World Influence AAR

Large-scale game on a world map, with major and minor powers. Created and GMd by asudevil.

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Re: World Influence AAR

Postby AardvarkArmy » 06 Aug 2015, 03:50

as promised, here is a graphical representation of the rise and fall of nations from 2010 through 2014:

Diplomacy Power Ranks_26423_image001.png
Diplomacy Power Ranks_26423_image001.png (30.38 KiB) Viewed 2364 times
SOLOS
ICE&FIRE.1-Martell/EXCALIBUR.1-Angles/EXCALIBUR.2-Scots/EMERALD-Sno/MOD.4-Italy/SENGOKU.1-OdaNobu/S.AMERICA.1-Peru

DRAWS
1930-China/BattleIsleA-Winterfell/S&S-Turkey/WORLD INFL-Venezuela/LECRAE-Dublin/WWIV.2-Cali/IMPERIAL1861.1-Trky/YNGSTWN.1-Grmny/AMERICAS.2-Mex/AFRICAN.2-S.Arabia
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Re: World Influence AAR

Postby AardvarkArmy » 06 Aug 2015, 03:52

I also separately tracked relative strengths in the Western Hemisphere, as a way of measuring the progress of my "surround myself with weakness" approach:

Diplomacy Power Ranks_28030_image001.png
Diplomacy Power Ranks_28030_image001.png (22.13 KiB) Viewed 2363 times
SOLOS
ICE&FIRE.1-Martell/EXCALIBUR.1-Angles/EXCALIBUR.2-Scots/EMERALD-Sno/MOD.4-Italy/SENGOKU.1-OdaNobu/S.AMERICA.1-Peru

DRAWS
1930-China/BattleIsleA-Winterfell/S&S-Turkey/WORLD INFL-Venezuela/LECRAE-Dublin/WWIV.2-Cali/IMPERIAL1861.1-Trky/YNGSTWN.1-Grmny/AMERICAS.2-Mex/AFRICAN.2-S.Arabia
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Leniny Snicket and a Series of Unfortunate Events.

Postby Alman » 06 Aug 2015, 05:59

Leniny Snicket and a Series of Unfortunate Events.
It has been interesting to hear others perspectives and to see my beloved mother Russia wander briefly through various narrations, leaving very little behind in her wake. This was because the tale of Russia is one of unfulfilled potential and broken dreams.

I was excited to win Russia and saw many great opportunities. As the game began and the diplomacy took shape, I began to form certain goals and thought early on that I was on track to accomplish them. I established good communication with those around me and put special weight into trying to build a good relationship with Germany and UK, especially Germany. I wanted more than anything to have peace with Germany. I felt that if he and I could secure a peaceful border between us, he could become the master of Europe and I could deal with my eastern holdings. He seemed amenable and we were soon cooperating on minors and building trust between us. I enjoyed the long walks and good talks as we planned what I thought was a future together bestride the hemisphere.
Adding to my sense of success here was the fact that Israel was breathing constant threats about a German/UK/France alliance and trying to get me to turn on Germany. He was obsessed with getting me to turn on Germany. I passed all this information onto Germany, warning him that Israel was out to get him. I was thinking that in the future I would like to attack Israel and told Germany that I would help him when the time came, using his aggression as an excuse.

On my southern side, I established instant rapport with Iran. Big Bert and I hit it off and were soon working hand in hand. I had good communication with Raphtown, but like I said, I did not want to be allied with him. I had to stay friendly since Iran was on good terms with Israel and was counseling me to do the same.
In the East, I wanted to ally with Japan and take China out. I didn’t see any benefit to keeping China around and I thought that Japan and I would make natural allies since we could both expand without bumping into each other too much. We could both invade the Americas as well as share the Chinese centers. I would them head for India while he had the whole Pacific to pacify. Alas, I found that the Shogun, while nice enough, was a man of few words while the Ghost of China was very communicative. I tend to favor communication and collaboration, but I really wanted to invade China. Japan seemed on board as much as he was communicating so off I went and started encroaching on China.

Things were seemingly on track and I figured I would soon be able to unite the two halves of my country and also begin the invasion of North America with Japan by my side.

Then the wheels all fell off.

