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(DC 324) A Stab in the Dark *** GAME OVER *** - Lequinian   (Aug 10, 2010, 10:15 pm)
Appreciate the props (bullseye and all).  I'm chasing your lead.  Smile
 



 
On Tue, Aug 10, 2010 at 8:23 AM, Michael Sims <mike(at)fuzzylogicllc.net> wrote:


Hey gotta share the target when you can.  I certainly dont mind if someone besides me carries that thing for a while, it's heavy!  Smile 


From: Packrat [mailto:brn2dip(at)yahoo.com]
Sent: Tue 8/10/2010 7:22 AM
To: Michael Sims; C Morse; Dirk Knemeyer; Jeffrey Krause; Michael Thompson; Paul Russell; Scott Hickey; Steve Lytton

Cc: dc324; Stephen Worthy
Subject: Re: (DC 324) A Stab in the Dark *** GAME OVER ***




NICE!  Why don't ya just paint a target on the guys back while you're at it.
That's part of what fueled my slow exodus away from the hobby.  Far too
many games wound up being "get Packrat" fests.  And, no, it isn't paranoia,

I've had more than one player tell me that they came after me because of
the either the reputation or, in the case of DC, because of the ratings.

Congratulations for sure, and it is certainly IS an incredible record, but

when you point it out, you paint the target.




From: Michael Sims <mike(at)fuzzylogicllc.net>
To: C Morse <camorse22(at)yahoo.com>; Dirk Knemeyer <dirk(at)knemeyer.com>; Jeffrey Krause <diplomacy(at)jeffreyk.com>; Michael Thompson <psychosis(at)sky.com>; Paul Russell <jehannum_raver(at)yahoo.com>; Scott Packrat Troemel <brn2dip(at)yahoo.com>; Scott Hickey <thase+dipcorp(at)dalarin.net>; Steve Lytton <stevelytton(at)hotmail.com>

Cc: dc324 <dc324(at)diplomaticcorp.com>; Stephen Worthy <stephenworthy(at)rocketmail.com>

Sent: Tue, August 10, 2010 8:13:38 AM
Subject: RE: (DC 324) A Stab in the Dark *** GAME OVER ***


Wow a 4th solo for Scott in 8 games played.  Incredible record.  Congrats!
-mike


From: C Morse [mailto:camorse22(at)yahoo.com]
Sent: Mon 8/9/2010 9:37 PM
To: Chris Morse; Dirk Knemeyer; Jeffrey Krause; Michael Thompson; Paul Russell; Scott Packrat Troemel; Scott Hickey; Steve Lytton

Cc: dc324; Michael Sims; Stephen Worthy
Subject: (DC 324) A Stab in the Dark *** GAME OVER ***



GENTLEMEN, WE HAVE A WINNER!

Congratulations to Scott Hickey, aka Lequinian, for his solo victory as Turkey in A Stab in the Dark, the inaugural Gunboat Stab! game on the DC site.


Bittersweet congratulations are also in order for our second-place finisher, Paul Russell, who played a heck of a game himself.  Paul, as England, just missed derailing the Turkish locomotive that in the early-to-mid-game seemed on track to an easy triumph.


Scott used a ton of skill throughout the game and just enough intuition in the final season to thwart England's final gambit.  It was a fifty-fifty proposition in the last Fall season.  Turkey had four units in defense against England's four units attacking.  Would it be three on Munich and one on Berlin, or two for each?  Scott guessed the latter and he guessed correctly, managing to bounce the English attacks in both supply centers and to claim his 18th dot in Munich while Berlin was left open.


Here are the orders that decided it all.  (The complete set of orders can be found at the end of this message.)

England:
F Baltic Sea Supports A Kiel - Berlin
A Burgundy - Munich (*Bounce*)
A Kiel - Berlin (*Bounce*)

A Ruhr Supports A Burgundy - Munich

Turkey:
A Bohemia - Munich (*Bounce*)
A Munich - Berlin (*Bounce*)
A Silesia Supports A Munich - Berlin
A Tyrolia Supports A Bohemia - Munich

Tooth and nail to the end, I do believe that we would have had a stalemate if there had been no victory this year.  As you can see from the attached maps, Turkey had just filled into Prussia, closing the last small gap in the two players' lines.  I'm sure Paul is kicking himself for allowing Turkey to take Munich in the Spring, but hey, he took a calculated risk and it just didn't work.  No shame there.


Cast of Characters (aka The Stab! All-Stars)

Austria - Scott "Packrat" Troemel - Eliminated 1903
England - Paul "Jehannum" Russell - Survival (16 SC)

France - Stephen "Deathblade Penguin" Lytton - Eliminated 1911
Germany - Jeffrey Krauss - Eliminated 1906
Italy - Michael "Psychosis" Thompson - Eliminated 1911
Russia - Dirk Knemeyer - Eliminated 1909

Turkey - Scott "Lequinian" Hickey - Solo Victory 1914 (18 SC)

List of Attachments

DC324_F14_Moves.gif   ... so you can see how the last turn played out
DC324_F14_Game_Over.gif   ... the final position showing Turkey's victory

DC324_F14.dpy   ... the Realpolitik file.  You can watch the whole game play out in a slideshow!
DC 324 Report.odt   ... an open office word processing document that I kept for my own sake.  Don't know how many of you will be able to open it, but if you can, you'll see how I tracked all the game moves -- what was seen, what was hidden, the complete support orders, etc.


GM's EOG Statement

I was first introduced to Stab! a few years back by a gentleman GM named Stephen Worthy (henceforth SW -- Hi Stephen!) from the Cat23 Diplomacy group.  I was completely hooked after one turn.  I liked gunboat.  I really liked the semi-blind aspect, which let me try to be tricky in the dark and which really engaged my deductive powers trying to figure out where everyone's units were.  I did rather well at it, too, which no doubt contributed to my enjoyment.


So, here it is a few years later and I decide that not only is it time I gave back and GM a game, but it's also my chance to revive Stab! on a new forum and find out whether I can get a bunch of new players hooked on it, too.  Judging from the quickness with which the game filled up there was clearly strong interest.  Not only strong interest, but a very strong group of players.  I remember telling Mike Sims that I had a veritable all-star lineup.  Even our "new face," Jeff Krauss, was fast proving his worth (just check out his standing in WB10), so I was expecting a great game and I'm very happy to say I wasn't disappointed.


Of course the GM has a uniquely omniscient perspective in a game like Stab!  It was great fun to be able to watch each player tackle the problem of how to maneuver about in the dark.  Russia and England and France, to name three examples, took advantage of the dark to quickly expand and attack opponents in non-traditional ways.  Others were very conservative.  Turkey, for instance, was very cautious.  He couldn't know this, of course, but he repeatedly spent turns supporting himself in place against imaginary threats.  If he had pushed on more boldly, I think there was a good chance he could have won the game easily 4 or 5 years earlier.  Scroll through the Realpolitik file and see if you agree.


I don't want to step on the toes of the players' EOGS so I'm not going to speculate too much more on individual play.  In general terms, though, it was signficant, I think, that it was our two witches who thrived best.  In a somewhat chaotic world, is it a coincidence that it was the two countries considered highest in defensive strength that dominated in this game?


Think about that for a minute, and then check out these statistics.  Combining this result with the outcomes from the four games SW has run, these are our outcomes:


CAT23 926: Russian win (year ??)

CAT23 1004: Turkey, England, France draw (year ??)

CAT23 1232: Turkish win (1912, 18 SC)
CAT23 1233: Turkish win (1907, 20 SC)DC 324: Turkish win (1914, 18 SC)

That's three Turkish solos out of five games.  I know, I know.  It's not a large sample size, but still, it makes you want to look a little closer.


In 1233, Turkey was aided greatly by his neighbors Russia and Austria.  The former opened by sending 3 of his 4 units towards Scandinavia, while the latter opened against Italy and Russia, ignoring Serbia and Greece altogether in 1901.  Turkey roared out of the gate and was never checked as he rolled to a quick and decisive victory.


The other two Turkish victories were not that kind of win.  Both were more typical examples of blind gunboat games, where play is understandably less efficient than in sighted games.  However, it still seems fair to me to wonder whether or not that type of game environment might just offer inherent advantages to some countries.  I'm sure we could have a wonderful debate on that very topic.  (I know because I have.)  My current feeling, though, is that rather than debate the topic, I'd like to see more data.  I'd like to see more games completed AND ... I'd like to see more games played where the results given above are known ahead of time because, as we all know, we do adjust our games to compensate for the strengths and weaknesses of the various countries according to our knowledge of their past performance.  My guess is that if I were to host another game of Stab! on DC within the next few months that Turkey would start the game with a giant bullseye on his back.  And you know what?  That's okay.  If we play enough of these games we'll eventually build up a new set of expectations and strategies to deal with the situation that not all countries are created equal in Stab! land.  Heck, they're not equal in standard Dip, so we've no right to complain if Stab! skews the balance in different ways than we're used to.  Right?


Players EOG Statements

You can post your EOG statements directly to the game forum, or just email to all the people on this list and copy the dc324 forum as I've done on this message.  If you choose to just reply to this message, please do us all the favor of deleting this original message text from your entry.


I know that Germany has already written his EOGS and I hope that more of you will follow suit.  I'd love to hear about how you stabbed in the dark and tried to keep from getting stabbed.  Comments on the game management (my part) and the game rules are welcome, too.  As mentioned some time ago, I intend to expand quite a bit on Stab! entry the DipWiki.  I'll need some time to collect all my notes, but when I do I will send them to all of you for your review and comments.


Farewell

I suppose as Diplomacy games go this one played out pretty quickly.  Fourteen years in fifteen weeks is certainly no record, but I have to say it felt like longer.  I can put out a typically gunboat adjudication in about 30 minutes.  The BEST I ever did in Stab! was an hour, and typically it was 1.5 to 2 hours by the time I'd finished.


Rest assured that it was all a labor of love and I'd do it again.  Not right away, but again.  Thanks to all the players who did a wonderful job of keeping to -- and ahead of, in most cases -- the deadlines.  One NMR in 14 years is pretty darn good, in my book.  I hope you all enjoyed yourselves as much as I did hosting.


Cheers,
Chris


Orders as resolved for Fall 1914.
=============================================
England:
F Baltic Sea Supports A Kiel - Berlin
F Barents Sea Supports F St Petersburg(sc)
A Belgium - Norway

A Burgundy - Munich (*Bounce*)
F English Channel Hold
F Gulf of Lyon Supports A Marseilles - Piedmont
A Holland - Kiel (*Fails*)
A Kiel - Berlin (*Bounce*)
A Marseilles - Piedmont (*Fails*)
F Mid-Atlantic Ocean Hold

F North Africa Supports F Tunis
F North Sea Convoys A Belgium - Norway
A Ruhr Supports A Burgundy - Munich
F St Petersburg(sc) Hold
F Tunis Supports F Western Mediterranean - Tyrrhenian Sea (*Cut*)
F Western Mediterranean - Tyrrhenian Sea (*Fails*)


Turkey:
F Adriatic Sea - Ionian Sea (*Fails*)
A Armenia - STE (*Invalid*)
A Bohemia - Munich (*Bounce*)
A Bulgaria - Rumania
A Galicia - Warsaw
F Ionian Sea - Tunis (*Fails*)
A Livonia Supports A Moscow - St Petersburg

A Moscow - St Petersburg (*Fails*)
A Munich - Berlin (*Bounce*)
F Naples Supports F Tyrrhenian Sea
A Piedmont Supports A Tuscany (*Cut*)
F Rome Supports F Tyrrhenian Sea
A Silesia Supports A Munich - Berlin

A Tuscany Supports A Piedmont
A Tyrolia Supports A Bohemia - Munich
F Tyrrhenian Sea Supports F Ionian Sea - Tunis (*Cut*)
A Warsaw - Prussia

=============================================

[Reply]

(DC 324) A Stab in the Dark *** GAME OVER *** - Lequinian   (Aug 10, 2010, 10:14 pm)
Whew, that was a long game.  Mentally at least - several second and third guessing myself.  Thank you Chris for GMing especially considering the hidden nature and multiple prelim order sets from a certain Turkish player.
 
Good game everyone.  Very close Paul, as Chris said 50/50.  For what its worth, several turns you outguessed me and in Chris's guessing game a couple turns ago I had you winning with Munich in Fall '13.  And a special thanks to the Penguin (France) for tying Paul up so long, and a waggle of the fist at Psychosis (Italy) for giving me fits throughout the middle game.
 
As to the variant - I think in Stab! the corners have a huge advantage - no press and no visibility means no one is coordinating against them.  England especially because F/G need to split their build between fleets and armies.
 
I especially like the blind nature of this variant, we'll have to see how the next one goes.  As Chris mentioned, I played very conservatively, so the non-traditional attacks were way cool to see.  Special props for the early Russian attack on Germany.
 
Much fun, and thanks again for the game everyone.
 
Scott
---
 
 
 
 
On Mon, Aug 9, 2010 at 10:37 PM, C Morse <camorse22(at)yahoo.com> wrote:


GENTLEMEN, WE HAVE A WINNER!

Congratulations to Scott Hickey, aka Lequinian, for his solo victory as Turkey in A Stab in the Dark, the inaugural Gunboat Stab! game on the DC site.


Bittersweet congratulations are also in order for our second-place finisher, Paul Russell, who played a heck of a game himself.  Paul, as England, just missed derailing the Turkish locomotive that in the early-to-mid-game seemed on track to an easy triumph.


Scott used a ton of skill throughout the game and just enough intuition in the final season to thwart England's final gambit.  It was a fifty-fifty proposition in the last Fall season.  Turkey had four units in defense against England's four units attacking.  Would it be three on Munich and one on Berlin, or two for each?  Scott guessed the latter and he guessed correctly, managing to bounce the English attacks in both supply centers and to claim his 18th dot in Munich while Berlin was left open.


Here are the orders that decided it all.  (The complete set of orders can be found at the end of this message.)

England:
F Baltic Sea Supports A Kiel - Berlin
A Burgundy - Munich (*Bounce*)
A Kiel - Berlin (*Bounce*)

A Ruhr Supports A Burgundy - Munich

Turkey:
A Bohemia - Munich (*Bounce*)
A Munich - Berlin (*Bounce*)
A Silesia Supports A Munich - Berlin
A Tyrolia Supports A Bohemia - Munich

Tooth and nail to the end, I do believe that we would have had a stalemate if there had been no victory this year.  As you can see from the attached maps, Turkey had just filled into Prussia, closing the last small gap in the two players' lines.  I'm sure Paul is kicking himself for allowing Turkey to take Munich in the Spring, but hey, he took a calculated risk and it just didn't work.  No shame there.


Cast of Characters (aka The Stab! All-Stars)

Austria - Scott "Packrat" Troemel - Eliminated 1903
England - Paul "Jehannum" Russell - Survival (16 SC)

France - Stephen "Deathblade Penguin" Lytton - Eliminated 1911
Germany - Jeffrey Krauss - Eliminated 1906
Italy - Michael "Psychosis" Thompson - Eliminated 1911
Russia - Dirk Knemeyer - Eliminated 1909

Turkey - Scott "Lequinian" Hickey - Solo Victory 1914 (18 SC)

List of Attachments

DC324_F14_Moves.gif   ... so you can see how the last turn played out
DC324_F14_Game_Over.gif   ... the final position showing Turkey's victory

DC324_F14.dpy   ... the Realpolitik file.  You can watch the whole game play out in a slideshow!
DC 324 Report.odt   ... an open office word processing document that I kept for my own sake.  Don't know how many of you will be able to open it, but if you can, you'll see how I tracked all the game moves -- what was seen, what was hidden, the complete support orders, etc.


GM's EOG Statement

I was first introduced to Stab! a few years back by a gentleman GM named Stephen Worthy (henceforth SW -- Hi Stephen!) from the Cat23 Diplomacy group.  I was completely hooked after one turn.  I liked gunboat.  I really liked the semi-blind aspect, which let me try to be tricky in the dark and which really engaged my deductive powers trying to figure out where everyone's units were.  I did rather well at it, too, which no doubt contributed to my enjoyment.


So, here it is a few years later and I decide that not only is it time I gave back and GM a game, but it's also my chance to revive Stab! on a new forum and find out whether I can get a bunch of new players hooked on it, too.  Judging from the quickness with which the game filled up there was clearly strong interest.  Not only strong interest, but a very strong group of players.  I remember telling Mike Sims that I had a veritable all-star lineup.  Even our "new face," Jeff Krauss, was fast proving his worth (just check out his standing in WB10), so I was expecting a great game and I'm very happy to say I wasn't disappointed.


Of course the GM has a uniquely omniscient perspective in a game like Stab!  It was great fun to be able to watch each player tackle the problem of how to maneuver about in the dark.  Russia and England and France, to name three examples, took advantage of the dark to quickly expand and attack opponents in non-traditional ways.  Others were very conservative.  Turkey, for instance, was very cautious.  He couldn't know this, of course, but he repeatedly spent turns supporting himself in place against imaginary threats.  If he had pushed on more boldly, I think there was a good chance he could have won the game easily 4 or 5 years earlier.  Scroll through the Realpolitik file and see if you agree.


I don't want to step on the toes of the players' EOGS so I'm not going to speculate too much more on individual play.  In general terms, though, it was signficant, I think, that it was our two witches who thrived best.  In a somewhat chaotic world, is it a coincidence that it was the two countries considered highest in defensive strength that dominated in this game?


Think about that for a minute, and then check out these statistics.  Combining this result with the outcomes from the four games SW has run, these are our outcomes:


CAT23 926: Russian win (year ??)

CAT23 1004: Turkey, England, France draw (year ??)

CAT23 1232: Turkish win (1912, 18 SC)
CAT23 1233: Turkish win (1907, 20 SC)DC 324: Turkish win (1914, 18 SC)

That's three Turkish solos out of five games.  I know, I know.  It's not a large sample size, but still, it makes you want to look a little closer.


In 1233, Turkey was aided greatly by his neighbors Russia and Austria.  The former opened by sending 3 of his 4 units towards Scandinavia, while the latter opened against Italy and Russia, ignoring Serbia and Greece altogether in 1901.  Turkey roared out of the gate and was never checked as he rolled to a quick and decisive victory.


The other two Turkish victories were not that kind of win.  Both were more typical examples of blind gunboat games, where play is understandably less efficient than in sighted games.  However, it still seems fair to me to wonder whether or not that type of game environment might just offer inherent advantages to some countries.  I'm sure we could have a wonderful debate on that very topic.  (I know because I have.)  My current feeling, though, is that rather than debate the topic, I'd like to see more data.  I'd like to see more games completed AND ... I'd like to see more games played where the results given above are known ahead of time because, as we all know, we do adjust our games to compensate for the strengths and weaknesses of the various countries according to our knowledge of their past performance.  My guess is that if I were to host another game of Stab! on DC within the next few months that Turkey would start the game with a giant bullseye on his back.  And you know what?  That's okay.  If we play enough of these games we'll eventually build up a new set of expectations and strategies to deal with the situation that not all countries are created equal in Stab! land.  Heck, they're not equal in standard Dip, so we've no right to complain if Stab! skews the balance in different ways than we're used to.  Right?


Players EOG Statements

You can post your EOG statements directly to the game forum, or just email to all the people on this list and copy the dc324 forum as I've done on this message.  If you choose to just reply to this message, please do us all the favor of deleting this original message text from your entry.


I know that Germany has already written his EOGS and I hope that more of you will follow suit.  I'd love to hear about how you stabbed in the dark and tried to keep from getting stabbed.  Comments on the game management (my part) and the game rules are welcome, too.  As mentioned some time ago, I intend to expand quite a bit on Stab! entry the DipWiki.  I'll need some time to collect all my notes, but when I do I will send them to all of you for your review and comments.


Farewell

I suppose as Diplomacy games go this one played out pretty quickly.  Fourteen years in fifteen weeks is certainly no record, but I have to say it felt like longer.  I can put out a typically gunboat adjudication in about 30 minutes.  The BEST I ever did in Stab! was an hour, and typically it was 1.5 to 2 hours by the time I'd finished.


Rest assured that it was all a labor of love and I'd do it again.  Not right away, but again.  Thanks to all the players who did a wonderful job of keeping to -- and ahead of, in most cases -- the deadlines.  One NMR in 14 years is pretty darn good, in my book.  I hope you all enjoyed yourselves as much as I did hosting.


Cheers,
Chris


Orders as resolved for Fall 1914.
=============================================
England:
F Baltic Sea Supports A Kiel - Berlin
F Barents Sea Supports F St Petersburg(sc)
A Belgium - Norway

A Burgundy - Munich (*Bounce*)
F English Channel Hold
F Gulf of Lyon Supports A Marseilles - Piedmont
A Holland - Kiel (*Fails*)
A Kiel - Berlin (*Bounce*)
A Marseilles - Piedmont (*Fails*)
F Mid-Atlantic Ocean Hold

F North Africa Supports F Tunis
F North Sea Convoys A Belgium - Norway
A Ruhr Supports A Burgundy - Munich
F St Petersburg(sc) Hold
F Tunis Supports F Western Mediterranean - Tyrrhenian Sea (*Cut*)
F Western Mediterranean - Tyrrhenian Sea (*Fails*)


Turkey:
F Adriatic Sea - Ionian Sea (*Fails*)
A Armenia - STE (*Invalid*)
A Bohemia - Munich (*Bounce*)
A Bulgaria - Rumania
A Galicia - Warsaw
F Ionian Sea - Tunis (*Fails*)
A Livonia Supports A Moscow - St Petersburg

A Moscow - St Petersburg (*Fails*)
A Munich - Berlin (*Bounce*)
F Naples Supports F Tyrrhenian Sea
A Piedmont Supports A Tuscany (*Cut*)
F Rome Supports F Tyrrhenian Sea
A Silesia Supports A Munich - Berlin

A Tuscany Supports A Piedmont
A Tyrolia Supports A Bohemia - Munich
F Tyrrhenian Sea Supports F Ionian Sea - Tunis (*Cut*)
A Warsaw - Prussia

=============================================

[Reply]

(DC 324) A Stab in the Dark *** GAME OVER *** (dc324) Lequinian Aug 10, 10:15 pm
Appreciate the props (bullseye and all).  I'm chasing your lead.  Smile
 



 
On Tue, Aug 10, 2010 at 8:23 AM, Michael Sims <mike(at)fuzzylogicllc.net> wrote:


Hey gotta share the target when you can.  I certainly dont mind if someone besides me carries that thing for a while, it's heavy!  Smile 


From: Packrat [mailto:brn2dip(at)yahoo.com]
Sent: Tue 8/10/2010 7:22 AM
To: Michael Sims; C Morse; Dirk Knemeyer; Jeffrey Krause; Michael Thompson; Paul Russell; Scott Hickey; Steve Lytton

Cc: dc324; Stephen Worthy
Subject: Re: (DC 324) A Stab in the Dark *** GAME OVER ***




NICE!  Why don't ya just paint a target on the guys back while you're at it.
That's part of what fueled my slow exodus away from the hobby.  Far too
many games wound up being "get Packrat" fests.  And, no, it isn't paranoia,

I've had more than one player tell me that they came after me because of
the either the reputation or, in the case of DC, because of the ratings.

Congratulations for sure, and it is certainly IS an incredible record, but

when you point it out, you paint the target.




From: Michael Sims <mike(at)fuzzylogicllc.net>
To: C Morse <camorse22(at)yahoo.com>; Dirk Knemeyer <dirk(at)knemeyer.com>; Jeffrey Krause <diplomacy(at)jeffreyk.com>; Michael Thompson <psychosis(at)sky.com>; Paul Russell <jehannum_raver(at)yahoo.com>; Scott Packrat Troemel <brn2dip(at)yahoo.com>; Scott Hickey <thase+dipcorp(at)dalarin.net>; Steve Lytton <stevelytton(at)hotmail.com>

Cc: dc324 <dc324(at)diplomaticcorp.com>; Stephen Worthy <stephenworthy(at)rocketmail.com>

Sent: Tue, August 10, 2010 8:13:38 AM
Subject: RE: (DC 324) A Stab in the Dark *** GAME OVER ***


Wow a 4th solo for Scott in 8 games played.  Incredible record.  Congrats!
-mike


From: C Morse [mailto:camorse22(at)yahoo.com]
Sent: Mon 8/9/2010 9:37 PM
To: Chris Morse; Dirk Knemeyer; Jeffrey Krause; Michael Thompson; Paul Russell; Scott Packrat Troemel; Scott Hickey; Steve Lytton

Cc: dc324; Michael Sims; Stephen Worthy
Subject: (DC 324) A Stab in the Dark *** GAME OVER ***



GENTLEMEN, WE HAVE A WINNER!

Congratulations to Scott Hickey, aka Lequinian, for his solo victory as Turkey in A Stab in the Dark, the inaugural Gunboat Stab! game on the DC site.


Bittersweet congratulations are also in order for our second-place finisher, Paul Russell, who played a heck of a game himself.  Paul, as England, just missed derailing the Turkish locomotive that in the early-to-mid-game seemed on track to an easy triumph.


Scott used a ton of skill throughout the game and just enough intuition in the final season to thwart England's final gambit.  It was a fifty-fifty proposition in the last Fall season.  Turkey had four units in defense against England's four units attacking.  Would it be three on Munich and one on Berlin, or two for each?  Scott guessed the latter and he guessed correctly, managing to bounce the English attacks in both supply centers and to claim his 18th dot in Munich while Berlin was left open.


Here are the orders that decided it all.  (The complete set of orders can be found at the end of this message.)

England:
F Baltic Sea Supports A Kiel - Berlin
A Burgundy - Munich (*Bounce*)
A Kiel - Berlin (*Bounce*)

A Ruhr Supports A Burgundy - Munich

Turkey:
A Bohemia - Munich (*Bounce*)
A Munich - Berlin (*Bounce*)
A Silesia Supports A Munich - Berlin
A Tyrolia Supports A Bohemia - Munich

Tooth and nail to the end, I do believe that we would have had a stalemate if there had been no victory this year.  As you can see from the attached maps, Turkey had just filled into Prussia, closing the last small gap in the two players' lines.  I'm sure Paul is kicking himself for allowing Turkey to take Munich in the Spring, but hey, he took a calculated risk and it just didn't work.  No shame there.


Cast of Characters (aka The Stab! All-Stars)

Austria - Scott "Packrat" Troemel - Eliminated 1903
England - Paul "Jehannum" Russell - Survival (16 SC)

France - Stephen "Deathblade Penguin" Lytton - Eliminated 1911
Germany - Jeffrey Krauss - Eliminated 1906
Italy - Michael "Psychosis" Thompson - Eliminated 1911
Russia - Dirk Knemeyer - Eliminated 1909

Turkey - Scott "Lequinian" Hickey - Solo Victory 1914 (18 SC)

List of Attachments

DC324_F14_Moves.gif   ... so you can see how the last turn played out
DC324_F14_Game_Over.gif   ... the final position showing Turkey's victory

DC324_F14.dpy   ... the Realpolitik file.  You can watch the whole game play out in a slideshow!
DC 324 Report.odt   ... an open office word processing document that I kept for my own sake.  Don't know how many of you will be able to open it, but if you can, you'll see how I tracked all the game moves -- what was seen, what was hidden, the complete support orders, etc.


GM's EOG Statement

I was first introduced to Stab! a few years back by a gentleman GM named Stephen Worthy (henceforth SW -- Hi Stephen!) from the Cat23 Diplomacy group.  I was completely hooked after one turn.  I liked gunboat.  I really liked the semi-blind aspect, which let me try to be tricky in the dark and which really engaged my deductive powers trying to figure out where everyone's units were.  I did rather well at it, too, which no doubt contributed to my enjoyment.


So, here it is a few years later and I decide that not only is it time I gave back and GM a game, but it's also my chance to revive Stab! on a new forum and find out whether I can get a bunch of new players hooked on it, too.  Judging from the quickness with which the game filled up there was clearly strong interest.  Not only strong interest, but a very strong group of players.  I remember telling Mike Sims that I had a veritable all-star lineup.  Even our "new face," Jeff Krauss, was fast proving his worth (just check out his standing in WB10), so I was expecting a great game and I'm very happy to say I wasn't disappointed.


Of course the GM has a uniquely omniscient perspective in a game like Stab!  It was great fun to be able to watch each player tackle the problem of how to maneuver about in the dark.  Russia and England and France, to name three examples, took advantage of the dark to quickly expand and attack opponents in non-traditional ways.  Others were very conservative.  Turkey, for instance, was very cautious.  He couldn't know this, of course, but he repeatedly spent turns supporting himself in place against imaginary threats.  If he had pushed on more boldly, I think there was a good chance he could have won the game easily 4 or 5 years earlier.  Scroll through the Realpolitik file and see if you agree.


I don't want to step on the toes of the players' EOGS so I'm not going to speculate too much more on individual play.  In general terms, though, it was signficant, I think, that it was our two witches who thrived best.  In a somewhat chaotic world, is it a coincidence that it was the two countries considered highest in defensive strength that dominated in this game?


Think about that for a minute, and then check out these statistics.  Combining this result with the outcomes from the four games SW has run, these are our outcomes:


CAT23 926: Russian win (year ??)

CAT23 1004: Turkey, England, France draw (year ??)

CAT23 1232: Turkish win (1912, 18 SC)
CAT23 1233: Turkish win (1907, 20 SC)DC 324: Turkish win (1914, 18 SC)

That's three Turkish solos out of five games.  I know, I know.  It's not a large sample size, but still, it makes you want to look a little closer.


In 1233, Turkey was aided greatly by his neighbors Russia and Austria.  The former opened by sending 3 of his 4 units towards Scandinavia, while the latter opened against Italy and Russia, ignoring Serbia and Greece altogether in 1901.  Turkey roared out of the gate and was never checked as he rolled to a quick and decisive victory.


The other two Turkish victories were not that kind of win.  Both were more typical examples of blind gunboat games, where play is understandably less efficient than in sighted games.  However, it still seems fair to me to wonder whether or not that type of game environment might just offer inherent advantages to some countries.  I'm sure we could have a wonderful debate on that very topic.  (I know because I have.)  My current feeling, though, is that rather than debate the topic, I'd like to see more data.  I'd like to see more games completed AND ... I'd like to see more games played where the results given above are known ahead of time because, as we all know, we do adjust our games to compensate for the strengths and weaknesses of the various countries according to our knowledge of their past performance.  My guess is that if I were to host another game of Stab! on DC within the next few months that Turkey would start the game with a giant bullseye on his back.  And you know what?  That's okay.  If we play enough of these games we'll eventually build up a new set of expectations and strategies to deal with the situation that not all countries are created equal in Stab! land.  Heck, they're not equal in standard Dip, so we've no right to complain if Stab! skews the balance in different ways than we're used to.  Right?


Players EOG Statements

You can post your EOG statements directly to the game forum, or just email to all the people on this list and copy the dc324 forum as I've done on this message.  If you choose to just reply to this message, please do us all the favor of deleting this original message text from your entry.


I know that Germany has already written his EOGS and I hope that more of you will follow suit.  I'd love to hear about how you stabbed in the dark and tried to keep from getting stabbed.  Comments on the game management (my part) and the game rules are welcome, too.  As mentioned some time ago, I intend to expand quite a bit on Stab! entry the DipWiki.  I'll need some time to collect all my notes, but when I do I will send them to all of you for your review and comments.


Farewell

I suppose as Diplomacy games go this one played out pretty quickly.  Fourteen years in fifteen weeks is certainly no record, but I have to say it felt like longer.  I can put out a typically gunboat adjudication in about 30 minutes.  The BEST I ever did in Stab! was an hour, and typically it was 1.5 to 2 hours by the time I'd finished.


Rest assured that it was all a labor of love and I'd do it again.  Not right away, but again.  Thanks to all the players who did a wonderful job of keeping to -- and ahead of, in most cases -- the deadlines.  One NMR in 14 years is pretty darn good, in my book.  I hope you all enjoyed yourselves as much as I did hosting.


Cheers,
Chris


Orders as resolved for Fall 1914.
=============================================
England:
F Baltic Sea Supports A Kiel - Berlin
F Barents Sea Supports F St Petersburg(sc)
A Belgium - Norway

A Burgundy - Munich (*Bounce*)
F English Channel Hold
F Gulf of Lyon Supports A Marseilles - Piedmont
A Holland - Kiel (*Fails*)
A Kiel - Berlin (*Bounce*)
A Marseilles - Piedmont (*Fails*)
F Mid-Atlantic Ocean Hold

F North Africa Supports F Tunis
F North Sea Convoys A Belgium - Norway
A Ruhr Supports A Burgundy - Munich
F St Petersburg(sc) Hold
F Tunis Supports F Western Mediterranean - Tyrrhenian Sea (*Cut*)
F Western Mediterranean - Tyrrhenian Sea (*Fails*)


Turkey:
F Adriatic Sea - Ionian Sea (*Fails*)
A Armenia - STE (*Invalid*)
A Bohemia - Munich (*Bounce*)
A Bulgaria - Rumania
A Galicia - Warsaw
F Ionian Sea - Tunis (*Fails*)
A Livonia Supports A Moscow - St Petersburg

A Moscow - St Petersburg (*Fails*)
A Munich - Berlin (*Bounce*)
F Naples Supports F Tyrrhenian Sea
A Piedmont Supports A Tuscany (*Cut*)
F Rome Supports F Tyrrhenian Sea
A Silesia Supports A Munich - Berlin

A Tuscany Supports A Piedmont
A Tyrolia Supports A Bohemia - Munich
F Tyrrhenian Sea Supports F Ionian Sea - Tunis (*Cut*)
A Warsaw - Prussia

=============================================
(DC 324) A Stab in the Dark *** GAME OVER *** - Corrino   (Aug 10, 2010, 9:12 am)
Should I mention that I tried to get Mike to play and he passed?
 
Now there's a man who wears his target with pride.  No anonymous gunboat games for him!





From: Packrat <brn2dip(at)yahoo.com>
To: Michael Sims <mike(at)fuzzylogicllc.net>; C Morse <camorse22(at)yahoo.com>; Dirk Knemeyer <dirk(at)knemeyer.com>; Jeffrey Krause <diplomacy(at)jeffreyk.com>; Michael Thompson <psychosis(at)sky.com>; Paul Russell <jehannum_raver(at)yahoo.com>; Scott Hickey <thase+dipcorp(at)dalarin.net>; Steve Lytton <stevelytton(at)hotmail.com>
Cc: dc324 <dc324(at)diplomaticcorp.com>; Stephen Worthy <stephenworthy(at)rocketmail.com>
Sent: Tue, August 10, 2010 8:32:23 AM
Subject: Re: (DC 324) A Stab in the Dark *** GAME OVER ***


No argument here on that!!







From: Michael Sims <mike(at)fuzzylogicllc.net>
To: Packrat <brn2dip(at)yahoo.com>; C Morse <camorse22(at)yahoo.com>; Dirk Knemeyer <dirk(at)knemeyer.com>; Jeffrey Krause <diplomacy(at)jeffreyk.com>; Michael Thompson <psychosis(at)sky.com>; Paul Russell <jehannum_raver(at)yahoo.com>; Scott Hickey <thase+dipcorp(at)dalarin.net>; Steve Lytton <stevelytton(at)hotmail.com>
Cc: dc324 <dc324(at)diplomaticcorp.com>; Stephen Worthy <stephenworthy(at)rocketmail.com>
Sent: Tue, August 10, 2010 8:23:40 AM
Subject: RE: (DC 324) A Stab in the Dark *** GAME OVER ***



Hey gotta share the target when you can.  I certainly dont mind if someone besides me carries that thing for a while, it's heavy!  Smile 



From: Packrat [mailto:brn2dip(at)yahoo.com]
Sent: Tue 8/10/2010 7:22 AM
To: Michael Sims; C Morse; Dirk Knemeyer; Jeffrey Krause; Michael Thompson; Paul Russell; Scott Hickey; Steve Lytton
Cc: dc324; Stephen Worthy
Subject: Re: (DC 324) A Stab in the Dark *** GAME OVER ***




NICE!  Why don't ya just paint a target on the guys back while you're at it.
That's part of what fueled my slow exodus away from the hobby.  Far too
many games wound up being "get Packrat" fests.  And, no, it isn't paranoia,
I've had more than one player tell me that they came after me because of
the either the reputation or, in the case of DC, because of the ratings.

Congratulations for sure, and it is certainly IS an incredible record, but
when you point it out, you paint the target.





From: Michael Sims <mike(at)fuzzylogicllc.net>
To: C Morse <camorse22(at)yahoo.com>; Dirk Knemeyer <dirk(at)knemeyer.com>; Jeffrey Krause <diplomacy(at)jeffreyk.com>; Michael Thompson <psychosis(at)sky.com>; Paul Russell <jehannum_raver(at)yahoo.com>; Scott Packrat Troemel <brn2dip(at)yahoo.com>; Scott Hickey <thase+dipcorp(at)dalarin.net>; Steve Lytton <stevelytton(at)hotmail.com>
Cc: dc324 <dc324(at)diplomaticcorp.com>; Stephen Worthy <stephenworthy(at)rocketmail.com>
Sent: Tue, August 10, 2010 8:13:38 AM
Subject: RE: (DC 324) A Stab in the Dark *** GAME OVER ***



Wow a 4th solo for Scott in 8 games played.  Incredible record.  Congrats!
-mike



From: C Morse [mailto:camorse22(at)yahoo.com]
Sent: Mon 8/9/2010 9:37 PM
To: Chris Morse; Dirk Knemeyer; Jeffrey Krause; Michael Thompson; Paul Russell; Scott Packrat Troemel; Scott Hickey; Steve Lytton
Cc: dc324; Michael Sims; Stephen Worthy
Subject: (DC 324) A Stab in the Dark *** GAME OVER ***




GENTLEMEN, WE HAVE A WINNER!

Congratulations to Scott Hickey, aka Lequinian, for his solo victory as Turkey in A Stab in the Dark, the inaugural Gunboat Stab! game on the DC site.

Bittersweet congratulations are also in order for our second-place finisher, Paul Russell, who played a heck of a game himself.  Paul, as England, just missed derailing the Turkish locomotive that in the early-to-mid-game seemed on track to an easy triumph.

Scott used a ton of skill throughout the game and just enough intuition in the final season to thwart England's final gambit.  It was a fifty-fifty proposition in the last Fall season.  Turkey had four units in defense against England's four units attacking.  Would it be three on Munich and one on Berlin, or two for each?  Scott guessed the latter and he guessed correctly, managing to bounce the English attacks in both supply centers
and to claim his 18th dot in Munich while Berlin was left open.

Here are the orders that decided it all.  (The complete set of orders can be found at the end of this message.)

England:
F Baltic Sea Supports A Kiel - Berlin
A Burgundy - Munich (*Bounce*)
A Kiel - Berlin (*Bounce*)
A Ruhr Supports A Burgundy - Munich

Turkey:
A Bohemia - Munich (*Bounce*)
A Munich - Berlin (*Bounce*)
A Silesia Supports A Munich - Berlin
A Tyrolia Supports A Bohemia - Munich

Tooth and nail to the end, I do believe that we would have had a stalemate if there had been no victory this year.  As you can see from the attached maps, Turkey had just filled into Prussia, closing the last small gap in the two players' lines.  I'm sure Paul is kicking himself for allowing Turkey to take Munich in the Spring, but hey, he took a calculated risk and it just didn't work.  No shame there.

Cast of Characters (aka The Stab! All-Stars)

Austria - Scott "Packrat" Troemel - Eliminated 1903
England - Paul "Jehannum" Russell - Survival (16 SC)
France - Stephen "Deathblade Penguin" Lytton - Eliminated 1911
Germany - Jeffrey Krauss - Eliminated 1906
Italy - Michael "Psychosis" Thompson - Eliminated 1911
Russia - Dirk Knemeyer - Eliminated 1909
Turkey - Scott "Lequinian" Hickey - Solo Victory 1914 (18 SC)

List of Attachments

DC324_F14_Moves.gif   ... so you can see how the last turn played out
DC324_F14_Game_Over.gif   ... the final position showing Turkey's victory
DC324_F14.dpy   ... the Realpolitik file.  You can watch the whole game play out in a slideshow!
DC 324 Report.odt   ... an open office word processing document that I kept for my own sake.  Don't know how many of you
will be able to open it, but if you can, you'll see how I tracked all the game moves -- what was seen, what was hidden, the complete support orders, etc.

GM's EOG Statement

I was first introduced to Stab! a few years back by a gentleman GM named Stephen Worthy (henceforth SW -- Hi Stephen!) from the Cat23 Diplomacy group.  I was completely hooked after one turn.  I liked gunboat.  I really liked the semi-blind aspect, which let me try to be tricky in the dark and which really engaged my deductive powers trying to figure out where everyone's units were.  I did rather well at it, too, which no doubt contributed to my enjoyment.

So, here it is a few years later and I decide that not only is it time I gave back and GM a game, but it's also my chance to revive Stab! on a new forum and find out whether I can get a bunch of new players hooked
on it, too.  Judging from the quickness with which the game filled up there was clearly strong interest.  Not only strong interest, but a very strong group of players.  I remember telling Mike Sims that I had a veritable all-star lineup.  Even our "new face," Jeff Krauss, was fast proving his worth (just check out his standing in WB10), so I was expecting a great game and I'm very happy to say I wasn't disappointed.

Of course the GM has a uniquely omniscient perspective in a game like Stab!  It was great fun to be able to watch each player tackle the problem of how to maneuver about in the dark.  Russia and England and France, to name three examples, took advantage of the dark to quickly expand and attack opponents in non-traditional ways.  Others were very conservative.  Turkey, for instance, was very cautious.  He couldn't know this, of course, but he repeatedly spent turns supporting himself in
place against imaginary threats.  If he had pushed on more boldly, I think there was a good chance he could have won the game easily 4 or 5 years earlier.  Scroll through the Realpolitik file and see if you agree.

I don't want to step on the toes of the players' EOGS so I'm not going to speculate too much more on individual play.  In general terms, though, it was signficant, I think, that it was our two witches who thrived best.  In a somewhat chaotic world, is it a coincidence that it was the two countries considered highest in defensive strength that dominated in this game?

Think about that for a minute, and then check out these statistics.  Combining this result with the outcomes from the four games SW has run, these are our outcomes:


CAT23 926: Russian win (year ??)

CAT23 1004: Turkey, England, France draw (year ??)

CAT23 1232: Turkish win (1912, 18 SC)
CAT23 1233: Turkish win (1907, 20 SC)DC 324: Turkish win (1914, 18 SC)

That's three Turkish solos out of five games.  I know, I know.  It's not a large sample size, but still, it makes you want to look a little closer.

In 1233, Turkey was aided greatly by his neighbors Russia and Austria.  The former opened by sending 3 of his 4 units towards Scandinavia, while the latter opened against Italy and Russia, ignoring Serbia and Greece altogether in 1901.  Turkey roared out of the gate and was never checked as he rolled to a quick and decisive victory.

The other two Turkish victories were not that kind of win.  Both were more typical examples of blind gunboat games, where play is understandably less efficient than in sighted games.  However, it still seems fair to me to wonder whether or not that type of game environment might just offer inherent advantages to some
countries.  I'm sure we could have a wonderful debate on that very topic.  (I know because I have.)  My current feeling, though, is that rather than debate the topic, I'd like to see more data.  I'd like to see more games completed AND ... I'd like to see more games played where the results given above are known ahead of time because, as we all know, we do adjust our games to compensate for the strengths and weaknesses of the various countries according to our knowledge of their past performance.  My guess is that if I were to host another game of Stab! on DC within the next few months that Turkey would start the game with a giant bullseye on his back.  And you know what?  That's okay.  If we play enough of these games we'll eventually build up a new set of expectations and strategies to deal with the situation that not all countries are created equal in Stab! land.  Heck, they're not equal in standard Dip,
so we've no right to complain if Stab! skews the balance in different ways than we're used to.  Right?

Players EOG Statements

You can post your EOG statements directly to the game forum, or just email to all the people on this list and copy the dc324 forum as I've done on this message.  If you choose to just reply to this message, please do us all the favor of deleting this original message text from your entry.

I know that Germany has already written his EOGS and I hope that more of you will follow suit.  I'd love to hear about how you stabbed in the dark and tried to keep from getting stabbed.  Comments on the game management (my part) and the game rules are welcome, too.  As mentioned some time ago, I intend to expand quite a bit on Stab! entry the DipWiki.  I'll need some time to collect all my notes, but when I do I will
send them to all of you for your review and comments.

Farewell

I suppose as Diplomacy games go this one played out pretty quickly.  Fourteen years in fifteen weeks is certainly no record, but I have to say it felt like longer.  I can put out a typically gunboat adjudication in about 30 minutes.  The BEST I ever did in Stab! was an hour, and typically it was 1.5 to 2 hours by the time I'd finished.

Rest assured that it was all a labor of love and I'd do it again.  Not right away, but again.  Thanks to all the players who did a wonderful job of keeping to -- and ahead of, in most cases -- the deadlines.  One NMR in 14 years is pretty darn good, in my book.  I hope you all enjoyed yourselves as much as I did hosting.

Cheers,
Chris


Orders as resolved for Fall
1914.
=============================================
England:
F Baltic Sea Supports A Kiel - Berlin
F Barents Sea Supports F St Petersburg(sc)
A Belgium - Norway
A Burgundy - Munich (*Bounce*)
F English Channel Hold
F Gulf of Lyon Supports A Marseilles - Piedmont
A Holland - Kiel (*Fails*)
A Kiel - Berlin (*Bounce*)
A Marseilles - Piedmont (*Fails*)
F Mid-Atlantic Ocean Hold
F North Africa Supports F Tunis
F North Sea Convoys A Belgium - Norway
A Ruhr Supports A Burgundy - Munich
F St Petersburg(sc) Hold
F Tunis Supports F Western Mediterranean - Tyrrhenian Sea (*Cut*)
F Western Mediterranean - Tyrrhenian Sea (*Fails*)

Turkey:
F Adriatic Sea - Ionian Sea (*Fails*)
A Armenia - STE (*Invalid*)
A Bohemia - Munich (*Bounce*)
A Bulgaria - Rumania
A Galicia - Warsaw
F Ionian Sea - Tunis (*Fails*)
A Livonia Supports A Moscow - St Petersburg
A Moscow - St Petersburg
(*Fails*)
A Munich - Berlin (*Bounce*)
F Naples Supports F Tyrrhenian Sea
A Piedmont Supports A Tuscany (*Cut*)
F Rome Supports F Tyrrhenian Sea
A Silesia Supports A Munich - Berlin
A Tuscany Supports A Piedmont
A Tyrolia Supports A Bohemia - Munich
F Tyrrhenian Sea Supports F Ionian Sea - Tunis (*Cut*)
A Warsaw - Prussia

=============================================

[Reply]

(DC 324) A Stab in the Dark *** GAME OVER *** - packrat   (Aug 10, 2010, 7:32 am)
No argument here on that!!


From: Michael Sims <mike(at)fuzzylogicllc.net>
To: Packrat <brn2dip(at)yahoo.com>; C Morse <camorse22(at)yahoo.com>; Dirk Knemeyer <dirk(at)knemeyer.com>; Jeffrey Krause <diplomacy(at)jeffreyk.com>; Michael Thompson <psychosis(at)sky.com>; Paul Russell <jehannum_raver(at)yahoo.com>; Scott Hickey <thase+dipcorp(at)dalarin.net>; Steve Lytton <stevelytton(at)hotmail.com>
Cc: dc324
<dc324(at)diplomaticcorp.com>; Stephen Worthy <stephenworthy(at)rocketmail.com>
Sent: Tue, August 10, 2010 8:23:40 AM
Subject: RE: (DC 324) A Stab in the Dark *** GAME OVER ***





Hey gotta share the target when you can.  I certainly dont mind if someone besides me carries that thing for a while, it's heavy!  Smile 


From: Packrat [mailto:brn2dip(at)yahoo.com]
Sent: Tue 8/10/2010 7:22 AM
To: Michael Sims; C Morse; Dirk Knemeyer; Jeffrey Krause; Michael Thompson; Paul Russell; Scott Hickey; Steve Lytton
Cc: dc324; Stephen Worthy
Subject: Re: (DC 324) A Stab in the Dark *** GAME OVER ***



NICE!  Why don't ya just paint a target on the guys back while you're at it.
That's part of what fueled my slow exodus away from the hobby.  Far too
many games wound up being "get Packrat" fests.  And, no, it isn't paranoia,
I've had more than one player tell me that they came after me because of
the either the reputation or, in the case of DC, because of the ratings.

Congratulations for sure, and it is certainly IS an incredible record, but
when you point it out, you paint the target.




From: Michael Sims <mike(at)fuzzylogicllc.net>
To: C Morse <camorse22(at)yahoo.com>; Dirk Knemeyer <dirk(at)knemeyer.com>; Jeffrey Krause <diplomacy(at)jeffreyk.com>; Michael Thompson <psychosis(at)sky.com>; Paul Russell <jehannum_raver(at)yahoo.com>; Scott Packrat Troemel <brn2dip(at)yahoo.com>; Scott Hickey <thase+dipcorp(at)dalarin.net>; Steve Lytton <stevelytton(at)hotmail.com>
Cc: dc324 <dc324(at)diplomaticcorp.com>; Stephen Worthy <stephenworthy(at)rocketmail.com>
Sent: Tue, August 10, 2010 8:13:38 AM
Subject: RE: (DC 324) A Stab in the Dark *** GAME OVER ***


Wow a 4th solo for Scott in 8 games played.  Incredible record.  Congrats!
-mike


From: C Morse [mailto:camorse22(at)yahoo.com]
Sent: Mon 8/9/2010 9:37 PM
To: Chris Morse; Dirk Knemeyer; Jeffrey Krause; Michael Thompson; Paul Russell; Scott Packrat Troemel; Scott Hickey; Steve Lytton
Cc: dc324; Michael Sims; Stephen Worthy
Subject: (DC 324) A Stab in the Dark *** GAME OVER ***



GENTLEMEN, WE HAVE A WINNER!

Congratulations to Scott Hickey, aka Lequinian, for his solo victory as Turkey in A Stab in the Dark, the inaugural Gunboat Stab! game on the DC site.

Bittersweet congratulations are also in order for our second-place finisher, Paul Russell, who played a heck of a game himself.  Paul, as England, just missed derailing the Turkish locomotive that in the early-to-mid-game seemed on track to an easy triumph.

Scott used a ton of skill throughout the game and just enough intuition in the final season to thwart England's final gambit.  It was a fifty-fifty proposition in the last Fall season.  Turkey had four units in defense against England's four units attacking.  Would it be three on Munich and one on Berlin, or two for each?  Scott guessed the latter and he guessed correctly, managing to bounce the English attacks in both supply centers
and to claim his 18th dot in Munich while Berlin was left open.

Here are the orders that decided it all.  (The complete set of orders can be found at the end of this message.)

England:
F Baltic Sea Supports A Kiel - Berlin
A Burgundy - Munich (*Bounce*)
A Kiel - Berlin (*Bounce*)
A Ruhr Supports A Burgundy - Munich

Turkey:
A Bohemia - Munich (*Bounce*)
A Munich - Berlin (*Bounce*)
A Silesia Supports A Munich - Berlin
A Tyrolia Supports A Bohemia - Munich

Tooth and nail to the end, I do believe that we would have had a stalemate if there had been no victory this year.  As you can see from the attached maps, Turkey had just filled into Prussia, closing the last small gap in the two players' lines.  I'm sure Paul is kicking himself for allowing Turkey to take Munich in the Spring, but hey, he took a calculated risk and it just didn't work.  No shame there.

Cast of Characters (aka The Stab! All-Stars)

Austria - Scott "Packrat" Troemel - Eliminated 1903
England - Paul "Jehannum" Russell - Survival (16 SC)
France - Stephen "Deathblade Penguin" Lytton - Eliminated 1911
Germany - Jeffrey Krauss - Eliminated 1906
Italy - Michael "Psychosis" Thompson - Eliminated 1911
Russia - Dirk Knemeyer - Eliminated 1909
Turkey - Scott "Lequinian" Hickey - Solo Victory 1914 (18 SC)

List of Attachments

DC324_F14_Moves.gif   ... so you can see how the last turn played out
DC324_F14_Game_Over.gif   ... the final position showing Turkey's victory
DC324_F14.dpy   ... the Realpolitik file.  You can watch the whole game play out in a slideshow!
DC 324 Report.odt   ... an open office word processing document that I kept for my own sake.  Don't know how many of you
will be able to open it, but if you can, you'll see how I tracked all the game moves -- what was seen, what was hidden, the complete support orders, etc.

