Tournament Game - HEINEKEN - AARs

4-qualifying rounds and a Final Board. TDs: Uncle Monty, Samarkand, Sheddy Winner: bitwise.

Tournament Game - HEINEKEN - AARs

Postby Batsman » 09 Mar 2009, 14:39

Nice working with you mdmuff, camroc, more in due course including apologies to our Italian friend.
What began as an E-F-I alliance ended up E-F-T when Camroc (T) made such outstanding progress that it would have taken an age to eliminate him and he had clearly earned a place at the table (not least by assisting me with the correct spelling of "magnanimous".) I was the next obvious target for elimination, grateful that it didn't come to that!
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Re: Tournament Game - HEINEKEN - AARs

Postby mdmuff » 09 Mar 2009, 16:55

Tournament Game - HEINEKEN - AARs

Result: 3-way draw (France, England, & Turkey)

Nation Played: England



1900 Opening:

I entered the game with hopes of finally getting a win with England. France opened negotiations with an alliance proposal and Germany opened friendly to me as well. Good news for England, looks like I wasn't the target of either of my neighbors. Russia proposed a new idea regarding Scandinavia, in which we would basically make our claims and leave it DMZ from that point on. It sounded like the best possible scenario for me as England :)

Spring 1901:

France opens anti-German, Germany opens anti-France, Russia goes to the south with his Moscow army, Yay!! Everything looks to be great. I will gain a build for sure and have little to fear from my neighbors. I start working both sides of the fence, as I am not sure who will become dominant in the West and want to make sure I am on the winning side ;) Both France & Germany are receptive and negotiable on all fronts. Had a little communication trouble with France (Batsman), as we seemed to be online at much different times, but that made it easier to discuss options with Germany, since we seemed to be on similar times. I was starting to lean toward Germany as my final ally, just for communication sake.

Fall 1901:

The Phase that changed everything in my mind. The sacking of Sevastopol was the cue for a change in plans for me. This showed a strong Austrian/Turkish alliance had been formed. That began to tilt the balance of power and it was clear that the West needed to be resolved quickly and that if Russia fell, I would need to be in St. Petersburg soon, before A/T could breach the stalemate line of Moscow. The communications came into trouble again with France and we couldn't get coordinated with regard to Belgium, so since I was around with Germany on and he wanted to take France, I hedged my bets and sent a message to France indicating that I would take Belgium with German support and hope he understood and didn't get scared off. A two build England in 1901, very nice way to start off the game. Also hammered out additions to the deal with Russia during 1901 for no builds in St. Petersburg if I did not land an army in Norway. Also noticed Italy gaining some very strong position on Germany, which leads me to believe that Italy has joined the A/T alliance. Now the West really needs to get something figured out. Nobody seemed worried about this stuff... especially Germany or France. That got me worried. France's communication timing being out of line with mine and a very friendly Italy (position wise anyway), had me worried about the Channel, especially when I couldn't negotiate France out of building a fleet in Brest.

Spring/Fall 1902:

I decided to make a decision regarding G/F and went with France, primarily because Italy was poised to strike Germany and I thought it best to take down the one that was being attack by two others (F/I). I was also looking at the Russian centers in the future and didn't want to have to share them with a budding Germany who would have easier access to both the Russia centers and the lower France centers. I could get to Brest, but would have a hard time getting a good convoy line to reach the centers. I knew Germany was moving out of Holland, so I took the opportunity to both secure Russia in my agreement to the Scandinavia deal and be positioned to strike hard against Germany and get as much as I could before Italy. Italy made a surprising move, (I guess I should have been in better contact with him although it would not have changed my decision much) and struck hard against Austria. Russia held his own against the A/T alliance, so I decided I would let him continue to do so without interfering or taking away his centers until they breached the line. Missed communication opportunity with France leaves trouble over a bounce in the Channel and then more problems as I moved to the Channel in the Fall causing additional concerns for my ally. Another 2 builds for England in 1902, getting powerful now, will definitely have a say in the outcome of this game... also started looking at solo opportunities at this point. I did however want to keep France happy, so we negotiated my builds to be an army in London & a fleet in Edinburgh. That was ok with me, as it still allowed me to be ready to strike Russia when the time was right and protect myself against France if he should not like the plans as they were going.

Spring/Fall 1903:

Russia goes to take piece of the falling Germany, but allows Turkey to take Ukraine... the signal is alerting me the time for action is fast approaching. France and I start to communicate better and I start adjusting my messages to cover broader things to make sure we are running at peak performance. France does the same and we rarely have a hitch in the system from here on out. France gains Munich in the Spring, which allows me to really focus on the North. The Fall turns into chaos as Sweden falls to me, Kiel falls to France, Berlin falls to Russia, Warsaw falls to Germany, Trieste falls to Italy, and Turkey takes the Ionian. The negotiations begin with Italy and the new Triple forms between France, Italy, & I. This was also the new Italy, under new management since 1902ish. So he is a wildcard with little previous action to base what we think he will do, but he is very cordial and willing to help us push against Turkey. Turkey has now become target # 1 for our triple alliance (he is at 7 centers and in control of the East). I would like to note here as well that while France & I were working with Italy we were at the same time preparing his doom. We both worked hard to convince him to allow France to build and move fleets into the Western Med areas to "support against Turkey", which would have eventually lead to France sweeping Italy when Turkey had been pushed back and I was positioned in the north to hold Turkey from gains. We also wanted Italy to push against Turkey in the Balkans and him building armies for that purpose as well as allowing France domination of the seas ;)

Spring/Fall 1904:

Austria goes suicidal on Vienna with Turkish encouragement and support, while Turkey takes Budapest and sacks Moscow. Damn, it was happening just too fast to stop Turkey, even 1-center Germany aided Turkey. He had a silver tongue and needed to be stopped FAST! I had not even reached St. Petersburg yet! The retreats left Turkey in the Tyrrhenian Sea as well and poised to strike Rome. Bad news for Italy and for us, Turkey was going to make gains and there was little there could be done to stop him! So... why not join him?

The Fall phase showed light to the diabolic plans. I continued to stay friendly with Italy, hoping if I did make headway against Turkey in the North that he would still be around to slow down Turkey & France and I could possibly slip in for a solo behind France. France has agreed to move his Brest fleet to Gascony and everything else was moving south full tilt. Turkey supports France to dislodge Austria in Venice and secure another build and secure our new triple alliance (France, Turkey, & I). We also organized (between France & I) a good center swap to shore up everyone's positions. France & I were discussing a good way to break Turkey, but he was looming ever solid with position and didn't look easy to break. Russia is eliminated this season. Amazingly Austria & Germany survive, while not have a home center between them.

Spring/Fall 1905:

I thought that Italy would be convinced that the battle was over, I could not get position to strike Turkey, neither could France, so a draw was proposed... it failed by Italy rejection. It was clear what had to be done... we must remove this upstart ;)

The positioning on the board was becoming quite the teetering weight and any move by one of us three would have allowed one of us to solo... nobody budged and motioned for a stab position. It was becoming clear that while France & I had great plans to 2-way... or solo for me ;) It was not going to come about and we needed to just secure our positions and not allow anyone to become too powerful or gain too much ground. With that argument in place, Turkey supported me into Warsaw while France & him divided up Italy. Germany is eliminated this season, yet Austria survives and gains back a home center!

Spring/Fall 1906, Spring 1907:

Positioning for me... nothing much to do but wait for Italy to fall or for someone to get careless and open a door of opportunity for me. Italy fell, as did Austria. The game ends in the Spring of 1907 after France & Turkey secured additional centers and eliminated any nay votes.




Conclusion:

A well played game by everyone involved. I was sorry to play the double-agent so often in this game, it is not a role I like, but unfortunately I do seem to be good at it. I think I did just about everything I could to secure positions and had Turkey not gained so much momentum in the east I would have probably tried for the solo, but once the dominoes started falling it was clear that neither of the 3 of us could do anything without opening the opportunity up for the other two to try and race for the solo. No stab would have been sufficient enough to hinder the 1/3 and allow one to solo off of it, so I resigned to acceptance of the draw fate. Great cast of players, hope to see them around in other games :)




The Players:

Batsman (France): Excellent game with you, I expected to see a seasoned player when the names were revealed. Our communication was rocky, but never not workable. You were always negotiable and we worked very well together. Good thing you did not build in Marseilles as I was pushing for in the early stages, as that would have likely tipped me to work with Germany. You showed yourself to be true of character and honest with the discussions we had. I never felt that you had anything but the best intentions.

chabz44 (Italy): Sorry you got into the game late and with a devious plot for your assassination already in place before you arrived. You were very good with communications though, I felt bad when you were pushing for me to strike against Turkey & France, but you tried your best and I would love to see you in a game from the onset.

sroca (Germany): Again an apology. I had a feeling you were a player I had played with before. Your communication was spectacular and I only wish that Turkey had not gained so much momentum or I would have definitely sided with you. I felt bad during the stab, but the game must go on and all. I always enjoy your style of play and communication, next time hopefully we can be allies. It was just too perfect of a situation to not go for.

jaredstoff (Austria): Not much I can say ... I never received a single message from you, so I have no idea what was going on from your perspective.

camroc (Turkey): Damn you and your mighty force. You changed the whole complexion of the game and I had little choice but to negotiate with you. Good show! You are definitely a force to be reckoned with and I will have to keep an eye on you if we are ever neighbors ;)

ryan_the_canuck (Russia): Sorry our plan didn't work out... or I should I say sorry I didn't follow it. It would have been great to see it work, but with Turkey gaining so fast and Italy moving into the Bohemia area, I couldn't wait for someone else to meet me in the centers. I tried my hardest to fight for you and put off moving into the northern regions for as long as I could.
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Re: Tournament Game - HEINEKEN - AARs

Postby jaredstoff » 10 Mar 2009, 02:53

Heineken AAR - Austria

I was blessed with the good fortune to draw Austria a second time in this tournament, with equal success in both outings. Actually, this game might have been better for me, if it wasn't for Italy's mid-game player swap. That totally messed things up and spoiled the game for me.


