PDL 2020 Division 2 Mar Game B, #166094 AAR

After game reports for PlaDip Diplomacy League games

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PDL 2020 Division 2 Mar Game B, #166094 AAR

Postby Czar99 » 18 May 2020, 02:32

The PDL 2020 Division 2, March Game B, has ended and wanted to kick off the AAR. I was Austria in this game ending with a solo victory in a very competitive match!

The initial turns had several shifting alliances but they had started to solidify by Spring 1903. As Austria, I was initially looking to work with Turkey which led to taking Rumania in F1901. However, Russia proposed an AIR alliance based on the strong E-F alliance that was forming and we were jointly able to take advantage of Turkey being out of position. I turned over Trieste to Italy to help him gain another fleet and we advanced armies to help Germany hold Munich.

The next major shift was in 1904 where Russia had decided to advance to Berlin which I didn't really support so Germany invited me into Munich instead of it falling into French hands while he went after Berlin which didn't pan out. This was a turning point for me to be across the stalemate line so began thinking about potential solo options although the priority was on holding back E-F with Italy being a strong ally.

My next big decision was to go after Russia starting in 1905 with Italy's agreement. Russia had made a couple of misorders in the North that had allowed England to gain ground and had still disagreed with this decision to take Berlin so that was the primary thoughts behind this shift.

By Fall 1905, Russia had fallen quickly with England getting into Stp but with only a fleet in Berlin which made a big difference in the endgame. Germany was able to take Warsaw and the intent was for him to survive long enough to regain Berlin to possibly build a fleet in the North.

At this point, a stalemate line formed by Fall 1909 and a 4-way draw was looking likely with Italy being unable to break into MaO so I made the decision to take Warsaw from Germany and advance against Italy with the map below:

Spring 1910:
game-history-small-166094-19-O.png
game-history-small-166094-19-O.png (90 KiB) Viewed 250 times


By coincidence, France also moved back to protect against England in the same Spring move which allowed Italy into Burgundy to break through the stalemate lines. I could have stuck with Italy for a safer ending but the die had been cast and Italy was understandably upset and vowed my destruction. Italy's view was that I had made a terrible mistake since he had five fleets but my armies were still in good positions and I had started to encourage England to pursue either a 2-way draw with me or a 3-way draw involving France. England said he was fully on-board and I turned over Moscow as a goodwill offering.

By Fall 1911, I was at 13 centers and E-F then took three centers from Italy as we had been discussing while I took Ankara. This stab was what I had been hoping for since I moved on Italy since it took him down to just 4 centers so the path to a 3-way draw seemed to be clear.

Fall 1911:
game-history-small-166094-21-R.png
game-history-small-166094-21-R.png (72.19 KiB) Viewed 250 times


However, Italy surprised me by switching to seek revenge on E-F for their decision to attack him so I definitely encouraged this shift since it was my only hope for a solo win which should be everyone's goal regardless of how it's achieved! Italy pushed against England's fleets while I bounced England in Livonia until I could get my armies in place to take Moscow and a fleet into Tunis to finish the solo win.

Italy definitely got caught in the middle this game and understand his final desire to go after E-F instead of being finished off in a 3-way draw. Even if he went to Tunis at the end I would have supported in England instead of settling for a 4-way draw at this point so there was no path for Italy to be in the final draw. Italy played a strong game and it would have been an interesting challenge if he hadn't been knocked down to 4 centers. However, I still believe that I could have held out fine against this attack but the story could easily have shifted to England pursuing a solo win as Italy pressed the attack.

In the end, I view this game mainly as a good example of the importance of diplomatic relationships instead of strong tactics or strategy. I only stabbed Italy & Germany to break from ending in a 4-way draw and it wasn't a very strong strategic play but I was desperate to change things. However, being able to convince England and France to join in attacking Italy was a strong diplomatic win that ensured my place in at least a 3-way draw even if Italy kept attacking me.

Austria can be a challenging country but I've had good success when able to play Russia and Turkey against each other in the early years and partnering with Italy. Once you get to six centers, you can make a strong impact on the game especially if Turkey is the initial opponent to fall and Italy is forced to pull their forces back to the West.
Czar99
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Re: PDL 2020 Division 2 Mar Game B, #166094 AAR

Postby Josey Wales » 18 May 2020, 05:35

You left a lot out, but before E/F decided to attack me, here was the map at F 1910 Build.. Austria would not have been able to stop my fleets and the one England was going to send east. Had E/F not decided to switch a 3-way (EFI) for a 3-way (they thought it would be anyway, EFA) then Austria was done - his armies aside. When E/F decided it was a good idea to stab me for the second time in the game, they had no answer to my giving you the solo.

The Public Press is also quite illuminating and a bit of a riot.

https://www.playdiplomacy.com/games/1/166094/game-history-166094-20-O.png

Still a solo is a solo, even if lady Luck intervened. Was a fun game for me.
If you are gonna fight, then fight like you are the third monkey on the ramp to Noah's ark … and brother, it just started to rain

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Re: PDL 2020 Division 2 Mar Game B, #166094 AAR

Postby Shyvve » 18 May 2020, 07:16

Congrats on your solo, Czar99! I'll have to check the game out.
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