Opening Strategy

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Opening Strategy

Postby mhsmith0 » 04 May 2018, 06:33

I think I'm still something of a newbie in terms of really evaluating some stuff with openings strategy, so I wanted to throw out a few questions on some of the powers:

Austria
If Austria is friendly with Russia and DMZ's Galicia, what should Austria actually *DO* with A Vie? In my recent PDL game (completed), Austria opened Vie-Bud, Bud-Ser, Tri H. Ignoring the question of the Tri fleet, what is the benefit to Austria of moving to Budapest if he does NOT intend to contest Romania from Russia in the fall? I could see the appeal of Tri-Alb and Vie-Tri if Austria wants to protect himself from Italy, but I'm far less certain of the use or appeal of an Austria army in Budapest if NOT to go against Russia. Am I missing something important here?

Turkey
I've heard a bit about the Russian Attack (Ank-Bla, Smy-Arm) becoming more popular, but this seems to basically stall out unless Russia takes the (not impossible but I think uncommon) approach of moving Moscow north instead of south. To me this opening seems wildly pro A/I, with unlikely odds of punishing Russia for getting aggressive (and even an aggressive Russian can just forgo Romania, possibly buying an alliance from Austria, and try to just make his gains up north and let Turkey get roasted). Is this actually considered a reasonably viable opening for Turkey? Why is this better than, say, southern hedgehog, which at least gives Turkey the ability to get into Aeg in 1901?

France
I've proposed bouncing Burgundy with Germany previously, and found it to be a fairly reasonable approach since I can go Mar-Spa in the fall and (hopefully) take Portugal with MAO and have a shot at Belgium with Pic (to bounce if nothing else). Am I wrong to do this? Should I just encourage Germany to go to Ruhr and find something better to do with A Mar?
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Re: Opening Strategy

Postby Josey Wales » 04 May 2018, 13:15

A Vie - Bud and Bud - Ser leaves the option of bouncing Vie open in case the bastard Russian breaks a Gal DMZ agreement and stabs by moving War - Gal. It also leaves the possibility of stabbing Russian by moving on Rum in force in the F 1901 thus depriving Russia of a build in the south. Note: Austria should be allied with Turkey on this sort of plan - yes, Captain Obvious here.

I have used, as Turkey, F Ank - Bla & A Const - Arm a number of times and captured Sev in the fall.
S 1901
A Smyr - Arm
F Ank - Bla

F 1901
A Arm - Sev
F Ank - Const

8 times out of 10 Russia will move Sev - Bla for the bounce a second time. I have in the past also held Arm and gained the Black Sea. Don't discount the Russian Flanking move too fast - it can be effective if the right agreement with Austria is struck. Capturing Sev in '01 has led to soloes for me as Turkey.
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Re: Opening Strategy

Postby TTBen » 04 May 2018, 15:54

I’m interested to see replies here too, I think I struggle with evaluating options early on as well in a full comm game and taking what people are saying to make the best plan for me. I play a lot of gunboat as well and I know you have said you did as well, opening strategy certainly changes in those games. For example I love the Armenia opening as Turkey in gunboat, without Austria and Russia being able to coordinate it seems they have a much tougher time stopping Turkey. Also in gunboat as France I’m going to go to Burgundy every single time—- probably with Paris though and supported by Marseille, there is no benefit I can see to moving Marseille sooner.... now in a full comm game the benefit is in the trust and willingness to work with others that you are showing.
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Re: Opening Strategy

Postby GreenMountain » 04 May 2018, 18:23

I don't ever play Austria by choice, so take this with a grain of salt. The best Austrian outcomes I see almost always come from issuing A(Vie)-Gal, F(Tri)-Ven, A(Bud)-Ser. Pursue whatever you want diplomatically, but don't let Russia enter Galicia or Italy enter Trieste. Many Austrians think they can survive either of these things happening, but the odds say that you can't. You might be worried about instigating Italy or Russia, but experienced players will understand that you're playing defensively because you are Austria and will respect that. Inexperienced players aren't a concern for obvious reasons, so either way, the defensive Austrian opening almost always leaves you in a good position heading into 1902.
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Re: Opening Strategy

