The above map is the result of putting a good deal of thought into adjusting the bilateral friction levels according to the aims I set out in my previous post (see the previous post to see what I am doing). You'll note that the Franco-Spanish relationship has drastically changed so as not to railroad those two powers into war.

Further, Turkey now is in much closer contact with Spain and Russia than was previously the case and the same may be said about England in respect to Spain and especially France.

In respect to France, I decided three initial SCs was quite enough, yet I added another armed neutral in Lorraine, which presents on the one hand a new target for French expansion, but also could help the Spanish invade "Douce France" or become a bulwark supported by Spain to stymie France's eastward expansion.

To the East, I've totally refashioned the Sweden-Poland-Russia triangle. The likelihood of Polish-Swedish is increased and thus Sweden's Eastern armies have gained additional options and may more easily cooperate with the Russians than with the previous map version.

Note that Russia now has a direct outlet to the sea, albeit in the remote Far North. Many a Russian will probably not be satisfied with this and will seek to gain direct access to the Baltic and Black Sea - much as Peter the Great did.

Anyway, I'm happy with the greater diplomatic balance and the many more viable opening moves the refashioned map allows. Here's a "friction sociogram" depicting my take on the initial extent of bilateral friction (the thicker the lines, the more friction):


Comments? Suggestions? Let me know if you want to participate in the upcoming playtest.

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