1901

Turkey contacted me offering his friendship. I came into this game with an itch for an A/T alliance, so I happily accepted. Italy was also friendly, and I was open to that as well, as long as I could keep him off my back so that Turkey and I could focus on Russia. Italy was insistent that his goal in this game was more to develop friendships and "mess up the west," as he put it. That was good news for Turkey and me. When the spring moves were in, Russia had yielded Gal and BLA, which only solidified Turkey's and my resolve to continue the assault on Russia.

After the spring moves, though, Italy moved into Tyr and Ven, which was very threatening. Yet he was still insistent that he had no interest in attacking me, and that he valued my friendship. Turkey kindly sent a few prying messages, trying to get Italy to admit to an attack on me, but Italy wasn't interested. Turkey and I had great position on Russia, and stood to gain Rum and Sev by the end of the year, but the attack would leave me open to Italy. I decided to take a chance and go on with the attack on Russia, and fortunately, Italy kept true to his word.

That opened the way for talks about an I/T/A alliance. Italy was open to it, and Turkey and I were happy to see him set out westward. It seemed to us that there might be an E/F alliance forming, but the relationship looked shaky. We figured the I/T/A would catch the west off guard and we could get a jump on it before any stalemate lines formed.

Things were looking really good, until the first Italy got replaced. I understand that sometimes that happens, but I was counting on the new player to be honest and fair coming in, and not to use the current board positions that were only that way because of my dealings with the predecessor.

Right off the bat, he tells me that he wants to continue our friendship, but he wanted me to attack Turkey. I responded that I had no reason to distrust Turkey, or to attack him, and that I expected that he meant what he said when he promised to continue the alliance. I had every reason to believe, and expect, that he would honor the previously established alliance, instead of impulsively attacking me just to gain centers. He responded by saying something to the effect of

'No, I understand that if I attack you, that would mean my end too. I've played close to a bajillion games, and know that if we don't work together, we'll die,' or something like that.

1902

Unfortunately, Italy chose impulse over reason. It really pissed me off that he used positioning that he didn't even set up, walked right into the game and just stabbed me on a whim, acting like he was honorable to get me to believe him. I couldn't help but feel like I got ripped off, just by being the neighbor of a swapped-in, opportunistic, cheap-shot replacement player who refused to think more than a move ahead.

I reminded him of his words, saying that I had no choice to fight a protracted war with him until the rest of the board finally wiped us out. Being the spring turn, I pointed out that he would only gain a center, and that if he backed out now, the damage would be undone, and the I/T/A could proceed as continued. Of course, he declined.

At this point, I asked Germany for help. I could see that he was struggling against E/F, but he could have easily cut support from Tyr with Mun-Tyr at no cost to himself, which would have allowed me to take both my centers back. He also declined, and opted to do nothing that turn.

Meantime, my friendship with Turkey was still strong, and I offered to show my friendship to him by allowing him to take Rum so that his armies wouldn't be hemmed in. And since I couldn't take Gre like I had originally planned to do, I told Turkey to just take that as well.

1903

Prior to the spring turn, Italy sent me a message saying that I was right. Then he told me to "fight back against Turkey, and gain something," along with "I hope you will see this message as truthful." I couldn't help but laugh. :roll: Ridiculous.

Of course, it was a bunch of crap, and I realized that Italy was too narrow-minded to discontinue his insular quest to take me out. Unfortunately, he had the manpower to take another center from me, dropping me to two centers, and pretty much sealing my fate.

However, Turkey proved to be a great ally, and refused to take me out along with Italy.

1904

This year, we had the position to take Vienna in the spring. I had also been pleading to France for help for some time, but his move to Boh instead of Tyr was not very promising.

Turkey then informed me that in talks with France and England, they had decided for the three way draw. He alerted me ahead of time that he would be supporting France into Vienna, to secure their friendship. I was OK with that, because Turkey had been such a good friend up to that point, and I didn't believe that he should blow a chance for a three-way to lug me around like a dead weight.

1905

I wasn't completely dead, and France and Turkey supported me back into Trieste, which I got to keep. It was pretty sweet to kick Italy out of my centers and watch as the noose was drawn around his neck. I couldn't help rubbing it in a little.

1906

France and Turkey eliminated Italy and me, and the draw was declared.

