AAR: Mentors Game

New to the game? New to the site? Wanting to find a mentor game? Have a look here.

Moderator: WHSeward

Re: AAR: Mentors Game

Postby thewysecat » 28 Oct 2015, 02:19

Hello Aaron, nice to hear from you
Fall 1903
In the North - as I feared and despite my warnings to drno - RG combine on E as WHS takes Sweden to add to the gain of Nwy in the Spring. As he says, Aaron gets things wrong over Munich and it falls to France. England is killing Germany but it is WHS and RP who are growing. All bad news for me.

Further, the French have 2 fleets in the Med as drno moves to MAO too. RP also walks into Venice as YL focusses on fighting GoB instead of watching his back. I am hardly out of the start gates and I have likely already lost the race to TYS and the boot. How do I solo from here? Almost certainly I don't. I am desperate for some growth and tempo. But that is not to be because...

This time WHS wants me to lend him my online banking password...for a week...or for me to stab GoB by taking Greece while allowing him to walk into Bul. One of those. He cites his need for builds for his northern adventures. Crappy 1 SC stabs aren't my thing. This would in fact be a crappy 0 SC stab to hand Bul to Russia.

It is hard to convey the debilitating tone and nature of 'dialogue' with the Tsar, but it is a trial. I decline this offer. Notionally he/we is/are meant to be trying to put together an RT within IRT having pushed for RT within ART the phase before, but WHS declines to help either YL or myself or even keep out of my way. Instead he settles on Rum-Bul since I have declined to give him Bul. No doubt a smart play...right? It certainly smarts. And another formative moment in RT relations building on those before and towards those to come. It ensures that I cannot try for Greece and gives YL no help at all. GoB's spring moves were designed to give him maximum leverage on Trieste for the fall having temporarily conceded it during the Spring. It seems to me that the plan is that either WHS benefits from GoB's destruction or he will get the AR back on track once GoB is back to 4 SCs and ready to re-take Vienna for 5. Those Austrian fleets are still alive after all. Like I say, smart play...

GoB misorders. Trieste is Italian.

As I suspected RG v E delivers 2 builds to WHS anyway. Had I given him Bul he couldn't even have built out...

At least I am now in Aegean.

thewysecat wrote:Fall 03- the monster lurches slowly...

{i.e. written during the S04 phase to which I make some references as well as the Winter 03 builds}

GoRunGetToTheChopper wrote:Im not sure whether youre allowed to answer this, but is there anything you are doing behind the scenes to prolong Austria's demise, or the opposite?

Austria is surviving mostly due to a lack of trust and even-handedness in the East. My biased view remains that a lack of reasonableness and plain-dealing by WHS is the source of this.

In S03 he fought tooth and nail to try and stop a deal whereby Bul was returned to me. He asked for the completely unreasonable A Con to Smy, F Bla to Con. One of his justifications for this was the claim that my F02 orders had been unfriendly to him. I leave my audience to look at those and form their own conclusion not least since they were ordered after a stab by Austria orchestrated by him. Anyway, I was able to get Bul in S03 due to direct negotiations with GoB that undermined WHS's position and made it impossible for even him to sustain.

Then in F03, without even missing a beat to talk about the above he totally changed tack to push hard for a stab on GoB whereby I supported Rum to Serbia. His claim was he needed it for the North. Without boring you too much, my own judgement of the state of diplomacy in the North made me confident that RG were going to hit an unsuspecting E hoping against reason for ER v G. So it proved. And so WHS got 2 SCs from the north and Serbia would have given him 3 builds - one of which he could not even use. Now he was talking of building a IRT which was fine by me and YL, but instead of using A Rum to Serbia that would have helped me and YL by disrupting Austrian orders or even A Rum S Italian into Bud he ordered the IMO petty A Rum to Bul. This both avoided helping Italy or I and ensured I could not take Greece. Given that GoB misordered in F03 and would otherwise have grown to 4 SCs, WHS was playing both sides of the equation. He could portray A Rum to Bul in a very positive light to (a 4 SC) Austria in S04. This narrative will not be forgotten any time soon in Constantinople.

This phase WHS is back asking for Rum to Serbia and refusing to support me there. Once again he claims his needs in the North and is unembarrassed by the gains he made in F03 while denying his notional allies in the east another SC from Austria. In short, FMPOV (and I hope Italy's too) WHS is full of ****. This is why Austria survives. No one can take his SCs alone. Italy is attacked by France and I am still only 4 SCs thanks to Russia's manipulations and opposition to my growth. And so Austria lives. WHS will only let him die if he is the one to get the SCs. And ironically through all this a near silent GoB presumably thinks WHS is his best friend. Such is life...

ruffdove wrote: Sorry - getting to this late.

The Western Triangle seems to have resolved with Germany's demise/subjugation coming fairly soon, it would appear. Have you and Russia come to terms on eliminating Austria and resolving the Eastern Triangle so you can face west? Given the advance of England on Scandinavia and France on the Med, that would seem like a good idea.

See above. Germany is near death and likely a Russian vassal. WHS denies a deal with drno that the latter confirms is in place. One of them in lying. Namely their respective builds are surely a deal (drno says "yes"). They 'ought' to have been F St.P nc and F Edi. Conspicuously neither happened. Likely a deal has been done to kill Germany. We will see. Given that WHS is meant to be in an IRT it is fun that he is also allied to G and now I suspect E. The only player to resist Russia all game has been me. No one will help. Such is life.

ruffdove wrote:
How do you approach Italy in this situation? He's pretty much between a rock and a hard place in the Med but could make things easier or more difficult for one side or the other if he really wanted to. What's your feel for how he will handle it?

Italy has to make a deal with someone. I sincerely suggest an IT is urgent for both parties. Unfortunately YL has been absent this entire phase so we have put together precisely nothing. This is very bad for all concerned. The ideal would be a FIT that persuaded RP to attack North enabling IT to do the same. That would have taken a lot of work this phase diplomatically. RP was not necessarily opposed. YL has just been totally absent. That is why it will not happen and so instead Austria will limp on and Italy's position will corrode. And so I fear my position will atrophy.

ruffdove wrote: Looks like you could capture two centers next turn if Russia's feeling generous. Probably just Greece though.

Quite. See above for an essay on generosity.

As ever

"Of all the things I have known myself to be, I never recognized the fool."
User avatar
Posts: 3808
Joined: 04 Oct 2008, 04:04
Class: Star Ambassador
Standard rating: (1518)
All-game rating: (1526)
Timezone: GMT-4

Re: AAR: Mentors Game

Postby thewysecat » 28 Oct 2015, 02:51

Spring 04
WHS wants me to build a fleet. I build A Con. IMO this is a game critical decision as the plan is to gamble on more high tempo moves and try to get to Italy in an attempt to prop YL up before RP captures the boot.

The nature of ER's peace deal/accommodation as evidenced by their respective builds is opaque to me, but Aaron is holding on as best he can with - as he hints - perpetually unfulfilled promises of future Russian reinforcements coming to save him in his ears. This time they divert to Galicia rather than Prussia or Silesia.

