In this journey into the past, we look back at a series of submissions to the 'zine

**How many different sets of opening orders are there?** Such a
set of orders must specify a legal movement, support, or hold for each
of the 22 units on the board. (Convoys are of course impossible in
Spring 1901.) You must consider all possible movements including
stupid ones like moving `Smy-Syr` or `Lon-Yor`
with `Edi-Yor`. However,
you should only count supports which are **not** void. That is to say, the
supported unit must be ordered to do what is supported to do.
Furthermore, only count **useful** supports. That is to say, only count
supports which are given by a country "A" for himself or for a country "B"
which in theory could prevent the success of the move or hold by a country "C"
distinct from "A" and "B".

In

I have calculated the number of opening moves, and the the number of opening
moves suggested in *The Gamer's Guide to Diplomacy*. In order to forestall
Daniel Loeb's next quiz, I have also calculated the number of possible orders
for a typical Fall 1901 position, and the number in the sample game at the
Spring 1904 positions in *The Gamer's Guide*. Please take these numbers as
approximate; it's very likely that I have made errors.

I have counted all possible orders, even orders such as:

- A Nwy - Fin
- F Nwg C A Nwy - Den
- F Nth C (Ger) A Den - Cly
- F Edi - Cly

The number of opening moves are 1.84*10^22. If one use the suggested
moves in *The Gamer's Guide*, the possible opening moves there are 46656.
In the typical situation at Fall 1901 there are 4.93*10^35 possibilities,
and in the sample game at Spring 1904 there are 6.92*10^44 possible sets of
orders. In the "typical" position at Spring 1902 the positons were: (Belgium
is still a neutral supply center.)

Austria A Tri Vie Bud Ser F Gre England A Nwy F Edi Nwg Nth France A Par Bur Por Mar F Spa(sc) Germany A Ruh Den Mun F Hol Kie Italy A Ven Tun F Nap Ion Russia A StP War Ukr Sev F Swe Rum Turkey A Bul Ank F Con SmyIn these situations the convoy possibilities are rather limited. They are the main reason why the number increases so much. With more fleets on the water, the number will raise considerable. As an example, in the sample game there are 63 different legal orders for the fleet in MAO.

In chess there are most often less than ten "good" moves. In Diplomacy, there are many more, often thousands of them. The problem of writing a program is then quite different and much more difficult than chess, even when one uses parallellism as Michael Hall suggested, and a great challenge indeed.

In this same issue of

First we must count for each unit the number of neighbors it has and could move to. Obviously, besides supporting, a unit can move to one of these spaces or it could hold. The asterisks in the table below indicate units which can offer "useful" supports in Spring, 1901.

Number of Neighbors Edi Lvp Lon Bre Par Mar Ven Rom Nap Tri Vie Bud 4 4 4 4 4* 5* 6* 4 3 3 5* 5* Con Smy Ank Mun Kie Ber Sev Mos War StP/sc 3 4* 3* 7* 3 4* 3 5 6 3Next we must consider the map and determine which are the "useful" supports to which I was referring. (Again, units which can offer these are distinguished by an asterisk in the table above.) The only "useful" support on nation can give

Useful triples: country units dest France: Par,Mar Bur Germany: Mun,Ber Sil Turkey: Smy,Ank Arm Austria: Vie,Bud Gal Vie,Bud Tri G+A+I: Vie,Mun,Ven TyrThus, answer is the following product:

+----------- number of moves | +--------- HOLD order | | +------ number of units for which this is true | | | +-- "useful" support orders | | | | V V V V ANSWER = (3+1)^6 (Nap, Tri, Con, Kie, Sev, StP) 4096 x (4+1)^5 (Edi, Lpl, Lon, Bre, Rom) 3125 x (5+1)^1 (Mos) 6 x (6+1)^1 (War) 7 x ((4+1)^1 (Par) x (5+1)^1 (Mar) + 2) (Par S Mar-Bur, Mar S Par-Bur) 32 x ((4+1)^1 (Smy) x (3+1)^1 (Ank) + 2) (Smy S Ank-Arm, Ank S Amy-Arm) 22 x A (Mun, Ber, Vie, Bud, Ven) 13174Where A is the number of possible combinations for Munich, Berlin, Vienna, Budapest, and Venice. We break up A into the possibility that Vie and Bud support each other to Gal or Tri, and if Mun and Ber support.

