I've played Austria a lot. I get it a lot in randomly selected games, and I typically have it higher in my list when preferences are taken. I have a love/hate relationship with Austria because of my history with it. It lines up well with the overall statistics. If you survive early, you are likely to be a dominant power. That said, beginning relationships are important.
Apparently I have a reputation as a crazy player. I think it's more my personality than actual style, but I think that had an effect.
As Austria, I believe it's important to know what's going on. Austria's can come out of the box with a strong opening, but it really needs to focus on survival more than anything. So, my initial plans were to make an alliance/nap with Italy, keep Galicia clear, prevent an RT, and be the power broker over Greece.
1. Italy - Guy and I have always had difficulty working together...for whatever reason. Both our playing and diplomatic styles differ vastly, and I think that has much to do with it. But I wanted to work together and use that to our advantage--in a good cop/bad cop sort of way. Guy was a little more reserved about it.
2. Galicia - this was the province that set me ablaze. I still believe that Russia had no intention of working with me. I believe that for R/A to work out, galicia must remain empty, and it is highly preferable that Russia take Rumania with a fleet. That was my sole purpose in negotiations with Russia. Darren wanted none of it. Sure, you can say that Germany demanded it, but that wasn't going to fly with me.
3. Turkey wasn't talking. My opinion was that regardless if it was due to time or being a target, this was a major problem. It turned out to be both.
So, as I saw it, I couldn't trust Russia or Turkey, and Italy was much more passive about our alliance than I would have hoped. Germany never sent one message to me, and England didn't seem interested in an attack on Russia. #Paranoia The only viable option I saw was a key lepanto. But that's so damn obvious sometimes...
That's when I went "ape-shit". I figured that I had to sound alarms and deconstruct alliances, I might be able to hide the lepanto or even get some help. No dice.
At the point where it seemed like nothing was going to work., I decided that if I was going to go down, I would have a say in it. My own wavering caused Italy to stab me, and it was pretty much over.
I do want to address the email I sent to England about that intention. I had no intention of throwing the game, but as I saw it, an Austria without any strong alliances is dead. It was nothing more than a desperate attempt to say what I needed to shake things up...nothing more. I had no desire to "throw" anything. But if my grave was being dug, I might as well write a will! Graham, I'm sorry it came across the wrong way.
To our GM: Thank you again, for hosting. It was a pleasure, and I enjoyed being a part of it...