my first ever AAR: 136769 Cry havoc ...

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my first ever AAR: 136769 Cry havoc ...

Postby NJLonghorn » 07 Dec 2017, 00:10

This is my first ever AAR. Most games, imho, aren't worthy. But this game was great, and I wanted to recap it.

In S01, I sent Russia a message proposing a juggernaut. Russia said yes, but didn’t want to bounce in the Black Sea. This set off alarm bells in my mind -- it sounded like Russia was trying to take the Black Sea and send me to an early grave. So… I said yes to the idea but ordered my Armenia Fleet to the Black Sea expecting a bounce. But Russia was true to his word, and I ended up in the Black Sea. Oops. That left the following:

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I tried to strike a deal with Austria to take Russia on. He said yes but didn’t come through. I floundered around for a couple of years, talking to various parties about teaming up on Russia and getting nowhere. After S03, I was still stuck in the corner with just 4 SCs, and Russia was on the ropes. Worse, Turkey’s worst nightmare was developing – a strong Austria. He had just captured his 6th SC and was massed on my border. Worse, he was working with Italy, who had a unit on my border too.

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In F03, Russia sent me a message titled “Can we recapture the magic?” saying “[W]e all carry scars. Can we get the love back?” I unhesitatingly agreed, and the belated juggernaut was on!!
I put out feelers to recruit Italy to join a “crush Austria” coalition. Italy made ridiculous demands that would have given Russia and me nowhere to grow once Austria was subdued. So what were Russia and I to do? Say yes but with our fingers crossed behind our backs, of course. We agreed to use Italy until it was no longer beneficial, then stab.

In a single season, Russia, Italy, and I reduced Austria from 6 SCs to 3. That was fun, but it was made all the more fun knowing that Italy’s enjoyment would be short lived.

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By the end of ’04, I was up to 6 SCs, Russia had 5, Italy had 5, and Austria was down to 1. Italy had 2 fleets chugging west to meet an English armada, and I had one fleet tailing behind – right next to an exposed Italian coast. Meanwhile, England, France and Germany were duking it out and it wasn’t clear who would come to dominate the west.

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Unfortunately, Italy realized that (a) it’s flank was exposed and (b) I was building fleets. Smelling the rat, he pulled one of his fleets back and slid an army down the peninsula. I was able to take Naples in S05 but Italy took it back in F05. However, the damage was done and by the end of 06 Italy was down to 2 SC’s, unable to resist assaults coming from all directions.

The best part of F06, though, was a diplomatic scheme that I am ashamed to admit was of my making -- that is to say, I am extremely proud of it! Over the 2 or so years leading up to F06, France and England had joined together to subdue Germany. England was aggressively recruiting me to join an EFT coalition. I was skeptical because it looked like England was trying to solo. I shared the intel with Russia, who advised that England was recruiting him for an EFR. We both said yes to England, but neither of us followed though. England got frustrated, accusing us of not trying to win, etc.

Knowing that England was the conniving sort, I decided in F06 to get him to turn on France. I knew that France would be mortally wounded, and that I was in a prime position to either pick up the crumbs or, better yet, prop France up and make him my b*tch. It took a lot of convincing, but England did turn on France and it worked like a charm. England took 3 of France’s 5 SC’s. Better yet, France took an SC off of Italy, helping me there as well.

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After the stab, France became a devoted enemy of England, and was willing to do pretty much anything to help me and Russia keep England at bay. He became my loyal sidekick for the rest of the game – and he never suspected that I was behind the English stab!! God, I love this game.

By the end of ’07, it was shaping up as a 3-player game. England, Russia, and Turkey. England continued its merciless campaign to turn one of us against the other, and I must admit that there were times when I was tempted. But I never thought I’d be in a position to get a solo, and I never thought England had it in him to be a faithful ally. So I stayed true, as did Russia. The Juggernaut churned forward. By the end of ’08, Italy was gone, Germany and France had 2 units each, and Russia, England and I were fairly evenly balanced.

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At this point, I made what I think was a strategic blunder. I had a unit in the MAO and probably could have landed it in Brest or Gascony, or gotten into the NAO. Instead, I chose to attack Portugal with support from the French fleet in Spain. Portugal bounced the attack, and my parade of fleets bottlenecked behind me.

F09 went much better. France and I flipped directions against Portugal, helping France take it from Spain. I knew that England would dislodge my fleet in the MAO, but that I’d be able to retreat to Spain. It worked like a charm.

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Now, Russia and I were getting stronger and England was floundering. Russia proposed a 2-way RT draw. I voted yes, as did Germany and France. England never voted, so the draw proposal died.

Having lost an SC, England had to destroy a unit. In a desperate but clever move, he disbanded his critical Norway unit, giving Russia an easy path to a solo unless I stabbed.

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And stab I did, taking 2 Russian SCs in Spring 10. Russia might have seen the stab coming. He took steps in my direction that he described as defensive in response to an anticipated stab. But his moves could also be interpreted as positioning himself for a solo. In fact, if I hadn’t stabbed, there is a very strong chance that Russia’s “defensive measures” would’ve put me away within a few seasons.

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In any event, I wanted to keep Russia as an ally. How to pull that off? I did it by concocting a false message from England to me, reading “You’re persistent refusal to stab Russia makes it clear that you 2 will work together to kill me. It seems my only chance is to force your hand. Unless you stab Russia now, I will cede territory to him until he gets a solo win. If you want to survive, its now or never; no second chances.” I did my best to imitate England’s writing style, so Russia wouldn’t suspect it was me. I then forwarded that message to Russia moments after the stab, apologizing profusely and promising to work towards a 2-way draw.

Not surprisingly, Russia’s and my relationship was rocky from that point forward. But we stayed together. I withdrew from one of the 2 SCs I had taken (actually both, but I took a third), but I was now in a much better defensive position. By the end of ’10, Russia was running free in the north, and England had to disband 2 units. So guess what he did? That’s right, he vacated MAO and the Irish Sea, giving me room to try for a solo unless France turned on me! Crafty little devil!!!!!

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If I had thought I could get to 18, I probably would have gone for it. Problem was, I only saw a path to 16, maybe 17. And if I went for it, there was a real risk that Russia would get the solo. I thought I was better off working for a 2-way RT draw. So I made tepid moves in S11 , pursuing England but not aggressively seeking SCs in the Balkans. Russia made similar moves, then proposed a 2-way draw. France, Germany, and I accepted it, and to my surprise England did too. I guess my acceptance of the draw offer was proof enough for him that he would not be able to turn me against Russia.

The final position at the time of the draw:

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I have never surrendered and never NMR'd, and hope to keep that alive. Never mind, the perfect run has come to an end. Dammit, DAMMIT, DAMMIT.
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Re: my first ever AAR: 136769 Cry havoc ...

Postby Shampoo » 07 Dec 2017, 23:25

Great game. Sometimes draws feel better than solo’s and I think this was such a game. Also Russia deserves a big compliment. He initiated the change and it needs a good and wise player to do so.
Would be nice to see comments from some other players too. Some of them might surprise you.
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Re: my first ever AAR: 136769 Cry havoc ...

Postby Bobmats » 08 Dec 2017, 05:57

I loved the game as well and everything that Turkey said was true. I had no idea he forged the English speech but it was so in keeping with his character that I was better off believing it.

England had encouraged me into a deal attacking Germany. When I did, he took everything and left me only
Berlin. Then the threats came about behave or else. Eventually I left him with, “if you have to issue a threat, you know the answer.” I allied with Germany and with his help slowly was pushing England out of Scandinavia.

So even after I was given Norway, I neither trusted nor liked England. I also knew that England was no longer a threat and that Turkey was. He had stabbed me earlier so I was always looking for malfeasance in the south.

But in our push to the west, Turkey had given me Trieste when I really needed the build. I was always trying to make it work even when he stabbed me again.

As for Norway one man said, “ if the deal is too good to be true, it is.” If had gone for the solo victory due to England, it was clearly a trap where he would turn everyone - Turkey - against me.

The delimma that we were I was how to kill England without going for a solo. It was impossible to square the circle and I don’t know really how we were going to manage it. Turkey wasn’t going to give France supply centers so what would we have done when one of us had 17 supply center and the other 16. We will never know.

France proposed, England agreed to the surrender. I certainly encouraged him to do so, but I don’t know why he did.

Best
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Re: my first ever AAR: 136769 Cry havoc ...

Postby boldblade » 02 Feb 2018, 05:14

Sounds like a great game. Bobmats, I believe the game you and I were in together a draw was stopped by England on the first attempt then as well. Unfortunately, same scenario, he accpepted it the second time around. I say unfortunate because I was working on positioning for the stab I needed to solo. Oh well!
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Re: my first ever AAR: 136769 Cry havoc ...

Postby FloridaMan » 09 Feb 2018, 05:37

This was a fun read. Not everyone can write readable AARs. I encourage you to keep it up.
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