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1900: AAR

PostPosted: 06 Dec 2012, 17:44
by attitudes
The game ended in an Austria/Britain/Russia 3-way draw. Well played by everyone. Feel free to leave whatever comments you would like.

Re: 1900: AAR

PostPosted: 06 Dec 2012, 18:22
by marsman57
I'm just glad I didn't completely screw things up for BigBert!

Re: 1900: AAR

PostPosted: 07 Dec 2012, 00:24
by Mouse
I really enjoyed playing the variant. I think that it is THE evolution of classic diplomacy (and I have been playing diplomacy since the late 70s). There have been an enormous amount of work and research in the making of this variant and it shows. I have equally enjoyed my opponents in this game.

This was my overall view on the gameplay:

My game started out with the sending of a ridiculously long strategy guide to 1900 concerning the viability of a French/Italian alliance to France for reading. He read this rather boring, but detailed guide. I received the response that we would be allied and it was a great plan. The irony is I had no intention of being allied with France. It was perhaps a very evil thing to do; something Aardvark never has forgiven! My ally was Germany with a non-aggression pact with Austria.

My plan was to take over Africa. There is really very little that can stop Italy from taking over Africa in 1900 even if Britain and France are allied. It is simple, the French and British home supply centers are much further away. I made one crucial error. The LAST minute, I changed my orders to open to take Marseilles. I did it to concrete my relationship with Germany even though it typically stagnates Italy, immediately shows my hand to France, and I lose my advantage for Africa. The whole idea was that Germany could break through the French lines and we could “buy” British support through my not kicking him out of Africa. There were two bad things that prevented this from happening: 1. Germany was a 2-build Germany - horrible for 1900, instead of the normal 3-build (he didn't open with Denmark which would have insured Denmark, Belgium, and Holland). I have no doubt that he probably regretted this the entire game since not having Denmark really was his Achilles heel and ultimately I believe caused his fall and; 2. Britain didn't readily turn on France (probably since Germany had a big weakness - Denmark vacant and Russians with a good solid foothold in the Baltic).

If Italy had not opened to Marseilles, Italy would have taken over Africa and been able to convince France of their "friendly" intentions for another year (all the more easy for Africa to fall). France might have engaged Britain prematurely, etc. Alas, it was very poor judgment on my part.

Britain just wouldn't commit to anything. Probably was playing a waiting game to see what happens then take advantage of the situation.

Other weird things happened such as Italy landed in Macedonia. This was a very strategic decision, but Austria kept oscillating between being friends and enemies with Russia and/or Turkey. At least that is how it appeared.

So I ended up in a serious clash with France. I pushed him back a bit, but when Britain turned on Germany the scales suddenly shifted and Italy was on the defensive with France pushing into the Mediterranean and even landing on Italy. The battles really were pretty nasty. Italy did gain a foothold on Africa, but it wasn't dominate. Around the time that Germany fell, Turkey also fell into ruin (maybe a bit before).

Then Britain turned on France and suddenly Italy was able to regain some power. France fell and Britain assumed that Italy would be their pawn to the finish-line. Italy did play the role for a bit, but it was only until she could break her bonds and seek out freedom. This came when Russia and Austria finally united and turned on Britain. Austria grew and had to be knocked down in power. Then the inevitable happened, the three powers decided to take out Italy.

Very enjoyable. Thank you all for the game with special thanks to Attitude who saved the game.

Re: 1900: AAR

PostPosted: 08 Dec 2012, 12:38
by BigBert
Interesting to read Mouse. I love the bit about sending France a boring strategy guide just to screw him over! :D

So, it's about half a year ago that this game started, so my memories of the earlier stages have faded away a bit. But let me try to write a little AAR all the same.

