Blitzkrieg: AARS

An 8 player map set in the interbellum period in Europe. GM'ed by Nanooktheeskimo. Three way draw between Balkans (WarSmith), Turkey (Alman), and USSR (JonS).

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Blitzkrieg: AARS

Postby nanooktheeskimo » 27 Jul 2017, 06:11

Congratulations to Balkans, Turkey, and USSR for the threeway draw, and congratulations to Spain for surviving through the end. A special thanks as well to Don Juan for filling in as UK at the end of the game!

I would appreciate opinions on balance and whether you thought there were any glaring issues with the map, as I do plan to run this variant again in the future, albeit possibly with a tweak or two.

Final SC count:
Balkans: 15 centers (draw)
France: Eliminated Fall 1944
Germany: Eliminated Fall 1945
Italy: Eliminated Fall 1945
Spain: 3 centers
Turkey: 17 centers (draw)
UK: Eliminated Spring 1950
USSR: 17 centers (draw)
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Re: Blitzkrieg: AARS

Postby WarSmith » 27 Jul 2017, 10:26

Don't think there is anything majorly wrong with the map.

Good game, and a fun alliance between us three. First time I've played with them I think.
For me the game changed on a very passionate, witty, verbose and well-phrased plea from Turkey for me to stop attacking him. It was one of the best 'change your mind' messages I've ever received - from there it wasn't hard to do the three-way deal. I'd been working with Russia since the start and he had a northern strategy which suited bringing in Turkey in properly. And at that early stage the UK threat was strong, especially if any 2 from the West united quickly.
That was sad for Italy who I'd initially been allied with, of course... I had to stab him.
I had hopes of working with Spain earlier in the game but never really worked more than just splitting Italy initially as I wasn't going to stab my allies and was in the weakest 'sandwich' position so couldn't proactively go and do anything.
There was one fun turn when I sent a couple of army units north as a mistake and gave Russia the butterflies - and the alliance very nearly crumbled, but otherwise it was pretty easy to coordinate.

Thanks again to Alman for that one turn of brilliant diplomacy. I'll save that message!
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Re: Blitzkrieg: AARS

Postby WarSmith » 27 Jul 2017, 10:39

Most important thing:
Thankyou Nanook for doing such a great job!!!
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Re: Blitzkrieg: AARS

Postby nanooktheeskimo » 27 Jul 2017, 14:15

I forgot to say this up top, but: with the obvious exception of an apparently cursed U.K., everyone was really good about getting their orders in reasonably close to the deadline. I tend to be very willing to hold the deadline for a bit rather than enforce strict times and have NMRs, which I know can make the game lag sometimes, but for the most part (the U.K. curse pre-Don Juan being the obvious exception) you guys did a very good job of getting them in either before the deadline or right around it. Hopefully no one got too annoyed with the inexact deadline times :)
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Re: Blitzkrieg: AARS

Postby Don Juan of Austria » 27 Jul 2017, 15:23

You didn't have to kill me off... I would have accepted the draw if I had had the chance. :lol:
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Re: Blitzkrieg: AARS

Postby nanooktheeskimo » 27 Jul 2017, 15:34

Don Juan of Austria wrote:You didn't have to kill me off... I would have accepted the draw if I had had the chance. :lol:

You did have the chance--it was active the entire time you were in the game :)
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Re: Blitzkrieg: AARS

Postby NoPunIn10Did » 27 Jul 2017, 17:18

I joined as a substitute, and I don't have a lot to say about the variant itself. It is rather tough when all your nearest neighbors have built a steadfast alliance; I attempted communication with them early on but couldn't really make any headway.

I hoped that at least shifting some of my SC's to Spain when my end was near would turn the tide a bit, but clearly that didn't happen.
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Re: Blitzkrieg: AARS

Postby JonS » 28 Jul 2017, 04:30

Some random thoughts -

- I still think France and Italy are very, very, very difficult to play successfully on this map. Seems like game after game the powers from East and West end up running the board. I love the map, but it still feels imbalanced to the disadvantage of the middle powers.

- No surprise to anyone, but I was the abstaining vote from the final draw. Was that obvious? I kind of wondered. Worked very hard to fool Balkans and Turkey into believing I had voted early and often for the draw. Curious to know whether it worked. In the end, I accepted because (1) my window for a stab had closed and (2) I'm having a baby any day now and want to clean out my playdip commitments.

