World War IV: AAR's

GM: BigBert. Winners: DOI (Canada), AardvarkArmy (California), asudevil (Amazon empire), Girion (Argentina), paulus (Kenya), thewysecat (Nigeria), and Chelonoidis (Song Empire)

Re: World War IV: AAR's

Postby VGhost » 05 Mar 2013, 02:28

thewysecat wrote:Any AAR is going to have to take some time and will likely be done incrementally. For now I will respond to what has been posted...

BigBert wrote:
stalin813 wrote:How far was Nigeria from Soloing?

42

Well hypothetically I tend to think of it as 7 or so SCs shy of victory. That I should stress is that is still actually a fair way from a solo....


You then laid out in some detail what you saw potentially happening. Potentially.

Admittedly, I'm only really talking about the end of the game. I can't really speak to the continuum - I saw only a little bit of it.

You go on at length discussing "paranoia" on the parts of asudevil and DOI - I'll pick up again here:

thewysecat wrote:Anyway - as ever - I had no objection to people worrying about the board leader. I objected to them 'killing' the game through over-caution to the point of believing in boogeymen and doing so from an incredibly early stage of the game such that they shut down their own game and thus removed 'possibility' from the game for others.


It's worth pointing out that you had a big lead for most of the game, and others, it seems, indicated that they saw you not letting allies have a reasonable share of the pie. That sort of attitude gets you made a target early - perhaps?

thewysecat wrote:Beyond that, likely I would have to throw DOI sufficient SCs to persude Girion of the 'safety' of him stabbing Asudevil so that I could break into the Carribbean (and hear Asudevil scream). Likewise so that DOI had enough ammo to take on an 'outraged' AA. As Girion and I discussed, it was perfectly possible to reduce this to 3 - him, me and a 'winner' in North America. At that point Girion + North American would be well over 50% of the board and thus with access to enough resources to solo. I would not. However, in going for the solo against the winner of DOI/AA (or possibly both) Girion would then have to risk my making a comeback to solo if DOI had to collapse in Asia and return all the SCs I had thrown to him. This would take many more game years to resolve and though DOI was willing, Girion had no will power to such a task not least because he would not risk a loss to go for a win.


But this is what really got me. You - given your board lead (over half the SCs, at some points) - would set up a position where you didn't think you could win, just to cull the game to three players, and given someone else a chance to win you couldn't match? It's not believable: it runs against the rest of your ideals. I suppose I would buy it as a diplomatic "sell" to set up something else.

Anyway, back to your statements:

thewysecat wrote:
Girion wrote: Somehwere around here the first wave of Nigeria Solo talk was raised from Asudevil. Wyse responded that it was silly. I tried to remain as neutral as possible telling Wyse I agreed with him there was no way he would be able to solo and to Asudevil that there was no real disadvantage for Wyse to make fill his demands so that we could go on all satisfied. In the end nothing happened and I decided the reason that Wyse refused to do anything was because of some stupid pride or something..


From my point of view, this gives as good an insight as any into the sort of basic unreasonableness to which I was routinely subject within the magical mystery world of the South Alliance post-2117...

thewysecat wrote:I have posed Asudevil a hypothetical. I have had no reply. I pose it again...I annoy 2 powers of combined 50 SCs to the delight of all those currently locked in their own progress by the attentions of Giriom and Asudevil who will suddenly be liberated from their close attentions.

This paradigm never essentially changes the whole game. But fast forward 5-years and on it goes. Anyway, the same problem remains with this invention - unless Girion is encouraging some adventure for me in South America and (i) Why would he? and (ii) Asudevil never claimed to suspect that - you cannot ever construct any tactical scenario that doesn't immediately lead to defeat for Nigeria with attendant hugely damaging diplomatic cost of blundering in such a way. Throughout all the rest of the game South America has between them more than enough builds saved for comfort.


More suggestions that hypothetical action on your part would lead to disaster. My impression that you are upset at others for not taking risks, while not holding yourself to the same standard, is based on this sort of thing - but originated with our (brief) correspondence in-game while I saw Russia to its grave. While repeatedly asking me to turn on Song/Thailand, you continued to attack me even when I suggested I would be willing to cooperate - and why not, since you could and did run me over without risk with some help from allies? - but I chiefly gained the impression that you were unwilling to make any concessions, or take risks that weren't absolutely necessary, yourself.
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Re: World War IV: AAR's

Postby thewysecat » 05 Mar 2013, 02:34

So which statements you made is this an attempt to back up GhostEcho?

