Europa Universalis as Play By E-Mail game

Web-Grognards introduced my EU-pages as pbem site for Europa Universalis, so I try to write something about playing it via e-mail. <Sigh>

Starting the game

If you are going to run EU as pbem, you will need a really long time. Every turn you play will need easily a month real time to play, so the Grand Campaign with 60 turns will last around five years. So it is understandable, if players of the different countries will change during the game.

First you have to find players. The easiest way to find them is to send an advertisement of the new game to the eu-list. Last time this was done it lasted only four hours before the game was full.

As a referee, you have always the last word about rulings, but it will lessen the arguements if you produces some kind of list of special rules and options you are going to have. There is enough inconsistent rules in the books so you really need to clarify them. A good way to start is to look the Victory Point corrections and rule implementations they made in EU5 pbem game.

One way to fasten the pace of the game is to introduce deadlines for sending orders to the players. Two days will be sufficient in the most cases, but if some players have bad connections or unreliable mailers (like MS-mail), it could be set to the three or four days. If referee is going to be extremely kind, he could introduce a system, where every message is acknowledged in the next 24 hours. Of course this will result a bunch of unnecessary email trafic going both ways.

The players could fasten the game by sending conditional orders to the referee. For example: Spain is at war with Turkey. Turkey, who is moving first, has a fleet(+) with an admiral ?3 in Rhodes, and Al-Djazairish fleet(+) with admiral Berberus in Al-Djazair. Spain has fleet(+) with an admiral ?2 in Naples. Now Spain could send the following order: If Turkish fleet moves first toward Al-Djazair, then try to intercept it. If, instead, Al-Djazairish fleet sails to Rhodes first, let it go, and move Spanish fleet to Gibraltar.

It could be useful for players to discuss their future politics between the different phases and not only during the political phase.

Sequence of play

Players:
In the beginning of each period, players should send their objectives to the referee.

Referee:
Sends the results of the Monarch Phase, Economical Events and Political Events at the same time to the players. He throws the new monarchs and sends them to the players too.

Players:
Sends their alliances, declarations of war, minor country diplomacy and defending investments to the referee.

Referee:
Resolves alliances and declarations of war. If there is some allies which could be included to the war, and those are not identified in the orders, informs players.

Referee resolves minor diplomacy. He also determines the new prices of exotic resources. Referee calculates the income of every country.

Players:
Determine their military maintenance and purchase as well as their administrative actions including possible defences against competition.

Referee:
Resolves all admistrative actions.

Players:
Send the orders to the next military round.

Referee:
Resolves the military round. Check for the end of the military phase.

Last two steps are repeated until military phase ends.

Players:
Give orders for the redeployment phase and for the stability improvement.

Referee:
Resolves stability improvement and informs the possible peace-differentials.

Players: