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).

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Re: ModEx: AAR's

Postby Alman » 08 Dec 2016, 22:34

Don Juan of Austria wrote:
asudevil wrote:
EpicDim wrote:
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... ;)


Ah to be young again, with plenty of room in that part of the brain. :D :D Some of us ran out of storage space awhile ago. I do the same as what is listed above. :idea:
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Re: ModEx: AAR's

Postby Waterbox » 11 Dec 2016, 13:01

Hey, I'd like to thank everyone for this game. I may not have been in on it for long, but it was fun anyway!
My AAR: I started this game as a replacement. Germany and Russia had landed in the British Isle, so it was my job to fend them off it.
And what do you know, I did it... for a while.
I just didn't have the numbers, or the smarts really, to get myself out of the situation that I was in. Germany and Spain did very well, Spain playing friendly until the end with their conquering of Ireland.

Also, turns out I was right about Germany and Spain. Near to the end, I was acting almost out of desperation, lol. But Germany did seem to have the upper hand in the brewing conflict. Turns out, I was right to an extent (although it looks like Algeria did stay with its back turned to Spain. I was completely wrong on that count.)

I was actually interested in this game for a long time, but I wasn't really a diplomacy player. I liked the concept of a larger map, but with detail and neutrals still involved. And although I was in the less edited part of the map, it was a fun game anyhow. Maybe, if there was a rerun, I might someday be able to play from the start.

Thanks for the game.
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Re: ModEx: AAR's

Postby UpQuark » 12 Dec 2016, 02:27

I wasn't around for long, typically Ukraine. I expected Russia would be a pain and worked hard to solidify a strong relationship with Iran - to convince him to attack Russia in the hopes he could pull the pressure off my border. Iran was receptive and supportive of my efforts during my brief existence. Russia ignored the threat from the south, and joined Poland to take the easy path through my empty wheat fields. I left Ukraine an easy target in a desperate gamble, hoping my expression of trust would earn me support long enough to create a safe space. But of course hope is not a plan.. My poor attempts to convince Poland to invade Russia for growth was feeble minded... and unfortunately for my Ukraine, Poland was smarter than an eel.

I had decided to take early neutral SCs in Hungary and Rumania with a blitz, and then proceed directly to an early assault on Turkey in an attempt to gain control of the Black Sea. I felt I needed to attain a safe haven from the larger powers to my north and east. My blitzkrieg on Turkey was quite successful in the first few years, and the consensus view was that Turkey would be eliminated first. This is a great example of the flaw of consensus thinking and counting out those who are not yet eliminated... Turkey almost survived the game, and Ukraine was first out.

Italy sealed my demise, ignoring the German threat (I am sure revenge for my early blitz had nothing to do with it...). Germany's diplomacy in the early game included driving my neighbors to covet my unprotected SCs... and thereby ignore his expansion to a safe size.

I enjoyed my brief time on the map though the challenges were more than I was able to overcome with my limited capacity.

Very nice GM'ing. I am glad to see a new batch of very competent GM's supporting our play here. I know the effort it takes, especially to run a game well.
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Re: ModEx: AAR's

Postby asudevil » 12 Dec 2016, 02:59

Germany's diplomacy in the early game included driving my neighbors to covet my unprotected SCs... and thereby ignore his expansion to a safe size.


You're welcome
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Re: ModEx: AAR's

Postby UpQuark » 12 Dec 2016, 04:17

asudevil wrote:You're welcome


Yes you are. You should be thanking me...

Hubris will sit upon you like an egg.

(Whatever that means) :?
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Re: ModEx: AAR's

Postby asudevil » 12 Dec 2016, 05:26

UpQuark wrote:
asudevil wrote:You're welcome


Yes you are. You should be thanking me...

Hubris will sit upon you like an egg.

(Whatever that means) :?


I don't understand it either...but the air is thin up here in the land of the victors.
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Re: ModEx: AAR's

Postby UpQuark » 12 Dec 2016, 06:45

Humpty Dumpty perhaps...

Best if you were hard boiled.

Congratulations - even if you are a Little Endian.

:lol:
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Re: ModEx: AAR's

Postby Don Juan of Austria » 15 Dec 2016, 09:17

Wow, time for an AAR. :)

I was initially England, which disagreed with me muchly, and then I was transferred to Poland. Not a first choice, but the possibilities soon came to mind. Communication started up fast and thick. Russia and myself quickly coming to an agreement referring to our boarders. Distrust with Germany sprouted when I bounced him form the Baltic, but it was more of a precaution than an act of war. After all, Germany had the potential to gain 4 SCs in the first year, and I for one, was in no mood to be bordering such a power...and at the same time, I didn't feel war with him would be good at that time as I was still securing SCs, and allies.

I moved south onto Ukraine because it was the best option. Russia was supportive, and I knew it would be a relatively quick invasion, so off I went. (Also, I'm really wondering how things would have changed had Minnesotan Kaiser stayed on as Italy..) Anyway, 2018 was my high point, as Ukraine had been finished, and I had attacked Germany taking Berlin and Sweden. I had written to England, Spain, Russia, Italy, and the remains of France to help me against Germany too! Things seemed to be looking up, except for that RL interfered, and I was forced to find a sub (Zosimus), for a month. Unfortunately, by the time I got back, my southern boarder was way too exposed and was soon capitalized upon by Italy who invaded...England was never really in an offensive position against Germany, and Russia was occupied with Turkey and mostly Iran. France was finished off, and as Italy was on the war path, he wasn't listening to reason. Spain gave nominal agreement, but, (I suppose), didn't want to risk attacking Germany...

From there, after brief peace with Germany once more, I slowly shrank. Russia wanted out, (and I can sympathize), so I filled his SCs in an attempt to make an ally...but was soon reduced to a thin blue line between Germany and Iran, that was extinguished by both.

I really enjoyed playing Poland though. :) A few things that really would have helped me/(Poland in general) though:
If England had had Waterbox as supreme ruler all the way through-
If Italy Hadn't had a change in government either.
If France had been more cooperative and talkative. ;) (I.e., if he had been on the initiative, proposing ideas on which country he'd fight, it would have changed several things. As it was, he was defending himself).
Also, If BrokenBrough had continued on as Turkey...which would have slowed down Iranian and Italian advances.

As to my countries perspective, excluding the above:

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 neighbor 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?


As Poland, I felt like I had enough options. I felt like I had reason to write to everyone in Europe (though not Africa). And no, I didn't feel disadvantaged. I only started with 3 SCs in-between Russia and Germany...but at least I had room to grow. Spain on the other hand, I felt was disadvantaged! Ouch... almost painfully. I don't see Spain having many options. And England...its kinda hard to say just because of the NMRs...probably fine though. And maybe it was also slanted in Iran's favor a bit...? Antigonos makes any country look slanted though. ;)
I can't say much for stalemate lines.

And finally, thanks Joe for creating and GMing this variant! :D It was great fun playing on, and huge. :)

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Re: ModEx: AAR's

Postby joe92 » 05 Jan 2017, 01:19

Right, I've been meaning to write my AAR for a long time but something or another just always managed to get in the way of my free time. Firstly I just want to thank all the players who stayed through to the end, and to the fantastic cavalry players who stepped in to help when the unreliable's fell out.

Thank you to everyone who has written their AAR's, and to the rest, there's still time!

The Game
Obviously I wasn't playing the game, so I'm not going to write much up on it. It suffered from several drop outs and I don't know what the level of communication was like apart from the odd grumble sent to me.

From the GM perspective. We started off on a rocky road. One player NMR'ed through the initial bids, but because I had such a positive experience with him as a player in the Heptarchy game I previously GM'ed I let him back in. It was met with some opposition but I stand by that decision. If you have a good reputation I am willing to bend the house rules slightly for one off occasions (sadly that player lost the reputation by later dropping out of the game completely after so many sound promises to me).

After that the bids came in. And we hit problem number 2. My mistake, I did not properly read clause 5 of the blind auction rules which states that the order of the bids is important. Instead I managed the bids by randomising equal bids. An intuitive way to be fair, but without prior notice was unfair to those who had actually read the rules properly. I had to reassign the powers. Embarrassing more than anything else. I declared I was going to write up my opposition to those default rules and I may get round to it one day. Nopunin10did has pretty much summed up my thoughts anyway, mainly that it needs to be more explicitly explained to players and GM's alike.

Finally we got the game rolling. There were a few NMR's, and 6 drop outs that needed replacing. Undoubtedly that affected the game play which sadly means we cannot make a fair representation of how balanced the map is. Some things were clear though.

The Map
Some problems were made apparent during the game and from your AAR's. They are listed below with my proposed changes to the map. Feel free to comment any thoughts.

  1. Spain is too weak
    - In the redraw I will be adding the Canary Islands to the map as a 4th home supply centre for Spain. The island territory will share a coast with Morocco and W. Sahara and will also border MAO and SAO. MAO will still border SAO but Morocco will no longer border SAO. Spain will start with an army in Seville so that they cannot override the British fleet in Gibraltar with Sve and Can.

  2. France is too weak
    - This I feel comes down to a lack of starting options. I'm undecided on the best solution.
    - Given that France has one of the most powerful military strength's in the world adding a 5th home supply centre in Picardy may be one solution which doesn't stray too far from the truth.
    - Adding Andorra as a supply centre might be another solution, though that might further encourage France to attack Spain and thus succumb to a German or British attack.
    - Consider ways to shuffle the German territories around so France has a better edge at getting Belgium and Switzerland is another, possibly best, option. Maybe half Munich width-wise. Add Stuttgart to the west of Munich as an empty territory. Alter the border for Munich so that it spans over to Czech thus increasing Germany's chances at a foray into Eastern/Central Europe from the get go.

  3. African stalemate
    - There is a clear and negative stalemate in Africa. This can be easily solved by making the map a bit more representative of the geographical area. I.e. Reduce the size of the Central African Republic, add Uganda and a vague territory "Congo" representing the northern portion of both R. of Congo and D.R of Congo.

  4. Victory Conditions
    - It's too steep to ask for half the centres on a map this large. The victory conditions will be reduced, to what I'm not sure yet.

  5. Small powers unbalanced in later game
    - This didn't actually come about but it became apparent that the small powers would face an imbalance later in the game due to the number of starting supply centres. Egypt and E. Africa's 3 to Iran's 5 seems unreasonable. All the powers with 3 home centres, and Britain, will have additional build centres on the map found in neutral territories. Once captured by that power they can build there. Poland will have Lithuania, Ukraine Sevastopol, Egypt Israel, E. Africa Somalia and Britain Ireland (due to the fact Gibraltar will be likely lost, and to counter the Spanish centre in the new Canary Islands). Spain will be getting a 4th centre and will not need an additional neutral build centre.

Some Other Notes
Due to Turkey dropping out the game and starting the game with an exceptionally risky play I cannot reasonable ascertain whether Iran has too much free reign. I don't think it does, but that Antigonos is rather a strong player who convinced a weaker player to make a bad opening play to his advantage.

nopunin10did wrote:I'd consider getting rid of the rivers on the map. The canals seem reasonable to keep.

The rivers came into heavy use later in the game, and helped asudevil get fleets into the Med to try for a solo run. Without them this game would likely still be running. They will be kept.

nopunin10did wrote: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.

I didn't make those up. East Africa is a union that exists (albeit with slightly different countries). It even has relatively strong support among the members to turn into a federation. Similarly, West Africa is an economic alliance between several west African nations (as well as being a UN sub region). I understand and appreciate your point but personally think it is unnecessary to ensure that every power is a country name. Notwithstanding the fact that changing W. Africa to Nigeria would have several knock on balance affects to the rest of Africa and southwest Europe.

nopunin10did wrote: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.

Understood, and may do so. Sadly not many people have heard of Yekaterinburg. Using Irkutsk was simply down to the fact it is on the Risk board and nearly everyone has heard of it, and it's easy to pronounce.

Hopefully we might hear another AAR or two. Thanks again to those who have already left theirs.
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Re: ModEx: AAR's

Postby asudevil » 05 Jan 2017, 03:24

I love the rivers...and I agree that France really has very few choices.
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