(4 (Vie*Bud) 4 x ((6+1) (Ven) x (7+1) (Mun) + 2) (Ven S Mun-Tyr, Mun S Ven-Tyr) x 58 x (4+1)) Ber x 5 = 1160 ------------------------------------------------------------------------ + (4 (Vie*Bud) + 4 x (6+1) (Ven) x 7 x 2) (Mun S Ber-Sil, Ber S Mun-Sil) x 2 = 56 ------------------------------------------------------------------------ + ((5+1) (Bud) + 6 x 2 (Mun S Ber-Sil, Ber S Mun-Sil) x 2 x ((5+1) (Vie) x (6+1) (Ven) + 2) (Vie S Ven-Tyr, Ven S Vie-Tyr) x 44 = 528 ------------------------------------------------------------------------ + ((5+1) (Bud) + 6 x (4+1) (Ber) x 5 x ((5+1) (Vie) x (6+1) (Mun) x (7+1) (Ber) + 2(5+1) + 2(6+1) + 2(7+1) + 3) x 381 = 11430 ------------------------------------------------------------------------ A = TOTAL OF SUMS = 13174Thus, the final answer is 4,985,969,049,600,000. At a rate of 1 game per person in the world per minute, it would take about 2 years to try every possible Diplomacy opening!

Trevor Green took a slightly different approach, calculating the number of valid (as defined) openings for each of the seven powers, and came up with yet a third figure. His response to Danny Loeb's request to provide the details of his solution was was published in

While transcribing Mr. Green's solution for
re-publication, I (Manus Hand, Publisher of **The Diplomatic Pouch**),
corrected a number of errors, changed the notation used, and
took into account Danny Loeb's comments describing the openings which were
missed by Mr. Green. To quote Danny Loeb's comments on Green's original
solution, "In your list of openings, you don't count, for example, the
possibility of Turkey supporting Russia to Armenia, *and himself*
moving to Armenia. This is clearly different from just moving to Armenia,
or not moving to Armenia. (Same goes for France and Germany in Burgundy
[*and Germany and Russia in Silesia and Austria and Russia in Galicia --Manus*].)
Such a set of orders could be used by someone who definitely didn't
want Armenia empty (for some strange psychological reason).
Perhaps the problem is exactly in defining what a set of distinct
orders is?"

Indeed, even after my own updates, what appears below does not consider, for
example, ` A CON-ANK, A SMY-ARM, F ANK S A SMY-ARM` to be
a separate opening from

Therefore, what appears below is not a faithful reproduction
of Green's solution published in *EP #265*, but rather a corrected and
updated solution based on the work begun by Mr. Green. With no further ado,
here it is.

Okay, here goes. The notation I'm using should be self-explanatory. Parenthesized orders mean that (given the other units' moves) the orders(s) specified within parentheses would not be distinct from one of the other possible openings for that country. As per always, I invite you to check my math and correct me if I did anything wrong.

