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Octarine Playtest

HOGFATHER HAS NOW BEEN PLAYED AND FINISHED. The Hub won. This is still here for information purposes

This is a call for players for the Octarine Varient, as Octarine is to be the name of the varient we need a name for the particular game.....


This game will be known as Hogfather.

Please put the phrase

Hogfather GM

in the subject line of any mail to me regarding the game, this will ensure that it is filtered to a priority directory. Mail to the GM (i.e. me) should go to




Additional info

I am aware of the "Oh my god, did that go to the mailing list or the GM?" problem. To overcome this I will accept PGP encoded email. When you send your orders, if you are worried that they might go to the wrong person accidentally then PGP encrypt orders with my public key.

My key may be found at the end of this message, If outside of the US download, if in the US get the US version. Do not download across US borders (i.e. do not export from the US, do not use the international version in the US). The international version is NOT weaker, it just uses slightly different (but compatible) algorithms for patent reasons.


As this is a playtest I would envisage quite long deadlines The deadlines should be of at least 5 days with 2 days grace, retreats should be entered AS SOON AS THE RESULTS HAVE BEEN RECEIVED, so a day for the retreat phase, with a days grace should be adequate. I envisage 2 days for the adjustment phase (and a days grace) - any problems with this? The first move will have a slightly longer deadline (7 days) due to the extra diploming needed.

Nb. This was later amended to be in line with my house rules. The grace period is currently ZERO days.

What else do I need to know?

As this is a playtest, one of the prime requirements should be that you have played at least one game of diplomacy before. However much more important are the following:

1) It would be of great benefit if you made notes as you went along. The notes could then be used on the website as "Genua thou.html" etc, providing an insight into how to play that power. This would be ESPECIALLY of value at the beginning of the game. So, before you start to Dip could you please write your thoughtm on your chosen power, i.e. "What are the possible openings, what are the possible merits/drawbacks of each opening, Who do I need to be on good terms with, what are my weaknesses" etc..... These notes should be kept private until the game end. Similar notes would be made at each phase, and as you go along then the notes will become more specific. I'm asking you to make a diary - this is not compulsory, but due to the fact that we're playtesting it would be nice to have a record of motivations.

Notes could include suggestions for improving the varient.

2) It would be very nice if you could do a similar thing with your choice of power - why is it that you want to start with a given power?

3) BY STARTING THE GAME YOU AGREE TO FINISH IT. This means getting orders in on time, talking to the other players, playing to the end. It is inevitable that some people will start to "fade" pretty rapidly - play the game to the best of your abilities to the end.....

4) If you can't make a deadline for whatever reason please let that fact be known IN ADVANCE. Get the phone number of someone with a net connection who is local to you so that if you have comms trouble then a message may be forwarded. AFP'ers such as Piers, Dave Le Good, Lee Staniforth and so on have my phone number, so if I am not reachable directly you can get a message to me through them. Missed deadlines will result in a new player being sought.

5) Standard Diplomacy Rules apply.

6) Please submit orders with a subject of the form

Hogfather GM - Orders for XXXX - Spring Fruitbat '01

or similar. This will make my life MUCH easier.

7) Anonymous Newspapers. An anonymous newspaper ("La Dyske"?) is encouraged by all means. The Cohen Spectator has indicated to me that he will help anyone who's interested set up a "nym" account. I am also able to help with this. In order to use a nym account you need Private Idaho. There is nothing to say that such a paper should be run by a participant or an observer, and there's nothing to say that there can't be competing newspapers.....

8) If you're still interested in playing then please send me a message with a subject line *containing*: Hogfather GM - please do not make this the WHOLE subject, it'll be tricky to find a particular email after a while. Within the body of the email please state your choice of power. Powers will be assigned on the following basis.

You should specify the order of preference for your choice of power.

The powers are:

A=Agatean Empire
C=Circle Cities
H=Hubland Barbarians
%=Alternate (offering youreslf as a replacement if a player drops
  out, use this if you want to be a "reserve").
A reasonable way to allow your players to participate in the choice is to use preference lists. Each player of the players submits a list of countries in the orders he prefers them. (The lists need not be complete). For example,
        1: AXMNC
        2: HG
        3: AXNOCM
        4: A
        5: GCXA
        6: XMCON
        7: MG
        8: HCNAX
        9: %AX
Then give as many players as possible their first choice. In our example, 5 gets G, 6 gets X and 7 gets M. A is given at random to either 1, 3 or 4(say 3). H is goven away to 2 or 8 at random, (say 2). For the remaining players, redraw the preference grid after eliminating any choices which are no longer possible.
        1: NC
        4: blank
        8: CN
        9: %AX
We repeat the process. Here N is given to 1, C is given to 8, and the remaining power, O, is given to 4.

Remember that once a player exhaust all of his preferences he gets a random pick from what is left over at the end.

Player nine has indicated that he would like to take over from A or X should they drop out.

NOTE: Please start your diaries NOW, make notes on why your power preferences were what they were.

Murky B

P.S. Here's my PGP key..... if you're in the UK feel free to ring me to get the fingerprint - if you DO verify this key, then please sign it!

This is so that orders may be submitted securely, I have had more than one worrying incident when I convinced myself that I'd sent orders to the list rather than to Piers..... it's use is not compulsory by any means.

Version: 2.6.3i

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