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Post 07 Sep 2016, 2:33 pm

China EOG

So, where to begin? I guess with a hearty congratulations to Kenya and Sweden on the joint victory! I’m sure much will be said about this later, but it was great working with you guys and I enjoyed every minute of it! To Tom – Many, many thanks for putting up with the craziness of NWO (and its players) and our complaining when things don’t go our way. You’re the bomb, and you ran a fantastic game. I hope you enjoyed watching as much as we did playing!

So, back to the start. I had asked Tom for a larger power. I was hoping to draw Russia honestly, given the hard times it fell upon in recent games. Instead, I got China. A solid power, one that had done well lately, but never crossed the finish line in first. A good challenge.

Early Game:

I decided early on that my game in the beginning was going to be all about making friends. The plan was actually to remain a “smaller” power in Africa while helping regional allies get powerful so as to have a great voting bloc come end game. I immediately reached out to Russia, India, Japan, the US, and all the African powers looking to be buddies. I figured I had a couple years to just grab neutrals and grow peacefully without riling anyone up, and could see how things shook out then. Thankfully, literally EVERYONE responded positively. I’m not sure if this was just a stroke of really damn good luck, or if I was that persuasive, but literally all my neighbors were happy to work with me (or at least they said they were). The moves bore this out. I was able to make great gains, and consolidate without any real threats.

Early in year 2 (I think), Sweden and I started talking about a potential move on Russia. He had Poland and Serbia on board, and with Russia focusing on Central Asia, I knew I had an opportunity to rid myself of a potential great threat. So, in year 3, the move to take down Russia was made, and went off without a hitch. Pakistan helped by moving into UZB in an effort to save himself from India, which only further weakened Russia. It was quick work, and I couldn’t have been happier with how it happened.

So that brought me to my next move. The question was, the US, or Japan. Japan and I hit it off real early and he was 100% on board with the unexpected China/Japan alliance. I’m not sure if anyone expected that to last all game. I’m happy it did. The US and I had a great relationship too though, so it was a tough call. The US and I could have probably dominated the board even more than me, Sweden, and Kenya did, but I would have always been looking over my shoulder and wondering about if I was the next nuke target. So with that said, Matt, I’m sorry for the brutal stab. We could have done great things together, my paranoia just flared up, and decided I needed to keep myself as the dominant power. The fact that the US chose to punish Japan for the stab instead of me only solidified me as the pre-eminent power on the globe. I’m a little curious about this choice though, Matt can you elaborate?

It was about this time (year 4-5-ish) that I started realizing I wasn’t going to have to be the smaller power in Africa. With the US taken down many pegs via nuke, Russia obliterated, the UK floundering, and France getting attacked too, I stood to become an unopposed power militarily. The goal then became to identify two or three primary allies who I’d stick with through the rest of the game, and thin out the rest of the competition. I already knew in Africa, Kenya was going to be that person. From there, I knew Egypt would have to go, as well as Turkey (who was going to steal Egypt’s votes instead of Kenya). It was also time for me to really pump up my vote growth, so I setup the stab on Vietnam. George, I know you were a loyal ally to the end, so I hope you believe me when I say the stab was nothing personal. I needed votes in my own column (for appearances to look strong), and it was either you or India. And as I mentioned earlier, I wanted to eliminate threats, and an “E” power is more of a threat than a “C” power almost always given the voting requirements.

