Best and worst powers to play

Strategy discussions for the Versailles variant.

Re: Best and worst powers to play

Postby mplithid » 14 Jun 2017, 04:04

Hi all,

I've now played twice in Versailles. Once as Turkey and once as England. As England, my minor was Rumania. As Turkey my minor was Greece. My England game was a disaster bc Poland and Russia made a truce on turn 1 and France controlled Spain. As England, your best move appears to be to try and find 5 SCs, build fleets, turtle and wait for a chance to make a move. The key is to secure your corner fast. In order for this to work, it's imperative that you ally 2 of the 3 following: USSR, Germany, or France. I only allied Germany and Sweden. I couldn't turtle in time.

Two key lessons I took away from this game:
1. The minor you control matters ALOT. Spain/France is a beastly combo. But allying minors helps very little against majors. Sweden was useless. It couldn't be captured, but it couldn't apply any offensive pressure on the Russians w one unit.

2. Using your minor to gain intel can help only so much. For example, as Rumania I knew the USSR was going to backstab me (England), but it didn't matter. My minor couldn't put enough pressure on the USSR in the south to change his plans. You really need a strategically close by minor.

Therefore, I think Italy which almost always (unless its Sweden) has a useful minor should be the strongest country to play in this version. After Italy, Germany, Poland, the USSR, and Turkey all seem to have a fighting chance. England and France are screwed unless they control Spain. Sweden allied me in my game, obeyed me to a T, and was effectively useless. I don't think Sweden helps England much.

My second game when I played as Turkey confirmed this suspicion. I controlled Greece. I used Greece to DMZ Ionian w Italy which kept Turkey safe. Then I wrecked Egypt and turned north. My game went south when the USSR stabbed me, and we got caught in a stalemate that ruined his game and severely impaired mine. Italy ran rampant in the west this game ..... Italy is a beast. It can go north/east/west and has no immediate enemies. It also ALWAYS has a useful minor. In this game, Italy had Spain ..... France got wrecked.

So after careful consideration, I believe that England/France is the worst play here and Italy is a monstrosity with everybody else falling somewhere in the middle.
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Re: Best and worst powers to play

Postby ColonelApricot » 14 Jun 2017, 22:39

Poland is best because:
- Easy gain in Lithuania
- Buffer all around
- Germany too weak to be a threat
- Easy to negotiate terms with a rational Russia
- Opportunities to grow in all directions.

England is quite good but with less opportunities to grow and access to the free neutral consumes so many tempos that it is often left for a couple of years.

Italy is ok but often cannot grow northwards due to competition. Russia has its corner but struggles to gain neutrals and is threatened by #1 to its west.

The rest suck, especially France (unless you have Spain).

Best to worst minors: Sweden, Spain, Yugo, Egypt, Czech, Romania, Greece.

V is a great concept but horribly flawed by the unevenness in the powers. Chaos option helps. The ultimate would be ESCALATION VERSAILLES! Has been discussed I know but I'm gonna keep plugging it.
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Re: Best and worst powers to play

Postby Pete the Great » 21 Dec 2019, 04:31

My observations to date from two games, one of which was fogged:
Turkey is imo the hardest to play, especially if you do not have Rum, Yugo, Gre or Egy as your minor. If those 4 minors get together Turkey can be denied a build and if misplayed can loose a home center in fall 1931.
Both games have a USSR/Poland alliance. Poland goes west, USSR goes through Scandinavia. Both appeared fairly easy to play. There is an interesting fleet dynamic that takes place in the Baltic. I suspect that if these two go toe to toe, the difficulty of play escalates considerably.
Germany has to deal with Czech. It's only guarantee is Holland in spring 01. A second build has to be negotiated, and if Czech is hostile, hopefully that is the build source.
France was able to deal with Spain in both of mine. Both had openings to Swiz and both saw an early I/F war.
Italy can hang tough but nothing is guaranteed in 1931.
Britain opened to take Oslo in both games, but needs to take it with a supported attack due to Swedens ability to deny otherwise.

As with any diplomacy game negotiation is paramount. How you use the minor you receive will determine its usefulness to you. I also saw where two powers allied and essentially each used the others minor to help as they were so far removed. The same can hold true for two minors allying in the Balkans, which allows for a supported attack. Thus creating the equivalent of regular dips Austro-Hungary.
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