GhostEcho wrote:
1) - You could not possibly solo (reasonable, with solid play from everyone)
- You believe in always playing for the solo, anyway (completely agreed)
2) - But worry over your reaching a solo-capable point was unjustified (why, if everyone knows it's your goal?)
- So the end result was probably a draw (fine)
3) - But continuing the game would have been better because there was still play in the position (I guess, for a draw-whittler)
4) - But people who just want to cut down on the number in the final draw are weak players (erm...)


I've labelled them 1 to 4. I say all 4 are nothing like anything I have said even in your latest quotes. So if I am to respond make clear which ones you are now attempting back up

Feel free to respond to my other questions too
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Re: World War IV: AAR's

Postby stalin813 » 05 Mar 2013, 03:02

So not only was this the longest game on site, this might be one of the best AARs I have read in a while. I wish I was in the game longer.
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Re: World War IV: AAR's

Postby thewysecat » 05 Mar 2013, 03:06

GhostEcho wrote: My impression that you are upset at others for not taking risks, while not holding yourself to the same standard, is based on this sort of thing - but originated with our (brief) correspondence in-game while I saw Russia to its grave. While repeatedly asking me to turn on Song/Thailand, you continued to attack me even when I suggested I would be willing to cooperate - and why not, since you could and did run me over without risk with some help from allies? - but I chiefly gained the impression that you were unwilling to make any concessions, or take risks that weren't absolutely necessary, yourself.


GhostEcho, below is our entire correspondence

Point out:

Where you "suggested you would be willing to co-operate"
How you formed an impression from this correspondence that I was "not willing to take risks"
Specifically what risk was I unwilling to take relating to this correspondence

For clarity, I wrote to you to see if I could get even one (misguidely) favourable (to me - i.e. anti-Thai) order set out of you in any one phase. Part of my thoroughness. At no point did I intend to do anything but kill you so that I could then try and get at Thailand.


I initiate contact:
thewysecat wrote:Hello GhostEcho

Thanks for taking on Russia. I am your enemy. Well all but India of your neighbours are your enemies. Let me fill you in

Thailand-Song are game long allies. I am allies with Kenya

Russia and I were working together to take out Germany and the UK. Russia was also allies with Thailand but after our joint success he only bordered me and Thailand and so chose to attack Thailand. My response to this huge stab by him was...well...to stab Russia. The timing seemed ideal. It left him totally isolated.

It was a devastating stab. So he and I did make a deal in the immediate wake of it. I offered to take Rum, Bud, War, Swe & Norway and then stop. Basically I was going to tax him of 5 SCs and he would disband all his 3 fleets and only 2 armies. I'd leave Murmansk alone and Kenya would not attack Azebajan. Not exactly a sweet deal I am sure you will agree, but Russia agreed as he could not defend those SCs anyway.

The deal was he'd thereby keep the pressure up on Thailand. It was a perfectly sensible deal. He immediately broke it.

I don't consider that a rationale choice, but emotionally I understand it since I had stabbed him so badly. Anyway, 3 move phases later and Russia has lost all those SCs (the NMR made no difference to War, Rum and Bud) and also Murmansk, Aze and with the NMR Vol. He has also lost several SCs in the east to Thailand he need not have lost had he held the line there. On the whole his focus seems to be west not east which is naturally the opposite of what I wanted when I negotiated that deal. So, I am willing to re-negotiate.

Welcome to the game

Wyse


Message 1 (your reply) – Spring 2114
GhostEcho wrote:I am not sure if I could hold a line against a continued advance on your part or not. On the other hand, I am next to certain that I couldn't hold the Thai advance - he has me flanked and there is too big a front. At any rate, you have my assurance that I am not planning anything at the moment: some kind of consolidation is the best I am likely to achieve (although your Kenyan friend is a nuisance and I do actually have some armies there so he is not keeping Vol).

Assuming you're willing to halt your advance for a turn, that will give you a better idea what we are both thinking.

My response:
thewysecat wrote:
GhostEcho

Thanks for the reply. This is a little vague and also a little pessimistic about Thailand. He has precisely 3 units next to you and XIN is needed to hold KAS from India/Kenya and KAS needs to hold on. Indian armies can be relied on to support UZB to hold while his forces with Kenya keep KAS 'honest' by attacking KAS.

I need alot more if I am to hold off. Please send more details

Wyse


Message 2 from you – Spring 2114
GhostEcho wrote:Well, to be honest the worry is more India than Thailand. At the time I last wrote I was assuming India was a Thai ally, but now I'm being told that he's basically gone rogue. And I haven't heard back from he myself yet at all.

