The Void variant was created by Mario Huys.
His original motivation for the variant was based on his thoughts about
what would be a proper setting for having a game start in a Fall
turn, instead of the usual Spring or Winter turns.
Since he had just completed implementing the
chaos variant map for the DPjudge,
the answer came to him quite naturally. A simple count of the locations
that qualified for inclusion gave him the number of 36. He considers it
providential that this is the same number of strategems that are given
in Sun Tsu's
"Art of War," one of the bibles of Diplomacy players everywhere.
About a month later, there was a discussion
on the dpjudge mailing list
about the power names used in DPjudge
chaos as compared to those used in the Ken Lowe judge (Njudge) chaos.
As he toyed with the idea of bringing the DPjudge solution to the Njudge,
he started reading the Njudge documentation
support for additional variants),
and he found
a passage in section 3.4.8 of the
that says that the Ken Lowe judge can support any
variant with 34 or fewer players, but that should be sufficient
unless "you find something more insane than chaos."
Realizing that the DPjudge does not have any such restriction,
Mario set about implementing his creation on the DPjudge, in hopes
of it becoming a success, inspiring change in the Njudge.
Some of the initial players of the variant wondered how the game would
play if it began in Spring instead of Fall. This is an interesting variant,
but Mario comments on whether this would ever become official as follows:
"It won't. I'm much too fond of the cannon fodder part. Fewer survivors means
it's harder to outright kill the remaining contenders in the second and
third year as there's almost always some SC to retreat to. A Spring start
will probably mean more survivors, more like chaos with different power
names. I don't want that. Let void be void."
Regarding the name of the variant, consider the
origin of the
Chaos is from the Greek word Khaos, meaning "gaping void."
How very appropriate. Mario actually originally
chose the name mostly because in Void each player starts on the non-SC
territories (or, in other variants, the usually "empty" spaces), but
the Void variant actually embraces (by starting outside the
Chaos starting locations) and extends (by allowing a bigger variety of
starting positions after Winter 1900, depending on which centers remain
empty) the Chaos variant.