GM's EOG Statement

I was first introduced to Stab! a few years back by a gentleman GM named Stephen Worthy (henceforth SW -- Hi Stephen!) from the Cat23 Diplomacy group.  I was completely hooked after one turn.  I liked gunboat.  I really liked the semi-blind aspect, which let me try to be tricky in the dark and which really engaged my deductive powers trying to figure out where everyone's units were.  I did rather well at it, too, which no doubt contributed to my enjoyment.

So, here it is a few years later and I decide that not only is it time I gave back and GM a game, but it's also my chance to revive Stab! on a new forum and find out whether I can get a bunch of new players
hooked on it, too.  Judging from the quickness with which the game filled up there was clearly strong interest.  Not only strong interest, but a very strong group of players.  I remember telling Mike Sims that I had a veritable all-star lineup.  Even our "new face," Jeff Krauss, was fast proving his worth (just check out his standing in WB10), so I was expecting a great game and I'm very happy to say I wasn't disappointed.

Of course the GM has a uniquely omniscient perspective in a game like Stab!  It was great fun to be able to watch each player tackle the problem of how to maneuver about in the dark.  Russia and England and France, to name three examples, took advantage of the dark to quickly expand and attack opponents in non-traditional ways.  Others were very conservative.  Turkey, for instance, was very cautious.  He couldn't know this, of course, but he repeatedly spent turns supporting himself
in place against imaginary threats.  If he had pushed on more boldly, I think there was a good chance he could have won the game easily 4 or 5 years earlier.  Scroll through the Realpolitik file and see if you agree.

I don't want to step on the toes of the players' EOGS so I'm not going to speculate too much more on individual play.  In general terms, though, it was signficant, I think, that it was our two witches who thrived best.  In a somewhat chaotic world, is it a coincidence that it was the two countries considered highest in defensive strength that dominated in this game?

Think about that for a minute, and then check out these statistics.  Combining this result with the outcomes from the four games SW has run, these are our outcomes:


CAT23 926: Russian win (year ??)

CAT23 1004: Turkey, England, France draw (year ??)

CAT23 1232: Turkish win (1912, 18 SC)
CAT23 1233: Turkish win (1907, 20 SC)DC 324: Turkish win (1914, 18 SC)

That's three Turkish solos out of five games.  I know, I know.  It's not a large sample size, but still, it makes you want to look a little closer.

In 1233, Turkey was aided greatly by his neighbors Russia and Austria.  The former opened by sending 3 of his 4 units towards Scandinavia, while the latter opened against Italy and Russia, ignoring Serbia and Greece altogether in 1901.  Turkey roared out of the gate and was never checked as he rolled to a quick and decisive victory.

The other two Turkish victories were not that kind of win.  Both were more typical examples of blind gunboat games, where play is understandably less efficient than in sighted games.  However, it still seems fair to me to wonder whether or not that type of game environment might just offer inherent advantages to some
countries.  I'm sure we could have a wonderful debate on that very topic.  (I know because I have.)  My current feeling, though, is that rather than debate the topic, I'd like to see more data.  I'd like to see more games completed AND ... I'd like to see more games played where the results given above are known ahead of time because, as we all know, we do adjust our games to compensate for the strengths and weaknesses of the various countries according to our knowledge of their past performance.  My guess is that if I were to host another game of Stab! on DC within the next few months that Turkey would start the game with a giant bullseye on his back.  And you know what?  That's okay.  If we play enough of these games we'll eventually build up a new set of expectations and strategies to deal with the situation that not all countries are created equal in Stab! land.  Heck, they're not equal in standard Dip,
so we've no right to complain if Stab! skews the balance in different ways than we're used to.  Right?

Players EOG Statements

You can post your EOG statements directly to the game forum, or just email to all the people on this list and copy the dc324 forum as I've done on this message.  If you choose to just reply to this message, please do us all the favor of deleting this original message text from your entry.

I know that Germany has already written his EOGS and I hope that more of you will follow suit.  I'd love to hear about how you stabbed in the dark and tried to keep from getting stabbed.  Comments on the game management (my part) and the game rules are welcome, too.  As mentioned some time ago, I intend to expand quite a bit on Stab! entry the DipWiki.  I'll need some time to collect all my notes, but when I do I
will send them to all of you for your review and comments.

Farewell

I suppose as Diplomacy games go this one played out pretty quickly.  Fourteen years in fifteen weeks is certainly no record, but I have to say it felt like longer.  I can put out a typically gunboat adjudication in about 30 minutes.  The BEST I ever did in Stab! was an hour, and typically it was 1.5 to 2 hours by the time I'd finished.

Rest assured that it was all a labor of love and I'd do it again.  Not right away, but again.  Thanks to all the players who did a wonderful job of keeping to -- and ahead of, in most cases -- the deadlines.  One NMR in 14 years is pretty darn good, in my book.  I hope you all enjoyed yourselves as much as I did hosting.

Cheers,
Chris


Orders as resolved for Fall
1914.
=============================================
England:
F Baltic Sea Supports A Kiel - Berlin
F Barents Sea Supports F St Petersburg(sc)
A Belgium - Norway
A Burgundy - Munich (*Bounce*)
F English Channel Hold
F Gulf of Lyon Supports A Marseilles - Piedmont
A Holland - Kiel (*Fails*)
A Kiel - Berlin (*Bounce*)
A Marseilles - Piedmont (*Fails*)
F Mid-Atlantic Ocean Hold
F North Africa Supports F Tunis
F North Sea Convoys A Belgium - Norway
A Ruhr Supports A Burgundy - Munich
F St Petersburg(sc) Hold
F Tunis Supports F Western Mediterranean - Tyrrhenian Sea (*Cut*)
F Western Mediterranean - Tyrrhenian Sea (*Fails*)

Turkey:
F Adriatic Sea - Ionian Sea (*Fails*)
A Armenia - STE (*Invalid*)
A Bohemia - Munich (*Bounce*)
A Bulgaria - Rumania
A Galicia - Warsaw
F Ionian Sea - Tunis (*Fails*)
A Livonia Supports A Moscow - St Petersburg
A Moscow - St Petersburg
(*Fails*)
A Munich - Berlin (*Bounce*)
F Naples Supports F Tyrrhenian Sea
A Piedmont Supports A Tuscany (*Cut*)
F Rome Supports F Tyrrhenian Sea
A Silesia Supports A Munich - Berlin
A Tuscany Supports A Piedmont
A Tyrolia Supports A Bohemia - Munich
F Tyrrhenian Sea Supports F Ionian Sea - Tunis (*Cut*)
A Warsaw - Prussia

=============================================

[Reply]

(DC 324) A Stab in the Dark *** GAME OVER *** - FuzzyLogic   (Aug 10, 2010, 7:23 am)
Hey gotta share the target when you can.  I certainly dont mind if someone besides me carries that thing for a while, it's heavy!  Smile 



From: Packrat [mailto:brn2dip(at)yahoo.com]
Sent: Tue 8/10/2010 7:22 AM
To: Michael Sims; C Morse; Dirk Knemeyer; Jeffrey Krause; Michael Thompson; Paul Russell; Scott Hickey; Steve Lytton
Cc: dc324; Stephen Worthy
Subject: Re: (DC 324) A Stab in the Dark *** GAME OVER ***




NICE!  Why don't ya just paint a target on the guys back while you're at it.
That's part of what fueled my slow exodus away from the hobby.  Far too
many games wound up being "get Packrat" fests.  And, no, it isn't paranoia,
I've had more than one player tell me that they came after me because of
the either the reputation or, in the case of DC, because of the ratings.

Congratulations for sure, and it is certainly IS an incredible record, but
when you point it out, you paint the target.





From: Michael Sims <mike(at)fuzzylogicllc.net>
To: C Morse <camorse22(at)yahoo.com>; Dirk Knemeyer <dirk(at)knemeyer.com>; Jeffrey Krause <diplomacy(at)jeffreyk.com>; Michael Thompson <psychosis(at)sky.com>; Paul Russell <jehannum_raver(at)yahoo.com>; Scott Packrat Troemel <brn2dip(at)yahoo.com>; Scott Hickey <thase+dipcorp(at)dalarin.net>; Steve Lytton <stevelytton(at)hotmail.com>
Cc: dc324 <dc324(at)diplomaticcorp.com>; Stephen Worthy <stephenworthy(at)rocketmail.com>
Sent: Tue, August 10, 2010 8:13:38 AM
Subject: RE: (DC 324) A Stab in the Dark *** GAME OVER ***



Wow a 4th solo for Scott in 8 games played.  Incredible record.  Congrats!
-mike



From: C Morse [mailto:camorse22(at)yahoo.com]
Sent: Mon 8/9/2010 9:37 PM
To: Chris Morse; Dirk Knemeyer; Jeffrey Krause; Michael Thompson; Paul Russell; Scott Packrat Troemel; Scott Hickey; Steve Lytton
Cc: dc324; Michael Sims; Stephen Worthy
Subject: (DC 324) A Stab in the Dark *** GAME OVER ***




GENTLEMEN, WE HAVE A WINNER!

Congratulations to Scott Hickey, aka Lequinian, for his solo victory as Turkey in A Stab in the Dark, the inaugural Gunboat Stab! game on the DC site.

Bittersweet congratulations are also in order for our second-place finisher, Paul Russell, who played a heck of a game himself.  Paul, as England, just missed derailing the Turkish locomotive that in the early-to-mid-game seemed on track to an easy triumph.

Scott used a ton of skill throughout the game and just enough intuition in the final season to thwart England's final gambit.  It was a fifty-fifty proposition in the last Fall season.  Turkey had four units in defense against England's four units attacking.  Would it be three on Munich and one on Berlin, or two for each?  Scott guessed the latter and he guessed correctly, managing to bounce the English attacks in both supply centers and to claim his 18th dot in Munich while Berlin was left open.

Here are the orders that decided it all.  (The complete set of orders can be found at the end of this message.)

England:
F Baltic Sea Supports A Kiel - Berlin
A Burgundy - Munich (*Bounce*)
A Kiel - Berlin (*Bounce*)
A Ruhr Supports A Burgundy - Munich

Turkey:
A Bohemia - Munich (*Bounce*)
A Munich - Berlin (*Bounce*)
A Silesia Supports A Munich - Berlin
A Tyrolia Supports A Bohemia - Munich

Tooth and nail to the end, I do believe that we would have had a stalemate if there had been no victory this year.  As you can see from the attached maps, Turkey had just filled into Prussia, closing the last small gap in the two players' lines.  I'm sure Paul is kicking himself for allowing Turkey to take Munich in the Spring, but hey, he took a calculated risk and it just didn't work.  No shame there.

Cast of Characters (aka The Stab! All-Stars)

Austria - Scott "Packrat" Troemel - Eliminated 1903
England - Paul "Jehannum" Russell - Survival (16 SC)
France - Stephen "Deathblade Penguin" Lytton - Eliminated 1911
Germany - Jeffrey Krauss - Eliminated 1906
Italy - Michael "Psychosis" Thompson - Eliminated 1911
Russia - Dirk Knemeyer - Eliminated 1909
Turkey - Scott "Lequinian" Hickey - Solo Victory 1914 (18 SC)

List of Attachments

DC324_F14_Moves.gif   ... so you can see how the last turn played out
DC324_F14_Game_Over.gif   ... the final position showing Turkey's victory
DC324_F14.dpy   ... the Realpolitik file.  You can watch the whole game play out in a slideshow!
DC 324 Report.odt   ... an open office word processing document that I kept for my own sake.  Don't know how many of you will be able to open it, but if you can, you'll see how I tracked all the game moves -- what was seen, what was hidden, the complete support orders, etc.

GM's EOG Statement

I was first introduced to Stab! a few years back by a gentleman GM named Stephen Worthy (henceforth SW -- Hi Stephen!) from the Cat23 Diplomacy group.  I was completely hooked after one turn.  I liked gunboat.  I really liked the semi-blind aspect, which let me try to be tricky in the dark and which really engaged my deductive powers trying to figure out where everyone's units were.  I did rather well at it, too, which no doubt contributed to my enjoyment.

So, here it is a few years later and I decide that not only is it time I gave back and GM a game, but it's also my chance to revive Stab! on a new forum and find out whether I can get a bunch of new players hooked on it, too.  Judging from the quickness with which the game filled up there was clearly strong interest.  Not only strong interest, but a very strong group of players.  I remember telling Mike Sims that I had a veritable all-star lineup.  Even our "new face," Jeff Krauss, was fast proving his worth (just check out his standing in WB10), so I was expecting a great game and I'm very happy to say I wasn't disappointed.

Of course the GM has a uniquely omniscient perspective in a game like Stab!  It was great fun to be able to watch each player tackle the problem of how to maneuver about in the dark.  Russia and England and France, to name three examples, took advantage of the dark to quickly expand and attack opponents in non-traditional ways.  Others were very conservative.  Turkey, for instance, was very cautious.  He couldn't know this, of course, but he repeatedly spent turns supporting himself in place against imaginary threats.  If he had pushed on more boldly, I think there was a good chance he could have won the game easily 4 or 5 years earlier.  Scroll through the Realpolitik file and see if you agree.

I don't want to step on the toes of the players' EOGS so I'm not going to speculate too much more on individual play.  In general terms, though, it was signficant, I think, that it was our two witches who thrived best.  In a somewhat chaotic world, is it a coincidence that it was the two countries considered highest in defensive strength that dominated in this game?

Think about that for a minute, and then check out these statistics.  Combining this result with the outcomes from the four games SW has run, these are our outcomes:


CAT23 926: Russian win (year ??)

CAT23 1004: Turkey, England, France draw (year ??)

CAT23 1232: Turkish win (1912, 18 SC)
CAT23 1233: Turkish win (1907, 20 SC)DC 324: Turkish win (1914, 18 SC)

That's three Turkish solos out of five games.  I know, I know.  It's not a large sample size, but still, it makes you want to look a little closer.

In 1233, Turkey was aided greatly by his neighbors Russia and Austria.  The former opened by sending 3 of his 4 units towards Scandinavia, while the latter opened against Italy and Russia, ignoring Serbia and Greece altogether in 1901.  Turkey roared out of the gate and was never checked as he rolled to a quick and decisive victory.

The other two Turkish victories were not that kind of win.  Both were more typical examples of blind gunboat games, where play is understandably less efficient than in sighted games.  However, it still seems fair to me to wonder whether or not that type of game environment might just offer inherent advantages to some countries.  I'm sure we could have a wonderful debate on that very topic.  (I know because I have.)  My current feeling, though, is that rather than debate the topic, I'd like to see more data.  I'd like to see more games completed AND ... I'd like to see more games played where the results given above are known ahead of time because, as we all know, we do adjust our games to compensate for the strengths and weaknesses of the various countries according to our knowledge of their past performance.  My guess is that if I were to host another game of Stab! on DC within the next few months that Turkey would start the game with a giant bullseye on his back.  And you know what?  That's okay.  If we play enough of these games we'll eventually build up a new set of expectations and strategies to deal with the situation that not all countries are created equal in Stab! land.  Heck, they're not equal in standard Dip, so we've no right to complain if Stab! skews the balance in different ways than we're used to.  Right?

Players EOG Statements

You can post your EOG statements directly to the game forum, or just email to all the people on this list and copy the dc324 forum as I've done on this message.  If you choose to just reply to this message, please do us all the favor of deleting this original message text from your entry.

I know that Germany has already written his EOGS and I hope that more of you will follow suit.  I'd love to hear about how you stabbed in the dark and tried to keep from getting stabbed.  Comments on the game management (my part) and the game rules are welcome, too.  As mentioned some time ago, I intend to expand quite a bit on Stab! entry the DipWiki.  I'll need some time to collect all my notes, but when I do I will send them to all of you for your review and comments.

Farewell

I suppose as Diplomacy games go this one played out pretty quickly.  Fourteen years in fifteen weeks is certainly no record, but I have to say it felt like longer.  I can put out a typically gunboat adjudication in about 30 minutes.  The BEST I ever did in Stab! was an hour, and typically it was 1.5 to 2 hours by the time I'd finished.

Rest assured that it was all a labor of love and I'd do it again.  Not right away, but again.  Thanks to all the players who did a wonderful job of keeping to -- and ahead of, in most cases -- the deadlines.  One NMR in 14 years is pretty darn good, in my book.  I hope you all enjoyed yourselves as much as I did hosting.

Cheers,
Chris


Orders as resolved for Fall 1914.
=============================================
England:
F Baltic Sea Supports A Kiel - Berlin
F Barents Sea Supports F St Petersburg(sc)
A Belgium - Norway
A Burgundy - Munich (*Bounce*)
F English Channel Hold
F Gulf of Lyon Supports A Marseilles - Piedmont
A Holland - Kiel (*Fails*)
A Kiel - Berlin (*Bounce*)
A Marseilles - Piedmont (*Fails*)
F Mid-Atlantic Ocean Hold
F North Africa Supports F Tunis
F North Sea Convoys A Belgium - Norway
A Ruhr Supports A Burgundy - Munich
F St Petersburg(sc) Hold
F Tunis Supports F Western Mediterranean - Tyrrhenian Sea (*Cut*)
F Western Mediterranean - Tyrrhenian Sea (*Fails*)

Turkey:
F Adriatic Sea - Ionian Sea (*Fails*)
A Armenia - STE (*Invalid*)
A Bohemia - Munich (*Bounce*)
A Bulgaria - Rumania
A Galicia - Warsaw
F Ionian Sea - Tunis (*Fails*)
A Livonia Supports A Moscow - St Petersburg
A Moscow - St Petersburg (*Fails*)
A Munich - Berlin (*Bounce*)
F Naples Supports F Tyrrhenian Sea
A Piedmont Supports A Tuscany (*Cut*)
F Rome Supports F Tyrrhenian Sea
A Silesia Supports A Munich - Berlin
A Tuscany Supports A Piedmont
A Tyrolia Supports A Bohemia - Munich
F Tyrrhenian Sea Supports F Ionian Sea - Tunis (*Cut*)
A Warsaw - Prussia

=============================================

[Reply]

(DC 324) A Stab in the Dark *** GAME OVER *** - packrat   (Aug 10, 2010, 7:22 am)
NICE!  Why don't ya just paint a target on the guys back while you're at it.
That's part of what fueled my slow exodus away from the hobby.  Far too
many games wound up being "get Packrat" fests.  And, no, it isn't paranoia,
I've had more than one player tell me that they came after me because of
the either the reputation or, in the case of DC, because of the ratings.

Congratulations for sure, and it is certainly IS an incredible record, but
when you point it out, you paint the target.

From:
Michael Sims <mike(at)fuzzylogicllc.net>
To: C Morse <camorse22(at)yahoo.com>; Dirk Knemeyer <dirk(at)knemeyer.com>; Jeffrey Krause <diplomacy(at)jeffreyk.com>; Michael Thompson <psychosis(at)sky.com>; Paul Russell <jehannum_raver(at)yahoo.com>; Scott Packrat Troemel <brn2dip(at)yahoo.com>; Scott Hickey <thase+dipcorp(at)dalarin.net>; Steve Lytton <stevelytton(at)hotmail.com>
Cc: dc324 <dc324(at)diplomaticcorp.com>; Stephen Worthy <stephenworthy(at)rocketmail.com>
Sent: Tue, August 10, 2010 8:13:38 AM
Subject: RE: (DC 324) A Stab in the Dark *** GAME OVER ***





Wow a 4th solo for Scott in 8 games played.  Incredible record.  Congrats!
-mike


From: C Morse [mailto:camorse22(at)yahoo.com]
Sent: Mon 8/9/2010 9:37 PM
To: Chris Morse; Dirk Knemeyer; Jeffrey Krause; Michael Thompson; Paul Russell; Scott Packrat Troemel; Scott Hickey; Steve Lytton
Cc: dc324; Michael Sims; Stephen Worthy
Subject: (DC 324) A Stab in the Dark *** GAME OVER ***



GENTLEMEN, WE HAVE A WINNER!

Congratulations to Scott Hickey, aka Lequinian, for his solo victory as Turkey in A Stab in the Dark, the inaugural Gunboat Stab! game on the DC site.

Bittersweet congratulations are also in order for our second-place finisher, Paul Russell, who played a heck of a game himself.  Paul, as England, just missed derailing the Turkish locomotive that in the early-to-mid-game seemed on track to an easy triumph.

Scott used a ton of skill throughout the game and just enough intuition in the final season to thwart England's final gambit.  It was a fifty-fifty proposition in the last Fall season.  Turkey had four units in defense against England's four units attacking.  Would it be three on Munich and one on Berlin, or two for each?  Scott guessed the latter and he guessed correctly, managing to bounce the English attacks in both supply centers
and to claim his 18th dot in Munich while Berlin was left open.

Here are the orders that decided it all.  (The complete set of orders can be found at the end of this message.)

England:
F Baltic Sea Supports A Kiel - Berlin
A Burgundy - Munich (*Bounce*)
A Kiel - Berlin (*Bounce*)
A Ruhr Supports A Burgundy - Munich

Turkey:
A Bohemia - Munich (*Bounce*)
A Munich - Berlin (*Bounce*)
A Silesia Supports A Munich - Berlin
A Tyrolia Supports A Bohemia - Munich

Tooth and nail to the end, I do believe that we would have had a stalemate if there had been no victory this year.  As you can see from the attached maps, Turkey had just filled into Prussia, closing the last small gap in the two players' lines.  I'm sure Paul is kicking himself for allowing Turkey to take Munich in the Spring, but hey, he took a calculated risk and it just didn't work.  No shame there.

Cast of Characters (aka The Stab! All-Stars)

Austria - Scott "Packrat" Troemel - Eliminated 1903
England - Paul "Jehannum" Russell - Survival (16 SC)
France - Stephen "Deathblade Penguin" Lytton - Eliminated 1911
Germany - Jeffrey Krauss - Eliminated 1906
Italy - Michael "Psychosis" Thompson - Eliminated 1911
Russia - Dirk Knemeyer - Eliminated 1909
Turkey - Scott "Lequinian" Hickey - Solo Victory 1914 (18 SC)

List of Attachments

DC324_F14_Moves.gif   ... so you can see how the last turn played out
DC324_F14_Game_Over.gif   ... the final position showing Turkey's victory
DC324_F14.dpy   ... the Realpolitik file.  You can watch the whole game play out in a slideshow!
DC 324 Report.odt   ... an open office word processing document that I kept for my own sake.  Don't know how many of you
will be able to open it, but if you can, you'll see how I tracked all the game moves -- what was seen, what was hidden, the complete support orders, etc.

GM's EOG Statement

I was first introduced to Stab! a few years back by a gentleman GM named Stephen Worthy (henceforth SW -- Hi Stephen!) from the Cat23 Diplomacy group.  I was completely hooked after one turn.  I liked gunboat.  I really liked the semi-blind aspect, which let me try to be tricky in the dark and which really engaged my deductive powers trying to figure out where everyone's units were.  I did rather well at it, too, which no doubt contributed to my enjoyment.

So, here it is a few years later and I decide that not only is it time I gave back and GM a game, but it's also my chance to revive Stab! on a new forum and find out whether I can get a bunch of new players
hooked on it, too.  Judging from the quickness with which the game filled up there was clearly strong interest.  Not only strong interest, but a very strong group of players.  I remember telling Mike Sims that I had a veritable all-star lineup.  Even our "new face," Jeff Krauss, was fast proving his worth (just check out his standing in WB10), so I was expecting a great game and I'm very happy to say I wasn't disappointed.

Of course the GM has a uniquely omniscient perspective in a game like Stab!  It was great fun to be able to watch each player tackle the problem of how to maneuver about in the dark.  Russia and England and France, to name three examples, took advantage of the dark to quickly expand and attack opponents in non-traditional ways.  Others were very conservative.  Turkey, for instance, was very cautious.  He couldn't know this, of course, but he repeatedly spent turns supporting himself
in place against imaginary threats.  If he had pushed on more boldly, I think there was a good chance he could have won the game easily 4 or 5 years earlier.  Scroll through the Realpolitik file and see if you agree.

I don't want to step on the toes of the players' EOGS so I'm not going to speculate too much more on individual play.  In general terms, though, it was signficant, I think, that it was our two witches who thrived best.  In a somewhat chaotic world, is it a coincidence that it was the two countries considered highest in defensive strength that dominated in this game?

Think about that for a minute, and then check out these statistics.  Combining this result with the outcomes from the four games SW has run, these are our outcomes:


CAT23 926: Russian win (year ??)

CAT23 1004: Turkey, England, France draw (year ??)

CAT23 1232: Turkish win (1912, 18 SC)
CAT23 1233: Turkish win (1907, 20 SC)DC 324: Turkish win (1914, 18 SC)

That's three Turkish solos out of five games.  I know, I know.  It's not a large sample size, but still, it makes you want to look a little closer.

In 1233, Turkey was aided greatly by his neighbors Russia and Austria.  The former opened by sending 3 of his 4 units towards Scandinavia, while the latter opened against Italy and Russia, ignoring Serbia and Greece altogether in 1901.  Turkey roared out of the gate and was never checked as he rolled to a quick and decisive victory.

The other two Turkish victories were not that kind of win.  Both were more typical examples of blind gunboat games, where play is understandably less efficient than in sighted games.  However, it still seems fair to me to wonder whether or not that type of game environment might just offer inherent advantages to some
countries.  I'm sure we could have a wonderful debate on that very topic.  (I know because I have.)  My current feeling, though, is that rather than debate the topic, I'd like to see more data.  I'd like to see more games completed AND ... I'd like to see more games played where the results given above are known ahead of time because, as we all know, we do adjust our games to compensate for the strengths and weaknesses of the various countries according to our knowledge of their past performance.  My guess is that if I were to host another game of Stab! on DC within the next few months that Turkey would start the game with a giant bullseye on his back.  And you know what?  That's okay.  If we play enough of these games we'll eventually build up a new set of expectations and strategies to deal with the situation that not all countries are created equal in Stab! land.  Heck, they're not equal in standard Dip,
so we've no right to complain if Stab! skews the balance in different ways than we're used to.  Right?

