Lecrae14 - AAR

AoE-style game for 14 players on a map of Europe. Devised by lecrae, GMd by attitudes. 3-playeer draw: Pressser84 (Vienna); AardvarkArmy (Dublin), kerrmit (Madrid)

Lecrae14 - AAR

Postby attitudes » 17 Jun 2013, 01:43

Congratulations to Dublin, Madrid, and Vienna on a 3-way draw.

Feel free to post whatever you like about the game or variant. I imagine Lecrae might be interested in knowing what you think about the playability of the variant.
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Re: Lecrae14 - AAR

Postby presser84 » 17 Jun 2013, 01:44

I'll start. Aardvarkarmy is a poopyhead.
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Re: Lecrae14 - AAR

Postby AardvarkArmy » 17 Jun 2013, 01:50

sigh... children, children, children...
SOLOS
ICE&FIRE.1-Martell/EXCALIBUR.1-Angles/EXCALIBUR.2-Scots/EMERALD-Sno/MOD.4-Italy/SENGOKU.1-OdaNobu/S.AMERICA.1-Peru

DRAWS
1930-China/BattleIsleA-Winterfell/S&S-Turkey/WORLD INFL-Venezuela/LECRAE-Dublin/WWIV.2-Cali/IMPERIAL1861.1-Trky/YNGSTWN.1-Grmny/AMERICAS.2-Mex/AFRICAN.2-S.Arabia
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Re: Lecrae14 - AAR

Postby kerrmit » 17 Jun 2013, 02:04

I loved the variant...I had some personal things come up that kept me from being as involved in the end as I would have liked to have been, but was very enjoyable!

Also helps that I win! ;)
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Re: Lecrae14 - AAR

Postby AardvarkArmy » 17 Jun 2013, 02:19

For me, there were three big story-lines to this game:

1) Sincere Offers Rejected: Twice in the first half of this game I made offers of alliance in which I was completely sincere, but the offers were rejected:

A) Diadem of Brest was offered the "middle" position in a 3-way alliance with me and Madrid (a position later filled by Vienna). The vision, clearly seen and stated by both I and Madrid was for Dublin to control the northern seas, Madrid to control the southern Seas, and Brest to control the mainland in between - pushing across the board in parallel "stripes." Diadem just wasn't ever able to grasp that vision, and somehow felt the pushing north into the North Sea was his only credible path to success. Of course, such a move would completely block my opportunities for growth, so what could have been a looooong term alliance morphed into an early conflict

B) Marsman57 of London had complained that my early move towards him "lacked creativity." While it seemed self-evident that we couldn't both thrive in the English Isles, I took his complaint to heart and offered what could have been the most intriguing plan of the game: To convoy and support him onto the mainland, so that HE could fill that "middle stripe" role of our triple alliance. Marsman57 seemed to like the sheer lunacy of the plan at first, but balked and stabbed before it could ever be implemented, so I had to revert to the "boring" strategy of eliminating him.

A question was raised as to why he used his dying breath to hit Brest. He will have to speak for himself on that, but at the time, I suspected that he realized Brest had always been his true enemy and that I had actually tried to be an ally.

In any event, the net result was that the "3 Stripes moving East" vision that Madrid and I had shared failed to find a suitable middle partner, so we reached out to Vienna, who had become the obvious "one-to-beat" in this game

2) The second big story line was a blood debt. I rarely make an absolute, can't-be-broken promise in the game of Diplomacy, but I genuinely felt that I owed my life to Madrid when he did not take advantage of my vulnerability as I bogged down against Diadem and Marsman57 in 1903-1904. I made a solemn promise that I would NEVER stab him in this game (but that I would fight back vigorously if he stabbed me). As it turns out, this absolute MAO peace pact worked wonders for both of us, allowing us both to concentrate 100% on plundering Eastward.

