Imperial III finishes - AARs

GM: Waterice Man. 4-way draw - Flatley (France) / Pedros (Mexico) / cs (Turkey) / kininvie (USA)

Imperial III finishes - AARs

Postby Waterice man » 10 Feb 2011, 17:25

Imperial III has finished after the Winter 1946 builds as a four-way draw between France (Flatley), Mexico (Pedros), Turkey (cs) and the USA (kininvie). Also surviving were China (beowulf7), Japan (Ghostecho), Britain (Ceebs - no units) and Colombia (surrendered - no units)

Here is the final map also showing adjudications received for Spring 1947
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Why did the chicken cross the Möbius strip?

The word 'surrender' derives from old French
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Re: Imperial III finishes - AARs

Postby Waterice man » 10 Feb 2011, 17:33

The GM's AAR

A confession: Towards the end, I was actually supplying th British moves. However, these were in accordance with a method specifically described by Ceebs, and did result in London holding extensively at the end.

One thing that was new for me this game was a running commentary that I received from France about his goals. This was very interesting, and it did help to explain a few things that were going on.

My expetation of what would have happened is a long, protracted war in Asia, probably eventually subduing China and Japan if the four eventual winners stuck to their path. However, if there had been any deviation, this might not have resulted. One likelihood, however, could be the stabbing of Mexico by France or vice versa. Unfortunately, though, I am not sure whether or not this would have resulted in success for the stabber. France could have gone on from this to solo, by stabilising the stalemate lines in the Atlantic and Pacific and moving against Turkey. This would, however, have been a somewhat risky venture, with a limited chance of success.

I look forward to reading about others' negotiations.
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Re: Imperial III finishes - AARs

Postby Flatley » 10 Feb 2011, 17:37

Glad to provide my commentary to you. I appreciate what a workload it is to GM a game like this, and so I thought I could liven things up by letting you in on some of my short- and long-term goals. Kinda like hearing the director's cut, as opposed to waiting for a plot synopsis after the fact.

Thank you, WIM, for GMing this game. Truly, it was a tremendously enjoyable experience for me, and I'm grateful for the effort you've put into the task.

Will provide my AAR later, when I have several hours to spare. ;-)
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We've always been at war with Eastasia.
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Re: Imperial III finishes - AARs

Postby Pedros » 10 Feb 2011, 17:58

Well there you are! And I got told off by kininvie in another game, for inadvertently copying a PM to an ally to him as GM, on the grounds that it could be seen as an attempt to subvert him!
"Sooner or later, one of us will stab the other. But for now we're both better off as allies" (kininvie)
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Re: Imperial III finishes - AARs

Postby Pedros » 10 Feb 2011, 18:27

My AAR's pretty simple.

It starts, again, with awed thanks to Wm for GMing. After getting through War in the Americas, less than one half the number of orders each turn, I can only guess at the difficulty of coping with this lot, and with so few mistakes as well!

Dealt one of the minnows (Mexico) at the outset, the one thing I decided was that I didn't fancy being USA's lapdog (ironic as it turned out!) I approached Colombia with the suggestion that we try to bring in Brazil to form a Latin American League of Nations to oppose America. unfunfunt was game provided we didn't bring in Brazil - his aim was to occupy South America. At the time the USA was under 18cards, and Colombia and I were able to eject him from Central America and I opposed him successfully in the Caribbean, and took New Orleans, with good prospects. It wasn't helped, however, by Britain deciding to abandon his Canadian holdings completely, handing the centres over to USA, but I felt I was still well on course (helped by two NMRs from 8cards!)

At the same time I was well aware that I had little idea of what was going on elsewhere. I couldn't really enjoy a game where I wasn't aware of the overall picture, but equally I couldn't begin to devote the time to that one game to maintain that awareness (Wm - can I just say it would have made a big difference if you had been posting current SC counts each year. I'm not sure why you don't.)

After two years kininvie appeared as USA. He immediately brought to bear the overall world-view which I lacked, demonstrated the already powerful position which France had reached, and persuaded both Colombia and me that a joint approach was the only safe way forward. Colombia by now was well on the way to controlling the whole of South America, and I had built up a solid presence in the north Atlantic. The three of us made steady progress, but throughout kininvie had developed fascinating conversations with most other nations, particularly France.