- I obviously should have stabbed Balkans right? Probably about two years ago. Turkey was powerful but all naval - would have had a hard time pivoting up. Once I had a safe western frontier and the british threat was broken, I should have stabbed. Or I should have stabbed a very, very long time ago - kept poking Turkey early on and asking him to stab with me but Alman never bought. But this game feels like a missed opportunity for a strong solo push, which I missed due to inertia more than anything else. Kept putting off the push until I woke up one day and Turkey had 17 SCs and Balkans had 15 and I had no prayer of winning. Nothing against Warsmith! He's a great ally and fun communicator. Just feels like my path to a solo was through Vienna, and I missed it.

- My outrage over Balkans' move towards me a few years ago was entirely feigned - I was at that point trying to prepare for my stab, and worried that his troop movements towards the border would make such a stab impossible. I ended up flubbing the opportunity, but still feel good about how effective my mock outrage and fear was. It worked! Warsmith felt bad.

- Surrenders are lame, and Nanook is a great GM.

- Wish I had talked to Spain more.

- Great game. Sorry it didn't have a more dynamic finish. But I should probably focus on having a baby.
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Re: Blitzkrieg: AARS

Postby GhostEcho » 28 Jul 2017, 06:22

A couple quick thoughts:

Bids: I bid high on France because I was disappointed with my performance in the previous game I played and wanted a bit of redemption. Didn't come, though by getting through 1945 I did better my last record by a couple years.

Gameplay: My game was absolutely shot by England NMR'ing out and then being replaced. I didn't much care for sriyam's roleplaying style, but I could talk to him; I guessed (correctly) that he'd screw up his orders sooner or later, and committed to a German alliance to take him down. This proved a problem: with a replacement England and under Russian pressure, Germany dithered over whether to press the attack, and I followed his lead. In retrospect, I should have just said, "This is what we're going to do." But the real nail in the coffin was Turkey letting UK off the hook in 1941. That he took two UK centers in 1942 was - too late for me. I'd say it was unexpected, but I had real problems getting any kind of communication out of Turkey at all. (Russia, on the other hand, I also got nothing useful out of but that was mainly due to my inability to think of anything useful to offer.)

Sidenote: AA and I have a problematically antagonistic history which I at least could not successfully set aside. I don't know whether he did, but in my mental state he was the worst possible replacement for the situation I was facing - England and France were more or less at war and any potential deal was overshadowed (in my mind) by the knowledge that both of us were perfectly willing to stab if a better tactical deal presented itself - and his position had more long-term opportunities, with Russia focused on Germany.

Defeat & Map Verdict: After the first game, I suggested two problems for France and also mentioned the Turkish position seemed weak: both Pedros' testimony then and Turkish success since seems to nullify the last idea. My one complaint, that Germany could defend easily in the East as Russia wasn't really a threat, seems also to have been an illusion of diplomacy from that game.

On the other hand, once again Italy and Spain have nothing better to do than to attack France. I maybe didn't manage the diplomacy as cleanly as I could - but Pedros' France also got run over by Spain. I'm not certain the elimination of the Vichy territory really helped anything: France as I've played it simply has too many neighbors and no immediate and significant support to offer to any of them. France may simply have to not trust Spain, axiomatically; on the other hand that would be a major flaw in the variant if true.

The French strategy, I think, has to be offensive: take down a neighbor with the help of another, establishing the basis for a strong alliance. But as best as I can figure every neighbor has better defensive chances than France, so the initial attack has to be built on subterfuge. Of course deceit always helps an attack, but if France is forced into open treachery early, then what?

I'm torn here, and I hope that shows: on the one hand, two lame failures make me determined to make this work - on the other hand, a decent regard for my own abilities make me think two failures (three including the France I didn't play, though Pedros survived in Dublin) indicate an actual problem.
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Re: Blitzkrieg: AARS

Postby WarSmith » 28 Jul 2017, 11:58

JonS wrote:Some random thoughts -

Nothing against Warsmith! He's a great ally and fun communicator. Just feels like my path to a solo was through Vienna, and I missed it.
- My outrage over Balkans' move towards me a few years ago was entirely feigned - I was at that point trying to prepare for my stab, and worried that his troop movements towards the border would make such a stab impossible. I ended up flubbing the opportunity, but still feel good about how effective my mock outrage and fear was. It worked! Warsmith felt bad.
.


You should've stabbed!
However you know that's why I made the move I did in that turn ;)
And it was also fun playing guilty - hahahaha.
If Alman had been on board with your stab it could've worked... however I had planned some ways to hedgehog and there was enough power elsewhere to stagnate you. Actually I think your stab (considering latter UK NMR) would've led to a win for GPD/Spain.
I did think you'd signed the draw already... nice one.

Now go be a dad!!!
Best of luck with it all, a completely life-changing experience. Look forward to playing you in your first recovery games - you'll be a complete carebear...
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