ModEx: AAR's

14-player variant set on a modern canvas of Europe extended to include North Africa and the Middle East. Designed and GM'ed by joe92. Fourway draw between Germany (asudevil), Iran (Antigonos/Ghostecho), West Africa (Intellectubility), and Egypt (EpicDim).

Moderator: Morg

ModEx: AAR's

Postby joe92 » 06 Dec 2016, 15:09

A 4-way draw has been accepted.

Winners
40 SC's - Germany - asudevil
29 SC's - Iran - Antigonos / GhostEcho
14 SC's - West Africa - Intellectubility
6 SC's -- Egypt - EpicDim

Game run time: 16th April 2016 - 6th December 2016

Many thanks to all the players who took part in the game, particularly to those who played it through to the end and to those who stepped in to pick up surrendered positions! (6 of you :shock: )

If you can take a few minutes to share your thoughts on the game, your plans and what went wrong now's the time.

I would also like to hear feedback on the map if you could, particularly from your country's perspective. The most important points being:
A. Opening play options. Were there enough or did you feel constrained into a particular opening play? Did you feel disadvantaged or perhaps think your neighbour was disadvantaged at the start of the game?
B. Number of viable allies from the start of the game. Again, did you feel there was enough choice?
C. Map balance. Do you feel the map is balanced? What improvements would you suggest?
D. Stalemate positions. As the many units collided in warfare certain stalemate positions made themselves apparent. Were they game specific? I.e. With a different proportion of fleets/armies would they have been there? Did they negatively affect the game? How do you propose they could be amended?

I've thought of a few improvements myself but will wait until I hear other's contributions first before explaining my thoughts.

Attached below is an animated GIF of the game, set to 0.75s per frame (or 1.5s p.f here) you may find interesting. It's behind the spoiler tag in case you don't want flickering images on your screen:

Image
Designer: Emergence, Modern Extended
GM'ing: Nothing

Platinum Classicist

Taking a break
User avatar
joe92
 
Posts: 1059
Joined: 02 Feb 2013, 00:26
Location: Leeds, GB
Class: Star Ambassador
Standard rating: (1106)
All-game rating: (1721)
Timezone: GMT

Re: ModEx: AAR's

Postby EpicDim » 06 Dec 2016, 18:15

There was no way I could have predicted being a part of the draw. I joined as Egypt at a time when Egypt had been written off as a 2 SC power who was next to be destroyed. I joined to turn in orders only. Iran and East Africa wrote to me and I started a dialog with Iran since he was the only one of any power near me and I offered him my units and centers to use as he wanted to help him with his solo bid.

He decided that I was worth more alive being able to build in the Med than destroyed. He brokered a loose working alliance with Algeria and all of a sudden I started to slowly grow. I took a center from Italy and then Algeria made a weird move against me and Iran was getting irritated with his lack of communication so I went ahead and attacked and took another center. I was now at 4 SCs and Italy had been making gains against Algeria, there was a lot of anti-Iran solo talk going on and I remained a good informant to Iran and let him know everything that was going on.

He started moving through Cairo both Armies and Fleets making me very nervous but I continued to trust him and he continued to let me survive and grow. There was an early draw request that I voted down purely by Iran's request because he still felt like he had a solo shot but did not want the lime light thrust on him. Germany called me out on it in PM and I confirmed that it was for Iran without actually saying it.

I ended up with 6 SCs and was ready to help Iran finish off Turkey when Antigonos disappeared. (Note: I'm hoping he will recover, since he is missed.) That one NMR delayed Iran too much and let Germany take the upper hand.

I was lucky enough to be stuck right in the middle of the stalemate line with no good way to remove me without letting me play King Maker so I ended up being included.

