AAR: Mentors Game

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AAR: Mentors Game

Postby thewysecat » 25 Oct 2015, 18:56

The demonstration game set up by WHS for 7 PlayDip Academy Mentors has just finished in a 4-way draw.

This thread is for the AAR for the players and any of the mentees who followed along with their assigned mentor via PM or indeed any other community spectators.

The game ended during Spring 08. It was DIAS, secret ballot

England - drnomeansyes (4way DRAW) - 5 SCs
FRANCE - Radical Pumpkin (4way DRAW) - 9 SCs
ITALY - Young Lochinvar - eliminated
GERMANY - Aaron the Hun - eliminated
AUSTRIA - Guns of Brixton - eliminated
TURKEY - thewysecat (4way DRAW) - 12 SCs
RUSSIA - WHSeward (4way DRAW) - 8 SCs

The game ended - seemingly - when as per my own code I declined to draw whittle with RP...but maybe the AAR will say differently.

The executive summary of the Turkish AAR is: F*** Edi Birsan

I have saved all my PMs to the mentees following along with me but I am not sure if posting them is what folks had in mind. I can also add in other thoughts. For now, everyone should feel free to post.

Pardon me, don't mean to be rude, but this is WHS and I thought I would add SC and tempi charts for the game for reference in the AAR. Also, since different player's AAR's are getting interspersed inside of Wyse's, a couple of links to the other's contributions. If I get ambitious, I may go back and edit this thread once everyone is done posting and assemble the posts into some kind of logical order. For now, we will all post haphazardly and I'll add links.

Turkey's AAR, just keep reading.
France's AAR, Part 1, Part 2
Russia's AAR, replies & comments
Germany's AAR

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Re: AAR: Mentors Game

Postby thewysecat » 27 Oct 2015, 01:45

So my mentees this game were: atomist; nanooktheeskimo; GoRunGetToTheChopper; ruffdove.

thewysecat wrote:Hello everyone

You can call me Wyse.

WHS has allocated you to 'inside watch' the mentor game with me and/or there is an outside chance you picked to watch with me. idk. Feel free to introduce yourselves and what you hope to get from this game.

We will only communicate via this shared thread.

I want to emphasise that you are undertaking not to discuss anything inside this thread with anyone outside it. Out of respect for the game please take that seriously. You never know what that third party might say to someone else who might say to someone else who might talk accidentally to someone else in the game. I am sure you understand that game integrity is a concern.

The exact nature of other parameters we will/can negotiate. However I am resolved that the process will be driven by you. If you are silent because you are not really following the game then no problem, but I will not generate content for a vacuum. I will generate content in response to questioning. Likely this will be 'retrospective' in nature at the end of each phase, but feel free to ask Qs during the phase and I will make a call on whether I can answer immediately or at phase end. This we will have to feel out. Care needs to be taken in the commentary that it does not drift across some invisible line into advice. You are watching me. You may or may not hope I do well, but you are not TEAMwysecat in terms of our watchteam strategizing to try and beat the other watchteams.

Feel free to take your own notes that are of a more strategic nature and you can perhaps make a contribution to the AAR.

This game has 5-day deadlines with no weekend processing so it will be a long-process. If you signed up on a whim and cannot really follow after a point. That is fine too. However if you go the whole course I will commit to answering Qs for the whole course so long as I am in the game. If I am eliminated then...

I am your Sultan. Pleased to meet you

Wyse


My thanks for their attention and questions/comments. My habit was to PM them when a move phase resolved and invite Qs. I would then reply just before the resolution of the next move phase. All but the F02 resolution produced Qs that led to one or more mentor messages. I will basically just post these I think with maybe a few additional comments.

This gives everyone a feel for what I was thinking contemporaneously. It also provides accountability to my fellow mentors, future mentees and the community at large for my 'teaching'. Everyone can see what the advice mentees were receiving.

I'll begin at the end since - to my surprise - they still had Qs after the conclusion of the game:

thewysecat wrote:End of Game

Hello everyone

My goodness, I thought my yeoman's work was done...but 2 more Qs...

GoRunGetToTheChopper wrote:Four way draws are kinda unnatural. What was your thought process while considering accepting it?

Anything that occurs in nature is natural so since you just saw one...a 4-way draw is as natural as any draw.

Why did I accept a draw? Because I could not obtain a better result and it passed because no one else was still pursuing one. To be clear there are 3 possible results: win (solo), lose (elimination) or draw. And if that still isn't clear, I am not interested in the value of n in an n-player draw. I do not consider a 3-way draw better than a 4-way draw for example.

Feel free to disagree, but I ask that you give the idea your due consideration because I suspect that for most players the opposite view is an unexamined assumption. One piece of reasoning I would offer is that a 3-way draw is not meaningfully closer to a win than a 4-way draw and in fact likely further away from a win because game complexity has been reduced and the latter element is key to solo-opportunities. For example, in our game if all of E's SCs were held by F or some combination of R and F I would functionally be in the same place as I was before his elimination and not particularly because I might be on a similar SC count. It would be the same because the SCs I need for my 18 are the same and are no more and no less available than they were before. I cannot secure Tunis. I cannot hold St.P from the south. And Mun-Ber has long gone. Ergo, I could not upgrade my draw to a win. Ergo I accepted a draw.

The S08 orders entered before the draw passed may have changed for both myself and WHS but if they did not then I would have taken Bud that phase and then Vie would have followed shortly afterwards. At that point I'd own the 14 SCs I needed for an independent stalemate line. Some repositioning of units and it would be impossible for me to be eliminated. I might push on to take War-Mos for 16 but that would be it and in all likelihood I would not do so as I wanted R to retain its 3 northern fleets to build a line via Barents-Nwy-Ska-Den-Bal-Ber to lock France out of St.P and prevent him gaining 18 from Tunis to St.P. Ergo we were likely talking about denying drno a place in the draw. What for?

ruffdove wrote:Same question as GRGTTC. Also, what does "whittle draw" mean?

For a 2010 discussion on whittling to which I contribute visit here

Also see above. Draw-whittling is therefore the process by which a game that is in a drawn position carries on simply for the purpose of whittling one or more players out of that draw by eliminating them since - under the rules - draws include all survivors (DIAS). I consider it a waste of time and more importantly, graceless. I am gaining nothing from the process so I can only be motivated by denying someone else something. Ugly. Now it can be a fine line. As long as one player on the board is genuinely pursuing a solo-chance (no matter how remote) then in my code at least I consider it legitimate that while that happens one or more players might be eliminated. I think RP had a vague chance of a solo and if he went for it then I suppose I had a vague chance too, but realistically no one was in a position to solo with our final posture. IMO most of the time this whittling occurs in games solos aren't being pursued - just a lower value of n.

Ah, but I'd get more points for a lower-value of n! Well again I contend that if you learnt the game on this site then perhaps you have some unexamined assumptions. There is nothing inherent in the game rules to suggest that a n-player draw with a lower value of n is a better result for the participants in it. The rules have only ever said that before a winner is determined, the players - by agreement - can end early and then all still survivors share equally in the draw. (DIAS) This mechanic is just a funky variant invented by this site for its own metagame. It has no basis in the rules and doesn't impress me. Indeed beyond that, I don't give a shit about the rankings. This is because it is a meta-game and I'd rather make my game choices driven by the game I am playing not the imperatives of a meta-game that in theory makes every game subservient to the metrics of a never-ending quasi-tournament. For me, each game stands alone. This one was a draw. Well done. See you at the next board.

This is why I have a decent amount of 4 and 5-way draws in my record and no doubt my ranking suffers from it. Like I say, I don't care.

Of course playing this way has some pros and cons in game since I am something of an outlier perhaps. I used to play this way before the site even had the actual game rules (DIAS) as a game option! Most folks then (and many now) acculturated by the site's norms did not get it and that drew ire and suspicion. In the latter case in part because it is a simple declaration that one is playing to win. Then again of course surely everyone does that at sign up - right?

Anyway, a refusal to whittle can make you the subject of a whittle. For example, declining to play for a 2-way with RP might make him want to play it with someone else if that is the result he really wants. It also takes one of the biggest ways many (most?) people solo off the table for me. I cannot lie and say I am going for a whittled 2 or 3-way draw and then actually stab for a solo. On the other hand it means others know that tactic cannot be tried on me. (As an aside, I remember one site-user who shared my views on whittling but was also so contemptuous of those going for 2-way draws that he claimed the late stab of such players for a solo was his favourite way to win. He considered it karmic. He was an ass. I liked him.)

There are also some pros to my code. One is that a shrewd player (as long as they are careful to keep my solo of the table) knows that they can absolutely rely on me. This is why I claim soloists are the best allies for a sound player. And amongst the reasons why these days I call myself a carebear soloist. I won't stab for a lower value of n and I don't believe eliminations move me closer to a solo. Ergo 99+% of the time my deals can be trusted. This is true in all circumstances but certainly if fighting a rearguard with a partner or partners.

These days I don't 'preach' in-game. I just carefully explain to others my position and accept that they likely want to whittle. I just have some parameters to guide my actions. For example, if some other Turkey had demanded of me as France that I whittle England in this game's position I'd have told them 'no chance'. In this game I was Turkey so I could not directly impact RP's desire to whittle drno so I just posted a draw, accepted it myself and left it to him. Another advantage arising therefore is that any 'cost' for this process has to lie with the whittler. So RP wanted a FT 2-way. Well interestingly that could occur 'naturally' if he was determined to whittle since I could not directly stop him. He had me stopped in the Med and so I could keep him 'honest' in that theatre but no more. Ergo if he wanted to try and fight all the way to St.P...go for it. However, he would have to give me Tunis before he started or damn close to the start because otherwise he might solo if WHS's position collapsed under F attack and continued RT conflict/mistrust. Also if I held back he would risk WHS throwing to me or at the very least RT would form a line to make it a 3-way draw. In other words because players know I am utterly uninvested in their desire to whittle they know that if they want to whittle they have to pay the price. By this method many - like RP - accept the draw. I commend him for it. I am surprised however - given his own expressed desires - that he did not go on to kill drno, but I would - hopefully - have persuaded WHS to just form a line with me. WHS's orders suggested he knew he could give me Bud and then rely on me going no further. IMO, he knew the score.

ruffdove wrote:what did this game have to do with Edi Birsan's comments on the AIR alliance - or was it more relating to the general principles of the diplomacy he is discussing?

Well go back and look at 1901 and 1902 and follow along with the article. The AIR formed in S01 and as far as I can tell played the game in the colour-by-numbers format set out in the article for those years barring WHS's F01 misorder which hurt their scheme. Turkey's destruction was not its sole or even necessarily its primary raison d'être, but that was what was intended for me. Narcissistically I might argue that confounding this intent from 3 neighbours and navigating from my 1902 position to end-game board leader with the highest tempo was the biggest achievement of the game though I'd also nominate the recovery by RP from his F01 position to S02. Anyway, a note of...erm...defiance in the AAR seems appropriate.

So why did I not win this game...in summary:

My failure to get any traction with anyone in 01 which lead to AIR and hamstrung my game start - notably my tempo. Turkey is a great defensive position and I arranged some demonstrations of that this game but its big downside is the tempo it needs to get to 18. I need Tunis and to get to Iberia and/or I somehow have to get to Mun-Ber. Once I got some breathing room I played pretty high tempo while supressing the tempo of others (notably RP and belatedly WHS) and I ended with the highest tempo rating on the board (I think) but it was still not enough to recover.

Related point - my failure to prevent France from flourishing to the extent it did. I need Tunis minimum. I think I defied the odds to get to TYS and hold Italy, but still not enough

Related point - my failure to get drno to do anything at any point that was congruent with Turkish interests! He should be my natural ally but even at the death my sister was playing a EFR. Allowing RP to take Bel. Allowing Russia to take Den after allowing him to take Nwy and Swe. F Clyde! F York! Oh dear... drno knows I feel he wasted his mid-game from 03 in the sort of way that eventually leads to someone turning up to whittle you, but his failure to flourish meant my two biggest neighbours were...well...big

Insufficient game complexity - the central powers - with some variance - were for whatever reasons unable to commit to the level of iterative communication necessary to spin a solo out of this group of sharks.

Wyse
Last edited by thewysecat on 28 Oct 2015, 20:13, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: AAR: Mentors Game

Postby thewysecat » 27 Oct 2015, 02:41

Spring 01 and a sort of overview of Turkish diplomacy in the game

France (RP)
Best dialogue I had this phase was with E and F. Something of a pattern for the whole game. RP was undoubtedly the player I got on best with. Every phase there were multiple iterations of interesting and measured dialogue.

England (drno)
drno and I got on fine throughout too though he became a little less engaged later in the game. He just never did anything effective to help me or - IMO - himself after S03. That is my biggest diplomatic regret/failure in a strong field of competing claims.

Germany (Aaron)
Aaron in Germany said almost nothing. That was a real disappointment. I love talking to Turkey as Germany and vice versa. Minimal contact before his elimination really though I tried every phase

Austria and Italy (GoB and YL)
Vague, meaningless nothings from YL in Italy and little better from GoB in Austria during S01. They did not even try very hard to disguise the AI. Another blow. Both were tough to play with throughout. YL barely communicated for most of the game and from F05 onwards never once sent me a message. GoB had an almost identical profile after he stabbed me the first time. There was a brief and understated uptick of AR communication in 03/04-ish but then back to silence once Austria was broken by a combination of YL's stab and his own misorder.

Russia (WHS)
WHS in Russia...ahh...my Tsar...how to summarise...let's go with...terrible. My Tsar was brim full with the smelly stuff. I won't bore everyone with the S01 details, but it was a pattern that would seemingly never cease. My highly biased opinion is that I was incredibly patient phase after phase in shovelling it all and trying (and occasionally) succeeding in putting some sort of RT collaboration or at least toleration together in the face of unreasonableness.

Of course for the first 2 game years he was spinning away to try and hide the AIR. His S01 position was a desire for me to concede Black. That was it. I declined. Naturally.

The AIR became plain in W01 when GoB built F Trieste. Not least since he and YL couldn't get their stories straight on their own alleged dialogue about the build and were conspicuous in avoiding any Qs seeking to explore the anomalies. I 'let' the S02 stab happen anyway for reasons I explain to my mentees at the time.

Alliances?
WHS's stab of YL and thus me in F04 (while we were meant to be playing IRT) handed me Italy as a sort of ally - my only one of the game really - but since YL would do things like only communicate in the last 30 minutes of a 6-day deadline and even then was simultaneously flirting with RP it wasn't much to write home about as an alliance. As it was it only lasted 05 anyway. YL defected to being RP's vassal. He never said why or messaged again.

Anyway, once I finally had some prospect of independent power I told my only lie of the game and built 2 armies in W05 contrary to my undertakings with WHS to build F Smy only. I am only human. I had to get out of there. Even then I was trying to negotiate a compromise build but WHS wouldn't even discuss it. I'd had enough. Though FT seemed highly implausible I also had the vague prospect of actually having an ally in the shape of RP. Of course he couldn't keep it zipped in his pants for more than one phase either and joined a long list of those who stabbed me. He ended the game trying to negotiate what he could have had by just sticking to our 06 deal. He took his shot by attacking me in successive phases and it did not work out tactically for him. Again my later notes to my mentees will cover some of this.

Overall
Anyway, depending on how you count these things but certainly setting aside the AIR in 01-02, I was stabbed by GoB twice, YL once, WHS once, RP once and was doomed to be perpetually disappointed by all on multiple occasions besides. The game had a surprising/disappointing amount of - IMO - premature lying and stabbing in it. You never know what kind of 'character' your power will have, but I would say my Sultan was...resilient. To quantify that it is perhaps a badge of honour that not a single SC I held was captured with the support from the unit of another power. Clearly, however, that is not a diplomatic triumph!

The only support into a SC from a non-Turkish unit I received all game was from Austria into Rum in F01 and even then that was a fake agreed between AR to try and disguise the AIR. It bounced but was meant to fail utterly except that WHS misordered. I walked into Bul on my own steam. Same with Serbia. I supported myself into Greece. Walked into Trieste. Supported myself into Rom, Nap, Sev and Rum. Some of this was a triumph of tactics, but of course all of it was managed through diplomatic means too despite the lack of direct tactical support from others. It's just I was working in a 'zone' of diplomacy that was ally-free. Everything was very hard-won and always in the face of WHS's determined attempts to stop me.
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Re: AAR: Mentors Game

Postby thewysecat » 27 Oct 2015, 02:44

thewysecat wrote:Spring 01...I sucked

Hello everyone,

I will do my best to answer your Qs

nanooktheeskimo wrote: I have a question about the opening set of moves. Two actually.

Firstly. Playing as Turkey, how much importance do you place on a S01 move to BLA? Is it set in stone for you, or does it depend on what you might hear from or your read on Russia and Italy?

Second question. How much do you try to influence events outside your sphere at the start of the game? This probably depends on the board too, but as a general principle, do you like to try and make things happen the way you want them to, or do you take a more wait and see approach?

The first thing to point out is that I do not consider myself a specialty player of Turkey particularly. But I have always rated this as a decent overview with a nice emphasis on long-term priorities for getting to 18.
http://www.diplomacy-archive.com/resour ... chbach.htm

Q1. So, Black Sea...there are no absolutes in Dip in my view. That said, it is very rare that I will let Russia into Black in S01. I might DMZ in S01 if I rate R as the sort of player to keep such a S01 deal. (99% I'll keep the DMZ too, but there is always the option of stealing Black...) If I am letting Russia into Black in S01 it is because we have a deal to swap Con and Sev in 1901 as part of a transparent Juggernaut alliance. WHS pushed very hard for me to let him into Black in S01 and suggested I take Sev with F Ank, I might have done it if he'd let me take Sev with A Smy! But then Russia is very unlikely to agree to that. WHS's proposed scheme is very slow tempo for Turkey and very fast tempo for him. So, I declined. I was more gentle in asking for a DMZ. He declined. I could say more here about my diplomacy with Russia in S01, but on the whole it was unsatisfactory to both parties. This phase may go better. We will see.

One option that could happen in F01 is that I let Russia into Black if he will give me Rum. This long-shot hope is not however the product of Turkey being in a position of strength in the game. Which is a nice segue into Q2...

Q2. Nothing is outside your sphere whatever country you are playing. The whole board is always your concern. I am never passive, but manipulation is a no-no. I inquire, I discuss (not necessarily recommend) options and just try to establish a landscape where it is ok for me to be talking about anything with anyone. And incrementally others open up and then maybe you are influencing and even if not you are learning info.

So let us consider what would be a priority for Turkey in S01 to influence and see how your Sultan has done in this game.

Italy not ordering a Lepanto is a priority. Italy has basically ordered a Lepanto this game!

The main way to achieve that goal is for there to be AI conflict. Despite the 'bump' of mistrust suggested by A Vienna to Trieste there was an AI formed in S01

Alternatively and perhaps ideally Italy goes west. This is a rarer achievement for the Sultan, but in this game Italy had suggested he was doing so. All we got was Ven to Pied. Probably the only good news of the phase, but on its own - very little.

Broadly related to this we want France under pressure because we don't want to meet F at the TYS line later in the game. We want to get their first. Instead this game Eng Channel has DMZed and France is in Burgundy. If an EF was not formed then it likely will be by simply looking at the board. Ironically Radical Pumpkin is probably the power I am getting along best with in terms of shared style and perspective and he is playing the power I have the least favourable long-term thoughts towards. That said, the threat of a EF 'western juggernaut' might be by best way of persuading someone to throw me a bone.

It is essential that Austria move to Gal and prevent Russia from taking it. This means that Russia is harder pressed to get Rum in F01 and in particular might have to commit F Sev to Rum's capture (assuming a Black Sea bounce in S01). This allows Turkey to take Black in F01. I worked long and hard on GoB about this point. Instead he blunders a close to deadline Gal DMZ negotiation with WHS (allegedly. Who really knows) and WHS is in Gal! This means Sev can likely take action in Black in F01 because R is well placed to get Rum without needing the fleet move. Terrible for the Sultan.

Germany should at least move his fleet to Den to at least make Russia fret about getting Sweden and maybe deny Russia that build in the fall. The worry about being bounced in Sweden can induce Russia to play conservatively in committing full resources in taking Rum in F01 to at least ensure one build. This helps the Sultan. In this game, Germany tells me he is moving F Kiel to Den but actually moves it to Hol! Russia will sail into Sweden unopposed in the fall. Russia might get 3 builds!

All in all, I sucked that phase! But I tried not to...and to be fair because I was trying I knew I had sucked before the resolution. Knowing where you are at is still worth something in poker even if your cards are ****.

GoRunGetToTheChopper wrote:Both great questions from nanook.

I was wondering, how you approach Greece in 1901 as Turkey?

Obviously Turkey would like it. So does Austria and a very silver-tongued Italy might harbour aspirations. A 2 build Sultan however has had an amazing 01. One build is fine. So don't sweat it too much. The opening I played this game is in theory designed to give a shot at Greece in a context where F Tri is holding or moving to Venice (i.e. not going to Alb) as part of a Southern Hedgehog opening (my preferred Austrian play). In reality, I knew that GoB was desperate to get Greece as Austria in 01. It's why he's turned himself in knots and lost Gal. Him getting Greece is not the big disappointment. It is what he was willing to give up tactically and diplomatically to do it that hurts Turkey more. It never occurred to him to negotiate for Greece with me.

So I ended up playing this opening because in theory (though it might not look it) I might be able to persuade A and R that they want me in Rum! That's optimism for you. (A core skill in diplomacy by the way. Seriously the best ally is an optimistic one who is always seeing possibility and opportunity. Who wants to work with a doom-monger). I also played it because my other option was to move to Armenia. That Russian attack is mostly 'garbage' unless you know F Sev is opening to Rum and I knew F Sev was moving to Bla. However in this case I was considering it as a way to pressure R over Rum. Arm to Sev and Ank to Bla is ok in F01 even if Sev to Bla bounces them both since it means Sev is not being used in Rum and if Gal is not being occupied then we can keep R out of Rum should we wish or maybe even secure Austrian support from Serbia in return for letting him take Greece. In the end I did not move to Armenia because although it is not as bad tactically as it might seem for Russia - psychologically it is pure hostility and WHS is the only one from AIR that I rate as being likely to cut a deal with Turkey in the near future. The other option of the Pastiche opening - A Smy hold (or A Smy to Ank expecting to bounce) did not appeal unless I really was considering A Smy to Armenia in F01. One can always move A Con back to Smy in F01 if diplomacy suggests A Bul is going no where and thus you can get the value of the Pastiche withouth playing it. That is to say - Con free for a fleet build that can hit Bla or Aegean as required.

As an aside I should also mention that I genuinely worried about F Sev to Armenia, A Mos to Sev, A War to Ukr since I knew Austria was trying to get a DMZ in Gal. That was another reason to contemplate Smy to Arm. Russia only wants DMZ in Gal if A Mos is heading north so he can play A War to Ukr to converge on Rum. But I was certain WHS was not heading north. So I could not square the idea of a DMZ Gal with what I knew so I had to contemplate that I did not know something that was bad for me! A Russian attack was one option. In the end however I just could not see WHS playing that. And so at resolution the mystery was solved. WHS was moving to Gal and GoB's hopes for a DMZ there were an illusion (assuming no deep disguised AR alliance with an incredibly trusting A!)

Anyway, if Italy convoys to Tunis and builds F Nap ready for a move on Eas Med/Aegean for S02 then I might need to move F Ank to Con now. That means giving up Black. That hurts. A lot. I have to be the dog to a Russian master in a RT that R dominates or R just takes advantage and kills me as part of his already negotiated Wintergreen alliance. But hey, maybe master will throw me that bone of Rum. If I am really good I might even simultaneously persuade Austria to support me in too on the grounds of trying to stop R taking Rum. And then maybe I can get two builds after all and never even compete for Greece. Fleets appearing on the Med would give that Italian a shock and put a smile on my face. We shall see...

All comments and questions welcome

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Re: AAR: Mentors Game

Postby thewysecat » 27 Oct 2015, 02:46

thewysecat wrote:Spring 01 - a question on Germany's navy

ruffdove wrote:One thing I was wondering about was Germany's fleet to Holland. That seems to be giving up a lot of leverage against Russia, and for what? Especially given the army moves. My reading on Germany has unanimously panned any Kiel move that is NOT into Denmark. Since this is a mentor ordering the move, what is suggested? An alliance with England wherein England takes Denmark and then expels Russia from Sweden?

Openings schmopenings. There are no absolutes. Don't get hung up on openings.

That all said, I confess I don't like moving F Kiel to Hol. I pretty much always move to Den, but my reasoning is not the impact on my influence with Russia. When I started playing this game I thought bouncing Russia out of Sweden in F01 was a no-brainer, but now I tend to think the opposite. That I will let R in 9+ times out of 10 and also let R know that. Why commit to (and in essence publically announce) hostility to R in 01 by bouncing him? Both the hostility and its openness are exploitable. Plus E Convoys army to Den while Russia dodges your attempted bounce by moving to Baltic can be very painful. If I think G is going to bounce me out of Swe as R then why always help him out by granting the bounce in a futile gesture? Seriously consider going to Bal (but obviously don't tell G that. let him think you are bouncing him). The only reason to bounce in Swe is if you really fear Den to Swe and Kiel to Den, but what G would play that if he really expects to bounce in Sweden?

All of which to say, clarifying that Sweden is Russian in S01 is not terrible as Germany.

So, I have other reasons for not liking it. I don't like it because it puts the German fleet on land and likely for the long-term until it is destroyed or something. Fleets work best at sea. But hang on - isn't Denmark land? Well yes, but it is as 'sea-like' as any land square can be and a fleet projects more power (i.e. influences more neighbouring spaces) from that spot than an army does. Plus the path back to sea from Den is easy and multiple and they are all good spots (Hel, North, Baltic even Ska are all useful spots for a German fleet). How does Holland get back to sea? Hel is going backwards (though Hel is a good spot for a German fleet eventually and when G has more than one fleet). North is obviously great, but hard to get to even with French help. You have to be damn sure that is going to be forthcoming to send your only fleet into the Hol cul-de-sac.

You move to Hol because you are using that fleet like an army in an attempt to get at Bel. But why get at Bel with the fleet if you think Mun to Ruhr is going to be ok and that Mun is safe from France? And on principle using a Fleet as an army is poor. A F in Bel is worse than a F in Hol unless you think you can somehow get to Channel or North and how likely is that? Especially if you are fighting F for Bel he is not helping you into North or Channel? More likely that F is going to be stuck in the low countries unable to project any power in-land and unable to influence the only sea squares it touches.

So why has G played it? Beats me. One option is as part of some disguised FG. But I fear he may be disappointed if that was the plan. F is not in Channel and so cannot support Holland to North. Plus France has quite a grip on Bel himself potentially. G explicitly told me he was opening to Den and has not messaged me this phase yet. I therefore have no insight from the source.

If there is an EF and E does not want to provoke Russia - I can see him taking Norway with a fleet and keeping G out of Den. Another good reason to take Den straightaway while you have the chance. In that scenario G might not have Bel or even Mun!

So yeah, I don't like the play especially and likely speaks to G being wrong-footed in the diplomacy. Things were not as he hoped/expected. Personally I think he was thinking a kind of disguised sealion was meant to be happening as part of a FG. He was wrong I think.

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Re: AAR: Mentors Game

Postby thewysecat » 27 Oct 2015, 02:59

Fall 01
I attempt to see if I can get either R or A to support me into Rum. To the former I offer to cede Black Sea in exchange for Rum and a promise to return Rum in 02, but the AIR fix is in so I waste a lot of time and energy. DMZ Black is refused too. Obviously lots of lies from all parties about how Russia ended up in Gal (alleged miscommunication error) and Austria in Trieste (alleged tension/some level of mistrust) and Alb going for Greece (who knew?). Long dialogue about accusations from WHS that I was lying by trying to negotiate the same deal with either A or R. Once I see the true context, I appreciate that dialogue even less in retrospect.

In the end GoB agrees to support me into Rum but AR just agree it as a way to get me into Black so I am more vulnerable in the Med once Austria builds his second fleet. WHS's misordered attempt to use 3 units to get himself into Rum he dresses up as Turkish-friendly as the manipulations to try and disguise AIR continue.

In the west it seems to be a very effective EG v F...

thewysecat wrote:Fall 01 - I still suck

Ok, this seems to be the only comment. I've sent you all to sleep already.

ruffdove wrote: It looks like WHS had a misorder in Fall '01 that kept him out of Rum. Happens to the best of us, I guess.

One tries not to have schadenfreude because karma is a bitch. For now, the Sultanate is going to claim credit for the misorder. All phase I pressured WHS about Rumania. I believe he wanted to order F Sev to Black and just Gal S Ukr-Rum, but fearing joint AT action in Rum he changes his orders in a last minute 'blink' and messed up. It's a theory anyway.

ruffdove wrote:Things seem to be looking up for Turkey in Fall '01.

Taking Black is a bonus. Having what I hoped was an AT was great. However, Austria has built F Tri in the face of my protests. This is a terrible build for Turkey and now he is even asking for Black to Rum and Con to Black - i.e. no fleets on the Med! Absurd. It took forever and huge amounts of effort to persuade Austria to S Bul-Rum in F01. GoB is very hard to deal with. WHS is very hard to deal with. At this rate the east is never going to sort itself out while the EG resolves the west and devours the board.

ruffdove wrote: The TI alliance seems like one destined to be temporary unless Austria moves into Russia and then west and Turkey moves west through the Med.

Not sure what this means really. TI? Do you mean Italy-Turkey. An IT? Well obviously I persuaded Italy to move away from me and working with him would be pretty good but Austria is a 5 SCs with a fleet in Greece so without Russian help taking A out will be very hard and working with R is tough. What I hoped for was a kind of AIT whereby Italy went west and AT took on R and then AT could make up its mind about Italy who was just holding up England at Gibraltar for us. But right now, who knows. GoB makes even simple things hard.

ruffdove wrote: Is that what you envision here, or are things still on a short term basis--trading Greece for support into Rum? I wonder about that because playing with less experienced players, I see a lot of long term alliances getting forged early and was curious about how more seasoned players operate.

I am desperately trying to form a long-term alliance. My preference was for WHS but he has been impossible throughout 01. In particular he has refused to DMZ Black or negotiate any future for F Sev other than it moving into Black. IMO he calculated that might need to get to the Med meant he could just keep pressuring me until I gave it to him. He was wrong and now our tactical posture is hostile. GoB was therefore an alternative, but he is not playing it that way. F Tri and then asking me to evacuate the Med is not fair dealing in an AT.

I think I am going to be sitting in my corner holding as best I can on until something breaks for a while. That suggests a solo won't be happening because of tempo.

ruffdove wrote:You are getting the pressure on France you had hoped for, but if he folds too fast, it will be England you're racing to the Tyrhennian Sea.

ruffdove

Pressure is one thing, but F is facing collapse! That is not good. The EG has high tempo and WHS is effectively an involuntary client state of the EG. They will hold Sweden hostage but not take it in order to facilitate Russia to hold up what they imagine is an AT but which is not all that great actually. If R looks like collapsing to the AT they will just finish WHS off.

You always want the other half of the board bogged down while yours resolves with high tempo. Unfortunately your Sultan is in the slow half of the map. Best placed power right now? England. 2 German army builds leave him vulnerable. I would have build a second German fleet. Still G is in a good spot too. F is worst placed.

GoRunGetToTheChopper wrote:How exposed is too exposed to Italy during an IT? If you move Smyrna into Armenia, F Con is the only defense against a two fleet Italy. With Austria in Greece, and stab from those two could be dangerous. Also, how do you decide what kind of unit to build? Its important to stay balanced while keeping your allies happy at the same time. Italy obviously would have preferred F Con to be an army instead. Is there a certain method you have to walking this diplomatic tightrope?

First some general commentary. I like our Italian player just fine, but he has not played Italy as I would. IMO he has vacillated and kind of wasted 1901 doing neither one thing nor the other. Obviously I would have preferred the all out attack on Austria in S01, but having made his S01 moves then objectively he probably should have convoyed to Tunis in F01 ready to move on me. I am in conflict with Russia and so half my navy is committed to Black so he was in a decent spot. That said, I am glad I persuaded him to move ION to Tunis instead! All he has really done is be used by Germany to distract France with his opening move to Pied in S01. That led indirectly to the loss of Burgundy in F01.

So, am I exposed in an IT? Somewhat because it also requires me to go North akin to my current posture. However the key is that he has not got armies ready for convoy. Of course Ven to Apu, Nap/Tunis to ION/TYS and puts that back in play! So I guess my own judgement was to build F Con anyway even though I had no real immediate use for it. Strictly speaking A Con was more useful, but I just did not feel comfortable being so unbalanced in my unit mix. In particular, with Austria building F Tri, I am exposed to him too. On the other hand with F Con I could potentially work with his fleet builds later in moving west. Or work with the Italian against Austria. In other words, F Con gives me more leverage potentially in talks with one or the other as both get to continue to worry about each other and how I might tip the balance in favour of one over the other. Whereas A Con basically says that I am 100% committed to war with Russia and I am dependent on them both going along with that. That encourages them to realise that they could just sail east to kill me and rely on Russia not helping me since all my units are pointed at him. Hopefully this gives some insight into build choices. A Con basically induces a RAI. I don't have to explain too much of this to either Italy or Austria to justify a F Con build. Hell, even Russia asked for that build as it is more positive to him than A Con. Austria could hardly object given F Tri and Italy was not really committed to a full on IT so had no real right to ask too much about my build.

