I want to introduce a group of people to the game Diplomacy. To make it manageable, I want to impose a 10 minute time limit per round (7 player game). I heard this type of limits are sometimes used in Diplomacy tournaments.

How would this time limit affect gameplay?


2 Answers 2


The diplomacy phase is the significant part of the game. So limiting this will affect the game. This site advices a longer period:

  1. Combinations and agreements among the players may affect the course of the game a great deal. These are determined during the diplomacy period which takes place before each move. This period lasts 30 minutes before the first move and 15 minutes before each move thereafter. These periods may end sooner if all players agree at the time.

So 10 minute is slightly shorter. This is no problem for experienced players. But with inexperienced players it is possible too short. Not everybody will have the time to meet with everybody. People will miss out on some opportunities and they possibly get frustrated.

My advice is to limit the diplomacy phase, for the first year to 20 minutes and add another 5 minute to write down the orders. For the next year, you can go to 15 or 10 plus another 5 top write down the orders. This will create a more friendly game for new players.


Diplomacy is a long game. You want to enforce time limits in order to keep the game moving at a good pace.

Time limit: 10 minutes is on the short side. I would recommend starting with 15 minutes and altering it as necessary according to how the players feel about the lengths.

Don't separate negotiation and writing down phases: 15 minutes combined for negotiation and writing down orders. These should NOT be two separate phases. Most established FtF diplomacy communities have moved away from having a separate order writing phase. The reasons for this are:

  1. Having separate writing phases drags out the game length significantly (and there's nothing worse than someone with "decision paralysis" taking forever and wasting everyone's time.
  2. Experienced players will talk during the separate order writing time anyway.
  3. There's nothing more boring than sitting waiting for 5 minutes for someone to decide what to do.

Tournament times: Most tournaments are run on a continuous clock, where deadlines are (say) 17 minutes for spring and 15 minutes for fall. These times include adjudication of the previous round + retreats + adjustment, so you're really playing a game year every 32 minutes. I consider 16/14 timing fast and 18/16 timing leisurely (x/y = x minutes for spring, y minutes for fall) in a tournament situation.

  • I think I am not asking the right question. You are giving me the right information, but you are in fact not answering my question. What do you think I should be asking?
    – freekvd
    Oct 14, 2019 at 21:51

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