Of course, this also is a key explanation for the focus on ending with a "draw" rather than a solo try. In addition to the aforementioned fact that I was playing "catch up" throughout 1905-1908 and thinking more of "not losing" than of "winning," I also could not contemplate a solo run without planning a stab of Madrid. In this very, very rare circumstance, I felt that "honor" was more important than "victory."

3) Also as previously noted, I made a HUGE mistake in mis-remembering the victory conditions for the game. Somehow, I had the 18 from regular Dip stuck in my mind (since this was so similar to the standard Dip map). So as Austria reached 14, 15 and 16 all of my decisions regarding pushing for immediate draw was based upon the belief that he was VERY close to solo, and that Madrid's two seasons of playing as a spectator sport had nearly flushed the game down the toilet for both of us.

Oops!

That's about it for me.

Already noted kudos for Madrid for being an excellent ally and really maximizing Madrid's corner position strengths, and for Vienna for succeeding from what I would have deemed one of the most difficult starting positions on the map.
Last edited by AardvarkArmy on 17 Jun 2013, 03:58, edited 1 time in total.
SOLOS
ICE&FIRE.1-Martell/EXCALIBUR.1-Angles/EXCALIBUR.2-Scots/EMERALD-Sno/MOD.4-Italy/SENGOKU.1-OdaNobu/S.AMERICA.1-Peru

DRAWS
1930-China/BattleIsleA-Winterfell/S&S-Turkey/WORLD INFL-Venezuela/LECRAE-Dublin/WWIV.2-Cali/IMPERIAL1861.1-Trky/YNGSTWN.1-Grmny/AMERICAS.2-Mex/AFRICAN.2-S.Arabia
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Re: Lecrae14 - AAR

Postby VGhost » 17 Jun 2013, 02:39

This game for me was very simple, due to some bizarre things. I think the map has potential, but it didn't show up.

Plan

In the planning stage, it was clear I had free reign over Scandinavia for a while, but I would have real trouble going South. I would have to work East or West around Berlin before being able to eliminate him (if in fact I wanted to). East looked like a power vacuum waiting to happen, so I planned to move East, with the following additional priorities:

1) Ally with Berlin
2) Slow Dublin

Dublin

I envisioned Dublin as a late-game ally - a possible partner in forcing a 3-way, or an "ally" I could contain while I raced out to a solo. However, balance of power dictated that if I actively helped him early, he'd end up in the driver's seat (as happened). So the early game was supposed to be a tightrope of letting Dublin spread without letting him go viral.

To this end, I engaged all the other border powers diplomatically - I saw London and Brest as the keys to contain. At some points I even fed London Dublin's orders (a risk, but it went okay) while keeping up correspondence with AA.

Berlin and Mistakes

Due to Slavic confusion, I ended up with a chance - in fact, an invitation, first from Moscow and then from Bucharest - to take St. Pete. I did so, as lecrae had shown himself fairly reliable. He then stabbed for Copenhagen, defending himself for reasons of "balance of power". I disagree with his assessment: I viewed Berlin as a necessary ally until the late-game and maybe to the end, and trying to fight into Berlin would be suicidal. Further, a 4-SC "power base", while good for that stage of the game, still left me not many routes to expansion.

I then mis-ordered while attempting to retake Copenhagen, and when I ordered correctly next turn, our (replacement) Brussels was involved in some scheme in the British Isles which ended in disaster in short order. After that, I was basically reduced to survival mode.

End-game and Draw

When the 3-way draw was first proposed, I was ready to call it a game: the outcome was clear, my position sucked, and I still looked like a decent power. I PMed lecrae and the other minor powers to get their opinions, after which lecrae vetoed the draw - without replying. I don't know whether lecrae read my message or not. After the veto, I PMed AA to say, "Hey, I don't get this guy," but he never replied to that or subsequent messages.

After all the other minor powers were knocked out, I put up a DIAS hoping that my earlier transigence (and/or cleverness in still surviving?) would get me a spot from those powers who wanted the game over. As it turned out, it didn't.

