AAR: Aspirations in the Clouds

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Re: AAR: Aspirations in the Clouds

Postby hedge trimmer » 17 Nov 2018, 22:37

1901 continued. It's the most important year in the game so I want to focus on it, while the rest of the game just sort of builds on top of it.

West:

My talks with France go pretty well, and she says she's inclined to go along with the Swiss Star... which seems kind of odd since she's not writing much in the 3 way thread. Well, at least she writes a lot privately, so I feel like we'll get along no matter what she ends up doing.

We exchanged pleasantries with England, and then I asked him if he thought a Sealion was a possibility since Germany wasn't interested in attacking France. Nope, he trusted Russia. I was suspicious, as Russia didn't want to talk nor ally with me, which might mean he was interested in opening north. Besides, I knew Germany and France had at least nominally agreed to a Swiss Star. I suggested I/R/E to both England and Russia, and England seemed to entertain the idea... but Russia never responded. Then England tells me that "Germany has been asking for 3 builds this year, which has made France and Russia wary of him."

After that France came up with E/F/I, and we talked with England if it was wise or not. We agreed to defend one another if France decided to stab one of us, as France was situated behind us, like England is in a Western Triple. With that, E/F/I was born. I'm not sure what else to write about this... if E/F was going to happen no matter what, I should at least be in the right team. Especially since there were no other teams to choose from.

East:

My impression of Turkey wasn't as good as his impression of me seemed to be. I don't know, it just seemed to me that he was willing to throw me under the bus later on.

I suggested a Key Lepanto (ish thing) to Austria, where I'd get Trieste in F01 while moving ION - EAS/AEG so we would both gain a build while I could quickly attack Turkey next year. He wasn't too interested in that, unless Russia was also attacking Turkey... which was kind of odd, since if Russia was attacking Turkey there wouldn't be any need for Austria to go along with a Key Lepanto. He did talk about instead giving me Greece later on, which sounded nice, but I wasn't entirely sure if he would do it or not. Overall we had a very "professional" relationship with Austria which I quite enjoyed, but I think that made me be a bit wary of him too.

To my surprise in F01 Austria actually asks if we're going to do the Key Lepanto, but I think I was the one who declined to do it. I'm not sure why. I think
a) I didn't trust Austria not to bounce me out of Trieste since he said that he was willing to do it because I asked (instead of because he thought it was a good idea)
b) I wanted a fleet in Tunis to make sure France won't attack me if I was dealing with E/F (without I) after all.

Also in F01 Turkey asked me if I wanted to get supported to Greece since Austria had offered to support him to Bulgaria. I said no, because
a) It was possible Austria was supporting himself to Greece and he was just trying to get Turkey and Russia to fight.
b) I wanted a fleet in Tunis to make sure France won't attack me if I was dealing with E/F (without I) after all.
c) A fleet in Greece wouldn't be that useful if I was going to ally with Turkey.
d) I'd rather see Russia get attacked to make sure a Juggernaut wouldn't form.

Russia's only message to me in S01 had nothing solid, only pleasantries. So it sounded like he didn't consider Italy to be a potential ally for Russia, which in combination of him DMZing Galicia made it sound like he was opening north. I mean, if he was going to attack Turkey with Austria he'd probably want my help, and if he was attacking Austria with Turkey he'd probably want my help. Okay, maybe he didn't need my help with Austria if he was going to break the DMZ in Galicia... but he didn't even do that.

Like I mentioned before, I replied to him suggesting that we form an I/R/E, and that we both are interested in controlling the Balkans so we would make good allies. He never replied, so next turn I contacted him again:

=======From ITALY Fall 1901 Orders =======
Hey Russia,

I noticed you opened pretty aggressively against Turkey. Anything you want me to do?

Italy

I keep it as short as possible since it's very likely that I'm going to get ignored again. "Are we attacking Turkey or not?" Silence... until rather late in the turn this arrives:

=======From RUSSIA Fall 1901 Orders =======
Not sure there is anything specific I need at this time. Anything you need from me? Thoughts on how to deal with Austria in regards to you and I?

Wait, so you want me to attack Austria? I don't get it. I knew Austria and Turkey were most likely going to attack you, but you had so far given me no reason to actually help you so I didn't reply.

