Join In On The Action "Register Here" To View The Forums

Already a Member Login Here

Board index Forum Index
User avatar
Dignitary
 
Posts: 3184
Joined: 02 Oct 2000, 9:01 am

Post 04 Feb 2018, 12:31 pm

I'll start by echoing all the comments about our GM. This was one of the smoothest games I have participated in. Thank you George, very much appreciated.

I came in looking to Italy first as an ally, but I definitely had an open mind on Russia and Turkey. As usual the main thing was to make sure a Juggernaut didn't form. I'm not sure why Ryan came out of the gate so anti-Turk, but that combined with good early rapport with Freeman meant John was the odd man out. Once we made that decision, I wanted to move as decisively as possible.

I initially balked at the Key Lepanto. George made the same offer to me about 10 years ago in one of the PGs - we ended up playing a straight Lepanto and cruising to a 4-way draw. This time I figured I may as well try it once. Either it would work or I'd be out early and not have to stress anymore. Either way it's a win. It didn't end up being the orthodox Key where Italy passes through to Serbia in F01. Instead he stayed in Trieste so I could guarantee my fleet got into Greece. I know I was completely unconvincing in my clumsy attempts to cast some uncertainty around the board about how solid the IA alliance was, and you all saw how choreographed the next few turns were as we eliminated Turkey by the end of 1902.

John, thanks for being a good sport about it. It absolutely blows to get dogpiled like that, but it happens and you were a pro through all of it. I've handled similar starts with far less grace in the past.

Fall 1902 ended up being a pivotal season. That really turned the whole game for me. I was fully expecting Ryan to take a beating in the north, keeping him too weak and tied up to hurt me while I thought about a stab on Italy. Freeman had been a great partner, but at that point I was not looking to make a blood pact and ride it to the end. I felt that if I were going to make a stab it should be early. I was also pretty suspicious of Italy turning on me at this point, despite our flawless early moves. Definitely felt like the most tenuous point in the alliance.

Then Germany blew up any plans I might have had with, in my opinion, the completely inexplicable A Tyr, A Sil rather than A Pru, A Sil. I unexpectedly had an annoying army to deal with, Russia could salvage his position, and I couldn't let him grow as I'd end up stuck in an IR sandwich. So that really dictated my next move, which was to hit Russia hard while he was still off balance.

Freeman was a fantastic ally and we had great discussions about tactics and strategy. He was always testing my assumptions, so it was fun and challenging. I'd do that again anytime. I won't lie and say I wasn't continually assessing whether I could stab and make a play for the solo, but conditions never felt right and the alliance was very easy to stick with. He also coaxed my fleet out to help in the eastern med, while sealing off Turkey with two units. At the time I was surprised by how trusting it was to let me into the Ionian, but in retrospect it was clever as naval help for anything I might try in Turkey was then two full years away.

It would have been interesting to see what path things might have taken if Jon got into the game earlier. By this point the lack of communication or a discernible plan on Germany's part made him the next obvious target for me. (As others have said, it sounds like something was going on in real life for Rob.) Once I committed there it felt like the path of the game was set - everyone on both sides was strongly incentivized against defection. I did blunder in S05 going for the conservative Mun/Sil/Pru line rather than more aggressively heading into Ruhr, as Freeman encouraged, but I'm not sure that would have been enough to swing it. We were relying on at least some disorganization on the other side to keep advancing. Brad and Jon were admirably disciplined. We especially didn't expect Brad to get back on board with France like that.

Mike struck me as a formidable player from the start, and I was always impressed with what I perceived to be his influence in dictating a lot of what was happening on the board. I never felt comfortable taking a leap into the uncertain. I felt he'd be very persuasive in rallying other players to his side.

Well played game all around. It's nice to last to the end every once in a while. Thanks everyone!
User avatar
Dignitary
 
Posts: 3184
Joined: 02 Oct 2000, 9:01 am

Post 04 Feb 2018, 12:31 pm

Italy's response:

Go West young Austrian fleet!

I don't think I ever had a chance to do anything against Austria. He always had a better chance of stabbing me. But when that fleet sailed away I did feel that there is no way Matt could take my centers before France got into the Med to stop a solo. And I assumed Matt would make a similar calculation as well.

You're most likely right about the Ruhr move not being decisive...

Now we just have to figure out how to stop Matt from winning in fantasy baseball. Feel free to give me some top 25 players so I can do that...
User avatar
Dignitary
 
Posts: 3184
Joined: 02 Oct 2000, 9:01 am

Post 06 Feb 2018, 5:34 am

Austria's response:

One other thing to add. I didn't review the moves closely but my recollection is that it was a pretty close shave with MAO. We were ecstatic when we figured out how to get Italy in there, and then they closed it off quickly. Should have been an ongoing nightmare to deal with that fleet behind enemy lines, but EF methodically closed off every hatch. I believe they may not have had a single unit to spare. Well done guys.