Discussion on map and balance issues

GM: Pedros. 3-Player Draw shared by Chile (Alman), United States (Asudevil), Venezuela (Morg)

Moderator: Morg

Re: Discussion on map and balance issues

Postby anaupr » 17 Mar 2015, 05:09

Alman wrote:
anaupr wrote:Except that you attacked me and it worked.
yes. :) hence,
Alman wrote:if one decides to slip across the border with power, the other one is in trouble.
and you were. :twisted:

Sorry, thought you had said they would both be in trouble.

I would like to apply for the next game, although i will probably be rejected. Lol.
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Re: Discussion on map and balance issues

Postby asudevil » 17 Mar 2015, 05:53

Morg wrote:
Pedros wrote:Morg - intersting thoughts. I'm not quite sure I understand about Spain "becoming a truly North American power"; not saying it's not true, but certainly it's never occurred to me - have to think about it, because I can't see USA allowing it.

But if you're right then that just strengthens my conviction that this map is potentially one of the great "more than seven" ones.

If you or asu want to offer another run of this I'd love a chance!!


Sure I can run this one. It helps that I already have the map.


Of course that means that Pedros can't take this "vacation" he was talking about
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Re: Discussion on map and balance issues

Postby asudevil » 17 Mar 2015, 06:30

This is CRAZY long as I write it, it got LONGER and LONGER, but please read...I think I make some very valid points about Spain and Britain. (course I do, otherwise I wouldn't have written it.)

Pedros wrote:But the last two games have shown the USA's potential for very strong growth in year one. The map is interesting because the North is structured so very differently from the South (Mexico slightly straddles the boundary.) The northern nations have few immediate enemies, and neither USA nor Mexico has a dangerous neighbour early on; Britain has a real problem in holding onto its Canadian centres because its three centres are defended by only two units and the US starting positions are very close to it. Game 4 demonstrated how ruthlessly that can be exploited (asudevil's AAR will be interesting, hopefully shedding light on whether he believes that Britain could have mounted a better defence.) In Game 3 Britain managed to negotiate a peace agreement with USA and they grew in parallel - but this simply allowed USA to grow in the North more quickly than Britain, whose centres and units are much more spread across the map.


Ok...I just saw that you posted more detail...so Ill answer this...I was planning from the get-go to go after Britain in Canada and remove him from "my" area. But to be honest. He just got flat out...out-played...no offence.

I got a couple of quick replies from him early saying that he was going no-conflict (Woot...so I can take anything I want) and that he wasn't looking at a map. I figured I would be able to take advantage of him quickly. I didn't actually get a confirmation of my plan (which I would have violated anyway) until after the 24 hour warning for deadline...so in like 7 days...I had almost no coms from him...and I had heard from most people he was the same to them. So he was easy pickings for most alliances

Also, lets not get carried away here. Toronto isn't a starting SC for him...Its the same as Chicago is or Alaska...a build SC...but not a starting SC. So he has 2 units to defend TWO sc up there. And the US has 2 units to defend 2 SC up there as well. I just got to move into the neutrals between us without him stopping me...and I can't even support myself INTO and SC because the fleet in NEn can't support the army into MON and the army can't get to HAL...and I can't even move that army in NYS to TOR...so I moved the fleet out...let him fill the spaces to screw up his build ability and then overwhelm him in 02. But that was because of better play and out-guessing the "rookie". Not to toot my own horn, but that was just a solid play. I don't think others would have made that same move...I may have taken GRE and stayed in TOR personally figuring the person is going to do EXACTLY what I did...then I get 2 builds ... drop them right there...and UK is OFF to the races against USA.

Im just saying, I wouldn't go crazy to make Britain better when I think its more poor play/coms and good guessing that got me to where I am. Also, I convinced Mexico/Spain to leave me but Mexico/Spain could have just as easily removed me from Texas if they wanted to and there isn't a DAM thing I could do about it...either one of them opens to GOM and I am in a much worse spot...since I don't have a southern fleet...I can't GET to Spain quickly until I start getting builds and they could have worked together to stop that, but I was able to get them both doing other things...and again...Britain didn't communicate so he was an easy target to send Spain after. I think Spain DEFINITELY needs to consider Texas as much his as the US's. If anything the advantage of having that extra build in Chicago is nice. But IMHO its not a HUGE advantage and the fact that NYC and WDC open into the same sea zone, so you can't drop double fleets there...is a killer...that also hurts the ability of the US to head north with fleets against Britain.