Postby Cliff Dancer » 04 May 2018, 22:16

mhsmith0 wrote:
Austria
If Austria is friendly with Russia and DMZ's Galicia, what should Austria actually *DO* with A Vie? In my recent PDL game (completed), Austria opened Vie-Bud, Bud-Ser, Tri H. Ignoring the question of the Tri fleet, what is the benefit to Austria of moving to Budapest if he does NOT intend to contest Romania from Russia in the fall? I could see the appeal of Tri-Alb and Vie-Tri if Austria wants to protect himself from Italy, but I'm far less certain of the use or appeal of an Austria army in Budapest if NOT to go against Russia. Am I missing something important here?

Turkey
I've heard a bit about the Russian Attack (Ank-Bla, Smy-Arm) becoming more popular, but this seems to basically stall out unless Russia takes the (not impossible but I think uncommon) approach of moving Moscow north instead of south. To me this opening seems wildly pro A/I, with unlikely odds of punishing Russia for getting aggressive (and even an aggressive Russian can just forgo Romania, possibly buying an alliance from Austria, and try to just make his gains up north and let Turkey get roasted). Is this actually considered a reasonably viable opening for Turkey? Why is this better than, say, southern hedgehog, which at least gives Turkey the ability to get into Aeg in 1901?

France
I've proposed bouncing Burgundy with Germany previously, and found it to be a fairly reasonable approach since I can go Mar-Spa in the fall and (hopefully) take Portugal with MAO and have a shot at Belgium with Pic (to bounce if nothing else). Am I wrong to do this? Should I just encourage Germany to go to Ruhr and find something better to do with A Mar?


For Austria, as an exception to every other nation, I want a fast start, and my ideal is moving ALB/SER/TRI if I fully trust Russia... which is rare, but has happened... once. You can even arrange a bounce with Italy if you wanted to and then end up in VIE/ALB/SER. If Russia did not stab you, then go ahead and support yourself into GRE and move to TRI just in case. If Russia does stab you, self bounce in BUD and then make a judgment call whether moving ALB back to GRE or back up to TRI. If ITALY stabs you and goes TYR/VEN, that's of course not good, and it's a 50/50 shot, but I think most good Italian players don't try to go after Austria in 01.

For Turkey, slow start. Get you 1 SC and be happy. Don't cede Black Sea to Russia, and unless you've got Austria going along with you, don't go to ARM (if Austria is on board, why not :)).

For France, I have had bad luck and don't feel comfortably giving my feedback :P

In general, I think starting at worse than average is better. For instance, if everyone gets 2 builds, and you get 1 build, that's good (if you get 0 builds or lose builds that's of course terrible). OR if two players get 3 builds, you get 2 builds, and everyone else gets 1 build, that's also good. You don't want to be the leader after 01, it causes too many people to worry and will most often be detrimental in 03/04.

Also keep this in mind:
-In expert play, most games end in draws, many times very large draw with everyone at 6 centers. And these games take a LONG time (think 1915 and beyond)
-In beginner intermediate play, solos are possible and even likely since players are likely to make mistakes. In these games:
-Austria/Russia - solos in 1906 or so - Russia spurred in large part to starting with 4 and being able to build 3 or 4 centers in 02/03/04 to spur rapid expansion, Austria by merit of central position and needing to open aggressively to stay alive.
-France/Germany: 1907 or 1908
-England/Turkey: 1909 or 1910
-Italy: 1911 or 1912... you can be at 4 centers until 1904 or so, not ideal, but it happens and can take awhile for Italy to finally breakout

I would say the opening might be the least important part of the game (tactically). Diplomatically, it's the most important of course (first impressions are important and hard to overcome!).

~CD
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Re: Opening Strategy

Postby rd45 » 04 May 2018, 22:19

mhsmith0 wrote:what should Austria actually *DO* with A Vie?

This one’s easy. A Vie should cover either Tri or Gal, depending on whether you think you’re more likely to be jumped by Italy or by Russia in spring 01. If you’re friendly with both, which you absolutely want to be in 1901, it should go to Bud. If both are hostile, it doesn’t matter where A Vie goes because you’re screwed anyway.

At the same time, Trieste goes to Albania and Bud to Ser. You want builds from Greece and Serbia, with Tri open for a build and Gal as DMZ.
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Re: Opening Strategy

Postby rd45 » 04 May 2018, 22:34

mhsmith0 wrote:Turkey
I've heard a bit about the Russian Attack (Ank-Bla, Smy-Arm) becoming more popular... To me this opening seems wildly pro A/I, with unlikely odds of punishing Russia

Completely agreed. As Turkey, I want peace in the Black Sea and a fleet in Aegean, asap. My 1901 nightmare as Turkey is feeling like I have to build a second Black Sea fleet because I've ended up in a fight with Russia. It's not that I can't win that fight - it's more that A/I are making actual progress while Russia and I are wasting each other's time.
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Re: Opening Strategy

Postby rd45 » 04 May 2018, 22:38

mhsmith0 wrote:France
I've proposed bouncing Burgundy with Germany previously, and found it to be a fairly reasonable approach

I can totally see why you like this as France, because A Mar loses nothing by bouncing in Bur. But as Germany I fully HATE this opening. I know immediately that France is That Guy, and that we're never going to make any sense together. As Germany, I'm trying very very hard indeed to go E/G vs. F at this point. So, ask yourself whether you really want that.
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Re: Opening Strategy

Postby mhsmith0 » 05 May 2018, 00:13

rd45 wrote:
mhsmith0 wrote:France
I've proposed bouncing Burgundy with Germany previously, and found it to be a fairly reasonable approach

I can totally see why you like this as France, because A Mar loses nothing by bouncing in Bur. But as Germany I fully HATE this opening. I know immediately that France is That Guy, and that we're never going to make any sense together. As Germany, I'm trying very very hard indeed to go E/G vs. F at this point. So, ask yourself whether you really want that.


Oh, I'd be happy enough to have a more aggressive anti-England alliance when I'm France (English attack, Germany moving north/westward, and at that point try and see if Russia wants to full on Sealion it), but even if I'm opening full anti-England (ENG/PIC/BUR) I think I'd be just as happy with a bounce in Bur since i can still grab Spain there?

Possibly that's wrong though; I've been pretty consistently trash as France so maybe that's part of why my instincts suck lol

PS I also feel like it's generically not bad for Germany to bounce Bur if he feels there's any kind of realistic chance Italy is moving to Tyrolia and he wants the ability to bail out Austria... but it's possible I'm overvaluing that option too
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Re: Opening Strategy

Postby rd45 » 05 May 2018, 00:51

mhsmith0 wrote:even if I'm opening full anti-England (ENG/PIC/BUR) I think I'd be just as happy with a bounce in Bur since i can still grab Spain there?

Which is pretty much exactly why it pisses me off so much if I'm Germany. I get that the bounce makes no difference to you, but if I'm stuck in Munich after a bounce, how can I affect what happens in Belgium in the fall? Aren't we supposed to be working together on that, so it's either yours or mine, and certainly not England's? That bounce tells me that you've already decided that Belgium is going be yours, and you expect me to suck it up.

If I'm Germany - you're either with me or you're against me. If you insist on a bounce in Burgundy, on grounds only that it does you no harm, then you're against me - whether or not you also ordered F Bre to the Channel. At this point, I'm probably tipping off England that you're about to violate the Channel DMZ that England thought you guys had agreed, and I'll order A Mun-Ruhr anyway. So you've antagonised both of your neighbours, you bounce in the Channel, A Paris is in Picardy, and A Mar is "accidentally" in Bur. I don't think that's a good start for France. You'd better hope that I didn't also persuade Italy to go to Piedmont.
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