AAR Game 127487 backstabbin'

Discussion of finished games.

AAR Game 127487 backstabbin'

Postby General Karthos » 29 Aug 2017, 10:40

England: Andronicus76 (surrendered)/bishopbandit (finished)
France: TurboTom (3-Way Draw)
Italy: The+Iron+Soldier (surrendered)
Germany: phaeger (surrendered)
Austria: Metternich01
Turkey: TiberiusG58 (3-Way Draw)
Russia: General Karthos (me) (3-Way Draw)

This was a long game, and a lesson in never giving up, never surrendering. I fought a war with everyone on the board at least once and was allied to everyone on the board at least once with the exception of Italy. (He wasn't around long enough.)

As I always do, I opened with friendly messages to everyone. It's best to avoid being attacked in 1901, and I always try to determine who is going to be an enemy and who will be a friend through how they communicate with me. I initially intended to try to build a Juggernaut alliance, but Austria, who had quite a way with words swayed my position, and I moved against Turkey, in what would be the first of a large number of mistakes that would very nearly cost me the game. Fortunately for me, Germany allowed me into Sweden, meaning that the bounce in Rumania didn't hurt me as badly as it could have. Elsewhere, moves made it fairly clear that France and England were in an alliance, and Germany and Italy's both NMRing meant a likelihood of devastating success. And me with not a single unit in position to attack Germany. I build an army in St. Petersburg to try and hold St. Pete's, while France and England's builds provide further evidence of an alliance.

To begin 1902 I manage to NMR, and Turkey turns the tide against me. I actually hold in the next season with all my units except one supporting Sevastopol to hold, preventing Turkey from taking Sevastopol. In the West, Germay is able to effectively hold out against France and prevent England from making a real advance. Meanwhile, the wolves fall on an inactive Italy in the form of France taking Tunis (which had not been occupied due to Italy's continuing NMRs) and France is into Tuscany. Austria takes Smyrna from Turkey, which gives me a sigh of relief, since it means Turkey will not be able to continue to wage a war against me effectively for a little while at least, even though there's no way that Austria can hold Smyrna. I build an Army in Moscow.

The picture at the end of 1902 looks like this:


In 1903 I order an attack on Armenia, figuring that Turkey is going to order Armenia-Smyrna with support from Constantinople. I am incorrect, and nothing happens, except that I do FINALLY take Rumania, which has been unoccupied thus far. I patch things up with Turkey, telling him that Austria seduced me with words of honey, and that I intend to move against England up North, and I keep my word, moving North and not attempting to attack Turkey. Austria gets a little too clever for his own good, loses two units, and France takes Italy.

Germany is still holding out against England and France, but England has gained Belgium. I build an army in Warsaw, sensing the possibility of needing to hold the line against the two. In negotiations that fall, I agree to an alliance with France and England to take out Germany. I am promised Norway and Berlin in exchange for helping Germany take Munich and England take Denmark and Kiel. At the same time I also take Budapest from Austria.

In 1905, Turkey stabs me, feeling I'm doing too well, and am a serious threat. I send an angry letter, and he backs down and unstabs me in the fall when I help the army he sent to Rumania into Serbia. I explain to him truthfully that I have allied with France and England and am trying to drive a wedge between them. I've been sending letters to both England and France telling them that the other one is seeking a solo, that they can't be trusted, and trying to convince them to stab one another before the other does. England stabs me, taking Norway away, as I knew he would be able to, and rather hoped he wouldn't. Turkey takes Serbia, France takes Venice and Trieste, and Austria is down to two centers, with a French fleet in the Ionian, and no fleets of any other nationality in the Mediterranean. The map looks like this at the dawn of 1906.


This is the point when the remaining powers had to unite to stop England and France. Turkey and I agree to keep Austria alive to try and hold the line, but the forces of the Anglo-Franco alliance are already past the stalemate line. Our only hope is to delay them long enough for their alliance to fall apart. France sends me a message offering me a chance to be part of a three-way win, if he can sell it to England. I send a long letter to him in which I tell him no. I tell him that I know I'm going to go down, but I'm going to go down fighting: "But we're here, now. The music's been called; all that's left is to dance the dance, to fight the fight, and to go down standing tall, boots on, eyes forward. If I'm going to die, at least I'll die with honor." France sends me back a letter informing me that he will not be stabbing England, and telling me "let's dance the dance."

In Spring 1906, France puts an army in Bohemia, I move Silesia to Prussia to block the English army, and bounce in Galicia. I support Vienna so that Austria can hold it and also support Serbia. I'm taking a big risk leaving myself open, but Turkey and I both recognize that we have no chance if we don't work together, and Turkey's Black Sea fleet moves to Constantinople as the fleet he built in Smyrna goes to the Aegean Sea. France puts a fleet in the Eastern Mediterranean and has more fleets on the way to solidify his hold on the Ionian.

Despite the jockeying for position, nobody gets a build or a destroy at the end of 1906, but France has put an army in Syria, England has the position to take Sweden from me, and then St. Petersburg. France's army has a clear path to Armenia and then to Sevastopol. The France-Anglo alliance is poised for victory and there is little we can do to stop it. This is how it looks in 1906, when it becomes clear to me that there is no victory here.


France moves to Armenia as predicted, I have to move to the Ukraine, surrendering Galicia to France. England takes Sweden, and moves into the Barents sea. The foes I swore to fight are closing in on me in every direction and I lack the units to hold. I try to bounce France out of Sevastopol, and he takes the Ukraine from me, while I bounced units in Warsaw to prevent that possible move while also continuing to hold Silesia and Bohemia. England moves into the Baltic, and St. Petersburg is ripe to fall. I destroy my only fleet in the Gulf of Bothnia, and in Spring 1908, both Sevastopol and St. Petersburg fall to French an English forces respectively.

But then England sends a message. He has dissolved his alliance with France, because he feels that France has reneged on agreements and is going for the solo. It might be too late for me, but I can try to do something. England offers me a chance to take Munich, and I go for it, even though I know there's no way it's a permanent arrangement. (England has stabbed me too many times for me to take his word. With Turkey's help I retake Sevastopol and France's army there is destroyed, leaving him the army in Ukraine. France also loses the Eastern Med and destroys the fleet rather than retreating it, since that gives him a build he desperately needs with an English army in Picardy. My taking of Munich that cost him the additional unit allows me to keep an army in Finland that can't do anything, and France questions the wisdom of the move. The truth is that I don't want England or France to win the war quickly. I want it to drag on, to Turkey and me a chance to finish off Austria without France getting any of the gains, and perhaps to re-establish stalemate lines so that the victor can be prevented from soloing.

At the dawn of 1909, the game looks like this:


I'm still ostensibly allied with England, and I destroy the French army in the Ukraine, finally restoring some order to Eastern Europe. France and Turkey both go after Greece with two units, so they bounce and Austria keeps it. Austria is somewhat annoyed by Turkey going after Greece rather than supporting him to hold it, but he really has little he can do about it. Turkey successfully takes Greece in the fall, but loses Trieste to France, and Austria somehow predicts my move to Budapest, delaying my ability to take Vienna by one additional turn. I have now switched my allegiance to France away from England, and he helps me take Kiel. Paris falls to England. At this point, every country except England has had a home center occupied by another power.

I get a build and my armies are coming West, England is without support in Berlin, France has agreed ostensibly to withdraw his forces from Eastern Europe and what was formerly Austria (he never actually does this, and he and Turkey actually spend the rest of the game duking it out without either of them making any headway, but it's a moot point), and the final Alliance is formalized. The game is DIAS, and it has been agreed that Turkey, France, and I will share in a three way draw in exchange for assisting France with the destruction of England. It's going to be a long fight, but it's helped out by an English NMR and auto-surrender in Spring 1910. London falls to French forces, the Army in Paris does not move to Gascony, I hold Kiel despite not having any support for it. We get a new player for England right away, but the damage is done. Berlin, Liverpool, London, and Paris are all taken by the Alliance without England gaining a single territory in return. The tide has shifted.

The board at the dawn of 1911 looks like this:


In Spring of 1911, to the cheering of its citizens, St. Petersburg is freed from the tyrannical grip of England. The army in Finland that I had preserved is what supports the move into St. Petersburg and then it in turn is supported into Sweden from Denmark, which France has seized. Silesia moves to Bohemia and England takes Marseilles, but in the fall the army in Bohemia is destroyed and France retakes Marseilles. I tell France in the fall that Turkey plans to take Naples, when I know for a fact Turkey is planning to take Tunis. I just want to support chaos as much as possible. Plus, I want to keep France from being a center or two away from a solo when the time comes to formalize the draw.

In 1912 I start thinking about a solo for myself; an the possibility of stabbing Turkey and France and bringing myself to 17 centers actually enters my head. But, in the end, I decide not to do it. Normally I'd do it in a heartbeat, but the game has already gone on for too long, so I just concentrate on helping France destroy England, and making sure things don't get too crazy down South. In the fall of 1912, France and Turkey defend themselves completely, meaning that HAD I attempted a stab, I would have failed miserably, so I'm glad I didn't and I pretend to be hurt that they could think I would. (I totally would, but... hey, a little drama never hurt anyone.)

1913 is the end of England. Liverpool and Edinburgh falls. France moves into Tyrolia and takes Belgium from me just for the hell of it, and the game ends in 1913 with the board looking like this:


The moral of the story is, never give up, never surrender, never stop fighting, and if you must die, die with honor.

A few thoughts on each of the countries.

France: Wow. Just wow. Your performance was extremely good, you went for the solo, but when it became clear that was not going to be a possibility, you agreed to a draw with those who had been enemies. Your revenge on England for ending the alliance was complete, total, and inevitable. I'm thankful he didn't wait another year, or I might well not have survived, and you might well have managed the solo. You absolutely deserved your share of the draw.

Turkey: It was certainly an interesting game. We started out as enemies, became allies, and then we held the line as long as we could, despite the fact that we had lost the line. Together we were able to delay the EF alliance long enough for it to fall apart, and you also deserved your share of the draw.

Austria: Props to you man. You stayed in when a lesser man would have surrendered, and when the curtain fell, you took it gracefully. I have a lot of respect for the way you played one of the most difficult countries to play. You had one bad turn against France, and that doomed you, even if it took you a while to go down. Just bad luck man. You also had a gift for oratory; you swayed me away from the Juggernaut that Turkey was willing/eager to try. It's unfortunate things turned out the way they did.

England: You took over a difficult position after the auto-surrender, and you did the best you could with it. But it was over by the time you got involved. Still, I have a lot of respect for the way you kept battling until the very end.

Not much to say about Germany and Italy. They were doomed by circumstance, and their early departure had little effect on the game in the end.

All in all, it was a good, long, tiring game. But it was also perhaps the most fun I've had in a Diplomacy game in a while.
Generation 33 (The first time you see this, copy it into your sig on any forum and add 1 to the generation. Social experiment.)
General Karthos
Posts: 120
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