I do not know if it was coordinated. Nothing has been said of coordination in the AAR’s so far, but Germany and Japan both stabbed me at the same time. One on each front. It was the beginning of the end for me. I pleaded with Germany to reconsider, I pleaded with Japan the same. No avail. Germany was still very friendly and we managed to continue to have some good talks, but the magic of the relationship was gone and I could no longer enjoy our walks together from before.
While I don’t remember exactly, sometime in and around here was when Big Bert had to leave and I had to build a new relationship with my most important ally, Iran. While LBS was friendly as well, the rapport I had had with Bert was not there and I could tell that LBS was a bit more dangerous to me that Bert had been. That being said, he never turned on me and was true as long as it mattered. As I was forced backward by Germany and UK, I was forced into the arms of Israel. I repeatedly tried to convince Germany that I would rather be with him against Israel, but he seemed determined to force me the other way. Israel welcomed me with open arms and with his help, I was able to survive longer than I might otherwise have. I had to relent to Iranian control of the center of what I had hoped to be my empire since I could not spare the troops to take it myself. I knew at this point that the window for me to survive at all was becoming very narrow. Only daring play would give me any hope.
While my western troops worked with Israel just to hold on, I concentrated on a hail mary in the east. I hoped to work with China to destroy Japan who I felt had made a huge mistake. He was still fighting me even as China was eating his lunch. I had hoped that he would see the long-term futility in the arrangement, but he just kept coming after me, so I worked closely with China in the hopes that I might claim enough land to be able to start to rebuild. In desperation I made the charge into North America. This was partly to try to get some builds and also to buy more good will with China as it would lessen his thoughts of me as either a threat, or a source of SC’s. Landing in Alaska got me a nice note from the Generalissimo with vague promises of future support. I was hopeful.
I also was talking to UK. Even though our forces were engaged in hostilities on my western front, I was hopeful that he would still be willing to work with me in North America. I pictured a coordinated pincer movement that would benefit us both. He didn’t go for it however, and with WHS acting as a wall which I ran into full tilt, I was not making the gains I had hoped. WHS offered me peace if I would back up but basically made it clear that if I continued, he would resist me at the cost of his other fronts. He was true to his word and with UK not coordinating with me, I was stymied.

It was now just a matter of time. My western front had collapsed and I had sought to make sure that Israel and Iran gained most of my centers although I was powerless to keep Germany and UK from getting many of them as well. China finally guided me through the final stages of assisted euthanasia and the grand Russian experiment was over. I was later able to actually sub for my friend Israel for a turn or so and enjoyed reentering the game and making some headway.

I enjoyed all I played with but I want to make a few shout-outs.
Antigonos: Although I still think that if we had been allies like you and UK were, we would have ruled, I enjoyed our messages and appreciated playing with you. Thanks for making it fun, even when you were feeding me into the sausage press.
Big Bert (wherever you are): It was a huge pleasure and I was sorry that you had to leave the game. I hope that you will return at some point and we perhaps will play again.
LBS: Thanks for being gentle as you built my coffin.
Raphtown: I enjoyed meeting one of the founders of the Classicists and I enjoyed talking with you. I appreciate that even though I resisted allying with you and worked against you at first, that you were in the end a true ally and good partner in our endeavors around the Black Sea. It was a pleasure dying in your company. 
GhostEcho: I appreciated your communication and the fact that even though I hit you early and worked against you at first, that you allowed me to rebuild a working relationship with you and the in the end we were able to really work well together even if it was futile for me in the end. I am glad that you made it to the final draw.
WHS: I am no match for your Jedi powers. Sorry you died too. 
Asu: Thanks for running the game. As I am now GMing, I appreciate more than ever what this game meant for you. I’m sending you a coupon for free marriage counseling for the next time you GM a game like this. :D
Finally, to AardvarkArmy, I want to thank you for the false hope, the empty promises, the pipe dreams, and some of the greatest messages and fun communications I’ve ever had in a game. I’ll play against you anytime!
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Re: World Influence AAR

Postby asudevil » 06 Aug 2015, 06:51

Morg and I (well he is really) looking at tweaking the map...and considering rule adjustments for another run of this at some future time. Not sure when since World Dip 5 may be kicking off which is also an 18 player game, and the site can't really have more than 1 of those going...but sometime look for World Influence 2...

Goal of that will be better than a 6way draw.
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Re: World Influence AAR

Postby raphtown » 06 Aug 2015, 07:58

A lot has been said, but here are some thoughts from Israel...

The Map

I was very excited by the idea of minor powers, and with some tweaks I think they can become a good additional game mechanic. I think their biggest issue was the discrepancy between the 3 IP/turn major powers got from their SCs versus the one-time 3 IP bonus major powers got from taking an SC with a minor. This highly dis-incentivized keeping the minor powers around, as we saw in this game. I like Aeschines' proposal of having minor-only SCs, but I might also suggest making the minor per-turn IP/SC bonuses equal or greater than the major power IP/SC rate of 3.

The map in general was good, but I believe a reduction in SCs should be in order. At my 23 SCs I had effectively established an impregnable position in the Mediterranean (the only holes being TRI and GAB) which would take years of combined attack from multiple fronts to break through in any significant way. This brings me to my own play this game... which I would describe as subpar for reasons I will get in to shortly.

Brief AAR

During the initial country selection, I made no bid on any country, asking asu to essentially give me whatever was left over. Hence I ended up with Israel, a position that seemed quite challenging given immediate proximity to Egypt. However, once I was able to break out and make a base for myself in the Arabian Peninsula and the Mediterranean, I became complacent. The high density of SCs in my region made a quasi-stalemate line very easy to achieve, and at some point I became nearly certain I would have a seat at the winner's table. This, combined with my own travels and life ... mishaps ... made me much less communicative. I rejected Venezuela's entreaties out of hand (a mistake) and began completely ignoring China's prying (a second mistake). My chosen allies also did not seem to want to remain in the game for long (Iran and Egypt were revolving doors, Russia collapsed), and I was a tad too obsessed with the Western Triple.

My early game was actually quite strong, I made very modest demands of my neighbors, knowing that this would send them fighting other wars I could then turn to my advantage. I did my part in fear-mongering against the WT (one of my main targets for expansion), and successfully deflected a joint Russo-German attack on my lands with a "mis-order". But then I rode this initial wave to my final draw position, and for that I apologize.

I will comment though that I do consider it a success to have secured a spot at the winner's table while minimizing the invective directed my way. ;)
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Re: World Influence AAR

Postby WHSeward » 06 Aug 2015, 08:39

A brief AAR

Variant Comments/Ideas
What I find interesting in a mega-variant is the opportunity for greater diplomatic/strategic possibilities since you don't just have to have a triangle breaking into a 2v1. Instead there could be lots of possible interactions. I didn't study the map much, but this game didn't seem to offer that (at least in North America) because the sheer distance between continents was so great. It felt like this was still more or less a 3 or 4 power game, there were just lots of small theaters rather than 2 in standard.

Some possible ideas to change that and increase interaction across more powers:

Change the map radically to combine many of the water provinces into Ocean provinces (ala the Jimmu & Far East Asia variants) and let unlimited numbers of fleets into those spaces to effectively shrink the distance between the continents, especially if some of the coastal provinces boarder the Ocean. This means more powers can meaningfully influence more conflicts.

Eliminate the build anywhere SCs. I understand these are to make the game go faster, but they undermine diplomacy since small powers with a local presence have little/nothing to offer a great powers invading from farther away.

Introduce "guerrilla builds" for minors, where even if the SC is controlled by a foreign power, the power with the most influence may give up a build to put a guerrilla unit in an unoccupied minor. This will make minors and IPs matter the entire game and it will make forming stalemate lines next to impossible since guerrillas might always show up behind your lines.

As others have mentioned, rethink everything about IPs and minors. They were just a lot of accounting and little consequence. Jettison them or make them more important. As it is, they aren't worth the trouble.

Game Comments
The US was in trouble when I sub'd in for anapur who wanted to spend his time playing other games rather remain on his sinking ship. The US was fighting Mex/Rus/UK/Ven. I tried for peace with 3 of them and to focus on turning back the UK. I was immediately stabbed by Rus and Ven. It was basically over for the US at that point. I reversed myself and threw in with the UK and sent everything I had at Rus, the weakest of my enemies and hoped UK/Ven might clash. They didn't and the UK just ate me up because there was no good reason to bother to keep me alive. I tried to pitch the value of my being able to build fleets in the Pacific for him, but he didn't buy it. Game over.
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Re: World Influence AAR

Postby VGhost » 06 Aug 2015, 13:54

AardvarkArmy wrote:...Your ability to self-rationalize any sentence or set of words is remarkable!

...And so, you killed the UK deal. And so ended our last real chance for an end-game shake-up. And so we now have our draw. That's just it...


I'm not debating that this happened! I'm attempting to explain why it happened, but you only seem interested in blame.

(Well, if I got nit-picky I might debate that it was the "last real chance", as Germany had virtually the same opportunities down to the end of the game, and we were actually talking about negotiating a new deal with UK at the end of the game. But certainly it was the last chance that got play.)

For everybody who's been glazed over by my walls-o'-text, there are essentially three reasons:

1) I had a better relationship for most of the game with Germany than with UK, therefore if/when there was a stab I wanted to see Germany come out on top.
2) I didn't like Venezuela's "escrow" scheme because there was no advantage to me in Venezuela getting another (no matter how resentful) "ally".
3) UK's diplomacy on the topic was lukewarm.

I've generally thought one of the purposes of an AAR is to learn how diplomacy that broke down did so, in order to learn from your own mistakes... and learn how to better account for the mistakes of others.
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Re: World Influence AAR

Postby AardvarkArmy » 06 Aug 2015, 16:25

GhostEcho wrote:
AardvarkArmy wrote:...Your ability to self-rationalize any sentence or set of words is remarkable!

...And so, you killed the UK deal. And so ended our last real chance for an end-game shake-up. And so we now have our draw. That's just it...


I'm not debating that this happened! I'm attempting to explain why it happened, but you only seem interested in blame.
.


Yes, I am venting.

Because I actually was EXTREMELY angry at you for meddling and squelching that deal. I had held a vendetta against Germany for 10 years for - in my opinion - not allowing the game to progress toward a more satisfactory outcome. Some of that displeasure rolled into Israel in the waning years. But you took the mantle in the final 2-3 years.

I actually considered a massive Pacific assault, to come after you, but just didn't see how I could break through your fleets (especially with India fleets at your side)

So....

When you - you if all people - voiced disdain for this draw and for the "pettiness" of its criteria, I really kinda blew my stack.

I had wanted far less "petty" criteria. I had wanted nations to keep fighting rather than go armadillo. I had wanted a draw of 4 or 5 who had all topped 30 centers and truly earned victory.

But thus is what we got
SOLOS
ICE&FIRE.1-Martell/EXCALIBUR.1-Angles/EXCALIBUR.2-Scots/EMERALD-Sno/MOD.4-Italy/SENGOKU.1-OdaNobu/S.AMERICA.1-Peru

DRAWS
1930-China/BattleIsleA-Winterfell/S&S-Turkey/WORLD INFL-Venezuela/LECRAE-Dublin/WWIV.2-Cali/IMPERIAL1861.1-Trky/YNGSTWN.1-Grmny/AMERICAS.2-Mex/AFRICAN.2-S.Arabia
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Re: World Influence AAR

Postby Aeschines » 06 Aug 2015, 16:53

AardvarkArmy wrote: I actually considered a massive Pacific assault, to come after you, but just didn't see how I could break through your fleets (especially with India fleets at your side)


I'm sad I never heard about this. It could have made for quite an interesting Asian/Pacific war, I would have relished the chance to turn tides again (not saying I wouldn't have stuck with China, but I would have considered turning, if I had been asked).
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Re: World Influence AAR

Postby AardvarkArmy » 06 Aug 2015, 17:50

Aeschines wrote:
AardvarkArmy wrote:
I'm sad I never heard about this. It could have made for quite an interesting Asian/Pacific war, I would have relished the chance to turn tides again (not saying I wouldn't have stuck with China, but I would have considered turning, if I had been asked



Ahh, the spat over SWI had convinced me that you were just too fearful of me. That was waaaay more work than it shoulda been for a small request. It seemed abundantly evident that you soul never trust me in any meaningful, tangibles scenario.

After that, I simply could not imagine that you would ever consider working WITH me to upend the stability of the Pacific.
SOLOS
ICE&FIRE.1-Martell/EXCALIBUR.1-Angles/EXCALIBUR.2-Scots/EMERALD-Sno/MOD.4-Italy/SENGOKU.1-OdaNobu/S.AMERICA.1-Peru

DRAWS
1930-China/BattleIsleA-Winterfell/S&S-Turkey/WORLD INFL-Venezuela/LECRAE-Dublin/WWIV.2-Cali/IMPERIAL1861.1-Trky/YNGSTWN.1-Grmny/AMERICAS.2-Mex/AFRICAN.2-S.Arabia
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