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Finished: 08 AM Mon 28 May 18 UTC
Private 2018 World Cup Group B PP
1 day, 12 hours /phase
Pot: 35 D - Autumn, 1909, Finished
Classic, Public messaging only, Anonymous players, Unranked, Wait for orders
1 excused missed turn
Game drawn
15 May 18 UTC Autumn, 1908: *Tell me better for me and makes anyone easier to conquer.*
15 May 18 UTC Autumn, 1908: No France, I am not. I am *very* committed to getting into a draw, which will yield me more points than losing to you. (Plus I never play to lose) Conspiring to kill Russia would lead to fewer units to defend against your attack, and would lead Russia to quite reasonably break crucial supports if the attack were to fail (which is quite plausible if you attack!).

Moreover, let us evaluate your "offer".
[My suggestion is that I support Italy's Armenia into Sevastopol.]
What if you don't do that, and instead bounce them?
[And Italy or Austria take Rumania with the support of the other (it doesn't matter who, as long as you both coordinate it), while Austria covers Serbia to prevent Russia from retreating there. ]
And what if you take the opportunity to support yourself into Trieste?

If you betray our trust, you could thus easily end the turn with 16 centres and a guaranteed path to victory. And why would you?

If you were SERIOUS about being fine with a 4-way (or even a 3-way!) you would withdraw units from Moscow and Denmark and Vienna. You won't do that, because you know that you are a hair away from winning this game if you beat Italy/England in the Iberia/Mars/MAO guessing game. Don't try to trick me, monsieur/madame... I was not born yesterday! ;)
15 May 18 UTC Autumn, 1908: Hey guys - hate to be a jerk but I'm going somewhere very remote for a few days.

Pause until friday? Sorry!
15 May 18 UTC Autumn, 1908: Will contact goldfinger.
15 May 18 UTC Autumn, 1908: Moderator: (goldfinger0303): Thanks for letting me know
18 May 18 UTC Autumn, 1908: Moderator: (goldfinger0303): You're all set
18 May 18 UTC Autumn, 1908: Thanks!

Whew ok... let's make sure we get this right. Italy we need to talk (see my earlier message)
18 May 18 UTC Autumn, 1908: Now that we've been unpaused...

Dear England and Italy, Austria has talked plenty on the matter, and I'd like to have a conversation with the both of you now, instead. I hope he doesn't speak for the both of you. I would like to know how keen you two would be on a quick 4WD. Would your teams like the extra points, or no? It would be simple enough to achieve, and we could be done with this game tomorrow.

And despite Austria's warnings that I could solo if I were to manipulate my suggested moves to my benefit, I still don't believe I would be in an better position to solo. Let's look at it. My best case scenario, including being sneaky and manipulating my suggestions, involves outguessing you both in the far west to not lose a center there, a loss in Belgium, a gain in Denmark, and a gain in Moscow. A net gain of 1 SC, and not the 3 Austria suggests. So I'd have one shiny new unit that I'd promptly lose the next turn for when Italy then forces himself into Sevastopol.

Never mind the fact that the Russian unit in Rumania does absolutely *nothing* to hold the line against me. And if one of you takes it, then hey, your worries about holding the line are evaporated in an instant because you are now occupying the space Russia once held.

I don't believe Austria is right when he says that killing off Russia is going to hand me the game. I just don't.
18 May 18 UTC Autumn, 1908: And to you specifically, Italy, if you wanted to entertain the notion of killing off Austria either instead of / or in addition to Russia. His retreat to Venice is garbage, despite whatever he says about "having to stop the solo." I wonder what the difference would have been had he disbanded instead of retreated into one of your home centers? For the record, and this is only worth to you what you make of it, count the number of times Austria has either moved against you or supported those who did. And stack that against the number of times I attacked or even moved against you. Also consider I supported you in a move we both knew would fail, but did it anyways just to show solidarity with you. I'd take the Pepsi Challenge when it comes to credibility.

Just let me know. I'm still here and want to work with you.
18 May 18 UTC Autumn, 1908: France, you are trying to win. Full stop. We have no solid defensive line and you haven't offered a *single* concession to make England or Italy feel more secure. Instead you've argued that we should units that could otherwise be defending against you to fight each-other. You have a path to 18 if you make a series of lucky guesses, and you especially have a path to 18 if the rest of us don't cooperate. Those are the facts.

Want me to change my tune? Maybe start by giving me back Vienna and vacating from Moscow to Ukraine. Otherwise all of your hustle is ***ridiculous***.

I won't argue that a 4wd might seem nicer than a 5wd, but we all have to make hard choices in this game.

Italy. You gotta talk to me man. You can have Venice back this turn but we gotta talk OK?
18 May 18 UTC Autumn, 1908: (Or woman. Apologies for assuming gender)
19 May 18 UTC Autumn, 1908: Dear Austria, arguing with you is getting nowhere. But I'll indulge us both.

For starters, you can't tell me what my goals are since, last I checked, I keep my own counsel for the things I want. I have said since quite awhile ago that my goal is a 3WD, and more recently that I would settle for a 4WD. I've *not once* said that I want to solo. In fact, I've repeatedly said that I don't think it's possible. Your tea leaves are clearly different than my tea leaves, because the way I read the board, I don't see a path to 18 that I can legitimately take that doesn't involve a *tremendous* amount of luck. You even admit this as fact. I look at those odds in the same way as I do of winning the lottery.

Here's the real logic puzzle of this whole endeavor. You (and more importantly Russia, who you tricked into your plan and subsequently brought to 1SC remaining) pushed me into this position where I have to fight everyone. By offering to throw the game to me and put yourselves at a disadvantage, you created this beast when I foolishly took you at your word. I wanted a 3WD with England and Italy (and still do, by the way). You figured the only way to stop that, and thus being cut out of a draw yourself, was to make me so big and scary that England and Italy would feel compelled to turn and fight me, especially at your suggestion. It's quite brilliant, actually. You create the Frankenstein Monster and then ask the village to kill it. Therefore, to keep yourself in the running for any points at all, you're willing to take a much smaller share than the nothing you'd receive for being eliminated. If anything, that's the reason why you still want to keep Russia around. That image of solidarity. Because keeping that image alive and the sliver of points that might come with it are greater than zero.

So really, I have no incentive to concede *anything* to you. Doing that simply reinforces your position and then would help force the inane 5WD. And plus, why should I? I've bloodied your nose fair and square, rightfully earning my SC's. I've not once lied or resorted to trickery in the press to take them from you, either. No, I'm not going to give you back a thing.

Come to think of it, I'm far more willing to start giving centers to Italy, though (which I've already done, considering I've invited him into Sevastopol). He's been a friend this whole time, and we've not fought to any point of crossing a line of no return. Especially on the premise that he uses his builds to start taking YOUR centers, which will get me closer to that 3WD I've wanted with him and England all along.

You know, I've been believing this whole time that you're simply just being obstinate about it. And perhaps you might be. But the more I think about it, the more you need to keep this ***ridiculous*** narrative of having a 5WD with Russia alive is because if Italy decides that a 4WD is worthwhile, then spending a few more turns to kill you off for a 3WD isn't that large a logical leap. Nor a tactical one for that matter. You'll have 4 SC's at the end of this turn. It won't be hard for Italy to both keep me honest in Iberia AND have the spare units to take Greece. And once he takes Greece, you're done. And I'd help him finish you off because I would have no incentive to keep you alive. By the way. that offer is totally on the table, Italy.

Or you can kill off Russia and end things this turn before Italy decides he needs more points for his team at your expense. Your call.
19 May 18 UTC Autumn, 1908: If you didn't want to solo why stab England and make the grab for our centres before Italy could get them? He doth protest to much.

You will be at 14 centres next turn. England has no stalemate line, you outnumber his units. The southern stalemate is not possible for Italy to maintain with his present number of units, and does not encompass a sufficient number of centres. If we fight eachother, you win. In the event you genuinely don't see this (which I doubt) I will be happy to explain your path to 18. I am reluctant to do so now in the small chance that you might actually be unaware.

