1812 Overture: 1818.07 Peace Declared (AAR thread)

A multi-continent game in which each player plays two countries in their attempt to win on a map centered on Europe and the North Atlantic set in 1812. Created and GM'ed by Nopunin10did

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1812 Overture: 1818.07 Peace Declared (AAR thread)

Postby NoPunIn10Did » 25 Feb 2017, 03:26

1818 Peace Declared

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Hosted on imgur: 1818.07: Peace Declared

Conclusion: Draw
The three remaining players have unanimously agreed to terminate the game in a draw.
The wars of 1812 have now ended, albeit with no clear victor on either continent.

Session 5 Score Graph

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After Action Reports
I invite all players from this session to provide their After-Action Reports in this thread.

I would appreciate any and all feedback on:
  • The variant
  • This session of the variant, specifically
  • Your fellow players
  • My role as a GM

I will also supply a more robust AAR in a separate comment, but the following might best express the sum of my feelings regarding this draw.

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You were all so close to either a solo victory or a double victory. While the game started with what has so far been typical moves, the later years were extraordinarily exciting. You ended up in a bit of a three-way Mexican standoff (or perhaps, a New Spanish standoff), which is a totally understandable worry in classic Diplomacy.

However, the opportunities for either a solo or double were all there right in front of you. Austria could have conceivably won next Fall (or even this Fall), possibly in a double-victory shared with Canada.

Ultimately, though, this was your game, and you have every right to end it as you see fit. I'm grumpy and disappointed that you ended it this way, but in a way, the fact that I feel this disappointed is a credit to just how good this game was up until this point.
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Re: 1812 Overture: 1818.07 Peace Declared (AAR thread)

Postby Jordan767 » 25 Feb 2017, 05:11

Good game guys! Especially my draw-sharers joe and asudevil. I enjoyed this game immensely.

So let me lead off by saying that I'm also a little disappointed in the 3 way draw. But at the same time I didn't feel like a solo was realistically achievable for me (I would have needed a gain of 3 in North America after 1818 and had no clue where those could come from), and my even split of centers between continents made me the one most likely to be left out of a double win. With asu and joe both looking at splits of around 16/2 or even 18/0, they couldn't share a win with me where I was looking at something more like 12/6 or 13/5. So I felt better about the sureness of a 3 way than trying for a solo.

And now, looking at it, I can see how joe could have hit 14/4 and soloed. So I now feel very good about accepting that draw. NOl (I wouldn't have defended it), Par, Hbg, Pom this year, then War is virtually open next year.

Now, the AAR.

Early years: I got close to my first choice (which would have been New Spain/Russia). I essentially did everything I could to get Russia while avoiding getting Austria, and I ended up losing New Spain to joe. Overall, though, not unhappy with my country allocation. I led off against USA and France as part of the loose coalition of all 4 detached powers against the double powers. Early moves between me and Don Juan are aggressive but we manage to smooth it over. ILI goes down very smoothly. He had actually offered me War to assuage my fears of his growth, then I took it and ran. Nanook went down, ah, less smoothly. This was partially due to some inept diplomacy on my part. The quality of play in this game was much higher than in games I've played previously, so I hit some snags early on and this was one of them. In the end joe, asu, DJA, and I made it out.

Midgame: Joe, asu, and I were at rough parity (IIRC asu slightly ahead). I felt reasonably solid about my southern borders with joe, and asu was pretty inaccessible to me, so DJA made a pretty natural target. Shawnee and Denmark-Norway were on their way down when I realized asu could glide to a solo just 5 years in (which would be incredibly embarrassing) and sounded the alarm. Joe, DJA, and I beat him down a little, then I went back to beating DJA down. I think a big part of this was that DJA was so passive. I offered to support him back into his own previously owned centers at one point, while he was dangerously small, and he supported me into them instead. This triggered frustration, paranoia, and simple fear that something was up and I couldn't rely on him. Because of this I went back to killing him. Justy, you just came in at kind of a bad spot. I was midway through stabbing DJA when you came in and I don't even know what you could have said to put me on a different track. I also had some availability issues during the middle of the game that prevented me from putting much more effort in than whittling at this point.

Late game: It's a 3 power endgame. I unwisely anticipate a stab from asu and actually get stabbed by joe. I (amazingly) manage to patch it up with asu for a season or two. We hold joe from a solo, then I foolishly didn't take Stockholm in fall 1817, so asu becomes a threat so joe and I hold him from a solo. That puts us into fall 1818, in which we drew. So, essentially, playing whack-a-mole.

If the draw hadn't been proposed, I would have gone for Hfx, gotten Tex (joe was letting me have it), lost Hbg, and been poised to lose everything south of Mos while gaining the British isles and having one marauding fleet running around Canada. Cherokee would have probably held Canada and vice versa. I think I could have eventually gained the upper hand in Canada, but at that point Joe would notice I'm getting close to a solo and kick my ass out of my own Russian home while helping Canada stay alive. At some point during all this I would have to go off and help asu prevent joe from soloing, which would have the side effect of dragging me further from a solo. Essentially, from what I could tell about how the rest of the game would go down, I didn't foresee anyone soloing but I would have bet on joe before me anyway.

nopunin10did wrote:However, the opportunities for either a solo or double were all there right in front of you. Austria could have conceivably won next Fall (or even this Fall), possibly in a double-victory shared with Canada.


As asu mentioned in the reply-all PM draw proposal, we'd been spending years uniting to stop each other from soloing before returning to our savage infighting. Barring joe's potential solo I mentioned above, which was good for a limited time only before he lost his New Spanish possessions, I don't think there was one available that wasn't easily preventable.



On the players and GM:

Don Juan--it was good playing with you but in the future I think you need to be more assertive and advance your own interests a little more.

Justy--like I said, you came in at a bad time and I don't think there was a whole lot you could have done.

I Love Italy--sorry about that stab. I think we all just came in with the idea that we were going to crush USA and France unless someone strongly objected, then nobody did, so down you went.

Nanook--sorry about the stab and about lying to you in spring of the first year, which is a mistake I won't repeat. It's worked on the main site but the forum as a venue has significantly higher standards. As I mentioned, the USA was somewhat disfavored with this group of players.

Asudevil--I stabbed you then backed off, what, 3 times? So I can't decide if my problem was that I should have followed through or that I should never have stabbed you to begin with. It was nice working with you nonetheless. When you almost soloed in 1815, that legitimately terrified me. Like, my IRL heart rate went up when I realized that you had to be stopped immediately. So well played there and on getting me to back off again and again.

Joe--nice working with you. Except when you stabbed me. But otherwise, yeah, I enjoyed working with you.

nopunin10did--well GMed! I appreciate the time you've put into this. The weekly schedule is a nice touch that did definitely help me remember when I was due to put in orders.



On the variant:

Overall, I really enjoyed it. Well balanced, good mechanically. Aesthetically pleasing. A couple things, though.

First, I question the wisdom of having Russia start with F StP (nc). It gave me so few options IMO. Russia effectively has 4 neighbors and a fleet that far away isn't really going to be good against anyone but Denmark-Norway and maybe Britain. It does to Russia/Denmark what F Sev does to juggernauts, except there's really not even an F Ank to counterbalance it, so I ended up just parking it and wasting it. I don't really know what could be done about this problem but I don't know if putting a fleet on the north coast helps anything.

Second, as far as I can tell France and USA always get ganged up on initially. Another problem that's not easy to solve. More SCs for them would make them more of a target due to increased danger, while less SCs for them would make them more of a target due to inability to defend themselves. But this is something you might want to consider looking at.

Third, I really wanted to make an attack on Canada across the North Atlantic. I had since 1814. But the logistics were just so complicated. I needed multiple fleets which I didn't have (that one's probably on me), but I would also have had to wait forever before convoying an army across. You pretty much need 4 units (either: a fleet to get and hold your beachhead SC, 2 fleets to convoy an army, and the army; or the something like 4 fleets you would need to make an attack like that with no armies) to make the attack work, and who has 4 units to spare? By the end I was actually worried I would lose my build sites before being able to build with my gains from Canada and get them across. Is Iceland meant to be a kind of waystation, so you need fewer fleets? The trouble there is I never really had an army free to stage there exclusively for an invasion of Canada (because that's the only thing you can really do with A Iceland). Potential ideas I have to solve this issue:
Make the North Atlantic narrower (either: remove Nfl or Lab to make Canadian SCs accessible more quickly, or do something like merging Arc and Bar to make those centers closer to where Russia can build)
Change something about Iceland (make Bar adjacent to it?) to make it easier to stage there
Put 1 or more major harbors up there. Either add one to Canada so you can build that beachhead with fleets alone, then build your army there, or put one in or on the North Atlantic somewhere on the European side so you can build and prepare closer.
You could also roll Lap into StP or remove the intercontinental convoy restriction but I don't think either of those are terribly good balance-wise or history-wise.
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Re: 1812 Overture: 1818.07 Peace Declared (AAR thread)

Postby Nanook » 25 Feb 2017, 05:21

My game was pretty shortlived. I had decent comms to start with ASU's Canada and Joe's New Spain, but one of the tribes barely gave me anythng to work with, and the other was replaced, with his replacement jumping into a quick alliance with the first tribe. They both cooked up a plan with Canada, and that was that. I can't blame Canada for jumping ship, because it made sense to do so. I was frustrated with the tribes because I didn't feel like what I was putting on the table for an offer was really considered, and that they pretty much decided they were going to go to war with me regardless of what was said or offered for the simple reason that I was playing USA. I could be mistaken, but that was my read of them.

I didn't love the schedule, but that's more due to me being used to a different way of doing it and needing to adjust than it being inherently bad. The map is beautiful, I think the variant is very cool, and I'm glad to have gotten the chance to play.

My only real gripe is that provisional retreats and builds weren't accepted. That's kind of a big deal for a player like myself, that is paranoid about missing deadlines but likes to change their mind.

Edit: from reading Jordan's AAR, it seems like my impression wasn't far off. I don't know if this has been a problem for past USA players, but it definitely felt like one this game.
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Re: 1812 Overture: 1818.07 Peace Declared (AAR thread)

Postby NoPunIn10Did » 25 Feb 2017, 05:43

nanooktheeskimo wrote:My only real gripe is that provisional retreats and builds weren't accepted. That's kind of a big deal for a player like myself, that is paranoid about missing deadlines but likes to change their mind.


FYI: Builds could be corrected at any point up until the deadline. It's only retreats that I push to happen fast.
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Re: 1812 Overture: 1818.07 Peace Declared (AAR thread)

Postby Nanook » 25 Feb 2017, 05:53

nopunin10did wrote:
nanooktheeskimo wrote:My only real gripe is that provisional retreats and builds weren't accepted. That's kind of a big deal for a player like myself, that is paranoid about missing deadlines but likes to change their mind.


FYI: Builds could be corrected at any point up until the deadline. It's only retreats that I push to happen fast.

Apologies, it's been a while since I had either ;)

But my issue still stands. It's not a huge deal, but it is very frustrating for me nonetheless.
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Re: 1812 Overture: 1818.07 Peace Declared (AAR thread)

Postby Jordan767 » 25 Feb 2017, 08:30

nanooktheeskimo wrote:Edit: from reading Jordan's AAR, it seems like my impression wasn't far off. I don't know if this has been a problem for past USA players, but it definitely felt like one this game.

Pretty much what happened is I had talked to joe and asu before you and I communicated, and they were thinking along the same lines, so I was already somewhat entrenched in my anti-USA alliance. I felt bad for not giving you more of a chance but I was kind of already set.
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Re: 1812 Overture: 1818.07 Peace Declared (AAR thread)

Postby Don Juan of Austria » 25 Feb 2017, 12:05

Ho ho! This game is over now? Time for an AAR then. ;)

I felt rather off balance getting into this game, as it was a rather sudden entrance. Norway/Shawnee wouldn't have been my first pick either, but it wasn't the worse either.
In the Americas, I jumped aboard the "Kill the USA" train, and being as I hadn't really received anything from the USA, and what I had, he promptly lied about, I didn't feel too bad about.

After SCs had been gathered up, things went okay for awhile, then Russia stabbed me in Europe. My sub then came filled in for me in a crucial time, though game wise, not a very fun time. Twas curtains for us.

To Answer your questions Nopun:
1. I like the variant, and I like how it combines Europe and North America. (That's the main thing anyway).
2. This session though, I didn't feel like Norway/Shawnee was up to par with the other combos. (I mean, yes, I didn't play spectacularly, but still).
3. My fellow players were great, though I wish Nanook had talked a little more.
4. Not really sure what to say about your role as a GM. Thanks for running this variant though. ;)
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Re: 1812 Overture: 1818.07 Peace Declared (AAR thread)

Postby Nanook » 25 Feb 2017, 12:07

My fellow players were great, though I wish Nanook had talked a little more.

You took two days to respond to my first message, and didn't have much to say in response to it. After that, there wasn't really much to talk about as it became obvious I'd been had. It's also a two way street--I didn't go above and beyond, admittedly, but communication goes two ways and I didn't get much from you either.
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Re: 1812 Overture: 1818.07 Peace Declared (AAR thread)

Postby Don Juan of Austria » 25 Feb 2017, 12:14

nanooktheeskimo wrote:
My fellow players were great, though I wish Nanook had talked a little more.

You took two days to respond to my first message, and didn't have much to say in response to it. After that, there wasn't really much to talk about as it became obvious I'd been had. It's also a two way street--I didn't go above and beyond, admittedly, but communication goes two ways and I didn't get much from you either.


Unless I'm looking at the wrong first message, its a little different. Of course its not to say that I should have been pounding you with messages had I wanted more correspondence.
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Re: 1812 Overture: 1818.07 Peace Declared (AAR thread)

Postby Nanook » 25 Feb 2017, 12:16

It should be a copy-pasted message that I sent to your predecessor, with a postscript attached to the bottom as a greeting.
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