AAR: 150525 Hakodate (4WD)

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AAR: 150525 Hakodate (4WD)

Postby Charleroi » 25 Jan 2019, 20:52

This is a bit of a baffling result to a tangled match. Looking forward to getting everyone's views.

ENGLAND (kisgabor0)
FRANCE (Charleroi) WINNER
ITALY (lulfas) WINNER
GERMANY (Sly Zucchini) WINNER
AUSTRIA (mmherl)
TURKEY (MeatPopsicle) WINNER
RUSSIA (Albert Einstupid)

Final Map - Fall 1910 Turn
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Charleroi
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Re: AAR: 150525 Hakodate (4WD)

Postby Charleroi » 25 Jan 2019, 23:06

My only real surprise in this game was that it ended - I'm very much looking forward to Germany's explanation of why he proposed and accepted the draw. Personally, I would have proposed and then rejected it to drive a wedge into the opposition.

This game got off to a pretty straightforward start on my front. I sent out early feelers to Germany and England and was honestly ambivalent between the two but early correspondence pushed me heavily in the direction of a pro-German alliance. England told me that Germany and Italy had agreed an alliance to attack me and that he wanted to work with me but could only do so if I allowed him into the English Channel. This made no sense. I think England was trying to say that he would keep Germany out of Belgium for me, but it still made no sense. If you're England and you want to work with France, moving to ENG in spring 1901 is not the way to go about it. I told England that I couldn't tolerate having him in the channel that spring and that I would bounce him. He said he would there anyway and that he wasn't worried because he could easily capture Norway. Well of course that sent me immediately to compose a message to Russia. Russia very amicably agreed to open Mos->St Pete and, hey presto, England is crippled in 1901. (By the way, Italy apparently got cold feet about the invasion or else never intended to attack me, so that was one more relief.)

Spring 1901
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The next year proceeded about as you would expect. I stayed on decent terms with the distant powers (although I did neglect keeping up with Austria and Turkey) and Germany and I forged a pretty successful anti-English alliance. All through this period I was genuinely working with Germany. Unfortunately, from my perspective, England did better resisting my advances than Germany's so the split went Lond/Edi to Germany and only Lvp to me.

Spring 1903
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My plan at this point was to get Germany to go east and to put myself in position to get in behind and around Italy. It ended up really working out well for me (at first) because Turkey was having great success against Russia and that meant Italy was too distracted to effectively lock down the western Med. I think I really surprised him with a Brest->Naf convoy in spring 1904. I was able to convince Turkey to let me take Tunis unopposed (he probably liked that I was making Italy weaker) and then I had Tunis, WES, and GOL in that fall.

Fall 1904
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By Spring 1905 I had a death grip around Italy. I tried to convert him into a Janissary at this point - I didn't want to immediately capture his units because that would have me leap too far forward on centers. And I didn't want to find myself stuck in the central med facing a raft of Turkish fleets. My goal was to circle around Italy, get some Balkan centers, and then snatch the Italian centers either (a) to get the solo or (b) as an emergency fall back if Germany started to look aggressive. There were two main problems, the first was that Italy never really bought into the janissary partnership. It works best if the junior player is really invested in the success of the senior partner - joint strategy, joint planning, etc. But I didn't write enough (and Italy definitely didn't write back enough) to get that kind of relationship. And then I let Italy get strong just as Germany did turn on me so I wasn't able to easily snatch Italian centers when I needed builds back in France. So ... almost well played by me, but poor execution.

That's the basic story for the next few years. Here's Spring 1905 when I proposed the janissary.
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Charleroi
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Re: AAR: 150525 Hakodate (4WD)

Postby Charleroi » 04 Feb 2019, 18:58

At first the agreement with Italy went well although there wasn't as much dialogue as you'd hope for in that sort of situation. The troubling thing for me was how Germany was really running away with Russia - he was going to get a lot of territory very rapidly and unless Italy and I broke through against Turkey, I was going to fall behind.

Fall 1905
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The next year I was particularly pleased with myself - I arranged a move to get an army into the Balkans. Italy got to keep Trieste and I didn't stay in Rome (which I occupied that spring) but I did take Tunis. Germany and I began warily eyeing one another across the low countries. I was pretty livid that he moved into Holland in the fall. I got caught wanting to stab him but not every building the forces that would have made the stab possible. I may have been better served grabbing Rome this fall and building an additional army Paris, fleet Brest and just going for Germany but I was worried about stabbing too early. In retrospect, this probably should have been the time.

Fall 1906
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Fall 1907
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In 1907 I kept impressing myself with smart tactics in the Balkans (capturing Greece in the spring but realizing it couldn't be defended and instead taking Serbia in the fall) while disappointing myself with dumb strategy in the north. Germany was just consistently ahead. He told me he was moving to London and I should bounce him and that was brilliant on his part. It forced me to make the bounce because otherwise he would suddenly have two fleets on the English Channel but it meant that my fleet in ENG was useless. Just useless. It also gave him Belgium whenever he wanted it -- he just had to use Mun to hit Burgundy and accept that he would lose London. Tactically, that could have been a good move for him.

1908
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In 1908 I made a big mistake that shaded the rest of the match - I let Italy get a build. In the grand scheme that doesn't seem catastrophic but it meant that I no longer had him at my mercy. As long as I could snatch one or two Italian centers at will I had an insurance policy against a German stab. Sure I might lose Belgium but I could take Rome and Naples before Brest or Paris would be lost. But now I couldn't be sure of that and it put everything else at risk. Most critically, Italy build in Rome rather than Venice (without telling me in advance) and that meant that he could defend himself against me, but not against Germany. When I confronted him about it he said something along the lines of "I don't want to make it too easy for you." That made no sense. I was in no risk of getting a solo and Germany was only a turn or two away from it. Pure self-preservation should have chained Italy at my side for a turn or two.

1909
Spring
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This was the inevitable German stab. Venice and Budapest put him in the catbird seat. I was scrambling to put together a resistance but I wasn't optimistic.

Fall
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I managed to get into NWG and Ruhr here. It wasn't much but it would at least allow to make things uncomfortable for Germany.

Spring 1910
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Again, Italy didn't seem to follow here. I had asked him to support his own attack on Venice. It would have succeeded and, crucially, the German army would have been destroyed. We would have regained control over the Italian peninsula. Once again, Italy went his own way, defending against me, who was on NINE centers instead of against Germany, who was on SIXTEEN.

Here is where the great mystery occurred. Germany made a draw proposal in Spring 1910 for the remaining powers. This made *no* sense. With just a modicum of tactical intelligence, he could have the solo victory. Particularly with the way he was rolling into Turkey and Italy was fighting me, it would have been a year or two at most. I accepted because I couldn't think I would get anything better out of this game. I expected that Germany may have offered the draw and then would decline to vote in order to make it look like I was the holdout and to drive further antagonism between me and Italy (not that Italy needed help fighting me). But no, when I accepted the draw the game ended. Germany had genuinely offered the draw. I still don't quite know why or how the game ended this way.
Charleroi
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