You are asking why I am reluctant to concede anything to you; you are unwilling to concede anything to anyone. We would have been in a position to retake Sevastopol regardless of what you did, so that doesn't count.Why don't you offer Spain to Italy, if you are feeling so magnanimous? ;)

Ultimately it is clear we won't convince each-other to bend, I just wanted to give you the benefit of the doubt here.

At the end of the day though, I think we both want the same thing. Italy buddy, give me something to work with here! :)
19 May 18 UTC Autumn, 1908: Save this game from just being a France-Austria doomthread!
19 May 18 UTC Autumn, 1908: Heh, on the doomthread notion we totally agree!
19 May 18 UTC Autumn, 1908: As you wish! Hello!

Austria, as per your initial comment, rest assured, moves to Mars, Venus, and even Mercury are still very much on the table.

France, I do think you are somewhat understating the probability of being able to solo. You are of course correct that Austria and Russia forced this position by offering you their centers, but the only reason the rest of the world turned against you was because of the fear, proved correct, that you would accept their offer. If we are to work towards a common purpose without fear of betrayal, we must be of a similar strength, and that is certainly not reflected in the current state of the board. Austria's suggestion is not a bad one: if you wish to convince me that we can continue to work together and prove to England that your intention is not to solo, allowing me to take some part of the Southern Peninsula would put us back on a more equal footing.

And France, if you want Russia out, Moscow --> Ukraine and Vienna/Bohemia --> Galacia would do the trick in 2 turns.

Finally, Austria, I do rather like Venice.
20 May 18 UTC Autumn, 1908: Dearest Italy,

I don't have much time at the moment, but I want to suggest to you that a 3WD with you, me, and England is still very much on the table. Even with fending off both you and England, I've still managed to keep Austria off balance. He's only got 4 SC's left, is all army, no fleet, and you have a build coming. It would be a simple matter to wipe him and Russia out. To keep me honest, I'd encourage England to continue attacking me to keep my own fleets occupied. Even with his disband, I think he and will continue to dance until the end. I'd offer to support you into most, if not all of the remaining Austrian centers, which should address the parity issue directly. We have our 3WD and a good amount of points. What do you think?
20 May 18 UTC Autumn, 1908: France; parity issue not solved unless you un-stab England. Stop trying to pretend you aren't 4 centres from winning. It is tedious.

Friend Italy please note; my moves were not ideal for me BUT it meant I vacated Venice.

Italy as long as you are still with me I will voluntarily *not* retreat into Venice so you can build another unit. Plz respond.

Russia thank you for blocking France from Galicia and justifying keeping you alive buddy.
20 May 18 UTC Autumn, 1908: My role in life is justifying being alive
20 May 18 UTC Autumn, 1908: Hello Austria, thank you. I appreciate your efforts to vacate Venice -- I still stand with you.

Also, I'll be planes off and on for the next 20 hours, so please don't panic if I'm not responding rapidly.
21 May 18 UTC Autumn, 1908: Happy to do so Italy. We are in this together. :) Thank you. Is there any way you would be willing to build Army Venice? If so, I can liberate Trieste.
23 May 18 UTC Spring, 1909: Apologies Austria, I really thought I had set army Venice. It'll be more difficult, but I think I can still support you're retake and hold of Trieste in the not too distant future
23 May 18 UTC Spring, 1909: France, I'd like to remove Russia as well, but I can't feel comfortable doing so while you remain in Moscow.
23 May 18 UTC Spring, 1909: Hmm. Well, Italy, let me think about that. If you're willing to commit to help killing off Russia, vacating Moscow is something I believe I could concede to. Now I'm not suggesting that I hand over Moscow, at least not this turn. But I could see to keeping it empty. Let's think and talk more about this. Because, again, I'm totally willing to see a 4WD happen. That hasn't changed.
23 May 18 UTC Spring, 1909: I can help as soon as I feel Sevastopol isn't threatened. I don't care about having Moscow, i'd be fine with you ceding it to England (from whom you could retake it without all too much trouble) so that I can commit Black Sea and Sev to removing Russia.
23 May 18 UTC Spring, 1909: Hey Italy!

No worries at all. I would highly recommend moving to Venice this turn though. :P

England, can you commit to tapping MAO again? Italy, this means you'll be able to guarantee Spain, which I think is slightly more of a priority than Marseilles. Getting into MAO would be sufficient to end the solo threat.

I think that we should not talk about eliminating Russia until and unless France's solo threat is completely eliminated, so long as he/she is cooperating (which he/she is!). Russia has the ability to retreat into my territory (and potentially threaten yours in Turkey). Russia could you move to Ukraine? England could you tap Moscow? Italy, would you be willing to 50/50 between supporting Russia into Ukraine and England into Moscow? Next turn I want to see England in Moscow, and if we luck out it could happen in the Spring.

I will meanwhile focus on winning back Trieste and not getting outguessed by France.
23 May 18 UTC Spring, 1909: Sure. Ever thought about keeping me around instead boys?
24 May 18 UTC Spring, 1909: Obviously that is my preference! ^^

Italy might get the final say I suppose. For now, regardless, you are a key part of the anti solo team.
24 May 18 UTC Spring, 1909: England you coulda had MAO! And why move to Skag?
Italy why move to Apulia & North Africa? :P

Now France can get behind your lines! :/

France you are too good at this game. :(

On the bright side, you should hopefully be able to hold Spain and we are in position to murder A Trieste without losing Rumania or Budapest to France as long as we play our cards right. :)
24 May 18 UTC Spring, 1909: I really do think I should not be killed until France stops trying (super effectively!) To solo
24 May 18 UTC Spring, 1909: I take that as high praise, Austria, and I thank you for it.

But I think your worries about my solo attempt should come to an end now. I'm very likely to lose Spain and Trieste this turn, possibly Moscow, and my best case scenario has me picking up maybe one more SC, for at best a net loss of one for me, at worst a loss of 3. Despite playing my ass off, I'm not going to solo.

As requested, Italy, I've vacated Moscow. I tried to make sure that I still owned it in the process. But we should be in a position to kill Russia and be done. This game could be over by the weekend. You have my word that my Draw vote goes in once he's dead. I don't even care who actually own Rumania.
24 May 18 UTC Spring, 1909: I don't think your net loss is accurate. If you outguess us you could avoid losses.

Right now there are a bunch of spicy 50/50s. Rumania/Moscow/Budapest/Vienna/Trieste/Spain/Mars are all in play. You could potentially end with -3... OR end with +0 if you win every guess. If you dislodge Russia in Rumania, I could lose Bulgaria... or Serbia. There are so many permutations and no guarantee of net French losses! Importantly you could also get into key non-sc territories (i.e. Tyrrhenian, Tyrolia).

My position is the same as before. I will believe your solo adventure is over when you are out of Moscow, Spain, Trieste and Vienna. Then I will be willing to discuss items other than solo stoppin'.

Till then, the forces of all that is good must play their best game to keep hope alive!

This game ain't over yet.
24 May 18 UTC Spring, 1909: Austria, I think you're failing to see the forest for the trees.

You want me down to 10 SC's? Is that what you want to see? Well, I'll tell you what. On a long enough time line, I WILL start to lose those coin flips that I've been winning so far. And you know who's going to get the best of those? Italy. And if he doesn't by his own acumen, I'll make sure he does. And you know what he's going to do with those builds? He's going to crush you. I mean, I'm not afraid of new Italian builds. All the damage Italy needs to do to me is by units that are already in my face, and I won't be building any new units to be able to challenge him effectively, especially while I'm holding off England at the same time. So he doesn't need any more of them to continue to push on me. No, those builds are going to be used to set you up for your own death. Think about it. There is ZERO REASON for Italy to have a fleet in Apulia in an effort to fight me. None. I mean, *I* can't even conjure the thinnest illusion to justify that! Your defense in the Balkans is shifted entirely to retain your home SC's. And believe me, I'll continue to tie you up there, I can promise you that. Meanwhile, Italy sneaks his soon-to-be fleet Naples build into the Ionian while Apulia moves into the Adriatic, and boom, you're dead. Even better is that there's nothing you can do about it. You have to stop me from my solo. So you have to leave your backdoor open. You don't have a choice.

I will HAPPILY start to gradually lose SC's to Italy. Because he'll use them to kill you. And then I'll have my 3WD. Which is what I've wanted all along. So go ahead and continue to hold this game up. It's your funeral. So yeah, you're right. This game ain't over yet. And the longer that's the case, the more likely you bring home a goose egg for your team.
24 May 18 UTC Spring, 1909: I don't *have* to stop the solo.

But otherwise, for the first time in ages this hustle is entirely fair. If Italy stabs me now it is solo town, but if he waits until your solo attempt is defeated, then you can probably get a 3wd.

Italy, you gotta let me know. What is Apulia doing, and can it stop doing it (i.e. move to Naples now). Otherwise, I need an explanation for what I am fighting for here. Why should I (& Russia) work to stop the French solo?

Assurances needed. :)

England, feel free to stop playing on gunboat mode and weigh in. :P
24 May 18 UTC Spring, 1909: Also, I know all is fair in love and war, but I kind of resent the implication that I am doing a bad job for my team. Come on now mate, just doing my best here to keep alive in a dangerous world!
24 May 18 UTC Spring, 1909: It may be too late, Austria. I don't think Italy needs you to stop my solo. He can do that on his own, especially with England doing his own thing and continuing to tie me up. He's hitting me where I'm weak, and succeeding, and you don't have any influence over that conflict. My strength is in the center, and it's tied up in fighting you. He can stab you, sweep in from behind, and I'm still stalled where I'm at now. Worse still, I'm not sure that the threat of throwing a solo to me holds any more weight because of the above. Because I don't think you could throw me centers fast enough to make a difference, even if you wanted to.
24 May 18 UTC Spring, 1909: And oh yeah, I would absolutely love England to chime in, if nothing else than to say hello.

So hello England! How are you? I hope everything is well. I really miss those heady days where we arguing with Germany over the validity of our alliance. And that's no nonsense, I really do miss working with you instead of against.
24 May 18 UTC Spring, 1909: I'm not saying you're doing a bad job for your team, so please don't think I'm trying to personally insult you or the job you're doing.

I'm just saying that zero is a number less than literally any positive number of points. :)
24 May 18 UTC Spring, 1909: What possible action could I have taken that would have lead to a better current situation?

Stay in Venice I guess? :/
24 May 18 UTC Spring, 1909: Hello Austria,

Rest assured, we are still on the same side. I understand your worry about Apulia, so let me walk you through my reasoning. With the accidental fleet in Naples, I had 5 movement options. Option 1 was to hold, which would have been useless all around. Option 2 was moving to Ionian, which would have served as an alternative route to the Adriatic, but would have threatened Greece, which I did not want to do. Option 3 was moving to Tyrrhenian. While this was obviously the correct option in retrospect, I did not anticipate France breaking through the Southern line. Option 4, Rome, would have again served no purpose. The fleets in the South needed no support, and it had no place to fit on the front line. The final option was Apulia. You said you needed my support to retake Trieste, so I planned to offer it through moving Venice (which you requested, and I did) and moving Naples to Apulia, and eventually Adriatic. Given that you feel uncomfortable about Apulia and given the French brech of the Southern line, I think the best option would now be for me to move Apulia back to Naples. Do you agree?
24 May 18 UTC Spring, 1909: France, while you have made progress in vacating Moscow, you have engaged Austria so fully that attacking Russia would only see them retreat to Bulgaria. If your interest is in minimizing draw size, rather than hoping for continued luck towards a solo, I fail to understand why it is not in your short term interest to give back Trieste or Vienna voluntarily.
24 May 18 UTC Spring, 1909: Okay Italy, I am satisfied of your sincerity. Thanks for replying so swiftly. :)

I agree that moving Apulia to Naples is the ideal move given France's positioning.

If you are willing to do that and support Tyrolia to Trieste, I will be more than happy to continue engaging France.

Would you also be willing to support hold Rumania? As noted, we want to avoid France capturing it and Rumania being forced to retreat to Bulgaria.
25 May 18 UTC Spring, 1909: Yes, I can support Russia this season
25 May 18 UTC Spring, 1909: Dearest Italy, well I did try to leave Trieste this Spring. I made room for it to move out and everything. But Austria wouldn't let me! So please don't blame me for failing to vacate Trieste this turn, as it's hardly my fault.

Now that I think about it, I think it would be better if you had Trieste instead. So, I'd like to offer you Trieste. Whaddaya say?
25 May 18 UTC Spring, 1909: Appreciate the support.
25 May 18 UTC Spring, 1909: Lol France you are so tricksy. Intent matters for Trieste but not for Moscow then? ;)

Thanks for supporting Rumania Italy. :) Russia, can you support hold Budapest?
27 May 18 UTC I am going to address the leaders of Europe, as I feel it's time to have what the far-east Asians call our "come to Jesus talk."

The fact of the matter is simply plain. For all of doom-saying, there is absolutely no path to solo for me. Hasn't been for many turns now, despite sitting at 14. That was to be my high water mark, as it's all downhill from here. My fate was sealed when I took Austria's orchestrated effort to get me biting on the "throw the game to France" plan. Despite bringing as much of my A-game as possible to either win or earn a better draw, that's just not in the cards. And for as much as I find a 5 way draw a level of wearing-pants-on-your-head stupid, I have to accept it. I accept it because of the very real risk that Italy would grow so fat on SC's that he may contemplate his own solo, which no one could stop once it got going in about 2 years I'd bet. This turn would have been the one where my luck definitely runs out and I'd be stopped. Italy builds another fleet while Austria gets his Trieste back but is unable to build with it. I at best stalemate with England who will do nothing but attack me the rest of the game (especially since I have no other information to go on but his moves), and Italy has a free hand to have me on my heels while he eats Austria. My team has decided that this risk is too great. In drawing now, I would get a most slim margin of extra points than everyone else due to my SC total. If I let the turn crest, I'd lose 3 points. And in a tournament where every point matters, I'll take my slight point advantage back to my team. I still firmly believe that killing off Russia for more points in the best interest of the rest of us still alive AND keeping the big bad French wolf at bay were not mutually exclusive goals. But I won't belabor this point more than I already have, for it does no good and arguing it would just harbor ill will at a time where it's now moot.

I thank you all for the game, especially when the press was lively.

Au revoir.
27 May 18 UTC Wow!

I must say I am very surprised at this turn of events. For what it is worth, I fully believed that while perfect play from Italy/England/myself/Russia was sufficient to stop a solo, there was enough uncertainty that there would be perfect such that I was uncomfortable trying to kill off Russia as things stood. I assumed that you would not draw until that possibility was absolutely precluded, and I figured that we would be able to knock out Russia once I had a bit of breathing space. That was legitimately my problem.

Indeed France, the critical problem of your solo push was that every other country became on the front line, and thus we were all crucial.

That being said, I mean it when I say that your play was excellent all game and it is honestly a shame you did not get a better result.

I feel fortunate just to have made it out alive!

Turkey, well done on making me regret siding with Russia in early game.

Italy, well done icing me out of Turkish gains, and maneuvering well all game!

Germany, I missed your press after your demise, my friend!

England, I also missed your press after Germany's demise! Nonetheless well done making the right choice to turn on France.

Finally, dear Russia! I am glad we stayed friends till the very end, and many congrats on making the draw unexpectedly! Too bad our alliance wasn't more successful, but c'est la vie!

All in all, thanks for the fun game! (Especially you France!)
27 May 18 UTC Skin of my teeth.

Good game fellas.
27 May 18 UTC Thanks for the game!

I'll admit I'm somewhat disappointed we didn't get to take the game to its conclusion, but I'm satisfied. Great play all around!

Start Backward Open large map Forward End

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