AAR - 131215. 1901 - 4 way draw

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AAR - 131215. 1901 - 4 way draw

Postby DirtyHarry » 27 Jun 2017, 04:33

I think this game deserves an AAR, so I'll kick it off. I don't have time to write a full blown AAR all in one sitting, but I'm hoping a discussion of the positions below from '03 will get the ball rolling. For Germany, what happened in '03 was a major, major turning point in the game. I think by W03 I had a serious shot a solo, but in the end, the remaining countries teamed up to stop me.

ENGLAND (Zwerty99)
FRANCE (Redhouselawyer) WINNER
ITALY (alainsvrd) WINNER
GERMANY (DirtyHarry) WINNER
AUSTRIA (Frankie B)
TURKEY (qwertypowa) (The second Turkey)
RUSSIA (Joris3P) WINNER

But before I even get into the discussion of the position, I want to say that this game was the most fun I've had so far on the site. Thanks to everyone who played. I think we had but one surrender and maybe a couple of NMR's? And I learned a valuable lesson in this game about remaining diplomatic, even when being threatened. I'm realizing I tend to "get my back up", and that attitude led to some strong responses on my part, which I believe in turn made the end game negotiations much harder than they could have been.

Before the game I looked up everyone's record and was immediately impressed with redhouslawyer's (France) very strong record in just a few games on the site. And then it got scary when I looked at the games where he did well. Yikes! None of his next door neighbors seemed to survive. So I knew I had to be quite wary from the start.

We had what I would describe as a cordial but suspicious relationship from the start of the game. I made friends with both England and France, and they didn't seem to be friends with each other, which was great for me. I had deals with both to team up against the other, but since I was more nervous about France (and by that I mean no disrespect to England whatsoever), I tried to arrange a gang of Germany, Italy and England to attack France. Then, an ultimate master plan developed in my mind such that while England was engaged with France, I would help Russia attack England and eliminate two very dangerous neighbors.

But unfortunately, Italy and Austria weren't getting along in '02, so Italy wasn't free to move west as early as we would have liked. So it seemed the next best move was to work with France against England, and I took the North Sea in F02.

Then, in S03, through a little subterfuge (hehe), Italy and I convinced Austria to take on Russia, and suddenly the attack on France is back on! So I pivoted away from attacking England and took Burgundy and supported England into the English Channel while Italy moved West. And that lead to this position:

Image

And this is where the trouble between myself and Italy started. I was thinking oh crap, we finally got Austria to back off, and now Turkey, seemingly desperate for centers, shows up. Since I thought Italy had to defend against Turkey now, France was able to convince me to back off, and we decided to mend fences and finish off England together. What I didn't know was that Turkey was working WITH Italy, and it led to a rather bitter exchange between Italy when later he wanted to press the attack and I told him I had decided that I thought the best strategic move for Germany was to turn against Russia. And that's what I was talking about in the first paragraph, I let my ego get the best of me. Instead of reacting angrily to an Italian ultimatum, I should have worked harder to remain friends with Italy. And thank goodness Italy and Russia weren't friends!

Anyway, the map looked like this after W03:

Image

And now I see "it". With France moving south and England decimated, my friend Russia is wide open. And I felt bad about turning on Russia, he had been a really good ally and really easy to talk to. But he was having his way in the southeast and I was really worried about him turning into a monster in short order. Plus, it seemed to me there were real solo chances for Germany if I headed east, especially with Austria fighting Russia also. At any rate, since I didn't get my solo, I'm pleased that Russia became part of the winning draw.

OK - enough out of me - everyone else - go! :-)
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Re: AAR - 131215. 1901 - 4 way draw

Postby Shyvve » 27 Jun 2017, 05:07

Nicely done, DirtyHarry. But I want to hear the whole story!
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Re: AAR - 131215. 1901 - 4 way draw

Postby Zwerty99 » 27 Jun 2017, 05:29

England here:

Wasn't my finest hour, but Germany invited me to give some perspective on the game. From my point of view, I always wanted to ally with Germany against France--this isn't to say an EF alliance doesn't work (I've completed a solo with as England with it) but because I wanted to try something new.

Negotiations in SO1 seemed to be going fine, with friendly faces from Germany and France. However, before the end of O1 France and I had a bit of a breakdown, where we disagreed on Belgium. Truth be told, I was mainly trying to instigate a conflict with France and get Germany to back me up. My logic was this: either France attacks in Belgium and seems the bigger threat to Germany, or I sneak into the Benelux and get two builds!

This did not work too well. The Belgium bounce got some sincere concern from Germany, but only to the extent of well-wishing my efforts against France. After a build in London and Brest, hostilities were clear between us two.

This compounded with a German fleet in Kiel, and a Russian one in St. Pete spelled disaster for the prime minister. I was just about on equal local naval power with Germany and France (who was reluctant to back me against Russia) and had no clear battle plan after being ejected from Scandinavia.

From then it was just a slow demise. A double stab from Germany and continued pressure from France pushed me from the sea and eventually got my home centers. I was eliminated by SO4.

Either way, I was happy to play. Would have preferred a different outcome, but with the 4-way draw ending it was a bit anti-climactic anyway. All the players were cordial, and I would happily play with any combination of them again.
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Re: AAR - 131215. 1901 - 4 way draw

Postby DirtyHarry » 27 Jun 2017, 14:38

Zwerty99 - in a crazy way, you were a victim of the unpredictability of Austria, and my inability to broker an alliance between Italy and Austria, despite my best efforts. I always felt that Italy hitting France from the south was a key component to any successful attack on France and when Italy first had to defend against Austrian aggression, and then, apparent Turkish aggression, it just seemed like the attack on France was probably going to bog down.
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Re: AAR - 131215. 1901 - 4 way draw

Postby Redhouselawyer » 27 Jun 2017, 23:34

From France:

I'll start by saying that this was a most enjoyable game, start to finish. Without rehashing things that have already been gone over, I'll offer my POV on some of it:

I thought Germany did an excellent job in the early game of simultaneously maintaining both pressure and cordial relations (a difficult line to walk) in a way that made it very difficult for me to make significant progress, and even more difficult not to continue helping him, given the almost overt hostility I experienced from England's moves and builds almost from the get go. Russia requested assistance in dealing with the growing Germany, but I never felt there was a good opportunity in the first few years to make that happen.

There was a key moment where Italy and Turkey had come for me, but I had created a position that would hold against them as long as Germany did not interfere. I sold to Germany the benefits of a solid border and a free hand against Russia as I moved to attack Italy with help from Austria. We very briefly had a Germany/Austria/France coalition going, but Germany was already well ahead at that point.

As things moved forward, I supported Aus to take Venice, but he then abandoned me when it was time to support me into Rome, and it became clear that his only real allegiance, if any, was to Germany. The failure to reciprocally support me into Rome (combined with Germany's rapid success in the northeast) was the turning point in the game. I was able to quickly get Russia (who had been almost ready to give up) and Italy (who, to his credit was pleasant, reasonable, and played without a grudge against me) on board, and for a few turns they were willing to essentially let me write orders for all three countries. Austria died in short order (Turkey was already gone) and we achieved a stable, slightly favorable position against Germany.

In the end, as I wrote to my allies, I believe we might have been able to very, very slowly wind up the German position. But a combination of my lack of -that- much patience, and a small bit of lingering goodwill toward Germany for not turning on me when Italy and Turkey arrived, led me to vote the draw instead. It was a near thing both ways: if we had waited only another turn or two at the most, I believe Germany would have had a soloable position. If Germany had angered Italy and Russia any more, they might have pressed harder to play on until we could take him out of the draw. :>

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Re: AAR - 131215. 1901 - 4 way draw

Postby Redhouselawyer » 27 Jun 2017, 23:54

I left out of the previous post that one of the highlights of the game for me personally was, near it's end, the convoy of Russian A-Norway-Clyde via the French Fleet in Nwg. :>
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Re: AAR - 131215. 1901 - 4 way draw

Postby DirtyHarry » 29 Jun 2017, 02:08

Yes - redhouselawyer - that move was very creative. In the final years of the game, I was worried about burning out my CPU running adjudication scenarios to try to figure out what to do. It was quite a challenge to not screw up the tactics.

I really hope Italy and Russia chime in, because I had one final card to play if they had decided to keep playing in an attempt to cut me out of the draw.

Here is the final position:

Image

If and when I started losing centers, I think I could have engineered the destroys in such a way, starting in England and then the French/German border, that I could throw everything to France to enable a French solo.

So, the question is, were they frustrated enough with me to allow that to happen? That they just wanted me to lose, even if it meant both of them losing also?
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