The Players:

camroc (Turkey): Like I said, you were a great friend. You went way above and beyond in your friendship to me, especially for a tournament game. I really appreciated that. Our alliance really made this game enjoyable for me, and I was happy to see you get your share of the draw.

Batsman (France): Our conversations mostly consisted of "Help!" and "I'll see what I can do." At least you were friendly and responsive.

chabz44 (Italy): frankly, I didn't like you this game. Maybe it would be different between us if you weren't a substitute, and we had started the game off together, but the whole situation really left a bad taste in my mouth. On a positive note, your resolve is noteworthy.

sroca (Germany): We didn't talk much. Too bad you didn't help me out against Italy in 1902. Things might have been different.

mdmuff (England): mdmuff, sorry I didn't message you . . . I normally will at least say a little something, but I guess I forgot to respond to you. Things got pretty hectic for me rather quickly, and that limited the scope of my communications real quick.

ryan_the_canuck (Russia): We didn't communicate much, but good game.
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Re: Tournament Game - HEINEKEN - AARs

Postby sroca » 10 Mar 2009, 04:03

Heineken AAR - Germany

1900
All right Germany. I usually do well with Germany. It's a nice, solid country for me and I can usually make a good ally out of someone. I actually decided to open differently than I have with Germany. Actually I think this was the only game I've opened differently with Germany. Guess it didn't serve me too well.

1901
I talk with both England and France getting a feel for both. If I remember correctly I was going to go with France but after the Spring orders with France moving after me I decided to go with England. I supported him into Belgium and hoped for the best. I didn't think much of Italy's move around Munich. It would be easy for me to defend against it and I thought he was going after Austria anyhow.

1902
England takes Holland in the Spring which I take as no biggie since it would be easier to take France down with England having more armies on the continent. I was willing to forgive him for it and since Italy was moving into Austria as I thought I assumed he would. Austria asks for my help which I think over and think halfway through the night "You know it probably would have been a good idea to attack Tyrolia," but my laziness prevailed. I didn't think it would matter much since I didn't see any reason for England to go anti-Germany all of a sudden. In the Fall I see England take Denmark and keep Holland and figure that I was screwed.

1903
I continue to talk to England and tell him that I am still willing to work with him although I know that I'm pretty much gone. I try to hold on but in the Fall I am massacred by French and Russian units. Turkey extends a hand of friendship though and helps me take Warsaw. I LIVE ON!!!

1904
I sit in Warsaw and help Turkey who was determined to help me out and get me to retake my home centers but I know this is futile. I support him into Moscow since there is not much else I can do and he is keeping me alive.

1905
I hold on supporting Moscow in the Spring maintaining my simple friendship with Turkey until as I knew would happen I was taken out. Turkey actually asked me before the Fall turn if he could and I said "Why not?" I was fine with it since I was supposed to be destroyed a while back.



What is it that everyone likes about my style of communication? It interests me.
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Re: Tournament Game - HEINEKEN - AARs

Postby mdmuff » 10 Mar 2009, 04:38

sroca wrote:What is it that everyone likes about my style of communication? It interests me.


From my point of view, you express yourself very well and always seem to convey that they are your true intentions. You have a good use of the language and it is always nice to communicate with someone who communicates often and is good at it. Something about it just gets me to feeling like I can trust you. I guess you make people feel at ease and thoroughly talk things out so it seems like nothing is hidden. I have played other games with you as well and felt the same in those games.
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Re: Tournament Game - HEINEKEN - AARs

Postby sroca » 10 Mar 2009, 04:56

mdmuff wrote:From my point of view, you express yourself very well and always seem to convey that they are your true intentions. You have a good use of the language and it is always nice to communicate with someone who communicates often and is good at it. Something about it just gets me to feeling like I can trust you. I guess you make people feel at ease and thoroughly talk things out so it seems like nothing is hidden. I have played other games with you as well and felt the same in those games.

Well thank you. I do try to be quite honest in my messages so usually they are my true intentions. I'm glad I'm communicating well at least.
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Re: Tournament Game - HEINEKEN - AARs

Postby camroc » 10 Mar 2009, 17:39

AAR – Turkey


Short version – played badly, lost interest and finally lucked into a draw.

Longer version – pretty much the same but with a bit of detail thrown in to make it appear that I knew what I was doing 


Opening negotiations

This game had been very slow to start and by the time I realised that it had opened, 15 hours had already passed. This was a bit of a worry as some players may already have been forming their initial alliances.

I drew Turkey which isn’t a favourite of mine. It is one country where your diplomacy is somewhat limited and where, if matters conspire against you, you can be beaten before the game ever really gets going.

R/A against me means that I must get active co-operation from Italy. A/I means that I must get help from Russia. R/A/I means that I will need to get supplies airlifted in from the West and I can retire to my harem while my country is invaded.

Despite the fact that 15 hours had passed, I had only received three messages, from France, Italy and Russia.

France was very friendly and communicative but one point he made had me very worried. He told me that Austria seemed like a good player and that I might consider allying with him. I took this to mean that he didn’t want to see me work with Russia, which was understandable, but it was the communication with Austria that bothered me. Austria will always need to find out where he stands with Russia or Turkey and if he was actively communicating but I hadn’t heard from him, that wasn’t a good sign.

Italy’s communication was very friendly but clear – there was to be no Juggernaut and he would work with me if I was going to attack Russia. Given my worries about Austria, I really needed Italy on my side and my approach to him could best be described as throwing myself at him. I was almost at the point of complimenting his smile, his dress-sense, his hair, his after-shave and his sense of humour – but as it is only a game, I held back on that (until I really needed it!!).

In addition to agreeing with him that I would attack Russia, I also tried to get him to focus on what we were likely to face in the West. In particular, we discussed our approach if a WT formed and I suggested that we should look at our own triple – R/T/I or A/T/I. Quite rightly, he said that R/T/I was merely an assisted Juggernaut but was open to A/T/I. I was happy with this more in terms of getting onside with Italy than worrying about the triple.

I had received an “Hello” message from Russia and replied saying that I wanted to work with him, to which I received a positive response.

I messaged Austria and offered an anti-Russia opening and received a positive response (although I wouldn’t have expected anything different). Matters progressed further with Austria and he indicated that he would be happy with an A/T/I.

The only thing of note in my messaging with the other countries was that Germany suggested that I work with Russia – the first time that a Germany has ever encouraged me (Turkey) to go with Russia. It clearly suggested that he had plans with Russia which sounded anti-English at this point in time.

As we approached the deadline, I got into more detailed planning with Austria on our opening moves. I asked Russia what he thought about Bla in Spring 01 and he suggested that we leave it open but we had no further plans.


Spring 01

In a recent AAR, Diplomat said:

1901 is the dating period in Diplomacy, everyone lies and says they want to love you forever, but most of them just want to do you and get on to the next conquest.




A great description. As in all games, looking at the Spring 01 moves is always a nervous time as everyone will have agreed to anything before then.

I had a worry about Russia – we had no detailed plans about anything other than saying that we would ally and yet he said that he wanted Bla open. I thought this probably meant that he was ordering Sev-Bla. That together with the planning I had done with A/I convinced me to open Con-Bul, Ank-Bla and Smy-Arm. If Austria was working with Russia, I was in trouble anyway. If not, I wanted to open strongly anti-Russia.

I misjudged Russia who did open Sev-Rum, Mos-Ukr and War-H.

Austria, as agreed, opened Tri-Alb, Vie-Gal and bounced Sev in Rum from Bud. Our initial position was good.

Italy opened Nap-Ion, Ven-Tyr and Rom-Ven. This caused Austria a lot of concern and wasn’t what he was expecting. I needed to find out if Italy was moving against Austria so made him a strong offer that I would attack Austria with him in the Fall if that was the way he was going. He was very clear that he wasn’t going anti-Austria. Given that I made it very easy for him to go anti-Austria, I was inclined to believe him and told Austria what I thought. Italy also said that he would detail his next orders to Austria in advance. This was the preferred situation for me as I wanted to continue with Austria against Russia while we had the opportunity. Italy and I would always be able to take Austria out in the future if it was the right thing to do.

England had opened north and with France ordering Bre-MAO, Eng was left open. France supported Par-Bur and got in against Mun. Germany has opened Kie-Hol which was bad news if not totally unexpected – Swe was now open for Russia so the hope of a three-centre Russia wasn’t going to materialise.

Discussions progressed further with Italy and we were planning our long-term strategic goals. We were agreed that a key factor to us getting a win would be to try and get out of the Med. If England and France were going to fight, we needed to use that as an opportunity whereas if they were allied, there was even more reason to try to get out early.

One additional matter at this time – I noticed a Forum Post looking for a replacement in a Tournament Game which together with a Shout-box post from Italy wishing everyone good luck, suggested that he might be pulling out – although he denied it when I asked. However I passed on my concerns to Austria.


Fall 01

As agreed, Austria and I co-operated to take Rum and Sev. Getting an army into Sev was a big plus as not only would it give me the opportunity to advance northwards but it also left my fleet in Bla which was a dominant position at this stage.

Austria got worried and retreated Alb-Tri which cost him a build. Italy continued with the Crusher and went to Boh and Tyr.

England got two builds (Nor and Bel) and it was notable that he convoyed his army to Bel rather than Nor. That appeared helpful to Russia and wasn’t indicative of a WT. Germany and France also took two builds each with Russia taking Swe to compensate for Sev.

Discussions continued with Italy about exiting the Med and he encouraged me to build another fleet, indicating that he was happy for me to send fleets through Ion and TyrSea – a very strong sign of his intentions.


Italian Coup

At this stage the Italian generals staged a coup and removed their leader for his pacifist views on the neighbouring state of Austria.

The new Italian player indicated his arrival in the Shout-box but didn’t reply to my message for quite a while. When I received a response, I was quite surprised at its contents. Basically he told me that he had agreed Austria’s next moves with him and that if he and I worked together, those moves would lead to us taking at least two Austrian centres by the Fall. I was being told to go along with this and that when we had taken out Austria, we could fight each other or turn on Russia and Germany.

I had serious problems with this for three reasons.

Firstly, I had already agreed with Italy that our real problem in this game lay in the West rather than the East and we had agreed to try to break out of the Med as a matter of priority. This was now being put on the back-burner.

Secondly, turning on Austria now would release all of the pressure on Russia and would likely lead to Russia advancing into Gal and probably taking Bud. This would be a major reverse from the opening position we had achieved.

Thirdly I had major problems with how Italy had gone about this. If he had wanted to ally with me against Austria at this point, I would have expected him to have approached me with the suggestion and we could have agreed whether it made sense and if so, how to implement it – instead he went about setting Austria up and then told me that it was a done deal. This didn’t sound right to me. Stabbing Austria seemed to be his only point of interest and was a greater priority than working on our alliance.

Anyway, I spent the period from Spring 02 to Fall 03 trying to work things out with Italy. I did my best to stay on terms with him and tried to deal with the Austria situation on a logical basis. My style in situations such as this is to analyse the pros and cons with an ally until we can agree on what is the best way forward. I am always happy to give any plan a fair hearing but it must make sense from the point of view of long-term and not just short term goals. However what I found from Italy was what I considered an unwillingness to apply logical analysis (or maybe just my logical analysis  ). In response to many messages about why it was best to leave Austria as an ally for the time being (with, if necessary, a plan on how to take him out in the future), the only reason I was receiving in return was that “we can stab him so we should”. This just didn’t make any sense or at least, not to me. I made it clear that I would stab Austria if there were reasoned arguments for doing it but they never came. For you Latin or Roman scholars, it was like dealing with Cato where every message finished with the phrase “Austria esse delendem”

Italy then started bringing France into the story – he told me that France was prepared to join a F/I/T alliance which I just didn’t believe. I didn’t doubt that France may have told Italy this, but nothing on the board suggested that this made sense as a serious proposition for France. He then told me that he had agreed DMZ’s in the Med with France – to me, that was only giving France time to sort out his position in the West without any pressure and didn’t make sense. There was enough mention of France however to suggest that Italy may have seen his future there.

We were getting nowhere and I was feeling like I was banging my head against a brick-wall. I lost interest in the game at this point and stopped messaging anyone other that Italy and Austria – a cardinal sin. I made it clear to Austria that as this was a Tournament Game and I had need of points, I had to seriously consider working to Italy’s plan. However I ultimately decided that I couldn’t bring myself to work with Italy and that I would prefer to exit the game with nothing that to go down that route. There was no doubt in my mind that I would finish with nothing as, allied with Austria, we were always going to be easy pickings for whoever came out of the West. By Fall 03, I told Italy that I couldn’t work with him anymore.


Spring 02

Ser and Gre were still vacant after 01 and Austria and I agreed that he would take the two of them and give me Rumania – this was to allow me to keep the pressure on Russia while Austria looked for his builds. Italy occupied Vie and Tri. I still tried to stay working with him even suggesting that he might keep Tri in order to build another fleet to go west but nothing doing.

England now landed another army in Holland and from his and Russia’s orders, it was clear that they were allied with France against Germany. France ordered into Eng while England sat in Lon.

The attack on Germany should have been enough to move Italy – A/T/I should have been sending armies north to either support Germany, or, if that couldn’t be done, to get a share of the spoils. Russia was now in the western alliance and allowing them to take all of Germany’s centres while we argued over (or even attacked) Austria made no sense. However all of my messages were returned with Austria esse delendem


Fall 02

Austria recovered Vie. As he couldn’t spare an army to take Gre, he suggested that I take it (and give him the centre when he could move there). Two more builds this year but I was really only going through the motions.

England took Den from Germany with Russian support so it was only a matter of time. This turn France retreated to Bre and Lon took Eng – a nicely choreographed dance.


Spring 03

Russia made an error and in trying to take Sev, allowed me to capture Ukr which was a really big advance. Italy and Austria banged heads and Italy brought a fleet into Adr to allow him to take Tri. France took Mun and Germany was facing the end.

It was at the end of this turn that I told Italy that I couldn’t work with him – I had hoped that that warning would make him use Adr to support Ion in the Fall, rather than to take Tri.


Fall 03

Rather than protect Ion, Italy did take Tri letting my fleet into Ion. Germany loses Kie and Ber and takes me up on an offer of support into War for his last unit.


Spring 04

I support Austria back into Vie and, as agreed, follow into the open centre in Bud which he has vacated.

I assumed that Italy would use his fleets in Nap and Tun to bounce in TyrSea but instead they dislodge my Ion fleet allowing me to retreat to TyrSea with Rom open for the Fall.

Germany returns the favour and supports me into Mos. France has arrived in Boh so is now an influence on the battle for Vie.

As I said earlier, when I lost interest in the game, I stopped messaging the other countries but now sent France a message before the retreats. As I saw it, he was allied with England and they had now cleared out the West. He now had to involve himself in the A/T/I triangle and had announced his presence in Boh. If I was to make anything of the game, I had to get him to work against Italy. Remaining neutral would have done but he was never going to remain neutral. The only flicker of hope was that there had been signs of a lack of trust between England and France earlier (although I couldn’t be sure whether they had been arranged).

I suggested to him that if he worked with Italy and tried to take me out, he would undoubtedly face a dog-fight. He would probably win in the end but it would be slow work. In the meantime, Italy rather than he might take the gains and, in any event, England would be sitting behind him ready to pounce. If instead he worked with me against Italy, we could finish Italy off quickly and before England could move on him. I told him that after Italy was gone, I was open to whatever he wanted to do. He responded by saying that he was only looking for 6 points but not much more. This wasn’t overly helpful as it would be hard for me to find a reason why I would be more trustworthy to work with for the draw than England.

Instead I suggested that I would be happy with a three-way, pointing out the difficulties of organising a 17:17 in a Tournament Game without a stabbing.

I then heard from England (who had obviously heard from France about my messages) and talk of a three-way started. France then asked me to support him into Vie as proof of my sincerity. If France was to assist Italy, Austria may well have lost one of Vie or Ser anyway so even if E/F weren’t being sincere, there would be no big loss in letting Vie go.

I spoke to Austria and told him that a draw was being discussed – he was fully behind me going for it so I agreed the Vie move.


Spring 05 – Fall 07

With the draw having been agreed, we proceeded to mop up Italy – allowing Austria to march back into Tri  E/F and I kept to the agreement and I fore-warned both Austria and Germany as they were about to lose their last units – both understood that the game was just being wrapped up.


Overall

Enjoyable game at the start but it changed somewhat with the change in Italy – no-ones fault, it was just that we didn’t seem to be reading from the same page at any stage. I lost interest in the game at that point and probably ended up in the draw more because of distrust between England and France in taking a two-way than anything positive that I did – I just happened to be in the right place at the right time.

I wasn’t brave enough to suggest a two-way to either England or France at the end as I couldn’t justify why they would think that I was more trustworthy and felt that if I made that suggestion to one, it could have back-fired and resulted in the two of them taking me out. Anyway, I was getting more than I deserved out of the result.


Players

mdmuff (England): We have just finished our other Tournament Game together – makes me wonder why everyone else seems to need so much more time ;) You are clearly one of the top players on the site and, from what I could see, played this game very well. I noted your change of plan with Germany and France and think that how the game progressed after you made that call, speaks highly of your judgment. We didn’t really have a lot of communication in this game and the finish itself was quite odd in that I hadn’t ever made an aggressive order against you or France nor had we any stalemate lines established. Look forward to playing with you again.

Batsman (France): I have never played with you before but your reputation precedes you. Not only are you and Diplomat atop the site rankings but you also validated your positions by finishing top of the Tournament Rankings after the first half. Very well played. Your opening communication with me was friendly and open – the sort of messaging that encourages a player to want to work with you. We didn’t have much communication in the mid-game as I was going through my “silent period” but you were very decisive at the end in deciding to take the draw. I am very interested in hearing where you stood with Italy (both old and new) as I particularly suspected you of encouraging Italy to want to attack Austria. You certainly worked Italy well enough that, despite all of my efforts, he didn’t put you under any pressure while you were resolving E/G. I’m guessing that you are going to hop into that fleet in MAO and head straight for Durban tonight 

Anon (Italy): I don’t know who played the original Italy but I found him to be a very good player – clear in his communication and planning (although if he had played on I might have found out that I was badly mistaken  ). chabz44 – can you tell us who it was?