From this point on, it was pretty simple cleanup work. Vietnam was taken out, and then Malaysia in order to boost Japan up a little bit and make sure he stayed engaged and loyal. Egypt and Turkey were taken out in short order. The three main events were my attack on Morocco, the nuking of South American, and my attack on Germany. First, Morocco. Again, this was not a personal attack, or anything Morocco had done wrong. As we were approaching the end-game, I was fearing an EEE coalition that would be a protest coalition. Morocco says he was a loyal ally and wanted to win with me, and I believe him. However, if he was in an EEE coalition, and presumably voted for it, he could have inadvertently been a figurehead for the anti-China push. I believe this stab may have been a mistake given I only got 1 vote out of it, and ended up almost giving more votes away than I gained, but with Canada voting for the winning coalition, it ended up ok. The attack on South America was yet again another way to stymie competition. I knew my closest allies and I would have lots of votes, but not enough to get over the top. So I made an effort to try to buy loyalty of players like Mali and Mexico by attacking the people attacking them. In this regard, I think it was a success. Mexico rallied and actually gained a vote, while Mali only lost 1 vote in an agreed concession to South Africa. Finally, the attack on Germany. This is probably the most questionable move I made for lots of people. As Germany no doubt told lots of people, I encouraged him to move on Serbia. It is true. I wanted unrest and conflict there. Unfortunately, he was successful way too quick, and was on the path to dominating all of Europe. He would have been an even bigger “E” threat than Morocco was. And truth be told, I wasn’t sure I could count on him to stick to China/Germany coalitions only. Hence, the mass nuking and invasions by Canada/Sweden. My apologies to Patrick for cutting him off at the knees after he had played a brilliant first 2/3 of the game. You deserved better sir.

So, that’s about it. I think that covers most of the game. Overall, I had to play a different style of game than I usually like to. In a way, I was a victim of my own success. I had to stab people I never intended to, and make moves I didn’t think there’d be enough time for. Having 15+ nukes a turn is awesome…until it means you have to break your agreements one way or another. I never expected to top 10+ a turn, and hence, the pickle I put myself in a few times. It’s a learning experience, but one I’m glad I got. And hot damn, how awesome is all that yellow on the map?! :D

I’m now going to briefly touch on a few players in more detail:

Japan: Leif, I’m beyond pleased that our alliance did as well as we did. I don’t think many people expected the Japan/China to really work and last all game, but I think we showed it’s feasible. Even without much southern pressure on the US in the Pacific (due to lack of a Philippine player), we managed to dominate and control the entire Indonesian region and most of the Pacific. Thanks for a great game and for being a great ally!

Sweden: Randy, always a pleasure to play against you. When we put our heads together and come up with a grand plan, it’s great to see it executed. Taking down Russia so smoothly is a real feat, and you laid the groundwork for it early by getting Poland/Serbia to not allow Russia breathing room in the west. A really smart play, and one that paid dividends in the end. I’m glad we got to finish in the winning coalition together.

Kenya: Mike, another player I am always happy to see on the map. You played a great slow game, knowing that early success wasn’t likely for you once you chose to move into the Middle East instead of into South Africa. Your patience in the middle years where you weren’t making big gains is a testament to your strategic thinking and your ability to see the big picture. It’s always a pleasure to be able to work on plans with you.

India: Mellisa, a pleasure to talk to you all game and do so well together. India/China again I don’t think people expected to be game-long allies due to them having a hard time being in winning coalitions together (too many votes needed). I’m happy to say we proved that wrong with a second place finish for China/India/Kenya! It goes to show that diplomacy can really make things work that on the surface seem unusual sometimes. I can’t wait to meet you in another game!

Germany: Patrick, I just wanted to give you a shout out for the great game you played early on. It’s a testament to your success that I had to blast you with 10 nukes in order to get Sweden and Canada enough room to take you out. You played a superb game and in any other situation, definitely would have been on the winning coalition. Well done sir!

USA: Matt, I think you had a lot of potential this game, and if it wasn’t for my paranoia, we could have done great things. I feel like you’ve got a great grasp of the game and I really look forward to playing against you again in the future! Hopefully you’ll be back for more!


To conclude, I’d like again to thank Tom for GMing. It’s a thankless job sometimes, and you’re on the receiving end of complaints, but you did a fantastic job! Until next time everyone, the Emperor is heading out! All hail The Empire of the Rising Sun (or you’ll get nuked next)! :eek: :grin:
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Post 12 Sep 2016, 6:39 am

I can't believe no one is rebutting Mr. Nuke's EoG. "Hey, I'm a nice guy, work with me. Here, let me shove these nukes up your ass. Looks great on you." :razz:
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Post 12 Sep 2016, 6:52 am

I think the nukes are bit out of control in that game design.
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Post 12 Sep 2016, 7:32 am

freeman3 wrote:I think the nukes are bit out of control in that game design.