Either way, I have much the same situation on either front: I can hold for a couple years, but if I'm a focus, I won't last long. On the one hand, you have more invested against me than Thailand does, but on the other, I don't have much on the eastern front myself. In point of fact I can't attack Thailand with what I have there at the moment without opening myself up to India - who as I mentioned I know nothing about.

My response again:
thewysecat wrote:India is pro-Russia. Thailand is his big enemy. Way back India was attacking west with Russia/thailand his allies when they stabbed him. African intervention propped him up. The Russia front was shut down but Thailand kept coming. When Russia stabbed Thailand - India loved that and so simply tried to help against the common enemy of thailand. So...he is now 'vassaled' to Kenya and myself. he only replies to us basically and is only half in the game. He will not be attacking you. Go look at the order history - you will see that he is completely passive on your border. If you use units to attack India or 'defend' against India you are wasting resources

wyse

------------------------------

My message – Winter 2116 (re-initiating contact)

thewysecat wrote:Subject: Draw Proposal

GhostEcho wrote:Russia will continue to fight.

Wipe me out, or include me in the draw. For one thing, that's how I prefer to play. For another, there's no way Thailand can hold a stalemate line without me and even with me it's precarious - making the draw premature at best.

Hello Ghost Echo

I still don't really understand why you chose Thailand instead of Nigeria. If you are unhappy with your current alignment choice I'd be happy to work with Russia to move eastwards

Regards

Wyse


Message 3 – Winter 2116 - your reply
GhostEcho wrote:Well the last time I tried to negotiate, you continued to attack. That might have had something to do with my choice.

My response to Message 3
thewysecat wrote:
GhostEcho wrote:Well the last time I tried to negotiate, you continued to attack. That might have had something to do with my choice.

GhostEcho

From my perspective I wrote to you and said that what you were offering - i.e. nothing - was insufficient for me to stay my hand. I was quite explicit and open. I went back and looked at the message to check my memory was not faulty and indeed I said 'I will need a lot more than that to hold off'

That is all fine of course, but the idea that you tried to negotiate anything with me is untrue from my perspective. You just said - let's wait and see or similar...

Anyway, let me know

Wyse


Message 4 – Winter 2116 - your reply
GhostEcho wrote:All I'm doing here is trying to stabilize. Thailand's been cooperative with that goal; you've been aggressive.

Message 5 – Winter 2116
GhostEcho wrote:As opposed to what, vainly attacking Thailand while you (and Kenya) eat up my SCs from behind anyway?

I'm not dumb; strategically you're playing it exactly as you should, and if your allies don't turn on you soon you'll actually be able to push for a solo. I'm impressed, tbh. But you get nothing from me even if I cooperate, except weakening Thailand for an eventual reckoning which he probably can't win anyway; by running me over, especially with build-anywhere in effect, you add to your count and keep the command unified.

I'm not complaining; I just wish it weren't happening to me. :D

I did not respond to message 4 or 5 – I didn’t see the point. you were dead and not going to give me my one order set. not worth any more effort

Please answer my questions
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Re: World War IV: AAR's

Postby VGhost » 05 Mar 2013, 16:57

TWC, I'm sorry for not being plainer - though we appear to be talking rather at cross-purposes.

May I make an observation? While I and many other players I think play a lot on "feel" and "appearance", you seem to be trying to key almost entirely on (what you at least call) reality. I think perhaps your unhappiness (if it is in fact unhappiness: dissatisfaction might be better) with the way the game turned out comes from not properly accounting for the appearance of the board to other players.

Now, maybe the others were too quick to back down and limit risks, but that's an easy accusation for the board leader (in this case, yourself) to make.

Now, to sources. You've given me a list-form of my (at least alleged) summary of your AAR (sufficiently recursive, yes?):

thewysecat wrote:
GhostEcho wrote:1) - You could not possibly solo
A) You believe in always playing for the solo, anyway
2) - But worry over your reaching a solo-capable point was unjustified
B) So the end result was probably a draw
3) - But continuing the game would have been better because there was still play in the position
4) - But people who just want to cut down on the number in the final draw are weak players


I've labelled them 1 to 4. I say all 4 are nothing like anything I have said even in your latest quotes. So if I am to respond make clear which ones you are now attempting back up.


I've added what I consider distinct statements back in as A and B, and excised my commentary on the summary, to make your (alleged) points clearer.

I think it's clear enough that (A) and (4) are things you actually do believe: that the point of the game is a solo, and that draw-whittling is a nuisance at best. If you insist I'll quote you there too.

My last post was an attempt to source what is labeled (1) and (B) above.

The very first thing I bolded makes (1) essentially a direct quote from you.

thewysecat wrote:Any AAR is going to have to take some time and will likely be done incrementally. For now I will respond to what has been posted...

BigBert wrote:
stalin813 wrote:How far was Nigeria from Soloing?

42

Well hypothetically I tend to think of it as 7 or so SCs shy of victory. That I should stress is that is still actually a fair way from a solo....


Now, my phrase, "could not possibly solo", is perhaps even stronger than what you said, but most people would admit that it's not an unreasonable paraphrase.

Again, in discussing a possible end-game, you said:

thewysecat wrote:Beyond that, likely I would have to throw DOI sufficient SCs to persude Girion of the 'safety' of him stabbing Asudevil so that I could break into the Carribbean (and hear Asudevil scream). Likewise so that DOI had enough ammo to take on an 'outraged' AA. As Girion and I discussed, it was perfectly possible to reduce this to 3 - him, me and a 'winner' in North America. At that point Girion + North American would be well over 50% of the board and thus with access to enough resources to solo. I would not. However, in going for the solo against the winner of DOI/AA (or possibly both) Girion would then have to risk my making a comeback to solo if DOI had to collapse in Asia and return all the SCs I had thrown to him. This would take many more game years to resolve and though DOI was willing, Girion had no will power to such a task not least because he would not risk a loss to go for a win.


Once again, you have basically stated my (1), with your "I would not [have the resources to solo]".

This also touches on (B). What about it? Here is where, I think, impressions differ. Admitting for the sake of argument that the game could have been reduced to 3 (or 4) as you suggest, you lay out a scenario where Girion 1) could play for a solo, but 2) would risk you soloing. Now, I read that as a set-up for a 3-way draw. Thus (B). You seem to think he should (assuming the game ever got there) try the solo. So that makes (B) debatable, and my conclusion rather than your direct statement. Fine.

Having assumed (A) and (4), and clarified (1) and (B), that leaves, of course, (2) and (3).

These are tied together, and they are where my critique - as well as my comment at the beginning of this post - come in. Let me quote something again:

thewysecat wrote:
Girion wrote: Somehwere around here the first wave of Nigeria Solo talk was raised from Asudevil. Wyse responded that it was silly. I tried to remain as neutral as possible telling Wyse I agreed with him there was no way he would be able to solo and to Asudevil that there was no real disadvantage for Wyse to make fill his demands so that we could go on all satisfied. In the end nothing happened and I decided the reason that Wyse refused to do anything was because of some stupid pride or something..


From my point of view, this gives as good an insight as any into the sort of basic unreasonableness to which I was routinely subject within the magical mystery world of the South Alliance post-2117...

...unless Girion is encouraging some adventure for me in South America and (i) Why would he? and (ii) Asudevil never claimed to suspect that - you cannot ever construct any tactical scenario that doesn't immediately lead to defeat for Nigeria with attendant hugely damaging diplomatic cost of blundering in such a way. Throughout all the rest of the game South America has between them more than enough builds saved for comfort.


You've laid out why asudevil's thoughts that your solo was impending were relatively baseless. The excerpt quoted earlier re. Girion's solo chances reads to me: "Sure, I could maybe solo, but it really wasn't an impending threat at any point in the game as-it-was." This analysis here is more pessimistic on your chances (admittedly confining itself to one theater of operations) even than that. That basically sums up to (2), explaining that worrying about your possible solo was overdone.

This is where perception comes into play. The facts may or may not back you up on the tactical possibilities - I admit your analysis looks convincing, but I haven't had time to check it. I think I have sufficiently demonstrated that much of your AAR discussion has been discussing why you were not in fact a solo threat.

Yet a majority of the board (led by asudevil) seemed and seems to think you were. Why?

If your analysis was right, they were wrong. But if they were wrong, and you failed to convince them of that fact to keep the game going, then there are these options:

1) You failed as a diplomat (sorry - I can't think of a more polite way to put it) in convincing other powers to continue the game until you reached a point where you could in fact win; or
2) You would have drawn or been eliminated eventually, making this your best possible result (a draw)

But if they were right - that under continuation of the game, you would have solo'd (itself a naturally convincing hypothesis given your weight of metal), then all parties involved were successful in drawing the game, thus securing themselves a best possible result (note: not a win, just a best possible result).

This leaves only two points really worthy of consideration. One is your analysis which suggests Girion had a solo within reach. If correct, then certainly it would have been to his benefit to play on - but not the rest.

The other possibility is whether a smaller draw is a "better" result. This brings us to (3), the thought that there was more play in the position. (To substantiate this as something you said, I would refer again to your "Girion" scenario) I would say a smaller draw is not inherently better, except so far as it is more likely that the possible play is limited with fewer players ("variables") left.

Should the larger powers have continued play? Let's give this a tentative "probably". Then their failure to do so is a failure. But, then, since you didn't force continuation, same thing. And if the smaller powers got a draw, that's a best-possible result for them.

I'll reply re. my correspondence later.
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Re: World War IV: AAR's

Postby marsman57 » 05 Mar 2013, 18:28

asudevil wrote:I will completely agree that the stalemate lines in this map are brutal. The ones in Imperial pissed me off so much that we had an 11 player game end in a 9 player draw because after 5 seasons an alliance was already looking at the stalemate lines...


I really don't think that NAA drove that draw as much as you say. The stalemate line was significant, but the real problem was that no one in that game (with the possible exception of Flatley) was playing to win. Everyone was too risk adverse to risk elimination over attacking their allies. The lack of movement in any diplomatic circle brought on a fatigue that led to draw proposals out of frustration.

Hopefully we will all approach the game differently if Imperial is run again.

Edit: Let's carry any further discussion of this off thread, I don't want to crowd it out. I just felt that in the context of "playing to win", this was worth noting.
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Re: World War IV: AAR's

Postby Imperatrix » 07 Mar 2013, 12:31

Well, I shall add my two satangs worth. I had no role in the final drama of the game, but a good deal more influence around its midpoint. For a brief moment, the Thai Empire was ranked second or third in the world, behind only Nigeria and Amazon for total numbers of centres. The glory fleeted, as it does, but perhaps its shimmering shadow still lingers on the ruins of old Bangkok.

I will divide my narrative into four acts, roughly chronological though somewhat thematic. And I shall serialize it, as Dickens used to do with his AARs.

Act I: Asian Unity (2101-2107)

For Thailand, on this map, the game begins around the Straits of Malacca. I opened with a diplomatic appeal to Indonesia (then controlled by MasterGR). I offered him a slightly greater share of our mutually-bordering neutrals, in return for cooperation. He was happy to agree, and we worked out a very powerful alliance. Explicitly, we agreed that I would be a terrestrial power, and he a naval one. This made our strengths complementary, and also assured we could not easily harm one another. An ideal alliance, I thought, and definitely the cornerstone of my strategy for the first several months of the game.

We quickly expanded our alliance to include India (slayer666) and Australia (CS). In effect, then, each of the four members of this alliance headed in different cardinal directions: India west, Australia south(ish), Indonesia east – and myself, north. The four of us shared quite a bit of intelligence and strategic advice, and were really rather successful. I sincerely believe that if we’d all stayed in the game, we would have gone to the end together.

My immediate objectives were in China, where circumstances invited my somewhat opportunistic intervention. From the start, Song and Sichuan were at battle positions against one another, and it became clear to me that Manchuria had allied with the latter. Looming beyond was a surprisingly fast-growing Central Asia, tearing at leftovers like some sort of enormous jackal. All of these parties made bids for my allegiance, and I considered various combinations. In the end, two factors decided it. First, I realized that if I helped Sichuan and Manchuria kill Song, I would be the next obvious target – their allegiance to one another was just too strong. Second, Sichuan was really annoying in negotiations.

So I tentatively agreed to help Song. I made an alliance with Central Asia against Sichuan, who then rather rapidly imploded. Meanwhile I strung Manchuria along, evasively refusing to commit either way with respect to Song. I was very much dissembling. Sorry Manchuria; I was not particularly kind to you.

Song turned out to be a fantastic ally. He was a realist; he knew he was in a bad position at the beginning. So he swallowed his pride and allowed me the majority share of builds from China, gaining my trust and gratitude. Most importantly, he allowed me to take the strategically important YUN centre. He wanted the build from it, but without it I could not easily move northward. A lesser player, someone more short-sighted, would not have let me have it – and in that case I would have turned against Song. But he conceded it, and as a result saw a string of Thai armies heading northward to annoy his enemies.

So Sichuan died, and Manchuria’s advance southward was stymied. Meanwhile, there was Central Asia to reckon with. Nominally my ally, he had more centres than I did, and it was very clear from his playing style that he would stab me the moment he could. Further, he’d apparently begun cooperating with Manchuria. So when Russia (cheesers55) came to me and offered an alliance against Central Asia, I did not hesitate. This was one of only two times in this game that I stabbed anyone, and I don’t regret it. Central Asia clearly had set aside a jagged knife with my name on it, and I only beat him to the draw.

Central Asia then fell as well, surprisingly swiftly. Meanwhile, Song and I somehow made an alliance with Japan, directed against Manchuria and the Philippines. The latter apparently never had any allies, and wound up split between myself, Japan, and Indonesia. But then Japan began NMRing and doing really crazy things, before dropping out of the game and getting eaten by North Americans. So much for that.

As Act I draws to a close, Sichuan and Central Asia are dead, I have come to occupy all of western China, and I share borders entirely with allies - excepting Manchuria (whom I am still stringing along…). Yet this whole time, my main alliance is still in the south, still with Indonesia, India and Australia. Indeed, Indonesia has grown faster than I have, and he is calling the diplomatic shots for our alliance. He seems to be trying to negotiate something with Pacific powers, whom I’ve mostly ignored. After all, Indonesia and I agreed that I would stick to land and he to the sea, so why should I care about what happens across the ocean? Here, you’ll guess, was my first big mistake.
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Re: World War IV: AAR's

Postby thewysecat » 08 Mar 2013, 02:08

Thanks for your reply also Asudevil. I've had this reply 99% ready for days, but somehow not been able to finish it 100%. Anyway, I guess, we might as well talk about this aspect and 2117 now. It kind of makes sense to jump around in the narrative because I consider this a key moment in the game though at the time that was not as clear to me.

asudevil wrote: I couldnt gain into North America without eliminating USA,...

And this is the disconnect for me. In my opinion, the opposite is true. Keeping the US alive was your best chance of someday getting into North America. I'll try and explain why I think that.

Look at the map in Spring 2117. Haroonriaz is into Ontario and there is just Montreal to take out. And that is your high water mark. You've reached the stalemate line around the Great Lakes. Ok. So...

Now look at the map in Fall 2120 as the US is eliminated. Can-Cal have taken: Apl, Ind, Ohi, Det, Tor, Ont, Ott, Roc and retain Mtl.

Big picture - that's 5 SCs. In Fall 2125 when we struck Can-Cal, Cal had 1 disband and Can got 2 builds (one from the army being dislodged from Mtl and destroyed by DOI). Those 2 builds proved the difference between landing on the west coast and not. They were - in effect - Det & Tor - still held by Can-Cal as you re-took Ohi and Roc. Now, to be sure there were still reasons for the play most especially from Girion's point of view of course, but that can be discussed later in this post...

For now this meant you would never see that Ontario/Great Lakes stalemate line again.

So, what to do instead....

asudevil wrote: So where was I to go. I couldn't go east where you were, I couldn't go south where Girion and South Africa were.

I couldn't go North into Mexico cause they had that stalemated.

So where was I to go?

Agreed about me and Mexico and SA - but not about Girion. In my view, you have 2 choices:

Option 1) Sit and wait. For a long time admittedly (would have been 8 game years as it turns out!), but when Can-Cal come under pressure in the west after a hypothetical Thai-Song collapse then you are right at the start line with Can-Cal already at their maximum stretch in the east. It just takes a disband or two and you will push past the Great Lakes and then - eventually - it is game over Can-Cal. Somewhere before the end of them you stab the US and take his share of the prize too. Until that time you need the US units. Maybe before then Haroonriaz may fall on his sword and help give you some/all of his SCs. Maybe he disliked Can-Cal enough for that. Maybe. It worked with India for Paulus and I

Anyway, if that is too dull and too slow for your needs then I can certainly see that. It highly likely would have been my view too...

Option 2) Attack Girion! Huge play to be sure and likely needs big diplomatic support work done to make it stick. Getting that together may take quite some effort, but hey...Cal was certainly on board - we know that. Diplomatically it is problematic with me given the context you have created with me, but that's the point - looking ahead you want to create a different diplomatic context with me - see earlier comments. Is it a good play? Not necessarily, but overall I think it is a yes...

Or...

Option 3)
asudevil wrote: The best I had was to be able to take enough of USA quickly enough that I could pressure into USA/CAN...

In my view, wrong. That was the worst you could do. I think you have fallen into a draw-whittle that actually takes you further from a possible win. It is an inferior version of option 1 really. It doesn't pressure anyone. Can-Cal love this plan as they are now back out in front of their final stalemate line in the east again. Everything you said about the prospects of attacking me, into Mexico and to Girion are still the saem. So what's the point? The only difference is you are worse off in North America in terms of your positioning. Likewise, by gifting a couple of SCs to Can-Cal it means that when/if they do come under pressure from the west they are slightly better resourced thus weakening your chances further.

The only justification I can see for it is if it is a prelude to option 2) either because you feel you need the SCs for extra builds for the coming fight with Girion and/or it is needed to keep California on board.

Personally I think Cal was on board anyway. And you have 6 builds to Girion's 7. Not so good? Actually it's fine - the stab is a winter build one anyway - isn't it? There isn't going to be any disguise. You build out as he waives all his. Just building Bla, Cui, Scz. Man & Lpz will mean walking into 5 SCs in the following game year to give you 5 more builds for next year and reducing his builds by 5. Plus you probably plan a little further ahead to see if you cannot save 1 or 2 additional builds and then actually wipe out his saved builds in one game year (or maybe down to 1).

Anyway, you get the idea...the point is that after the US is gone you are no better off. Only worse. The decision you make now is either to sit around for a long time and do nothing or to go for a win. Or at least do the only thing that might lead there...

asudevil wrote: Unless I wanted to preform a MASSIVE stab against Girion, which would have gone awful because you and he had crap tons of builds to attack me and throw me back, I was in a holding pattern.

Not true of Girion as I set out above, (The reciprocal was true of his potential stab of you too of course - exactly the same winter builds plan but in reverse) but you are absolutely right about needing me to be at least neutral and I have already commented therefore on why I found your diplomacy towards me so counter-productive in the years immediately before this decision point. The fact is I don't think you'd planned for/spotted the stalemate at Ontario until you got there (or very near to it).

asudevil wrote: Had you handed over some SC's to Kenya/South Africa so that you had less builds and were further away from the solo, I would have thought harder about attacking Girion and taken that risk.

And I can only be honest and say that I don't really believe you - then or now.

You see, you didn't write to me and say: "Wyse, if you throw some SCs I will stab Girion." Likewise, you wrote to me in terms about my solo threat that made clear to me that you yourself were not thinking of soloing. Ergo you had no will/motive to stab ally Girion. (This is a presumption open to challenge of course)

"I would have thought harder about attacking Girion..." So, I give away 10 or so SCs and you might think harder. Hmm. Unappealing. Not only did you not say this in game but even if you had I think I would basically have been clear that I was purchasing nothing with my 10 SCs. Your desire to tell Girion in this AAR that you never dreamt of stabbing him is nearer the mark I think. You considered that a badge of honour and you wanted to reassure him it was true. Fine, but it only reinforces my belief that I held at the time that I was not going to see you stab Girion - ever.

asudevil wrote: I was never in a position to make a "game-changing move"

And I disagree. It needed planning which needed the will to plan. No will = no planning.

Now this narrative is also about me & there are also reasons to cite this as one point of one of my big mistakes. Maybe I truly was underestimating your capacity/willingness to stab Girion in 2117 and that when you wrote to me in Winter 2116 I should have fanned that flame and done all I could to encourage your stab. In my judgement, the nature of the fuss you made in 2112 - and the lack of board-sense I believed it demonstrated - meant that I had already written off 'Asudevil stabs Girion' as even a remote possibility. Again, maybe that was my kwisatz haderach fail. I felt sure that if I showed any encouragement of that then you would be straight off to Girion.

So what was my alternative plan (that clearly failed) to foster Girion v Asudevil war that might throw some carribean SCs my way regardless of who stabbed who? Well it had a few layers.

1) I hoped that when Girion read your stuff in 2112 he'd think: "My goodness, what a load of BS. This guy is a paranoid liability. Better start planning to take him out. Who knows when he might start obsessing about me for no reason. Hmm...hang on a minute if he drops all his builds on me he can wipe out all my saved builds and then I am dead in the water. Shit, I really better plan to take him out". That's how I would have thought, but not Girion. Not a bit of it. Hey ho. No doubt there was failing in how I tried to lead Girion to think that in my communications...

2) When you PMed me in Winter 2116 with your California plan - I went straight to Girion with it hoping that it might foster a problem and so I gave him a promise that I would be on his side if you made a move or even if he made a move. Hmmm...worked a little. He talked about a plan to maybe take you out and then I made a crass mistake. Encouraged by his initial response, I was far too eager and bold in then talking about what might happen in a hypothetical stab. I theorised a SC carve up that had me taking Carribean SCs. He immediately got colder and recoiled as he thought about that. I knew I had mishandled it by getting him thinking about how I might profit from all this. I should have just shut up about that.

3) I needed to make you do something that might provoke him. Remember, I am convinced you would not stab him but also that you were hypersensitive to me. So the very turn you are making what I consider a redundant US stab that only further reinforces my view that you will be doing nothing else for some time I have to improvise. I convoy an army to PDU (being sure to drop it into our conversation as you may recall). Anyway, it cannot possibly do any of the things you immediate fantasise it might, but I know you are going to fret. Good. I think that maybe you will build in the south - not to attack Girion, but to guard against your other paranoia - my invading the south. Those builds will worry him and then maybe he has to build to guard himself and then maybe you get more worried about him and I help that along and.....well you get the idea...maybe spark something...

4) And/or you attack PDU and I somehow turn that into some (feeble) casus belli that leads to a war in South America. Somehow. Not even I believe in this last one really, but hey...Problem is this yard-dog has no bite only a yappy bark. It takes you until Fall 2128 to take PDU out and then with DOI's help. I was worried I'd never get that build back!

Anyway, as I survey this total failure another underlying problem strikes me. The main problem is I had not precisely counted the SCs I likely needed for a solo. That's just basic. Every power in regular has a certain SCs that are more likely to be in their top 18 for a solo. That drives strategy to some extent. Well I hadn't done that job precisely and fully yet. In other words I had not appreciated that I might need those Carribean SCs and thus by extension I wasn't that committed to the need for a South American 'civil war'. Part of that is perhaps a related Kwisatz Haderach fail - I still likely (hard to put yourself back in your 2117 mind) thought I needed Girion's navy in the South Pacific against Thailand becuase if that pressure eased I could not force Thailand over land. I may well have been right about that. Maybe. Anyway, My other excuse is 123! But it doesn't wash. I was at 52. We were 17 game years in and although I had my plan of where the SCs were to be had I had not counted SCs #121, #122 & #123 & appreciated that - even as a plan B - I might beed SCs to my west after all. (My plan never required any from that direction)

I think I handled myself with restraint in 2112 and my diplomacy worked in cooling the issues, but in my mind I had written you off as anyone I could rely on to work with on such an enterprise and so by the time the next critical decision point came - 2117 - I went for a different approach.

So maybe in 2116 I should have just said - "yeah, let's get Girion", but that was the judgement call I made at the time and once I had gone to PDU that line was dead.

So to fill in some of the other blanks - why did Girion like the US stab (sort of) and why is that decision not quite as linear as it might seem? Well Can-Cal were tucked up in bed behind their stalemate and so buying them off with a US stab was perhaps one way to 'make nice' and thus draw them out of their shell in the west again to make a later stab possible due to their poor positioning. I have some sympathy with that logic. Additionally, it was the price for Canada's order of NIN to BEI. This I have less sympathy with. That move was so delicious that DOI hardly needed any encouragement to make it.

From Girion's perspective I think it was also a desire on his part to make sure his front moved at least as fast as the overland front Nigeria-Kenya had on Thailand. I just cannot see why you wanted to do it...

One last point about this phase of the game - as we have seen from AA's message to you in Winter 2116 he was very much playing the game at that point. He was broadly right too - to move you both on the time was right for you to link up and take on Girion. After you didn't do that I kind of date him 'giving up' from this point or around this time. In Winter 2116 he posted a 10-player draw citing his math. You posted a 7-player in Winter 2118 and so had also basically settled into - 'I am not doing anything else from now on' - mode. This is where the game began to die as we failed to progress beyond our start-game alliances barring some of them NMRing and dropping out.

From here my frustration grew as I slowly went on tilt with the whole game.

I'll try and get back to GhostEcho later, but right now I need to push on with more relevant stuff from my point of view

[edit - changed a date typo]
Last edited by thewysecat on 08 Mar 2013, 18:48, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: World War IV: AAR's

Postby asudevil » 08 Mar 2013, 02:41

Had you come to me with a plan to knock out Girion, I would have considered it. Considered it hard. But I never thought about it because I never could trust you enough to not be pushing for that solo, and I knew I would need Girion strong to hold you back
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Re: World War IV: AAR's

Postby BigBert » 08 Mar 2013, 21:04

Wyse, regarding your upcoming reply to GhostEcho: were you actually going to let him live? That is, sufficiently long for him to be able to recover? The scheme you proposed - attack Thailand and I will take just 5 SCs - leaves him at your mercy for a long time afterwards. Were you really planning to honour that deal indefinitely?
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