World Influence AAR

Large-scale game on a world map, with major and minor powers. Created and GMd by asudevil.

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World Influence AAR

Postby asudevil » 03 Aug 2015, 14:10

After 15, LONG years, the game is over.

Final map is here

The final draw included Israel, Venezuela, China, Nigeria, India and Germany.

The GM thanks all of you for your 7 months of your lives playing this. Im interested in thoughts of balance and if the influencing minors was even worth it. And also what could have been done better about it.

Couple of quick thoughts.

-Impressive recovery from Nigeria and Stanislaw from being ALMOST eliminated ... to being in the final draw...comeback player of the game.
-Venezuela's domination of the Americas was VERY surprising
-More may be coming

The GM will always smile that Venezuela got control of ALL of the Americas...except for pesky NWF.

Let the discussion BEGIN

Couple questions I would love to hear
-AA, did you actually think you had a chance of a solo?
-Antigonos, did you ever really consider stabbing UK, cause DAMN you had some opportunities
-GhostEcho/Aeschines...did you guys ever really consider stabbing each other
-sjg11...you spend a good 4 years in the mid game not really moving a couple units...you had a fleet in NZ for EVER and just held it. What was going on at the time it was almost like you didn't know which way to go.
-EpicDim...I thought you were going to be in the final draw, then it all collapsed around you. What happened?
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Re: World Influence AAR

Postby marsman57 » 03 Aug 2015, 14:53

As far as UK goes, I really sucked it up. I had some good opportunities but never capitalized on them. I expected my initial America and Southeast Asia territories to eventually collapse and didn't want to put builds from other theaters into them, but I was surprised by how much resistance I got to having any allies in either area. I think everyone else worried that if I hit a certain threshold that it'd be hard to eliminate me?

I'm a bit annoyed to not be in the final draw because I really wanted to prove to AA that I could stop him, but stopping him was mostly dependent on keeping Israel and China at bay. Seeing them cooperating against UK/Germany gave me a feeling that I might be wrong. Venezuela couldn't break us I believe (any chance would have required slow movements of fleets up the coast of Canada), but there was not a solid European stalemate line in the Med that we could see. The weakness was around Piedmont or so. I think that theoretically you could not hold the whole of Europe. I was about to analyze it closer to see if there was a fallback stalemate line, but was getting to that line and digging in for 6 months really worth it? It didn't sound like much fun and PBF is unranked (aside from Alman's great leaders, but I already have a solo this year ;) ).

My draw was not 100% altruistic though. I halfway expected Venezuela to not want a draw that big or one that included Germany. I wanted to suss him out through my proposal by forcing his hand, but then he surprisingly was okay with the draw. I thought maybe another player would hold out and I could use that hold out to pull heat off myself, but alas, it didn't work though I heard rumors that both Israel and China may have considered rejecting. True?

As to the game itself, I think the minors are intriguing, but maybe there needs to be an adjustment. Overall, it seems that the players thought they were too dangerous to keep around and would prefer to eliminate them, in some cases even taking the long-range penalties. Maybe there should be some sort of IP reward for doing well with your minors and a penalty for not doing well (not just with the minor in question as there is now, but a global one, basically thematically showing how valuable your influence has been to other countries in helping them succeed making different countries more likely to listen to you). This might encourage players to play well with their minors.

The map was really good though. I never felt like I found a spot that I could dig in and turtle. Sure, there was a bit of that seen with the European line Germany held, but as I noted above, it was weak in the Southwest.

I may write more later, but lastly for now, thanks for being a steadfast ally Antigonos. I'm sure you'll answer that you considered stabbing me several times, but you never did it because you saw that we were bound together, and if either of us sank, we'd both go. That was the main reason I didn't stab you despite a couple of close calls.
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Re: World Influence AAR

Postby EpicDim » 03 Aug 2015, 17:02

After taking over South Africa I tried to make friends. Unfortunately either people wouldn't communicate at all (Africa) or were too busy pushing me to do what would benefit them Israel, Iran, India. My initial position was an attack on Australia and I felt I was stretched too thin and thought that if I'd pull back from that attack I'd get an ally for life in Australia. NOPE! Instead he stabbed me at his first opportunity even while Venezuela was attacking him. I was able to remove him from my borders but since I hadn't grown in a couple years my other neighbors decided I was too ripe for the picking and it was a downhill slog even since.