Thank you all for the game, I'm glad I could add value as a replacement player.
Gauls (Ad Arma) 3-way, Russia (Othello) 4-way, Austria (Crowded Othello) Solo, England (Devious GM 2) Solo, Egypt (Time Travel) 3-way, (Exploration: Great Expeditions) Solo, Han (Warring States 2) Solo
EpicDim
 
Posts: 952
Joined: 13 Feb 2013, 05:32
Location: Frisco, TX
Class: Ambassador
Standard rating: (1000)
All-game rating: (1169)
Timezone: GMT-6

Re: ModEx: AAR's

Postby Don Juan of Austria » 06 Dec 2016, 20:02

I'll post soonish. :)
"In everything, moderation". ~Aristotle
A proud member of the Whippersnappers,
Bronze Classicists,
Lancer in the PBF cavalry.

Mild Hiatus.
User avatar
Don Juan of Austria
Premium Member
 
Posts: 1239
Joined: 19 Feb 2014, 11:50
Location: South Africa, though given to travel
Class: Star Ambassador
Standard rating: (1051)
All-game rating: (1148)
Timezone: GMT-5

Re: ModEx: AAR's

Postby VGhost » 07 Dec 2016, 01:46

I may have more to say once I see some other AARs, but I'll throw my first two cents in now for the two and a half years I played.

I took over for Fall 2029 as a sub for Antigonos: his emergency-induced NMR had swung the momentum heavily to Germany, and as a sub I considered my number one priority - after not losing - to be not screwing up any of Antigonos' working relationships. So if I'd been taking over completely from the beginning, I'd probably have tried to split Egypt with West Africa, bring Turkey to my side, and... not sure exactly what I might have done with the other small powers. As it was none of the tiny guys contacted me so I didn't bother writing either. (The map position after Spring (here). As it was, Egypt got in quickly saying he'd been helping Antigonos towards a solo, and the last couple years seemed to bear that out, so he was - again expecting Antigonos to return - untouchable.

The other monkey wrench in my plan was that I never got Turkey on board. I'd started looking for a stalemate line, and found it pretty quickly, but depending on the timing of Germany's fleet movements I was potentially going to need more fleets than I had. (As it turned out I got them rebuilt after finally taking Turkey's centers again, but I had my fingers crossed the whole time that Germany wouldn't move fleets down the Danube. On the other hand, even after retaking the Black I felt like moving into the Danube myself would just tip off Germany to the missed/delayed naval front.)

By the time I took over for good, I'd moved everything too far away from Egypt to bring it back and stab without either (a) tipping him off by unit movement or (b) losing the Mediterranean war when red fleets disbanded. So with a little luck and despite Germany's best efforts at persuasion, Egypt wangled his way into the draw.

The actual tactical play was mostly just shuffling units around; the diplomacy was pretty limited. I can't say too much about the map based on my play: the one stalemate line we found is definitely a Europe-not Europe line and analogous to the main line in the regular variant, but I'm not sure how many variations it has.
"When you absolutely don't know what to do any more, then it's time to panic." - Johann van der Wiel
"I'm not panicking, I'm watching you panic. It's more entertaining." - Elli Quinn
"[Diplomacy:] No dice or chance. Just calculated insincerity." - Counter Trap
User avatar
VGhost
Premium Member
 
Posts: 1868
Joined: 10 Aug 2008, 04:56
Location: Baltimore
Class: Ambassador
Standard rating: 987
All-game rating: 901
Timezone: GMT-5

Re: ModEx: AAR's

Postby asudevil » 07 Dec 2016, 06:24

Considering at one point of this game I was stabbed by both Poland and Italy...the fact that I got through that with some pretty shifty negotiations (if I can toot my own horn)...really made this a "free" game for me after that.

I totally missed the Danube push until it was too late. 2 SC short of a solo.

