Diplomacy of Ice & Fire: AARs

7 player Game of Thrones variant introduced to playdip by Presser84, with updated rules from Aeschines. GMed by Aeschines. Solo win by AardvarkArmy.

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Diplomacy of Ice & Fire: AARs

Postby Aeschines » 06 Jul 2018, 03:03

Congratulations, AardvarkArmy on a solo win as House Martell! Though you were aided by Wobbly there at the end that was not an easy feat to accomplish!

I am incredibly eager to get feedback on how the game when for each of you. Thoughts on balance, rules, or mechanics are very welcome. But, most of all I'd like to hear what happened exactly!

From where I was sitting it looked like we had:
Early alliance to crush Lannisters
The double Dornish betrayal (first the Tyrells, then Baratheons)
The great Stark schism that broke the power of the Greyjoys but put them into the Dornish camp.

Please share what really happened - there is an eager audience across the site begging to know! (But actually, I think this was one of the most closely-followed PBFG I've ever been a part of).

Congratulations again to everyone!

Player/Power List (for ease of reading the AARs):

AardvarkArmy - House Martell
Solo Win
"Unbent, Unbowed, Unbroken."

StarkAdder - House Stark
Survived to end (9 SCs)
"Winter Is Coming."

Wobbly - House Greyjoy
Survived to end (5 SCs)
"We Do Not Sow."

GPD - House Baratheon
Eliminated Fall 304 AC
"Ours Is the Fury."

ccloughley - House Targaryen
Eliminated Fall 303 AC
"Fire and Blood."

Condude1 - House Lannister
Eliminated Spring 301 AC
"Hear Me Roar!"

JonS - House Tyrell
Eliminated Spring 301 AC
"Growing Strong."

And the ending map:
Game of Thrones Diplomacy Fall AC 306.png
Game of Thrones Diplomacy Fall AC 306.png (58.14 KiB) Viewed 2069 times
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Re: Diplomacy of Ice & Fire: AARs

Postby condude1 » 06 Jul 2018, 03:13

Ok, so I wasn't in this for very long. I'd say that this is half because of my lack of time and hence diplomacy, and half due to the balancing of the map.

I started as the Lannisters, and made 2 allies. The problem is that the Lannisters kind of can lose in '01, and even if you gamble and get it right (like I did), there's no light at the end of the tunnel. Max 2 builds in '01, all my centers easily attackable, and being surrounded meant I was out early. With better diplomacy I might have survived, but the position I started in was pretty godawful.
Telleo wrote:I don't think I've ever met someone who more perfectly embodied Chaotic Neutral than Condude1.


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Re: Diplomacy of Ice & Fire: AARs

Postby AardvarkArmy » 06 Jul 2018, 05:25

First, before getting into blow-by-blow details, I want to give a shout out to everyone who made the extra effort to promulgate “in character” prose alongside their orders and comms. Lannister (Condude1) and Greyjoy (Wobbly) come to mind, but Stark (StarkAdder) and our beloved GM (Aeschines) were absolutely over-the-top! My ONLY regret in this game is that I was so utterly unfamiliar with the GoT story lines that I was never able to respond in kind, and often didn’t really “get” many of the references… but I nonetheless LOVED reading the creative pronouncements.

That said, on to the nuts and bolts.

Our GM’s perspective noted “The double Dornish betrayal.” Well… actually… I set a personal record in this game. I play with different styles in different games: My California stayed in a game-long bromance with Canada in WWIV, and my Turkey stayed the course with China in Imperial; in other games, I’ve stabbed multiple neighbors. But this game was the first time ever that I have betrayed EVERY other player. So I will frame my thoughts in the order of those stabs.

Stab 1 – Tyrell (hard stab). We began the game with good faith gestures on both sides, which allowed both of us to get off to a good start. But I just couldn’t stomach the idea of adjacent centers with no buffer (Starfall vs Sandstone) and Tyrell got a little greedy with his northern expansion at the expense of southern defenses. So, I bum-rushed the border and hoped that my builds (and his lack thereof) would immunize me from his wrathful countermeasures. I will note that, even in death, his remaining army proved useful – the lifeless green army in Searoad bought me crucial time against the GreyJoys who were trying to rush southward.