===First Years===
Initially, I think my plan was to arrange a team against Britain. I'm not sure why, probably because this could give me all of Scandinavia. Maybe also because I figured Girion would be too strong a player to eliminate in later stages in the game. On my southern front I planned for peace with Austria, and possibly a war with Turkey if I could afford it. I decided to try to seal the peace/alliance with Austria by offering him Warsaw: given the emergency builds it wouldn't cost me anything to have to abandon it temporarily. Anyway, the French promised they would open to the Channel but didn't, and thereby my northern opening turned out pretty useless. Luckily Britain (Girion) was forgiving (not for the last time...) and I repaired the peace with him but not attacking Norway in the Fall. In the mean time, the opening year spoke very clearly of an axis-powers alliance (G/I/A), and urged on mostly by France the other fours decided to make peace and jointly stop it. We did.

I went off on a holiday in 1902 or so, and marsman substituted for me. Not really knowing what course of action to take, I decided to give him a carte blanche. He decided to attack Turkey, but Austria unfortunately had not peaceful plans to me. So when I returned I seemed to be at war with Austria, Germany, and Turkey, and I had great fears I wouldn't survive.

At this point I can't recall how it went afterwards, but I guess that Austria (Flatley) decided to prioritize elsewhere and let me live. But I'm not sure. Anyway, I survived, and forged a strong alliance with Britain. We eliminated Germany (Ceebs) and Turkey (asudevil) and things went very well. Britain however took quite a lead in terms of supply centers, and was a bit vague in terms of what goal he was playing for. So we with the others decided it was to set him back. I still think this was the right thing to do, and that if we wouldn't have Britain would have surely soloed. He went from 14 to 9 within a year (1907). At this point Girion showed remarkable quality as a diplomat. He convinced me to rejoin him in a renewed, and was very forgiving, offering me to keep all my new acquisitions. This was certainly the right thing to do for him. Still, I'm really impressed with the effort he put into his game at that point: many players would probably have let their hopes down, but Britain was really, really active on the diplomatic front to turn things around.

With Britain alive again, France was eliminated. At that point we had to decide on what to play. I think everyone in the game wanted a solo, but also knew that it would be really, really tough to do so. A three-way draw seemed like the natural thing to play for. Although there were some explorations for Italy-including draws, Britain/Austria/Russia seemed like the most natural approach, so that's what we went for.

I think I actually stabbed Britain again a few years later because I was again getting anxious, but I can't exactly recall the circumstances. Well, it was a bit the recurring theme of the game, and after this third attack Girion did make it clear that his trust in me had taken a definitive blow. I wouldn't be able to stab him for the solo for sure. Nonetheless, we re-allied again for pragmatic reasons, after Austria decided he wanted to make an attempt for the solo. But he NMRed a turn later, sealing his chances at the solo once and for all. I don't think he would have made it if he wouldn't have NMRed, but it was a little dangerous all the same.

After that, it was just a coordinated end-game from the three of us. We made sure the SC-division was fair, so noone could get a chance at a solo-stab. A little boring perhaps, but very realistic I think. That's about it, there was little Mouse could have done to prevent his final fate.

===Some words about the others===
Britain (Girion): As I said, I'm really impressed by your play, especially the diplomatic side. A great communicator, and you're able to convince a player (me at least) to change plans. A well-deserved place in the draw, probably the best player in the game. And I have to confess I wasn't sure about your draw-commitment until the latest phase.
France (AardvarkArmy): Not that much contact between us, except for the first few years. I think you've at some point annoyed Britain a bit too much: Girion really wasn't happy to consider allying with you. I'm not sure what caused this... Anyway, nice playing with you all the same, but I guess this game just wasn't your lucky game.
Germany (Ceebs): Seemed like a strong player to me. Guess it was just bad luck he was the one to get eliminated first. Would like to play in a game with him again.
Italy (Mouse): I don't think we had contact until half-game at least. After that, communicating with you was fun. If anyone uses humour as a weapon, it's Mouse. Unfortunately, your position in the end-game was just too weak to have a realistic shot at the victory/draw.
Austria (Flatley): We went back and forth between peace and war a zillion times. I guess you've got a little bit a similar style to mine: a little opportunistic, but sensible all the same. Was fun playing with you, though the last months communication was pretty low.
Turkey (asudevil): Not much to say really. Got eliminated quickly, and we never had that much contact I guess.
GM (attitudes): Thanks a lot for picking up the game after Stalin stepped out! The game ran very smoothly, so I would definitely advice players to play in a game your run. Thanks!

