PDL 2. Round 2 Game 1. AAR

After game reports for PlaDip Diplomacy League games

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Re: PDL 2. Round 2 Game 1. AAR

Postby boldblade » 11 Apr 2018, 14:52

mhsmith0 wrote:I can confirm this. At some point I'll go back and discuss those circumstances in more detail, but I want to lay out my headspace in more detail instead of just dumping something out.

I will say that I gave you an honest chance to change my mind, and took the time to think through the game state and implications before just saying no. It's entirely possible that I came to the wrong answer, but there was a process involved. Of course, past a certain point of hostility, I kind of stopped caring about the engagement since it seemed more venting than anything productive. It's a game, it's supposed to be fun, it was actually a very pleasant game for a while... and I didn't much enjoy it becoming upnleasant late.

I'll also say that I thought it rather unfair that I was seemingly held to the standard of being forced to be the bannerman for the "right" way of playing (which is itself up for debate) in a format where plenty of others have made the same 3-way draw calls, and I'd guess that at least in some occassions it's been a far easier potential solo spot than the one I theoretically had (I also think that France's rapid advancement in the north, without using any of the navy builds that he got from attacking Germany [F Brest and F Mar went to the mediterranean, so France woudl have had a broadly similar road against a solo attempting Russian], essentially confirmed my headspace about Scandinavia being a difficult set of centers to hold long enough to amass 18 overall... but again, the details can come later).


I think I had a soft touch that escalated into a stiff poke from fall retreat 1905 up until spring 1906 processed. Sorry for unpleasantness after that but that was sort of the point ;) Obviously the tactic didn't work but the goal was to frustrate/embarrass you enough to force you to make a move, any move, just to prove something.

First of all it really isn't up for debate. The game was never meant to end in a draw. Draws are a reality because of stalemates and game fatigue but to play for one simply was not a part of the plan when this game was created.

Anyways, you by far ended up with the best chance for it in this game. So that is why everyone expects that of you. Personally, I was trying every method of persuasion I know in game including trying to appeal to a deeper ambition within you calling for you to be this "bannerman" for the league. Have there been other examples in this league of people skipping better solo opportunities? Idk probably. But this is my first game in the league and you had a good chance that you passed on. Scandinavia is not as hard to hold as you made it out to be. You made it harder by not building a fleet in 1905 like you should have. And further you screwed it up when you did not send the army from Moscow north. France would not have taken anything from you if you had sent that army north and then built a fleet in 1906 like you should have.

Finally, did France have a shot? He did but it was narrow compared to yours and he didn't have a willing assistant. Or at least he didn't have a willing assistant that was close enough to help him out. You, on the other hand did have an ally willing to go balls out to see you towards your solo run.

Cliff Dancer wrote:Russia: Come on, dude! Go for it! Worst case scenario, Italy is down to 4 units, France up to 15, and you strike a deal with Italy to bring him into a 3-way draw AT THAT POINT. And please please please don't offer a draw in 1905! Insulting to the other players involved - wait until the end of 1906 at least.


Honestly, Cliff makes a good point I forgot to bring up yet in the AAR. Part of my firm poking stage of negotiating with you included arguments that if the solo run fell apart everyone would understand and you could probably sue for peace a few turns later if you got stuck.
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Re: PDL 2. Round 2 Game 1. AAR

Postby boldblade » 11 Apr 2018, 15:07

Cliff Dancer wrote:PDL Leaguers:
Italy: I think all things considered, you seemed to play fairly well, but.... Really agreeing to a 3-way draw in 1901 fall (according to your comments in this thread)!?! I don't understand this?

France: .... GO FOR IT!!! Same advice as Russia! Get Turkey on your side, or get Italy

Austria: Austria is a SWEET nation to play.... IF you are playing with experienced players. I'd actually recommend if you believed Russia for the DMZ in Galicia to open VEN/ALB/SER to get your fleet involved, but I'm probably just nit-picking.

Germany: .... why are you attacking Austria in 1903 or 1904 or whatever it was? Let the East more closely resolved and Russia is under control before you really consider that! I don't know all the dynamics, but you basically just created a suicide pact with Austria without really consulting him ;)

Anyway - I hope I'm not intruding on this forum, and I look forward to seeing how this all pans out in the PDL league moving forward.

~CliffDancer


No intrusion as far as I'm concerned either. I think Italy covered this but agreeing to work with a FIR from 1901 is not the same as agreeing to a draw. Honestly, I was hard on Italy in game but at the end of the day he earned his place. At the time the draw was first offered? Well as you and I have already pointed out that was the insult so I wont beat that issue any further.

I agree with Iggy that I think your message to him is a bit unfair. I think he angled for a solo at multiple times but ran into some real roadblocks and never had the shot Russia did. Italy was an ally but Italy was not in a position like I was where he was willing to throw the solo to France (and nor should he have been willing, he didn't have a shot at the win but he had a shot at the draw and was right in trying to fight for that position).

Austria can't survive with a hostile Italy unless he has a strong alliance with Turkey and is taking the offensive to Italy. But the German intervention against Austria definitely ended him. And I still don't really understand the chain of events there. I guess Germany was just manipulated into helping his good buddy Russia there. In my opinion, though, that's the time to make a minor stab. If Turkey and Austria are going after Russia, jump on that bandwagon. England is beat down so you might have a chance at controlling all of Scandinavia.
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Re: PDL 2. Round 2 Game 1. AAR

Postby Iggy » 11 Apr 2018, 15:32

Below is the spot I'd like to discuss if mhsmith0 is willing...

Here is the board after spring 1905 retreats:

Image

At this point both both Russia and I have 9 units, Russia controls 2 Austrian centers. I embarked on a long conversation to go for the 2 way with him. The end result of the Fall 1905 moves would have him at 12 centers with 3 builds and me at 11 centers with 2 builds. It also would have a huge DMZ in the northern waters. The 2 of us would control 23 of 34 centers and there wouldn't really be any chance for Germany/Italy/Turkey to stop us from a 2 way.

The only problem is the potential for one of us to solo. Russia would have the advantage in centers but France has less resistance in the Western Med than Russia has with Turkey. There is a chance at one of us soloing, and frankly could be either of us depending on how well we can negotiate with the minor powers. That was a risk I was more than ready to take.

So, the plan was for me to take EDI and HOL with my 2 fleets. Russia would tap Berlin with his fleet and move SWE-DEN. Germany would be left with 2 indefensible centers, Italy would see me in the med with more fleets coming and Turkey would be isolated.

Instead, Russia made 1 minor change to the moves and put the fleet in DEN and let Germany retake KIE:

Image

I thought it was a premature move to go for the solo. It gives him 12 centers, stops me at 10 which includes having to rebuild the army in KIE back behind my lines and actually has Russia + Germany sitting at 15 centers with a Turkey stirring the pot left and right. It wasn't the worst move ever to go for the solo if he can use his long time ally in Germany to help go for it but gave me a chance to patch things with Italy and reverse course. But with such an easy 2 way in hand and a future chance to solo, I'd have gone for that any day, as I did.

I'd like to see mhsmith's thoughts on this here. Was there ever a thought at the solo or did you really just get cold feet because you worried about my ability to solo? I liked my position but you had the numbers at this point as well as a lot of armies in the Balkans, etc that very well could have been enough to get the solo before I could poor fleets into the med.

Before these moves, I was 99% sure this game was ending in either a RF draw for 20 points each or one of us soloing. I was more than happy to gamble on either the 2 way or getting the solo first but was also very willing to risk getting nothing.

Thoughts on why you bailed?
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Re: PDL 2. Round 2 Game 1. AAR

Postby Cliff Dancer » 11 Apr 2018, 17:11

Iggy,

I did read through everything, but of course not with the same intensity of someone involved in the game. With the additional considerations, yes, after fall 05, Russia had a much better chance than you at the solo, with a better diplomatic pull over both GT (and probably also Italy). And with RI both resigned to a draw, that was probably your best possible result.

I appreciate seeing these AARs even when I am uninvolved, there are always at least a few good takeaways :)

CD
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Re: PDL 2. Round 2 Game 1. AAR

Postby Astrup » 11 Apr 2018, 17:19

I think it is also to be mentioned, that in the first picture I hadn't made my kingmaking threat yet. It was after the second picture, where France went to the Med, and I could feel that a lot of tension between the two had begun.
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Re: PDL 2. Round 2 Game 1. AAR

Postby Iggy » 11 Apr 2018, 17:20

Cliff Dancer wrote:Iggy,

I did read through everything, but of course not with the same intensity of someone involved in the game. With the additional considerations, yes, after fall 05, Russia had a much better chance than you at the solo, with a better diplomatic pull over both GT (and probably also Italy). And with RI both resigned to a draw, that was probably your best possible result.

