African Diplomacy 5 - Winter 2011 THE END

Six player variant set in Africa. GM'd by TTBen.

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African Diplomacy 5 - Winter 2011 THE END

Postby TTBen » 06 Jun 2019, 05:10

Winter 2011 is posted but also with that we OFFICIALLY have a draw as all have now accepted.

RANKED DRAW
1) Libya, Elric Hazard
2) Saudi Arabia, Wobbly
3) Congo, Don Juan of Austria
4) Ivory Coast, finished by NanooktheEskimo (started by patatevolante4)
5) South Africa, Stark Adder
6) Ethiopia, AKFD

FINAL MAP:
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Re: African Diplomacy 5 - Winter 2011 THE END

Postby AKFD » 06 Jun 2019, 11:41

And your first GM was a success!
Congrats TTBen!!!

Enjoyed this game! (Even though I was quickly killed)

AKFD :D
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Re: African Diplomacy 5 - Winter 2011 THE END

Postby Elric Hazard » 07 Jun 2019, 20:30

Fantastic GMing, TTBen!

AFRICA 5 AAR - Libya

A bit of history. I NMR'd out of game 4 as Saudi Arabia. At the same time I NMR'd out of a LotR variant. (Let's simplify and just say it was for RL reasons though I could have found a way to warn people) When sent the invitation by TTBen, I informed him of this, and that I would love to redeem myself, but would understand if he couldn't take me after all. He reviewed my record and gave me a shot. Thanks for that.

I had meant to do a summary of the original games while playing, but never got to it til recently. I had made some wrong assumptions, I don't know why, like that solos were unknown here, that S.A. and Libya were usually enemies. Both are flat out wrong.

I proposed a 'juggernaut' with S.Ar., who accepted and we played well together for a long time. pv4 as Ivory Coast was a wily adversary and just when I thought I had him in a surprise move, chainsawing up and down I was going to take Abidjan and there was nothing he could do about it, while I was going to secretly slide into Ouaga. He outguessed me. He tried for a long time afterward to get me to team up; I was just not interested in losing momentum or stabbing S.Ar. Perhaps if that campaign went faster I could have solo'd; perhaps it would have led to an earlier stop the leader.

Ethiopia - I knew S Ar was coming for him, kept promising to come to his aid in a turn or two. Just a backup in case S Ar really did turn on me. Well he fell eventually, as Ethiopia always does.

Had some great talks with DJ as Congo even after it was clear we were going to be enemies. I knew you all mostly knew each other's style well so I tried to claw out as much info as possible from everyone about the others. I mostly neglected South Africa, figuring he was doomed with Congo's great start. Kudos to AKFD and Stark for fighting to the last man.

Then came Nanook as IC, who convinced me to keep him in and he would work for me with both moves and advice. I needed years to get naval power around the bulge, so I took it. He never failed to deliver. I also liked the idea of effectively having more SCs then I showed on the count, for psychological purposes.

The first draw proposal was serious, but then I thought I saw an opportunity and changed it to a smoke screen, giving me a chance to set up my stab and get my own Fleets south, while Nanook took the blame.

Just prior to draw proposal 1, DJ made the kingmaker threat. Can't blame him; I would do the same. And that turns out to be the serious flaw in my goal of a '2 way if I couldn't solo'. It probably is the flaw in any attempt to 2 way. Perhaps it can be dealt with if the 3rd power isnt yet strong enough to make the threat credible.

So I tried for a bit, got a real feel for the stalemate line from Turkey to Chad, and with no luck or errors on the part of the rest of the board, realized it wasn't going to happen and proposed the 2nd draw, serious all the way. DJ wasnt having it unless I knocked out Nanook. I have no dog in the 'whittling' debate, never even had more than a glimpse of it being an issue until this game, and can see both sides. After some negotiation, I agreed with him, afraid of alienating everyone enough that I could actually lose the top spot or even the game if I kept it up.

I certainly have my own ideas to combat the problems with this variant, and maybe someday I will GM a game with my mods. I will detail those on the forum if anyone is interested. I need more time to build a solid record before I can become a GM.

Great game all, and I look forward to meeting you again in some other field of honor.
The history of civilized man is but the history of his misery. All the pages of it are stained with blood. - Abbé Raynal 1781
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Re: African Diplomacy 5 - Winter 2011 THE END

Postby Don Juan of Austria » 08 Jun 2019, 18:36

First of all, thank you TTBen for running such a smooth game of African(5)! It was fun.

So jumping right into this AAR, we begin with the bidding process which was a bit different from what I was used to, but none the less exciting for me. My first choice was South Africa, (for one I live here and for two, it does have a pretty good position, and a few options)...however, Stark Adder won the bid, and we moved on to Congo, which was my second bid considering Ivory Coast (IC) was already taken, and I got it.

Congo Dawn
Playing Congo, I thought I would have to be kinda aggressive. The last game of African, in 2016, I had subbed in as Saudi Arabia, and watched Congo (Antigonos) Solo, by first pushing south into South Africa, and then finishing things in the North. I looked at the map and didn't really want to go after South Africa first, for fear of attack by IC and Ethiopia, plus S.Africa and I were making good progress on coordination. As negations went on though, I realized I'd have to do something about S.Africa eventually, and it would become super easy for him to ally with whoever won in the North against me... Also, IC was very reassuring that he had no interest in coming my way, and he wouldn't even go for Gabon; he'd leave it for me to take in 2002. Ethiopia wasn't as warm as I'd hoped at first, but I organized a bounce with him in Sudan, which kept me safe from him, and assured me Uganda in the Fall.