At this point the three of us had (sometimes heated) discussions about the desirability of a treaty with France. kininvie and unfunfunt were in favour, I was against because I could only see it further strengthening France's hand against the rest of us (It involved handing him unopposed access to northern Europe, something he was at the time fighting for.) It's difficult to see how this would have turned out (Colombia and USA might well have decided to take me out), but Colombia suddenly went silent and NMRd. For several days we had no contact, but he was reported as logging on regularly. This sounded like either a defection to the enemy or (slightly more likely because of the NMR) abandoning the game completely. Faced with that, the French alliance looked to me like our only option.

No sooner had we agreed that and agreed to take over South America post haste, than unfunfunt re-emerged - PC or internet trouble, I forget which, and a friend had posted his main site orders. By then we had momentum for attacking him, and pressed it home. The rest is history. At one point, when Flatley's R/L issues caused him game problems, I was worried that he and kininvie had decided to reduce the alliance by one member, but not so.

Late on Beowulf's China pleaded for some real action rather than what he saw as a tame draw. I' ve already commented on the general issue in kininvie's Mammoth maps and draws topic, but I had a lot of sympathy for his point of view (I've no idea whether he'd have seen it like that if he'd been on the other side!) Acting against USA and France, who had me overwhelmingly surrounded on all sides, was never an option for me however.

So that's it, and somehow or other I've never done other than draw in a Forum Game. Though I think Youngstown may put an end to that record!!
"Sooner or later, one of us will stab the other. But for now we're both better off as allies" (kininvie)
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Re: Imperial III finishes - AARs

Postby beowulf7 » 10 Feb 2011, 20:09

Nothing really happened over here. By the time I took over as a replacement China much of the fun was already done. Made a deal with Russia which was a bluff and designed to strengthen my western border. Briefly sided with Japan but then our lack of trust led to us not sharing information and I decided I could do better if I took over the western defence - that was much more troublesome than expected. Other than that I spent every round looking for the right time to squeeze France and openly seeking support for the same. The position I promoted of "not going it alone" was genuine - if I thought that any anti-France action was really underway then I would have joined in. Yes, it might have given me a go at the solo but even so...

A little frustration in the mid game when I missed two builds because someone had added a "chat" thread and I did not look below it. I honestly think we need a better way to get from round to round than we have at the moment (those two extra units in India might have changed things a little). Whilst I accept responsibility for missing the builds, I'm still not sure that the game of this ambition should hinge on the way the turns are announced. (And even communicating is like drawing blood)

Biggest disappointment? Turkey not turning on France, I feel that would have shook up the whole game and Turkey would have been surprised by the support he received.

What one thing did you expect me to say? lol - guys, more verve, dash, daring and risk! Its a game and we don't actually gain or lose anything. Maybe I need to found a new group of players who are all susceptible to mad and rash glory hunting changes! It seemed we all (me included with my "not alone" policy) were frightened to risk anything. As a result we have a non-event end game. Would you want to play many more games like this? I mean, its hardly going to be remembered for long... ;)

Overall view? The fun and fulfillment is not enough to justify the laborious game play.
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Re: Imperial III finishes - AARs

Postby kininvie » 10 Feb 2011, 20:27

I've expressed my thanks to WM in the previous thread - I just hope this game gave him enough pleasure to be keen to start another!

Having missed the sign-ups, I was parachuted into the USA after the Fall 1937 retreats. It did not look good. Mexico was happily invading the south, where I was outnumbered, Russia was about to descend on Alaska, and British fleets were edging towards my east coast. Worse still, I only had two fleets in the whole of the Pacific.

There was absolutely nothing I could do help any of the other powers, so I had zero assets to bring to an alliance. My first step was to try to split Columbia from Mexico and persuade him to stab, but it became clear I was on a hiding to nothing there. I spoke to France at this stage (on the grounds that if you are very weak, the biggest power may keep you as a pet, in the hope you may be of some use one day). France consented to leave my New Guinea position alone for the time being, and consented to my taking Hawaii. This was a turning point, for it allowed me to stay in the game for another year or two.

Next I got onto Pedros and started trying to persuade him that unless America united rapidly, we were all going to be eaten up by other, stronger powers. France, in particular had already conquered most of Africa. If Japan allied with China, the whole of western and central America was vulnerable. All of them could rapidly outbuild anything the survivor of the US/Mexican war could put into the field. But did he say ' Gracious Kininvie, you are right!' ? No chance! It took another full year and a bit (and further loss of position) before at last, the USA, Columbia and Mexico were working together.

