AAR: PDES18 Game 1B

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Re: AAR: PDES18 Game 1B

Postby the_discourses » 17 May 2018, 16:45

Russia, about my pre-1909 moves:

I helped engineer the downfall of Germany and was the one key piece in destroying him, since you and England together couldn't do it without my help, since Italy was helping him. My reward for this help was you and England taking ALL of the German SC's, giving me nothing. I had good relations with Italy, who kept to the DMZ, and even helped me into Munich on the same turn he moved into N. Africa. A bit of a schizophrenic move.

I viewed you and England as allies, but you and I never directly attacked each other, never were hostile to one another, and had more or less the same goals. You kept pushing me to attack Italy but you did not have the English fleets right at your border who could destroy you if you went south. I did. And if England wasn't attacking you (and he wasn't) and Germany was gone (and he was), I was literally the only target left for an attack. And I was right--the second I went south to deal with the Italian provocation, England tried to massively backstab me.

Now, seeing that England worked to stop me from fulfilling your desires with bad results for him, and you being backed into a corner in the south but an obvious, easy path to expansion in the north with my help, and us two always communicating well and never being hostile, 1909 looked like a great time to work together and comprehensively destroy England in two or three years. We could have easily done it. You, instead, gave England an SC, lied to me about your attack on Kiel so Munich would not be usable to do any kind of cut or attack in ex-Germany, and basically showed me that your relationship with England wasn't just 'regular' diplomacy, but that you were completely caught in England's groupthink. You went out of your way to ensure he would survive and literally hampered me in such a comprehensive way that I understood you were, well, his vassal. You did what he wanted you to do.

If the game was a bit younger, I would have devoted myself then and there to destroying you. I did it to Germany when he pulled the same BS earlier. You placed yourself in a situation where England could destroy you at will and go for a three-way with me and Turkey, something I could never bring myself to do because, unlike with you, England did not start pulling troops back from my border until it was obvious that unless he did, Turkey would solo. The moves had no benefit to you, didn't gain you a single thing, and did not resolve the E/F issue. In fact, because of it, I had to keep friendly with Italy and Turkey since I couldn't trust the E/R motives until the very late game. It's why I was so 'on-the-fence' for so long. I had to wait until it was impossible for the ER to beat me without allowing a solo before I could align with you because I was convinced you were his puppet. And you were. He got you hook, line, and sinker.

There was no way I would or could take your German/Scandinavian SC's if you and I had worked together. Italy and Turkey looked like an even match, and were fighting, so we could have taken over England and then gone for a three-way.
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Re: AAR: PDES18 Game 1B

Postby jay65536 » 27 May 2018, 01:17

<Shrug> I tried to lay out my calculation for F09 as best I could.

I think the biggest disconnect here is the fact that the two of you seem to place a lot more value on the difference between a 3way draw and a 4way draw than I do. What you're berating me for is, to me, passing on a "risk" where the risk (being on the losing end of a 3-power endgame) was a lot worse than the reward (turning a 4way into a 3way). Your attitude only makes sense if:

1) You thought I was passing on a bigger reward (like a solo). I assume neither of you is dumb enough to either think that, or to believe you can convince me of that.

2) You think the difference between a 4way and a 3way is big enough to justify a medium-small risk of being knocked out. I just don't believe that, and it's not clear why I would or should. It's not like this is a tournament game where the point difference might be a big deal standings-wise! The way I look at it, if I'm in the draw, taking out one player doesn't matter. I'm not going to win, I'm not going to lose, I just take my draw.
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Re: AAR: PDES18 Game 1B

Postby jimbobicus » 28 May 2018, 19:35

To summarise how I saw it...

The path you chose, the best you were ever going to get was a 4 way draw. And if England had been less boring, you could have (I would argue should have) been defeated.

If you'd have gone for RFT alliance then lots of things were on the table ... a 3 way draw, or a 2 way draw between any 2 players or even one of us soloing. How likely each was to happen is hard to say. But all 3 of us would have been in the same boat with these possibilities. Objectively, that lottery of outcomes should be equivalent in worth to a 3 way draw, but also has the advantage of allowing the game to go on and letting each of us attempt more.

Although to be fair, you weren't the most negative player - that accolade falls to England! At various times, he was in a great position but showed no ambition at all.
"A friend to all is a friend to none" - Aristotle
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Re: AAR: PDES18 Game 1B

Postby jay65536 » 30 May 2018, 00:19

jimbobicus wrote:The path you chose, the best you were ever going to get was a 4 way draw. And if England had been less boring, you could have (I would argue should have) been defeated.


While the rest of your post is almost entirely BS, this part at least I entirely agree with.

It is worth pointing out that over the last few posts of debate, neither you nor France ever tried to argue that I was risking elimination by not stabbing England.

In a vacuum, leaving England alive put me in a position where I could easily be removed in favor of an E/F/T 3way. And while it was not in my interest to ever say so during the game, I knew this the entire time. So why didn't I take this into account in my risk/reward calculation?

The answer is, I did. I just didn't believe that England would stab me. And as I'm sure you'll agree, that was a reasonable conclusion.

So in that regard there was a bit of "playing the player" in my decision as well. I didn't believe England would try to eliminate me, but I did believe that you and France would, if you thought you could. And as I said, my decision really was, would France ever become convinced that he could eliminate me from a 3-power endgame? If the answer was yes, then stabbing a player who I didn't believe would ever try to eliminate me (i.e. England) becomes a foolish decision. That was my real risk/reward issue in F09.

It's obviously frustrating for you and France, which is understandable, but from my perspective, I saw that taking me out of the draw was doable from a strictly tactical perspective, so I wanted to make sure there was a buffer zone between me and anyone who had both the willingness and the belief in their ability to do so.
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Re: AAR: PDES18 Game 1B

Postby jimbobicus » 31 May 2018, 20:29

I'm not trying to give you BS here...
You seem to have convinced yourself that RFT endgame was bad for you - and I don't think that was the case at all. From my perspective, if we were going to eliminate anyone to get down from 3 to 2 then I was looking at eliminating France. This is evidenced by the in-game messages.... At the time (1909) I was talking to you about 2 way RT alliance. I wasn't having any similar conversations with France.

I'm glad we agree that you were risking elimination if England had been less of a dullard. Although to me that's only a secondary consideration. I'd like to think that if I'd have been in your position, I'd have gone for RFT and back myself to play it out, because that's the attacking play, keeping options of 2 way draw or solo on the table. Possibly if me and France had had fantastic alliance all game then your path of action could be justified. But that wasn't the case at all. Hence me favouring RT over RF.

Personally I think you're way too cautious. Your thinking here in this AAR demonstrates that. Heading into 1908/9, you were in a pretty decent position. You had good relations with every other power except Italy (but he was going down). I'd have been looking to be ambitious in that position; not trying to play out a draw.
Another interesting thing.... when we were setting up RFT alliance, we talked about Sevastopol. You said you were quite happy to let me keep Sev. In your position, I'd have been wanting it back and organising a deal for that to happen - and I was open to a fair deal on that, even though it might risk you stabbing me. From that point, maybe I should have recognised what a cautious player you were when you failed to negotiate hard there - and instead trying to keep things safe.
"A friend to all is a friend to none" - Aristotle
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Re: AAR: PDES18 Game 1B

Postby Blackrake » 04 Jul 2018, 08:18

I'm coming late to the party, and while I don't want to write long discourses or have long, fruitless arguments, I will say the following things:

1) Almost everything that Turkey was saying during the game to me was clearly BS, and is the actual reason why I wouldn't work with him. Prior to engaging in any real conversations of substance with Turkey both France and Russia can confirm that I had been pushing them, along with myself to engage Turkey and to work as a group against the center. Had I been able to believe even a scrap of what Turkey had said I might have gone a different direction. Turkey's comments in this AAR are largely BS too. I agree with Russia.

2) Germany was a skilled communicator, and had he been less brazen about trying to get everyone to attack everyone else I would would have been happier to work with him in much greater depth.

3) France was a great frustration to me. I saw him as a skilled player who was utterly paranoid, totally unable to speak 100% truth or provide any clarity in our mutual goals. Had he not stabbed me very early on, then repeatedly lied to me, I would not have been conned into moving against him. That was my single large mistake in the game, as I was utterly convinced that France was going to attack me again. I have never been so frustrated dealing with another player, ever, in any other game, because our logic patterns were so different. I saw France as intelligent, skilled, and yes, totally unreliable. We had plans for expansion early in the game that would have completed very early had he not stabbed, and that stab set us parked on each other's borders for most of the rest of the game. It was totally non-productive to keep each other locked up while everyone else was moving dynamically, and without that I think the game result would have been very different. As it was, France refused to fully cooperate in ERF combined strategy, deliberately refused clarity or coordination of moves, made some what I would call very unreasonable security requests given our history, many of which I acceded to in order to keep the peace. I desperately wanted to work with France right from the get-go, and he just didn't seem to want to let me, in spite of what I thought were obvious strategic benefits and immediate rewards. I hated this game in large part because of France, not because I disliked France, but because it was so frustrating to try to negotiate with him. Keeping us both bottled up for no reason was driving me nuts. He was unreliable, and he clearly didn't want to go south, which left only going north as the only other alternative. It made it impossible for me to build as I wanted to or move as I would have liked to.

4) Dealing with Russia was refreshing. We had open, clear dialogue and made decisions together that benefited us both. We were able to poke holes in each other's ideas and to speak candidly about the rest of the players. I trusted him not to stab me not just because there was absolutely no benefit in him doing so (I think it would have been suicide for either of us to stab the other) but also because of my impressions of him as a player. I trusted him to look beyond short sighted goals and he seemed to be as forward thinking and looking as I was. He was the only player who wasn't trying to actively screw me the entire game, with the exception of Austria with whom I had virtually no dealings, hence the close relationship.

5) Boring, boring, boring. Turkey keeps repeating this tripe even though nothing could have been more boring or transparent than that silliness that kept us all locked up and waiting for the whole end game even when it was clear that it wasn't going anywhere. As for me, there was never any chance at that stage that I was going to attack either Russia or France because A) it would have handed the solo to Turkey and B) where the hell would I go? Neither France nor I could go through the other, we had all agreed to mutual defence if one of the other two was an aggressor, and attacking Russia would simply have opened up the lines to Turkey while leaving me unable to exploit the stab for more than likely a single SC. It would have been short sighted and stupid. That, and Turkey was so transparently obvious (and repetitive) in his efforts to try to create holes that would have enabled a solo. His "3 and then 2" offering was utterly ridiculous. Furthermore, it was in my obvious benefit to end the game as quickly as possible because I was the clear and obvious target if the game flow was going to go any way except directly towards that draw. I campaigned hard for that draw because without it I figured I would be promptly eliminated. From the discussion here it seems quite apparent that I was right. As far as I'm concerned I managed to stay alive when the odds on that were occasionally long against me and was a primary driver towards the draw which was my best possible result, and which was achieved.

that's my two cents.
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Re: AAR: PDES18 Game 1B

Postby the_discourses » 15 Jul 2018, 16:47

Blackrake, I think you're an awesome Diplo player. I want to say this before I say anything else. The way you pulled Russia into your orbit to get him to give you his SC's and sabotage a potential ally's plans were works of a genius. I realized in 1909 that I had no chance whatsoever of defeating you. You first turned Germany from a perfectly viable alliance against you to one against me, and then turned it back on Germany again when it became obvious that I was a tough nut to crack and Italy wasn't going to backstab me.

As for why I was on the fence on so long: it's the map. Simply put, you were Friendly with Russia, and once you got a few SC's off Germany, the only options for your expansion were me or Russia. I was convinced you would go for me, since Russia was, at the time, obviously completely dependent on you and allowing him to fold would have let a flood of Turks or Italians into the steppe.

Now, once you two convinced me to actually go south, and I did that, it was pure luck and paranoia that prevented a gigantic stab from you. It was an incredibly well-timed stab. It went off exactly the turn I moved south, coinciding perfectly with Italy breaking his DMZ. It was only through the fact that Italy helped me to Munich, and because I accidentally guessed the right defensive setup that your backstab failed. Had you succeeded, I'd be a dead man. As it was, I had a small window of opportunity in 1909 where the only thing I needed to happen to finally end England as a threat was that Russia not give you an SC. And you managed to pull off that miracle.

So, in short, yes, I was paranoid, but with good reason. Every prediction I made came true. And you turned enemies into friends with insane ease, me included. I became convinced you were hypnotizing my neighbors, since I couldn't explain why Germany and Russia were making suicidal moves to help you when I finally managed to get an upper hand and was begging them to help me take you down, even when they were against you a turn earlier!

Not to be blunt, but when I see someone be able to manipulate their neighbors like that, they get a huge target from me. That person is too damn smart to live, and I want them gone before they can build a coalition against me and kill me. And England almost always ends up killing France if the game goes long enough. That's that.

I also agree with England and Russia's assessment of Turkey. His efforts to break the coalition were transparent and were never going to work. He missed his chance at doing it earlier. One note all the way.
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Re: AAR: PDES18 Game 1B

Postby jay65536 » 15 Jul 2018, 17:59

Yes, my actions were suicidal and coerced. That's why I made it into the draw, and it's also why all of my analysis was written by England and I just copy-pasted it into the forum.

France, if you think that trading centers with an ally is puppet behavior, I think you have a lot to learn about this game.
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Re: AAR: PDES18 Game 1B

Postby the_discourses » 15 Jul 2018, 23:36

Dude, the best diplo players convince their marks that the stuff they're doing is for the greater good. You gave up SC's for no gain. Sure, he helped you, but you didn't have to help him back. He created in you a sense of friendship or camarederieship that, when time came, led to you giving him SC's instead of taking them from him. And you're still denying the fact that you were his tool, and an effective extension of his foreign policy. You were very much this. I do not begrudge him his skills--I respect them. But you have to realize that you were completely doing his bidding, no matter how much you think it helped you. You could not even consider the situation in which he would betray you, since he created in you a state of absolute trust.

In fact, the reason he is frustrated with me is because I didn't want to play along until I absolutely had no other choice. I freely admit I'm paranoid about backstabs, and that paranoia leads me to some often strange decisions. But I made it into the tie despite struggling from the get-go and dealing with betrayals at every step of the game from every neighbor and potential ally possible. Seriously, the only person who did not betray me at some point was Austria, and that's because he died.

Also, consider this: England had to at some point go for you or me unless a four-way tie was his end goal. So, if he was courting me, as he said, that means that he planned on tackling you. It's the way the game works.
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