1 Introduction
2 Sequence of Play
3 Game Start
4 The Existence of a State
5 Collecting Income
6 Trading provinces
7 Military Unit Adjustment
8 Orders in General
9 The Possible Military Orders
10 Assassination and Bodyguard
11 Rebellions
12 Bribes and Counter-Bribes
13 Order Execution
14 The Island of Venice
15 Excommunication
16 Independent Units
17 Gaming Discipline
18 Practical Arrangements
Appendix A. Area Preference List


1 Introduction

1.1 General

These rules have been compiled for the game scenario "Absence of Plague", which is a Machiavelli variant for 13 players. Nearest equivalent to these rules is to be found in the Advanced Level as described in the '80 and '83 editions. All randomness is excluded, for example the natural disasters. On the other hand, there are some additions: Forced Taxation, operating independent units etc. Certain rules have also been modified, in a more or less subtle way. Non-standard features are emphasized.

It is assumed that each player knows one Machiavelli variant or another. Thus, the common, general elements of all versions are mentioned only briefly if at all, which clears the room around the really salient points.

The original rules should not be blamed for any shortcomings or errors in this compilation.


1.2 Mapboard

Examples of cities:
Fortified Unfortified Unfortified Fortified major port city of magnitude 2 Unfortified port city
A fleet or an army may be built in an unfortified port city, but it may not be occupied by a garrison.


1.3 Unit Counters

Army Fleet Garrison Control marker Rebellion unit

Armies, fleets and garrisons are called military units. Each inland province may be occupied by one army unit. Each coastal province may be occupied by one army or one fleet unit. Each sea area may be occupied by one fleet unit. In addition to that, each fortified city may be occupied by one garrison unit, and a province may also contain one rebellion unit, even in addition to an army or a fleet unit. A province or sea area, which contains no military units, is called unoccupied.

Control markers are used to point out who controls the province, if the province and a city within are unoccupied, or against whom the rebellion is directed, if the province and a city within are unoccupied and in rebellion.

Due to its small size, the island of Venice may be occupied by only one unit at a time - a fleet, army, garrison or rebellion unit. Also the islands of Lipari, Pantelleria and Lampedusa may be occupied by only either a fleet or a rebellion unit at a time. The island of Malta is an ordinary province with a garrisoned port city. There are some additional rules for the island of Venice, see Chapter 14.

There is no fixed upper limit for the number of military units of each major power in this variant.


2 Sequence of Play

The game is played in "Campaigns", each Campaign representing the passage of a season during the year: a Spring, Summer or Fall Campaign. There is no Winter Campaign; armies - as they then were - passed the cold season in winter quarters. Each Campaign season is divided into Phases, which must be carried out exactly in the following order. Phase A is carried out only during Spring Campaigns, other phases are carried out during all Campaigns.


A. Military Unit Adjustment and Income Phase

Only in Spring Campaigns.


A.1 Independent Garrison Build-Up Phase

Independent garrisons may spring up, as described in Chapter 16.


A.2 Income Collection Phase

The judge calculates the fixed and trade income for the players and updates their treasuries. The judge also publishes these incomes, the current game map and the anticipated treasuries of the players, that is, treasuries which are updated by public information only.


A.3 Spring Negotiation Phase

Players may negotiate with each other.


A.4 Ducat exchange phase

Players may give ducats to each other. The terms of these transactions are privately agreed upon.


A.5 Province Trading Phase

Players may trade unoccupied provinces, which are controlled by the sellers. The control of a sold province changes as if the buyer had conquered it. If it has been part of a home country, it joins in again, if that home country is controlled by the buyer. See Chapter 6.


A.6 Forced Taxation Phase

Players may collect extra tax from selected provinces. See Chapter 5.3.


A.7 Military unit payment phase

Players may raise new military units. A salary must also be paid for each old unit; otherwise it is disbanded and removed from the game. The judge gathers the payments from the treasuries. Independent units maintain themselves automatically.

An excommunication order (see Chapter 15) may also be given in this phase.

Each player secretly writes down the actions in phases A.4 - A.7 and announces them to the judge by the deadline. The judge carries out these phases in order, each phase simultaneously for all players - that is, first all ducat exchanges etc. A player may not ask from the judge, has (s)he received ducats from other players. The judge tells this in phase B, not earlier. The player may not send alternative lists of actions to the judge, based on different amounts of ducats (s)he will possibly receive. However, read on:

If the player announces to expend more ducats than there is in her/his treasury, the judge carries out the actions in the announced order, up to the limit of the treasury. This may happen especially if some transactions of ducats do not take place in phase A.4.


B Negotiation Phase

The judge publishes the game situation - map & descriptions of actions - and privately informs each player about their treasuries.

Players may negotiate with each other.


C Order Writing Phase

Each player secretly writes the proposed orders for each of their military units and ducat expenditures, to be sent to the judge by deadline. All expenditure orders are written first, then the operation orders. They are however posted to the judge in one letter.


C.1 Expenditure Writing Phase

Players write their expenditure orders for transferring ducats to other players, attempting assassinations, hiring bodyguards, raising & pacifying rebellions, and bribing & counter-bribing. The sequence in which these are carried out is fixed, see Phase D.


C.2 Operation Writing Phase

Players write their orders for military units, also for those military units which players think they succeed in bribing into their own control. Also an excommunication order (see Chapter 15) may be given in this phase.


D Ducat Expenditure Phase

The judge takes ducats from the treasuries and executes the expenditure orders of the players. It is possible - for example - that some units change sides, due to succesful bribing.

The following sub-phases are carried out in the following sequence, each of them simultaneously for all players. The judge carries out only those orders which can be completely paid for, totally ignores the rest of the orders, and strictly adheres to the sequence between sub-phases D.1 - D.4, regardless of what the player may ordain. Within each sub-phase the judge carries out the orders in the sequence in which the player has given them.


D.1 Ducat Exchange Phase

The judge transfers ducats between players as they have ordered.


D.2 Assassination Payment Phase

The judge carries out assassination attempts and bodyguard recruitments (these act together like bribes and counter-bribes). The judge carries out Phase E for the victims of succesful assassinations, ignoring sub-phases D.3 and D.4 for them.


