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Tournament - Final Table - bitwise wins!

PostPosted: 27 Aug 2009, 16:38
by Master Radishes ... me_id=9851

* ENGLAND (Batsman)
* FRANCE (Master Radishes)
* ITALY (bitwise) - WINNER
* GERMANY (camroc)
* AUSTRIA (jeanphi)
* TURKEY (rick.leeds)
* RUSSIA (mdmuff)


Congrats on a great solo, bit. :) Well-deserved win.

This was a very interesting game from start to finish - definitely one of my favourites ever played. AARs are gonna be veeerrry interesting.

(I'll post mine later.)

Re: Tournament - Final Table - bitwise wins!

PostPosted: 27 Aug 2009, 16:42
by mdmuff
Tournament Final Table
Russia (1902 replacement)
Result: Solo Victory (Italy)

Fall 1902 – I enter the game with little hope, as lots of relationships have been established already. I get the breakdown from Diplomat on what he was doing, who he was working with, and what he thought of the other players agendas. It looks like I will have to spin a couple of things and I decide to keep some anonymity and not reveal if I am a replacement or not. This could work out great or backfire, either way I will have to do something to change my position. It is clear from the messages and general feel from the other players that a Juggernaut alliance was being talked about and that there was a move to coordinate against it, the easiest and largest target being I. Unfortunately there is no Juggernaut and Turkey hasn’t responded to any new messages. It looks like I am on my own here. I am looking at a 2 center loss this phase as the board leader (6 centers) and a lot of animosity from the other players, specifically Germany. I look at the situation and realize I need to breakup any Western Triple that may have formed to stop the Juggernaut and since Turkey did not respond to any messages prior to the deadline, I will need to try and work with Italy and/or Austria to get the eastern triangle sorted fast. I need to show there is no Juggernaut and I need to get friendly with someone in the Western Triangle. There is several alliance ideas being thrown my way as the discussions go, R/E, F/I/R, and A/I/R are the main ones to consider. There is concern for myself as the deals made by my predecessor are not my ideal moves and I have to consider a lot of information in a very short amount of time, the deadline is fast approaching I know nothing of the players in the game, besides the messages I can read and the new messages I am getting. I haven’t got a feel for anyone and then Germany leaks my message to England. I see that this going to be a tough sell and I have to try and limit my losses or I will be dead quickly. I opt for a safe and secure movement to try and limit my enemies and perhaps gain some favor from Germany, as he is the closest neighbor in striking distance and I have little defense in the north. England is him prime target and England is taking Sweden from me as part of a deal with my predecessor, so it gives prime spinning ability to the situation.

Winter 1902 – Success, at least in my eyes it is a successful movement in the fall. I am able to capture Norway and hold in the southeast. I maintain my center count and have diverted some attention to England as a primary target for Germany. My repositioning in the center has given Germany a goodwill sign and he has become much friendlier in discussion. France approaches with a plan to attack England, this seems separate from Germany’s plan, but it could be coordinated. It doesn’t much matter, when looking at the situation I see there are four parties involved and two of them want to gang up on the other, works for me. The eastern front looks similar, Austria and Italy approach with a plan to attack Turkey, looks like a good idea to me. I try and coordinate a faux war in the area to keep attention away from us and keep Germany and France focused on taking out England. That leaves the board shaped into two Triples, R/I/A and R/F/G. Both seem like viable options for me and I will need to choose eventually, but for now I will stay friendly with as many as I can until the decision is forced on me.

Spring/Fall 1903 – England informs me that he will sacrifice himself to France if I go against him or stop him from making gains. I cannot have that as that would throw off the balance of power before the east is secure and I am ready for it. He seems to be a willing ally, so I will agree with him and work with him as much as I can to keep the balance of power between the Western Triple. I work with Germany and England to gain Sweden and keep my silence to France when I know he will lose Brest to England. I need to keep the balance of power until I am ready. Austria has lied several times about his intended moves to both Italy and I, and that has lead to Turkey making a gain into Bulgaria and forcing Italy out, with a loss of center. I force Austria out of Galacia and I am approached by Italy, he wants to go after Austria. Turkey has begun to correspond and wants to go after Austria as well. As I noted previously, the neighbors want to gang up on someone besides myself, I am all for it. I make a note as well that it appears everyone trusts France, for some unknown reason. I noticed as well that France & Italy have made no moves towards each other, this has its concerns, but for now I need to keep Italy viable and working against Austria and I need France moving against England to keep the balances in place, I say nothing.

Spring/Fall 1904 – This was a lull year for me without much movement. I basically repositioned myself for better use of my units and allowed the game to develop a little around me. England has stayed a pesky thorn in the side of France and Germany by taking Holland, but he loses Liverpool. Austria has come under the sword of his neighbors and loses Trieste to Italy and Greece to Turkey. I gain nothing, but being in the board leader position and seeing the animosity that created for my predecessor I think it is best to help others make gains at this point and keep my options and relationships open and friendly.

Spring/Fall 1905 – Austria now approaches and says if I allow him to, he will move full force against Italy. Who am I to disagree with such a request in the spring? England maintains he wants my help, but his only requests are for him to gain centers and me to aide in that endeavor. I cannot agree to that without having to fight Germany and France, unfortunately England is just too small of a power at this point for the benefit of helping him. I will not remove him or constrict his movements if I can help it, as I need Germany and France distracted with him until the east is resolved, as Germany has a large amount of army units that can strike into my heart if he is taken away from that front. As Austria falls, both Italy and Turkey approach with plans against the other. I have reached a decision point and I will need to make one in the coming years, but I will try and delay it as much as possible as I am trying to keep the balance of power in place until France and Germany eliminate England and will start working against each other. My goal now is to keep getting 2 vs. 1 scenarios out there and always keep myself on the side of the 2.

Spring/Fall 1906 – Germany appears in a holding pattern and will not commit to a move against France without Italy committing as well. Unfortunately Italy must stay committed to working against Turkey. I have decided at this phase to move against Turkey for several reasons. Turkey has been lacking in communication and Italy is constant with his, Turkey has kept his fleet in the Black Sea while agreeing to DMZ the area for the last phase, and the corner position Turkey has is a greater threat than the center position Italy has. I have tied to work out a deal separately between Italy, Germany, and myself without coordinating with the other two, while this may provide better opportunity in the future, presently it has limited the moves by Germany and he sits idle. France has begun to approach me with plans to go against Germany, as the majority of his units are northern and to get to Italy would take several phases, just not a viable option for him, but leaves me with a huge threat in Italy. Without someone to balance the power, I shall have to keep a constant guard against Italy from this point on. My main focus now that England has fallen will be the removal of Turkey in the east and getting Germany and France fighting each other. The advantage I have working for me is France and Germany are close in proximity and I have little for them to gain in the north if they work against me as all of my centers in the area will take at least a phase notice of movement to capture and all can be defended easily with the three available units I have there. I will be making gains in Turkey soon and the loss of a center in the north should not have a great impact on my plans. Best case scenario if Germany and France do attack me is it will give me more ammunition with Italy to go against Germany, which he has already approached me about.

Spring 1907 – France & Germany have made moves to strike against me quickly. I will lose two centers this fall, Warsaw & Edinburgh. There is little I can do to stop the loss, I have gained Bulgaria and should be able to hold it with support from Italy. Turkey will gain a new chance at life and will not be able to be dealt with now. The moves are exposing Germany and will lead to a solo by France. I have mentioned this to Italy and he agrees. I don’t blame either France or Germany for the moves; I would have done similar, maybe not if I were Germany, but definitely if I was France. The solo opportunity is there for France and little can be done to stop it is Germany allows it. Italy is too far away and bogged down with Turkey, also France has an extra build that wasn’t used, so he will have an opportunity to build two fleets! I am going to defend as best I can from this point on, but with Turkey, France, & Germany all on the border and all eagerly looking for a piece, it shall be hard to keep the line secure and I fear that Italy may soon jump on board with them just to avoid attacks on themselves. Thus far Italy has been great and willing to move against Germany to try and limit the amount of exposure France can take advantage of. I have discussed with Italy that it may in his best interest just to join against me, so as not to expose him to a similar position as I find myself in over the next couple of years. He declined and seems willing to fight on.

Fall 1907 – Italy has followed my words, while I am not sure why he felt he needed to lie about it. With the taking of Budapest, Edinburgh, & Warsaw, it is just a matter of time now. I can try and defend myself, but there is very little that can be done. Turkey has reached out with words of assistance, but it is likely too little too late. It appears the Anti-Juggernaut alliance that developed earlier than my leadership of this nation was solid and hidden. A communication from Italy intended for France & Germany has reached us and makes the plan start to piece together. While having some knowledge of the coming attack, there is little I can do to stop it. I am merely looking for options to slow them down. I doubt Germany or Italy will turn on France from this point on as it would expose them to me, so it is France’s game to share or take. I may start to feed one of the three, just to offset the balance of their alliance. If I make it to 1910, I will consider that a victory. I regret now not forcing Italy & Germany to discuss their plans regarding working with me in a 3-way conversation. That may have tipped me earlier and I may have defended better. Instead I tried to keep as much information close to the vest as I could it pulled the wool over my eyes.

Spring/Fall 1908 – The end is fast approaching. I am able to cut some loses by gaining Warsaw, but even that will be short lived. The alliance of the day is France, Italy, & Germany. My only hope is to hang on long enough to see them turn on each other.

Spring 1910 – The game has changed immensely at this stage with the stab by France on Germany. The game has opened up and negotiations are at a new peak with my little nation. I am being courted by everyone, with the exception of Turkey. France offers safety to my northern forces if I move against Germany or Italy, Italy offers safety to my southern centers (I don’t have enough armies to cover all centers) if I move against Germany, and Germany wants to move against Italy, unless Italy agrees to join him & I in an anti-leader alliance against France. Turkey has been quiet, but I still trust him to be a close ally in this game and I hope he will be in position to aide in the coming seasons. Thus far I have moved to protect my south and awaited the moves to see who was courting with honesty. Germany protected himself against Italy and seems to be giving the game to France since Italy would not agree to the anti-alliance with Germany. Italy though has finally moved against France, while it is will likely be worth little in the long run as France can easily defend and it should have been done a season or two ago, it will have an impact on the negotiations I can have with both Italy and France. I am hopeful to gain back Warsaw in the fall phase and keep my remaining centers, giving me a much needed build. I will not be a power beyond leverage between Italy and France for sometime unless something dramatic happens. Italy controls the Balkans – no gains for me there, France will soon control the majority of Germany – no gains for me there, so where can I expand and who will allow me to do so in order to fight there enemy? That will be my ultimate decision maker over the course of the next year on whom I side with. My main goal at this point is to keep the game viable and keep everyone balanced and not giving a possibility of solo victory for anyone.

Fall 1910 – Warsaw falls and Germany is upset, but I weighed his idea of a unified front against the fact that he keeps being pushed back by France. Italy & I discussed keeping him as a buffer, but I have delayed in so many processes throughout this game I felt I needed to gamble a little and make a gain at the least. This has opened up talks with France as I have dealt a significant addition to the blow Germany felt this year. I am now going to try and balance my actions between these two powers (France & Italy) and try and get a slice of Germany. I am still debating on attacking Turkey, as it will spread my already sparse southern forces and make me an easy prey for Italy. If France takes or holds the Mediterranean, then I will likely sweep around Turkey, if it is Italy that rules the day I will have to take a cautious approach to Turkey.

Fall 1913 – The stalemate lines are drawing ever closer to be finalized and I really think I will be the balance that causes victory to be shared. If France continues with his stab and takes St Pete he will have much invested there to hold it and attempt to advance beyond it. He cannot break the fleets in the Med and with Germany & Turkey basically eliminated the line will not move in his favor. Italy will be forced to keep me alive and protecting the north and a few areas in the center from France getting a victory. France thinks Italy will stab to try for the victory and while I could see that happening, it would not be easy for Italy to gain the 18 centers and would really be up to me who I defended against. If Italy feels lucky or wants to gamble he will stab and the race will be on between them. I have little say in that affair. So, while I am not the 3rd power I wanted to be, I am fairly secure in my position and feel confident that I can withstand and hold the stalemate line to get a share of a draw and I will play for that end, as there isn’t much else I can do at this point.

Spring 1915 – Italy has struck in the south, but that wasn’t an unexpected event. I am forced to defend between these two giants now, France in the north and Italy in the south. Both are powerful in number, but they have a very different approach toward me. While I suspect both are looking for a solo, France starts negotiations with humor and attempts to get me on his side, but not for any great benefit to me, just the promise of survival until he solo’s. He basically requests I aide him in his solo attempt with no gain for myself. Italy on the other hand has discussed draw proposals with me and offers to taken centers only until he is matched with France in count and then he will accept a draw proposal if I offer it. Will he follow through with this or is he merely trying to lull me into poor position for his solo attempt, who knows at this point (besides Italy obviously), but his offer is much better from my position so I must accept it. I will lose at the minimum 2 centers this phase, but I will have less and less need for positioning as my centers are becoming more consolidated and easier to defend against both these large neighbors. My hope in the end is same as it has been for some time now, a 3-way draw, and I shall continue to approach that end.

Fall 1920 – The end is at hand, Italy has taken Berlin from France and reached the 18 centers last Spring, so we wait to see if he holds it and the victory is concluded. In reflection on the events from 1915 to now I have little to add. The progress made by Italy was not unexpected and I continued to try and reach out to France for a draw. One surprise was that Germany was still active, yet he did nothing but issued hold orders for the longest time. That was one of the things keeping the draw from becoming accepted. Had France just ended Germany (he was the only one who could), perhaps this game would have ended years earlier and with a shared victory.

Thoughts on the players are hard to come up with the game being long and several players gone for a while. Everyone played a great game in my opinion and deserves kudos for the game. It was game that truly lived up to the hype. I only wish all the games were like this one. I look forward to future tournaments like this one.

Re: Tournament - Final Table - bitwise wins!

PostPosted: 28 Aug 2009, 06:44
by Master Radishes
I'll write my full AAR later. But I just wanted to clarify with you, mdmuff - a draw was no good for me. I needed to solo to win the tourney. Italy could afford to draw (at an even number of SCs), since he knew (I'm sure) that he was top dog in any tiebreaker by that point. But I had to solo to win (or draw with most SCs, which I knew Italy would not let happen).

