WitA AAR

Ten player variant set in the Western Hemisphere developed by Marcario Reyes. GM'ed by Asudevil 3way draw split between Nanooktheeskimo (Brazil), Gnaah (Colombia), and PetesAHut (Great Britain)

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WitA AAR

Postby asudevil » 12 Jul 2016, 03:38

We had a 3way draw between Britain, Columbia and Brazil

Congrats to nanook, gnaah and Pete on a well played game.

First off...thank you all for a game that wasn't marred / ruined by NMRs or replacements

Also, please comment on your idea of balance. I know some of you guys started this in PMs but lets try and put it all here. I still want this to be the next main site game that we add after we do the re-write.

Also, I LOVE that PeteAHut pushed this as hard as he did. He could have settled for the easy 3way a month + and like 4 game years ago. But he kept going forcing gnaah and nanook to actually make/hold/find a stalemate line. That kind of play is rarely seen in PbF games...even with the ones that DO end in a solo. So I believe that deservesa HELL of a lot of kudos.

BTW, if any of you decide to run this game, let me know. I love playing it as well as running it.

Thanks again guys.
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Re: WitA AAR

Postby PetesAHut » 12 Jul 2016, 04:00

Full AAR will come in 24-48 hours, but I wanted to thank everyone who was part of this game for their commitment. I'll echo Asu's comments about no NMR's, and I hope everyone (even those who were eliminated early) will put in a full AAR, because I think there was a ton going on behind the scenes that I didn't see or only was guessing at, and I'd love to hear other perspectives on how this played out.

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Re: WitA AAR

Postby Nanook » 12 Jul 2016, 04:30

Full AAR to come later. For now, I'll say congratulations to Pete and gnaah, thanks to everyone for playing and not NMRing. Really glad you ran this, Asu! I love this variant. And you did a great job running it :)

Also would like to echo Asu's sentiment in that I was happy to see Pete push things as far as he did, and it was a lot of fun to form and execute a plan to stop him.

I'm looking forward to the next run of this game, and hopefully getting another chance to play it. It's probably my favorite variant, and one I hope makes it to the main site sometime after the revamp :)
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Re: WitA AAR

Postby gnaah » 12 Jul 2016, 08:53

Then let me add my congratulations to Nanook and Pete. Many thanks to all players and a big thank you to Asudevil for running it.
It really is a great variant that I'd love to play again. I'll add a full aar this evening... hopefully.
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Re: WitA AAR

Postby PetesAHut » 12 Jul 2016, 19:10

I'm going to pick at this AAR a few years at a time, because I'm a little busy with work, an upcoming vacation, and 17 Chaos kicking off. Plus, I could easily write a novel about this game. So, here goes nothing...

I really wanted Britain, and I was super excited that I won the die role to get the position. I felt like if Britain could just slop and guile his way through the first year or so without getting in massive trouble, then this was the position that was most likely going to solo. I also felt like there were some philosophical mistakes made by the previous Britain players, and I wanted to trial-by-fire my own thoughts on how the position should be played.

My objective in the first year was to keep everyone happy, don't rock the boat, and promise aid a year or two down the line once I had a chance to develop my position. From south to north...I talked to Chile about working against Argentina, Argentina about working against Chile, and Peru moving south against one or the other. Peru was actually the first one to talk to me, but other than exchanging pleasantries I didn't really get much out of him. Chile never really talked, and I believe JonS has since acknowledged elsewhere that he was really busy. Argentina talked around the idea of working together, but I never really got a great vibe from him (something that continued through much of the game before we were at open war). Regardless of what had come out, I was planning on trying to get Pat in the first year, and whoever countered that effort would immediately have a target on his back.

Further north, Venezuela approached me early and hard/vague about working together. My read was that he REALLY wanted to find a way for Venezuela and GB to work together, to the point where he was willing to not move to Del in the first season. Great! One neighbor that I need not worry about. He also telegraphed pretty heavily that he was going after Brazil. Even better! I promptly fed that info into the propaganda machine to prod Colombia and Brazil in his direction (I believe at the time I wanted to hop on Venezuela with them in 1841, once I had established myself in the Caribbean). Sorry Venezuela, either I was going to have problems in the Caribbean and I wanted you to not be a problem, or I was NOT going to have problems and I wanted your centers for myself.

And in North America, the interesting stuff. My read of the Caribbean is that, if either Spain or GB can occupy all of Hispaniola (SDo and Hai) early, than the other party is a dead man. Both island provinces border 3 sea spaces, and those 3 sea spaces border (between them) no fewer than 9 other centers. So, if someone can put fleets in both SC's, that person can basically dictate the flow of traffic to 11(!) SC's. So I wanted to keep peace with Spain, but I wanted to do so without abandoning that island completely. Which is pretty much what I expressed in my message to him (I got greedy and said if he wanted to leave the whole island to me, he could do that too :twisted: ). After a bit of a tussle where he thought I was demanding both SC's rather than being open to splitting one and one, he agreed. I told him I wanted to give him an open southern flank so we could go after USA (me from Canada, him from the Caribbean), and to be honest, had he not stabbed so early, I probably would have gone through with such an arrangement.

I talked a bit to Mexico about attacking USA as well, but I never really got a great relationship going with Mexico (even when we ultimately started coordinating a bit later, I never really felt super confident in what he was doing). I talked to USA a bit about keeping the peace and coordinating in the Caribbean, as well as requesting / demanding a bounce in NYS. I had seen in previous games the outcome of "bounce neither" and "bounce both" WRT NYS and NEn, and I decided in this game that I didn't really think either was ideal. I wanted to keep Greenland in play in 1840, and to be honest bouncing only NYS means that, at worst, I would need to cover Hal while taking an SC, which didn't seem like the end of the world at the time (especially because NEn would be occupied with a fleet, and F NEn can't influence anything in NYS).

So the first season flips, Spain seems to be going along with what we had worked out, USA moves to NEn, it appears that Spain and Mexico are attacking USA in Texas, AND Venezuela supported me into ECS as requested. Well, the USA move to NEn wasn't ideal, but I can counter it, and I potentially have 9 builds in play. I actually had orders in to take Tor and leave Greenland open until after the order submission deadline and changed them maybe a half hour before asu resolved orders to take Greenland instead of Toronto, and I think that was critical for what wound up unfolding next.

Because then the fall orders flipped, and Spain took Jamaica...
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Re: WitA AAR

Postby PetesAHut » 12 Jul 2016, 19:39

Alright, I think I have time for 1841...

So Spain stabbed. I'm actually pretty surprised. He still went through with what I expected and attacked USA, taking Texas (which further surprised me - I thought the order would have to be the other way around) and he also left Hai open. Spain also approaches me and tells me that he never planned on going along with what he stated and if I'd cede my Caribbean territory to him then he'd help me against USA.

Unfortunately for Spain, I saw no reason to roll over in the Caribbean. I still had 3 units available (the build, the fleet in Hai, and the fleet in Nic). And the Caribbean is a deceptively large place - the only centers that border each other are Hai and SDo - which meant that the absolute best case scenario for Spain in the next year was that he'd gain a center and I'd be net neutral in the Caribbean (either hold all my territories or lose SDo and take Hai). Plus, at the end of the day, I was still the SC leader. Why should I throw away half my centers when, at worst, I can at least take Spain out with me!

So I revved up the propaganda machine again. USA, hey, we've both been had by Spain. Let's get him. I'll head to SAR with my Canadian fleets if you'll pour builds into the Atlantic Coast. Brazil, you're already taking out Venezuela, do you want to take those centers and see a powerful Spanish neighbor in the Caribbean, or can you spare a fleet to help me break through to PRi. Mexico, what are you gaining by helping Spain keep Texas, you ought to look out for #1 and grab your centers out west instead.

And things worked. Spain wound up losing a unit that year (USA got Texas back), but more important, Spain had a TON of bounces. So not only was he unable to hold on to all of his territories, all of a sudden he had been reduced to a bunch of isolated outposts. Spain made serious overtures to me during the fall phase to make peace (which is why I wound up with Hai in the winter), but by that time, he was under so much pressure that the only way he could concentrate two units at a single point was by exposing a center to loss. Letting him off the hook at that moment was just not going to happen.

At the same time, things in the far south got a little interesting. Chile bounced me out of Pat, which was an interesting choice because Argentina also bounced him out of Ant, so it looked to me like something big was about to happen between them. But then I got a weird message from Argentina recommending that I circle the continent and attack Chile's home SC's rather than keep the pressure on Pat. Which made me think that maybe Chile was playing a long con by being super quiet and that he and Argentina were planning something together. I passed my fears to Brazil and Peru. Brazil seemed to at least consider what I was saying, while Peru was super dismissive of my concerns, and word of my concerns quickly came back to me through Argentina himself. Around that time I started mentally tying Argentina and Peru together, and the whole incident further reinforced my distrust of Argentina (and Peru, who I never messaged in the game again). But I kept pounding Pat and eventually wound up there.

