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Re: Diplomacy of Ice & Fire: Fall 304 AC & AARs

PostPosted: 22 Aug 2018, 19:36
by Groo
I promised to do an AAR on this and I actually already tried to do so, wrote a 2 page long post and got somehow logged out of forums in the process. When I pressed "Submit" it sent me to the forum login page and everything was deleted...

So here we go, try 2.

Pre-game thoughts and bids
When I first saw the map I loved it but couldn't play then. I'm a big GoT fan, watched all the episodes twice or even three times. Read most of the books. I even have a dog called Arya who is very cute unlike her master. So, yes I can say I was hyped to play the game 2!
I liked the changes made from g1 to g2 and I placed my bids on Targaryens which I felt have a very strong and much more playable position with the nerf to Starks and with adding another dot in Duskendale. (tbh, I wanted to try Targaryens when I was looking to play in g1 as well).

The only two powers I didn't want to play were the Lannisters and ...*badum tss*...the Baratheons. Both of them are surrounded and they look very difficult to pull off. Suffice to say I wasn't very happy to get the Baratheons, who were my last pick! This pick also impacted a bit the end game when I decided to go for a solo stab - In my eyes a solo with Baratheons is probably the hardest and that also impacted my decision to go for it.

Early game and first coms
As Baratheons I had to reach out to everyone and do it fast. My initial plan was to ally with the Lannisters for the short-mid term at least, and possibly even for the long run if the maps plays out that way. I feel that Baratheons and Lannisters are Germany and Austria of this map - if they start fighting early on they will both be destroyed by their neighbours. CC agreed with me and we made an agreement to at least leave each other alone. If he attacks me, well, I had a backup plan - I reached to both Greyjoys and Starks offering to work with them against Lannisters in the mid term. They both accepted at first and it almost sounded like we have a first triple alliance on the board but Starks really went quiet after that.

I also wanted to ally with Dorne and go against the Tyrells, but very soon I realised that prince Starkadder Doran had other plans (he opened SoD and even declared war publicly next year and made a bit arrogant claim that he will bow break and bent me) so I turned out to the Tyrells instead. I was happy to hear that AKFD of house Tyrell was eager to work with me. I proposed to formalise the alliance straight of the bat with a marriage and he accepted to my great relief. The marriage took place in Storm's end which was important to me because it secured that Tyrells won't betray me because I'd execute their heir if they tried. I never even had to mention that to AKFD because he never tried to stab me though.

Now, the only thing that was left were the Targaryens. I knew that I want to go to Tyrosh and that Targaryens and Martells could potentially work together against me so I did everything in my power to throw them in the other direction -> towards Starks. I was lucky that other players didn't communicate that much in the early game or she might have done so, plus, to be honest Pootle and I clicked from the first comm so I guess we both "seduced" each other into an alliance.

Year two and the mid game
After all that hard work I felt kind of safe to move to year two and into war against the Martells. The deal I had with AKFD was that I'll support him in first two Martell's centers and he'll support me in the second two. It was a bit risky because he might have stabbed me after he took those two centres (he did misplay once which I thought that time was on purpose and that was) but I took the gamble because I had his heir in my capital (heirs ARE IMPORTANT!).

On the other side of the map - a first big surprise to me and a big misplay in my book: Starks have built a fleet in Winterfell! What was he thinking, I don't know, but I had to react to that.
Obviously he a)Wanted to join the Lannisters against Greyjoys instead the other way around as we agreed b)He will be weak when Targaryens come to him
This play from Starks shaped th ewhole game I think - The Lannisters were also able advance in the Greyjoys lands and there was a threat of him gaining a LOT of centers early on so I had to do a mini-stab and go to King's Landing in the fall to balance the map a little bit. And also there was a threat that Targaryens would roll over the Starks and have the tempo to move against me next so I did try to slow her down a bit - thus my move block of her fleet in the spring 299 which I think was cheeky, but a very good move when all is said and done, especially because Greyjoys who were mad at Starks blocked him from getting the Wall in the fall move!

After the second year I felt really confident that I could actually survive this game as Baratheon, and possibly even solo.
This is how the map looked:

I managed to somehow fix what Greyjoys and Starks "messed up". I told cc honestly why I took KL and he was angry but he understood and we agreed to continue with our original plan of leaving each other alone. I lied though (even though that wasn't my initial intention to be honest) and moved against him anyways - but only after I convinced Targaryens to do the same. I told Pootle that he will become too big to deal with if we leave him alone, which was true, and so we went for it.
This is when I "introduced" AKFD in our chat and when we created the "trio fantastico" alliance.

This is also when I first saw the distant chance for a solo due to the heir system in this game -> if we manage to take Casterly Rock and execute the Lannister heir that would eliminate the "red threat" and I would be able to simultaneously stab both of my allies and go for a solo. I knew I only had to be patient and that with a little luck I could pull it off.

Groo, why did you stab us?
Next few years went exactly as planned. The Tyrells were fighting the Lannisters and they kept their promise to give me Martell centres. Starks were bottled up in the north and practically useless and waiting for Pootle to invade them...The only thing that didn't go as planned was that the Lannister heir escaped to Winterfell. A very good move by CC there that bought him a few extra turns.

Besides that, it was smooth sailing really, my allies were perfect and fun to play with and with their help I managed to pick up some centres and get to 10 dots. At that time I even abandoned the solo plans (that's why and when I told Pootle I wouldn't betray them) and let AKFD to plan our moves ->what he did though, was move my pieces exactly how I would have moved them if I were trying to go for a solo! xD (I only had to intervene one or two times to make it even smoother)
I mean, I couldn't have done it better myself without raising suspicion so my ambition to solo returned. It was a mixture of greed, vanity, the wish to enter Valhalla, the pride to win as Baratheons who are in my eyes the weakest, the wish to win my first forum SOLO, on my favourite map so far, the wish to get 6-7 centers in one year...all that combined made me do it.
I felt really terrible because they WERE AMAZING allies and great communicators and we had some great fun :oops: but in the end, when I saw the perfect opportunity I couldn't resist the temptation. Sorry guys <3

Would you spot this opening?
It ended up like this: Spring Fall

I made up a story of a mad villain Stannis (which was also fun to do) and took 6 centres in the first year of my stab and then 6 in the next to close the victory. I also had a little help from the Starks who were scared of Targaryens taking Winterfell so I offered him the same escape he gave to the Lannisters - in return he had to kill the Lannister heir though and seal my victory.

Why did I kill Sansa and Doran?
Well it was a part of roleplaying the mad villan/hero Stannis. I killed Sansa only because I wanted to marry Pootle in the end of the game, as I promised I would and because I felt she deserved to stay alive, unlike Doran who attacked and insulted me in the first turn. I hoped to retire to DS isles to live happily ever after with my Khaleesi and leave the whole kingdom to Gendry and Arya to lead it in the new era of peace.
Bloody Iskis ruined everything though! I should have burned him! I actually considered writing a letter to Onion knight that "Iskis knows too much and that we have to get rid of him" but I don't know what our GM Aeschines would have done even if I did so + it was too much killing already, even for me.

End game commentary
What else should I say but a big thank you to our wonderful GM and everyone who played the game, especially all those roleplay and "in character" messages we exchanged. It was a great and very fun experience! Overall, I think the map is well balanced and very playable and I think I was lucky that I got that solo. I only wish Stark played a bit better (that F Winterfell still hurts me), but kudos to all nevertheless!

Willie, you said it all, you weren't really actively in the game, but thanks for killing the Lannisters for me. :P
Greyjoys, sorry I couldn't do more to keep you alive, but you failed to defend your home center + Starks really messed things up there for you. After that you didn't talk anymore so I doubt you'll see this, but you sounded like a decent player.
Starkadder, I hope you don't have anything against me personal (From the way this game started I kind of felt like you were holding a grudge since Emergence, hopefully that isn't the case), and thanks for being a great sport until the end.
Pootle and AK, I love you both and I talked to both of you at length afterwards so no need to repeat myself. Sorry for the stab, really.
CC, well played, some really good moves and I enjoyed our comms, but you took off too fast and drew too much attention on yourself so we had to team up against you.

Re: Diplomacy of Ice & Fire: Fall 304 AC & AARs

PostPosted: 23 Aug 2018, 10:41
Backreading my proposed moves and I realized what you said.

I was too eager for the draw.

Re: Diplomacy of Ice & Fire: Fall 304 AC & AARs

PostPosted: 23 Aug 2018, 12:03

This was the opening if TL; DCTL (Too lazy, didn't click the link)

This move set is probably the move that ended me.
And this earned Groo the win as the Fall position would be good. After Stark killed Lannister off, he had a sure victory.