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Adjutant
 
Posts: 3
Joined: 18 Oct 2016, 9:21 pm

Post 31 Mar 2017, 3:03 pm

What a game! Was a lot of time and energy, and also a lot of fun. GG to the winners and well played by many throughout. I'm glad I got to play.

Before I dive in I want to address the Canada/Israel situation. Obviously it had a huge impact on the game, and Canada was one of my biggest allies. While it is fun to imagine what would have been if it were a different player, I must acknowledge that being in near daily contact with Ling definitely affected some of my decisions. So it goes. But it's all out of my control so I can really just acknowledge it and move on.

Strategy
After reading the rules, and especially the new MAD rules, I really felt nukes were overpowered. Right off the bat I thought I had to choose to either 1) work together with the nuclear powers and try to keep anyone from trading nuke tech or 2) work against the nuclear powers. I thought it would be fun to take a leadership role and try to roleplay a little bit against nuclear weapons, thinking this would be helpful come voting season. This was a mistake. For one thing I overestimated the willingness of smaller powers to band together. I started a coalition against nukes and most E nations laughed at it? It was a mistake on my part to assume that just because I assessed certain strategic advantages other nations would as well. On top of that I completely misunderstood how the voting would go. I'll get to that more later, but it was astonishing to me that I was the only nation to reach out publicly making a case for why I deserved votes.

So my strategy basically came down to building a coalition of nations to stand up to the nuclear powers. We'd all have common ground and a leg up towards trust, and a combined effort would be too much for anyone to resist. In all 15 nations joined in, well short of the 30 or so we would have needed to really roll through the nuclear nations.

While it is true that this strategy made common ground with some nations, it also pissed nations off and made me some enemies. Italy, for one, found the idea offensive and our relations never recovered. Several nations said "cool idea, it will never work" and opted to stay on the sidelines, and a few nations very pompously talked down to me about it.

Early Game
Throughout the early game I was working closely with France. Matt was very responsive and easy to work with, but at the same time I felt like he wasn't committed to me really. Hard to explain, but though we were coordinating I was very wary of him. He was also working closely with USA who I didn't trust at all, and eventually someone was going to turn on the others. When USA came to me and offered me Holland my alarm bells went off. For one thing this was very out of character. On top of that there was no reason for France and USA to help me into mainland Europe, especially if I wasn't clamoring for it. I assumed the stab was on and frantically tried to position myself to strike first. In retrospect I think they were trying to get my army off my homeland so Canada could do a convoy. USA and Canada were pretending to be at war but I think this was all a ruse until Canada decided to actually perform the stab.

So if France was my enemy I figured I'd better strike first. Looking for help I was pretty sure I could get Morocco on board, as France was coming for him. Brazil also opted in, and at the last minute I convinced Nigeria and Australia that they might as well since the rest of us were. In the end we had a 5 nation coalition and France never saw it coming. Definitely the high point of the game for me.

Midgame
The mid game was all about Russia. Oh Russia. Zac was dominating and the rest of the board was getting uneasy. Zac seemed open to working with me, and I had hoped that he would ally with me as I would be less risky during end game voting as a B power. Still, I was wary given my denouncement of nukes and Russia's dominating position. I figured he already had an idea of who he wanted to win with, and I wasn't privy to that info.

Zac approached me asking if I wanted to stab Sweden and here is my second big mistake. I liked Dag and thought I could trust him so I didn't want to do the stab, and besides that I wasn't quite sure if Zac was trying to set me up (though he probably wasn't). I opted out of the stab and then decided to tell Dag about it. Boy did this backfire. I thought Dag would appreciate the info and trust me as an ally. Instead he ran to Zac (who of course denied it), damaging the UK Russia relations while still not earning me trust with Sweden. Whether or not I wanted to stab I should have kept my mouth shut.

From here I tried my best to make it up with Russia but I couldn't. Meanwhile Italy remained icy, Poland silent, and Sweden distrustful. I was pretty sure Russia was coordinating the other nations against me, and his position was so powerful that they would be hard pressed to go against him. At the same time Zac was gaslighting me, dodging my questions, and without overtly saying so declaring himself my enemy.

