Escalation variant lies in its simplicity. With 7 players representing different countries, including Austria, England, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, and Turkey, the objective is clear – build and sustain an empire that can overcome all opposition. But here’s the catch: there are no dice, no luck to rely on. In this game, I solely rely on my wit, cunning, and negotiation skills to outmaneuver my opponents.

It’s a game where the decisions I make and the words I choose matter. A single alliance can make or break a strategy, and a well-timed betrayal can reshape the whole course of the game. Trust is a fragile commodity, easily broken but difficult to rebuild. In the world of Escalation Diplomacy, I must navigate this delicate balance, weighing my options and considering my moves with precision.

Every turn presents me with new challenges and opportunities. Diplomacy is not just about conquest; it’s about building relationships, making compromises, and understanding the motivations and intentions of other players. I must gauge their trustworthiness, predict their moves, and play the game of diplomacy to my advantage. In this variant, victory is not achieved through brute force alone, but through strategic alliances and shrewd negotiations, backed by well-executed military operations.

So, are you ready to step into the world of Escalation Diplomacy? Brace yourself for a high-stakes game of strategy and negotiation that will test your skills and push you to your limits. Gather your allies, forge your strategy, and may the best diplomat prevail!

When we play this game, each of us gets a different-colored set of pieces. I arrange my pieces from north to south, while you align yours from east to west. Now, we need to decide who goes first during the Escalation Placement phase.

To keep it simple, we can let the owner of the game go first, followed by everyone else in alphabetical order by last name. That way, we don’t have to spend too much time deciding.

The Escalation Phase

Now, let’s talk about the number of pieces we’ll be placing on the map during the Escalation.

  • If there are 2 players, we’ll each place 12 pieces.
  • If there are 3 players, we’ll each place 8 pieces.
  • If there are 4 players, we’ll each place 6 pieces.
  • If there are 5 players, we’ll each place 5 pieces.
  • If there are 6 players, we’ll each place 4 pieces.
  • If there are 7 players, we’ll each place 3 pieces.

Now, let’s talk about the order in which we’ll place our pieces. The first player will go first, and then each player will take turns placing one piece on the map.

Remember, we can put an army or a fleet as our first piece on any legal and unoccupied space on the map, including a Supply Center. So, let’s think carefully about where we want to place our first piece.

When it’s my turn to play, I get to make decisions based on what I know so far. But as the game progresses, the other players will make their moves and I’ll have more information to work with.

Once all the other players have placed their pieces on the map, then it’s my turn to start placing my second piece, and so on, until all the pieces are on the map.

At the beginning of the game, I own any Supply Center that one of my pieces occupies.

How to Play the Game

For the first two seasons, Spring 1901 and Fall 1901, we play as we would in a normal game.

But in the Winter 1901 resolution, each player chooses three supply centers that they control and designates them as their “home centers” for the rest of the game.

I can choose any supply centers, and they don’t have to be next to each other.

For example, if I own Brest, London, and Naples in the Winter of 1901, I can declare them as my three home centers.

Extra Rules and Tips

    When there are only two players in the game, I suggest increasing the number of starting pieces to 17. This not only makes the Escalation phase more intense, but also requires more strategic planning ahead of time.
    If the escalation phase becomes too drawn out and time-consuming, you can limit the amount of time each player has to place a piece to just 30 seconds.
    When it comes to discussions during the game, I recommend keeping them limited to the tableside. This means that all discussions are open to all players. However, if you’re playing with four or fewer players, it’s best to have only discussions at the table and not allow for private talks.

Leave a Comment