So Spring 2001 went as planned. Everyone was where they were supposed to be, and no one was openly hostile toward me; good. This was my chance to take care of S.Africa. With a bit of convincing, Ethiopia went to Madagascar instead of Tanzania, while I went to Tanzania to bounce S.Africa, while also going to Namibia to bounce him. The result of all this at the end of year one, was 3 builds for me, and with Ethiopia's help, we had denied S.Africa any builds. Fall 2001 results.

Now, three builds was all well and good, especially when my new opponent only had 3 units...but IC (patatevolante4, at this stage still) had taken Gabon...which mightily displeased me. It might have been fine for him to take it (it was a neutral after all), had it not been for the fact that he had said he wasn't interested in it...I believed him, because that's what you do in 01, especially when he could have negotiated for Gabon if he had really wanted it...but I thought he'd be going to get his third build, by taking Nigeria, not Gabon.
Anyway, I was pretty frustrated over what seemed like a senseless stab...

Things weren't going as smoothly now. After the builds, Spring 2002 comes in. My main ally against S.Africa (Ethiopia), has to defend himself against Saudi Arabia, and thus S.Africa gets into Madagascar, and now IC and S.Africa are directly working together against me. Libya does look to be threatening IC though.

Congo's Midday
The next few years go on, seemingly on the decline for me. S.Africa get's Madagascar and Zimbabwe...putting him on 5, which is exactly what my early stab had tried to prevent. A series of good guesses on S.Africa's part, and IC keeping a few of my units busy had led to a stall in my growth. I was running out of time, it seemed, as Saudi Arabia would most likely continue his march into the heart of Africa just as soon as he was finished with Ethiopia.
As Libya made progress against IC however, IC and I started taking baby steps towards trusting each other again...which gave me space to position myself better against S.Africa.

By the end of 2006, S.Africa's mainland holdings were all taken care of, and I was sitting at my high water mark. Had I known what I know today, I should have pushed for a draw then. :P

Late Game and Whittling
Somewhere in here, the leader of IC runs off to offshore banks and what-not...Nanook Arrives, the new leader of IC! We talk. We miscommunicate. We annoy each other...we miscommunicate some more... we annoy each other even more. Eventually we stop talking and he's working for Libya. (That's my "trying-to-be-emotion-free-spin-on-it", view). The Libya-IC alliance grows (and what I mean by that, is, Libya grows), while Saudi Arabia is pushing down my way too. I had a fairly decent line against Saudi Arabia, but I couldn't hold both Libya and Saudi Arabia. So I told Libya I'd be taking my destroys off my East Coast if he kept taking my centers, and that I'd aid Saudi Arabia. So that's what happened for a bit, and Saudi Arabia took the lead...then Libya took some centers off IC, which provided me some space, and Libya the lead spot. Saudi and I smoothed things over, and started working towards a stalemate line against Libya, and 3-WD.

Now, had I realized the nature of the rules, and the type of play encouraged and not encouraged (whittling), I think I would have been fine with a draw around about here...BUT, and they say there's always a but...I was playing like I might play in any other PBF game, and that was for the draw size, (as a solo at this point was highly highly highly unlikely for me), and I wasn't about to accept a 4-WD, when we're so close to a 3-WD.
In the end, the map looked nicer with Africa divided into three colors. ;)

It was fun playing this time around, from the start, and I'd definitely do it again! My main turning point, where I went wrong I think, was not communicating enough with Saudi Arabia or Libya before it came down to war between us, and then of course annoying Nanook beyond repair. As it was, I felt like Saudi and Libya had stronger ties to each other, than I had with either of them. If I was a better ally to one of them, then maybe things might have gone differently...but who knows.
Then also, I'm not really sure if IC ever would have worked with me or not, but had we worked together against Libya, things might have gone quite differently as well.

Thanks for the Game guys! Looking forward to more AARs from others. :)
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Re: African Diplomacy 5 - Winter 2011 THE END

Postby Wobbly » 10 Jun 2019, 18:54

Thanks for the AARs, everyone. Very well thought-out.

I'm afraid I don't have much of interest to add. This game was fairly straightforward to me. I quickly recognized Libya as a natural ally and somebody who I could work easily with. I saw Congo as an alternative option had the board gone a different way, but it broke such that it was easiest to stick with the original duo.

To start, I said nice things to everyone, including poor AKFD (though I'm sure he wasn't taken in by any of it) but I planned to attack him from the start. The Ethiopian NMRs made my life much easier, I'll say, and things could've gone much differently if I had been bogged down like I expected. Once Ethiopia was gone, it just made sense to roll down and try to check Congo's solo threat. Libya and I talked about trying for a 2-way, but I always expected a 3-way or a solo shot. At one point I hoped to resurrect South Africa to make him our 3rd draw partner just for fun, but that wasn't realistic either. Most of the game was just putting one foot in front of the other until we had it down to 3 and a draw. I even told Congo that I was probably going to scuffle with him but that he'd be our 3rd.

Libya's stab made things interesting at least, so I was actually glad for it. Congo became an impeccable ally, as everyone knows Don Juan to be, and we reacted well enough to stop the solo shot.

That's that! Thanks to TTBen for a smooth game. I'm not sure the African variant is one that would draw me back, but it was as good an introduction to it as I could've hoped for. Well played and well GM'd!

Thanks to everyone for a good game!

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