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AAR. Libya

PostPosted: 01 May 2016, 10:06
by Pedros
I know this is seriously late, and I apologise. But I've never before been so late I was locked out :P

First, I thoroughly enjoyed this game, which I didn't really expect to - my only previous experience of a world-scale game was disenchanting (even though it went OK and I got a slice of the draw!) Thanks to everyone who helped make it so.

Secondly, to echo the thanks to Morg for putting it up and shepherdng us through it.

This may well have been my last game ever here - I doubt whether any other game would have kept me this long. When I resigned as a Mod last year I expected to quit almost immediately, but then there was one game, then another, and so on. But I've thoroughly enjoyed my 7+ yearshere and the friendships I've made; thanks everyone. But time to go I think - enthusiasm's been wearing a bit thin.

Now to the action. What I'm going to say will be changed a little from my original intention because of things I've read here, but that's no surprise! From the start, several things were clear about Libya's position. Firstly there wouldn't be room for four of us in Africa and somebody was going to have to go, and hopefully quickly. Kenya was in the middle, and was also a very inexperienced player, which made him the prime candidate. Plus his early messages to me were transparent - he was going to go after me and was trying to lull me into a false sense of security. It was easy to reach agreement with Ghana to take him on together, and he didn't last long.

Two other things struck immediately. The first was that Middle East and Libya are in a position very similar to Italy and Austria in classic. Took no time at all to agree that with ME and to agree to head in opposite directions and protect each other's backs. The other was that on this map control of the oceans was going to be critical, and Libya was never going to be a major player in that region - just getting a fleet into an ocean was likely to take most of the game! (just look at the map!) Betraying ME as he hopefully marched away from me was a possible route to expansion, but it wasn't attractive at all (if nothing else I'd be likely very quickly to feel the breath of Ghana in my rear.) Not a lot to be done about the naval isolation, but there it was.

Which left Europe as my remaining neighbour. asudevil and I have quite a history, but I have to say that I did not at all expect his reaction - I was told about it during the game, and he has made it clear in his contribution here ( he also told also during the game that he believed I had accused him to all and sundry of lying; I am certain that I did not do that even once.) I was happy to reach a peaceful deal with him across the Med while I concentrated on Africa, and it appeared that we had managed it. asudevil's style - to me at least - is to send a barrage of messages (several a day) often saying exactly the same things he has said before. This time it consisted of an appeal to join him in attacking Ghana and especially in repeated reminders about the importance of not building a fleet in the Med. In about the second year this became so strong that I was convinced he was about to build one in France that I built one myself in Libya.

That was the end of any hope of peace between us, but it didn't stop him almost demanding that I invade Ghana alongside him. Eventually, once Kenya was out of the way, I gave in and agreed to join him. This was all he had waited for - he promptly copied my agreement to Ghana (carefully removing any reference to his approaches to me - not lying, simply economical with the truth) and, while Ghana and I moved on each other asudevil sailed up the Med to take advantage of the situation.

With Ghana's attack, the loss of any element of surprise, and asudevil arriving in the Med I was facing disaster. But it was clear to me that Europe must in some way have engineered the situation. Because I had attacked Ghana at the same time I saw no hope of persuading him that we should each pull back; my only chance was to lay all the cards on the table. So I wrote to Ghana's sleepjim saying "Well, it looks to me as though Europe has been working on both of us. He has been working on me since the allocation was announced and I guess he's probably been doing the same to you." I suggested that we should jointly turn on him, and as proof copied both sides of the complete correspondence, with dates and (in some cases) time of day.

What beadsman wrote about sleepyjim (had talked to almost nobody") was not true in my case. He wasn't the best communicator, but we had a good understanding and had worked well together v Kenya and in talking about South Africa. So he was inclined to believe what I sent and, in return, sent me what were (he told me) the only two messages on the subject he had received from asudevil. Both were from the previous few days and simply told of my intention to invade Ghana and how he and I would do it together. I didn't detect any changes in my wording - just a complete lack of context - and if asu got the impression that I said he had been lying then it isn't the case. But it did the trick and cemented my relationship with Ghana (at least for the time being! It wasn't long before beadsman took over and we had to start again.)

asudevil seems to have believed that I pulled off some almost impossible feat of magic in pulling together all his neighbours against him ("the whole world" were his actual words.) I wish it were true! The talk with Ghana I've described; the rest was pushing at open doors. The key powers were Middle East and Russia. I don't know what their relationship had been, but when I approached each of them they bit my hand off. One of them I recall actually wrote "I'd love to take him on." Canada and Argentina, on his other flank, were as easy - but that could have been because it fitted in with their immediate ambitions!

However, Ghana and I were still left with southern Africa to deal with. The position of South Africa on this map must be close to unplayable, unless he can persuade Antarctica to take him on as a twin. haroon is a good player in a good position, but in my experience not the best diplomat; in any event, he and nanook didn't manage to pair up. South Africa was never going to make a useful ally and I agreed with both Ghana players to aim to take him out. With nanook's fleets working offshore that was much more difficult than we expected (the geography down there is tight and awkward) and the three of us had to finish the job together.

The rest of the game feels relatively simple after all that! Breaking into Europe was a difficult job - with room only for one fleet in the Med getting convoys across when faced with asu's defence took forever. We had good support from ME but unfortunately he had fleets instead of armies at crucial places. The result was that Europe remained a weak but important player almost to the end and caused Ghana and me considerable problems - well done asu.

