Why Create This Hybrid?
"A Diplomatic Game of Thrones" is a hybrid variant designed to combine the best of two board games.
"Diplomacy" features a map ideal for a variety of alliance combinations. Any two powers can easily ally against a third. However, the game takes 8-12 hours to play and it often ends in stalemate.
"A Game of Thrones" features the same intrigue with rules that allow the game to be played in 3-4 hours and with a richer strategic dimension. However, the map is not ideal for alliance combinations.
This game combines the map of Diplomacy with the rules for A Game of Thrones, with cosmetic changes as needed to suit a WWI scenario rather than the one featured in the AGoT series. For example, "Communists" replaces the "Wildlings".
You will need to buy a copy of both board games to play.
For those who don't know, "Diplomacy" is set in an alternate universe WWI. "Alternate universe" in the sense that all seven powers start on equal footing and any alliance combination is allowed. There is no need to pay any attention to history. Players are free to negotiate as they need to in order to attain the goal of being the dominant power in Europe.
One rules mechanic from Diplomacy this variant keeps is the "four seasons" aspect, with orders being executed in the "spring", "summer" and "fall" and regular "supply", "influence bid", "muster" and "gather power" phases in the winter. (Designers opinion: the random muster phases were the one thing I didn't like about the rules for AGoT).
A Game of Thrones
The rules mechanics for AGoT, the board game, allow for faster play than the cumbersome system of writing orders and reading them off one by one. Players place order tokens which are revealed simultaneously and executed according to the order on "The Political Track".
The seven Powers are fighting over control of the major cities in Europe, which determines their current score. Besides this objective, there are other resources they fight to control, including canals, supply centers and power centers.
In addition to a score track, there are also three influence tracks the Powers are each measured by: Political, Military and Intelligence. A high rank in any one of these tracks offers a particular advantage. Leading that track grants the power a respective dominance token: International Influence, Air Superiority and Superior Spy Network respectively.
As the Powers fight each other, they must also be wary of the prospect of Communist Revolution. Whenever a revolution is indicated, the ruling class (the players) might forget their differences and pool their political power together to put it down. Otherwise, chaos may ensue with the weakest bidder suffering the worst of it.
As players battle one another, they have a set of seven National Cards that enable them to choose a leader or invoke some sort of special ability to help them achieve victory over their enemy. Should you play your star general? Or should you hold on to him and play a lesser general? Or is now the right time to play a zero combat strength special ability card?
As a side note, historians will appreciate the cards in this game.
"Diplomacy" (C) 2015 Wizards of the Coast LLC
"A Game of Thrones" (board game) (C) Fantasy Flight Publishing Inc.
You will need to purchase both games to play.
This hybrid variant (C) 2015 John Armstrong
Artwork is from public domain sources, mostly cartoons, photographs and propaganda from the first world war.