So I was just trying to be honest with you, instead of lying to your face. Italy could afford to entertain draw offers, I could not. Alas, my honourable style of play proves the old adage - nice guys finish (6th to) last. ;)

Re: Tournament - Final Table - bitwise wins!

PostPosted: 28 Aug 2009, 20:38
by bitwise
ITALIAN AAR for the Tournament Final

Game Players
ENGLAND (Batsman)
FRANCE (Master Radishes)
ITALY (bitwise) WINNER
GERMANY (camroc)
AUSTRIA (jeanphi)
TURKEY (rick.leeds)
RUSSIA (mdmuff, originally Diplomat)

Italy again. It seems like I'm Italy in about a third of all my games. On the plus side that has given me a lot of experience to enter this game with, but on the downside the facts remain that statisticly it's harder to win as Italy. Especially against this lot.
My initial plan is to get a CENTRAL ALLIANCE of Austria, Germany and myself established. This is a bit of a gamble, as the CA requires certain types of players in the right places. Germany should preferably be a deceptive smoothtalker who'll be the covert member of the alliance, while Austria should be a reliable teamplayer, who wouldn't stab me even if progress gets slow once in a while. It would be an added bonus if the other alliance members were below me in the qualification rankings in case of a tie-breaker. I cross my fingers and hope for MR in Germany and Camroc in Austria.
To get the CA off to a good start, we need to get 3 wars started ASAP: England vs. France, England vs. Russia and Russia vs. Turkey. This will allow the alliance to prosper without getting to much into harms way.
Even if the CA doesn't get established, I will need to be wary of naval powers, as they are the main threats against Italy. Turkey must die and England needs to be contained too. France is a danger too, but if he's willing to have a large DMZ between us, then his fleets will probably head North instead.

I contact Germany and Austria about the Central Alliance. They both like the idea, but I get the impression that the player types are wrong for this to become a succes, but it's worth a try anyway.
I also get mail from France suggesting a large DMZ between us. I agree right away, even if this means that my initial target then will be Turkey, which means a slow start for me. France also indicates, that he and Russia would like to form a secret F/I/R alliance with me. Since that's a perfect chance for me to help the CA become successful I happily join, but this is just a backup alliance for me at the moment.
England approaches Germany and me about ganging up on France right from the start with openings to the Channel, Burgundy and Piedmont. We agree, but it's a charade to get the E. vs. F. war started. I warn France, and setup a bounce in Piedmont. Together with Germany I write some fake intel about France supporting himself into Burgundy, which Germany will use as an excuse later for not going to Burgundy as promised.
Finally Turkey suggests that he and I form an unlikely alliance. Sure (NOT). One worry is, that I haven't expressed any concern about a Western Triple or a Juggernaut. Yet France uses many words to insure me, that there is no WT, and Turkey unprovoked denies the existance of a Jugger. What is all this about? Freudian slips?
I write the first Swiss Observer for the shoutbox, which is well received.
By the end of the movement phase I've nailed Diplomat as Russia and Camroc as Germany. I suspect that MR is Austria and Batsman is France, which puts jeanphi and Rick as the witches, but no clue about who of them is who.
Austria is my most trusted compagnion followed by Germany, France and Russia in that order, and to summerize I'm in the following alliances: G/I/A, F/I/R, E/G/I and I/T. The 2 first got potential, the last 2 do not!

I order the arranged VEN-PIE, while the rest of my units moves for a traditional Lepanto. Then the orders are revealed. NOT GOOD AT ALL. France does not bounce with England in the Channel as expected. He was warned about England going there, but did nothing to counter it. Is there something true about the WT after all? Even worse, the Black Sea was left open despite my best efforts to get a R/T war going. Now Turkey is already in CON and heading in my direction. At least my allies in the CA did as I expected.