I tend to view a draw as the admission, "Hey, we failed to win this game." If you've failed to win, and just want the game over, why not include a few more people? In other words, I'm a DIAS and/or "draws are dumb" guy. So when the alliance knocked out the power who wouldn't draw, and then wouldn't accept a draw, I was perfectly happy to continue for the year it took to knock me out. Not to my credit, I didn't really try any diplomacy that year.

If they had really just wanted the game to be over, they would have taken my DIAS. Since they didn't, I can only conclude that they - or at least AA - view a 3-way draw as some kind of accomplishment (that a 4-way wouldn't be), which is ridiculous.

Apart from the draw thing, though, I was most impressed this game by AardvarkArmy, with an honorable mention to marsman57's London, and a "WTF" award for lecrae.
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Re: Lecrae14 - AAR

Postby AardvarkArmy » 17 Jun 2013, 03:09

Oh, forgot to mention a couple of small side-shows:

I VERY STRONGLY encouraged Berlin's hit on Copenhagen... and the same turn, secretly advised Flatley of Brussels that he would get Kiel if he tried for it. My plan was to keep Berlin and Copenhagen locked in a grueling duel, and that worked out exactly as hoped. (sorry GhostEcho and Lecrae!)

I had played a similar double game as well with London and Brest - encouraging Brest to grab for London, and making sure that London knew that was definitely Brest's plan; that double-game, in which Marsman57 bounced back to London, allowed me to take Liverpool with a single force rather than expending a support, so the "supporting" force was able to get my 4th build. That was a crucial play - after that, I was always bigger than London, and the outcome of that skirmish had become inevitable.
Last edited by AardvarkArmy on 17 Jun 2013, 03:59, edited 1 time in total.
SOLOS
ICE&FIRE.1-Martell/EXCALIBUR.1-Angles/EXCALIBUR.2-Scots/EMERALD-Sno/MOD.4-Italy/SENGOKU.1-OdaNobu/S.AMERICA.1-Peru

DRAWS
1930-China/BattleIsleA-Winterfell/S&S-Turkey/WORLD INFL-Venezuela/LECRAE-Dublin/WWIV.2-Cali/IMPERIAL1861.1-Trky/YNGSTWN.1-Grmny/AMERICAS.2-Mex/AFRICAN.2-S.Arabia
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Re: Lecrae14 - AAR

Postby attitudes » 17 Jun 2013, 03:20

Aardvark, you keep saying Mouse for London. Mouse didn't play in this game. London was played by Marsman57.
Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things.

Be careful when you blindly follow the masses. Sometimes, the M is silent.

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Re: Lecrae14 - AAR

Postby lecrae » 17 Jun 2013, 03:38

More later, but I made one stupid mistake this game which cost me my life: to put all my trust into Dublin simply because I like Ireland. Yes, I know that must sound quite idiotic, especially from the standpoint that I made this variant, but once I was on cordial terms with Dublin I wanted to be loyal to him. Copenhgaen was a good ally, but I know after I stabbed him that he never responded to my PM's to him about making a minor-power alliance.

I will have a more detailed AAr with my thoughts soon, but that is just one thing that I think led to my demise. I am glad others found this variant enjoyable, and am hoping that maybe sometime we could get this up again!
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Re: Lecrae14 - AAR

Postby presser84 » 17 Jun 2013, 03:48

AardvarkArmy wrote:
2) The second big story line was a blood debt. ... I genuinely felt that I owed my life to Madrid when he did not take advantage of my vulnerability ... in 1903-1904. I made a solemn promise that I would NEVER stab him in this game (but that I would fight back vigorously if he stabbed me).


Simply put, what a waste of my time and everyone you whittled in this game. Honestly play like this is horrendous. You complain about the game being boring, yet are married to your ally. You call yourself a player who plays to win. Fuck that. You should be ashamed of yourself.
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