New opening strategy for Austria?

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New opening strategy for Austria?

Postby adebruyn666 » 26 Oct 2017, 10:20

Hi guys,

I've been thinking about an opening strategy for Austria, but I haven't found it discussed anywhere... So, it's either a terrible idea, or a wonderful finding, and I'd like your two cents here:

A Vienna MOVE Trieste
A Budapest MOVE Trieste
F Trieste MOVE Albania

The idea here is obviously to show good faith to Italy and DMZ Trieste (auto-bounce), but without playing a suicidal gambit that Italy will do the same.

If everything goes well, you can then order:

A Budapest MOVE Serbia
F Albania MOVE Greece

Turkey can block one of those moves, but not both, and hopefully neither.

Now, if everything does NOT go well:

- If Russia moves Galicia, it will face an Austrian wall
- If Italy moves Trieste, it will bounce
- If Italy orders Rome > Venice > Apulia, Trieste can be easily defended while keeping a shot at Serbia or Greece
- If both Russia and Italy attack Austria, Austria is toasted anyway, so why bother?

This opening only makes sense if we want to cooperate with Italy from the get-go and show good faith, obviously!

Am I missing something here?
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Re: New opening strategy for Austria?

Postby Cardlinger » 26 Oct 2017, 10:56

The only initial thing I can think of is you lose some tempo and don't influence the Balkans as quickly as developing e.g. Bud-Ser, Tri-Alb; you have no influence on Rumania, for example?

That's the very first 'at a glance' thought. Others are more sophisticated in thought and experience and may opine further!

Best,
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Re: New opening strategy for Austria?

Postby Don Juan of Austria » 26 Oct 2017, 12:31

When I read the heading, I was like "there is nothing new under the sun" ;)

I personally prefer DMZing Trieste and Venice from the get go, and I use this if I doubt Italy's...word. Or I might just leave Trieste open and hope for the best.
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Re: New opening strategy for Austria?

Postby adebruyn666 » 26 Oct 2017, 14:27

Obviously, I did not expect to be the first player to open that way. I was just wondering why this was not even discussed among the dozen or so of "classic" openings I've seen around for Austria...

Cheers,
Arnaud
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Re: New opening strategy for Austria?

Postby Cardlinger » 26 Oct 2017, 16:59

Hold up, it's been a while and I forgot Bud connects to Rum. So there is 1 power influence on that space even with a Bud/Vie self-bounce in Tri. So, maybe it's not as bad as I first thought, although it's still a loss of tempo.

Best,
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Re: New opening strategy for Austria?

Postby Guns of Brixton » 26 Oct 2017, 17:42

I think it may be a good strategy for dealing with the Austrian Gunboat conundrum (see: http://www.playdiplomacy.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=55631). You'd be clearly indicating to Italy that you'd prefer to work with her, but recognise that many if not most Italies will open with an offensive. The problem though is that if Italy has commited to an Alpine Adventure (Ven-Tyr, Rom-Ven) you still need to support yourself back into Tri and thereby forgo Ser or Gre.
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Re: New opening strategy for Austria?

Postby DQ » 27 Oct 2017, 02:26

adebruyn666 wrote:Hi guys,

A Vienna MOVE Trieste
A Budapest MOVE Trieste
F Trieste MOVE Albania

The idea here is obviously to show good faith to Italy and DMZ Trieste (auto-bounce), but without playing a suicidal gambit that Italy will do the same.

If everything goes well, you can then order:

A Budapest MOVE Serbia
F Albania MOVE Greece

Turkey can block one of those moves, but not both, and hopefully neither.

Now, if everything does NOT go well:

- If Russia moves Galicia, it will face an Austrian wall
- If Italy moves Trieste, it will bounce
- If Italy orders Rome > Venice > Apulia, Trieste can be easily defended while keeping a shot at Serbia or Greece
- If both Russia and Italy attack Austria, Austria is toasted anyway, so why bother?

This opening only makes sense if we want to cooperate with Italy from the get-go and show good faith, obviously!

Am I missing something here?


