TempleCon 2012 (AAR POSTED!)

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Re: TempleCon 2012 (AAR POSTED!)

Postby Niakan » 07 Feb 2012, 07:29

So here's my AAR for the tournament:

TempleCon was a less-intense tournament than WAC which I welcomed.. I was in over my head at WAC! The tournament was organized and run by TD Jim Burgess, who has been in the Diplomacy community for many years as both a contributor to Diplomacy zines and websites, and a tournament/F2F game organizer/attendee. Jim, like many of the prominent experienced Dip players in the community, is a true gentleman. It was an honor meeting him and being able to talk with him a little bit about strategy and tactics, of which he clearly has the grasp of a master. I think the difference in our experience levels could be exemplified by the following anecdote: when I had asked him what he thought about the Fleet Rome variant and how I thought that it created an undue advantage for Austria while not necessarily giving Italy an edge during the break between the third and fourth rounds, he began his reply by telling me that he had actually written an article about this subject -- back in 2003.

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Photo of one of the many rooms at this convention held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Warwick, RI. The tournament was run here.
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Wall lined with every strategy board game under the sun at the "Board Games" room in TempleCon
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In my first round, I played as Germany with Carl Ellis as England, and I think Phillipp Weissert as France, and.. I don't remember who was playing what in the east anymore. I misordered in Fall 1901 to leave Holland open, and it spelled disaster for me as England took Holland. I tried to convince him that he could never hold onto Holland and that it would screw both of us, but alas he took it anyway and, fearing an early E/F against me, I allowed Russia into Sweden. The game ended with me somehow holding onto Munich. Ta-da! The east did a smart job of holding the stalemate line against France in that game which was the only reason why I managed to hold onto Munich.

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Carl taking Holland from me in F1901 due to my misorder: "Kie - Den; Ber - Kie; Ber - Ruh"
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In my second round, I drew Turkey. Knowing Turkey tends to at least survive in tournament games, I breathed a sigh of relief. I actually don't remember this game well for some reason.. I think Carl was Russia in this one, and there was a player new to Diplomacy playing Italy by the name of Sam. Can't remember who was on Austria. Maybe Roland Cooke? I ended with a decent 9 SC, drawing to tie France who also had 9.

In my third round, I drew Italy. Bummer. Robert Rousse (who organizes Carnage in Vermont every year[Check thenadf.org for details]) was France in a Western Triple, and came up my backside pretty quickly. The fact that I went into Piedmont in Spring 1901 actually helped my situation, even though I thought it hurt it, since the WT was immediately agreed upon in S01 if I remember correctly from the after-game discussion (and since Robert used that as an excuse to pretend that he went on tilt from that move -- I believed him, so, well done on that Robert -- it disguised the WT for a year). A/I was in place against an R and T that weren't working together initially, so Austria and I otherwise stood to do well until France sent his stuff south. France actually took Munich in F01, only to pass through it and sit on the SML in S02. The WT continued to come east and the eastern side of the board scrambled to stop it. By 03, France got stabbed and it turned into a powerful E/G. I was Austria's junior partner by then and told him that I would have to go west. By then Turkey, played by Roland Cooke, was down to three armies and three centers, and the WT had been stopped. The game would drag on relentlessly as I hung on to dear life in Tunis. However, some patience by Turkey and perhaps some ill-timed stabbing (but to be fair, this game had run extremely long and by now there was plenty of drinking involved by all) caused discord in the east and saw an equally patient Austria get swallowed up after England had also stabbed Germany. Russia was down to a couple of centers, Austria was dwindling down to 7, Turkey had exploded to 6, France was eliminated, and I watched in horror (and in Tyrrhenian Sea) as the board collapsed and England had an eventual solo. So instead of prolonging the game that had already lasted up to 1:30 AM, the board voted to agree that England would solo and Phillipp was awarded full points.


In my fourth round, I drew Russia. Phillipp was Austria, Carl was Turkey, Ben, a friend of Adam Sigal, was Italy, Adam Sigal was Germany, David Burgess was France, and Alex Amann was England. Carl was eager for an R/T, and we agreed on a DMZ of the Black Sea in the Spring. Phillipp, knowing he already had the tournament win in hand, told me that he would like to DMZ Galicia in order to do something "fun" with Austria. I said sure, and asked him what he had planned. From his response I knew it wasn't to come after me, or Germany, or Italy. So... I'd wait to see what he did. Spring moves for Italy and Austria were:

Tri - Alb
Vie - Bud
Bud - Ser

Ven - Tri !
Rom - Apu ?
Nap - Ion


Could it be? ...A Key Lepanto! It was the only thing that could explain the "stab" on Austria without moving Rom - Ven to support the unit in Tri to hold. Also, with Italy not talking to me about going into Galicia during our negotiations, it seemed a strange way to stab. Too strange when Italy simultaneously made a Lepanto opening by going Apulia and Ionian. Key Lepanto was the only explanation. Carl and I immediately got in gear and his fleet went into the Aegean. I convinced him that I'd need my fleet in the Black Sea with the extra army unit coming against our front. I moved to Gal, Rum, and Bla, and Carl brought his fleet to the Aeg while supporting Rum in, and moved his army in Smy up to Con to support his army.

F01 saw Italy make the predictable Tri - Ser while Austria ordered Ser-Gre with Albanian support. I think Bud supported Tri - Ser.. or maybe we bounced in Gal. I can't remember anymore. Actually no, I'm pretty sure I took Gal because I would end up building in Warsaw. Germany bounced me in Sweden.

With the fleets in the Aegean and the Black and a Gal that was either empty or had a Russian army in it, the Key Lepanto did not have a bright future. Austria would immediately stab Italy in 1902, but Carl and I would continue working together until I had Bud and Vie, and, when it came time for me to support 5-center Turkey into Serbia, I instead helped Austria attack Carl while I convoyed an army into Ankara. Meanwhile, France came after a 3-center Italy as Austria took Venice and became a 4-center power. Italy disbanded an army, now having 1 army and 2 fleets.

It then turned into a slogfest in the east while an E/F battered Adam Sigal down. Adam would let me into Sweden in 02 to help him out, and I would make the poor choice of helping England into Denmark in 03. It was a bad move that didnt make sense. F2F get me frazzled sometimes and I shouldn't have helped England when I could. I think the fact that he had three fleets around Scandinavia wanted me to make him think that I'd help him so long as he didn't take my centers.

I would eventually overpower A/T by out-guessing them on tactics more often than not while trying my darnedest to convince France to turn on England, an England who had 5 fleets at this time which could only mean that he planned on eventually stabbing France. France was unmovable from his choice: I'd later understand why. By this time I guessed that England could stab me, so I build A StP as a defensive move. During negotiations I guessed that he *would* stab me, so I ordered Swe with StP supporting, which ended up being the correct guess and helped me hold Swe for the Spring. However, when I would repeat that in the Fall, England used his fourth fleet which had moved into Norwegian in the Spring to Support Norway to hold while the attack on Sweden was supported as well. Meanwhile Austria was down to 3 centers, maybe 2, and Turkey was at 3.

By this time France was cracking Italy's defenses. Italy had lost Tunis, and I eventually managed to convince Carl that I would convoy my army out and work with him if we could just stop this E/F from overrunning the stalemate lines. I would lose StP this year too, but only to a fleet -- I convinced England that, since this game was timed, he would be better suited stabbing France, where he could get more supply centers quickly, than trying to penetrate me to just get maybe one or two more after a couple of years of slogging. He agreed, and I had a wall to put my back against. With Turkey's help I finished off France. Turkey would end up having Ank, Con, Smy, and Bul, while I had Austria + Venice, the rest of the Balkans, and my 3 remaining home centers. England would end with 15, swallowing up France just as Italy fell, but with moves that allowed France to be able to rush back to Iberia to hold a SML on the Med. If the game had gone one more year, I would have swallowed up Turkey and rushed my units to the Central European stalemate line just in time to hold what I had left (at least I think I could have), but it wasn't to be. Alex topped the board with a 15 center England, I was in second with 10 center Russia, Carl in third with a 4 center Turkey, and David finished with a 5 center France, holding onto Por, Spa, Rom, Nap, and Tun.


The winner of the tournament was Phillipp Weissert with a commanding lead in the points.. I forget the totals for everyone but he was far ahead of everybody else. Second place went to Alex Amann I believe, and I got third place. Phillipp also won the Best England award for soloing as England, Best France award, and Best Austria award. David Burgess won the Best Italy award (which is why he decided to come after Italy at all costs in the fourth round -- well played sir!) with, surprisingly, 3 centers (Italy, needless to say, did not do well at this tournament). I won the Best Russia and Best Turkey awards for 10- and 9-center finishes, respectively, in the 4th and 2nd rounds. Best Germany award, I believe, went to Robert Rousse.. but I could be mistaken about that. It was someone who couldn't be there for the awards ceremony, that I know for sure.



All in all it was a great time and I was glad to meet some more new Dip players. The convention made for an interesting setting to have the Dip tournament.. I still don't understand what half those people were dressed up as, and why.

I'm very much looking forward to the other tournaments that will be going on in the Northeast, and in Chicago, if my schedule doesn't conflict. I probably won't be able to make it out to the others besides those this year. It's a lot of traveling! Thank you again to Jim Burgess for organizing and running the tournament on his own with his own boards and equipment, and for the work he's doing to bring New England F2F gamers into the fold. If you're a Diplomacy player that can get to Rhode Island for F2F games, shoot him an email at <[email protected]>, or if you're in Boston looking for games, shoot Alex Amann an email at <[email protected]>. I'm sure they wouldn't mind me handing out their emails for this purpose.
Last edited by Niakan on 07 Feb 2012, 21:38, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: TempleCon 2012 (AAR Coming Tomorrow)

Postby Niakan » 07 Feb 2012, 07:35

Some more photos since there's a 3-file limit per post :? :

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Tournament Director's station, featuring our central clock (a system made popular over time by these same New England guys)
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...and so I live to see the draw as a one-center Germany.
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I become Austria's janissary in 1906 in the third round. Have you ever seen a German army in Rumania before? I suppose a fleet would be more impressive...
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Re: TempleCon 2012 (AAR Coming Tomorrow)

Postby Niakan » 07 Feb 2012, 07:49

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That sinking feeling when you're a one-center Italy that's been hanging on for 7 years and you realize that England is going to solo anyway.
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The final board when we agreed to a draw in the fourth round.
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What the awards from TempleCon looked like. Very snazzy!
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The End



I should also say that Jim Burgess didn't charge a tournament fee -- players simply had to pay admission to the Convention -- which means that these awesome plaques came from his wallet. Many thanks for your generosity, Jim.
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Re: TempleCon 2012 (AAR POSTED!)

Postby coeus559 » 07 Feb 2012, 08:46

Niakan wrote:
I would eventually overpower A/T by out-guessing them on tactics more often than not while trying my darnedest to convince France to turn on England, an England who had 5 fleets at this time which could only mean that he planned on eventually stabbing France.


For the record, I only had four fleets - I didn't build my fifth and final fleet until I went up to 12 centers. :)

...if you're in Boston looking for games, shoot Alex Amann an email at <[email protected]>. I'm sure they wouldn't mind me handing out their emails for this purpose.


Agreed! I am always happy to organize Diplomacy in the Boston area. We even have a yahoogroup for this purpose! http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/MADip-L/
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Re: TempleCon 2012 (AAR POSTED!)

Postby Niakan » 07 Feb 2012, 08:48

coeus559 wrote:
Niakan wrote:
I would eventually overpower A/T by out-guessing them on tactics more often than not while trying my darnedest to convince France to turn on England, an England who had 5 fleets at this time which could only mean that he planned on eventually stabbing France.


For the record, I only had four fleets - I didn't build my fifth and final fleet until I went up to 12 centers. :)



That's totally not my selective memory kicking in ;)
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