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Posts: 18
Joined: 18 Nov 2014, 3:36 pm

Post 03 Apr 2017, 12:40 pm

Well, that was pretty much a train-wreck from start to finish for me. Which thankfully didn't take so long.

I tried to discipline myself to be good about communicating over the first few years and shot off messages to all the major powers and most of the smaller ones hoping to establish the relationships that would be so important later on. I thought I'd built up a solid diplomatic foundation early, only really alienating Morocco, which was inevitable.

Year 1

My main target early on was Morocco, which may have been a poor choice, but one which I should have committed more fully too once I started. I made a point of talking to Brazil a lot with the hope that he'd leave FRG alone so long as I'd committed to not going after South American centers. I thought this was a pretty reasonable approach with him, but I think it was undone in part because he was so focused on heading toward Africa - a goal I imagine was encouraged by Argentina and Chile.

At the same time I fell into an uneasy arrangement with Italy that mostly involved me supporting him to Switzerland. I never really liked him going there to begin with, but Germany consented to it quickly and didn't seem very concerned about it one way or another so I didn't feel comfortable complaining. So I supported Italy while at the same time tried to work with USA to mess up Germany. My goal with Germany was basically just to create chaos there in the hopes that Italy and UK would see that as a power vacuum and work with me in that area rather than with Germany against me.

My main goal for an ally was UK for the main reason that I wanted to prevent USA and Canada from coming to Europe. That may seem counter-intuitive given that I was cooperating with USA's starting wing, but that seems like a manageable risk that benefited me, and that sooner or later I'd slip in and take WIE, hopefully managing to blame someone else for it. I was very worried about Russia, and UK's anti-nuke suggestions actually made this worse as I'd have preferred he and I have a coordinated nuclear arsenal to deal with Russia. I was one of the ones who thought the MAD orders would really help the big countries - something I think I talked to Russia about before the first moves were in. So I made an extra effort to be attentive to UK given that I couldn't publicly support his anti-nuke coalition and wanted him onside.

My big diplomatic blunder in year 1 cost me my colony in Djibouti when I opened to SOM instead of supporting China from KHA to ETH as promised. My tactical reasons for doing it were sound, in that after finally hearing from Kenya I was pretty sure China didn't need the support (he didn't) and even if he'd been bounced I'd have supported him in during the fall and he's still get the center. Meanwhile I'd be out of DJI then without the risk of a bounce if I tried to move out in fall. The problem is that China saw this as a sign I was gunning for him (which I think was a silly conclusion, but still my fault), so he abandoned ETH for DJI even though it was quite clear that Tuniaia and Egypt were coming for him. Those moves wrecked both me and China in East Africa and neither of us ever mattered over there again.

Year 2

Things started going bad in year 2 when Brazil, not content with an army in St. Helena decided he should have an army in Cape Verde. I think that was an awful move for him both tactically (it's a crap place for an army) and diplomatically as I would have helped him into Africa which he claimed was his goal. But it also nerfed my plan to grab CPV with my new fleet, so I was left out of position. My bigger mistake to trusting Brazil though was that I let Morocco talk me out of following up on my opening moves, and I pivoted toward Mali who was only barely communicative. In retrospect I never should have left ENA and I should have pressed my advantage by going after WES in the fall. Even with the Brazil problem, I'd likely have gotten it and even if I lost a center to Mali I'd have crippled Morocco and had a better long term position.

Perhaps in the fall none of it would have mattered though, as that's when UK's stab came. Apparently he was spooked my my attempt to give him Holland, so he engineered a very sound stab involving 4 or 5 players. He bounced me out of two neutrals and supported Morocco to another center, and that was basically the ball game. Australia grabbed a center and Nigeria another just for good measure.

Thing being nuked

Misery compounded by the inexplicable nuke from Russia in 1903 (which Zac was kind enough to at least discuss with me after the fact, and that I can only assume came at Morocco's request), which seemed mostly like a waste of a good nuke to me, and then in 1904 this gem:

In response to Russia’s nuclear strike on Kazakhstan:
Australia N NCD !!! HI

Given that this was a good player I assume it served some purpose, but I can't imagine what. I had never had any communication about this with Australia, so still have no idea what the point of it was. I was mostly odd because Hawaii was almost assuredly a center Australia was going to eventually take, so he was mostly depriving himself of a center. Truthfully, if Australia had asked me for it, I'd have probably just walked out of Hawaii and let him take it, even if it was my only center.

I was all but dead already, I didn't really care about surviving at 1 center. If I'm not really involved in the game, death is not much of a deterrant. It would have made sense later just to keep me from keeping the Paris vote, but this was in 1904, so there was no need yet. My best guess is that UK wanted me officially dead sooner? By why write it as a conditional I don't know. Maybe Rob just wanted to keep his steak going of stabbing me in every game! :grin:

At that point I pretty much checked out. I think I NMRed in 1905 and was completely eliminated shortly thereafter.

I can't exactly say the game was fun. This was my third game and by far the worst. The frustrating part was that while I made some important mistakes, the mistakes weren't what killed me. I guess the biggest mistake was not intuiting that UK was freaked out by my offer to give him Holland, but it simply never occurred to me that he would respond to a sincere offer by convincing himself that it was part of a plan to attack him and then rallying my neighbors to take me out. I'm just not sure how I could have seen that one coming.

Ah well - Thanks everyone!
Posts: 3
Joined: 18 Oct 2016, 9:21 pm

Post 04 Apr 2017, 12:12 pm

Very cool to read, thanks for posting Matt. To be honest with you it was more the USA that made me very suspicious. He was the one who first approached me about Holland and it was very out of character for him. At that point in the game I was having trouble even sharing information, and all the sudden he hit me up out of the blue offering me a territory with no good explanation.

I was already nervous since I knew you two were coordinating in Europe and in some colonies, and then when you said "well ok I'll give you Holland" I interpreted it as trouble. I probably made a mistake by not discussing it further with you before making the stab decision.