AAR 133338, All the things you said you'd never say...

Discussion of finished games.

AAR 133338, All the things you said you'd never say...

Postby rd45 » 17 Oct 2017, 16:38

AAR 133338, All the things you said you'd never say and you said anyway
Turkish solo, 1914

  • ENGLAND DrHfuhruhurr
  • FRANCE Bakudreamer
  • ITALY Clleavenworth (admin-surrendered in 1905)
  • GERMANY Rotsu
  • AUSTRIA edmgrim (replacement for Zakor in 1901)
  • TURKEY souderjpt (SOLO WIN)
  • RUSSIA AnalogInterface

This was a fine mentor game played in great spirit by talented players, with several changes of lead & a few twists along the way. A pleasure from start to finish. Turkey ran out as the deserved winner in 1914, although not with exactly the final configuration that I'd expected.

Would be very happy to hear the stories of all who were involved.

Final situation in fall 1914 retreat phase...

Image
Last edited by rd45 on 18 Oct 2017, 22:52, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
rd45
 
Posts: 350
Joined: 13 Oct 2014, 15:41
Location: tethered to the logic of homo sapien
Class: Star Ambassador
Standard rating: 1302
All-game rating: 1329
Timezone: GMT

Re: AAR 133338, All the things you said you'd never say...

Postby DrHfuhruhurr » 18 Oct 2017, 19:33

I don't know what the format for this sort of thing is, but a couple of random thoughts:

1) First and foremost, thanks to all my competitors and our Teacher for this session for a genuinely fun game. Though I read the rules beforehand, actually playing for the first time was a little intimidating. There wasn't one turn in which I didn't feel like I was missing something or screwing something up. But, I have to say, it was much easier playing with this group than I expected. Even when we were at each other's throats, everyone was extraordinarily polite and helpful.

2) I'm upset with myself for my misorder on the second-to-last turn and then just assuming Turkey would win on the last turn rather than playing tough to the end. I still think Turkey would have pulled out the win, but I should have double-checked my moves made on my phone while traveling over the weekend. I felt like my performance in the last two turns was sub-standard and if that impacted anyone's enjoyment of the game, my apologies. Lesson learned, however. I won't make that mistake again.

3) I know NMRs are part of the risk one takes with these online sessions, but Italy's NMR in particular still frosts me. New Austria was a champ for trying to step in after Old Austria unexpectedly had to resign. Would that Italy would have shown us the same courtesy.

4) Even after only one game under my belt, it's remarkable how my perspective has changed. I no longer feel like such a "n00b." I look back at how much I struggled over my initial moves with some amusement. Ah, the good old days when my big decision was whether I should move into the Channel or not!

5) I owe a lot to our Teacher, who nursemaided me through several turns when I really felt like I was over my head. But, I felt like I learned something from each of the players who made it to the end: I found Russia to be the most unpredictable and from him I learned some valuable strategic points (usually after he executed them against me); from the Germans, I learned what hard work diplomacy truly is. Germany, of all of us, really attempted to keep the lines of communication open with everyone, regardless of our positions on the board; and from Turkey, I learned that diligence pays off. Turkey worked and worked and worked not only at his position on the board but at diplomacy after I think I had long given up on it. I paid for it in the end and I think it's because Turkey was simply more willing to put the time into his negotiations. I hope that I learn as much from all of my future games as I did from this one.
User avatar
DrHfuhruhurr
 
Posts: 2
Joined: 21 Jul 2017, 22:42
Location: Florida
Timezone: GMT - 4

Re: AAR 133338, All the things you said you'd never say...

Postby souderjpt » 19 Oct 2017, 03:05

As the victorious Turk, I've been hard at work putting together my version of the AAR. I'll likely post it in three parts over several days: 1900-1904, 1905-1910, and 1911-1914. I don't know how others usually go about assembling their reports, but I've found the game fell into three distinct phases. The first several years were filled with feeling out the board and eliminating the first powers. The second act included a disappearance, a powerful new board leader, and the formation of an eastern alliance. The third and final act saw the dissolution of that alliance and one final sprint. And my hope is that posting my AAR in a broken series might allow some of the other players opportunity to give their input and commentary, filling in the gaps in my knowledge or contradicting me where my information is false. Thanks for the patience.

I'll second the sentiment of our Mentor and of England. This game has been a pleasure, from start to finish. A few frustrations here or there, but everyone was generally amiable and respectful in attitude, even when at open war or when alliances fell apart. I have played only a couple of games of Diplomacy face-to-face, almost always with raised tensions or voices, and resulting in someone's hurtful words or actions. If only all games could bear the same mutual respect that ours did. Well done to our teacher, and to all my boardmates!
"We can at least behave like civilized people... How odd that it should end this way for us, after so many stimulating encounters. I almost regret it. Where shall I find a new adversary so close to my own level?" - Rene Belloq
souderjpt
 
Posts: 6
Joined: 18 Jul 2017, 11:37
Class: Ambassador
Standard rating: (1035)
All-game rating: (1036)
Timezone: GMT-5

Re: AAR 133338, All the things you said you'd never say...

Postby Rotsu » 20 Oct 2017, 21:00

This game was challenging in more than one way for us all. I read the most articles (probably) and studied the board the most. On the last turn though, I had given up, and started showing other people the game and how it worked (Which, consequently, led to me losing my last SC... oops.) I made many misplays, I think we can all agree, at some point we made a mistake that did or should have lost us the game. I can think of three mistakes of such for myself immediately.

I would like to thank the Teacher (RD45) for being a real cool guy, and being super helpful. I only really called on your help a couple times, and by the time I realized "Hey this guy is a great resource!" it was too late! I thank you for the advice, articles and general wisdom you shared. It was all incredibly useful.

Other players; I hope we can all appreciate the fact that we all have very different play-styles. I was talkative all game and called a "Manipulator". I thought the title sounded nice, maybe people won't like me for it, but I tried. (shoutout to Russia and England for calling me that!)

England was the 'Anti-Hero' or the one we all fought because he was the board leader (after he stabbed me :D!). I liked how England was able to lie effectively. Looking back it is incredibly obvious, at they time I had no clue. I did not like getting stabbed. Who does? England was a great source of fun, and the one my fixation with the Marseillaise villa started. Speaking of, Turkey, I hope you weren't lying and I can in fact still use that as a vacation home. It is rather nice....

Russia was in fact the most unpredictable, I agree with that, but also the most fun to just talk to, the "indeterminable element", something you never knew quite what to expect. We had at least 50 messages that made me almost fall out of my chair laughing. I really enjoyed it. I decided by 1903 that I owed Russia a drink for all the laughs provided. Should we ever run into one another.

Turkey was just a suave snake. He came in, tricked you into attacking not him, and then took your SC. I would call him the manipulator, but honestly I think he was more of a politician than a manipulator. You might think those are the same, you would be wrong. Politicians win, manipulators try. That's about it.

Italy, I thought was the most emphatic of the players, but also very excitable. They always somehow hit exactly what I felt on a situation, and it was eerie. I liked talking to them, and even though they NMRed they were a good chat, if nothing else.

Austria (and Austria II) were both trying to do something from the unfortunate position of being right next to a group of people that had already agreed not to attack each other, and they were simply the only direction left for many. I wanted to help them, but it was hard, I'll be honest. I might have been BL at the time, but I was just as surrounded as they, no matter the SC count. I just want them to know that they were the only player that made me honestly fear them. I was impressed.

France had the unfortunate run in with a Germany-England Early alliance. Italy joined in late for whatever they could get. I thought them real upstanding, playing for so long after it was clear they would not be getting back in the game. They really taught me perseverance in this game. The accent was cute, too.

All in all, for a first game, I would say this was a great success. I hope the rest of us feel the same. It was long and hard, but we did it guys. Turkey may have won the board but we won something much better; Experience, knowledge and maybe a friend or two.

I hope to see you all in future games, I will post my AAR after Turkey. I already sent him my stuff through 1904, but I have since finished. I hope that if, nay, when, we meet again, we may meet as friends, and barring that, one goes out most gloriously.

I hope this doesn't come across as too overbearing. Ah well.
Rotsu. (Germany.)
Bravery is being the only one who knows you're afraid.
Franklin P. Jones
User avatar
Rotsu
 
Posts: 25
Joined: 16 Jul 2017, 17:35
Class: Ambassador
Standard rating: (1030)
All-game rating: (1040)
Timezone: GMT-8

Re: AAR 133338, All the things you said you'd never say...

Postby souderjpt » 22 Oct 2017, 15:12

"A suave snake"... I think I like it. Germany, you will always have a bottle of wine waiting for you in my Marseilles villa. To England, I'll have a stein at my table for you in Munich, just as we had discussed. And Russia, any time you wish to head home, I will meet you, vodka in hand.
I'll have my first AAR section below, with my thoughts on the moves and the early board relationships. The other two sections to be posted will be much shorter, since I won't have to set the stage, and there will be fewer players. Please feel free to supplement my thoughts with your own perspectives, and correct me where I'm wrong on the details. Looking back now, I was completely ignorant to so many things. Thanks, all!
souderjpt (Turkey)

Turkey's AAR

1901:
After drawing T, I reach out to all the other powers, to see who will be worth working with. I instantly get a wrong vibe from I, hedging as to what direction they're leaning. Both A and R suggest moving on the other, which gives me hope. They won't see eye to eye, and I'll get my pick of them as a running mate; I'll slow play the first year or two, pitting them against one another, and then make more decisive moves based on which of them will last with me. I identify early that E will be a worthwhile source of information, as the need arises. Not much to hear from F, but we exchange pleasantries about controlling the seas and cutting out I. G plans to avoid warmongering early, but will strike with swiftness and hate if they're ever crossed; I decide not to cross G unless and until it becomes necessary, and then only if I can do so without repercussions. R sweetens their opening negotiations by inviting me into the Black, so I quickly take them up on the generous offer. I will continue to use my control of our borderlands as a bargaining chip. A suggests a split of the Balkans, cutting out R and I entirely. Then A opens southeast, taking Serbia, and R opens southwest, taking Rumania, and into Galicia and Ukraine. Great. I open Con to Bul, Smy to Con, Ank to Bla. Boring, but I won't mind too much, because A, I, and R are all agreeable with me taking Greece in the Fall.
Image
In the Fall negotiations, I pick up that E-F-G are talking nice with one another, but F might find themselves the odd one out. There will probably be the standard E-G-R division of Scandinavian supply centres, so no surprises there. I opens with some kind of hedgehog, and will be in position to lash out at both A and F in addition to taking Tunisia. A wants my support in taking Rumania, and R wants my support in holding it. I decide to help R after their Black Sea invitation, as the prelude to a potential Juggernaut relationship. My armies slide down into Greece and Bulgaria. A NMRs and bows out due to travel obligations, so my choice was right, as now I have a satisfied northern neighbour.
Image
I has a great opening year, taking Marseilles, but has alienated F and whoever will take over A. I dodges all my questions, perhaps trying to keep options open.
F had a fair opening in Spring, but hedged in Fall, and is forced to disband after losing two home supply centres. Their doom is eminent. G seems satisfied with their opening on France, as does E. But E-G-R all opened strongest southward, and might put Scandinavia aside in order to all march on F, A, and me. I build army Con and fleet Smy because I want to establish my hold on the Balkans, but see R armies War and Sev, and I army Rom and fleet Nap, and I'm worried.

1902:
And here begins my misdirection; it feels like my neighbours are all pointed my direction, so I try with all my might to give each of them something else to do.
A and R continue at one another's throats, and I hear across the board that all are eager to see who I'll support in the coming war. A has a new leader, so I garner A's support for taking Rumania for myself, since R is out of position. I'm also encouraging G and I to march on A's back side. R proves to be my challenge. With fleet Rum and army Sev, they're out of position to start marching on A, so we agree for me to convoy them through the Black to shuffle the pieces. Meanwhile, I can support my attack on Serbia and get A on the back foot, especially if G-I ever bite on the idea of storming A.
Image
In Fall, A is irate about the switch arranged with R. And with the retreat into Albania, they want Serbia back. A argues that I gave up a position of strength, and will find R untrustworthy. This new A is an aggressive negotiator, but perfectly clear in intention. So we agree to pop R's fleet in Rumania, which R had earlier been unwilling to do. If I can hold Rumania and the Black, Russia's threat on me is absolutely neutralized; as it turns out, Rumania will change hands several times during this game. Meanwhile, it is about now that R starts asking for the demilitarization of the Black. I'm not eager to give it up. I start throwing out ideas for popping the R fleet, or trying a Con-Sev swap, and end up just agreeing to push the demilitarization issue down the road a few years. So be it. I-G are agreeing to threaten A, eager to meet me over the ruins, but neither of them orders an attack in the Fall. And while I'm not paying attention, F falls further under the united E-G front, and both E-G back off Scandinavia. Peculiar. I abandon Serbia for Rumania, and build a single fleet Con for flexibility. So now I have a firmer grasp on my Balkan states, but I've aggravated both A and R, and I'm not sure if either will be willing to work with me moving forward.
Image

1903:
I begin to discuss independently with G-I-R the dismantling of A. The new A is wily, and more experienced than any of the remaining players. I felt manipulated in the prior turn, coaxed to show mercy to A in a moment of strength, and will do my best to not be taken advantage of. I can foresee A's four supply centres being divided evenly amongst us. But of course, since the communications are private, I offer two supply centres to each, and see who responds how. The eagerness with which the others respond signals me that any growth I make will be slow. So I will resolve to play slow, steady, sure. I will support myself everywhere possible, and take neither disbands nor destroys, if I can at all prevent them. Perhaps seeing the writing on the wall, A opens a channel with all other powers except E, suggesting a hard rally against E. E has the position for rapid growth, whether further into the Mediterranean, across Scandinavia, or through the Lowlands. In the Spring moves, I takes Trieste, G recruits R's help to take Vienna, while my orders (misunderstanding supporting holds that don't happen) do nothing. A defends against me, but not G nor I. R gets booted out of Silesia. And E starts making a hard push for Gibraltar before anyone realizes what they're up to. They also prop up F against any I incursion. Meanwhile, G edges southwest. I try building a lasting relationship with G, as I read them as the greatest threat; perhaps making myself an ally rather than an enemy will help to eliminate I-A and minimize whatever ill intent R has for me.
Image
In the Fall, I continues in silence, never committing to a direction, and making enemies of their neighbours. They've already weakened A enough for my liking, but I support myself to EMed before they can sneak into my back door. I let them know that further silence won't bode well for them. R and G seem to have patched things up, as R turns his attention to me. I offer R support from Galicia into the last A centre in Budapest, but they attempt attacking both Budapest and Rumania, receiving neither. I protect myself against this manoeuvre and warn R about cutting my support for them further. At this juncture, I don't see R as unpredictable, but rather, indecisive. They're a valuable ally, especially if I can keep them focused on A-G, but I'll have to give R decisions with plenty of rationale and good reasons to do as I secretly wish. I build army Ank, explaining to Russia that I only wish to keep both my back doors locked.
Image

1904:
A disbands all but the Adriatic pirate fleet, and has extended to me that they want to get back into Trieste or push me forward into the Ionian. Meanwhile, G expresses that they are about to make aggressive moves, and they expect the entire board to shift in response. It reads as a "watch this" manoeuvre, and I'm not sure what it will bring for them. In hindsight, indeed, the board shifted, with E's blade firmly in G's back.
R continues to waffle on which theatre they wish to fight in, though looking back, perhaps they made their decision to fight only me, and I was blind to it. To be fair, I've been lurking at their southern door since they invited me into the Black in 01. And I've contributed to the indecision by submitting plenty of ideas, all while sneaking about on R's southern holds. This season, I creep from Ankara to Armenia, with more hand-waving about "locking the back door". R says they no longer trust me, and I respond by pointing out their two attacks on Rumania. Elsewhere, E-G pop a R fleet in Skag, but R doesn't retreat to the open supply centre in Norway; I question the clarity of thought of my northern neighbour. I goes nowhere, and stops responding to messages. E has enough strength to force F out of Spain, and sets up to take Sweden from R.
Image
In Fall 04, I decide I would rather have Sevastopol than Rumania, and support myself in, though I'm forced to retreat to Bulgaria by R's third consecutive Rumanian attack. G helps themselves to Trieste and gets E's help into a glorious Marseilles beach home. And E takes advantage of R's destroyed northern fleet by stepping into Sweden. I've enjoyed my interactions with F, and try to get E to keep them around as a southern mercenary fleet, but to no avail. With their dying breaths, A helps me with their mercenary fleet to get a foothold in the Ionian. This is my first step in pushing across the seas, even if it comes a turn later than A had suggested. I orders holds rather than NMRs, then orders retreats, then goes altogether silent. F and A are no more, and I appears soon to join them.
After four years, I'm in fleets Black, Aegean, and Ionian, and armies Sevastopol, Bulgaria, Serbia, and Greece. I'm the third largest power now, and trying to set up a comfortable bubble in my southeastern corner of the world, but all of the movement seems headed my way. And as they are eliminated, A sends me a farewell message wishing me "Good luck. You'll need it. You're the next target." I fear that I wholeheartedly agree.
Image

Next report, the midgame takes shape after the falls of F and A.
Last edited by souderjpt on 23 Oct 2017, 11:47, edited 1 time in total.
"We can at least behave like civilized people... How odd that it should end this way for us, after so many stimulating encounters. I almost regret it. Where shall I find a new adversary so close to my own level?" - Rene Belloq
souderjpt
 
Posts: 6
Joined: 18 Jul 2017, 11:37
Class: Ambassador
Standard rating: (1035)
All-game rating: (1036)
Timezone: GMT-5

Re: AAR 133338, All the things you said you'd never say...

Postby Rotsu » 23 Oct 2017, 03:15

This is how Germany saw things in those first four years.

Can I at least have the couch back? It was hand crafted by the finest woodcarvers and has the best and most expensive cottons and wool's, wrapped in the finest leathers. It is more comfortable than my bed! I doubt you have the materials to take care of it though, and it would be a shame to see such a fine thing go to waste.

If not, I'm coming over this spring, I think we will both like the Chateau Lafite 1787. If you do not like that I also like the Chateau Lafite 1865. I will see you soon!

1901,
as Germany, I sent a quick message to everyone on the board, and getting some shaky responses in the east. England is very clear. “I don’t like France, I am going to the channel.” they tell me. We begin talking about how best to destroy France. Meanwhile I tell France we are going to destroy England. I lied.

The moves were overall following two themes. Anti-French and Anti-Austrian.

Italy moved to Piedmont, Russia rushed into Rumania, Galicia and Ukraine. Russia even proudly says that they “Agreed to let Turkey have to Black Sea in 1901” I say “They can take Sevastopol” Russia goes “they won’t”.

Turkey, true to their word goes into the Black Sea and tells me “attack Warsaw, I attack Sev, Russia dies!” I say no. They call me a coward. I tell them I want to grow, not lose a home SC they shrug. I think they got away with tactical murder here. When I tell Russia of this they say they were being tempted to attack me by Turkey as well. Curious. I thought. I will have to deal with this later. I strike up an alliance with Russia, and we agree we should have a third...

England meanwhile does the Classic “I hate France” of going into the Channel in Spring-01. France sends their armies to Burgundy Gascony and MAO, as opposed to Spain, Burgundy and MAO. I was confused by this. Still am. England got the dream setup on 01, France in no way countered. Wow.

Austria conservatively opens into Serbia and moves into Budapest but holds Trieste. I thought that they lost a chance at Greece, but they were clearly worried about Italy, who it turns out was Anti-French! Bummer. In fall Austria NMRs. The board decides “let’s kill Austria.” Everyone but England knows of and agrees that this is what should be done. We decide to start in 02.

Italy took Marseilles, which they were clearly going to do, England takes Brest, and France? They move to Ruhr, Burgundy and Portugal. They destroy Ruhr. I only get more confused.

England starts a message now between Italy England and Germany, saying that they would be splitting France between us all, 2 SC each. In secret England and I agree to kill Italy as well, splitting France 3-3.

Turkey gets away with more murder by taking Greece. They support Russia in Rumania in what is the most false move of the game in my eyes. They definitely want to attack Russia, but can’t on their own. Not yet. I tell Russia, and they wave me off, but clearly become more weary.

1902,
Russia sends me a message that Turkey is mad. I nod and say it was expected. Then I say “I call dibs on Vienna!” and Russia agrees that they should take Budapest. Italy will get Trieste and Turkey will get Serbia. We shake on it and walk away with smiles. That was my interaction with everyone one-on-one anyways.

Russia says they are moving to Silesia. I tell them they better get out by fall. Or I’ll kick them out. They agree. Turkey takes Serbia immediately, I get everyone to take neutral land otherwise, and somehow get them to agree to help me into Vienna where I have no right to be. I tell Austria, (Who was replaced) that they will get support from me. This year I don’t hurt them, at least.

Turkey in fall does something unexpected and takes Rumania. This allows Austria to get back in control of Serbia, and makes me happy I waited to attack Austria. Austria scares me, as they are clearly very experienced. Turkey proves to be untrustworthy. I begin prodding Italy to agrees on Turkey, they never do. Russia has already proven to be unsure about attacking Turkey. I feel stuck.

France loses Portugal and Paris. They only have Spain now. I wonder why they only ever seem to talk to me at the last possible minute.

1903,
I tell Austria that Italy is about to attack them, I make the fatal mistake of letting England keep Paris and I take Vienna this year. I kick Russia out of Silesia, they ask me to explain. I remind them I said I was going to do that and we continue being great friends.

Italy takes Trieste this year, as predicted. Meanwhile Italy thinks us the best of Friends. I am tempted to side with them over England, but think that would turn Russia against me and decide against it. This is the second decision that ruined my game. Hindsight and all.

Russia and Turkey make no progress on Budapest, and Rumania remains strictly Turkish. I sigh, but think I have a good chance at Budapest and Trieste this next year. Marseilles too!

At the end of the year Russia asks that their fleet in the north get destroyed that they might build in the south for more power. England and I agree. England and I further agree to take Russia out of the north. That would wait until 1904.

1904.
Russia is happily out of the north completely unaware that they are going to be stabbed. I take Budapest Marseilles and Trieste this year, Russia regains Rumania and loses Sevastopol and Sweden. France finally loses Spain in Fall to England and I pat them on the back for lasting that long. We bid Austria and France Farewell, and Austria goes out cursing my name. I secretly tell him he terrified me. He nods and says he could tell, and wishes me luck. France never responds to my farewell.

Italy is very mad at my stab, and I just say “Should have seen it coming, really.” They never talk to me again. Then NMR two turns later. They are never replaced. I am kind of sad at this loss. They were super important for my game. I was planning an satiating England with Italy after France. With Italy gone Italy is "Free" so they should try to get something somewhere else. I know this place is me, that fall. I build appropriately, but I can tell if England is competent, it is too late.

Russia yells and rages that I KNEW about the plan with England. I tell him I had heard it, but assumed that England would not be a fool enough to do it, as they should know that would anger me. Russia buys this. They focus on the south. I hoped they would send an army or two north.

I applaud England for the wonderful stab! Turkey tells me now we should go after Russia now that Austria and France are dead. I agree. This was what killed me. I succeeded in my "watch me be awesome" maneuver, the whole board either watched or helped me do it, but the on board movement and allowances I made for England to "keep England happy" really cost me. England sure was happy though. I also miss-ordered quite a bit as I gained more SC, miscounting and misplacing supports. I was the largest power as of 1904, and from this position, I would fall, and never recover.

At this point Turkey was the most dangerous to me, and I knew it. If I could get some Russian SC and somehow get England to bite Russia and not me, then I would be golden. I could focus on Turkey. That was my plan heading into 1905.
Bravery is being the only one who knows you're afraid.
Franklin P. Jones
User avatar
Rotsu
 
Posts: 25
Joined: 16 Jul 2017, 17:35
Class: Ambassador
Standard rating: (1030)
All-game rating: (1040)
Timezone: GMT-8

Re: AAR 133338, All the things you said you'd never say...

Postby souderjpt » 23 Oct 2017, 12:10

EDIT: I have gone back into the prior AAR to add images. I hope that helps to understand what's going on rather than relying on my meager descriptions. I'm eager to hear what others might have to add or amend in my commentary.

Thanks for your thoughts, Germany. I'm really surprised that you felt I was the bigger threat this early. In Fall 04, there's a unit in every single territory from Sevastopol to Greece to Venice to Munich, and only 3 are mine. Not to beat the dead horse, but Italy's disappearance really shook up that next phase of the game, as I was able to leap into the boot and had the units to support myself in before you or England were. I was going to be heading westward anyway, but it was much easier without Italy fighting back. I think your fatal mistake was warning me - and perhaps others? - of overextending yourself my direction. It gave me just enough of a window to start selling England on the stab.

And of course you can have that couch. It certainly shows exquisite craftsmanship, but too Germanic for my tastes; it looks like it belongs in a cuckoo clock. I have stored it in a back room while I'm having my own furniture shipped in.
"We can at least behave like civilized people... How odd that it should end this way for us, after so many stimulating encounters. I almost regret it. Where shall I find a new adversary so close to my own level?" - Rene Belloq
souderjpt
 
Posts: 6
Joined: 18 Jul 2017, 11:37
Class: Ambassador
Standard rating: (1035)
All-game rating: (1036)
Timezone: GMT-5

Re: AAR 133338, All the things you said you'd never say...

Postby Rotsu » 23 Oct 2017, 23:49

See, at that point I thought Russia would not attack me, England would gain nothing by attacking me, and that left you, someone who I knew could convince them, potentially both of them, to attack me. I did not like having another version of what I was doing running on the board. It was not fun. I was just in a better position early to explode, I took it, whereas you had a slower more creeping expansion. My explosion was either going to flatten everyone and win me the game, or, as it did, fail just as spectacularly as it succeeded. Explosions are rather feared, after all. I had forgotten that.

Basically you being the most dangerous was not SC related at all, it was all strategy. How hard is it to remove you from your corner, how do I do it, who will help me, what do they get? So on and so on. You were most likely to gain from me doing anything to anyone not you, and you also could pull something like I did and get somewhere like, I dunno, Rome, pretty easily with some slick words. Everyone else just looked at the board and thought "hmm, Germany sure is big!" and I was thinking "Hmm, Turkey sure does stand to gain a lot here" and so I end my rant.

I'm coming for the couch on Thursday.

Germany/Rotsu.
Bravery is being the only one who knows you're afraid.
Franklin P. Jones
User avatar
Rotsu
 
Posts: 25
Joined: 16 Jul 2017, 17:35
Class: Ambassador
Standard rating: (1030)
All-game rating: (1040)
Timezone: GMT-8

Re: AAR 133338, All the things you said you'd never say...

Postby souderjpt » 26 Oct 2017, 12:31

Aha, I see what you mean now. Well, for what it's worth, I didn't see myself as much of a threat to you at that time. Diploming my way into E and R working against you was my hope at that juncture, but I saw it as only an outside chance.

I'm glad that you're coming for the couch today. I will confess, I rested on it for a while in my moment of triumph - indeed, it's very comfortable - and awoke to find that, to my horror, my ceremonial scimitar had put a tear in the fine leather. I am most sorry. That will teach me not to nap in full military regalia. To your honor, the mishap served to refute my counselors' conspiracy theory of a Trojan Couch.

1905:
So A warns me on their way out of the game that "you are the next target". I agree with them. Negotiations with all the remaining powers have been amicable enough, but I'm going to make for a juicy target. R seems the closest thing I have to a true ally, but we have pestered each other over Rumania (and now Sevastopol) enough times that our trust might be shot. G now has a taste for blood, and is poised to recruit R to their cause, or else. I is in civil disorder. I've been able to maintain an open channel with E, but we're too remote to be of too much use to one another, other than as a source of information, and now that well seems to be drying up.
E-G have grown terribly quickly due to F's collapse, and I see that, if I'm to survive the next phase, I have to break up the alliance by any means. If it creates a superpower that then goes on to win the game, so be it. Again, I start negotiating like mad, trying to get E-G to see one another as greater threats than me. G has their entire military force pointed my direction, it feels, and I warn them of E's best opportunity to grow - right through France and the Lowlands. Meanwhile, I encourage E to see Belgium/Holland as a much more golden opportunity than the Mediterranean.
In Spring, England has three fleets to a stable position in the western Mediterranean, and I slide forward into the Tyrrhenian and Ionian. As such, I'm either going to help myself to Naples or start attacking E now in Tunisia. Naples is the better guarantee. Meanwhile, after taking Sevastopol from R last year, again I pop their unit by attacking Rumania. Instead of solidifying against G as I had proposed, they backpedal into Moscow to prevent any further stabbing by me. The northern fields are open, but G is able to slow E's hopes by claiming the Baltic. And E gets into position all along G's back door, now in the North, Channel, MAO, and Lyon. The stab doesn't come yet, but I'm hopeful.
Image
In Fall, it comes. E takes Marseilles and Belgium. I support myself to Naples rather than Tunisia. And while I've been agitating R and G to attack one another, I make up my mind to take Budapest off G's hands, ceding Rumania back to Russian control. G had committed to war against R, but due to my stab and E's, G loses several centres. G admits their mistake and the missed timing of the assault on R, lets me know that further attacks on R will have to be halted to ensure survival, so they're out on the R front for now. They expect E-R to come at them full-bore. Galicia is disbanded.
Image
After the moves, with a new powerful position, E starts making demands. They claim Rome for themselves and insist that neither Turkey nor R build any fleets. but I'm having none of it. I open discussion with R that we have to work together to continue to bring down G and defy the iron rule of E. We both build fleets. The pieces are falling into place, and I'll be connected at the hip to R.

1906:
Luckily E's timely stab of G causes G's great war machine to begin wheeling around to face them between the former F-G borders. I heap praises upon G for heading that direction, and suggest peace between us as I work westward through the I peninsula. Fortunately, because I had both encouraged E into the stab, and warned G of its coming, I am suddenly able to negotiate from a position of seeming friendship with both sides. I cross my fingers and hope that I can swing this tenuous position, along with the tense alliance with R, to my advantage.
I give G a hearty "go get 'em" and set about figuring out how to get a firmer grip on the Mediterranean. I has an idle roadblock army in Piedmont. That will give me just enough time to race against E for the last open centre in Rome. I hold Sevastopol, and start moving the fleets westward, over into the I boot, while R pushes up along G's eastern front.
Image
In the Fall, G continues to lash out at R while trying to turn the greater force around to face E. And I pick off a G supply centre in Venice. In the Mediterranean, I've taken Rome out from under E, and solidified Naples, but I then move into position for a long convoy train. It's an idle manoeuvre, and one that I soon wish I had been more efficient with. But I don't have the space at the time to really force my fleets forward.
Image
Looking at R continuing their war with G, I breathe a sigh of relief, and joke with R that, of course, we should be allowed to make aggressive lateral moves along our border, as it keeps G's and E's hopes of our disunity alive, and I'm met with a repeated message of "I'm glad to hear you still trust me so much". Not exactly comforting, but it's something, and it's the recurring theme of what will become the late-stage Juggernaut.

1907:
I explain Rome to E as a bad guess against G, but now that I'm here, I'm not in a mood to give it up; why should I? E sputters about me holding to my word, but I respond that E, for all their talk of a two-way draw, has been staking claims on my side of the best draw line, and we should reconsider where the lines should be drawn if we are actually going to proceed with the agreed plan. After having a few days to think about it, E reaches out, apologizing for harsh tones in the prior correspondence, but reiterating their unchanged view: that I'm being treacherous and should expect no safe harbor until I can show E that I mean business by opening full-scale war on both G and R. R, finally satisfied with our truce, moves north to strengthen the claim to Scandinavia. G and I trade Trieste for Venice, and I retreat forward into Tuscany. I also convoy another army into the boot. I support-hold my Ionian fleet, expecting an E Mediterranean attack that never comes.
Image
This is a good time to mention the 5-day delay during this turn. I am out of town for several days, and E (Drhfuhruhurr) is preparing for hurricanes. There are significant game-shaking decisions that are to be made. The delay proves pivotal. Thankfully, all the players are gracious and patient, and E comes through the storms fairly unscathed.
Within an hour, I receive two messages that shake the board dynamics, and lay out a path toward victory for me. One is a proposal of alliance, but the other is anything but. G starts by going ballistic over Trieste. They list my sins, that I've failed to establish anything in the Mediterranean, that I have thrown the game to an inevitable E solo, that I've ruined their game and nothing is worth fighting for any more, etc. I'm speechless.
At the same time, R opens a three-way channel with G and me entitled "We Three". R rightly proposes that, in spite of my potential for growth, E is in better position, and I'll need to lay off the open back country for long enough to let R-G defend their homelands on the northern front. I privately thank R for their calm, measured rallying speech, and agree to the plan. This 3-way conversation, which will continue for the next few game years, is vital to staving off the threats that G sees as eminent.
Once G-R have both voiced that they're committed to the plan, I know that the game will go well for me. Either I use my alliance with G and R to my advantage for long enough to pass E in power (my greatest chance at a win), or I end up a powerful second to a narrow E solo (no small consolation prize). A 4- or 3-way draw is still a possibility on the table, but I presume that R and G are at one another's throats enough that they would mutually cripple one another, and at least one of them can be cut out before we discuss draws. And R-G are not strong enough as a duo to hurt me overmuch. So I'm in.
Image

1908-09:
And "We Three" begin the march toward our shared goals. G-R continue the three-way discussions with me. The moves are checked and double-checked. There's not much exciting going on in these two years from my perspective. I work with G to continue pressure on the south French border, while moving pieces slowly and steadily forward against E. There are higher-reward plays available, but I take more guaranteed or methodical moves when they are available to me. E gives me a specific marching order or two that I go along with, in exchange for Tunisia, which could not be held anyway. And I renege on the marching orders in the next season.
G-R keep taking gambles up north, trying to figure out how to delay the E fleets, badly outnumbered. Those two are probing for holes in the E defense up north, not finding much, taking Sweden or Norway here or there, then losing them again. I begin to dance about with my extra units, unsure of what to do with them. I end up, at request, propping up the G home supply centres against E's attacks. Extra armies only serve to erode whatever trust R-G have in me, and extra fleets only back up in the Mediterranean. So I take a scenic tour through the Balkans, letting G know I would only ever threaten R, and vice versa. My allies insist that they need breathing room, but I'd be a fool to move those armies back toward my homelands. I just need to wait enough to get myself in position for Marseilles, and then I can do away with G-R as no longer necessary... From Spring 08 to Fall 09, the map goes from this:
Image
to this:
Image
And my wait grows shorter.

1910:
I have been discussing with R about the details of the coming stab of G. I have long offered Sevastopol to R as a sign of friendship, and a means to additional builds, but R has never had enough units to spare to pull back and take it. R-G continue to check and double-check the moves, though G is growing quieter. And I'm being intentionally quieter about my specific fleet plans, because I cannot afford any leaks. I arrange with G the popping of an E fleet, and we'll finally have the momentum to press hard against E's southern wall.
Image
E continues to talk peace over the Mediterranean situation, while pleading with me to jump into the open centres of R-G. Every so often, a hint of strategic information slips to E, enough to keep up my conversation with E, and enough that R-G never get enough momentum to truly repel the northern front. I am stalking around those empty centres, waiting for the right moment to strike. I'm getting restless.
Image

In the next report, T begins its final push.
"We can at least behave like civilized people... How odd that it should end this way for us, after so many stimulating encounters. I almost regret it. Where shall I find a new adversary so close to my own level?" - Rene Belloq
souderjpt
 
Posts: 6
Joined: 18 Jul 2017, 11:37
Class: Ambassador
Standard rating: (1035)
All-game rating: (1036)
Timezone: GMT-5

Re: AAR 133338, All the things you said you'd never say...

Postby Rotsu » 27 Oct 2017, 01:39

I have relatively few things to add here.
1905.
I told England "I see you getting towards my backdoor, I will respect you not to take it." It was a mistake, but I had an alliance man. I thought I could trust it. Oh well, this just validated my concerns about Turkey. Russia had the wit but the other two did not seem to get along with him and England was super locked in just the turn before. Once does not turn that fast with no catalyst. Turkey was the only answer.

1906.
Was I ever mad. I told England off first about how to talk to people and how we could have made a deal, and we could have. I was not attached overmuch to my Belgium/Holland SC. Not in the face of greater Russian/Italian SC. The gains outweighed the loss there, and that would have been a much better stab, I told them. I got the sense they didn't believe me. So I moved on. I next told Russia that we really ought to put down as many English SC as we could. My greed got the better of me again, and I went for Sweden when I should have waited for Russia and defended Holland. oh well. Turkey begins talking to me, and while I know they did this, that can take a backseat; I need to defend my SC, and Turkey is offering a way to do it. I throw and army at Galicia in spite, so Russia can feel what it is like to have a home SC threatened.

1907.
Turkey taking my SC. Great. Just what I needed right now. I begin wondering if I should just give Russia my SC that they might stand a better chance, and decide against it. England would win in the end. Not what I want.

I get really mad at Turkey here, too and tell them about it, I tell Russia too, and he starts "We three". I do not like losing independence, and Turkey just took mine and is being really ineffective in my eyes at even doing anything with it. At this point I think England is just superior, but I'll be damned if I don't get to the end, and England needs my SC to win. Not. Happening.

I grimly invite Turkey and Russia to defend my SC for me. I almost don't.

1908-9
I see Turkey getting Ready and make a paralell to "We three" with England called "Stop Turkey" and we work, until Russia tells Turkey and England confirms for Turkey when Turkey asks them. We could have stopped Turkey there, but oh well, I wouldn't figure out my cover is blown for awhile yet, and no one sees fit to tell me. I hadn't really decided if I was siding with England or Turkey here, but I end up thinking "I'm on no one's side but MY side. Whatever is best for me." Turkey tells me I can have France. I think we lose if he gets Iberia. I tell him yes but mean no. He understands.

1910.
I discuss with Russia and England stabbing Turkey with Russian armies. Russia hesitantly sends one army down and takes Rumania. I tell Turkey he ought to slap the fool taking his SC. Turkey agrees. I think I might get a chance to get an SC or two now.

I never really had the chance.
Bravery is being the only one who knows you're afraid.
Franklin P. Jones
User avatar
Rotsu
 
Posts: 25
Joined: 16 Jul 2017, 17:35
Class: Ambassador
Standard rating: (1030)
All-game rating: (1040)
Timezone: GMT-8

Next

Return to After Action Reports (AARs)

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest