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(Ambition and Empire)

Post:< 21681 >
Subject:< dc386: Russia EOG >
Topic:< dc386 >
Category:< Active Games >
Posted:Oct 07, 2011 at 5:21 pm
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This message is in reply to post 21671:

Robert, thank you for being an excellent GM for the duration of this game. Your timely adjudications and good cheer are an appreciated service to the community.

This was my first time playing Ambition & Empire. I very much enjoy DP variants, as well as the 1900 variant. As such this seemed like a variant that I would really like. Thanks Robert for taking the lead on creating the DP module!

Looking over the board as Russia, independent of the other power assignments, my desire was to work with Sweden and Turkey, and push out thru the middle. Of course, once you begin considering the other players and the inter-personal dynamics all of this can change, but I had played with both Wladimir (Sweden) and Aidan (Turkey) before and know them to be very good as well as generally reliable partners. On the other hand, Adriaan (Austria) was new to me and Ray (Saxony) is the kind of aggressive and unpredictable player I don't really like playing with. Nick (Prussia) is someone I like to play with but because of an earlier game together was not sure if he might be carrying a grudge over to this game. So the turning of the board seemed to favour the approach I hoped to take.

Of course, there was a problem: I'm a big believer in ignoring "entitlements" based on what country one is playing. So, for example, I'm a proponent in Standard of a great EF being enabled by France letting Britain take Brest with a fleet and thus being free to do a lot of safe DMZ'ing in the region. My read of the Russo-Swedish relationship was the same. I thought we could have an amazing partnership if he let me take Abo - to close my back door - we DMZ BOT and otherwise leave the Baltic to him. Unfortunately Wladimir didn't seem keen on this which led me to quickly pivot and expect to go for Baltic domination at some point. Just not too soon...

On the other hand, things were going swimmingly with Aidan. We had limited friction and a clear path forward. My intention was to stay with him all game or, at least, into the late game. Ray aggressively demanded Lithuania reinforcing the notion I wouldn't want to work with him. Lithuania is adjacent to various Russian dots yet only adjacent to a lone Saxon supply center. His brazen insistence on control of it was incompatible with any clear-minded Russia policy. Nick was friendly and working with me, so there seemed an opportunity to partner with him in the early going. The thing I didn't expect was my relationship with Adriaan. For me Diplomacy is as much about a good experience as winning, and Adriaan was just the kind of chap I like to play with: very communicative, open with information, although quite smart and likely working to his advantage separately even as he worked in earnest with me. Early efforts to work closely in a press capacity with Britain, France and Spain were largely ignored by those players.

Throwing all of this into the mix, my plan was to:

- Seal off the south and coordinate with Turkey

- Use press to quagmire Denmark and Sweden, while not letting Britain or Prussia take advantage of their struggles

- Smash Poland and reduce/eliminate him

- Once established in central/eastern Europe, decide on which direction to focus my force (at Austria, at Prussia, at the Baltic)

From the beginning I was blessed with good fortune, and my activities were so successful that I needed to pull back on the reins out of fear that a target would be placed squarely on my back. The situation on the board led to my working against Prussia first after Saxony, then heading into the Baltic to take advantage of the chaos happening between the Scandinavian powers. Around this time I had some very positive notes with Britain and thought he and I would be close through the mid and end game. I'm not sure I could have designed a better early and early-mid game than what actually happened for Russia. Lots of good luck all around.

Then, the game changed. For personal reasons Adriaan needed to abdicate the Austrian throne. While from a personal standpoint I was very disappointed, from a game perspective I was pleased: my capacity to grow, save stabbing Austria or Turkey, had pretty much come to an end. I didn't want to stab either of those players so was settling into a position that should end the game in a draw. While I had no problem with that, playing it out to its inevitable conclusion, taking that tack would not give me a whole lot to do in the game while hoping people on the other side of the map took care of business properly. Not a great position to be in.

The new Austrian player (Sun) is also someone I like working with in Dip games. So, at first, the shift didn't seem to portend any change in status. This all shifted when Sun took advantage of Adriaan's very strong position and made an early solo bid by smashing to the west. It was audacious and even well-executed, but he simply faced too much opposition, given the mature nature of the players of this game, leading to balance of power reactions to such moves. However, Sun's big move and subsequently putting a target square on his forehead gave me a chance to break out, too. The big question was, to move against Austria or Turkey?