Players EOG Statements

You can post your EOG statements directly to the game forum, or just email to all the people on this list and copy the dc324 forum as I've done on this message.  If you choose to just reply to this message, please do us all the favor of deleting this original message text from your entry.

I know that Germany has already written his EOGS and I hope that more of you will follow suit.  I'd love to hear about how you stabbed in the dark and tried to keep from getting stabbed.  Comments on the game management (my part) and the game rules are welcome, too.  As mentioned some time ago, I intend to expand quite a bit on Stab! entry the DipWiki.  I'll need some time to collect all my notes, but when I do I
will send them to all of you for your review and comments.

Farewell

I suppose as Diplomacy games go this one played out pretty quickly.  Fourteen years in fifteen weeks is certainly no record, but I have to say it felt like longer.  I can put out a typically gunboat adjudication in about 30 minutes.  The BEST I ever did in Stab! was an hour, and typically it was 1.5 to 2 hours by the time I'd finished.

Rest assured that it was all a labor of love and I'd do it again.  Not right away, but again.  Thanks to all the players who did a wonderful job of keeping to -- and ahead of, in most cases -- the deadlines.  One NMR in 14 years is pretty darn good, in my book.  I hope you all enjoyed yourselves as much as I did hosting.

Cheers,
Chris


Orders as resolved for Fall
1914.
=============================================
England:
F Baltic Sea Supports A Kiel - Berlin
F Barents Sea Supports F St Petersburg(sc)
A Belgium - Norway
A Burgundy - Munich (*Bounce*)
F English Channel Hold
F Gulf of Lyon Supports A Marseilles - Piedmont
A Holland - Kiel (*Fails*)
A Kiel - Berlin (*Bounce*)
A Marseilles - Piedmont (*Fails*)
F Mid-Atlantic Ocean Hold
F North Africa Supports F Tunis
F North Sea Convoys A Belgium - Norway
A Ruhr Supports A Burgundy - Munich
F St Petersburg(sc) Hold
F Tunis Supports F Western Mediterranean - Tyrrhenian Sea (*Cut*)
F Western Mediterranean - Tyrrhenian Sea (*Fails*)

Turkey:
F Adriatic Sea - Ionian Sea (*Fails*)
A Armenia - STE (*Invalid*)
A Bohemia - Munich (*Bounce*)
A Bulgaria - Rumania
A Galicia - Warsaw
F Ionian Sea - Tunis (*Fails*)
A Livonia Supports A Moscow - St Petersburg
A Moscow - St Petersburg
(*Fails*)
A Munich - Berlin (*Bounce*)
F Naples Supports F Tyrrhenian Sea
A Piedmont Supports A Tuscany (*Cut*)
F Rome Supports F Tyrrhenian Sea
A Silesia Supports A Munich - Berlin
A Tuscany Supports A Piedmont
A Tyrolia Supports A Bohemia - Munich
F Tyrrhenian Sea Supports F Ionian Sea - Tunis (*Cut*)
A Warsaw - Prussia

=============================================

[Reply]

(DC 324) A Stab in the Dark *** GAME OVER *** - FuzzyLogic   (Aug 10, 2010, 7:13 am)
Wow a 4th solo for Scott in 8 games played.  Incredible record.  Congrats!
-mike



From: C Morse [mailto:camorse22(at)yahoo.com]
Sent: Mon 8/9/2010 9:37 PM
To: Chris Morse; Dirk Knemeyer; Jeffrey Krause; Michael Thompson; Paul Russell; Scott Packrat Troemel; Scott Hickey; Steve Lytton
Cc: dc324; Michael Sims; Stephen Worthy
Subject: (DC 324) A Stab in the Dark *** GAME OVER ***




GENTLEMEN, WE HAVE A WINNER!

Congratulations to Scott Hickey, aka Lequinian, for his solo victory as Turkey in A Stab in the Dark, the inaugural Gunboat Stab! game on the DC site.

Bittersweet congratulations are also in order for our second-place finisher, Paul Russell, who played a heck of a game himself.  Paul, as England, just missed derailing the Turkish locomotive that in the early-to-mid-game seemed on track to an easy triumph.

Scott used a ton of skill throughout the game and just enough intuition in the final season to thwart England's final gambit.  It was a fifty-fifty proposition in the last Fall season.  Turkey had four units in defense against England's four units attacking.  Would it be three on Munich and one on Berlin, or two for each?  Scott guessed the latter and he guessed correctly, managing to bounce the English attacks in both supply centers and to claim his 18th dot in Munich while Berlin was left open.

Here are the orders that decided it all.  (The complete set of orders can be found at the end of this message.)

England:
F Baltic Sea Supports A Kiel - Berlin
A Burgundy - Munich (*Bounce*)
A Kiel - Berlin (*Bounce*)
A Ruhr Supports A Burgundy - Munich

Turkey:
A Bohemia - Munich (*Bounce*)
A Munich - Berlin (*Bounce*)
A Silesia Supports A Munich - Berlin
A Tyrolia Supports A Bohemia - Munich

Tooth and nail to the end, I do believe that we would have had a stalemate if there had been no victory this year.  As you can see from the attached maps, Turkey had just filled into Prussia, closing the last small gap in the two players' lines.  I'm sure Paul is kicking himself for allowing Turkey to take Munich in the Spring, but hey, he took a calculated risk and it just didn't work.  No shame there.

Cast of Characters (aka The Stab! All-Stars)

Austria - Scott "Packrat" Troemel - Eliminated 1903
England - Paul "Jehannum" Russell - Survival (16 SC)
France - Stephen "Deathblade Penguin" Lytton - Eliminated 1911
Germany - Jeffrey Krauss - Eliminated 1906
Italy - Michael "Psychosis" Thompson - Eliminated 1911
Russia - Dirk Knemeyer - Eliminated 1909
Turkey - Scott "Lequinian" Hickey - Solo Victory 1914 (18 SC)

List of Attachments

DC324_F14_Moves.gif   ... so you can see how the last turn played out
DC324_F14_Game_Over.gif   ... the final position showing Turkey's victory
DC324_F14.dpy   ... the Realpolitik file.  You can watch the whole game play out in a slideshow!
DC 324 Report.odt   ... an open office word processing document that I kept for my own sake.  Don't know how many of you will be able to open it, but if you can, you'll see how I tracked all the game moves -- what was seen, what was hidden, the complete support orders, etc.

GM's EOG Statement

I was first introduced to Stab! a few years back by a gentleman GM named Stephen Worthy (henceforth SW -- Hi Stephen!) from the Cat23 Diplomacy group.  I was completely hooked after one turn.  I liked gunboat.  I really liked the semi-blind aspect, which let me try to be tricky in the dark and which really engaged my deductive powers trying to figure out where everyone's units were.  I did rather well at it, too, which no doubt contributed to my enjoyment.

So, here it is a few years later and I decide that not only is it time I gave back and GM a game, but it's also my chance to revive Stab! on a new forum and find out whether I can get a bunch of new players hooked on it, too.  Judging from the quickness with which the game filled up there was clearly strong interest.  Not only strong interest, but a very strong group of players.  I remember telling Mike Sims that I had a veritable all-star lineup.  Even our "new face," Jeff Krauss, was fast proving his worth (just check out his standing in WB10), so I was expecting a great game and I'm very happy to say I wasn't disappointed.

Of course the GM has a uniquely omniscient perspective in a game like Stab!  It was great fun to be able to watch each player tackle the problem of how to maneuver about in the dark.  Russia and England and France, to name three examples, took advantage of the dark to quickly expand and attack opponents in non-traditional ways.  Others were very conservative.  Turkey, for instance, was very cautious.  He couldn't know this, of course, but he repeatedly spent turns supporting himself in place against imaginary threats.  If he had pushed on more boldly, I think there was a good chance he could have won the game easily 4 or 5 years earlier.  Scroll through the Realpolitik file and see if you agree.

I don't want to step on the toes of the players' EOGS so I'm not going to speculate too much more on individual play.  In general terms, though, it was signficant, I think, that it was our two witches who thrived best.  In a somewhat chaotic world, is it a coincidence that it was the two countries considered highest in defensive strength that dominated in this game?

Think about that for a minute, and then check out these statistics.  Combining this result with the outcomes from the four games SW has run, these are our outcomes:


CAT23 926: Russian win (year ??)

CAT23 1004: Turkey, England, France draw (year ??)

CAT23 1232: Turkish win (1912, 18 SC)
CAT23 1233: Turkish win (1907, 20 SC)DC 324: Turkish win (1914, 18 SC)

That's three Turkish solos out of five games.  I know, I know.  It's not a large sample size, but still, it makes you want to look a little closer.

In 1233, Turkey was aided greatly by his neighbors Russia and Austria.  The former opened by sending 3 of his 4 units towards Scandinavia, while the latter opened against Italy and Russia, ignoring Serbia and Greece altogether in 1901.  Turkey roared out of the gate and was never checked as he rolled to a quick and decisive victory.

The other two Turkish victories were not that kind of win.  Both were more typical examples of blind gunboat games, where play is understandably less efficient than in sighted games.  However, it still seems fair to me to wonder whether or not that type of game environment might just offer inherent advantages to some countries.  I'm sure we could have a wonderful debate on that very topic.  (I know because I have.)  My current feeling, though, is that rather than debate the topic, I'd like to see more data.  I'd like to see more games completed AND ... I'd like to see more games played where the results given above are known ahead of time because, as we all know, we do adjust our games to compensate for the strengths and weaknesses of the various countries according to our knowledge of their past performance.  My guess is that if I were to host another game of Stab! on DC within the next few months that Turkey would start the game with a giant bullseye on his back.  And you know what?  That's okay.  If we play enough of these games we'll eventually build up a new set of expectations and strategies to deal with the situation that not all countries are created equal in Stab! land.  Heck, they're not equal in standard Dip, so we've no right to complain if Stab! skews the balance in different ways than we're used to.  Right?

Players EOG Statements

You can post your EOG statements directly to the game forum, or just email to all the people on this list and copy the dc324 forum as I've done on this message.  If you choose to just reply to this message, please do us all the favor of deleting this original message text from your entry.

I know that Germany has already written his EOGS and I hope that more of you will follow suit.  I'd love to hear about how you stabbed in the dark and tried to keep from getting stabbed.  Comments on the game management (my part) and the game rules are welcome, too.  As mentioned some time ago, I intend to expand quite a bit on Stab! entry the DipWiki.  I'll need some time to collect all my notes, but when I do I will send them to all of you for your review and comments.

Farewell

I suppose as Diplomacy games go this one played out pretty quickly.  Fourteen years in fifteen weeks is certainly no record, but I have to say it felt like longer.  I can put out a typically gunboat adjudication in about 30 minutes.  The BEST I ever did in Stab! was an hour, and typically it was 1.5 to 2 hours by the time I'd finished.

Rest assured that it was all a labor of love and I'd do it again.  Not right away, but again.  Thanks to all the players who did a wonderful job of keeping to -- and ahead of, in most cases -- the deadlines.  One NMR in 14 years is pretty darn good, in my book.  I hope you all enjoyed yourselves as much as I did hosting.

Cheers,
Chris


Orders as resolved for Fall 1914.
=============================================
England:
F Baltic Sea Supports A Kiel - Berlin
F Barents Sea Supports F St Petersburg(sc)
A Belgium - Norway
A Burgundy - Munich (*Bounce*)
F English Channel Hold
F Gulf of Lyon Supports A Marseilles - Piedmont
A Holland - Kiel (*Fails*)
A Kiel - Berlin (*Bounce*)
A Marseilles - Piedmont (*Fails*)
F Mid-Atlantic Ocean Hold
F North Africa Supports F Tunis
F North Sea Convoys A Belgium - Norway
A Ruhr Supports A Burgundy - Munich
F St Petersburg(sc) Hold
F Tunis Supports F Western Mediterranean - Tyrrhenian Sea (*Cut*)
F Western Mediterranean - Tyrrhenian Sea (*Fails*)

Turkey:
F Adriatic Sea - Ionian Sea (*Fails*)
A Armenia - STE (*Invalid*)
A Bohemia - Munich (*Bounce*)
A Bulgaria - Rumania
A Galicia - Warsaw
F Ionian Sea - Tunis (*Fails*)
A Livonia Supports A Moscow - St Petersburg
A Moscow - St Petersburg (*Fails*)
A Munich - Berlin (*Bounce*)
F Naples Supports F Tyrrhenian Sea
A Piedmont Supports A Tuscany (*Cut*)
F Rome Supports F Tyrrhenian Sea
A Silesia Supports A Munich - Berlin
A Tuscany Supports A Piedmont
A Tyrolia Supports A Bohemia - Munich
F Tyrrhenian Sea Supports F Ionian Sea - Tunis (*Cut*)
A Warsaw - Prussia

=============================================

[Reply]

DC 324 A Stab in the Dark ENGLAND EOG - PARussell   (Aug 10, 2010, 5:54 am)
First thanks and appreciation to Chris for hosting a variant that took a lot more work than most.  And thanks to him for recruiting me to something new and completely different.  I don't usually play gunboat, and this variant was certainly challenging.

Second, congratulations to Turkey, aka Scott Hickey.  He played a great game and seemed to be able to read my mind as I had to guess which way to go.  I'd be happy for a rematch anytime!  I hoped I didn't disappoint also.

I am still kicking myself about the last turn.  In retrospect, I could have held for a stalemate but I was too "eager" for a solo and gambled and lost.  I'll certainly keep that in mind in the next game.

Thirdly, I want to thank France for such a rugged defense.  I blame him that I couldn't get to the stalemate line sooner and
won!  It was a pleasure to be matching wits and guesses in the dark.

Last a thanks to all the other players for joining this game. 

England aka Paul

[Reply]

(DC 324) A Stab in the Dark *** GAME OVER *** - dknemeyer   (Aug 09, 2010, 9:45 pm)
Congrats to Scott and Paul on an excellent game. I wrote my EOG statement when I was eliminated:
EOG STATEMENTThis game is my first-ever elimination from a Diplomacy game, and I have to say it is the game that brought into focus both my strengths and weaknesses as a Dip player, hopefully in a way that helps me improve my weaknesses. First, my strengths: before the game I puzzled over the board as a tactical problem to be solved. In Austria and Germany I saw two countries that would start the game vulnerable but who would both present increasingly challenging opponents, sneaking through the hinterlands of Prussia, Silesia, Bohemia, Galicia, Ukraine...it was too much for a Tsar to bear! So I plotted out a campaign for smashing them, and smash them I did. There were some really nice moves in that campaigning. My apologies to both the Emperor and the Kaiser. It was obviously nothing personal!
Sadly, in the process, I exposed my biggest Dip weakness, my lack of a solid strategic game. Rather than fold that excellent campaign into a good strategic plan I simply crashed forward...and kept crashing forward. Rather than disbanding forward units that had wrecked my antagonists to protect my vulnerable lands at home when I had the chance, I kept them marauding in unsustainable places. You already know what happened as my home centers fell one after another: St. Petersburg, Sevastapol, Moscow, even fair Warsaw which seemed so remote and secure!
Of course, luck played a part in my demise. When I was still viable - even strong - I misordered a supported attack into Bel (instead of Bul!) which resulted in holds. Instead of gaining a center I LOST an extra center in the process! That was the backbreaker. The other bit of luck that conspired against me was in both England and Turkey pressing against me without mercy. If even one had gone in a different direction, or accepted a silent peace with me, the game would have gone very, very differently. A credit to them both, for wrecking me and insodoing contributing to their running away with the game.
I want to thank Chris for hosting the game: it would be a bitch to GM this thing! I look forward to playing again and will sign right up the next time this variant is offered. Thanks to all of the players - those of us who took our lumps and those who handed out the lumps - for playing a near-flawless game in terms of NMR's. My compliments to England and Turkey (not knowing who is going to win, as I write this at the moment of my bitter elimination!) Good times!

On Aug 9, 2010, at 10:37 PM, C Morse wrote:
GENTLEMEN, WE HAVE A WINNER!

Congratulations to Scott Hickey, aka Lequinian, for his solo victory as Turkey in A Stab in the Dark, the inaugural Gunboat Stab! game on the DC site.

Bittersweet congratulations are also in order for our second-place finisher, Paul Russell, who played a heck of a game himself.  Paul, as England, just missed derailing the Turkish locomotive that in the early-to-mid-game seemed on track to an easy triumph.

Scott used a ton of skill throughout the game and just enough intuition in the final season to thwart England's final gambit.  It was a fifty-fifty proposition in the last Fall season.  Turkey had four units in defense against England's four units attacking.  Would it be three on Munich and one on Berlin, or two for each?  Scott guessed the latter and he guessed correctly, managing to bounce the English attacks in both supply centers and to claim his 18th dot in Munich while Berlin was left open.

Here are the orders that decided it all.  (The complete set of orders can be found at the end of this message.)

England: 
F Baltic Sea Supports A Kiel - Berlin
A Burgundy - Munich (*Bounce*)
A Kiel - Berlin (*Bounce*)
A Ruhr Supports A Burgundy - Munich

Turkey: 
A Bohemia - Munich (*Bounce*)
A Munich - Berlin (*Bounce*)
A Silesia Supports A Munich - Berlin
A Tyrolia Supports A Bohemia - Munich

Tooth and nail to the end, I do believe that we would have had a stalemate if there had been no victory this year.  As you can see from the attached maps, Turkey had just filled into Prussia, closing the last small gap in the two players' lines.  I'm sure Paul is kicking himself for allowing Turkey to take Munich in the Spring, but hey, he took a calculated risk and it just didn't work.  No shame there.

Cast of Characters (aka The Stab! All-Stars)

Austria - Scott "Packrat" Troemel - Eliminated 1903
England - Paul "Jehannum" Russell - Survival (16 SC)
France - Stephen "Deathblade Penguin" Lytton - Eliminated 1911
Germany - Jeffrey Krauss - Eliminated 1906
Italy - Michael "Psychosis" Thompson - Eliminated 1911
Russia - Dirk Knemeyer - Eliminated 1909
Turkey - Scott "Lequinian" Hickey - Solo Victory 1914 (18 SC)

List of Attachments

DC324_F14_Moves.gif   ... so you can see how the last turn played out
DC324_F14_Game_Over.gif   ... the final position showing Turkey's victory
DC324_F14.dpy   ... the Realpolitik file.  You can watch the whole game play out in a slideshow!
DC 324 Report.odt   ... an open office word processing document that I kept for my own sake.  Don't know how many of you will be able to open it, but if you can, you'll see how I tracked all the game moves -- what was seen, what was hidden, the complete support orders, etc.

GM's EOG Statement

I was first introduced to Stab! a few years back by a gentleman GM named Stephen Worthy (henceforth SW -- Hi Stephen!) from the Cat23 Diplomacy group.  I was completely hooked after one turn.  I liked gunboat.  I really liked the semi-blind aspect, which let me try to be tricky in the dark and which really engaged my deductive powers trying to figure out where everyone's units were.  I did rather well at it, too, which no doubt contributed to my enjoyment.

So, here it is a few years later and I decide that not only is it time I gave back and GM a game, but it's also my chance to revive Stab! on a new forum and find out whether I can get a bunch of new players hooked on it, too.  Judging from the quickness with which the game filled up there was clearly strong interest.  Not only strong interest, but a very strong group of players.  I remember telling Mike Sims that I had a veritable all-star lineup.  Even our "new face," Jeff Krauss, was fast proving his worth (just check out his standing in WB10), so I was expecting a great game and I'm very happy to say I wasn't disappointed.

Of course the GM has a uniquely omniscient perspective in a game like Stab!  It was great fun to be able to watch each player tackle the problem of how to maneuver about in the dark.  Russia and England and France, to name three examples, took advantage of the dark to quickly expand and attack opponents in non-traditional ways.  Others were very conservative.  Turkey, for instance, was very cautious.  He couldn't know this, of course, but he repeatedly spent turns supporting himself in place against imaginary threats.  If he had pushed on more boldly, I think there was a good chance he could have won the game easily 4 or 5 years earlier.  Scroll through the Realpolitik file and see if you agree.

I don't want to step on the toes of the players' EOGS so I'm not going to speculate too much more on individual play.  In general terms, though, it was signficant, I think, that it was our two witches who thrived best.  In a somewhat chaotic world, is it a coincidence that it was the two countries considered highest in defensive strength that dominated in this game?

Think about that for a minute, and then check out these statistics.  Combining this result with the outcomes from the four games SW has run, these are our outcomes:

CAT23 926: Russian win (year ??)
CAT23 1004: Turkey, England, France draw (year ??)
CAT23 1232: Turkish win (1912, 18 SC)CAT23 1233: Turkish win (1907, 20 SC)DC 324: Turkish win (1914, 18 SC)

That's three Turkish solos out of five games.  I know, I know.  It's not a large sample size, but still, it makes you want to look a little closer.

In 1233, Turkey was aided greatly by his neighbors Russia and Austria.  The former opened by sending 3 of his 4 units towards Scandinavia, while the latter opened against Italy and Russia, ignoring Serbia and Greece altogether in 1901.  Turkey roared out of the gate and was never checked as he rolled to a quick and decisive victory.

The other two Turkish victories were not that kind of win.  Both were more typical examples of blind gunboat games, where play is understandably less efficient than in sighted games.  However, it still seems fair to me to wonder whether or not that type of game environment might just offer inherent advantages to some countries.  I'm sure we could have a wonderful debate on that very topic.  (I know because I have.)  My current feeling, though, is that rather than debate the topic, I'd like to see more data.  I'd like to see more games completed AND ... I'd like to see more games played where the results given above are known ahead of time because, as we all know, we do adjust our games to compensate for the strengths and weaknesses of the various countries according to our knowledge of their past performance.  My guess is that if I were to host another game of Stab! on DC within the next few months that Turkey would start the game with a giant bullseye on his back.  And you know what?  That's okay.  If we play enough of these games we'll eventually build up a new set of expectations and strategies to deal with the situation that not all countries are created equal in Stab! land.  Heck, they're not equal in standard Dip, so we've no right to complain if Stab! skews the balance in different ways than we're used to.  Right?

Players EOG Statements

You can post your EOG statements directly to the game forum, or just email to all the people on this list and copy the dc324 forum as I've done on this message.  If you choose to just reply to this message, please do us all the favor of deleting this original message text from your entry.

I know that Germany has already written his EOGS and I hope that more of you will follow suit.  I'd love to hear about how you stabbed in the dark and tried to keep from getting stabbed.  Comments on the game management (my part) and the game rules are welcome, too.  As mentioned some time ago, I intend to expand quite a bit on Stab! entry the DipWiki.  I'll need some time to collect all my notes, but when I do I will send them to all of you for your review and comments.

Farewell

I suppose as Diplomacy games go this one played out pretty quickly.  Fourteen years in fifteen weeks is certainly no record, but I have to say it felt like longer.  I can put out a typically gunboat adjudication in about 30 minutes.  The BEST I ever did in Stab! was an hour, and typically it was 1.5 to 2 hours by the time I'd finished.

Rest assured that it was all a labor of love and I'd do it again.  Not right away, but again.  Thanks to all the players who did a wonderful job of keeping to -- and ahead of, in most cases -- the deadlines.  One NMR in 14 years is pretty darn good, in my book.  I hope you all enjoyed yourselves as much as I did hosting.

Cheers,
Chris


Orders as resolved for Fall 1914.
=============================================
England: 
F Baltic Sea Supports A Kiel - Berlin
F Barents Sea Supports F St Petersburg(sc)
A Belgium - Norway
A Burgundy - Munich (*Bounce*)
F English Channel Hold
F Gulf of Lyon Supports A Marseilles - Piedmont
A Holland - Kiel (*Fails*)
A Kiel - Berlin (*Bounce*)
A Marseilles - Piedmont (*Fails*)
F Mid-Atlantic Ocean Hold
F North Africa Supports F Tunis
F North Sea Convoys A Belgium - Norway
A Ruhr Supports A Burgundy - Munich
F St Petersburg(sc) Hold
F Tunis Supports F Western Mediterranean - Tyrrhenian Sea (*Cut*)
F Western Mediterranean - Tyrrhenian Sea (*Fails*)

Turkey: 
F Adriatic Sea - Ionian Sea (*Fails*)
A Armenia - STE (*Invalid*)
A Bohemia - Munich (*Bounce*)
A Bulgaria - Rumania
A Galicia - Warsaw
F Ionian Sea - Tunis (*Fails*)
A Livonia Supports A Moscow - St Petersburg
A Moscow - St Petersburg (*Fails*)
A Munich - Berlin (*Bounce*)
F Naples Supports F Tyrrhenian Sea
A Piedmont Supports A Tuscany (*Cut*)
F Rome Supports F Tyrrhenian Sea
A Silesia Supports A Munich - Berlin
A Tuscany Supports A Piedmont
A Tyrolia Supports A Bohemia - Munich
F Tyrrhenian Sea Supports F Ionian Sea - Tunis (*Cut*)
A Warsaw - Prussia

=============================================


<DC324_F14_moves.gif><DC324_F14_Game_Over.gif><DC324_F14.dpy><DC 324 Report.odt>

[Reply]

(DC 324) A Stab in the Dark *** GAME OVER *** - Corrino   (Aug 09, 2010, 9:37 pm)
GENTLEMEN, WE HAVE A WINNER!

Congratulations to Scott Hickey, aka Lequinian, for his solo victory as Turkey in A Stab in the Dark, the inaugural Gunboat Stab! game on the DC site.

Bittersweet congratulations are also in order for our second-place finisher, Paul Russell, who played a heck of a game himself.  Paul, as England, just missed derailing the Turkish locomotive that in the early-to-mid-game seemed on track to an easy triumph.

Scott used a ton of skill throughout the game and just enough intuition in the final season to thwart England's final gambit.  It was a fifty-fifty proposition in the last Fall season.  Turkey had four units in defense against England's four units attacking.  Would it be three on
Munich and one on Berlin, or two for each?  Scott guessed the latter and he guessed correctly, managing to bounce the English attacks in both supply centers and to claim his 18th dot in Munich while Berlin was left open.

Here are the orders that decided it all.  (The complete set of orders can be found at the end of this message.)