At that point, something unfortunate happened. If we had managed to bring Brazil on board, there was a real opportunity to get into Africa and start expanding at the expense of an already-too-powerful France. Brazil was willing, but Columbia was not. Columbia was determined to wipe out Brazil as his first priority. Strategically, this was wrong, however tempting.

By now, America was fairly secure against attack - especially since China had attacked Japan prematurely, and neither country was going to pose a threat while they were fighting each other. But how to expand and push ourselves into contention? The only power within our reach was France, and France was already the strongest power on the board (with the exception, maybe, of the latent, but lethal, China). Well, we made the attempt, but Flatley is nothing if not good at defence. At one point he sarcastically enquired whether I thought he had defended his way through Africa, Germany and SE Asia....but actually, it's more or less true that he did just that. At some point around 1940, it was clear that France could outbuild us three to one. We got a convoy to Europe, but it was obvious there was not going to be a follow-up. All lines of attack into Africa were closed down, and there was little chance of doing anything in the Pacific either.

I had been doing the rounds of the other powers, holding out the vision of the French solo and offering every possible assistance. Fruitless. Germany, who was the only power we could maybe have helped, never saw the French stab coming and moved a crucial army out of Belgium just in time to let the French in. Turkey, who was in prime position to turn against France, sent lots of kind, but ambiguous, messages. We couldn't offer him any direct support....and the wrath of the French would have been terrible. He was right to stick to his alliance, no doubt about it. Russia, Britain and Italy were already almost out of it and there was nothing we could do for them.

The one great hope was China. When Beowulf took over from AA, I pressed him to turn south against France. He was non-committal, saying he would make a little demonstration and see how it went. He made a little demonstration, and then decided to turn against Russia, and then Japan. I don't know what was behind his thinking at that stage, but in retrospect it was a wrong decision. A Sino-Japanese alliance, with a neutral Russia allied to Germany and with American support could have made a significant dent in the French-Turkish position.

Back to the drawing board. A complete volte face was the only alternative to sitting and vegetating. If France was sufficiently frightened of China, he might appreciate us being on side rather than at his back in the Pacific when China eventually turned against him. As it happened, France (who was fractionally under-resourced in the Pacific) responded extremely positively, but Mexico did not. As Pedros has described, the arguments within the Combined American powers became somewhat heated. But at this crucial point, Columbia vanished. Paranoia set in, for the prospect of a China-Columbia tie-up was not to be relished, as it would throw the Pacific position for the US and France into some peril. Beowulf is a wily old bird with a good line in rhetoric, and we certainly believed he was capable of detaching our ally. Perhaps it was this that brought Pedros on board for the French alliance? In any event, that is what happened, and thereafter, it was a matter of playing Risk, as Beowulf put it.

It has to be said, that I remained hopeful until near the end that Turkey would suddenly decide to make a bid for glory. I spent a long time trying (and failing) to get some force into northern Russia to help him out if he so decided.

An interesting game. I've now been through three of these, and it's a fascinating map. Certain points remain true throughout. Britain has to concentrate force, or die. A united America can survive against all comers. China is potentially the strongest power, but has to get the timing right. Unless France is held in check from the start, he can dominate. The game is won or lost either in the Pacific or in the Indian Ocean. Maritime powers need fleets before armies.

I would like to repeat my thanks to WM, thank Pedros, not just for seeing the light in the initial stages, but for being a good, communicative ally. And my appreciation to Flatley also, without whom none of this would have been possible (as they say)...but who - whether as reliable ally or deadly enemy - is always communicative and challenging.

K
Away, and mock the time with fairest show:
False face must hide what the false heart doth know.

(Macbeth - W. Shakespeare)
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Re: Imperial III finishes - AARs

Postby kininvie » 10 Feb 2011, 21:35

Beowulf:

You wrote:

It seemed we all (me included with my "not alone" policy) were frightened to risk anything.


Your thought processes interest me here. I refer you to a lengthy dialogue that took place between yourself, Mexico, Japan and the US, starting on October 1st and continuing for several days thereafter. At that point the Combined American powers were trying to persuade you to make peace with Japan and move against France. This initiative failed. Yet it could have changed the course of the game. Why did it fail?

1) You made clear that you were not prepared to make peace with Japan (5/10)

clearly Japan is in my sights. I'm going for that (just being honest with you).


