Was this a winning position ?

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Was this a winning position ?

Postby asjohnstone » 25 Aug 2018, 09:52

Interested in opinions on this recently finished game, https://www.playdiplomacy.com/game_play ... _id=142571

Assuming co-operation between Austria and Russia, should France solo here ? What's the French route to victory if it exists ?
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Re: Was this a winning position ?

Postby Josey Wales » 25 Aug 2018, 10:17

France could have soloed if he/she guessed right on the fall move, Fall 1913 that is ... but then that is the game isn't it?

Assuming that "guesses" are not allowed, is there a clear cut way to a solo? The answer is no.

The middle is open for A/R to take Munich no matter what France does and then they will hold it - France down to 15. After that I can't see how France could take Munich back even with a fleet in Baltic (short of an NMR on A/R side).

Couple this with France having to cover Lon and Edi that possibly leaves a way for Russia to slip past Eng or move to Norw Sea - again the guessing.

In the south France is better positioned although I would forego the middle and attack Ven as A/R. France is out-fleeting A/R 4/3 and if MAO moves in then 5/3.

Having said the above, I would have gone for the solo as France and tried to hold the North/Middle and flooded the Med with fleets and tried that way - even giving up Ven for a while. However, for me a draw is a loss so I always send it.
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Re: Was this a winning position ?

Postby Damon Huntington » 25 Aug 2018, 22:33

I have to say that France has the short stick in this set-up, despite him leading in Supply Centres.

Assuming perfect collaboration between Austria and Russia, there's a moveset that cannot be stopped and that leads Munich to being taken:

- Tyrolia to Munich
- Bohemia SUPPORTS Tyrolia to Munich
- Silesia SUPPORTS Tyrolia to Munich
- Berlin SUPPORTS Tyrolia to Munich
- Prussia SUPPORTS Berlin HOLDS
- Vienna to Tyrolia
- Trieste SUPPORTS Vienna to Tyrolia

This move subjects Munich to a 4-unit attack, and can only be met by a 3-unit defence, which is insufficient to repel the attack. Furthermore, the strategy of counter-taking a territory with Munich is disallowed, as Berlin is reinforced by Russia's backrank. Last, but not least, France cannot exploit the opening of Tyrolia, as Vienna quickly strives to substitute it. Munich to Tyrolia (even if supported) fails when met by the 4-unit influx leaving from Tyrolia, and Venice to Tyrolia (even if supported by Munich) does not work as well, as Munich's support would be cut with the dislodgement.

As a result, this leads into the taking of Venice later on [Spring 1913], even if we discount the unit that shall be destroyed at the end of Fall. The relevant move here is Ionian Sea to Apulia, cutting the support for Venice to hold, and allowing Tyrolia to Venice, supported by Trieste, to work out wonderfully during the next season. Even if France tries to counterplay by taking Ionian Sea, Austria's plan succeeds: it is impossible to dislodge Ionian Sea AND prevent it from retreating to Adriatic Sea at the same time.

France's only option to try and save Venice is by playing Apulia to Adriatic Sea and Naples to Apulia during the previous season, which is exactly why Austria needs to prevent that counterplay by moving Ionian Sea - Naples on Fall 1912. This set of moves culminates in the taking of Venice on 1913.

As a result, it's highly unlikely that France can regain terrain. Kiel is threatened by North Sea and seems to be likely to be taken. Furthermore, France has opened a direct corridor to Marseilles via Piedmont, which can be exploited by the unit that has taken Venice... or, conversely, the player might also begin drafting an attack on Rome to nab another SCs from France's hands. All in all, France has a weak strategic stance and might be unravelled with enough prodding from the Austria-Russia alliance.

I believe he did correctly in accepting the draw, provided he believed that the adversaries would notice that and collaborate perfectly.
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Re: Was this a winning position ?

Postby asjohnstone » 26 Aug 2018, 00:26

Thanks for the responses, in line with my reading of the game.

Had a nagging feeling that I might have missed something
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Re: Was this a winning position ?

Postby Zosimus » 26 Aug 2018, 16:44

Generally speaking, to win as France (or England) you have to control both Tunis and Berlin. Each of these centers can be held from the east against all possible attacks.
Be more aggressive.
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Re: Was this a winning position ?

Postby mhsmith0 » 02 Nov 2018, 22:56

In the north...

Something like SKAG-NOR supported by NWG-BAR
Plus PIC-LON convoyed by ENG and YOR-EDI

at least covers your SC's and grabs Norway if Russia tried something cute like convoying to any of the English centers

(and you can instead do something like Kiel-Den supported by SKAG, plus Bur-Bel, Pic-Lon, Yor-EDI, and NWG-NTH to potentially cut support for more kicks)

But TLDR you have a decent shot of +1 in the north on the turn


In the south...
NAP-ION supported by APU and TUN forces ION, and once you get there you have a pretty decent power position to play with (you could also go NAP-ION supported by TUN which might be better) - obviously GOL-TYS needs to happen to prevent Austria from getting past your lines
So you should at least be able to force ION

Unfortunately, there's not much you can do against losing Venice and Munich (though Mun-Tyr at least gives you a chance of cutting support and/or getting a body into Tyrolia which could help you out in future turns)


I'd say that if you can end the turn at 15 centers, with a fleet in ION, with Austria getting 2 builds and Russia going -1, you're probably in pretty decent shape overall (Russia destroys Armenia? But if so, Russia is flagrantly open to Austria stab)

I'd also say that if you take a time machine back to spring 1912, France is in an even better position.
Spring 1912 moves:
Apu-ADR
Mun-Tyr supported by Ven, plus Bur-Mun supported by Kiel (you can keep Kiel-Hol)
and almost any set of moves that doesn't give up NTH (Kiel-Den supported by NTH, along with Hol-Kiel and EDI-NWG as just one of many possibilities)

I think as of 1911 builds France was in good position to force the win, but spring 1912 he made multiple important errors that dropped the winning position (for starters, Venice could usually be held in 1912 against all opposition - Denmark could completely be forced in spring 1912, wtih almost no downside risk, etc
(and perhaps I'd also note that France not taking Kiel in fall 1911 hurt a lot, since taking it puts him at 17 centers, and forces Russia to destroy a unit [probably the army in Turkey at that point, but even so, that is one fewer body to prevent France from potentially running wild in the south of the map)
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Re: Was this a winning position ?

Postby mhsmith0 » 02 Nov 2018, 23:47

Actually looking at 1911 I don't really understand the game state, since it seemed like A/R mainly just NMR'd that year for some reason.
(edit: looking at the shoutbox, it seems like France stabbed the draw proposal in fall 1911, just not quite well enough to actually get the win)
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