Final Games AAR - Games F1 & F2

2-player tournament using a modified version of the published 2-player rules. TD: rick.leeds. WINNER: thewysecat

Final Games AAR - Games F1 & F2

Postby thewysecat » 29 May 2012, 00:48

41427. FOC Final Game F1

Prufrock (EFR) defeats thewysecat (AGT)


This was a swift and crushing loss. I knew Prufrock would pre-prepare new openings for the final, and so in an act of obduracy I determined to test my openings by simply sticking to them. This was a feature of our games. Prufrock likes openings and one of his biggest strengths in these games was his preparation. I have never rated the study of opening theory, and I took that habit into these games. I basically did no preparatory work most games. That isn’t to my credit. If any format rewards thorough preparation it is this one. I think I ‘lost’ every single 1901 through this laziness of thought.

The signature ‘new’ move from Prufrock to my standard German Spring 1901 opening of:
A Ber to Sil, A Mun to Ruhr, F Swe to Den

was: A War to Pru (!)

This immediately presented me with a problem of how to defend Mun and Ber. Turns out I should have just moved my units back. However, in the Fall I decided to concede Berlin for Warsaw. I chose to take it with my Austrian unit. I cannot recall why for sure, but likely because I wished to retain occupation of Silesia.

This alone was ‘bold’. However, with Ruhr I took a fearful risk and bounced England out of Holland. My thinking was that expecting me to move back to Munich, the French unit in Burgundy would go for Ruhr. I hoped to bounce in Holland and also return to bounce Bur out of Ruhr and subsequently build in Munich. I either over or underestimated Prufrock depending on how you look at it since he just walked to Munich and my game was already over. Oh and I also fail to pick up a bounce with my German fleet which is also vital to AGT.

Faulty memory means I cannot be sure, but had things gone better the plan from there was likely to take Berlin back from Munich supported by Silesia. Walk Ruhr to Munich and occupy Prussia from Warsaw if I could. Not sure that was a winning position either though.

It was reckless in retrospect, but against elite EGR play, AGT has to be courageous. This time I was left with egg on my face.

Fall 01 resolution

F1 Fall01.jpg

I played on from here but was very easily put away so there is little to comment on of meaning as we inevitably hit a very poor AGT position by 1903.

Fall 03 retreat resolution

F1 Fall03.jpg

Of some note is that I played on past this loss point in order to experience a more complex Italian campaign with AGT on the back-foot. Something I had yet to engage in. I did little better, but the knowledge gained about that terrain served me well in later games.

I will likely say more about the match play element of this process, but one lasting legacy of this game is that I never played my ‘favourite’ German opening again. That is a triumph for Prufrock surely.
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Re: Final Games AAR - Games F1 & F2

Postby thewysecat » 29 May 2012, 00:48

41428. FOC Final Game F2

thewysecat (EFR) defeats Prufrock (AGT)


It is worth keeping in mind that these games were played in parallel and there was often interplay between them. The context for F2 was therefore that I quickly knew I must win or it was all over given the mess I’d made of 1901 in F1.

Spring 01 resolution

F2 Spring01.jpg

Prufrock’s preparation here meant he knew I would open War to Gal. Berlin could head west and he supported himself into Gal. This is a very solid AGT opening when you ‘know’ War to Gal (not Sil)

Fall 01 brings my first success in any of the games. I feel that Prufrock is going to be bold and move Den to Bal since in my last 2 games as EFR I had moved GOB to Bal. I consequently capture Sweden for Russia. A Russian build in 1901 is huge and normally ought to mean victory. It does here.

The great Den/GOB to Swe or Bal conundrum is the only genuine pure 50:50 in the opening. All that can be said in a match play setting is try not to be predictable. Getting it right also matters most to Germany in terms of the ultimate game outcome.

Spring 1902 also goes well. The German fleet’s misplacement after Fall 01 means the crucial region of Helgoland Bight can be occupied by the English navy. I continue to play the Russians well (and that is what makes this a comfortable win in the end) by keeping AGT out of Black and Rum. The main innovations of note are to support myself into Bur and to vacate Bel in order to take Hol. Further, Mos to Liv and Swe to Bal now means I am threatening a Russian convoy. AGT is in big trouble

Fall 02 resolution

F2 Fall02.jpg

The convoy threat is a feint and I use Berlin as a decoy generally to occupy Pru and Sil and take Kiel. I risk Swe and Hol to focus on German home soil. It works. Note Rum and Hol are both still neutral by 1902 end.

Also of note is that Prufrock lets me take Tunis which presents an interesting new problem in terms of holding it since MAO moves to North Africa not Wes Med in anticipation of a bounce in Tunis. I come to learn over these games that EFR need not sweat on Tunis. Even if it is lost early you can likely recapture it as long as AGT does not make it past TYS.

From there it is relatively straight forward. Berlin, Munich and Tunis are secure by Fall 03 though Holland is still neutral!

Fall 03 resolution

F2 Fall03.jpg

So, after the first two games it is one each with two relatively easy EFR wins. That is disappointing since it is cannon-fodder to the luddites who want to claim EFR triumphs are inevitable short of an earthquake. The paucity of their thinking is pissing me off not least since I cannot yet comment fully in thread since the tournament is still active with me in it.

Thanks for reading. I hope they inform your future play (just not against me!). If anyone has questions or comments for me in these AARs - please refer to the specific game and phase. It will help me respond accurately. I hope Prufrock will contribute his perspective also

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Re: Final Games AAR - Games F1 & F2

Postby Prufrock » 30 May 2012, 09:38

FOC Game F1

thewysecat is correct that I prepared for these games by looking through his previous FOC games, especially since he had been vocal about his assessment that AGT had equal chances in these matches (I’m sure I’ll touch on that more in the tournament format AAR), and also because I thought his likely opening (the one taken in the game) was a very solid (at least on the surface), “standard” AGT opening that I wanted to dismantle if I could. With that, let’s move ahead to Fall 1901.

I either over or underestimated Prufrock depending on how you look at it since he just walked to Munich and my game was already over.


From my perspective, the nice thing about EFR’s Fall 1901 position vs. AGT’s is that EFR’s Fall 1901 moves (as played) guarantee that at least 2 of:

Pic – Bel; Yor – Hol; Bur – Mun; Pru – Ber

will succeed, no matter what AGT does, and the only way for War to fall is for Ber to succeed, which I think heavily favors EFR, as Munich and Berlin are the key territories to secure in this game. There’s no guessing on my part, all outcomes are winning, and there’s no reason to get fancy or even try to anticipate AGT’s response. I expected AGT to cover Germany, and never even considered the possibility the turn would play out as it did. It worked better than I could have expected, though somewhat ironically it seems that 1901 is too early to definitively secure Munich, especially since that army in the Ruhr could really muck things up for me. Still, Germany was forced to disband a unit and it’s hard to come back from that.

Oh and I also fail to pick up a bounce with my German fleet which is also vital to AGT.


This is one of the reasons these games favor EFR, I believe – it’s a slight inconvenience to EFR if we bounce, it’s a huge headache for AGT if Russia makes it to the Baltic, and it’s devastating if Russia lands in Sweden and secures a build.

Spr 1902: Just about anything sensible regarding Bur/Kie/Ruh/Hol should work here, I think. I may have chosen moves that overly complicated the situation, but I think my play is sound. Not much worth commenting on, except the goal is to be able to cover Germany in armies and kick Ruhr out from my back ranks as quickly as possible.

Fall 1902: EFR still has not yet secured victory, though it’s close.

FOC_game_F1_Fall1902-game-history-41427-3-O.png


I was proud of my play here. First, the expected (and perfectly reasonable) approach would certainly be Bur S Mun, Kie S Ber, War – Pru, forcing Germany to disband one of his armies. Given the position, I can be almost certain AGT is going to play

Ruh – Bur; Pru – Ber; Boh S Sil – Mun; Tri – Tyr,

since there is no way for me to hold Mun. Wyse is cunning, though, so there’s also a possibility he will look into my soul (as he seemed to do so often in this series), and instead play something like:

Ruh – Kie; Boh – Mun; (Pru S Sil –Ber OR Sil S Pru – Ber).

I can’t really expect him to do anything aside from one of these choices. Furthermore, if Ruh survives to 1903, AGT can wreak havoc and has some real chances to hold his key territories. Thus, my play was designed with the following goals in mind:
- Destroy Ruh
- Ensure that Sil can’t take Ber (keeping as many German units off the board or forced to disband as I can)
- Keep both Russian armies alive into 1903 so I can regain whatever territory is lost this turn
- Achieve each of the above goals vs. either of Wyse’s likely plays

Of course, there is a “perfect” response for AGT to play if he knows what I intend. In this case, the perfect counter is extremely unlikely:
Ruh – Kie; Boh S Sil – Mun; Tri – Tyr; Gal – Sil; Rum – Gal; Mos – St. Pete; Sev – Mos.

If AGT were to make that play, knowing it fails spectacularly against my most likely plays, then I could do nothing but shake my head in disbelief and congratulate him for a truly unexpected, creative, brilliant play.

1903 and beyond: The game is over, barring a huge mistake on my part – the rest is just a matter of finishing it off (regaining St. Pete, safeguarding Tunis, and waiting until 1905). When I saw that thewysecat was continuing to press the battle in Italy, knowing the game was already decided, I was tempted to just go into support mode so as not to give anything away, and deprive him of whatever experience he would gain by battling it out with me, but I’m stubborn, I hoped to learn a bit more about his play as well, and in the off chance anybody else was following these games I wanted to put on a good show. It would have been a different story if there was money on the line :).
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Re: Final Games AAR - Games F1 & F2

Postby Prufrock » 31 May 2012, 08:50

41428. FOC Final Game F2

thewysecat (EFR) defeats Prufrock (AGT)


I'm afraid I have little to say about the game specifics, since the game was over after Fall 1901, but I will at least comment on my thinking behind 1901.

Spring 01: As thewysecat mentioned in his AAR, I had a pretty good idea to expect him to open with War - Gal, which meant I didn't have to worry about covering Silesia. Supporting myself into Gal was with the intention of preparing to come to block (or at least slow) Russia's advances on Germany. I favored the bounce in Bur over Ruh to give Mun a little more breathing room (I had no intention of pursuing a western attack), and to give a few more options in case I was wrong about War - Gal.

Fall 01: Disaster for AGT! Already a resignable position, in my opinion. I did play boldly with AGT in 1901, mostly because at the time I did not feel AGT could win without taking several big chances.

thewysecat wrote:I feel that Prufrock is going to be bold and move Den to Bal since in my last 2 games as EFR I had moved GOB to Bal. I consequently capture Sweden for Russia. A Russian build in 1901 is huge and normally ought to mean victory. It does here.

The great Den/GOB to Swe or Bal conundrum is the only genuine pure 50:50 in the opening. All that can be said in a match play setting is try not to be predictable. Getting it right also matters most to Germany in terms of the ultimate game outcome.

I'm quoting this for emphasis, with a slight caveat. I don't think it's a pure 50:50, particularly because of the last statement. Because allowing Russia a build is so devastating, the frequency of each choice can't be 50:50 for Germany. Germany must move on Sweden the vast majority of the time. One doesn't want to be too predictable, and so it is important to randomize the choice to some extent against a Russia who is also mixing it up, but I don't think Germany can go after the Baltic more than 10-20% of the time without a very good read that Russia is going to move on the Baltic.

Of note also in Fall 1901 is that I don't get into Rum (d'oh) and Sev didn't move on the Black Sea as I had hoped (d'oh again). The rest is just a depressing, crushing loss where AGT realistically has no chances.

Fall 02

thewysecat wrote:Also of note is that Prufrock lets me take Tunis which presents an interesting new problem in terms of holding it since MAO moves to North Africa not Wes Med in anticipation of a bounce in Tunis.

This may well have had greater potential if I had a few more fleets to work with. I explored this further in my next AGT game, where I threw all caution to the wind and sent fleets as fast as I could to Tunis.

Anyway, I will not dwell further on this game, except to say it's a classic example of an early AGT mistake (a decent Spring 1901, 2 mis-anticipated moves in Fall 1901) can produce an AGT loss even before the first build phase.
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