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Joined: 02 Jun 2012, 9:41 am

Post 17 Jan 2014, 4:14 am

First of all, thanks to all for an enjoyable game, thanks to Brad for GMing. Hope it was a fun game for you to watch from the outside.


At the very outset of the game, Guy approached Tom and I with the idea of an EFG alliance. Tom and I exchanged private emails where we agreed we didn't think that the triple alliance usually worked, but that it made sense for both of us to go along with it as long as it benefited us, as E and F we would be better positioned for a potential stab of Germany later. This seemed to me like a great plan at this point. I also though it would be a good opportunity to try opening to Piedmont as France, something I had never done before, and had always heard/read was not a very sound opening.

By the end of 1901, the rest of the board seemed to catch on to the fact that we had an EFG going. I built two fleets, Guy built two eastern armies, and already Piedmont had started to bottleneck. Here begun Sendric and Darren's long, valiant effort at trying to convince me to change my mind. I was having none of it.


In the spring of 1902, I got kicked out of Piedmont, never to return there again. So much for that opening…at this point, with most of the neutrals taken, our focus as a western triple was on my war with Italy and Turkey in the Med, Guy helping Tom get a foothold in StP, and trying to wage a diplomatic war to break up the eastern powers that by now, seemed to us to be working together quite closely to stop us. I still believed here that we could prevail. In the fall, things started to shape up in the Med, the Turkish fleet in the Ionian went a long way to determining that I could go no further there.


Now that I go back and look at the map, I'm actually a little surprised that my stab came this early. I thought it happened later. Somewhere in the fall/winter 1902, I began serious talks with both Sendric and Darren about a stab of England. It was a big gamble for me. My choices, as I saw them, were: a) stay the course with the western triple, where I felt progress was slowly coming to a halt, for me anyway, in the Med. Tom was going to get into StP. Darren did a good job of making me worried about exposing myself to Tom, and that Tom was in the best position for a solo run. Although actually, Tom's progress after he got StP was likely to stall for a bit. Still, I don't think I could have made much more progress in the Med even if I tried. The other option was to turn around and stab Tom, breaking the triple alliance. It was a big gamble for me, because it was possible that Sendric was lying to me when he promised that he would not push his fleets west against me in Marseilles and Iberia while I was up north fighting England. It turned out that he was being truthful there. I was worried about what Guy would do. Since it was his alliance idea to begin with, I thought maybe he would be upset that I broke it up, and would side with Tom, making it harder for me to make my stab really count. So I felt I needed Russia's help, and I slipped a little info to him about Guy's planned moves in spring 03. That's how George got into Kiel, which turned out to be a real thorn in Guy's side, I think. The deal I made with Darren was that if I stabbed England, he had to stab Austria. I thought this would help me because if both I and T squeezed Austria, that would keep I off my back longer. In the fall, he kept up his end of the bargain. This turn also saw Germany lose most of his holdings. Even Tom took Holland from him, though I suspect this was agreed to. I was pretty miffed when Guy retreated to Burgundy, I felt like it was a stupid and shortsighted move. But I think I was just still nervous that my stab of England was not going to work out in the end. I don't blame Guy at all for his steadfast loyalty until the end. That seems to be how you like to play, and I think that's quite honorable. Sorry, Guy, that I broke up the alliance you created..I very much enjoyed communicating with you while we were still working together.


I was feeling a little nervous about the Turkish and Italian fleets in the Med, sitting just two spaces away from my wide open southern centers. But it turned out that they sat there for the entire rest of the game, never sailing any closer to me. I guess this would be about the point that Tom thinks we all planned to end the game in a three-way draw. This is not true at all. I cannot speak for either Sendric or Darren, but I know that I was only concerned with bettering my situation here. I thought that I had a chance to wipe out all of England, bumping me up to 8 or 9 centers. I wasn't at all sure I could make a solo run, but I figured I'd play out the choice I had made, which was the stab, and see what the board looked like afterwards. I wasn't even working that closely with those two at this focus was on my tactics in the north: I wanted to wipe out England as quick as I could, so that I could move back into a good position and protect my southern borders.


England's natural defensive position, coupled with his very aggressive defense towards me (he left StP and Scandinavia open) made it take a little longer to knock him out than I thought. I don't blame Tom for this at all. I am sure I would have been angry too, had the roles been switched. With the help of Russia, I was able to get England down to 3 centers. At this point I was really sure I had him. I wasn't that worried about helping Russia to Belgium, or about him taking StP. I knew Turkey would overpower him regardless, and actually, the longer it took Darren to knock him out, I figured, the better.


I guess at this point I probably realized we were likely headed for a three-way draw. I thought I'd be happy with the outcome, I would likely finish around 10 or 11, which I think is way more than I would have gotten had I stayed the course back in 03 with the western triple. I do think I made the right choice in this one.

1907 and 1908 were spent mostly wrapping up the rest of the centers, between the three of us. We began to talk about the endgame here, I trusted both Sendric and Darren at this point, Sendric's fleets in the Med had not moved an inch towards me. I don't believe there was any point that I could have successfully made a solo bid. Of course we play to win at the outset, but the vast majority of dip games do not end in solos, so I think that at that point, its best to shoot for as many centers as you can get your hands on, as few players included in a game-ending draw, and maybe a board top as well. I did end up with the board top, in a 12-11-11 split, but in this particular case I don't hardly put any weight in that extra center. That's more of an accident of the pieces on the board than anything else. I would have been equally as happy if I had 11 and either Italy or Turkey had the 12th. I consider this an equal three-way split.

I want to congratulate both Sendric and Darren on a game well played. I also enjoyed, as I've said, communicating and working closely with both Tom and Guy, while that lasted. Tom, I've read what you've said about this game in the last couple weeks, and I have to say I couldn't disagree more. I'm not making it personal, and I hope you aren't either. I wouldn't hesitate to play with you in a game again, I hope you can feel the same way about me, even given your recent comments. No hard feelings on my end.

Thanks again to Brad for GMing.
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Post 18 Jan 2014, 2:16 pm

Hi Dario,

I was completely unaware of the level of cooperation between you and Russia. George never told me about it and you played it down consistently. Interestingly, one of the main reasons why I stabbed George was because I didn't think he was working well with you.

Sorry George ! :rolleyes: