Classic Diplomacy AAR

Discussion of finished games.

Classic Diplomacy AAR

Postby FloridaMan » 11 Oct 2020, 05:12

This is the story of a game I played on here as Germany. It wasn't a complete success, as I... like... my games to be, but it was an interesting game, in my view, nevertheless.



Enjoy!
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Re: Classic Diplomacy AAR

Postby 0wl » 12 Oct 2020, 02:43

Florida man, I think you made a big mistake stabbing the English player who made it clear they were willing to commit to an alliance with you. Seeing that possibly the only reason you got a draw was due to Austria fortunately not caring about a solo I think the English player was correct about it not benefiting you.

I also think "England has decided to ally with me but I prefer to ally with France" isn't a very good reason to stab someone.

To solo Germany needs far away centers like Marseille, Iberia, Moscow and Warsaw and England is the country that can best help you take those centers. In another one of your after action reports as Germany I noticed later in the game you were able to successfully stab England all by yourself without any help after you had or were in a good position to take those far away centers.

I also question your statement saying weak allies are the best allies. Other than Sweden all of your weak allies centers were taken by someone else. While you were busy attacking England Italy grabbed all of France and Austria grabbed all of Russia. If you had remained allied with England instead of attacking them you could have gotten some of the French and Russian centers to solo.

Also, weak allies can't help you expand.

I think when you stabbed England your chance of a solo ended. I think you should have realized that France and Russia were very vulnerable and that if you didn't grab their centers quickly with help from England someone else would claim them.

I think letting other powers grab all of the centers you needed to solo because you decided to attack the only person who could help you get those centers was a bad strategy.

Another reason I think it's good for Germany to ally with England is that I feel it's not possible for Germany to successfully stab a former French ally all alone, but in the other game you played as Germany you were able to successfully stab England without any help.

I'm not saying you should never ally with France or Russia but in the future if an England player moves to the channel and wants to ally with you I don't think you should immediately stab them for the sole reason that you prefer to ally with France.

My point of view is that if England opens to the channel and expresses interest in attacking France I'll decide to ally with them. If England doesn't move to the channel and doesn't seem interested in attacking France I'd likely decide to ally with Russia or France instead.
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Re: Classic Diplomacy AAR

Postby FloridaMan » 12 Oct 2020, 05:34

0wl, you may be right about much, or all, of what you said in your comment. I would say that I should have been concerned about the fact that Italy was siding with England against France, and more cautious of the fact that France and Russia were both likely to become much too weak, much too quickly, to be helpful to me, since they were both under ferocious attack and not capable of fending off those attacks.

I still think that a weak ally can be better than a strong one. If you have a strong ally, you have to worry they'll grow larger than you and try to betray you from that position of strength. Equality is good for an alliance, but a weak ally is dependent and will usually have no choice but to be more loyal than a stronger one. If there's an issue due to the weakness of an ally making it hard for them to get you into more spaces, that's a reason to bring another ally onto the team (which for me is always a nice thing to do). Ideally, you'd have separate communications with each one, and neither would communicate or work directly with the other unless absolutely necessary. That minimizes loose ends and the risk of betrayal by ensuring you have stronger ties to each individual power than they have to each other.

I'm a lot less firm on my belief that Germany should generally ally with France over England, now, I will admit. The reverse seems to work just as well (and you make a good case for it being better). I think I would do it differently now.

I will also agree that the preference for working with France is not a good reason to stab England in a game where France is going to fall apart like this as quickly as he was. On the other hand, it was pretty clear to me in this game that I wouldn't have gained much by fighting against France. With Italy and England both taking shares of France, and England wanting Belgium (if I recall correctly), I was barely going to get anything out of defeating France. And there was no guarantee I would not be the next target. Indeed, I think it's likely I would've been.

I will also note that I don't think England can take Germany to places like Moscow and Warsaw generally, nor will England generally take Germany to Italy or Austria (which are, on the Diplomacy map, really much more difficult for Germany to reach than Warsaw). Marseilles doesn't seem particularly far away relative to those Austrian centers I mention, either, and in a case like this game, it was always going to go to Italy. And dangerously, if you're relying on England to get you to Warsaw or Moscow, that means England is in St. Pete and Iberia and everywhere in between, and therefore has units positioned in places where they could very quickly become dangerous to you. I have been stabbed by England as Germany under those circumstances, and I believe that resulted in defeat for me as Germany, because England's corner position and the momentum of having stabbed, even slightly, was simply too big an advantage to be overcome before the Austrian units arrived at my doorstep.

As I express in my Basics of Germany videos, I think England can, under the right circumstances, be a good early game ally for Germany (though I have tended to prefer France), just as France can be a good early game ally for Germany (just making sure you have an ally is the priority), but you need to find a new friend in the midgame to do really well as Germany. Ideally you'll work with Italy from the midgame through the endgame. And the wonderful thing about Italy is that an alliance with Italy can help deal with France and/or England, regardless of which of them ends up surviving the early game. My problem here was that England had a relationship with Italy, and I didn't, and France was feeble, and therefore, I wasted a lot of energy fighting England without effective help and then had to deal with an unfriendly Italian.

So I think you're right that I should have picked England over France here, certainly. I'm not sure I agree with all of your reasoning (as expressed above), but I definitely think this was a game where I made significant strategic blunders, and I survived in large part because of luck (in the form of the character of the Austrian player).

I appreciate the feedback on the game from such a strong player, naturally. Hopefully I get to test out a slightly different lens on the country of Germany in a game soon.
Check Out My Diplomacy YouTube Channel!
Or My Diplomacy Blog
Or Patreon

"Our blades are sharp."
~ Words of House Bolton, A Song of Ice and Fire

Tied for 10th Position in the 2020 Liberty Cup
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Posts: 224
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