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(Ambition and Empire)

Subject:< dc386:Spain's EOG >
Topic:< dc386 >
Category:< Active Games >
Posted:Oct 10, 2011 at 2:08 am
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My game was fairly brief-I started by trying to
find an ally to stop Turkey expanding along Nth Af and into the Western Med and
Italy-I was unsuccessful-Turkey seemed to have made good arrangements with both
Austria and Russia, and I was counting on one of them, and later he
reached some sort of understanding with France, so I didn't last


I tried to get help from Austria 1-but he just
suggested I try to accomodate Turkey. I knew that wouldn't work.


I am not sure why Dirk says I never replied to his
emails-he only sent 1-a bland greeting at the beginning of the game-he didn't
respond to my mail before spring 1765, when I hoped he might put some pressure
on Turkey-I thought we both might profit at that point.


I enjoyed watching from the sidelines-I 
thought Russia, Turkey and France seemed to play pretty well.


Thanks for being GM Robert-I guess my ps
assessments to you were usually way out, but my pessimism was





----- Original Message -----

Sun Chung

To: Wladimir Mysonski ; Dirk Knemeyer ; Robert
Stein ; Warren Fleming ; Ray Bruce ; Michael Thompson ;
Slattery ; Josiah Henderson ; Nick
Powell ; Richard Aldous ; Baron Powell ; jeffrey
kase ; Chris Dziedzic ; dc386(at)diplomaticcorp.com ; Adriaan

Sent: Saturday, October 08, 2011 11:21

Subject: Re: dc386: Russia EOG

Thanks Robert for GMing - it's a pleasure playing in a game
that you run.  

Also, thanks to everyone on the board for a good
game.  And for Adriaan for his thoughts/guidance/recommendations early on
in the game.  Kudos to him for getting Austria to a great stage in the
game.  My big regret is that I was unable to fulfill Austria's
opportunity that Adriaan set up.

For me, the mark of a good game is
when the players are committed and are willing to accept the game for what it
is - a shifting swirl of deals, broken deals, and new deals being created.
 It was interesting to see how the dynamics of the game were able to
shift, although I probably contributed to less of that towards the end of the
game.  I appreciated that most on the board were open to thinking about
shifting their alliance and at least listened to new deals.

I missed
the early stages of the game, so I can't really comment much on how the armed
neutrals dynamic shaped the early portion of the game.  When Robert asked
me to replace Adriaan, I came into the game thinking 1) what a great
opportunity - this power is strong and has a good lead but 2) Austria's
completely surrounded I don't have enough armies to plug in all the gaps - the
lead can fall really quickly.

My first focus on the game was the
complex relationship Austria had with Saxony.  There wasn't a good
defensive line set up, and our armies were all intermixed together.  Not
a situation I liked.  Elsewhere on the map, it didn't seem like there was
strong cooperation between France/Britain/Spain.  Russia was friendly and
was trying to build upon the work that Adriaan had done.  Unfortunately
for me, I didn't have much contact with Turkey at the start.

The first
order of business was how to get involved in the game and unwind the tie-up of
Austria and Saxony.  I did not feel comfortable with the situation (esp
since it wasn't of my doing!).  As Dirk mentioned in his EOG statement, I
typically like strong stable borders.  It really bothered me that I
couldn't count on a stable front in any direction.  Plus, Saxony was
looking to regain his strength and was pushing to recover some of his home
centers.  Adriaan and I agreed that a re-emergence of Saxony would be a
threat to Austria.  So my first major decision was that I would not
support Saxony and stab him.  That would prevent a rebirth of Saxony and
give me a stable front to work from.

But this created another problem.
 It would undoubtedly raise solo alarm bells across the board.  And
mark a significant shift in the Austrian' strategy at this point.  Now,
my natural desire was to start out slowly, play defensively, and get my feet
wet in the game.  I didn't want to be viewed as a loose cannon coming in
brand new.  However, being able to discuss strategy and tactics with
Adriaan eased the transition quite a bit.  I know that Ray probably views
my stab as a direct consequence of a new replacement player dropping old
agreements, but I was able to get Adriaan's consul on my first initial

From there, once I determined that Saxony would be stabbed, and
I knew that it would cause alarms on the board, I pushed full ahead on going
for the solo.  I probably shouldn't speak for Adriaan as this is my EOG
statement, and not his, but the push for an early Austrian solo was not
created in a vacuum.  

My first mistake in the game was not
securing my relationship with Turkey.  I think had I been able to pickup
four builds in the first season (that I played) I may have been able to get
enough push to really threaten for a solo.  But for either nervousness
with a new player, or I rubbed him the wrong way, something lead to Turkey
taking a center from me, and I only got 3 plus centers in the first

I didn't think it was the end of the game, and in some ways, I
liked this position much better.  I was able to get a nice stable line
against France, I thought I could secure a line against Turkey and was hoping
that Russia wouldn't view me as a long term threat.  But my dreams of an
Austria solo were crushed.  I tried my best to say that my push was
really only to secure myself against Saxony and not reach for a solo.  It
probably fell on deaf ears, but I thought I would have a chance since it was
at least partially true.

From there, the game switched to survival.
 I thought I built an okay line of communication with France (I told him
I had to take Savoy since it was there for the taking in the first year, but I
didn't want it to set in stone the Austrian/French relationship), thought that
I could get Turkey to lay off by letting him keep what he took (Turkey had a
good relationship with the prior Austria), and I thought I could convince
Russia that my swing for a solo was a one and done deal and that I could be a
reasonable partner.  All three powers attacked me.

Once Turkey got
into the Adriatic Sea, I was at his mercy.  Side note observation - this
map creates a lot of defensive issues for Austria, in particular the way I was
set up when I entered the game.  Austria is a land power, but with a home
center in Milan and the host of supply centers in Italy, Austria's sphere of
influence gravitates around the Adriatic.  With the Turkish fleet there,
I was forced to keep units bottled up on my southern front.  That one
fleet tied up a huge number of my armies.  This drove me crazy.
next course of action was to work on France and/or Russia into attack Turkey.
 While trying to cut a deal with Aiden in any fashion as long as he left
ADR.  Deals with Turkey fell apart multiple times, but I fared better on
the diplomatic front.  Getting Russia to favor me, while getting France
to cooperate for awhile and attack Turkey.

The end game stage really
boiled down to trying to figure out a way to end the game without it being a
DIAS.  I tried really hard to make it a France - Austria - Russia triple,
but neither France nor Russia seemed to trust the other.  What may have
worked against me was that I also played up the potential solo threat that
they both presented.  Russia could (and did) have the numbers to sweep
across northern Germany and get a solo.  France for a while was a couple
of centers lower, but if Turkey got crippled (and I had a bear of a time
trying to get a deal done where we trusted each other), and Britain got
stabbed by France, then no one could really threaten the French navy.  I
felt that Austria was the only credible counter to either solo

For awhile, it worked.  France agreed to not aid Turkey
any more, and Russia allowed me to rush my armies to the west and defend
against France's superior land position over me.  Eventually it boiled
down to keeping what I had, while trying diplomatically getting into the three
way draw.

At one point, Russia had the necessary centers at his reach
where he could easily have gone for the solo.  I panicked and hedged
myself and move some units, but not all, to cover the open centers.  Dirk
was surprised but took it rather well that I tactically split myself.
 Since he didn't stab me nor went for a solo directly, I was lulled into
thinking that maybe Russia wasn't in it for a solo at this stage.  I had
even asked Sweden (given how close Wladimir was coordinating with Dirk for the
bulk of the game) for advice to get his read on Russia's plans.  Whether
Wladimir was equally convinced of Dirk not attempting a solo or was part of
the Russian PR campaign I don't know.  

From a tactical stand
point, I was then doomed.  I didn't have enough armies to cover all of my
holes, I was at the mercy of Russia not pushing for a solo.  And I felt
that I couldn't react too strong or else I would push Russia into thinking I
was an untrustworthy ally and by my preventative action, get Dirk to order to
secure a solo.

In hind-sight, I should've committed one way or the
other.  I felt that I was constantly moving my armies east and then west.
 I could never build a fleet, which crippled me against Turkey.  And
at some point, I should've made a more tactical retreat to shore up my
defensive line against Turkey/France/or Russia.

This has been a long
winded rambling, so apologies for that.  And apologies for any typos in
this - trying to do this quickly, across small breaks during my work

Thoughts on the players:

Russia:  Good
job.  Played skillfully, and got me suckered into thinking you'd be
committed to the draw.  Not much I could've done about it even if I knew
about your intentions though.  Always enjoyed our conversations and your
willingness to work out deals. Your solo was well

France:  Enjoyed our conversations, and the fact
that we were able to keep up a dialogue even with disagreements.  I
wonder if we could've set up a different outcome had we had a chance to work
together from the beginning.  Your warning bells should've been heeded
more in Vienna.  I blame the Turks for drowning out your

Ottoman Empire:  We got off on the wrong foot and
then continued to break our agreements.  I wish we could've some out
untangled the complex tactical mess we were in, but alas, I think our
in-fighting created the biggest opportunity for Russia to solo.  You had
me in a difficult spot the entire game, and I don't really blame you for
keeping that dang fleet parked in the Adriatic.  Makes sense, but created
all sorts of issues for me.  If we cross paths again, I promise to try
harder to get diplomacy working between us.

Poland Saxony: 
I do apologize for starting out the game with a stab.  I really felt
uncomfortable with the way our units/centers were intertwined.  This is
one of those, it's all business, message.  I appreciate your attempts to
get back into the game and your willingness to stick with the game and not
drop off.

Britain:  We didn't have a lot of interaction -
another hindsight thing where I should've tried harder.  Perhaps the make
up of the game would've been

Spain/Prussia/Denmark/Sweden:  Unfortunately, I
don't have a lot of comments.  I came in at a time where I think your
fates may have already been decided.

All in all, thank you for
giving me this opportunity to play Ambition and Empire.  I've been
interested in playing this variant for awhile and would love another
opportunity to play (esp from the beginning).  It's been a pleasure
playing with you all.


There is 1 Message in this Thread:

dc386:Spain's EOG (Brstd46) Oct 10, 02:08 am

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