PDL 2. Round 3, game 3. AAR

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Re: PDL 2. Round 3, game 3. AAR

Postby NJLonghorn » 15 Jun 2018, 00:19

In spring ’01, I received an early message from Austria proposing an alliance. I was immediately interested, and we worked out a deal that he would build armies only, and I would build fleets only. Recognizing the need for him to grow if he was to survive, I agreed that he would get most of the early growth, and once things stabilized he’d cede some to me. We also discussed arranging to destroy one of my two armies as soon as practicable so that I could build a fleet.

That was my primary plan, but in the back of my mind I also wanted to keep a Jugg on the table. I wasn’t wild about it because comms with Russia were a bit awkward in the spring, but I didn’t want to burn the bridge either. I worked out a DMZ with Russia in the Black Sea so that I could get my fleet into the Mediterranean early, much like how the AT started in the PDET final. Russia betrayed our deal in Spring 01 by taking the Black Sea, but then he used that fleet in the fall to take Rumania, so I thought things were okay between us. Here’s what the board looked like after 1901:

Image

During the build phase and early in 1902, I heard rumors that some players were worried about Austria growing too quickly, and others were worried about a looming Jugg. I didn’t hear a peep about the possibility of an AT alliance, so I kept that on the qt. I got the sense that Russia was about as interested in the Jugg as I was, so I figured he’s be willing to turn on me. I arranged for Austria to support Russia into Bulgaria, forcing the destruction of my army there. The plan also required Austria to keep Italy close, because Italy had to use Ionian Sea to tap Aegean Sea, or I’d accidentally take Greece from Austria. If things went well, Italy and Russia would think Austria was allied with them, but the plan all along was for him to turn on them. He’d gain Venice and Rumania, and equally importantly, reduce me to one army so his flank was secure.

This was a risk, because Austria would have to support my other army back into Bulgaria in the fall, or I’d lose an SC. I figured it was worth the risk because I was offering Austria a very good deal that I didn’t think he’d turn down. I was right, and the plan worked.

Image
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The one part of the plan I didn’t think through enough was that Russia retreated to the Black Sea, so I had to build a fleet for defense, not offense. This proved to be a big problem, because I couldn’t be as aggressive into the Med as I wanted to be. Position after 1902:

Image

In ’03, Russia poured all of his energy into his southern front. Germany took Warsaw and Norway, reducing Russia him to 5 units and 3 SCs. I thought that would give me the security I needed, but it really didn’t. I still was unable to free fleets to head west.

Meanwhile, Austria and I arranged to let Italy take Greece in spring 03 while I snuck a fleet by. In fall 03, Austria retook Greece, and I snagged a free Tunis. Meanwhile, Italy took Rome but lost Venice. Net, 1 build for both of us, and the board looked like this after ’03:

Image

Things went well enough for me in 1904, with Austria ceding Greece and the Black Sea stabilizing. Unfortunately, the Russian fleet in the Black Sea forced me to continue playing defense. I would have rather be able to send more force into the Med. Oh well. But things went far worse for Austria in ‘04. He didn’t lose an SC, but his forces were scattered everywhere and Germany all of a sudden turned south. At the end of 04, Austria was in serious trouble:

Image

By the start of 1905, it was clear that my path to success was joining the FG. I didn’t speak with France much, but Germany and I talked extensively. I wanted to stay quietly in the corner for a while, but he told me he wouldn’t wait for long and would instead turn to Russia for support against me. Reluctantly, I took Serbia instead of Sevastopol in fall 1905. Here’s the board at the end of that year:

Image

From there, as I said in the OP above, the rest was mop-up. Austria tried to help France put a dent in me, ostensibly in support of a GF two-way, with Austria gaining tie-breaker points. But Germany was concerned that France was trying to solo, and that he could succeed. So Germany shut it down and we played the year out to take the tiebreaker points for ourselves. I turned down a 3-way draw proposal (or rather, never acted on it) because I very well could need the points.
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Re: PDL 2. Round 3, game 3. AAR

Postby IvarGizteb » 15 Jun 2018, 05:33

OK, here's my longer-form take on the game.