FALL 01:
The CA plenum continues, but the inital results were a bit discouraging. I continue to talk with F and R about the secret F//I/R alliance, which is becoming a close contender for my prefered alliance.
To keep up appearances for England, I feign outrage in a mail to him and Germany (who offcourse knows better) and accuse either of them of leaking my move to PIE to France. I don't think England is convinced, but it's not like he has anyone else to trust right now, since Germany didn't go to BUR.
Austria is becoming extremely paranoid already. He's certain that there's both a WT and Jugger coming in our direction. I'm not convinced about the WT, but the vacant Black Sea is a big concern. Both Russia and Turkey are courting Austria and offering support against the other, but together we decide to play it safe and have him taking Greece with support. In retrospect a bad decision as both support offers were true, and Austrias distrust actually made his Juggernaut prophecy come true.
Since Austria is suspecting a WT, he is reluctant to trust Germany fully, and it's becoming clear that the CA won't be long lived. I have a better feeling about Germany, but I still trust Austria over him. I'm trying to keep both Germany and Austria on my good side individually, so I'll get the choice of who to stab, when it comes to that.
Austria and I try to setup an I/A/R to finish off Turkey. France suddenly tells me, that Austria is liking Russia better than me. Disinformation? Probably, but something to watch out for anyway.
(NOTE: It's impossible to describe the paranoia level in the game for those who didn't play, but it was very, very tense)
During this turn I realize that it's jeanphi in Austria and MR in France. Batsman and Rick are the witches, but to the very end I keep changing mind about who is England and who is France.
My current alliances: A/I/G, F/I/R, A/I/R, A/I.
Russia sounds like a possible good ally for the mid-game, until I see that he doesn't build in SEV as promised.
I make a mess of the 2nd Swiss Observer, which I forget to post as anonymous. I try to pin the post as a renegade Observer, but I guess the damage is done already.
France gambles that England will not go for BRE and is right, which earns him 2 builds. I'm delighted to see, that he doesn't build in MAR.
I take Tunis and builds another fleet in NAP.

The Juggernaut has manifested itself, even if there never was one. I play a big part in organizing the rest of the board against it, even if I feel like I'm playing the victory into the hands of France. Austria supports me into AEG. At least we should be able to keep Turkey contained now.
(NOTE: I lost track of the location of my diary at this point, so the rest of the game will be desribed illuminated by hindsight, as I honestly can't remember what I was feeling and thinking at the time. Only that the paranoia level was ever increasing.)
It was about this time, that Diplomat/Russia started to have problems playing, and eventually was replaced with mdmuff.

FALL 02:
France issues bogus orders, while the rest of us fight the Jugger. We're more succesful in the South, where I take BUL with Austrian support. I'm now up to 5 centers, growing slowly but steady with a new fleet in NAP. Austrias paranoia is becoming intolerable though, while France is slowly but steady becoming my best friend. Germany is still in on the loop as the CA technically is still in play, although I have already dismissed its chances of success. Maybe F/G/I could be interesting for the mid-game?

Austria apparently goes solo, as he doesn't issue the needed support for BUL, which is destroyed by Turkey. I now really don't have any hopes of success, but I wow to take out Austria first, before I fall myself. I start firming up my relations with all Austrias neighbours to make his fall quick. France and England are attacking each other.

I fall back at the seas, allowing Turkey out of his box to take Greece from Austria, while I get Russia to help me cutting support, so I can take Trieste. Russia is definately in my good book now, but his size is becoming a problem. It doesn't take much pushing to get Germany to move towards him. France is winning against England, and he gets permission to build a fleet in MAR, if he takes it to the Atlantic right away.

Turkey is wary about Russia, so he fortunately doesn't pursue me into my own waters. This allows me time to further reduce Austria together with Russia and Turkey, and by the end of the year Austria is gone. That'll teach him. Then I investigate the board again and discover, that I'm not in as bad shape as I had feared. Now a 6 center power, and Russia and Turkey can't get their act together. Perfect for me, if they keep mistrusting each other. England is becoming extinct really soon too.

England is finished off by Russia and France. Germany is trapped in his own diplomatic success. None of his neighbours wants to fight him, and he's poorly positioned to make an effective stab on anybody. He makes the mistake of waiting for someone to attack him first, which costs him growth at a critical point in the game. Russia is becoming a great ally for me. He's so big that he's hesitant to grow further, but he's also pissed at Turkey who has ventured into the Black Sea without an invitation. The result: 2 of Turkeys conquered centers becomes mine this year. Now 8 centers strong.

F/G starts an attack on the leading Russia. I'm in on the plan, but keeps up a straight face towards Russia, as his coorporation is needed to break down Turkey. The real and hopefully well hidden agenda at this time it, that France and I want to divide the world between us and race to 18 without breaking our DMZ. The odds look very even at this time, but I think each of us thinks, that the "don't break the DMZ" rule only applies if the other one isn't winning.
In the Fall I decide to stab Russia for a center. Not an easy decision, but I felt like I needed the extra clout in case France managed to get Germany to move in my direction, before France eventually stabbed him. Russia had actually invited me to do so, but I declined at the time and only made the decision to stab in the last minutes of the round. I figure that I can reactivate my Russian relations, once France stabs Germany and a new balance is needed.

I shift my troops around for better positioning. Russia feeds a center to Turkey. I hadn't foreseen that. A stronger Turkey will almost certainly guerantee that France wins the hidden race. Also France has resisted the temptation to stab Germany yet, so I don't have a changed situation to approach Russia about.

In the Spring I take RUM from Russia, but I vacate it in the Fall for a move to Turkish Bulgaria. Now Turkey is back to 3 centers, and even more importantly France has finally stabbed Germany. Now I can approach Russia and Germany about fighting France in the North. We make a plan, where Russia moves against Turkey while I back away from him. G/R insists that I must also move on France now. I plan too, but I can't say that to them beforehand. One of them will almost certainly forward such a message to France spoiling the surprise to buy himself some time in the North. I know I would have anyway. That part of the plan seems to work fine as France doesn't build in MAR.

I move against France breaking the DMZ. Unfortunately Russia didn't believe that I would actually move against France, so he moves against me rather than against Turkey. The one thing I can't afford now is to let Turkey out of the coffin and into my backyard, so I need to hold back some of my attack force as rear guard making it less likely that I would make gains in France. In the Fall Russia takes WAR from Germany which wasn't part of the plan. Germany becomes very pissed over this, but on the positive side Russia gains a build in STP, which will slow down France.

I'm faced with a gamble in France. Do I take Spain, which will succeed but might not hold in the Fall, or do I try to take MAR, which might fail but could be a decisive blow against France if succesful? I try the later and fail. It will now be a stalemate line in that part of the map. Russia is finally moving in on Turkey, but I don't like seeing him vacate STP like that. What kind of deal has he struck with France? Germany also seems to have a new deal with France. What kind of witchcraft is this, that enables France to pacify the 2 powers he stabbed so quickly? Oh well, that's what you'll often see, when playing against MR. At least Russia is still working together with me too. I just hope he knows what he's dealing with when it comes to France.

Both STP and NOR has been vacated. What's going on up there? Russia is preparing for the assault on Berlin, and Turkey finally loses a center and is now down to 2.

Turkey is finally killed off, Russia takes Berlin and I take Munich. France takes STP to the genuine? surprise of Russia. The situation is now this: France sits at 14 centers, I have 13, Russia has 6 and Germany has 1.
Russia starts talking about the end-game. His goal is to be involved in a draw. I tell him, that's fine with me as long as the draw takes place at a time, where I'm equal to France in size. To get to that point I'll need to stab him first and I tell him that too. He appreciates me being frank about it, and I reassure him that I won't stab him if it puts our frontline against France in danger.

I let Russia have another center in Turkey to get an army in Warsaw, while I disband an unneeded fleet.

I stab Russia for 2 centers to get to an equal amount of centers to France. I'm in position to take more centers from Russia when needed.

No changes as the frontlines are firming up in the North. I'm starting to feel confident that I'll win the tournament, but I'm not looking for a solo yet. However, France and Germany are ignoring the Russian draw proposals to end the game. Germany has gone into hibernation and is only issuing HOLD orders. I never believe that he has surrendered, just that he no longer wants to do anything in the game. (I was wrong in that assumption).

Still no changes or accepted draws, but now my frontline is positioned to take more centers from Russia and put more pressure on France.

I stab Russia for more centers getting to 17. I could have gotten the solo here and there, if I hadn't completely misread Russias hint on how to do it. What a poor timing for my language skills to fail me.

But it didn't matter. Moscow couldn't be defended, so I'd reach 18 this year then. BUT... then Germany suddenly jumps back into action and with a combined F/G/R effort forces me out of Munich. Stalemated and resigned, I start communicating with everybody about what would be an acceptable draw for them. France finally comes with a message, where he congratulates me with the tournament win, but he'll only settle for a 2-way in the final, as he's doing pretty well in the rankings and wants to continue with that. It doesn't take much consideration to forward that message to Germany and Russia leaving it up to them to decide how the game should end.

And it paid off. Germany "forgets" to support France in Berlin, and I take Berlin to get to 18 centers which can all be defended.

What a fantastic game. Fantastic diplomacy and communication. Fantastic opponents.
I'm pleased to have won the tournament.
I'm very pleased to have won the tournament final against these opponents.
I'm delighted to have won the tournament final against these opponents with a SOLO!
I'm totally over the roof with joy to have won the tournament final against these opponent with a solo AS ITALY!!!
Simply put, this is probably the best game of Diplomacy I've ever played. I made very few mistakes throughout the game. I kept my cool despite the bad start. Overall I was very succesful in getting other people to do my dirty work. E.g. I didn't attack Germany myself until the endgame, but before that I was involved in getting both France and Russia and even Austria to move on him to make sure that he never found the opportunity to move against my weakest spot through Tyrolia.

AUSTRIA (jeanphi): You were my best friend for the first couple of years, but your paranoia made me wonder if you perceived me the same way. When you failed me in Bulgaria, I was committed to take you down with me. I was just fortunate that concurrent events made it possible for me to come out of the vendetta stronger instead of weaker. Hint: You're the only person I know, who refers to a Juggernaut as a Jurg, which makes it rather easy to guess your ID.

ENGLAND (Batsman): You stuck your neck out right from the begining in trying to get everybody to gang up on France. It could have worked, if it wasn't for the other alliances that were in play. That made you walk into a deadly trap, where even your undisputed skills couldn't have saved you, but you certainly made some nice tries before it came to that. I liked the stickers for the Department of Redundancy Department in the shoutbox.

TURKEY (rick.leeds): What can I say? Italy and Turkey are deadly enemies, and I did my best throughout the game to keep you contained in the corner. It probably didn't help, that RL issues were limiting your communication the first year.

GERMANY (Camroc): I so wished that you would have been Austria instead, but as Germany in a Central Alliance I think you're to honest. Nevertheless I truly feared you the entire mid-game, because you had the option of sneaking through TYR and make my defenses crumble. So I tried very hard to stay friendly with you and did my best to ensure that you always had someone else to fight. In my opinion your main mistake was to stay passive for a year, when you had nobody to fight. If you had decided to move on either France, Russia or me that year, it would have been a very different game. It was also a good laugh to read your message about not wanting to help me, as my nation had lost in cricket to England. I'm sure that there is a Danish National Cricket team somewhere, but I never heard about them and doubt that they would stand a chance against England if they were to play eachother.

RUSSIA (mdmuff and Diplomat): Diplomat was easy to spot due to his distinct style. As always you want to ally with him, but I just had the feeling that I wasn't his primary ally. Due to circumstances there was no secret in the identity of his replacement. Mdmuff, I really liked you messages and your rational approach to the game. It suited me greatly that you became the early leader. It never ceases to amaze me how much more dangerous a 9 center Russia looks on the map compared to an 8-center Italy. I wouldn't have minded sharing a draw with you, but I had to move on, when that was no longer an option.

FRANCE (Master Radishes): Fantastic game from you. It never ceases to amaze me, how you win back the "trust" from the people that you've stabbed previously in the game. Our partnership was a perfect match as it offered us both the chance of winning. I broke the DMZ agreement at just about the right time, which I'm certain you would have done too, if the situation had been reversed. In the end, it all came down to me being ahead of you in the tie-breaker rankings, and thus having the luxery to offer draws, where you had to hope for a solo.

Re: Tournament - Final Table - bitwise wins!

PostPosted: 28 Aug 2009, 21:16
by mdmuff
Master Radishes wrote:I'll write my full AAR later. But I just wanted to clarify with you, mdmuff - a draw was no good for me. I needed to solo to win the tourney. Italy could afford to draw (at an even number of SCs), since he knew (I'm sure) that he was top dog in any tiebreaker by that point. But I had to solo to win (or draw with most SCs, which I knew Italy would not let happen).

So I was just trying to be honest with you, instead of lying to your face. Italy could afford to entertain draw offers, I could not. Alas, my honourable style of play proves the old adage - nice guys finish (6th to) last. ;)

You should have lied I guess ;)

I had little option as Italy said he would share the draw and accepted a couple of them. I would have worked with you for a solo as well if you hadn't stabbed me right after we took out England :P

Great insight from bitwise as well. I wasn't far off on my thinking with you and you were always honest with your intentions. Even the stabs weren't that bad as I suggest some of them and was informed ahead of most. I couldn't do anything to stop them anyway, but the respect of letting me voice opposition to them was greatly appreciated and probably what influenced me the most in continuing to work against France in the north.

Re: Tournament - Final Table - bitwise wins!

PostPosted: 28 Aug 2009, 23:56
by rick.leeds
First off - congratulations to Bitwise for a great win. This was a great game and I enjoyed playing it. A game of ebbs and flows as far as alliances were concerned (at least from my readings).

As for my AAR, it's not going to be as long as the others (certainly not as long as the two we've had) as I didn't get chance to keep notes throughout the game. As Bitwise said, RL issues affected my diplomacy throughout, which is one of the reasons the relationship with MD broke down compared to what it had been with Diplomat. Just the wrong time of year to be playing this level of game for me.

Anyway, the Early Game started with me trying to make real alliances with Italy and Russia. And almost right off the bat the rumours of the Juggernaut were flowing. They were actually half-right, as it was, in my eyes, the fall back alliance if Italy wouldn't bite. Having read his AAR that was never going to happen. Early on A/I was the alliance affecting my arena and therefore it had to be matched by R/T. Whether Diplomat was as fully behind the alliance as I became is debatable. At the end of 1901 Russia and Austria were apparently trusting each other though Austria was concerned about the possible Jug. At the end of 1902 the alliance structure in the south mentioned above had firmed up. Austria had supported Italy against me, Russia and I were working together to fight it.

