PDL 2020 Division 1 May AAR

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PDL 2020 Division 1 May AAR

Postby another » 21 Jul 2020, 23:48

175161. PDL D1 May

ENGLAND--ironcladsoldier--(1)
FRANCE--hedge trimmer--(8)
ITALY--lecrae / 0wl--(1)
GERMANY--DirtyHarry--(4)
AUSTRIA--another--(SOLO WIN)--(18)
TURKEY--SelhurstPark--(2)
RUSSIA--cesspitt--(0)
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Re: PDL 2020 Division 1 May AAR

Postby another » 22 Jul 2020, 01:56

Post game thoughts from AUSTRIA here.

Overall thoughts & alliances

First of all, thanks to all the players for a very enjoyable and intense game. Whilst I ended up attacking everyone at some point (capturing a centre even from England), it was great that we could still maintain good communication and discuss the map, as that is my favourite part of the game. Whilst I did work together at least for a turn with every single country (perhaps stretching it a bit with Russia, as we didn't really work together, but there was one set of my orders that I told Russia about), I had 2 main alliances in this game - with ITALY (until lecrae had to leave the game) and with TURKEY.

My alliance with ITALY (under lecrae) was a more traditional one - we worked together in the early game, "solved" East pretty quickly (perhaps too quickly for my liking), and then turned West at around the same time, though with very different rates of success. I'm not sure what the reasons were for lecrae to leave the game (and I really hope he is alright!), but it seemed he wasn't able to be particularly involved with the game, often leaving communication till quite late. But whilst we weren't shooting messages back and forth, the map never required us to really collaborate with the moves (rather just coordinate). So I'm particularly impressed by the level of trust we were able to build between us (I will cover it later, but ITALY controlled Trieste after F01 and then moved to Vienna in S02 - both upon my request). And not only build - but also maintain/rebuild it after we had a little hiccup in 03 (more on that later).

I think my most important alliance, though, was with TURKEY, who after I had offered and given him help (though as it turned out - unnecessary, since Russia had walked out of Sev) to survive elimination in 04, offered his lone army (with no home supply centre) to join in with mine. The army was in Sev and later in Mos and Liv, so not too far from my supply centres and at many a point in the game I would have been able to capture TURKEY'S final centre and build a unit myself. But I think that strategically it was still the right call to keep going with it, since it would have still been a tempo loss (e.g. I don't think I would have captured StP) and also I had managed to arrange the positioning in such a way that I don't think TURKEY could really "stab" me without getting eliminated. TURKEY had mentioned that if I ever got to 17 centres, he'd not contest me taking his centre for the 18th, and I believed it. But I think the more important part was that I got attached to this idea emotionally - thinking of TURKEY'S army as part of my own and thus having his survival as the 2nd objective of the game. It became an interesting challenge. So if I had seen that a solo (or some crazy 2-way draw) is not achievable, and TURKEY had been true to his word with the orders, I would have done all I can to keep TURKEY alive and thus have a say on any draw vote.

As it turned out, I was able to keep all the 3 the key centres on the other side of the stalemate line (Mun, Ber & StP), so I was able both get the solo and keep TURKEY alive. I have to admit that I'm very happy with the result, since this is my first true solo (my only other one was in a game marred by NMRs and surrenders), and it also feels like despite making a few tactical misjudgements and getting quite lucky on several guesses, I played the game very well on diplomacy side, which is where I usually struggle.

***

Having started writing this I realised I can't get myself to write anything concise (people who have played with me might have noticed) and I also won't have enough time to finish it in one go, so more will follow.
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Re: PDL 2020 Division 1 May AAR

Postby another » 23 Jul 2020, 01:39

Opening

Whilst I sometimes may have some slight preference for which way to open, I always try to first get some communication going with my neighbours before starting to work towards an opening strategy rather than trying to force anything. But I had an ever so slight preference to open to Rumania mainly because I had never (well, in the 2 games I had played as AUSTRIA before) not ordered to Serbia and had just read an AAR from a virtual-f2f game at the local diplomacy group where the AUSTRIAN player had tried the Rumanian version of Key Lepanto.

After some initial exchanges, TURKEY said he'd like to open to Arm (and based on the communication I was sure he will) and suggested I consider opening to Gal and Rum - which I was happy to jump on given the slight preference for it. There was a complication, though. I later had a similarly nice exchange with ITALY who was up to any form of alliance ranging from Key Lepanto to just demilitarising our border. Problem was that somewhere between these 2 ends of the spectrum was my favourite AUSTRIAN opening (some might qualify it as an ITALIAN opening) - the Trieste Gambit (where ITALY orders Rom - Apu - Tun + Ven - H/Tyr - Tri and builds 2 fleets whilst AUSTRIA guarantees Serbia + Greece and can cover Galicia).

Could I do both? I decided to give it a go. ITALY could use his fleets to move against FRANCE leaving me and TURKEY to attack RUSSIA or if ITALY moved against TURKEY, that still meant he is not attacking me. Whilst it did work out eventually, thinking about it now, it was probably a mistake.

Here are the 01 moves:
S01
Image

F01
Image


A lot of non-standard moves in the East with TURKEY in BLA & Arm, AUSTRIA in Gal, RUSSIAN army in StP (!!!) and a pretty standard West (including what I assume was an agreed bounce in Bur). RUSSIA had joined the communications quite late and when he wrote to me, I had already in my mind committed to working with both TURKEY and ITALY, so I was happy to agree to a DMZ in Gal and spend that as one of my lies in the game (this also meant that I had no cost-less way to protect Tri, so there was no turning back on the Trieste gambit). Things to note in the fall were the ITALIAN army in Tri (with AUSTRIAN blessing), ENGLISH army in Bel (as we know, that is where they go to die) and RUSSIA getting Swe (which was the only positive in an otherwise devastating opening).
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Re: PDL 2020 Division 1 May AAR

Postby hedge trimmer » 25 Jul 2020, 00:46

Short notes from the French perspective:

Early game:

-Nothing from Russia. This would be true for the whole game. Russia never wrote anything to me or replied anything to any of my messages. This disheartened me since I feel like a strong Russia really helps France too, and Russia not communicating meant that he was a weak player and wouldn't play a role in the game.

-I seemed to have decently good relations with Austria and Italy, although it quickly was shown that they would be able to cooperate way too closely, making a stab unlikely and Russia and Turkey were quickly dealt with. I still attempted to push for a stab, hoping that a strong French defense would make Italy less likely to attack me. Of course the Italian fleets headed west after Turkey.

-England tried to spread all sorts of misinformation, and he seemed like a rather poor ally, so I think after building in Brest in 1901 I told him I was going to attack him.

-Germany seemed to be like the best potential ally, and I thought we were getting along pretty well. Of course it's always possible that Germany is more closely aligned with his other central neighbors, but in this game there really wasn't any choice as far as allies go.

Pretty picture:
Image
Game board after 1901.
"Italy's fleet build in Venice is nice for us, but it also makes it seem like Trieste was agreed upon, meaning Italy and Austria are still allied."
-France(me) to Germany, Spring 1902


Mid game:

-Germany decided to stab me by promising to support me to London when Italy started moving against me, and then failing to do so. It's probably not the biggest stab there is, but I really needed that build. I also had been afraid that Germany was more closely allied with Italy and Austria than me, especially since he had been playing both sides by cooperating with England in Scandinavia, and this was certainly a proof that my suspicions were true. As far as stabs go, Germany didn't really gain anything out of it, and he seemed to be trusting that I would be forced to remain allied with him because I didn't have anything else.

-However, if Germany was allied with Italy then eliminating England at this point would just empower Germany to further stab me, so I decided to throw as many of my units against him as I could. I was hoping that it would at least break up the Central Triple, and after Austria supported me to Munich it seems like it worked. To my surprise I managed to defend against Italy with whatever few units I had left in the south, which I think further destabilized the A/I alliance in favor of Austria.

Pretty picture:
Image
Game board in the end of 1905.
"I told England that he could have Liverpool back when I first reached out to him. It's just fair in my mind, it's his home center after all."
-France(me) to Austria, Fall 1905 retreats (It helped that I would've had difficulties holding on to the center anyway)


Late game:

-A/I vs E/F/G, with Russia and Turkey doing something. I have no idea what since I didn't really write much to them. I was proven to be correct about England being untrustworthy, as he stabbed us the earliest chance he got.

-Turkey either tried to get information about our moves for Austria, or he tried to seriously build a stop the leader alliance. However, no one was writing much at that point so nothing happened.

-Italy was replaced, and the new Italy was immediately stabbed by Austria. I thought he would be able to defend against Austria better than he did, but the war was very one sided and quickly over.

-I didn't have much to do, and instead of stabbing Italy for Tunis like England suggested, I stabbed England since he seemed a bit stab-happy himself.

Pretty picture:
Image
Game board in the end of 1908.
"I had no idea of England's plan, although I can't say I'm surprised. Sadly it means the defensive line is broken, and Austria is soon able to attack me also."
-France(me) to Germany, Fall 1908 build (This didn't end up happening, but England's stab made me stop caring if we stopped Austria or not, and no one seemed to be interested in building a new alliance. So I might as well get a few points in the meanwhile!)


End result: 8 centers, so I guess I technically finished second. Hooray?
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