Octvarine: AARs

Based on the Discworld Universe. GMed by Janepeg. Solo Winner: Agatean {MadeofMeat)

Octvarine: AARs

Postby Jegpeg » 28 Jun 2015, 21:51

Place for you to talk about how the game went for you and your thoughts on the variant in general.

Congratulations to MadeofMeat for Solo victory as the Agateans.
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Re: Octvarine: AARs

Postby HighCheese » 29 Jun 2015, 00:19

Well played everyone! And thanks for hosting Janepeg, you set the bar in class and consistency. I wouldn't hesitate for a second to join games you GM in the future.

I would love to hear anyone else's thoughts before I go ahead and post my own. I have quite a bit I can comment on considering how hard you guys made me think most of the time.
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Re: Octvarine: AARs

Postby Antigonos » 29 Jun 2015, 04:15

Congratulations MadeofMeat, well played. Thanks to Janepeg for his work as GM which excelled in so many ways. I will try to post my thoughts on the game in the next few days.
Last edited by Antigonos on 29 Jun 2015, 18:52, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Octvarine: AARs

Postby AardvarkArmy » 29 Jun 2015, 05:41

I'll add my voice - congrats to MadeOfMeat, and much thanks to Janepeg. This game was well-managed, and MadeOfMeat played a great game, running the table.
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Re: Octvarine: AARs

Postby wHavelin » 30 Jun 2015, 00:49

Congrats, MadeofMeat you played very well. Thanks Janepeg, you did a great job of running this game and your reminders were very appreciated.
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Re: Octvarine: AARs

Postby Gooderian » 30 Jun 2015, 08:24

MadeofMeat wrote: I have quite a bit I can comment on considering how hard you guys made me think most of the time.


Well that´s good to hear.
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Re: Octvarine: AARs

Postby HighCheese » 02 Jul 2015, 02:15

I decided I'm just going to go ahead and go for it.

Preface:
I'm going to go by country colors because I think all of the players ultimately ended up switching to calling each other that anyways.

Bidding:
I went maximum points for Gray as did four other players. Somehow the gods deemed me worthy (everyone has an off day) and I won the roll. Gray seemed very powerful considering they had two uncontested neutrals, had a decent chance at a third, and had basically 0 first year danger. I put Blue as my second option considering they had again two pretty uncontested neutrals with a chance at a third but was much at much more risk of first year danger. Which ultimately is what ended up getting the real Blue player.

Year 01:
I decided I wanted to rule the seas. If I was going to do that then I needed to either make friends with or deal with White. We make a friendly deal to rule the seas together and head for Pink. While I was surveying the situation I realized I either needed to befriend Pink and attack Blue or befriend Blue and attack Pink. As White was behind Pink I realized I wouldn't get many of the spoils if i went that route so I sent out feelers to Purple and Yellow to see if they'd be interested in attacking Blue. Low and behold Yellow and Purple had come to an early agreement to work together and were both immediately in on attacking Blue. Blue ended up attacking Yellow himself thus freeing me to take Bro and I ended up with three builds.

Year 02:
Blue and Yellow are both focused on revenge from the other. This set up perfectly for everyone else to take advantage. Purple swung into Yellow while Pink and I started taking out Blue. With Blue and Yellow both focused on defense I had already sprawled into the western half of the waters uncontested. White by this time was busy going nowhere against Pink. I wasn't really sure what to make of him, he played very passive and ordered a lot of holds so I decided to be the aggressor to dictate our relationship. I was able to sneak into WWO (which we had DMZ'd) and he turned his focus on me a bit. I ended up grabbing Wyr from Blue while picking up an uncontested Kru to bring me up to 8 centers.

Year 03:
At this point Pink and I have a good thing going. I'm helping him defend against White, we're finishing off Blue and I've successfully taken full control of the western waters. This is where I started thinking of my units as two fronts, the northern front dealing with White and the southern front hovering around Yellow and Purple. In the northern front I played coy about taking WWO and let White retake it while I slipped into SLA. I hadn't noticed before that point how damaging SLA was to White but leaving it open ended up being his downfall. In the south Purple and I started forming a pretty deep connection and we decided to finish off Yellow together. We coordinated some moves against him, I was able to take How and Ura and build two new fleets to reinforce my northern front. Center count at 10.

Year 04:
Now it's time for me to pick sides between Pink and Purple. To this point I hadn't had a lot of interaction with Red or Green (as they had been fighting each other) but Red wanted to join in with Pink and I to attack Purple. That seemed like a decent enough idea for me so I agreed. Pink was able to sneak into Ank, I took Red and Purple had to disband that year. In the north when White retook WWO in '03 he left Hnl wide open. I knew he could position himself to kick me out of it by the fall but I decided what the heck, play aggressive. I took it, he kicked me out and I had to retreat to Rxx. But in the meantime I was able to get a second fleet into SLA and a fleet into TBB. White's defenses were certainly exposed. I only got the once center from Purple so I was at 11.

Year 05:
Red, Pink and I are all putting significant pressure on Purple. He's mainly focused on defending against Red allowing me to gobble up all of his previous gains against Yellow. By years end he would be down to five centers. In the north I finally made significant progress. Using my positional gains from the previous year I was able to capture both LoF and Hnl. I got three builds (the count only showed 2 and I had a center full anyways, so fine with me) and was now at 14.

Year 06:
This was when the whole game shifted. I knew I was going to finish White's centers soon enough and Pink to this point only had two fleets to his seven armies. This gave me the opportunity to stab Pink and start working myself towards the solo. But if I was going to do this I needed at least one person on my side. Green and I still hadn't talked much and he seemed busy still with Red, so I reached out to Purple and asked if he was interested in getting the band back together. He was cautious at first but I was able to give him a pretty simple deal and some awesome advice. To this point Pink and Red had been communicating how they wanted to coordinate their attacks on Purple, but they never took me off the group messages. I was able to disseminate their plans and found a way for Purple, if we was cunning enough, to slip over and steal Reh while Red advanced away from it. To his credit Purple decided to go for it and it worked perfectly. In the meantime what I wanted from Purple was assistance in attacking Pink. I wanted to hit Pink as hard as possible in an effort to limit the stabbing backlash. In the end I took Chi and Ctk from Pink and Ter from White, while Purple took Ank back. Pink fell from 9 to 7 centers and I jumped up to 17.

Year 07:
I figured my size was starting to become and issue for everyone and thusly became (overly?) cautious of my agreement with Purple. I stopped advancing in the south and focused on preventing a stab while defending Pink's counter in the middle. Luckily I was able to take Ku and Pur to offset losing Chi and Ctk and I ended the year with again 17 centers.

Year 08:
Purple was mad at me for not helping him against Red and I decided for the first turn out of the last three that I would finally commit and help him as a sign of good will. Of course this is the turn that Purple does decide to stab me and I am put on my heels. Luckily I'm starting to overwhelm Pink with my convoyed armies and I end up with one build on the year. Center count at 18.

Year 09:
Pink and I are in full battle and I spend way too long thinking about how to outsmart him. I seriously think I had a dream about it. I end up giving up Lla in the Spring to put myself in position to recapture it in the fall. In the meantime I slip a fleet into Tro and am now putting stress on him from all the angles I could muster. It works out well for me as I'm able to both recapture Lla and take Ing. In the south Red and I aren't working together but he's also still fully engaged against Purple. This distracts Purple enough to allow me to push forward and retake my loss of Kha the year before. I get two builds and am now at 20.

Year 10:
I go for gold here and try for as many centers as I can. I reach out to Red to help me finish the game off and he (rightfully) tells me to buzzoff. Thus its up to me on my own. I throw down some orders, push for ever center I can and luckily end up grabbing four. Victory!


Thoughts:
I think Gray is overly powerful in this game (as four other bidders also probably recognized). They have no enemies from the get go and have lots of expansion potential. The game probably went about as perfect as it could early though so maybe I'm biased. Blue and Yellow, the two biggest threats to my western waters dominance basically knocked each other out from the get-go. And White luckily for me didn't play nearly as aggressively as might be possible. Overall I most enjoyed fighting Pink around Car Celesti and found it amazingly difficult to work my way into CRC (which I never was able to do). I wanted to see if I could rule the seas so much that I could convoy an army around the world but unfortunately got too much resistance on my road to victory to attempt it.

Players:
Blue/Ogg/anapur - Oh how we hardly knew ye'. I did enjoy talking with you for the early part of the game but unfortunately my strategy dictated that you had to go. I would be interested to know if you attacked Yellow on your own that first year or if someone had talked you into it.

Yellow/Klatch/ColesD - You met a fate eerily similar to Blue. I did consider trying to save you from Purple for a bit but ultimately like Blue it just made too much sense to attack you.

Purple/Ankh Morpork/AardvarkArmy - I admire you for having the stones to slip around Red in Year '06 to take Reh. You were likely my biggest threat out in the oceans but might've been too preoccupied with Red/Pink most of the game to challenge it. I spent a great deal of thought considering how to always prevent you from getting further out than PSE but you ended up never really pursuing it anyways. During my initial survey of all the countries I thought Purple was in the most difficult position. Great job making it to the end of the game, that's an accomplishment in and of itself.

Pink/Hublanders/Antigonos - You were probably my favorite player in this game. If I could find a friend like you in all my other games I'd be a lucky person indeed. Ultimately your downfall was to have so much confidence in me that you built almost entirely armies. I knew if I wanted to solo I'd have to eventually go through you and that left the door open just enough for me to squeeze through. I probably raised my bloodpressure by 10 points the few days before I stabbed you because of how much I liked working with you. Overall I found you to be both a very good diplomat and strategest and I'll look for situations to work with you in our games in the future.

White/XXXX/Gooderian - I'm a bit confused about your strategy in this game. I knew you wanted to go and attack Pink but that seemed like a slow road to go down. You mostly played passively and defensively but there wasn't really anyone attacking you until I came a knockin'. Maybe you had your mind in another game? If I was to give any advice to any of the players I'd have to tell you to try to be more agressive in that position next time. I was certainly worried about you early had you decided to sail my way.

Green/Genua/wHavelin - We didn't have much interaction this game. You were mostly busy dealing with Red for the first half of the game and then you had Pink moving against you. You went four boats to one army early on which I thought was risky but it never really got you into any trouble. You did pair with Pink later to try to slow me down but your defensive nature helped me find opportunities to advance elsewhere.

Red/Muntab/sleepyjim - We worked together very briefly and then I helped Purple against you very briefly. Besides that we didn't really interact that much. You did provide a great help by distracting Purple for me so I am thankful there. My only regret in this game is that I was never able to help you again against Purple. Unfortunately the situation never again presented itself.

Well thats all. If you've made it this far thanks for reading. To any of the other players reading, a great game to all of you and I'd be more than happy to play with any of you again. Thanks for your hard play and dedication to the game.

And one final time, thank you Janepeg for GM'ing.
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Re: Octvarine: AARs

Postby Antigonos » 02 Jul 2015, 05:07

MadeofMeat's commentary was as incisive and provides a fine finish to his superbly played game. I will add a few comments of my own.

Bidding:
I went Gray first and White second as I thought that this reflected their potential but I figured that the competition for Gray would be maximal and that at least one or more player would go all out for White. This turned out to be what happened. I liked Pink's position if the diplomacy worked out in the beginning and if White and Gray did not double team the mainland powers so I put in a strong and successful bid for Pink.

I really wish I had taken notes and don't feel up to looking at old messages so for the moment my remarks on the game will be limited and may need correction. Other players should feel free to point out where I may have things wrong.

Opening Play - 05:

I made it a priority to work out an alliance (hopefully long term) with Gray which I secured and tried without success to establish a relationship with White. I looked to have an understanding with Green for the first few years and to have a deeper relationship with Purple. Red was far away and I sent greetings but did not get into substantive discussions. I tried to encourage Yellow and Blue to go to war and decided to target Blue from the opening because of position not for anything in his diplomacy. It went rather well for me.

I kept my alliance with Gray dealt with differences with Purple leading to war and a stab by Green which led to no losses despite his alliance with White. I finished 05 with nine centers.

Gray Stab - Gray Solo

I was stunned by the Gray stab but not shocked as I was nervous that it might be in the works. I simply did not see a way out. I might have built an additional fleet or two as suggested by MadeofMeat but I don't see that it would have been of much use. Perhaps if I had pushed harder for Gray to assist me in taking Ku but the truth is that I had my hands full with Purple and Green.

Purple, Green and I did finally manage to come together (briefly with Red) but Gray's position made him close to unstoppable and was nearly flawless in how he played it. He earned his win.


Thoughts:
I also think Gray is overly powerful in this game. As MadeofMeat has pointed out they have no immediate enemies in Year 01 and have two uncontested first year supply centers within reach and a good shot at a third. The only break on a leap to the front of the pack would be a very effective and active White most likely teamed up with Pink. I think White has real potential that was never close to being realized in this game.

My impression of the mainland powers is that they are not badly matched and that the outcome between them will be determined by two things: Their respective performances in diplomacy and play and the actions of the Island powers.

Players:
Blue/Ogg/anapur - Once I got the jump on you it combined with the mutual attacks between you and Yellow followed by the Year 02 attaack by Gray left you with no real chance.

Yellow/Klatch/ColesD - As Gray said your fate mirrored that of Blue. I did sort of root for you to hold out against Purple bu he was close (along with Gray) and I was not going to go to war with Purple...yet.

Purple/Ankh Morpork/AardvarkArmy - You are an excellent tactician and tireless diplomat though on occasion a bit on too aggressive. I liked working with you but felt from the start that we might reach a point where our needs could not be reconciled. After we parted ways you were an effective enemy and I respect how well you worked with me when we joined forces again in the effort to stop the solo.

Gray/Agateans/MadeofMea - You were an effective ally and then a deadly enemy. My downfall was to have allow myself to quell my doubts about your long term intentions because I could not work out an effective counter alliance. No doubt my inclination to work for draws and not always go for a solo worked against me in this situation. You started with a real advantage but played it in a nearly error free way. Your alliance with me and relations with Purple (and no doubt other diplomatic initiatives) prevented any counter-force from coalescing. You are an excellent diplomat and strategist as well as highly skilled tactician. I would certainly would work with you in the future though I will have to do so very, very carefully.

White/XXXX/Gooderian - You seemed to have no interest in having any contact with me and the result was my complete commitment to working with Gray. I think your policy was a over-determined to be a failure and the way you played seemed to amount to banging your head on the door repeatedly. It didn't work.

Green/Genua/wHavelin - I never felt I had a strong read on you. We worked together and against each other and I certainly would take you very seriously as either an ally or foe in any game.

Red/Muntab/sleepyjim - We worked together a bit and I would do so again. You played a tenacious game which I admired. Affairs in the south never had my full attention so it is hard to say more.


I join MadeofMeat in thanking Janepeg one last time for his skilled and patient GM'ing. Sorry for giving you a bit of a hard time.
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Samnites 3 draw Ad Arma
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Athens 4 draw Greek City States
Zaire solo Africa
Iran 3 draw ModEX II
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