Part of being a sub is knowing that you're coming into the situation late and people have already formed opinions about who they will ally with. It was just unfortunate that I couldn't find a single ally during the game who wasn't just feeding me lip service. France was probably the closest, but since he almost immediately was stabbed by UK and then went downhill from there he wasn't a lot of help.

I'm sorry to Brazil, that stab is my second biggest regret after not continuing the attack on Australia.
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Re: World Influence AAR

Postby VGhost » 03 Aug 2015, 20:21

Well, that's it, I suppose. After almost 7 months, over 1000 messages, and 15 game years, this one just sort of... stopped. From Beijing, it's all a bit anti-climactic. Congratulations to my fellow survivors, and a salute to those who fell along the way.

While I started off trying to keep fairly detailed notes, that effort sort of fell apart. I'm therefore going to give a rough sketch only of the game from my perspective, because trying to give a detailed picture would take a lot of references to messages and I don't feel like looking them all up. Also it would be really long.

Pre-Game

My initial game strategy based on my idea of the map was (hard as this may be to believe) to get into North America. I thought that the central Asian morass would be too hard to fight through, and therefore to get the best chance at a solo I was going to have to be able to put fleets everywhere, and that meant the Panama Canal. I really didn't want to fight either North or (especially) South of the Himalayas. I was hoping that I would be able to work either with Russia to take out Japan, or with Japan on good enough terms that he would let me run armies around his Northern border while he expanded across the ocean. My other neighbors I hoped would remain mainly non-factors. My African troops I planned to get rid of.

There were a lot of miscalculations that went into this. The biggest one was that I expected most players would attempt to maintain their minors both to save rebuilding time and to make possible more "proxy" wars and enforced "DMZs". As it turned out, IP accumulated quickly enough that minor control was incredibly unstable, and most players got rid of minors - even their own - very quickly. North Korea was the last one left; I wanted to keep it alive the whole game just to do it but the risk with no other minor powers, plus the silly convoy possibility, decided me against it. The other major mistake was that I didn't expect the United Kingdom to make a bid for a land presence in Asia at all. I assumed he'd spread through Indonesia first and in fact I thought this was so obvious I never even mentioned it in negotiations with him until he did start playing North from his island base.

First Years

Once negotiations and play started there were a bunch of other mistakes and misconceptions. I planned to offer services in Africa to the highest bidder - I had an idea to send A Sudan on a long trek East to the homeland, but negotiations with Egypt and Israel broke down especially after I screwed up my Spring moves. I was happy enough to see that unit wiped out as it spared me having to keep a close eye on Africa. There was a misunderstanding with Japan, which I turned into an excuse to grab Taiwan.

The Iran War

In terms of "mistakes", the defining one was probably that I had planned to pacify Iran by giving him plenty of room to expand towards me. I'm still not sure what exactly happened here, because BigBert made a bid for Tib (which I left open - whoops) and for "my" minors in Southeast Asia, only to drop and be replaced by LBS. LBS insisted that he was gunning for India, but I didn't want to take the chance (a very pretty attack on Che, followed by Yun etc. looked as likely as an attack on India, once he took the minor) - and anyway India, based on diplomacy, had quickly become my closest ally. Between solid communication, no border to fight a useful war over, and proximity, he was going to be my backstop while I took over the Pacific... so Iran had to go. So I set him up by "helping" him into one Indian target, while pulling together a lot of IP to take back the minor - Iran actually helped with this, which made me feel a little bit bad about it.

I had planned to return to effective neutrality once I had secured Tib and let India and Iran continue to fight, but LBS didn't want to cut a deal, and India wanted him gone, so that war continued all the way down to 2020 when we eliminated Iran. I didn't quite get the border I wanted - Germany beat me to OMS in 2016, and I had to let India take Ash to knock Iran out - but it was actually a lot farther West than my initial plan had planned on pushing. I was hoping to use that position to unseat Germany eventually, but other considerations got in the way and nothing happened until close to the end of the game.

