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EMPIRES - RULES UPDATE

CHANGES THAT APPLY IN ALL VERSIONS

MAP - The printed maps for European & Medieval Empires have Livonia as LIV, but it should be LVN (since LIV us Liverpool).

FRIENDS & NEIGHBOURS - I've added three lines to player reports, showing which other empires are neighbours, friends and enemies. A neighbour is any other empire that has any land areas adjacent to any of your land areas, or separated by only one sea space. A friend is any neighbour who isn't any enemy. An enemy is anyone you've fought a battle with (either your empire attacked them or their empire attacked you). Right now it's just a bit of window dressing (and maybe useful history) but later I think I'll be adding some rules that make it relevant.

DIPLOMATIC DATA - The information that's remembered for each opponent includes how many battles you've fought, how many armies & ships were involved, and how recently, along with how often you've traded, how much for, and how much. For the time being "traded" means GIFT actions (in Australian Empires it also includes trading resources). We'll let things tick along collecting data for a little while before we do anything more.

SABOTAGE - I've changed the SABOTAGE action, so that instead of destroying an army it merely disperses it back into reserve. At the point of the action it's effectively doing the same thing as always, but this way makes a bit more sense.

MORE SPIES - I've extended the rules for spies to include spy catchers, moles and mole catchers, which should bring the WAIT and KILL actions into play more often. You can have one of each type of spy, and the cost for recruiting the new ones is 5 BPs (ordinary spies still cost 2 BPs). They're ordered the same way as spies, using the SPYCAT, MOLE and MOLECAT actions respectively. Any of these four types of spy can be recruited anywhere you've already got any other sort of spy (or a watcher).

KILL ACTION - The KILL action now works against a spy or a watcher in any area you own, against a spy in the area where your spy catcher is located, against a spy catcher where your mole is located or against a mole or mole catcher where your mole catcher is located (but omly one at a time, and in that order of preference). Spy catchers, moles and mole catchers can kill their targets in areas that you don't own.

WAIT ACTION - The WAIT action will now work for a spy or spy catcher waiting for a spy, a mole waiting for a spy catcher or a mole catcher waiting for a mole. But you can't wait for a mole catcher. You can only wait in one location for one opponent at a time and it must be an area that you own. Any new WAIT action concels any previous ones.

SUMMARY - Spies run around the map reporting things, committing sabotage and recruiting watchers, and can lie in wait for other spies. You can kill a spy any time you catch it inside your empire. Spycatchers can kill enemy spies, or lie in wait for them anywhere. Moles can kill enemy spy catchers, or lie in wait for them anywhere. Mole catchers can kill enemy moles or mole catchers, or lie in wait for enemy moles anywhere. Mole catchers can go anywhere without worrying about what's lying in wait.

If you want to stop spies sneaking into your territory and blowing things up then get a spy catcher and set him to wait. If you want to dislodge a spy catcher, get a mole and try for a kill action (or set a wait if you wait to prevent his arrival). If you've got a spy catcher you want protected against enemy moles, set a mole catcher to wait for the mole to arrive (or send him in to make the kill if the mole is already present). If you want to dislodge an enemy mole catcher, send your own mole catcher and go for a kill. All quite simple, really, although it looks a bit complicated at first sight.

CHANGES IN EUROPEAN EMPIRES

SUPPLY CAPACITIES - The supply capacity for Sweden is now three, rather than two, and the minimum supply capacity (that applies for most of the minor powers and the minor countries) is two.

MINOR COUNTRIES - The minor powers and minor countries only get eight actions per turn, instead of sixteen. The MAJOR action can be used to promote a minor power or minor country to Major Power status (it applies immediately, so you can use all sixteen actions that turn, and you start getting charged for turns). Make sure you do it in the first eight actions though, or it won't get processed because you're still a minor power...

MOVE COSTS - I've changed the rule for supply trains reducing the cost of MOVE and ATTACK actions, so that these actions always cost at least 1 BP, even if you have enough supply trains to reduce the cost to zero.

SUPPLY - In the dispersals column (labelled as "Dsp") in your game reports there should be an "s" in areas that expended a supply train to prevent a dispersal. The same applies in the supply cost column (labelled as "SCst") if a supply train was expended to reduce your supply costs.

SUPPLY COSTS - The rule for expending supply trains to reduce supply costs has changed so that it only applies if you've got more than one supply train and the supply cost is more than one (because if 1 BP is all you save then it isn't worth doing, as it'll cost just as much to replace the supply train and it'll take up at least one action as well).

LEFTOVER BPS - I've changed the routine for spending leftover BPs at the end of the turn so that if the number of supply trains in your capital is less than your supply capacity then the first thing that's done is a SUPPLY action in your capital.

HINTS & TIPS - At the start in European Empires you need to assemble your armies, get your navy into commission and gather supplies. The only thing you can do with your army reserve and navy reserve is put them on the map. Preferably somewhere that they'll be useful. Until you put them on the map they're no use for anything. Even if you aren't planning to start any wars yourself, someone else will be. If your armies aren't supplied, then they'll soon disperse again. So place your armies and build up their supplies. Some countries have natural enemies, so that it's unlikely you'll have to look far to find a war. But you still need to talk to the other players to see if you can find any allies. Or enemies of your enemies.

CHANGES IN AUSTRALIAN EMPIRES

SABOTAGE - I've changed the SABOTAGE action for Australian Empires back to be the same as for other versions (ie. it nobbles armies rather than resources).

POACH - The POACH action steals one resource at random from the area occupied by your road warrior and adds it to your stockpile. Your road warrior doesn't get killed, though (but someone will probably come looking for him if he sticks around...).

MORE RESOURCES - The rate of production of resources is now that one population gets one of the resource being produced, three pop gets two, six pop gets three, ten pop gets four and so on.

1 Pop = 1 Resource
3 Pop = 2 Resources
6 Pop = 3 Resources
10 Pop = 4 Resources
15 Pop = 5 Resources

RESOURCES - As things stand, some actions need resources in your stockpile and other actions need resources on the map. The BUILD, FLEET and RESERVE actions all refer to your stockpile, even though the actions are located on-map and you include a "where" in your orders. Basically, only moving, attacking and growing use resources on the map. The simplest way to mimimise the confusion would be for BUILD, FLEET and RESERVE to include the ability to gather resources on the map if necessary. Or maybe all actions should do that: use either resources on the map or in your stockpile, at will. The difficulty will be reporting what's happening, since it will be necessary to add a second report of which resources were used/moved on the action, and at present that isn't possible. But I might be able to find a way of making it possible.

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