126924. Sunstar Vista

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126924. Sunstar Vista

Postby Tarsier » 18 May 2017, 12:22

The SHIV issued a challenge to Tarsier. Here's the thread for the AAR. I'll try to post sometime today.

EDIT: I should have started this thread with some thank you's for a good game. I'll do that further down when a have a chance today. Also, I will put in an edit about France's move toward Tunis, as I just recalled some context there.
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Re: 126924. Sunstar Vista

Postby Tarsier » 18 May 2017, 13:11

I started out this game with a sense of trust in Russia. Since I suspected he was not The SHIV (most of his messages were coherent), I was comfortable working with him for at least the first year. I'm a big fan of a DMZ Black Sea rather than a bounce, and he was on board (it seemed). Also had good communications with Italy (from the start, I suspected you were ILI - something about your conversation style). Austria, no offense, struck me as the less experienced player in our corner of the map. This should have worked to his advantage, as I often will ally with a weaker neighbor and take out my strongest local competitor. At that point, I was looking at using cooperation with Russia to get me a in a good position and then work with Austria against him. However, Austria was just stubbornly insistent on really bad moves, so there was little I could do but join in on the slaughter. I managed to pick up two centers, while directing his anger at Italy. For what it's worth, I proposed moves to Austria that would have limited Italy to one build (as I sensed Italy would be a headache and didn't want him growing), but he just didn't want the build this season. I'm really not sure where Austria expected Italy to retreat here:

Image

Austria's moves were so odd, that I really started to worry about the Key Lepanto. In addition, Russia insisted on Black Sea. I was a bit worried here, but with two Italian fleets and the possible KL, I had to worry about my Southern waters, as I expected Italy to move in. At the same time, Italy had somehow let me know he was moving out of the Ionian. I don't have time to go back and look at the messages, but what a temptation! I decided to take a gamble on totally sealing off the lower waters, as opposed to just blocking off the Turkish mainland. If there was a pivotal point in the game, it was this. Even though he'd soon knock me out of Ionian, it would only force a retreat into Tunis. At this point, too, I mostly trusted Russia, but you'll see my army dancing around to make a stab on me a tough guessing game if he tried it from Black Sea.

Image

Just after this, I Russia cuts Italian support of Serbia, and I take it, too. Securing the Balkans early was important to my plan, and I had three of the key centers early on. Everything gets a little messy after this. I hadn't been watching too much of what was going on with The SHIV up in England (and really, it happened too quickly to notice), but France decided to head down South for some of the action (EDIT: If I remember right, France was offering himself as a mercenary, suggesting he could help me with Italy in exchange for Tunis. I didn't really want his help, as it just complicated things, but I used his movement to help reunite with Italy. Luckily, Italy and I worked out a truce, as I would have been in trouble. Again, I can't remember all of the conversation, so I don't know what was going on with France trying to take a center from me AND convoy into Italy, but luckily I had moved a fleet to Ionian for support, which also helped me seal off the Southern Waters for good for the rest of the game. Meanwhile, Russia surprised me by building another fleet. I wasn't happy at all with this, and managed to convince him we needed to destroy one so he could defend himself elsewhere on the map, so he moved to Bulgaria for that purpose. His proposed plan of moving through my centers to help out down South sounded like a total scam, and I had successfully taken control of the waters - the last thing I needed was a purple fleet down by my centers.

Image

Time for work. More later.
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Re: 126924. Sunstar Vista

Postby I Love Italy » 18 May 2017, 15:05

Marking.
I have special eyes.
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Re: 126924. Sunstar Vista

Postby Custer » 18 May 2017, 16:12

Its been so long, all I recall is being bum rushed by France, Germany and Russia. And my game was over before it began. Oh well, I'll get you all next time!

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Re: 126924. Sunstar Vista

Postby Tarsier » 18 May 2017, 16:54

First, a few things. Thanks to all of you for a good game. Really enjoyed the banter and regret I didn't have as much time in my RL to chat with France (early on), Germany and England. Also, please all go easy on The SHIV. The game began right about the beginning of possum season, so he was probably plenty busy during downtime.

I should have included this in the last post, as it kind of fits that particular epoch, but after Italy and I reconciled, I invited him into Greece to get a build to help against France. I really wasn't excited about this, but had to keep Italy on my side for a bit. After the build, I needed his fleet gone from Albania, so proposed that we destroy it so he'd have another build. He was asking for Tunis around then, and I managed to convince him that trading that would need to wait until France was gone. Italy built an army, thankfully, and I was able to keep the Southern waters clean.

Image

After this, Italy, Russia and I work on France and Germany for a while until Germany eventually throws in the towel, trying to feed centers to France. When he was down to his last center, I knew I had to make a move down South. Both Russia and Italy were encouraging me to stab the other. I compromised with each by saying I'd take a center from the other, but I'd need one of their centers to help bulk up and to keep the charade going with the other for a while. Thus:

Image

At that point, I had to pick. Russia seemed to be the biggest threat to me, especially if I could keep Italy from building any more fleets. In addition, France was giving Russia a hard time, making it difficult for him to concentrate his units in defense. I took it slowly and deliberately, with suggestions of contrition (he hinted at king-making, so I was trying not to trigger that), but eventually got enough builds off of him to finally try to do away with Italy. By that point, Russia had done something to really tick off France, so I was able to do this without having any retaliation from the frogs. It almost seemed France was going to do the king-making. Here we are in the heat of the action:

Image

Then, once I finished off Italy, two centers away from the win, France and Russia reconcile. At this point, the game is really dragging out for me, as there's nobody to diplome with. Thankfully, we agreed to finalize early. I made a misstep at one point in my defense against Russia, but was able to recover there and mostly had an impenetrable defense set up. I also had two units behind their stronghold lines, helping me prevent a stalemate. I will note that France made a blunder here that really settled this, as I promised not to retreat into one of his centers (Portugal) under some conditions, one of which was to support my fleet into the North Sea. Had he not done that, they could have destroyed it and a three-way would have been all but certain. France bit, and I went back on the deal and took Portugal. Even so, the path forward wouldn't be easy. I was trying like a crazy-man to keep France from getting the build that would put another fleet in Brest. Here's where we were about that point:

Image

At this point, I knew I just had about one more season to get into MAO before it got even trickier. I was secure against Russia, but his fleets would soon come to help France and things would have been near impossible. I put all the chips on getting an army into Spain and aimed my North Sea fleet at Brest, allowing me (if successful) to cut off support from a move to the Channel and from the fleet already parked in Portugal:

Image

It worked! The next season, I would have taken MAO without a hitch. From there, I'm fairly certain I would have picked up my final supply centers (though not 100%), but that's when we decided to call it a draw for reasons discussed in the public press.

I probably missed a bunch - busy, but that's a nutshell. Again, good game, all.
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Re: 126924. Sunstar Vista

Postby Custer » 18 May 2017, 20:34

Actually, I was out hunting those cute little "Tarsiers" we have run in round here. Cute, but a real pain in the a$&!

LOL

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Re: 126924. Sunstar Vista

Postby edmgrim » 18 May 2017, 21:46

Thanks to Tarsier for starting this. Let me start by saying that while I am unapologetic about sharing in the 3-way here, this was his solo. But I learned on the forum that you don't pass up opportunity when it is offered and that given all the variables that enter into the decisions people make in Diplomacy, any win is well deserved.

For those who are interested, here are a couple elements I see in many AARs that were left out from the beginning:

The Players

BRITIAN -- The SHIV
FRANCE -- pinta (3way DRAW)
ITALY -- I Love Italy
GERMANY -- bindlestiff
AUSTRIA -- Hotel Echo
TURKEY -- Tarsier (3way DRAW)
RUSSIA -- edmgrim (3way DRAW)

Here's the complete game

A little background

The Shiv "sponsored" this game and I was the last to join. I had been watching it (and his posts in the forum) for a while and felt myself too inexperienced to join into a fray with what I expected to be a game filled with high-caliber players well beyond my abilities. The SHIV was gracious enough to encourage me to join in. He might have been thinking, "easy picking for him" at the time. It turns out he could not have been more mistaken. But to be fair, Carebear, WHSeward, JonS, or any of the real legends on this board would not have stood a chance with the odds that were stacked against him here. Who says there is no luck in Diplomacy? The SHIV walked into a huge pile of the worst kind of luck from the first message that was sent. I'll get into that more later.

I'll try to mix my own thought process with responses to Tarsier's thoughts here.

1901

SPRING

I have decided that one of my biggest weaknesses here is that I am too anxious to initiate conversation and forward my agenda. I am determined to wait for others to reach out to me first. So I (try) to wait.

Italy and Turkey oblige me and send greetings.We exchange niceties, but little of substance. Turkey seems pretty excited about the idea of a Juggernautbut and while I am not entirely opposed, I am a little hesitant.

A day goes by and I have not heard from anyone else. Sorry, I just can't keep waiting. I reach out.

Germany and I really hit it off. We have similar styles of communicating (at least that's what I think) we inject asides of culinary and cultural stereotype, along with some tongue-in-cheek humor, into our discussions. I really like Germany and hope we will have a long and fruitful relationship. It is a hope destined for disappointment.

England joins in next and we exchange fairly straightforward plans. I am still peppering my communications with asides, but England is having none of that.

I have also sent out salutations to France and Austria, but so far, nothing much is coming from them. France, I sort of understand. But Austria has me worried already.

On day three (maybe two-and-a-half) I am finally starting to get some messages with meat from France.

Austria finally chimes in but it is already too late. While I will negotiate with him, I am convinced his delinquency is because he is working with one (or more) of my other neighbors to undermine me. I have already decided that he has to be the first of my neighbors to go. Nevertheless, I undermine myself right from the start by convincing Austria to bounce in Galicia just before a message rolls in from Turkey or Italy (can't remember which) that half-way has me wishing I had not proposed the bounce.

-- I finally hear from France and he informs me of his cordial relations with Germany. I don't remember who brings it up first,but one of them asks me what I think of sea lions. They are one of my favorite sea mammals, but I do not recognize the term in the context of Diplomacy....yet.

When deadline rolls around, I am delighted that EVERYONE is asking me to do EXACTLY what I want to do anyway in Spring.

Fall

In the south, Turkey and I are very worried at what we think is a coordinated attempt at misdirection by Italy and Austria. But there is something in Turkey's messages that tells me that he might actually be the mastermind behind all this. I am worried that Turkey and Austria are going to cooperate to kick me out of Rumania and not just a little concerned that Sweden might be blocked too. Both concerns are unwarranted and I half-way kick myself for negotiating the bounce.

1902

England is under no misconceptions that he is under siege. I half-heartedly sympathize.

Germany and I are getting on swimmingly! I remain wary of Turkey and I am not really sure about France. I'm friendly with Italy; neither of us trust Turkey though and that is our common bond.

I offer Austria my help to repel Italy. Meanwhile, I also negotiate with Italy to let me help Austria in return for setting us up for a combined assault on Turkey. And Turkey is already on board with eliminating Austria.

Meanwhile, Germany and I are still exchanging gastronomic fantasies and celebrating what we hope will be a lasting friendship.

I stab Austria and he actually thanks me for my "help" against Italy. And then I complete my stab in the fall and Austria is still magnanimous. I draft this message in my game notes:

This was a hard one for me. And believe it or not, it was not done out of desire to do you harm but more as a hedge against a mistake I made up in Norway. There is a certain irony in that I attacked Vienna out of fear that Germany would take Sweden.


Things are a mess in The Balkans and the harsh reality down there is that Austria and Italy were from day 1 (and still are) united in wanting to take you out with authority. If I would have opposed their wishes, you would still be destroyed and I would have become their that much more vulnerable target. That is not to say that they do not have me in their sights anyway.



England is not as forgiving. And despite the fact that France and Germany were the architects of his destruction, he sets his sights on destroying me in the public press. I privately tell Germany how incensed I am at his slander! ;)

1903

I just don't know how long my luck will hold out! I am still doing exactly what I want and everyone is still with it! But I know that I am going to need to get off the pot soon. I decide to test the waters in the south and raise Turkey's hair with a second fleet.To be honest, I am not thinking stab. I am just trying not to raise concerns in the north. While negotiations with Germany are still great, I don't trust France. I think he is plotting with Germany already to come against me, but if I can get them to stay relaxed a little longer, I will be better prepared to repel them. It's a misdirection, but Turkey wants nothing to do with that.

Meanwhile:

Tarsier wrote:I started out this game with a sense of trust in Russia. Since I suspected he was not The SHIV...


I'm convinced that Turkey is The Shiv since I have noticed that messages fromTurkey to me oddly coincide with public posts by The Shiv in the forum (not necessarily public press).

Nevertheless, Turkey convinces me to give up my fleet and turn my attentions to the north. With Italy becoming a minor problem for Turkey down south, I am happy to comply. Meanwhile, I am feeding Italy intelligence and thin cooperation.

1904

I'm becoming more convinced that it is going to be Germany-France vs Turkey-Russia. But what I want is a Russia-Germany partnership. I make my move up North without informing Germany and he is livid. I beseech him to work with me to take on France and offer assurances that I will sail past his borders on the east side of England if he will work with me. He wants nothing to do with it.

France tries to take my temperature and I tell him in no uncertain terms that I will not stab Germany unless he does so first.. Germany takes matters out of my hands by returning the threat I pose to his coastlines with his own to my inland.

I continue to try to negotiate with Germany, but he is steadfast. He promises to roll over to France.So I reach out to France and offer him intelligence in the south in return for equitable distribution of the Kaiser's lands.

I know France does not like or trust me, but we are wary partners for now.

Meanwhile, in the south, Italy is in dire straits also. I broker a deal with him and Turkey (or at least, it seems to me that I am playing a role in this) to make peace so they can hold off France. I'm also feeding France some mildly misleading intelligence.

Life is still good for me....

1905 - 1906
Things start to fall apart. Turkey has an opportunity to deal a crushing blow to Italy but I convince him to keep pushing West. I argue that doing so will keep Italy docile and that the following year will leave him ripe for destruction while we have a more solid western front. My real objective is that I want Turkey to spread himself too thin. Turkey "reluctantly"goes along. In retrospect, I think he saw the fallacy in my thinking.

The following year, I see it. Turkey is perfectly poised to stab the shit out of me...and it is my own fault. Still, I am enjoying my own success crossing the mainland. It is becoming clear to me that it is going to come down to me or Turkey.

I try to do some damage control before the damage happens by reaching out to Italy. I think I ended p doing the damage instead. I tell Italy that Turkey is out to destroy him. I offer to keep him around if he is willing to cooperate with me. Italy chooses to allow Turkey to slowly destroy him instead of helping me. I'm mildly surprised as I had thought throughout the game that Italy and I were of the same mind that we preferred each other over Turkey if push came to shove. Maybe he thought I was arrogant...it wouldn't be the first time someone thought that.

Anyway, I decide to trust Italy to help me and stab France. The wheels fall off the bus as Turkey stabs me. Now I have a two-front war and no friends.

1907 - 1908
I see the Turkish solo and reach out to France, letting him know that the only hope to stop him is if we cooperate. He wants nothing to do with it. We are so preoccupied with each other that we can't do anything to stop Turkey...at least we are slowing him, though. I choose to destroy all my retreats for the purpose of regrouping instead of holding an untenable line.

1909
France finally agrees to work with me. We have a good year and there is hope we can turn Turkey back.

1910
What happened in The North Sea notwithstanding, I screw up royally. I promise not to attack Munich because I will already have two builds without it. Then I forget to change my orders and Munich falls. I am profuse in my apologies, doing it publicly, privately, and every other way I can. I'm not sure France believes me, but when he does not build in Marseilles, I know it is over.

1911 and beyond
We put up the good fight and then life happens for one of us. Turkey takes the high road and chooses to offer a premature end to the game. It was a well fought campaign and I feel that I am a better player for having been here.

Conclusion

Congratulations to all. I truly enjoyed interacting with you all and even in animosity, I still felt a closeness with you that I rarely experience so uniformly in a Diplomacy game. I'm going to be stepping away from the board for a while when my other game ends. But I doubt it will be a long absence...Diplomacy has a way of dragging you back in just as much as it can jade. I look forward to sharing a board with you all again when I return.
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Re: 126924. Sunstar Vista

Postby edmgrim » 18 May 2017, 21:52

By the way, I came up with this little ditty that I was hoping to publish when it would have been "safe." I think I was a season away from being able to do so when the wheels fell off:

Mr. Russia's Neighborhood
Apologies to Fred Rogers, who would never approve, I'm sure!

It's a beautiful day in this neighborhood,
A beautiful day to invade neighbors,
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?...

It's the end of the day in your beauty wood,
A day where you’ll be my booty.
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?...

I've always wanted to own a neighbor just like you.
I've always wanted to control what once belonged to you.

So, let's make the most of your despair for today.
Since we're together I might as well say:
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?
Won't you be my conquest?
Won't you please,
Won't you please?
Please won't you be my conquest?
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Re: 126924. Sunstar Vista

Postby Custer » 18 May 2017, 23:42

LoL......good game Ed. Glad you joined us.

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Re: 126924. Sunstar Vista

Postby bindlestiff » 18 May 2017, 23:49

I don't usually participate in AARs, but edmgrim's comments compel a short response.

First, thank you for the nice comments on the relationship stated out; I enjoyed it as well, and was disappointed when you chose to end it.

Second, the issue that split us was not the disposition of units in the North, but you're insistence on controlling Trieste. After we had disposed of England (sorry, Shiv) I proposed that we content or troika, with France taking the West, you the east, and me the middle. You demurred, insisting on Russian control of Trieste. I pointed out that this would block me from expanding, and pretty much assure that I would end up squeezed between you and France, with nothing stopping you from a solo. Given the location of my forces, the picture looked grim.

When you refused to allow me access to the center, I saw my position as hopeless, and did my best to help France, who had been a reliable ally. I may have misjudged my chances, but that's how things looked to me.

Fun game while it lasted. For some reason I have never had success as Germany. I hope to see all of you again soon.
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