Austria Victory Study

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Re: Austria Victory Study

Postby eaterofworlds » 10 Sep 2016, 04:40

Years ago I gathered together 100 examples of solo wins for each of the powers on the judges. I had planned to write up an article using the results, but life, etc.

I am not a statistics guy, so my approach was rudimentary in many respects. I threw all the games together to come up with averages that I used as benchmarks to compare different results. I'm sure a purer analysis would've involved taking a big set of completely random games, rather than solo wins, to set the average, but nonetheless there are interesting trends visible in the data.

Below is the data of average annual SC ownership through 1906 in the 100 Austrian solo wins. The "diff" is the difference between that average and the overall average. It came as little surprise to me that Russia and Turkey didn't fare well, but I think it's interesting to see how France and Italy shook out. The data is more interesting when comparing all the results - I really should compile this and put it out there.

Aus Eng Fra Ger Ita Rus Tur
1901 4.80 4.24 4.65 4.85 4.03 5.28 4.16
Diff. 0.40 0.00 -0.15 -0.09 0.05 -0.13 -0.03
1902 5.63 4.62 5.14 5.25 4.23 5.16 3.73
Diff. 1.25 0.17 0.01 -0.17 - 0.15 -0.37 -0.61
1903 6.68 4.98 5.13 5.33 4.4 4.47 2.95
Diff. 2.55 0.52 -0.09 -0.10 -0.42 -0.96 -1.40
1904 8.09 5.18 4.97 5.4 4.34 3.84 2.17
Diff. 4.02 0.83 -0.38 -0.11 -0.55 -1.48 -2.17
1905 9.39 5.37 4.51 5.25 4.56 3.26 1.65
Diff. 5.34 1.01 -0.94 -0.24 -0.45 -2.02 -2.72
190610.73 5.42 4.15 5.17 4.19 3.03 1.31
Diff. 6.67 1.04 -1.31 -0.19 -0.71 -2.07 -3.14
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Re: Austria Victory Study

Postby gsmx » 10 Sep 2016, 09:11

I think Austria wanting England to do well may be mis-connecting the dots a little. Here's my analysis of why these results are likely happening.

A lot of the time when Austria succeeds it's because he's an awesome diplomat, you pretty much need to be to do well as Austria. Quite often the "by the numbers" early stages of games with a strong Austria involve forging of a central alliance with side alliances elsewhere. It's less about wanting England to do well as it is wanting to see France die out early as they either 'stick a pin' in England to take out later or keep him around to later stab Germany if that's the way the cards fall. The important thing for Austria early on is simply for Italy to be occupied elsewhere and his best case scenario is always for Italy to head west so Austria doesn't have to worry about a later Wintergreen. If he's able to convince the west to target France out the gate then England's early success is simply just a by-product, but otherwise him doing well in general is not that important to Austria and probably something he'd like to see squashed by mid-game as an England with too much momentum causes challenges for him as you get too deep in the game (unless you just want to use him as a "giant common threat" target to keep alliances strong).
The first quality that is needed is audacity.
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Re: Austria Victory Study

Postby eaterofworlds » 13 Sep 2016, 21:00

One could simply say that England is just the natural "enemy of my enemy" for Austria. England can also keep Russia or Germany occupied. Like every power, Austria wants the other side of the board to be slower to resolve than the one its on, so if you can convince England and Germany to ally early against France, then later encourage Germany and France to switch to fighting England, you'll be all set.

In my study of Austrian solos, which gathered center ownership details through 1906, it's not clear from the data that England's relative strength is at the expense of France. English control of French centers was essentially in line with average results. It held Belgium 29% of the time by 1905 (+8% over average, but well below the 40% when England solos). Holland is essentially the same. Control over Norway was noticeably higher over time (90% in 1901 [+2%], 64% by 1905 [+18%, compare to 83% in English solos]). Scandinavia factors in: StP is English by 1905 30% of the time (+7%), Sweden 64% (+18%), Denmark 37% (+14%). English home centers were all 13% more often owned by England at the end of 1905.

France meanwhile was less likely to own English centers in 1905 (-12% for Lon and Lvp). France owned Spain 9% less often in 1901 (67%), but by 1903 it was even with average (87%). French ownership of Spain drops in 1905 and 1906 (-9% and -14% compared to average); these figures are mirrored by the Italian ownership stats of Spain.

Germany's performance is basically flat compared to average. Holland (84% [-7%]) and Denmark (82% [-5%]) are slightly weaker in 1901, but these are pretty small numbers. It won't shock any veterans of the game, but German ownership of its own centers is also flat.

Turkey and Russia are the big losers. By 1905 Turkey's ownership of all its natural centers was way below average: CON (39% [-29%]), ANK (49% [-23%]), SMY (40% [-30%]), BUL (8% [-44%]), RUM (5% [-21%]), GRE (7% [-33%], SEV (3% [-22%]). By 1905 none of the Turks owned Serbia (no surprise). Russia's ownership of its southern sphere of influence are also lower than average, but not as bad as Turkey's.
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Re: Austria Victory Study

Postby bananabeast » 22 Sep 2016, 17:08

In my survey of 300 games which I cited in the Austria/Turkey thread as well, I recorded 13 Austrian victories, of which England survived (I did not count centers) in all but one game. This was significantly better than any other power: France survived in 5 games, Germany in 8, Italy 5, Russia 5, and Turkey 5.

However, for English solos (18 recorded), Turkey was by far the most common survivor, remaining on the board in 16 games. Austria survived in 6, while France survived 3, Germany 5, Italy 8, and Russia 8.

The thesis "Austria wants England to do well" seems entirely plausible as a surviving England gives France or Germany (even Russia) more to worry about than a growing Austria, while due to home SC constraints, England is least likely to challenge Austrian armies on the continent - and Austria can win without the Western Mediterranean. On the other hand, Austrian survival doesn't seem to affect English chances at all, so the diplomacy to set up the scenario has to be handled very carefully in Vienna.

An alternative thesis, of course, would simply be that the English centers are the hardest for Austria to get to. This is not necessarily discredited by the fact that over half of Austrian solos featured German survival: Austria can plausibly be snagging Munich and Berlin in a solo push without actually knocking Germany out.

I do think the statement "England will normally survive with a powerful Austria" is entirely born out by the evidence both from solos and draws. But the causes are murky - and Austrian success is not really England's goal.


Just a thought about this. From my experience (new to online here, but a regular board player), if Austria does not win (or come very close, getting stabbed last minute by an ally for example), he rarely survives.

England can languish on three centres easily for the entire game without gaining or loosing any, which is virtually impossible for Austria. Austria has a high 'infant mortaility rate', but the surrounding centres are some very dense supply centres, without much ground to defend.

My point is that if Austria does not grow, he dies, which is very different from England. I am guessing England survives to not win significantly more than Austria anyway.
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