But at this time the realisation dawned that the real problem was the Americans (North and South). I wrote earlier that this map was going to be about fleet control, and they had it in Spades! Both the Atlantic and the Pacific were becoming American boating lakes and the Atlantic certainly was already beyond fighting for from our side. beadsman and nanook took the initiative. Middle East was gathered in quickly and between them nanook and Intellectubility seem to have quietened beadsman's doubts about my reliability. We quickly identified a defendable line in the South Atlantic and in the North we knew what we had to achieve, although the problem of Europe's hostility was going to make it difficult. But they could attack us via the Pacific, and the Arctic also provided a way in for them. And on that side all of our relationships were flakey to say the least. Pacific Russia was notionally on our side but had proved a bit of a loose cannon, wth almost no communications. India was completely out of his depth in this company and replied to one approach by saying he was enjoying simply watching and waiting for us to get our ... kicked (or words to that effect) And shortly after that he disappeared, which at least helped us! And Australia! Up to that point he had been a totally unknown quantity and had started publicising his neutrality. That was no good. We didn't, possibly, need him on our side but we did at least need him to defend himself, and that would be weakened if he were also worrying about Antarctica in his rear.

Desperate times demand desperate measures and I decided to make one last effort to both PR and Australia. I tried to lay out in detail the position as we saw it, make it crystal clear to both PR and Australia (especially the latter) that there was little chance of them surviving the American onslaught once Aus had helped them into Asia, and that the only hope was an active alliance with us. I'd like to think that it was all my doing, but anyway both of them came on board and from then on we were able to work together as a well-oiled machine.

There remained one possible problem, in Europe. When trying to persuade asudevil to join us I had laid out clearly why we thought he was so important. For a long time there was a real possibility that an enemy fleet in the Baltic would have been able to penetrate our lines, and only Europe was in a position to get a fleet there. asudevil rejected it in the strongest possible terms, and later - when Canada was trying to turn me from the alliance - he told me that Europe had passed on all our plans to the opposition. Either he didn't bother to mention it or they didn't realise its significance, because the Baltic remained empty. By the end it wouldn't have mattered anyway, but for a long time we believed that our resistance wouldn't in the end succeed. Pulling it off, after the situation we faced mid-game, was hugely satisfying.

Two final things - joe in WNA said he had been told early on that I was working hard to turn everybody against him. (asudevil's name was mention again I think.) Not so, and what on earth would be the point? At that stage what happened in the far side of America was of no interest to me; somebody or bodies would emerge eventually as the key power, and my interest was simply in having some sort of a line open to them at that point.

Secondly, to all those who see me only as a shark willing to gobble anybody who comes near me, I admit that if I spot a chance I will take it. But my greatest enjoyment in this game has always come from this kind of defensive alliance - it's much harder to stop a solo than to score one! Successful alliances depend on good comms. To stop a probable victory it's totally essential. I worked very hard throughout this one to make sure we didn't fail for that reason at least. I hope my allies didn't feel hassled or hustled by me. But while I'm quite honoured to be known as a player who is "quite ruthless as soon as any weakness was detected and a good opportunity was seen" (isn't that what the game's about? You mean I've been playing with people who don't practice this?) I hope that there are some around who will remember me also as one of the best allies they ever had!

Goodbye, and thanks again. Great game everyone.

Re: AAR. Libya

PostPosted: 01 May 2016, 20:01
by Alman
Excellent AAR. Sorry to have locked you out of the other one. I would have let you back in. But a good read and shows why we are poorer for your departure and I hope you will wander in again. :) Much respect Pedros.

Re: AAR. Libya

PostPosted: 01 May 2016, 23:44
by Big Gun
A "hugely satisfying" 9-way draw? With all respect, Pedros, the result was kitsch...

Re: AAR. Libya

PostPosted: 02 May 2016, 01:26
by Nanook
Let's not open up that can of worms again...for those of you in the American triple, totally understandable you wanted a better result. For those of us that we're on the brink of losing entirely and made the comeback (which more than one of us didn't think was likely to happen), it's a very satisfying result because we feel like we made something from nothing. Which we did, because as Pedros' AAR shows, we really by all rights probably shouldn't have been able to force a stalemate.

Re: AAR. Libya

PostPosted: 02 May 2016, 01:45
by Big Gun
That's really just back-patting rubbish. Of course 5 or 6 nations together controlling a lot more than half the board can always force a stalemate against 3. Not a difficult feat at all. The way you all hug together and praise each other is more than just cheesy...

Re: AAR. Libya

PostPosted: 02 May 2016, 09:42
by Nanook
Making this quick, so this thread doesn't have to get locked too!

One, we didn't control half the board or even close at the time the coalition started, nor were we 5 or 6 nations, we were 4 countries that knew we weren't enough on our own and weren't sure if the other 3 or 4 (became 2 or 3 after India dropped off the face of the Earth) crucial countries would see the danger in enough time.

Two, stop with the insinuations. Just stop. Not everybody's out to get you, not everyone's metagaming. If you have an accusation, make it. If you just want to make innuendos so you can feel better about yourself, please keep them in your own headspace rather than polluting the rest of ours with them :)

And with that, I am done with this silly and asinine feud, and done with this game. I greatly enjoyed it, and it's one of my favorite games here, if not my favorite one, for a few reasons. It wasn't my best game, to be sure, but one of my favorites nonetheless.

Re: AAR. Libya

PostPosted: 02 May 2016, 14:58
by Pedros
I'm with nanook 100%. If you three couldn't pull it off from where you were then you don't deserve it. Abnd I'm now out of here!