2021 PDL D2 Jan G1 (188998)

Discussion of finished games.

Re: 2021 PDL D2 Jan G1 (188998)

Postby bard parker » 27 Feb 2021, 06:55

Oh, what a game! While Austria is definitely my weakest power, I enjoyed the chance to get better and especially appreciated hearing everyone’s perspectives.

The game pivoted on a few crucial moments, the most important of which was the very beginning. My strategy was to establish a favorable tie with Germany and Italy while deciding whether I should work with Turkey or Russia against the other. I was inclined to work with Russia because I felt like it would be more likely to work out in the long run. (Russia Scandinavia and the north to expand into, while Turkey will forever be behind my lines). However, I quickly began to have misgivings with Italy and that altered my plans a bit.

Italy’s first message to me was a clever way to indirectly ask for Greece. He requested either a bounce between Venice and Trieste or that we both enter hold orders. If I accepted either option, I would be unable to go for the Greece. If I refused, it would be clear I intended to take Greece, leaving Trieste open.

In my response, I just side stepped the issue of a bounce or a hold order, and focused on working together against Turkey. Italy persisted in asking about what Trieste was doing and said bluntly that he’d like to take Greece in 1901. I counter offered with a promise of Greece in 1902, pointing out that taking Greece early meant trapping my fleet by his territory. I was worried at this point that Italy planned to take out Turkey and then sandwich me with Russia… I wanted to find a diplomatic excuse to keep a fleet in the Adriatic Sea because it would give me deterrence against an Italian invasion and give me an offensive option, should Turkey prove to be a better ally than Russia.

Germany came to my aid in two major ways during Spring 1901. He casually mentioned to Russia that getting Sweden was contingent on honoring his agreement with me regarding Galicia. He also suggested the Blue Water Lepanto. This was perfect because it gave me the option to actually attack Italy should I desire it, but also gave me the option to work against Turkey. I figured my Galician border was secure for two reasons. I had the option to work with Turkey against Russia and I doubted Russia would risk not getting Sweden for a 50-50 chance of getting my centers.

Oh was I wrong.

Fall 1901 rolls around and I find Russia in both the Black Sea and Galicia… I did not count on Russia having me by the throat while Turkey is powerless to fight Russia. At this point, an R-I vs A-T would turn out very badly for me, since both Italy and Russia could make supported attacks on me while holding Turkey down in his corner…

Germany quickly opened a 3-way chat with Russia and I regarding Sweden and Galicia. This chat had the unintended consequence of destroying my trust in Russia, as I caught him blatantly lying to Germany in this chat. In particular, Russia claimed I had asked for both a DMZ in Galicia and that Russia have a DMZ with Turkey in the Black Sea. I pointed out to Germany that while I had asked for Russia to take Rumania with a fleet, I suggested he do so in fall so that he can bounce Turkey out of the Black Sea in the Spring turn. While Russia’s half truths fail to get him Sweden, they do an excellent job at making sure Germany doesn’t trust me very much.

At this point, I realize I need to try to work with Italy long term and plan to work with Russia and Italy against Turkey while plotting a stab against Russia.

Russia agrees to take Rumania with his army in Galicia and from there, we set out to fight Turkey. Russia beats me to the punch with the stab, though, and I find myself under attack from both Italy and Russia. I fight tooth and nail, somehow taking Rumania and even Sevastopol while I lose Vienna and Trieste. (I made some lucky guesses those turns).

Some details about that struggle that might add some clarity: After I lost Vienna, I had a disband. I intended to make peace with Italy and cut my losses but made a mistake that I think sunk our relationship. I had asked both Italy and Turkey which unit I should disband and what I should keep. For some reason, I missed that Italy wanted me to disband my fleet and so I went with Turkey’s request to disband my fleet. I wish I had re-read the messages before deciding that, but it was a busy day at the time. Anyway, I think Italy had no intention of working with me after that happened and he quickly pressed his advantage and took Trieste.

Realizing that both Turkey and I were pretty much screwed unless the board changed dramatically, I make some diplomatic efforts to put Italy at odds with the western powers. I offer the Italian-owned, formerly Austrian homecentres (Vienna & Trieste) to Germany because I wanted Germany and Italy to share a border. France didn’t need much persuasion to come fight Italy and I knew that Italy would be unlikely to fight me much longer.

The real trick was convincing Russia and Germany to go to war. Here, Russia unwittingly helped me out. When I offered up Vienna and Trieste, I told Germany I would be his janissary and help him top the board in exchange for being left alive so I could gain some points in the tournament. While Germany claimed to accept my offer, it seems he had made a deal with Russia to carve me up.

Russia unwittingly saved my skin here by reneging on his promise of support to Germany. This ticked off the one nation that could save my miserably little dictatorship. To be fair, I probably would have move the same way if I were in Russia’s position. If Russia had supported Germany into my remaining centers, he would have no guarantee of Germany keeping him in the draw. By securing Rumania first, he ensures that he gets a build. The one thing I would have done differently in that situation is I would have set the CLEAR expectation with Germany that he will claim the remaining Austrian centers in the FALL.

Now that Germany no longer trusts Russia, he actually accepted my pledge of fealty. France, Germany, Turkey and I conspired on how to bring down Russia and Italy and I tasted a bit of sweet revenge. However, I could see that while my diplomatic efforts payed off in distracting my major enemies, I was likely to eliminated before the end of the tournament game.

Russia again came to my rescue by proposing a 2-way draw to end the game. I got to claim the points for surviving to the end and for having multiple centers.

While I felt like the game was prematurely finished, it ended with the best possible outcome for Turkey, Russia and I. (Italy might have survived at his 3 centers). While it would have been interesting to see who came out on top between France and Germany in terms of centers, I was glad to maximize the number of points I could get in the tournament.

Russia, while I had reason to curse your name, you also threw me several boons (whether intentional or not, haha). I enjoyed your press style and hope we play again sometime. If you keep your word to me in the next game, I will be willing to give you my trust.

Italy, upon reading your AAR, I lament that my initial distrust made you rule me out as an ally. After Russia broke the DMZ in Galica, I had every intention of trying to be a good ally to you. Still, I think you played Italy very skillfully.

Turkey, your press was hilarious and I really hope we play again.

France, well done! Thanks for your tactical advice and input at the end of the game.

Germany, you played expertly. I wanted to see you top the board because I was grateful for the favors you game me at the beginning of the game.
bard parker
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Re: 2021 PDL D2 Jan G1 (188998)

Postby DirtyHarry » 19 Mar 2021, 22:53

So. I happened upon Brad Parker's post first and read it, and then went back to the first page to find out who all the players were and who was in what country. No listing for that ... but it's really nice for those that aren't in the game to see a listing like:

England: Winston Churchill
France: Charles DeGaulle

etc ...
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Re: 2021 PDL D2 Jan G1 (188998)

Postby Pete the Great » 20 Mar 2021, 01:24

England: diophantus22
France: PipiLangKous
Italy: jdt36
Germany: Pete the Great
Austria: bard parker
Turkey: Makleveh
Russia: PoeticDiplomat
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Pete the Great
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