England:


F Baltic Sea Supports A Kiel - Berlin


A Burgundy - Munich (*Bounce*)


A Kiel - Berlin (*Bounce*)


A Ruhr Supports A Burgundy - Munich





Turkey:


A Bohemia - Munich (*Bounce*)


A Munich - Berlin (*Bounce*)


A Silesia Supports A Munich - Berlin


A Tyrolia Supports A Bohemia - Munich





Tooth and nail to the end, I do believe that we would have had a stalemate if there had been no victory this year.  As you can see from the attached maps, Turkey had just filled into Prussia, closing the last small gap in the two players' lines.  I'm sure Paul is kicking himself for allowing Turkey to take Munich in the Spring, but hey, he took a calculated risk and it just didn't work.  No shame there.


Cast of Characters (aka The Stab! All-Stars)

Austria - Scott "Packrat" Troemel - Eliminated 1903
England - Paul "Jehannum" Russell - Survival (16 SC)
France - Stephen "Deathblade Penguin" Lytton - Eliminated 1911
Germany - Jeffrey Krauss - Eliminated 1906
Italy - Michael "Psychosis" Thompson - Eliminated 1911
Russia - Dirk Knemeyer - Eliminated 1909
Turkey - Scott "Lequinian" Hickey - Solo Victory 1914 (18 SC)

List of Attachments

DC324_F14_Moves.gif   ... so you can see how the last turn played out
DC324_F14_Game_Over.gif   ... the final position showing Turkey's victory
DC324_F14.dpy   ... the Realpolitik file.  You can watch the whole game play out in a slideshow!
DC 324 Report.odt   ... an open office word processing document that I kept for my own sake.  Don't know how
many of you will be able to open it, but if you can, you'll see how I tracked all the game moves -- what was seen, what was hidden, the complete support orders, etc.


GM's EOG Statement


I was first introduced to Stab! a few years back by a gentleman GM named Stephen Worthy (henceforth SW -- Hi Stephen!) from the Cat23 Diplomacy group.  I was completely hooked after one turn.  I liked gunboat.  I really liked the semi-blind aspect, which let me try to be tricky in the dark and which really engaged my deductive powers trying to figure out where everyone's units were.  I did rather well at it, too, which no doubt contributed to my enjoyment.

So, here it is a few years later and I decide that not only is it time I gave back and GM a game, but it's also my chance to revive Stab! on a new forum and find out whether I can get a bunch of new players hooked on it, too.  Judging from the quickness with which the game filled up there was clearly strong interest.  Not only strong interest, but a very strong group of players.  I remember telling Mike Sims that I had a veritable all-star lineup. 
Even our "new face," Jeff Krauss, was fast proving his worth (just check out his standing in WB10), so I was expecting a great game and I'm very happy to say I wasn't disappointed.

Of course the GM has a uniquely omniscient perspective in a game like Stab!  It was great fun to be able to watch each player tackle the problem of how to maneuver about in the dark.  Russia and England and France, to name three examples, took advantage of the dark to quickly expand and attack opponents in non-traditional ways.  Others were very conservative.  Turkey, for instance, was very cautious.  He couldn't know this, of course, but he repeatedly spent turns supporting himself in place against imaginary threats.  If he had pushed on more boldly, I think there was a good chance he could have won the game easily 4 or 5 years earlier.  Scroll through the Realpolitik file and see if you agree.

I don't want to step on the toes
of the players' EOGS so I'm not going to speculate too much more on individual play.  In general terms, though, it was signficant, I think, that it was our two witches who thrived best.  In a somewhat chaotic world, is it a coincidence that it was the two countries considered highest in defensive strength that dominated in this game?

Think about that for a minute, and then check out these statistics.  Combining this result with the outcomes from the four games SW has run, these are our outcomes:

CAT23 926: Russian win (year ??)

CAT23 1004: Turkey, England, France draw (year ??)

CAT23 1232: Turkish win (1912, 18 SC)
CAT23 1233: Turkish win (1907, 20 SC)DC 324: Turkish win (1914, 18 SC)

That's three Turkish solos out of five games.  I know, I know.  It's not a large sample size, but still, it makes you want to look a little closer.

In 1233, Turkey was aided greatly by his neighbors Russia and Austria.  The former opened by sending 3 of his 4 units towards Scandinavia, while the latter opened against Italy and Russia, ignoring Serbia and Greece altogether in 1901.  Turkey roared out of the gate and was never checked as he rolled to a quick and decisive victory.

The other two Turkish victories were not that kind of win.  Both were more typical examples of blind gunboat games, where play is understandably less efficient than in sighted games.  However, it still seems fair to me to wonder whether or not that type of game environment might just offer inherent advantages to some
countries.  I'm sure we could have a wonderful debate on that very topic.  (I know because I have.)  My current feeling, though, is that rather than debate the topic, I'd like to see more data.  I'd like to see more games completed AND ... I'd like to see more games played where the results given above are known ahead of time because, as we all know, we do adjust our games to compensate for the strengths and weaknesses of the various countries according to our knowledge of their past performance.  My guess is that if I were to host another game of Stab! on DC within the next few months that Turkey would start the game with a giant bullseye on his back.  And you know what?  That's okay.  If we play enough of these games we'll eventually build up a new set of expectations and strategies to deal with the situation that not all countries are created equal in Stab! land.  Heck, they're not equal in standard Dip,
so we've no right to complain if Stab! skews the balance in different ways than we're used to.  Right?


Players EOG Statements

You can post your EOG statements directly to the game forum, or just email to all the people on this list and copy the dc324 forum as I've done on this message.  If you choose to just reply to this message, please do us all the favor of deleting this original message text from your entry.

I know that Germany has already
written his EOGS and I hope that more of you will follow suit.  I'd love to hear about how you stabbed in the dark and tried to keep from getting stabbed.  Comments on the game management (my part) and the game rules are welcome, too.  As mentioned some time ago, I intend to expand quite a bit on Stab! entry the DipWiki.  I'll need some time to collect all my notes, but when I do I will send them to all of you for your review and comments.


Farewell

I suppose as Diplomacy games go this one played out pretty quickly.  Fourteen years in fifteen weeks is certainly no record, but I have to say it felt like longer.  I can put out a typically gunboat adjudication in about 30 minutes.  The BEST I ever did in Stab! was an hour, and typically it was 1.5 to 2 hours by the time I'd finished.

Rest assured that it was all a labor of love and I'd do it again.  Not right away, but again.  Thanks to all the players who did a wonderful job of keeping to -- and ahead of, in most cases -- the deadlines.  One NMR in 14 years is pretty darn good, in my book.  I hope you all enjoyed yourselves as much as I did hosting.

Cheers,
Chris


Orders as resolved for Fall 1914.
=============================================

England:

F Baltic Sea Supports A Kiel - Berlin

F Barents Sea Supports F St Petersburg(sc)

A Belgium - Norway

A Burgundy - Munich (*Bounce*)

F English Channel Hold

F Gulf of Lyon Supports A Marseilles - Piedmont

A Holland - Kiel (*Fails*)

A Kiel - Berlin (*Bounce*)

A Marseilles - Piedmont (*Fails*)

F Mid-Atlantic Ocean Hold

F North Africa Supports F Tunis

F North Sea Convoys A Belgium - Norway

A Ruhr Supports A Burgundy - Munich

F St Petersburg(sc) Hold

F Tunis Supports F Western Mediterranean - Tyrrhenian Sea (*Cut*)

F Western Mediterranean - Tyrrhenian Sea (*Fails*)



Turkey:

F Adriatic Sea - Ionian Sea (*Fails*)

A Armenia - STE (*Invalid*)

A Bohemia - Munich (*Bounce*)

A Bulgaria - Rumania

A Galicia - Warsaw

F Ionian Sea - Tunis (*Fails*)

A Livonia Supports A Moscow - St Petersburg

A Moscow - St Petersburg (*Fails*)

A Munich - Berlin (*Bounce*)

F Naples Supports F Tyrrhenian Sea

A Piedmont Supports A Tuscany (*Cut*)

F Rome Supports F Tyrrhenian Sea

A Silesia Supports A Munich - Berlin

A Tuscany Supports A Piedmont

A Tyrolia Supports A Bohemia - Munich

F Tyrrhenian Sea Supports F Ionian Sea - Tunis (*Cut*)

A Warsaw - Prussia



=============================================

[Reply]

(DC 324) A Stab in the Dark *** GAME OVER *** (dc324) dknemeyer Aug 09, 09:45 pm
Congrats to Scott and Paul on an excellent game. I wrote my EOG statement when I was eliminated:
EOG STATEMENTThis game is my first-ever elimination from a Diplomacy game, and I have to say it is the game that brought into focus both my strengths and weaknesses as a Dip player, hopefully in a way that helps me improve my weaknesses. First, my strengths: before the game I puzzled over the board as a tactical problem to be solved. In Austria and Germany I saw two countries that would start the game vulnerable but who would both present increasingly challenging opponents, sneaking through the hinterlands of Prussia, Silesia, Bohemia, Galicia, Ukraine...it was too much for a Tsar to bear! So I plotted out a campaign for smashing them, and smash them I did. There were some really nice moves in that campaigning. My apologies to both the Emperor and the Kaiser. It was obviously nothing personal!
Sadly, in the process, I exposed my biggest Dip weakness, my lack of a solid strategic game. Rather than fold that excellent campaign into a good strategic plan I simply crashed forward...and kept crashing forward. Rather than disbanding forward units that had wrecked my antagonists to protect my vulnerable lands at home when I had the chance, I kept them marauding in unsustainable places. You already know what happened as my home centers fell one after another: St. Petersburg, Sevastapol, Moscow, even fair Warsaw which seemed so remote and secure!
Of course, luck played a part in my demise. When I was still viable - even strong - I misordered a supported attack into Bel (instead of Bul!) which resulted in holds. Instead of gaining a center I LOST an extra center in the process! That was the backbreaker. The other bit of luck that conspired against me was in both England and Turkey pressing against me without mercy. If even one had gone in a different direction, or accepted a silent peace with me, the game would have gone very, very differently. A credit to them both, for wrecking me and insodoing contributing to their running away with the game.
I want to thank Chris for hosting the game: it would be a bitch to GM this thing! I look forward to playing again and will sign right up the next time this variant is offered. Thanks to all of the players - those of us who took our lumps and those who handed out the lumps - for playing a near-flawless game in terms of NMR's. My compliments to England and Turkey (not knowing who is going to win, as I write this at the moment of my bitter elimination!) Good times!

On Aug 9, 2010, at 10:37 PM, C Morse wrote:
GENTLEMEN, WE HAVE A WINNER!

Congratulations to Scott Hickey, aka Lequinian, for his solo victory as Turkey in A Stab in the Dark, the inaugural Gunboat Stab! game on the DC site.

Bittersweet congratulations are also in order for our second-place finisher, Paul Russell, who played a heck of a game himself.  Paul, as England, just missed derailing the Turkish locomotive that in the early-to-mid-game seemed on track to an easy triumph.

Scott used a ton of skill throughout the game and just enough intuition in the final season to thwart England's final gambit.  It was a fifty-fifty proposition in the last Fall season.  Turkey had four units in defense against England's four units attacking.  Would it be three on Munich and one on Berlin, or two for each?  Scott guessed the latter and he guessed correctly, managing to bounce the English attacks in both supply centers and to claim his 18th dot in Munich while Berlin was left open.

Here are the orders that decided it all.  (The complete set of orders can be found at the end of this message.)

England: 
F Baltic Sea Supports A Kiel - Berlin
A Burgundy - Munich (*Bounce*)
A Kiel - Berlin (*Bounce*)
A Ruhr Supports A Burgundy - Munich

Turkey: 
A Bohemia - Munich (*Bounce*)
A Munich - Berlin (*Bounce*)
A Silesia Supports A Munich - Berlin
A Tyrolia Supports A Bohemia - Munich

Tooth and nail to the end, I do believe that we would have had a stalemate if there had been no victory this year.  As you can see from the attached maps, Turkey had just filled into Prussia, closing the last small gap in the two players' lines.  I'm sure Paul is kicking himself for allowing Turkey to take Munich in the Spring, but hey, he took a calculated risk and it just didn't work.  No shame there.

Cast of Characters (aka The Stab! All-Stars)

Austria - Scott "Packrat" Troemel - Eliminated 1903
England - Paul "Jehannum" Russell - Survival (16 SC)
France - Stephen "Deathblade Penguin" Lytton - Eliminated 1911
Germany - Jeffrey Krauss - Eliminated 1906
Italy - Michael "Psychosis" Thompson - Eliminated 1911
Russia - Dirk Knemeyer - Eliminated 1909
Turkey - Scott "Lequinian" Hickey - Solo Victory 1914 (18 SC)

List of Attachments

DC324_F14_Moves.gif   ... so you can see how the last turn played out
DC324_F14_Game_Over.gif   ... the final position showing Turkey's victory
DC324_F14.dpy   ... the Realpolitik file.  You can watch the whole game play out in a slideshow!
DC 324 Report.odt   ... an open office word processing document that I kept for my own sake.  Don't know how many of you will be able to open it, but if you can, you'll see how I tracked all the game moves -- what was seen, what was hidden, the complete support orders, etc.

GM's EOG Statement

I was first introduced to Stab! a few years back by a gentleman GM named Stephen Worthy (henceforth SW -- Hi Stephen!) from the Cat23 Diplomacy group.  I was completely hooked after one turn.  I liked gunboat.  I really liked the semi-blind aspect, which let me try to be tricky in the dark and which really engaged my deductive powers trying to figure out where everyone's units were.  I did rather well at it, too, which no doubt contributed to my enjoyment.

So, here it is a few years later and I decide that not only is it time I gave back and GM a game, but it's also my chance to revive Stab! on a new forum and find out whether I can get a bunch of new players hooked on it, too.  Judging from the quickness with which the game filled up there was clearly strong interest.  Not only strong interest, but a very strong group of players.  I remember telling Mike Sims that I had a veritable all-star lineup.  Even our "new face," Jeff Krauss, was fast proving his worth (just check out his standing in WB10), so I was expecting a great game and I'm very happy to say I wasn't disappointed.

Of course the GM has a uniquely omniscient perspective in a game like Stab!  It was great fun to be able to watch each player tackle the problem of how to maneuver about in the dark.  Russia and England and France, to name three examples, took advantage of the dark to quickly expand and attack opponents in non-traditional ways.  Others were very conservative.  Turkey, for instance, was very cautious.  He couldn't know this, of course, but he repeatedly spent turns supporting himself in place against imaginary threats.  If he had pushed on more boldly, I think there was a good chance he could have won the game easily 4 or 5 years earlier.  Scroll through the Realpolitik file and see if you agree.

I don't want to step on the toes of the players' EOGS so I'm not going to speculate too much more on individual play.  In general terms, though, it was signficant, I think, that it was our two witches who thrived best.  In a somewhat chaotic world, is it a coincidence that it was the two countries considered highest in defensive strength that dominated in this game?

Think about that for a minute, and then check out these statistics.  Combining this result with the outcomes from the four games SW has run, these are our outcomes:

CAT23 926: Russian win (year ??)
CAT23 1004: Turkey, England, France draw (year ??)
CAT23 1232: Turkish win (1912, 18 SC)CAT23 1233: Turkish win (1907, 20 SC)DC 324: Turkish win (1914, 18 SC)

That's three Turkish solos out of five games.  I know, I know.  It's not a large sample size, but still, it makes you want to look a little closer.

In 1233, Turkey was aided greatly by his neighbors Russia and Austria.  The former opened by sending 3 of his 4 units towards Scandinavia, while the latter opened against Italy and Russia, ignoring Serbia and Greece altogether in 1901.  Turkey roared out of the gate and was never checked as he rolled to a quick and decisive victory.

The other two Turkish victories were not that kind of win.  Both were more typical examples of blind gunboat games, where play is understandably less efficient than in sighted games.  However, it still seems fair to me to wonder whether or not that type of game environment might just offer inherent advantages to some countries.  I'm sure we could have a wonderful debate on that very topic.  (I know because I have.)  My current feeling, though, is that rather than debate the topic, I'd like to see more data.  I'd like to see more games completed AND ... I'd like to see more games played where the results given above are known ahead of time because, as we all know, we do adjust our games to compensate for the strengths and weaknesses of the various countries according to our knowledge of their past performance.  My guess is that if I were to host another game of Stab! on DC within the next few months that Turkey would start the game with a giant bullseye on his back.  And you know what?  That's okay.  If we play enough of these games we'll eventually build up a new set of expectations and strategies to deal with the situation that not all countries are created equal in Stab! land.  Heck, they're not equal in standard Dip, so we've no right to complain if Stab! skews the balance in different ways than we're used to.  Right?

Players EOG Statements

You can post your EOG statements directly to the game forum, or just email to all the people on this list and copy the dc324 forum as I've done on this message.  If you choose to just reply to this message, please do us all the favor of deleting this original message text from your entry.

I know that Germany has already written his EOGS and I hope that more of you will follow suit.  I'd love to hear about how you stabbed in the dark and tried to keep from getting stabbed.  Comments on the game management (my part) and the game rules are welcome, too.  As mentioned some time ago, I intend to expand quite a bit on Stab! entry the DipWiki.  I'll need some time to collect all my notes, but when I do I will send them to all of you for your review and comments.

Farewell

I suppose as Diplomacy games go this one played out pretty quickly.  Fourteen years in fifteen weeks is certainly no record, but I have to say it felt like longer.  I can put out a typically gunboat adjudication in about 30 minutes.  The BEST I ever did in Stab! was an hour, and typically it was 1.5 to 2 hours by the time I'd finished.

Rest assured that it was all a labor of love and I'd do it again.  Not right away, but again.  Thanks to all the players who did a wonderful job of keeping to -- and ahead of, in most cases -- the deadlines.  One NMR in 14 years is pretty darn good, in my book.  I hope you all enjoyed yourselves as much as I did hosting.

Cheers,
Chris


Orders as resolved for Fall 1914.
=============================================
England: 
F Baltic Sea Supports A Kiel - Berlin
F Barents Sea Supports F St Petersburg(sc)
A Belgium - Norway
A Burgundy - Munich (*Bounce*)
F English Channel Hold
F Gulf of Lyon Supports A Marseilles - Piedmont
A Holland - Kiel (*Fails*)
A Kiel - Berlin (*Bounce*)
A Marseilles - Piedmont (*Fails*)
F Mid-Atlantic Ocean Hold
F North Africa Supports F Tunis
F North Sea Convoys A Belgium - Norway
A Ruhr Supports A Burgundy - Munich
F St Petersburg(sc) Hold
F Tunis Supports F Western Mediterranean - Tyrrhenian Sea (*Cut*)
F Western Mediterranean - Tyrrhenian Sea (*Fails*)

Turkey: 
F Adriatic Sea - Ionian Sea (*Fails*)
A Armenia - STE (*Invalid*)
A Bohemia - Munich (*Bounce*)
A Bulgaria - Rumania
A Galicia - Warsaw
F Ionian Sea - Tunis (*Fails*)
A Livonia Supports A Moscow - St Petersburg
A Moscow - St Petersburg (*Fails*)
A Munich - Berlin (*Bounce*)
F Naples Supports F Tyrrhenian Sea
A Piedmont Supports A Tuscany (*Cut*)
F Rome Supports F Tyrrhenian Sea
A Silesia Supports A Munich - Berlin
A Tuscany Supports A Piedmont
A Tyrolia Supports A Bohemia - Munich
F Tyrrhenian Sea Supports F Ionian Sea - Tunis (*Cut*)
A Warsaw - Prussia

=============================================


<DC324_F14_moves.gif><DC324_F14_Game_Over.gif><DC324_F14.dpy><DC 324 Report.odt>
(DC 324) A Stab in the Dark *** GAME OVER *** (dc324) FuzzyLogic Aug 10, 07:13 am
Wow a 4th solo for Scott in 8 games played.  Incredible record.  Congrats!
-mike



From: C Morse [mailto:camorse22(at)yahoo.com]
Sent: Mon 8/9/2010 9:37 PM
To: Chris Morse; Dirk Knemeyer; Jeffrey Krause; Michael Thompson; Paul Russell; Scott Packrat Troemel; Scott Hickey; Steve Lytton
Cc: dc324; Michael Sims; Stephen Worthy
Subject: (DC 324) A Stab in the Dark *** GAME OVER ***




GENTLEMEN, WE HAVE A WINNER!

Congratulations to Scott Hickey, aka Lequinian, for his solo victory as Turkey in A Stab in the Dark, the inaugural Gunboat Stab! game on the DC site.

Bittersweet congratulations are also in order for our second-place finisher, Paul Russell, who played a heck of a game himself.  Paul, as England, just missed derailing the Turkish locomotive that in the early-to-mid-game seemed on track to an easy triumph.

Scott used a ton of skill throughout the game and just enough intuition in the final season to thwart England's final gambit.  It was a fifty-fifty proposition in the last Fall season.  Turkey had four units in defense against England's four units attacking.  Would it be three on Munich and one on Berlin, or two for each?  Scott guessed the latter and he guessed correctly, managing to bounce the English attacks in both supply centers and to claim his 18th dot in Munich while Berlin was left open.

Here are the orders that decided it all.  (The complete set of orders can be found at the end of this message.)

England:
F Baltic Sea Supports A Kiel - Berlin
A Burgundy - Munich (*Bounce*)
A Kiel - Berlin (*Bounce*)
A Ruhr Supports A Burgundy - Munich

Turkey:
A Bohemia - Munich (*Bounce*)
A Munich - Berlin (*Bounce*)
A Silesia Supports A Munich - Berlin
A Tyrolia Supports A Bohemia - Munich

Tooth and nail to the end, I do believe that we would have had a stalemate if there had been no victory this year.  As you can see from the attached maps, Turkey had just filled into Prussia, closing the last small gap in the two players' lines.  I'm sure Paul is kicking himself for allowing Turkey to take Munich in the Spring, but hey, he took a calculated risk and it just didn't work.  No shame there.

Cast of Characters (aka The Stab! All-Stars)

Austria - Scott "Packrat" Troemel - Eliminated 1903
England - Paul "Jehannum" Russell - Survival (16 SC)
France - Stephen "Deathblade Penguin" Lytton - Eliminated 1911
Germany - Jeffrey Krauss - Eliminated 1906
Italy - Michael "Psychosis" Thompson - Eliminated 1911
Russia - Dirk Knemeyer - Eliminated 1909
Turkey - Scott "Lequinian" Hickey - Solo Victory 1914 (18 SC)

List of Attachments

DC324_F14_Moves.gif   ... so you can see how the last turn played out
DC324_F14_Game_Over.gif   ... the final position showing Turkey's victory
DC324_F14.dpy   ... the Realpolitik file.  You can watch the whole game play out in a slideshow!
DC 324 Report.odt   ... an open office word processing document that I kept for my own sake.  Don't know how many of you will be able to open it, but if you can, you'll see how I tracked all the game moves -- what was seen, what was hidden, the complete support orders, etc.

GM's EOG Statement

I was first introduced to Stab! a few years back by a gentleman GM named Stephen Worthy (henceforth SW -- Hi Stephen!) from the Cat23 Diplomacy group.  I was completely hooked after one turn.  I liked gunboat.  I really liked the semi-blind aspect, which let me try to be tricky in the dark and which really engaged my deductive powers trying to figure out where everyone's units were.  I did rather well at it, too, which no doubt contributed to my enjoyment.

So, here it is a few years later and I decide that not only is it time I gave back and GM a game, but it's also my chance to revive Stab! on a new forum and find out whether I can get a bunch of new players hooked on it, too.  Judging from the quickness with which the game filled up there was clearly strong interest.  Not only strong interest, but a very strong group of players.  I remember telling Mike Sims that I had a veritable all-star lineup.  Even our "new face," Jeff Krauss, was fast proving his worth (just check out his standing in WB10), so I was expecting a great game and I'm very happy to say I wasn't disappointed.

Of course the GM has a uniquely omniscient perspective in a game like Stab!  It was great fun to be able to watch each player tackle the problem of how to maneuver about in the dark.  Russia and England and France, to name three examples, took advantage of the dark to quickly expand and attack opponents in non-traditional ways.  Others were very conservative.  Turkey, for instance, was very cautious.  He couldn't know this, of course, but he repeatedly spent turns supporting himself in place against imaginary threats.  If he had pushed on more boldly, I think there was a good chance he could have won the game easily 4 or 5 years earlier.  Scroll through the Realpolitik file and see if you agree.

I don't want to step on the toes of the players' EOGS so I'm not going to speculate too much more on individual play.  In general terms, though, it was signficant, I think, that it was our two witches who thrived best.  In a somewhat chaotic world, is it a coincidence that it was the two countries considered highest in defensive strength that dominated in this game?

Think about that for a minute, and then check out these statistics.  Combining this result with the outcomes from the four games SW has run, these are our outcomes:


CAT23 926: Russian win (year ??)

CAT23 1004: Turkey, England, France draw (year ??)

CAT23 1232: Turkish win (1912, 18 SC)
CAT23 1233: Turkish win (1907, 20 SC)DC 324: Turkish win (1914, 18 SC)

That's three Turkish solos out of five games.  I know, I know.  It's not a large sample size, but still, it makes you want to look a little closer.

In 1233, Turkey was aided greatly by his neighbors Russia and Austria.  The former opened by sending 3 of his 4 units towards Scandinavia, while the latter opened against Italy and Russia, ignoring Serbia and Greece altogether in 1901.  Turkey roared out of the gate and was never checked as he rolled to a quick and decisive victory.

The other two Turkish victories were not that kind of win.  Both were more typical examples of blind gunboat games, where play is understandably less efficient than in sighted games.  However, it still seems fair to me to wonder whether or not that type of game environment might just offer inherent advantages to some countries.  I'm sure we could have a wonderful debate on that very topic.  (I know because I have.)  My current feeling, though, is that rather than debate the topic, I'd like to see more data.  I'd like to see more games completed AND ... I'd like to see more games played where the results given above are known ahead of time because, as we all know, we do adjust our games to compensate for the strengths and weaknesses of the various countries according to our knowledge of their past performance.  My guess is that if I were to host another game of Stab! on DC within the next few months that Turkey would start the game with a giant bullseye on his back.  And you know what?  That's okay.  If we play enough of these games we'll eventually build up a new set of expectations and strategies to deal with the situation that not all countries are created equal in Stab! land.  Heck, they're not equal in standard Dip, so we've no right to complain if Stab! skews the balance in different ways than we're used to.  Right?