Ya think? The fact that we were missing a several smaller powers made it worse. He might have grown more slowly had there been an Indonesia, Philippines and Korea.
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Post 12 Sep 2016, 8:05 am

geojanes wrote:
freeman3 wrote:I think the nukes are bit out of control in that game design.


Ya think? The fact that we were missing a several smaller powers made it worse. He might have grown more slowly had there been an Indonesia, Philippines and Korea.


It is, of course, impossible to know one way or the other, but China and Japan's early union would indicate that the presence of additional powers in the area would have had little impact on China's growth. The real "problem" here is that all of the other major powers were taken out, leaving no one to challenge China. UK, France and Russia all suffered early stabs, then China initiated a perfectly timed stab of the US to remove the final major obstacle. At that point, other nations *could* have banded together, but it would have taken a major effort and China still would have had significant enough strength to deal major blows to whomever was leading the charge. It didn't hurt that most of the major threats were allied to China at the time, making it even more unlikely that an anti-China coalition would form.
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Post 12 Sep 2016, 9:24 am

Sendric wrote:
geojanes wrote:
freeman3 wrote:I think the nukes are bit out of control in that game design.


Ya think? The fact that we were missing a several smaller powers made it worse. He might have grown more slowly had there been an Indonesia, Philippines and Korea.


It is, of course, impossible to know one way or the other, but China and Japan's early union would indicate that the presence of additional powers in the area would have had little impact on China's growth. The real "problem" here is that all of the other major powers were taken out, leaving no one to challenge China. UK, France and Russia all suffered early stabs, then China initiated a perfectly timed stab of the US to remove the final major obstacle. At that point, other nations *could* have banded together, but it would have taken a major effort and China still would have had significant enough strength to deal major blows to whomever was leading the charge. It didn't hurt that most of the major threats were allied to China at the time, making it even more unlikely that an anti-China coalition would form.


I would actually argue that the Philippines may have actually helped my position rather than weakened it. I have a feeling the US growth in the region would have been stunted by a Philippine presence in the Pacific, making the stab of the US even easier, and with less retaliation against my ally Japan. Of course, this might have meant more coordinated defense from Malaysia/Vietnam/the Philippines though, so who knows. I think the critical thing about the region was that *everyone* wanted to be my ally early, so even extra players probably wouldn't have changed overly much. This goes double if the extra players weren't all that great with their diplomacy. It might have actually driven people to me *more* if their neighbors were quiet players.

Regarding nukes being out of control: This game was clearly an anomaly. I highly doubt there's been another player who's gotten to launch as many nukes as I did in a LONG time. How many big powers only get hit with 3 nukes all game, and those come in the last year before voting? How many big powers have literally no one attack them all game until after they themselves started the fighting? It was an unusual game in many ways, the nukes being just one of them.
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Post 12 Sep 2016, 9:48 am

I would say the Nukes are suppose to be out of control in this game. China made the correct allies at the correct time. If any thing I would say the true issue is not China but a weak Russia that is at issue in this game. But that is only speculation. Oh and congrats on the in it was richly deserved.
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Post 14 Sep 2016, 1:29 pm

geojanes wrote:I can't believe no one is rebutting Mr. Nuke's EoG. "Hey, I'm a nice guy, work with me. Here, let me shove these nukes up your ass. Looks great on you." :razz:


I pushed back a little on that in my EOG. Egypt was eliminated by The Empire of the Rising Sun's nukes, after being a faithful ally to China since round one.
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Post 15 Sep 2016, 10:21 am

drano019 wrote:I would actually argue that the Philippines may have actually helped my position rather than weakened it. I have a feeling the US growth in the region would have been stunted by a Philippine presence in the Pacific, making the stab of the US even easier, and with less retaliation against my ally Japan. Of course, this might have meant more coordinated defense from Malaysia/Vietnam/the Philippines though, so who knows. I think the critical thing about the region was that *everyone* wanted to be my ally early, so even extra players probably wouldn't have changed overly much. This goes double if the extra players weren't all that great with their diplomacy. It might have actually driven people to me *more* if their neighbors were quiet players..


I'm not sure I agree with this.

If Philippines was in the game I'd have been a lot more likely to just move on Japan out of the gate. It wouldn't have been that much harder than attacking Philippines, but more importantly it would have forced you to either work with me against Japan or to refuse to do so, which would have changed our relationship almost immediately. If you don't work with me, it's likely we end up fighting earlier, but in a way where you get a massive stab on me. You'd still "win" but I think you come out of it weaker.
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Post 21 Sep 2016, 10:21 am

drano019 wrote:From this point on, it was pretty simple cleanup work.

How early was this? If voting could have been done earlier, how early do you think it could have been and produce a winner? I'm thinking the game might have been forced to go on longer than needed since a leader got so far out in front (hence all the nukes).
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Post 23 Sep 2016, 4:47 am

zurn wrote:
drano019 wrote:From this point on, it was pretty simple cleanup work.

How early was this? If voting could have been done earlier, how early do you think it could have been and produce a winner? I'm thinking the game might have been forced to go on longer than needed since a leader got so far out in front (hence all the nukes).


You're forgetting that a coalition of three wins the game. If we had voted earlier, it could well be that a EEE coalition or some other group of underdogs would have won. China hadn't gathered all his votes yet, and there were still a number of other good-sized nations to deal with. The voting mechanics inherently mean nothing is a foregone conclusion.
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Post 23 Sep 2016, 7:17 am

Nah I'm not forgetting the coalitions (despite using the singular for winner, I meant winning coalition). You have a point, but I think it's still a valid question.
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Post 23 Sep 2016, 10:58 am

I did some math for the top 4 finishing coalitions, assuming everyone's votes went to the same coalitions; I know this could very well have been different, not just due to diplomacy but especially given nations were being eliminated right up until the end. China/Sweden/Kenya could have won one turn earlier (+6) using the current win thresholds. So not a big difference, even though China's nuke dominance was evident from earlier than that. China/Japan/Kenya would haven been second (+0), with no other coalitions meeting their requirement. I don’t know what happens though if you throw, say, Germany’s votes back in the mix.

One idea that might be worth considering is calling an immediate vote as soon as a defined nuke limit is reached (maybe global limit, maybe per country limit). Best vote-minus-requirement differential wins, even if it's negative. The idea is simply to call the winners sooner rather than drag it out once someone is clearly dominating. Maybe it's thematic too; "quick, vote them in before they destroy the world!"

Any idea what the total nuke counts have been over the years?
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Post 24 Sep 2016, 4:39 pm

zurn wrote:I did some math for the top 4 finishing coalitions, assuming everyone's votes went to the same coalitions; I know this could very well have been different, not just due to diplomacy but especially given nations were being eliminated right up until the end. China/Sweden/Kenya could have won one turn earlier (+6) using the current win thresholds. So not a big difference, even though China's nuke dominance was evident from earlier than that. China/Japan/Kenya would haven been second (+0), with no other coalitions meeting their requirement. I don’t know what happens though if you throw, say, Germany’s votes back in the mix.

One idea that might be worth considering is calling an immediate vote as soon as a defined nuke limit is reached (maybe global limit, maybe per country limit). Best vote-minus-requirement differential wins, even if it's negative. The idea is simply to call the winners sooner rather than drag it out once someone is clearly dominating. Maybe it's thematic too; "quick, vote them in before they destroy the world!"

Any idea what the total nuke counts have been over the years?


The math may work out for this particular game, but that doesn't mean the same thing would happen in a future game. China did an excellent job keeping the friends he didn't nuke. If we have a similar situation in the future, but the player does a poor job at that, he could easily lose to a coalition of smaller nations. I do not think it's a good idea to create flexible voting schedules. There's even an argument to be made to push it out another year. In any case, it's unlikely we will see something like this again with any regularity, if at all. It was something of a perfect storm.
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Post 24 Sep 2016, 8:55 pm

Sendric wrote:There's even an argument to be made to push it out another year.

I agree, especially if the field is competitive. The reason I bring it up is it's a good idea in game design to have the game last only long enough to determine clear winner(s).

China can have a very safe set of SCs, deep inside a protective shell and with excellent internal lines; makes it very unappealing to attack conventionally. In the hands of an excellent player I'm not surprised the game got pushed to the edge.