Spring 1901:

The first person I spoke with was England. We hit it off well at the start- I offered him Belgium and he accepted. I essentially never make a play for Belgium as France, I hate being the early leader on 6, there's no way to have 6 units doing useful things in 1902 so there's no point in sticking your neck out. So I order pretty standard, to MAO, Spa and Pic. Delighted to see England move the army to Edi.

Fall 1901:

I didn't receive a message from England until the very end of the phase, and I got freaked out. I started talking to Germany more as well and he seemed communicative and a good tactician so I started to lean more in that direction. I bounced England in Belgium, falsely claiming I didn't see his message in time and thought he was NMRing.

Spring 1902:

My first big surprise of the game, I thought for sure England would bounce me in the Channel but he didn't. I guess I managed to convince him F Bre was going to MAO. Germany supported me into Belgium and I began to feel quite solid with him.

Fall 1902:

Germany managed to get Russia to move to Norway, which was huge as it caused an English destroy. I gain leverage in Iri. The board after 1902 builds:Image

1903:
In the west, I take Lvp/Lon, England sneaks into MAO but I am happy to let him take Portugal as I know he is easy to bottle up there.

Italy was not pleased by my build of F Mar. My goal here was to prolong the A/I conflict, to get Turkey to jump on Austria while A/I were fighting, and I planned on using the southern fleet in whatever way necessary to keep A/I at each other's throats.

I want to take a minute to highlight fall 1904 as I think it is probably the most important turn to my game. Here's the order history for the turn: Image

I was absolutely convinced Germany was going to stab me this turn. He had been making excuses for 2 or 3 seasons about why he could not send his armies south- on at least one occasion he told me he was moving against Austria when he actually moved against Russia. I thought G/A was going to run the board here, and I started reaching out to Turkey hoping to turn the game into F/T vs. G/A. I also realized around this time that England was quite a strong player who was just legitimately very busy IRL at the beginning, not an inactive. Combined with the fact that I was due to give up Belgium this season to Germany in exchange for Edinburgh, I concocted a plan (with England playing a key role w/ Hel-Hol) such that if Germany stabbed me by going to Burgundy, and moving for Belgium I would actually keep Belgium and be building 1. I was floored when the turn processed and Germany actually moved against Austria.

1905:
Turkey approaches me and Germany in the fall saying he's moving against Austria, I'm sure he saw the writing on the wall for the A/T. I of course say sure, we agree preliminarily on a 3-way FGT, although I pitch an FG to Germany with the intention being outracing him to 18. I finish off England.

1906:
Still on good terms with Germany. Some agreed bounces.

Fall '06 was my biggest mistake of the game. I should've taken Austria up on his offer and supported Trieste to hold- Turkey would not have had a build and Austria could've moved unopposed to Eastern Med, I could've likely followed up into Ionian and I could've pulled a Lepanto-style convoy into Smy/Syr which would give me a big leg up in the race for 18. I got cold feet that this would scare Germany, which was a stupid decision on my end.

1907:
More talk between me and Germany about FG but we both know we don't trust the other enough for it. Germany misinterprets a message from me thinking I'm going to stab which results in a mild amount of tension, but ultimately we just close it out for a FGT. For the record I did vote for all the draw proposals here.

Things I did well:
1) Picked out Germany as a good ally in Fall '01 and stuck with it, but ensured we had enough negotiated bounces and such to keep each other honest.
2) Pulled off the plan in Fall '04 that would punish Germany if he stabbed me, at what was his most realistic stab moment of the game.

Things I did poorly:
1) I did not talk nearly enough to the eastern powers. I had a gravy train going against England in 1902/1903 and I should've been ingratiating myself with A/T/R in this time, and I did not. This could've cost me dearly. I think if Germany had stabbed in fall '04 I did not have a good enough rapport with Turkey to survive and the G/A would've done serious damage to me.

2) I didn't take Austria up on his offer in fall '06, and let Turkey build in winter '06 which killed my chance to get seriously behind Turkish lines for a possible solo.

