Opening Strategy

What are your winning tactics? Kill them all? Discuss strategy for the classic and variant games using the classic map, or visit the sub-forums for the variant maps.
Forum rules
Strategy
In addition to the general Forum Guidelines (see here: http://www.playdiplomacy.com/forum/view ... 30&t=15441), there are additional rules for posting in this forum.
1. When discussing strategy, reference should not be made to any active game. This section of the Forum is for general strategy discussion, not specific situations within games.
2. It follows that links, images, game name and/or number should not be added to a post if the game is active.
Posts which refer to a specific situation in an active game, or which link directly to an active game, are subject to editing or removal.

Re: Opening Strategy

Postby mhsmith0 » 05 May 2018, 00:59

fwiw i don't think i'd really insist on it, though i'd probably want to see what germany had in mind overall for the spring 1901 moves, particularly if burgundy is intended to be dmz'd.
Proud holder of the Superior Tophat of Solving, an item entrusted with the forum's most prominent smartass
User avatar
mhsmith0
 
Posts: 3616
Joined: 11 Dec 2015, 06:55
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Class: Star Ambassador
Standard rating: (1269)
All-game rating: (1439)
Timezone: GMT-7

Re: Opening Strategy

Postby Zosimus » 05 May 2018, 06:37

Well, opening strategy heavily depends on who you are friendly with and who you hope to kill.

England: Figure out whether Austria is bouncing with Russia in Galicia. Austria should be willing to tell you this. Then figure out whether you are allying with Germany or France. If you're allying with France, then open to Edi, Nwg, and Nth and take Norway with a fleet while bouncing Holland. Meanwhile, France can insist on a bounce in Burgundy and Germany gets only one build. If you're allying with Germany, try to negotiate a DMZ in the English Channel and then immediately violate it by going to Eng, Nth, and York. Then convoy the army to Norway and figure out whether the fleet in Eng is going to Belgium or Mao.

If Austria isn't bouncing in Galicia then you have to play it safer and guard against possible Russian moves north.

--------------------
France: If you're allying with Germany, offer Belgium to Germany. This will forestall any attempt by him to move into Burgundy. I like moves to MAO, Gascony, and HOLD. Then you can convoy the army to Portugal and take Spain. This leaves a fleet in MAO for a faster attack on England.

If you're going after Germany then insist on a bounce in Burgundy and play to Picardy, Burgundy, and MAO. You can probably negotiate Belgium for yourself and offer Holland to England.

If you're playing a WT then you can move to Burgundy, MAO, and Spain. Then take Spain(sc), Portugal, and use Burgundy to support someone into Belgium and build a fleet in Marseilles and an army in Paris to go after Italy from the start.

---------------------
Germany: Neither an alliance with England or France is particularly desirable, but you'll have to pick one or the other. Tell England his split of France is Brest, Spain and Portugal. Tell France his split of England is Liverpool/London. Try to convince both that you're entitled to Belgium to start. Then try to get 3 builds to start. Alternatively, try to get Russia to invade England while Italy invades France and try to take on both at the same time. In all cases, play to Denmark, Kiel, and Ruhr.

----------------------
Italy: Try to convince Germany to invade France to start. If that fails, then try to convince Germany to give you Munich. Try to convince Austria to give you Trieste. Try to convince Austria to play a Key Lepanto. If all of this fails, talk to Russia. Find out whether he is bouncing with Austria in Galicia. If he is, then open to Tyrolia, Venice, and Ionian Sea. Then play the Bohemian Crusher and see how it goes.

----------------------
Austria: Try to get Germany to take your side and convince Russia to help you against Turkey. If that works, Russia will give you a DMZ in Galicia and the two of you can take Turkey apart fairly easily. If you can't get that, then tell Turkey that you'll help him into Rumania over Russian objections. Then offer Trieste to Italy if Italy will play Naples->Ionian->Aegean Sea to start. If Turkey can be convinced to open to Armenia to start in order to take on Russia then it's curtains for him.

----------------------
Turkey: Open to Black Sea, Bulgaria, and Constantinople. What's the problem?

