PDL 2. Round 3 Game 1. AAR

After game reports for PlaDip Diplomacy League games

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Re: PDL 2. Round 3 Game 1. AAR

Postby mhsmith0 » 03 Jun 2018, 20:30

I'll have some time for a more detailed AAR this coming week, just super busy w rl stuff rn
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Re: PDL 2. Round 3 Game 1. AAR

Postby Iggy » 04 Jun 2018, 17:44

Hi all. Fully have my access back here at this point, I think.

I want to get everyone in the game a full apology for my lack of participation. All moves where entered but my communication was severely lacking. At work they made some network changes that severely curtailed my access during normal business hours. That left me only having access by phone and/or in the evenings. Combine that with the game starting at the end of the school year and many of my weekends booked and I really had a pathetic performance here - not in results, that speaks for itself, but in participation.

I'm usually a pretty chatty guy but in this case, had limited availability and access to the site. I tried to use my phone to at least reach out to people and I think I had quite a few options after the first few messages. I was even able to keep some communication going for awhile and had at least a glimmer of hope of keeping some relationships in tact. But long term, my lack of availability was going to sink me - and it did. There were several courses of available endings but ultimately, there was only 1 that made sense as things developed.

I'd like to think I would have had more of an impact on what the course would have gone in normal events but as it went, FIR was a certainty. I accepted the draw mostly because I wasn't a factor and still had some connection issues at the end - the final bit was due to the Memorial Day holiday in the US and travel with the family. I'll comment more on some actual game related stuff in a subsequent post.
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Re: PDL 2. Round 3 Game 1. AAR

Postby mhsmith0 » 20 Jul 2018, 07:49

lol i got super busy with other shit so my aar never erally happened

I guess look at the PDL 1 AAR
viewtopic.php?f=820&t=58219
for the aftermath of the EF roflstomp (which then became an easy French solo) to kinda see what I was getting at in terms of the need to have Germany let Russia into Sweden fall 1901, the need for AIR to destroy Turkey (who's basically a 5th column stab factory in the face of long term efforts to stop EF), and what happens when you DONT stand up and shut down a growing EF alliance.

I may have been sowing paranoia and distrust this game... but it was warranted! I think I told very few if any lies to anyone this game, and still managed a pretty successful result imo :)
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Re: PDL 2. Round 3 Game 1. AAR

Postby mhsmith0 » 30 Jul 2018, 19:29

An AAR in pictures (especially since a lot of the conversations escape me lol)

Image
Spring 1901
I actually took a page out of the advice Zosimus left…
Subject: Opening Strategy
Zosimus wrote:Well, opening strategy heavily depends on who you are friendly with and who you hope to kill.

England: Figure out whether Austria is bouncing with Russia in Galicia. Austria should be willing to tell you this. Then figure out whether you are allying with Germany or France. If you're allying with France, then open to Edi, Nwg, and Nth and take Norway with a fleet while bouncing Holland. Meanwhile, France can insist on a bounce in Burgundy and Germany gets only one build. If you're allying with Germany, try to negotiate a DMZ in the English Channel and then immediately violate it by going to Eng, Nth, and York. Then convoy the army to Norway and figure out whether the fleet in Eng is going to Belgium or Mao.

If Austria isn't bouncing in Galicia then you have to play it safer and guard against possible Russian moves north.

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France: If you're allying with Germany, offer Belgium to Germany. This will forestall any attempt by him to move into Burgundy. I like moves to MAO, Gascony, and HOLD. Then you can convoy the army to Portugal and take Spain. This leaves a fleet in MAO for a faster attack on England.

If you're going after Germany then insist on a bounce in Burgundy and play to Picardy, Burgundy, and MAO. You can probably negotiate Belgium for yourself and offer Holland to England.

If you're playing a WT then you can move to Burgundy, MAO, and Spain. Then take Spain(sc), Portugal, and use Burgundy to support someone into Belgium and build a fleet in Marseilles and an army in Paris to go after Italy from the start.

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Germany: Neither an alliance with England or France is particularly desirable, but you'll have to pick one or the other. Tell England his split of France is Brest, Spain and Portugal. Tell France his split of England is Liverpool/London. Try to convince both that you're entitled to Belgium to start. Then try to get 3 builds to start. Alternatively, try to get Russia to invade England while Italy invades France and try to take on both at the same time. In all cases, play to Denmark, Kiel, and Ruhr.

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Italy: Try to convince Germany to invade France to start. If that fails, then try to convince Germany to give you Munich. Try to convince Austria to give you Trieste. Try to convince Austria to play a Key Lepanto. If all of this fails, talk to Russia. Find out whether he is bouncing with Austria in Galicia. If he is, then open to Tyrolia, Venice, and Ionian Sea. Then play the Bohemian Crusher and see how it goes.

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Austria: Try to get Germany to take your side and convince Russia to help you against Turkey. If that works, Russia will give you a DMZ in Galicia and the two of you can take Turkey apart fairly easily. If you can't get that, then tell Turkey that you'll help him into Rumania over Russian objections. Then offer Trieste to Italy if Italy will play Naples->Ionian->Aegean Sea to start. If Turkey can be convinced to open to Armenia to start in order to take on Russia then it's curtains for him.

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Turkey: Open to Black Sea, Bulgaria, and Constantinople. What's the problem?

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Russia: Talk to Germany first to find out if he's taking a hardline pro-Austria stance. If he is, then ally with Austria immediately and give him a Galicia DMZ and play Moscow north. Bounce with Turkey in the Black Sea and then take Rumania with a fleet. Otherwise, open the Southern Defense.

And tried to convince Germany to invade France. Not much interest, including when I worked a bit to see if I could get an EG mutual invasion of France going. Fair enough. I didn’t understand the “have Germany give you Munich” bit at all so I skipped it lol (I chatted w Zos post game since it’d be unfair to ask while game was live and I still don’t entirely understand it but that’s ok). Next stop was getting Austria to give me Trieste as part of a key, and then when that happened my early game strategy was basically set.
I recall also spending a LOT of time chatting with Russia (a theme the entire game tbh) and one thing I picked up was that he liked Turkey quite a bit (I did too fwiw). Russia and Turkey getting along is obviously bad for everyone else in the neighborhood so that helped solidify my early game friendship with Austria.
Turkey opens anti-Italy (heavily so), which means that I basically want him dead.
England and France open with enormous trust (DMZ in ENG is a huge red flag for everyone else), though France is going anti-Germany instead of anti-Italy (anti-Italy would be something like Mar-Pie or Mar-Spa I think)
Germany does a normal boring opening, ditto Russia.

Image
Fall 1901
I spend a lot of time trying to get Russia to put his FLEET in Romania and his ARMY in Sevastopol, which is a great early way to put Turkey under pressure. No dice.

Russia and Austria and I also talk about potentially putting me into AEG. If Turkey wasn’t in CON I probably go there, but there’s a big chance that I bounce if I try for it, and that extra build is helpful.

I ALSO spend a solid amount of time working the phones to get Germany and Russia to get along, and make sure Germany allows Russia into Sweden (if EF are to be stopped, it’s VITAL that Russia get that build and stymie England up north).

I also do some negotiation with France (again, EF makes me super nervous) and impress upon him that I really really don’t want him in SPA SC. He didn’t promise anything (if he did, maybe I go to AEG after all) but I’m happy to see him in SPA NC.

Austria gets his second build, and overall IA is in good shape to shut down any possible Juggernaut barring infighting between us.

Turkey didn’t get into AEG, and I’m honestly not sure why. Con-Bul is I think a minor blunder here.

Image
Winter 1901
Theoretically the EF mutual builds in Lon/Bre are worrisome but not horribly so. I vaguely recall that my Venice fleet build existed because I wanted to assure Austria I wasn’t gunning for him, but I needed to have a defense against any possible French ambitions. Russia builds F STP NC and EF is in some real trouble up north I think. Ceterainly there aren’t very many easy chances for quick gains in the area.

Image
Spring 1902
Russia stabs Turkey (which is almost inevitable in that spot in the face of an EF up north and an AI in the south that won’t crack, plus diplomatic assurances from Italy).

I actually recall basically promising away just about anything and everything to AR to get Turkey dead (the fear that Turkey was gunning for me specifically was real, and I did NOT want to risk stalemating with Turkey when France could come for me by 1903 or 1904.

England also mis-orders a convoy to Holland, which basically puts to bed any chances of EF being successful, though with even a success there, the board is rough on them with Russia doing well and Turkey (a necessary 5th column in the east) is getting eliminated in pretty quick speed.

Image
Fall 1902
Turkey’s nearly done for, as Austria takes two of his centers. We also negotiate a mutual bounce in Trieste. Somewhere around here Austria makes it clear he wants Trieste back (even though he’s doing really well overall) and I make clear I want his fleet dead for my safety. That dead fleet issue never really gets addressed, which wasn’t by itself a major issue but WAS a thing that helped make my eventual stab decision easier.

Overall AIR are mutually doing really well, with EF net 0 for the year (E -1, F +1), while each of us three is +1, entirely at the expense of ET. France and Germany are also stuck in a mutual slog around the low countries which is great for my purposes.

Image
Winter 1902
I destroy my EMED fleet (fwiw I don’t entirely remember why, I vaguely think AR asked for it?), Russia keeps building northern fleets (overall good for Russia, but also VERY good for Russia’s southern allies since those fleets are 100% someone else’s problem lol)

France’s fleet builds make me a bit nervous, but he’s some time away from being a direct threat to me. Definitely thinking about the future though.

Image
Spring 1903
I make an early move against France, while Austria and I negotiate a bounce over Tyrolia. By now I’ve also negotiated away Trieste (and Tri in my hands was ANOTHER pillar of our alliance, as a free center there is great for Italy, not by itself brutal for Austria, and allows us both to have a lot of breathing room to move elsewhere)

I also make my way into Smyrna, and Russia is in Ankara, and that’s ballgame for Turkey. Overall I think getting THAT fast of a Turkish elimination was a nice feather in my cap.

In the west, I’m pretty clearly setting up for a potential war with France, as we both have a bunch of stuff in the area. Germany also takes Belgium, and France is in some real trouble potentially. I think this is around when Russia no longer wanted to play nice with Germany (despite them both doing well against EF) but I might be misremembering.

Image
Fall 1903
To me this was the key turn for the rest of the game. I spent a good amount of time chatting with everyone, and my recollection of what went down was in the ballpark of:
Austria – wanted Trieste back, wasn’t super concerned about destroying that Bulgaria fleet, wanted me to help him against Germany, actively didn’t want me to fight France
Russia – wanted Austria dead, but mainly wanted SOME kind of easy 3-way draw, was also super paranoid about various things that could be going against hi
France – was readying for war with me… but we also stopped and chatted a bit, and eventually we mutually decided to reduce our hostility to each other. France was also willing to stab England, and that removed the biggest issue between us for cooperation.

Just looking at this board, I think it’s a huge red flag to Austria that suddenly Italy and France aren’t hurting each other anymore (my movement of ION-EMED was also a bit of a red flag In that it suggested that I was untrusting, since in almost all worlds, ION-TUN is much better for AIR, in order to try and force MAO much quicker)

Image
Winter 1903
Turkey is dead, England is nearly dead, France and Germany are scrunched up in the west, Russia is set up to expand up north, Austria is in ok position AS LONG AS IR are still friendly… just eyeballing the board IR are the clear top two powers (Russia #1 on territories but Italy has zero threats to him so it’s not hugely different)

Image
Spring 1904
The sudden but inevitable betrayal of Austria, and it’s game on. Con is mine, Austria’s southern fleet will soon be dead, and Trieste is about to be mine.

I think this was around the time where I started chatting a bit with Germany but I think I didn’t do well in communications there since I’d mainly pissed him off instead of exporing the potential for a realignment like I had with France earlier. Theoretically a Central Triple COULD still have happened… but it wasn’t really the thing I was working toward and just going to an easy FIR was… well… easier!

Russia’s northern growth was actually a bit scary, as there were definitely worlds where he runs away with it and makes a solo. FG together have nearly 10 units scrunched up around the low countries that aren’t really doing anything active, which means there’s a LOT of room for everyone else (i.e. me and Russia) to grow.

FWIW I’d actually felt bad about the Austrian stab, we’d gotten along pretty well… but it was the correct move in my position. The alternative was to fight France, and Austria didn’t want me to and Germany had rl stuff getting in the way of chatting much, and at any rate a war with France could open me up to a stab from Austria.

Image
Fall 1904
The moves go fantastically well for me this turn, as I’m plus THREE (even if I can’t build in Venice immediately). Occupying Bulgaria was also pretty vital for me, since that being purple would be BAD in terms of Russian growth and eventual strength. Russia also stabs Germany here, which makes FIR the clear story.

Image
Winter 1904
I’m pretty sure my builds were the result of my promise to France to not build fleets. Not like I really cared, I had good options for growth regardless of how things shook out.

Image
Spring 1905
Russia and I negotiate a mutual bounce in BLA (if I wanted, I could have walked into Ank but I was happy enough to play ball), I move even further into the Balkans, and I’m set up extremely well to protect against Russia OR France or just move to endgame.

And then we get to the endgame spot, where everyone still alive at least gets centers while FIR takes the 3-way. I’d had some interest in swinging it to 2wd (I was in position to do that very effectively with Russia and probably could have run it with France instead of needed) but there wasn’t much interest, and a 3wd in 1905, particularly when real life was ridiculously busy for me, was a perfectly satisfactory result.
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