So gang here we are another game in the bag. This game has been a bit of an emotional roller coaster for me. I made connections with a bunch of people and then I had to betray them. This is abnormal for me in most games. In general I keep to my word unless forced not too. But this game put some interesting and hard decisions before me.
In the beginning I made it clear to many that I had a goal to gain at least 6 votes in order to be in a coalition. Now this was determined from my past experience in the games. In most games it seemed like there was a big power, a couple of mid range and a bunch of little powers. I thought it unlikely with Russia, France, USA, and UK all being around me along with five other powers for me to get much beyond 8 votes. So I set a modest but good amount of potential votes of 6. By setting my priority on votes not on centers it gave me the ability to trade SC's for position.
First thing I did was send out communications to all the countries in the game. I always do this even if it is just a small thing like "hey guys I am here!" The responses trickled in but many countries were slow to respond and some never did. It was at this time the the key players in my drama appeared.
On Feb 4th I said this " Well end game has two components regionalism and vote count. For instance it would not make sense for me to form a coalition with Italy and Poland. We most likely only have contact with our neighbors meaning gathering the votes would be difficult from other parts of the world. As for vote count we really just do not know who will have them. Now you as America has contact with the whole world which gives you an advantage. Unfortunately you being a A power is a negative. If we do try to form a coalition we need to find a E power and support that person into a really good position Preferably an African or South American power.
At this point though I would agree, me and you speak regularly, are not overly demanding, and can expand independently of one another yet can support one another in our mutual areas. So forming a coalition just makes sense. "
As you see already the seeds for my game were set. The USA was the first firm agreement I made and it set out my diplomatic stances towards all my neighbors. This of course was a poison pill for my relations with countries like Italy, Sweden, Serbia, and Poland.
Italy, France, and Serbia were the next big partnerships. Very early on I made commitments with France to stay out of his way, At the same time I came together with Italy and Serbia to divide up the local sc's. Now it was clear to anyone that has played that in no way could this alliance work. Serbia would be expanding into an area where 7 powers all had aspirations. Also if I allied with them and did not fight France I was down to heading north and east. North was ok but only netted me 2 votes. East was better because that would net me three but one of those was MOS and fighting Russia seemed like a bad idea.
It was at this point in my thought processing that Italy proposed him heading south and me heading north and east. This of course sounded great since that would give me the security to expand on my own pace. That plan worked out with out a hitch. in fact it worked so good that no turn was truly in doubt until France, UK, Serbia, Poland, and Sweden were all gone and I looked around and saw a problem.
Originally I was going to be really happy with 8 votes. Me and Italy were a juggernaut and nothing in Europe had a chance and most likely Italy was going to just mow down Africa. At that point my Allies were solidly the USA and Italy. Looking around the map, beginning of 06 it was clear that my expansion was over. Not only that but Pakistan, Iran, Australia, and Italy all were hot on my heals for votes with plenty of game to get them. My option without betraying my allies was to head east through Russia and then turn south. into Pakistan and Iran.
So before me I saw a 3 to 5 year slog to get any real votes. Also all of Russia's nukes hitting me since I would be the biggest threat. OR I keep the peace with Russia as well and my 8 votes was all I would get. Which could have been a great position except that meant Italy for sure and most likely Iran or Pakistan would have more come the end. So looking at the map I had to ask "why bring Germany in your coalition when you can have Italy?" I never forget that winning coalitions almost always come from different regions. It is extremely rare to have two country from the same area win.
You should have saw the times I wrote and rewrote the builds for that winter. It was actually agonizing. I had rebuffed every attempt at turning me away from Italy because I assumed that there would be some parity come end game. But our alliance was just doing to good and would soon leave me behind. I would basically be a nuke factory until the end and then it would have been USA/Italy/Australia or China. DOnt get me wrong Italy and the USA winning would have been great. But I wanted to win as well. Otherwise why play the game.
Also at that point Russia was campaigning hard on both sides to break up the trio. Now him even still existing was annoying to me. Not that he was a bad guy but I have a rule that when I stab some one I finish them. Unfortunately as we all know people just kind of pooped on Russia and then pulled back. I was furious at the time and it made my game so much more complicated. But I figured so many people attacked him there was a chance he would honor his word. More importantly if I could get those nukes to hit anywhere else it would be a boon. So I devised a plan to turn on my friend Italy.
It went as smoothly as the Bay of Pigs invasion. Russia kept his Italy. Oh well I thought now I guess I have to actually play. Looking at the map and doing the math it became apparent that if Russia and Italy was to be defeated then I needed the USA and a few others to lend a hand. So I called in favors from the USA and Nigeria. Also the USA was just itching for an opportunity to galvanize the world and finish off Russia. I admit that first year it looked like me and Italy would wear each other out but in the end I would win. That would have been very messy.
Once it became apparent that the USA was keeping his part of the deal and that other nations were finally moving it was over. It took a little bit of math but we figured that if we could get one more vote then was needed for a EEE coalition then no matter what we would win. Really at that point there was no real doubt. The only doubt was if the game would continue.
In the end all of it worked out and here we are. I left out tons I know, but the break in the game made things hazy. Feel free to say whats going on.