Players EOG Statements

You can post your EOG statements directly to the game forum, or just email to all the people on this list and copy the dc324 forum as I've done on this message.  If you choose to just reply to this message, please do us all the favor of deleting this original message text from your entry.

I know that Germany has already written his EOGS and I hope that more of you will follow suit.  I'd love to hear about how you stabbed in the dark and tried to keep from getting stabbed.  Comments on the game management (my part) and the game rules are welcome, too.  As mentioned some time ago, I intend to expand quite a bit on Stab! entry the DipWiki.  I'll need some time to collect all my notes, but when I do I will send them to all of you for your review and comments.

Farewell

I suppose as Diplomacy games go this one played out pretty quickly.  Fourteen years in fifteen weeks is certainly no record, but I have to say it felt like longer.  I can put out a typically gunboat adjudication in about 30 minutes.  The BEST I ever did in Stab! was an hour, and typically it was 1.5 to 2 hours by the time I'd finished.

Rest assured that it was all a labor of love and I'd do it again.  Not right away, but again.  Thanks to all the players who did a wonderful job of keeping to -- and ahead of, in most cases -- the deadlines.  One NMR in 14 years is pretty darn good, in my book.  I hope you all enjoyed yourselves as much as I did hosting.

Cheers,
Chris


Orders as resolved for Fall 1914.
=============================================
England:
F Baltic Sea Supports A Kiel - Berlin
F Barents Sea Supports F St Petersburg(sc)
A Belgium - Norway
A Burgundy - Munich (*Bounce*)
F English Channel Hold
F Gulf of Lyon Supports A Marseilles - Piedmont
A Holland - Kiel (*Fails*)
A Kiel - Berlin (*Bounce*)
A Marseilles - Piedmont (*Fails*)
F Mid-Atlantic Ocean Hold
F North Africa Supports F Tunis
F North Sea Convoys A Belgium - Norway
A Ruhr Supports A Burgundy - Munich
F St Petersburg(sc) Hold
F Tunis Supports F Western Mediterranean - Tyrrhenian Sea (*Cut*)
F Western Mediterranean - Tyrrhenian Sea (*Fails*)

Turkey:
F Adriatic Sea - Ionian Sea (*Fails*)
A Armenia - STE (*Invalid*)
A Bohemia - Munich (*Bounce*)
A Bulgaria - Rumania
A Galicia - Warsaw
F Ionian Sea - Tunis (*Fails*)
A Livonia Supports A Moscow - St Petersburg
A Moscow - St Petersburg (*Fails*)
A Munich - Berlin (*Bounce*)
F Naples Supports F Tyrrhenian Sea
A Piedmont Supports A Tuscany (*Cut*)
F Rome Supports F Tyrrhenian Sea
A Silesia Supports A Munich - Berlin
A Tuscany Supports A Piedmont
A Tyrolia Supports A Bohemia - Munich
F Tyrrhenian Sea Supports F Ionian Sea - Tunis (*Cut*)
A Warsaw - Prussia

=============================================
(DC 324) A Stab in the Dark *** GAME OVER *** (dc324) packrat Aug 10, 07:22 am
NICE!  Why don't ya just paint a target on the guys back while you're at it.
That's part of what fueled my slow exodus away from the hobby.  Far too
many games wound up being "get Packrat" fests.  And, no, it isn't paranoia,
I've had more than one player tell me that they came after me because of
the either the reputation or, in the case of DC, because of the ratings.

Congratulations for sure, and it is certainly IS an incredible record, but
when you point it out, you paint the target.

From:
Michael Sims <mike(at)fuzzylogicllc.net>
To: C Morse <camorse22(at)yahoo.com>; Dirk Knemeyer <dirk(at)knemeyer.com>; Jeffrey Krause <diplomacy(at)jeffreyk.com>; Michael Thompson <psychosis(at)sky.com>; Paul Russell <jehannum_raver(at)yahoo.com>; Scott Packrat Troemel <brn2dip(at)yahoo.com>; Scott Hickey <thase+dipcorp(at)dalarin.net>; Steve Lytton <stevelytton(at)hotmail.com>
Cc: dc324 <dc324(at)diplomaticcorp.com>; Stephen Worthy <stephenworthy(at)rocketmail.com>
Sent: Tue, August 10, 2010 8:13:38 AM
Subject: RE: (DC 324) A Stab in the Dark *** GAME OVER ***





Wow a 4th solo for Scott in 8 games played.  Incredible record.  Congrats!
-mike


From: C Morse [mailto:camorse22(at)yahoo.com]
Sent: Mon 8/9/2010 9:37 PM
To: Chris Morse; Dirk Knemeyer; Jeffrey Krause; Michael Thompson; Paul Russell; Scott Packrat Troemel; Scott Hickey; Steve Lytton
Cc: dc324; Michael Sims; Stephen Worthy
Subject: (DC 324) A Stab in the Dark *** GAME OVER ***



GENTLEMEN, WE HAVE A WINNER!

Congratulations to Scott Hickey, aka Lequinian, for his solo victory as Turkey in A Stab in the Dark, the inaugural Gunboat Stab! game on the DC site.

Bittersweet congratulations are also in order for our second-place finisher, Paul Russell, who played a heck of a game himself.  Paul, as England, just missed derailing the Turkish locomotive that in the early-to-mid-game seemed on track to an easy triumph.

Scott used a ton of skill throughout the game and just enough intuition in the final season to thwart England's final gambit.  It was a fifty-fifty proposition in the last Fall season.  Turkey had four units in defense against England's four units attacking.  Would it be three on Munich and one on Berlin, or two for each?  Scott guessed the latter and he guessed correctly, managing to bounce the English attacks in both supply centers
and to claim his 18th dot in Munich while Berlin was left open.

Here are the orders that decided it all.  (The complete set of orders can be found at the end of this message.)

England:
F Baltic Sea Supports A Kiel - Berlin
A Burgundy - Munich (*Bounce*)
A Kiel - Berlin (*Bounce*)
A Ruhr Supports A Burgundy - Munich

Turkey:
A Bohemia - Munich (*Bounce*)
A Munich - Berlin (*Bounce*)
A Silesia Supports A Munich - Berlin
A Tyrolia Supports A Bohemia - Munich

Tooth and nail to the end, I do believe that we would have had a stalemate if there had been no victory this year.  As you can see from the attached maps, Turkey had just filled into Prussia, closing the last small gap in the two players' lines.  I'm sure Paul is kicking himself for allowing Turkey to take Munich in the Spring, but hey, he took a calculated risk and it just didn't work.  No shame there.

Cast of Characters (aka The Stab! All-Stars)

Austria - Scott "Packrat" Troemel - Eliminated 1903
England - Paul "Jehannum" Russell - Survival (16 SC)
France - Stephen "Deathblade Penguin" Lytton - Eliminated 1911
Germany - Jeffrey Krauss - Eliminated 1906
Italy - Michael "Psychosis" Thompson - Eliminated 1911
Russia - Dirk Knemeyer - Eliminated 1909
Turkey - Scott "Lequinian" Hickey - Solo Victory 1914 (18 SC)

List of Attachments

DC324_F14_Moves.gif   ... so you can see how the last turn played out
DC324_F14_Game_Over.gif   ... the final position showing Turkey's victory
DC324_F14.dpy   ... the Realpolitik file.  You can watch the whole game play out in a slideshow!
DC 324 Report.odt   ... an open office word processing document that I kept for my own sake.  Don't know how many of you
will be able to open it, but if you can, you'll see how I tracked all the game moves -- what was seen, what was hidden, the complete support orders, etc.

GM's EOG Statement

I was first introduced to Stab! a few years back by a gentleman GM named Stephen Worthy (henceforth SW -- Hi Stephen!) from the Cat23 Diplomacy group.  I was completely hooked after one turn.  I liked gunboat.  I really liked the semi-blind aspect, which let me try to be tricky in the dark and which really engaged my deductive powers trying to figure out where everyone's units were.  I did rather well at it, too, which no doubt contributed to my enjoyment.

So, here it is a few years later and I decide that not only is it time I gave back and GM a game, but it's also my chance to revive Stab! on a new forum and find out whether I can get a bunch of new players
hooked on it, too.  Judging from the quickness with which the game filled up there was clearly strong interest.  Not only strong interest, but a very strong group of players.  I remember telling Mike Sims that I had a veritable all-star lineup.  Even our "new face," Jeff Krauss, was fast proving his worth (just check out his standing in WB10), so I was expecting a great game and I'm very happy to say I wasn't disappointed.

Of course the GM has a uniquely omniscient perspective in a game like Stab!  It was great fun to be able to watch each player tackle the problem of how to maneuver about in the dark.  Russia and England and France, to name three examples, took advantage of the dark to quickly expand and attack opponents in non-traditional ways.  Others were very conservative.  Turkey, for instance, was very cautious.  He couldn't know this, of course, but he repeatedly spent turns supporting himself
in place against imaginary threats.  If he had pushed on more boldly, I think there was a good chance he could have won the game easily 4 or 5 years earlier.  Scroll through the Realpolitik file and see if you agree.

I don't want to step on the toes of the players' EOGS so I'm not going to speculate too much more on individual play.  In general terms, though, it was signficant, I think, that it was our two witches who thrived best.  In a somewhat chaotic world, is it a coincidence that it was the two countries considered highest in defensive strength that dominated in this game?

Think about that for a minute, and then check out these statistics.  Combining this result with the outcomes from the four games SW has run, these are our outcomes:


CAT23 926: Russian win (year ??)

CAT23 1004: Turkey, England, France draw (year ??)

CAT23 1232: Turkish win (1912, 18 SC)
CAT23 1233: Turkish win (1907, 20 SC)DC 324: Turkish win (1914, 18 SC)

That's three Turkish solos out of five games.  I know, I know.  It's not a large sample size, but still, it makes you want to look a little closer.

In 1233, Turkey was aided greatly by his neighbors Russia and Austria.  The former opened by sending 3 of his 4 units towards Scandinavia, while the latter opened against Italy and Russia, ignoring Serbia and Greece altogether in 1901.  Turkey roared out of the gate and was never checked as he rolled to a quick and decisive victory.

The other two Turkish victories were not that kind of win.  Both were more typical examples of blind gunboat games, where play is understandably less efficient than in sighted games.  However, it still seems fair to me to wonder whether or not that type of game environment might just offer inherent advantages to some
countries.  I'm sure we could have a wonderful debate on that very topic.  (I know because I have.)  My current feeling, though, is that rather than debate the topic, I'd like to see more data.  I'd like to see more games completed AND ... I'd like to see more games played where the results given above are known ahead of time because, as we all know, we do adjust our games to compensate for the strengths and weaknesses of the various countries according to our knowledge of their past performance.  My guess is that if I were to host another game of Stab! on DC within the next few months that Turkey would start the game with a giant bullseye on his back.  And you know what?  That's okay.  If we play enough of these games we'll eventually build up a new set of expectations and strategies to deal with the situation that not all countries are created equal in Stab! land.  Heck, they're not equal in standard Dip,
so we've no right to complain if Stab! skews the balance in different ways than we're used to.  Right?

Players EOG Statements

You can post your EOG statements directly to the game forum, or just email to all the people on this list and copy the dc324 forum as I've done on this message.  If you choose to just reply to this message, please do us all the favor of deleting this original message text from your entry.

I know that Germany has already written his EOGS and I hope that more of you will follow suit.  I'd love to hear about how you stabbed in the dark and tried to keep from getting stabbed.  Comments on the game management (my part) and the game rules are welcome, too.  As mentioned some time ago, I intend to expand quite a bit on Stab! entry the DipWiki.  I'll need some time to collect all my notes, but when I do I
will send them to all of you for your review and comments.

Farewell

I suppose as Diplomacy games go this one played out pretty quickly.  Fourteen years in fifteen weeks is certainly no record, but I have to say it felt like longer.  I can put out a typically gunboat adjudication in about 30 minutes.  The BEST I ever did in Stab! was an hour, and typically it was 1.5 to 2 hours by the time I'd finished.

Rest assured that it was all a labor of love and I'd do it again.  Not right away, but again.  Thanks to all the players who did a wonderful job of keeping to -- and ahead of, in most cases -- the deadlines.  One NMR in 14 years is pretty darn good, in my book.  I hope you all enjoyed yourselves as much as I did hosting.

Cheers,
Chris


Orders as resolved for Fall
1914.
=============================================
England:
F Baltic Sea Supports A Kiel - Berlin
F Barents Sea Supports F St Petersburg(sc)
A Belgium - Norway
A Burgundy - Munich (*Bounce*)
F English Channel Hold
F Gulf of Lyon Supports A Marseilles - Piedmont
A Holland - Kiel (*Fails*)
A Kiel - Berlin (*Bounce*)
A Marseilles - Piedmont (*Fails*)
F Mid-Atlantic Ocean Hold
F North Africa Supports F Tunis
F North Sea Convoys A Belgium - Norway
A Ruhr Supports A Burgundy - Munich
F St Petersburg(sc) Hold
F Tunis Supports F Western Mediterranean - Tyrrhenian Sea (*Cut*)
F Western Mediterranean - Tyrrhenian Sea (*Fails*)

Turkey:
F Adriatic Sea - Ionian Sea (*Fails*)
A Armenia - STE (*Invalid*)
A Bohemia - Munich (*Bounce*)
A Bulgaria - Rumania
A Galicia - Warsaw
F Ionian Sea - Tunis (*Fails*)
A Livonia Supports A Moscow - St Petersburg
A Moscow - St Petersburg
(*Fails*)
A Munich - Berlin (*Bounce*)
F Naples Supports F Tyrrhenian Sea
A Piedmont Supports A Tuscany (*Cut*)
F Rome Supports F Tyrrhenian Sea
A Silesia Supports A Munich - Berlin
A Tuscany Supports A Piedmont
A Tyrolia Supports A Bohemia - Munich
F Tyrrhenian Sea Supports F Ionian Sea - Tunis (*Cut*)
A Warsaw - Prussia

=============================================
(DC 324) A Stab in the Dark *** GAME OVER *** (dc324) FuzzyLogic Aug 10, 07:23 am
Hey gotta share the target when you can.  I certainly dont mind if someone besides me carries that thing for a while, it's heavy!  Smile 



From: Packrat [mailto:brn2dip(at)yahoo.com]
Sent: Tue 8/10/2010 7:22 AM
To: Michael Sims; C Morse; Dirk Knemeyer; Jeffrey Krause; Michael Thompson; Paul Russell; Scott Hickey; Steve Lytton
Cc: dc324; Stephen Worthy
Subject: Re: (DC 324) A Stab in the Dark *** GAME OVER ***




NICE!  Why don't ya just paint a target on the guys back while you're at it.
That's part of what fueled my slow exodus away from the hobby.  Far too
many games wound up being "get Packrat" fests.  And, no, it isn't paranoia,
I've had more than one player tell me that they came after me because of
the either the reputation or, in the case of DC, because of the ratings.

Congratulations for sure, and it is certainly IS an incredible record, but
when you point it out, you paint the target.





From: Michael Sims <mike(at)fuzzylogicllc.net>
To: C Morse <camorse22(at)yahoo.com>; Dirk Knemeyer <dirk(at)knemeyer.com>; Jeffrey Krause <diplomacy(at)jeffreyk.com>; Michael Thompson <psychosis(at)sky.com>; Paul Russell <jehannum_raver(at)yahoo.com>; Scott Packrat Troemel <brn2dip(at)yahoo.com>; Scott Hickey <thase+dipcorp(at)dalarin.net>; Steve Lytton <stevelytton(at)hotmail.com>
Cc: dc324 <dc324(at)diplomaticcorp.com>; Stephen Worthy <stephenworthy(at)rocketmail.com>
Sent: Tue, August 10, 2010 8:13:38 AM
Subject: RE: (DC 324) A Stab in the Dark *** GAME OVER ***



Wow a 4th solo for Scott in 8 games played.  Incredible record.  Congrats!
-mike



From: C Morse [mailto:camorse22(at)yahoo.com]
Sent: Mon 8/9/2010 9:37 PM
To: Chris Morse; Dirk Knemeyer; Jeffrey Krause; Michael Thompson; Paul Russell; Scott Packrat Troemel; Scott Hickey; Steve Lytton
Cc: dc324; Michael Sims; Stephen Worthy
Subject: (DC 324) A Stab in the Dark *** GAME OVER ***




GENTLEMEN, WE HAVE A WINNER!

Congratulations to Scott Hickey, aka Lequinian, for his solo victory as Turkey in A Stab in the Dark, the inaugural Gunboat Stab! game on the DC site.

Bittersweet congratulations are also in order for our second-place finisher, Paul Russell, who played a heck of a game himself.  Paul, as England, just missed derailing the Turkish locomotive that in the early-to-mid-game seemed on track to an easy triumph.

Scott used a ton of skill throughout the game and just enough intuition in the final season to thwart England's final gambit.  It was a fifty-fifty proposition in the last Fall season.  Turkey had four units in defense against England's four units attacking.  Would it be three on Munich and one on Berlin, or two for each?  Scott guessed the latter and he guessed correctly, managing to bounce the English attacks in both supply centers and to claim his 18th dot in Munich while Berlin was left open.

Here are the orders that decided it all.  (The complete set of orders can be found at the end of this message.)

England:
F Baltic Sea Supports A Kiel - Berlin
A Burgundy - Munich (*Bounce*)
A Kiel - Berlin (*Bounce*)
A Ruhr Supports A Burgundy - Munich

Turkey:
A Bohemia - Munich (*Bounce*)
A Munich - Berlin (*Bounce*)
A Silesia Supports A Munich - Berlin
A Tyrolia Supports A Bohemia - Munich

Tooth and nail to the end, I do believe that we would have had a stalemate if there had been no victory this year.  As you can see from the attached maps, Turkey had just filled into Prussia, closing the last small gap in the two players' lines.  I'm sure Paul is kicking himself for allowing Turkey to take Munich in the Spring, but hey, he took a calculated risk and it just didn't work.  No shame there.

Cast of Characters (aka The Stab! All-Stars)

Austria - Scott "Packrat" Troemel - Eliminated 1903
England - Paul "Jehannum" Russell - Survival (16 SC)
France - Stephen "Deathblade Penguin" Lytton - Eliminated 1911
Germany - Jeffrey Krauss - Eliminated 1906
Italy - Michael "Psychosis" Thompson - Eliminated 1911
Russia - Dirk Knemeyer - Eliminated 1909
Turkey - Scott "Lequinian" Hickey - Solo Victory 1914 (18 SC)

List of Attachments

DC324_F14_Moves.gif   ... so you can see how the last turn played out
DC324_F14_Game_Over.gif   ... the final position showing Turkey's victory
DC324_F14.dpy   ... the Realpolitik file.  You can watch the whole game play out in a slideshow!
DC 324 Report.odt   ... an open office word processing document that I kept for my own sake.  Don't know how many of you will be able to open it, but if you can, you'll see how I tracked all the game moves -- what was seen, what was hidden, the complete support orders, etc.

GM's EOG Statement

I was first introduced to Stab! a few years back by a gentleman GM named Stephen Worthy (henceforth SW -- Hi Stephen!) from the Cat23 Diplomacy group.  I was completely hooked after one turn.  I liked gunboat.  I really liked the semi-blind aspect, which let me try to be tricky in the dark and which really engaged my deductive powers trying to figure out where everyone's units were.  I did rather well at it, too, which no doubt contributed to my enjoyment.

So, here it is a few years later and I decide that not only is it time I gave back and GM a game, but it's also my chance to revive Stab! on a new forum and find out whether I can get a bunch of new players hooked on it, too.  Judging from the quickness with which the game filled up there was clearly strong interest.  Not only strong interest, but a very strong group of players.  I remember telling Mike Sims that I had a veritable all-star lineup.  Even our "new face," Jeff Krauss, was fast proving his worth (just check out his standing in WB10), so I was expecting a great game and I'm very happy to say I wasn't disappointed.

Of course the GM has a uniquely omniscient perspective in a game like Stab!  It was great fun to be able to watch each player tackle the problem of how to maneuver about in the dark.  Russia and England and France, to name three examples, took advantage of the dark to quickly expand and attack opponents in non-traditional ways.  Others were very conservative.  Turkey, for instance, was very cautious.  He couldn't know this, of course, but he repeatedly spent turns supporting himself in place against imaginary threats.  If he had pushed on more boldly, I think there was a good chance he could have won the game easily 4 or 5 years earlier.  Scroll through the Realpolitik file and see if you agree.

I don't want to step on the toes of the players' EOGS so I'm not going to speculate too much more on individual play.  In general terms, though, it was signficant, I think, that it was our two witches who thrived best.  In a somewhat chaotic world, is it a coincidence that it was the two countries considered highest in defensive strength that dominated in this game?

Think about that for a minute, and then check out these statistics.  Combining this result with the outcomes from the four games SW has run, these are our outcomes:


CAT23 926: Russian win (year ??)

CAT23 1004: Turkey, England, France draw (year ??)

CAT23 1232: Turkish win (1912, 18 SC)
CAT23 1233: Turkish win (1907, 20 SC)DC 324: Turkish win (1914, 18 SC)

That's three Turkish solos out of five games.  I know, I know.  It's not a large sample size, but still, it makes you want to look a little closer.

In 1233, Turkey was aided greatly by his neighbors Russia and Austria.  The former opened by sending 3 of his 4 units towards Scandinavia, while the latter opened against Italy and Russia, ignoring Serbia and Greece altogether in 1901.  Turkey roared out of the gate and was never checked as he rolled to a quick and decisive victory.

The other two Turkish victories were not that kind of win.  Both were more typical examples of blind gunboat games, where play is understandably less efficient than in sighted games.  However, it still seems fair to me to wonder whether or not that type of game environment might just offer inherent advantages to some countries.  I'm sure we could have a wonderful debate on that very topic.  (I know because I have.)  My current feeling, though, is that rather than debate the topic, I'd like to see more data.  I'd like to see more games completed AND ... I'd like to see more games played where the results given above are known ahead of time because, as we all know, we do adjust our games to compensate for the strengths and weaknesses of the various countries according to our knowledge of their past performance.  My guess is that if I were to host another game of Stab! on DC within the next few months that Turkey would start the game with a giant bullseye on his back.  And you know what?  That's okay.  If we play enough of these games we'll eventually build up a new set of expectations and strategies to deal with the situation that not all countries are created equal in Stab! land.  Heck, they're not equal in standard Dip, so we've no right to complain if Stab! skews the balance in different ways than we're used to.  Right?

Players EOG Statements

You can post your EOG statements directly to the game forum, or just email to all the people on this list and copy the dc324 forum as I've done on this message.  If you choose to just reply to this message, please do us all the favor of deleting this original message text from your entry.

I know that Germany has already written his EOGS and I hope that more of you will follow suit.  I'd love to hear about how you stabbed in the dark and tried to keep from getting stabbed.  Comments on the game management (my part) and the game rules are welcome, too.  As mentioned some time ago, I intend to expand quite a bit on Stab! entry the DipWiki.  I'll need some time to collect all my notes, but when I do I will send them to all of you for your review and comments.

Farewell

I suppose as Diplomacy games go this one played out pretty quickly.  Fourteen years in fifteen weeks is certainly no record, but I have to say it felt like longer.  I can put out a typically gunboat adjudication in about 30 minutes.  The BEST I ever did in Stab! was an hour, and typically it was 1.5 to 2 hours by the time I'd finished.

Rest assured that it was all a labor of love and I'd do it again.  Not right away, but again.  Thanks to all the players who did a wonderful job of keeping to -- and ahead of, in most cases -- the deadlines.  One NMR in 14 years is pretty darn good, in my book.  I hope you all enjoyed yourselves as much as I did hosting.

Cheers,
Chris


Orders as resolved for Fall 1914.
=============================================
England:
F Baltic Sea Supports A Kiel - Berlin
F Barents Sea Supports F St Petersburg(sc)
A Belgium - Norway
A Burgundy - Munich (*Bounce*)
F English Channel Hold
F Gulf of Lyon Supports A Marseilles - Piedmont
A Holland - Kiel (*Fails*)
A Kiel - Berlin (*Bounce*)
A Marseilles - Piedmont (*Fails*)
F Mid-Atlantic Ocean Hold
F North Africa Supports F Tunis
F North Sea Convoys A Belgium - Norway
A Ruhr Supports A Burgundy - Munich
F St Petersburg(sc) Hold
F Tunis Supports F Western Mediterranean - Tyrrhenian Sea (*Cut*)
F Western Mediterranean - Tyrrhenian Sea (*Fails*)

Turkey:
F Adriatic Sea - Ionian Sea (*Fails*)
A Armenia - STE (*Invalid*)
A Bohemia - Munich (*Bounce*)
A Bulgaria - Rumania
A Galicia - Warsaw
F Ionian Sea - Tunis (*Fails*)
A Livonia Supports A Moscow - St Petersburg
A Moscow - St Petersburg (*Fails*)
A Munich - Berlin (*Bounce*)
F Naples Supports F Tyrrhenian Sea
A Piedmont Supports A Tuscany (*Cut*)
F Rome Supports F Tyrrhenian Sea
A Silesia Supports A Munich - Berlin
A Tuscany Supports A Piedmont
A Tyrolia Supports A Bohemia - Munich
F Tyrrhenian Sea Supports F Ionian Sea - Tunis (*Cut*)
A Warsaw - Prussia

=============================================
(DC 324) A Stab in the Dark *** GAME OVER *** (dc324) packrat Aug 10, 07:32 am
No argument here on that!!