=======From ITALY Fall 1901 Build =======
Well... If you're busy, I don't think it would be rejected if you asked for that pause. It seems to me that the disaster last turn could've been avoided if you had talked a bit more.

I don't have any specific ideas right now, but I really don't want to see an A/T forming so I want to help you recover.

Italy

Yes, it was entirely your fault. Both Austria and Turkey told me they attacked you because of your silence. I want to help you though, but I need you to start talking to me before I come up with anything solid.

=======From RUSSIA Spring 1902 Orders =======

Talking too much was probably my problem, IMO, and/or Austria and turkey just played me for a fool. We'll see how things go going forward but I'm facing an uphill battle.

What!? NO! What are you talking about!? At this point I've kind of given up trying to get anything going between us, and for the rest of the game all the ideas I suggest to Russia seem to get ignored.

---

After that EFI continued strong and no one was coming up with any alternatives, while A/T seemed like a real threat which I needed to deal with. I didn't like the idea of getting squashed between F/E/T/A.

EDIT: One of the reasons that I was being rather suspicious of EFI was that France was constantly trying to come up with plans that would let her move her fleets to the Mediterranean, either to protect against my stab, or to "help" me with Austria and Turkey. No, I don't ever want to see a foreign fleet in the Tyrrhenian Sea, thank you very much!
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Re: AAR: Aspirations in the Clouds

Postby hedge trimmer » 18 Nov 2018, 18:14

Image
The board after 1901.

1902:

Russia and Germany get stabbed, and they both just kind of give up, or at least they refuse to write anything meaningful to me. I'm fighting a fake war with Austria while we're talking about how and when we should stab Turkey.

In F02 Turkey offers to support me to Greece, but that won't work since Austria is going to attack him. Should I warn Turkey? No, because:
a) I'm better off letting the stab happen so A/T will crumble, as warning Turkey would allow him to rebuild his alliance with Austria.
b) Turkey isn't promising to forgo building fleets, so he's most likely planning to build fleets and attack me next.
c) Once Turkey is feeling weak I should be in a better position to negotiate.

I try to convince Russia to give Rumania to Austria while defending Sevastopol so we can get rid of Turkey ASAP, but he's not listening and Turkey manages to take Sevastopol. AIR doesn't seem to be happening, and there's absolutely no chance GIR would take off, so EFI is still the only game in town. EFI seemed to be reasonably solid though, so I wasn't in a rush to figure out any alternatives.

Image
The board after 1902.

1903:

The stab happens and... Turkey blames me for it just as much as he blames Austria, even though I only moved my fleet to EAS uninvited (we never officially DMZd it), which I assumed would be just a minor inconvenience that could be fixed. I told him I was being opportunistic in order to encourage him to come up with a deal, but he was acting in a very threatening manner* while offering nothing too concrete: he tells me to force the Aegean so I can attack Greece, which will have NO chance of succeeding (*EDIT: Before this blows up, I think Joe was just trying to make sure I understood the situation... it's just that he was using a chainsaw to do the talking :D). He's saying he won't hold a grudge if I move back, but his accusatory tone makes it sound like he will most definitely carry a grudge. So I continue the Lepanto, even though I hate the idea.

I built a third fleet since I somehow managed to get Munich, which ended up being a huge mistake. I thought I needed it to control the Mediterranean, but in the long run it just leaves my home centers undefended. I prefer building armies (even as England!), but I think France's talk of moving her fleet to the Mediterranean leaves me worried. She doesn't break any of her promises though and we have a lot of fun scheming, so EFI seems to be getting more and more stable.

Russia seemed pretty happy that I managed to break the A/T, but even though he writes more our discussions don't really seem to get anywhere. He seems to focus on rebuilding the Juggernaut while being allied to England. Where does that leave me as Italy?

Image
The board after 1903. The sudden French fleet build would cause problems...


I might've lied, this is going to be longer than I thought it would. :lol:
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Re: AAR: Aspirations in the Clouds

Postby beadsman » 18 Nov 2018, 22:37

First of all, I want to open by saying that for every good thing I did in this game, there was at least one horrible mistake going asking with it. I think this is the worst I've ever played. I pulled back from a solid stab when it was best for me to follow through, opening myself up for retribution. I pointlessly shared the existence of the E/F/I because I wasn't sure if I could trust France, only to realize in hindsight that it didn't help me at all (and even ended up indirectly leading to my eventual downfall). I got busy in real life and neglected to really talk enough, which made my allies mistrust me (That's normally not my problem; I normally talk almost too much!)

On the plus side, I also somehow managed to miraculously survive (in no small thanks to Russia), despite being the next on the chopping block. I managed to sew enough discord between France and Germany to prevent what I saw as a looming Juggernaut (I knew Germany wanted to attack me right off the bat. I don't remember how.) I did pretty well for a while, at least, until a series of massive blunders led me to lose everything. I developed one of the strongest alliances I have ever had with France, despite its eventual disintegration.

At the very beginning, I sent out my feelers to speak with all the players on the board and get a feel for how they might act. I went into the game with a slight bias towards an E/G alliance, but it soon became clear by Germany's lukewarm tone and lack of any real apparent desire to work with me that he wanted to spearhead a Sealion. I had exchanged pleasantries with Russia, and was developing better relations with France, so I decided to cultivate those relations and paint Germany in the worst light I could. He had asked for my help to get three centers, so I knew I could use that to sew suspicion against him.

Long story short, it worked. What started as an actual threat of an F/G turned into an excellent opportunity to create a scapegoat and get some solid northern territory. I was on excellent terms with Russia and Italy at this point, so things looked good. Germany was utterly crushed by everyone attacking him at once. He even antagonized Russia! Our was a dream come true for an ambitious Englishman.

...then France built a fleet in Brest with no warning, right when the plan was for me to attack my friend in Russia. I knew I'd France stabbed me now, it was the perfect time for her to do so, since I would be busy in the north. It was then I decided to end things, but I was still really on the fence about it. I hadn't even really fully made a decision (I was getting more and more busy IRL), but my provisional orders to stab France went through. Unfortunately, France began moving away from me as opposed to stabbing me. That made me feel awkward, but I didn't want to just waffle around with no purpose, and my experience told me that my relations with France were completely ruined. I spent yet another turn off indecision, leading to yet another set of orders going through to move against France. It now seemed that war between us war inevitable.

I was then stupid and made my first big mistake. I let France convince me it would be better for me to work with her again. I should know better! I followed my gut, though, and moved back north. It was around now that I spilled the beans about the E/F/I to Turkey. I don't know what I was thinking. It must have been a combination of mistrust of France, overconfidence, and a desire to further my own position. This later got back to my allies, which was the obvious result in hindsight. This started Italy and France down the path of not trusting me. I then was really busy and forgot to respond to their concerns and inquiries about my informational slip for nearly a week IRL. This was very bad. In addition, moving north damaged my relations with a formerly very-friendly Russia. After taking Scandinavia, France and Italy decided I couldn't be trusted and coordinated a huge stab on me. I thought I could hold the French tide, and I could at first, but Italy helped France to destroy armies and replace them with Fleets, which combined with excellent maneuvering, entirely broke my defenses. At the end, I was reduced to almost nothing. I wag in a horrible position, but I had at least repaired my relations with Russia. We coordinated to end the game over a draw, but I wasn't especially invested in the game any more. We eventually decided to throw the game to France unless everyone accepted the draw, and our somehow worked.

I was flabbergasted that I somehow won. So, that was a very interesting game! Great job everyone!
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Re: AAR: Aspirations in the Clouds

Postby joe92 » 19 Nov 2018, 15:46

... continued from before.

*A correction
I actually got the timeline a little wrong in my previous post. It was in the winter of 1905, in response to the news about E/F/I, when the AIRT was created. During the fall of 1905 we were all working with one another, but in separate 2-way and 3-way threads. I did talk to Austria into covering Albania, and I did wait before sharing the information - except with Russia, whom I told right away as it had obvious implications for his diplomacy. OK, correction made, we'll continue...

1906 - A Year of Stabs
So, in the winter of 1905 I decided it was the right time to divulge the information that England had shared with me. I'd told Russia in the fall. I now told Italy, and I told him I would be building a fleet for defensive purposes. I told Austria. I told France. I made sure that every player on the board knew about E/F/I. If it was known between A/R/T then maybe we could rally against them. If E/F/I now knew it was open knowledge on the entire board, it might fracture their alliance. Maybe both would happen and we could reverse sweep from the east while their alliance disintegrates. I'm great at daydreaming unrealistic scenarios...

