AAR: 151322. The Christmas Truce, aka Convoy Like It’s 1902

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Re: AAR: 151322. The Christmas Truce, aka Convoy Like It’s 1

Postby hedge trimmer » 12 Feb 2019, 20:29

Okay, I'll make it even longer by adding some commentary.

another wrote:When applying for the game I set England as my 1st preference, as I had never played with it and then Austria and Turkey with whom I had played once each (I think first Austria and then Turkey as I had also had Turkey in another game I joined to replace a surrendered player). I was given Austria, so still a relatively new experience!

Oh yeah, my picks were France, Russia and... Germany? I can't remember the order, but France and Russia are countries I'm not too familiar with. I've picked up surrendered Russias, but I don't think I've ever even touched France. I'm not too good at playing Germany, so I thought it should be my third pick. I've played a lot as Austria, and I had just played as Italy... besides, Turkey and England are boring.

Early Game

The only other time I had played Austria I opened hedgehog (Damn you Richard Sharp! And I mean that, "The Game of Diplomacy" was the first thing I read about this game, and it has unfortunately influenced my play quite a lot...), and that was one opening I definitely didn't want to make. I wanted to have a good relationship with Italy early on (so I could move Trieste to Albania to Greece). From the initial communication, Italy seemed positive enough. He said he'd be happy to work with me on something, but wasn't really taking any initiative and suggesting any moves, so I floated the idea of the Trieste gambit - where Austria agrees to allow Italian army from Venice to take Trieste in the fall in exchange asking the other Italian army not to follow in the footsteps and for Italy to build 2 fleets.

The thinking behind it is that once Italy has 3 fleets, he can easily attack one of France or Turkey (with the help of the Austria fleet) and his army in Trieste can join in with the Austrian armies to attack either Germany, Russia or Turkey. This also helps build a trust between the two countries.

The Southern Hedgehog is a great opening though? ;) You obviously need to communicate it with everyone involved, and it does look better for Turkey than for Italy and Russia, but as long as you explain why you're doing it you shouldn't have any problems. It leaves Greece unsupported though, so you probably have to give it to Italy or Turkey in that case. But if Italy and Russia BOTH seem unreliable, you have to do it. If you can trust Russia but not Italy, you DMZ Galicia and move Vienna to Trieste, and if you can trust Italy, you leave Trieste open and bounce in Galicia. If you can trust both... I think I'd still cover Trieste. Russia could do something else with Warsaw, but I don't think Italy will hate you for covering Trieste so you can't build fleets as easily.

Finally, after giving total silent treatment in the fall, Turkey threw a curve-ball and supported Ukraine to Rumania. Which I think helped Austria quite a lot. To my understanding, Italy was very quick to tell everyone about the obvious Juggernaut rolling over and how everyone needed to unite against it. Whether because of that or some other reason, Russia very reasonably suggested to take on Turkey.

Like I mentioned previously, I had to do something since otherwise my foreign relations would be ruined. If Turkey hadn't done that, I think we could've started a Juggernaut a bit later.

Meanwhile, Russia was proving himself to be both a pleasant communicator and a trustworthy ally. My own favourite phrase of this game was "I don't need to know", which I used on quite a few occasions (most notably - later when Russia couldn't decide whether to attack France or Germany in the Middle Game), and the first time I used it was after suggesting to Russia that he could convoy Rumania to Armenia in the Fall of 1902, which if successful would firmly nail the Turkey's coffin shut, but obviously would also carry a lot of risk for an Austrian stab. I don't know whether Russia was thinking about it himself or it was some form of inception, but thus came the 1902 Fall of Convoys

Thanks! I did enjoy communicating with you too. "I don't need to know" is great too, and a few times in this game I had hoped I hadn't heard something that I did.

I did consider the convoy myself too, and I almost didn't do it once you suggested it, but I ended up doing it thanks to your "I don't need to know" policy.

1903 saw France very deliberately, yet very inefficiently at first, move in on Germany. I'd love to hear more about the thinking behind the decision both to move on Germany rather than England / Russia / Italy and also - to do it building 2 armies. France, could you tell a bit more about it? Was this based on some promises / threats from other powers?

We were going to attack Germany in F02, and I think I immediately agreed when France asked me if I would like to do it. Apparently that wasn't enough though, and I should've sent a second confirmation that yes, I was indeed moving to attack Germany. I had planned with England to move the following way:

Swe - BAL
Nor - Swe
StP - Nor

while France moves to Ruhr while I move to Silesia. However, then France backed off at the last moment and I had to stab England, while Germany remained unscathed. Then France had to build armies in order to attack Germany, even though there was no need for that if France just had moved to Ruhr. I guess I could've attacked Germany alone, but... why?

Image
What actually happened.

Russia was also keen to join in - as then he would get Con, which would have otherwise been Italy's to gain. And he could then himself decide whether to side with Germany or France, I didn't need to know. Germany, I know you said I should have warned you about Russia moving in, but as I wrote during the game, I honestly didn't know he will. His move, though, suited me quite well.

If Italy had been more trustworthy, I think there was a good chance I would've allied with Germany and attacked you instead. After the complete farce that was the previous turn, France was acting in a way that I really didn't appreciate, and was now threatened to throw the game to Germany unless I attacked him or whatever it was. Honestly that was less important than Italy's perceived unreliability though.

I did play around with the idea of RAG too, but you both wanted me to attack the other so that never went anywhere.

I didn't want to join in on any attacks on Germany myself, but with Russia and France working on Germany and Russia and me working on Italy, despite Scotland still floating somewhere on the periphery, it seemed like a very clear triple that would remain standing, and I would have been very happy for us to be the last three countries standing and then see how the game ends up. If we all 3 ended up working well together, helping each other and proving our trust, I'd be totally happy with a 3-way. But if it was clear that someone wasn't very trustworthy, or was making the inefficient moves, then there would be openings for 2-ways or solos.

A 3 way would've been really boring as nothing interesting had happened so far. I also disagree with the whittle players out of the game until someone solos mentality... Once there's only 3-4 players left in the game, the game becomes very rigid, and the opposing players are always able to stop you if you try to solo, unless there are some stupid emotional manipulation going on... and even that is easier when there are more players in the game.

At this point I guess I have to agree that the most foolproof way to solo is to agree to a 2 way with someone though, and act like a slimy bastard the whole game. In this game I probably should've allied with France in that case, since the stalemate line that France proposed worked only from my side... But I'm not sure if I could stab someone I have been allied for months in real time.

Spring 1904 brought the famous "Silesia SUPPORT Burgundy to Silesia -> Cannot support square Silesia", which Russia claimed was a mis-order, but I've never believed in mis-orders, nor did I at the time. For me, it wasn't a terrible move, as it was clear, I will not be quick in eating up Italy, so slowing France down a bit was not a terrible thing. Since then, I understand, Russia has already admitted that it wasn't a mis-order?

I don't think I made any mis-orders in THIS game (only bad moves), but I have made plenty of them in the past.

(I think late in the turn) Russia messaged me saying that he thinks France might want to keep Italy alive. I thought about it. What would France gain? I couldn't really think of anything. What I could foresee is Italy supporting France into Venice - as in, if he can't have it, at least I won't. But then Italy would anyway get rid of 1 unit, and France's fleet would have to travel from Marseilles. And still - why would France agree to that in the situation where my armies could start helping Germany? So I couldn't really think of any reason France would suddenly side with Italy. Plus, around this time was the first time when I was actually having a meaningful communication with France. So I decided to trust them.

In hindsight, I had the units to just support Venice to hold, get the build even if it is not another fleet, and then as Italy would destroy a unit, I would have eventually overcome them. But I was hasty, and I paid the price. At that point any dreams I had of solo-ing vanished. But so did any dreams France could have had.