The turning point came when Diplomat had to drop out. He knew about the lack of time I had to play the game, mdmuff didn't. As he said, that meant he Russia began to work more with Italy than with me. At the end of 1903 I had re-taken Bulgaria but in Spring 04 Russia moved into the Black Sea. Italy had moved his fleet from Aegean-Ionian and I hoped I had some chance of gaining a stronger working relationship with Italy. Russia was saying a lot about working to make it seem that the Jug wasn't on, which seemed a little of key considering that everyone thought it was anyway. In Fall I gambled, taking Greece from Austria but leaving Bul and Con open to Russian attack. My fleet Con I moved to Ankara allowing me to build in Con to face Russia if needed.

Fall 05 left an interesting situation. Austria was gone: Italy in Trieste and Vienna, Russia in Bud, and I had six centres with Bul, Greece and Serbia. Serbia I'd taken with Russian support, although I still half-expected a Russian attack which meant I'd moved Ank-BLA. The idea was also that I could try and persuade Italy that I was prepared to attack Russia if he would. A mistake. However I had promised Russia that the fleet would move as soon as possible and it would have - when possible. But the damage was done. 1906 saw Russia re-position to attack me, which allowed Italy to grab Greece and Serbia. By the end of 06 I was alone and friendless, taking my only solace that Russia had been attacked by his ally France after the two had taken England from the game.

1907 saw Italy and Germany also attack Russia and Italy simultaneously support Russia into Bul. By the end of the year I was down to three and Russia was faced with enemies all around. In the end this forced us to patch up our relationship again. Russia allowed me back into Bul to try to hold off Italy, but by the end of 08 we had just 9 units between us.

At the end of 09 (I think) I made an offer to Italy: I would stand and allow him to do as he pleased. This meant in 1910 Italy moved against France and Russia moved to attack Italian units in Austria. This meant Russia abandoned the north, however. Russia and France seemed to reach some kind of agreement, though, and France allowed Russia to go un-attacked whilst he attacked Germany and moved to defend against Italy. Italy didn't believe me and held forces back whilst also moving to defend Bud. Russia, however, didn't push against Italy, but took Warsaw back from Germany and slipped forces back to move against me. When Russia moved into Armenia I told Italy and Russia that if Russia attacked me I would back off from Italy to defend against Russia, trying to give Italy the SCs from the west. With just two fleets left - Smyrna and Syria - I offered Italy the chance to stab Russia. This was the situation: I offered Syr S EMS-Smy, Smy-AEG, while Italy moved Con-BLA, Bul-Con and either Ser-Gre (for convoying by AEG to Smy/Con) or Ser-Rum. Italy declined, stating he needed Russia to contain France. My game was over either way. The rest of the game was always going to be a case of would Russia let Italy win.

An enjoyable game, as I've said. I never really got anywhere, and when I did I stuffed it up (although I don't think my move to Black Sea would have changed Russia's decision to attack me sooner or later). I was at a little disadvantage as I hadn't played many of these players at all and didn't have a feeling for who was who at all (I didn't have a clue that it was Diplomat who had been Russia). I half-guessed MR was France. I actually had Italy as being Batsman as early on he and I seemed to be messaging 12 hours apart and I wondered if that was because he was the Aussie ;) Then again that's what anon games are all about. It is the first game were alliances were so in flux for me also.

Hmm I think I said this wouldn't be a long AAR.........

Re: Tournament - Final Table - bitwise wins!

PostPosted: 29 Aug 2009, 06:18
by Master Radishes
I picked out jeanphi in Austria very quickly - writing style. Batsman in England was also very easy to guess (again, writing style, plus his use of the Shoutbox). Russia was obviously Diplomat and then mdmuff, of course. That made Italy bitwise, which made sense when I looked at his style of diplomacy. The two I could not place for quite awhile were camroc and rick. I knew they were Germany/Turkey...but I have played lots with cam and not a lot with rick, and they sounded too similar to me to be able to figure it out. (Plus they're both in the same time zone, so no revelation from that.) By the end I was confident camroc was Germany, leaving rick as Turkey, but it took awhile for me to decide on that.

I'll try to get to my full AAR tonight. This was certainly a fantastic game from my end. (And yet at the same time...I didn't win, when I came so close to doing so, so clearly I did something wrong. I took several gambles when stabbing (which I did a fair bit, it seemed), and all but the last one paid off. I actually think I blame player personalities for that one, though. Anyways, saving it for the AAR. ;) )

Re: Tournament - Final Table - bitwise wins!

PostPosted: 29 Aug 2009, 18:45
by infinity8ball
Looks like a great game! Kind of characterized by a "greedy russia" towards the end from an outsiders opinion!

Re: Tournament - Final Table - bitwise wins!

PostPosted: 30 Aug 2009, 14:44
by mdmuff
infinity8ball wrote:Looks like a great game! Kind of characterized by a "greedy russia" towards the end from an outsiders opinion!

What makes you say that?

Re: Tournament - Final Table - bitwise wins!

PostPosted: 30 Aug 2009, 14:47
by Banditkills
Looked like an epic game, I am finding reading the thoughts and turns by each player interesting reading.