DixieCon 32 is underway!

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Re: DixieCon 32 is underway!

Postby NoPunIn10Did » 30 May 2018, 16:14

Game 2, Saturday: The Last to Go

In game 2, I was Russia. At my table was Nanook (F), Brian Lee (E), multi-tournament champion Doug Moore (I), Jeff Ladd (G), and two others I've forgotten. Austria was an old-timer who admitted to being pretty bad at the game, and Turkey was a relative newcomer. Neither came out of the gate with strong tactical offers, and Austria in particular freaked out under early pressure. He was eliminated by 1902.

My early game as Russia went quite well, at least seemingly. The western triangle started out resolving as EF, but at some point Nanook decided that England's endgame plan wasn't ambitious enough and stabbed. Nanook was gracious enough to let me in on the stab, so I was able to profit by sliding into Norway that year.

I managed to get to nine centers before things started going south for me. England, realizing that he really didn't have much chance at survival, set nearly all his forces on taking back Scandinavia, and he'd managed to get Germany to help. As a result, Germany, who had started to accept he'd be losing this game, saw his fate turn around. I quickly lost the territory I'd taken in Norway, Denmark, and Sweden over the next couple years, but my gains in the anti-Turkish fight were holding back the bleeding.

But then I got stretched a bit too thin. As I remember it, Italy stabbed the very same year we eliminated Turkey. I could see it coming a mile away, but I was in no position to defend against it.

The stab was a setback, but it wasn't an end for me in and of itself. I knew that with attrition, Doug would be able to knock me down at least one center per year. In the meantime, I worked with France and Germany to finally see England eliminated, particularly since Brian kept trying to park his final units in Norway and St Pete's. I thought that, even with things going not particularly well, there was a good chance I could hold out and set myself up as part of the stalemate line.

The trouble was that I'd miscalculated which stalemate line I was a part of. I anticipated keeping 2-3 units in Moscow, Warsaw, and (likely) St. Pete's. Moscow and Warsaw can be a necessary part of some stalemate lines if a southeastern leader takes a western SC (like Marseilles or Munich), but that wasn't the case. Nanook and Jeff had counted correctly, realizing that they could take St. Pete for themselves, let Doug take Moscow & Warsaw, and then still hold him back at 17 centers.

As it happened, I was the last to be eliminated, and the 3-way draw (FGI) was voted on immediately following.

Even though I'd lost that game, I felt like I'd done a decent job given the circumstances. Order of elimination matters at Dixiecon, so I was at least able to net a handful of points by sticking around as long as I did. Ignorance was bliss, in a way; I didn't realize that I was destined to lose until the last year or two of play, so I kept a good attitude and avoided particularly desperate techniques that might have made for an uglier exit.

Though, if I'd only just counted correctly....
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Re: DixieCon 32 is underway!

Postby jay65536 » 30 May 2018, 21:17

What do you think you could/would have done differently if you had counted correctly?
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Re: DixieCon 32 is underway!

Postby NoPunIn10Did » 30 May 2018, 22:18

jay65536 wrote:What do you think you could/would have done differently if you had counted correctly?


If I had realized it early enough, I might have focused less on defense and instead sent some units west, with the intent of destabilizing Munich. I could be remembering incorrectly, but I don't think that portion of the line wasn't 100% stabilized until a turn or two after the stab. Doing so would have either created a solo risk or opened up the possibility of me becoming the third partner instead of Germany.

Though now that I think about it, I'm not sure that actually would have made a difference. From a scoring standpoint, my highest priority was surviving longer than England, and I succeeded in that.
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Re: DixieCon 32 is underway!

Postby Nanook » 03 Jun 2018, 03:26

Still pretty sick, but I'll try to do the best writeup I can. Probably won't get through the whole thing, but it'll be a start!


Thursday: Fun and Games begin

I left late Thursday morning, arrived in Chapel Hill and got checked in around 7 (I stayed off site--significant other had been planning to tag along, but a last second dog illness canceled that plan), and headed over to the venue. At some point I ate, probably. I ended up playing a game called Space Empires with 3 other early arrivers. It's a 4x game with a lot of hidden and random information. It wasn't bad, but it took us about 2 or 3 times as long to play as it would if we knew what we were doing. That game wrapped up sometime around 1ish, so I headed back to the hotel to sleep.


Friday: This Game Sucks

Friday I slept in, got some breakfast, and went over to the venue at around noon. I played some card games with Doc (including learning how to play pinochle, which I was surprisingly not horrible at), then went to lunch. After lunch I chatted to NoPunIn10Did/Ronke for a bit, with GhostEcho/John joining us at some point, and waited for the first round to start.

The first round starts, and I draw Austria. I view Austria as something of a really good or really bad country, with not a lot of in between, so I decided I'd try to play high risk reward. On my board was Chris Barfield in Germany, John/Ghost in England, Greg Myers in France, a new player named Eric in Russia, a new player whose name I'm blanking in Italy, and a new player named Emily in Turkey. This wasn't great for me, because I usually play better with better players than I do with newer players. I start out talking to Turkey and Russia. Russia wants to DMZ Gal--I know I'm going there but I say OK, sure--I figure if he's lying, we're even, if he's not, it's a relatively easy apology. He also wants to move Mos south, which sets off alarm bells--I tell him to either move Mos to Liv and War to Ukr, OR bounce Gal with me, and he relents and says he'll move War to Ukr. Turkey seems to be on board with killing Russia. I show her how, if we move aggressively, we can put Turkey in Sev/Mos/Rum in three years, while I take Gre/War/Ser, and after that we can kill Italy together. I talk to Italy, he seems to want to open West, so I enthusiastically support that. I also tell him the boilerplate "If you take Trieste without my OK, I will ignore everyone else to annoy you." Things seem to be going well. I talk to Turkey at the end of the turn, and we agree on a plan--Vie to Gal, Buda to Ser, Ank to BLA (expected to bounce), Con to Bul (obviously), Smy to Arm. I show her how this will let us get her Sev next year, and Mos 03, and she can backfill Rum as I take Warsaw. Moves process--she holds Smyrna instead of moving to Armenia. So I talk to her, we have some long discussions, and I thought came to an understanding of how and where she was going to grow. Elsewhere, Russia holds War and lets me into Gal...but he also moves Mos to Ukr. So our bridges are pretty much mutually burnt, given that we've now lied to each other.

Germany also refuses stand Russia out of Sweden, for no apparent reason. This leads to some bickering between us, and he takes something I say as a threat (it wasn't meant to be one)....which in turn leads me to actually threaten him (under the misguided notion of "Well if you're going to insist I am anyways, I might as well actually). This is pretty much my only regret from this game, because I hate making threats I can't actually follow through on, and I didn't even want to threaten him in the first place. Good example of where stopping and taking a deep breath instead of continuing to talk would've been a good idea.

So I throw all my eggs into the Turkey basket. She screws me over. Next Spring I talk to her, and her given reason for doing so essentially amounts to "You seemed like you had it all planned out, so I thought you were tricking me." This is, obviously, intensely frustrating.

From there I'm basically being a nuisance. At one point Italy takes Trieste, so I end the game with an army in Piedmont, and I arranged things so that Italy got kind of screwed by France's fleet movements as he was counting on me moving one way and I didn't. I did last until 1904, which by all rights I probably shouldn't have. The game ended in a 4 way with France on 14, Germany on 5, Russia on 5, and Turkey on 10. I can't really criticize Turkey too much since she ended the game with 10 centers, but I do think that if she were playing with a less carebeary Russia it would've gone a lot differently for her. I think Italy should've tried to prop me up rather than vulturing, because there really wasn't room for an R/I/T to work on that board, Turkey just had nowhere else to go, and France was too strong.

After that, I played a game of Nations with Chris, Doc, Graham, and Maletsky. I don't recommend this game.


Saturday: You Know What, This Game Is Kinda Growing On Me!

Rolled out of bed Saturday morning, stopped at Panera, and made chit chat with a couple people before the round started. Boards are announced, and I draw France. Even better, I'm on an experienced board! World Champ Doug Moore in Italy, Jeff Ladd (very solid tactical player) in Germany, Brian Lee (I've never played with him before but I've heard good things) in England, Ronke in Russia, Greg Myers in Austria, and a new player, Nick, in Turkey. This is a board I'm pretty excited to play on!

Game starts, I come to an easy "I won't fuck with you, you don't fuck with me" agreement with Doug's Italy. I get along pretty well with both of Brian's England and Jeff's Germany. I tell them both I'm not interested in Belgium (which is the truth), and they both seem keen to fight the other. I talk to Ronke, tell him that if he wants to be able to expand North, as France I'd be happy to help facilitate that, I'm just not sure which of E/G it'll be against yet. First turn goes swimmingly, I'm sitting in Burg, Spa, and MAO. I decide to go with England, and support his convoy to Belgium (Germany is expecting me to support him there). Doug opened to Tyrolia, which wasn't entirely expected, but I make the most of it and tell him that Munich will likely be open if he wants to slide in there. I generally like to try and help Italy get a 5th dot as quickly as possible, because usually Italy is pretty grateful to whomever gets them that 5th dot. Doug says he'll think about it, probably won't do it, but appreciates the offer. I don't remember if it was Tri or Vie, but he got his fifth dot somewhere else this turn.

A couple really important things happen in 1902. The first, is that I realize England's plan doesn't call for me to get a second build until 1903, which given Doug's continued growth was a problem. The second, tied to the first, is that Austria is collapsing so fast, and Turkey looks like he won't be far behind (Turkey grabbed two builds in 01, built F Smy and A Con, then rotated Smy to Con and Con to Ank so he could force BLA) given his soft underbelly. That means Doug's Italy is growing very quickly, which in turn means I don't want to give any openings, which means I need to be continually getting builds. Normally, I abhor one dot stabs. In these circumstances, I made an exception--I went to Jeff, and I told him that if he supported me to Belgium, we were all good. Then, in a moment I'm very grateful for and that probably saved the game for me, I remembered to clue Ronke in that I was stabbing England. That let him make the stab worse with his northern movements, and lay off of Germany at the same time.

