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This question brought back memories of a situation that occurred to me about 40 years ago. (I haven't played much Diplomacy since then.)

I was playing France, worried about England and Germany, and England made an "alliance" offer to me arguing, "You will have 5 supply centers at the end of 1901, Germany will have 5, and I should have 5, to preserve the balance of power. Will you support me into Belgium against Germany using the army that you moved into Burgundy in spring, 1901?"

I "temporized" by saying that I would support a British fleet into Belgium, but not an army. So in my Fall, 1901 orders, I wrote, "A Burgundy supports fleet only, N Sea to Belgium."

England's orders read, "A Yorkshire to Belgium, F N Sea convoys." This was against my express intent, and after an argument, we took the issue to the host/organizer (who was playing Turkey). The host ruled into favor of England, who argued, "The army went to Belgium via the fleet N. Sea, and the supporting French army couldn't know until after the fact whether it was the fleet or army that occupied Belgium."

To this day, I think that the host (and England) were wrong. Were they?

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From the rules:

A unit ordered to move can only be supported by a support order that matches the move the unit is trying to make.

  • The support order was: A Bur S English F Nrs - Bel
  • The move order was: A Yor - Bel (Possible because of F Nrs C A Yor - Bel)

There are two conflicts: - The supported unit is a Fleet, the moved unit is an Army. This alone could have been a typo. - The supported unit is the unit in Nrs, the moved unit is from Yor. And those are clearly two different units. There is no quesion that these do not match.

So the orders where conflicting, they should have failed.

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    I think it's worth explicitly noting, for future readers if not this OP, that the reasons for the support failure are both of A) that the wrong piece (F North Sea instead of A Yorkshire) was specified in the support order; and B) that the wrong move was specified (direct instead of convoy). This could have effect in circumstances when an army has two separate routes, land and sea, from starting location.to destination. – Forget I was ever here Oct 16 '16 at 3:32

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