189905 - beneficii (3-way draw)

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189905 - beneficii (3-way draw)

Postby beneficii » 02 Mar 2021, 14:17

So this was a fairly interesting game. I played France. In the first year I was kinda neutral and did not want to draw too much attention to myself. As such, when Germany offered me Belgium, I declined, I ran into some luck, however, as England failed to pick up any builds in the first year and left the game. A new England joined and briefly convinced me to attack Germany and I violated our Burgundy DMZ. However, Germany was very forgiving and I began to concentrate on England again. We had an English Channel DMZ which I did not technically when I moved in to the Irish Sea. At Germany’s insistence, I took Belgium. It was about now that I heard the first rumors of a Juggernaut.

Fall 1902 post-build:

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Starting in 1903/1904, I built a tight bond with Germany and Italy. I finished my conquest of England in 2 years, as England remain focused on Germany. Italy was starting to run into a lot of trouble with Turkey and Austria, and asked me to send a fleet to help. I did, thinking by doing this I can a unit past the stalemate line. Italy was a very good player in both communication and tactics, and I leaned on them a lot. Aside from my conquest of England, no player at this point controlled any other player’s home supply centers. I noticed a lot of exchanging of centers between Turkey and Russia before this point, but now Turkey had struck out into Ukraine!

Fall 1904 post-build:

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I helped Italy stymie Turkey’s progress in the Med, as I stabbed Russia by moving into the Barents Sea. Russia was now actively fighting with Turkey, and they argued in the public press. I though this comment by Turkey illustrated well their dysfunctional relationship:

Yes, the RUS that was helped by TUR to get SEV to MOS and MOS to WAR-- that RUS. The RUS who almost had a coronary when TUR typed that he was ordering UKR->SEV. I called it a mistake, but I did it on purpose to feel your reaction. Me, the dummie, didn't act on my gut feeling.


It was hilarious. At this point, rumors were going all around that I was going to get a solo, but I doubted it at this point, as I only had 9/10 centers, and would likely have run into a wall if I went for it. Plus, in my view, Italy was too skilled to get one over on. Austria and Russia were amassing a massive force against Germany, and Germany asked me to move armies into Ruhr and Burgundy to help them regain Munich. But Russia abandoned the attack, moved their forces back, and went after Turkey. I then used the rumors of me soloing to my advantage, and at Italy’s recommendation lied to Austria saying I would help them get Munich. This caused Austria to move in a way that Germany and I took advantage of to seize Bohemia and Tyrolia.I realized my units were very close to Italian and German centers, but with just 9/10 centers, I remained unconvinced I could solo, despite the chatter of my enemies. So I pulled out of Ruhr while remaining in Burgundy. I thought ART were largely doing it to get me to abandon my alliance with GI, to ART’s advantage. I started working with Italy to set up a convoy chain into the Balkans and later into Syria.

Fall 1906 post-build:

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At this point, I began to work with GI to mop up Austria and the Balkans. We laid off Russia for a little bit so they could work against Turkey. We succeeded. Turkey proposed a 3-way FGI draw, which was my aim, and Russia and I accepted it. I talked to my allies about accepting the draw, but Italy said for sure Austria wouldn’t accept. I began to suspect that for all the talk of setting up a French Lepanto, Italy was setting me up to lose to a stab by both Germany and Italy, as they were together stronger than me now, with Germany perhaps wanting revenge for my abortive stab near the beginning of the game. Well, we eliminated Austria, but during the retreat phase Austria NMR’d multiple times and auto-surrendered. With Austria out of the picture, I ramped up pressure on Germany and Italy to accept the 3-way FGI draw proposal by Italy. They gave in.

This is how the game ended:

Fall 1908 Build:

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Re: 189905 - beneficii (3-way draw)

Postby sock » 03 Mar 2021, 03:37

I admit I had a difficult time getting my head around the strategy and backroom dealing going on between Russia, Turkey, and Austria. I'll let them share their thoughts if they wish. Let's just say I was in deep trouble fending off Turkey and Austria by the end of 1903, and out of desperation I asked France to help me by breaking a cardinal rule of Diplomacy--inviting France into the Mediterrean. My gambit was designed to wake up Turkey to the fact that France would get Tunis, a critical center if it wanted to solo. I was openly seeking a stab to hopefully get Austria and Turkey to see the futility of fighting me, as well as how their actions would just make it easier for France to win outright.

I've used this strategy before with various degrees of success. The only difference is that France choose not to take advantage of my vulnerabilty.

The fact that France repeatedly took benign actions not to solo confused me. I understand his desire to keep us around to fight off the Austrians, Russians, and Turks, but for several years, both Tunis and Munich were highly vulnerable, and almost impossible to defend. He had units in both the Ionian and Tyrolia. Of course, I did rely upon every diplomatic trick in my book to keep our relations friendly--free tactical advice, entertaining banter, and a commitment to provide value at every turn. And fortunately, it worked. I don't think diplomacy is about lying. It's about persuasion, and there is a big difference here. If you can prove to be valuable to other players, they will be hesitant to attack you.

And France's suspicions were correct. I saw a pathway to a solo if we took down Turkey, because both Germany and France were a little overextended (we were already talking about transporting Mars to Syria as part of a French Lepanto), and I felt comfortable that I could build a line between Moscow and Venice, while rolling the dice on picking up that 18th center (probably among Portugal, Spain, and Marseilles). It would have taking some time, but it would have been worth taking a chance. I was frankly shocked that Turkey offered a draw in the first place. He had told me privately that he would never support draws for his enemies, and while he was referring to Russia, I suspected he meant me, too. Once the draw was offered, my options were limited, and I couldn't realistically figure out a way to reject it without creating suspicions.

Given my difficulties working with Austria and Turkey, I was fortunate that Germany and France were willing to side with me, and we built a strong and trusting alliance, a real rarity in this game. I'm fortunate to be part of a draw, and thankful.

All and all, a fun game with good players. Good luck to everyone.
Live a little. Laugh a lot.

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