PDL 3. Round 1 Game 3. AAR

After game reports for PlaDip Diplomacy League games

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PDL 3. Round 1 Game 3. AAR

Postby mjparrett » 12 Mar 2018, 23:00

Nothing really matters, anyone can see....

England (gnaah)
France (TimKB) 3 WAY DRAW
Italy (Caladrius)
Germany (chaserh11)
Austria (rickguill) 3 WAY DRAW
Turkey (Malachite) 3 WAY DRAW
Russia (StalwartHiggins)

Well done all. The game was marred by our one and only true surrender of round 1. Thanks very much to Caladrius who stepped in to a losing cause and has taken up position in the league.

Interesting to hear why Germany accepted the draw. Surely some king-making options? Please post your AAR here!
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Re: PDL 3. Round 1 Game 3. AAR

Postby mjparrett » 12 Mar 2018, 23:11

League table updated. Congrats to PDL 3 for being the first league to have all round 1 games completed!
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Re: PDL 3. Round 1 Game 3. AAR

Postby Cabrera » 13 Mar 2018, 22:15

A short AAR from the Austrian perspective.

One of the first communications that I received in the game was a message from Italy demanding that I support Italy into Greece. Had Italy actually asked nicely I would probably have agreed, but I don't particularly like players who adopt an aggressive tone and decided to look elsewhere for allies. The messages I was receiving from Russia were all about taking a cautious approach rather than taking immediate action. Turkey, on the other hand, was both friendly and positive about working together. Whilst I recognised that an Austria/Turkey alliance would present some problems, I decided to try to work with Turkey and see what would happen.

Turkey and I had various discussions about whether or not to attack Russia and then later discussions about whether or not to work with Russia. My impression was that both Turkey and I would have agreed to a RAT alliance but Russia sought to promote dissent between myself and Turkey and ultimately Turkey and I agreed, later in the game, that we would have to address what had become the Russian problem.

Spring of 1902 saw a move that had a significant impact on the whole of the game. Germany, with whom I had a fairly neutral relationship at the time, moved from Munich to Tyrolia. I was fighting Italy at the time and the motivation for the German move was very unclear and seemed to have no particular logic to it. After some discussions, Germany was persuaded to support my attacks on Italy. When a growing Russia decided to start attacking German centers, it seemed to make sense for Turkey and I to work with Germany and a clear TAG alliance was formed. The TAG alliance succeeded in eliminating Russia and was poised to move on France, with the TAG partners sharing a 3-way draw, when Germany decided to betray the alliance and stabbed the Austrian/Turkish territories.

In correspondance, Germany explained that they had previously been accused of being timid and that they had therefore decided to try for the solo. I would be interested to know the extent to which France influenced the German decision because the real beneficiary of the German stab was France who would otherwise have been eliminated by the TAG alliance. The German solo was never going to be possible as Austria/Turkey had a strong position along the stalemate lines and every incentive now to help France stop the German solo. After some hard bargaining with a very determined France, it was agreed that the FAT alliance would work together for the 3-way draw, with Germany excluded. Austria/Turkey agreed to a French fleet being placed in Albania, with France agreeing that an Austrian fleet could move out of the Med and into MAO and then NAO.

Although German land forces were strong, Germany was massively outgunned in terms of fleets and it became clear that the FAT alliance would eventually sweep Germany from the board. Austria/Turkey were in no mood to forgive Germany, so Germany accepted the 3-way draw (which excluded Germany) when offered, even though at the time Germany was still had more centers than 2 of the three other powers.

Credit for most of the tactical decisions by Austria/Turkey should actually go to Turkey. The Austria/Turkey alliance was sometimes difficult to operate, since Turkey had few opportunities to expand without encountering Austrian centers. A clear commitment by both players to maintain parity of units helped maintain the alliance from early in the game until the very end. The prize for determined play must go to France. Midway through the game, I was convinced that France was doomed as the TAG alliance swept all before it but France never, ever gave up and negotiated hard on every point. In the end, France secured a place in the 3-way draw.

I was, perhaps, fortunate not to have been stabbed by Turkey at some point in the game but the Austria/Turkish alliance held through good times and bad (particularly the German stab) and the eventual outcome of the game seemed like a fair conclusion. Thanks to all who played.
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Re: PDL 3. Round 1 Game 3. AAR

Postby hedge trimmer » 13 Mar 2018, 23:33

Image
The final board. Fall 1910, builds.