Note that Trevor Green's published answer was, like Danny Loeb's, over four quadrillion. After correcting errors, however (for example, he had counted 999 distinct Russian openings), I reached a total of only 338,171,034,482,560 (338 trillion). Only after adding the openings described by Danny Loeb (DISTINCT OPENINGS FOR AUSTRIA-HUNGARYOrder F Tri A Bud A Vie ----- ----- ----- ----- A HOLD HOLD HOLD B -Alb -Gal -Tyr C -Ven -Rum -Gal D -Adr -Tri -Bud E -Vie -Tri F -Ser -Boh G S Vie-Gal S Bud-Gal H S Vie-Tri S Bud-Tri I S War-Gal S Ven-Tyr J S Mun-Tyr K S War-Gal F Tri A Bud A Vie Total ----- ----- ----- ----- A A ABCHIJ 6 B ABCDFGIJK 9 CF ABCDFIJ 14 E BCF 3 ABCD GI C 8 BD D ABCDEFHIJ 18 BCD A ABCEFIJ 21 B ABCDEFGIJK 30 CF ABCDEFIJ 48 E BCEF 12 H E 3 C D ABCDFIJ 7 ----- Total distinct openings for Austria-Hungary: 179DISTINCT OPENINGS FOR ENGLANDOrder A Lvp F Edi F Lon ----- ----- ----- ----- A HOLD HOLD HOLD B -Cly -Cly -Yor C -Edi -Nwg -Nth D -Yor -Nth -Wal E -Wal -Yor -Eng A Lvp F Edi F Lon Total ----- ----- ----- ----- A ABC ABCDE 15 B AC ABCDE 10 C BC ABCDE 10 D ABC ACDE 12 D ADE 3 E ABC ABCE 12 D ABE 3 E ACE 3 ABC D ABDE 12 E ACDE 12 ----- Total distinct openings for England: 92DISTINCT OPENINGS FOR FRANCEOrder F Bre A Mar A Par ----- ----- ----- ----- A HOLD HOLD HOLD B -Mid -Bur -Pic C -Pic -Gas -Bur D -Gas -Spa -Gas E -Eng -Pie -Bre F S Par-Bur S Mar-Bur G S Mun-Bur S Mun-Bur F Bre A Mar A Par Total ----- ----- ----- ----- A ADE ABCE 12 B ABCDFG 6 C ABDF 4 BE ADE ABCDE 30 B ABCDEFG 14 C ABCE 8 C ADE ACDE 12 B ACDEFG 6 D ACE 3 D ADE ABCE 12 B ABCEFG 6 ABCDE FG C 10 ----- Total distinct openings for France: 123DISTINCT OPENINGS FOR GERMANYOrder F Kie A Ber A Mun ----- ----- ----- ----- A HOLD HOLD HOLD B -Ber -Pru -Kie C -Hol -Sil -Ber D -Hel -Mun -Sil E -Den -Kie -Boh F -Bal S Mun-Sil -Tyr G S War-Sil -Bur H -Ruh I S Ber-Sil J S Vie-Tyr K S Ven-Tyr L S Mar-Bur M S Par-Bur N S War-Sil F Kie A Ber A Mun Total ----- ----- ----- ----- A A ADEFGHJKLM 10 B ACDEFGHJKLM 11 C ACDEFGHIJKLMN 13 D DEFGH 5 B B ABDEFGHJKLM 11 C ABDEFGHIJKLMN 13 CDEF A ADEFGHJKLM(B) 40 B ABCDEFGHJKLM 48 C ABCDEFGHIJKLMN 56 D CDEFGHJKLM(A) 40 ACDEF FG D 10 BCDEF D BDEFGH 30 ----- Total distinct openings for Germany: 287DISTINCT OPENINGS FOR ITALYOrder F Nap A Rom A Ven ----- ----- ----- ----- A HOLD HOLD HOLD B -Apu -Tus -Pie C -Ion -Ven -Apu D -Rom -Apu -Rom E -Tys -Nap -Tus F -Tyr G -Tri H S Mun-Tyr I S Vie-Tyr J S Vie-Tri K S Bud-Tri F Nap A Rom A Ven Total ----- ----- ----- ----- B A ABFGHIJK(E) 8 B ABDFGHIJK 9 C BEFG 4 E ABDEFGHIJK 10 CE E ABCDEFGHIJK 22 D B ABCFGHIJK 9 D ABEFGHIJK 9 ACE A ABCFGHIJK(E) 27 B ABCDFGHIJK 30 D ABDEFGHIJK 30 ACDE C BCEFG 20 ----- Total distinct openings for Italy: 178DISTINCT OPENINGS FOR RUSSIAOrder F Sev F StP/sc A Mos A War ----- ----- -------- ----- ----- A HOLD HOLD HOLD HOLD B -Arm -Lvn -StP -Lvn C -Bla -Bot -Sev -Mos D -Rum -Fin -Ukr -Ukr E S Ank-Arm -War -Gal F S Smy-Arm -Lvn -Pru G -Sil H S Bud-Gal I S Vie-Gal J S Mun-Sil K S Ber-Sil F Sev F StP/sc A Mos A War Total ----- -------- ----- ----- ----- ABCDEF ACD A AEFGHIJK(BD) 116 D BCEFGHIJK(A) 134 E BDEFG 90 F CDEFGHIJK(A) 134 B A AEFGHIJK(D) 48 B ACDEFGHIJK 60 D CEFGHIJK(A) 48 E CDEF 24 CD B ABCDEFGHIJK 132 BCD ACD C ABCDEFGHIJK 99 B C ACDEFGHIJK 30 ----- Total distinct openings for Russia: 915DISTINCT OPENINGS FOR TURKEYOrder A Con F Ank A Smy ----- ----- ----- ----- A HOLD HOLD HOLD B -Bul -Con -Con C -Ank -Bla -Ank D -Smy -Arm -Arm E S Smy-Arm -Syr F S Sev-Arm S Ank-Arm G S Sev-Arm A Con F Ank A Smy Total ----- ----- ----- ----- A A ADE 3 C ADE(C) 3 D ADEFG(C) 5 ABD EF D 6 B A ABDE 4 B ACDE 4 C ABCDE 5 D ABCDEFG 7 C C BE(A) 2 D BEF(A) 3 D A DE 2 BC CDE 6 D CDEFG 5 ----- Total distinct openings for Turkey: 55TOTAL DISTINCT OPENINGSAustria-Hungary 179 England 92 France 123 Germany 287 Italy 178 Russia 915 Turkey 55 --------------------------- Total 5 207 528 463 013 800