I appreciate seeing these AARs even when I am uninvolved, there are always at least a few good takeaways :)

CD


I agree that after fall 1905, Russia was the only one with a shot at a solo. I've said several times (in game and after) that if I were him, I would have tried for it at that point.

That said, I'd love to see some thoughts about the above:

1) I want to know what mhsmith was thinking in the fall 1905.
2) I would love to see independent analysis on if Russia's best chance was to:
a) move as he did and go for the solo with 3 builds in 1906
b) let me keep KIE and push for the solo after - still with 3 build but an ally in destroying AGT on the way to a "two way"/solo

For me it was obviously better for him to let me keep KIE. For him, I think he still had an excellent position to push for the solo but maybe keeping me at 10 and using Turkey/Germany units and negotiation makes more sense.
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Re: PDL 2. Round 2 Game 1. AAR

Postby Iggy » 11 Apr 2018, 17:24

Astrup wrote:I think it is also to be mentioned, that in the first picture I hadn't made my kingmaking threat yet. It was after the second picture, where France went to the Med, and I could feel that a lot of tension between the two had begun.


You didn't have to try too hard to feel the tension. Pretty sure I messaged you about 6 seconds after the moves processed apologizing and begging forgiveness. I was fully convinced as soon as I saw the moves reveal that Russia had spoken to Germany and/or Turkey and was making a play for the solo. It was 18 vs 16 if it was GRT vs FI and I had just violated our agreement. I needed to patch things up with you ASAP to make sure that Russia didn't have an easy solo by you reacting to my betrayal and abandoning centers to Russia to "make me pay", etc.

At that point, you threatening both Russia and me with the potential to king-make was totally the correct play. It would have been your only play if Russia had let me keep KIE but I was willing to take that risk. I would capture TUN from you and have several fleets coming into the med. If you came totally at me and abandoned the east to Russia, I'd probably be in trouble but I thought I could take a center in the north if necessary to keep balance along the way.
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Re: PDL 2. Round 2 Game 1. AAR

Postby boldblade » 11 Apr 2018, 17:47

Iggy wrote:I agree that after fall 1905, Russia was the only one with a shot at a solo. I've said several times (in game and after) that if I were him, I would have tried for it at that point.

That said, I'd love to see some thoughts about the above:

1) I want to know what mhsmith was thinking in the fall 1905.
2) I would love to see independent analysis on if Russia's best chance was to:
a) move as he did and go for the solo with 3 builds in 1906
b) let me keep KIE and push for the solo after - still with 3 build but an ally in destroying AGT on the way to a "two way"/solo

For me it was obviously better for him to let me keep KIE. For him, I think he still had an excellent position to push for the solo but maybe keeping me at 10 and using Turkey/Germany units and negotiation makes more sense.


I know I am not the independent analysis you are looking for but I will add some thoughts (sorry if I am repeating something I said elsewhere). I think mhsmith rightly identified that you were a bigger solo threat in a 2-way race. If you guys did the 2-way draw thing that turned into a race to 18 I think you would have won. However, this decision-making process was all done prior to the kingmaking threats. That would have changed things big time. The problem I always had with Russia's reasoning was that he refused to see how he could help Germany defend to slow you down and focus his attention on Italy with my assist. If he had continued that route and just settled to defend in the north enough centers in the south would have fallen his way while you were stalled out. That was the "easy" path that I saw and the kingmaking would not have mattered. But I am also interested to hear someone else's thoughts on that as well.
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Re: PDL 2. Round 2 Game 1. AAR

Postby Frenchie07001 » 11 Apr 2018, 21:50

I tried a couple times to mount a resistance. Germany needed to be a part of it and never really got on board until it was too late. I believe he supported me once at the very end (I may be mistaken) but at that point any chance of stopping FIR was gone.

As stated I think I played the best I could. Germany hurt me and when Italy chose Russia over me, that was the death stroke
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Re: PDL 2. Round 2 Game 1. AAR

Postby mhsmith0 » 11 Apr 2018, 22:34

Compared to round 1, this AAR is half the number of moves and the exact same result (a bit better on tiebreakers but that's not a big deal). Nice! :D
But since lolsmithlazy, I’m going to do through 1904 and then chat on the rest later.

Image
Spring 1901: 1,000,000 better spring 1901 phase for me than last time, though I certainly sweated it a bit. England tells me he's making an anti-Russian Northern Opening, at least one of (maybe both? I forget tbh) France and Germany tell me that England wants a Western Triple, Germany refuses to negotiate any kind of committal to Sweden… and then I basically beg France to open to the channel and run a Sealion (which, honestly, is way better for France than WT is anyway). And it works!
Just eyeballing the board, this is an awful start for both corner powers (E/T). England has a potentially developing sealion against him, and Turkey is facing a possible AIR (or at least an unusually friendly A/R pairing, and an Italian who’s made a substantially anti-Turkey opening. The only real upside for Turkey was Austria didn’t trust Italy enough to go Tri-Alb (and I think that such a move would have made the game a lot eaiser on Austria down the road fwiw).

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Fall 1901: I’m in Sweden AND Romania, which is about as positive an opening for Russia as you can get, and F/G are fully on board with the Sealion (England gets to build, but I’m in Sweden and Germany is in NTH and France is in ENG). I think in retrospect I’d be better off moving STP-Fin here (then building F STP NC, which would have potentially paid off long term I think), but there was a non-zero chance that England would try to convoy and get stopped, or try and get cute otherwise, and committing visibly to the anti-English alliance made my northern front a complete non-issue for a LONG time, enabling me to focus on the south in future turns.

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Winter 1901: standard/obvious builds for me here. Italy getting a navy means that Turkey’s in huge trouble unless Italy wants to throw a curveball and occupy ADR and Alb…

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Spring 1902: I do that thing I do when games are going well and start getting lazy on messaging. I pay for this with Austria and Turkey attacking me. Not the greatest feeling here…
I also sent my army north because I was a bit worried about possible shenanigans or England making a comeback. Fortunately that didn’t happen (also I wanted space for Romania to retreat if needed… SHOCKINGLY it was needed)
Up north I think England really didn’t have good options, but it was at least possible to try and set Germany against France (NTH-Bel supported by Hol almost always works, and Munich-Ruhr potentially gives Germany an extra body in that area). Austria tried selling me on “we can still be friends and allies after I take Romania because I need to equalize our centers”; SHOCKINGLY I ended up looking for better options elsewhere :P

Image
Fall 1902: I convince Turkey to back off (he claims BLA-SEv and Smy-Arm were just defensive against Sev-Arm in the spring, which is almost certainly a lie unless Turkey just thinks I’m an idiot tactically).
Italy gives Austria a major present in Bulgaria, which puts Austria in a much better position than I’d like (although I think that Austria picked up a center here at the cost of permanently burning bridges with Turkey, right after he’d burned bridges with me over Romania... I think Austria would have been far better off going strong anti-Russia, tapping Ukraine with a follow-up from Serbia and giving Turkey Sevastopol for free, which would have caused me to have MAJOR problems instead of being able to focus 1903 on killing him).

Image
Winter 1902: Austria’s theoretically in a strong position, but he’s taken a majorly anti-Russia stance, Germany has started to come after him, and he just basically declared war on Turkey one turn after he’d tried to use Turkey to war on me.