"A country for tenacious, uncommunicative, unambitious tacticians, Turkey bores me to death."
-Richard Sharp (1978) "The Game of Diplomacy"


I've only played a little bit as Turkey (I took over a position where I played a few turns before the game was drawn after I managed to stop Italy's invasion), but I definitely don't like Turkey's position on the board. That's why I very quickly decided to aim for a 3 way, especially after I saw that England would get wiped out pretty quickly, and that France was going to become a major player in the game. I became a tenacious, uncommunicative, unambitious tactician.

Initial impressions:
Russia (StalwartHiggins): Tells me he always wants to ally with Turkey as Russia, but he wants to have us bounce in the Black Sea until the end of time, which will tie a huge chunk of my forces for absolutely no reason. Yuck. He also had his initial set of orders decided before the game even started, which made him seem very inflexible.
Italy (the old one): Seemed kind of aloof, and then he sent a group message to R/A/T telling us that he's going to attack the country that doesn't support him to Greece. Well, that's a bold strategy, but you're not going to make any friends like that. Austria wasn't happy, and neither was I, as I'm not a huge fan of threats. This didn't end up working for him, and he decided to drop out when both Austria and I stabbed him.
Austria (rickguill): Wasn't initially very excited when I suggested an alliance, but thanks to Italy's stunt he was suddenly more receptive to the idea. I then suggested an all out attack against Russia, and Austria actually seemed to consider it, but we decided against it when we realized how the rest of the board was going to move. Russia was going to get Sweden, and even if we tried at most we could only bounce him out of Rumania.
England (gnaah): He seemed rather eager to attack Russia, but I tried to make him focus more on France.
France (TimKB): He told me that Italy thinks I'm pretty aggressive, which is nonsense. I then told France that he should move to Piedmont since Italy will probably leave it open. He never replied.
Germany (chaserh11): Apparently Austria was trying to recruit both Germany and England to attack Russia, but that's not good news for me. I need them to fight France badly so France doesn't stop me in the Mediterranean. Meanwhile, it seems like Germany is recruiting others to attack England, if Russia is to be trusted. Apparently England isn't talking to him, and that's why he's wanting to attack England. Still, I don't want Russia to get a free ride to Sweden because of it, so I became a marriage counselor for England and Germany. Apparently the problem was that Germany had forgotten to send England a message he had drafted. None of this ever paid off though, and England was attacked anyway.

The opening phase (1901):
France and England agreed bounce in the Channel in S01, which was very interesting! This slows down England a lot, while the French fleet in MAO is in perfect position to attack England next year. France somehow even manages to talk Germany into giving him Belgium for his "second" build... But he has Spain in his back pocket... meaning he gets three of the neutrals! In any case, the bounce in the Channel combined with Germany opening Kie - Hol means my work to get Russia into some problems in Scandinavia has failed spectacularly. Both France and Russia, my main threats, have a great year thanks to Germany.

My initial plan for the year was to bounce both Russia and Italy out of the Balkan neutrals with Austria, but Austria insisted that I take Greece. Well, I'm not saying no to that!

After that, the dilemma was this: If I ally with Russia I think we would be able to mow down Austria and Italy in a few short years, but I think that might cause the rest of the board react, and I feel Russia is in much better position to expand than I am, especially since it seems like France will be ready to stop my advance while Germany seemed to offer much less resistance. All this while Russia would be using his useless fleet to slow down my progress by tying up one of my units as well.

Image
Fall 1901.

The "diplomatic mess" phase (1902-1904):
I decide to stay allied with Austria, while both France and Russia are constantly trying to convince me to stab him, even though there would be no point in it and I'd only gain a single center out of it while they take rest of the centers.

Meanwhile Austria is mostly focused on attacking Italy who's NMRing, and Germany is focused on wiping out England even though France and Russia are growing very strong. All this is making it very difficult for me to convince Austria and Germany to actually attack Russia. It's not helping that Russia has been allowed to grow large enough so we can't attack Russia with just the two of us, and we needed Germany's help to do it. Looking back, perhaps we could've attacked Russia, but Austria didn't want to move to Galicia since Germany had moved to Tyrolia for some strange reason.