I should have also stabbed WestAfrica earlier, but I had him on my side for so long that I was thinking he was still with me just to knock Egypt out...then he secured Morocco and I had to look elsewhere.
Captain FANG, forum team championships WINNER
Part of the surviving nations of WW4/Haven

Unless I am in the cheater's subforum. 99% of what I say is NOT as a mod.
User avatar
asudevil
Premium Member
 
Posts: 16606
Joined: 18 Jul 2011, 02:20
Class: Star Ambassador
Standard rating: (1351)
All-game rating: (1437)
Timezone: GMT-7

Re: ModEx: AAR's

Postby Alman » 07 Dec 2016, 17:54

I picked this game up as a member of the cavalry with a Turkey that was near death. I decided to play it for all I was worth, and if I'd been able to keep to that plan, I think I might have been in the draw. Italy wouldn't agree to work with me which really surprised me as I saw Iran as the major threat for a solo. However, I was rebuffed by everyone except Iran who promised me life if I would swear fealty, which I promptly did.

It was fun after that to get messages from others asking how I could work for the 500lb gorilla, but I was seeking to survive and only he allowed me to.

Things started going well. I repulsed Italy and watched him pay the price for his lack of vision with me. ;) Iran negotiated cooperation between myself and Egypt to keep Egypt alive too.

Then the wheels fell off. As a particularly hectic period in Real Life started to interfere with my ability to follow the game, I missed a build, and then later missed a movement turn. Antigonos' sense of honor was too violated by my breech of trust and he revoked our agreement. I had no choice but to sell myself to Germany. I was trying to fight and hold back Iran and thought I might have been able to get Germany what he needed for a solo, but he decided just to take my centers and cripple me, so I ended as I began, near death, only this time, all the horcruxes were destroyed and there was nothing left of me to make new ones, so I doused myself in gasoline and started contemplating Blitzkrieg.

Thanks to Joe92 for a great job if GMing a tough game, a tough bunch, and some tough situations. I would play in one of his games any time.
Congrats to Egypt for pulling off what I couldn't quite manage!
Bronze Member: The Classicists & Oldies
War in the Americas 7 PbF

"The avalanche has already started. It is too late for the pebbles to vote" -Kosh
"Nothing has to be true, but everything has to sound like it was." -Salvor Hardin
User avatar
Alman
 
Posts: 1954
Joined: 04 Feb 2014, 22:04
Location: Beautiful Maine, USA
Class: Diplomat
Standard rating: (1466)
All-game rating: (1586)
Timezone: GMT-5

Re: ModEx: AAR's

Postby NoPunIn10Did » 08 Dec 2016, 19:31

I played as France.

Blind Auction
  • Before the game even started, there was an unexpected kerfuffle with the blind auction.
  • Based on the way that played out, it would seem that the "default" method used has some finer points that are easily missed.
  • Specifically, the preference-ordering of same-valued bids is not immediately clear.
  • I think as a PD community, we need to ask our GM's to be a bit more explicit about which auction model they're using:
    1. Each bid from the same player must be a unique integer
    2. Bids from the same player can be the same value, with a preference-from-ordering applies
    3. Bids from the same player can be the same value and are treated as wholly equal, with no preference ordering
  • Personally, I'd like to see the default model shift to either #1 or #3.
  • If we do persist with model #2, it needs to be explained a bit better than we currently do here on the forums.
  • The present-day vagueness yields a slight advantage to veterans of the system who are counting on other players not knowing the fine print, which seems to me to be outside the spirit of Diplomacy as a game.
  • #2 is also understandably misunderstood by GM's, as happened in this case.

The Basics
  • It was my first time doing PbF on Playdiplomacy, and I wasn't sure what to make of the community here.
  • My immediate neighbors were a mix of veterans and unreliable NMR-ers, which made negotiations very strange.
  • I was constantly having to look up when orders were due and who was which power. I wish there was a better way to call out (or streamline) that information, but I gather we're fairly limited here in the forum architecture.
  • I didn't do a great job of communicating with my neighbors, as I hadn't yet gotten into the habit of checking the PD forums frequently.

Variant Length & Victory Conditions
  • When I realized that I wasn't going to win, I was more interested in getting eliminated as fast as possible rather than trying to worm my way into a draw.
  • I think this is likely because I was worried about the potential length of the game. Even with a draw, this was a 17-year game.
  • Maps with huge SC counts may benefit from using an alternative victory condition, possibly something similar to what 1900 uses (18 minimum SC count and highest count).
  • Additionally, since some powers are considerably larger than others, it may be worth thinking through having slightly different victory conditions based on your starting SC count.

