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Joined: 15 Oct 2011, 5:20 am

Post 22 Jul 2015, 2:22 pm

While we're here, anyone know how I get my old rank/join date/etc. back?

I was pretty beat after the previous NWO, especially busy at this particular time, and planned on taking a break. It looked like signups were a little slow, and it would have been a shame to see a run fall through due to lack of interest, so Sendric promised me a small, easily-eliminated nation and I signed up.

After getting Cuba, I was pretty happy. It's in one of the few regions of the map which I haven't yet played, it seemed easily manageable, and even better, it was likely to be eliminated by any number of the nations around it that preferred the votes over the ally.

Still, you can't pick a nation and just give up. Better to have a neutral nation holding than someone screwing around. So I looked at what Cuba's options might be, and thought myself lucky to have players like Dario in USA and Mabbas in Mexico. I didn't know Leif particularly well at the time, but I now know I was also lucky to have him in Canada.

During talks before the first season, we decided we'd form a regional alliance of 4 - the North American alliance. This made a lot of sense for many reasons. USA's mainland is SC-rich and vote-poor, making invasion by Canada, Mexico and Cuba a waste of a game for all four of us. For USA, there's the benefit of being able to capture home SCs without investment of additional units, thus being able to focus on the colonies essential for a successful run as USA. Further, all members of the alliance naturally form effective partnerships with at least two of the other three, and as was the case with us, if the game goes on long enough and each member expands enough, everybody can work with everybody to directly further our interests.

It was easy for all of us to agree to this. From here, we set out where to expand. Mexico and I would take South America and have late game options in Europe and Africa for me, Australia and Asia for Mexico. Canada would go after Europe with late options in Asia, and USA would focus on all of the above through the colonies, working with each of us in our own theater.

I wanted to open aggressively, and Dario in USA (and Mabbas in Mexico) was generous with the Caribbean, leaving all centers for me to pick up, as well as offering the use of his Wing Puerto Rico for whatever uses I wanted. Since I wasn't in a position to directly attack anyone in year 1, Dario kindly bombarded Venezuela's capital, crippling them from the start and leaving the northern South American SCs open for a Cuban invasion.

Meanwhile Mabbas and I were dealing with Stephan in UK, since he (briefly) had a colony in Central America. I know everybody says that he was demanding and unreasonable, and I can confirm that to an extent. I did get the standard Stephan request of BBs, or possibly BBs in perpetuity, in exchange for this or that, but in the end somehow Mabbas and I, after being forced to let him know that we were working together, had Stephan agree to focus zero resources on his colony. We'd dislodge his wing in the region and let him keep the SC, giving him +1 build each year without having to build an army and expand in the region. He was a bit of a pain, still, and Mabbas happily relieved him of his colony a bit later, ending our dealings with him. I'll say that although Stephan was demanding and unreasonable much of the time, agreeing to dislodge the unit rather than invest an army and take up SCs was reasonable to the point of being altruistic.

From here, I headed straight to South America and made landfall by convoying an army while Mabbas made steady progress along the Pacific. Venezuela was nearly crippled from USA assaulting with W Puerto Rico from year 1, so was happy to side with me against the neighbors. First to go was Ecuador, who actually attempted to stab me first, but fortunately the move was a bit transparent and we moved to counter it (just one of many moves I really enjoyed when working with Mellisa). Ecuador was going down pretty fast after a few seasons, and I had a foothold in northern South America. I had to decide whether to work with Venezuela all game long, since she was an excellent ally, or to steamroll. I chose the latter because I wanted to focus on being more self sufficient, and wasn't particularly interested in running the kind of game that SuperAnt likes, and played this game as Kenya, consolidating his votes in crippled, but loyal, allies.

Around this time, I was in communication with many nations around the globe in preparation for potential future expansion. India Rob contacted me from the get go, I was talking with China Ling, and I was in communication with the Africans at this point. It was apparent early on that there was an alliance of at least the core 3 of Kenya, Zambia and Congo, plus potentially a few more that were eventually booted and absorbed. Zambia Rob was making great progress in southern Africa, and we were talking about his potential options. It was clear that his only real options were Australia or South America. He seemed to want to get into South America, and although that conflicted with my plan to take over the whole continent with Mabbas in Mexico, it seemed better to offer him the advice that he wanted - and knew was best, and in retrospect had likely already committed to with his terrorist units - and encourage him to sail into South America.

I didn't want the Africans making too much progress there too quickly, and I was hoping Mabbas and I could pick up a few central South American votes. So I tried to broker a peace in South America and send them against Africa. That was part to slow down the Africans, and part to bring their attention to the Atlantic so that Mabbas and I could take them over more easily when we stabbed. All of this fell through when Zambia Rob told me he heard that I was doing all this. I denied (I know he didn't believe me, but needed to pretend he did anyway so we could work together), and ended this attempt. I figured that it was Brazil Samy and not Argentina Marcel that leaked this to the Africans, and this was confirmed after the game.

The Africans made landfall shortly after, devastating the south. Zambia Rob was very wary of Mexico Mabbas, but we were able to sort things out. Congo Trevor made landfall shortly after Zambia, and it wasn't long before everything was under control and there was no more room for expansion.

Brazil Samy was an excellent partner until we had to stab him. Same reason as with Venezuela. Samy saw it coming, and we had a bit of an exchange after the fact. He took it well, and I genuinely believe that he would have worked with us and nuked for us had we stuck to that agreement. He played a great game given the circumstances, and we're all thankful that he picked up after the original Brazil left.

From here it was a matter of grabbing more votes and expanding as rapidly as possible. I made it into Casablanca with the use of nukes a few seasons before Congo Trevor made it to the neighborhood, and agreed not to expand further into North Africa to keep the peace. However, Italy also made it into North Africa before Congo was able to capture the northern votes, and Trevor told me that he didn't want to go to war with Italy. I said that's fine, and I'll go for them then. As soon as Italy was stabbed, Congo went right back towards those votes, though. I was assured by the other Africans that any vote owned by the African bloc was as good as mine in coalitions with another African in it, so set my sights to the north and, with Dario's help, moved into the Mediterranean to capture Rome.

Turkey Fred made it to Rome before I could. Fred and I had a lot of good back and forth, but in the end we couldn't make anything happen. He attacked my ally Canada Leif, which was very bad because I was first and foremost committed to supporting my allies in North America. The Africans wanted to stab Turkey for a while - actually I should say that Kenya Dave and to a slightly lesser extent Zambia Rob wanted to stab - but that was put on hold in favor of an attack on Australia. I pushed for this for a few reasons. One was that Sri Lanka Randy was a smaller nation I'd been speaking with in Asia, and I wanted him around as a potential coalition partner and a leader in the region to help counter African expansion. Another was that I was concerned about Australia's unfettered growth, and when Australia built in a manner that was clearly aggressive to Sri Lanka, I became more concerned.

The Australian stab went off very well. Everybody involved was on board and it was not hard to get the ball rolling on that. I suspect that at least another, probably Zambia Rob, also wanted Australia removed (like I said above, Australia was a good destination for Zambia), and this facilitated things.

Kenya Dave did an amazing job here on bringing Australia to his side while Randy vowed his support as long as he was kept alive. For the rest of the game, the North Americans and the Africans coordinated with Sri Lanka to keep him around as a 3 vote nation that would push for our (or at least Rob's) victory.

Around this point, back in Europe, Germany Matt was under attack by USA, Canada, and one nuke that I sent his way early on that I had hoped he'd forget about. Matt did a great job in that scenario, outplaying the American or Canadian units and bringing Turkey and Poland to his aid. Very commendable gameplay, and though he's new to the variant, he made constant comments and analyses that showed his skill.

We wanted Turkey and Germany to stop working together so that Canada and USA could make some progress in the region. Turkey agreed to peace under one condition: we all, including the Africans if I recall correctly, nuke China. This made no sense whatsoever from our point of view, but we agreed to it and nuked Turkey instead. Now the way to Rome was clear, and if I got there fast enough, I could get deeper into European votes.

Around this time, I talked with Zambia, USA, Kenya and the ruined Sri Lanka a lot about France. France Russel and I were working together extremely well, and the last thing I wanted to do was stab him. But there was writing on the wall that he was going to back certain allies over others, and that this could diminish my shot at getting a win for Cuba or the other North Americans. It was agreed that 1) we couldn't depend on him to vote where we needed, and 2) we couldn't depend on him to vote against what we didn't want passing. After all, France and China were very close, and Ling was causing a lot of problems (I understand his point of view, and his EOG explains why these problems were caused - but they were problems I had to deal with nonetheless). So Dario and I took advantage of Russel's tight alliance with me, and we took three quarters of his votes in a year.

Congo was very annoyed at this, and it became apparent that France was planning on voting for Congo specifically, and was, I had been told and I believe, going to withhold votes from Kenyan coalitions. But Congo couldn't admit this outright, as it would be a violation of his agreement with the other Africans, so instead he turned elsewhere for votes, and decided that Rome was to be his (Ling had nuked a USA fleet a season or so before, delaying my arrival by a year and putting me on the same timeline as Congo for reaching Rome). I was annoyed at this, since he was not involved in the initial strike against Turkey, and I didn't want to give up my prize after taking all the risk. Still, peace with Congo and the Africans was paramount, so we would have figured something out.

In the end, I didn't care about Africa's goal about getting two of their members into a coalition. I would have happily taken the victory we got, with Rob and Dave, who both played very different, but both excellent games, or with another coalition. The important part was ensuring that the North American alliance got a member a win, as was our goal.

This was an excellent game, and I'm going to spare the individual comments because I think I communicated with everyone enough that you all know where things stand between us.

A quick note on the special units: they didn't affect me very much. I had no extra unit, and the compensatory vote was 100% useless because it didn't come into effect until year 12, if I recall. 2 years after the first vote? In a 10 year game, we were never going to get that far. The terrorist units themselves actually did thwart me, and I had forgotten to mention above that Bolivia Paul was a pain in the ass, setting off a few bombs or terrorists or whatever they were against me when I wasn't even attacking him - I was guilty by association with Mexico, who was fighting him, he said. Like I say, pain in the ass, and it was great to see him eliminated. But that's all that the units were, a minor pain, and they slowed me down a bit, but not significantly. Zambia used his terrorist units efficiently, and I enjoyed watching Sri Lanka and Vietnam use their pirate units with great efficiency early on to dismantle Philippines, and later, watching Randy use his unit to hinder the already-frustrated Ling.

Thanks to all who played for an excellent game. I'm sure I left out plenty as a lot happened this game, let me know if there's something you want to hear about and I'll gladly respond. As always, looking forward to any thoughts you all might have on all of this business.

I save for last my appreciation to our GM, Sendric, who was running on all cylinders all game. Your extremely timely adjudications were very impressive, and very much appreciated. This was essentially a perfectly GMed game. Thanks for your considerable efforts. Still, the problem with having an excellent GM is that it often means we're missing an excellent player, as was the case here. Looking forward to our next.
Last edited by Admiral Corncob on 22 Jul 2015, 3:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: 18 Sep 2014, 4:53 pm

Post 22 Jul 2015, 2:41 pm

One of my favourite "uh oh" moments of the game was when I noticed you had 10 cities, and only 4 units. So much safety, so many BBs... I was envious. In my dreams the US and Mexico would build units and close in, but I knew that was extremely unlikely.