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AARs - The Great Lakes [Game 1]

PostPosted: 31 Jan 2011, 06:19
by Ceebs
Post your After Action Reports here. All players victorious or not are invited to share their opinions on the game and/or the variant itself. Outside observers are also welcome to comment.
I too will weigh in later on my thoughts on the game and variant.

Re: AARs - The Great Lakes [Game 1]

PostPosted: 31 Jan 2011, 07:13
by Paulus Toronto
AAR Great Lakes: Quebec report
Interesting game, particularly because i live in Toronto and am from Quebec, so it was nice to do battle on familiar territory for a change. Unfortunately I think the map is flawed enough as to make it somehwhat limiting. First, brief synopsis:
Quebec and Toronto (red) started off strongly allied. Ontario (green) joined in and we had a pretty effective triumvirate. The agreement was for Ontario to head West to Minnesota (Orange), Toronto to MIchigan (Turquoise) and Quebec to Ohio (yellow). The latter was the first casualty if I recall correctly, succumbing to both Quebec and Toronto advances in Fall of 1903. MInnesota fell a year later to Ontario, partly assisted by some misplay (a NMR perhaps?). Ontario broke off the alliance and left the game around the same time I stabbed Toronto. It took some time to eliminate Toronto completely, given some tedious retreats. Vaderi replaced ONtario and performed admirably, but was, in my view, in an awkward position. The game was heading to a Quebec-Ontario draw, but Gardenpatch changed directions, just prior to leaving the game. Michigan (turquoise) proved a more reliable ally. Always on the periphery of plotting and scheming, I viewed him as a secondary-level ally who i would eventually stab. I believe ONtario and Toronto had held the same view. Moreover, centered between all the players, growth for him was limited. Not an issue for Quebec or Ontario. By this point, Illinois (purple) remained as the odd man out. NMRs, drop outs and eventual civil disobedience meant game over for purple. And then there were three. Both Quebec and ONtario were poised for a solo, with Spekulatius/Michigan playing the kingmaker. I diplomatically reinforced all goodwill with Spekulatius, who proved very reliable and open to direction. Ontario played formidably, but with a costly error in the end game, and facing off against Quebec/Illinois, there was little hope for a solo Ontario win, it seems. Alas, after years of bloodshed, I proposed a draw which was graciously accepted by my ally spekulatius and our worthy opponent, Vaderi. So, the great Lakes region will live in peaceful harmony for some time to come, in both official languages, French and Spanish.
As for the map itself, i think there are some problems. As Quebec, a QT or QO alliance just seems unworkable. Quebec is well protected in the corner, but MUST move through Toronto and/or Ontario to reach the end game. There is a too rich cluster of SCs in the Lake Ontario region and too few in the West end of the map, a distinct disadvantage for Minnesota, I would think. MIchigan's chance of survival seems utterly doomed without support from at least one if not more neighbours. He is definitely the "Italy" of the Great Lakes.
I do love the map, despite the problems. I think it could use some tweaking. One strong point is that the stalemate lines are few, as far as I can see. There was one well established between Quebec/Ontario border, and there is definitely a tight gauntlet on the Ohio/Illinois border. MOvement through the Great Lakes is very interesting, especially around Detroit/Windsor.
I would definitely play again. This game's outcome would have been quite different without the Civil Disobedience at the end. Had Illinois played an active role to the end, we would still be playing I fear.
Great job Ceebs on your first GM. The first of many I hope. PLease invite me to any future games you might be hosting.
Thanks Spek for being a great partner. Sorry Stubby for the stab. You know i'm a lover not a stabber. GArdenpatch, where have you gone? Vaderi, you did great. You always give me a run for my money.
Thanks again.

Re: AARs - The Great Lakes [Game 1]

PostPosted: 31 Jan 2011, 07:32
by vaderi
I joined late in the game, as a replacement for Gardenpatch. As Ontario I was dumped into the positision of the weaker of the two main end game powers.

When I joined the situation looked like I could be the only naval power on lake Huron and with that shift the tide of the stalemate line in the north. I was lucky enough to converse with Gardenpatch before I took complete control and so I had some idea of where to look for allies (yeah right :roll: :lol: ). I quickly took advantage of the situation, all the areas I needed/wanted to take were wide open and practically empty. Things went my way for all of 1909 until I ran into one simple reality, I only had one free home SC but I had 2 builds and I needed both right away :evil: . The next year I realized that the dream of naval superiority on Lake Huron and the shifting of the trenchs was just that, a dream, Quebec had just enough Support units in the north to render my fleets useless and I would only get one season of naval superiority. I haven't mentioned much about the diplomacy and that is because there wasn't much, I didn't even bother talking with Paulus (only partially due to lazyness) and I only started talking to Spek in fall of 1909. I was cautiously optimistic about my conversation with Spek and was hopeful that he inteneded to follow through and not stab me (not that we had much of a plan). Anyway, in 1910 I revised my plan to gain control of Huron and the surrounding area suffice to say it bought me a year but was otherwise completely ineffective. I also discovered that Spek had decided to side with Paulus and while I'd love to know what pushed him to chose Paulus over me (it seemed to me to be the choice between two identical results) but didn't seem like a problem since Spek was a small and him allying with Paulus would probably buy me some time to get the required number of SCs before Paulus.

And Then I F***ed Up. I had meant to order F NLM Move SLM, instead I wrote F NLM Move GEO :evil: and turned a minor nuicence into a lost SC or two and a lost game. Or so I saw it at the time, after I agreed to the draw I went back and looked carefully and found the silver lining (it sure was thin but it was there). I felt(still feel) that had I not missentered that order I would have had a decent chance of soloing. I was happy with a draw so here we are.

I had a great time even though by the point I had joined the game it had become somewhat silent. My one problem was the damn stalemate line between Ontario and Quebec which granted looked like a mostly happenstance occurance but d**nit I gained 3 SCs in two years and could only build 1 unit per year!

Re: AARs - The Great Lakes [Game 1]

PostPosted: 31 Jan 2011, 18:30
by Paulus Toronto
Thanks for your report Vaderi. I would definitely like to know why Spek stuck it out with me. I think I was a bigger threat to him than you were. We did have a bit of history going, i.e. we had both been in the game form the outset. Also, I believe his avatar is a fleur-de-lys, which certainly endeared him to me. Perhaps telling him that I was a RL Quebecker endeared me to him.
Spek, can you chime in on this? You were pretty much the deal-breaker.