Two Player Challenge!

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Re: Two Player Challenge!

Postby TTBen » 30 Dec 2017, 17:40

Played a 2pc yesterday in the 1900 map as England vs France and it seemed very balanced until I made a mistake trying to convoy. Being at each other from the start certainly added an interesting element with a consistent fight over MAO
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Re: Two Player Challenge!

Postby mhsmith0 » 02 Jan 2018, 00:41

Captainmeme wrote:It's awesome to see this variant over here now!

I'm not sure there are many countries this is balanced for, though. If you pick Russia, you beat everything as both attacker and defender due to the extra starting unit. If you pick England, you lose to absolutely everything. Most of the other matchups are heavily biased one way or another - there are only 3 I've seen played with (relative) balance:

FvA (Austria attacking)
AvG (I don't actually know which nation I'd set as attacking in that matchup, but in any case it's usually decided well before '12)
GvI (Germany attacking. In order for this variant to be balanced, Italy needs to open S01: Ven-Tyo, Nap-Ion, Rom-Apu F01: Ven-Tri (if bounced), Ion C Apu-Gre B01: Build A Ven, A Nap S02: Ion C Nap-Gre. It becomes a far better variant if Italy knows that opening)


AvG
I really don't know who has the edge here. Probably worth playing to find out I guess.

G/I:
Having just played this, I found the Italian opening of Ven-Pie, Rom-Ven,Nap-ION (or TYS) to be a functional enough opening. The main difficulty comes in the fall, when you must choose whether to try and bounce Germany with Ven-Tyr (if he goes for Venice) or Ven-Tri (if he goes for the easier build). I semi-lost that coinflip by going Ven-Tyr, and being down a build early, but found that the ability to harass Germany via Mar-Bur and then Bur-Bel or Mun in fall 1902 to be a highly useful weapon that kept me hanging around long enough to eventually flip the script in late game.
Ditto the ability to force MAO early, which seems super important for Italy (Germany can hit MAO by spring 1903, and once he's into MAO I think Italy is in a world of hurt).
Why is Nap-ION and then convoying a superior opening to Nap-TYS/ION-Tunis and then speeding towards MAO? Just the ability to grab growths around the south of the Balkans? What happens if Germany occupies MAO first? Can Italy recover from that spot without a commanding Balkans position otherwise? Ditto if Germany is able to go Mun-Bur-Mar in 1902 or 1903 unopposed and then be a pain in the ass through Italy's undefended backside.
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Re: Two Player Challenge!

Postby BlueBorjigin » 02 Jan 2018, 01:08

I PMd him asking about opening to Pied & Ven, though I hadn't thought about the possibility of sending F Nap straight west to contest the MAO immediately. I haven't yet tried GvI - how do his arguments compare with what you experienced in game?

Captainmeme wrote:I know some of the top GvI players on webDip and for the most part they use the opening I mentioned. CptMike in particular used it a huge amount in the recent GvI Challenge, here are a couple of examples:

http://webdiplomacy.net/board.php?gameI ... #gamePanel
http://webdiplomacy.net/board.php?gameI ... #gamePanel

The real problem with Italy in this variant is their lack of ability to contest Austria and block up the Balkans, and that stems from their inability to get armies out of the peninsula. Both powers pretty much always go to Tyrolia in S01, because not doing so provides a huge disadvantage in F01 in that you have to guess whether to protect your HSC or not (or have an army pinned there, preventing a forward build and killing early momentum) - that's one major problem with your opening, you're getting maximum one army onto the eastern side of the board in the first two years, whereas Germany will likely have 3 or 4 there after 1902. You gain a bit of extra pressure on France, but in reality that only aids you in gaining Iberia - one army is not enough to push north, and Germany can easily make up for Iberian losses by taking Vie/Bud/Rum. While there are some alternative openings for Italy that do get more armies out (Ven-Tri Rom-Ven then Tri S Ven-Tyo being one) they all tend to block in future Italian army builds - convoying out via Ion solves that problem, and gets more units on the frontline faster.
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Re: Two Player Challenge!

Postby mhsmith0 » 02 Jan 2018, 01:20

As Italy
http://www.playdiplomacy.com/game_play_ ... _id=138876
I went with what I'd proposed, and barely squeaked out a game that I came very very close to losing a few times.

