AARs

GM: UpQuark. Winner: Aardvark Army (Italy)

AARs

Postby AardvarkArmy » 03 Feb 2013, 19:18

Let's Hear From Ya! :mrgreen:
SOLOS
ICE&FIRE.1-Martell/EXCALIBUR.1-Angles/EXCALIBUR.2-Scots/EMERALD-Sno/MOD.4-Italy/SENGOKU.1-OdaNobu/S.AMERICA.1-Peru

DRAWS
1930-China/BattleIsleA-Winterfell/S&S-Turkey/WORLD INFL-Venezuela/LECRAE-Dublin/WWIV.2-Cali/IMPERIAL1861.1-Trky/YNGSTWN.1-Grmny/AMERICAS.2-Mex/AFRICAN.2-S.Arabia
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Re: AARs

Postby Pedros » 06 Feb 2013, 11:09

Just to say re the Wings (I was a brief replacement fairly early) - at the time I couldn't really see the point of them. The odd one might be useful to get behind enemy lines, but being unable to take an SC their value always seemed to me likely to be pretty limited. But I didn't follow the game closely so don't know what Russia made of them - will be interesting to hear comments on that.
"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 Mouse » 06 Feb 2013, 16:14

Very well deserved victory! I'll write something up a bit later :)
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Re: AARs

Postby Mouse » 08 Feb 2013, 04:23

First of all, very well-deserved victory to AardvarkArmy!

Modern is a very well-designed game. Not all countries are equal. Some are a bit more stressful to play - dynamic. Some countries have better locations. Some countries have immediate survive or die locations. Modern is a game whereby "some" countries perhaps need to be a master diplomat while some other countries can perhaps sit back a bit. Honestly, I won my first choice of Egypt, but it is with regret. It wasn't as dynamic as some other countries and in many ways was a little, blah. Frankly, a good chunk of the game I was bored. Contrast with other countries that were literally in the "thick" of live-or-die.

So how was the Egyptian strategy? Well, it would have made sense to ally with Turkey, cruise into the Med and fight the Italians. I should have tried to unit the Spanish in that goal. The problem is I didn't think that Turkey would hold up under the combined attack of Ukraine & Russia. They were allied out of the box. I needed to take land and solidify a defense against these two adversaries. This I accomplished for an extended period of time. I also take credit for the downfall of Ukraine through propaganda to Russia. It worked because... it made sense. Actually, there was a silly amount of diplomacy that I conducted in the game, but alas I was stuck in my little corner. I came close to uniting Spain and France. After France fell I even united the world against the powers of Italy and Russia, but I was stuck in my corner! I was always in my corner!

I am sure that I could have played it all better. I did have good opponents and the win was well-deserved. If I had to do it all over again, I would have picked a different country. Egypt was a bit too "safe".
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Re: AARs

Postby AardvarkArmy » 08 Feb 2013, 09:21

Italy AARs
Well, this was an interesting game, from start to finish – at one time or another, Italy fought 7 of the 9 other nations on the map; only Poland and England were peaceful co-inhabitants! For me, there were three keys to the outcome of this game:

1) MAP: As alluded to in my Star Rating comments, there is no doubt that Italy had a good starting position. With just a little “managing” of Spain’s, France’s, Germany’s and Egypt’s aspirations to avoid a full-on aggressive attack by one of them, I was easily able to secure 4 first-year builds.

2) MOUSE: No other player had a more profound outcome on Italy’s direction than Mouse, of Egypt.

 In the earliest years, Mouse and I agreed to remain amicable, with a long-term goal of working together to contain Russia along the broad swath from Greece to Iran; Russia had stated early on that he was usually inclined to try for a solo rather than a draw, and I really expected him to be “the one to beat.” So I built a strategy of nurturing solid alliances on both flanks – Egypt and Spain – in the hopes that those flank partners could help contain Russia. I found this arrangement to be tremendously to my advantage – the relative peace in the Med allowed me breathing room, while I was happy to see a roadblock thrown up to slow the progress of my ostensible Russian Ally. Thank you, Mouse!