RP focusses on YL. He gets a second army into Italy and allies with GoB to take out Trieste. This is why my convoy to Apu is so crucial. If not now then all is lost anyway - so I hurl myself forward.

WHS and I sink lower than before as this time we spend all phase discussing his desire for a 4 SC Turkey to support 7 SC Russia into Serbia. I decline this offer. Naturally. Once again he wants to stab GoB if he grows but retain his 'puppet' GoB if not. Again, smart play...He therefore declines to support me into Serbia or even to not order Rum-Ser himself. GoB is asking me to move to Serbia so AAR will tell, but I think the fix is in within a persisting AR that either WHS gets Serbia or RT bounce there to keep it Austrian. I think Bul can walk into Serbia as GoB goes for Trieste and he knows that I know that he knows that...

Meanwhile I am working with YL since - again - an IRT is notionally meant to be collaborating. Just before deadline I use my influence with YL to get him to agree to support WHS into Bud. Tempted by this guarantee of a SC and evidence of IT, WHS accepts the support to stab GoB. I walk into Serbia after all, but there is a sting in the tail. F Sev sails to Rum to free Sev for a potential build. The story is that this was an accident - a leftover from WHS's orders which were Rum-Ser; Sev-Rum - that he had time to change the Rum order but overlooked the Sev order. Well that's...nice, but he refuses to move it back in F04...however that's another story. For now...

thewysecat wrote:Spring 04 - my mentees think the monster might be loose...I wish

{Again writing before F04 resolution so some discussion of that phase too}

Sorry for neglecting you. One day to F04 deadline and there is still a lot going on this phase. Who knows how it will resolve.

This was my only query:

ruffdove wrote: I have to confess, though I joined the watch list to get insights on the game from an experienced player, I am also developing a genuine rooting interest for you here, wysecat. So I was excited to see the last set of moves resolve.

Careful, GRGTTC had me near death in 02. Much can happen. I am not the favoured horse in this race!

ruffdove wrote:Depending on what transpires next, you could wind up with anywhere from 1-3 new SCs, two being the most likely, but you never know.

Again, care. They don't count SCs held in the Spring. I could lose Bul and Serbia even if I take Greece and Italy is...complicated

ruffdove wrote: Do you have any level of trust for Russia, or will you be covering Bulgaria with Aegean? If you do trust him, why? Are you looking at an RT for the near term?

Start with the last Q. I would like to play RT, but that is not possible with WHS. I 'forced' his hand in S04 with my negotiations with Italy to keep Italy alive and relatively healthy and almost against his will found himself playing RT. His posture this phase has disabused me of any idea that having got him into Bud he would be grateful and happy to be playing a Jugg. He mislikes my holding of Serbia; urges me to give Greece to Italy and 'accidentally' ordered Sev to Rum in S04. Allegedly this was due to the last minute change that occurred from Rum to Bud instead of Rum to Serbia which is what he wanted (likely hoping to bounce with me in a deal with Austria to keep it Austrian). Whatever. This phase he refuses to move it back. This leaves Sev build open and the threat of attack on Bul. His alleged reason is in case of Serbia to Rum. BS. The build in particular is a continual threat. Be a good Turk or else.

To counter this I need 2-3 builds but to do that I have to be a bad-wysecat somewhere and I prefer to be good so that is a bind...

Anyway, to focus on the first Qs. Players certainly lie on a spectrum in terms of trustworthiness. In some weak games there are stab-crazy players (almost always noobs who just don't get it yet) and they are never worth trusting over anything of consequence since they think the game is about lying. So ruling out those outliers I do have players on a scale, but basically I don't really trust players per se. I trust/read the board. That has 3 inter-related facets - (i) the actual map and where people are and what is the current strategic posture of each; and (ii) the diplomatic feel in the current phase; and if I am playing very well (iii) overall calculations of generic imperatives of tempo and the main stalemate line (assuming the player is trying to solo). These are helping me work out - does it make sense for player A to make this stab in this way at this time? If I think "no" then I 'trust' them. The player they are is a variable, but not as much as you might think. Reading players is a thing, but reading the board is my own preferred approach. Not always easy. Does not always work.

In this case, IMO WHS will stab for Bul IF he has an alliance with England and no need to fight that front. And/or an IR alliance. Both of these are possible, but for now I think Rum to Bul is not high odds but possible. Serbia to Rum is the best counter which forces Gal to Rum which means he is under powered in Germany where he'd possibly like to send both armies. Hence his need for alliance structures to make the move. IR comes into it, because Serbia might be committed to helping the Italian into Trieste so 'wasting' Serbia with a support order so it does not move to Rum potentially enlists Italy into the deception. So talk to WHS and look for hints, but also Italy and England and triangulate my data and take a view...

ruffdove wrote: What's your relationship with France?

Very good. I hope. Strategically we are not natural friends, but we get on well as players. Maybe something will come from that connection.

ruffdove wrote: He looks pretty strong in the Italian theater, but is perilously open to an English stab. Considering how France is beginning to pull away, England has to be considering it.

Side note - the Italian campaign always favours the power coming from the West. A stab on Italy by FT likely just hands the boot to F in the long-run barring other interventions in other theatres to distract France.

I don't think F looks particularly vulnerable to an English stab though it is certainly there. A Lon build and not F Edi build is the origin of it and retreating MAO to Channel is...interesting though not necessarily suggestive. Convoy to Brest is ugly, but MAO is now French so you could argue F is less vulnerable. Again see above, ER alliance could make good sense right now and I fear it. So therefore might France. Hence why FT sort of makes sense. From E's point of view does it cede too much (of G) to R? WHS is a charmer. All stabs will be being considered by all players

Also plausible is:
Wes Med to MAO
Pied C to Spa (ready for convoy to Lvp in S05)
Depends on preventing an English build, but F realizes the convoy to Apu means he cannot beat the joint IT and therefore he might have stalled and with builds to ER from G coming, maybe he needs to change direction. Or maybe he has to con IT into thinking he is doing that so that he can persuade them to give him an edge in the Med. So many possibilities

ruffdove wrote:Is this it for Austria or do you envision him squeaking by this turn? Most likely with a fleet isolated from his one SC.

GoB has good odds of taking Venice with Tri to Ven S by Adr if he is around to make it. Support from Apu or Tyrol is even possible and if he negotiated actively he would likely get one of those. Unfortunately he has been AWOL all phase seemingly having given up/ decided to focus elsewhere. That can happen, but is a shame. Still 24 hours left so...

"Of all the things I have known myself to be, I never recognized the fool."
User avatar
Posts: 3808
Joined: 04 Oct 2008, 04:04
Class: Star Ambassador
Standard rating: (1518)
All-game rating: (1526)
Timezone: GMT-4

Re: AAR: Mentors Game

Postby thewysecat » 28 Oct 2015, 03:52

Fall 1904
I almost dare to share some of my mentees' optimism as the phase begins. I might take Greece and hold Serbia for 2 builds. Apu plus IT collaboration also means we can halt RP at our defensive line. On the downside YL retreats to Albania immediately before I can make what I think would be a strong case for a destroy and planned rebuilding on the boot. Mostly I also naively imagine this might be a breakthrough for RT relations - that WHS would value my facilitating his capture of Bud and see the obvious Juggernaut on the board. Oh dear...

WHS spends the phase arguing that I should give Greece to Italy's A Alb and lobbies YL in those terms urging that he not let me deny him Greece. Apart from anything else that has YL's unit going the wrong way. It can only attack me from there. Turkish growth remains anathema to Russia.

Consequently I try to explore if a FIT might be possible. Though RP and I are reasonably open to the idea - the problem is that YL is almost entirely uncommunicative and it seems only interested in getting temporary relief from RP retreating Wes Med to MAO which he negotiates directly with RP. In his message to me just before deadline, YL prefers to stick with IRT. Since IT is all I really have - especially to keep the Med potentially viable for me - I go with YL's preference. Consequently, I take Italy's support into TYS. Of course it is also a vital space for me to occupy and so is very attractive. However it has a cost with RP who is understandably disappointed that his gesture earns no reward. YL's choice will also prove ironic (see below)

YL is ok with my taking Greece and is all set to recapture Trieste with Russian and Turkish support. With confirmation from all sides but fears of an IR stab that would be de facto near game ending for me I (accurately) calculate that Trieste will be captured even if I support myself into Greece. It does not add a lot of value to me and it is a failure of courage that I like to imagine is uncharacteristic, but I reason it will have no cost and that supporting myself into a SC will be uncontroversial - after all my support for YL is redundant...except...

Russia stabs YL for Vienna! (That Russian cavalry to save Aaron is delayed again)

Fortunately, YL has ordered a support that defeats WHS's lunge, but it means Trieste remains Austrian. My support would have made no difference either way in the context of Russian betrayal, but the optics are terrible. EF are convinced there is a solid RT and that I betrayed YL with WHS. Not so; in reality I have been stabbed too - but what does that matter? I am unhappy with myself - a small matter is suddenly significant - but WHS's stab is...unimpressive in the extreme given his posture that phase let alone the previous seven! Even though it was a S04 'oversight' he refused all phase to retreat Rum to Sev for no good reason and conspicuously left Sev open just as he stabs in an effort to grab an extra build.

In WHS-world, this move is good news for the Sultan. Only he could see this as evidence that he has committed to a RT alliance. He messages me:

Tsar WHS wrote:Fuck! That was meant to be a game breaking move. Now I've fucked up and I am stuck with you. Fuck

Inspirational as this oratory is/was the people of Constantinople were unmoved. However, I found myself in the hateful position of having to play RT to a substantial extent anyway since thanks to my own blunder EF were utterly convinced RT was solid. How little they knew...

On the plus side I complimented Aaron on his neat convoy move to outfox drno over Holland and that prompted him to actually write to me for pretty much the first time. Gotta take something positive out of every phase...

thewysecat wrote:Fall 04 - Sultan Frankie lumbers into Greece and finds himself in a Jugg...sort of...

{Again written in Spring 05 so some references to that phase}

Ok, S05 deadline approaching and this was my only query from the F04 phase

GoRunGetToTheChopper wrote: I'm not going to pretend that I understood what just happened, but heres my best guess-
1. Turkey and Italy have allied to fend of the quickly-growing and well situated France

Italy and Turkey were playing an IRT last phase - a continuation of the plan to keep France out of any more Italian SCs

GoRunGetToTheChopper wrote: 2....or so they thought. Apparently France anticipated a stab enough to pull out of the Western Med and move into Brest yet was not confident enough to not support Kiel to hold. Now, he is left with a less-than ideal diplomatic situation in the north and has been all but stalemated in the south. In my opinion, he should have gone all-in with the stab or trusted the non-move into Brest.

Hmm...France claims at least some level of fear over Brest - which is natural - but he did not move there to cover that IMO. He negotiated a withdrawal from MAO in exchange for a promise from Italy to not attack Venice. I simultaneously tried to get a FIT so F was willing to move back hoping for something like that but since a full deal was not in place MAO went to Brest instead of NAO. Italy declined offers from me to support him into Bud as part of a fit. He stuck with IRT so I stuck with it too since I was playing IT more than RT. Ironic choice by Italy since Russia stabbed him.

GoRunGetToTheChopper wrote: 3. Germany continues to be alone but alive. He has impressed me by surviving this long, and could be rewarded for it. The West may have just gotten more complicated, and he could be very useful to any of the 3 northern powers.

It was a nice convoy to take Holland. He has some options but I don't see reward long-term. EF will now be pushing to convert him back to them but they will finish him later. He might be able to retain Den this year if he can negotiate for it with one or both of EF or R. R might also allow him to take Sweden as a way of keeping a fleet alive on the grounds that there is a tempo gain relative to building in St.P. That means vassaling to R. I think that his best bet since his F Hel unit is in a place R cannot reach and is past the main stalemate line. that makes it useful to R. I would be selling that as G.

GoRunGetToTheChopper wrote: 4. Big things will be coming from Russia this year. The north is stalemated, Austria is stalemated, and he can't really stab Turkey without only a center gain. His build will determine where he will focus his attention, Sev=turkey stab, Moscow= Austria/Germany (He could end up allying with Italy to get Vienna then switching towards Germany or pressing onward west) and St.P=England. He is out of options at this point and needs a bold move to capitalize on the potential separation of France and England.

I hope you are right about not stabbing Turkey. Nothing is stalemated though. Likely A Tri will be used to take out Vienna with the aim of then getting Trieste back as needed. He has already been bold in stabbing Italy. But the irony is that that move is seen as evidence of a solid RT when in fact R was betraying T as well as Italy in making that play. That solidifies the EF which forces RT to get closer. Or at least hinders my own hopes of taking on a small piece of R just yet.

The key now is the stalemate line. EF have Mun and will soon have Ber. however it is not stalemated as long as R is in Scandinavia and therefore past the MSL. T therefore wants to help R retain that position. In the south Venice and Tyrol are key to any stalemate line. The former is already French. Can the east get it back? Depends on Italy. R has now stabbed him but can Turkey somehow persuade him to stay with the IT? If Italy turns stooge for F then EF will be in a very strong place.

GoRunGetToTheChopper wrote:Its nice to see that you are in the only two obvious alliances, Russia and Italy. What did I get wrong above? Whats your take on EF relations? Am I overstating Russia's problems?