As Germany
http://www.playdiplomacy.com/game_play_ ... _id=138877
I won in 1907 with 20 centers, and probably could have won around 1905 if I hadn't been focusing on squeezing and harassing Italy basically every step of the way (also I made an unwise move in fall 1903 to cede Spain in order to seal off MAO, but with my units advantage I don't think the risk of letting Italy puncture MAO with one fleet was a big deal, especially if I could have then instead grabbed Tunis in 1904).
In that game Italy double-dipped Ven-Tyr instead of going Ven-Tri in the fall, but I don't think that was such a problem as to completely swing the game (though I could well be mistaken).
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Re: Two Player Challenge!

Postby mhsmith0 » 04 Jan 2018, 18:11

Is there appetite for a playdip 2p challenge tourney? I recall talk about possibly setting one up; I could probably do the work of it if needed, but I'd probably prefer that someone else did it instead :P
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Re: Two Player Challenge!

Postby TTBen » 04 Jan 2018, 19:59

mhsmith0 wrote:As Italy
http://www.playdiplomacy.com/game_play_ ... _id=138876
I went with what I'd proposed, and barely squeaked out a game that I came very very close to losing a few times.

As Germany
http://www.playdiplomacy.com/game_play_ ... _id=138877
I won in 1907 with 20 centers, and probably could have won around 1905 if I hadn't been focusing on squeezing and harassing Italy basically every step of the way (also I made an unwise move in fall 1903 to cede Spain in order to seal off MAO, but with my units advantage I don't think the risk of letting Italy puncture MAO with one fleet was a big deal, especially if I could have then instead grabbed Tunis in 1904).
In that game Italy double-dipped Ven-Tyr instead of going Ven-Tri in the fall, but I don't think that was such a problem as to completely swing the game (though I could well be mistaken).


Your strength I have seen in both games against me mentioned above and other games I have observed is being able to adjust your strategies very well based on what your opponent was doing. I do feel like I should have done better in the game I was Germany but I lost focus. The game I was Italy I let a previous experience where I was also Italy and Germany got Tyrolia in Fall 01 overly affect me as I saw my struggles ever getting any footing once Germany was in Tyrolia, I don’t think it was necessarily an error to take a 2nd shot at Tyrolia, but where my fatal error was is that I built an army in Naples instead of in Rome. If you are going to bounce Tyrolia a 2nd time then you are going to have to bring some backup in the first build not just leave it as a Lone Ranger.
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Re: Two Player Challenge!

Postby NoPunIn10Did » 25 Jan 2018, 20:54

super_dipsy wrote:- The exception to the 18 SC victory condition is if both countries reach 18 centres in the same Build phase (including the last one), in which case the Attacker wins


I'm assuming this is applicable to the 1900 map only, since it's not currently compatible with Versailles (and all other maps have 34 centers). Is this correct?
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Re: Two Player Challenge!

Postby Jensen » 01 Feb 2018, 00:33

Has anyone had a game go the full 12 years yet? Intuitively I would think defender has the advantage as they only have to block and hold out for 12 years. They have the option of sacrifiing an sc gain if it slows down the attacker by an sc gain. But so far none of my games have gone that long.
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Re: Two Player Challenge!

Postby Adam_Nisbett » 16 Feb 2018, 05:04

I’ve had games that hit a stalemate line at 17-17 and would’ve gone 12 years if the attacker hadn’t conceded. I think the rule is to prevent a stubborn attacker from prolonging a stalemate indefinitely hoping the defender will eventually NMR.
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Re: Two Player Challenge!

Postby sinnybee » 27 Feb 2018, 08:29

Edit(s) needed:
super_dipsy wrote:- If no_one reaches 18, the Defender wins
- The exception to the 18 SC victory condition is if both countries reach 1817 centres in the same Build phase (including the last one), in which case the Attacker wins

Why shouldn't the defender win in a 17-17?
If the attacker has 17 SC and the defender has 16 (or less) SC, the defender gets punished with a loss for taking the last SC(s) when keeping to the 17-16 gives them the win? That doesn't make sense to me.
Also, in AvF, in which A is supposed to have the advantage, shouldn't their advantage be slightly lessened by giving 17-17 to the defender--France?
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