Another factor that helps me out is how powerful the EG are in attacking F. In this context Italy (in particular) is worried about the Englishman appearing in MAO. France has been forced to build A Paris and de facto say to Italy - "it's up to you to defend the Med from the EG. I have other problems". This encourages Italy to go west and makes me altogether less vulnerable to him (to return to the original Q). I was feeling good about that until the build of F Tri basically just turned Austria into a new Italy who could sail East. And a power that was less worried about Gibraltar because the real Italian will have to cover that. Ergo, I rate GoB's power relative to me as much higher right now. Basically, at some future date I will have to persuade him to join forces with my navy in sailing west in what is probably a stab of Italy. Italy will have aspirations of getting Iberian SCs, but I predict he will find that a hard go IF England pressures the Med from MAO. Italy might well move Tunis to NAf and Nap to Tys this phase and TYS to Wes Med in F02. NAF will be looking for French support to MAO in F02 in this scenario.

Meanwhile I have to try and navigate Austria in 02 and make sure he does not stab me while helping me take Rumania. Key to that is asking for F Gre-Alb in S02. If I can get another build then I will be more solid against him and we are better placed to move forward as equals in an AT while Italy is busy in the west. Our plan in that context will be to take down R and hope EG do not intervene too much. But GoB is a hard partner to deal with so we will see if he is going to 'play nice' with me this phase.

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Re: AAR: Mentors Game

Postby thewysecat » 27 Oct 2015, 03:05

Spring 02
AIR execute their big reveal moves to the west while GoB stabs me and destroys Bulgaria.

Impressively RP turns around his situation completely to make it EF v G

thewysecat wrote:Spring 02 - my mentees think I am dead

Hello everyone

I am conscious I have been neglecting you. Here are my responses to your S02 questions
{Note that for the only time in the game I am late in my replies. This is actually written after the F02 resolution}

GoRunGetToTheChopper wrote: So you are being attacked by two of your neighbors, the other neighbor is looking the other way, and you happen to be the only one locked out of the German buffet. Looks pretty bleak.

I'll start drafting my AAR. :)

It's not great, and it is a legacy of all the failures to build a connection with any neighbour in S01. So obviously I am not playing that great. That said, I am also playing ok I think. To be optimistic there is lots of lying going on and I have not told a single one. In my book that counts for something and may pay dividends. We will see.

GoRunGetToTheChopper wrote: I guess my question would be: How do you try to convince Austria or Russia to stab their partner, or Italy to switch sides (of the board) to support you?

For the first two I both do and I don't even try...which may sound odd. It is more a case of proposing solid ideas as a kind of canary down-the-mine. One is trying initially to just try and work out how likely it is that they will turn. If it is very unlikely then badgering or pleading are a bad idea. Just take it on the chin and plan the best moves you can. Only press harder at a door that might be ajar (unless truly desperate in which case...what the hell). Now, in this particular case, my choice to risk letting A Bul be destroyed (and you can ask about that if you like) was designed (amongst other things) in a worst-case to allow good options for both parties to switch back in F02:

Austria could order in F02 Bul to Serbia while I support him into Rum and cut support from Sev via Arm.
Russia could support Arm into Bul (and I build F Smy meaning 3 of my 4 units are fleets and no threat to his inland)

The problem was there was no real geo-political reason for them to switch. And so neither wanted to do this. However, in going through this process I was able to establish that Rum would not support Bul but Sev. Russia's position during F02 was that he would not stab Austria but he would not actively help him. He wants A to keep me busy and vice versa while he gets on with other stuff (and also not get his own hands dirty even though he recruited Austria to stab me). Of course, he also wanted me to evacuate Black while exclusively focusing on Austria. This soft-soap approach also being part of his strategy with me. Anyway, all of which is to say I made good proposals and took the stab 'professionally' and by doing both 'paid forward'. The benefits with one or both of them may accrue to me later.

As to why I risked A Bul destroy even though I figured a stab was likely coming. This is an extract of a message to France in early F02 by way of some explanation:

"Anyway that all said I have my own approach to these things. I tend to prefer to be stabbed in such a context (if I am to be stabbed) if that makes any sense. I saw no real point to using F Con to support Bul really. I was tempted by F Con to Aegean if only for position though not to try and save Bul in F02. If AR were out to deliver Rum to R and Bul to A then let's release that 'event' and move the game on and then re-set and see if a change unfolds from that release. In that sense I'd rather be a 3 SC Turk than an 4 SC Turk and if 3 SC I prefer 2 fleets to my starting unit mix. If I hunker down I just build more turns of AR collaboration to pry Bul from me. For example a Russian in Rum is under pressure in F02 to support Austria into Bul and so on. That to me is worse. At this point R can at least notionally adopt the posture of having done nothing to me and I can let that be. And besides either A or R has the option in F02 to immediately reverse course if they want (though in this game I am afraid that it is already clear they will not). Plus - call me old-fashioned/naive - but I demonstrate to the board that I keep such deals and that Austria does not. What that may be worth down the road we shall see. But that is how I play and so win or lose I will live with my way of seeing these things. Plus if being stabbed then in that context I have little of value going on with any of my neighbours so again, why not make that plain to all the board and see where that goes. In short, the game-state is not pro-Turk so move the game-state on. We will see. "

To the latter point, making plain to the west my impending doom drove the EF to recruit G to give Russia are hard time in the North in F02. So I am using pain from E to try and persuade Russia if that makes sense.

That all said, perhaps I should have risked F Con to Aegean in S02 and hoped to give apologies to Austria in F02 if he stuck to the deal fully, but it is a tough call because F Con to Aegean is a big breach really.

As for Italy, I had much more scope to persuade him. With the EG turning into an EF he wasn't going to capture anything in Iberia so where was his next SC coming from? Likewise if he kept playing ball AR would get all my SCs while he got none. Plus this plan left Austria in ION. He worked this all out for himself, but I also recruited France to be part of that chat since F also wanted Italy turning away from Iberia and back to the east/Austria. Plus Italy has already flip-flopped opportunistically this game. It seems to be his thing.

GoRunGetToTheChopper wrote:On a side note, this German bloodbath should be fun. 5 countries, everybody wants a piece. Four nations border Munich, two (Austria/Italy) will be locked out of any SCs if they dont get it and the other two (France/Russia) face the risk of getting nothing at all as well. Those coms must be interesting.

I am conscious I now write with hindsight, but this was (and proved to be) not so certain. EF want German SCs and not AIR getting them. With EF unable to take Munich immediately they would rather defend it from AIR and indeed help G into Sweden to hurt R. E can take Sweden from G in 03 if he so desires and may even retain R in the enterprise if F Swe retreats to Baltic despite the loss of Sweden since R remains SC hungry and how else is he to gain a SC if not Berlin?

Basically the 'west' is winning this while the east remains a basket-case.

nanooktheeskimo wrote:I'm still watching--the only questions I've had recently have all been answered before I could ask them.

Thanks for checking in. I guess we have just lost atomist then,

ruffdove wrote:Looking back, were you suspicious at all that Austria was planning that? Was there anything you saw that made you think it might happen?

I was reasonably confident I was going to be stabbed. My reasons:

1) F Tri build! That cannot attack Russia. That is meant for me or Italy and since AI were getting on well...it was me!
2) Very brief and 'distant' messages from Austria. My biggest tell is when someone {censored by Wyse - sorry}
3) Another favourite (if rarer) tell is {censored by Wyse - sorry}
4) You can tell from the reaction of others. Russia was token in some early communications in the phase and then just a 'nothing' message just before deadline in which his tone was 'comfortable'. If he thought he was still facing an AT he would have worked harder on me and not been so sanguine just before deadline. If he was not working hard with me then he must have been working hard with Austria by definition.
5) GoB is a WHS fanboy :)

F02 just resolved. All Qs again welcome

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Re: AAR: Mentors Game

Postby thewysecat » 27 Oct 2015, 03:14

Fall 02
Uniquely I received no questions this phase. I think my mentees thought I was dead...

I reposition my units in response to the stab from AR.

Unexpectedly a Western Triple forms in response to the AIR and Germany takes Sweden from WHS

I have some role in persuading YL to stab GoB since the sudden EF means his chances of growth via Iberia are next to zero. He decides Vienna is appealing. Likely RP had the bigger role in persuading him since YL likely knew something of the changes in the west.

Austria is looking ragged and the east a mess relative to the west. Turkey is definitely in last place :)

Let's have a map:

Fall02.JPG
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Re: AAR: Mentors Game

Postby thewysecat » 27 Oct 2015, 03:50

Spring 03 - the slow fight back begins...maybe
Since from F01 GoB basically doesn't respond to my messages I try to negotiate for a return of Bul with WHS in exchange for me playing nice as AR try and respond to the loss of Vienna. This is a long process through which WHS absolutely opposes the restoration of Bul to the Sultan over multiple iterations. WHS suggests that I first provide my left testicle in homage to AR (my notes maybe shaky on this point. It might have been: Bla-Con; Con-Smy, but same difference so...) and he might consider helping me get Bul later. Maybe.

Eventually I reach GoB and he agrees to the orders I propose and which we execute. WHS has to give way in the face of his partner's concessions. He isn't happy about it. I walk back into Bul and take the calculated risk of receiving support into ION and vacating Aegean in order to try and get some tempo. DMZ Black is a small price to pay since I'd wanted it for some time anyway.

The seeds of my greatest diplomatic failure with drno are however sewn this phase as England allows WHS to occupy Norway. This is part of the WT's instant collapse as EF - inevitably - stab Aaron. IMO they could/should have held out a bit longer as G acted as the point of their spear in driving further east. This must have been a relief to Russia. The Frenchman is consequently already in the Med and Piedmont. Curses. I hate EFs as Turkey.

thewysecat wrote:Spring 03: It lives! It lives!

Hello everyone

Again not much commentary, but I will respond

atomist wrote:I'm still here! I am not able to look every day.. it's all quite informative if a bit over my head.
But I'm definitely still listening

Nice to hear from you atomist. Please do ask clarifying questions if I am talking at the wrong level. Also feel free to initiate Qs. Nothing is too simple.

ruffdove wrote:Okay - that was an interesting turn of events.

It looks like Austria realized he needs your help at sea against Italy and agreed to let you have Bulgaria to that end. Am I reading that right? I don't understand quite why he did not move his Albanian fleet to defend Trieste. Maybe he thought the Italian would support in?

Are you unconcerned with Russia, leaving the Black Sea open to him?

Austria is not worried about Italy at sea, but he is worried about him on land! And allowing me into ION and by definition backing off trying to take it himself [so that he can try and force Aegean and then sail into Eas Med - which was what he was planning until stabbed by Italy] is one price he has to pay to be in an ART. I politely asked for Bulgaria back as the price for allowing him to move west and try and take Vienna back. He agreed. Russia however fought against allowing me into Bul in S03 since he always fights against giving me a fair shake. He wanted Bla to Con but also Con to Smy with vague promises of maybe letting me have Bul. I declined to agree to that completely one-sided deal. That said R was key to promoting ART since this is an AR with T added due to their AIR collapsing with Italy's stab. In the end they agreed to my proposal of A Ser to Bud S by A Rum, A Bul to Serbia in exchange for my vacating Black Sea.

Alb to Adr rather than Trieste was premised on seizing that key sector but also on the idea that Trieste lost in S03 can be restored in F03 assuming he can rely on Russia (and me to a lesser extent)

For example, A Ser to Tri S by Adr and Bud, A Boh to Tyrol, Russian A Rum S A Bud is undefeatable by Italy. Bud is safe and Tri must fall to Austria. With Austria well positioned in Adr, Ven is then in trouble and 3 Austrian armies are on Vienna in 04. Another part of the deal is my request that Austria retain F Adr but disband F Gre - in effect getting rid of that awful fleet that was built as the prelude to Austria stabbing me.

This again is premised on full ART. Basically Austria has stabbed me in an AT to form an AIR against T with AR the really solid part of that alliance structure. That has only led to his loss of Vienna and now he has to give me back Bul to try and save himself. He has IMO sacrificed a position of strength to make himself pretty dependent on others. How do you rate his stab of me in S02 now? Lies...tricky things...use with great caution.

I am most assuredly concerned with Russia and I don't trust him over Black. I just trust him enough that phase relative to the reward of executing a deal that restored me to Bul AND got me into ION. ION is a key square. If I can make it through F03 maybe I will have some tempo and some sort of game. We will see.

Your Sultan does his best.

Wyse

thewysecat wrote:Spring 03 - Frankenstein's Monster continues to speak...about concerns with England

GoRunGetToTheChopper wrote:My takeaways from this turn-
1. Things are looking better for you. Italy's stab means Austria needs you. At the same time, France as weakened Italy enough that Russia needs you too. Pretty much a dream scenario, right?

2. Munich is still German, despite the fact that just about everybody has a unit bordering it. Germany is holding up better than I expected, the east may be off his back soon and France is very exposed to England....

3. England is in the lead imo. A crumbling Germany, easy target France, and a distracted and fleetless Russia are his neighbors. And the worst part is that from your position theres nothing you can do about it.

Am I wrong with any of these assumptions?

1. Talking from the perspective of pre-S03. Austria and Russia didn't really need me. They just needed me not to be a full-on enemy right now. The difference is important in terms of my bargaining position and future diplomatic context. Austria obviously wants to fight Italy. Russia wants Austria to deal with Italy...perhaps. Mostly he just wants to know he is not under threat via Black so he can be more adventurous in the North and centre since Austria is nicely busy and that frees up the Turk potentially to hurt him. I don't think France attacking Italy massively impacts Russia's thinking about Turkey. He does not care if Turkish or Italian fleets resist France or a combination thereof. Ok, maybe he prefers the complexity of both Italy and Turkey still being in the mix. What he does want is to prevent EF pressing too far past the main stalemate line (MSL). Getting back to 4 SCs is therefore not quite a "dream scenario" but my current context might mean Russia wants RAT or IRT (abandoning A) - the point being suddenly he has motive to potentially want some role for T other than being in a hostile posture to him because he no longer has A lined up to be fighting me and keeping me under foot. Note however that he still wanted to stop me getting Bul in S03.

2. Mun sits right on the MSL. Switzerland is the most important area on the map for its impacts, but Mun is the most important area you can actually occupy. Everyone therefore wants it, but failing an ability to hold it they are often happy to compromise on Germany retaining it.

Indeed if you want to understand Germany in this game or indeed any game you need to be focussed on the MSL that runs through Mun and Ber. We are on the east side of the MSL in this game so from our perspective we don't want some combination of EFG to cross it too far. They have all the advantages there as the game begins. Immediate access to Port and Spa (at one end of the MSL). They start with Mun and Ber (the middle of the MSL). And St.P (at the other end) though held by Russia at game start is undefendable from the south as Barents/Fin/Norway/GOB outnumbers St.P/Liv/Mos. If you want to solo in the east you need to keep the game going long enough (your tempo is slower) to find a way for you to cross it.

Now think navies. No one in the Med can impact the Northern seas. The only eastern power who can do that is Russia via St.P. In this game his only fleet has already gone! Plus - as discussed - St.P is undefendable against determined western power assault. Ergo the only hope for the east is to try and defend the MSL via shenanigans in the Baltic and Northern oceans is often...the German navy! A highly compelling reason to want to keep him alive in the face of any EF.

Many a Germany underestimates this when appealing for help from the east. Once he is dead and unable to build in Kiel or Berlin...no more German navy to help the east in that theatre - it is gone forever! Worse, too many easterners (Russians) don't get it either as they gleefully collaborate in killing Germany prematurely and for too low a price. Someone like WHS will be thinking of giving Germany Warsaw just to keep him going. This is also good for us incidentally as it means he will need other SCs to compensate for what he might feed Germany. That means he might want to stab Austria.

Anyway, in this game England might be underestimating the presence of this kind of thinking in the east and might still think he has a chance of ER v G. My money is on RG v E for the MSL related reasons above.

3. You may be right. England has certainly been masterful in being the right side of lies in the last 4 phases. He is in MAO and at France's back and Germany is under real pressure. But - perhaps counter-intuitively - I think he is highly vulnerable. My main reasoning for this are all the lies. If R successfully props up G - why would G ever listen to him again? R has been lied to as well so any deal E might win will be on R's terms. That actually kind of makes him very dependent on France. If France does well in the Med and E bogs down in the North then F might have the resources to turn. Build of F Bre anyone? Conversely if F is held up in the Med he might be tempted to turn as part of an anti-E alliance with GR and/or Italy as his only way to grow. This game is young. drno needs the EF to keep rolling. The east will be focussed on slowing it down. If the east succeeds things may get sticky. Still drno has shown himself an adept diplomat so far...we will see.

How can I influence all this? Well I have a lot of dialogue with E. He is my natural ally. I worry that he is about to do badly actually. His next build needs to be chosen wisely. It might be his last for a while potentially. I have urged him to give up on ER v G and recognise that it will be RG v E and that he ought to focus on R in that context, but I am not sure he is listening. I likely want E to stab F if it comes down to it - not the other way around. Since I want to be pushing west in the Med.

We shall see...

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Re: AAR: Mentors Game

Postby Aaron the Hun » 27 Oct 2015, 10:44

Well indeed it was me that was mentored this game – schooled by a superior field. Thank you all for the lesson. Apologies to my mentees – I am afraid all you had to learn was what not to do.

For all of the creativity at the beginning, I will say from the comfort of the loser’s lounge that the mid to end game was rather pedestrian. Not a lot of risk taking from the corner powers, no? As the esteemed WyseCat has already said, “A draw is a draw.” You guys should have just called it a 7-way.

First time for me playing a 5 day format; can’t say it is my favorite. I found the deadlines were too long for my liking which resulted in the game lacking a certain flow. Procrastination on communications by myself and others was definitely experienced; perhaps too easy to get distracted with RL and / or other games. I find in shorter deadlines there is a necessity to keep a certain tempo to the communications and it is easier to thereby read which way the winds are blowing. Longer deadlines, with skilled players leads to a lot of hyper analysis – which I have come to understand is not what I enjoy.

My game wasn’t very complicated, so nor will my post game summary…
1. Tried to pick a strategic ally early on. Eng and Fra were both good candidates. In parallel
a. I thought I had negotiated a central alliance with Italy and Aus
b. Figured I had made peace with Rus, with the Swe peace offering
c. Thought I had A&R tied up attacking T

2. Decided to go with Eng. RP (Fra) was a little slow with early comms (see above) and I misread drno (Eng) as being more amenable to an E/G alliance. In retrospect, there were hints of tickery which I should have been more sensitive to. RP was more straight up with the initial talks and I almost switched it up to work with him, but I felt I had already set the ball in motion with Italy (YP) joining in on the attack. I had to work hard to get drno to build a fleet in Lvp so I figured everything was above board. A side of me believes I was an early target for him and that I was being gamed from the onset.

3. Anyway, all the early alliances seemed to be in order, so perhaps I didn’t work hard enough to maintain them, but by the end of ’02 it was apparent that things had gone sideways on me. First time I have been attacked by 5 players at the same time. Mentees: please note it is good to work with at least one of your neighbors. ;-)

4. From there a series of bad calls/ guesses:
a. Decided to patch things up with the west; seemed like the lesser of two evils. Perhaps it was, but alas it was still evil. Got rewarded for my efforts with F & E double downing on moving into the Rhineland.
b. Had a 50 / 50 chance to hold Mun and bottle things up, but then guessed wrong.
c. From there I was pretty much sentenced to a slow death, while I awaited for my savior Russia to come to my assist.

On the bright side, I did get to disappoint WyseCat.

Always important to get at least one positive thing out of every game. ;-)
AtH

Monsieur - s'il vous plait, ne touchez pas mon elephant de guerre.
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Aaron the Hun
 
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