D.3 Rebellion Phase

The judge rises and pacifies rebellions as ordered and paid for.


D.4 Bribe Phase

The judge carries out bribing and counter-bribing as ordered and paid for.


E Assassination Phase

See Chapter 10. No other phases are carried out for the victim of a succesful assassination. The military units of victims may however get retreated in conflicts.


F Order Execution and Conflict Resolution Phase

F.1 Action Phase

The judge simultaneously carries out all orders given to military units. This may produce conflicts between them.


F.2 Retreat Phase

The judge simultaneously carries out the resulting retreats.


3 Game Start

This scenario "Absence of Plague" is all new.

The game starts at Phase A.3 in Spring 1459. At the beginning there are only control markers and some independent garrisons on the gameboard. Each player has a starting treasury of 15 ducats. Players may exchange ducats, tax provinces by force and buy and sell them. No player may raise more than three military units in this first spring. Normal raising rules apply. For example, it is forbidden to raise two units into a single province.

Home countries are as follows, where U = unfortified city, F = fortified city, number = the class of a major city, and P = port city. Moreover, T = tax income in ducats from the controlled provinces and V = trade income in ducats for the country, although these incomes are not collected in the first spring.

Kingdom of France: Marseille (F2P), Lyon (F), Avignon (U), Ajaccio (UP). T: 9, V: 4.

Duchy of Savoy: Nizza (FP), Torino (F2), Savoia (U), Sassari (UP), Aosta. Also a control in Pontremoli. T: 11, V: 3.

Republic of Genoa: Genova (F3P), Ventimiglia (FP), Monferrato (F), Bastia (UP). T: 10, V: 4.

Holy Roman Empire (Austria): Steiermark (F2), Tirol (F), Trieste (FP), Kärnten, Krain. T: 9, V: 3.

Duchy of Milan: Milano (F3), Pavia (F), Cremona (F), Como, Fornova, Piacenza, Parma. T: 12, V: 3.

Republic of Venice: Venezia (F3P), Padova (F), Verona (F), Treviso (F), Bergamo, Brescia, Vicenza, Friuli. T: 15, V: 4 (note: the Lagoon produces 1d).

Duchy of Ferrara: Ferrara (F2P), Bologna (F2), Ravenna (F), Modena (F), Reggio. T: 11, V: 3.

Republic of Florence: Firenze (F3), Arezzo (F), Pisa (FP), Pistoia (F), Prato. T: 11, V: 4.

Papacy: Roma (F2), Perugia (F2), Urbino (F), Ancona (FP), Spoleto, Tivoli, Patrimonia. T: 13, V: 3.

Kingdom of Naples: Napoli (F2P), Salerno (F), Bari (FP), Aquila (U), Capua, Otranto. T: 11, V: 4.

Kingdom of Sicily: Palermo (F2P), Messina (FP), Siracusa (FP), Cagliari (UP), Pantelleria, Lipari. T: 11, V: 3.

Kingdom of Dalmatia: Zara (F2P), Spalato (F), Fiume (F), Istria, Croazia, Slavonia. V: 10, T: 4.

Turkey: Durazzo (F2P), Malta (FP), Albania (U), Bosnia (U), Herzegovina, Lampedusa. T: 11, V: 3.

There are independent garrisons in Saluzzo (F), Trento (F), Ungarn (F2), Mantova (F2), Massa (F), Lucca (F), Piombino (FP), Siena (F), San Marino (F), Kalabria (F), Tunis (F2P) and Ragusa (FP).

There are unfortified cities in Schweiz, Bolzano and Gabes.


Florentine men in the 15th century

4 The Existence of a State

4.1 Determining Control

A player controls a province and any city within, if a military unit of that player alone occupies or was the last to occupy the province, including the city. Control may also be obtained by buying an unoccupied province, which may contain an unoccupied city. In the following, "controlled" means that the control has been established by the player in question.

Military units establish the control immediately. They also point ou who controls the province. The control of unoccupied provinces should be marked with proper Control units. A rebellion takes the control away, but a Control unit is required to point out against whom a rebellion is directed.

If there is a garrison unit in a fortified city and a fleet unit or an army unit in the surrounding province, and they do not belong to the same player, then no one controls the city or the province. However the player owning the garrison receives the tax income from the city, and the player owning the army or fleet receives the tax income from the province.

No one controls a rebelling province and an ungarrisoned city within. A garrisoned city is controlled by the owner of the garrison unit even if the province is rebelling (but see the victory conditions, which require the full control of provinces).

A fleet unit establish the control in a sea area. No one controls an unoccupied sea area.


4.2 Victory conditions

The play is winned at the end of a campaign season by controlling at least fifteen cities and their provinces, of which at least one belongs to the original home country of the winner. This limit drops to twelve cities beginning in the spring 1465.

Ranking factors in ties are 1. the number of controlled provinces, 2. tax income which would be currently collected, 3. the treasury in ducats. Some ties may remain, in which case the best ranking in each tied group is shared and the other rankings remain unassigned.

Players which have been eliminated from the game get the lowest rankings, based on the moment they got eliminated.


4.3 Getting eliminated

A player whose all home country cities are controlled by other players at the end of a campaign season is eliminated from the game. All of the units of that player are converted into independent ones. The treasury and control markers of the eliminated power are removed from the game.


4.4 Conquering a home country

The home country of a player may be expanded by joining other home countries into it, that is, by establishing control in every province and city of another home country. This is checked at the end of a campaign season. If the conquering player loses his/her previous home country at the same time, then the conquered home country becomes his/her new home country.

A conquered home country gives same advantages as the original home country when collecting income, raising new units etc.

Although all the controlled home countries together form the current home country, the controlling player may lose them one by one, if they are conquered by other players.


5 Collecting income

5.1 Tax income

A player receives ducats in Phase A.2 as follows:

One ducat for each controlled sea area (this income should really be called custom duties).

One ducat for each province, which is controlled or occupied by a military unit of the player, unless the province is in rebellion.

One ducat for each city, which is controlled or occupied by a garrison unit of that player, unless the city is under siege. Major cities produce not one ducat but the number of ducats indicated by the red number in the city symbol.

