The Art of Diplomacy: 1901 (Parts 1-4)

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Re: The Art of Diplomacy: 1901 (Parts 1-4)

Postby lannes » 04 Mar 2010, 03:48

The part about territories on the demarcation line. Why are these not included? I see your point about the critical territories and i agree with them. I have noticed that opening moves to silesia, piedmont, etc... usually have disastrous results. I am looking for clarification as to why the demarcation territories are a weaker play, none seem to move towards neutrals but rather home centres. One would think if you pick an enemy and head for blood right away that these and the critical territories being occupied would be a benefit.

Great article
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Re: The Art of Diplomacy: 1901 (Parts 1-4)

Postby David E. Cohen » 04 Mar 2010, 22:58

Interesting reading at first glance. I think I have some disagreements with you, but I have printed it and will comment substantively (as well as point out typos and grammatical errors--LOL) only after reading it closely. :ugeek:
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Re: The Art of Diplomacy: 1901 (Parts 1-4)

Postby LordDwia » 05 Mar 2010, 02:29

lannes wrote:The part about territories on the demarcation line. Why are these not included? I see your point about the critical territories and i agree with them. I have noticed that opening moves to silesia, piedmont, etc... usually have disastrous results. I am looking for clarification as to why the demarcation territories are a weaker play, none seem to move towards neutrals but rather home centres. One would think if you pick an enemy and head for blood right away that these and the critical territories being occupied would be a benefit.

Great article


You're right that this needs to be better explained. I will try to update my article with a more detailed elucidation of that point.

The short un-argued answer would be that they're simply bad moves. Obviously I'll have to argue it better than that in the article, but that is, essentially, what I will argue. Early Italian attacks on France are bad, early Germany attacks on Russia are bad, etc. Remember that I'm only talking about the first year - crossing the demarcation line in 1902 or 1903 might be a very tactically and diplomatically sound idea, but I think to do so in the opening year is very unsound. That's not to say it might not be very devastating to the target, or even successful in the short term (by virtue of simple surprise value) but It's not going to lead to long-term success - and I think that's demonstrable.

For example (I was going to make this a short reply, but I'm having fun now)

let's take the case of Italy. Probably the form it's going to take is: A Ven -> Pie; A Rom -> Ven; F Nap -> Ion/Tys; or something to that effect. So by moving to Piedmont in the spring of 1901, Italy has essentially done three things:

1. You're given yourself a 50/50 chance at a French center for the first year. That's kind of nice, but so what? Most of the time France will play it safe and cover Marseilles, so you won't get anything at all - and France might even be able to weasel Belgium out of Germany or England because of the whole thing. They're probably not going to just jump on him and finish him off (though that's of course what you're hoping for, since you'll almost certainly get a shot at Spain that way.) not, at least, unless you warn them beforehand. And then chances are they're just going to tell him anyways.

2. Even if you DO get Marseilles, (which is doubtful) you've indicated to everyone in the med that your chosen direction of focus will be west, rather than east. After all, it's not as though you can just take Marseilles, shake France's hand, and then turn around and get back to business with Austria and Turkey. France is going to react violently, and Turkey will almost certainly move to take advantage of the situation. You can't fight a two-front war in the med, AND deal with Austria, all with just five units. You might hold onto your "initial gains" for a few years, but you'll start to get picked off once the bigger powers roll in. After all, by taking France out of the equation, you've potentially destabilized the west and made England or Germany exceedingly strong.

3. I believe in the the pivotal centers. This notion I have of the pivotal centers and their importance is the single biggest reason why I believe traversing provinces to be inferior moves to my chosen "critical" ones. Piedmont is a bad move because it's moving in the opposite direction of Greece, which is Italy's primary pivot. Similarly, German moves to Silesia and Prussia in the first year are bad because they take units away from Belgium, Sweden, AND Germany's natural neutrals. It's like giving up every natural advantage you have for a "surprise chance" at a single enemy center! It's ridiculous.

I'm playing an an anonymous game right now where Germany went "all out" against Russia in the first year. England and France just shrugged their shoulders; took the pivot points, picked off Germany's neutrals, all the while providing lip service to the "western" alliance, and then stabbed him when they ran out of freebies. It just doesn't make sense for Germany to turn his back on the two other members of his primary triple, not unless it's a "friendly" game with guaranteed allies, or there is some sort of meta-gaming going in.

The goal of the game is to win, and dashing aggressively across the demarcation line in 1901 will never win you the game against strong opponents. You might make things interesting for a while, but like any novelty - it won't stand the test of time.

Those are my initial thoughts, anyway.
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Re: The Art of Diplomacy: 1901 (Parts 1-4)

Postby Pokerface » 05 Mar 2010, 03:29

you have really study this game... I read the first two parts will read the nest two tommorrow. Very interesting, thanks a lot for posting a great strategy guide.
(and remind me not to play a game with you ;) )
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Re: The Art of Diplomacy: 1901 (Parts 1-4)

Postby lannes » 05 Mar 2010, 16:43

I like the logic behind primary pivots. If that is the case, why would a move to the critical provinces not be the thrust you really want. It seems to me that taking a position earlier is better and gives you more influence. For instance, why does France not always move to the channel, especially with the english needing to worry most about gaining norway and having the proper support? What you lose in declaring an enemy early on seems to me to be offset by the better tactical position, and the fact that some nations will jump in at the chance to help topple a power already in trouble. It shows strength that others will follow.
That and I am curious about when you think is the time to try and cross some demarcation, traversing, or stalemate lines. I know the article is about opening strategy, but curious on when you think is the best time to say take Munich, or cross into the western med if you are france.
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Re: The Art of Diplomacy: 1901 (Parts 1-4)

Postby LordDwia » 05 Mar 2010, 17:13

lannes wrote:I like the logic behind primary pivots. If that is the case, why would a move to the critical provinces not be the thrust you really want. It seems to me that taking a position earlier is better and gives you more influence. For instance, why does France not always move to the channel, especially with the english needing to worry most about gaining norway and having the proper support? What you lose in declaring an enemy early on seems to me to be offset by the better tactical position, and the fact that some nations will jump in at the chance to help topple a power already in trouble. It shows strength that others will follow.


The question: Why doesn't France always move to the channel?

Answer: Well, frankly I'm not sure. I always move to the channel if I think I can get away with it. But I don't always think I can get away with it.

It's in the opposite direction of your natural neutrals, so you risk missing a build, and you may not want to piss off England right away. After all, it's not as though Germany and Russia are going to "jump" at the chance to try and invade England. ugh. More likely than not, they'll just ignore you and gobble up Scandinavia and the low countries while you and England fight it out to little result.

lannes wrote:That and I am curious about when you think is the time to try and cross some demarcation, traversing, or stalemate lines. I know the article is about opening strategy, but curious on when you think is the best time to say take Munich, or cross into the western med if you are france.


Best time to cross the demarcation line is anytime after 1901. Just not in 1901.

Italian attack on Munich in 1901 is perfectly fine - Tyrolia isn't a traversing province.

Best time for France to cross in the western med is: Anytime after 1901. You should be seeing a pattern here.
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Re: The Art of Diplomacy: 1901 (Parts 1-4)

Postby Absurdity » 05 Mar 2010, 23:41

Great article. Thank you for a detailed, innovative, and enjoyable look at strategy in 1901. I, too am a fan of strategy articles, and this one would be great for the Diplomacy Archive. I eagerly await parts five and six.
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Re: The Art of Diplomacy: 1901 (Parts 1-4)

Postby dmccool » 06 Mar 2010, 07:58

LordDwia wrote:Rumania

R 3(2)
A 2 (1)
T 2 (2)

Rumania is the central pivot point of the "Eastern Triple" formed by Russia, Austria, and Turkey.


Awesome article, I can't wait for the rest. Assuming I followed everything you said, I think you have Austria and Turkey backwards when discussing the force that each can bring into Rumania.

Should be:
A 2 (2)
T 2 (1)

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Re: The Art of Diplomacy: 1901 (Parts 1-4)

Postby Bob.Durf » 06 Mar 2010, 16:56

Very good article, it shows the board in a new way that actually makes sense and doesn't confuse me!
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Re: The Art of Diplomacy: 1901 (Parts 1-4)

Postby LordDwia » 06 Mar 2010, 19:00

dmccool wrote:
LordDwia wrote:Rumania

R 3(2)
A 2 (1)
T 2 (2)

Rumania is the central pivot point of the "Eastern Triple" formed by Russia, Austria, and Turkey.


Awesome article, I can't wait for the rest. Assuming I followed everything you said, I think you have Austria and Turkey backwards when discussing the force that each can bring into Rumania.

Should be:
A 2 (2)
T 2 (1)

Cheers


You are quite right! Thanks for the correction. I'll change it eventually.
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