1900: AAR

PostPosted: 10 Dec 2012, 07:23
by VonPowell
Hey Gang,

I want to offer my congratulations to the Archduke, Prime Minister, and Tsar for a game well played. At one time or another, I thought each of you were on your way to a solo. Though I do not usually like draws, this one seems appropriate.

I want to thank Pedro for alerting me to this game as it was forming. I enjoyed following along. I found the banter from everyone particularly entertaining.

I also want to thank everyone for giving 1900 a try. I hope all of you enjoyed the experience enough to try again. [And Mouse, thank you for your kind word about 1900.]

Should any of you find yourself in another 1900 game down the road, please let me know. I keep statistics on 1900 games I am made aware of, so I would love to follow along.

Happy Stabbing,


Re: 1900: AAR

PostPosted: 10 Dec 2012, 13:55
by Girion
I als agree that it was an really good variant it will be an good addition to the main site if so this will probably be the last time this is played on the forums, the ending game was an good one though.

So initially I choose to bid much for Britain, they had quite an good starting position I though and most importantly I had much "experiance" with thim after the forum game team tournament were I had gained much insight on them from Flatleys perspective.

For initial negotiations I had some goals:
-Properly convince Turkey that I would not move EGY-MAO, if so he would most definetlty move DAM-PAl for an extra build first year, our talks convinced me about this even more. All this ended with me even declaring this in the shouthbox, well that succeded.
-Next, from my experiance of last game Germany and Italy ganged up on France, Britain joined but things maybe wasn't most favorable for him. Unlike standard Italy have good oppertunities to acctually attack France, I feelt confident that Italy would not let the chance of testing this new possibility go, especially with less tension against Austria, I belive I even encouraged this a little.
I would want Germany and Italy to attack France, I would run in and "save" him, but in ths situation he would be under much pressure and I would be the one who could expand safely, I hoped he would end up an weaker ally where I had an good reason that he was the weaker.
-And ofcourse i woud want Russia to keep to himself.

Early game progressed, and most things went excellent, Germany and Italy tried hard to get me to join, I tried to stay neutral for the first year before I engaged on France side and could calmy get an good position. I moved CYR and managed to get TRP, something Italy didn't like at all. Turkey saw this and moved elsewere. Russia opened northen though but I we managed to come to an agreement fast and it changed to an alliance against Germany, we also had some brief 4-way talk against A/I/G, it didn't achive much more then the alliance we already had but still.

Some time later Russia got an temporary substitute, I managed to come to good agreements with him, Turkey didn't. This suited me quite well though, if I later would acctually try to solo then I had an weak Turkey that probably wouldn't care, to bad he just didn't last long enough for me to get use of this.
Now I started to get kinda stuck, I had only an small passage to send armies through against Austria in MUN, either Russia or France had to go. I think it was in Spring 1904. i decided it was France that had to go, Italy was weak and would probably cooperate,also France had just comed to that phase when he would start to regain ground from the initial pressure, he would have been more problematic if I would stab later.

The stab went well but Russia stabbed me up in Norway. He claimed that he had belived that he was going ot be the target of my stab and he tried to counter it and that he now rgretted it and wanted to take it back ,ad nindeed he did in fall. But the damage was done, I decided to go safe beofre sorry in that fall and moved back from my French stab, he understood my worry against Russia and would not attack but he took TRP, I won't blame him. Here I acctually think I had my best chance of an solo, had not bigbert though I would target him, or if I had trusted him moving back and totally ruined my relations with France and continued that one. With the tempo I had I would probably quickly have been able to take most of France, and Russia wasn't so string in germany Scandinavia still, maybe I could have held that, but no.

Anyway I turned back to France to take him out, that succeeded but to slow. I reached 14 but things wasn't right, other players still had 25 centers and I was reaching the crucial 18 in the wrong way, something had to be done. I told Russia I knew what he was thinking and would give him MUN, I also said I could hand DAM over I belive, just so we could continue or alliance. Maybe I would get a new, better chance later, at least i would have peace. h agreed but no he attacked fully as well, and Asutria joined him. I had an slim hope that Italy would waint to join against me till I was closer to 18 but no, I had to go back to negotiations, tell Italy and Russia that it was Austria who were the big winner.

They agreed but no Russia stabbed me yet another time. Now I started to get desperate, there wasn't much for Russia to gain from more war with me, we stroke yet another deal, he keeps what he got and we join up with the goal to finish it. Still he made one last try to snatch NTH from me, luckily I had decided to keep instead of using ENG for effectively finish France off. I was right not to trust him. Now we mad one last deal wich he indeed kept.

We fined France off and then suddenly Austria stabbed. I wasn't to worried, since we quickly managed to get Italy on our side we shouldn't have ahd any problems, but the Austria left an nmr and it became an real anticlimax. Then I, Russia and Austria decided to finish Italy off. The only thing left was to decide whenever to give it an more dramatic ending or not. Fall 1911 I had two choices, waint one year or do it now. I calculated on it and doing it now probably would not be as dangerous as I had hoped, mostly becasue there would be an Italian fleet in ION and I would not want to risk it on that Italy would help me.
I decided to waint till next year were I would have an better chance, especially if Bigbert would not reinforce Germany and Scandinavia. He did though, in addition to that I had one build less then I though.
(or I had played last year with one extra unit, so in case I would have stabbed 1911 I would have had an unfair advantage as well), so in therer end no good chance was given.
But it was an good ending in the end as well,Flatley had played solid and well and BigBert made two crucial perfectly timed stabs, one year before I could start thinking if I could do the same.

Re: 1900: AAR

PostPosted: 12 Dec 2012, 16:28
by marsman57
I went off on a holiday in 1902 or so, and marsman substituted for me. Not really knowing what course of action to take, I decided to give him a carte blanche. He decided to attack Turkey, but Austria unfortunately had not peaceful plans to me. So when I returned I seemed to be at war with Austria, Germany, and Turkey, and I had great fears I wouldn't survive.

Yeah. I agree things didn't work out well with the Austrian, but in my defense, there seemed to be some miscommunication and paranoia about the movement phase before I took over that kind of undermined that along with the fact that I don't think Flatley trusted me to honor BigBert's commitments (rightfully so).

I was probably a bit more bold in my time than I would have been if it were my game from beginning to end, but I knew from experience that the main player can come back after a substitute and say "I'm sorry my friend was insane. Please forgive me, I'll move out" if the bold moves don't work. If they do work, then all the better! It seemed to pay off well for Russia in the end, though I think I may have put him into some very tense diplomacy for a season or two!

P.S. I died laughing at the strategy guide thing. That is such a great technique of meta-diplomacy.

Re: 1900: AAR

PostPosted: 13 Dec 2012, 03:38
by Mouse
Concerning the strategy guide that I sent to Aardvark, it was , "1900: THE FRANCO-ITALIAN ALLIANCE" by Chris Dziedzic. I did feel guilty for sending it, but alas, that is diplomacy, right?

One fantastic thing about 1900 is there has been so much written and analyzed on the variant (I hate to use variant - it is more of a diplomacy evolution). The real treasure is B.M. Powell's "Gamers' Guide to 1900". Yeah, I printed it out and read it prior even getting my country selection!