Russia and Japan

The situation I benefited from most was the Russia-Japan squabble. Both of them communicated very well with me, and both were on good terms after initial tussles (Japan with a mis-order, Russia with an attack that backfired). The most important early-game result was that I cleaned up almost all the minor and neutral SCs by siding with one or the other. Long-term, the biggest bonus was that I kept on good enough terms with Japan that he was fighting Russia for me while I was picking up his SCs from behind. In fact I was arranging with Russia to hand Russia Japanese SCs at the same time.

I actually ended up eliminating Russia, too; I wasn't going to, but he never established a stable relationship with the United States or United Kingdom, which led to Venezuela having an easier time than he should have in picking up North American SCs. With Japan down to virtually nothing, I offered to put him into Alaska as a proxy, hoping to eventually get my own troops into North America (I had a bunch of spare armies all game despite my massive fleet builds). Unfortunately I could never establish a clear plan with the United Kingdom, and I didn't really want to eliminate Japan either after all the heavy lifting he did for me.

South Pacific

As I mentioned earlier, this was a mess from the initial play. The United Kingdom didn't match my expectations of his play at all, and while he was useful for a while as a buffer, he had to go as soon as I had forces to spare. For most of the game I viewed him as a wild card. India and I put together a three-way alliance with Australia for the purpose - possibly overkill, but I also wanted to establish cooperation with Australia.

I was initially hoping to ride that the whole game, because Venezuela had gotten fleets up off the North American coast while I was still dealing with Russia and Japan - but Australia had a position in South America that could have been used eventually to flank out the board leader. However, Australia didn't really do anything with that position; in my opinion that made the best option for myself and India to take Australia's SCs ourselves and solidify a defensive line against Venezuela.

Game Goals

As noted briefly above, I was looking for a solo out of this game from the beginning. In this case, the fall of the three-way alliance was I think effectively the death of a solo chance for me: before that, India was going to be the last man stabbed; the attack on Australia dropped my alliance down to two players. With a clear board leader and no real clear attacking opportunities, sooner or later an ALA would have been forced.

In the mean time I did have other projects in the works. Germany I talked to periodically (and with no success) about attacking the United Kingdom. I offered some small concessions but had no interest. First it was "loyalty", then he claimed pragmatism. I can't really blame him; I would have left him well alone until he had knocked out the United Kingdom and established a decent line with Venezuela, and then - hopefully with a weakened border to deal with - pushed through an attack, maybe with the Israeli help I eventually got. With the United Kingdom, I felt like I had to play the Calming Influence - as mentioned before, he seemed like a wild card for much of the game, and then turned defeatist. I was hoping - once it was clear Germany wouldn't move - that Venezuela and the United Kingdom would reach a deal which would allow the United Kingdom more leeway; perhaps against Germany or Israel.

In the Pacific, I had agreed with India that I would eventually take over the Australian SCs, thus putting the entire Pacific line in my hands. Best-case scenario, that would have put me in position for a game-ending stab up through Indonesia after securing a number of European SCs. (This would have been happening in something like 2040, not any time soon.)

In terms of plans at the end of the game, I had two schemes in mind:

A. Using the (untenable) position in Akt, I was hoping to make some small progress towards getting the United Kingdom back to an active role by persuading him to let me knock out Akm, which he could have rebuilt in Europe. In conjunction with the French SCs I was hoping he could get out of a deal with Venezuela, he'd have enough to begin working on Germany. Only I never actually got this chain of diplomacy off the ground: I only got as far as laying groundwork with Venezeula, and taking Akt.

B. I was hoping my noted penchant for loony schemes (which I'm exaggerating, but there was the North Korea convoy and the Japan to Alaska plot) would make it seem totally innocuous when I proposed (which I also hadn't gotten around to) to try to circumnavigate the globe. I was planning to take a fleet - probably PAL - and I was pretty sure I could sell India on letting me move it through his fleets. When I got to SWI or MBZ or something, I was then planning to announce publicly my intent, and negotiate terms with Venezuela. At some point, this would have put the fleet in or around SWP - at which point it might prove the critical piece in disrupting Venezuela's Pacific control. I have no idea if this would actually have come off at all, or if the opportunity would have been good enough at that point, or what the actual result of such an attack would have been - like I said, this one I hadn't talked to anybody about, beyond some discussions with India about whether we should try to break Venezuela's Pacific line.

