Tournament Rules and Venue Information

Event Rules

SpireCon has been put together by a small group of friends who met on the diplomacy website It was borne out of some frustration with the fact that a lot of games conventions can be cliquey and daunting to new people; our aim is to make SpireCon truly inclusive and welcoming.

Our rules are simple:

  • Show respect
  • Expect respect
  • Have fun

SpireCon is in a public venue and if you aren’t following the rules or you’re preventing others from enjoying their time you will probably be asked to leave by the venue staff.

So with all the people and all the games on offer how do you decide what to do and how does it all work? First things first, to get into the event you need register, so head back to the main page and do that asap!

If you want to play either Diplomacy, MtG Commander or Warhammer 40k Arena of Death you need to register specifically for those games, ideally before the day to help us plan appropriately, but you can register right up to 30 minutes before the game start time.

Otherwise, have a look at what people are playing, or setting up, or even just holding on to like a lost sheep and talk to them; ask about the game, ask if there is space for you to play (no one should be turned away unless a game is full). Most people are happy to teach a new player that shows interest and is willing to learn, and if they aren’t able to, they will often know someone else who is. Do bear in mind, however, that most people tend to underestimate how long games will take! At the end of the day, the aim of SpireCon is to play games and have fun. We hope you succeed in both.

Please note all games are dependent of signups and if interest is low for a particular game it will still be provided but on a smaller scale.

The Timing

Saturday – Diplomacy only – Doors open at 11am for 11:30 game start. Second game at 18:30.

Sunday – All Games – Doors open at 12pm. Diplomacy game start 12:30. Warhammer 40k Arena of Death game start 13:00. Roll call for these games is 15 minutes before start time.

Other organised games will start once enough participants have joined the game.

The Venue

Chandler’s Bar opened in 1999 and has been serving all manner of drinks to all manner of people ever since. An ice-cold beer or real ale? A glass of wine? A hot chocolate? How about choosing from 80 different gins, rums, and whiskeys? Oh, and it’s also a cocktail bar!

If the weather is nice there are two terraces at our disposal, one on the ground floor and one on the first floor and the venue has a capacity of 300 so don’t worry about us running out of space.

Chandler’s is situated at the top of Hollis Lane, a 1-minute walk down the hill from the Crooked Spire. Pizza Pi is across the road and they’ll deliver fresh stone baked pizzas straight to your table, and there are plenty of other eateries within a 5-minute walk too.

There’s plenty of parking around the venue (pay and display) and if coming by train, Chandler’s is a 7-minute walk from the station.

The venue opens at 12pm on the Sunday and the convention will run until 8pm. On the Saturday, it opens at 11am and doesn’t close until 12:30am Sunday, so if you’re there for the diplomacy there’ll be time to unwind afterwards. There are also a number of late venues nearby open until 6am if you want to carry on the party, but don’t be too hungover, you’ll need your game face on again on Sunday.

Any more question, don’t hesitate to drop us a message using the contact form on the main page.


All games in the tournament are to be ‘standard’ diplomacy (no variants) using Avalon Hill 4th Edition (2000) rules. A Game Master will be always present, but they may be running several boards so please be patient.

Anyone wanting to sign up can, but you are encouraged to understand the game rules beforehand (

Spring and Fall movement rounds shall be 15 minutes (20 minutes for first round), during which time you can submit orders either ‘finalised’ or ‘unfinalised’. If all players submit finalised orders the round will end early.

Retreat and Build rounds shall be 5 minutes, during which time players may not negotiate away from the board. Any submitted retreat or build orders are always submitted as finalised.

Games will end after the Fall Retreat 1909 round. Games will end before this round if the game has not reached the final round after 6 hours from the start of Spring 1901. The Game Master may at their discretion shorten any rounds by up to 50% in 1908 and/or 1909 if this is increases the likelihood of completing the final round within the 6 hour time limit. If a game ends after a round that is not a Fall Retreat round Supply Centre ownership will still apply as normal (i.e. centres occupied during a spring movement phase do not change ownership).

Scoring – Several scoring mechanisms will be used as follows:

Score 1 – Players will be ranked according to their centre count at the end of the game, with first place receiving 70 points and then 10 less points for each following place (i.e. 60 for 2nd, 50 for 3rd etc.) If players are tied on centre count (including zero centres for eliminated players) there will be a count back to each previous game year until ties are settled. If players are tied on centre count in every game year, then points will be split equally (e.g. 55 points each for a tied 2nd place).

Score 2 – If there is not a solo win, players with a centre count above zero at the end of the game are deemed to be included in the draw and will share 60 points equally (e.g. 30 each for a 2-way draw, 20 each for a 3-way draw). If there is a solo win that winner shall receive 60 points and any other players will receive no points.

Score 3 – Eliminated players (players with zero centres at the end of the game) will receive 1 point for each year in which they had centres (e.g. elimination in 1907 will give a player 7 points). Any players with centres at the end of the game will receive no points.

Each player’s game score will be the total of Score 1, Score 2 and Score 3.

Other Rules

All orders shall be written. Title all orders clearly and include your country name.

Orders shall be clear and unambiguous. Full territory names or official abbreviations are acceptable as are words such as MOVE, ATTACK, HIT or simply a hyphen for movement orders so long as the territories involved are clear. Where an unofficial abbreviation is used then if the Game Master can discern unambiguous intent they shall. However if an official but incorrect abbreviation is used this will be deemed an illegal order and replaced with a HOLD (e.g. Fleet move Lon-Nor, uses official abbreviations for London and Norway, so this is an illegal order, even if the player intended to more to North Sea and so wrote ‘Nor’). IF IN DOUBT, USE THE FULL TERRITORY NAMES.

If you find a mistake in a Game Master’s adjudication, please report is as soon as you see it. If it isn’t reported before the next movement phase, it is final and will not be corrected.

If two or more orders for the same unit are entered, then the Game Master will use only the one lower down the text (i.e. the last one) and ignore the other(s). If multiple order sheets are submitted then the Game Master will use only the first one drawn from the pile (i.e. the last one added). Each new order sheet submitted will classify any previous order sheet as void. Therefore, make sure you include all orders required for a phase in any sheet. Do not write orders across multiple sheets as only the most recent will count. This rule is designed to lessen any ambiguity over intent and is there to protect all players.

You may ask for your order sheet back at any time during the current round to which it pertains, and the Game Master will retrieve it for you. Players are not permitted to touch the submitted orders pile.

Any player not already eliminated that submits no orders in a movement round shall be given a 5-minute grace period to submit orders. Each player has one grace period during the whole game and the 5 minutes may not be split over multiple rounds. Any player that submits no orders for a second time will have all their units hold.

The next round will start as soon as adjudication is settled for the current round and the round time is started. The round timer will be visible on the game table at all times.

If there is an error in the number of builds awarded and the game then advances to the point of the next Spring movement deadline, the builds will be corrected at the next build round from when the error is noticed and will not be corrected before the fall movement round. If a build error is spotted before the spring movement deadline it will be corrected immediately regardless of how much time is left in the round.

Magic the Gathering: Commander – Sponsored by Geek Headquarters

Geek Headquarters will be running four different Commander games as part of SpireCon. These will operate General Commander rules with the official ban list in place and no proxy cards allowed.

You are required to bring your own legal deck to play Commander.

Casual Commander Pods: Bring your deck and tag along with other players in a more casual environment, enjoying silly combos, obscure cards, and generally fun decks.

Competitive Commander Pods: The most powerful, game breaking cards, put together in decks that are designed to annihilate your opponents fast!

Planechase Commander Pod (on demand according to availability): Travel to the planes of the universe of Magic The gathering, unlocking new powerful effects each turn.

Two Headed Giant Commander Pods: Bring a team mate, and unleash the power of your decks combined against your enemies!

Warhammer 40k Arena of Death

Our partners at CROWS (Chesterfield Realms of Wargaming) will be bringing a selection of table top games spanning the breadth of miniature wargaming and some more traditional table top games.

The headline event will be Warhammer 40k Arena of Death, with will consist of four qualifying rounds at 13:00, 14:00, 15:00 and 16:00. All players total scores from the four rounds will be ranked and the top four scoring players that are eligible and available will take part in the final round at 17:00 to decide the winner.

Participants can use one non unique infantry HQ choice of no more than 200 points. They can have any legal upgrades and can be given a warlord trait and relic. Participants are required to provide the item(s) they intend to use.

Without contravention of the above the standard Arena of Death rules shall apply.

The Game Master shall decide the outcome of all disputes and their decision is final.

Blood Bowl

Join in with Blood Bowl and you will be able to select from one our preconstructed teams (you do not need to bring anything with you; indeed you will not be allowed to use any team or players you bring). Games will last approximately 30 minutes. There will not be a tournament and games will simply be exhibition matches aimed at teaching people about the game. Come and experience blood on the grid iron where American Football meets fantasy violence.


Our three tournaments will include prizes and trophies for the winners, kindly provided by our sponsors. There will also be other spot prizes available for various things. We’re keeping tight lipped on what they are, so you’ll have to come and find out. There will also be two raffles. Raffle 1 is for a copy of Hero Quest and everyone that registers and attends will receive one ticket. Raffle 2 is for playing games and everyone will receive one ticket for every game played (up to a maximum of 3 for each game).