New opening strategy for Austria?

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Re: New opening strategy for Austria?

Postby Zosimus » 01 Nov 2017, 00:56

I think your opening misses out on the diplomacy in the game -- especially with Russia. Russia needs Sweden without a fight. Russia knows that Turkey is moving to the Black Sea. Russia is worried about Galicia. So Russia is going to approach Germany and Austria first to make sure he's not facing Anschluss.

If Russia is facing Anschluss, he's going to offer you an alliance post haste in exchange for Germany's good will and an undisputed Sweden. If not, he's going to be planning on how he can invade you. So he'll say something like, "How do you think we should handle Galicia?"

Now since you've already decided to leave it open because you're self-bouncing in Trieste, you're naturally going to say, "I'm good with a DMZ."

So now that Russia knows that Germany won't be pissed off if he invades you and that Galicia is open for the taking, he's going to approach Italy to try to convince him to open the Obriani attack. If Russia succeeds, then you're going to be facing a Russian army in Galicia, an Italian army in Tyrolia and Venice, and no guarantee that you're going to be able to get a neutral to start. Bad juju.

And if Russia fails, then you didn't need to open defensively against Italy to start.
Be more aggressive.
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Re: New opening strategy for Austria?

Postby DQ » 01 Nov 2017, 08:19

Zosimus wrote:I think your opening misses out on the diplomacy in the game ...


This. ^^ I guess I can imagine a game in which this was the correct answer to the negotiations I'd had in S01, but I'm hard pressed to lay them out in a way that doesn't argue for something else.

Maybe ... Russia wants to open north, Turkey wants to attack Russia, and Italy wants to attack Turkey? Even then, why wouldn't you want to be in Serbia in the fall? Not already being in Serbia in the fall invites a lot of disaster.

Zosimus wrote:Now since you've already decided to leave it open because you're self-bouncing in Trieste, you're naturally going to say, "I'm good with a DMZ."


Aside from it just being tactically sub-optimal across the board, it is certainly not a decision you should be making BEFORE you have your conversation with Russia. Yes, you can have an opening in mind, and trying to secure a DMZ in Galicia can be part of that. Just make sure you get an affirmation of Russia's intent backed up by some corroboration from his neighbors before you assume leaving Gal empty is the right call.

[quote=shyve] My opening strategy for Austria is to immediately join a new game ASAP and hope I don't draw Austria in that one... [/quote]

You'd appreciate the format at the North American championships this year - players get to choose their country, after which boards will be created randomly. Like having preference lists but once all spots for a country have been chosen, you end up with less choices. Choice preference being random in the first round, and then in reverse order of placement for rounds 2 and 3 - if you got clobbered in round 1, you'll have first choice of country in round 2, but if you are leading the tournament, you'll have whatever is left after everyone else chooses. I'm starting a thread in F2F to discuss this, as its entirely novel for F2F tournaments.

Relevant in that given the choice I'll pick Austria every round, and I'm now tempted to try to make this opening happen. :D
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Re: New opening strategy for Austria?

Postby el Swine » 06 Nov 2017, 15:07

jimbobicus wrote:
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


I just finished a game where this happened with the Italian player. I'm sure he figured he was clever, getting an early count boost, something that is seemingly so desirable when playing Italy. He got up to 10, I got eliminated, he finished on 4 in a game that France solo'ed.

I can't recall observing a game where it's worked out well for Italy stabbing Austria, but it has never happened in any game where I have played Austria. This includes online, which is a completely different from FTF tournament play. In tournament play the effect is amplified enormously.

The only time I attack Austria when I'm Italy is when I've taken care of France or Turkey first.
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Re: New opening strategy for Austria?

Postby DQ » 06 Nov 2017, 17:04

el Swine wrote:
I just finished a game where this happened with the Italian player. I'm sure he figured he was clever, getting an early count boost, something that is seemingly so desirable when playing Italy. He got up to 10, I got eliminated, he finished on 4 in a game that France solo'ed.

I can't recall observing a game where it's worked out well for Italy stabbing Austria, but it has never happened in any game where I have played Austria. This includes online, which is a completely different from FTF tournament play. In tournament play the effect is amplified enormously.

The only time I attack Austria when I'm Italy is when I've taken care of France or Turkey first.


http://www.diplomatic-pouch.org/Zine/F1999R/Windsor/dipmap.html

That's a truism worth a re-think, I'd say. As Paul says in the article, attacking Austria is perilous, but can be very profitable.
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Re: New opening strategy for Austria?

Postby jimbobicus » 07 Nov 2017, 21:12

That article chucked a load of ideas into the mix, but some of them just really are not intelligent. Italy attacking Germany for instance is crazy. Even if you manage to take Munich, you'll have a pig of a time trying to defend it long term, while Germany should be one of Italy's most natural allies - possibly the best. Weakening Germany will inevitably mess you up elsewhere as well - as it creates a large France.
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Re: New opening strategy for Austria?

Postby GhostEcho » 07 Nov 2017, 22:03

jimbobicus wrote:That article chucked a load of ideas into the mix, but some of them just really are not intelligent. Italy attacking Germany for instance is crazy. Even if you manage to take Munich, you'll have a pig of a time trying to defend it long term, while Germany should be one of Italy's most natural allies - possibly the best. Weakening Germany will inevitably mess you up elsewhere as well - as it creates a large France.


It's unusual to attack Germany as Italy in the opening, but I've seen it. My impression from reading older articles (from e.g. the Pouch) is that it used to be much more common. I'm not sure whether that reflects F2F play or overall improvement in known strategies as the game's matured. I certainly wouldn't dismiss it completely as "really not intelligent" - after all, it's [ insert collective groan ] all situational. :lol:
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Re: New opening strategy for Austria?

Postby Jack007 » 07 Nov 2017, 22:15

Italy can make some gains in Germany, with the help of France. But usually he cannot hold them in the longer term.
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Re: New opening strategy for Austria?

Postby DQ » 08 Nov 2017, 06:03

Jack007 wrote:Italy can make some gains in Germany, with the help of France. But usually he cannot hold them in the longer term.


Much depends on what you're doing elsewhere - if your ally is (as suggested in the article) England, then why wouldn't you be able to hold Munich, at least? If you are getting Iberia, Marseilles, and Munich you're off to a good start. Obviously that looks more like attacking France than attacking Munich - but the real challenge for Italy is the fifth build - get that early enough and you can do some damage.

As Austria at Carnage this weekend, I offered Italy Trieste in 1901, so they could build two fleets and attack France. I ended on 11, with Italy on 8 - France made some disastrously bad guesses, and was distracted attacking England, but it worked out very, very well. I've seen Germanies offer Munich in a similar gambit - the swinging gate I think its called - where Munich gets dislodged and retreats (in theory) to Burgundy in 1902.

"Attacking with the aim of capturing the German home centers" is unlikely to succeed in the long term, sure. But Munich, Marseilles, and Vienna/Budapest/Serbia are all the same distance away from Venice - people can be too quick to dismiss them as early opportunities.
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Re: New opening strategy for Austria?

Postby mhsmith0 » 05 Dec 2017, 10:12

Jack007 wrote:Italy can make some gains in Germany, with the help of France. But usually he cannot hold them in the longer term.

Having inherited such a position (though in this case it was with Russia as an "ally" i.e. someone who ended up soloing) i can fairly enthusiastically agree (Zosimus might start grumbling through as he was France there :P ). Going after Germany early, barring a board where no one knows what they're doing, is generally a very poor decision for Italy.

wrt the opening's details, ignoring the diplomacy (I know, I know), I'd say there are three tactical downsides:

1) It doesn't do anything at all to defend against Italy opening Ven-Tyr and Rom-Ven. Italy opens with those, and then you're in a world of hurt. Even worse, Italy can one up the whole thing by going Tyr-Boh, Ven-Tyr, build A Ven, and then you're just toast.

2) It doesn't do anything at all to defend against Russia opening War-Gal, which is by far the most common Russian opening... and Russia in Gal in the spring is often a prelude to a quick Austrian exit.

3) It doesn't do anything to enforce Austria's claim on Greece. Presuming Turkey opens like it almost always does (Con-Bul, Smy-Con, Ank-BLA), then Turkey will go after Greece as well most of the time and bounce with you, and if you don't have Greece in 1901, you're probably not getting it in 1902 after Turkey builds a fleet and parks it in Aeg.


One of the big things in Diplomacy (at least in terms of tactics/strategy) is tempo. A self-bounce can be useful in specific circumstances, but spring 1901 isn't really one of them. In 1901 you want your units actively being helpful... and your Bud army in particular is generally much better off in Ser than anywhere else.

Vie-Gal (barring a really good DMZ agreement with a Russia you really trust and want to work with), and Bud-Ser are both super super standard, and then I think it's mainly a question of whether you want to open Tri-Ven (anti-Italy, pro-Turkey) or Tru-Alb (anti-Turkey, pro-Italy).
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