I chose Turkey. While I very much valued my relationship with Aidan, Sun's growth and the condition of the board led me to think that, if I could prosecute a successful campaign, almost all of the gains would be mine and, in the process, I could seal an entire front and better focus my force elsewhere. Like so many things in this game for me, I had good luck and things pretty much fell as planned, albeit taking quite some time to fully expunge Turkey from their traditional homelands.

As my relationship with Austria blossomed and success against Turkey became clear, I decided I would not be satisfied with anything less that a 3-way draw in this game. My position was very, very strong, particularly so after Sweden and I pushed Britain out of the Baltic completely. So my intent was to fervently pursue 3-way draw opportunities - Austria, myself and a third (which later shifted to include Britain) - while taking a solo only if I was *guaranteed* to get it. My feeling was that, if I went for one and fell short, I would face a grand alliance and a likely 5-way draw. That would have been the worst possible case, save France soloing.

One year before the actual end of the game, it turned out that I could have soloed if I had tried. Like most Dip players I have an overly conservative view as to how much other players trust me and/or will do as I expect them to, and it was with some shock I realized I could have won on that very turn if only I had faith in the relationships I had and the moves those people would make. Seeing that, I knew it was time to scour the board for the solo. However, back from the grave, Ray chirped up to point out that I could likely solo. His bringing that to everyone's attention would only serve to spoil the opportunity as people shifted to defend against it, so I was forced to send out a scathing, lying rebuke to the whole list to keep his siren's call from undermining me.

At that point it was a matter of figuring out whether I could guarantee a solo. I could, but only by eliminating my long-term Swedish ally. I was not willing to do that. I could guarantee taking Mecklenberg and Breslau but the third would be tricky. Constantinople was the best chance, but it was really dicey. Turkey had two fleets adjacent to it, either of which providing a support would have blocked me. While neither had supported Constantinople since it became Austrian, doing so would seem a pro forma order if he didn't have grander plans for either unit. Still, it felt like one of those moments where, if I didn't go for it then, the opportunity would pass. Austria was coming into a build or two, and would certainly be looking for me to back off sometime soon. My hope was that, with my advanced position and all of the builds, even if it failed I would be able to break thru *somewhere* and get the 15th subsequently. Thus, I tried and - anxious until the adjudication arrived - was pleased to see it had worked. Huzzah Russia!

This was an excellent table of players:

Richard Aldous (Spain) didn't respond to a single email I sent him. Not that I could have helped him avoid an early demise necessarily but, well, who knows?!

Josiah Henderson (Denmark) was friendly but not consistently timely or reliable with press. To my detriment I get anxious when people aren't pressing regularly and thus was not too chagrined to contribute to getting him into a Scandinavian quagmire with his neighbours. Would love to play a FTF game with him.

Warren Fleming (France) played one of the best games at the table. He and I had very little communication of substance - some talk of allying in the mid and late games that never came to fruition - but at various points he had spectacular turns of bravery and creativity that shot him into hugely advantageous positions. I look forward to his EOG to try and better understand why he didn't take advantage of some moments when he may have truly been able to break out and win this thing.

Nick Powell (Prussia) is someone I like to play with, and the rare player that I genuinely fear. He thinks many moves ahead, has an excellent strategic sense, and presses very well. I wish I was as good a player as Nick is. We had some good early press but, given my uncertainty about his meta game motivations and the natural need for growth of Russia, was generally pleased he had a hard time of it in this one.

Ray Bruce (Saxony) is as black-and-white as it gets: he's tough, ruthless, smart and relentless. When he tried to play bully with me at the outset it was all the motivation I needed to make him public enemy #1. I love watching Ray play Diplomacy - just not in games that I am also a part of!

Wladimir Mysonski (Sweden) had a tough position to play and was never really able to get started with it. As he pointed out again and again, Denmark and Sweden need to cooperate early if either is going to have a chance to really have an impact in this variant. It just didn't happen in this one. I was glad to have him as a janissary because he's an excellent player and was unflinchingly loyal to the end, including giving me invaluable tactical suggestions along the way.

Michael Thompson (Britain) and I have now played together probably half a dozen times. We always get along well, even though invariably one or the other of us is thrown to the muck each time (I don't think we've ever shared a draw, despite often working together). This game we never really got on track together, and it became perplexing when he offered to help me solo in the early-mid game and then kept consistently working against me! That's a page in his play book that I will need to dog ear. Smile

Aidan Slattery (Turkey) is one of the best players one can possibly ally. He is loyal, contributes lots of smart tactical suggestions, friendly, and a committed balance of power/grand alliance type. I regretted that the turns of the game resulted in his being my mid-game target, as I had always planned to take our relationship thru to the end. I really enjoy working with him.

Adriaan Tichler (Austria I) was a great discovery in this game. He might have been the best player at the table, and really helmed Austria well. I can't wait to play with him again and pick up some pointers.

Sun Chung (Austria II) is yet another player in this game I have a good history of working together with. Sun is a very good defensive player, which made his audacious run for a solo all the more entertaining to watch. He is so adept at slamming the door on possible stabs that it was really to my terrific fortune that the turns and twists of the game led him to be defending himself so completely in the west/southwest. Otherwise, if not for that very extreme and unusual deployment, Sun never would have given me half a chance at this thing.

I look forward to reading all of your EOG's and seeing things from a different perspective. Thanks for the game, all!


On Oct 4, 2011, at 9:22 PM, Robert Stein wrote:

The three end game proposals all fail, but it makes no difference as Dirk claims the three centers needed to give Russia a solo victory. Congratulations to Dirk for a well deserved solo victory, and thank you all for playing. I enjoyed GMing this game, and I hope you enjoyed playing it. I'd very much appreciate end of game statements from each of, at your convenience.

There were possible retreats from Britain and Austria, but as they would not change the result of a Russian solo, I took the liberty of auto-retreating the units so that all three remained on the board. If for some reason either Michael or Sun would prefer to retreat off the board, let me know and I'll amend the final map. But if you do so, please be aware there will still be no winter builds, so you will not be able to rebuild that unit.



Austria-Hapsburg: Arandia / Adriaan Tichler / arandia.t(at)gmail.com (resigned Summer 1766)

from Fall 1766: sunchung/ Sun Chung / sun.chung(at)gmail.com

Britain-Hanover: psychosis1973 / Michael Thompson / psychosis(at)sky.com
Denmark-Norway: Josiah / Josiah Henderson / josiah.henderson(at)gmail.com (abandoned Spring 1766)

France: alwayshunted /  Warren Fleming / alwayshunted(at)hotmail.com
Ottoman Empire: Lane / Aidan Slattery / aislattery(at)aol.com

Poland-Saxony: raybrucea / Bruce Ray / raybrucea(at)aol.com  (eliminated Fall 1772)
Prussia: DrSwordopolis / Nick Powell / nick.s.powell(at)gmail.com (eliminated Fall 1767)

Russian Empire: dknemeyer / Dirk Knemeyer / dirk(at)knemeyer.com (solo victory, Winter 1773)
Spain: Brstd46 /  Richard Aldous / aldous(at)xtra.co.nz (eliminated Winter 1767)

Sweden: Wladimir7 / Wladimir Mysonski / wmysonski(at)gmail.com

Russia seizes Breslau, Constantinople and Mecklenburg. Achieves Victory.


FALL 1773:
Austria: A Baden-Wuerttemberg Supports A Austrian Netherlands -
Austria: A Budapest - Vienna (*Bounce*).
Austria: A Constantinople Hold (*Dislodged*).
Austria: A Dresden Supports A Austrian Netherlands - Hesse-Westphalia.

Austria: A Milan Supports A Republic of Venice.
Austria: A Switzerland Supports A Milan.
Austria: A Tyrol - Vienna (*Bounce*).
Austria: A Republic of Venice Supports A Milan (*Cut*).

Britain: F English Channel - Austrian Netherlands.

Britain: F Helgoland Bight - United Provinces.
Britain: A Hesse-Westphalia Supports F English Channel - Austrian Netherlands
Britain: A Mecklenburg Hold (*Dislodged*).
Britain: F North Atlantic Ocean - Irish Sea.

Britain: F North Sea Supports F Helgoland Bight - United Provinces.

France: A Austrian Netherlands - Hesse-Westphalia.
France: A Brest - Ireland.
France: F Gascony - Brest.
France: F Gulf of Lyon Supports A Savoy.

France: A Languedoc - Burgundy.
France: F Mid-Atlantic Ocean Convoys A Brest - Ireland.
France: A Paris Supports A Languedoc - Burgundy.
France: A Savoy Supports A Tuscany.
France: A Tuscany Supports A Savoy.

France: A United Provinces Supports A Austrian Netherlands - Hesse-Westphalia

Russia: F Ankara Supports A Wallachia - Constantinople.
Russia: F Baltic Sea Supports A Holstein - Mecklenburg.

Russia: A Berlin Supports F Helgoland Bight - Hesse-Westphalia (*Void*).
Russia: F Christiania - Norwegian Sea.
Russia: A Holstein - Mecklenburg.
Russia: A Lapland - Christiania.
Russia: A Lithuania - Galicia.

Russia: A Lusatia - Breslau.
Russia: A Scania - Copenhagen.
Russia: A Syria Hold.
Russia: A Wallachia - Constantinople.

Sweden: A Stockholm Hold.

Turkey: F Adriatic Sea Supports A Budapest - Republic of Venice (*Void*).

Turkey: F Ionian Sea Hold.
Turkey: F Morocco Supports F Mid-Atlantic Ocean.
Turkey: A Papal States - Republic of Venice (*Fails*).
Turkey: F Tyrrhenian Sea - Western Mediterranean.


Austrian A Constantinople can retreat to Bosnia.
British-Hanoverian A Hesse-Westphalia can retreat to Lusatia or Hanover.
British-Hanoverian A Mecklenburg can retreat to Hanover.

Austria: A Constantinople - Bosnia.

Britain: A Hesse-Westphalia - Lusatia.
Britain: A Mecklenburg - Hanover.

Austria:   A Baden-Wuerttemberg, A Bosnia, A Budapest, A Dresden, A Milan, A
           Switzerland, A Tyrol, A Republic of Venice.

Britain:   F Austrian Netherlands, A Hanover, F Irish Sea, A Lusatia, F North
           Sea, F United Provinces.
France:    F Brest, A Burgundy, F Gulf of Lyon, A Hesse-Westphalia, A Ireland,
           F Mid-Atlantic Ocean, A Paris, A Savoy, A Tuscany.

Russia:    F Ankara, F Baltic Sea, A Berlin, A Breslau, A Christiania, A
           Constantinople, A Copenhagen, A Galicia, A Mecklenburg, F Norwegian
           Sea, A Syria.
Sweden:    A Stockholm.
Turkey:    F Adriatic Sea, F Ionian Sea, F Morocco, A Papal States, F Western


Austria (10-2=Cool:   Baden-Wuerttemberg, Bavaria, /-Breslau/, Budapest, /-Constantinople/,
           Dresden, Milan, Switzerland, Republic of Venice, Vienna.

Britain (6-1+1=6):   Edinburgh, Hanover, Liverpool, London, /-Mecklenburg/, United Provinces. +Austrian Netherlands
France (10-1=9):    /-Austrian Netherlands/, Barcelona, Brest, Hesse-Westphalia, Madrid,
           Marseilles, Paris, Portugal, Savoy, Tuscany.

Russia (12+3=15):    Abo, Ankara, Berlin, Christiania, Copenhagen, Courland, Crimea,
           Kiev, Koenigsburg, Moscow, St Petersburg, Warsaw. +Breslau, +Constantinople, +Mecklenburg
Sweden (1+0=1):    Stockholm.

Turkey (5+0=5):    Algiers, Morocco, Papal States, Tunis, Two Sicilies.

Austria:    8 Supply centers,  8 Units:  Builds   0 units.
Britain:    6 Supply centers,  6 Units:  Builds   0 units.
Denmark:    0 Supply centers,  0 Units:  Builds   0 units.

France:     9 Supply centers,  9 Units:  Builds   0 units.
Prussia:    0 Supply centers,  0 Units:  Builds   0 units.
Russia:    15 Supply centers, 11 Units:  Builds   4 units.  VICTORY!!!
Saxony:     0 Supply centers,  0 Units:  Builds   0 units.

Spain:      0 Supply centers,  0 Units:  Builds   0 units.
Sweden:     1 Supply center,   1 Unit:   Builds   0 units.
Turkey:     5 Supply centers,  5 Units:  Builds   0 units.


Austria: Budapest, Milan, Vienna
Britain: Edinburgh, Hanover, Liverpool, London
France: Brest, Marseilles, Paris
Russia: Crimea, Kiev, Moscow, St. Petersburg

Sweden: Abo, Stockholm
Turkey: Ankara, Constantinople, Tunis


There are 5 Messages in this Thread:

dc386: Russia EOG (dknemeyer) Oct 05, 10:35 am

dc386: Russia EOG (Wladimir7) Oct 05, 02:58 pm

dc386: Russia EOG (sunchung) Oct 07, 05:21 pm

dc386: Russia EOG (Arandia) Nov 22, 01:00 am

dc386: Russia EOG (Arandia) Nov 22, 01:00 am

Diplomacy games may contain lying, stabbing, or deliberately deceiving communications that may not be suitable for and may pose a hazard to young children, gullible adults, and small farm animals.

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