For the rest of the game, I pretty much played a game of cat and mouse to keep growing just enough and keep just enough units within reach of the Med that Doug never really had a good shot to overrun me. I tried to stab Germany at one point, but it didn't work so I immediately backed out. I ground down England slowly, and worked with Ronke where we could. There were a couple times myself or Doug did something that set alarm bells off for the other, but we very quickly resolved it and carried on with our good relations. England, when he realized he was being cut out, made a sprint for StP and Norway. This wasn't a bad play, but it was just timed wrong--myself and Germany didn't have to worry about Doug beating us to StP yet, because Russia was still holding him off, so we were able to first put Russia back into StP to kill off England, then take StP ourselves. If England had wanted to hold a gun to our heads, I think it would've worked better to send his rogue fleet around the back side of the isle, and use it to help Italy sneak into MAO or Spa, which he could've done. But, that's something tht's a lot easier to see when it's someone else's pieces, and not your own!

If Austria and Turkey hadn't folded so quickly, this might have been a different game too, because it would've been Ronke making a lot of the gains that Doug did. That probably makes it an F/R/I game instead of the F/G/I game it ended up being.

It wound up with Doug's Italy at 17 centers, my France at 10, and Jeff's Germany at 7, with stable lines in StP, Munich, and the Med. In a different game that didn't have A/T collapse so quickly, there might've been some more room for me to grow, but in this specific game where they did collapse very quickly, I feel that I did a pretty good job controlling the West and making sure that Italy always had an easier time growing elsewhere than he would've had going through me.


Rest to come at a later date.
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Re: DixieCon 32 is underway!

Postby Nanook » 03 Jun 2018, 03:27

NoPunIn10Did wrote:
jay65536 wrote:What do you think you could/would have done differently if you had counted correctly?


If I had realized it early enough, I might have focused less on defense and instead sent some units west, with the intent of destabilizing Munich. I could be remembering incorrectly, but I don't think that portion of the line wasn't 100% stabilized until a turn or two after the stab. Doing so would have either created a solo risk or opened up the possibility of me becoming the third partner instead of Germany.

Though now that I think about it, I'm not sure that actually would have made a difference. From a scoring standpoint, my highest priority was surviving longer than England, and I succeeded in that.

It might've made a difference, but I think if it did it would've been to make it 4 instead of 3, not you replacing Germany. Which is obviously good for you, but less so for me!
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Re: DixieCon 32 is underway!

Postby jay65536 » 03 Jun 2018, 03:43

nanooktheeskimo wrote:The first round starts, and I draw Austria. I view Austria as something of a really good or really bad country, with not a lot of in between, so I decided I'd try to play high risk reward. On my board was Chris Barfield in Germany, John/Ghost in England, Greg Myers in France, a new player named Eric in Russia, a new player whose name I'm blanking in Italy, and a new player named Emily in Turkey.


Are you sure this was a new player? Or is it possible you got hustled by Emily Pollock?
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Re: DixieCon 32 is underway!

Postby Nanook » 03 Jun 2018, 04:04

jay65536 wrote:
nanooktheeskimo wrote:The first round starts, and I draw Austria. I view Austria as something of a really good or really bad country, with not a lot of in between, so I decided I'd try to play high risk reward. On my board was Chris Barfield in Germany, John/Ghost in England, Greg Myers in France, a new player named Eric in Russia, a new player whose name I'm blanking in Italy, and a new player named Emily in Turkey.


Are you sure this was a new player? Or is it possible you got hustled by Emily Pollock?

Very sure! I played with Emily pollack last year at Tempest, I think. This was Emily Turnage, Edwin’s daughter. New but not a stranger to the game is my understanding.
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Re: DixieCon 32 is underway!

Postby jay65536 » 07 Jun 2018, 15:47

OK. From what I remember about Emily Pollock, she probably would have done that if it were her.

Where are the Sunday AARs?? I was hoping one of you was on the board with David Miller where they apparently voted him a 2way in a timed round (that's what I heard happened)...
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Re: DixieCon 32 is underway!

Postby Nanook » 07 Jun 2018, 19:00

jay65536 wrote:OK. From what I remember about Emily Pollock, she probably would have done that if it were her.

Where are the Sunday AARs?? I was hoping one of you was on the board with David Miller where they apparently voted him a 2way in a timed round (that's what I heard happened)...

Mine will be up sometime. I was not on that board, but I watched the end of it loosely and talked to Dave afterwards. They did give him a two way on a timed board, and Tom Kobrin and Todd (Craig last night and, maybe, I think) were involved. It actually stole victory away from Buffalo, who was on my Sunday board.
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Re: DixieCon 32 is underway!

Postby jay65536 » 07 Jun 2018, 19:49

I don't know if you can tell from any previous interactions you've had with me on the forum or in person, but one of my absolute biggest pet peeves about no-DIAS, draw-based scoring systems is when people vote themselves out to 2way draws...so to hear that people did that in a TIMED round, to swing the entire tournament...I want to know what happened!
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