Other Notes

I never did figure out most of what was going on in Africa... why was diplomacy in North America such complete chaos?... I thought the minors were a good idea but were too volatile, not sure what the answer is... what was BigBert planning with his SE Asia grab anyway?... far too much turnover, even though I think I benefited from at least a couple of the replacement timings.

Players

Overall a very well-played game. A couple shout-outs to particular players: AardvarkArmy, board leader... ninjaruler and sjg11, feisty to the end... LBS, marsman57, and Alman, a salute and minor apologies to my stabees... Stanislaw, comeback player of the game.

Philosophy and the Draw

I don't particularly care for the result of this one. I've made it quite clear that I play to win, but AardvarkArmy's "not both Germany and UK" strikes me as petty, even if they did pretty much do nothing but stonewall him for the last few years without interest in other options. I can't decide whether marsman57's leaving himself out of the draw is praiseworthy or stupid. Both Antigonos (lack of initiative) and raphtown (lack of communication) did a lot to ensure that the current situation, or something very much like it, would be the final position. I feel like pointing out that DIAS is the way to go to avoid this kind of thing. But even were we to argue that France and Australia "don't deserve" spots, it's obvious from the map that since we're ending it now, UK really ought to have a spot.

If I had got in as one of the first to respond I would have rejected the draw. However, by the time I saw it and had time to answer the remaining players to answer were only myself, Germany, Israel, and France. I asked Germany and Israel what they were doing, making it clear I wanted to continue; I got a suspicious answer from Germany, and by the time Israel replied, he and France also had accepted. I had hoped France would turn it down, although I didn't talk to him; but as the last one left I wasn't going to reject it alone.

On the other hand, the "solo panic" started in this game waaaay before it should have. I don't mean simple discussion of the board leader(s) and their chances, which is simply smart play. I mean that Venezuela only just now hit 50 SCs; the solo target was set at 85, meaning he still had 35 to go. This is roughly equivalent to 11/18 in the normal game - about where people should start worrying. I'm probably guilty, as I didn't entirely avoid or ignore the subject, but this game could have run another five or ten years and still not gotten near a clear solo shot, with a little more initiative from everybody.
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Re: World Influence AAR

Postby asudevil » 03 Aug 2015, 21:34

Thank you for the GREAT AAR Ghost. And yes, when people were freaking about a solo with 25 SC...I knew this was going to a draw early. You could also tell that people were starting to get bored with it (a SUPER hard issue)

As for the replacements...really for an 8 month game...it wasn't TOO bad. We had a replacement USA, S.Africa, Egypt, Iran (twice) and Nigeria. Iran and Nigeria were both totally out of the blue family emergencies...not as sure about the others. But 5 of 18...isn't TERRIBLE.

But yeah, I wish we wouldn't have had them...I hate the replacements...its why I tried to be so picky about players for this game.
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Re: World Influence AAR

Postby Aeschines » 03 Aug 2015, 21:43

Congrats to everyone, this was a long and hard fought game and I enjoyed it quite a bit. Thank you asudevil for such excellent (and intense!) GMing. This AAR is based almost entirely on recollection, so I apologize if I got anything wrong (the timeline in particular is potentially askew).

Comments on the Variant
Firstly, before I launch into my AAR I want to offer my suggestions for how to improve the game. My main two complaints were that we were too incentivized to eat our own minors, rather than leaving them alive, and that there were simply too many units. I think both problems could be easily solved with two modifications to the variant.

1a) Minor's starting SCs should be SCs only so long as they are owned by a minor power. That way I would gain less from eating my own minor(s). I think that would go a long way towards minor-longevity.

1b) Additionally, if some of the other SCs on the board were also minor-only I think we all would have been much more likely to engage in the proxy wars I was hoping for when I signed up. Reducing the total number of SCs (without reducing map size significantly) will also make it much more likely for quick, exciting strikes, up through the late game. My experience was dragged down by the units of neighbors had which made me much less likely to stab and, when I did, resulted in slogs rather than semi-efficient victories.

2) Cap the total IP any player can gain (or store?). The Baron Powell system in Ambition and Empire caps DPs (the equivalent to IPs) at 3 per power (with many fewer SCs). That is nice because it means that the dominant player in the game doesn't automatically have control over all the minors as well. IP accumulation made preserving any minor near your territory a very risky endeavor.

Pre-Game
My strategy in World Influence, considering the size of the board, was to find and secure one really solid ally, who I hoped to share 2 way draw with (in a perfect world). I thought that 85 SCs for a solo was an unreasonable goal, considering how many players were involved - though I would have been open to the possiblity, if it had presented itself. Drawing India made me happy because I realized that I could use the Himalayas to effectively function as an Island power, so I set my sites on control over the Indian Ocean.

My first flurry of messages convinced me that BigBert was going to be my number one ally. I liked Marsman as well but something about the actual history of British colonialism in India (and my plan of owning the Indian Ocean) convinced me that I should try to eradicate British influence. GhostEcho, China, also seemed friendly but came across as rather focused on an anti-Iranian attack. I had originally planned to work with Iran and the UK against China so I could secure SE Asia.

Early Game
My focus here was to try to gain position over both China and the UK by playing them off against each other. However, every time one of our schemes started to get off the ground something would go wrong. Eventually I got fed up with both BigBert and Marsman who seemed (to me) to be too focused on secrecy and not enough on results. (Ironically) that turned me into China's informant and I started passing everything along to GhostEcho. The straw that broke the camel's back, though, was when Iran built a second fleet in the Persian Gulf without discussing it with me. I felt like there was no way I could develop dominance over the Indian Ocean if I had to worry about a fleet heavy Iran, since ARA bordered essential centers for me and was Iran's only exit from the Persian Gulf. After a couple of years I decided that GhostEcho was both reliable and had complimentary strategic interests. I decided to make GhostEcho my primary ally.

I sought Israeli (raphtown) help to take out Iran. Raphtown promised to help but insisted on absolute secrecy. That was made a little awkward because, before I had asked Israel and I'd already discussed with Germany (Antigonos) that I was planning to ask for Israeli help. When the time came I made my move on Iran and Israel sat idle, resulting in a Pakistani stalemate line that would last into the late mid game.

There was a brief moment when it seemed like LBS (Iran's replacement player) and I would be able to reconcile. I'd explained why I'd attacked and we had seemed to arrive at an entente. We'd seriously discussed moving on China and I even had those orders inputted on one point. However, then LBS dropped out of the game and was replaced by Nanooktheeskimo. I don't know if LBS had ever actually been committed but I didn't trust the unknown Nanook enough to risk alienating my number one ally. So I changed my orders to keep up an anti-Iranian moveset.

At that point as well I let China take the lead in coordinating a three way with Australia and myself. That alliance (which we semi-inaccurately named the Pacific Rim Trifecta) was one I was ready to take to the bank. Each of us had an opponent against whom we could seek help from at least one other member of the alliance (China & India v. Iran; China & Australia vs. Venezeula; India & Australia vs. South Africa). I also toyed with a triple with South Africa and Australia, but Australia and I were always committed to attacking South Africa (my ire against EpicDim in South Africa came from his conquest of MLD, which I felt was an absolutely essential center for me, considering its proximity to the subcontinent).

The Pacific Rim Trifecta quickly took out the UK and then struck out against our separate opponents. I thought things were going swimmingly.

Mid Game
Unfortunately, even as the PRT broke the Iranian stalemate and (with belated help from Israel) crushed Iran, the South African and Venezuelan offensives proved less successful. Additionally, Israel rendered the conquest of Iran moot by immediately building the dreaded Persian Gulf fleets that had caused me to start the war with Iran in the first place. Despite the lack of momentum against South Africa and Venezuela I still felt good about the PRT. However, China started to get restless. I think GhostEcho never really had the intention to attack Venezuela and without a clear realm for expansion (since central Asia has gotten gummed up with ~18 units) wanted something to do.

When China sent me the message asking me to hit Australia with them I felt like it was a bad idea, since it would give South Africa room to recover and open up a vacuum in the south Pacific which would (and did) invite Venezuelan expansion. But, since China was the larger ally in the alliance and I, frankly, needed them to be peaceable more than they needed me (since I had most of my units invested in Iran & the Western Indian Ocean) I agreed. The move on Australia was brutal, effective, and the last exciting thing that happened to/with me this game.

Late Game
Once Australia was firmly back on their heels, the rest of the Australian conquest became a slog. I was able to turn my ships around and continue pushing on South Africa. I started serious talks with Venezuela and China about forming a game-controlling alliance at the same time that I participated in Germany and the UKs fear-induced anti-Venezuela coalition. I knew that Venezuela had roughly no chance of soloing unless China and I descended into chaos and one of us invited Venezuela to overrun us - there were simply too many units on the board for Venezuela to make a quick strike to secure the solo.

I also coordinated with Nigeria to finish South Africa, and while that was successful it also felt like a slog. There were simply so many units that every neighbor, by the late-mid game could afford to militarize every border. When Nigeria and I finally knocked out SA it was done one center at a time. By the point that South Africa's goose appeared cooked my whole focus was on ensuring that neither China nor Venezuela would be able to stab me without running into a 10 year slog of their own.

At the time I proposed the draw, I was simply seeking an end to the slogginess of the game. I probably would have been excited about a Chinese stab of me, just because it would have injected life and excitement - yet, I worked hard to position my units to ensure that a Chinese stab would net no more than two or three centers before becoming stalemated. I never expected my draw to be accepted, but I anticipated that it would spark a conversation about ending the game (which it did, hooray!).

Overall, I enjoyed my time playing World Influence, but I greatly preferred the first six years to the last 6. While each power was sitting on no more than ~18 units, the potential for a sudden change in position kept me on my toes. By the end, I had so many excess fleets and I felt like I barely had to worry about other players' movements.

Conclusion
  • Congrats to Aardvark Army for your excellent play, I don't know how you did it but you ate ALL of the western hemisphere. That was quite a feat.
  • Thank you GhostEcho for being such a committed ally. You are a good player and I felt like you were just duplicitous enough that I could trust you to act in your own best interest, which I think makes for a good teammate.
  • Sjg11, I felt terrible about stabbing you when I did. You were reliable and cunning and I would have liked to share the win with you (the Pacific Rim Trifecta will live forever in my heart).
  • Antigonos, you were an excellent pen pal. Without you I would never have had any idea what was happening in the rest of the world.
  • Stanislaw, I'm incredibly impressed with your come-back spirit! You turned an unwinnable game around. Nice work.
  • Everyone else, I enjoyed playing with you all very much and I hope to do so again in the future!
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Re: World Influence AAR

Postby asudevil » 03 Aug 2015, 21:59

Aesch...that is a GREAT idea about having SC's be minor only...I like that a LOT....something to keep in mind as well as capping IP...I like both ideas.

I am also SUPER happy to hear that the map itself seemed pretty balanced. Not a lot of complaints about massive stalemate lines ... which makes me happy...slogs SUCK, but at least it was possible to get movement.
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Re: World Influence AAR

Postby sjg11 » 03 Aug 2015, 22:19

AAR to come tomorrow, congrats on the winners. After the stab I made survival my minimum target, glad I met that.
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Re: World Influence AAR

Postby Antigonos » 03 Aug 2015, 23:04

-Antigonos, did you ever really consider stabbing UK, cause DAMN you had some opportunities


The short answer is yes I did consider it nearly every turn going back some years and yes I had the opportunity to pick of supply centers (sometimes five sometimes less) in a Fall stab. I also considered the possibility that UK would stab me and/or make builds positioned to better stab me and/or resist a stab by me. There was also tension due to issues about communications with UK that certainly increased the tension level at my end.

But stabs have consequences and it was my decision each time that a stab was not in my interest and that a stab of UK was going to be productive only in the short term but would in the end open me up for precisely the attack that China refers to in his AAR.

