Colonial Heat 1 - Ended

GM: Palin; 4-way draw between haroonriaz (Turkey), Yhanthlei (China), Paulus (Britain) and slayer666 (Japan)

Colonial Heat 1 - Ended

Postby Palin » 29 Nov 2011, 23:24

So it has come that the 4 great remaining powers have decided to end the bloodshed in Asia. Representatives of Turkey, China, Britain and Japan have agreed on a peace treaty that leaves all 4 countries happy.

The final map:

Colonial Heat 1 - W1875.png
Colonial Heat 1 - W1875.png (83.89 KiB) Viewed 1843 times


In tournament terms, congratulations to slayer666, paulus and Yhanthlei for progressing to the final of the tournament. haroonriaz, you'll have to wait until the other heat ends to see if you make it through.
Sooner or later the man who wears two faces forgets which one is real... and thus a stabbing occurs!

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Re: Colonial Heat 1 - Ended

Postby Paulus Toronto » 30 Nov 2011, 05:59

Many people stop and ask me "Paulus... why didn't you go all the way? Why didn't you stab China when you had a chance? Why did you actually concede territory to Japan? Why didn't you crush the upstart Sultan?" I simply tell them "it's not my style"... plus I'm sure i would have been successfully stopped by a responding triumvirate.
Seriously though, I began the game with friendship from everyone, including Holland, who I had convinced France to isolate. From turn one, the Dutch were my target, no particular reason. Everyone communicated so well, especially in the early years. France helped me against Holland and was a great partner, though he urged me against China which i did not want, especially so early in the game. I had gained trust with the Turk and convinced him to move on Russia. Most important though, I offered a committed relationship to China, regardless of whether he wanted it or not. I supported him throughout, and it was reciprocated. After Holland's elimination, and with Turkey wrapped up with Russia, China convinced me to turn on France, though I wasn't keen on it. I set out for a draw from the start, hoping i would be part of it. I wanted China and france on the podium, and most likely turkey. China wanted Japan, so it was become clearer that it would be a crowded victory. I consented to turn on France, which I still feel sick about. But he was a good sport. By this point, I was able to consolidate my positions. Russia was in process of elimination. The one missing piece was Japan. An excellent player who kept his hand a bit more close to the vest then the others. I worried he and china were concocting a stab. It did not come, but it could have, and if the game continued, I suspect it would have. As it turns out, it looks like Japan was as ready for a draw as I was, with the condition that he have more SCs than Turkey. That seemed more than fair to me, especially when our Turkish partner dropped out. The new Turkey made things interesting for a season or so, but thankfully accepted the draw. I do believe china and i would have been able to eliminate him. This would have meant a great period of inactivity for Japan... somehting i'm not sure he would have tolerated well. So thank you China for a great partnership, thank you japan for keeping me on guard, thank you Turkey for not dragging this out unecessarily. Russia and Holland you played expertly, and you have my apologies Holland for the first year stab i inflicted on you. France (ninjaruler), if you're reading this, you were a great and trusting partner, and i regret burning our bridge the most. Thanks for your understanding and hope our paths cross again.
Palin, what a great job adjudicating. I know there were some periodic delays, but maps were always correct, you kept us posted, and moved things along. Well done!
Finally, I'd like to thank my parents for teaching me how to forgive ;)
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Re: Colonial Heat 1 - Ended

Postby Yhanthlei » 03 Dec 2011, 06:38

This was my first colonial game, and although it seems a fair bit less balanced than the Heptarchy or standard maps, it's an absolutely delightful variant. Every power really does seem to feel different from each other, and picking a nation was a difficult decision. I tend to prefer the central land based powers, like Germany or particularly Austria in standard, and so I picked China, who seemed to be an extreme form of that archetype.