The Map
  • I'd consider getting rid of the rivers on the map. The canals seem reasonable to keep.
  • The generic coalitions of "West Africa" and "East Africa" seem out of place when everyone else is a country.
    • They could probably be replaced with Nigeria and Ethiopia (with some slight restructuring to borders & SC locations).
    • With all the neutrals nearby, you could even start them with 2 SC's each rather than 3.
  • Many of the neutral SC's on the map could benefit by starting with non-player armies/fleets (that hold in place and disband when dislodged).
  • While some geographic inaccuracy is inevitable, I'd relabel Irkutsk to Yekaterinburg.
    • Irkutsk is much further east, near Mongolia.
    • Yekaterinburg is the fourth-largest city in Russia and is approximately located near where this variant's map places Irkutsk.
  • Potentially change Lapland to Finnmark, since the term Lapland is apparently used more often in the modern era to describe a region of Finland or Sweden.
Forum Admin & New Variant Development Assistant

Variant GM & Designer
User avatar
NoPunIn10Did
 
Posts: 2783
Joined: 17 Aug 2011, 00:17
Location: North Carolina
Class: Ambassador
Standard rating: (1000)
All-game rating: (1466)
Timezone: GMT-5

Re: ModEx: AAR's

Postby EpicDim » 08 Dec 2016, 20:23

I was constantly having to look up ... and who was which power.


Here is what I do for this. At game start I send a message to each other player with subject [My power]/[Their Power] and store all the messages in a folder for that game. Then it's just a matter of going into that folder and replying to some message from that person and the subject tells me who is who. Not perfect, but helps me with it.
Gauls (Ad Arma) 3-way, Russia (Othello) 4-way, Austria (Crowded Othello) Solo, England (Devious GM 2) Solo, Egypt (Time Travel) 3-way, (Exploration: Great Expeditions) Solo, Han (Warring States 2) Solo
EpicDim
 
Posts: 952
Joined: 13 Feb 2013, 05:32
Location: Frisco, TX
Class: Ambassador
Standard rating: (1000)
All-game rating: (1169)
Timezone: GMT-6

Re: ModEx: AAR's

Postby asudevil » 08 Dec 2016, 20:53

EpicDim wrote:
I was constantly having to look up ... and who was which power.


Here is what I do for this. At game start I send a message to each other player with subject [My power]/[Their Power] and store all the messages in a folder for that game. Then it's just a matter of going into that folder and replying to some message from that person and the subject tells me who is who. Not perfect, but helps me with it.


This is exactly what I do.
Captain FANG, forum team championships WINNER
Part of the surviving nations of WW4/Haven

Unless I am in the cheater's subforum. 99% of what I say is NOT as a mod.
User avatar
asudevil
Premium Member
 
Posts: 16606
Joined: 18 Jul 2011, 02:20
Class: Star Ambassador
Standard rating: (1351)
All-game rating: (1437)
Timezone: GMT-7

Re: ModEx: AAR's

Postby Don Juan of Austria » 08 Dec 2016, 21:58

asudevil wrote:
EpicDim wrote:
I was constantly having to look up ... and who was which power.


Here is what I do for this. At game start I send a message to each other player with subject [My power]/[Their Power] and store all the messages in a folder for that game. Then it's just a matter of going into that folder and replying to some message from that person and the subject tells me who is who. Not perfect, but helps me with it.


This is exactly what I do.


I use the memory part of my brain... ;)
"In everything, moderation". ~Aristotle
A proud member of the Whippersnappers,
Bronze Classicists,
Lancer in the PBF cavalry.

Mild Hiatus.
User avatar
Don Juan of Austria
Premium Member
 
Posts: 1239
Joined: 19 Feb 2014, 11:50
Location: South Africa, though given to travel
Class: Star Ambassador
Standard rating: (1051)
All-game rating: (1148)
Timezone: GMT-5

Next

Return to ModEx I

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest