Draw Accepted (FNRT) & AARs

Crowded map with the addition of random blackholes. GM'ed by EpicDim

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Re: Draw Accepted (FNRT) & AARs

Postby PetesAHut » 01 Jul 2016, 20:17

Italy, any particular reason you turned on me as Balkans was dying? I thought we had an opportunity for a while to turn on Turkey after Balkans / Austria, but you opted to save Balkans instead.
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Re: Draw Accepted (FNRT) & AARs

Postby I Love Italy » 01 Jul 2016, 23:12

PetesAHut wrote:Italy, any particular reason you turned on me as Balkans was dying? I thought we had an opportunity for a while to turn on Turkey after Balkans / Austria, but you opted to save Balkans instead.


I saw you as too much of a power player. I thought if I left you alone, you were going to solo, and that Turkey was going to be more willing to work with me to that goal, and that I had more to benefit from it, than if I'd worked with you against Turkey.
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Re: Draw Accepted (FNRT) & AARs

Postby marsman57 » 02 Jul 2016, 06:12

I hope to post a complete AAR later, but I am a bit disappointed in the draw even though I proposed it. I didn't recall EpicDim's draw rules and I thought at least one player of the other three was bluffing. I had hoped to get us three "ganging up" on that last one and then push toward a solo from there. That said, if the other three were into it (as they were), not accepting would be a waste as I'd be the one who was ganged up upon.

The reason the draw was explained to me was that people thought the double BH was too chaotic and that the winner would be randomly based upon that. I'm not 100% sure I agree, but did note that over time probabilistic-ally the game would push toward a 9 SC win condition (it would be more common for SCs to disappear than reappear until half the map is gone) which felt like it could result in sudden swings.

As for a short AAR for now, I spent the entire game clawing to get out of my corner position with limited success forever. A few lucky BHs and some diplomatic turns for the better put me in a good position finally, but it got hampered by the sudden loss of two home centers.

If I had it to do over, I would have fought on a bit more.
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Re: Draw Accepted (FNRT) & AARs

Postby EnlightenedMonarch » 02 Jul 2016, 06:20

Hey guys! Well, that's a wrap for my first PbF game. It was certainly pretty crazy. I may put down more later, but here are some of my thoughts on the game.

Starting off, I kind of liked Norway. For a chaotic game, it seemed like a country that had lots of options and would be flexible. It also had few early enemies and an easy early ally in Lowlands if Germany was a target. Plus, I figured that few others would want Norway badly. In early diplomacy I didn't really hear much from him, so I decided to attack, and after Denmark disappeared, reappeared, then disappeared again, Lowlands and I took Germany. Lowlands then stabbed, and I was able to ally with France against him.

From this point all the way until the end of 1906 I was essentially in guerrilla warfare with Lowlands, aggravated by some black holes. This ended up being one of the things that I did not like about the game, it was a bit too random for my taste. In Fall 1905 it finally looked like I would finish Lowlands, and would end the year with 2 builds and excellent position for an English invasion I had planned (I had wanted to attack England for a good portion of the game as the rest of my gains, particularly Munich, were very open to attack, so I wanted some territory that was more protected and I could establish a corner of sorts), but a black hole served to wipe out both gains and put Lowlands in Sweden, which bordered all of my SC's. So the majority of this game was spent by me attempting to finish an enemy that I had managed to defeat but not eliminate due to black holes.

There have been a lot of questions regarding my relationship with Russia, and why I didn't attack. This was something that I came very close to doing multiple times, but ended up not doing so. Russia actually did move on me a couple of times, but black holes, stabs, and I managed to talk him out of it. I probably should have taken Warsaw when I had the chance during a retreat, but I didn't think it through and just wanted to keep peace on that border so I could deal with Lowlands. When I finally did manage to kick out Lowlands, I did attack Russia in 1906, although in hindsight an earlier attack would have been probably better.

Nanook (and others), I'm sorry for attempting to manipulate you into attacking Russia. Not that it wasn't a good move, just that it probably didn't come over all that well. When talking with Nanook about attacking Russia, I said that I would help in the future, but didn't offer any support then. This is, simply, because I couldn't at the moment until after dealing with Lowlands. Because my centers were so exposed, I couldn't spare any troops or Lowlands would be able to dance around for years. So, instead I pretty much just asked them to attack Russia, and I can see why that was not exactly appreciated. When I play, I do often enjoy talking a lot around the board, and trying to influence people even if just by my words, so I apologize if I offended you or anyone by running my mouth.

It was a crazy game, and I thank everyone for making it interesting and fun. It isn't quite my favorite variant, as I personally don't like how devastating a random black hole can be. Defeating an enemy then seeing him resurrected and yourself wounded by a black hole was a bit frustrating. This mechanic was the main reason that I agreed to the four way draw. Nevertheless, thanks to EpicDim for GM'ing, you did a great job.
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Re: Draw Accepted (FNRT) & AARs

Postby gnaah » 02 Jul 2016, 11:55

First of all, thanks to all players who made the game fun. And thanks to Epicdim for gming that mess. It was quite exciting, but also exhausting.

First of, I don't even remember which country I wanted. It was France, for a short while Germany and finally France.
My original plans were to focus on England as he was the most uncommunicative player at the time. Also, several other players were also planning on doing so. Especially Aeschines / Spain was important for that plan, since otherwise I feared a conflict with him.
That changed when Italy stabbed him and he was down to 2 centers. I feared an Italian expansion to the Spanish mainland which, if successful would have been disastrous for me. That, and the opportunity to take Spain for myself led me to stab. An important move in hindsight, because it gave me a comfortable corner position.
The next attack on England was also interrupted by the attack on Lowlands. I was weighing possibilities before attacking Lowlands, but at the time the english channel was still in Place and I needed either Norway or Lowlands to help me on the island. But I knew they would fight and neither could support me, so I took the spoils from Lowlands instead.
Soon after that the black holes had an ever greater impact on the game. Channel, Picardy, Burgundy and Piedmont gone meant I could move anywhere, but could also be attacked everywhere. Italy retreats to Paris, Lowlands retreats to Marseilles and I couldn't move forward anymore without exposing my centers to somebody else.
That, and the observation in the east, with Russia and Turkey rising and falling in huge part due to Black Hole activity led to my believe that in the end a winner would be determined almost randomly, which made me agree to a draw at this point.

My apologies go to Aeschines and Jakofipa for attacking you. I liked working with both of you but you were at the time the easiest targets.
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Re: Draw Accepted (FNRT) & AARs

Postby VGhost » 02 Jul 2016, 23:58

No real AAR here: I picked up a CD England, sent in orders and a minimum of correspondence, but didn't have much to work with.

I checked with Italy when the draw came up: we both seemed to feel there wasn't much left in the game for us at that point, and so I accepted it. If I'd been the starting player I might have turned it down, but I also might now - I was looking at elimination within the year, I think.
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Re: Draw Accepted (FNRT) & AARs

Postby marsman57 » 13 Jul 2016, 20:40

Life has been busy. I don't know if I will get to a proper AAR ever, but essentially, like I said above. I spent the entire game trapped in the corner and fighting my way out by constantly playing Balkans/Austria/Russia/Italy against each other as much as possible without making a strong commitment either way against any of them or for either of them. I really wanted to form a juggernaut and run the board with Russia, but his lack of interest in the game combined with a threat that he could get the upper hand in the alliance and curry it to a solo was what pushed me into the draw.

The highlight moment for me was convincing the Balkans replacement to disband the army in Ankara and then my immediately stabbing him again. I didn't necessarily plan to do it that way, but it was without a doubt the best move and I'm not ashamed at all. :)

It was a good variant though very chaotic. It was hard to plan ahead which is something I find interesting, but I think other players may find frustrating. Also it nearly demands a fluid alliance structure which is not really in the cards for players who like to spend their diplomatic time with one person coordinating and aren't communicating with their enemies.
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Re: Draw Accepted (FNRT) & AARs

Postby PetesAHut » 14 Jul 2016, 00:09

One thing I will add to this AAR...

Something that marsman mentioned was the idea of highly fluid alliances. This was actually something I really liked about this game, but I felt like it was more of a function of the Crowded portion of the variant (make some friends fast, because if you don't have them in 1901 you're probably a target), than it was the Black Hole portion of the variant. The idea of no free SC's certainly makes talking to everyone a huge focus in the crowded variant, and that aspect of the game I liked a lot.
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