Variant Rules
Historical Background

This page explains my conception of the 1814 variant, and how I anticipate gameplay will occur.

I decided to create the 1814 variant after reading two histories of the Congress of Vienna, Harold Nicolson's "The Congress of Vienna: 1812-1822, A Study in Allied Unity" and Henry Kissinger's "A World Restored." This is a very interesting period of diplomatic history, and I decided to use it as the basis for my first Diplomacy variant. I was intrigued by the idea that the borders of Europe were still fluid at the Congress of Vienna, and not yet fixed into the national configurations that we know today. The 1815 variant lets players recreate these historical decisions, and decide which path will make their power the strongest. Another historical subject that interests me is the Great Game of British and Russian rivalry in Central Asia. I'm excited that this latest version of the variant will incorporate this aspect.

This latest version of the variant, titled 1815, is significantly different than the three previous versions of the 1814 variant. The 1814 variant had 3 major problems: diplomatic stagnation from having 6 powers on the board, the dominance of Great Britain, and the weakness of the central powers Prussia and Austria. My response has been to include 3 more powers (Sweden, Persia, and Egypt), to strengthen France, Prussia, and Austria, and to incorporate the Diplomacy Points rule.

Most importantly, I hope that adding more powers will make the diplomacy more interesting. The three new powers, particularly Sweden, will put pressure on the previous bullies of the board, Britain and Russia. Austria and Prussia are strengthened both by the addition of an extra SC in the west (Lombardy-Venetia and Rhineland, respectively), and the greater number of SCs available in Germania and Italia. I like the "mini-game" in Asia, where the smaller powers will face off, including the detached British unit in Hindustan and the limited force that Russia can afford to send to Asia. This should help to mitigate the weakness of the minor powers. I am slightly concerned that Sweden is too weak, and while Sweden is a difficult position, it is not hopeless. The Diplomacy Points rule should aid a skillful Swede, and the configuration of the board (both Britain and Russia can only put one unit on Swedish SCs in the first year) helps to protect them. I welcome any feedback on the variant, and please feel free to contact me with any comments, criticism, or questions!