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Postby rwb » 29 Nov 2017, 18:19


Read the manual, tried a few games, ranking plummeting! It's obviously all about the diplomacy (duh!) and not the move mechanics.

I've played two games as France.

In one England Germany Austria and Italy ganged up on Russia and I. I guess it happened because I should have been making a more appealing offer to each of them. As a new player I've largely been waiting to see what happens. In this case nobody messaged me; I needed to make something happen.

In the other England wanted the channel as DMZ but them moved into it. I gave an inch and they took a mile.

Are there conventional opening strategies for each country? Or is it different each time?
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Re: noob

Postby mjparrett » 29 Nov 2017, 18:24

I posted something recently about always favouring the same openings. For me 5/7 countries have obvious enemies. But the diplomacy is so hugely important. If I am Germany then I probably want to get England. But if he is very talkative and France is aggressive and rude I will change no problem at all.

It can be frustrating being in games where people don't talk. As your consistency is built up over time and you reach ambassador status, or you join the Classicists then you can usually pick better quality games. But keep talking to everyone. I would usually message every other player at least for the first few turns. Be helpful, be polite, take an interest. Don't just ask, always through in an offer and ask their opinion. It is no co-incidence that the vast majority of the top players on this site are Star Ambassadors. Very talkative types...
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Re: noob

Postby V » 29 Nov 2017, 18:38

Yes it’s the Diplomacy. Game mechanics can lead to mishaps & delays. Diplomacy can lead to victory or defeat.

Try games with a reasonable order time e.g. 2/1/1 that gives a vital 4 day start negotiation period (12/12/12 is just too fast). During those 4 days talk non-stop with everyone (if possible like in a Classicist game) & try to form an assessment of preferred allies, preferred targets, folks you would prefer targeted by others, collaboration opportunities, defense concerns. The Spring 1901 moves should go well if you get that part right & from there it’s just about even more talking...

Enjoy it’s a great game V
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Re: noob

Postby mhsmith0 » 29 Nov 2017, 20:17

I'd say ... pening.htm
is a decent starting point (and honestly a lot of the stuff there is pretty good)

On a more bottom line basis for opening moves/strategy...

Spring 1901: Almost always opens Con-Bul, Smy-Con, Ank-BLA. Anything else needs a pretty good reason, and is likelier than not to be a mistake.
Fall 1901: Bul-Greece is ideal for Turkey, and if Austria hasn't opened Trie-Alb, has decent odds to succeed. The possibility of two center growth is why you want Smy-Con, as Con-Bul will double up your center growth. Generally you want Ank-BLA here, presuming you bounced with Russia in the spring, and often it'll succeed this go-around. Depending on diplomacy and board positioning, you have the option to go Bul-Rum or Bul-Ser instead of Bul-Gre.
Early diplomacy is centered around getting at least one of Italy/Austria/Russia on your side, and usually also centered around getting everyone to try and kill off Austria (who has strong growth potential but is pretty easy to take down). You also need to worry about a strong Russia-Turkey alliance getting the entire rest of the board against you since it's a big threat. I/T can be difficult to pull off, but it can be a powerful alliance, especially if you get some help from Russia against Turkey early.

Spring 1901: Standard opening is "Southern Defence" War-Gal, Mos-Ukr, Sev-BLA, Stp-GOB. Stp-GOB gives you the option to go GOB-Swe in the fall, and if Germany is in Denmark and hostile, you can go GOB-Baltic Sea instead (a Russian navy in that spot forces Germany to waste a LOT of time/effort to remove it and gives you all sorts of options to mess with him). The primary advantage of this opening is that you can guarantee Romania via Ukr-Rum supported by Sev in the fall. If somehow you get into Galicia, then you get even more options. Mos-STP is also an option, but that leaves you more vulnerable in the south. But if you want to get into it early with England, you can often deny him the Norway growth via Mos-STP, then STP-Nor in the fall; especially if France and/or Germany are aggressively anti-England, it's not hard to shut team orange down hard.
Early diplomacy is complicated. Russia can make a LOT of alliances; R/T, A/I/R, E/R, F/G/R (an early alliance ot send England off, typically something like Russia gets scandinavia and F/G carve up England), etc etc etc. If you're Russia and are NOT talking, you're doing something wrong.