I wound up with 3 builds (two of which I could use), and after a bad first year things started looking up.

It was around this time that Mexico started talking to me a bit more proactively about wanting to turn on Spain, in exchange for me turning on USA.
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Re: WitA AAR

Postby PetesAHut » 13 Jul 2016, 00:22

Alright, this one should take me from end of year two to the fall of Spain / USA.

So, like I said, Mexico started putting feelers out to me about stabbing USA, and offered up that he was considering stabbing Spain as well. At the time, I was pretty hell-bent on ending Spain, but I was also trying to sort out how USA and I were going to deal with Mexico (bear in mind, at the time I viewed the two of them as effectively a single entity). Basically, I had 2 fleets and an army in the Canadian home SC's, and I was trying to figure out what to do with them. At the time, I thought the most logical course of action was for me to send them out west, take Alaska, and round the corner into the Pacific and gobble up Cal and Ore, and I proposed this to USA.

Unfortunately (it turned out for him), I received a less than enthusiastic response - he wanted me to go harass Alaska, but he wanted Cal for himself and only very grudgingly acknowledged that he'd let me have Ore if I beat him to it.

So, my choice was either:

a. Go through with USA's proposal and have 3 units dither around in the frozen tundra for two years
b. Stab USA, back off of Spain, and see what happens
c. Keep pressuring Spain while simultaneously stabbing USA

Ultimately, I gambled and went with c. At the time, I thought (correctly, it turned out), that all I needed was about 2 seasons of continued USA / Spain warfare to guarantee that not only would both of them be knocked out, but that I would grab the majority of their centers (Mexico was poorly positioned to get more out of the war than Hav and NOr, though I definitely was proactive in keeping him out of anything else further east).

Around the same time, Argentina slowly gobbled up Chile and the big Colombia / Peru / Brazil scuffle was going on. Around the time Chile was taken down to one center, Argentina decided to take Pat. In my mind, this was a big mistake - I had just added a second unit in the deep south, and suddenly I had nothing better to do with those two fleets than cause problems for Argentina. At the same time, Brazil was just getting the upper hand on Peru and was beginning to have a few free units. So I started pushing him hard for an attack on Argentina.

I really didn't want to help Brazil get as far south as he did. In my mind, things would have been much better for me if I could start a war between Brazil and Argentina, then change sides and help Argentina get the upper hand. I was worried that if Brazil got too powerful that I'd never break into the south Atlantic (which I saw as critical for my victory). But Argentina and I really got into a shooting war he more or less cut off communication (Morg responded to my shorter messages, but my big long one about why he should trust that I wanted to turn on Brazil went for naught).

I also didn't entirely understand why it seemed like Argentina burned so many units protecting his entire coastline from my fleets and several armies trying to re-take Pat when (in my mind) his forces could have been far more effective stalemating the Brazilian attack. There were several inland centers I couldn't even reach with my fleets, so Argentina putting his primary focus on my fleets instead of Brazil's armies ultimately seemed to cause him to go down faster than he had to.

So yeah, take out USA, take out Spain, get Brazil and Argentina in a shooting war, that pretty much gets me through the first 4 years. I believe around this time Brazil and I started talking about final 3. I was initially inclined to include Mexico rather than Colombia, because I felt like taking out Colombia would have put me in a better position to solo. Unfortunately, despite repeated messages, Mexico seemed unwilling to commit to an attack on Colombia as a next course of action after Spain and USA were gone. Also, Mexico really only had two options for his next target, and he was beginning to add both armies and Atlantic coast fleets with his builds. There weren't enough forces to be a threat to me by themselves, but if I were to attack someone else then my flank would have been pretty open to an attack. Also also, the Colombia / Brazil link at this point seemed to be pretty strong.

So yeah, I decided to take out Mexico. Told him I was going to take all his centers along with Colombia to do what I could to drag him in on my side. And basically spent the next 5-6 years attacking him.
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Re: WitA AAR

Postby PetesAHut » 17 Jul 2016, 14:41

Placeholder. Should be able to finish the AAR in a week and a half or so.
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