Determined to see how many of these five-odd quadrillion possible openings actually result in separate

Notice that all self-bounces (such as Mar-Gas with Par-Gas) are already discounted. So all that are left to remove are situations like the following:

Lon-ENG with Bre-ENG Sev-BLA with Ank-BLA Ven-Pie with Mar-Pie Mun-Bur with Par-Bur and without Mar S Mun-Bur and Mar S Par-Bur Mun-Bur with Mar-Bur and without Par S Mun-Bur and Par S Mar-Bur Par-Bur with Mar-Bur and without Mun S Par-Bur and Mun S Mar-Bur Sev-Arm with Ank-Arm and without Smy S Sev-Arm and Smy S Ank-Arm Sev-Arm with Smy-Arm and without Ank S Sev-Arm and Ank S Ank-Arm Ank-Arm with Smy-Arm and without Sev S Ank-Arm and Sev S Ank-Arm -etc.-Unfortunately, the situation around Tyrolia makes determining all the situations in which there is any bounce out of this province very difficult. For example, some of these situations are:

Ven-Tyr with Vie-Tyr and without Mun S Ven-Tyr or Mun S Vie-Tyr Ven-Tyr with Vie S Ven-Tyr and Mun-Tyr -etc.-We could, in this way, go through and describe all situations resulting in bounces, but it would seem more straightforward to attack this problem anew. We must then determine the possible ending locations for each of the 22 units and then remove those which have two (or more) units in the same location.

And here is where I take the professor's cop-out and say, "Determining the final solution from this beginning is left as an exercise for the reader." We'll have a contest. First one to send in the correct, documented answer will win a free lifetime subscription to The Pouch!