From: Michael Sims <mike(at)fuzzylogicllc.net>
To: Packrat <brn2dip(at)yahoo.com>; C Morse <camorse22(at)yahoo.com>; Dirk Knemeyer <dirk(at)knemeyer.com>; Jeffrey Krause <diplomacy(at)jeffreyk.com>; Michael Thompson <psychosis(at)sky.com>; Paul Russell <jehannum_raver(at)yahoo.com>; Scott Hickey <thase+dipcorp(at)dalarin.net>; Steve Lytton <stevelytton(at)hotmail.com>
Cc: dc324
<dc324(at)diplomaticcorp.com>; Stephen Worthy <stephenworthy(at)rocketmail.com>
Sent: Tue, August 10, 2010 8:23:40 AM
Subject: RE: (DC 324) A Stab in the Dark *** GAME OVER ***





Hey gotta share the target when you can.  I certainly dont mind if someone besides me carries that thing for a while, it's heavy!  Smile 


From: Packrat [mailto:brn2dip(at)yahoo.com]
Sent: Tue 8/10/2010 7:22 AM
To: Michael Sims; C Morse; Dirk Knemeyer; Jeffrey Krause; Michael Thompson; Paul Russell; Scott Hickey; Steve Lytton
Cc: dc324; Stephen Worthy
Subject: Re: (DC 324) A Stab in the Dark *** GAME OVER ***



NICE!  Why don't ya just paint a target on the guys back while you're at it.
That's part of what fueled my slow exodus away from the hobby.  Far too
many games wound up being "get Packrat" fests.  And, no, it isn't paranoia,
I've had more than one player tell me that they came after me because of
the either the reputation or, in the case of DC, because of the ratings.

Congratulations for sure, and it is certainly IS an incredible record, but
when you point it out, you paint the target.




From: Michael Sims <mike(at)fuzzylogicllc.net>
To: C Morse <camorse22(at)yahoo.com>; Dirk Knemeyer <dirk(at)knemeyer.com>; Jeffrey Krause <diplomacy(at)jeffreyk.com>; Michael Thompson <psychosis(at)sky.com>; Paul Russell <jehannum_raver(at)yahoo.com>; Scott Packrat Troemel <brn2dip(at)yahoo.com>; Scott Hickey <thase+dipcorp(at)dalarin.net>; Steve Lytton <stevelytton(at)hotmail.com>
Cc: dc324 <dc324(at)diplomaticcorp.com>; Stephen Worthy <stephenworthy(at)rocketmail.com>
Sent: Tue, August 10, 2010 8:13:38 AM
Subject: RE: (DC 324) A Stab in the Dark *** GAME OVER ***


Wow a 4th solo for Scott in 8 games played.  Incredible record.  Congrats!
-mike


From: C Morse [mailto:camorse22(at)yahoo.com]
Sent: Mon 8/9/2010 9:37 PM
To: Chris Morse; Dirk Knemeyer; Jeffrey Krause; Michael Thompson; Paul Russell; Scott Packrat Troemel; Scott Hickey; Steve Lytton
Cc: dc324; Michael Sims; Stephen Worthy
Subject: (DC 324) A Stab in the Dark *** GAME OVER ***



GENTLEMEN, WE HAVE A WINNER!

Congratulations to Scott Hickey, aka Lequinian, for his solo victory as Turkey in A Stab in the Dark, the inaugural Gunboat Stab! game on the DC site.

Bittersweet congratulations are also in order for our second-place finisher, Paul Russell, who played a heck of a game himself.  Paul, as England, just missed derailing the Turkish locomotive that in the early-to-mid-game seemed on track to an easy triumph.

Scott used a ton of skill throughout the game and just enough intuition in the final season to thwart England's final gambit.  It was a fifty-fifty proposition in the last Fall season.  Turkey had four units in defense against England's four units attacking.  Would it be three on Munich and one on Berlin, or two for each?  Scott guessed the latter and he guessed correctly, managing to bounce the English attacks in both supply centers
and to claim his 18th dot in Munich while Berlin was left open.

Here are the orders that decided it all.  (The complete set of orders can be found at the end of this message.)

England:
F Baltic Sea Supports A Kiel - Berlin
A Burgundy - Munich (*Bounce*)
A Kiel - Berlin (*Bounce*)
A Ruhr Supports A Burgundy - Munich

Turkey:
A Bohemia - Munich (*Bounce*)
A Munich - Berlin (*Bounce*)
A Silesia Supports A Munich - Berlin
A Tyrolia Supports A Bohemia - Munich

Tooth and nail to the end, I do believe that we would have had a stalemate if there had been no victory this year.  As you can see from the attached maps, Turkey had just filled into Prussia, closing the last small gap in the two players' lines.  I'm sure Paul is kicking himself for allowing Turkey to take Munich in the Spring, but hey, he took a calculated risk and it just didn't work.  No shame there.

Cast of Characters (aka The Stab! All-Stars)

Austria - Scott "Packrat" Troemel - Eliminated 1903
England - Paul "Jehannum" Russell - Survival (16 SC)
France - Stephen "Deathblade Penguin" Lytton - Eliminated 1911
Germany - Jeffrey Krauss - Eliminated 1906
Italy - Michael "Psychosis" Thompson - Eliminated 1911
Russia - Dirk Knemeyer - Eliminated 1909
Turkey - Scott "Lequinian" Hickey - Solo Victory 1914 (18 SC)

List of Attachments

DC324_F14_Moves.gif   ... so you can see how the last turn played out
DC324_F14_Game_Over.gif   ... the final position showing Turkey's victory
DC324_F14.dpy   ... the Realpolitik file.  You can watch the whole game play out in a slideshow!
DC 324 Report.odt   ... an open office word processing document that I kept for my own sake.  Don't know how many of you
will be able to open it, but if you can, you'll see how I tracked all the game moves -- what was seen, what was hidden, the complete support orders, etc.

GM's EOG Statement

I was first introduced to Stab! a few years back by a gentleman GM named Stephen Worthy (henceforth SW -- Hi Stephen!) from the Cat23 Diplomacy group.  I was completely hooked after one turn.  I liked gunboat.  I really liked the semi-blind aspect, which let me try to be tricky in the dark and which really engaged my deductive powers trying to figure out where everyone's units were.  I did rather well at it, too, which no doubt contributed to my enjoyment.

So, here it is a few years later and I decide that not only is it time I gave back and GM a game, but it's also my chance to revive Stab! on a new forum and find out whether I can get a bunch of new players
hooked on it, too.  Judging from the quickness with which the game filled up there was clearly strong interest.  Not only strong interest, but a very strong group of players.  I remember telling Mike Sims that I had a veritable all-star lineup.  Even our "new face," Jeff Krauss, was fast proving his worth (just check out his standing in WB10), so I was expecting a great game and I'm very happy to say I wasn't disappointed.

Of course the GM has a uniquely omniscient perspective in a game like Stab!  It was great fun to be able to watch each player tackle the problem of how to maneuver about in the dark.  Russia and England and France, to name three examples, took advantage of the dark to quickly expand and attack opponents in non-traditional ways.  Others were very conservative.  Turkey, for instance, was very cautious.  He couldn't know this, of course, but he repeatedly spent turns supporting himself
in place against imaginary threats.  If he had pushed on more boldly, I think there was a good chance he could have won the game easily 4 or 5 years earlier.  Scroll through the Realpolitik file and see if you agree.

I don't want to step on the toes of the players' EOGS so I'm not going to speculate too much more on individual play.  In general terms, though, it was signficant, I think, that it was our two witches who thrived best.  In a somewhat chaotic world, is it a coincidence that it was the two countries considered highest in defensive strength that dominated in this game?

Think about that for a minute, and then check out these statistics.  Combining this result with the outcomes from the four games SW has run, these are our outcomes:


CAT23 926: Russian win (year ??)

CAT23 1004: Turkey, England, France draw (year ??)

CAT23 1232: Turkish win (1912, 18 SC)
CAT23 1233: Turkish win (1907, 20 SC)DC 324: Turkish win (1914, 18 SC)

That's three Turkish solos out of five games.  I know, I know.  It's not a large sample size, but still, it makes you want to look a little closer.

In 1233, Turkey was aided greatly by his neighbors Russia and Austria.  The former opened by sending 3 of his 4 units towards Scandinavia, while the latter opened against Italy and Russia, ignoring Serbia and Greece altogether in 1901.  Turkey roared out of the gate and was never checked as he rolled to a quick and decisive victory.

The other two Turkish victories were not that kind of win.  Both were more typical examples of blind gunboat games, where play is understandably less efficient than in sighted games.  However, it still seems fair to me to wonder whether or not that type of game environment might just offer inherent advantages to some
countries.  I'm sure we could have a wonderful debate on that very topic.  (I know because I have.)  My current feeling, though, is that rather than debate the topic, I'd like to see more data.  I'd like to see more games completed AND ... I'd like to see more games played where the results given above are known ahead of time because, as we all know, we do adjust our games to compensate for the strengths and weaknesses of the various countries according to our knowledge of their past performance.  My guess is that if I were to host another game of Stab! on DC within the next few months that Turkey would start the game with a giant bullseye on his back.  And you know what?  That's okay.  If we play enough of these games we'll eventually build up a new set of expectations and strategies to deal with the situation that not all countries are created equal in Stab! land.  Heck, they're not equal in standard Dip,
so we've no right to complain if Stab! skews the balance in different ways than we're used to.  Right?

Players EOG Statements

You can post your EOG statements directly to the game forum, or just email to all the people on this list and copy the dc324 forum as I've done on this message.  If you choose to just reply to this message, please do us all the favor of deleting this original message text from your entry.

I know that Germany has already written his EOGS and I hope that more of you will follow suit.  I'd love to hear about how you stabbed in the dark and tried to keep from getting stabbed.  Comments on the game management (my part) and the game rules are welcome, too.  As mentioned some time ago, I intend to expand quite a bit on Stab! entry the DipWiki.  I'll need some time to collect all my notes, but when I do I
will send them to all of you for your review and comments.

Farewell

I suppose as Diplomacy games go this one played out pretty quickly.  Fourteen years in fifteen weeks is certainly no record, but I have to say it felt like longer.  I can put out a typically gunboat adjudication in about 30 minutes.  The BEST I ever did in Stab! was an hour, and typically it was 1.5 to 2 hours by the time I'd finished.

Rest assured that it was all a labor of love and I'd do it again.  Not right away, but again.  Thanks to all the players who did a wonderful job of keeping to -- and ahead of, in most cases -- the deadlines.  One NMR in 14 years is pretty darn good, in my book.  I hope you all enjoyed yourselves as much as I did hosting.

Cheers,
Chris


Orders as resolved for Fall
1914.
=============================================
England:
F Baltic Sea Supports A Kiel - Berlin
F Barents Sea Supports F St Petersburg(sc)
A Belgium - Norway
A Burgundy - Munich (*Bounce*)
F English Channel Hold
F Gulf of Lyon Supports A Marseilles - Piedmont
A Holland - Kiel (*Fails*)
A Kiel - Berlin (*Bounce*)
A Marseilles - Piedmont (*Fails*)
F Mid-Atlantic Ocean Hold
F North Africa Supports F Tunis
F North Sea Convoys A Belgium - Norway
A Ruhr Supports A Burgundy - Munich
F St Petersburg(sc) Hold
F Tunis Supports F Western Mediterranean - Tyrrhenian Sea (*Cut*)
F Western Mediterranean - Tyrrhenian Sea (*Fails*)

Turkey:
F Adriatic Sea - Ionian Sea (*Fails*)
A Armenia - STE (*Invalid*)
A Bohemia - Munich (*Bounce*)
A Bulgaria - Rumania
A Galicia - Warsaw
F Ionian Sea - Tunis (*Fails*)
A Livonia Supports A Moscow - St Petersburg
A Moscow - St Petersburg
(*Fails*)
A Munich - Berlin (*Bounce*)
F Naples Supports F Tyrrhenian Sea
A Piedmont Supports A Tuscany (*Cut*)
F Rome Supports F Tyrrhenian Sea
A Silesia Supports A Munich - Berlin
A Tuscany Supports A Piedmont
A Tyrolia Supports A Bohemia - Munich
F Tyrrhenian Sea Supports F Ionian Sea - Tunis (*Cut*)
A Warsaw - Prussia

=============================================
(DC 324) A Stab in the Dark *** GAME OVER *** (dc324) Corrino Aug 10, 09:12 am
Should I mention that I tried to get Mike to play and he passed?
 
Now there's a man who wears his target with pride.  No anonymous gunboat games for him!





From: Packrat <brn2dip(at)yahoo.com>
To: Michael Sims <mike(at)fuzzylogicllc.net>; C Morse <camorse22(at)yahoo.com>; Dirk Knemeyer <dirk(at)knemeyer.com>; Jeffrey Krause <diplomacy(at)jeffreyk.com>; Michael Thompson <psychosis(at)sky.com>; Paul Russell <jehannum_raver(at)yahoo.com>; Scott Hickey <thase+dipcorp(at)dalarin.net>; Steve Lytton <stevelytton(at)hotmail.com>
Cc: dc324 <dc324(at)diplomaticcorp.com>; Stephen Worthy <stephenworthy(at)rocketmail.com>
Sent: Tue, August 10, 2010 8:32:23 AM
Subject: Re: (DC 324) A Stab in the Dark *** GAME OVER ***


No argument here on that!!







From: Michael Sims <mike(at)fuzzylogicllc.net>
To: Packrat <brn2dip(at)yahoo.com>; C Morse <camorse22(at)yahoo.com>; Dirk Knemeyer <dirk(at)knemeyer.com>; Jeffrey Krause <diplomacy(at)jeffreyk.com>; Michael Thompson <psychosis(at)sky.com>; Paul Russell <jehannum_raver(at)yahoo.com>; Scott Hickey <thase+dipcorp(at)dalarin.net>; Steve Lytton <stevelytton(at)hotmail.com>
Cc: dc324 <dc324(at)diplomaticcorp.com>; Stephen Worthy <stephenworthy(at)rocketmail.com>
Sent: Tue, August 10, 2010 8:23:40 AM
Subject: RE: (DC 324) A Stab in the Dark *** GAME OVER ***



Hey gotta share the target when you can.  I certainly dont mind if someone besides me carries that thing for a while, it's heavy!  Smile 



From: Packrat [mailto:brn2dip(at)yahoo.com]
Sent: Tue 8/10/2010 7:22 AM
To: Michael Sims; C Morse; Dirk Knemeyer; Jeffrey Krause; Michael Thompson; Paul Russell; Scott Hickey; Steve Lytton
Cc: dc324; Stephen Worthy
Subject: Re: (DC 324) A Stab in the Dark *** GAME OVER ***




NICE!  Why don't ya just paint a target on the guys back while you're at it.
That's part of what fueled my slow exodus away from the hobby.  Far too
many games wound up being "get Packrat" fests.  And, no, it isn't paranoia,
I've had more than one player tell me that they came after me because of
the either the reputation or, in the case of DC, because of the ratings.

Congratulations for sure, and it is certainly IS an incredible record, but
when you point it out, you paint the target.





From: Michael Sims <mike(at)fuzzylogicllc.net>
To: C Morse <camorse22(at)yahoo.com>; Dirk Knemeyer <dirk(at)knemeyer.com>; Jeffrey Krause <diplomacy(at)jeffreyk.com>; Michael Thompson <psychosis(at)sky.com>; Paul Russell <jehannum_raver(at)yahoo.com>; Scott Packrat Troemel <brn2dip(at)yahoo.com>; Scott Hickey <thase+dipcorp(at)dalarin.net>; Steve Lytton <stevelytton(at)hotmail.com>
Cc: dc324 <dc324(at)diplomaticcorp.com>; Stephen Worthy <stephenworthy(at)rocketmail.com>
Sent: Tue, August 10, 2010 8:13:38 AM
Subject: RE: (DC 324) A Stab in the Dark *** GAME OVER ***



Wow a 4th solo for Scott in 8 games played.  Incredible record.  Congrats!
-mike



From: C Morse [mailto:camorse22(at)yahoo.com]
Sent: Mon 8/9/2010 9:37 PM
To: Chris Morse; Dirk Knemeyer; Jeffrey Krause; Michael Thompson; Paul Russell; Scott Packrat Troemel; Scott Hickey; Steve Lytton
Cc: dc324; Michael Sims; Stephen Worthy
Subject: (DC 324) A Stab in the Dark *** GAME OVER ***




GENTLEMEN, WE HAVE A WINNER!

Congratulations to Scott Hickey, aka Lequinian, for his solo victory as Turkey in A Stab in the Dark, the inaugural Gunboat Stab! game on the DC site.

Bittersweet congratulations are also in order for our second-place finisher, Paul Russell, who played a heck of a game himself.  Paul, as England, just missed derailing the Turkish locomotive that in the early-to-mid-game seemed on track to an easy triumph.

Scott used a ton of skill throughout the game and just enough intuition in the final season to thwart England's final gambit.  It was a fifty-fifty proposition in the last Fall season.  Turkey had four units in defense against England's four units attacking.  Would it be three on Munich and one on Berlin, or two for each?  Scott guessed the latter and he guessed correctly, managing to bounce the English attacks in both supply centers
and to claim his 18th dot in Munich while Berlin was left open.

Here are the orders that decided it all.  (The complete set of orders can be found at the end of this message.)

England:
F Baltic Sea Supports A Kiel - Berlin
A Burgundy - Munich (*Bounce*)
A Kiel - Berlin (*Bounce*)
A Ruhr Supports A Burgundy - Munich

Turkey:
A Bohemia - Munich (*Bounce*)
A Munich - Berlin (*Bounce*)
A Silesia Supports A Munich - Berlin
A Tyrolia Supports A Bohemia - Munich

Tooth and nail to the end, I do believe that we would have had a stalemate if there had been no victory this year.  As you can see from the attached maps, Turkey had just filled into Prussia, closing the last small gap in the two players' lines.  I'm sure Paul is kicking himself for allowing Turkey to take Munich in the Spring, but hey, he took a calculated risk and it just didn't work.  No shame there.

Cast of Characters (aka The Stab! All-Stars)

Austria - Scott "Packrat" Troemel - Eliminated 1903
England - Paul "Jehannum" Russell - Survival (16 SC)
France - Stephen "Deathblade Penguin" Lytton - Eliminated 1911
Germany - Jeffrey Krauss - Eliminated 1906
Italy - Michael "Psychosis" Thompson - Eliminated 1911
Russia - Dirk Knemeyer - Eliminated 1909
Turkey - Scott "Lequinian" Hickey - Solo Victory 1914 (18 SC)

List of Attachments

DC324_F14_Moves.gif   ... so you can see how the last turn played out
DC324_F14_Game_Over.gif   ... the final position showing Turkey's victory
DC324_F14.dpy   ... the Realpolitik file.  You can watch the whole game play out in a slideshow!
DC 324 Report.odt   ... an open office word processing document that I kept for my own sake.  Don't know how many of you
will be able to open it, but if you can, you'll see how I tracked all the game moves -- what was seen, what was hidden, the complete support orders, etc.

GM's EOG Statement

I was first introduced to Stab! a few years back by a gentleman GM named Stephen Worthy (henceforth SW -- Hi Stephen!) from the Cat23 Diplomacy group.  I was completely hooked after one turn.  I liked gunboat.  I really liked the semi-blind aspect, which let me try to be tricky in the dark and which really engaged my deductive powers trying to figure out where everyone's units were.  I did rather well at it, too, which no doubt contributed to my enjoyment.

So, here it is a few years later and I decide that not only is it time I gave back and GM a game, but it's also my chance to revive Stab! on a new forum and find out whether I can get a bunch of new players hooked
on it, too.  Judging from the quickness with which the game filled up there was clearly strong interest.  Not only strong interest, but a very strong group of players.  I remember telling Mike Sims that I had a veritable all-star lineup.  Even our "new face," Jeff Krauss, was fast proving his worth (just check out his standing in WB10), so I was expecting a great game and I'm very happy to say I wasn't disappointed.

Of course the GM has a uniquely omniscient perspective in a game like Stab!  It was great fun to be able to watch each player tackle the problem of how to maneuver about in the dark.  Russia and England and France, to name three examples, took advantage of the dark to quickly expand and attack opponents in non-traditional ways.  Others were very conservative.  Turkey, for instance, was very cautious.  He couldn't know this, of course, but he repeatedly spent turns supporting himself in
place against imaginary threats.  If he had pushed on more boldly, I think there was a good chance he could have won the game easily 4 or 5 years earlier.  Scroll through the Realpolitik file and see if you agree.

I don't want to step on the toes of the players' EOGS so I'm not going to speculate too much more on individual play.  In general terms, though, it was signficant, I think, that it was our two witches who thrived best.  In a somewhat chaotic world, is it a coincidence that it was the two countries considered highest in defensive strength that dominated in this game?

Think about that for a minute, and then check out these statistics.  Combining this result with the outcomes from the four games SW has run, these are our outcomes:


CAT23 926: Russian win (year ??)

CAT23 1004: Turkey, England, France draw (year ??)

CAT23 1232: Turkish win (1912, 18 SC)
CAT23 1233: Turkish win (1907, 20 SC)DC 324: Turkish win (1914, 18 SC)

That's three Turkish solos out of five games.  I know, I know.  It's not a large sample size, but still, it makes you want to look a little closer.

In 1233, Turkey was aided greatly by his neighbors Russia and Austria.  The former opened by sending 3 of his 4 units towards Scandinavia, while the latter opened against Italy and Russia, ignoring Serbia and Greece altogether in 1901.  Turkey roared out of the gate and was never checked as he rolled to a quick and decisive victory.

The other two Turkish victories were not that kind of win.  Both were more typical examples of blind gunboat games, where play is understandably less efficient than in sighted games.  However, it still seems fair to me to wonder whether or not that type of game environment might just offer inherent advantages to some
countries.  I'm sure we could have a wonderful debate on that very topic.  (I know because I have.)  My current feeling, though, is that rather than debate the topic, I'd like to see more data.  I'd like to see more games completed AND ... I'd like to see more games played where the results given above are known ahead of time because, as we all know, we do adjust our games to compensate for the strengths and weaknesses of the various countries according to our knowledge of their past performance.  My guess is that if I were to host another game of Stab! on DC within the next few months that Turkey would start the game with a giant bullseye on his back.  And you know what?  That's okay.  If we play enough of these games we'll eventually build up a new set of expectations and strategies to deal with the situation that not all countries are created equal in Stab! land.  Heck, they're not equal in standard Dip,
so we've no right to complain if Stab! skews the balance in different ways than we're used to.  Right?

Players EOG Statements

You can post your EOG statements directly to the game forum, or just email to all the people on this list and copy the dc324 forum as I've done on this message.  If you choose to just reply to this message, please do us all the favor of deleting this original message text from your entry.

I know that Germany has already written his EOGS and I hope that more of you will follow suit.  I'd love to hear about how you stabbed in the dark and tried to keep from getting stabbed.  Comments on the game management (my part) and the game rules are welcome, too.  As mentioned some time ago, I intend to expand quite a bit on Stab! entry the DipWiki.  I'll need some time to collect all my notes, but when I do I will
send them to all of you for your review and comments.

Farewell

I suppose as Diplomacy games go this one played out pretty quickly.  Fourteen years in fifteen weeks is certainly no record, but I have to say it felt like longer.  I can put out a typically gunboat adjudication in about 30 minutes.  The BEST I ever did in Stab! was an hour, and typically it was 1.5 to 2 hours by the time I'd finished.

Rest assured that it was all a labor of love and I'd do it again.  Not right away, but again.  Thanks to all the players who did a wonderful job of keeping to -- and ahead of, in most cases -- the deadlines.  One NMR in 14 years is pretty darn good, in my book.  I hope you all enjoyed yourselves as much as I did hosting.

Cheers,
Chris


Orders as resolved for Fall
1914.
=============================================
England:
F Baltic Sea Supports A Kiel - Berlin
F Barents Sea Supports F St Petersburg(sc)
A Belgium - Norway
A Burgundy - Munich (*Bounce*)
F English Channel Hold
F Gulf of Lyon Supports A Marseilles - Piedmont
A Holland - Kiel (*Fails*)
A Kiel - Berlin (*Bounce*)
A Marseilles - Piedmont (*Fails*)
F Mid-Atlantic Ocean Hold
F North Africa Supports F Tunis
F North Sea Convoys A Belgium - Norway
A Ruhr Supports A Burgundy - Munich
F St Petersburg(sc) Hold
F Tunis Supports F Western Mediterranean - Tyrrhenian Sea (*Cut*)
F Western Mediterranean - Tyrrhenian Sea (*Fails*)

Turkey:
F Adriatic Sea - Ionian Sea (*Fails*)
A Armenia - STE (*Invalid*)
A Bohemia - Munich (*Bounce*)
A Bulgaria - Rumania
A Galicia - Warsaw
F Ionian Sea - Tunis (*Fails*)
A Livonia Supports A Moscow - St Petersburg
A Moscow - St Petersburg
(*Fails*)
A Munich - Berlin (*Bounce*)
F Naples Supports F Tyrrhenian Sea
A Piedmont Supports A Tuscany (*Cut*)
F Rome Supports F Tyrrhenian Sea
A Silesia Supports A Munich - Berlin
A Tuscany Supports A Piedmont
A Tyrolia Supports A Bohemia - Munich
F Tyrrhenian Sea Supports F Ionian Sea - Tunis (*Cut*)
A Warsaw - Prussia

=============================================
(DC 324) A Stab in the Dark - Spring 1914 Results - Corrino   (Aug 05, 2010, 9:46 pm)
Deja vu!  Don't stop me if you've heard this before.  An army from Berlin attacks and destroys an opposing army in Munich. 

Guess what?  They're wearing fezzes again in the beer gardens. 

But wait.  Do secular Arabs drink beer?  Are Turks Arabs?  Seems we've found a hole in my education.  Hmmm, have to look that up later.  Meanwhile, back at the Double Stab Ranch....

So it's England's turn to have an army go "Poof!" and disappear.  Can he get it back or complete the popular Munich-Berlin swap?  He'd better figure something out or it's all over.  If only we could see into Berlin and Prussia!  But no, they're blacked out this
turn, adding an extra element of uncertainty.  Nothing we interested spectators can do but wait and see.

RETREATS:  None required.

NEXT DEADLINE:  Officially, it's Tuesday, August 10, at 8 pm Eastern US time.  I have a feeling, though, that our players aren't going to want to wait that long.  I'll be able to adjudicate just as soon as I have two sets of orders marked Final.