It struck me at the beginning how vulnerable China was- surrounded by Russia, France, and Japan, all of who could reasonable decide to attack me, and with Britain in a position to take at least a piece or two if I were to collapse. Priority number one was making friends, and this went surprisingly well. Japan obviously wanted me to not build any fleets, a reasonable position on slayer666's part and one I would have to deal with eventually. Russia was somewhat noncommittal, but amicable enough to a peaceful division of territory. Britain seemed in the best position for cooperation, each of us large nations in positions to cooperate but not really in conflict over mutual targets. To my delight, Britain was a reliable ally from day one, an alliance even made more secure by the odd rule making Hong Kong useless to the Chinese. If I recall correctly, negotiations with France were a bit less warm, with had me concerned, but more peaceful impulses carried the day there. With the first movement phase over, and China not yet invaded, it was time for the uncomfortable choice of who to actually attack. Three factors pointed toward Russia, although really only the first was necessary. First, Russia sought to change our agreements, and to my mind acted in an imperious and unreliable manner, including changing a previous generous agreement offering me full access to the Korean peninsula to a demand that all of Korea go to Russia, a situation not helped by out unclear DMZ agreements earlier, resulting in my move to Manchuria offending the Russians. I had had no problems with any other nations (although I expected likely trouble with the Japanese over naval matter later), and Russia was now the odd one out in sizing up reliable alliances. Second, my communications with the first Turkey and Russia's previous move to Baku indicated conflict in the middle east, which would make Russia a more tempting target. Finally, my communications over coordinating moves with Russia gave me a chance to stab into Vladivostok and Port Arthur, as well as bouncing Russia out of Tas. Unfortunately for me an issue with Seoul's coast caused the stab at Port Arthur to fail, but otherwise the plan worked. A public debate with Russia in the thread about my stab made me nervous, as a second front would have been a problem for me and general diplomacy is critical to China's survival, but luckily nothing came of it that I was aware of.

In the second year, Japan's move to the Yellow Sea had me concerned, and with this I was able to justify a fleet build in Shanghai- nothing threatening to Japan in my judgment but the start of a deterrent. In the south I was able to set up three armies for a similar purpose, and an easy peace settled in a triangle around Burma. It was my hope that should any stab be considered that my alliance with Britain would prove stranger than any arrangement between Britain and France. The Korean peninsula was peaceably divided between myself and Japan, borders were guarded, and Russia was held at bay before being struck in the fall. During this time I tried to encourage alliances against Holland and to cooperate with Turkey against Russia- predictability was to my benefit, not chaos. As a side note, I have no idea what the deal was with Turkey's attempt to support my unit from across the board, but I suppose that it was a friendly gesture.

This state of affairs continued for some time starting with the third year, with alliances tearing apart Russia and Holland, peace otherwise, and continuing negotiations between China and its neighbors over mutual bounces, supports, and demilitarized zones in an attempted no-problems foreign policy, until I gave some though to the actual structure of the tournament. Realizing that three or four players could continue without meaningful problems, my goal became eliminating players over that number without causing any rifts between the players set for advancement. I'm quite glad that more aggression wasn't required, like Britain I was concerned that any aggression on my part would have been met with a responding triumvirate. This job was relatively easy, as with Russia and Holland collapsing only one player more needed to be eliminated. Britain was out of the question. Taking on Japan would have been tricky with the power of the Japanese navy, and the campaign would have been long. Turkey was too out of the way for Japan to participate, and I wished to avoid anyone's military getting restless. France was the obvious choice, positioned between myself and the two players I had had the best diplomatic relations with and not very easily defensible. This did result in some odd communications with Turkey, with Turkey's non-aggression with everyone agreed to in exchange for a place in the winner's circle. When the organized invasion of France did come it went off relatively without a hitch, except for an opening stab by France against me and false rumors of a Japanese planned betrayal. I have to thank Britain again for a willingness to cede territory to keep the peace diplomatically, it helped keep our coalition together admirably.

From there things went smoothly to the end, with Russia and Holland eliminated, France divided between our local triumvirate, and the new Sultan, after a brief diplomatic hiccup and talk of a Turkish invasion to force a four way draw acceptance by the Sultan, being included in place of the old in the long planned four way draw.

I very much enjoyed playing diplomat and kingmaker as the middle kingdom, and I'd like to thank everyone for a great game and Palin for a game well GMd (I don't think that I've ever played a game with no false adjudications before, kudos!). Here's to looking forward to the next round.
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