----------------------
Russia: Talk to Germany first to find out if he's taking a hardline pro-Austria stance. If he is, then ally with Austria immediately and give him a Galicia DMZ and play Moscow north. Bounce with Turkey in the Black Sea and then take Rumania with a fleet. Otherwise, open the Southern Defense.
Be more aggressive.
User avatar
Zosimus
 
Posts: 660
Joined: 19 Aug 2014, 22:17
Class: Star Ambassador
Standard rating: (1632)
All-game rating: (1665)
Timezone: GMT-5

Re: Opening Strategy

Postby Jack007 » 05 May 2018, 14:43

Excellent once more, Zosimus. I so much appreciate all of your strategy articles. Keep on running! Thanks.

:)
Jack007 (xxxx.) unbanned for dubious reasons
Member of the Honorables
There is no greater solitude than the samurai's,
unless it be that of the tiger in the jungle… perhaps…
-bushido
User avatar
Jack007
Premium Member
 
Posts: 1071
Joined: 08 Mar 2014, 17:34
Location: Switzerland (impassable) ⛵ Instagram @jack060856
Class: Star Ambassador
Standard rating: 1519
All-game rating: 1646
Timezone: GMT+1

Re: Opening Strategy

Postby Nanook » 05 May 2018, 17:35

The Turkish opening to Arm/BLA can work in very specific circumstances. If Russia DMZs both of BLA and Gal (somewhat rare, but it happens—a lot of Russia’s want to open north if they can), and Austria doesn’t get along with Russia, and Italy is willing to open West (usually with the promise of taking Austria between you too later—and a decent Italian player should be happy to let this opening play out as it means A/T are both focused completely away from him)...then opening to Arm and BLA with Austria going to Gal is a very powerful opening that can work wonderfully.

It is also a very delicate opening—if Russia lies and bounces BLA, if Austria lies and doesn’t take Gal, or if Italy decides they want Tri, this opening doesn’t work great. However, if you’re in the right circumstances (or better yet, create the right circumstances), this can be an extremely profitable opening for Turkey, cause it gets you a solid ally in Austria and a decent chance at a 2 build 1901.

I’ve used this opening a few times, and had it work wonders, and had it backfire horribly. It’s high risk high reward for sure, but in the right circumstances, it works very well.


I’d also echo rd45’s thoughts about Burg—as Germany, if France insists on bouncing in Burg, I tell England that France has hinted he’s going to channel (whether this is true or not), then move Mun to Ruhr anyways and let France have Burg. If Italy is adventurous and England is willing to let me have Belgium, I’ll also move Kiel to Hol, Ber to Kiel (letting Russia walk into Sweden in the fall), with Italy moving Ven to Tyr. In the Fall, I move Hol S Ruhr to Bel, Kiel to Den, and Italy moves to Mun while England moves to Bre.

Note that the above is something of an edge case—if Italy isn’t adventurous but is open to moving west, I go with the more standard Kiel/Den/Ruhr opening and try to get Italy to open to Pied. Bottom line is, I want to force France into as many hard decisions as possible, and cap him at 1 build max even if he makes optimal moves.
Platinum Classicist
(h/t lordelindel)

Admin
User avatar
Nanook
 
Posts: 11132
Joined: 19 Jun 2014, 19:52
Location: Florida
Class: Star Ambassador
Standard rating: (1209)
All-game rating: (1413)
Timezone: GMT-5

Re: Opening Strategy

Postby mjparrett » 05 May 2018, 18:19

Some interesting thoughts here. A few from me:

If I am Austria, I ask for GAL DMZ. If Turkey I ask for BLA DMZ. If Russia agrees to either of those and I believe him, I would be tempted to break them right away and invade. In the case of Turkey the opening discussed with the A-ARM would be my choice, although doesn't seem to have much favour here. The main reason I don't play this much though is that Russia will rarely agree to the DMZ and will insist on the BLA bounce.

He is more likely to agree to GAL though. So I go for it. You can almost guarantee Germany as a friend, and I think it is imperative for A/I not to fight in 1901. And Turkey will cheer you on happily and the join in to get his fill.

As Italy I actually love an anti French opening. Not fussed on the Lepanto.

Germany is not my strongest country. Some interesting comments above about trying to fight E/F at the same time. I'd probably lean to a French alliance (similarly as France I lean towards working with Germany). Main reason being that England should be wiped out early otherwise he is over your shoulder the whole game.

As England I like to ask for a Western Triple. You can easily stab F or G in about 1903/4 and be in a great position. I also recently played a very anti German opening with Russia - someone here sent me a very interesting article (you allow Germany into Sweden and England convoys to Denmark, while Russia is allowed Norway). Very fun, and trying something new is the whole great thing about the game.

