149210 Gunboat5 (Italian solo)

Discussion of finished games.

149210 Gunboat5 (Italian solo)

Postby NJLonghorn » 22 Jan 2019, 17:56

First, the TLDR. Playing as Germany, I came close to a solo but I got stopped at 17. The southeast corner (Turkey, Russia, Austria) was perfectly content to play for a safe and boring 5-way draw. I'm not a solo-or-bust guy, but I do see draws as something to settle for, not to strive for. So I did what I had to do to avoid the 5-way, and the end result was an Italian solo. Congrats to drmullets on taking advantage of the circumstances.

Now, a little more detail. I took over a decent German position in fall '07:


I grew pretty steadily, and by 1911 or so I thought I was going to solo. But I got stopped at 17, mostly due to a stupid decision on my part. After Fall 1912 moves, the world looked like this:


If I had retreated from Morocco to Western Med, I almost certainly would've been able to gain an extra SC in the southern waters. At a minimum, I would've forced Italy to divert resources from the front, improving my position there. But I chose to destroy the Morocco fleet so I could build what proved to be a pretty worthless army in Kiel. The world rallied together for a 5 vs. 1 stalemate by the end of 2016.


I was not willing to settle for a 6-way draw (not now, not ever), so I pulled back to allow some smaller powers to be killed off. Italy took the hint in 2017 (or maybe just stumbled on the right answer, who knows) when I gave him room to cull England from the herd by taking Portugal. Meanwhile, I ceded Moscow and Warsaw to Austria in Fall'18, and his two builds put him in position to take Russia out:


Much to my shock and dismay, he did nothing of the sort. So I gave him another chance by ceding St P as well. At this point, he could've maintained a solid front against me AND attacked Russia. Once again, he passed on the opportunity and continued to press against me.

I was no more willing to take a 5-way draw than a 6-way draw so, at that point, I decided to cede territory to Italy one SC at a time until Austria stopped being a pansy. Unfortunately, Austria, Turkey and Russia stayed friendly until 1926, by which point it was too late to stop Italy.

All in all, I feel good about this result. Italy played well (and aggressively) and deserved a good result. Russia should've been killed off and was lucky to survive as long as he did. Austria should've been the one to kill Russia off, and deserves to lose. Turkey didn't do anything blatantly wrong, but he probably could've taken Russia out, too.

Other than accept a 5-way draw, which was a non-starter, I can't think of what else I could've done down the stretch. Any thoughts?
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