Stab 2 – Lannister (soft stab). Although I was not involved in any way in the military defeat of Lannister, I did hold his heir’s life in my castle for several seasons. He was a cooperative hostage, and followed the joint orders of myself and Baratheon for a couple of turns. But I murdered his heir in Spring of 301, telling Baratheon that the purpose of the bloody deed was to ensure that he would be able to roll into Highgarden to gain a much needed build… (continue at stab 4)

Stab 3 – Targaryen (hard stab). This was more a case of “collateral damage.” Like Tyrell before, Targaryen had focused his full attention to the north and left his south undefended. I desperately needed a new build in order to execute my next plan. Targaryen offered me an easy pickoff at Myr, and I knew it would be extremely difficult for him to counter me without imploding. I didn’t want a full war with him – I just wanted to steal the one build.

Stab 4 – Baratheon (hard stab). (continued from stab 2)… but that wasn’t exactly the real plan. In fall of 301 I moved into Ashford – blocking Baratheon temporarily from the prize. Then I built 2 new fleets to cross the waters from my home peninsula for a full-strength offensive in 302. This was going to be a tougher fight – he was not undefended – but gaining 2 builds while holding him to none allowed me to gain a decisive edge in firepower. And being able to pick off Pentos from Targaryen allowed me to continue gaining an edge in builds. He was successful in gaining the support of Greyjoy, which added firepower to his side and which severely complicated the next stage…

Stab 5 – Stark (hard stab). …up until 302-303, I believed I would be lucky to make it into a 3-way draw. The alliance between Stark and Greyjoy was abundantly evident, and had thus far been excruciatingly successful – it appears to be a classic “juggernaut.” So I set about trying every way that I could diplomatically to break them apart. With Stark, it was mostly the promise of a more interesting outcome: working with me towards a two-way versus either the boring three-way that appeared all-but-inevitable at this point or the incredibly long, grueling slog that would be required for them to take me out. With GreyJoy, what was required was a two-pronged approach of patient restraint and fear-mongering: even though he had engaged against me in support of Baratheon, I repeatedly reminded him that I had not attacked him and did not want war with him, along with pointing to his undefended northern centers and warning him to be ready for a stab. I got my wish when Stark placed builds that demonstrated an obvious intent to stab GreyJoy. I waited a season until they were fully engaged and Greyjoy was angrily surging north, then bullied Stark into retracting a DMZ violation he had made into Narrow Sea (I think he only backed down because of the surprisingly tough counterattacks by GreyJoy, e.g., the taking of Red Keep and the counteroffensive at The Twins)… then followed immediately with a full surge northward across land and sea. I knew it was a dangerous gamble to play – I believed that Stark posed a very real threat of solo if he had caught GreyJoy completely by surprise; I knew that once I persuaded Stark to break the game-long alliance, I would need to 1) for GreyJoy to flip 180 degrees from active opponent to active ally instantly and completely; and 2) I would need to take my best shot as quickly as possible, before Stark could gain 2-3 builds and stard flooding fleets down the western coasts.

Stab 6 – GreyJoy (soft stab). When Stark's stab happened in the north, GreyJoy reached out to get a sense of where he and I stood. I gave him probably the only completely honest answer of the entire game: I told him that most of the game I had assumed I was working toward a 3-way, and still saw that as a possible outcome…but I admitted that it is in my nature to try for solo if it seems to be a real possibility. Once I saw that Stark had been stopped dead in his tracks and no longer seemed to pose an imminent solo risk, I decided the time had come to grab for it myself. So I took Lannisport, then Highgarden, then Casterly Rock from GreyJoy. He was not surprised, and he acquiesced. He had decided to wreak his vengeance on the one who had cost him a chance to share in victory. His decision not to turn his wrath back on me despite my taking of his centers was a gift, but I had to remember that I had faced – and survived – similar suicidal retributions twice before, from Tyrell and Baratheon; now it was Stark’s turn to face the consequences of his stab.

This was one of the best games I have played. Everyone fought hard and presented unique challenges – both tactically and diplomatically.

Remember…

Winter is coming!
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ICE&FIRE.1-Martell/EXCALIBUR.1-Angles/EXCALIBUR.2-Scots/EMERALD-Sno/MOD.4-Italy/SENGOKU.1-OdaNobu/S.AMERICA.1-Peru

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Re: Diplomacy of Ice & Fire: AARs

Postby Don Juan of Austria » 06 Jul 2018, 08:30

Please share what really happened - there is an eager audience across the site begging to know! (But actually, I think this was one of the most closely-followed PBFG I've ever been a part of).


Very fun to watch. :)
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Re: Diplomacy of Ice & Fire: AARs

Postby StarkAdder » 06 Jul 2018, 15:29

I have been asked, as I await my execution in the Black Cells of the lowest level of the Red Keep's dungeons, to pen by account of the recent wars of Ice and Fire, as they are now called. I do this freely and by my own hand, located just a hundred metres from the Iron Throne that proven to be my undoing. It sits several levels above me but I can feel its weight down here.

House Stark was enjoying peace and prosperity and an unusually long summer when the troubles began. We learned of conflict, oaths made and broken, treachery, accusations and worse from the lands to the south. Then a Raven brought us news that King Robert, my beloved friend, was dead -- some say from a boar, some say from a bottle, and some say from a vixen. It was not mine to judge, but I mustered my bannermen and sea captains and prepared for conflict.

We are fortune in the North that our lands are far-removed from most other Houses. I made an early and lasting alliance with Balon Greyjoy, and exchanged many Ravens with useful strategies and entertaining gossip in the years to follow. With our western flank more or less secure (a few errors in navigation by wayward sea captains led to brief tensions, but we always patched things up quickly), our Stark bannermen and frigates were free to explore other lands. We braved the Lands Beyond the Wall and discovered things that I still cannot bring myself to mention, but we enlisted help from King Mace Rayder and his Wildlings, and even at one time put together a flotilla of ice-ships, crewed by giants with Mastadons on deck. It was something to behold!

In the east, our ships sailed swiftly and true, and even snuck in between the legs of the Titan of Braavos when the Dragonqueen was not looking! We also secured the Vale of Arryn, where I spent some of my youth, and worked out an even trade of the Trident with the Greyjoys. I took Harrenhall after they held it briefly for us, and they took my wife Catelyn's home of Riverrun back from the hated Lannisters. Soon, King's Landing and the Red Keep lay before me, and with the other Houses falling apart rapidly: first the Lannisters, with King Joffrey's not-overly-mourned execution and a rapid invasion of their lands by sea (krakens), air (dragonwing cavalry) and land (roses and stags), disappeared quickly; then the Tyrells, with fair Margery being sent to meet the Drowned God in Great Pyke and not returning from that embrace, and the Barratheons, stubborn to the end -- both squeezed between the hard desert lands of Dorne and the raids of the Greyjoy pirates, and not aided by their hatred for one another.

As for the Dragonqueen, she never grew her armies and navies to live up to her titles. She may have been Stormborne of House Targaryen and First of Her Name, but she was also Last of Her Name, Burnt Once or Twice, Queen of a few vandals and lost men, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Nothing, Breaker of Promises, and Daughter of Eunuchs.

Once House Stark reached King's Landing, my troubles began. I sought to unite all the lands in peace, but my bannermen discovered an enormous reserve of Dornish Bloodwine and Arbor Gold beneath the Red Keep, along with some barrels of a glowing green liqueur I never got around to trying. Well, one glass led to another, and soon I was casting odd orders, such as asking my soldiers at the Braavosi Coast to march across the Narrow Sea. I was worried about my alliance with the Greyjoys, too, for they had run up against the unyielding Dornish armada and had nowhere to go but into the lands we had fairly divided before. I hope to negotiate peace with Prince Doran, but he was eager to instead make a deal with me -- if I were to attack the Greyjoys, we could divide Westeros between us.

Alas, embolded by the wine, I accepted his offer, seeing no future in a draw that nibbled the edges of each nation's lands. At the same time, a terrible coup occurred in the Iron Isles, and the vile Euron One-Eye Greyjoy took the Salt Throne. He not only executed his own brother and king, my old friend Balon, but he also put to death my eldest son Robb, whom I had sent to Pyke to marry the feisty Yara (aka Asha) to cement our alliance just a year before. With my son murdered, there is no way a Stark could ever remain in alliance with the Greyjoys, so we attacked his fish-men on all fronts.

