AARs

4-player variant. Created by David Caldwell. Modified & brought to site by Redbird. GM: kininvie

AARs

Postby Pedros » 29 May 2011, 17:56

For a small game and only four players, this game ran for a long time - over five months and 12 game years. Thanks to those who made it possible.

I confess that I began this game with a stronger than usual desire for a solo victory. I was in a very strong position, and I felt I was going to win, in Baltic 3, when the loss of the main obstacle and of the GM at the same time brought the game to a shuddering halt. But I wasn't too pleased to draw Russia. I felt strongly in the earlier game that Baltic is about sea power, but Russia is essentially a land-based country. However, we have to play with what we have!

I may be wrong, but I see Finland as a weak country in Baltic. Thor (Sweden) I knew of old - solid, but not a big communicator (English isn't his first language). So I immediately sought an alliance with esclavier's Poland against the other two, and he readily agreed. This was a two-edged sword; the moment the game started I realised that the land-bridge which kininvie (the first GM) had added between Poland and Constantinople gave Poland an immediate advantage and Sweden a disadvantage. It was one more quick win for Poland, who already had Ronne and a negotiable gain in either Konigsberg or Brest. esclavier grabbed it in Sp01!

I, on the other hand, made a tactical error straight away. Finland and I had agreed that he would get Saa at the start whilst I went for Slive. So I promptly ordered Riga-Gulg of Riga, whence Slive couldn't be reached! Despite strong Finnish protests I had then to compete for Saa, putting me a build behind Poland from the first year, a setback I couldn't overcome as long as esclavier kept his game together.

In the meantime I launched my attack on Finland, aided by the Modern Diplomacy-style canal rules which allow Gulf of Finland - Lake Ladd (I shall add a separate note about map issues like this one.) It was, as I expected, not difficult because Poland kept his side of the bargain and released all my forces to concentrate in the north and north-west.

By the end of 1905 Poland led me by 8-6, with strong pressure on the Swedish homeland. But then in Spring 1906 esclavier NMRd:-

Poland wrote:Apologies to all - I was busy burning the tables in Vegas. Had a great run and no internet access. Will not happen again!!!!

It was an expensive 'great run', because I realised that whilst Poland was left without the chance of a build this year, I could gain Kuopio from Finland and build in Minsk, whilst West Dvina-Narew brought a second army to bear on the Polish hinterland - and esclavier had no armies at home to defend himself. I knew that my sea forces weren't particularly strong, and there was quite a risk attached to the plan, but the opportunity to continue to take Polish centres, meaning that he couln't create armies at home, was too strong to reject. At this time Palin (a replacement Finland) proposed that we should work together to attack Poland. I agreed, although in fact I had already taken that decision unilaterally.

esclavier believed I had made a mistake - he told me that I had moved too soon and would regret it. He may have been right - but in Spring 1907 came his second NMR and disappearance from the site. From that point onwards it was simply a question of being careful and getting my orders in on time (which I didn't on one occasion - thanks to DOI for the grace period!) One hiccup when paulus (who had taken over Sweden from Thor) as his parting 'gift' promised me Ala and promptly gave it to Palin. But that would have been a bonus!
"Sooner or later, one of us will stab the other. But for now we're both better off as allies" (kininvie)
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Pedros
 
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