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AAR: Mistrust - 148647

PostPosted: 01 Nov 2018, 14:53
by Wo1olo
A few of us from this game agreed to do an AAR because we found it so interesting.

This was my first game of Diplomacy on the site and I rolled Italy. Unfortunately, I missed my first turn, so I spent much of the game behind and struggling to catch up.

Because I missed Spring 1901, I missed my first build in the Fall. I exchanged a few messages with Austria (who had been very friendly and advised me that we were natural allies). I was behind, so I needed all the help I could get. Instead of going into Tunis, which was the sure thing, I suggested to Austria that I convoy my army to Greece to support in an eastward attack. At this stage, I knew full well that I'd stagnate and die if I turned west to fight France. War with France loomed on the horizon, however, as they built a fleet in Marseilles, which serves one fight Italy. Austria agreed to support me into Greece. In addition to this, I sent a group message to Austria and Germany, suggesting a central alliance. For now, we agreed to it. This also meant appealing for England to attack France and draw the attention away from me, since I was vulnerable. The attack on Greece succeeded, and I grabbed Tunis in the Fall to secure my builds. At this stage, it's also obvious that Russia is afk and will be dropping from the game soon.

I couldn't rest yet. Turkey pushed their fleets directly toward me. Fortunately, France had turned their attention to England, so I could focus eastward. I turned my fleet from Tunis into the Ionian Sea. Turkey, seeing the writing on the wall already, attacked Apulia. In Fall 1903, Austria kicked Turkey out of Bulgaria. I moved my Ionian fleet into Eastern Med to force the Turkish fleet in the Aegean to defend Smyrna.

By Fall 1904, a new Russia was in the game. Austria convinced Russia to move into Armenia and help us eliminate Turkey. With fleets in Aegean and Eastern Med, we could finally start attacking the Turkish mainland. In Spring 1905, I took Smyrna. England was falling up in the north as well. In Fall 1905, Constantinople fell, which gave me two more fleet builds. In Spring 1906, I moved to deliver the final blow to Turkey, which would finally put me in a safe and stable spot, after spending the entire game worried about my own future. I started preparing for a westward push, in the direction of France. Austria pointed out how scary Germany was starting to look, and convinced me to move to Tyrolia. We'd been working very well together and I was still under the impression that we needed each I complied. This is what happened in Fall 1906:


Betrayal! I eliminated Turkey, but Austria had taken the opportunity to grab two of my centers, causing a net loss of one for me. I was really quite annoyed at that play, given how well things had been going with Austria...and our friendly, open communication. Being the vindictive dude that I am, I went straight to Germany and declared that I would help destroy Austria and be the German kingmaker. I don't think Austria accounted for the fact that I was more willing to let Germany win than the person that stabbed me.

By Fall 1908, Austria had realized their mistake. Fighting against me and Germany would be the death of they did a complete turnaround and offered to let me have Venice and Greece back so that they could focus on creating a stalemate line with Germany. Had we not been forced into this 2-year war, I might have been able to move on France earlier and the complexion of the game would have been changed...but alas it was not meant to be. It took until Spring 1910 for me to be in a legitimately strong position...I had firmly established Italy as a naval power...but we weren't done yet...Here's the state of the game after Spring 1910:


It was pretty clear that France's days were numbered. There was talk among me, Germany and Austria about a 3-way draw...which given how the game played out, seemed fairly reasonable. I moved away from Austria and intended to take Marseilles, Spain, and Portugal, to finish the game. Fall 1910 I made a cheeky play of grabbing Bulgaria to further strengthen my position. With their attention turned toward Germany, I didn't expect Austria to turn around. I saw it as justified given their stab. It also wouldn't ruin their stalemate line. In Spring 1911, I took Spain with the support of two of my fleets. In Fall 1911, I took Portugal as well...however Germany supported Marseilles to hold. I began to suspect that Germany was looking to solo given how close they were already. Give how cluttered the western oceans were, I built two armies instead of fleets. More fleets wouldn't really strengthen my position. I think this, combined with one of my eastern fleets moving toward the Black Sea, scared Germany and Austria into making a deal. In Spring 1912, Germany moved their fleets westward as I kicked them out of the Mid-Atlantic. Austria completely moved away from their German border...which sent me into a panic. Had they made a deal to keep France alive until I was eliminated...then settle for a 2-way draw? I hadn't realized how my choice of two armies would be interpreted. Fall 1912, Austria grabbed Greece from me again. I began moving my forces into more defensive positions in the hopes of creating a stalemate line...all the while reminding Austria that Germany would absolutely take the opportunity to stab them and solo. I didn't believe Austria could afford to risk leaving their back to Germany.

Still, Germany supported Marseilles to hold, despite kicking their rogue fleet out of St.Petersburgh. Fall 1913, the rogue French fleet moves to Norway...still staying alive. My patience was fraying, and by 1914, I began more aggressively chastising Germany for letting France live...even resorting to public press. I'd come a long way in this game and I did not want to be left on the outside right at the end. I was absolutely convinced that Germany was playing hardball and trying to solo. They had even moved eastward into Prussia and Silesia...and not yielded that territory back to Austria.