 But then, Mouse did what Mouse does best: he is the best player I have EVER encountered at spreading rumors, disinformation and mayhem. There came a time when it became clear that Mouse had worked his magic on Spain, when Spain very abruptly and without provocation violated a no-build promise in the Western Med, and made other moves which were clearly designed to counter me. I am sure that Mouse convinced Spain that he had some “proof” that I was about to attack Spain, which was actually the last thing in the world I was planning to do at that time. But once Spain took an aggressive posture, I had no choice but to throw everything I had to knock him out as a potential threat. With a swift move of my fleets and the convoy landing that penetrated the heart of Spain, the situation actually improved dramatically for me. Thank you, again, Mouse!

 A few turns later, on the other flank, Mouse made the ill-fated decision to attack me at Tunisia. His attack failed, but just as with Spain before, his aggressive action forced me to abandon my “flank ally” strategy completely and throw all I could at overrunning Egypt. Once again, this ended up as a blessing in disguise, as the war was ultimately won based upon my getting the better position in the Middle East. Thank you, once more, Mouse!

3) WINGS: Above all else, I believe that this game was a clear referendum on the value of “Wings.” One great power committed nearly 40% of his builds to Wings, while the other ended the game with none - traditional fleets and armies won. Wings have value in VERY limited locations – the Caspian Sea comes to mind. But I strongly believe that BOTH the invasion of Turkey and the great northern push through Scandinavia and England would have ultimately been more powerful using traditional fleet-army combos. I would say that NOTHING I did was more clearly decisive in winning this war than the convoy pipeline I built to pour armies onto the Egyptian, Turkish and Balkan coasts. By contrast, I NEVER feared the Russian naval presence off the coast of Brest, because he had no capacity to land ground forces in Western Europe. And, of course, the inability to “claim” centers with Wings is devastating. On a small scale, Russia went YEARS without benefitting from a build for taking Denmark; and on a large scale, at the end, there was simply no plausible scenario by which Russia could win. He had fewer ground forces along the main central European battle front than Germany!

So, I will state my strong opinion unequivocally – as envisioned in this game, Wings are an epic, epic fail. They are hopelessly weak, and only in the rarest cases can they do anything that can’t be accomplished by a good old-fashioned convoy. Before I would ever build a Wing in this game, they would have to be significantly strengthened in some way:

 Move two spaces per turn?
 “Hop over” ground units light a Knight in Chess?
 Carry an Army of paratroopers like an Army-Fleet unit in some games?
 Convoy and launch from fleets like an aircraft carrier?

At least one of those ideas must be added to sweeten the pot, or no one who looks at the outcome of this game will ever build a Wing again.

This was a GREAT game, by all – especially Russia and Germany, and UpQuark is a GM nonpareil!
SOLOS
ICE&FIRE.1-Martell/EXCALIBUR.1-Angles/EXCALIBUR.2-Scots/EMERALD-Sno/MOD.4-Italy/SENGOKU.1-OdaNobu/S.AMERICA.1-Peru

DRAWS
1930-China/BattleIsleA-Winterfell/S&S-Turkey/WORLD INFL-Venezuela/LECRAE-Dublin/WWIV.2-Cali/IMPERIAL1861.1-Trky/YNGSTWN.1-Grmny/AMERICAS.2-Mex/AFRICAN.2-S.Arabia
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Re: AARs

Postby haroonriaz » 08 Feb 2013, 11:44

My major observation here is that Russia woke up too late to the possibility of preventing an Italian solo. He didn't even bother to initiate the discussion about it.

Not to take anything away from the competence of AardvarkArmy, but let us just say that he had an incompetent resistance to deal with, and that includes everyone else. The resistance was too passive and was just a congress of defeated nations in the beginning, as they started falling apart one after the other.

I thought that Italy and Egypt were natural enemies, especially after Turkey's early demise, so I see extended Egyptian cooperation with Italy just a bid to survive, or just plain confusion.

Also, I am still trying to get my mind around the early Russia-Ukraine alliance.

This game was a good case of domino effect as far as the failure of most nations was concerned. Everything that could go wrong for everyone except Italy, did.

However, it would be interesting to see how a Modern game goes in another round. I bet it wouldn't be a solo. Again, taking nothing away from AardvarkArmy. Well played.

Heh, as for the Wings, probably AardvarkArmy won because he didn't build any wings.

While an amphibious unit can be useful in theory, it really isn't much help without you know what. So the only instance where I saw Wings to be useful when Mouse's unit in Egypt helped prevent a premature Italian solo.

And boy, UpQuark can make some terrific maps. Thank you, most of all.
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