Germany I talked to periodically (and with no success) about attacking the United Kingdom. I offered some small concessions but had no interest. First it was "loyalty", then he claimed pragmatism. I can't really blame him; I would have left him well alone until he had knocked out the United Kingdom and established a decent line with Venezuela, and then - hopefully with a weakened border to deal with - pushed through an attack, maybe with the Israeli help I eventually got. With the United Kingdom, I felt like I had to play the Calming Influence - as mentioned before, he seemed like a wild card for much of the game, and then turned defeatist. I was hoping - once it was clear Germany wouldn't move - that Venezuela and the United Kingdom would reach a deal which would allow the United Kingdom more leeway; perhaps against Germany or Israel


I did cite loyalty and I did cite pragmatic considerations. I do consider the issue of loyalty, especially to an effective and reliable ally but it is only one factor and in this game my decisions were based in the end on pragmatic considerations. I did what I did because I felt it was in my best interest to do so. I was not happy about the stab of France even though it upped my SC count but I went along because I felt that UK was going to do it and with the backing of Venezuela and a rupture in relations with UK was not in my interest. I saw my vulnerability to attack by Israel especially in conjunction with China (before that others) if I made such a stab. Furthermore I saw nobody that would be an ally should I do the stab. Israel would come after me and I did not doubt that China would do the same. India was not interested in breaking with China or joining in an attack on Israel and everyone else was simply not relevant. I was not prepared to weaken my position so that the game might be opened up a bit or to reduce them number of draw participants. Nor was I going to do it in order to get more action. It is always good to be active and in faced with new situations and problems to solve but they must emerge from the logic of one's position and possibility and not be forced.

I don't know if Venezuela was serious about his draw number fetish especially in light of his acceptance of this draw though perhaps the number fetish was trumped by his pleasure in getting UK out of the draw. Like UK I did not see our prospects as good though it would have taken some time for Israel and China to make decisive gains and in theory something or someone might have shifted in response to their assault. I accepted the draw in large part because I had posted that I would accept it if UK himself proposed the terms of the Indian draw and because I felt that UK was either increasingly distracted by real life concerns or losing interest in the game. I was increasingly concerned about an NMR. In any case the draw leaves a bad taste.

I enjoyed the earlier portion of the game. I liked the map and the design in general and already am interested in playing again. I will try to post more later on my thoughts on the game in general and perhaps on how this game played out. I expected a much better outcome for South Africa and perhaps Australia who did seem a bit passive after a good early game but I also think the purely Island position has drawbacks especially after initial expansion. I expected Venezuela to do well but this particular megalomaniac Generalissimo did everything one might wish with the country and than some. His bloody reign will go down in the history books. I figured China and India to have strong potential. I may have overestimated that of Iran and underestimated that of Israel but both were played very strongly. I put in a strong bid for Germany in part because...well because I like being Germany and it seemed to offer some interesting and tension filled early days. I continued to expect to make a quick exit for several years.

I enjoyed talking with India and working with France while it lasted. The EU triple and the positions of UK, France and Germany deserves some discussion and related to my thinking on the position of Germany and what occured in the latter half of the game. This in turn raises the question of Russia. Along with India he was the one I most enjoyed talking with and my attack on him was due to my assessment regarding my position and possibilities and nothing else. I think we had a rather epic fight and in a very real sense winning it was the high water mark in my game. The Russian east-west situation is one that also deserves discussion.

I enjoyed a bit of early contact with Mexico and dealing with Venezuela was always "stimulating"...to my blood pressure at the very least. China always had something interesting to say and Israel was a very capable opponent. Nigeria's comeback was impressive.

As to UK...he says

I may write more later, but lastly for now, thanks for being a steadfast ally Antigonos. I'm sure you'll answer that you considered stabbing me several times, but you never did it because you saw that we were bound together, and if either of us sank, we'd both go. That was the main reason I didn't stab you despite a couple of close calls.


I agree with everything he says and say the same in return.
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Re: World Influence AAR

Postby LBS » 04 Aug 2015, 01:23

Wow, long, but nice AAR's so far. I am working on my view on my (short) part in this game, but reading China's and India's positions and considerations is interesting.

Also a shout out to Stanislaw, nice job there!

My AAR will come very soon! :)
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