AAR GoT Forum game

8-player game based on the Westeros series by George R.R. Martin. Idea introduced by Hazza88; developed and GMd by asudevil. DIAS (haroonriaz, Lyrewyn, Morg, Noosh32)

AAR GoT Forum game

Postby asudevil » 27 Feb 2012, 19:05

Lord Stannis has decried that as long as you all bow down to him as the overall king, the other remaining houses can continue to be lords of their individual domains.

So, the game ends after Winter 11, with a four way draw amongst Tully, Barratheon, Greyjoy, and Arryn. Barratheon's overall king claim, not withstanding.

Feel free to share thoughts on the game, players, strategy...and also map inbalances in case I ever run another one of these.

I will share my thoughts after a couple of you have shared yours.

Thank you all for staying with me as I ran my first game as GM. You guys were great with keeping orders in on time. I hope you all enjoyed the game (especially if you like the books).

Feel free to be as honest (brutal honesty is fine...and if I dont like it I can always delete it now that I am a mod... :lol: ).

I would love to hear what happened behind the scenes.
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Re: AAR GoT Forum game

Postby Morg » 28 Feb 2012, 07:46

So in this game I started with Greyjoy because I knew if all else failed I could pretty easily stay alive in my island fortress. But that meant that it was difficult for me to expand.

My initial thoughts were to ally with Arryn and crush Tully, then move North and then South. Arryn liked the idea and sounded positive. I also took efforts to at least keep things nice with Tully until the first couple movements, I couldn't afford to lose IB. After a ton of resistance I finally got Tully to agree that I could control IB. I remember Stark somehow became involved in attempting a Northern triple in year 1, a triple that Arryn had every intention of betraying so that he could take out Stark.

My relatively nice situation with Tully allowed me be creative in my opening moves and I intended to attempt for both FF and a Tully SC in year 1. However that required that I move both my fleets out of their islands in Spring and potentially would've allowed Tully the opportunity to block my control of IB. I believe my plan was to take FF by Fleet and land an army in Tully to gain a secure and expandable foothold on the continent. My Allies of course didn't understand why I would take such a risk and agrued and agrued against it. Finally I acquiesced and supported a Fleet into IB in order to be sure of taking it.

Big mistake, I ended up with nothing. My army was bounced and my fleet commited to defense. Furthermore I had now actually stabbed Tully and couldn't expect any trust from him ever again.

Most of the rest of the game was spent trying desperately to get out of my hole and gain a foothold. Arryn stopped his campaign against Tully to focus on Stark really early forcing me to deal with Tully alone. Stark was willing to help but his help was proving to be ineffective. Arryn waivered from asking for/offering assistance to actively opposing me. Tully was proving to be an impossible nut to crack and as I soldiered on ineffectively against him, I also noticed that my aggression against him was never really returned.

Finally I stabbed Stark to assist Arryn. I gained an SC on the continent besides FF. However the next thing I knew I was getting attacked by Arryn. Arryn and I joisted for a while which ultimately ended in a fruitless return to the status quo before he stabbed me.

Down South Tully was getting desperate and against all my predictions asked for a Triple alliance between Arryn, Tully and myself in order to counter Barratheon. Surprised, I accepted and offered to land an army in between Tully and Arryn to help seal the line against Barratheon. That failed spectacularly as Arryn blocked the move. To be fair I was thinking of being opportunistic enough to stab Arryn once I got close enough, whether I actually would've once in place, I don't know.

The triple alliance was off and I scolded both Tully and Arryn vigorously for causing it to fail. Tully pleaded for it to stay intact and I think at this point Lyrewyn took over for Arryn. Lyrewyn jumped at the idea and the Alliance was back on (this is the point where I accidently hit reply all and sent everyone my battle plans :oops: . I did work it out so that Tully would pretend to cause the alliance to crash again).

Arryn and I made short work of Stark, then I couldn't really see how to continue without handing the solo win over to Barratheon (plus I already felt guilty for so blatantly stabbing Tully and then continuing to attack him without recieving any attacks from him. I really didn't want to stab him again).

And so a 4-way draw was proposed.

Arryn (1) was a frustrating partner, geographically the correct choice but we couldn't form a stable agreement or even stable alliance. I still think the initial plan to take out Tully in the middle, swing North then South was the best plan, but it couldn't be brought to fruition. The choice to focus on Stark at the expense of removing Tully from the middle was taken prematurely and it cost us the ability to work well together as the North devolved into a Tully-Greyjoy spat and a Stark-Arryn spat.

Tully was the most frustating opponent both tactically and morally. I was never able to really take anything from him and he never took to the offense against me. He did keep me penned up and stuck. Hats off to Haroonriaz for trusting me enough to bring me into the triple alliance despite everything leading up to that point. Though I'm not sure I ever gained his full trust, but that's to be expected.

Stark was cooperative and faithful, but ultimately unhelpful. We ended up cooperating more than competing, but due to geographic positioning our cooperation was never able to gain anything other than a stalemate.

Arryn (2) was instantly cooperative and the easy opportunities for a Greyjoy-Arryn alliance finally worked out. Although by this point the situation of total Barratheon control in the south forced us into a position where we couldn't do much more after taking out Stark.
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Re: AAR GoT Forum game

Postby haroonriaz » 29 Feb 2012, 00:11

I must confess that I had not studied the map as well when I was bidding or probably I wouldn't have rated that high for , but actually at times, a handicap turns into an advantage and becomes your tool for survival. Parmesan, or whatever his complete ID was, was the first player to join Arryn and had just beat me in the blind bidding and told me that he didn't want to have Tully. I guess Tully is ridiculously difficult to play in this map, primarily because of the separation of SEA from the main centers of AH and RR. This makes defending SEA very difficult and if you are able to hold a neutral center from SEA, you cannot hold it without anticipating a bounce from a Greyjoy fleet and without relying too heavily on one of your allies. The catch here is that if Greyjoy does not bounce you at SEA, you're pretty much screwed for the first year. Maybe a fleet at SEA would bring some hope to Tully.

Map for reference:
http://www.playdiplomacy.com/forum/download/file.php?id=8048

I was fairly satisfied with being able to successfully deny my centers to Greyjoy, who was obviously a natural enemy, and to the end proved to be the greatest burden on the back of Tully, preventing the house to grow and advance in the scenario. Morg did a great job with Greyjoy. I guess if he had successfully convinced Arryn of attacking me, I wouldn't have been a survivor in the game. On the other hand, I had a very close alliance with Arryn which prevented that from happening. Arryn was pretty keen on bringing Stark down, but I will admit, that I didn't share the enthusiasm and was in contact with Stark at all times. Later on, both the parties lost interest, and understandably so. Arryn considered GWW an important area preventing Stark's downward growth.

I just recall that the opening moves were very difficult to pull off, but somehow it all went right and that ensured Lannister's exit and my survival, particularly with the constant threat of Greyjoy who attempted on at least one of my centers each year, or if may I exaggerate, each season.

I was in contact with Tyrell as well. I used his influence to bring Lannister down quite early. That was the only guarantee I had in order to survive in this game. If you look at the map, Lannister actually comes across as a natural enemy for Tully. But actually, in this map, almost everyone else is to everyone, not sure how much that is compatible with the Game of Throne series, the interest of which was sparked by this game but I usually find fantasy fiction hard to follow.

Barratheon was initially my ally. We worked together against Lannister. Of course, I couldn't do much to either prevent or contribute to his southward growth, for which I appreciate Noosh32 for his excellent strategy. I was reluctant but convinced Arryn of the rising danger in the south and convinced him to take action more proactively. Arryn under Parmesan had been proposing a triple alliance with Greyjoy for a long time, but I was the only hurdle in its way. I did not trust Greyjoy obviously. However, I reluctantly joined it, requiring assurances from Greyjoy for a ceasefire. It finally materialized, but later on, Arryn had cold feet and started to doubt Greyjoy's intention. He saw it as a good opportunity to weaken Greyjoy, but later I realized that the threat from Barratheon was more immediate and severe. I would have rather seen Greyjoy eliminated (though he is right that Greyjoy is a safe fortress and I found it pretty hard to penetrate through his defense, although I never really tried), as he would have thought the same about me, but I switched sides, and that's what diplomacy is all about. If any new players are reading this.

So while Greyjoy was upset over the lack of commitment from both of us, I had realized that we were going in the wrong direction. Tried to convince Greyjoy to ally again and with Lyrewyn taking over as Arryn, that . I am not too happy over an easy 4 way draw but quite frankly this game was going nowhere and let us be a little honest in admitting that later on, for most part, almost everyone had lost interest, maybe with the exception of Noosh32. Therefore, I had little reason to not accept the draw proposals. I found it a little generous from Noosh to agree to a draw when he came very close to a solo to consider such a draw. He deserved one too, but I can tell the game took a toll on his interest as well.

I am not an expert on maps but I can tell you that this map has a few shortcomings and that pulling off a solo in it is very difficult. I won't say impossible. The map puts Tully at a great disadvantage, however my successful survival puts that theory to rest in a way, but I still think that another player, on another day, could be eliminated before long. I also think that the map is pretty close and does not offer much breathing space, but that could actually be a positive since you get to action right away and are forced to engage other powers more proactively. But at any rate, I am not too comfortable with the idea of things decided on the basis of blind auctions and the toss of the coin. But that is necessary nevertheless.

A great variant nevertheless and I appreciate asudevil for moderating it. He's done a great job and you must admire his consistency. I guess he would have enjoyed it more if more of us were fans of George R. R. Martin's work.

Sorry if I missed anything.
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Re: AAR GoT Forum game

Postby Noosh32 » 29 Feb 2012, 06:35

So as far as Baratheon went I'll be honest they aren't bad. Beginning of the game I saw almost zero chance to work with Martel given the geography, and pretty bad chance of working with Lanister. Arryn and I were too far apart to be a real threat to one another, and I certainly feared Stark and Greyjoy the most in this game. Greyjoy had almost zero chance of ever being conquered with how the map was set up and with the way the red bridges are unusable by fleets. Because of that I really tried hard to work with Tulley throughout the game. I found my biggest ally in the game was going to be Tyrell at the begining, and when the initial Tyrell was missing I knew it was going to be a very rough road for myself.

Of course when I get messages from Lansiter and Martel saying they want to all be friends and work together I knew they wanted my lands. Arryn messaged me early too reaffirming what I knew was the case. I would have loved to work with Lanister early on, but obviously it is very difficult to trust people that close. When a new Tyrell came in I knew I had a good chance.

Ironically I went into that game wanting to slow play. Make sure I maintained good relations with everyone as I attacked different people. Unfortunately I aimed at Lanister and within a year he was out. I was shocked and a bit scared I offered to support Tulley in thinking he needed all the help he could get to fend off Greyjoy. With Lanister gone Martel quickly realized he was in a terrible position as his main ally had been eliminated. I used this to my advantage to gain his cooperation in fighting tyrell. I was hoping to pit the two of them against each other helping one side one year and another the next, but all of a sudden Tyrell lost a huge chunk of his territories in one year. Something I did not anticipate.

I went back to help Tyrell against Martel and began pushing into the south. All the while I was doing what I could to maintain a status quo in the northern fighting. Feeding strategies to the different parties. What initially began as me trying to do everything I could to help or at least not hurt tulley and arryn began to get me to work with Greyjoy and Stark. I attempted to get the two of them to start supporting each other in the neck. Something that really never came to be. Once I had complete hold of the south I knew no one could be me looking at the stalemate line I could create. I was hoping my holding and defensive stance would allow the northern fighting to continue, but they did galvanize. My biggest fear was if I had made a move on Tulley in the south that Greyjoy would just be the one to gain. I was hoping I might be able to actually attack Greyjoy first towards the end, but it was pretty clear in my mind no one could match the armies I had on the continent. All of the fleets Arryn had built would serve no purpose except to hold NNS, something I was perfectly acceptable to have him keep given my three ships in the south.

I think really what worked for me is I was less worried about the navy in this game. There were far too many choke points as far as the sea was concerned with this map that really made ships unnecessary. Especially for myself. I know I probably could have taken the solo pretty easily, but I did feel the way Tulley played especially at the beginning was a thing of beauty. I thought the way you guys finally learned to trust one another was impressive too.

It was interesting though how this game was set up. there are some natural fighting lines between players, and if you are able to take out your competition quickly. It opens up quite a few opportunities. Honestly looking at the game from the beginning I would have told you Stark, Greyjoy and Tyrell were going to be the best positions. I did not envy Lanister or Tulley in the slightest, but obviously anyone player had opportunities to, but I'll be honest I don't really see Tulley being able to kill Greyjoys. They are just one team it does not seem like the map is in their favor.

It was a very fascinating game to watch develop though. Truly anyone could have worked with or fought anyone to the end of the game
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Re: AAR GoT Forum game

Postby asudevil » 29 Feb 2012, 14:40

I will throw Lannisters thought out here that he sent me right after he was eliminated. The fact that he had a home SC right next to Barratheon to start, he was unhappy with and thought that unfairly lead to his demise. From my thought, neither of them can reach a neutral SC in one turn, so either you have to stay there until you have support, or move away and just run to a neutral 2 spaces away.

As for map issues, do you guys think that if fleets could use land bridges, that would have assisted the seas?

Would that have made Greyjoy easier to take down?

What could I change to make Tully more playable?....give them the fleet in SEA instead of the army?
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Re: AAR GoT Forum game

Postby haroonriaz » 01 Mar 2012, 00:31

@asudevil As a moderator I am not sure how much weight you give to the accuracy of the map in coherence with the Game of Thrones series. But I think playability should always be a priority. That is something for you to decide. (Talking about a fleet in SEA, but since House Tully are riverland natives and all that, it is only natural that they have a fleet, but that's pretty superficial of me to say that)

I think a fleet in SEA could break the seemingly invincible defenses of the Greyjoy isles. But I wonder if that would restrict Greyjoy a little too much.
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Re: AAR GoT Forum game

Postby asudevil » 01 Mar 2012, 00:33

haroonriaz wrote:@asudevil As a moderator I am not sure how much weight you give to the accuracy of the map in coherence with the Game of Thrones series. But I think playability should always be a priority. That is something for you to decide. (Talking about a fleet in SEA, but since House Tully are riverland natives and all that, it is only natural that they have a fleet, but that's pretty superficial of me to say that)

I think a fleet in SEA could break the seemingly invincible defenses of the Greyjoy isles. But I wonder if that would restrict Greyjoy a little too much.


That was the struggle...I wanted to be acceptable for fans of the game and make it accurate, but naturally playability was more important.

That's why I was thinking that the 2 spaces that were coastal, meant they could drop more fleets against Greyjoy, but still allow Greyjoy off his islands...

But good to think about.
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Re: AAR GoT Forum game

Postby asudevil » 04 Mar 2012, 15:37

My final word.

I think the map is decently balanced...

Next time, let fleets and armies use land bridges just to make things easier.

Perhaps split the Lannister/Barratheon home SC's.

Let it be Build anywhere

Give Tully a fleet in RiverRun
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Re: AAR GoT Forum game

Postby emrak » 27 Aug 2012, 22:09

Are you planning on running another of these GOT map test?

If so, put me on the list as being interested!
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