3) I didn't do diplomatic legwork to stall German growth in the east in '04-'05. I would've liked to go into the FGT portion of the game a dot or two ahead of Germany to give myself better solo odds but we were even.

Thoughts on the other players:
England: Unfortunate that he was busy IRL in 1901, I've played with him before and I know he's a strong player, and if Germany moved against me I was completely ready to work with him.
Germany: A strong ally, we kept each other in check while also moving in our mutual benefit. It seems he had stronger ties in the east than me and I give him major props for that.
Italy: Another strong player who just had some things go against him. I wish I could've prolonged his struggle with Austria longer.
Austria: Another strong player (I'm sensing a theme here! No slouches in the PDL!),and I really admire how much he was pitching me as he was going down. I absolutely should've played ball with him better towards the end, this is my biggest regret in the game.
Russia: I probably interacted with him the least, but he was largely screwed by Germany's fast growth. Could've easily finished in the draw if things went different early on.
Turkey: One of my bigger mistakes was not talking to Turkey more, I don't think he ever really trusted me. He got quite a nice result out of this and picked his time to stab Austria excellently.

Overall, very happy with the level of play in my first PDL game- a little upset with myself for how I played certain things but I can't complain with a 3-way draw.
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Re: PDL 2. Round 3, game 3. AAR

Postby NJLonghorn » 15 Jun 2018, 12:18

IvarGizteb wrote:Fall '06 was my biggest mistake of the game. I should've taken Austria up on his offer and supported Trieste to hold- Turkey would not have had a build and Austria could've moved unopposed to Eastern Med, I could've likely followed up into Ionian and I could've pulled a Lepanto-style convoy into Smy/Syr which would give me a big leg up in the race for 18. I got cold feet that this would scare Germany, which was a stupid decision on my end.


I was worried about this, so I lobbied Germany hard to support me into Trieste. The move ended up 3-1, so I still would’ve taken it if you had added support from Venice. To keep me out of Trieste, you also would’ve needed Austria to offer support from Budapest. That would’ve given me Rumania (unless Moscow tapped Sevastopol, which I didn’t think was likely). Either way, I would get a build so long as Germany came through.
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Re: PDL 2. Round 3, game 3. AAR

Postby champinoman » 15 Jun 2018, 14:47

NJLonghorn wrote:I was worried about this, so I lobbied Germany hard to support me into Trieste. The move ended up 3-1, so I still would’ve taken it if you had added support from Venice. To keep me out of Trieste, you also would’ve needed Austria to offer support from Budapest. That would’ve given me Rumania (unless Moscow tapped Sevastopol, which I didn’t think was likely). Either way, I would get a build so long as Germany came through.

I should add that I had pitched a fairly good scenario to Germany as well regarding letting me back into Tri and he had agreed it was a good plan. So I had the support of both France and Germany heading into the resolution... but got neither.

I think my moves showed it in the game but I want to reiterate that every scenario that I discussed whilst being slaughtered was me being honest. I do believe that if you (F/G) had worked with me in these seasons that you would have had a good chance at whittling the draw down further.
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Re: PDL 2. Round 3, game 3. AAR

Postby NJLonghorn » 15 Jun 2018, 16:32

champinoman wrote:
NJLonghorn wrote:I do believe that if you (F/G) had worked with me in these seasons that you would have had a good chance at whittling the draw down further.


No doubt. With your help, France and Germany could have eliminated me. The harder question is what would have happened next. The most likely scenario is that France would have gotten behind my lines and Germany would not have had a viable stalemate line. France admits in his AAR that this was his goal. I don't remember whether I made the threat explicitly, but I tried to make sure Germany understood that the threat of a French solo gave me leverage to force him to play for the 3-way. And yes, I would've thrown the solo to France if Germany hadn't supported me to hold Vienna in Fall 06.
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Re: PDL 2. Round 3, game 3. AAR

Postby Astrup » 17 Jun 2018, 15:15

I'll just say this was probably one of the worst games I have ever played. I was so bad.

And then I wanna cry a little salt tear about drawing Austria, Italy and Italy :)

But GG guys. It was fun.
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