The builds came out:
Image

The spring of 1906 was extremely hectic. I was running around many different threads. I was trying to talk 1-on-1 with Russia, who kept on frustrating me by ignoring my messages at this extremely crucial point. I was talking 1-on-1 with Austria. I tried to create a 3-way thread between Austria and Russia and myself. I was talking to France. And of course Russia had created the 4-way anti-E/F thread in an attempt to persuade Italy to joining our side: AIRT. This was going to be a pivotal year, and we knew it.

So although we had the AIRT thread going I tried to ensure that A/R/T would survive regardless of what Italy did. I created the 3-way thread between us. I don't know if it contributed to the fall decision - only Ivar will be able to tell us that - but Russia didn't respond in that either, and thus neither did Austria. Right when we could have done with building some camaraderie between us nothing happened. We could be going down the road of E/F/I vs A/R/T but it seemed like I was the only one trying to get the opposite team on the same page. Russia's reasons were simple it would turn out. We couldn't defeat them, he said, so he only wanted to spend energy turning Italy away from the E/F/I alliance. It was very frustrating at the time.

Then to make things worse, Italy accused me of unreasonably demanding centres which was obviously proof I was going to ally with E/F. He did this in a private A/I/R thread (stick with me now, there's so many threads floating around). Russia responded to that in the 4-way AIRT thread by essentially publicly telling me off rather than pointing out that Italy had misinterpreted my requests. He had just emboldened Italy's position and weakened mine. My frustration boiled over into anger.

Now it's worth noting that at this point I was really ill and this could have been contributing to my negative outlook. I was down with the flu for 3 weeks of this game and I think at this point it was about 2 weeks along and at peak horribleness. A fever, runny nose, sore throat, headaches, dizziness, lack of sleep, and at one of the most pivotal points in this game. This is how it looked to me at the time:

Austria had responded positively. Along the lines of: fair enough, after we've made gains on the front line I'll cede some centres back to you. Italy had responded by creating the 3-way thread to sow discord between A/R/T. Russia now had the power to strengthen our attempts at an anti-E/F alliance and swiftly prevent this from becoming an issue by simply pointing out to Italy that he must have misinterpreted my request. That didn't happen. I finally heard back from Russia by way of being told off in a group thread.

I responded with one of my least diplomatic messages of the game, dripping with condescension and anger. I verbally attacked both Russia and Italy and poorly tried to point out that all I was asking for was parity and fairness. That I only wanted an assurance that once gains had been made on the frontiers then after that I would be ceded centres for parity. I remember being so pissed off at this point that my words were being manipulated that I didn't care what happened in the game. Again, a reminder: I was really ill and barely sleeping.

Italy pulled out of the alliance.

A note on this part of the game: I think what pushed me over the edge here was not getting any messages from Russia. Being publicly told off isn't bad, if I know it's coming and what the reason for it is. If I'd just got a little something from Russia saying something like, Italy is peeved at your request and I feel like I need to back him in the group thread because I think that will give us the best chance at turning him to our side, I'd have been able to deal with it completely differently. I might not have agreed with the details of the plan but a heads up would have completely changed my attitude. One things for sure though. Russia responding in the 4-way thread certainly quashed the attempts at sowing distrust between us.

Well, I broke it. Maybe I could fix it? I decided to go back through the thread to a message where Italy had said "If I get Spain and Marseilles I'd be willing to cede Greece" and responded saying that's all I was asking for and I didn't want anything in advance of gains being made. It seemed to work. Italy was back in. The argument over ceding centres disappeared in the other branch of the thread and suddenly all 4 of us were talking about the anti-E/F initiative. It was like it never happened. We started planning moves. Italy said he was going to move his fleets towards France. He asked if I could DMZ EME. I said I'd be happy to guarantee that Aeg/EME won't both have fleets in, but I wanted to retain the privilege of being the only one knowing which territory my fleet will be in. I also asked to tap Greece from Bulgaria. Italy agreed to both points. Austria was talking about his movements towards central Europe. Russia was talking about the far north of the board. It actually seemed like we'd managed to get the alliance going!

The spring came around:
Image

Oh for crying out loud, Italy held with all his southern units. Can not one season go as agreed?