chabz44 (Italy): I guessing that my earlier comments could be read as being critical of you but they aren’t intended in that way – I am only commenting on the specifics of this game. Firstly I have to say that a replacement shouldn’t in any way be bound by the promises or alliances of his predecessor (his predecessor isn’t, so why should he!) so you were clearly within your rights to decide to attack Austria when you joined. The reason that I seemed to have difficulties with you was that we had a totally different approach on whether or not to attack Austria. My logic said that it was the wrong thing to do and I never heard anything to contradict that. I also had difficulties with the fact that you never seemed open-minded on the issue and that you presented it as a fait accompli – but all of those difficulties may well be explained by the fact that you never intended to work with me anyway – I guess I’ll find that out in your AAR. These issues (or maybe just our different approaches) meant that I couldn’t work with you in the circumstances in which we found ourselves in this game and aren’t intended to reflect on you abilities – you are obviously a very good player and also deserve credit and our thanks for stepping in when the original player had to leave. Still I believe that you and I could have had a three-way or two-way had we kept on going with the original plan

sroca (Germany): We have played a few games together and I would echo the compliments passed on your abilities and communication skills. We didn’t have a lot of communication in this game although I would love to know why you suggested that I work with Russia at the start. You seem to have been very close to cementing a deal with England before he elected to go with France and obviously things are likely to have worked out well for you if that alliance had held. I was happy to help you with War and you were equally helpful to me in Mos. Well played and I’m sure we will meet at the tables again soon.

jaredstoff (Austria): What can I say? You made a really great ally in this game both in terms of tactical planning and in terms of working for the common good. We’ll never really know what would have happened if the original Italy had played on but you were the unfortunate one when the change took place as you got caught in the middle. As you know, I did my best for you but Italy wasn’t for turning. Even during this phase you were happy to suggest that I take centres which we had designated for you as being the better play for the alliance and that was greatly appreciated. When I told you that I had to consider working with Italy against you, you were extremely honourable and didn’t respond with threats – whether intentional or otherwise, that reaction had some impact on my ultimate decision. Again you proved nothing but honourable when the opportunity for the draw arose. Thank you for all of you co-operation – it was a pleasure to have such a great ally and I’m just sorry that we didn’t get you something out of the game.

ryan_the_canuck (Russia): I have played with you a couple of times before and have found you to be a strong player – and I have heard (read) a number of other players say the same. As I said above, I misread you on the opening. Suggesting that we leave Bla open without any further plans sounded suspicious to me at the time. However my negotiations with Italy and Austria were such that I’m sure that I would have opened as I did irrespective. After that, we had no further communication which was understandable. I thought you might have made one small error when you allowed me into Ukr and with England moving against you, you had nowhere left to turn. Before that, when you appeared to be allied with England and France, I fully expected to see you in Con before the game was over :-)



Thank you all for the game - an excellent standard as in all of these Tournament Games.
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Re: Tournament Game - HEINEKEN - AARs

Postby jaredstoff » 10 Mar 2009, 19:20

I am very curious as to who was the original Italy. Like camroc, I found him to be very open and a great communicator. I'm also curious as to what his long-term plans were. Italy seemed to be developing good friendships with both Turkey and I simultaneously. In our discussions, he had suggested I work with Turkey, with the option for Italy to sneak in behind Turkey's back, if it came to that. However, in his talks with Turkey, they were discussing the option to take me out at a later time. It seems both camroc and I were throwing ourselves at Italy #1 like he was the Bachelor.

In my case, I wanted both as my allies. Italy won me over by not stabbing me when he had the chance - he earned a tremendous deal of my trust. Turkey was a very good ally too, so when talks started going around about an A/T/I alliance, I was all for it. Plus, it's something I've never tried before, and with all the WTs in this tourney, it would have been nice to see a southern triple for once! I also thought we had an excellent chance for success, especially with the (perceived?) uncertainty between E/F. Unfortunately, Italy had to leave, chabz had no interest in continuing, so A/T/I never got off the ground.
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Re: Tournament Game - HEINEKEN - AARs

Postby camroc » 10 Mar 2009, 22:45

jared - my best recollection is that the reason we talked about possibly taking you out arose from the Spring 01 moves and your concerns about Italy's motives. I pushed Italy quite a bit about stabbing you at that point - but as I think I told you at the time, my primary purpose was to see how he would react. The fact that he passed up on the offer strenghtened our overall position. If he had said yes, I would have been in a tricky position ;)

Also I'm not sure how Italy would have been able to get in behind me - once I had a couple of builds and some fleets in the Med, it would have been impossible for Italy to do. I would have felt quite safe in that alliance particularly as Italy seemed happy for me to get fleets into the Med. I like to think that we would have gone well had our alliance stayed together unless our allignment had forced the west into a triple. Batsman might have another story about Italy though :)

Looking at what Germany said, the original Italy had managed to get armies into Bohemia and Tyrolia without either Germany or Austria being concerned - full marks to the Unknown Soldier for that!!
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Re: Tournament Game - HEINEKEN - AARs

Postby sroca » 11 Mar 2009, 03:22

@ camroc -
As far as I can tell by the messages at that point I was anti-England and I needed Russia's help in the North therefore he would have to feel safe in the South to commit in that manner. Also Italy had already messaged me and his intentions were to go after Austria or, at least, I advised him to go after Austria seeing as I was working with the French at that point. Therefore you wouldn't have been able to find a good and lasting ally in Austria with Italy on his back.
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