The island of Venice and the Lagoon are special cases, which are described in Chapter 14.


5.2 Trade income

Each home country receives additional income from trade. This income (which is called variable income in standard rules) can be considered to include custom duties, earnings from banking business, sales of indulgences etc. A player receives this income for each controlled home country. Control of its every city is not required. Trade incomes are as follows:

France, Genoa, Venice, Florence, Naples, Dalmatia: 4 ducats each.
All others: 3 ducats each.

Major cities do not produce a separate trade income in this scenario.


5.3 Forced Taxation

A player who controls a province may choose it to be taxed by force in Phase A.6. Tax income is received for the second time from each province taxed by force. However, major cities do not produce any surplus compared to other cities, and every province taxed by force starts rebelling immediately.


6 Trading Provinces

Provinces may be traded between players in Phase A.5. This is historically realistic; for example, Livorno was sold to Milan in 1399, then to Genoa in 1407 and then to Florence in 1421. A province may be sold by a player who controls it, if the province is unoccupied. The province has a minimum price which must be paid in the trading phase and which equals its tax income, for example, 3 ducats for Rome. Otherwise the price and terms of the trade may be set freely.

Both the seller and buyer lists this action for the judge. The provinces and prices, which are paid in this phase, should be listed and they must match. Otherwise - or if the buyer is not able to pay the price - the trading fails and no ducats are transferred.

If the trading takes place, the ducats are transferred and the control marker is changed immediately.


7 Military Unit Adjustment

7.1 Disbanding Units

A player, who is not able or willing to pay for certain her/his old units, may disband them, in which case they are removed from the mapboard.


7.2 Raising New Units

A player may raise new military units into controlled provinces, which belong into the current home country of that player and contain a city, either fortified or unfortified. New military units may not be placed in other provinces controlled by the player.

Only one new unit may be placed in each province. It may be placed in the province if another unit is already in the city, or in the city if another unit is already in the province, but new units may not be placed both in the city and in the province.

Only garrison units may be placed in cities, in which case they must be fortified. Armies must be placed in a province containing a city. Fleets may be placed only in provinces containing a port city.

It is not possible to both disband and raise a unit within the same province. For example, a player may not replace a garrison with an army in a province. However, sometimes it is clever to disband a unit in one province and place a new unit in another province, thus gaining an extra "move".


7.3 Paying for Units

The cost for each new and old unit is three ducats. If a player does not have ducats enough, the judge disbands units from the end of the list which the player has written and going backwards on it. If a player does not send any orders for military unit payment by deadline, the judge only charges the salary for existing units in the following order up to the limit of the player's treasury:

1. Garrison units
2. Army units
3. Fleet units

In case of ties - for example, if the player has two fleet units but ducats only enough for one of them - the judge chooses the maintained unit by the Area Preference List, see Appendix A.

The payment represents the salary for the whole year. No part of the salary is returned to the owner in any circumstances.


8 Orders in General

8.1 Expenditure Orders

Ducats may be spent into assassinations, bribes and rebellions.

Assassination is directed against the leader of another major power. The player behind the leader may try to prevent a suspected assassination attempt by hiring a bodyguard.

A bribe is directed at an enemy unit. A counter-bribe may be directed at any unit in order to fend off a suspected bribe.

A rebellion is directed into an enemy-controlled province against that enemy. An ongoing rebellion may be pacified by an expenditure.

There are minimum costs for assassination, bodyguard hiring, bribing and counter-bribing. These amounts may be increased in units of three ducats. The costs for rising and pacifying a rebellion are fixed and there are no counter-measures for them.

Ducats may also be given to other players. Ducats thus received may be spent immediately, but no monetary transactions are disclosed even to the receiver until at the end of the Campaign season (or the beginning of Phase B; see Chapter 2).

The judge does not carry out contradictory, illegal, impossible or unclear expenditure orders, but orders which are nullified by another orders - bribes vs. counter-bribes, assassinations vs.bodyguards - are carried out. This means that the ducats are spent even if the order fails for this reason.

The judge does not charge any ducats for orders which cannot be fully paid for.

A player may order any number of expenditures (s)he can afford in a season.

The effects of expenditures could be described in full detail only by referring to the military operations. Hence, they are defined next.


8.2 Operation Orders

The starting moment of military operations is right after carrying out the expenditures. Units may have disbanded or changed sides due to bribes, and the orders given to them by their original owners are ignored - in fact, not even disclosed by the judge.

A player may give one operation order to each of his/her units, even to the units (s)he tries to bribe into friendly ones.

The operating unit should always be identified in an operation order. Other participants - powers or units - should also be identified in some cases. A unit is identified by listing its type and location. The judge assumes a Hold order for a unit, if the order given to it is impossible to carry out for one reason or another.


Swiss soldiers in the 15th century

9 The Possible Military Orders

9.1 Different Orders

There are six different orders: Hold, Advance, Besiege, Support, Transport and Convert (Lift Siege and Disband orders, which are in the standard game, are excluded from this variant. Lift Siege may be replaced with Hold, and the Disband order is used extremely seldom if ever).

Each order is directed at a certain area - province or sea - but this target area must be identified only in Advance and Support orders (in addition to the location of the unit, which should always be identified).

A fleet unit may carry out all orders. An army unit may carry out all orders except Transport. A garrison unit may carry out Hold, Support and Convert orders.

Units may get into conflict with each other when carrying out orders given to them. These situations are described in Chapter 13.


9.2 Hold

This order tells the unit to stay in place. This is the default order, if the given order is lacking or impossible to carry out. For the sake of unity we say that a Hold order is directed at the location of the unit.

A holding unit is able to defend itself against an equally strong attacker, even several equally strong separate attackers. Moreover, a unit may put off a rebellion in a province by deliberately executing a hold order there.


9.3 Advance

This order may be given to a fleet or army unit. It tells the unit to advance into an adjacent province or sea area. The order is directed at this "target" area.

In its advance an army unit may also be transported between its starting and target locations over consecutive areas - sea areas or/and coastal provinces - if there is a fleet unit in each of those areas, and a fleet unit could legally try to advance from each of those areas into the next one in order.

