AARs

GM: Morg. Winner: Pedros

AARs

Postby Pedros » 11 Nov 2011, 08:18

Hope Morg will forgive me for starting this before he's announced the end of the game, but diplomat42 seems to have conceded victory.

First, thanks to Morg for an excellently conducted game - faultless, amusing, and timely resolutions.

I always knew Imperium would be different, and it certainly was. Two totally different phases (Year one and everything afterwards). Year one is really all about negotiation, with a bit of calculation and intrigue thrown in. Afterwards presumably varies according to the outcome of Year One, but in this particular game there was very little to discuss.

First Year
I wasn't too happy when I drew the Hunni. At first glance it looked like a recipe for an early bath. Next door to Che, but the Gothi could certainly keep me out of there if they chose; next door to HAi, but there were four other nations next door as well, even hungrier than I was. There are very few SCs available to anybody except the Gothi in Year 1. So, treat it as a Chaos game (I love Chaos) and see what can be negotiated.

The Hunni could walk into Ath unopposed - why one nation should have that advantage I don't know, but it gave me an opening. I immediately proposed to diplomat42 that we should work to ensure each of us survived the opening; if we did, we should be able to dominate the board. I suggested that he guarantee that I could have Che if I couldn't get to Byz (ninjaruler's Saxones could have cut me off), but if ninja let me through in the Spring he would have Che as well as Ath. To my relief he agreed.

Next job was to persuade ninja not to block my path. I pointed out that if he did, both of us would lose out (getting one SC, any SC, in that first year is the only thing that matters at this stage!) He could hope to get to Vin or Ver successfully, and I also offered support into Hai in the Spring (although to be honest I had every hope of getting Hai myself by one means or another). He also agreed, but then told me that the four who were stuck in the west had agreed a deal whereby each of them would get one SC over there, so not to support him to Hai after all. That suited me down to the ground, and I forced Hu2 to Sil, also joining HAi - looking good.

Things went pear-shaped for the others when cheesers52 broke their agreement; I'm not sure what was supposed to happen, but he grabbed the chance to get a second centre. This led to two of them failing to get their one at all; and also to one supporting another into HAi in the Fall, bouncing my double attack. Result - only one centre, away in the south-east in Byz. But at least I'd survived. Cheesers got his one, and Willie900 survived as well. Crucially they were in neighbouring centres to the north of Italy.

The rest of the game
From the end of Fall 401 the game changes completely. Only five units left, and the huge expanse of Europe with 28 SCs scattered around. It became clear fairly soon that diplomat believed we had an agreement to get a 2-way draw. I don't believe that I had ever agreed that - but I was careful not to point that out to him! He alone had two units, and he was closer to the honey-pot which is Italy (7/8 closely packed centres, when the victory target is only 15). I can't remember whether he suggested it before I thought of it, or the other way round, but I realised that I could safely disband my army in Byz and keep Sil, taking HAi in the first year and giving me a second growth point. The more I looked at the map, the more SCs I could see within reach - I didn't need any of Italy at all in order to win, if I could grow quickly enough.

But there's the problem. I didn't fully realise to start with just how big the distances were. In the east there were several centres within two squares, so once I rebuilt my Byz unit in 402 I could get new centres there each year for several years; but nothing is less than three moves from the Italian goodies apart from Ath itself (and one thing was crystal clear - although I could take Che any time I wanted to, and before long could make a play for Ath, theGothi were going to be much stronger than me for years to come, so I couldn't afford to even hint at an attack. And diplomat made it worse by proposing that we DMZ the AEG - there was no geographical excuse at all for me needing to go there, so I couldn't say No!

And in the east the situation was worse. Once I took HAi, nothing at all could be reached the next year. Everything (apart from the island centres in Britain) was at least three moves away. If I had any chance of winning the game, this was going to be Hare and Tortoise. (Late on, these distances became my strength - the Gothi couldn't attack me without giving a year's warning, and by then I would be building quickly enough to defend myself, meaning that I never had to worry about defence until the very end.)

So it proved. I grew very slowly indeed, whilst I watched the Gothi mushroom; the annual figures make interesting reading:-

Winter 401: Gothi 2, Hunni 1
Winter 402: Gothi 3, Hunni 2
Winter 403: Gothi 4, Hunni 3
Winter 404: Gothi 7, Hunni 4
Winter 405: Gothi 11, Hunni 9
Winter 406: Gothi 12, Hunni 14
Winter 407: Gothi 14?, Hunni 15

At the beginning of 406, diplomat suggested that we post the draw proposal. Earlier than I wanted - he had more fleets in the important area around Italy - but there was nothing I could do but fight it out (I wasn't going to give up without a fight!) Fortunately I was still growing quickly enough to keep him out.

I think diplomat made two key mistakes - the first was to believe we were agreed on a draw from the outset; as I wrote above, I don't think I ever agreed that, and even if I had he couldn't rely on me to stick to it! But the second, even bigger one, was his attack on Cheesers in the Fall of 402. Cheesers and Willie had attacked each other in the Spring (surely they had to realise their only hope was to stick together? But Cheesers had already stabbed the others in the first year, so maybe Willie didn't trust him.) diplomat and I had talked about how he could deal with them by supporting one against the other, and it seemed obvious to me that the way to do it was to support Willie, which would take him away from Italy and drive Cheesers into the centre of Europe without a centre in sight. The other thing was to do it in the Spring, giving him another turn to attack Willie in the Fall. But diplomat did it immediately in the Fall, and supported Cheesers against Willie (he told me he didn't trust Willie to "stick with him") The result was that Willie could retreat to Rav, in Italy, and stay alive; and Cheesers got an immediate build. diplomat was now facing three enemy units instead of one, and they were blocking his path into Italy. I twisted the knife a little by pointing out to them how they could take advantage of the position in the Spring, both gaining a unit, but they didn't spot diplomat supporting Cheesers against Willie next time and undermining that advantage.

diplomat and I had agreed that I could have the italian centres south of Rome, and these were a back-up plan for me. If he had pushed Willie northwards in 402, I would probably have needed them; whether I could have persuaded him to let me have them when the time ame, who will ever know?

Thoroughly enjoyable. I definitely want to play again, hopefully as one of the western tribes.
"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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Re: AARs

Postby ninjaruler » 11 Nov 2011, 12:59

you can most likely predict my AAR,

confusion,... haha I thought for sure pedros was he'ping me, but to my alas I was wrong...

GOOD GAME Pedros
¸„‹•*¸„‹•*„¸„‹•*•*•›„¸„¸„‹•*;;;:::::.....Ninja.....:::::;;;*•›„¸„¸„‹•*•*•›„¸„*•›„¸*•›„¸
..............*•›„¸*•›„¸„¸„‹•*•*•Mafia/Diplomacy/CYOC‹•*•*•›„¸„¸„‹•*¸„‹•*...............
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Re: AARs

Postby diplomat42 » 11 Nov 2011, 15:29

I agree with Pedros; although I was never thinking of a draw--just trying to find the time to stab.

The problem with that is that I was concentrated in Italy which is powerful, but not everything--if I stabbed Pedros could've held me off and then taken the rest of the board.

I should've supported Willie. Would I have won? Don't think so. Would we be done now? No.
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Re: AARs

Postby Pedros » 11 Nov 2011, 16:02

diplomat42 wrote:I agree with Pedros; although I was never thinking of a draw--just trying to find the time to stab.

The problem with that is that I was concentrated in Italy which is powerful, but not everything--if I stabbed Pedros could've held me off and then taken the rest of the board.

I should've supported Willie. Would I have won? Don't think so. Would we be done now? No.

You treacherous, lying ...!
:lol:
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Re: AARs

Postby diplomat42 » 11 Nov 2011, 18:32

Hey...it's your fault you thought that the game would go like this.
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Re: AARs

Postby cheesers52 » 11 Nov 2011, 23:58

Thanks for the amazing GMing Morg, this was my first completed forum game! I saw no mistakes, and you put up with my late orders during my spontaneous trips around the country!

The beginning was the most successful part for me. The Alamanni, Vandali, Saxones and I organized a way that the four of us to get one SC each. But of course, why would I follow that when I could get an SC and eliminate two opponents at once! So yes, I broke the agreement, and in the fall it was really easy to bounce them out of the SCs and eliminate Palin and Ninjaruler. I was left with Reg, and I would've had Hai if the huns hadn't displaced willie's support. I'm not quite sure why Ninjaruler held instead of supporting me, it was either a mistake or he didn't want me to have it, I'd be curious to know because he did support me in the fall!

In the fall I was considering bouncing Willie in Ver, so that Ver would in turn bounce Dal, but I decided to just bounce dal and keep Willie as an ally if I needed him. But then when I tried to follow him next year, he went to Reg which I didn't expect at all - he had tried to stab me!

Then Diplomat had to choose to support me against willie, and have willie retreat to Rav, or support willie to Reg and eliminate me. To me, I thought the choice was obvious because he could eliminate me and have an opening to Italy, but I somehow (I still don't know how exactly!) got him to support me, and I was in the lead!

Then I made my fatal mistake - I moved Reg to Ver instead of Aem like I had worked out with diplomat by accident, causing a double bounce. From there Diplomat realized there was no point to helping me and so he teamed up with Willie and I was soon eliminated. But over all I thought it was a fantastic game! Well played by everyone!
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Re: AARs

Postby Morg » 12 Nov 2011, 00:47

This was a lot of fun to GM and I intend to do it again (if anyone wants to give feedback, what they liked and what they didn't or want changed, that'd be great).

For me it was interesting being able to watch orders come in see the big picture without having to worry about my own units. I wanted to give a story evertime I posted a thread, but I didn't want to show everyone what I saw and influence events, the barbarian aspect of Imperium became a nice mine for stories.

From the very beginning I suspected a Hunni/Gothi Agreement and after the winter of 401 it was even more clear and became clearer as the game continued. A very clever one too. Gothi take two and then take the center, while Hunni take two and then take the perimeter. Whoever takes control of their zone first wins. I kept watching this dynamic unfold waiting for one to say enough and finally stab the other. I must say I thought Pedros would have the advantage most of the time. The Gothi were bigger, but had more enemies to deal with.

The West became something of a trap for most of the people there. The Alamanii and Saxones were completely locked out. It looked like the Saxones were trying for a deal but got double crossed, on the other hand it looked like the Alamanii were playing their own game separate from the others, I don't know whether that was by choice or by default due to the difficults of being in a drastically different time zone than his neighbors.

The Franci were instantly the devious tribe especially in Fall 401 when they were responsible for more bounces than they had units. A statistic which I was so tempted to point out. Italy became a trap because no one could move without giving their opponent a numbers advantage. However I was surprised to see that the Franci and the Vandali kept fighting each other rather than coming to some understanding and focusing on the Gothi, who from my perspective clearly had the non-interference of the Hunni to count on. Fascinatingly the two seemed to vie for the favor of the Gothi rather than see him as their primary competitor.

Of course all of the above was just my perspective and any or all of it could be wrong ;) .

Extra Awards:

Favorite Orders Submission Award: Diplomat42
For
Diplomat42 wrote:Barbarian Horde Iaz-Vin
Horde Ath-Mac

Consider these *Stamps Epic Barbarian Animal Hide Stamp* FINALIZED.


RazzleDazzle Award: Diplomat42/Cheesers52
For the fantastically interesting move during 403/404 moving to AEM and allowing Dal through to Alp,
followed by a Franci return to his own SCs.

Die Hard Award: Willie900
For surviving all the way to the end despite consistent comparatively low numbers,
This likely also kept the Gothi hampered

Sacrifice Fly Award: Ninjaruler
For supporting another player into a Hai in the same Fall that bounced you out of Col.

Any other awards that anyone would like to see nominated?
Pedros ultimately did get the ultimate reward, sweet, sweet victory.

All in all this was a very entertaining game. I'd be willing to keep hosting this one in the future. But now I'd like to start "Manifest Destiny"and perhaps yet another "30 Years War" variant. Afterwards I can keep this variant on a constant rotation if it's popular enough (I think we already have found another full roster). Good job guys.
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Re: AARs

Postby diplomat42 » 12 Nov 2011, 01:22

YES!!!!!!!!!! MANIFEST DESTINY JOIN THAT GAME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Re: AARs

Postby mat.gopack » 12 Nov 2011, 03:56

I loved watching this game! good job guys!
.·ï¨Ï¨Ï¨ï·.mat.gopack.·ï¨Ï¨Ï¨ï·.
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Re: AARs

Postby Pedros » 12 Nov 2011, 12:20

Morg wrote:but I didn't want to show everyone what I saw and influence events,


I wouldn't worry about that Morg. Maybe the only thing I've learned in playing all these Forum Games is that whenever the GM tells it how he sees it, it's almost always wrong!
"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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