An alliance is an agreement between two nations which supposedly guarantees that if one nation goes to war, its ally will join the war on its side. Grand alliances (alliances between more than two nations) may be formed by one of the two nations in the original alliance signing another alliance, which implicitly links the third nation to the first two. For example, if Nation A signs an alliance with Nation B, and if Nation C signs an alliance with Nation A, and if Nation D signs an alliance with Nation C, then all four nations are implicitly allies. A nation also has an implicit alliance with each of its dominions.
The relationship between two allies goes up by one step, or becomes Friendly if the relationship between the two was previously worse than Indifferent. Just because an ally signs an alliance with another nation however, doesn’t mean that the relationship between the other parties increases (so in the example above, Nation B’s relationship with Nation C and Nation D wouldn’t be affected through the signing of an alliance).
An alliance doesn’t necessarily guarantee anything, however. When an ally goes to war, its allies must either make a Declaration of War against its ally’s enemies, or leave the alliance. Leaving an alliance in such a manner incurs a 50 NP penalty. Dominions need not make a declaration of war, they declare war or leave the alliance based on the actions of their colonial master. A nation may break an alliance during peace time by selecting to leave the alliance, at no NP penalty. If a nation leaves an alliance at any time, its relationship with its ally (its original ally) goes down one step.
World War I demonstrates this sort of alliance system – France signs an alliance with Great Britain (which has implicit alliances with its dominion nations of Canada, Australia, and New Zealand), then France signs an alliance with Russia. Russia is now implicitly the ally of Great Britain and the British Empire. Russia signs an alliance with Serbia. Serbia is now implicitly the ally of France, Great Britain, and the British Empire. Opposed to this alliance is the alliance of Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy. When Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia, Germany declares war on Serbia, but Italy declines, taking a 50 NP penalty. Russia declares war on Germany and Austria-Hungary, France declares war on Germany and Austria-Hungary, and Great Britain declares war on Germany and Austria-Hungary. As a consequence of Austria-Hungary declaring war on Serbia, Germany and Austria-Hungary are now at war with Great Britain, France, Russia, and the dominions of the British Empire.
A non-aggression pact is signed between two nations, and supposedly guarantees that neither nation will go to war with the other. Before a nation can declare war on a nation with which it has a Non-Aggression Pact, it must break the pact (which causes the relationship between the two nations to suffer one step), and then make a Declaration of War.
A threat is intended to communicate a message in a hostile fashion. When a nation makes a threat, it makes it against one other nation. The player then types in a message. In the case of the AI, an appropriate message will be selected. The relationship between the two nations goes down one step. Example threats: “Don’t dare attack country x!”, “If the 3rd Panzer Army crosses the Rhine, then you will regret it!”, etc. The AI will interpret threats from players as being general threats against any hostility.
Assurances are valid for 12 turns. A nation may select one of the following assurances to make:
Territory – The nation assures the safety of the contiguous group of hexes selected. The owner of those hexes may allow the assuring nation to place military units there to protect those hexes – these military units may fight any unit which invade the assured hexes without a declaration of war, so long as those units are hostile to the owner of the assured territory. Such an assurance improves the relationship between the two nations by one step, whether or not the subject agrees to allow the nation’s military units to occupy its territory. The assuring nation gets a +5 NP bonus.
Market Share – The nation assures a percentage of market share in a market it owns to the subject of the assurance. Has no impact on the quality of the relationship. The assuring nation gets a +5 EP bonus.
Governmental Support – The nation assures the subject support in the case of a revolution which overthrows the government (changes the government’s tag). The nation must have a Friendly relationship with the subject. If the subject’s government is overthrown, the assuring nation will be given the option to declare war on the subject immediately, the scope of which will be a Local War (subject’s territory) for the assuring nation and a War for Survival for the subject, and the only acceptable peace settlement allowed to the assuring nation will be a regime change back to the nation’s previous tag.
Financial – The nation assures the subject financial support, improving its relationship with the subject by one step. The assuring nation assigns 5 or more Production Points to the subject immediately. The assuring nation gets +1 EP for every 1 PP assigned.
Supply – The nation assures the subject that the subject’s military units will be supplied as they pass through the assuring nation’s territory and dominions. The assuring nation and its dominions now count as friendly terrain so far as supply is concerned.
Arrangements are other miscellaneous types of agreements between countries, and diplomatic actions. Some types of arrangements are as follows:
Trade Agreement – Between two nations. Each nation agrees not to compete against the other’s traders. Each nation receives +5 EP. Trade agreements are typically combined with Market Share assurances.
Military Access – Between two nations. Each nation agrees to allow the other’s military units to have access to its territories and the territory of its dominions. Military Access arrangements are typically combined with Supply assurances. The relationship between the two nations goes up one step.
Release Territory – A nation releases some of its territory as a new nation.
Propose Dominion Status – Between two nations. One nation agrees to be the another’s dominion. Refer to the “National Status” section below for more information.
Declare Sphere of Influence – One nation declares another to be its sphere of influence. It must have a majority share of the target nation’s markets. See the “National Status” section below for more information.
Create Dominion – A nation releases some of its territory as a dominion.
Share Intelligence – Between two nations. Each nation agrees to share intelligence with the other. The player of each nation can now see everything the other player can see.