Cheers,
Chris


Orders as resolved and revealed:
=========================================
England:
F Baltic Sea Supports A Munich - Berlin
A Burgundy - Munich (*Fails*)
F Gulf of Lyon Supports F Western Mediterranean - Tyrrhenian Sea
A Kiel Supports A Munich - Berlin
A Marseilles - Piedmont (*Fails*)
A Munich - Berlin (*Disbanded*)
A Ruhr Supports A Burgundy - Munich
F Tunis Supports * (*Cut*)
F Western Mediterranean - Tyrrhenian Sea (*Fails*)

Turkey:
A Berlin - Munich
A
Bohemia Supports A Berlin - Munich
F Ionian Sea - Tunis (*Fails*)
F Naples Supports F Tyrrhenian Sea
A Piedmont Supports * (*Cut*)
A Silesia Supports A Berlin - Munich
A Tyrolia Supports A Berlin - Munich
F Tyrrhenian Sea Supports * (*Cut*)

==============================================

[Reply]

(DC 324) A Stab in the Dark - Fall 1913 Results - Corrino   (Aug 03, 2010, 7:24 pm)
Two mighty stabs in the dark! 

Two supply centers are taken!!

Two  players both feel a mixture of elation and dread.  Is it over?!

England overpowers the Turkish army holding Munich, but is unable to maintain control of Berlin.  It's an even swap, and our two wicked witches are still dead even at 17 dots apiece.


The line to the south tested thoroughly from both directions and is looking pretty solid.  The line to the north... well, we don't really know.  Haven't seen any conflict north of Germany in many a year.

What happens now?  Why, we roll the calendar ahead to another year and do it all over again. 

RETREATS:  None.

ADJUSTMENTS:  Can't say, but if there are any they are due with the Spring 1914 orders.

NEXT DEADLINE:  Spring 1914 is due on Friday, August 6, at 8 pm Eastern US time.  If I have finals by Thursday night, I'll put out the adjudication a day early.

Individual Fall/Autumn reports will be follow immediately.

Cheers,
Chris


Orders as resolved and revealed.  Check for errors, please.
===================================
England:
F Baltic Sea - Berlin (*Fails*)
A Berlin - Munich
A Burgundy Supports A Berlin - Munich
F Gulf of
Lyon Supports A Marseilles - Piedmont
A Kiel Supports A Berlin - Munich
A Marseilles - Piedmont (*Fails*)
F North Africa Supports F Tunis
A Ruhr Supports A Berlin - Munich
F Tunis Supports * (*Cut*)
F Western Mediterranean - Tyrrhenian Sea (*Fails*)

Turkey:
A Bohemia Supports A Munich
F Ionian Sea - Tunis (*Fails*)
A Munich Supports A Prussia - Berlin (*Disbanded*)
A Piedmont Supports * (*Cut*)
A Prussia - Berlin
A Silesia Supports A Prussia - Berlin
A Tuscany Supports A Piedmont
A Tyrolia Supports A Munich
F Tyrrhenian Sea Supports * (*Cut*)

=================================================

[Reply]

(DC 324) A Stab in the Dark - Spring 1913 - Corrino   (Jul 30, 2010, 9:42 am)
Oops!  A small correction is necessary.  I mis-entered the order for F Gulf of Lyon, which actually ordered support for F Western Med - Tyrrhenian Sea.  Of course, Tyrrhenian Sea was supported by F Naples, so the outcome is just the same, but we strive for 100% accuracy here at Corrino Productions (tm)!

I've corrected the adjudication below, and attached an updated map.

From: C Morse <camorse22(at)yahoo.com>
To: Chris Morse <camorse22(at)yahoo.com>
Sent: Fri, July 30, 2010 10:19:39 AM
Subject: (DC 324) A Stab in the Dark - Spring 1913


Hey Stabbers,

Here we are beginning year 13 of our little contretemps. Will it be lucky 13 for one of our two witches?  Let's see.

Again we have fighting from Kiel in the north to Tunis in the south.  This time, however, it appears that one of our players actually made progress, as English forces managed to trap and destroy a Turkish army in Ruhr.

(For those of you with an interest in the mechanics of Stab!, please note that this is the first time that I've actually stated right out that a unit has been destroyed.  Why is that?  There have been multiple times in the past where a unit has been dislodged with no retreat.  Well, the difference between then and now is that this time every single surrounding space is not only occupied, but
visible to all remaining players.)

Will this small victory turn out to be the difference-maker in our grand war?  Tune in next week when the Fall moves are revealed.

RETREATS:  None Required

NEXT DEADLINE:  Fall 1913 is due Tuesday, August 3, at 8 pm Eastern US time.  As usual, I can adjudicate early if I get final orders from both players.

Cheers,
Chris


Orders as resolved and revealed:
================================================
England:
A Belgium - Ruhr
A Berlin Supports A Burgundy - Munich
A Burgundy - Munich (*Fails*)
F Gulf of Lyon Supports F Western Mediterranean - Tyrrhenian Sea
A Holland Supports A Belgium - Ruhr
A Kiel Supports * (*Cut*)
A Marseilles - Piedmont (*Fails*)
F Tunis Supports * (*Cut*)
F Western Mediterranean - Tyrrhenian Sea (*Fails*)

Turkey:
A Bohemia Supports A Munich
F Ionian Sea - Tunis (*Fails*)
A
Munich Supports * (*Cut*)
F Naples Supports F Tyrrhenian Sea
A Piedmont - Tuscany (*Fails*)
A
Ruhr - Kiel (*Disbanded*)
F Tyrrhenian Sea Supports *
(*Cut*)

=====================================================

[Reply]

(DC 324) A Stab in the Dark - Spring 1913 - Corrino   (Jul 30, 2010, 9:19 am)
Hey Stabbers,

Here we are beginning year 13 of our little contretemps. Will it be lucky 13 for one of our two witches?  Let's see.

Again we have fighting from Kiel in the north to Tunis in the south.  This time, however, it appears that one of our players actually made progress, as English forces managed to trap and destroy a Turkish army in Ruhr.

(For those of you with an interest in the mechanics of Stab!, please note that this is the first time that I've actually stated right out that a unit has been destroyed.  Why is that?  There have been multiple times in the past where a unit has been dislodged with no retreat.  Well, the difference between then and now is that this time every single surrounding space is not only occupied, but
visible to all remaining players.)

Will this small victory turn out to be the difference-maker in our grand war?  Tune in next week when the Fall moves are revealed.

RETREATS:  None Required

NEXT DEADLINE:  Fall 1913 is due Tuesday, August 3, at 8 pm Eastern US time.  As usual, I can adjudicate early if I get final orders from both players.

Cheers,
Chris


Orders as resolved and revealed:
================================================
England:
A Belgium - Ruhr
A Berlin Supports A Burgundy - Munich
A Burgundy - Munich (*Fails*)
A Holland Supports A Belgium - Ruhr
A Kiel Supports * (*Cut*)
A Marseilles - Piedmont (*Fails*)
F Tunis Supports * (*Cut*)
F Western Mediterranean - Tyrrhenian Sea (*Fails*)

Turkey:
A Bohemia Supports A Munich
F Ionian Sea - Tunis (*Fails*)
A Munich Supports * (*Cut*)
A Piedmont - Tuscany (*Fails*)
A
Ruhr - Kiel (*Disbanded*)
F Tyrrhenian Sea Supports *
(*Cut*)

=====================================================

[Reply]

(DC 324) A Stab in the Dark - Spring 1913 (dc324) Corrino Jul 30, 09:42 am
Oops!  A small correction is necessary.  I mis-entered the order for F Gulf of Lyon, which actually ordered support for F Western Med - Tyrrhenian Sea.  Of course, Tyrrhenian Sea was supported by F Naples, so the outcome is just the same, but we strive for 100% accuracy here at Corrino Productions (tm)!

I've corrected the adjudication below, and attached an updated map.

From: C Morse <camorse22(at)yahoo.com>
To: Chris Morse <camorse22(at)yahoo.com>
Sent: Fri, July 30, 2010 10:19:39 AM
Subject: (DC 324) A Stab in the Dark - Spring 1913


Hey Stabbers,

Here we are beginning year 13 of our little contretemps. Will it be lucky 13 for one of our two witches?  Let's see.

Again we have fighting from Kiel in the north to Tunis in the south.  This time, however, it appears that one of our players actually made progress, as English forces managed to trap and destroy a Turkish army in Ruhr.

(For those of you with an interest in the mechanics of Stab!, please note that this is the first time that I've actually stated right out that a unit has been destroyed.  Why is that?  There have been multiple times in the past where a unit has been dislodged with no retreat.  Well, the difference between then and now is that this time every single surrounding space is not only occupied, but
visible to all remaining players.)

Will this small victory turn out to be the difference-maker in our grand war?  Tune in next week when the Fall moves are revealed.

RETREATS:  None Required

NEXT DEADLINE:  Fall 1913 is due Tuesday, August 3, at 8 pm Eastern US time.  As usual, I can adjudicate early if I get final orders from both players.

Cheers,
Chris


Orders as resolved and revealed:
================================================
England:
A Belgium - Ruhr
A Berlin Supports A Burgundy - Munich
A Burgundy - Munich (*Fails*)
F Gulf of Lyon Supports F Western Mediterranean - Tyrrhenian Sea
A Holland Supports A Belgium - Ruhr
A Kiel Supports * (*Cut*)
A Marseilles - Piedmont (*Fails*)
F Tunis Supports * (*Cut*)
F Western Mediterranean - Tyrrhenian Sea (*Fails*)

Turkey:
A Bohemia Supports A Munich
F Ionian Sea - Tunis (*Fails*)
A
Munich Supports * (*Cut*)
F Naples Supports F Tyrrhenian Sea
A Piedmont - Tuscany (*Fails*)
A
Ruhr - Kiel (*Disbanded*)
F Tyrrhenian Sea Supports *
(*Cut*)

=====================================================
(DC 324) A Stab in the Dark - Fall 1912 Results - Corrino   (Jul 27, 2010, 6:47 pm)
Hi Stabbers,

Congratulations are in order to... anyone that didn't pick 1912 as the year this game would end.  It's not over yet, folks!

Our very own Clash of the Titans sees conflict in a nearly solid line from north to south this year.  Movement into Marseilles by England, but he already owned it so that's not a change.  It still stands at 17 dots apiece and I don't see either side ready to concede victory OR a draw.

Line 'em up and do it again!

RETREATS:    None

NEXT DEADLINE:  Officially, it's Friday at 8 pm Eastern US time.  However, I'm going to a baseball game with my old man that night, and there's a day trip on Saturday, so you might want to try getting those orders in early.  I'm in vacation mode
starting noon tomorrow.  If I had to guess I'd say the best looking time for me to adjudicate over the next few days would be Friday morning.

Cheers,
Chris

Orders as resolved and revealed:
==============================================
England:
A Belgium - Ruhr (*Fails*)
A Berlin Supports * (*Cut*)
A Burgundy - Munich (*Fails*)
A Gascony - Marseilles
F Gulf of Lyon Supports A Gascony - Marseilles
A Kiel Supports * (*Cut*)
F North Africa Supports F Tunis
F Tunis Supports * (*Cut*)
F Western Mediterranean - Tyrrhenian Sea (*Fails*)

Turkey:
F Ionian Sea Supports A Tuscany - Tunis
A Munich Supports * (*Cut*)
A Piedmont - Marseilles (*Fails*)
A Ruhr - Kiel (*Fails*)
A Silesia - Berlin (*Fails*)
A Tuscany - Tunis (*Fails*)
F Tyrrhenian Sea Convoys A Tuscany - Tunis
==================================================

[Reply]

(DC 324) A Stab in the Dark - Spring 1912 Results - Corrino   (Jul 23, 2010, 8:36 pm)
Greetings, I have more news of war.

In the Center, a might crash erupts in Munich... but no change in ownership occurs there or as a result of an echoing conflict in Marseilles.

In the South and in the North, no sounds of fighting are heard.  What of those silent forces?  Holding still, or sliding through the shadows?


RETREATS:    None

NEXT DEADLINE:  Tuesday, July 27, at 8 pm Eastern US time.  Will it be our last turn?  Tune in then and find out.

Cheers,
Chris


Orders as resolved and revealed:
========================================
England:
A Belgium - Ruhr (*Fails*)
A Berlin - Munich (*Fails*)
A Burgundy Supports A Berlin - Munich
A Gascony - Marseilles (*Bounce*)
A Kiel Supports A Berlin - Munich

Turkey:
A Bohemia Supports A Munich
A Munich Supports * (*Cut*)
A Piedmont - Marseilles (*Bounce*)
A Ruhr Supports * (*Cut*)
A Silesia - Berlin (*Bounce*)
A Tyrolia Supports A Munich

========================================

[Reply]

(DC 324) A Stab in the Dark - Autumn 1911 Results - Corrino   (Jul 21, 2010, 10:25 am)
We're ALL TIED UP and heading for SUDDEN DEATH!
 
The Wicked Witch of the East has 17 SC.
The Wicked Witch of the West has 17 SC.
 
And there ain't no more Munchkins to be found.  Adieu, Monsieur France!  Arrivederci, Monsignor Italy!  Thanks so much for playing.  We'd love to hear your thoughts -- as well as those from our other dearly departed guests.  Send them to me and I'll publish them in an attractive commemorative editiion after the games is over.
 
But right now it's all about our two finalists.  Who do you like?  I'd love to give you odds on each player, or on the chance of a stalemate, but that wouldn't really be fair, would it?  I've got just a little bit too much inside information.  You'll just have to wager blind.  Given the nature of this game, what could possibly be more fitting than that?  Hence...
 

THE LOSERS CONTEST (A, F, G, I and R eligible)
 
Here's a chance for those of you no longer in the running to show your stuff.  Send me a message with your predictions about the outcome of the game.  The player who comes closest wins, um... I don't know.  Probably nothing but a brief feeling of redemption after getting so seriously toasted in the game itself.
 
1.  Who will win?  Yes, you can choose "Stalemate" if you want. (Sucker!)
2.  What year will the game end?
3.  How many SC will the victor claim?
4.  Which SC (or multiple SC) will the winner capture to put him/her over the top?  Name of the territories.
 
 
CHALLENGE CONTEST (all players eligible)
 
Name the winner!  If you ARE the winner, name the second place finisher.  Heck, just take some guesses and see how many of your fellow Stabbers you can identify.  It was something of an all-star line-up, if I do say so myself.  Surely you recognized that old foe's knifework in the dark?
 
Hints:
1.  We have five players who competed in the Winter Blitz.  Three of those have over 20 points. 
2.  The two that didn't compete in WB both hold DC ratings above 1300. 
3.  Across the group of seven players we have a total of 8 soloes taken in DC play.
4.  There is no hint # 4.  Maybe later, if necessary.
 
Cheers,
Chris
 
 
You want to see the chart?  Okay, here's the chart.  Just to be official.
 

=====================================
Complete SC Counts:


COUNTRY    SC
Austria     0    ... eliminated 1903

England    17

France      0    ... eliminated 1911

Germany     0    ... eliminated 1906

Italy       0    ... eliminated 1911

Russia      0    ... eliminated 1909
Turkey     17


==================================================
 
NEXT DEADLINE:
 

Winter 1911/Spring 1912 are due on Friday, July 23 at 8 pm Eastern US time. 
 
I already have PRELIMS from both witches.  I don't feel compelled to stick to a rigid schedule at this point.  Once you both give me the "FINAL" signal I'll adjudicate as soon as is practical for me.
 

[Reply]

(DC 324) A Stab in the Dark - Fall 1911 Results - Corrino   (Jul 20, 2010, 8:16 pm)
Hey Stabbers!

You can leave that fez on the shelf a little longer.  The Turkish hordes have been stopped... for now.  I can't tell you the exact standings until after the retreats are processed, but suffice to say that neither the Turks nor anyone else made it to 18 SC this year.

What is most fascinating is not just that England knocked two Turkish armies off of their dots, but that neither of those dislodged units was supported.  Furthermore, those are the only two Turkish units that reveal themselves at all!  What's up with that?  Seventeen units (we assume) and only TWO have their whereabouts known?!  Should we be wondering whether our Sultan was suffering from overconfidence?  Or perhaps it is just the opposite, and our Ottoman Lord is
beset by nagging doubts and a paralysis of spirit on the very eve of a great triumph?

Hey, all I can say is there's no room for faint hearts at this party!  If the Sultan does not claim the continent then the English king will surely do so himself.  Whether we see them or not, we know there are many mighty forces at large in the dark on both sides.  None may yet turn home to rest.  None may yet relax their watch.  Play on!

RETREATS NEEDED:  Turkish army Marseilles.  Turkish army Berlin.

AUTUMN REPORTS will be sent out tomorrow night, or maybe sooner, if the Sultan is prompt.

Cheers,
Chris


Orders as resolved and revealed:
==========================================

[Reply]

(DC 324) A Stab in the Dark - Spring 1911 Results - Corrino   (Jul 16, 2010, 8:21 pm)
Hi Stabbers,

Now THAT'S what I'm talking about!  England and Turkey go toe-to-toe across half the board.  Based on SC captured that we can see, Turkey is up two and down one.  Barring any unseen turnovers that's all the Sultan needs.  Of course, he has to hold them all for one more turn.  Can he do it?  Or will England find a way to bar the Turk at the very threshold of victory?  Tune in Tuesday night and find out!

RETREATS NEEDED:  Italian army Rome.  Turkish army Munich.  English fleet Berlin.  You have 24 hours.  The sooner the better.  Summer reports will be sent out to all once I have all the retreats.

Cheers,
Chris


Orders as resolved and
revealed.
=========================================
England:
A Belgium - Burgundy (*Fails*)
F Berlin Supports A Kiel (*Dislodged*)
F Brest - English Channel (*Fails*)
A Kiel Supports A Ruhr - Munich
A Paris Supports A Belgium - Burgundy
A Ruhr - Munich

France:
F English Channel - North Sea (*Fails*)

Italy:
A Rome Hold (*Dislodged*)

Turkey:
A Apulia Supports A Naples - Rome
A Bohemia - Munich (*Fails*)
A Burgundy Supports A * (*Cut*)
A Marseilles Supports A Burgundy
A Munich - Ruhr (*Dislodged*)
A Naples - Rome
A Prussia - Berlin
A Silesia Supports A Prussia - Berlin

=============================================

[Reply]

(DC 324) A Stab in the Dark - Autumn 1910 Results - Corrino   (Jul 15, 2010, 11:15 am)
Players,
 
My apologies.  Write this down as an NMR for the GM.
 
I was focused on my other game last night -- never did get the last set of orders -- and completely forgot that you guys were waiting for Autumn reports.  The fact that E and T both submitted their Winter/Spring orders without waiting also threw me off, I think. Smile
 
Anyway, here is the Autumn stuff.  I'm at work, so I'm doing this FROM MEMORY.  Be extra careful to review what I've said.  I'll update the game page later from home.  I will follow up shortly with the individual reports... ALSO FROM MEMORY.
 
Now that I've got the sorrying and excusing out of the way... Where the heck are we?
 
Answer:  We're one small dot from a Turkish victory, that's where we are!
 
The Sultan snagged his 16th and 17th SC this turn.  Is number 18 inevitable, or can England and friends (ha!) find a way to stop his seemingly inexorable progress?
 
Time -- a very short time, perhaps -- will tell.
 

Cheers,
Chris
 
=====================================
Complete SC Counts:


COUNTRY    SC
Austria     0    ... eliminated 1903

England    15

France      1

Germany     0    ... eliminated 1906

Italy       1

Russia      0    ... eliminated 1909
Turkey     17


==================================================
 
NEXT DEADLINE:
 

Winter 1910/Spring 1911 are due on Friday, July 16 at 8 pm Eastern US time.  That's TOMORROW here in MA.
 

[Reply]

(DC 324) A Stab in the Dark - Fall 1910 Results - Corrino   (Jul 13, 2010, 6:13 pm)
Ho Stabbers!

Quite a few punches thrown this season, though perhaps not as many as one might expect with our two witches presumably holding nothing back as they try to reach the magic 18.  I don't know about you, but one little love tap in St. Pete is not exactly the heavyweight bout I paid to see.  Maybe they think they can get there just by kicking the little guys when they're down.  Not very sporting, I must say.

Italy is kicked out of Naples, but clearly still survives.  France is kicked out of Brest, and his fate is more uncertain.  Tune in tomorrow for retreats and Autumn updates, in which we'll learn who is still standing and who is down for the count.

RETREATS NEEDED:  French fleet Brest.  Italian fleet Naples.  You've got 24
hours or the default is OTB.

Cheers,
Chris


Orders as resolved and revealed.  Tell me quick if there's a slip.
=============================================

[Reply]

(DC 324) A Stab in the Dark - Spring 1910 Results - Corrino   (Jul 09, 2010, 10:20 am)
Hi Stabbers,

I'm back home again after nearly a week Down East.  Thanks for your patience and for continuing to hit all the deadlines.

The big news this season is that after a few quiet years in the North, England and Turkey have made contact once again.  Not much more than a skirmish this season, with Turkey winning the fight for Livonia.  Is this warm war about to get hot?

In contrast, the South is quiet as a morgue, with no activity at all in Italy or the Med.  Happy, happy?  Or just the calm before the storm?

Finally, just to prove that the more things change the more they stay the same, there was another battle in Spain.  This time the English strike from an unexpected (?) direction, dislodging the French defenders with an
attack from Gulf of Lyon.

RETREAT REQUIRED:  French army Spain needs a new place to pitch its tents.  Please send that destination to me as soon as you can, Monsieur le President.

NEXT DEADLINE:  Fall 1910 is due Tuesday, July 13, at 8 pm Eastern US time.  Monday is pretty open for me right now, so if I get final orders by then I should be able to adjudicate early.

Cheers,
Chris


=========================================
England:
F Gulf of Lyon - Spain(sc)
A Marseilles Supports F Gulf of Lyon - Spain(sc)
F Prussia - Berlin (*Bounce*)
F St Petersburg(sc) - Livonia (*Fails*)

France:
A Spain - Marseilles (*Dislodged*)

Italy:


Turkey:
A Moscow Supports A Warsaw - Livonia
A Silesia - Prussia (*Fails*)
A Warsaw - Livonia

====================================================

[Reply]

(DC 324) A Stab in the Dark - Autumn 1909 Results - Corrino   (Jul 02, 2010, 8:02 am)
Good Morning, Players.

Then there were four....

It is with heavy heart -- okay, that's a lie, I love this! -- that I must announce the elimination of another stalwart stabber.  Please bid farewell to our wandering Tsar who was ejected from his final hidey-hole this Fall.  He has already supplied me with a nice EOG statement that I am reserving for game end.  I'm not sure how it would do any damage to publish it now, but I just don't trust you guys.  Wink

Being just a little bit of a math guy, I find it interesting that to this point we have had one country eliminated every third year exactly.  Does prior performance promise future results?  C'mon, you know better than that.

Can France and/or Italy slow down the Anglo-Turkish
party?  Can either England or Turkey get all the way over the line for the solo, or can two heavyweights swinging in the dark somehow construct a stalemate line?  I have a feeling that we'll have the answers to these questions pretty soon.
 
Complete SC Counts:

COUNTRY    SC
Austria     0    ... eliminated 1903

England    14

France      3

Germany     0    ... eliminated 1906

Italy       2

Russia      0    ... eliminated 1909

Turkey     15

==================================================
 
NEXT DEADLINE:
 
Winter 1909/Spring 1910 are due on Thursday,
July 8 at the usual time of 8 pm Eastern US time.  As I mentioned already, my plans are a bit uncertain over the next few days so I may need to adjust the timing.

Cheers,
Chris

[Reply]

(DC 324) A Stab in the Dark - Fall 1909 Results - Corrino   (Jul 01, 2010, 8:01 pm)
Hey Stabbers,

Didn't I predict we'd have more action this turn?  Okay, that doesn't exactly make me Nostradamus, but it does mean more information for you little data-grubbers, and more work for me and my crayons.

What about what actually happened?  Well, the story there is that the story remains the same.  The witches are witchier still.  Turkey just found the long, lost Russian army hiding in Munich, while England finds success in ignoring the old Iberian hunting grounds and focusing on the French homeland instead.

RETREATS DUE:  French armies in Brest and Marseilles.  The Russian army in Munich.  If you gentlemen could possibly manage to submit those retreats within the next 12 hours, I will be able to get the adjudication out
before I leave on my trip.  In that case, you may have to wait until Saturday for the Autumn reports.

LOOKING AHEAD:  Spring 1910 will NOT be due Tuesday.  My return home is still up in the air, but it won't be that soon.  Probably I'll just make the deadline a week from today.  Please let me know if that's a problem for you.

SC Counts and Adjustments due will be published with the Autumn reports.

Cheers,
Chris


Orders as resolved.  See something?  Say something!
==============================================
England:
A Burgundy - Marseilles
F English Channel - Brest
F Gulf of Lyon Supports A Burgundy - Marseilles
A Picardy Supports F English Channel - Brest

France:
A Brest Hold (*Dislodged*)
A Marseilles Hold (*Dislodged*)

Italy:
F Naples Supports A Rome
A Rome Supports * (*Cut*)

Russia:
A Munich Supports *
(*Dislodged*)

Turkey:
A Apulia - Rome (*Fails*)
A Bohemia - Munich
A Tyrolia Supports A Bohemia - Munich
A Venice Supports A Apulia - Rome

================================================

[Reply]

(DC 324) A Stab in the Dark - Spring 1909 Results - Corrino   (Jun 28, 2010, 8:59 pm)
Hey Stabbers,

What's happening?  Everybody take a sabbatical this Spring?  Except for our buddies France and England, who moved their battle from Spain to the Mid-Atlantic Ocean, we have ZERO conflicts this turn.  You know what that means.  It's one big, black map except for those three little spaces in the far west.

RETREATS:  None

NEXT DEADLINE:  Thursday, NOT Friday, July 1, at 8 pm Eastern US time.  Looking ahead, I know I'm away for the long 4th of July week-end, but not so sure about the rest of the week.  I'll give you an update on Thursday.  If you want to chip in with a preference please do so.

Cheers,
Chris


Orders as resolved, as far as you know.  Let me know if you think there might be a
mistake.
===================================================

England:
F English Channel - Mid-Atlantic Ocean (*Fails*)

France:
F Portugal - Mid-Atlantic Ocean
F Spain(sc) Supports F Portugal - Mid-Atlantic Ocean

Italy:


Russia:


Turkey:


=====================================================

[Reply]

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