I am in a RT almost against both of our wills. I hope I can retain an IT. The EF are solid. Russia has the highest SC count and tempo. He is winning the game. We all have problems but his position is a good one as long as the Turk is nice. Many Turks might stab, but would they be wise given the need to be across the MSL and give the Turk a chance of soloing too? I leave it to your judgment


We probably need a map:
Winter04.JPG (88.85 KiB) Viewed 2355 times
"Of all the things I have known myself to be, I never recognized the fool."
User avatar
Posts: 3808
Joined: 04 Oct 2008, 04:04
Class: Star Ambassador
Standard rating: (1518)
All-game rating: (1526)
Timezone: GMT-4

Re: AAR: Mentors Game

Postby Radical Pumpkin » 28 Oct 2015, 15:09

I noticed that Wyse is pasting his AAR in pieces, so I thought I'd get mine going too without waiting to complete it. I'm mostly writing this in the dark--I've skimmed this thread a little, but I've deliberately avoided reading Wyse & Aaron's AARs in any detail before writing my own. I don't promise to stay in the dark until my AAR is complete, but I'd like to give a relatively "pure" perspective on the French game.



Fundamentally, I muffed this season, but I did accomplish the core mission of setting myself up to be in a dominant alliance in the West.

I entered the game with a slight inclination toward FG over EF. That's primarily because I think FG leads to more dynamic games, where it's easier to move into the mid-game before finishing off one's initial victim. When WHS told me he was open to moving Mos-StP immediately, I started thinking that FG would really have legs. Then I started talking to the other players in earnest, and things changed.

One piece was that after some initial enthusiasm, Mos-StP started to seem less likely as the season progressed. A second was that Aaron was away for much of the first turn, and so I naturally ended up talking with drno more. Third, what I did hear from Aaron didn't give me the warm fuzzies; I had a vague sense that he was more interested in jockeying for an advantageous position within FG than in advancing the interests of FG as a whole. Perhaps that impression was unfair, but it was certainly my feeling at the time. And finally, I found I clicked really well with drno. We have a very similar communication style: verbose and casual, inclined to work through strategic issues and points of tension within an open, non-confrontational conversation, and (in my subjective impression) a focus on advancing the interests of the alliance over his own narrow interests. Oh, and he was OK with me taking Belgium in 1901 as long as I passed on an Iberian center. That's a great deal for France, since it gets units toward the front faster and gives France a reserve center to pick up at its leisure. Double oh--he was open to the idea of bouncing Aaron out of Holland in the Fall after a F Kie-Den opening. Again, a great deal for France, and kind of hard to turn down.

But I screwed up the turn in (at least) two ways. In my early conversations with Aaron, I'd pushed the idea of a Sealion opening, where France opens by taking the Channel and supports Germany into the North Sea in Fall 1901. That suggestion initially didn't seem like it was going to go anywhere. By the end of the season, however, Aaron was on board... and I was not. I was left lamely backing away from my earlier enthusiasm by saying I wasn't willing to adopt such a risky opening when Aaron & I hadn't yet had a chance to build up much of a relationship in Spring 1901. It sounded insincere and flaky to me, and I'm sure it sounded the same to Aaron. I also screwed up with YL. On the surface, the story is that we agreed to a DMZ in Piedmont and he broke that agreement immediately. But I neglected him too much in the first turn. Oh, I wrote him more than he wrote me, but I could have done more to build a dialogue when he didn't respond. I wasn't expecting the Italian opening to Piedmont exactly, but my reaction was basically, "Yeah, that shouldn't be a surprise." While I wasn't really looking to work with either Aaron or YL after the first turn, my failure to build a relationship with them meant that I was the one left to trust drno in 1902 rather than the reverse. Naturally, I prefer to be in the position with diplomatic power.

Once I saw the opening moves, I interpreted them as evidence of GI collaboration. I'd ended the Spring season with an agreement to bounce in Burgundy and was surprised to see Aaron move to Ruhr instead. Normally, a Fall 1901 French army in Burgundy gives Germany a little heartburn because it borders Munich. However, German concern is much reduced when Marseille is under threat. Moreover, failing to bounce me meant that my A Mar couldn't end the year in Spain, so picking up both Iberian dots in 1901 was now ruled out. The bottom line was that I read the moves as indicating a German-led plot to gang up on France, and that solidified my desire to have an EF instead. Most likely, Aaron was either looking to make me his first victim or to undermine me within a nominal FG. My saving grace was that drno was not in the Channel, apparently contrary to YL's expectations. I noted the misalignment of EI expectations for future reference, since it meant that drno and YL working together (against me) was a little less likely than before.
Radical Pumpkin
Posts: 823
Joined: 31 Oct 2010, 15:58
Class: Star Ambassador
Standard rating: 1599
All-game rating: 1620
Timezone: GMT-5

Re: AAR: Mentors Game

Postby Buachaille » 28 Oct 2015, 18:52

I had this game on my watch list, as not having been a mentoree; I hadn't signed up for that privileged insight.

I'd just like to say thanks to all for the detailed analysis so far, particularly to the extent which thewysecat has gone. This level of in depth analysis is incredibly useful to newbs like me and to the community as a whole. :D
User avatar
Premium Member
Posts: 747
Joined: 28 Aug 2013, 00:29
Location: Glen Coe
Class: Star Ambassador
Standard rating: 1586
All-game rating: 1640
Timezone: GMT

Re: AAR: Mentors Game

Postby thewysecat » 29 Oct 2015, 02:05

Hello RP - someone who can post maps properly. Excellent. One for each phase would be great.

And the Scots are here to hear about F Clyde. Good timing. The plan FMPOV is to have a community record of the sort of things our poor mentees are being 'taught'. That way the community can decide what it thinks of the curriculum and its purveyors. And of course our future mentees can read it to know that they should do what we say not what we do...

Spring 05
So as we pick the story up the Turkish position has improved from the nadir of F02 and my SC count has doubled to six. I have some tempo. (I am sure WHS will do one of his charts) However, the barriers to my solo are as entrenched as ever - in simple terms two mighty neighbours to west and north are the board leaders in power and tempo. Tunis and Italian centres are out of reach; let alone Iberia. Mun-Ber might as well be on the moon. Also the game is simplifying to EF v RT but the latter barely qualifies as an alliance at all (more on this below). The smaller powers are also hardly playing and their tactical diminution is less significant than their diplomatic one. IMO the overwhelming likelihood is that the landscape is insufficiently complex to weave a solo from this Turkish starting point. Still...one must put one foot in front of the other and so...

E and F are 'telling me off' for being tied to RT and want me to stab WHS in W04 by building something like F Con, A Smy; or F Con, F Ank. I am unimpressed since these crude stabs go absolutely no where tactically in 05 (feel free to war-game it). They likely just lead to the persisting AR taking Serbia and do not harm WHS one bit. I go for F Con and F Smy. My notes to my mentees will go far enough in explaining why I think these more ambiguous builds are the ones with the highest potential anti-R potential if EF are serious about sending me some love. However the optics from F04 mean that they are not interested in cutting me any slack at all unless I make a move first. IMO they are just trying to use me so that RT conflict can boost an already powerful EF. Given how they both let me down after W05 it seems near certain that I was right to eschew their arguments as purely self-serving.