But too much is made of opening strategy. It isn't chess where there are clear right and wrong moves once you start down a certain opening. You need to be flexible, you need to sense which of your opponents is more trustworthy than the others. I think my tactical game needs a lot of improvement, but I usually get past the start and am rarely wiped out first. Which to me shows it is less about tactics/strategy and more about the obvious diplomacy. By 1905 when tactics are much more important I start to struggle more!
mjparrett
 
Posts: 399
Joined: 01 Mar 2017, 20:05
Location: Scotland
Class: Star Ambassador
Standard rating: 1425
All-game rating: 1472
Timezone: GMT

Re: Opening Strategy

Postby TTBen » 06 May 2018, 03:33

Some very interesting points for sure but if anyone is willing, I have an easier time seeing these moves as smart or usually right once you have decided who you are aligning with but I never really know what to put into a first message that communicates strong enough to allow others to make an opinion of me and me to form my opinion of them but to leave open flexibility, I think I am improving in this matter but tips on what you say in message #1 would be of interest as well
Inactive PbF GM (choosing to focus on other things)
Organizer for PDL 2021
TTBen
Premium Member
 
Posts: 330
Joined: 09 Feb 2017, 15:40
Location: Texas
Class: Star Ambassador
Standard rating: 1111
All-game rating: 1763
Timezone: GMT-6

Re: Opening Strategy

Postby mhsmith0 » 06 May 2018, 03:57

mjparrett wrote:...
As England I like to ask for a Western Triple. You can easily stab F or G in about 1903/4 and be in a great position...

idk that seems like a strategy that shoudl fail more often than not. What's to stop France or Germany from blabbing England's plans to Russia and organizing a Sealion (early death of England is GREAT for France, Sealion isn't amazing for Germany but >>> western triple, and it works well enough for Russia too). Like, round 2 PDL as Russia that's almost exactly waht happened (I was also in the mood to try a northern opening anyway, but this helped my decision a LOT), and I have to think that it's fairly likely to happen just generally that way.
Proud holder of the Superior Tophat of Solving, an item entrusted with the forum's most prominent smartass
User avatar
mhsmith0
 
Posts: 3616
Joined: 11 Dec 2015, 06:55
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Class: Star Ambassador
Standard rating: (1269)
All-game rating: (1439)
Timezone: GMT-7

Re: Opening Strategy

Postby jay65536 » 06 May 2018, 05:59

mjparrett wrote:too much is made of opening strategy. It isn't chess where there are clear right and wrong moves once you start down a certain opening.


This is definitely true, in my experience.

The way I approach openings is that I don't think it's right to say that a certain opening is "good". Everything in this game is conditional, especially when you have 6 opponents all still on the board. To me, any opening that is the most efficient at accomplishing what I want to accomplish is on the table. The only time an opening is "bad" to me is when the objectives you're trying to accomplish could have been done better by a different set of moves.

So, to go back to the OP, I don't think any of the openings being asked about in that post are "bad". I can think of conditions where you might want to do all of those openings:

1. As Austria, what's the possible value in moving Vie-Bud? Well, in the opening you describe, Austria didn't move Tri-Alb; so perhaps Austria is leaving open the possibility of Ser-Gre, Bud-Ser, right? But in fact, I've even seen people play Vie-Bud with Bud-Ser and Tri-Alb. I think, to answer your question, there is something important you're missing: from Budapest, you don't just have the ability to take Rum; you also have the ability to support someone else there. Assuming you're pro-Russia, this could be a big help if Turkey is gunning for him early; or it could also be a key part of the Bulgarian Gambit--Russia plays Sev-Rum in S01 and then A/R have a supported attack on Bul in F01. (Budapest becomes a really useful back-line unit, either to backfill Ser or to support a Russian backfill into Rum, depending on who moves.)

2. If you're Turkey, and you find yourself in a game where you want to attack Russia as aggressively as possible right out of the gate, then this is the most straightforward way to do it, and as such it clearly is "viable". What your question is really about is whether you ever want to make this your goal, not whether this is the best opening to achieve that goal (it is). The answer to that question is "it depends". If you think Italy and Austria will create conditions where you can get away with this, then why shouldn't it be on the table?

3. I also really like the Mar-Bur bounce, but as other posts have pointed out, it's sometimes not worth doing when you're playing with a German player who really wants to move to Ruhr. If you're playing with one who is OK staying home in Munich in S01 (as I am and I believe many other players are), and you think Italy won't go to Piedmont, and you also don't want to put your fleet in Spa/sc, then why not?
jay65536
 
Posts: 557
Joined: 10 Sep 2016, 18:13
Class: Ambassador
Standard rating: (1120)
All-game rating: (1126)
Timezone: GMT-5

Re: Opening Strategy

Postby Zosimus » 06 May 2018, 14:54

Some more thoughts that might be completely disjointed.

First of all, the thought that Turkey can open to Armenia because he has a solid alliance with Austria and Italy is not going to take exception to this is just out to lunch. Italy doesn't necessarily want to see Turkey dead, but he doesn't want to see him get two builds and plunk down two fleets in 1902 either.

Western Triples do work. I have seen it. I don't ever understand why though. Germany usually won't agree to one because he knows he's drawing the short stick. At any rate, why wouldn't either England or Germany tip Italy off so that France's attack goes more slowly and either England or Germany (or both) can pick up France later? As for tipping Russia off, there's nothing to tip. If Russia is up against a WT, he can just bend over and kiss his ass good-bye. There's no way that Russia can fend off a WT or even a well played EG alliance. Russia needs to find at least one friend in the north or he's toast. My first message as Russia is to France. I simply point out that a strong EG alliance is going to be bad for both of us. I suggest that we both pitch Germany on the idea of killing England to start. If we both do, then Germany is likely to go along and that means I'll get both Norway and Sweden. If France doesn't pitch Germany on the idea, then I tell Germany that I tried to get France on board with the idea at the beginning, but he told me no. "He must be trying to set up an EF against you! Don't worry! I've got your back. I'll help you!" for the small price of an uncontested Sweden and a later conquest of Norway.

Italy has 4 possible targets. There's no way that Italy can attack Russia or England to start, so that means that the available targets are Austria, France, Germany, and Turkey (in that order). Italy cannot go it alone against France. If Germany's not on board with the idea, then Italy has to shelve that idea. Italy can attack Germany, but in most cases, he cannot keep the gains. So, in most games, Italy must go after Turkey or Austria. Now, going after Austria is pretty easy. If Austria wants Italy to help him against Turkey, Austria needs to sweeten the deal. It's depressing how many bad Austrian players there are out there. As Italy, I write to Austria gushing about how great it would be to work with him. Too often I get a letter along the lines of "Why don't you go west against France or play a Lepanto or something?" This guy doesn't want to work with me. He just wants me to twiddle my thumbs until 1904 when he will get around to putting me out of my misery.

The only way you can stop Italy from invading you is to play some sort of a Hedgehog. I prefer the Southern Hedgehog. But basically you're accepting that you're NOT going to get Greece to start. So you grow to 4 centers and hope to get Greece later for 5. OR you just bite the bullet and give a center to Italy, get Greece to start, and still have 4 centers with plans to take your home center back later to get to 5. The difference is, you are usually gifted with a fanatically loyal Italy after an opening like that. And an Italian ruler with 3 fleets in 1902 is a whirlwind of destruction. I pity the France or Turkey who has to face that.
Be more aggressive.
User avatar
Zosimus
 
Posts: 660
Joined: 19 Aug 2014, 22:17
Class: Star Ambassador
Standard rating: (1632)
All-game rating: (1665)
Timezone: GMT-5

Re: Opening Strategy

Postby Jack007 » 07 May 2018, 06:25

Zosimus, what do you say to an English-French alliance, where France lets England have Brest in exchange for Belgium? The benefit for England being no northern French fleets, and for France a faster advance into Germany. And no wasteful quarrels about ECH for both.
Jack007 (xxxx.) unbanned for dubious reasons
Member of the Honorables
There is no greater solitude than the samurai's,
unless it be that of the tiger in the jungle… perhaps…
-bushido
User avatar
Jack007
Premium Member
 
Posts: 1071
Joined: 08 Mar 2014, 17:34
Location: Switzerland (impassable) ⛵ Instagram @jack060856
Class: Star Ambassador
Standard rating: 1519
All-game rating: 1646
Timezone: GMT+1

PreviousNext

Return to Diplomacy Strategy

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests