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

PostPosted: 03 Mar 2010, 02:21
by LordDwia

Disclaimer


The following article represents a considerable amount of time and effort on my part, and as such I will politely ask that it not be copied, reproduced, or posted elsewhere, in whole or in part, without my express consent. I realize that I am posting it on a public message board, but I still consider it to be my intellectual property, and I would sincerely appreciate your co-operation in this regard. The images I use in the article are fair game - I hold no claim to them - but the ideas and concepts that are expressed in them are my own.

The purpose of this article is to produce a comprehensive system for understanding the Opening and Opening Principles of Diplomacy. I assume a certain familiarity with the board, the rules, and general concepts throughout. As such, it should not be thought of as a "beginners guide" but rather as an advanced strategy guide. I do not claim to be more skilled than any other player, or to know more about the game, but It is my sincere belief that everyone who reads this will come away with a better appreciation for and understanding of the game of Diplomacy. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it, and, as always, all comments are welcome and appreciated. I've been working on this for a while in my head and on paper, but I wrote the whole article up today (including the graphics) so if there are any typos or grammatical errors, just point them out to me and hopefully I will get around to fixing them. Because of limitations on space and the number of images I can post, I have broken the article up into two sections. Section one contains Part 1-4 of the whole article. Parts 5 and 6 did not fit, and I will add them in later (Not today, I'm exhausted.) Okay, that's enough disclaimer. Enjoy the read:

Sincerely,
Joel Adolph (aka. "LordDwia")



The Art of Diplomacy: 1901

Part 1: Dividing up the Board

Hemispheres

The Diplomacy board can be divided at the beginning of the game into two hemispheres, South-East and North-West. The demarcation between the two is a stretch of empty "traversing" provinces that act as a sort of buffer in the early game, separating the western and eastern spheres of influence. Later in the game, as the two hemispheres begin to resolve themselves, many of these traversing provinces will become very important both as attacking routes and defensive lines, but in 1901, they effectively separate the eastern and western powers, and encourage them to focus first and immediately on their own spheres.

In the following diagram, i have marked the North-Western (orange) and South-Eastern (pink) hemispheres, and the traversing ground (green) that runs between them. You should note that two provinces; StP and Tyr, straddle the demarcation line and yet do not themselves constitute "traversing" ground. St. Petersburg is a vital supply center "link" between east and west, and is the reason why Russia should be considered part of both hemispheres. Tyrolia acts in a similar fashion - linking east and west in the first year and allowing eastern powers such as Italy (or even Austria!) to influence the western sphere and vice-versa.

Image
Note that there are three fully NW powers (G, E, F) and three fully SE powers (I, A, T) while Russia (though mostly situated in the SE) properly belongs to (and is able to influence) both. For this reason it often appears as though the demarcation line is "wider" at the bottom, and narrower at the top. This is actually not a bad way to think of it, and can help to make sense of the different "triples".


Triples

Once divided into hemispheres, the board can be further broken down into five theaters (or "Triples") that correspond to the cardinal directions. I will list them quickly for you here:

The Western Theater is made up of England, France, and Germany. It is centered on the Low Countries and belongs to the NW hemisphere.
The Northern Theater is made up of England, Germany, and Russia. It is centered on Scandinavia and belongs to the NW hemisphere.
The Eastern Theater is made up of Russia, Austria, and Turkey. It is centered on the North Balkans and belongs to the SE hemisphere.
The Southern Theater is made up of Austria, Turkey, and Italy. It is centered on the South Balkans and belongs to the SE hemisphere.
The Central Theater is made up of Germany, Austria, and Italy. It is centered on Tyrolia and straddles the demarcation line between NW and SE.

Having gone over this list, you should note that France only belongs to one Triple. This is because of the wide stretch of traversing ground that separates it from Italy and most of the Mediterranean neutrals. This is also why the demarcation line seems "wider" at the bottom than at the top. NOTE: It is, at this point, important to remember that everything we are talking about so far has to do with the first year of the game: 1901. Some might ask why France, Italy, and Turkey should not be considered the "Southern" triple, but this will be explained in due time. The short explanation for now is that each of the "triples" must center on something, and that this "something", it turns out, is something very specific. Just keep reading.


Part 2: Neutral Centers and Critical Provinces

There are 34 supply centers on the Diplomacy board. Of these, 22 are the "home" centers of each of the powers. The twelve remaining centers are referred to as "neutrals". If you refer back to the first diagram you will see that at the start of the game there are a total of 16 supply centers in the NW hemisphere, and 17 centers in the SE hemisphere. The final center is St. Petersburg, which straddles the demarcation line. Despite the fact that the SE hemisphere contains more centers (because most of Russia sits in the SE) it actually contains two fewer neutral centers than the NW.

The twelve neutral centers can be further divided into two groups, "natural" neutrals, and "pivotal" neutrals.

Natural Neutrals

A "natural neutral" is any neutral supply center for which there exists a set of moves for one of the powers such that they can guarantee its occupation by the end of 1901. If there exists any combination of enemy moves which can prevent its occupation, then it cannot be said to be a "natural neutral" of one of the powers.

Here I will list the eight natural neutrals, their "owners", and the moves that can guarantee their occupation:

Norway (England)
F Lon -> Nth --> Nwy
F Edi -> Nwg - S F Nth --> Nwy

NOTE: The North Sea fleet must occupy, rather than support, of else the Franco-Russian-German combo F Kie -> Den --> Nth; F Bre -> Eng - S F Den --> Nth; A Mos -> Stp --> Nwy will keep England out of Norway

Denmark AND Holland (Germany)
F Kie -> Den - H
A Mun -> Ruh --> Hol
A Ber -> Kie - S A Ruh --> Hol

NOTE: A Ruh must occupy Hol rather than A Kie, or else England and France can co-operate with A Par -> Bur --> Ruh; F Lon -> Nth --> Hol to keep Germany out.

Spain AND Portugal (France)
A Mar -> Spa --> Por
F Bre -> Mao --> Spa.sc

NOTE: Any of several variations will work just as well. Since no other power is within range of France's neutrals, he can occupy them however he likes.

Tunis (Italy)
F Nap -> Ion --> Tun

NOTE: Similarly to France, Italy's neutral is out of the range of any other power, so he may occupy it however he likes.

Serbia (Austria)
A Bud -> Ser - H
F Tri H

NOTE: The only potential challenge to Austria's occupation of Serbia in 1901 comes from the Turkish-Italian combo A Ven -> Tri --> Ser; A Con -> Bul - S A Tri --> Ser but this can be protected against any number of ways, such as by not moving out of Trieste in the spring.

Bulgaria (Turkey)
A Con -> Bul - H
A Smy -> Con - S A Bul H

NOTE: Russia and Austria can try A Bud -> Ser --> Bul; F Sev -> Rum/Bla - S A Ser --> Bul but Turkey can guarantee the neutral with a single support.

Having gone over this list of the natural neutrals, you should notice a few things right away.

1) The western hemisphere has more natural neutrals than the eastern hemisphere, but fewer "home" centers - making co-operation between all three western powers possible for much longer than their eastern counterparts.
2) England (thanks to the influence of Russia) has the toughest job of all the powers in securing its single neutral - potentially requiring all three units.
3) France and Italy (on the "wide" end of the demarcation line) are the only powers whose neutrals are completely uncontested.
4) Russia (on the "narrow" end of the demarcation line) has no natural neutrals at all.

I suspect that point #4 will be the biggest point of contention for most. This is, in my opinion, the single most misunderstood thing about the starting positions of the powers. It has become so common to think of Rumania as the natural neutral of Russia, and yet we can clearly see from looking at the list that all of the "natural neutrals" of the other powers can be guaranteed in 1901 by a certain set of moves. Yet, there is no set of moves for Russia which can guarantee Rumania in 1901. As such, to consider Rumania to be a natural neutral is to fundamentally misunderstand the dynamics of the opening. I will address this misconception in much greater detail in my discussion of the "pivotal" neutrals.

Image
The natural (light) and pivotal (dark) neutrals are shown, along with their owners. Note that each pivotal neutral forms the central point of one of the four cardinal triples. This is where the "triples" come from. They are not arbitrary creations of my mind - they were built directly into the game by its creators.


Pivotal Neutrals

A "pivotal neutral" is any neutral supply center whose occupation cannot be guaranteed in 1901 by any single power. There are four of these, two in each hemisphere: Belgium and Sweden in the West; Rumania and Greece in the East. As you can hopefully see by looking at the board, each of these "pivotal" neutrals forms the central point of one of the cardinal triples. These pivotal neutrals are the focus of the opening, and since they cannot be secured by anyone without assistance, they are almost always the first provinces to be occupied using support from another power. They are the makers and breakers of the first early alliances, and some of the most important provinces on the board in 1901.

The pivotal neutrals are not, however, made equal. Each one is unique and involves a different combination of forces able to be exerted on it by the powers that surround it. I'd like to take a moment now to discuss each of the pivotal neutrals in turn, but first I need to introduce one more concept:

The Critical Provinces

The Critical (or "contested") Provinces are, after the pivotal neutrals, the most important provinces on the board in 1901. A "critical province" is any territory which forms a unique corridor between two powers such that whichever occupies it will have a significant strategic advantage over the other. The necessary conditions for a territory to be considered a critical province are:

1) It must be able to be occupied by either power that borders it in the first season of play.
2) It must be a province where Spring 1901 stand-offs are not only common, but often arrange beforehand.
and, 3) It must not be a traversing province of the demarcation line (such as Piedmont, Prussia, or Silesia)

There are seven such provinces on the board, but three of them represent a unique case that I have mentioned previously, so I will begin with the other four. They are: The English Channel and Burgundy in the NW hemisphere, and the Black Sea and Galicia in the SE hemisphere. Oddly symmetrical, aren't they? The other three are the the province of Tyrolia, and the neighboring home centers of Trieste and Venice. As you can see, both Trieste and Venice (although they are supply centers) meet all the conditions for being considered Critical Provinces, as does Tyrolia. Together, these three critical territories form the center "pivot" point of the Central Triple. The relationship between Critical Provinces, Pivotal Neutrals, and the 5 triples is demonstrated in the following diagram:

Image
The critical provinces (orange) and their relation to the pivotal neutrals (purple). Notice the symmetrical distribution of critical provinces on the board. The Western and Eastern pivotal neutrals each border two critical provinces (one sea, one land) while the Northern and Southern pivotal neutrals each border two natural neutrals.

Part 3: An Analysis of the Pivotal Neutrals

Belgium

Belgium is the central pivot point of the "Western Triple" formed by England, Germany, and France. Each of the bordering powers is able to bring a force of 2 to bear on Belgium in 1901, but for reasons that will soon become clear, Germany is the most likely power to actually do so. Here are each of the power's most aggressive tries for Belgium in 1901:

England
A Lvp -> Wal --> Bel
F Lon -> Eng - C A Wal --> Bel
F Edi -> Nth - S A Wal --> Bel

France
F Bre -> Eng --> Bel
A Par -> Pic - S F Eng --> Bel
OR
A Mar -> Bur --> Bel
A Par -> Pic - S A Bur --> Bel

Germany
A Mun -> Ruh --> Bel
F Kie -> Hol - S A Ruh --> Bel

As you can see by looking at these orders, each power can bring a force of 2 against Belgium in the first year, but only Germany can do so without occupying a critical province. This is important, because occupying a critical province signals aggression towards the power on the other side of it, and thus betrays your diplomatic hand. Germany can support himself into Belgium without having to take sides, or indicate who he will eventually move against. This maintains the diplomatic "tension" and gives Germany a slight advantage over its neighbors with regards to Belgium. For this reason, Belgium can be said to "lean" towards Germany, and this is why many writers mistakenly consider Belgium to be a "natural neutral" of Germany. I have developed a system for describing the relative force that each power is able to bring to bear on the pivotal neutrals, and we will use Belgium as the first example:

E 2(1)
G 2(2)
F 2(1)

The first number represents total force able to be exerted on the province in question, while the number in brackets represents the total force able to be exerted without having to occupy a critical province. As we can see, Germany's ability to exert a force of two without occupying a critical square (and thus risking reprisals) gives it a slight diplomatic advantage. However, as you may also have noticed, France and England are able to match Germany's force without occupying a critical province if they work together ie, F Eng -> Nth --> Bel; A Par -> Pic - S F Nth --> Bel. This dynamic situation makes the contest over Belgium one of the most interesting diplomatic challenges to observe.

Image
The Battle over Belgium: England and France can work together to keep Germany out of Belgium, but Germany can try offering Belgium to one or the other as way to prevent his two neighbors from allying against him.

Sweden

E 0(0)
G 1(1)
R 1(1)

Sweden is the central pivot point of the "Northern Triple" formed By England, Germany, and Russia. Both Germany and Russia are able to apply a force of 1 to Sweden in the first year, while England must wait until 1902 for his influence to be felt. Since there are no critical provinces surrounding Sweden, none of the Northern powers risk antagonizing their neighbors by playing for it. Germany, if he moves to Denmark in the Spring, has the option of ceding Sweden to Russia in the fall, which he may do if he fears English influence. He may also use the threat of allowing Russia into Sweden as a way to encourage England not to co-operate with France over Belgium. Germany's ability to decide if Russia should get Sweden gives him a slight diplomatic advantage over the Northern pivot point in the first year, but this advantage transfers to England in 1902 once he has occupied Norway and is able to choose which of his neighbors to support. If Russia moves A Mos -> StP in the spring, he will be able to exert a force of 2 on Sweden come the fall of 1902, but doing so may antagonize England and Germany and possibly result in an alliance of these two powers against him. If Russia intends to play the North in this fashion, he should talk to France in an attempt to find out what will be happening with Belgium in the first year. If it sounds as though France and England may co-operate to keep Germany out of Belgium, than Russia might try to play for the North as an Anglo-German alliance will now be much less likely. The lower totals of force involved in the contest over Sweden make it unlikely that this pivot point's final fate will be resolved in the first year.

Image
The Battle over Sweden: Germany can choose to cede Sweden to Russia in 1901, or he can keep him out and hope for English co-operation in 1902. If he chooses to wait, England may look to Belgium as an indicator of how he should proceed in the North - but a Russian move to StP might tip the scales irregardless of what happens to Belgium.

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. This pivot point leans strongly towards Russia, who is able to exert a force of 3 upon it if he plays entirely for the South. The most aggressive moves with an eye to securing Rumania for each of the powers are:

Russia
F Sev -> Rum - H
A Mos -> Ukr - S F Rum H
A War -> Gal - S F Rum H

Austria
A Vie -> Bud --> Rum
A Bud -> Ser - S A Bud --> Rum
OR
A Vie -> Gal --> Rum
A Bud -> Ser - S A Gal --> Rum

Turkey
F Ank -> Bla --> Rum
A Con -> Bul - S F Bla --> Rum

As you can see, there are many similarities between Rumania and Belgium. Just like England, Turkey cannot exert a force of 2 upon the pivot center without occupying critical ground - and thus indicating open aggression against Russia. Austria, however, can. And this is the most important difference. Austria can exert a force of 2 upon Rumania either by occupying the critical province of Galicia, or from his home center of Budapest. Austria also, like Russia, has the choice of occupying Rumania in the Spring and then supporting himself to hold in the fall. Russia, for his part, can only exert a force of 3 upon Rumania by occupying the critical province of Galicia. This produces a rather unique situation, as you shall see.

Imagine for a moment that Austria and Russia both play for Galicia, and Russia and Turkey both play for the Black Sea. The relevant orders look like this:

Russia: F Sev -> Bla; A War -> Gal; A Mos -> Ukr
Austria: A Vie -> Gal; A Bud -> Ser
Turkey: A Con -> Bul; F Ank -> Bla

The situation is now analogous to Belgium. Russia heads into the fall able to exert a force of 2 upon Rumania, while Austria and Turkey are only able to exert a force of 1 apiece. However, just like Belgium, they can co-operate to keep Russia out and deprive him of a build. If Austria tries A Vie -> Bud instead of A Vie -> Gal, he will be able to bring a force of 2 in the fall, but then Russia's A War -> Gal would have succeeded and he would have a force of 3. The same situation results: Only by co-operating can Austria and Turkey keep Russia out in the fall. And then only if they have both tried to occupy the critical provinces in the Spring.

We can see now why Russia is far more likely to occupy Rumania in 1901 than Germany is to occupy Belgium. And also why Russia is such an "all or nothing" power. The answer, again, lies with the critical provinces. If Turkey and Austria work together to keep Russia out of Rumania, there is a good chance that Russia will fail to garner a build in 1901 and will be headed for a swift exit. All it takes, however, is for either Austria or Turkey to allow Russia to occupy one of the critical provinces, and Russia's ascendancy in the East is virtually assured.

Image
The Battle over Rumania: If Russia can occupy both of the critical provinces, he can guarantee Rumania for the fall. If Austria and Turkey keep Russia out of both critical provinces, they can co-operate to keep Russia out of Rumania as well. If Russia allies with one of his neighbors, and occupies the critical province of the other, he will be in a very strong position.

Greece

A 2(2)
T 1(1)
I 1 (1)

Greece is the central pivot point of the "Southern Triple" formed by Austria, Turkey, and Italy. As Austria can bring a force of 2 to bear on Greece in the first year, it can be said to "lean" towards Austria. Because of its close proximity to the Eastern pivot point, both Austria and Turkey must choose which pivot center they will play for. If one of them allies with Russia, they will abandon Rumania entirely and play solely for Greece. This is quite common. As you should be able to see, Greece is quite similar to Belgium. Austria can bring a force of 2 to bear on it, and only by co-operating can Italy and Turkey keep him out. Such co-operation is very unlikely however, since Italy would have to give up a chance at Tunis in 1901 in order to do so. Luckily, there is another way. Often the threat of A Ven -> Tri is enough to prevent Austria from trying F Tri -> Alb --> Gre.

If he is too concerned about other threats, Austria may offer Greece to either Turkey or Italy c/o support from Serbia. In many respects, this diplomatic approach to Greece is far stronger than any attempt to occupy it outright - which frequently ends in total disaster with one or more Austrian home centers in enemy hands. Turkey should be careful when accepting Austrian support into Greece, however, as it could be a ploy to make the army in Bulgaria unsupportable - a surprise attack by Russia from Rum or Bla supported by Ser would be disastrous! Similarly, Italy should be wary of any 1901 offers of support into Greece, as it could be a ploy to leave Italy without a build. Such diplomatic "sneaksterism" can be useful, especially if Austria is allied with Russia, but Austria runs the risk of making everyone his enemy if he relies too heavily on such tactics.

Image
Much like Sweden, Greece is unlikely to be settled in the first year. If it is, it will almost certainly be settled on Austria's terms. If he is unable to occupy it himself, he will usually get to choose which of his neighbors gets to have it.


The Special Case of Tyrolia

As has been mentioned previously, Tyrolia, Trieste, and Venice form an axis of critical provinces that together become the pivot point of the Central Triple. Not surprisingly, this situation is quite different from any of the others, but there are still some similarities. You can imagine that Tyrolia is a pivotal neutral, and that Venice and Trieste are the two critical provinces that border it, and suddenly it will look very much like the situations surrounding Belgium and Rumania. And, again, this is not a bad way to think of it. The difference is that here the pivotal province is not a supply center,and the two critical provinces that border it start out occupied.

What this means is that rather than there being a race to occupy the central pivot, here there is often an attempt by all three neighboring powers to keep the pivot empty. Austria and Germany are almost always interested in keeping Tyrolia unoccupied, while Italy (with his back to the demarcation line, and his natural neutral assured with just a single unit) will often attempt to occupy it at the expense of his neighbors. Austria is especially likely to be concerned by this, and Germany is commonly sympathetic to his concerns. This natural "accord" over Tyrolia's neutrality rests at the heart of Anschluss.

Image
The Uneasy Peace of Tyrolia: In order to maximize his growth potential, Austria must abandon the critical province of Trieste. Italy, meanwhile, can achieve a strong position by occupying as much of the tri-province pivot as possible. Germany and Austria can typically prevent this by applying strong diplomatic pressure to Italy at the start of the game.

Part 4: The Principles of Opening Play

Now that we have defined all of the terms, we can begin to discuss the principles of opening play. Each power's opening situation is different, but in each case, the principles that govern correct opening play are the same. There are three goals for each power in the opening:

1) Occupy your natural neutrals
As we have seen, this is going to be easier for some powers than others. Italy and France can do so with relative ease, though in the case of France, occupying both neutrals in 1901 will often come at the expense of the other two opening goals. England will have more or less trouble depending on what Germany and Russia do, and so forth.

2) Prevent enemy occupation of your critical provinces
This can be done either by occupying them yourself, arranging a stand-off, or forming a DMZ through alliance. In the end, however, it is only by moving to occupy them that you can guarantee they will not be occupied by the enemy. As with the previous goal, this will be harder for some, and easier for others.

3) Influence your pivots
This can mean one, or both, or even all three in the case of Austria or Germany. It doesn't mean you have to occupy it yourself, only that you should have enough influence over it that you are in some way deciding its fate. Often times, attempting to influence two pivots in the opening year will result in little influence over either, while going all out for one could be disastrous if your opponents co-operate to frustrate your efforts.

It is the careful consideration, weighing, and balancing of these three goals that defines the opening in Diplomacy. Almost always, it will be impossible for you to achieve all three of your opening goals, but if you can achieve two out of three, you are doing alright. Though they are not listed in any specific order of importance, I would personally argue that preventing enemy occupation of your critical provinces is the most important goal. Then again, that will likely depend on what power you are playing as. If you're playing as France, you may well just have to trust one or even both of your neighbors not to move there - as doing so yourself could come at the risk of missing out on one of your neutrals. There are many different things one has to consider, and each of the powers' situations are unique.

I would argue that all of the commonly played openings for every power involve a balance of these goals. We might give them names based on historical events or people, but the reality is that they are simply different approaches to achieving these three goals. Which opening you choose will depend on which goals you prioritize, and that in turn will depend on the diplomatic reality that you experience upon entering the game. Having assessed your neighbors dispositions through careful diplomacy, you may conclude that one of your goals will take precedence over the others. Sometimes you will guess right, and sometimes you will guess wrong. That is the nature of the game.

In the final part, I will analyze the individual positions of each of the Powers with respect to the three opening principles. I will discuss which openings hope to achieve which goals, and discuss what makes inferior openings inferior, and strong openings your best friend. It is all well to say that your opening moves are dependent on the diplomatic situation, but In the end, some openings are simply better than others, and more likely to help you achieve your goals.

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

PostPosted: 03 Mar 2010, 03:16
by LordDwia
(Will edit this post to include Parts 5 and 6 when they are ready)

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

PostPosted: 03 Mar 2010, 03:39
by QueenOfHearts
Few things:

#1. Wow
#2. How long did that take?

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

PostPosted: 03 Mar 2010, 03:43
by lannes
I look forward to the followup parts. Opening strategy is fascinating, and I like the clinical approach as to why some openings are better. Some players will try to do things according to their tendencies; thus a defensive player will likely move to cover his critical provinces. Interesting, can't wait to see the next part.

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

PostPosted: 03 Mar 2010, 05:39
by kaiseralexander
I find that the assumption that Greece "leans" towards Austria is somewhat unusual. I do not usually find that Greece does that, due to its proximity to both Italy and Turkey. In addition, in order to field a force sufficiently large to guarantee it, Austria's defense (critical for a central country like Austria) is compromised, meaning that Italy stands a good chance of getting Venice and Russia could very well take Budapest. The Italian question is particularly tricky, as Italy is far more likely to take action against Trieste because he is already in a "critical province".

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

PostPosted: 03 Mar 2010, 06:08
by Dr_Lovehammer
This is a significant body of work. Well done.

Dr. Lovehammer

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

PostPosted: 03 Mar 2010, 07:31
by Aeschines
Loved it. Favored article on Dip that I've read! (and I do enjoy my strategy articles...)

Pictures were a fantastic touch.

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

PostPosted: 03 Mar 2010, 20:11
by LordDwia
kaiseralexander wrote:I find that the assumption that Greece "leans" towards Austria is somewhat unusual. I do not usually find that Greece does that, due to its proximity to both Italy and Turkey. In addition, in order to field a force sufficiently large to guarantee it, Austria's defense (critical for a central country like Austria) is compromised, meaning that Italy stands a good chance of getting Venice and Russia could very well take Budapest. The Italian question is particularly tricky, as Italy is far more likely to take action against Trieste because he is already in a "critical province".


It is unusual, isn't it? And yet, it seems to be the case. Only Austria can bring a force of two against Greece in 1901. As I mentioned in the article, however, he will usually offer it to a neighbor (often Italy) rather than try to occupy it himself. The threat of A Ven -> Tri is simply to great! That being said, I see many many Austrian players doing the Balkan gambit (F Tri -> Alb --> Gre; A Bud -> Ser - S F Alb --> Gre) and though it doesn't always end well for them, there's very little way to stop him if Austria decides he wants Greece!

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

PostPosted: 03 Mar 2010, 20:14
by LordDwia
QueenOfHearts wrote:Few things:

#1. Wow
#2. How long did that take?


1. Thank you

2. To come up with the concepts in my head? I started putting a lot of thought into it last Monday, and working out the numbers in my head while I was at work last week. Once I realized that the 4 pivotal neutrals formed the center points of the "Triples" the rest just fell into place.

To actually write the article on my computer and post it (including graphics)? I started yesterday morning at 10:00AM and posted it at about 5:30 PM my time.

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

PostPosted: 03 Mar 2010, 23:17
by QueenOfHearts
LordDwia wrote:
QueenOfHearts wrote:Few things:

#1. Wow
#2. How long did that take?


1. Thank you

2. To come up with the concepts in my head? I started putting a lot of thought into it last Monday, and working out the numbers in my head while I was at work last week. Once I realized that the 4 pivotal neutrals formed the center points of the "Triples" the rest just fell into place.

To actually write the article on my computer and post it (including graphics)? I started yesterday morning at 10:00AM and posted it at about 5:30 PM my time.

:o :o :o