This was one of the cases where I had hoped I hadn't heard anything, and I just pretended to the best of my ability that I didn't know. France asked me if I would be okay with them attacking Austria for Venice (gains would go to Italy)... WHY WOULD YOU ASK ME THAT!? :lol: Obviously the answer was yes, since it helped me while putting both France and Austria in a worse position, but it was a tough "yes" to give.

Russia stabbed France and helped Germany back to some of his home centres and I got into a position to finally take Venice.

Wow, that is some amount of writing, and there is still quite some action left in this game. I don't think this game really had an "End Game" phase, but whatever you call it, I will finish about it later.

I ended up stabbing France because I thought that you would be in a worse position than you actually were, and I had hoped I would make more gains in the north with my fleets than I actually did. Besides, the plan always was to fight everyone on the board so it didn't matter who I stabbed first, but I guess I'm not as good of a tactician than I thought I was. :lol:
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Re: AAR: 151322. The Christmas Truce, aka Convoy Like It’s 1

Postby another » 12 Feb 2019, 23:47

I still need to write my thoughts on the "End Game", but meanwhile...

hedge trimmer wrote:The Southern Hedgehog is a great opening though? ;) You obviously need to communicate it with everyone involved, and it does look better for Turkey than for Italy and Russia, but as long as you explain why you're doing it you shouldn't have any problems. It leaves Greece unsupported though, so you probably have to give it to Italy or Turkey in that case.


You can still tell everyone that you see Greece as Austria's centre (which I do, even when not playing Austria) and order Serbia to Bulgaria in the fall. If Turkey goes for Greece, its very hard to keep control of it. Still, I much prefer the Trieste Gambit to Hedgehog. Obviously, everything depends on the communication and what other powers do.

hedge trimmer wrote:But if Italy and Russia BOTH seem unreliable, you have to do it. If you can trust Russia but not Italy, you DMZ Galicia and move Vienna to Trieste, and if you can trust Italy, you leave Trieste open and bounce in Galicia. If you can trust both... I think I'd still cover Trieste. Russia could do something else with Warsaw, but I don't think Italy will hate you for covering Trieste so you can't build fleets as easily.


Dunno, the Vienna to Trieste (in the Spring) seems such a passive move to me. If Italy was to attack Austria via Tyrolia, then the move is pointless anyway. Then again - I've played Austria twice and you say you've done it plenty, so that could be why I'm so dismissive. But both times I played with Austria, I didn't feel the famed vulnerability. Obviously, if Russia, Turkey and Italy attack you at the same time, there is nothing you can do (apart from communicate and communicate), but that is true for most of the countries. It's just the easiest for Austria to happen.

hedge trimmer wrote:We were going to attack Germany in F02, and I think I immediately agreed when France asked me if I would like to do it. Apparently that wasn't enough though, and I should've sent a second confirmation that yes, I was indeed moving to attack Germany. I had planned with England to move the following way:

Swe - BAL
Nor - Swe
StP - Nor


Haha, if I remember correctly, these were the exact moves that I suggested at first to England and then to you. Great minds...

hedge trimmer wrote:If Italy had been more trustworthy, I think there was a good chance I would've allied with Germany and attacked you instead. After the complete farce that was the previous turn, France was acting in a way that I really didn't appreciate, and was now threatened to throw the game to Germany unless I attacked him or whatever it was. Honestly that was less important than Italy's perceived unreliability though.

I did play around with the idea of RAG too, but you both wanted me to attack the other so that never went anywhere.


Hmm, this is interesting. How did Italy appear not trustworthy to you? As from my point of view, most of the problems I had with Italy was around the communication / suggestions Italy was making. But based on moves, up to the big fleet bounce, Italy had done as promised / anticipated.