Both the starting and target locations must be noted and the unit identified, plus every area through which a transportation would take place. The advance succeeds, if 1) the target area is not occupied by military units, or another military unit is succesfully advancing or converting out of it at the same time, 2) no other military unit is trying to advance or convert into that target area at the same time, and 3) if the advance is carried out by transport, no transporting fleet unit is forced to retreat.

If the advance does not succeed, the advancing unit executes a hold. This is the case also if the transport cannot be carried out.

If a fleet unit advances from a coastal province into another, the coastlines of these provinces must directly join into each other. For example, a fleet unit may not advance from Capua to Aquila.

There are some special features on the mapboard, of which Venice is discussed separately in Chapter 14.

The straits of Bonifacio and Messina: a fleet unit may directly advance from Ajaccio to Sassari, or Messina to Calabria, or vice versa.

Piombino: this province includes the island of Elba. Although the straits between Elba and mainland are part of the Eastern Tyrrhenian Sea, a fleet unit which controls Piombino at the beginning of the Action Phase, controls also the straits. This means that the fleet may prohibit movement, support, transportation and direction of bribes through the straits. The owner of a fleet which controls the straits may grant his/her permission to carry out these activities. The permission should be announced to the judge with operation orders.

A fleet unit in Messina controls the straits of Messina in the same way.

A fleet unit in Calabria at the beginning of a Campaign is thought to be anywhere along the coastline of Calabria, but cannot still transport an army through the straits of Messina controlled by an enemy, unless granted a permission by that enemy.


9.4 Besiege

This order tells an army or fleet unit to besiege a fortified city occupied by an enemy garrison unit in the province where the army or fleet unit is located. The order is directed at that province. If the siege succeeds, the garrison unit is destroyed and the city becomes controlled by the besieger. Also a rebellion is put down in a city by a succesful siege.

A fleet unit may besiege only a port city.

The besieging unit counter is put under the defending garrison unit counter to show that a siege is going on. The siege succeeds, if the besieging unit succesfully executes the siege order during two consecutive campaign seasons. Otherwise the siege fails and must be started all over again.

After the first of those seasons, either an another besiege order or a hold order may be given to the besieger. The siege fails in the latter case. No other orders may be given to the besieger in the second season, even if the besieger has changed sides by bribery. If they become friendly at each other by bribery, the besieger must execute a Hold order. Only if the defending garrison has been disbanded in the first season, the besieger is not required to execute a Hold order in an interrupted siege.

A besieged garrison may not be bribed.


9.5 Support

This order tells the unit to give support to another military operation into a certain area. The support is given neither to a specific unit, nor to a specific operation; thus any supported unit or operation should not be noted in the order. The supported operation a) cannot be another supporting operation, and b) may be executed also in favour of another player, in which case that player should be noted. An operation may be supported by several different units and several different players.

The support is directed at an area into which the unit could legally try to advance (without transportation) or convert. The supporting unit does not move. It is not required that the supporting unit could itself execute the supported operation. For example, a fleet unit may support a besiege of a non-port coastal city.


9.6 Transport

A fleet unit may transport an army unit. The order is directed at the location of the fleet unit. The player, whose army is to be transported, should be noted in the order - unless the army does not belong to the same player - but neither the starting nor the target area of the transported army. It may be transported only where the fleet unit could legally try to advance.

If the transport order cannot be carried out succesfully, the army unit must stay (hold) in its starting location.


9.7 Convert

This order tells an army or fleet unit to convert itself into a garrison unit, or vice versa. The conversion may take place only in a province with a fortified city, which should also be a port city, if the conversion is ordered between a garrison unit and a fleet unit. In a succesful conversion the resulting unit is placed into a place it may legally occupy in the province.

A military unit may advance into a province where another military unit is succesfully converting into a garrison unit at the same time. A garrison unit may convert into a province, if a military unit is succesfully advancing out of it.


10 Assassination and Bodyguard

An assassination order is directed against the leader of another major power. The victim - anticipating the attempt - may try to evade the assassination by hiring a bodyguard. It is also possible to hire a bodyguard for another leader.

There is a minimum price of 30 ducats for an assassination, and a minimum price of 3 ducats for a bodyguard. It is possible to pay more in increments of 3 ducats. The assassination succeeds, if the price paid for it is at least 30 ducats higher than the price paid for the bodyguard. The prices paid are in effect only for the current Campaign Season.

The player who represented an assassinated victim stays in the game as the successor of the victim, but rebellions arise in all of her/his conquered provinces (i.e. which are not part of her/his current home country). It is worth emphasizing that these rebellions support an enemy unit even in the Campaign Season in which the assassination took place. Moreover, all of the units of the victim automatically execute a hold order for that season. These holding units may be supported by other players, but they cannot put down any rebellions in that season (especially those which were put forth by the assassination). Afterwards they may be normally operated.

Several assassination attempts may be directed against the same leader at the same time. The highest-paid (or one of them) is carried out, but every attempt is charged for. The same applies to several bodyguards, which are hired for a single leader at the same time.


11 Rebellions

11.1 Starting a Rebellion

Ducats may be expended to start a rebellion in an enemy-controlled, even in an enemy-occupied province. The rebellion is directed against that enemy, the "victim". A rebellion may not be started in a sea area or in a province which is not controlled by anyone, for example, if there is an army unit in the province and an independent garrison unit in the city within. There are no other regional prerequisites for starting a rebellion, for example, based on the location of military units.

The cost for starting a rebellion is fifteen ducats for a province which is part of a current home country, nine ducats for a conquered province, and three ducats for a province controlled by an independent military unit. The province should be noted in the expenditure order. The judge ignores anything which is said about the victim, because the victim is unambiguous.

Only one rebellion is possible in a province at a time. Only one will rise, even if several players are starting a rebellion in a province at the same time. All attempts to start a rebellion are however charged for. There is no counter-expenditure for fending off an anticipated rebellion.

When a rebellion is started, a rebellion unit is placed into the province. The rebellion unit never moves, nor may be ordered to operate. It may stay in the province indefinitely, pointing that the rebellion goes on and on. Also there should be at least a controlling marker in the province to point out the victim, although nobody controls a rebelling province. The different ways to finish a rebellion are described in Chapter 11.3.

A rebellion may be started on the islands of Venice, Lipari, Pantelleria and Lampedusa only if the island is unoccupied. This includes the city in case of Venice.


11.2 Effects of Rebellions

No one controls a rebelling province. A fortified city in a rebelling province is controlled by the victim and not in rebellion, if it is occupied by a garrison unit. Otherwise the city is in rebellion, too. An unfortified city is thought to be part of the province in rebellions.

Tax income cannot be collected from a rebelling province or city. A garrisoned city provides income.

New military units may not be raised into a rebelling province or city.

Any player other than the victim may use a rebellion unit for supporting an advance into the rebelling province. This support is automatic. For this purpose only, a rebellion unit has the strength of a military unit. However, if units of several players are trying to advance into the rebelling province at the same time, none may use that support.

A garrison unit may give support and convert into a rebelling province, but an army or fleet unit of the victim cannot neither give support while occupying a rebelling province, nor retreat into a rebelling province or city. Rebellion has no other effect on movement. (The victim is defined at the beginning of the Order execution and Conflict Resolution Phase.)


11.3 Stopping a Rebellion

A rebellion comes to an end and the rebellion unit is removed from the mapboard if the rebellion is pacified, liberated or put down, or if the victim is eliminated from the game.

An expenditure order may be given to pacify an ongoing rebellion. This order may be directed at any rebelling province, and it cannot be cancelled off by any other order. The costs is twelve ducats. Normally this order is given by the victim; if several players give it for a certain province at the same time, the rebellion is pacified and each pacifying order is charged for.

If only the province is rebelling, an army or fleet unit of the victim may put down the rebellion by succesfully executing one given Hold order in that province. A garrison unit cannot put down a rebellion.

If the province and a fortified city within are rebelling, the victim must besiege the city in the normal manner in order to put down the rebellion.

The rebellion is liberated, if a military unit not belonging to the victim advances into the rebelling province, or if a military unit in the rebelling province changes its owner by bribery.


12 Bribes and Counter-Bribes

A bribe is an expenditure, which is directed at an enemy unit. There are different bribe types and separate minimum prices for each of them. A succesful bribe cancels any military order originally given to the bribed unit. If the owner of the unit changes, the new owner may give another military order for the unit already in the same season. The judge does not disclose the original order.

A player may direct bribes only at units which are in her/his current home country, or directly adjacent to one of that player's military units, or directly adjacent to a unit of a third player, but in the last case only with the permission of that third player. Granting this permission is an order and should be announced to the judge with other orders. If the permission is not granted in this way, the bribe fails but is however charged for.

In order to be "adjacent" the units must be situated in neighbouring provinces or sea areas. Also a garrison unit and another military unit in the same province are considered adjacent, in which case the garrison unit is adjacent to no other unit. If there is a rebellion unit in the province, the garrison unit cannot be used in bribing other units, but it may be bribed by another military unit in a neighbouring province.

A counter-bribe is directed at any military unit - committed or independent, adjacent or distant - to nullify the suspected bribing of that unit, and it is effective against any type of bribes. The minimum price of a counter-bribe is three ducats.

The payment for a bribe or a counter-bribe may exceed the minimum price in units of three ducats. The bribing succeeds, if the exceeding portion of the bribe is not smaller than the highest counter-bribe paid to the same military unit (or one of the highest counter-bribes).

If several bribes are directed at the same military unit at the same time, only the largest bribe is checked against possibly counter-bribes; the others automatically fail. If there is a tie between bribes, only the one with the lowest minimum price is checked and the others fail. If there is a tie between the lowest minimum prices, all bribes fail unless the tied bribes are Disband bribes, in which case the unit is disbanded.

All payments for bribes and counter-bribes are expended, regardless of which bribes succeed and which fail.

Both the military unit and its location must be identified in bribing and counter-bribing. Of course, the type of a bribe should also be announced in bribing. The different types and respective minimum prices in ducats, given in parentheses, are as follows:

a) Bribes directed at independent units:

Operate an independent unit (3): an independent unit may be ordered to operate by this bribe. An Advance order may not be given to an independent unit. If the bribe fails, the judge does not disclose the associated order.

Disband an independent unit (6): the unit is removed from the mapboard.

Buy an independent unit (9): the unit is converted into one of the units of the briber. The unit type (army/fleet/garrison) remains the same.

b) Bribes directed at committed units, i.e. the units of other players:

Convert a committed unit (army/fleet/garrison) into an independent one (9). The unit type does not change.

Disband a committed unit (12).

Buy a committed unit (18). The unit type does not change.

The minimum price of a type b) bribe is doubled, if the unit to be bribed is a garrison unit occupying a major city.


13 Order Execution

13.1 Conflict, Attack and Force

Conflicts occur and must be resolved, whenever military units try to execute orders that would cause more than one unit occupy a single area - province, city or sea - at the same time. In conflict there it always at least one attack involved - an advance or a conversion into a province - and the strongest force wins. Each unit is equally strong by itself; the force means the total strength of a unit and its supporters in the area where the operation order of the supported unit is directed at. "Force", "attacker" or "defender" are concepts which are identified with the supported unit in the following paragraphs, if there is no threat of a misunderstanding.

It is worth emphasizing that a supporting unit may not be supported.

Computing the strength of a force is not necessarily a straigthforward matter, because the supporting units may be attacked by other forces, which cut off the support. Exceptionally, the support is not cut off, if the attack is coming from the area to which the support was directed. The support may also be given if the attacker, which otherwise would cut off the support, is itself attacked and forced to retreat.

However, if a supporting unit is attacked by a stronger force from any area, the unit must retreat, not being able to give support.


13.2 Conflicts Between Unequal Forces

If the attacker is stronger than the defender and other possible attackers, it may carry out its attack. The other attackers remain in place - unless, of course, attacked by other, stronger forces - and the defender must retreat. Especially if two unequal forces try to swap their locations, the stronger force wins and the weaker must retreat. There is one exception to this: if the swapping would take place via different routes (in which case at least one of the attackers is transported), it may be carried out.


13.3 Conflicts Between Equal Forces

If the conflicting forces are equally strong, all of them remain in place. The following cases describe the different types of conflicts between equally strong forces:

If two or more equally strong forces try to attack into the same place, none of the attacks succeed. This is a "standoff" situation, and no other units may retreat into that place.

If two equal forces try to swap their locations, the attacks fail, unless made via different routes.

If an equal force is ordered to attack into place already occupied by another force with orders to hold, besiege or transport, the attack fails and the occupying force may carry out its orders.

If an equal force is ordered to attack into a place already occupied by another unit with orders to support, the attack fails, but the occupying unit may not carry out its support order, unless - as already described in 13.1 - the attack came from the area to which the support was directed.

If a force is ordered to attack against an equal force, the attack fails, but so does an equal attack against this attacker.


13.4 No Conflicts

If a force is ordered to attack into an area which another force is leaving at the same time, either by attacking elsewhere or converting into a city, the attack may be carried out.

Example 1 (the counters and map extracts in these examples belong to another scenario, but that is nonessential): There is a Milanese army (M) in Tyrolea, a French army (R) in Como and a Genoese army (G) in Turin. M is ordered to advance into Como, R into Turin and G into Tyrolea. All the advances may be carried out.

Now suppose that there is an Austrian garrison (A) in Tyrolea, which supports G there, and M tries to support R into Turin. In this case there is a conflict; G and R may advance and M is forced to retreat (possibly it retreats into Como).

Friendly units may not get involved in mutual conflicts. They may neither attack nor support attacks against each other. If they try to do this, they must execute Hold orders instead. Anyhow, it is legal to give conflicting military orders of this kind - or any kind, for that matter - because the outcome is checked only in the Phase F, and some of the units may have ceased to exist in Phase D.


13.5 Retreats

A military unit is forced to retreat when attacked by a superior force, unless it at the same time advances elsewhere or converts into a city. The retreat may only be made into an unoccupied place, into which no force tried to attack during the season. A unit may not retreat into the area from which the attack came.

The retreat is carried out as one advance without using transport, or a conversion into a garrison, if the unit could convert into a city and no other place is available for retreat. An independent unit may retreat only by converting.

If no place of retreat is available, the unit is eliminated and removed from play.

The judge carries out the retreats in phase F.2, trying to avoid unit eliminations in conflicting retreats. If some retreating units would unavoidably clash, if not converted into garrisons, they are converted where ever possible, after which the situation is examined again. If some units still clash unavoidably, they are eliminated (possibly this rule produces certain situations, which may seem unfair, but those situations are certainly rare and this rule is short at least).

If there are several possible areas for retreat, the judge chooses between them by the Area Preference List, see Appendix A. However, if the retreat would be made through the straits of Bonifacio or Messina or between Elba and mainland Piombino, these routes are the least preferred. If there are no other routes for retreat, the judge denies the permission, if the controlling player was the attacker, and otherwise grants the permission.

If a military unit is forced to retreat, the military order given to it is cancelled (in case the unit is not simultaneously advancing or converting out of the way of the attacker).

If a garrison unit is converting into an army or a fleet unit and a superior force is attacking the same province, the garrison will convert, but would then have to immediately retreat. The retreat could be made into the city again, but only if it is the only available place for retreat.

Example 2: There is a Florentine garrison (F) and a Venetian army (V) in Mantua, a Genoese army (G) in Parma, a Milanese army (M) in Cremona, an Austrian army (A) in Verona, a Turkish army (T) in Ferrara, a Papal army (P) in Bologna, and a French army (R) in Modena.

F tries to convert with M supporting. P tries to advance into Mantua with A and T supporting. V tries to advance into Cremona. The Genoese player has promised to give support to Cremona in favour of V, but betrays V and does nothing. F will convert, forcing V to retreat into Brescia, but then F itself has to retreat out of the way of P. There are no provinces available to retreat, and F converts back into garrison.

F was able to force V to retreat, because M could give support in spite of V:s attack - it came from the place the support was directed to.

If the Genoese player does indeed support V into Cremona, V may advance there, forcing M to retreat. F converts again into an army - because V went away - and retreats into Brescia.

If V tries to hold with G supporting, F may convert again, because P is still superior to V, forcing V to retreat. Results are the same as in the first case.

If F tries to convert with M and R supporting, and V tries to hold, nothing happens, because the conflict between F and P is a standoff, allowing the weaker V to stay.

If a given order is canceled due to a retreat, other units may be able to carry out operations, which otherwise would have failed.

Example 3. There is a Milanese army (M) in Parma, a Papal army (P) in Bologna, a Venetian army (V) in Mantua and a Florentine army (F) in Florence. M and P are ordered to advance into Modena. V is ordered to advance into Bologna with F supporting. The situation would be a standoff without V, but now V advances into Bologna, forcing P to retreat, and M may advance into Modena.

Suppose also a Neapolitan army (N) in Pisa, a French fleet (R) at Ligurian Sea and a Turkish fleet (T) at Western Tyrrhenian Sea. N tries to advance into Florence and T into Pisa with R supporting. Now N is forced to retreat and thus cannot disturb F giving support. Again V may advance into Bologna, M into Modena, and moreover T advances into Pisa.

But if we suppose also a Genoese fleet (G) with orders to advance onto Ligurian Sea, nothing happens on the mapboard, because G cuts the support given by R, and now N can also cut the support given by F.


13.6 Complicated Conflicts

Due to recursiveness, cyclical conflicts are difficult to get resolved, especially if a) the conflict is not totally symmetrical, b) there are both advancing and supporting units participating, and c) some of them are outside the "circle". We decide that in a special case where there is even number of forces in a circle, which is only partially symmetrical, so that every other force is equal and identical with each other but unequal with the immediately adjacent forces, the conflict is not a standoff (the more general case being a circle where every n:th force is identical, but enough of that).

Other asymmetrical conflicts may be resolved by examining iteratively, which supports can certainly be given or are certainly cut off. A conflict may be a standoff although it is asymmetrical.

A totally symmetrical conflict is a standoff for all participants, if they really get into conflict with each other.