Around this time Austria let me have Serbia, which I decided hide as a stab to see how France and Russia will react. The first message I read after the stab is Austria telling me that Russia wants to attack me together with him (apparently I'm a "wild card opportunist who would stab all the way to victory", which sounds nice enough to include in my forum signature or something), and Germany tells me that Russia is asking him to decide who he should ally with. It's still very hard to convince either Austria or Germany to actually attack Russia, and unless I horribly misunderstood something, one of Germany's ideas was to start a fake G/R vs A/T war simply so he could remain friends with Russia. What?

I also try to start a RAT alliance (several times) around this time, but it doesn't work at all, and Russia seems to just want to attack Austria (while still only offering me a single center, Trieste, as spoils). RAT made sense to me, as France and Germany were pretty strong, and it didn't seem like they would stab each other any time soon, and I would get absolutely nothing out of stabbing Austria.

Image
Spring 1904.

The "Guten TAG" phase (1905-1906):
Finally I manage to convince Austria and Germany to attack Russia. Then he basically gives up and his defense immediately breaks apart, even though it seemed to be impossible to attack him just a few years earlier.

Meanwhile, France is doing basically nothing.

The "German solo" phase (1907-1910):
See that giant hole in the middle of Austria's lines (below)? Do you want to stab it? I saw it too, but I didn't bother telling Austria to do something about it since I was sure we could stop Germany even if he tried something, and I didn't want to seem paranoid. Then he tried something, and we stopped him. I told Germany that once he's realized that he can't solo he should send me a message so we can get back to getting a 3 way. He never sent me anything. He didn't try to make us turn on each other, nothing.

Meanwhile, we played nice with France, and he allowed us to move one fleet each to the Atlantic so we could stop Germany. In return he kept one of his fleets behind our lines in Albania. Since I mentioned it in the lounge thread: Austria had a second fleet, but he disbanded it when Germany stabbed us. Very exciting.

After a few years of boring near-stalemate trudge, the game is finally drawn.

Image
Spring 1907.

I tried to keep it short! Thanks for the game everyone, and thank you Mike for finding us a new Italy (and setting up the whole League in the first place)!
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Re: PDL 3. Round 1 Game 3. AAR

Postby TimKB » 14 Mar 2018, 01:04

I won't be as fancy as Malachite above but will just highlight some of - as I see it - key points in this game.

1901 - Drawing France, I decided rather early in the game to definitely not let England have the Channel, even though it might cost me an Iberian build. Additionally, it would enhance my position with the German on receiving Belgium as well as gaining his trust that there would not be a E+F vs G. However, after Spring/Fall 01 it became very clear that Germany was more responsive and would be more communicative throughout the game (received very little replies from England) so actually the Franco-German alliance was created. Italy really did not get involved in any of my affairs early on, as much as the Turk wanted me to believe that ;). 1902 went according to plan, grabbed an additional SC in Iberia while 1903 saw unfortunaly Germany landing first on English soil. Therefore I had to settle for just Lvp. But hey, I already had Belgium so not really much to complain about.

Italy NMRing - Moving slightly back, I feel this was a key moment in this game. The NMR of Italy destroyed any thought about growing steadily before I had to move towards the med seas and Italy. Speeding up my moves towards Italy, unfortunately, an Army coming from Iberia & fresh F in Mar were too late in prohibiting the takeover of Italy. Thanks Caladrius for stepping in!! but unfortunately it was too late to hand Turkey full control of the meds while Austria gained multiple builds as well. Think Germany made a major error in supporting Austria into Venice even though it was clear there was a strong AT relationship forming, that would remove the Russian threat eventually anyway.

GF vs the Austro-Turkish engagement - Pfff, @Turkey suppose Austria bought you a diamond ring? Clear cut opportunities for Turkey to stab Austria and get an easy three way with G&F were rejected. And as I knew my fleets were not enough to keep the med seas forever, as of 1904, I knew my positions would slowly crumble till Germany would decide to stab me and take the three way with Austria and Turkey. 1904 and 1905 just went by while A&T&G got the Russian builds and I could just wait till the whole strength of the A&T came down on my med sea positions, in fall 1906 the moment was there. Germany decided to take my just obtained build in Norway and grab Liverpool. He could have easily grabbed Belgium and move into Burgundy as well, but as some kind of semi-stab he did not.