I did get a bit confused in my diplomacy in this phase as EF blurred in my mind into one entity. It meant a deeper explanation of my reasoning that I sent to RP was not sent to drno and that was part of a slight miscommunication with drno. In simple terms I - wrongly as it turned out - believed that I need commit to nothing and drno would still 'have' to occupy Norwegian Sea if he really thought he was facing a Juggernaut. Instead he moved F Edi-Clyde (!) I do get what he was trying to do, but to me this is just another part of what I consider an extended dither.

Most of the information I have on the North comes from Aaron who - post my compliment - is writing to me in this period. Even so the continued ER accommodation is mostly opaque. Aaron had some sort of deal that phase with drno around Den which he intended to break, but drno stabbed him too. Whether WHS was part of selling Aaron's orders out to drno is an open question. Probably not. The broader point is that in the RT 'alliance' we are not discussing a board-wide plan. WHS keeps everything but F Rum's order from me. Not even what he is doing with the (to me) silent GoB is revealed. My units barring those in/near Italy, however, are to be discussed in the RT. WHS still has the greater power in the board context and so I muddle on.

Consequently in the south I take another risk since WHS is finally ready to agree to try and destroy his Black Sea fleet and rebuild the unit in the North. YL and I keep slowing EF tempo by bouncing RP from Wes Med as I sail a little further west. IT also go for Venice based on YL's alleged intel on RP's move. We fail. Italy's army in Vienna is destroyed, but in putting the diplomatic jigsaw together this way I confound WHS's expectations by walking into Trieste while still being compliant with his order request.

Spring05.JPG (87.87 KiB) Viewed 2311 times

thewysecat wrote:Spring 05 - Sultan talks tempo...wish he had some more...

ruffdove wrote: Hey Wysecat,

I'm trying to understand a couple of things here. First, why use Con to support Smyrna to Aegean when there were no fleets in a position to contest that move?

Nothing significant here. You prefer I enter F Con hold? I just can't bring myself to enter hold. I'd rather enter an unnecessary support order. No more than a quirk.

ruffdove wrote: Was it arranged that Russia take Bulgaria?


ruffdove wrote: If so, why would you agree to that? You could have stopped him easily by bouncing from Con.

So I can dislodge it. He can destroy it. He can build F St.P. And I am more secure in Black Sea.

Of course it costs me tempo hence the continued necessity of bouncing France out of Wes Med to slow him.

But most crucially it might not happen. In a genuine RT, it can always retreat back to Rum if there are problems.

But also likely, R stabs me this turn. In which case a request to withdraw is agreed to but ignored in implementation. Or when dislodged it retreats to Black.

Still the essence of the plan is sound in a full RT.

Also it was the only excuse I could come up with for keeping my fleets next to Russia without an immediate breach with Russia. It therefore gives me options in the fall. I am meant to take Bul from Con and move to Bul sc. Of course I can attack from Aegean and thus retain Con (or take Bul in ec from Con) for a move into Black after a build in Ankara from Trieste. Or even in Smyrna from a grabbed Italian SC. Again assuming R does not stab into Serbia.

Then again I might try Tri to Serbia and hope to bounce. Or I might deliberately walk out if I can persuade Austria to become my army. He builds A Tri unexpectedly and now I have 3 armies in Central Europe. OK only one of them is a Turk, but...

Or for the more observant, if I am convinced the Russian is coming - A Apu convoys to Bul and I build one or both of Ank and Smy from Tri and a grabbed Naples and then I have A Tri, A Bul, A Smy, F Con, F Ank.

Of course, the problem is I cannot really discuss such plans with EF and yet EF are - seemingly - too unimaginative to spot that the Turk has been doing his best to keep anti-R options open while trying to make it like he does not have any. That includes the 'innocent' builds of F Con and F Smy and the arrangement we have been discussing in S05.

The most important move of F04 was F Edi to Clyde as previously stated.

ruffdove wrote:Second, what's with the Austrian dance? France was supporting him to hold Trieste. Why would he move to Vienna?

Austria had no idea France was ordering it because France was ordering it because he had nothing else to do with it and pointedly did not want to help out the IT because he is upset with IT for not doing what he wants by attacking R for him. This is supposition/editorialising if that isn't obvious.

ruffdove wrote: Why would Russia support him there?

Because, if F was collaborating with Italy then Trieste was vulnerable, but if Apu hit Ven (what WHS wanted) and Serbia to Tri (possible bounce) he can likely keep Tri empty/held by 'friendly' Turk while taking another Italian SC.

ruffdove wrote: Is he a vassal at this point?


ruffdove wrote: If so, what's the motivation for keeping him alive?

Tempo. Always tempo with these things. You have to add this to your game. If R captures the last Austrian SC he builds an army in War? Mos? That is behind the lines. This way he has an army in Vie at the front lines. Tempo gain. Vital. You have to add this understanding to how you play the game. See my example above about why I might vacate Tri if Austria would vassal. It would be like me building in Trieste instead of Con or Smy. That is a huge tempo uplift - getting armies directly to the front where they can do damage. Of course you have to rely that a vassal understands what vassaling means - i.e they understand what they are selling for their survival. And you have to be careful of them stabbing you but...risk/reward.

ruffdove wrote:Did you expect to waltz into Trieste?

Not initially and WHS clearly wanted me to bounce. I mostly wanted to myself as I'd rather be in the more defensively strong position of Serbia with Austria in Vie, Serbia would be safe from AR stab and Serb to Rum would still be an option. Now Serbia is open. However Italy came on line with 20 minutes to deadline after 5 days of silence and this was all I could cook up in the time allowed. It meant I took it. Only Tyrol to Tri could have kept it Italian, but Italy claimed Ven was moving to Tri and if that was true we had a shot at the vital SC of Venice to make Italy whole again. We gambled. Italy was wrong. In hindsight Tyrol to Tri might have been better, but that meant Serbia not executing the order WHS was promised and thus would have been an explicit breach with WHS. Apu S Tyrol to Ven is/was justifiable. Helping Italy - the power AR are attacking - into Trieste would not be. Complicated legacy for F05 if that happened. So with 20 mins...thinking/typing fast...best I could conjure.

ruffdove wrote:
thewysecat wrote:
The most important move of F04 was F Edi to Clyde. What does that mean to everyone?

First thought: ER alliance and an imminent stab of France?

Second thought: Probably less likely, but EF truce with Russia in the north and E sending a fleet to the Med?

Either way, bad for the Sultan.

Your first thought is natural and is likely intended to be what it conjures, but it should not live with you very long and certainly talking to the board will soon change your mind. As in poker there are levels and the process of leveling takes place between players. You can be said to be leveling yourself if you take a problem to many layers of complexity when you opponent is not that sophisticated. Or you can be in danger of being out-thought if you see things only at their surface.

And so the second thought is getting closer...with some added nuance as there are several flavours possible here.

Worse case - there could be a full EFR. That hypothetical deal is likely notionally about a 3-way draw agreement which is itself cover for EF allowing R to have a head start on a solo attempt by backing off him while he stabs T while in turn R is in effect then giving them a shot at a 2-way draw as they counter a solo push. This is a mentor game and unfortunately the observing is influencing the play of the observed in that folks like WHS want a 'notable' result. So this would be a 'race-you-to-the-finish-line' type deal.

More likely, E(F) is trying to spook T into thinking there is a deal so that T attacks R. Or spooks R into making such a deal because he now fears T will stab because it looks like a deal has been made and he fears T is spooked. And so on...

Basically it is E(F) messing with the RT nerve-centre and trying to exploit cracks in that relationship/see if there are cracks in that relationship. Hint: There are :)

This is dip101. A small tempo loss of Edi to Clyde can purchase all sorts of ructions in a rival alliance. Cheap at the price.

nanooktheeskimo wrote:To me it says at least a crack in the E/F relationship...maybe not a prelude to a full stab, but it definitely says warning sign to my eyes. If it is a prelude to an E stab, that would mean E believes he has peace with R, or at least enough peace. It might not end in a stab of F or a full alliance between E and R, but it definitely looks like a crack in E/F and the beginning of eased tensions between R and E.

See above nanook. EF are likely still solid. That said, ER is not impossible at all - they will be flirting. E will be influenced by a wall of purple he thinks he cannot break. The crucial piece will be if this resolution shows that it is still basically EF v RT...what happens in the build phase? Will Russia build in the North again or not.

As ever, times are tense

Your sultan

"Of all the things I have known myself to be, I never recognized the fool."
User avatar
Posts: 3808
Joined: 04 Oct 2008, 04:04
Class: Star Ambassador
Standard rating: (1518)
All-game rating: (1526)
Timezone: GMT-4

Re: AAR: Mentors Game

Postby thewysecat » 29 Oct 2015, 02:54

Fall 05
This is peak-RT collaboration this game. WHS is finally in Boh and Sil and helping Aaron hold Berlin. He is in Ska and Bal and drno is bounced from Den. (Not that I knew these orders but they are clearly RT-compliant)

I also stick with the deal to dislodge his fleet in Bul by occupying Bul sc and not ec. Of course WHS is still lobbying YL not to let me take another SC, but last minute negotiations (see my mentor notes) mean that I am able to support myself into Venice as Tyrol cuts any hypothetical support from Pied. The IT only just holds together as YL and I are negotiating literally with the timer at 0 and I know RP is making simultaneous counter offers. At one point in this high stress deadline rush, I think I have an agreement to support him into Ven as I take Tunis from ION but I am not sure I can trust that promise. YL could stab Rom to TYS as I get him into Venice and then build out Naples. Hell if I had gone with that deal maybe he would have stabbed. I think I would do so in Italy's position as it restores him to some sort of coherent health that gives him a fighting chance. But with no time to think I bail to the safer plan we ultimately execute. If YL could have been relied on to execute the alternative plan...then better to have taken Tunis. TYS and Tunis would have been a new world. Indeed had it not been the last few seconds of the phase I might have been able to explore that out with YL and get a better feel for the risk/reward...an opportunity lost. *sigh*. I found it tough to play in that environment.

In the west, RP manages to somehow pick drno's pocket for Bel and then sweet talk him with apologies. This is another blow. There is no reason why in the EF, RP should be the 7 and drno the 6 (rather than the reverse) not least since France might have been 8. RP did not know Ven was going to fall. I want England growing not France.

F Clyde holds...

I also begin trying to negotiate my build with WHS during F05. He wants F Smy. I seek to explore A Con. I have no army between Trieste and the homeland whereas he has Bud and no inclination to remove Vienna which is de facto his unit. Mostly however I know that a fifth Med fleet is just heading into a logjam. It does me no good. On the other hand if I can convoy to Tus I can pressure Pied or try for Tyrol and then I might be able to use a threat to Mar or Mun to get somewhere. That in turn keeps the RT viable for Turkey. WHS won't even consider it. He starts hinting darkly about not building F St.P from his destroy or perhaps not destroying at all. Basically he starts adding conditions midstream to the dislodge Bul/destroy agreement. I feel I have to leave the topic until he destroys Bul.

Once we are in the W05 build phase I try again. WHS simply does not reply until just before deadline. He simply says: "F Smy and waive". I was willing to waive my second build (WHS is not happy about that either) but F Smy is insipid and in the absence of any willingness to even talk to me about it I have a decision to make...

Meanwhile RP and I are renewing our dialogue about FT collaboration. He alleges that he had an agreement with WHS in F05 to stab me. (And see my mentee notes for some funky late messaging from WHS that means who knows what...) AAR will reveal all, but at the time I don't believe RP...more importantly RP agrees to destroy A Ven and Italy looks like it could turn light blue for Turkey rather than dark blue for France. This is a first.

Fall05retreat.JPG (86.94 KiB) Viewed 2310 times

thewysecat wrote:Fall 05 - I cannot tell a lie...oh hang on...yes, I can...

{Written during S06 so covers my W05 builds and some of my S06 negotiations}
Ok S06 resolution is upon us soon and this is the only Q I had from last resolution. As you know I try and write these before resolution so you know where I am at. You can then see how accurate or not my perception might have been.

ruffdove wrote:Excellent and enlightening all around response as always--many thanks. I am familiar with the concept of destroying an ally's unit so he can rebuild something or somewhere else, but from everything you've been saying about WHS in this game, it seemed like an outside chance at best. I take it you and WHS have discussed Edi==>Cly?

Edi to Clyde had several layers, but almost nothing I know of it comes from WHS though we did discuss it. He basically tells me little to nothing every phase.

Talking to drno, E wanted anti-R action from T and declined to act against R himself until he saw it. I misread the signals/miscommunication and was certain that even if I waited another phase before giving any commitments that surely E must occupy Norwegian Sea anyway. He did not. He was trying to play hardball to an extent which is almost always a mistake because it potentially gets you and another player into ego-posturing. I declined to go down that pathway and all is ok I think. Anyway, drno was also still hoping for an accommodation with WHS. I still say it was an error as a move because WHS offered nothing and really could offer nothing. Where else is drno going to go? He may not like making the first leap but perhaps needs to anyway and occupying Norwegian is not a big deal IMO.

ruffdove wrote: An eventful turn in Fall 05. It's basically shaped up to be an EF vs RT, with Italy helping you for the time being. At what point do you turn on your Italian confederate? Maybe just answer that in general terms. Obviously you lose tempo against France if you pause to devour the Italian, but you seem in good position to take him down quickly now before France can capitalize.

Well believe it or not FMPOV there never has been a RT. I have never had a 'proper' ally all game. I have learnt to be resilient!

