some thoughts on an Austrian solo (game no. 127820)

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some thoughts on an Austrian solo (game no. 127820)

Postby rd45 » 16 Jun 2017, 20:54

A kind-of AAR from someone who doesn't really do AARs.

  1. This felt like my game, right from the beginning. I created it, and that sense of ownership, IMHO, took me about 50% of the way towards the win. I still had to achieve the other 50%, but I always expected to solo.
  2. I called it "I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought", after the line in Shakespeare's Sonnet 30. For me, the right name can really set the tone. It was an anonymous ambassadors' game, so I had some fun (http://www.playdiplomacy.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=54898) with the Dolph Shtoss account to recruit the other players - and deliberately struck a playful note in the messaging, even before we began.
  3. I was careful to keep that playful message style going throughout the game. Partly because it's more fun for me that way, and partly because a lighter tone can really help you to get away with stuff that would otherwise cause more resentment. All of this was made so much easier by Germany and Russia - with whom I enjoyed a strong three-way alliance for most of the game. Both of them were really fun to talk to, which is such a huge help when you're trying to work together.
  4. All solos are thrown by someone. This one was thrown to me, in equal measure, by France and Russia. France handed over the last three centres that I needed for the 18, but it was Russia who crapped all over the stop-the-leader alliance which could quite easily have stopped me.
  5. My 18 came from the Austrian, Balkan, Turkish and Italian centres - plus Sevastopol, Marseilles, Spain and Portugal. Picking up the Balkan, Turkish and Italian centres went to plan - I needed some luck for the rest. Russia goofed and let me into Ukraine, after which Sev was easy - and on the very same move (fall 1912), Russia also one-dotted France in London. That killed off the three-way F/G/R alliance that Germany was putting together to stop me. France came north to take revenge, and left Mar, Spa & Por open for me.
  6. I've never lied to anyone in any game like I lied to Turkey. I flat-out lied about my 1901 plans, and then lied again in 1902 - so convincingly, it seemed, that Turkey swallowed the BS that I dreamed up about having had a tip-off from some un-named power that Italy was planning to stab me in Trieste in fall 01. By purest coincidence, Italy DID try to stab me in Trieste, which really helped my plausibility, and also gave me the pretext that I needed to stab for Venice in 1903. From there on, Italy drifted into a semi-successful Lepanto-style thing that further crippled Turkey and also left Italy's forces way out of position. Really, that whole period couldn't have gone better for me.
  7. Just to twist the knife, I lied again to Turkey in about 1910 or so. By that time, I was looking for an out from the G/A/R alliance that all three of us had stuck to fairly religiously from the beginning - and Turkey was still kicking around with two units, so I offered a plan to go north against Russia. But almost immediately I had second thoughts about that, picturing a vengeful and newly strengthened Turkey at my back door. So, I snuck into Constantinople instead.
  8. The first time that the G/A/R alliance had been threatened was in spring 1902, based on some misunderstanding over Sweden. I think we all briefly imagined that Russia might have a long-distance thing going with France, so Germany jumped the gun somewhat and supported England into Sweden. That very quickly turned into a bad idea, as England suddenly dived deep into Germany territory. Germany could easily have been out at that point, but I talked Russia into forgiving the Sweden thing and got the G/A/R back on good terms. That really helped me later, because although the alliance was pretty functional throughout, if felt like there was always this seed of doubt between Germany and Russia.
  9. Two stray armies at different times had a major influence on the outcome. France had taken Munich in 01, then retreated east after being dislodged. I offered to squish the French army, but left it there for a while because I secretly liked how uncomfortable it made Germany. Later, an Italian army that had been in Turkey got pushed north and ended up in Moscow. In the same way, it was good for me to have it sitting there, making a nuisance of itself. Non-fatally weakened allies are good news. In the meantime, I carried on steadily growing.
  10. I took a week out from the game when I was on holiday & out of network coverage. I had a great sub (thanks, GPD!), and the break did me the world of good - in real life, and in the game. I came back, took one look at the board, and immediately started thinking of ways to ditch my allies and go for the win. France had always been strong enough to fend off England and Germany, but somehow never really got any momentum. So, I reached out and tried to use France to unsettle things in the north. We never really did that much together - there was some residual distrust on both sides around Piedmont - but it was enough to keep Germany and Russia off balance on that side of the board. England was out by this stage, pincered between Russia and France, and all three remaining northern powers were sparring around the North Sea and English Channel. I didn't have to work hard to encourage conflict there. At the same time, I was dallying with the remains of Turkey, pushing Russia out of Rumania, re-occupying Galicia, and generally upsetting the apple-cart in the east.
  11. I had fleets in the western Med, ready to jump across the stalemate line, but I had to be patient for a while. I shaped to pull back, and actually thought that I might have to bring a fleet back east to deal with the Black Sea area, but then Russia came through for me with the crucial stab on France. Game over.

Cast of characters:
  • ENGLAND jerdol
  • FRANCE Frenchie07001
  • ITALY Artplyn
  • GERMANY Gideonhr
  • AUSTRIA rd45 (SOLO WIN)
  • TURKEY cairoblue
  • RUSSIA Otherwise

The final picture, as at fall 1914:

Image

Thanks to everyone! Would very gladly play again.
--rd45
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Re: some thoughts on an Austrian solo (game no. 127820)

Postby Otherwise » 16 Jun 2017, 22:54

I could NOT have put this better myself:

"but it was Russia who crapped all over the stop-the-leader alliance which could quite easily have stopped me."

And, I have never felt such an odd mix of embarrassment and pride.

-O
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Re: some thoughts on an Austrian solo (game no. 127820)

Postby Machiara » 16 Jun 2017, 22:56

So why did you do that, Otherwise? Rather than being a part of a stop-the-leader alliance.
Personally I'm always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught.

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Re: some thoughts on an Austrian solo (game no. 127820)

Postby Frenchie07001 » 16 Jun 2017, 23:15

Austria was more pleasant to Russia than the rest of us is what he told me. I'm not a fan of that kind of thinking when it means giving a solo away but to each their own.

Otherwise is an excellent communicator, I will say that much.

I did give up the three points at the end but without Russian cooperation, it would make little difference in the end.
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Re: some thoughts on an Austrian solo (game no. 127820)

Postby Frenchie07001 » 16 Jun 2017, 23:16

An excellent game by Austria in all regards.
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Re: some thoughts on an Austrian solo (game no. 127820)

Postby Otherwise » 16 Jun 2017, 23:32

Machiara, it was not entirely deliberate. There was some incompetence involved, I assure you.

-O
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Re: some thoughts on an Austrian solo (game no. 127820)

Postby Strategus » 17 Jun 2017, 10:05

rd45 wrote:I had a great sub (thanks, GPD!)

No problem. I had the game on my watched list and was rooting for you. Glad you managed to get the solo, so well done.
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