At least there'd been some excitement in the west. Obviously sharing the news about the E/F/I had cast doubt on their alliance. There was a question mark over England's intentions and it strained their relationship to the breaking point. After convincing him to bail on his own stab against her, France returned the honour and stabbed him. Incredible! The E/F/I alliance was surely finished now. He wouldn't be able to convince her to bail on her stab too.

It meant there was hope once again. If A/R/T could unify we would easily profit from this. Austria had enough armies on the board to lay waste to central Europe. Russia had a fleet in the Baltic to help with that and enough armies to conquer Scandinavia in little time. I could take over the Med. It was perfect. We could even bring England onboard for a short while to curtail France's expansion.

With Italy holding in the Med there was no doubt he wasn't going to stab France anytime soon. He might string us along again, but I didn't think anything would come of it. But we kept up civility. The AIRT thread was still going and Russia tried to present the idea that he could ally with England. I don't think anyone thought that was going to happen. My real attention was in the A/R/T thread. If we could finally get that going we'd have managed in the space of a year to completely flip the board around. We'd actually be sweeping from east to west, just like my daydream said we would. Austria agreed to support my army into Greece and he was going to secure Galicia. Russia would have to hold until England retreated but would move out in the spring. This changed everything.

But Italy is not a player to be underestimated. He picked up something was wrong. I hadn't responded on a point about only tapping Greece with one unit again (well, what was the point in making agreements with Italy, he was only going to string me along again right, and Austria was going to support me there), and he started working on Austria. Presumably with France in a 3-way thread.

I thought this was going to be the turning point for Turkey. The plans in the east were laid out. England had even started talking again which brought hope that there would be some coordinated efforts at resisting France. It was looking good. Then the fall came.

Fall:
Image

Boy this is taking longer than I thought. More to follow at a later date...
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Re: AAR: Aspirations in the Clouds

Postby kimpossible » 19 Nov 2018, 18:52

Life is stupid busy right now starting a new job, but I will get my AAR in here in a couple weeks if nothing else! Enjoying reading everything that happened from other perspectives.
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Re: AAR: Aspirations in the Clouds

Postby hedge trimmer » 20 Nov 2018, 17:08

1904:
EFI drama

France builds a second fleet in Brest (Marseilles was occupied, thankfully), and England is freaking out. She told us she was building armies, so I'm worried too. I talk with England privately, and I remind him of our deal to defend one another if France attacks one of us. England doesn't write much in the 3 way thread, while I think I was being honest about my worries: I tell France I'll move my third fleet to the Tyrrhenian Sea as a defensive move. Our plan was to have us bounce in GoL for the rest of the game, which is an idea I honestly hated. Constant bounces like that just waste a huge amounts of resources.

England told me he would move his units back in case France stabbed him, but he ended up moving in a way I didn't expect. I expected him to continue his attack north while moving the army to secure Liverpool, but he does this weird half-stab where he moves all his units back without actually attacking France. He's in an awkward position, and he asks me what he should do. I tell him that I don't really like the idea of stabbing her, but France hasn't been able to defuse the situation which she started (although England didn't write enough either) and that England isn't in any position to attack Russia this year. Since he doesn't ask me to attack her, I assume he's going to move back to attack Russia. I thought I didn't need to waste too much energy to solve their problems, as I was sure England needed my help to attack France and if I weren't offering it he wouldn't do anything. I was wrong, and England stabs France again.

I thought I told France to move to MAO, but looking through our messages again, she was worried that I was going to stab her too so I didn't try to micromanage her orders: I only told her that she shouldn't split up her fleets by bouncing in GoL as I could stab her by moving to WES anyway, along with some thoughts on how she could defend Belgium. I thought she would obviously move either Spain or Brest to MAO even without me telling her to do so, but she does neither, leaving herself in a rather awful position with fleets in Spain and Picardy, unable to support each other. It was such a terrible set of of orders that I was sure I would have to spend a lot of energy in the next few years to save her from England, as I couldn't leave them alone now since otherwise England would just take most of her centers. :D


Meanwhile...

I have convoyed my homeland defense army to Syria, and the last German army is in Tyrolia. I try to convince him to ally with me by offering him Venice so I don't have to convoy back and can focus on attacking Turkey, but he ignores me. Since Germany wasn't interested in surviving, I let Austria move to Venice in order to bounce Germany away, and France to Piedmont in case the Austrian move succeeded. Meanwhile I had to convoy my army back from Syria since otherwise I'll just get stabbed.

joe92 wrote:But the fall, why, that was even better. Austria had attempted to support himself into Constantinople in the spring rather than supporting Italy to Smyrna. He had also moved to Venice but that could have ostensibly been to protect it from Germany. It was the Constantinople move which I think saw Italy come back to my side. If Italy had moved against me he would have been left looking a bit foolish when Austria didn't help him. So we concocted a plan to destroy Austria's fleet and possibly see Italy take Greece off of him as well; support my fleet to the Aegean while moving Italy's other two fleets to Gre/ION. Austria's fleet would be disbanded and he'd be left with 5 armies on the board. No matter what happened after that, I was very happy knowing that there would only be 1 naval power to oppose me in the Med.

We're not playing gunboat, so I had obviously told Austria I would convoy back so there was nothing odd about him attacking Constantinople by himself. Our plan with Austria was to cut support from Smyrna with EAS while Austria takes Constantinople with two. I would get Greece in return. However, that would leave all the Turkish home centers to him and I didn't like that, so I came up with the plan to make me the dominant naval power by destroying the Austrian fleet with Turkish help, and I could still grab Greece too. So I'd say Germany was the main reason your luck changed, as I was still quite sure I had to eliminate you since you were bearing a grudge. If anyone reads this, you can and WILL affect the game even if you have only a single unit! Please don't forget that.

Turkey starts a 3 way T/I/R thread. I'm honestly not that excited, as Turkey will be stuck behind me, and I know Turkey and Russia are more fond of each other than they are of me. If EFI breaks down, I'd like to avoid getting involved in any big alliances, especially ones that are just a Juggernaut in disguise. Turkey's next target after Austria should be Russia, not me.

Image
The board after 1904.

1905:
EFI drama continues

France and England both tell me that EFI is back in business (what in tarnation are they doing!?), and I tell them okay, sounds cool. There shouldn't be any problem with that as long as neither of them has told anyone anything about EFI. England tells us that "I still haven't told anyone about the Sweep. This should be a huge surprise to everyone! ;) ", so I decided to continue attacking Austria. If one of them had told someone, I would've had to destroy the Turkish fleet instead to make sure I would be able to dominate the Mediterranean, but since EFI was still a secret I could eliminate Austria first.

What I find out after the moves go through is that England had told Turkey about EFI, and I was now stuck fighting a war against A/T even though I had been trying to avoid this very situation the whole game. As far as stabs go, this was much bigger than simply moving your pieces the wrong way, as there was no easy way to undo it. I still have no idea why England would do it. We both ask England why he did it, but he doesn't reply, and the week long turn goes by. My assumption was that his plan was to slow down me and France to make up for the tempo he had lost, so he could get over the stalemate line in order to solo. I tell as much to France, and encourage her to attack England, which she actually does after a full week of deliberation. Note: I'm quite certain that France did it mostly because England's silence, not because I was especially convincing.

I even start an AIR thread (finally!), but I think it was mostly to cause discord to help EFI, and my main goal was to find an excuse to destroy the last Turkish fleet. However, Russia isn't that interested, most likely because he knows about EFI already.

Image
The board after 1905. Turkey builds a fleet, and I'm facing an uphill battle.

Looking back I think telling Turkey was overall just a TERRIBLE idea for England, as RAT would've been a tough nut to crack for him too. I think he once told Russia that he was going to attack him too. I have absolutely no idea why anyone would do something like that. I guess it's honorable to be stupidly honest? As an ally to a person like that, I'd appreciate if he was being honest with me too, but I always heard these things from the people he was being honest with. In any case, I would've loved to see England eliminated thanks to these stunts.
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Re: AAR: Aspirations in the Clouds

Postby beadsman » 20 Nov 2018, 21:09

Yeah, I agree about it being a terrible idea. It was one of my biggest flubs this game. To be honest, when I told you I hadn't spilled the beans, I was telling the truth. I also had no intention to spill the beans for the foreseeable future. It was basically a last-minute hasty decision based on a broken trust with France and a desire to keep up tempo-wise, as well as just deciding randomly to be honest and being over-confident.

As soon as I sent the message (on a whim, by the way) I realized that it was terrible for both Italy and me, while I mainly wanted to keep caught up with France (whom it didn't really affect). I then realized how stupid I had been, but I couldn't take it back.

So yeah, that was majorly stupid, and I'm sorry about that. Uh, yeah. That's basically it.
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Re: AAR: Aspirations in the Clouds

Postby hedge trimmer » 20 Nov 2018, 21:39

beadsman wrote:Yeah, I agree about it being a terrible idea. It was one of my biggest flubs this game. To be honest, when I told you I hadn't spilled the beans, I was telling the truth. I also had no intention to spill the beans for the foreseeable future. It was basically a last-minute hasty decision based on a broken trust with France and a desire to keep up tempo-wise, as well as just deciding randomly to be honest and being over-confident.

As soon as I sent the message (on a whim, by the way) I realized that it was terrible for both Italy and me, while I mainly wanted to keep caught up with France (whom it didn't really affect). I then realized how stupid I had been, but I couldn't take it back.

So yeah, that was majorly stupid, and I'm sorry about that. Uh, yeah. That's basically it.

No worries, I'm probably being a little bit too harsh here. While it really did suck at the time, I'm over it now.

To be fair I think it could've worked if you had actually started a secret ETA or something like that.
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Re: AAR: Aspirations in the Clouds

Postby hedge trimmer » 20 Nov 2018, 22:48

1906:

I talked about France stabbing England in the previous post, but it actually happened this year, and 1905 was just building up to it.

AIRT
If TIR wasn't bad enough, Russia comes up with AIRT. While I do believe that it's possible to make any alliance work, these weird alliances will only get me eliminated in the long run. If I'm a part of EFI like they know, there's nothing I would gain from stabbing my allies, especially if both Turkey and Austria hate my guts and are just waiting for any opportunity to wipe me out. In that light Russia is not being very convincing when he says something along the lines of "do you really think EF won't eliminate you?". Russia shutting down any of my attempts to build a more sensible alliance (AIR) makes me think that what really is happening is RT(and maybe A) trying to destroy the opposing alliance. I play along in order to gain more time though.

However, I get the feeling that Austria isn't interested in getting run over by the Juggernaut either, as he had responded in a rather positive way to my private messages. AIRT is a terrible alliance for everyone except Turkey, so I'm sure that Austria will stab R/T if he has the opportunity. I don't know everyone's moves, but I try to set up their moves so France and Austria bounce in Galicia, allowing Austria to stab Russia for Sevastopol. It works, and in the fall turn Austria has the perfect opportunity to get back in the game!

EFI
I was out of town when the turn changed, so I think I missed the first 24 hours or something like that.

The first thing I hear from England after a week of silence is the message he should've written a week ago, with him explaining why he told Turkey. That most likely would've been enough to appease France. The second message I find from my inbox is a private message from him where he's offering me Kiel. The third message I read is that he's now allied with RAT thanks to my/our lack of responses. Well, that escalated quickly. Then there's a bunch of messages between him and France in the 3 way thread (I very quickly scrolled through them but I didn't see anything that looked like real plans), and I join the discussion with this finely crafted piece of diplomacy:

=======From ITALY Fall 1906 Orders =======
Oh, thanks for sharing your messages with me. I read through them pretty quickly, so apologies if I missed anything.

First of all, I admit that I asked France to stab England. Not getting any messages in a week after you caused the stunt that's probably going to get me wiped out of the game did make me think that it was a good idea. However, France attacking you hasn't really changed anything, so... I don't know. What do you two want from me? France not stabbing England would've just tipped the scales towards an eventual English solo so I think I like the stab overall.

I'm still fine with that 6 way draw, and I'm okay with supporting France to Kiel and hopefully having her build two fleets. I have no idea how you plan on turning this into a 3 way unless you replace me with Turkey, and I don't really like that idea.

I keep complaining about the messages others sent to me, but this is just as terrible if not more so. :lol:

My inbox was full of messages, but empty of anything useful. England offering me Kiel had sounded nice, but everything after that didn't really sound that good. I think the disappointment of England first promising me a center before taking that back had made me very grumpy. Besides, I was pretty sure I could rebuild A/I, so fighting RAT with EFI didn't sound that good... if that even was possible, as England could be allied with (A)RT like he said he was, and he was now trying to get France to back off so he could attack her better.

Meanwhile
After France's stab, I message Russia privately telling him that the world is changing, and he could be the next great power if he just seized the opportunity. I plead him to help me with A/T, but he just keeps asking me to attack France (which has zero chance of working... just look at the board). Austria hasn't said anything to me about it, but I'm 100% sure Austria will attack Sevastopol. So while I'm asking Russia to help me, what I'm really doing is trying to get him to help himself. To no avail though, he just loves the idea of AIRT even though it clearly is over; Turkey doesn't even bother to hide that he's going to attack me next. I've tried to help Russia throughout the game, but he just doesn't want to play ball with me.

Austria seems to actually understand the situation though, and we start talking about what happens next. I offer to support him to Bulgaria which he accepts. I have no idea why Russia and Turkey trusted Austria even though they had been complaining the whole game how untrustworthy he was. I didn't think he was untrustworthy, he was just playing the board.

Image
The board after 1906.

1907-

After Austria's stab, Turkey tells me he'll become my vassal and do whatever I ask. I tell him that I don't like barking orders, but I don't think he needs his fleets if he's serious about FIT. I added that he should at least keep the Syrian army (frankly only because that way it would be easier for me to get his centers than it would be for Austria). His tone completely changes after that, and not in a good way:

=======From TURKEY Spring 1907 Orders =======
No worries at all. I've been down with the flu for the past 2 weeks and still having to put up with a sore throat so can really appreciate that.

I kept my fleets because I'm wary of being stabbed, again. I figure I can hole up for longer this way if necessary. And as you point out, if I get one of those fleets into the Black Sea it will help considerably with breaking Austria's defence.

So to that end I will move to Constantinople and Armenia as suggested. France tells me she will help Russia hold Warsaw, and if he moves to Ukraine and Moscow then I can help him take Sevastopol off Austria in the fall.

Please do note that because of all the stabs I've had to endure, while I'm going to move so that we can form a FIT alliance come fall, I'm also going to move as if you are going to stab me again. I will hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. I hope you can appreciate this, and know that I will be 100% committed to FIT in the fall if all goes well.

Turkey

This is coming from a player that just tried to stab me the previous turn, and now he's saying he's going to keep stabbing me. He's in no position to help me against Austria either since he destroyed his army, and he even promised Austria to cut support from ION so Austria can stab me for Greece. I wasn't entirely on board with allying with Turkey anyway, but now he's completely useless as far as allies go. So I continue attacking Turkey with Austria, and I gain Constantinople with his help.

Image
The board after 1907.

I actually start a mini-AAR with Turkey since I'm so pissed off: he keeps accusing me of things I feel like I haven't done, so I hope I can make him see the game a bit more objectively before I wipe him out. To my surprise he actually completely changes his tone, and the 2 center Turkey is back in the game. Around this time I was very busy with real life things, so I decide to ally with Turkey and France since it was the easiest way I could finish with a decent 3 way draw. Sadly that means I had to stab Austria, even though he never did anything bad to me. It didn't help Austria that Russia and England never sent anything worthwhile to me, besides more threats about France soloing. If they had tried to build a real alliance between us things could've been different, but it didn't happen. When I tried to reconnect with England what I basically got back from him was a message where he told me he was happy to see me try to solo so he could be a part of an anti-leader alliance. What am I supposed to do with that info?

Later on, when it was obvious that FIT couldn't be stopped, France tells us that she'll try to solo. There's no way for her to do so, but I play along with the 5 way draw in order to keep the game going since there was no way France would accept something that lame, especially if she was hoping to solo. Instead France capitulates and we end up with a sudden 5 way draw. I probably should've stayed allied with Austria.

The end.

PS. ...I guess France was going to be busy with real life things too and that's why she accepted the draw vote, but it still was pretty surprising. Then again if she wanted the game to be over soon she should've just stuck with FIT.
PPS. Please stop using threats, I hate it. :lol:
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Re: AAR: Aspirations in the Clouds

Postby kimpossible » 20 Nov 2018, 23:30

I'll have time for an AAR write up the next few days. But as far as how it ended... Basically France bought into actually believing E/R would help her. Turkey laid out why this wouldn't work, and suggested going back to the FIT plan. But figuring she'd pretty much trashed that assurance, she settled.
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