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Least used province

PostPosted: 11 May 2018, 00:16
by markleadon
What’s the least used province on the board in your opinion. My guess is
1) Syria. I think I’ve only ever gone there once
2) Clyde
3) Tuscany or apulia

Re: Least used province

PostPosted: 11 May 2018, 00:25
by PrinceAli
I agree with Syria and Clyde (similar position for the North Atlantic, I'd say), but I just got kicked out of Naples because of a fleet in Apulia (and the Ionian), and we'll be fighting over Tuscany pretty soon, so I'll have to disagree with your third choices.

EDIT (Addition): See a recent post by Enriador about the "Tuscan Opening:" https://www.playdiplomacy.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=57250. Not that this has been used, but it did make a good point about how little it's used, while suggesting its usage.

I'd like to see what other people see as the most used provinces, as well.

Honestly, though, I think Swi and Ireland are the least-used provinces.

Re: Least used province

PostPosted: 11 May 2018, 00:30
by Damon Huntington
I have to disagree with Switzerland. I once read an analysis [http://www.diplomacy-archive.com/resources/strategy/articles/hit_parade.htm] that stated Switzerland, despite being impassable territory, was actually the most important province on the board - mainly due to how it bottlenecked the connection between Austrian and French territory, as well as reducing the overall amount of offensive lines that can afflict Munich (also one of the most important spaces).

I'd say that Ireland and Syria are indeed the least-used provinces.

Re: Least used province

PostPosted: 11 May 2018, 00:45
by PrinceAli
Damon Huntington wrote:I have to disagree with Switzerland.

I'm glad someone did. I'm in a one-vs-one England vs. Austria (I'm England) and Munich is becoming a huge pain for either of us to take thanks to Switzerland. I notice this agrees with the number two "Most Important" pick (Munich) in that article, and your comment. Switzerland has an outsize effect on the board at essentially every stage.

The post I cited earlier actually gave a really weird use for Syria early in the game ("flexibility" in an alliance with Russia), but I think it has very little value.

Re: Least used province

PostPosted: 11 May 2018, 02:08
by Nanook
Syria is the least used most likely, but Bohemia is just as useless. Bohemia is normally only useful late in the game for holding a stalemate line against the West. Syria comes into play during Lepanto’s or Italian attacks on Turkey, sometimes.

Re: Least used province

PostPosted: 11 May 2018, 07:55
by markleadon
Yes I was struggling for the third choice. York often used early on for convoying but less and less as game goes on too. North Atlantic could be a good shout

Re: Least used province

PostPosted: 11 May 2018, 18:58
by jay65536
What do we mean by "used"? I think it's at least possible that the answer depends on that, especially if we're thinking about most used.

Least used, I feel like there's no way it isn't Syria. (I'm personally of the opinion that Syria is under-utilized.)

That said, I don't consider any space on the board to be "useless". nanook, wasn't Bohemia a key space in the one game we have actually played together?

Re: Least used province

PostPosted: 11 May 2018, 19:17
by Nanook
jay65536 wrote:What do we mean by "used"? I think it's at least possible that the answer depends on that, especially if we're thinking about most used.

Least used, I feel like there's no way it isn't Syria. (I'm personally of the opinion that Syria is under-utilized.)

That said, I don't consider any space on the board to be "useless". nanook, wasn't Bohemia a key space in the one game we have actually played together?

Note the qualifier I used—except to hold a stalemate line against the West (or to try and break through to Munich from the East, I guess, but I’m kinda lumping those two together).

I’m struggling to think of another way it’s useful? Like, most early moves to Bohemia that aren’t accompanied by moves to Sil and Tyr (and thus fall under the above use) end up being pretty much wasted moves, right? Can you think of an exception, where Bohemia was used and Sil or Tyr couldn’t have done the job better?

Re: Least used province

PostPosted: 11 May 2018, 19:18
by Nanook
I also wouldn’t call any space completely useless. Just as useless isn’t the same as totally useless, but I could definitely have worded it clearer ;)

Re: Least used province

PostPosted: 11 May 2018, 20:18
by jay65536
nanooktheeskimo wrote:Note the qualifier I used—except to hold a stalemate line against the West (or to try and break through to Munich from the East, I guess, but I’m kinda lumping those two together).

I’m struggling to think of another way it’s useful? Like, most early moves to Bohemia that aren’t accompanied by moves to Sil and Tyr (and thus fall under the above use) end up being pretty much wasted moves, right? Can you think of an exception, where Bohemia was used and Sil or Tyr couldn’t have done the job better?


Of course--Bohemia can play a role in early A/I and/or R/T alliance play.

For example, one extra-aggressive anti-R/T opening has Italy playing the usual Lepanto with Ven-Tyr--and then Tyr-Boh in the fall. The object here is not to break across the stalemate line but to get extra pressure on Galicia (and to prevent the second part of this).

Similarly, from the opposite direction, if Russia is allied with Turkey and needs extra leverage against the Austrian defense, you could see moves like Gal-Boh with an army backfilling Gal in S02. The object of that is to get 2 armies next to Vienna--nothing stalemate-related there either.