AARS

Five-player game based on the Low Countries in mid-fifteenth century. Standard rules. Designed and GMd by BoomstickS. Began 3 May 2012

AARS

Postby BoomstickS » 26 Aug 2012, 21:30

Game ended with Bigbert (Gelre) soloing.
I'm interested in hearing your AARS. :)

Please also tell me what you think about this variant, and what should be improved.
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Re: AARS

Postby BigBert » 27 Aug 2012, 13:00

Let me kick these AARs off.

From the early game, I can't remember that much, so this I can't tell a detailed tale about this. From what I can recall, I believe I was initially planning to ally with Friesland (theangrycastle) against Holland (Pedros). I think my main motive was the apparent weakness of Holland in terms of surrounding neutral SCs. Friesland though had other plans, and after he blatantly lied to me in both the Spring and the Fall of the first year, I teamed up with Holland against Friesland. Brabant (zoterik) meanwhile missed his first build phase, and thereafter left himself very, very open to a stab. Holland and myself stabbed Brabant in a joint action, and this sealed the game for him.

Meanwhile our campaign against Friesland would have gone pretty well if I would not have NMRed at a crucial moment. This allowed Friesland to slip an army into Zutphen which I could not dislodge until years later. We sort of hit a wall against Friesland.

After the break in July, we got ourselves a new Flandres (pjkon) and a new Friesland (mambam14). I initially made plans with Friesland & Flandres to team up against Holland: although Pedros had been my ally, we had struck a stalemate against Friesland. Moreover, with Brabant out of the way Flandres had to pick a new enemy, and map-wise this was likely to be me or Holland. So I tried to forge a F/F/G against Holland. But Pedros took the initiative and instead convinced Flandres and myself to team up against Friesland. We would go for the three-way draw, we said. However, at that point I already was the leader in terms of Supply Centers, so I was actually hoping for more than a draw.

In the first phase after this (Spring 1455) Flandres made a move towards my border. He said this was for defensive reasons, and truth be told I did believe this. But I played the aggrieved and angry man, saying that Flandres had screwed up my campaign. So when Pedros proposed a three-way (Flandres, Holland, Gelre) draw that Winter, this allowed me to reject it under the pretense that Flandres hadn't done his part in the alliance. My argument: he was a nuisance to me in Spring, so he hadn't exactly contributed to our alliance as he said he would. Let him show commitment for a year longer, and then he'll have earned his place in the draw.

I was fully expecting Flandres and Holland to turn on me in Spring 1456 after such a lame excuse, but they didn't. In fact, they didn't even defend from a potential stab with Flandres not even taking the effort to input support orders. But I knew I couldn't get away with yet another draw rejection the next winter. So I decided to stab for the solo in the Fall, and this worked. I got to 11 (target 13), and I am pretty confident I would have got to the target in the end. Although I would probably have lost Leeuwarden, I think I could have eventually got Osnabruck, Oldenburg and Hainaut.

Thanks all for a nice game. I think mambam did the best there was to do in his position, but with the other three teaming up against you there is little you can do. Holland and Flandres were both good players and had good ideas for combatting Friesland. In the last year though, it seemed like both of them lost interest a little.

And my compliments to our GM BoomstickS! Adjudication was always really quickly, often just a few hours after the deadline, and very few errors. I'd gladly play again in a game with you as GM.

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As for the quality of the map: It's a nice five-player game, useful for a relatively quick game of diplomacy (also for face-to-face for instance). I do think though that there are two major problems. These are:
1) An unbalance in terms of neutral SCs to each player.
2) Many potential stalemate lines.
Regarding the first point, it is obvious that Holland and Flandres have much less opportunity to grab neutrals than Brabant, Gelre or Friesland. The new map solves this for Flandres, but I think it would good to include one or two neutrals too near Holland. I would suggest you could make Texel a neutral SC. Or make Dordrecht a neutral SC?
As for the stalemate lines, I find it hard to judge the new map on this map, so let me just say a few things about the old map. There were a few areas (like Münster or Liège), which border a great number of provinces. Once you place an army here with a few units to defend it, it's near impossibly for an opponent to break through. On the other hand, there are a number of areas (like Zutphen or Venlo) with few neighbours. Once you slip a unit into such a spot, it's nearly impossible to dislodge, as we found out in case of Zutphen. So I think to improve the map in this respect, it would be advisable to get more balance in this. At first glance the new map looks good in this respect, though I can't say for sure.
And I think I would remove the land-bridge between Stavoren and Hoorn. If only because it is historically more accurate, but game-wise too as the land-bridge makes Holland pretty vulnerable to a Frisian attack.

Let me know if you're about to start a game on the updated map, I'd gladly play it.
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Re: AARS

Postby BoomstickS » 27 Aug 2012, 13:36

Thanks for the AAR, and the map improvement points you brought up. :)

I don't know if I will GM a game of this again, atleast not soon, since school is about to start again.
I'm glad you enjoyed this non the less.

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