Example 4: There is a Genoese army (G) in Modena, an Austrian army (A) in Mantua, a Venetian army (V) in Verona, a Papal army (P) in Ferrara, a Florentine army (F) in Bologna, and a French army (R) in Lucca.

G is ordered to advance into Mantua, V into Ferrara, P into Bologna and R into Modena. V is supported by A, and R by F. Because the attacks against Ferrara and Modena are stronger than the attacks against Mantua and Bologna, R and V may advance, forcing G and P to retreat.

If G itself is not trying to advance into Mantua but supports a Milanese army (M) in Parma into Mantua, this support is cut off, but so is the support given by A. In fact all the supports are cut off, and nothing happens on the mapboard.

Also nothing happens, if R is ordered to advance into Modena with the support of F, M into Mantua with the support of G, and P into Bologna with the support of A (and V does not participate). In this totally symmetrical situation all supports are cut off.

If the conflict is so complicated that it cannot be resolved even along these guidelines, the wisest thing to do is to judge the situation as a standoff. Dear reader: if you happen to stumble upon a conflict this kinky, please inform us about it. Anyway, in real games the conflicts are generally simpler than in the preceding examples.


14 The Island of Venice

Due to its small size, the island of Venice may be occupied by only one unit at a time - a fleet, army, garrison or rebellion unit. In certain cases, the Lagoon is thought to be part of the province of Venice. These cases are described in the following.

The Lagoon is a sea area and produces ordinary tax income, but if it is unoccupied, these duties can also be collected by a player controlling the province of Venice (which also produces tax income). In this case, the player controlling Venice collects five ducats from the province and the unoccupied Lagoon. After all, Venice was the richest local trading center!

A fleet unit may direct support across the Lagoon out of Venice or into it, if the Lagoon is not enemy-controlled or if the support is given to an enemy controlling the Lagoon. For example, a fleet unit on the Lagoon and besieging Venice may be supported by a friendly fleet unit occupying Ferrara.

If there is an army or a fleet unit on the island of Venice which is attacked by a superior force from the Lagoon, the defender is converted into a garrison unit, but the attacking fleet stays in the Lagoon.

If the city of Venice is garrisoned or in rebellion, it may be besieged from the Lagoon. A besieged garrison in Venice may convert if the besieging force is not superior.

When directing bribes, the Lagoon is considered to be an ordinary sea area.


15 Excommunication

In Phase A.7 or C.2 the Papal player may direct one Excommunication Order at another player, once for each during the game (directed at the Turkish player, the order is called a Crusade Order). An excommunicated player may not receive ducats from other players nor give ducats to them - payments, loans, donations etc - until the next complete Phase sequence B…F is over or the next Phase A is over, whichever comes first.

If the Papal player is eliminated from the game, the validity of a given Excommunication Order expires.


16 Independent Units

In Phase A.1 (Independent Garrison Build-Up) a new independent garrison springs up in each fortified, unoccupied city which is not controlled by any player. Typically, a rebellion may bring forth a new independent garrison (which liberates the rebellion immediately). An independent military unit may also be created by bribery. This includes armies and fleets. An area where the unit has come into being as an independent one is called its native area (province, including the possible city, or sea). Each independent unit belongs to an independent state - Saluzzo, Ragusa etc. - or is a pirate, if its native area is a sea area.

There may not exist more than one independent unit for each native area at a time. This may restrict a bribery attempt.

An independent unit maintains itself automatically in phase A.7.

An independent military unit executes a Hold order with the following exceptions:

An independent garrison unit gives support in the same way as a rebellion unit, if there is an enemy unit in the province.

An independent unit may be bribed to execute some other military order than those mentioned above. See Chapter 12. It cannot leave its native area, thus it cannot execute an Advance order; but it may be bribed to give support into an adjacent area in a way a committed unit does. If it is forced to retreat out of its native area, it is disbanded and removed from the game.

An independent unit may be supported.

An independent unit becomes capable of operating in the Campaign it comes into being.


17 Gaming Discipline

17.1. Writing Orders

Orders already sent to the judge may be corrected once before the deadline. Ducat transfer orders between players may however not be withdrawn.

The orders should be written clearly and unambiguosly. Otherwise, no rigid notation is required. Suitable abbreviations could be used. If neither standard nor self-explanatory, they should be explained to the judge when using them the first time. The judge should be able to interpret the orders without any guessing. The judge is by no means obliged to send inquiries to the players about some illegible gibberish they have scribbled.

Example 5: Orders may be given in the following straightforward way (which is familiar to the judge without clarifications): suppose for example, that the Papal player has a treasury of 10 ducats, armies in Perugia and Urbino, a fleet in Ancona and a garrison in Roma. There is also an independent garrison unit in Siena. The Papal player may write:

Ducat expenditures:
1. Buying the Sienese garrison for 9 ducats.
2. Hiring a bodyguard for 3 ducats.

Military orders:
Armies: Urbino --> Arezzo, Perugia supp. Arezzo.
Fleets: Ancona --> Adr. Sup.
Garrisons: both conv.

This means that the army in Urbino is ordered to advance into Arezzo, supported by the army in Perugia. The fleet in Ancona is ordered to advance onto Adriatico Superiore (as the Upper Adriatic is named on the current gameboard) and the garrisons in Roma and Siena are ordered to convert into armies (it goes without saying that they are converted into armies, since neither city has a port).

Suppose further that no other player is giving any ducats to the Papal player, who possibly thinks that the Sienese garrison is to be bribed before the bodyguard is hired; but that would be against the rules, so the judge hires the bodyguard for the Pope and charges the Papal treasury for three ducats. Now there are only 7 ducats left; the garrison is not bribed and those 7 ducats remain in the Papal treasury.

In this situation the judge interprets the conversion order for "both" garrisons that the Roman garrison is converted. Phrases which may be unambiguous should be avoided; this case is however considered clear.


17.2 Ignoring Deadlines

If a player does not send any orders to the judge by deadline, the judge executes default orders as described in the previous chapters. In case of unexpected and insurmountable obstacles a player may however send a short e-mail to the judge, telling a later deadline by which the orders are to be sent. Probably the judge will react to this with some patience.


