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Post 16 Oct 2011, 4:46 pm

I guess I will go next. I have to agree with Owen that Patrick is one of the better GM’s out there right now. I would place him somewhere in my top 3 GM’s to play for. Besides all the things Owen mentioned, I would add that he doesn’t use RP maps.

My thoughts on the assignment were the exact opposite of Owen. I have played Austria a lot but considering I was new to this tournament, missing the first round, I was happy to draw a country that is one of my better positions. I thought a nice smattering of players I know and don’t know. I had played with Fred and Vince before. I know Owen and Monte from the boards and both have reputations of being good. The only unknowns were Kyle in Italy and William in Turkey. For Austria, this could make things interesting.

I opened with my usual plan with Austria of trying to establish a central Triple while trying to play Russia and Turkey off of one another. The absolutely most important thing is to get Italy on board. Luckily Italy was onboard and Germany said he was interested as well.

I next contacted Russia and Turkey to see where they stood. Russia was interested in bouncing in Galicia but was noncommittal on anything else. Turkey, on the other hand, was totally gung ho to go against Russia. I didn’t want to commit to a side so I told them both I was interested in going against the other.

The first turns went very well for me. I did a standard Austrian open. Since I was comfortable with Italy and bouncing in Galicia, I was willing to move out of Trieste. Turkey opened so aggressively anti-Russia that I knew I was going to get two builds. I also wasn’t too worried about the Italian Army that held in Venice because Army Vienna would let me bounce it. However, I didn’t think I was going to need to because the French opening to Piedmont. I was truly ecstatic about that French open because it guaranteed Italy would be little trouble towards me and that I had a pretty secure front door.

Fall 01 went pretty much the way I thought it would. The Russian move into Galicia was one I had approved but wasn’t worried about because I had two builds. Russia and Turkey were locked in combat. Italy was quiet but not making any moves against me. The only fly in the ointment was France. His over aggressiveness really influenced the way the game went in the East.

I hadn’t made a decision on who to favor in the Russo-Turkish war up to this point. I have always wanted to try an Austro-Turkish alliance but I have never really played with a Turkey that I trusted enough to try it. However, I was developing a good relationship with the Turk. Add this to the fact that I thought he had a good opening against Russia, I was favoring siding with Turkey. However, this changed when France continued his overly aggressive game. When France didn’t get any builds in Fall 01 and moved into Tyrolia, it became clear that he was going to fall fast. Therefore, I felt the need to resolve the east quickly. Unfortunately, that meant siding with Russia and Italy to join in taking out Turkey. Sorry William. I think we would have done a good job against Russia. However, total collapse of France meant taking you out fast would allow us to turn around a block Britain/Germany sooner then the hard slog of taking on Russia.

After this point, there are only five things I think worth specific mention. First is the bounce in the Aegean Sea Italy caused. It slowed the elimination of Turkey by 2 turns. I am curious if Italy did it on purpose to try and slow Austria’s growth, or if it really was the accident brought on by lack of communications. At the time, I thought it was purposeful because it made no sense for the Italian Fleet to move from East Med to the Aegean. I look forward to Kyle’s EoG to explain.

Second. In Fall 03, Russia and Italy wanted to move more aggressive then I. The moves I wanted would have gotten me one build in Winter 03 and Turkey eliminated in Spring 04. Monte suggested a more aggressive play that could have netted everybody at least 1 build and reduced Turkey down to 1 SC. Unless of course, Turkey ordered one particular way. Wouldn’t you know it that was the way he ordered. I ended up with no builds to Italy’s 2 builds and Russia’s push.

Third is the elimination of Turkey. Monte had worked out a deal that would have allowed Turkey to stay in the game with 1SC’s. Basically, in Fall 03 Turkey was to disband Army Bul and Fleet Bla plus take no actions against A/R/T and we would allow him to keep Con. William immediately broke the agreement in Spring 04 so Monte and I decided to take him out.

Fourth is my NBR’s. The first one was somewhat intentional. I was planning on waiving the build because I wasn’t’ sure what I want. However, the second was a mistake. Monte suggested a plan that I think would have worked in pushing Italy into France and me to break into Germany. Unfortunately, I was waiting for Kyle to respond if he agreed to the plan and I missed the deadline. This was a pretty big screw up because it meant there was only a limited chance of stopping the stalemate line. Unfortunately, Italy’s NRR sealed that issue.

Fifth is the DIAS. I was less then happy with a 5-way. I thought it was just too big. I considered voting against it and then stabbing Italy and Russia. I thought I was in position to take Warsaw, Rumania, Venice and Naples. However, on a closer look I couldn’t guarantee that I could keep all of them in the Fall. If that happened it would ended up as a 4-way with me eliminated. I decided to vote for the DIAS in the end.

Individual comments.

Monte – Good game. I really enjoyed working with you and our non-game conversations. I think without my second NBR your plan would have worked and we could have broken into German. I am curious as to what Owen’s reply was to your suggestion.

Kyle – We had good relations throughout the game. However, our mutual lack of communication really hindered our play more then once. For my side, sorry about that.

William – You had a great opening and a good plan against Russia. Without the implosion of France, we probably would have been able to take out Russia together. Unfortunately, I thought it would be too slow given out much advantage England and Germany were going to get from France’s quick demise. I hope you don’t hold it against me.

Vince – I echo Owen….WTF?

Owen – I agree and offer my apologies about not talking at all. At one point, just before the DIAS I broached the subject with Monte of offering you a 3-way in exchange for mutual stabs of Italy and Germany. However, I never followed through on it. You will have to let me know if you would have accepted it.

Fred – Once again we were neighbors and unable to work together. Maybe one of these days we will get around to it.
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Post 17 Oct 2011, 1:53 am

I probably would not have accepted the offer. Especially in the last year of the game.
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Post 24 Oct 2011, 1:08 pm

Fifth is the DIAS. I was less then happy with a 5-way. I thought it was just too big. I considered voting against it and then stabbing Italy and Russia. I thought I was in position to take Warsaw, Rumania, Venice and Naples. However, on a closer look I couldn’t guarantee that I could keep all of them in the Fall. If that happened it would ended up as a 4-way with me eliminated. I decided to vote for the DIAS in the end.


That's interesting. I could tell you weren't excited by the DIAS. I figured that you would ask me to return a center to you (since you had only agreed to lend me CON and not give it for the entire game), and I was prepared to counter offer by suggesting that Italy cede a center to you so that you would also tie for 2nd.

I think you had real stab opportunities in 05 and 06 which would have stressed me quite a bit. I think that AE may have been able to run the board if you pursued this. I had no choice but to trust you since E and G were breathing down my neck. G would have agreed to a cease fire or an alliance. Eventually you and England would have had G and Italy between you and easy to beat.