The next step! So, it's clear what the three concepts are that I want to add. What has to be decided now is how I'm going to make the first prototype of the game. The Spiral Method demands numerous prototypes and repeated testing, so I need to decide on what the kernel of this game is and test that first. Luckily, doing a variant on such a well-established (and venerable) game, the basic rules are firmly established and have been playtested over decades. However, given the changes I want to make, I am going to have to decide whether I want to take all of the game or just some of it for the basis of this variant.
Movement: So far as I am concerned, the elegant movement and orders system of Diplomacy is what sets it apart from other strategy games. These simple instructions should form the solid core of my bare essentials. So, I want to include the basic orders Move, Stand, Support, and Convoy in this first prototype. For those unfamiliar with these rules, they are available from the owners here.
Orders: Diplomacy's system of giving orders on slips of paper and resolving movement simultaneously is essential to the operation of this game.
Turns: The seasons of Spring and Fall give a great deal of tension to the game, as waiting for one's builds is something that gets players chomping at the bit for Fall to come around. Spring and Fall seasons are a good part of the game to maintain, and the year can start at 1890.
Builds: Where I may begin to deviate from the game is that - though I believe in building being somehow connected to centres - I don't know how to resolve my "stronger centres" problem. I want to keep builds in the Fall season, but I realize that some players may have more than one build per centre in that turn, and that may create problems.
So, where does that leave us?
Well, we can briefly sum up the kernel of rules I want to port over from Diplomacy proper. They are: