Non-Player Nations for New World


This is a variant originally published in The General. I have slightly adapted it here for GMed, play-by-mail situations. Each nation that does not have a player will be controlled by the GM, with various limitations. Each turn, a non-player nation will have its attitude determined by dice roll. The attitude determines the actions of that nation during that game turn. Non-player nations do not participate in the initial bidding, therefore they determine their initial landfalls after all player nations.

In most cases, the general guidelines and attitude parameters will govern how the non-player nations will be played, but in cases of ambiguity, the GM will determine actions randomly, but in the best interest of the non-player nation.

The Planning Stage

At the beginning of each turn, the GM will determine the attitude of each non-player nation. Then, based on the attitude, the GM will execute the planning of that nation. After planning, the non-player nation will take its turn in its normal sequence.

Guidelines for Controlling Non-Player Nations

A nation with no holdings in the New World will automatically assuma an attitude of Exploration. A nation which cannot fit the parameters of a specific attitude will implement the result right above it on the list (lower die roll). [EXCEPTION: An attitude of Expansion which does not have any non-European occupied land areas adjacent to it will become an attitude of Opportunity.] A nation ignores its own economic and political control position when determining targets for Piracy and Balancing.

When sufficient funds are not available to complete a purchase, a nation will build forces evenly in such a manner that there will be enough to transport all of the colonists, and then build and carry the soldiers with the remaining money. No one stays in the old world. For example, a nation with no New World assets and $80 receives an attitude of Expansion. It will purchase four ships and three soldiers for a total of $78. This will allow it to transport its four colonists and three soldiers to the new world.

In all attitudes, a nation will redistriubute its forces amongst its holdings and the area it's acting upon to maximize and secure political control. A holding force should consist of enough colonists/miners and soldiers/prospectors to maintain political control barring a catastrophic survival roll.

Native combat, prospecting, mining, and looting will take place in every attitude. Other forms of combat are only allowed when specified, and are initiated on best judgement of the GM. The non-player nation will always seek to defend itself within the bounds of its attitude, if attacked. Resolve attacks against multiple foes proportionally. Colonists usually will attempt to retreat before risking loss, and gold will be transported as average cargo as soon as possible.

Non-Player Nation Attitude Chart for New World

Each non-player nation rolls on the following table to determine its attitude and purchase restrictions, as modified below:

Dice Roll





4 or less Status Quo 4 2 Maintain
5-7 Expansion 4 4 Enough
8 Exploration 4 6 5
9 Piracy ? 0 3 More
10 Opportunity ? 8 Enough
11 or more Balancing ? Maximum Enough


-3 on Turn 2

-2 on Turn 3

-1 on Turn 4

-2 if the non-player nation has forces in the new world but no areas under political control

+1 if the non-player nation has established political control over all the territory it occupies.

+1 if all areas on the board are occupied by European nations

+1 per area under political control of the hemispheric hegemon less than the next power

Example: Spain is the hemispheric hegemon with four areas under political control. The Dutch are next with three PC areas. Three is subtracted from four and the difference (+1) is added to the die roll for each non-player nation.

Attitude Parameters

Status Quo: The nation will take four colonists, maintain its current fleet size (no builds or burns), and purchase 2 soldiers if there are sufficient transport capacity and funds. These forces will move to establish and secure as much political control as possible within their current empire. No offensive combat against other European nations is allowed.

Expansion: The nation will take four colonists, purchase four soldiers, and maintain/build just enough ships to transport this force. During its land movement, the nation will randomly choose one adjacent, non-European occupied land area, and attempt to add it to its empire through conquest and colonization. If no land area is available, the result instantly becomes an attitude of Opportunity.

Exploration: The nation will take four colonists, purchase six soldiers and maintain/build five ships. If no new world holdings are held by this nation, roll on Landfall Table #1 and sail there. If the nation holds new world territory, roll on Table #2. In all cases, if the result obtained is already occupied (or claimed as an Exclusive Landfall), roll again. If all landfalls on Table #1 are occupied, roll on Table #2. If these are also occupied, treat this result as an attitude of  Balancing.

Landfall Table #1

Landfall Table #2





1 H 1 C
2 J 2 M
3 N 3 X
4 O 4 Y
5 R 5 E
6 U 6 E

Piracy: The nation will maintain its current fleet, build three ships, and carry out a piracy campaign against the nation producing the most gold (tied resolved randomly). Colonists, determined by die roll as per rule 5.1, may be transported. Naval and port combat is allowed.

Opportunity: The nation will purchase eight soldiers and will maintain/build enough ships to transport this force plus colonists, which are determined by a die roll (rule 5.1). During its land movement, the nation will target the weakest, adjacent European-occupied land area and attempt to add it to its empire through conquest and colonization. EXCEPTION: If there are forces of other power(s) in any area occupied by the non-player nation, it will attempt to eliminate them instead. Land combat against any nation is allowed.

Balancing: The nation will dice for its colonists and then maintain/build the maximum amount of ships and soldiers that its treasury and the normal restrictions will allow. During planning, the nation will target a randomly chosen coastal area of the hemispheric hegemon (nation with the most areas under political control) or in the case of a tie, the nation's chief rival. An amphibious assault will be launched in an attempt to add this area to its empire through conquest and colonization. Land combat is allowed against the target only.