Fall 1913:

Finally, in Fall 1914, Germany stopped supporting Marseilles and I took it. By Fall 1915, France was eliminated, and a 3-way draw was accepted between Italy, Germany, and Austria.

On the whole, I think I did pretty well. A solo win wasn't in the cards for my first game, but I'm content with the draw.

Re: AAR: Mistrust - 148647

PostPosted: 01 Nov 2018, 17:40
by Phlegmatic
An excellent summary, thanks Wo1olo!

This was the game I have enjoyed most since joining this site and I really want to thank everyone who played, it was a blast! Congratulations to you on getting such a good result after a Spring 1901 NMR, especially with Italy, no easy task.

I have a very busy week at work, and the weekend will be taken up at MidCon playing F2F Diplomacy (woohoo!!) so it may be a few days before I can give the full Austrian perspective. However, there is nothing major I need to add. You have captured the essence of the game very well, and the only correction I would make is that I realised my mistake much earlier than Fall 1908! Misreading the game like that is going to haunt me for a long time, but hopefully I'll be a better player for the experience!! :mrgreen:

Re: AAR: Mistrust - 148647

PostPosted: 05 Nov 2018, 18:54
by Mr Aedron
Awesome, thanks Wo1lolo. I've marked it and will come back to it this week!

" I was absolutely convinced that Germany was playing hardball and trying to solo." That's the least we can say, I tried, apologized, and tried harder ;) your move west almost reopened the solo door for me! Didn't work though :cry: Phlegmatic was too fast.

Re: AAR: Mistrust - 148647

PostPosted: 07 Nov 2018, 18:26
by Phlegmatic
Mr Aedron wrote:Phlegmatic was too fast.

Too paranoid more like :D

Re: AAR: Mistrust - 148647

PostPosted: 07 Nov 2018, 18:51
by Phlegmatic
Well chaps, Wo1olo has done an excellent job summarising the game so I thought I would just add a little froth to explain the decisions I made.

Italy's Spring 1901 NMR really affected my thought processes until late in the game. It misled me into thinking that Italy wasn't going to take the game seriously, and so I didn't put enough value on the alliance that we had from the outset. A learning experience for both of us I guess!

I was also very aware that Austria usually needs a bit of naval power to succeed. Italy's NMR had the perverse effect of meaning we never moved Trieste and Venice apart, and thus I never freed up Trieste for a fleet build. My enthusiasm from taking out Turkey very quickly turned into dismay in 1906 as I realised that without fleets I would be utterly unable to remove Italy from there if I chose to stab him later, and that basically I was now trapped as a land power forever, with no access to the Turkish SCs if we fell out. Huge rookie error on my part! Note to self: never gift all of Turkey to an ally, keep a little for myself next time! :D

So this meant that by the start of Fall 1906 not only did I still have Italy and Turkey to manage, but now they were the same colour and controlled by the same player! Worse, there was very little left for me to take without turning on Germany or Italy. Germany was locked up tight, I was desperate to make some progress, so it had to come from Italy....STAAAAAAAAAAAAAABBBB... :twisted:

As has been pointed out elsewhere, this didn't really help me solve my problems, they were too entrenched!

After that it was a frantic case of shuttle diplomacy, my poor armies rushing first to the German front, then as he backed off, back to Italian front again, the soloes of their boots getting ever thinner and their politiocal master ever more exasperated! Eventually I had had enough and snapped, telling Germany that he either accepted the draw and stopped trying a sneaky solo, or I would throw the game to Italy.
This was the move I was happiest with in the whole game. From the 1906 stab right up to the end, I was very unsure I would survive. Even after this final threat I didn't actually think I COULD throw it to Italy - there seemed far more routes to failure (and hence a German solo) than success. Thankfully Germany saw things differently and accepted, I breathed a huge sigh of relief and left with some pride intact!

Re: AAR: Mistrust - 148647

PostPosted: 12 Nov 2018, 19:40
by Mr Aedron
Hi all, still not forgetting you but I wanna do it well and can't seem to find an hour to write it.

Sorry for that!

Re: AAR: Mistrust - 148647

PostPosted: 27 Nov 2018, 22:44
by Mr Aedron
Hi all,

A month later than promised, but here is my AAR. I have an hour and will write my utmost. I will comeback to it in another 3 weeks (after some time off) to enrich it further if it is of interest to you.

So, here we go, I'll try to remember the game as much as I can without extensive research.

Spring 01
I open with feeling out most players, sending out a greeting round to almost everyone. I soon get the feeling that England is an aggressive player but isn't the most solid. France is pretty laconic, replying with a couple of one liners that don't suggest a heartfelt desire to work together. Austria and I are hitting it off pretty well. Italy is mostly absent.

With that in mind, I start considering my options. I have the following in mind, top of mind:
- Usual Danish opening, safe, I can control Russia. Munich could go to Rhur, Bur (bounce), or hold depending on who of England, France, or Italy I am the most worried about
- Holland opening. It can put both france & England in a pickle of a situation if handled right but allows for way less flexibility in the fall; requires to nail the diplomacy in winter 01
After much hemming and humming, I go for the safe option, Denmark + Rhur. Leaves me all the options open. However, just before the deadline, France reached out, basically ordering me to DMZ...Rhur! I try to politely point out that in no world France can feel free to DMZ that province. Comms with France get quite dry... Great. Given how silent is, I start digging trenches and reach out to Russia.

To my delight, England opened to a rather weird EC + York + Nwg. France went for Picardy + Iberia. Russia imploded within one season. Italy NMRed.

So good news: Austria and I are gonna rule this board and nearly all serious threats are seriously pushed back. Bad news: I have only one serious player who I can count on & have rather bad relationships in the west.

Fall 01
Now is the interesting bit. France is still sending me stingy (in my humble opinion ;) ) one liners & England claims Belgium. An idea germs in my mind. I tell France to let me bounce England off Belgium while he covers Paris. Then I will tell England the same. Should they both play ball, I end up in Belgium!

Safe to say it didn't work. England told me he orders to Belgium no matter what. No negotiation possible. I go back to France, tell him that after all, it's amazing for him to get Belgium for a couple of reasons. I don't wanna be the one losing tempo and pissing off england! France gives me some artistic flou. I decide to let him bounce or not Belgium and focus on the north. I also let Russia in Sweden so that he can get the build he will direly need in the east.

Austria is my pal & I want him to do well. But not too well! Hence Sweden can be Russian for me. Russia won't live long enough to hold it at this pace.

So fall 01 ends up bitter sweet. I get a great position north. France & England start to seriously distrust each other. On the other hand, Russia NMRed again & I missed Sweden. Plus England got Belgium & France can't build in Brest. Bitter sweet indeed.

For speed, I'll focus on the west. In the east, players come and go in Russia's and Turkey's spots. Austria & Italy start rollercoasting the poor subs. Not much to say east besides the fact that it will be resolved a tad too fast for my taste and that we striked a central alliance by that time. I have good contacts with both Italy and Austria.

In the west, I encourage England to jump on France. That didn't take much convincing and the royal navy sets sails west. France goes after Italy against my advise, send me mover confusing, short comms. I really don't manage to it off with the western pals & decide to try and invest more time & attention to those relationships.

I get Sweden in the Spring while Russia NMR further. Every other unit holds still (which was super weird to order) so that I can hold my breath & hold my cards to my chest. In fall, France is decidedly pissed with England and I decide to join him. As Germany, there are few upside to stab France too early unless you know you have a huge positional & skills advantage on England. Given my fleets positions, I decide against allying England to avoid being too much in his power. I take Belgium, denying England his build, lining up the North Sea, and isolating his St-Pet fleet.

I send a unit east to take Warsaw to avoid having too strong an Austria, with the latter's agreemnt.

I will go a bit faster here as the theatre is set. France & I duly squeeze England off the game. England is gunboating me at this point. France keeps flaring up the tensions with armies in Burguny while asking me to DMZ the world. I lose a lot of tempo manoeuvring against those moves which, ultimately, cost me the solo. For example, I couldn't take Warsaw on time and had to backtrack.

This is how the board looks like by 1905:
Fall 1905.png
Fall 1905.png (429.13 KiB) Viewed 2782 times

I will stop here for now, just before the good bits. Quick question: how do you guys have so clean screenshots below 500 kB images?

Re: AAR: Mistrust - 148647

PostPosted: 29 Nov 2018, 16:28
by Phlegmatic
Whatever the answer to the screenshot question, I need to know that too, someone please enlighten us!

Re: AAR: Mistrust - 148647

PostPosted: 29 Nov 2018, 19:52
by hedge trimmer
1) Most people just copy the link to the order history files. Like this: Go to Game -> Order History -> season -> click the image -> the big image opens -> right click & select "Copy Image Address" etc. (or just save it).

Then paste the link inside img tags:
Code: Select all

It should look like

I think the files might get pruned when they get old enough (older games on playdiplomacy are missing the Order History maps), although I'm not really sure how that works. Some people also use the "small" versions of the maps (right click the small image on the Order History page and copy the link to that):

2) If you actually want to use screenshots you probably should save them as JPGs unless you're prepared to set up a custom color profile for the PNGs (I think the pictures PlayDip has have a very limited amount of colors). The old map should be pretty good for PNGs as it has big flat areas consisting of a single color. So please play on the old map if you want to save resources! :lol:

Also I know 1) would've been enough to answer the question. :lol:

Re: AAR: Mistrust - 148647

PostPosted: 29 Nov 2018, 19:56
by Jack007
In the orders history, when you click on the map, you get the genuine, very sharp png image which has a resolution of 900 x 771 pixel at 198 kB. Use this.