My situation was desperate as I had no friends in Europe, and I needed to gamble to have a chance. I decided to declare war on Russia and try to build another multi nation coalition, but it was tricky business. My best bet was to wait until 24 hours before the deadline and make a public declaration of war, so that everyone would know I meant what I said. I knew Russia would hit me back with nukes, but that would open up positions for other nations to move on Russia while he was distracted by me.

The plan wasn't the most likely to work, but it really hurt that the GM decided to extend that turn by another week. I understand the decision - it was the holidays and players needed more time. Still, it would have been much better had the GM looked ahead and realized he would need to extend the deadline and done so earlier. I waited until the last minute to make my declaration, as I didn't want to give Zac time to prepare, and then he got another week.

So then I knew Europe would come for me, and I just had to decide who to hit back. I felt like Russia was the puppet master so I fired some nukes at him and then hoped other nations would strike in following seasons. It was cute that Zac convinced Sweden and Poland to nuke me before he did (via MAD) hoping that I would have MAD orders targeting them. Glad I didn't.

At this point I was hobbled but it was clear I was anti Russia, so I was able to help coordinate nations who wanted to see Russia taken down. Canada, Philippines, Australia, Chile, and Egypt all talked to me about it and I was glad when a plan later came together, even though I wasn't a part of it.

End Game
At this point I mostly wanted to help my long term allies and make sure I was around for voting season so I could see how it worked. Having a colony in SE Asia was helpful as my elimination would have required careful coordination across the board, and I was able to maintain good relations with Thailand (though it got rocky for a bit) and Australia. Canada was going to nuke Portugal every fall to keep it in my hands and help me take ARC to give me some sweet vengeance against Russia. But then Canada wasn't Canada anymore.

The new Canada wasn't interested in any of that, and I felt that I would surely be eliminated. Fortunately Chile stepped in to help protect me and my votes, and as a result he ended up earning 4 votes at EOG for his coalition.

The voting process was very surprising as it was all about trading votes and no one really cared about reputation. Sure a lot of players just wanted to see the game end, but I expected more people to vote based on reputation than pure 1-1 vote exchanges. Personally I was bound to Chile and Australia, but where were the calls to not support them due to them backing out of the agreed upon anti-Russia strike? Where were the arguments for specific achievements that demanded votes, such as Thailand and Vietnam coordinating to take out China and India? I was disappointed with how the voting went down (not the outcome, but the process) but learned a lot that will help me if I play again.

More Mistakes
Looking back I should have put more work into maintaining communications with all nations. Too often I found myself needing help from a nation who I hadn't been good at talking to and building trust. Diplomacy takes communication and I needed to put more work into it.

For a coalition against nukes to work, it needs to be a secret. I should have invited nations to join in secret rather than declaring the allegiance in public. Set a number of nations which is our goal, and if that hits then announce it to all members and coordinate. By doing everything in public it was too obvious who my allies and enemies were, and hard for nations to stick their neck out when they didn't think it would achieve critical mass.

Another sort of mistake is exclusively working with people I like. Some of you are very arrogant, some very cold, and some of you just make the hairs on my neck stand up. I didn't want to work with any of you, and so I was reluctant to maintain communication and quick to side with your enemies. Of course this is bad strategy if I'm trying to win, but I was enjoying the time I was spending with the rest of you who I found lovely. While I don't condone it I understand how metagaming is somewhat unavoidable. It is hard to be completely emotionally detached.

Another mistake was not supporting my colonies harder. I trusted Mexico because he was in the anti-nuke coalition and I told him I would use my wing basically as his unit. He still stabbed me. I should have either prioritized building in the colonies or at least kept my units in their starting SC so I could disband them when stabbed. It was a huge drain on my resources to be forced to support a useless wing off the coast of Mexico with no nearby territory.

GG!
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Adjutant
 
Posts: 15
Joined: 15 Sep 2016, 12:06 am

Post 31 Mar 2017, 3:48 pm

I don't think the voting usually pans out this way. (although I have not played NWO in a long time, and the dynamics could be different now). I was not happy that Chile/Aus backed out of the strike, but after Israel and Canada changed hands, what could be done about their bloc? I thought I had a chance to at least put up a good fight if Israel had maintained his nuke presence. But Canada hitting Mexico, and Israel and I going to war pretty much gave those 3 free reign. I think Italy was the only other nation that had a chance of doing something about it, but he didn't have the power to act unilaterally. also, Italy's nuke production in the mid and late game seemed much weaker than it should have been given his size (in my opinion).

I thought that if the game went on and I didn't agree to trade votes with the South Americans, I would just be nuked off the face of the planet. I seriously thought if the game went on, there was a chance I would not survive. But at least if the South Americans saw that I voted for them, they would seek other targets and I would have a chance to expand more into Israel.

But I agree, there was not alot of coordination and discussion in the votes. I wont lie, I am happy the game ended when it did, and I think the deserving coalition won in the end, and likely would have solidified their win if the game continued. although I would have liked to see at least one of the Thai/Nam nations in the circle, they played a pretty amazing game despite the odds
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Adjutant
 
Posts: 65
Joined: 18 Sep 2014, 4:53 pm

Post 31 Mar 2017, 5:19 pm

Another sort of mistake is exclusively working with people I like. Some of you are very arrogant, some very cold, and some of you just make the hairs on my neck stand up. I didn't want to work with any of you


This is hilarious. Ahh, the diplomacy community... or I guess just, "people"...

Voting in NWO does seem to come down to the people in the lead winning. Maybe there's more behind the scenes that I'm not seeing; certainly a bunch of 1 for 1 vote trading is going to work out in favour of those who already have more votes.
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Adjutant
 
Posts: 18
Joined: 18 Nov 2014, 3:36 pm

Post 03 Apr 2017, 11:41 am

cenalan wrote:Early Game
Throughout the early game I was working closely with France. Matt was very responsive and easy to work with, but at the same time I felt like he wasn't committed to me really. Hard to explain, but though we were coordinating I was very wary of him. He was also working closely with USA who I didn't trust at all, and eventually someone was going to turn on the others. When USA came to me and offered me Holland my alarm bells went off. For one thing this was very out of character. On top of that there was no reason for France and USA to help me into mainland Europe, especially if I wasn't clamoring for it. I assumed the stab was on and frantically tried to position myself to strike first. In retrospect I think they were trying to get my army off my homeland so Canada could do a convoy. USA and Canada were pretending to be at war but I think this was all a ruse until Canada decided to actually perform the stab.

So if France was my enemy I figured I'd better strike first. Looking for help I was pretty sure I could get Morocco on board, as France was coming for him. Brazil also opted in, and at the last minute I convinced Nigeria and Australia that they might as well since the rest of us were. In the end we had a 5 nation coalition and France never saw it coming. Definitely the high point of the game for me.



This was a very well done stab, and I'll post my full thoughts about it in my EOG, but whether you believe it or not I was 100% sincere about supporting you to Holland (and IIRC I ordered it). There was no particular brilliant strategy behind it - I simply wanted you to have something productive and useful to do that didn't involve attacking me, and I was already trying to muck things up in Germany and you taking Holland would help. Basically I was trying to help my ally grow.

Plus I was worried about Russia from pretty much the opening bell, and I thought having UK and France coordinating in Europe would be a good counterbalance to him.

I can't speak to what USA and Canada's intentions were, but I had no intention of stabbing you, at least any time soon. UK was the ally I wanted from the get go. USA was convenient to work with, but he was a means to an end, not someone I was hoping to stick with throughout. If you recall, I spent the early years encouraging you to take Iceland so hold back the Canadians and Americans. I was very concerned about the Americans coming for Europe, which is the main reason I wanted you to do well.

- Matt
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Emissary
 
Posts: 163
Joined: 10 Oct 2006, 9:39 pm

Post 11 Apr 2017, 6:34 pm

It wasn't your coalition against nukes that led to our frosty relations. It was rather that I offered to still coordinate with you year 1, but you said unless I was willing to make the no-nuke pledge you weren't interested. THAT is what led me to write you off as a potential partner.

At the end of the game, I probably would've let you keep Portugal, but you never asked and agreed to let me take it. At the time, I figured this meant you didn't have allies to back you up in keeping it, which was clearly wrong. Although I can't blame you for treating me like an enemy at that point :)

Also, considering Canada was secretly Ling (who was my ally in Israel) I don't think "her" offer to save Portugal was actually genuine. We had discussed carving you up and Canada getting Iceland before "she" was replaced.

Best,
Steven