17.3 Mistakes made by the Judge

It is possible – in theory at least – that the judge makes a mistake, which is beneficial to some players at the expense of other players. If the mistake is noticed only by those who got the benefit, they would act chivalrously by informing the judge about the mistake, but of course there is no way to force them into that.

The judge cannot be expected to correct a judging mistake after which the mapboard has been updated at least twice.

Practice has proven that players may come to terms even in the most controversial situations in the game. If this turns out to be impossible, there is a judge to make decisions. The judge may not possibly know the rules (!) in which case (s)he probably consults players.


17.4 Electronic Mail

E-mail, which is simultaneously sent to both the judge and some other players, may deal only with issues pertaining to game mechanics or the world outside. The judge ignores all orders but those which have been sent solely to him/her.

The orders may be sent to the judge also by Hotmail. However, only one address should be used. The judge cannot be expected to collect orders from several mailboxes.

When negotiating by e-mail, the letters should not be redirected using the redirection mechanism of the mailing system (unless two players are negotiating with each other, citing their previous letters). If a player wants to cite a letter to a third party, (s)he should do this by copying the selected text into the body part and deleting all identifying headers. In other words, a player should not try to prove to a third party what another player has written, using tools not belonging into the simulated gaming world. Also the e-mail addresses should not be tampered with.

E-mails should contain only text and possibly pictures as attachments, which should be in .jpg or .gif format.


17.5 Game and Reality

All cheating, bribing, insulting etc. should be limited within the game. Any blood-shedding should be imaginary only - for example, when signing agreements "in blood". When negotiating, gamers should address each other by role names only. It is reprehensible to bribe another player with real money or make allusions to the expected career development of a subordinate. However, the Judge cannot be required to look after the behaviour of players.

The game is a hobby for leisure time. Working hours should be pacified from gaming.


18 Practical Arrangements

18.1 Articles, Letters and Notes

The judge keeps up a noteboard in the web pages, which should be examined regularly.

Operations and other happenings in the game are published in an "official newspaper", where the judge publishes also articles sent by players. An article may be signed by a pseudonym or by the proper role name of the player. The articles may be illustrated.

The judge may transmit unsigned letters between players, or signed by pseudonymes. The judge conceals the identities of anonymous senders and also transmits answers to them.

The judge does not assume any responsibility for the contents of letters and does not modify them. The judge does not practice any partial censorship, but (s)he may refuse publishing a blatantly obscene article, or an article which contains derogatory comments about real players or other real-life subjects - in short: which is unsuitable for the publicity in the web.


18.2 A Recommended Schedule

Each Campaign Season is carried out in a week. Orders for Phase A should be sent to the Judge on Mondays by 12:00 GMT. Orders for Phase C should be sent to the Judge on Thursdays by 12:00 GMT. At this moment the judge sends a message for each player: a confirmation message for each received order message (this confirmation may be sent back even earlier than 12.00 GMT) and an alert message to players whose orders have not yet arrived.

If a slower schedule is preferred, players may send their orders on every other Thursday and the Military Unit Maintenance orders on the Thursday between Fall and Spring orders.

The judge starts interpreting the orders at 13:00 GMT. If orders from some players have not arrived even by 13.00 GMT, the judge still waits for a while - how long, that is totally up to the judge. If the judge carries out the arrived orders and some orders arrive after that, including a timestamp which corroborates a due sending time, the judge probably resolves all orders again, at least if the results have not been published yet.

Articles for the official newspaper may be sent to the judge separately or included with orders. The judge tries to publish the results during the next day.


18.3 Leaving the Game

If a player has to leave the game before it is finished, for a fixed period or for good, it would be a good idea to appoint a substitute leader. Of course, the new leader cannot be a leader of another major power which still is in the game, but rather a player who has already been eliminated from it.

If a substitute leader cannot be found, the player is thought to have been eliminated from the game, see Chapter 4.3.


Appendix A. Area Preference List.

When applying the preference order below, ties are resolved by giving precedence to the shortest route towards other areas defined in the same list, repeating the procedure if necessary - starting always from the beginning - and lastly resorting to the alphabetic order of the area names (before which a unique solution is probably always attained).

1. A friendly province.
2. A province with supporting rebellion.
3. An (unrebelling) province which is not controlled by any player.
4. A sea area (for a fleet, of course).
5. A province controlled by another player.
6. Conversion into a garrison, if possible.

Category 4 has the following order of precedence: Lower Adriatic, Central Adriatic, Upper Adriatic, Eastern Tyrrhenian Sea, Ligurian Sea, Western Tyrrhenian Sea, Ionian Sea, Bay of Tunis, Western Mediterranean, Sea of Toulon, Bay of Naples and the Lagoon.

Other categories are divided into the following subcategories:

1. A province, which currently is or originally has been part of the home country of the retreating unit.
2. A province, which is not conquered from current home countries of other players.
3. A province, which is conquered from the current home country of another player.

Every subcategory is further divided into the following sub-sub-categories, where a coastal province should be chosen before an inland one, if there is a tie between those two:

1. A province with a major city of magnitude 3.
2. A province with a major city of magnitude 2.
3. A province with a garrisoned port city.
4. A province with a garrisoned city.
5. A province with an ungarrisoned port city.
6. A province with an ungarrisoned city.
7. A province without a city.

Example 6: There is a Florentine fleet (F) on Ligurian Sea, a French fleet (R) on Western Tyrrhenan Sea, a Genoese fleet (G) in Ventimiglia, a Florentine army (FA) in Pisa and independent garrisons in Massa and Lucca.

FA executes a hold. G executes an advance onto Ligurian Sea; F tries to hold, hoping that R will give support, but R supports G. The judge realizes that F has to retreat. Now, Pisa is friendly-controlled but already occupied. Next, there are no supporting rebellions. Then the judge examines Massa and Lucca, because they are not controlled by any players. They are however identical: they have never belonged to a home country, and there is a fortified city in both of them. So, how far away are other friendly provinces from them? Not any difference here either: Pontremoli is adjacent to Massa and Pisa to Lucca. But Pisa belongs to the home country of the retreating unit, whereas Pontremoli does not, so F retreats into Lucca.