There are a couple of good things that this set of moves accomplish:

1. Get your fleet towards water (where fleets belong)
2. Prevent enemies from occupying your dots

However, it misses out on a couple of important points:

1. Secure neutrals early
2. Establish a direction for your force

One thing it DOES do is demonstrate that you trust ... Russia and Turkey. Classically not the partners of choice in the early game for Austria. It doesn't show good faith to Italy - it shows you don't trust him not to go to Trieste! Me, I'll explain that if he shows up in Trieste in S01, we will both be dead in 1904, and my hands will be around his neck the entire time (diplomatic & Flowery language to soften that, but the message should be - if you run in on me early, I will take you down with me).

Functionally, this opening rarely gets used because it invites the other three area powers to gang up on you and deny you builds. An Austria who enters 1902 on 3 is dead, dead, dead. And if you give I/T the chance to deny you both Greece and Serbia, there's a darn good chance they will. Even if Italy was neutral-to-friendly before, they might see the advantages.

But the worst is if Russia opens to Galicia, and also gets an army into Rumania. Because that, in combination with either I/T being hostile, is a death warrant as well. You need to control Galicia with diplomacy or force, get Greece & Serbia, and get a plan towards getting Rumania or Bulgaria (depending on your target of choice, and preferably both).

So, while your opening does accomplish some things in the (very) short term, it invites all manner of disaster. IF you trust Russia to not go to Galicia, but don't trust Italy to leave Trieste alone, send Budapest to Serbia and cover Tri from Vienna.

If you worry that Italy is going to open to Tyr & Ven, send Trieste to Ven, Vie -> Gal, and Bud to Serbia. (I honestly can't count on the fingers of one hand the number of times I have NOT ordered Bud -> Ser in S01 as Austria). If you think both Russia and Italy want to be friends, (Yay!) Send Bud -> Ser, Vie -> Bud, and Tri -> Alb. Now THERE is an opening with some legs, and you can still recover somewhat from duplicity - be really confident in your read of I/R and prepared to eat crow if you are wrong. :P

My $.02 for Austrian openings is "Don't bleed in the water" - you want to get out of 1901 with at least one build and one ally, and two of either would be DANDY. Let someone else be the early target.
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Re: New opening strategy for Austria?

Postby jimbobicus » 27 Oct 2017, 10:45

It all depends on your reading of the other players, but I struggle to see any range of opening press for which I would do those moves

As Austria, I generally like this opening for a large range of opening messages, but especially if Turkey might not be hostile:
Budapest-Galicia (arranged bounce)
Vienna-Trieste
Trieste-Albania
This covers you up defensively, means you should get Serbia, Greece in the fall and doesn't alienate any player too much. One thing many Austrias do wrongly in my opinion is not even consider alliance with Turkey. Whereas encouraging the Turk to do Smyrna-Armenia can really put Austria into a strong position. Aut/Tur alliance is not easy but with bright enough players is a viable option.

If during opening press you hear good stuff from Russia but fear Turkey, I recommend
Budapest-Serbia
Vienna-Trieste
Trieste-Albania

If you fear juggernaut then option is
Budapest-Serbia
Vienna-Galicia
Trieste-Albania
and hope you can trust Italy
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Re: New opening strategy for Austria?

Postby el Swine » 28 Oct 2017, 14:42

I have experienced one single truism whenever playing Austria. If Italy has it in mind to attack you, you are dead. Usually within 3 years

If you have an Italian player with a single ounce of sense, they know that ultimately they are dead too so they won't attack you for the first 3-4 years.

Hence Bud-Ser, Tri-Alb is always my Austrian opening. Vie can go to Tri if I'm living in fear, but usually it always goes to Galicia
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Re: New opening strategy for Austria?

Postby jimbobicus » 28 Oct 2017, 18:23

el Swine wrote:I have experienced one single truism whenever playing Austria. If Italy has it in mind to attack you, you are dead. Usually within 3 years

If you have an Italian player with a single ounce of sense, they know that ultimately they are dead too so they won't attack you for the first 3-4 years.

Hence Bud-Ser, Tri-Alb is always my Austrian opening. Vie can go to Tri if I'm living in fear, but usually it always goes to Galicia

While there is some truth in this, I think that's an over-simplification. Even if Italy is hostile, if you can set up Aut/Tur alliance, then you can keep yourself alive.

As for Italy, I think it can be good to attack Austria early if able and you hear good things from Russia. If I was Italy and heard Austria doing your moves, then I'd be very tempted to stab and get into Trieste - depending on what I heard elsewhere. As Italy I think many people do play too passively and leave themselves as sitting ducks later in the game
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