AAR

GM: asudevil, Winner, Didadem

Re: AAR

Postby Diadem » 21 Sep 2013, 23:52

So here's my thoughts about the game.

During the winter phase, and spring 1901 negotiations, I realized that England would probably by my greatest threat. He either had Evil Eye or Thief, both very good powers, and England is always a danger to France. I figured England would be in a superior position in the long run, but I had powers that already worked in spring 1901, and the element of surprise, so I figured attacking extremely aggressively right away was the best strategy. And everything fell exactly into place, with loving the idea of using my mines and his Hawkonnen together, and Russia hyperspacing to Scandinavia denying an English build. Then in spring 1902 England ran into my mine in Ion and the game was basically over for him.

Diplomatically I think I played it quite well, except for England, I pretty much managed to stay friendly (or at leats neutral) with everybody in the early game. Germany was emerging as the other major power, so I covertly aided Austria and Russia against him, but never openly enough to really antagonize him. So after England's elimination, I was in a very comfortable position where I was slowly pulling ahead, without having made any real enemies.

In the next phase though I overplayed my hand, trying to force a solo too early, making enemies in both Germany and Italy, which wasn't smart. I got smacked down quite hard, and when Germany was suddenly pushing my borders in the north while Turkey was invading me from the south, things looked bad for a while. Luckily then Russia stabbed Turkey, and this instantly brought Turkey back to my side. I also managed to repair my relationship with Germany, and this allowed me to regain my position. I focused on eliminating Italy after that, both because that would eliminate the hyperspace threat, but also because I wanted to remain friendly with all the other players, and "I'm busy with Italy" was the perfect excuse to not having to pick sides in the other conflicts.

I told everybody I was giving up my plans for a solo, and for a brief while this was actually true. For a brief while my solo chances were really gone. But I slowly managed to rebuild and edge ever closer to a solo. I was still very scared to grow too big, but I did make sure to put all my units in very advantageous positions. And then when Turkey offered to throw me the game the race was basically won.

The weird thing is that an ALA could have easily stopped me. Even now with 18 centres it could probably defeat me again. Honestly I think the 18 centre limit may be a bit too low in a game like VR, where things can change very quickly, especially on the 1900 map. A three-way draw is very hard, because of the low victory condition, and even for a 4-way draw it's difficult to maintain a balance where noone can stab for a solo.
Draw in Diplomacy Stew 2, playing Italy
Winner Four Seasons, playing England
Draw in Layered, playing Yellow (Russia + Turkey)
Winner Shuffle, playing Turkey
Winner Vain Rats 4, playing France

... but first you must learn how to smile as you kill.
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Re: AAR

Postby presser84 » 22 Sep 2013, 00:04

I see no point in making an AAR unless you have specific questions.

This game could also be a lesson to all that I don't make idle king-maker threats.

Lastly's Russia it was what you and Germany said and did after stabbing, not your stab per-say, that solidified my desire to ensure you both go nothing from the game. You laughed in my face when I said I would king-make France. Your tone, specifically about wanting a 1 center Italy as an ally over me and then only reaching out to me when Italy was killed off only hardened my resolve. It was obvious that, even in a late ALA I would only be set up to be draw whittled in a push for a 3-way. I am next to impossible to draw whittle.

No point in helping you get anywhere near a victory under those conditions.

Diadem was simply the superior diplomat. Knowing the temperature of the board and reading the dynamic that existed for his benefit.
Last edited by presser84 on 22 Sep 2013, 00:36, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: AAR

Postby Diadem » 22 Sep 2013, 00:31

Ok so those were my thoughts about the game itself, the strategy and the diplomacy. I figured I'd make a different power regarding all the rules-related discussions that have been developing.

But first, a question: What was England's mP? I still have no idea. The rumour early game was UN, but he never used it, so I'm not sure.
Another question: Do we get to see a complete list of country and power bids? I'm curious.

After VR3, I really wanted to try Petrol Rationing / Amoeba again. I disliked the way VR3 went, and I thought I never got a chance to experience the true potential of the combination. After reading the VR4 powers list though, there were way too many powers to mess with that combo. My top bids was for Evil Eye, with Thief my second bid. I still think they are the top 2 powers, but with their order reversed. Terrorist was my third bid. Every seemed to think it was total crap, but I always liked it, in fact I already almost bid it in VR3. It's not that I think it's really strong, but it's not weak either, and it's fun and surprising. Good synergy with both Earthquake and Guild too, my top mP bids.

I do want to clear one thing up though: When I bid on Terrorist I already absolutely assumed that I would be allowed to put mines in supply centres after the initial season. That precedent dates back all the way to VR1 if I'm not mistaken. I have no idea why attitudes and asudevil are apologizing for their decision about this, because they made no decision. They just followed clearly established precedent, which is absolutely the right thing to do. I also most certainly would not have bid on Terrorist at all if this hadn't been allowed.

I'm reading back my messages, and I asked a lot of questions regarding rules, but I don't think I ever even asked if this was allowed, because it was never in doubt. I did ask a question about what happens if I mine a home supply centre that's being build in in the same turn, but the fact that placing such a mine is allowed was never in dispute.

As for Germany saying that this had a huge impact in my victory, and especially the elimination of England: That's just absurd. My initial mines were in Nth, Mao and Tys, my 1902 mines were in Bur, Ion and Mac. I didn't start placing mines in supply centres until 1903, and by that time England was already reduced to 1 unit. He did walk into a mine in London, and that made things a bit easier for me, but I'd never have left London open in the first place if it hadn't been mined. England might have survived for another year or so without it, but it absolutely played no role in England's initial downfall.

Obviously it helped me during the rest of the game, but not brokenly so. Honestly guild played a much greater part in my victory that terrorist. Terrorist imho is a good, but nothing special, MP. Guild however is pretty broken as an mP. It gave me a ridiculous amount of map control.

From a rules point of view, allowing terrorist to bomb supply centres was clearly the right call, as I already pointed out above. It was simply following well established precedent. Changing the rules half-way a game over such an integral part of someone's power is an absolutely horribly idea. I certainly would have resigned immediately if that had been done.

From the point of view of balance, it was also the right call. Even with that rule, it's still not as good as powers like EE, Thief, Hawkonnen (and a few others I won't name because I might want to pick them in future games :)) Without the ability to mine supply centres, terrorist would be really weak.

I definitely think disallowing this in VR5 would be a mistake. I certainly wouldn't pick terrorist under those conditions. Though it's probably a good idea to rewrite the rules to be more explicit about this.
Draw in Diplomacy Stew 2, playing Italy
Winner Four Seasons, playing England
Draw in Layered, playing Yellow (Russia + Turkey)
Winner Shuffle, playing Turkey
Winner Vain Rats 4, playing France

... but first you must learn how to smile as you kill.
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Re: AAR

Postby Diadem » 22 Sep 2013, 00:39

Other rules related remarks (I was reading my message archive while making my previous posts, and these are things I that were discussed, though I'm probably still forgetting quite a few).
- King Key should be rewritten to make the situation about 1v1 bounces (which key wins) more clear. Though I also think we should take a long hard look at that precedent, because I still think it's silly. King Key needs some work though, it's quite weak.
- Hyperspace should be rewritten to make it clear that hyperspacing during retreats is not allowed.
- The exact workings of guild credits should be more clearly spelled out, and maybe rethought. As is I think guild is overpowered for an mP. An elegant solution might be to make credits unstealable, give one for winter seasons too (so 3 per year total, though probably not winter 1900) and make it an MP.
Draw in Diplomacy Stew 2, playing Italy
Winner Four Seasons, playing England
Draw in Layered, playing Yellow (Russia + Turkey)
Winner Shuffle, playing Turkey
Winner Vain Rats 4, playing France

... but first you must learn how to smile as you kill.
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Re: AAR

Postby Diadem » 22 Sep 2013, 00:43

marsman57 wrote:So this result is mainly the fault of my traveling. Look what Diadem accidentally sent in reply to a message telling him not to take both Egy and Por

Diadem wrote:
marsman57 wrote:It might be best for you not to take both. I'm not sure what the best course of action is tbqh

I'm not yet sure myself either. Part of it depends on how negotiations go. But why not take both?

It does weaken you a lot. But honestly if i now take 2-3 centres and ALA is going to form anyway. I may as well try to get to 18 in one fell swoop. And being duplicitous is getting harder and harder to maintain. Russia is already growing very suspicious, and Austria is already openly hostile towards me.


Edit: I only just read the message above right before posting.

Wow, I can't quite believe I sent that to you. What a blunder. Luckily it didn't really matter, because it was too late to stop me anyway.

A major problem for me currently when it comes to diplomacy is that playdiplomacy.com is blocked from my current place of work. So I'm stuck to playing during early mornings and evenings, both of which are not ideal times for me. I sometimes answer messages from my mobile, but that's never very convenient either, and leads to mistakes like the above.

Hopefully by the time VR5 rolls around I'll be on an assignment where I can access the site :)
Draw in Diplomacy Stew 2, playing Italy
Winner Four Seasons, playing England
Draw in Layered, playing Yellow (Russia + Turkey)
Winner Shuffle, playing Turkey
Winner Vain Rats 4, playing France

... but first you must learn how to smile as you kill.
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Re: AAR

Postby haroonriaz » 22 Sep 2013, 01:41

I agree with the analysis of both Diadem and presser84. Of course, you could easily see that France was playing Russia and Austria against me, but a great factor has been my sheer inability to seriously threaten France at any point. Breaking the Siegfried line, you know. I knew all along that such inaction would cost the game, but everyone around me was acting suspicious right from the word go, thanks to the devious nature of this variant. I do admit that I deliberately and playfully alienated Turkey from the alliance at one point. Although I expected my message to be taken as a joke. But by that time, there was effectively no alliance anyway. Russia killed it by attacking Turkey.

I also agree that 18 is certainly a low SC count for solo victory condition, even more so on the 1900 map, having all those surplus supply centers.
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Re: AAR

Postby haroonriaz » 22 Sep 2013, 02:32

Diadem, you following the precedence from the previous VR editions and the moderators foregoing it, instead of focusing on the definition of the rule at the beginning of the thread, is precisely the problem. You don't understand that.

This is what we are talking about.
"Terrorist In Winter 1900, you submit three provinces (land or sea) which you mine. You can save these until a future year if desired. The bombs can only be placed in non-supply centres. As the game progresses, you may not mine any occupied area or any territory where a bomb has exploded within the last two years. During a winter turn you may order new mines in any allowed territory any mines that have exploded. (ie you can rebuild a bomb that exploded in Spring 02 in Winter 02) This bomb destroys any unit that enter it. If a unit is moved into a space that has a mine and that space is also Illusioned, the unit that moved INTO the space will set off the mine, not the unit after the illusion is processed. If no unit was ordered in, but another one arrives through Illusion, that unit will detonate the mine. Units moving more than one space will trigger the explosion as they leave the mined area."
Source: viewtopic.php?f=573&t=37806

I don't care that you would not have bid for the Terrorist power if it did not involve mining SCs. I would not have objected had the definition of the rule included that, and would have gone on with it, as I did anyway despite spotting the violation. It was a violation of rules, make no mistake about it. I think mining supply centers does have an effect on the balance of the game, but I agree far lesser than several other powers such as Earthquake. So there is nothing wrong with including mining SCs in the Terrorist power, but that would require rewriting the rule. That is precisely what the objection was about.

Even though I think that would technically allow the power controlling Terrorist to destroy a build in a home supply center. I discussed it with Diadem and he thinks that you are not supposed to use the terrorist power to block a build. Why? I am not sure. I wish I could see the source where Diadem finds his unwritten rules from. It would make life a lot easier playing Vain Rats in the future.

I hope you would understand that many other players would be following the written standards at the start of the game instead of what they assume is correct and tracking what happened in Vain Rats 1, read ancient history. Your logic for calling that ruling right is flawed.

The rule says clearly: "The bombs can only be placed in non-supply centres." Obviously it is insulting one's own intelligence making this point over and over again.
Last edited by haroonriaz on 22 Sep 2013, 02:50, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: AAR

Postby attitudes » 22 Sep 2013, 02:50

haroonriaz wrote:Even though I think that would technically allow the power controlling Terrorist to destroy a build in a home supply center. I discussed it with Diadem and he thinks that you are not supposed to use the terrorist power to block a build. Why? I am not sure. I wish I could see the source where Diadem finds his unwritten rules from.

That is what asudevil told him privately. If he bombed a supply center in the same Winter season that a player built a new unit in that supply center then the new unit would take precedence and he would get to build another bomb the following Winter season.
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Re: AAR

Postby asudevil » 22 Sep 2013, 03:45

For the record...in VR1...mines were not placed in SC's. So there was no precedence.

And the RIGHT precedence is to not allow mining of SC's.

Also KingKey does not win 1v1 bounces into an empty space.

But you are right that Hyperspace should be re-written...as should guild.
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Re: AAR

Postby stalin813 » 22 Sep 2013, 04:50

Back to the game side of things.

I bid on Austria with the thinking that if I got it, I wouldn't be a target as one of the smaller 3 SCs nations. I then bid all out on Earthquake and split my other bids between 7 MPs I liked. All of them would have been fine. I got Hawk(2nd choice), actually disappointed, i had hoped to get a lower one so I would know more in play.

I opened up discussions with Germany and Italy about a Central Alliance and Turkey and Russia about attacking the other. From initial conversations, Russia seemed my best bet and even early on that wasn't that stable, so I put all my eggs in the attack Italy basket. For this I needed France's help. I knew Diadem was a good player and thought he could be a potential enemy, but Italy was closer and the say goes...

I traded my hawk in S01 for support and mines later to help me.

Unfortunately, I didn't get far with Italy and Turkey saw his opening and took it. Now, this is where having Marsman as Russia saved my ASS. Russia knew that turkey too big was unstoppable and instead of siding with Turkey and losing the game, he knew I was more containable and my powers more helpful so he sided with me. A lesser player wouldnt have taken this risk or foresight.

I screwed up my Earthquake in 03 and that put a big hole in our plan to kill Germany early and between those two blunders, my hopes of SOLO went out the window. I decided from there to protect myself, keep turkey down and see if i could rise slowly before France Solo'd. I was determined though not to have a draw in this game. I would have vetoed any proposal and made people kill me off. I wanted to see how long the game could go. Too bad turkey felt throwing the game was a better option.
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