At no point has any R unit ever helped a T unit or vice versa. Not even when my diplomacy helped get WHS Bud did his attitude change as he again tried to prevent Turkish growth and lobbied for me to not have Greece. That was F04 - a phase he lied to me and stabbed Italy. S05 we agreed orders and in F05 executed a plan to try and dislodge Bul. Literally as F05 deadline expired though WHS sent me an 'oops' I messed up my orders message and according to RP he had a deal with France to stab me in F05. He allegedly rushed to fix his orders and was able to do so before resolution even though time was on 0. Whether he or RP are lying idk. Whatever the truth is on that - the entire game WHS has opposed Turkish growth. My taking Venice will have upset him and I know he lobbied YL hard to stop Italy helping me get Venice.

My builds were therefore a stab as he insisted on F Smyrna and waive. I was happy to waive but wanted A Con. His refusal again to even give me anything meant I thought it time to just give myself some solidity. Of course, I also had to navigate that in such a way to make sure he disbanded the southern fleet and built F St.P nc. I am not in a good position against him really, but I have some defensive value. With him controlling Ber and Vie he was on 10 SCs de facto. The run to a solo generally comes in 'clumps' of 3 and 4 over 2 or 3 game years so my builds were designed to make sure the race to 18 wasn't via Turkish home SCs and the Balkans. YL in Italy was getting jumpy on 3 SCs and thus liable to jump to WHS too. YL doesn't really seem to be able to hold to a direction for long. That all suggested it was time to turtle-up a bit.

So all of which to say, one might as well ask when should T get rid of his Russian confederate or when should Italy turn on Turkey. In such a context, France is the one I am trying to make a deal with. If he sticks to it, I may be ok this phase but FIR is possible. I would say IR almost certain as we head to resolution. YL has not messaged at all the entire phase bar some early generalities. I know he is talking to others; just not me. My biggest clue though is WHS. He has IMO been very... {censored by Wyse to protect the guilty - sorry}. He's been stabbed and he thinks he will make me pay because he has the upper-hand. This is why he cannot help himself. More turtling-up required. My plan was to absolutely stick with YL, but it seems I will not have a choice in the matter. We will see what resolution brings

ruffdove wrote:Has WHS put any restrictions on your military production? How do you plan to make that RT border more secure without rattling the alliance?

WHS101 goes like this:

1) Arbitrarily declare a Turkish action (e.g. a build) a must for 'friendliness' with R and continuation of RT. This is typically lopsided to the point of being unreasonable.
2) When that is not acted upon, onus for this 'breach' is on T
3) T is then 'on probation' and reparations have to be made which leads to into step 1) again

And repeat on perpetual loop.

This IMO is not alliance. And so the Sultan muddles through. See above for what WHS wanted as builds and the board for what I actually built! This "rattled" the "alliance" (if you can call it that)

Counter-intuitively perhaps my approach at phase start was to quietly ask (note ask) for him to cede Sevastopol as a way to lock him out of a stab of T for solo and continue a RT that was 'stable'. I was willing to swap SCs or whatever. He wasn't having any of it. My logic was the alternative was that he waste tempo and power bringing forces back east. Seems he prefers to waste tempo than agree to my request. Also it was clear that even if I stabbed him like mad I could only make it to 17. Ergo I would not stab. He even agrees with this, but even so he would not consider it. Fair enough. It was always going to be hard to achieve, but it was time to re-calibrate RT into something that genuinely might work if it was to work. The odds were long because WHS has not had that kind of attitude to the Turk this game. He already made one attempt to 'break the game' when he lied to YL and myself and stabbed YL in F04 (and failed) and left Sev open for the extra build he planned to get from his move.

Anyway, we will see what this phase brings.

"Of all the things I have known myself to be, I never recognized the fool."
User avatar
Posts: 3808
Joined: 04 Oct 2008, 04:04
Class: Star Ambassador
Standard rating: (1518)
All-game rating: (1526)
Timezone: GMT-4

Re: AAR: Mentors Game

Postby thewysecat » 29 Oct 2015, 04:09

Spring 1906
My attempts to 'tax' WHS of Sevastopol fall flat to say the least. To be fair I did not have high hopes given our history, but I still think that a look at the final RT board suggests that making the deal was a potentially better way to go for Russia as per my logic at the time. Anyway...

IMO RT now descends into a kind of anti-diplomacy. WHS defines a list of pro-R Turkish orders that I must enter in S06 to have a chance (note no promise) of him not continuing to be hostile in F06. Irrespective of any undertaking I might give he simultaneously undertakes to order undisclosed anti-T orders himself in S06 (though one can make a good guess). He declares that he holds the "leverage here" and that he will "penalize non-compliance". This remains WHS's posture until game end. From here I don't do a lot more than maintain the professional discipline of messaging politely to keep some sort of connection. I just Aikido it: "Thanks for your message; I'll likely leave things as they are right now; perhaps in time we can speak again." And so on...

I don't particularly like the build of F Mar, but I have to concede that if RP is - in theory - going to stab drno he needs sufficient fleets to do that and also keep me honest in any potential FT. So that's the plan. See if a FT might fly. I am not that optimistic, but WHS's hostility - which presumably in talking to EF requires no method acting - is useful in this context because now the plan is to see if EF can be broken up in any which way it might fall. Now that what EF saw as solid RT has broken up maybe E might take on F or vice versa. My diplomacy might succeed but so might WHS's - even as he works against me he is working for me as it were. Maybe ER form to take on F and that makes FT real. Who knows. The point is that RT can work with me in Sev or it can fall apart and maybe we can restore some game complexity that might mean that at some point I can push into Wes Med. It's a punt, but its the best idea I have.

At this point however YL drops off the grid and that changes my calculations considerably for the worse. He never sends me another message from early S06 where I ask him what he wants to do and set out the options. In W05 he is insistent that I stab WHS. Ok. But he also then wants me to let Tyrol take Venice. Basically his plan that the only unit of his that can help me fight Russia immediately leave the theatre of conflict in order to cause me a disband. That doesn't seem entirely fair in an IT. In retrospect he has likely already jumped ship when asking for the stab of WHS.

I offer Vienna. I try to revive a scheme we discussed at various points in the past - that I dislodge Tunis so that YL can either destroy or 'retreat' forward into whatever space RP is not in (if he prefers that IT focus west). Anyway, he does not respond and so later it becomes clear he has vassaled to France. Here I make another mistake by continuing to message until phase end (thinking he might come on in the last half hour like before) and so I give him the heads up that I am going to 'attack' Tunis unless I hear otherwise. (I kind of hope that will just motivate him back into messaging). Anyway, this and a likely tip-off from RP means he knows my orders and so he defends Tunis. I am never destined to take that SC. Another opportunity lost. *sighs again*. I should have just stabbed him.

Anyway, RP agrees to take support into Tyrol which is my way of compelling YL to go east whether he likes it or not. RP is allegedly getting his fleets ready to stab drno. In the light of WHS's de facto declaration of war I position myself in the east. Perhaps contrary to expectations I do not move Tri back. I risk leaving Serbia open and so doing eschew the chance to go for Rum in 05. In the circumstances, I consider it the most appeasing thing to do. That said, I am just taking a position on tempo - Tri-Serb and Ven-Tri is going backwards and I won't do it. I have to try and hold some piece of that terrain if I am to go anywhere.

On the plus side, WHS invites GoB into Bud and with FT forcing Italy into Vienna this leaves WHS risking a disband. That could change the balance of power a bit and potentially encourage drno to be bolder. He is now at last back in Norwegian [Spoiler alert: he takes the worst possible option in F05]

Basically my strategy is to draw forces to me in the hope of a diplomatic shake-up. I am risking F and R vs T, but what the hey...maybe I can get FT. Or ER v F will do. RP is my last best hope for some sort of meaningful alliance this game anyway so let's give him a chance and see what he does with it. [Spoiler alert - he stabs me immediately :)]

{Hmmm...turns out I had no mentee Questions in S06 either - sorry about that}

Spring06.JPG (87.83 KiB) Viewed 2303 times
"Of all the things I have known myself to be, I never recognized the fool."
User avatar
Posts: 3808
Joined: 04 Oct 2008, 04:04
Class: Star Ambassador
Standard rating: (1518)
All-game rating: (1526)
Timezone: GMT-4

Re: AAR: Mentors Game

Postby Radical Pumpkin » 29 Oct 2015, 04:47

Note for Wyse: I get the maps by using the Image tags around the map image's url (Copy Image Location).

Notwithstanding the above note, I still haven't really read Wyse's AAR. I probably won't end up waiting until I'm done, though.

FALL 1901


In this season, I again do a number of things poorly but do the most important thing well.

In case there's still doubt, the thing I do well is maintaining my relationship with drno, ensuring that I'd end up as one of the winners within the Western Triangle. At least from my perspective, there is never an EG alliance against me, although I admit to feeling a little nervous about my board position at the end of this turn. But the fact that there sure appears to be an EG alliance in 1901 would pay dividends later, I believe.

Now for the failures. To start, my relationship with Aaron continues along in its mediocre groove. He starts the season suggesting that he should take Belgium for a 6-4 lead within the context of an FG alliance. To me, this isn't a serious offer. It's true that I'm in a weak bargaining position, but I tend to shy away from getting myself into asymmetric relationships until there's truly no alternative. I worry that signaling a willingness to be a junior partner just invites more demands down the road; if push comes to shove, I usually prefer to be the odd one out (and then try to flip the board) rather than sign on to an asymmetric alliance. I take Aaron's stance as confirmation that he's interested in G, not FG. I do end up bargaining him down to supporting me into Bel, subject to the condition that I build only fleets if possible. I'm skeptical of his commitment, but to the credit of Aaron's silver tongue, by the end of the turn I think there's a chance he means it. Still, had I been a better diplomat, I would have sold the FG to him better regardless of my own reluctance. The fact that he prefers EG to FG means that I'll be in the weaker position within EF in 1902.

I also spend much of the season trying (and failing) to shape the board’s communication dynamic. I tend to prefer boards where people are communicating freely, exchanging lots of thoughts about what’s happened and hatching all sorts of plans for where things might go. That’s a comfortable dynamic for me, even if lots of what’s being thrown around is BS or never comes to fruition. I suppose I feel I can sift through the BS and shape the narrative of the board better than most, and so that kind of communication style benefits me. I enjoy it, at any rate.

I have a pretty open communication style going with drno, and it’s a big part of the reason I feel solid in the EF. I feel I can read him and am relatively confident he sincerely wants EF. I’d like to get that kind of communication going with other people on the board, because I want options and I want information, but I find I’m unable to do so. I find the East in particular is quite tight with their communication. They all write, but they tend to give out the minimum information possible, and they don’t seem interested in talking about coordinated action to shape the mid-game together. WHS in particular is disappointing. I tend to like FR partnerships a lot, so I make a bigger push to engage him in a conversation about how we can collaborate for the long-term. I get a lot of writing in response, but it all feels… distant, like he’s focused on the risks of revealing info rather than on the benefits of building a plan. I get a similar feeing from YL, GoB & Wyse, but admittedly I don’t put as much effort into those relationships.

This story of failure to open up communication on the board would continue past 1901. (Indeed it’s possible that some of what I wrote above is based on impressions from later years, since the years have blurred together for me a little at this point.)

So my relationships aren’t going as I’d hope, with the important exception of drno. Then we have my moves. Toward the end of the turn, drno and I compare notes, and we find that Aaron has promised us both support into Belgium. I’m not too surprised. We consider all sorts of possible responses. I did give some serious thought to leaving Marseille undefended and poking at Munich, which as things turned out would have been the ideal order. It’s exactly the kind of thing that would normally be up my alley, in fact. But I decide against that plan for two reasons: First, I’d already written to several players about my proclivity for “wild” play, and so I didn’t think A Bur-Mun would have the same surprise value it might otherwise have. I’d said this to WHS in particular, and at this point I had some concerns that the GR relationship might be especially close. (I don’t remember why that seemed plausible at the time.) Second, I’m playing France, which has a pretty good defensive position, and I feel I have an ally in drno. If I’m attacked by GI, I expect that I’ll be able to hold them off as long as my defenses aren’t too compromised. I think I can recover from letting Aaron into Burgundy; however, if I were to lose Marseille without gaining Munich, I fear that drno would deem me a lost cause and just pile on in an EGI alliance.

Most of my discussions with drno focus on either supporting me into Bel or on having us both move there. Until near the end of the turn, the official plan was to support me into Bel. When drno changes his mind at the last minute, my spidey sense gets tingling; he has a plausible rationale, but I worry that drno has settled on EG and is hoping to secure an advantage by leaving me believing there’s an EF through Spring 1902. Nevertheless, I’d agreed to the mutual move to Bel before, and so I agree again. Last-minute plan changes are often cause for concern, but sometimes they’re innocent.

Once I see the moves process, I do wish I had the extra build, since the German A Burgundy is quite problematic when I’m building one. But I take solace in the fact that the EF is now well masked. The board may believe there’s an EF down the road, but they probably won’t believe there’s been a tight EF since Spring 1901!
Radical Pumpkin
Posts: 823
Joined: 31 Oct 2010, 15:58
Class: Star Ambassador
Standard rating: 1599
All-game rating: 1620
Timezone: GMT-5

Re: AAR: Mentors Game

Postby WHSeward » 29 Oct 2015, 04:49

I took the liberty of editing Wyse's OP with SC and tempi charts as well as links to other players' AAR since they are going to be buried inside of Wyse's behemoth posting.
"As a general truth, communities prosper and flourish, or droop and decline, in just the degree that they practice or neglect to practice the primary duties of justice and humanity." WHS

A member of the Classicists.

Ask me about mentor games. Send me a PM or post in the Mentoring forum.
User avatar
Posts: 2733
Joined: 29 Dec 2012, 22:16
Location: San Francisco, California, USA
Class: Star Ambassador
Standard rating: 1633
All-game rating: 1647
Timezone: GMT-8


Return to PlayDip Academy

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest