Imperial III finishes - AARs

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

Re: Imperial III finishes - AARs

Postby PJL » 15 Feb 2011, 22:29

Have been reading this thread (and the similar thread about big map diplomacy) with interest, and deciding whether I should join these games.

Interesting analyst there Flatley - so basically the diplomacy in larger maps should be to break down the maps into various areas/theatres, and make sure you have a presence in as many theatres as you can. In some respects a bit like the IRL1870-1914 period the orginal Diplomacy game is supposed to convey, but on a global scale. Obviously this is easier to do with the colonial European powers, but could be a tactic with non-Euro powers if they have spare fleets. I think if that approach is taken, we could see a lot more spice in such game, instead of megablobs forming in each region, creating stalemate lines. In some respects, it would diversifying your risk, instead of putting all your eggs in one region and not wanting to stab an ally, you could have several regions, and try something daring in one region without the risk of you collapsing totally.
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Re: Imperial III finishes - AARs

Postby kininvie » 16 Feb 2011, 00:13

Flatley:

You said:

UK was a coin toss in each game, but even as a winner it was not a world-mover. In short, they (presumably) felt that they could lose their SCs in one region and somehow translate that into strength in another region. In fact, all they did was narrow their own field of play, give other regions an opportunity to grow at a faster rate with the investment of fewer resources, and make it more difficult to influence (or control) that region’s events.


Needless to say, as a one-time (winning) UK player, I disagree. The problem with powers that are dispersed across the board at the start is that they can be eaten up piecemeal unless they concentrate on the areas of strategic importance to them. In two out of three games, we have seen the UK lose, for this very reason. It's a false analysis to say that 'they could lose SCs in one region and somehow translate that strength in another region'. The true way of looking at it is to think about the impossibility of defending everywhere and trading centres for friendship or other advantage, concentrating on what is achievable.

Having said that, your record as France suggests the alternative is possible. I don't know how you did it, but it suggests extremely naive play by some players. When I joined I was shocked that you had been allowed to get away with it as far as you had. Great sleight of hand, I agree, but not a solid strategy if players were properly alert.

K (looking forward to part two)
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Re: Imperial III finishes - AARs

Postby Flatley » 16 Feb 2011, 01:50

I would disagree on both of your points.

1) On the question of consolidation vs. globalization - While the consolidation strategy may work well in the short term, it limits the field in the longer run. In the case of the UK, in Imperial II you abandoned your Canadian holdings with no trade-off from me. In essence, you took a -2 hit with no offsetting conquest. Now, you could have brokered a land deal with another player, but in the scope of North America, you gained nothing and permitted the Americans (me) to focus on eliminating the only other nation on my border. Asset allocation was simplified in my world, and your fleet and army floated out in the Atlantic for quite some time to come. I didn't say that this path leads to failure, but rather that this path seems to frequently lead to diminished returns. Semantics, perhaps, but I wanted to try out a new model - and it worked.

2) I think you give the other players a disservice by calling them naive for permitting me to grow as much as I have. In fact, my early growth came from sound strategic planning and two well-timed stabs (as I will explain in tomorrow's post). Along the way I had to trade favors, and there were many points at which I had to forgo potential conquests to placate my neighbors. I'd invite you to review the early battles in the Pacific and Africa (1935-1938). You'll see that, in the former, my neighbors were struggling with their own enemies while I battled one or two nations largely on my own. If you're suggesting they should have stabbed me while I was small, I don't think anybody had the wherewithal to execute such an order. Remember that this is a global war, and I had worked to help other nations grow just as I helped myself.

Ultimately, there is no one strategy that will work every single time. The point I'm trying to raise is that there are preconceived notions to the game that aren't necessarily accurate. If you play as a global power, you have a choice. I've demonstrated that retaining global control can lead to victory. Having access to more SCs is only part of the reason for that. I'll talk about the other perks as I make additional write-ups.
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Re: Imperial III finishes - AARs

Postby Flatley » 16 Feb 2011, 01:57

PJL wrote:Have been reading this thread (and the similar thread about big map diplomacy) with interest, and deciding whether I should join these games.

Interesting analyst there Flatley - so basically the diplomacy in larger maps should be to break down the maps into various areas/theatres, and make sure you have a presence in as many theatres as you can. In some respects a bit like the IRL1870-1914 period the orginal Diplomacy game is supposed to convey, but on a global scale. Obviously this is easier to do with the colonial European powers, but could be a tactic with non-Euro powers if they have spare fleets. I think if that approach is taken, we could see a lot more spice in such game, instead of megablobs forming in each region, creating stalemate lines. In some respects, it would diversifying your risk, instead of putting all your eggs in one region and not wanting to stab an ally, you could have several regions, and try something daring in one region without the risk of you collapsing totally.

Yes, that's one thing did, and it's no secret: I printed out the game map, drew up regional borders (based on my experience on which way the battles will go), and looked at the world as Theatres. It made managing the game easier on my mind. As the game progressed I redefined the regions to fit the current scope.
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Re: Imperial III finishes - AARs

Postby kininvie » 16 Feb 2011, 02:30

Flatley...

Of course I accept that there is no one strategy. Apart from anything else, there is a clear case to be made for becoming a 'client state (France in game one, Turkey in Game 3), which is another way of getting to the winners' podium. Nevertheless, for dispersed nations, the record is not wonderful. Holland and UK lost in game one, France lost in game two, UK lost in game three. A different model may work - all I argue is that failure to concentrate involves greater risk....

And I return to the question of attempting to defend stuff all over the board. You say I traded in N American holdings for nothing. On the contrary, I traded them in for a timetable I could control, and for peace (which was vitally important to the UK at that point). Equally, as China in game one, Britain traded HK with me in return for support. Later in the same game, Britain traded his Indian centres in return for an Australian homeland. I'm simply not convinced that a testosterone-fueled determination to be successful everywhere at once is a better recipe for success than strategic concentration...but we no doubt shall see, through further gameplay, whether your model can be emulated by lesser talents....

K
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Re: Imperial III finishes - AARs

Postby Flatley » 16 Feb 2011, 06:07

Testosterone-fueled? Well, if that's the degree of finesse you feel I've demonstrated, then I won't bore you with the rest of my AAR, which would have doubtlessly been filled with rock-chucking, pointed sticks, and unsupported armies bumbling their way into undefended SCs.

Really, now. Naive neighbors, testosterone diplomacy. What have I done to deserve such insults?
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Re: Imperial III finishes - AARs

Postby kininvie » 16 Feb 2011, 17:07

My dear Flatley....

Sometimes you take insults too seriously, no?

Since I vividly recall that you suggested I was seething with pent-up rage, I thought testosterone-fuelled was a relatively mild response... :)

Anyway, swapping pleasantries is definitiely off-topic for this thread, so I shall apologise for any offence given, and hope you will now delight us all with Part II

K
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Re: Imperial III finishes - AARs

Postby Flatley » 16 Feb 2011, 17:14

haha, just wanted to see if I could get your goat as well as you could mine. ;-)

Just to reiterate, my point is not that my strategy is a guaranteed winner, nor that it's "better" than consolidating into a regional power. It's certainly a higher risk/reward threshold, and the results certainly show as much. The message I hoped to convey to players, both first-timers and veterans, is that the tried and true formula is not the only way to go. There were a lot of assumptions on how things MUST be in this game. Many of them are false assumptions. I've debunked a number of them in this last game, and I hope people are encouraged to think outside the box a bit more as a result. Even as much as I had done, there's still much envelope-pushing to be done.

I'll post Part 2 later today, which will be titled "Me Invent Fire."
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Re: Imperial III finishes - AARs

Postby kininvie » 16 Feb 2011, 22:03

is that the tried and true formula is not the only way to go


There isn't a 'tried and true' formula, just various theories about how to play on big maps - especially if you hold a dispersed power.

My theory, as you well know....is 'concentrate force in strategic areas' (and I have three wins to back it - which is evidence, of a sort). And I'd argue it applies just as much to powers which start as unities as to those which have holdings all over the place. (It also has some respectable RL adherents, Napoleon for one)

You hold a different theory, and you have a good win to back it with. But you aren't challenging some kind of orthodoxy. It's not Luther nailing his thing to the door, you know.

All the same, I'm defending my position: So I'll argue that you won, not through consistent application of a doctrine, but by a) getting a good draw - France is a strong power on both maps b)Excellent diplomacy and tactics (no one is denying you that) c) naivety on the part of others in not hitting you hard before you grew too powerful - e.g. Everyone around Indonesia seems to have accepted their fate by Fall 36 d) Luck (e.g Italy's fluffed convoy order in Fall '35)

Looking forward to being proved wrong ;)

K
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Re: Imperial III finishes - AARs

Postby beowulf7 » 17 Feb 2011, 00:33

Rommel too, his early work in North Africa is very instructive
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