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Spring 1903: Austria’s over-aggression comes home to roost a bit, in that he’s getting attacked by Germany, Russia, AND Turkey. Oh and Italy helped Austria hold Bulgaria, but at the same time, Italy helped Germany into Tyrolia. What this signals is that Italy is no friend to Austria but IS a major enemy of Turkey. Meanwhile in the west, France has moved enough forces into the area to be set up nicely to stab either Germany or Italy. Both I and G are actually, positionally, quite vulernable to future stabs. Ironically, in this turn had Germany stabbed France (Hol-Bel, Munich-Burgundy), the outcome would have been utterly brutal.
But I and G continue to essentially present France with a golden choice of “stab whichever of us you want and it’ll succeed”. I’m France’s ally and I have much bigger problems elsewhere, but if you chop the board along the Versailles line (STP/Ber/Mun/Mar/Spa and north/west), here’s the unit count:
France 6
England 2
Russia 2 (and one is an army in Norway that’s ZERO threat)
Germany 4
As of this moment, France was the strongest power in the board, because he had no enemies that were any kind of threat.
This may also be the final turn whereby a rapproachment between Austria and Turkey could have reasonably worked. Tri-Adr, Vie-Tri, and Turkey cycling BLA into Con and Con into Ank… that makes life potentially painful, or at least more difficult, for Italy.
Image
Fall 1903: France prepares for the upcoming attack on Germany, and Germany is way out of position to defend it. Austria also takes the “free” German center in Berlin, at the cost of making Germany his long-term enemy. I take back Romania, and I’m set up to crush Austria down south in 1904. Interestingly, Italy continues to “support” Austria against Turkey while making moves that make it (IMO) quite obvious the stab is coming. Austria is down to 5 supply centers, theoretically still a power, but surrounded by enemies and with one of his key units way out of position.
I also wonder if Austria would have been better off negotiating with Germany to stay out of Berlin in exchange for Germany staying out of Vienna; similarly, "Germany supports Tri-Ven in exchange for Austria not attacking Berlin" seems like a potentially mutually positive offer? Idk if these sorts of things were discussed... but it was a CHANCE for A/G to come to terms and change the game (I'd like to think that I played some part in that not happening by befriending Germany while encouraging Austria to take the "free" berlin center but you'd have to ask A/G why things happened the way they did)
Image
Winter 1903. Why does Austria destroy Trieste, a potentially important fleet, instead of the clearly out of position Berlin? “Let me hang onto Berlin for a bit, and I’ll help you against the obvious stab attempt coming from France” seems like not that problematic of an offer from either A or G… but I think that ship has sailed, and the war between A and G clears the board for F/I/R to mutually grow strong enough to make everyone else’s elimination just a matter of time.
Going back to counts north of Versailles…
France 7
England 1
Germany 3
Austria 1
Russia 2
So just 14/34 units were on France’s half of the board, one of them was effectively a French ally (Austria), two of them were France’s ally (Russia) and basically useless in contesting anything France would take for a while… I vaguely recall this is around when I started to worry about France’s potential growth quite a bit. Certainly this mindset was part of my thinking for a while.
Image
Spring 1904: If Austria had destroyed Berlin, there’s no way that France gets into Munich, and Germany can productively go Kiel-Holland. Tyrolia-Munich supported by Ruhy, and Kiel-Holland, maybe supported by NTH. Do those moves, and France’s rapid-fire growth turns into a long hard slog. Moreover, by having a fleet in Trieste, Austria could have retreated to Albania in the spring and potentially overpowered Italy in Greece. Instead Austria was a dead man walking and Italy stuck in the knife. I will say, fwiw, that even given the moves on the board it’s unclear what Germany was going for this turn. Kiel-Berlin and Ruhr-Holland keeps France out of Munich for a season (bouncing NTH with Ruhr might have worked if keeping Ruhr where it was was important? London was lost anyway most of the time I think…), and then you can realistically retake Berlin with Kiel in the fall, while probably doing something like NTH-Hol in the fall to avoid destruction there…
I also have no clue what England is doing here, and start to worry that he’s going to try and throw Norway to Germany. Germany asked me to go Sweden to Denmark (I think to help kill A Berlin?) and I comply… but that English move makes me super paranoid. Ended up not happening but COULD have happened.

Image
Fall 1904: Austria’s Berlin holding fell as had always been inevitable… but because France got into Munich in the spring, he could retreat into Kiel in the fall and then Germany was just toast. France’s odd looking move into NWG was at my request btw, since I figured decent odds Norway was going bye bye (obviously I was wrong but oh well)
Image
Winter 1904: Here F/R collectively control the board. Austria has been destroyed, Germany is basically a rump power, etc.

I'll circle back to what happened in 1905 and subsequent years later, but I think it's kind of interesting how/why F/I/R had such an easy run of it (despite some late game drama). England never mounted any kind of resistance to Sealion. Turkey never got past four centers, and retreated away from its one chance to really change the game in late 1902. Austria spent the game perpetually attacking people, antagonizing G/R/T and never (as far as I could tell) doing anything to make Italy more than an ally of convenience. And Germany couldn’t step away from his war with Austria, and made some notable errors in his defense against France.

I’d probably say that all things considered, fall 1903 was the #1 most important season for locking in F/I/R as having collective board control. G/A/T could have turned the tide that season… Romania-Sev supported by BLA would have succeeded. My attack on Romania would have failed if Turkey wasn’t attacking Bulgaria at the same time. Italy would have lost Venice if A/G could have cooperated there. Instead… none of those things happened, G/T were both attacking Austria, Austria crippled Germany by taking Munich, and after that turn it was really a question of if or how F/I/R would ever break down… and that never actually happened. Spring 1904 probably wasn’t impossible either… but it would have taken a massive overarching resistance to ever make it work out.
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