Spring 1901: Vie-Gal and Bud-Ser are practically textbook; if you're NOT doing that, then you're either making a mistake or you have an interesting early alliance with Russia. Tri goes either to Alb (going for double growht in the fall, anti-Turkey), or Ven (bouncing with Italy, anti-Italy and prevents and Italian attack on you early on). Fancier openings exist but are usually non-ideal. If you can negotiate a DMZ of Galicia with Russia, you have more options, but Russia in Galicia in spring 1901 is VERY dangerous for you.
Early diplomacy is a lot like Turkey's issues. You need SOME kind of ally if you want to not die off early, as "everyone gangs up on Austria" is an easy enough model of behavior, and all of I/R/T can potentially do much better with Austria gone. Austria-Turkey can be a decent short-term partnership, but it's very difficult to keep that going for long. Italy-Austria, Russia-Austria, or A/I/R can all be solid alliances if you can make them work. Some coordination with Germany is usually a good idea as well.

Spring 1901: Nap-ION you do basically always. For the other two moves, you basically need to pick a victim and go after them. Ven-Tyr/Rom-Ven, if both succeed, put Austria in awful early position. Ven-Tri/Rom-Ven, if you KNOW Austria is going Tri-Alb, can crush the Austrians early. OTOH, Ven H, Rom-Apu is potentially the start of a Lepanto (anti-Turkey). You can also potentially go hard after France (Ven-Pie, Rom-Ven), though the latter only really works well early if you have at least one of England/Germany on board
Early diplomacy is interesting because no one naturally preys on Italy early, which means that everyone wants to be Italy's friend. The down side is you have far less easy growth potential than anyone else, so you kind of NEED to pick a side, ally with them, and grow grow grow before it's too late and a natrually stronger power devours you.

Spring 1901: Berlin-Kiel is standard, the other two depend on what you want to do. Kie-Den is somewhat anti-Russia, and gives you the option to deny him Sweden in the fall; Kie-Hol is anti-England, and gives you the option to try for North Sea early. Munich can move to Ruhr (if you want to go hard for Belgium), Burgundy (if you want to attack France, or just if you want to bounce there), or Tyr (if you are Austria's friend and think that Italy is going for Ven-Tyr, you have the ability to make an early save).
Early diplomacy is largely centered around making E/F fight each other and making sure that you do well from the conflict. Keeping Austria from collapsing is usually good as well.

Spring 1901: Lots of options. F Brest goes to Eng (anti-England or just a defense), or MAO (growth-oriented). The other two armies can do a LOT of things. Par-Pic is either anti-England or just there to go for Belgium, while Par-Gas is defensive (or looking to convoy to Portugal in the fall), and Par-Bur also goes for Belgium or is a threat to Germany. Marseilles goes Burgundy (or supports Par-Bur), or goes to Spain if blatantly just going for the builds. If you're convinced that Italy is gunning for you, you can bounce him in Pie but it's a mediocre position to be in if it actually succeeds.
Early diplomacy is centered around resolving the E/F/G trio. Keeping Italy non-hostile is beneficial as well, but that's typically not very difficult as Italy tends to have better targets, unless you've failed in your western diplomacy and you're gonna eat a combined attack anyway.

Spring 1901: Fleets typically open Edi-NWG and LON-NTH, or EDI-NTH and LON-ENG. The former is lower impact, basically designed to grab norway in the fall, and the latter either to defend from France or to attack him early (a british conquest of Brest or even just a convoy to Picardy is a great early position)
Early diplomacy is largely centered around making F/G fight each other and making sure that you do well from the conflict. If you can arrange a 3-way alliance you're probably doing well (also E/F/G is great for England if you can somehow make that happen)
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Re: noob

Postby jay65536 » 29 Nov 2017, 22:31

The short answer is yes, there are conventional opening strategies. But you should be aware before reading anyone's opinions on them that everyone's opinions about the best openings are different. Even everyone's opinions on what is "conventional" are different! It depends what community you play in. (For example, the poster above me has expressed an opinion about Austrian openings that I agree with, but that in my experience is FAR from "conventional".)

Whenever you read anything on opening strategy, remember that the important thing about the opening is to get in position for the midgame. For a beginner, the basics of the opening are that you want to get your units into position to either take new centers or defend your existing ones. Most "conventional" wisdom about Spring 1901 usually follows from that one principle.
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Re: noob

Postby skyblueshu » 01 Dec 2017, 23:21

I can recommend the 1 pagers that Chris Martin (Current president of the north American Diplomacy Federation (NADF)) made two years ago. If you PM me, I can send them along. Not sure where they are exactly but I'll find them.
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Re: noob

Postby rwb » 04 Dec 2017, 13:51

Just started a game with 7 day phases. Most players are quite chatty; it's surprising how different this feels.

wait and see is definitely a bad strategy!
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