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Finished: 08 PM Mon 30 Dec UTC
Private ODC 2019 - R2 G5
2 days /phase
Pot: 35 D - Autumn, 1913, Finished
Classic, Anonymous players, Sum-of-Squares Scoring, Hidden draw votes, Wait for orders
1 excused missed turn
Game won by The Belgian Bulldog (1589 D)
05 Oct 19 UTC Autumn, 1904: Another day another pause
05 Oct 19 UTC Autumn, 1904: Hope it’s all ok with whoever it concerns
11 Oct 19 UTC Autumn, 1904: Moderator: (dargorygel): unpaused.. let us know if there is a problem.
22 Oct 19 UTC Autumn, 1905: GameMaster: Magnetic24 was banned: moderator abuse. The time until the next phase has been extended by one phase length to give an opportunity to replace the player.
Remember to finalize your orders if you don't want to wait, so the game isn't held up unnecessarily!
22 Oct 19 UTC Autumn, 1905: Moderator: (Aurelin): Paused while we find a replacement.
22 Oct 19 UTC Autumn, 1905: Is that the Russian? Weird.
22 Oct 19 UTC Autumn, 1905: New Tsar here. I’ll be reading past messages & getting up to date. Look forward to hearing from everyone. Good job the Winter Palace is my preferred residence, considering the other options are occupied. Talk soon.
22 Oct 19 UTC Autumn, 1905: Moderator: (Aurelin): Unpaused. Have fun!
30 Oct 19 UTC Autumn, 1906: No rush so don’t get me wrong, but 2 day retreats, followed by 2 day builds, seems long, unless that’s the way you folks like it.
Realising webDip doesn’t allow different phase lengths for different phases makes it less flexible, but if everyone dislikes using “ready”, I understand.
Excellent contest by the way, with good Diplomats. Glad I had a chance to join,

Best Regards New Tsar.
30 Oct 19 UTC Autumn, 1906: I think everyone here agrees, New Tsar: thanks for raising this! I would also be happy if we could ready the retreats a little quicker this time ; same goes for builds where I will ensure to contribute.
30 Oct 19 UTC Autumn, 1906: Agree on both counts
31 Oct 19 UTC Autumn, 1906: Ready as soon as you all are
08 Nov 19 UTC Autumn, 1907: GG everyone. For those of you going through to the second round, congratulations!
08 Nov 19 UTC Autumn, 1907: Don’t give up Austria. This game and your game is not over at all.
08 Nov 19 UTC Autumn, 1907: Not to worry, I'll still be making all of my moves. When all else fails, you can always play to keep your Reliability rating respectable.

Germany, I am dispatching my most trusted pigeon with an important message for the Kaiser. It will be arriving in 2 hours, 32 minutes. ;)
08 Nov 19 UTC Autumn, 1907: Austria, your pigeon Foxtrot just landed at my palace : what is this 'Anschluss' term the note is referring to?
12 Nov 19 UTC Autumn, 1908: This makes it interesting!

And damn I switched my Bla support last minute from Bla S Bul-Rum to Bla S Arm-Sev. I should have stuck with it... :-) Always these last-minute decisions.
12 Nov 19 UTC Autumn, 1908: But happy we can fight a little more. Quite the positioning here.
12 Nov 19 UTC Autumn, 1908: Oh, this was not for global... Luckily I did not discuss Austria's secret plan to attack England in Spring. Any other observations someone wants to share, 'accidentally' or not, in global? :-)
19 Nov 19 UTC Autumn, 1909: Looks like the site had a bad day & the phase got extended 24 hrs. I have “ready” up, if folks don’t need the extra time. Best Regards Russia
19 Nov 19 UTC Autumn, 1909: I’m ready as well
30 Nov 19 UTC Autumn, 1910: Maybe ready up if we are all good to go?
30 Nov 19 UTC Autumn, 1910: Already done.
30 Nov 19 UTC Autumn, 1910: Moderator: (bo_sox48): This game has been paused by request for ~60 hours.
30 Nov 19 UTC Autumn, 1910: Moderator: (bo_sox48): Correction - this game will be paused for 60 hours tomorrow, or whenever I learn how to read.
01 Dec 19 UTC Autumn, 1910: Moderator: (bo_sox48): Now we're pausing for 60 hours :D
03 Dec 19 UTC Autumn, 1910: Am I right in estimating 7 hrs left of pause, plus 8 unpaused, means deadline in around 15 hrs? If so, how does the system work to achieve this?
04 Dec 19 UTC Autumn, 1910: Moderator: (bo_sox48): Unpaused.
07 Dec 19 UTC Autumn, 1911: A statement from Austria’s most sarcastic diplomat: “Turkey, you have no chance of soloing! Austria and the other countries of Europe are proud of the united front that we have and will continue to demonstrate to prevent your expansion. You can not defeat our collective wisdom, experience and diplomatic skills. Our resilient Supreme Allied Commander Vidkun A. L. J. Quisling has traveled from the southern Italy to northern Russia with a message of defiance and unity. You have no hope!”

A statement from Austria’s least sarcastic diplomat: “Congratulations Turkey on your soon to be victory. You clearly deserve to advance from this group.”
07 Dec 19 UTC Autumn, 1911: In contradiction to the sarcastic ArchDuke, the Tsar of Russia makes the following announcement concerning international solidarity.

Germany, France, England & Russia have agreed to a cessation of hostilities, including no further exchange of SC’s between them.
This will allow the immediate securing of the stalemate line, preventing the rumoured Turkish solo. Actions will commence in Autumn 1911 towards this objective. The various governments involved with this agreement may choose to support the Tsar’s announcement (or dispute it) in this Global Press.

Decisions regarding the Eastern half of the contest are unaffected by the above, where the Tsar will pursue the elimination of the ArchDuke of Austria (largely for the offence of incompetence). The choices for Turkey, pertaining to Italy &/or how many SC’s he would like (up to a maximum of 17) before agreeing to a draw, will be for his majesty the Sultan.

The Tsar will put up his draw vote immediately upon the elimination of Austria.

Best Regards Russia
07 Dec 19 UTC Autumn, 1911: Moderator: (bo_sox48): This game was paused for a player emergency.
13 Dec 19 UTC Autumn, 1911: The Archduke's and Tsar's point of views and messages have been read with interest and gratitude by the Sultan for their clear communication. Once the mods can have us all awake from our state of hibernation, the Sultan will contribute to the above debate.

Best regards,
Turkey
13 Dec 19 UTC Autumn, 1911: Moderator: (Aurelin): Unpaused. Have fun!
18 Dec 19 UTC Spring, 1912: The Archduke has prepared a carefully crafted statement: "Wow!!!"
18 Dec 19 UTC Spring, 1912: The Archduke wishes to add to that statement with another carefully crafted statement: "Lol"
23 Dec 19 UTC Autumn, 1912: With Turkey in MAO draw might not happen, but Russia’s vote is in as promised.
Best Regards Tsar.
23 Dec 19 UTC Autumn, 1912: Mine remains in but no way I’d be drawing from here as Turkey
24 Dec 19 UTC Autumn, 1912: I indeed have no draw vote up nor will I anytime soon. And could we ready up a bit more. If only the retreats and builds/disbands, that would be great already. Thanks!
24 Dec 19 UTC Autumn, 1912: That’s unlikely considering Christmas is upon us & New Year soon thereafter.
This contest will almost certainly limp on into 2020, despite an inevitable outcome. Congratulations to Turkey on the win even if the opposition was clearly feeble, a win is still a win. Well done.
24 Dec 19 UTC Autumn, 1912: Yup, I've got my draw vote up too. Lol. ;)

I am baffled by this game given the level of play I expected in the second round of a tournament. I'm not intending to take anything away from Turkey - good player and played a good game, but WOW. Turkey, good luck at the final table - I'm sure that the games will be more challenging.
26 Dec 19 UTC My last set of moves are in, well played Turkey, good luck in (I assume) the final game
27 Dec 19 UTC In & ready too
28 Dec 19 UTC OK, why are we still here when the system has identified a participant with 19 SC’s?
28 Dec 19 UTC Congrats Turkey - even without French assistance at the end you were still set for min 17 so we’ll done
29 Dec 19 UTC Go get'em Turkey! Good luck. :)
29 Dec 19 UTC Go get'em Turkey! Good luck. :)
Wed 08 Jan UTC Dear all,

Thank you very much for the congrats and good luck wishes. I first of all want to thank each and everyone of you for the sportmanship and for the great game.