Regarding RAG, for me the most important part was to make sure you didn't attack me, and the easiest way to achieve that was to get you attack Germany. But once there was the option to attack Italy, I would have been fine with either of RAG or FAR.

hedge trimmer wrote:A 3 way would've been really boring as nothing interesting had happened so far. I also disagree with the whittle players out of the game until someone solos mentality... Once there's only 3-4 players left in the game, the game becomes very rigid, and the opposing players are always able to stop you if you try to solo, unless there are some stupid emotional manipulation going on... and even that is easier when there are more players in the game.

At this point I guess I have to agree that the most foolproof way to solo is to agree to a 2 way with someone though, and act like a slimy bastard the whole game. In this game I probably should've allied with France in that case, since the stalemate line that France proposed worked only from my side... But I'm not sure if I could stab someone I have been allied for months in real time.


I think I disagree on this, but that could just be my inexperience showing. I just feel like one needs to earn a solo - as in, if there are players of a certain play quality, if nobody makes a mistake, it will end in a draw anyway. But then you can lay traps for people to make mistakes and it aso is a bit of who blinks first. If we had sticked to the Austria / France / Russia triple, I think one country would have gone for the solo, the other 2 would have stopped them, and then would have arranged a 2-way, and if it was wrongly arranged (wrong type of unit build, etc.), then one would have got the solo. And as you say - interaction with the other powers comes into play here as well. As ruthless as one needs to be, if an opponent earns my respect, then I will maximise my gains only as far as they are risk-free.

hedge trimmer wrote:This was one of the cases where I had hoped I hadn't heard anything, and I just pretended to the best of my ability that I didn't know. France asked me if I would be okay with them attacking Austria for Venice (gains would go to Italy)... WHY WOULD YOU ASK ME THAT!? :lol: Obviously the answer was yes, since it helped me while putting both France and Austria in a worse position, but it was a tough "yes" to give.


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Re: AAR: 151322. The Christmas Truce, aka Convoy Like It’s 1

Postby hedge trimmer » 13 Feb 2019, 18:35

another wrote:You can still tell everyone that you see Greece as Austria's centre (which I do, even when not playing Austria) and order Serbia to Bulgaria in the fall. If Turkey goes for Greece, its very hard to keep control of it. Still, I much prefer the Trieste Gambit to Hedgehog. Obviously, everything depends on the communication and what other powers do.

I hope I'm not being too snarky here... but is Greece more of an Austrian center than Trieste? ;)

Dunno, the Vienna to Trieste (in the Spring) seems such a passive move to me. If Italy was to attack Austria via Tyrolia, then the move is pointless anyway. Then again - I've played Austria twice and you say you've done it plenty, so that could be why I'm so dismissive. But both times I played with Austria, I didn't feel the famed vulnerability. Obviously, if Russia, Turkey and Italy attack you at the same time, there is nothing you can do (apart from communicate and communicate), but that is true for most of the countries. It's just the easiest for Austria to happen.

The Italian move to Tyrolia can be countered (if Russia doesn't stab you too), while Italy moving to Trieste in S01 means you lose a center. If you want to make sure that Italy doesn't gain anything from attacking you, I think you need to do it. Of course, Italy could play it smart and continue with the Bohemian Crusher (Tyr - Boh, Ven - Tyr, build A Ven), but that's kind of rare.

Sorry if I made it sound like I've played Austria a lot, I'm not really an expert by any means, but I think I have played as Austria in 7 out of my 21 full games... so in a third of my games. Still, that's not a lot when you consider that some people have played this game for decades.

I think Hedgehog is better in fast-paced games (like face-to-face!), where you don't have half a week to do an in-depth psychological evaluation to help you to judge if you can trust Italy or Russia. You're lucky if even half of your neighbors respond to your messages in 12h/24h games. :lol:

Haha, if I remember correctly, these were the exact moves that I suggested at first to England and then to you. Great minds...

Really? I thought it was something I came up in five minutes since England told me I would have to contact him in an hour if I wanted to plan moves with him, but it's possible I stole the idea from you.

Hmm, this is interesting. How did Italy appear not trustworthy to you? As from my point of view, most of the problems I had with Italy was around the communication / suggestions Italy was making. But based on moves, up to the big fleet bounce, Italy had done as promised / anticipated.

Regarding RAG, for me the most important part was to make sure you didn't attack me, and the easiest way to achieve that was to get you attack Germany. But once there was the option to attack Italy, I would have been fine with either of RAG or FAR.

In S01 we talked about attacking you, but then he didn't. Then in F01 I think I thought the plan was to attack Turkey, but then he "attacked" you... and so on and so on. Overall he never moved the way I expected during the first two years.

I think I disagree on this, but that could just be my inexperience showing. I just feel like one needs to earn a solo - as in, if there are players of a certain play quality, if nobody makes a mistake, it will end in a draw anyway. But then you can lay traps for people to make mistakes and it aso is a bit of who blinks first. If we had sticked to the Austria / France / Russia triple, I think one country would have gone for the solo, the other 2 would have stopped them, and then would have arranged a 2-way, and if it was wrongly arranged (wrong type of unit build, etc.), then one would have got the solo. And as you say - interaction with the other powers comes into play here as well. As ruthless as one needs to be, if an opponent earns my respect, then I will maximise my gains only as far as they are risk-free.

The short version of my reasoning is this: More players = more opportunities for mistakes.
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Re: AAR: 151322. The Christmas Truce, aka Convoy Like It’s 1

Postby JoeHoya06 » 13 Feb 2019, 18:58

It's funny to read Austria's thoughts on the Central Triple considering that everything I did in the early years was done with the idea that Austria and Italy were my friends.

I don't ever remember encouraging France to attack Italy, but if I did, it would have been in the "you should move south now...while Russia and I hit you from the north" vein. I do remember trying to talk Russia into moving south, but again, that was just so that France and I could roll in from the north. I'd already convinced England to go to the Barents, stretching himself thin while France and I gobbled up his home island, so the strategy works; it was just a matter of trying to convince the target to do what we needed to make it happen again. And, since Austria and Italy were my "allies" it didn't matter to me which one between France and Russia I allied with to take out the other one first.

I'm glad that others found some French moves fairly inefficient as well; if I remember correctly, I was trying to talk France into attacking England from the jump – nothing personal, it's just difficult to get a foothold on the island – and the decision was to wait and see and take 1901 relatively slow (I was trying to get Russia on board for a Sea Lion). We had agreed to a bounce in Burgundy to cover up that we were friendly (or at least delay the announcement of it). And then the orders resolve, and France is in the Channel. Like, if you're going to do that, we should have forgone the bounce and both moved aggressively.

And then later, I asserted that we should finish off England before any other concerns. Then two armies get built and it's like, well shit, okay, fine, guess we're not friends anymore.

But good to know I was a marked man for the entirety of the game; kinda makes me feel like lasting as long as I did is an achievement, even if it was at the hands of poor moves or misorders or miscommunications.
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Re: AAR: 151322. The Christmas Truce, aka Convoy Like It’s 1

Postby hedge trimmer » 13 Feb 2019, 20:44

Yeah, S01 seemed fairly badly organized if you wanted to do a Sealion. I think we discussed a bit about it in the game too, but you would've needed to move Munich to Ruhr in order to get your fleet supported to the North Sea, instead of a French one. So... in a way France managed to do something really effective if the plan was to attack you after England (which I think it was).

I'm not sure what went wrong with the CT, Italy having two fleets would've been a fairly strong opening for the alliance as a whole.
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Re: AAR: 151322. The Christmas Truce, aka Convoy Like It’s 1

Postby another » 14 Feb 2019, 00:20

hedge trimmer wrote:I hope I'm not being too snarky here... but is Greece more of an Austrian center than Trieste? ;)


Trieste is quite an easy centre to regain, assuming that is the only problem that Austria has. Obviously, if Russia is also attacking you, then it is harder, but in this game, I wasn't really afraid of not getting it back. After this game I definitely want to play the Trieste Gambit again - next time I'm Austria or Italy.
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Re: AAR: 151322. The Christmas Truce, aka Convoy Like It’s 1

Postby another » 14 Feb 2019, 00:24

JoeHoya06 wrote:But good to know I was a marked man for the entirety of the game; kinda makes me feel like lasting as long as I did is an achievement, even if it was at the hands of poor moves or misorders or miscommunications.


I wouldn't say you were a marked man, but the impression I got was that you were allied with everyone, except perhaps Turkey (it's just hard to evaluate what else Turkey had going apart from the Juggernaut). England clearly believed that there was a Western triple, so you must have told him that. You were clearly allied with France against England. You were clearly allied with Russia. So the central triple seems like the least clear alliance you had - I know about it only from our communication, not from any moves ;) And when you are friends with everybody - you are not really friends with anyone.

And if I felt that way - surely there's a chance others came to a similar conclusion?
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Re: AAR: 151322. The Christmas Truce, aka Convoy Like It’s 1

Postby hedge trimmer » 14 Feb 2019, 15:46

another wrote:
hedge trimmer wrote:I hope I'm not being too snarky here... but is Greece more of an Austrian center than Trieste? ;)


Trieste is quite an easy centre to regain, assuming that is the only problem that Austria has. Obviously, if Russia is also attacking you, then it is harder, but in this game, I wasn't really afraid of not getting it back. After this game I definitely want to play the Trieste Gambit again - next time I'm Austria or Italy.

I want to play it too when I'm Italy. :lol:

I've found that Trieste is a pretty hard center to regain, at least if you willingly hand it over. You'll have constant negotiations about when and how Italy will give it back, and even then it'll be a while before you're in any position to build fleets. Meanwhile giving Greece to Italy will encourage conflict between them and Turkey.

I'm not saying you should never give Italy Trieste. I've done it... twice now? I think you need to gain something more from it though, which I think is Italy moving to EAS or AEG in F01 so you can quickly attack Turkey.

another wrote:
JoeHoya06 wrote:But good to know I was a marked man for the entirety of the game; kinda makes me feel like lasting as long as I did is an achievement, even if it was at the hands of poor moves or misorders or miscommunications.


I wouldn't say you were a marked man, but the impression I got was that you were allied with everyone, except perhaps Turkey (it's just hard to evaluate what else Turkey had going apart from the Juggernaut). England clearly believed that there was a Western triple, so you must have told him that. You were clearly allied with France against England. You were clearly allied with Russia. So the central triple seems like the least clear alliance you had - I know about it only from our communication, not from any moves ;) And when you are friends with everybody - you are not really friends with anyone.

And if I felt that way - surely there's a chance others came to a similar conclusion?

I think it's completely fine if you're allied with everyone, but I guess I would say that since I try to always do that too. There's not too much Germany can do to help Austria early on anyway, but I felt like he was more eager to help you than you were to help him.

On a tangentially related note, it's rather frustrating to play as Germany/Austria and see the other one get attacked by everyone while you're entirely powerless to do anything about it.
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Re: AAR: 151322. The Christmas Truce, aka Convoy Like It’s 1

Postby another » 14 Feb 2019, 20:54

another wrote:Russia stabbed France and helped Germany back to some of his home centres and I got into a position to finally take Venice.


I guess I should conclude my AAR on the game while it is still in my memory...

I previously stopped when France had just supported Italy back into Venice due to my greediness and not being ready to waste any tempo.

I guess I could also elaborate a bit on what happened afterwards. I reached out to Russia straight away to see where he stands on this, and he appeared to still be willing to work with me, which was encouraging. I don't think we discussed in details what we work on at that point, but it was important for me to know that we won't be attacking me.

