Each player takes a different-colored set of pieces. One player aligns his pieces north-to-south, and the other aligns them east to west. Decide who goes in what order during the Escalation Placement phase of the game.
An easy way to do this is to let the owner of the game place first, followed by others in alphabetical order by last name.
The Escaltion Phase
The numbers of pieces that will placed on the map during the Escalation is:
- when 2 players: 12
- when 3 players: 8
- when 4 players: 6
- when 5 players: 5
- when 6 players: 4
- when 7 players: 3
Starting with the first player, each player can place only one piece on the map.
Players can put an army or fleet as first piece on any legal (unoccupied) space, including a Supply Center.
Players who go first have more choice but later players have more information to react.
When the last player have put his piece on the map, the first player can start to put his second piece, etc.... until all pieces are on the map.
Each player owns any Supply Center that are occupied by one of his pieces at the start.
Play the Spring 1901 and the Fall 1901 seasons as in a normal game.
As part of the Winter 1901 resolution, how ever, each player writes down 3 supply centers under his control as his "home centers" for the rest of the game.
Players are not limited to declaring traditional home centers and the centers dont need to be adjacent.
e.g. A player could declare Brest, London, and Naples as his 3 home centers if he owns them in the Winter of 1901.
Additional Rules and Tips
When there are just 2 players, then increase the number of starting pieces to 17 to make the Escaltion phase more intense. This way it's also needed to plan more ahead.
If the escalation drags too long, it's possible to limit the time to place a piece to 30 seconds.
Discussions can be limited to the tableside only (all discussions are open to all). For 4 or fewer players, it's recommended to have only discussions at the table and no private talks.