2) You made clear that in the end game, you were not prepared to deal with three American allies (16/12)

Now the bit you won't like. It does not seem necessary to agree an end game with all three of you. Given that you guys are never likely to be reduced to a single power that still leaves me looking towards an "any 2 from 3" scenario. If that comes off then we may move to an Anti-French war. If you stay solid then I don't see much changing in terms of the overall game. So I'm going to be taking a largely defensive line from here - but should any of you decide to shake things up then I'll be back at the table


3) This was backed by attempts to split us up (05/10, sent to Columbia and USA)
All I ask is that the two of you confer and decide what is in your best interests. After all, who is the bigger threat to you, me, France or Mexico? And which zone offers you the best chance for growth?


4)...and by a refusal to take the initiative against France - despite the fact that you were the strongest power (16/12)
I fell into a strong position in this game. Having dealt with Russia AND secured a nice shape with short internal lines I'm not going to jeopardise that by heading SE and thereby interposing myself between two enemies. It's fairly obvious, I'm looking for allies.


The interesting thing here (and please believe me, I'm not criticising - just interested) is that we in the Americas concluded that it was you who weren't interested in taking risks - that you were playing a classic defensive game by attacking your neighbours, seeking to split up more distant alliances, and refusing to take wider opportunities by making peace on your borders and countering the dominant power.

So what are we to make of your post which says that we need a cohort of risk takers? You are a good player, and you have a persuasive ability which I, for one, envy. But I'm not convinced by the thesis you advance.

K
Away, and mock the time with fairest show:
False face must hide what the false heart doth know.

(Macbeth - W. Shakespeare)
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Re: Imperial III finishes - AARs

Postby Oedrannus » 10 Feb 2011, 23:49

I was starting England in this match, which immediately put me as the largest and most strung out player in the game. To begin the game I knew that generally my survival would depend on consolidation, but France's proposal of an alliance showed a way if we could work together would pose a threat to pretty much the entire map, especially if we could gain an ally in Asia. At the time of the start I wanted my strength to be primarily centered around the Indian ocean. To the alliance of France and I was interested in bringing in one Asian power but that never really came to fruition. Essentially after getting stabbed by France I did my best to throw everything at him and let others get any gains that were possible, shortly after this I got hospitalized and dropped the game. (sorry guys) Well played by Flatly, but as the same time I still hold to the idea that if a British and French alliance that functions could be formed at the start of the game then they would be well on their way to a three way draw (with the addition of Japan, or China)
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Re: Imperial III finishes - AARs

Postby beowulf7 » 11 Feb 2011, 00:52

Kininvie

:D Well, its hardly a surprise that I did not get my message across - it happens to us all! Obviously I messed up then. I've already hinted that I feel myself that I may have been too risk averse at that time.

On point 1; I was hoping that you guys would sell Japan to me cheaply (if you note I did eventually make a real peace with Japan) - seemed possible that you would throw me a bone that would advance my SC count. Remember when I joined I only bordered 3 countries so I did have to take some action. Accepting Japan as a gift would indeed, as events show, have been better than trying by force. And a draw with me, france, japan and 3 americas at least would not really be a result

Items 2 and 3 were transparent attempts to prevent a USA wide power bloc - remember at that time I had a "deal" with France that he and I were going to share victory. But even at that time the French vision of a four power win was not very appealing.

Point 4 - I still maintain that attacking France on a narrow front would have been ineffective. Indeed the reverse attack has hardly been climatic even with support from elsewhere. It would also open my to stabs from you guys. If you (or Turkey) had showed a strong anti-France push then it was my intention to join in. The big fear fear was that you guys would stab me or just sit back and watch.

My own approach to risk depends on the investment in the game but I do have a love of the dramatic and will often go down blazing rather than with a whimper (I don't win very often at Paintball for that reason!). What I look for in the games is something to make that game stand out - that can be victory or supporting a good ally unto death, accepting the dark side of the force, aiding a noob or finding some bizzare task to accomplish. Ok, some of my appeal for a dash of Elan was an attempt to rock the boat, I admit that, but mostly I'm genuine - in this game right up until the last minute it was possible to do something "a bit different". If the mechanics were a bit slicker I would have carried on alone and tried to draw something new into play but, to be honest, it will take 3 months of real time and that seemed too much to ask of you guys

I would be interested in setting up a sub-group of "dramaticists" or similar that have a wilder approach. "Death and/or Glory!"
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