AAR Harp - Tournament Game: Because you demanded it!

4-qualifying rounds and a Final Board. TDs: Uncle Monty, Samarkand, Sheddy Winner: bitwise.

AAR Harp - Tournament Game: Because you demanded it!

Postby rick.leeds » 05 Apr 2009, 13:53

I wasn't going to do this as it isn't a proud first solo for me. It was gained because France self-sacrificed and I accepted his offer of the solo. I should say I'm not going to apologise for the win but I do feel kind of bad at how it was gained and for the players who missed out on the final table because of it.

Opening Phase
I started by working with France and Russia on attacking Germany. As usual I was trying to be flexible in my approach while keeping to an overall plan. France and I had good communication from the start, as did Russia and I. In contrast Germany was fairly quiet. I blocked him in Belgium in 1901 then grabbed Denmark. Russia and I were working on northern Germany, France on Munich. Russia then attacked France in Munich and, with Germany on his way out, France and I re-focused. The south was much more messy. Turkey had NMRed in S1901, and when he moved he was moving against Russia. France and Italy had an arrangement and Austria was being attacked by Italy. I don't think the south organised itself until the mid-game when Turkey and Austria took Italy and Russia were weakened.

Middle Phase 1904
France and I were now working on a possible two-way. There was a rogue German unit floating about the east and it took a Russian SC. It was obvious that he wouldn't be able to hold it and once I had an army in StP I offered to support Germany into Moscow, trying to continue the weakening of Russia. At the same time France took Belgium from Germany, giving me Holland. Up until this point my builds had been fleets, but once I had StP the focus changed to armies. I controlled the north and had freedom of convoying. France and I worked on Russia in the north; in the south R/T/A seemed to be more co-operative. Meanwhile I had placed a fleet in NAf to support the French in Tunis as T/A were moving through the Med. It took a while but I was eventually able to move through northern Russia down to Warsaw and Moscow, taking the final German SC on the way. By this point it looked like a stalemate line had been drawn: E/F in the northwest, R/T/A in the southeast.

Final Phase 1909

That's when I got a message from France. He told me he didn't see us breaking through and forcing R/T/A to allow us the two-way (and we weren't going to give them the three-way). His offer was to give me the solo. I have to admit to being shocked. Having taken over the tournament position I hadn't expected a Final Table place at all. What France was saying was that a solo was the way for one of us - me - to get to that lofty position. I accepted. Initially it may have seemed like a stab from me: Lon-Bel, NAf-MAO, Den-Ber. I had the chance to steal 3 French SCs. In actual fact I intended only to hold Berlin. Anything else would mean too many French units being destroyed. However, France and I were able to hold the line while I positioned myself to grab the French centres. By Fall 1911 I took 4 of the 5 SCs I needed. But I didn't take Spain; France hadn't moved out. I can only assume that the others had persuaded him to stop me. However, it was too late. I was able to manoever and grab the final SC in Fall 1912. Turkey hadn't expected it at least: he was asking for a draw from remaining players.

As I said I'm not proud of the victory. It wouldn't have been gained except for France's sacrifice. I'm still not sure why he offered and made it. You'd have to ask him.

I'm not going to comment on the other players this time, other than to say that without France and his ability in the early and middle phases I wouldn't have been in the position to take the offer in the first place, and to commiserate with Russia for moving against him in the middle phase. Unfortunately, the southern powers and I didn't communicate much; we all had our own areas of concern and the diplomacy in those areas was taking a lot of time.
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Re: AAR Harp - Tournament Game: Because you demanded it!

Postby 22.rhathaway » 05 Apr 2009, 23:18

Sorry this is going to be short. I will admit that I played this game much differently then I would have if it were a regular game.

Early Game:

As France my favorite alliance is with a friendly England. In this game Englad did seem friendly so I talked to him about ending the game in a two way alliance. My goal was to get a two way alliance in this game and a 3 or 4 way alliance in the other game so that i would have a spot at the final table. The early years went well as we had Germany on the run and we were both making gains.

End Game:

When I realized that we were not going to break through the stalemate in time for the 1915 deadline I had to come up with another way. At this point I knew that I got zero points in my other game and concluded that I HAD to have at least 6 points to have a chance at the final table. Unfortunately, 6 points was out of the question. This is when I thought of the idea of proposing a solo to England. If he bought it then as soon as he started turning I expected to hear from the others and hoped they would be willing to work together against England. Hopefully I would be able to grow somewhere and go for the solo.

Well, after England took Munich and moved another army into Ruhr in 1910 I fully expected to hear from Turkey or Austria. I was afraid that if I messaged them it would look like I was orchestrating the whole thing, so I waited. Hind site is 20/20. The message did not come until England had 13 centers and was in position to take the remaining 5. In hindsite, I should have contacted A/T sooner after the "stab".


This was far from my best game in the end. The beginning was going well, but the good play of A/T to set up the stalemate was the only thing stopping us from clearing the board for a two way draw.
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Re: AAR Harp - Tournament Game: Because you demanded it!

Postby Dar Krum » 06 Apr 2009, 19:21

Austria - Dar Krum

Alright. I was a little bummed for rounds 3 and 4 of the tournament. Lady Luck dealt me Italy in the other game and Austria in this one. As well, I have been on a bit of a losing streak in my other games. (Sorry, enough with the violins!!) I got hosed in the other pretty early on so my goal here was simply to survive and try for a 3 or 4 way victory. I had a feeling that a three way would get me to the final table and I felt a 4 might as well. And I played like it. That is, when I wasn't playing it downright terribly.

Early game had the usual discussions. I can't remember who between Russia and Turkey I was going to attack, but when Russia began collapsing I quickly tried to get into bed with Turkey. The problem was that I needed Turkey more than I thought he needed me as Italy had attacked me.

Turned out that Italy got a bit hosed by his "allies". I don't believe they had any intention of his being a part of the win. Regardless, the attack certainly set me back and in turn set back the Eastern powers.

By the time Turkey and I settled the Italian question, we were fairly sure we could firm up the stalemate line and get a four way. We'd had a look at the board and it seemed to us that even if England stabbed France that they would not be able to go for the solo successfully. We were feeling pretty good. And then France collapsed. It is good to hear that there was a plan behind the collapse and that it just did not work out for them. Bad for the rest of us though. :(

Anyhow, I am going to end this by saying that I likely did not deserve a piece of a win in that game. I played very poorly and made mistakes that are becoming too common with me lately.
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Re: AAR Harp - Tournament Game: Because you demanded it!

Postby Diplomat » 06 Apr 2009, 22:04

It was gained because France self-sacrificed and I accepted his offer of the solo. I should say I'm not going to apologise for the win but I do feel kind of bad at how it was gained and for the players who missed out on the final table because of it.


I was wondering about the total collapse of France and how easily England solo'd. I'm not surprised to find this was the case given the moves over the last turns and the destroys when France clearly could have prevented an English solo, at least prevented it from occurring prior to 1915.

I'm only curious if the 'stab' was planned as part of the free points giveaway or if the stab occurred and France decided to then play along.

I'll withhold comment about the players that played and got bumped out of the final though I agree
I do feel kind of bad
is probably a good way to feel about it.
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Re: AAR Harp - Tournament Game: Because you demanded it!

Postby 22.rhathaway » 06 Apr 2009, 22:32

Diplomat wrote:
It was gained because France self-sacrificed and I accepted his offer of the solo. I should say I'm not going to apologise for the win but I do feel kind of bad at how it was gained and for the players who missed out on the final table because of it.


I was wondering about the total collapse of France and how easily England solo'd. I'm not surprised to find this was the case given the moves over the last turns and the destroys when France clearly could have prevented an English solo, at least prevented it from occurring prior to 1915.

I'm only curious if the 'stab' was planned as part of the free points giveaway or if the stab occurred and France decided to then play along.

I'll withhold comment about the players that played and got bumped out of the final though I agree
I do feel kind of bad
is probably a good way to feel about it.


It was orchestrated by me...England admitted that he had "thought" about stabbing, but had held off until I told him to take Berlin and then Munich to get things started.

I really was expecting a message right away from the other two saying something along the lines of "help us help you" but it didn't come til much later.
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Re: AAR Harp - Tournament Game: Because you demanded it!

Postby Diplomat » 06 Apr 2009, 22:34

I wonder at the comment that he had thought about it but chose not to.... He knew what he needed as points to advance and was hesitant still? Interesting at least.
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Re: AAR Harp - Tournament Game: Because you demanded it!

Postby lotr_freak » 06 Apr 2009, 23:27

Diplomat wrote:I wonder at the comment that he had thought about it but chose not to.... He knew what he needed as points to advance and was hesitant still? Interesting at least.


Sometimes it may be more important for someone to stick with their ally, rather than just advance to the final table of a tournament. Just saying... ;)
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Re: AAR Harp - Tournament Game: Because you demanded it!

Postby Diplomat » 06 Apr 2009, 23:30

lotr_freak wrote:Sometimes it may be more important for someone to stick with their ally, rather than just advance to the final table of a tournament. Just saying... ;)


While I agree in general, it does defeat the purpose of playing the game with the idea that the ultimate destination is to get to the final table...
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Re: AAR Harp - Tournament Game: Because you demanded it!

Postby camroc » 07 Apr 2009, 00:04

I was pleased to see 22.rhathaway's AAR. When reading rick's posting, it didn't feel right that a solo was handed to him in a Tournament game which would impact on others. However rhathaway's strategy was sound, and as he points out, the only possible way for him to make the final table - if it had worked, it would have been the play of the Tournament!!

Full marks too to rick for taking his opportunity and getting into a winning position before the others rallied to try to stop him.
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Re: AAR Harp - Tournament Game: Because you demanded it!

Postby 22.rhathaway » 07 Apr 2009, 00:23

Diplomat wrote:
lotr_freak wrote:Sometimes it may be more important for someone to stick with their ally, rather than just advance to the final table of a tournament. Just saying... ;)


While I agree in general, it does defeat the purpose of playing the game with the idea that the ultimate destination is to get to the final table...


Yeah, I played it with the sole purpose of getting to the final. I risked losing the game to try and make it happen and it didn't work. Oh well.
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