The German solo - I knew I was on the verge of death, and my only chance was to make myself essential for Germany and if that was not going to work, make myself essential for the A&T engagement. So I started by removing my Northern fleets and tell Germany I understood him and would rather let him have the solo than including the treacherous Turk in a draw ;). So I kept on telling him that he could easily grab StP, War, Mos and probably some Austrian home SCs and then just grab some of my centers to get to 18. Apparently I hit something with my shotgun filled with words as he responded positively while I accused him of being timid as he could easily try the solo and still get in the draw so why do not take the possibility. The 1907 Spring convoy from Kiel to Livonia made me happy as I kinda told him to do that so was hopeful he would go for the solo. 1907 Fall was according to plan as he grabbed StP and War (besides making, in my view, the error of not moving to Gal).

EDIT: I also played the card to the German that leaguewise, I would rather have him solo than a three-way draw which is actually the case as well but I forgot that I used it as well, quite a lot of outgoing correspondence to Germany around mid to late February

There started the reconciliation with A&T on basis of that I would let Germany have all of my centers rather than having them on French soil and even though I was very, very, afraid of just getting ripped of my last centers by them after the German solo attempt halted, I got into the draw. Again, feel like Germany has made an error in building way to few fleets which made him vulnerable via the MAO&NAO&Norwegian. If he had some more, I am certain A&T would go for the three way including him and without me.

To conclude - Interesting game, unfortunately the Italian NMR especially damaging for my intends. Good game by Turkey, always in control. Think Germany made some errors that could have changed the outcome of the game, especially for himself. For me it was never an option to accept being excluded of the draw while keeping a positive SC count, 0 points are still 0 points. Again, special thanks to Calabrius for joining in, and thanks to mjparrett for setting this game up, as well as all who played! Perhaps till a new game in the league.

It is a bit of a messed up story, but hopefully you guys can get kinda through my thought process, which is also always little bit chaotic...
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Re: PDL 3. Round 1 Game 3. AAR

Postby TimKB » 14 Mar 2018, 01:18

@ Malachite & Rickguoll, thanks for the interesting read from your side of the map. Funny to see how stuff like Italy NMRing was a really big deal for me but for you guys is was more of an almost natural convenience.
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Re: PDL 3. Round 1 Game 3. AAR

Postby hedge trimmer » 14 Mar 2018, 15:48

TimKB wrote: GF vs the Austro-Turkish engagement - Pfff, @Turkey suppose Austria bought you a diamond ring? Clear cut opportunities for Turkey to stab Austria and get an easy three way with G&F were rejected.

So if I stabbed my ally, instead of a three way I would've gotten a... three way? :) It wouldn't been the first game where a three way has been turned into a two way either, and I had no room to breathe in the Mediterranean. I couldn't have held any of the Italian centers, and like I said, Russia was demanding most of the Austrian centers. Sure, Austria would've been dead, but it wouldn't have improved my position at all, especially if we assume that Austria would've been furious enough to throw all his forces against me.

Besides, I mostly remember you only trying to get me to stab Austria for most of the game, the three way talks came later (1904, image can be found in my previous post), once it was clear that you couldn't continue east without someone stabbing the other. You could've easily attacked Germany with Russia too, and there wasn't much we could've done to stop that with Austria, but I suppose you needed to secure at least Tunis first. Anyway, unless I'm missing something, the first GFT talks between France and Turkey happened after TAG (& the completely pointless RAT) three way talks had already started.

Italy NMRing happened while I was moving my fleets to attack the Ionian Sea, so the NMRs helped mostly Austria, who could walk into Rome. Maybe he could've thrown his centers to France instead if he had been playing? ;) I suppose he could've convoyed his army away from Tunis at least, which would've let France have the center.

EDIT: So yes, the surrender did affect the game.
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Re: PDL 3. Round 1 Game 3. AAR

Postby chaserh11 » 16 Mar 2018, 04:43

This is Germany checking in, I will write something more extensive soon and hopefully explain some of my moves
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