Critical Mistake - Tempest Round 1 Board 4 AAR

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Critical Mistake - Tempest Round 1 Board 4 AAR

Postby VGhost » 24 Oct 2020, 23:28

It is the first round of a virtual face-to-face tournament conducted over Backstabbr and Discord. I've drawn Austria, next to a Russia who stabbed me in a previous tournament at the first opportunity, and a Turkey well-known in the Hobby and my guess for the best player on the board. (Possibly a mistake. More on that later.) Turkey suggests a RAT, having cleared it with Russia first. (Russia agrees.) I demand a Turkish fleet in the Black as my price for cooperation. 1901 passes without incident.

1902 comes and Turkey is already talking about attacking Russia. I assume he's probably trying to sell Russia on the reverse. Turkey makes a persuasive case - but takes too long and I can't get new orders in. My orders say the RAT's still on. We pop Russia's fleet in Bul in the Spring, while I move on Munich and Russia's planning to put me into Munich in the Fall. He does - but Turkey grabs Sev while I follow up to Rumania, as I planned with Turkey. But my Spring moves mean I don't have a unit in Gal or Ukr, so what's really going on?

Catbird seat for me, clearly: Russia's purely anti-Turkey now (his northern campaign has broken down in the face of Germany allied with France and England as a janissary for survival's sake). But we've still got units and Turkey's spread out from hell to breakfast. On the other hand, I've got the position to (arguably) still jump Russia. Spoiler: I blow it.

Spring 1903 I don't remember very well. I made major mistakes in negotiating: I neither worked out moves with Russia in detail, nor made a serious attempt to convince Turkey I was still on side. Turkey sees the writing on the wall and takes Rumania - with Russian support! - price of giving back Sev, I'd guess - at the same time I take Bulgaria. But that can be papered over. Italy's a firm ally and moving on Turkey as well.

Only once again I fail to talk to the Russian. He asks for Rumania - he's now in Gal, Ukr, and Mos - and I turn him down. My thinking is, I can probably take it myself (wrong) and I can put him into Rum next year anyway, while maintaining a power balance in my favor. But I don't check moves - I'm assuming he'll attack with Mos to maintain the containment, but he moves Ukr, and follows Gal-Ukr. Turkey guesses right and defends Rum instead of trying for Bul. Italy can't hold Smyrna, and Turkey survives on four.

Still, everything's not lost - but Turkey has a trump card: France is up to 8 and moved to the Mediterranean at the same time this went down, then builds in Marseilles. Germany and England are in lock-step with France. Turkey makes a persuasive case that the triple is going to try to break across the line now. My argument to Germany that France is wide-open for a stab meets a "we'll see" response - and moves confirm Turkey's view.

Fortunately, RAIT is organized and sets the line. Unfortunately, Turkey's possession of Rumania means we have to move Turkish armies north, not Russian or Austrian ones. Come 1905, Turkey's talking to France: France attacks Germany as Turkey slides into my centers behind my line. Italy and I had talked it over and assumed Russia would probably lose Sev and I'd lose Bul at some point, just so Turkey could move up the ranking: losing Serbia was a surprise and gutted my game.

I might have survived but Germany for some reason bought Turkey's case over mine (despite the fact that Germany had France stalled, meaning Turkish success was at German expense). I'd like to think the turn Turkey took me out after finally swinging me over to his side, dangling non-elimination, cost him tempo and a shot at the top spot himself, but it would be awfully hard to prove. But it all goes back to that reluctance to put Russia into Rumania years before. If you're going to attack, commit! If you've got an ally, behave like it! And if you're going to make critical mistakes... don't do it as Austria!

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DBN game commentary
"When you absolutely don't know what to do any more, then it's time to panic." - Johann van der Wiel
"I'm not panicking, I'm watching you panic. It's more entertaining." - Elli Quinn
"[Diplomacy:] No dice or chance. Just calculated insincerity." - Counter Trap
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