Of course, it does not take a maester to predict what happened next. Euron sided quickly with Dorne, even surrendering many of his lands without a fight as he shifted his fleets and armies against mine. Meanwhile, the crafty Dornish forces found gaps in my admittedly-haphazard lines in the East and exploited them well, sailing to the Vale of Arryn and finally seizing King's Landing from me. At that point, I stood tall and admitted defeat, surrounded by the Dornish spearmen, to protect my bannermen and family. I trust most of them have been allowed to return to their homes in the North, or given the option to Take the Black and head north to the Wall, for believe you me, Winter is Coming!

As for me, I wait in this dungeon for the moment with Prince Oberyn, the new King's brother, will come to me and offer me a choice of the chalice, the dagger or the sword. I will choose the sword, and will go down fightly proudly of what I have done throughout this conflict. My greatest regret is the moment I chose to turn on Balon Greyjoy. We did not seek this war, but we fought it bravely, and I go to join the Old Gods with my head still held high.

Ned Stark

P.S. -- to Aeschines: the game was brilliant, and I enjoyed both the structure and the role-playing (as you can surmise above) immensely. I also really enjoyed the other players, both those who were GoT nerds like me and those who were not. To Wobbly, I looked forward to every Raven you sent and the chance to discuss Diplomacy moves in character; even when the game-board was predictable, your messages were wildly entertaining. Thanks for a great game. To Aardvark Army -- we did not have the same role-playing banter, but we still had great messaging, and you played a brilliantly strategic game and truly deserve your victory. Well played! To ccloughley -- sorry, my Queen, for the early stab. You were a great Khaleesi! To GPD, JonS and Conclude1, sorry we did not get to communicate more often, due to distance and the fact that you had largely disappeared before we bordered one another, but I hope I get to play each of you in a future game.

And to anyone else reading this.....the world might be enduring a heatwave right now, but...

Winter

is

Coming!!!
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Re: Diplomacy of Ice & Fire: AARs

Postby Counsel0r » 06 Jul 2018, 18:45

A True Account of The War of Northern Aggression
as told by Euron Greyjoy, King of the Iron Isles

It has been a long road back to my proper place here in Pyke, and while the journey has seen the waxing and waning of Greyjoy power in this second war for Westoros, I'm damned glad to have done it again--if only to see that pompous dog Ned Stark laid low!

I started this war in exile, living the best life of an Ironborn. Reaping and raping all along the western shores is a life fit for any king of a longship! When I hear that my senile fool of a brother was once again raiding the Lannister coast, I was thrilled! Perhaps the old kraken had some fight left yet! I rushed back to the Isles and in the early years and took a fleet raiding at Lannisport once again! Ah, it was good to burn and rape in the lands of those incestuous yellow kittens! Tywin folded quickly between the Greyjoys and those effete Tyrells! Balon showed his last bit of sense in continuing the fight south and finishing off the Tyrells as well. They were on the verge of collapse. Killing Margery Tyrell was a kindness at that point.

As good as it was to be on the warpath, I was troubled by my fool brother's burgeoning friendship with the dogs in the north! The same dogs that had imprisoned his only son and helped cause the deaths of my nephews! On many occasions, I would find the old fool giggling like a child as he read the latest message from Ned Stark! He was an embarrassment to my family! Never mind naming a girl as his heir! It became clear to the true Ironborn that Balon was going soft in the head. The Ironborn needed a true leader. I confess that I wasn't comfortable with all this conquest anyhow. Burning Lannister fleets and murdering Tyrell heirs is fun, but all this expansion inward seemed like a lot of...sowing. We. Do. Not. Do. That.

Nonetheless, I thought the old Balon was back for a moment. In Spring of 302, Balon's bannermen had almost convinced him to go raiding in the icy north! The Wildlings were completely undefended and a Greyjoy foothold could have been established in the puppies' backyard! Ned Stark was busy chasing the Iron Throne and could've been taken like a Lannister sister with her back turned! But, alas, Balon showed himself to be a coward as well as a fool, muttering something about not wanting to stop "getting the letters from his friend Ned." Of course, Balon whined about the plight of House Greyjoy's place in the middle of these two giants. He said he would not turn on the Starks only to let the Dornish snakes stab us in the back. How did that work for old Balon? He soon found out how far this Stark honor went!

When Ned showed his true colors, I'd had enough. I ended my brother's reign of cowardice and returned the Iron Isles to the Old Way. Ned Stark apparently cared so little for his pup Robb that he sent him to Pyke to die right before building his treacherous western fleets (fleets so incompetent that a single Ironborn fleet kept them bottled up in the Bay of Ice for years!) and showing his true intentions! I took great pleasure in hearing Robb Stark cry out for his dear nursemaid and ask why his father had forsaken him!

The rest is well known. The Greyjoys took their revenge on the Mutts and happily allowed the Dornesmen to take Balon's gains in the south. It's better this way anyway. House Greyjoy still reigns over the Iron Isles and has even regained our rightful control of the Riverlands! Meanwhile, the Dornish will grow fat and complacent and the Ironborn will have fertile grounds to reave all along the coast. We'll soon find Ned's cripple son and that giant simpleton wherever they are hiding and end the Stark line once and for all! I also must get to the bottom of the mystery of that strange girl I keep seeing out of the corner of my eye in Pyke (or do I?). It's as if she's always in the shadows, watching and following, but when I look I see nothing. I can never make out a face. Ah, no matter! I'm sure it's no one. I sound like Balon now, jumping at shadows!

I tire of this writing. I'm off to bed now. I set sail for northern waters tomorrow to break through into the Bay of Ice.

[Such was the last written account of Euron Greyjoy, King of the Iron Isles. He was found murdered in his bed that night with this account on his desk. The killer was never found.]


P.S. - Well, that wasn't much of a useful AAR, but it was more fun. I had a lot of fun playing this game. I had a blast trying to be in character with StarkAdder. I tell you, he is really good at writing in character (and a great writer in general). I felt a ton of pressure to just try to keep up and not make stupid mistakes for him to correct (like mixing up Roose and Ramsay Bolton). AA played great, and was a pleasure to talk with as well. I didn't talk much with anybody else, as it turned out. Sorry for killing your daughter JonS. I just felt like it was only a matter of time. Condude1, you played just fine from my perspective; just didn't have much chance. I just decided I had to go Lannister hunting. I perceived you as a really cagey player and too dangerous to leave around.

Anyway, I'm interested to hear that AA was uncharacteristically stabby in this one. I had him pegged as a big-time solo threat, which was why I didn't think I could turn my back. I confess that I bought into the Stark honor stuff. Despite that, as I hinted at above, I was REALLY close to turning on the Starks in 302 and I regret not doing so when I had the chance. Obviously, it's better to stab than be stabbed, but more importantly, it would've just been fun to go raiding up there! But, I figure that the result would've been the same. No matter where I went, I was going to be exposing myself. It was a lot of fun to jettison my care-beary Balon Greyjoy character (probably an inaccurate depiction anyway) and adopt Euron when I got stabbed. At first, I just tried to use the threat of overthrow as a hint at kingmaking if I was stabbed, but then it became too cool a thing to write as when the opportunity presented itself. I even flirted with bringing Balon back from prison but it wasn't to be.

Alright, I'm rambling now.

Thanks to everyone. Great game to all! Congrats to AA. And big thanks to Aeschines for dusting this one off. I really liked your role-playing in the adjudications! Helluva a job, as usual!

Wobbly
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Re: Diplomacy of Ice & Fire: AARs

Postby StarkAdder » 06 Jul 2018, 19:00

Thanks, Wobbly/Balon, for the compliments on my writing and enjoyment of the game. The feeling is mutual. I hope we get a chance to cross paths again soon. I am delighted to see that Euron finally had a chance to meet my youngest daughter too...
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Re: Diplomacy of Ice & Fire: AARs

Postby AardvarkArmy » 06 Jul 2018, 19:25

Thanks again to both Wobbly and StarkAdder (and Aeschines!!) for the hilariously amusing GoT storylines with this one! :lol:

Catch me in a game set in a historical time period that I actually know something about, and I'll be VERY happy to banter in character with you! :roll:

And, one last time - great game by everyone in this one! :mrgreen:
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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: Diplomacy of Ice & Fire: AARs

Postby Don Juan of Austria » 06 Jul 2018, 20:25

Had I been drinking anything when I read this...

A True Account of The War of Northern Aggression


...I most assuredly wouldn't not still be drinking it. :lol:
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