Then came the long and hard decision on how to retreat. I could go to Apulia, I could go to Tuscany or I could disband the unit to build a fleet (I also had a build saved from the previous year). It didn't seem like I could get Venice at this stage, so destroy + fleet and army build seemed like the safest move, but in the end, I chose to retreat to Tuscany (and build a fleet). The intent wasn't really to attack Venice, as I didn't expect to have the chance to take it, but rather just to create awkwardness behind French and Italian lines and slow them down. In hindsight, I think this was a crucial and right decision, as with Russia stabbing France, I think France wanted to repair the relationship with me, so it was back to me, so I was able to take Venice, as France was staying out of it.

France also had built a fleet in Marseilles, which made its way down to TYR, before turning West. France, what was the thinking behind the initial move to TYR? Was that something you had agree to Italy, or was it an ultimatum from you? Italy didn't need that fleet there for defence, so I take, it moved to TYR with the intention to take one of Italian centres?

Also, as this all was happening, it was crucial that Russia didn't attack me. He couldn't do it efficiently, as his forces were concentrated elsewhere, but if he took even 1 centre with all my forces concentrated on Italy, the rest would have gone down as dominos, so I arranged a bounce with him in Rumania. As I wrote before, I trusted that Russia wouldn't go for a meaningless stab, but I felt like in this case that 1-centre stab wouldn't actually be meaningless, so I think it was worth guarding against it, as our 2 units, especially Russia's in Sevastopol were idle otherwise.

So as I wrote before, Russia stabbed France and started helping Germany back into his home centres and I was able to finally get Venice. Russia, though, was quite efficient in his stab and was getting dangerously close to being too big to be stopped. The size, though, was the smaller worry for me - what I felt was more important was that Russia had fleets both in EME and ENG, so well over the stalemate line.

I started talking with Russia about what end game could we both work towards, and while it would be hard to arrange, we could aim for a 2-way draw, which would include Russia handing over all of Turkey + Sevastopol and me capturing all of Italy, Marseilles and Spain. Russia had previously mentioned something along these lines himself (perhaps not in the context of a 2-way, but just a supply centre split), so it wasn't totally out of realms of possibility when he said that we could work on this. I didn't have the chance to think about the unit split that was required for this, and it was clear that I would need to build a big amount of fleets, which I'm not sure could be done with only Trieste, but it was a target to work towards.

On the other hand, whilst I didn't think that now was the time to do it, there was always the chance that Russia would stab me and try to rush to the solo. Whilst I had written to Italy after I stabbed them, Italy hadn't been really talkative (understandably so), and there wasn't really an active line of communication between us. From my side, I had told Italy why I felt it was right to stab, but he had never really addressed any of the issues I had raised, so felt like there wasn't really anything I could say.

So I reached out to Italy, and we started discussing again why the stab had happened. We both wrote very long and thought-through messages about our takes on what had happened. I explained that I felt the communication hadn't been great and that Italy had been paranoid about everyone attacking him (especially France), and the moves he had suggested had been with the interests of Italy, not I/A in mind, and this all culminated with me getting paranoid myself, being evasive about my fleet going to AEG and then Italy moving his fleets to attack me, and then accusing me of a stab. Let's re-cap what I wrote last time:
another wrote:Then I get the notification that the orders have come in, and I see that Greece had bounced in AEG. And then I receive a notification that there is a message from Italy* - not sure what exactly he means, but he basically says something along the lines that he is frustrated and he guesses he should have been looking out for stabs. I log in to check the moves, and he had ordered:
Ionian Sea MOVE Aegean Sea -> Bounced
Tyrrhenian Sea MOVE Ionian Sea -> Bounced

(* - more on this a bit later)


Italy then pointed out that the message was sent BEFORE the moves, and it meant that he was frustrated with me being evasive about the moves, and therefore he needs to move so that I cannot stab him. So it was a message explaining his move, rather than post move.

I went back to check the time codes... And he was right! Whether that was because of the lagging e-mail notification system or something else (the message and the turn deadline was within less than an hour), but I had mis-interpreted the order of the events. Whilst this wasn't the cause for my concern, I had used it in my mind as proof for it. So I felt like a total idiot, which I also admitted.

I felt like it was more important to rebuild this bridge than to attack Italy. I had spoken with Russia discussing how we are going to do the supply centre handover, and Russia hadn't been overly cooperative, though not downright negative either. At first he had disagreed to building a Northern fleet, but he had built army St P, which was the least threatening army. He also didn't start the handover with Sevastopol, but rather Con. So nothing outrageous individually, but when taken all together, I was getting more and mores suspicious. So I arranged several bounces with Russia (though I think I would have arranged them either way, even if I wasn't suspicious, as now he was in a good position to attack me with his latest builds), and agreed that I will take Con.

I also made relatively meek moves into Italy and told Italy about them, saying - please bounce with me. So if Russia would keep his word - i'd get the build from Con, and if Russia wouldn't, I would not move my forces deeper in Italy away from Russia, and perhaps could then work with Italy together again.

And then came the turn of bounces. Russia bounced with me everywhere where we had agreed, Italy bounced with me where we had agreed, but Russia also bounced with me in Con (whilst opening Sev up for a build).

This I felt was the beginning of the final stage of the game. I wouldn't like to call it End Game, as there were still 6 countries present, but it was the last stage.

And I have to finish writing again, so will have to continue later, yet again...
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Re: AAR: 151322. The Christmas Truce, aka Convoy Like It’s 1

Postby hedge trimmer » 15 Feb 2019, 15:49

Here's more commentary on your commentary...

Then came the long and hard decision on how to retreat. I could go to Apulia, I could go to Tuscany or I could disband the unit to build a fleet (I also had a build saved from the previous year). It didn't seem like I could get Venice at this stage, so destroy + fleet and army build seemed like the safest move, but in the end, I chose to retreat to Tuscany (and build a fleet). The intent wasn't really to attack Venice, as I didn't expect to have the chance to take it, but rather just to create awkwardness behind French and Italian lines and slow them down. In hindsight, I think this was a crucial and right decision, as with Russia stabbing France, I think France wanted to repair the relationship with me, so it was back to me, so I was able to take Venice, as France was staying out of it.


I think the map would help here.
Image

It was the correct move, but I didn't want to push for it too hard since it wasn't my order to make. If you hadn't retreated forwards, you would've allowed Italy and France to build a pretty solid defensive line... which would've given Italy some leverage to restart A/I, since after that the only way you could've attacked was north.

Italy then pointed out that the message was sent BEFORE the moves, and it meant that he was frustrated with me being evasive about the moves, and therefore he needs to move so that I cannot stab him. So it was a message explaining his move, rather than post move.

I went back to check the time codes... And he was right! Whether that was because of the lagging e-mail notification system or something else (the message and the turn deadline was within less than an hour), but I had mis-interpreted the order of the events. Whilst this wasn't the cause for my concern, I had used it in my mind as proof for it. So I felt like a total idiot, which I also admitted.

Some people send messages really close to the deadline to make it seem like they told you, even though they hope that you don't actually get to read the message. I'm not sure if that was the case here, but I really dislike any discussions that are very close to the deadline anyway.

I felt like it was more important to rebuild this bridge than to attack Italy. I had spoken with Russia discussing how we are going to do the supply centre handover, and Russia hadn't been overly cooperative, though not downright negative either. At first he had disagreed to building a Northern fleet, but he had built army St P, which was the least threatening army. He also didn't start the handover with Sevastopol, but rather Con. So nothing outrageous individually, but when taken all together, I was getting more and mores suspicious. So I arranged several bounces with Russia (though I think I would have arranged them either way, even if I wasn't suspicious, as now he was in a good position to attack me with his latest builds), and agreed that I will take Con.

There was no way I would hand you Sevastopol as the first center, it would basically let you take every Turkish center at your leisure while also allowing you to continue your attack north if you chose to do that. I thought I was very close to being big enough for everyone else to ally against me, so I didn't want to give you an excuse to turn the game into F/A/I... If the game was going to go that way, I should at least improve my position as much as possible.
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