While we're all still waiting for Bruce Duewers article on the Machiavelli
endgame play ;-), I am proud to present some of all the great work to extend
variant support on the nJudge that has been done since the year 2000 by the kind
and untiring coder extra-ordinaire Millis Miller. (A clear cut candidate for the
Don Miller Award for Meritorious Service, in my opinion.)
This article will focus on the work to release a bugfree (yes, it sure looks like we covered all the bases) Machiavelli implementation and the additional work that has been done to create unambiguous and clear rules.
For a wealth of information about Machiavelli I unashamedly recommend The Machiavelli Boardgame Site.
Judges that are known to run nJudge version 1.7.2 at the time of this writing are: USTV, PLTX, NZMB and DEDO. CABC and UFIE will probably follow soon. If you want to see which version of the code a judge runs, send the 'version' command to it.
The following may be a bit rambling as it was jotted down in all haste.
Major new features
Notice that some of the fixes and features began appearing in 0.8.9. This is a "cumulative" description. The Diplomacy Judge Users Manual contains version info for the new commands. You can also get a detailed version history for versions newer than 1.1.1.
Playing Standard Diplomacy with the Machiavelli Maps
This is truly one of the most intriguing features of the new judge version. Some versions henceforward allow you to disable all Machiavelli features and use the map and setup to play with the standard diplomacy rules. How did this came about? Well as support for Basic and Mach2 was added, the idea of adding control of the usage of garrisons and the summer seasons cropped up. And, lo and behold, suddenly you could use the Machiavelli maps for Standard Diplomacy play.
There is currently a game called " Italian" on NZMB that is awaiting eager playtesters!
To set up a game this way use these settings: set Mach2, set NoSummer, set NoGarrison, set NoMoney, set NoDice, set NoStorm, set NoDisband, set NoCoastalConvoys.
Playing "Machiavelli Light" with Diplomacy Style control changes
As a way to get acquainted with garrison units and an additional summer season this is the way to go. No money, no disasters. In fact none of the much maligned real world simulation features of Mach, just the safe old unchanging Diplomacy tactics. "Me-god" I am beginning to hyper-rant, quick, the paper bag... Calm down now, yes calm down, yes. Oomph, that was close.
To set up a game this way use these settings: set Mach2, set NoMoney, set NoDice, set NoStorm, set Disband, set CoastalConvoys.
Playing "Machiavelli Light Classic" with continuous control changes
And if you feel more daring I recommend you try to master the art of surviving despite your ally suddenly being able to blitz you.
To set up a game this way use these settings: set NoMach2, set NoMoney, set NoDice, set NoStorm, set Disband, set CoastalConvoys.
The supported Machiavelli scenarios and variants
All, except MachFive, are supported on the Floc mapping server.
Variants and non-standard scenarios
Avalon Hill scenarios using Classic Machiavelli map
Avalon Hill scenarios using Machiavelli 2nd edition map
Avalon Hill scenarios using Machiavelli 2nd edition map published in "The General".
The new, improved, and unambiguous rules
Major work with the rules interpretation was made by Bruce Duewer, with additional work by Sergio Lidsell, who also codified the changes. Other contributors have been Rick Desper, Robert Rehbold, Neil Barr and Fernando Blesa.
As I am lazy, I will quote Bruce Duewer (source: DPZ S2002M ) right off. The "new and improved rules document has been heavily revised by the MachFix crew in order to provide clear and detailed descriptions of how judge PBEM should work. Make sure to read the credits at the end; special thanks especially to Sergio for rearranging, compiling and editing the revisions in more rounds than anyone thought would be needed to achieve a final document." (Ahh yes, wonder why I quoted this?)
"In the new version of the rules, a variety of issues that were unclear, and varied depending on GM ruling, were clarified. In addition, the document was completely reorganized, several of the more obscure points were stated more obviously, and additional technical information and examples were included. In a few cases, we made rulings contrary to the original Battleline rules. These were intended to codify where current practice was superior to the original and improved game play."
Support for Machivelli2 rules and the new rules was added with version 0.8.9. Support For Basic rules with version 1.0.0.
Questions clarified or solved in the rules
The diary function allows you to record your thoughts during the game for broadcasting it after the game ends. Sort of a running EOG. Actually some of the ideas implemented herein began as a suggestion for a PressEOG command.
Overview of Fixed Machiavelli Bugs
Below follows an extensive list of the more important known and identified bugs that have been fixed by 1.7.2.
First major bugfix was actually version 0.8.7. Support for Machivelli2 rules was added in 0.8.9. Support for Basic rules in 1.0.0. Fortress support in 1.3.0. Bi-coastal province support (definitively) in 1.5.2.
In addition to the above there were a couple of bugs that were introduced in the versions between 0.8.9 and 1.7.1. But all of those have been fixed. Those that may cause some problems are (introduction version may differ):
May your ally support you!
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