Apart from the USA, however, the big unbalance as I see it is Spain, whose position seems totally untenable. I would like to see it played by a serious diplomat (I hope that mambam will excuse me for saying that negotiation is not his strongest point!) to see whether a playable position can possibly exist. But even if that is a possibility, Spain is always going to be surrounded by no less than 4 immediate nations and Mexico waiting to join in once it has established its position. The island nature of the Caribbean also makes defence more difficult.


I would agree Spain is in a tough position, but I think they need to look more into the US early with TEX/NOr...but I don't know if they are completely unplayable. And I don't know about 4 powers...the US has other targets first...so really it has Britain off the bat, but if Britain/Spain could work together (think Austria/Italy) they could DOMINATE the Caribbean and then push out against the US from both sides...it could be done with solid diplomacy.

Also, a main reason Spain fell apart in this game is SOMEHOW despite me taking Canada from him...Solomon wanted to be my vassal because I had a plan to get him set up in the Caribbean...so he continued to use his fleets to help me against Spain...Mambam couldn't flip him (don't know how hard he tried)...but that's again partially just good play on my side.

Assuming I'm right about USA and the North, and about Spain (a big assumption I grant you!) then I have at present no answer to the problem of Spain. If it is to remain a nation in the game then something needs to be done (start with a fourth unit might help; and/or removing one of the British starting fleets, which may link to my second point, which is...)


Don't take away the British fleet in JAM...otherwise there is no reason for Spain not to just take JAM...that's not the right move. A 4th unit is a MAYBE...but really...that puts Spain even with the US and Brazil...I guess historically that's not a TERRIBLE move...but where do you put it...you take a neutral and make it Spanish...don't love it...would need more playtesting. I still think Spain is doable...but with a good diplomat...Italy/Austria seem tough too, but they are doable...its just different.

... So far as USA is concerned, then it seems to me that the first, crucial thing is to make Britain less of an easy prey from the outset, more able to stand up to USA, and in a position to negotiate with both USA and Mexico aiming to forge an alliane against the other. Britain desperately needs an army in Toronto from the start. Whether this would over-strengthen Britain I'm not sure - it certainly appears that it might, because it would begin with six units when the next largest country has only four (USA and Brazil). It could be argued that the way they are so spread out weakens their force considerably, but if one were removed from the Caribbean it would also have the effect of reducing Spain's weakness. If Jamaica were empty at the start, Britain could use a Year One build to fill it.


Again, Toronto isn't a starting SC for Britain...that's like saying US should start with an army in Chicago...Britain needs to be more aggressive demanding a bounce with the US in NYS (IMO)...then both can move to TOR/CHI in fall and it makes the whole world easier...I see it similar to the BLA issue with Turkey and Russia...where really that's the best move for BOTH of them...most of the time...Cause Britain could have moved into the same 2 spaces I did...only its even better for him because then he uses NEn to support NYS into WDC and there isn't a DAM thing US can do about it...its a guarantee if the US moves to CHI in spring. Again...I think the British issue is much more of a play for this game...then Britain needing to be stronger.

Finally, from a "Britain needed to play better" standpoint (again, no offense Solomon...) look at that fleet that started in Mal in the south...in spring he moved it to a space that pressured NO one and had NO shot at an SC...why...what did he gain with that...he got to MAO in fall...but didn't really use it strongly into the Caribbean either.

Last thoughts and I would LOVE to hear from people as this took a LONG time to write and I hope people care enough to read it. But US only really has 2 "guaranteed" builds...and one is Chicago...which an army in TOR now makes a much tougher spot ... since UK says "Im moving to NYS you need to bounce me"...and then also moves TOR-MIC so that he can bounce CHI in fall. And the other "guaranteed" build is Texas which I already said Mexico/Spain could/should have much bigger say over. After that...its a bunch of maybes...maybe take a shot at BHM...maybe take a stab at something in Canada.

So in closing...DO NOT PUT AN ARMY IN TORONTO...if I haven't shown enough reasons why that cripples the US, I don't know what more I can do...but if you put an army in Toronto...sign me up as Britain, cause that's a MAJOR swing...even without a fleet in JAM (so UK loses the Caribbean and makes Spain stronger...which ENDs the US)

And if someway you decide to pull a British unit to move to Toronto (TERRIBLE idea), it should be MAL since it can't get to anywhere super helpful other than a shot at Pat...but also no enemy can get there in 01, so Britain COULD choose to re-enforce that SC after 01 builds.
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