Despite the fact that there was some discord at the end of the game, I enjoyed this game a lot and really believe that this was a game with exceptionally high calibre players. That not only appears from your results in the first round games (where Vom Kriege / Austria ended 2nd and diplomat554 / Italy 3th) or ghostratings, but also from the moves and press received. (And of course I also like to believe that I have just beaten several players who are better at the game than I am;-))

Here is also a little breakdown of the game, as well as a word to each of you for those of you that are interested. My breakdown of the game will be honest in how I really perceived and determined strategy. I always try to do that, although I sometimes fail and although it is sometimes used against me later. Please feel free to disagree.

***

-1901-

The first year started with a fairly standard opening on the entire board, perhaps solely with the exception of EF's blocking of G's fifth and/or sixth center.

In the east, the main issue is in my opinion always to discover which alliances are formed and oppose one another (the traditional RT vs IA, or something else). If you side with the wrong partner, you of course risk to start immediately 1 vs 3, but on top of that you can still be the odd man out in midgame when it is 2 vs 1. That is always the crux I'd say in the east and I invested a lot of time in trying to find that out.

I had a fairly good discussion with the later banned Russian player as well as with Italy, but press from I and R seemed to indicate Wintergreen forming. Not only did they both claim they wanted to attack Austria, they also sent me similar messages/ideas. The most remarkable example was when Russia suggested I could build an army if that was what Italy wanted.

By that time, there was an excellent relationship with Austria already, and we started discussing this. It was a feeling which Austria told me he shared, and we compared notes on what we received from both countries. It seemed like Russia wanted me to start fighting Austria together, while Italy wanted to start fighting me. Of course that is not very surprising, but together with other elements, I believe that Austria and I both felt like Wintergreen was forming.

On top of that, two things happened during builds phase:

1. Russia told me he wanted to pursue a Northern conquest (which I did not have an issue with) and invest only what is necessary in the South. But Russia also wanted to build an army in Sev. Russia told me the idea was to convoy the army Sev-Rum over Bla and move Rum back to Bla, but a similar move could be reached by building in Mos (Rum-Sev, Bla S Ukr-Rum and Mos-Ukr). Despite my request of building A Mos, Russia built A Sev.

2. Italy had asked me (and Russia approved), and I initially agreed, that I would build an army. Last minute I changed to a fleet, given the above-discussed Wintergreen threat, Italy's announced F Nap, the risk of Lepanto and messages from Austria that Italy intended to attack me. Italy was not pleased that I did so.

-1902-

The result of this was the Spring 1902 move, where Austria and I first took Rum and disbanded Russia's fleet (which is always excellent for Turkey), I locked Arm, and Italy moved to Eas (blaming my F Smy build for doing so).

After Spring, however, the feeling started to creep up on me that I would actually be opposed to an IA alliance after Russia had been sufficiently wounded. Italy's move to Eas and Austria not yet taking a position, reinforced that feeling as well as the threat. If I wasn't careful, Austria could take both Bul and Rum while Italy landed in Syr. After some really last minute press with Russia (something he apparently likes/liked to do), I cut a deal and convoyed Arm back to Rum. I did at that point in time not honor the agreement with Austria, despite him doing so. We both ended at 5 SCs, instead of A 6 and T 5.

Italy in the meantime did apparently not like Austria having supported me and, after some extensive press, agreed to cautiously convoy Tun-Apu. However, Italy did not move away from EasM and that fleet would stand in the way of fixing things between us for a couple of years. (I still think Italy made a mistake here and should have convoyed to Syr at that point in time, but I am of course not aware of IA's press and this is of course also with hindsight.)

In the west, the situation was now RG vs EF, as a result of which I also felt Russia was vulnerable in the South.

During builds, Austria and I talked a lot and his moves had shown he could be trusted. I had not honored our agreement and felt I needed to show my good intent by getting Austria +1 in 1903. I agreed with Austria, Russia and Italy (who insisted on no further builds to demilitarize) that I would build A Con.

-1903-

The deal with Austria was that he would act cautiously in Spring and I would prove what I was worth as ally and try to get us in position for me taking Sev and him Rum. So I convoyed back again to Arm, with the risk of losing Rum and Bul. Italy meanwhile did not honor to move away from each other and tried to attack, but was blocked a first time with the help of my fleet and army.

Following Spring 1903, Italy apologized, and I apologized to Russia. I explained to Russia that it was defensive and that I had feared he would attack me. The only alliance that really benefited from this turn was between Austria and me. Austria had seen my goodwill and was ready to continue with the original plan again.

And so I took Sev, Austria took Rum, ending us at A 6 T 5 as intended after 1902 already. Italy started to get annoyed with Austria, but not enough to let me off the hook and we bounced again this time in Aeg. Austria and I agreed to bounce in Bul to deceive Italy (who had agreed with Austria on Gre-Bul, Apu-Gre).

The forced disband of my army in Rum was what I needed and was used to build a fleet again to push out Italy who had been camping in Turkish seas for two years now.

-1904-

1904 was the turn where the AT alliance matured completely with coordinated attacks against Russia and Italy. Austria and I coordinated to have as little armies on our borders as possible and to get our fleets and armies to the outer parts of our joint borders with Russia and Italy.

In Spring, Austria took Tyr and I took Ukr, and in Autumn I took Aeg despite a last failed attempt of Italy to gain control there. We did not take any SC but were in a position for a grand 1905.

Italy had now not moved his units for three years in a row, had been misguided first and then attacked by Austria, and was now deeply frustrated. He finally agreed to move out and for the first time I believed he would.

In the west, 1904 was the year where France stabbed England in Spring, but was attacked in Autumn by Germany and England jointly attacking France. By then I had a decent relationship with both France and Germany with sporadic press. England was much more silent and we rarely corresponded.

-1905-

1905 was probably the best year for the AT alliance.

We took War and Mos and our joint borders were largely DMZ'd. Taking both was done with Russia's help who, after some pushing, agreed that his best spot for survival was StP and who was furious at England for taking StP last year.

It was also the year where I took Ion with Austria's help and Italy agreed to retreat to Alb. That last retreat was of major importance to my game. Italy and I had continued talking and if one thing was clear it was that Italy wanted to hurt Austria. Due to this move, I knew that Austria would be under a lot of pressure the next year and that I could take Tun unopposed.

1905 was also the year of Magnetic being banned and Senlac entering the game. Thank you a lot Senlac for doing so. Senlac's press was excellent in the first years and I enjoyed talking to him a lot. In the west, it meant REG forming against F, which was undisputably crucial for France's demise in the next years. I don't think that would have happened if Magnetic stayed in the game.

During builds phase, Austria and I stuck to the plan of me building a fleet and him an army.

-1906-

I took Tun unopposed, took control of the Med seas and got in position to take Nap next year, while Austria needed to defend against Italy's attacks.

But 1906 was most important for building up Austria's trust in me as his ally. I told him how Italy would attack Tri and how he could disband the fleet in Alb, and I retreated to Arm and Sev. The fact that we got to 7-7 seemed not such a big deal.

But then Austria and I had a disagreement regarding 1907. Austria insisted that he would take Sev back and later Rum and that I moved my armies back to the Turkish homeland. I would take Rom and Nap in return so we would still be balanced was his opinion. I disagreed and felt this would spread my armies out too thin and shift the balance in our alliance in Austria's favor.

Simultaneously, we also needed to discuss my build. I wanted to build A Smy, but Austria did not like that. I told him I needed two armies to secure my Turkish homeland, and therefore needed an army to convoy that army into Italy first and later France, and how this was the best path forward.

At the time, I was unsure about stabbing Austria, but needed to keep my options open. If he continued to insist on yielding Sev and Rum, Austria would be in a more powerful and concentrated position while I wandered off to Italy and France. By insisting on this, Austria forced me to take a decision : stab him now or continue to a two way draw (with perhaps the option of stabbing at the very end, if I had not been stabbed before).

-1907-

I decided to anticipate a possible stab from Austria and keep my options open for a large cut of the draw, or perhaps a solo if all went well. Given EGR and F were busy with each other in the east, and having Italy on my side for now, there was no better time. Foregoing the possibility of moving against Austria now would likely mean keeping it that way for the rest of the game.

In Spring I assured I could take Gre and Ser by moving two armies to Rum and Gre, blocked Sev and assured to disband Austria's sole fleet with Italy's help. Italy and I worked together perfectly, and I promised not take only one of Nap and Rom. Italy tried to convince me of taking none, but I could not risk Italy staying too strong.

So I got from 7 to 10 SCs, built two armies and a fleet, and asked Italy to disband his fleet as that was unnecessary in our conquest against Austria. Italy's disbanded fleet meant the Med seas were free of non-Turkish fleets.

-1908 & 1909-

1908 & 1909 were years both in the west and east of status quo. Austria defended excellently and I made some mistakes.

That got me to discuss with Austria the idea of working together again, which ended in me taking Ven, and Austria taking Tri back (breaking a promised bounce).

I also talked a lot to France and Germany who had moved to Pie, respectively supported Austria into Tri. France told me there was an idea of stopping me, but that Germany had betrayed him. France was growing frustrated and Germany had promised me he would focus again on France as well. Having both main western powers fight was necessary for further progress so I did everything I could to increase those chances.

In builds phase, I now honored Austria's request to build a fleet in Smy which helped to gain his trust again, but Austria's demands were also a bit much from my perspective and I felt it would be a great risk to try to DMZ in the manner he suggested.

-1910-

In 1910 I attack Austria again with full force, who had taken and discussed a cautious, defensive approach. But I was at the same time alsmost certain of his moves and moved for an attack, succesful in 1910. It hurt to attack a player who was a great ally for the second time, but I felt there was no option.

Italy in the meantime had changed his goals, in that order, to assuring he didn't die before Austria and trying to be part of the draw, if I understand well. The first goal was essential to me and I did everything I could to help him.

1910 was the year where I took Italy and got to 12 and where Austria fell from 6 to 3, and was crucial in securing a possible solo position. We gambled that Germany would not move to Ven and that was the right bet.

In the meantime, France had asked me a couple of times already to move my fleet west, but Germany opposed. I needed my fleet in taking control of Italy so I could postpone the decision. Luckily, Germany now also asked me to move my fleet in Tyr west and 1911 would be the year where I could honor that request.

I build two armies to take control of old Russia, and to set up for long-distance convoys, definitely my favourite moves.

-1911-

1911 was the year where Russia and Germany wanted to team up with France in moving against me and securing the stalemate line if I am not mistaken. But England refused and continued to attack France.

In the meantime, France and I discussed an endgame where I would move to Mao to help him out and where we would fight the others for a couple more years. France repeatedly told me he was fine with me soloing as well, so that I just needed to do what I wanted to do. I feared he was misguiding me and did not disclose my intention at the time to solo.

I did not convoy to Spa (despite that move having been locked in for a while), and supported France while securing the borders around Italy and Austria.

-1912 & 1913-

Were the years where the stalemate line was secured on both sides on the mainland. Italy arrived in Mun and I was told Italy would not try to force the draw.

My remaining option luckily was Spa and Mar and so I moved for a solo attempt in 1913. Luckily, France trusted me enough, or perhaps more importantly had no interest in a small draw, as a result of which the solo was secured.

***

Some last words:

- First and foremost, to Austria. I really enjoyed playing with and against (and with and against:-)) you. Your press is funny, warm, and thorough. I really have nothing bad to say about your game, and can only apologize for stabbing you. You deserve a lot more words than this, but all would be positive in the same line.

- To Germany, you are tactically and strategically one of the stronger players I have met. Your press is brief and concise, but always to the point. You rarely lie, a deception now and then notwithstanding, and that is something I value highly. I think there is a high likelihood we will meet at the final table again and I would like that a lot.

- To Italy. Our first years were difficult. I understand you want to attack me, but at a given time I think it may be better to just say so. You talked about what I did wrong and how I got us in this mess, and how you would move away if I built an army and then you didn't, and I would say that really did not pay off. I was happy once we started working together though and enjoyed your press a lot : you are right that I can sometimes be paranoid and I apologize for not trusting you / taking precautions then.

- To France, we played in the same R2 games and what a different games they were. We never got to the same side in the other game and I think we did accomplish that here. You were cast some blame for the last moves resulting in a solo, although I think players forget that perhaps a couple of years earlier you tried to prevent that and were attacked.

- To Russia. Pleasure to chat and thanks a lot for stepping in. We couldn't really work together this game. Although I would have refrained from blaming other players in this game for their endgame, I do think that you are politically, tactically and strategically highly skilled.

- To England. Good talks in the first years. Too bad we didn't get to talk again in the years after.

***

Final conclusions / remarks:

- I don't think this game would have ended in a solo if it were DSS. This game showed that SoS definitely contributes to the chance of a game ending in a solo.

- This game also showed how important the game and press history between players is. France and Italy's frustration with other players definitely helped me. Game after game confirms that one cannot underestimate how certain moves and press in the initial years or midgame influence the mid- or endgame.

- Key in press diplomacy (contrary to gunboat) is therefore in my opinion to continue talking with all players, year after year again, if only short messages, and even after having moved against someone. That helps to keep the line open and to understand what is going on at the other side of the map, or in other players' head. I think that was one of the main factors to help me win the game in the end.

***

Thank you all very much again for playing and best of luck in your future games. I hope to be playing against each and everyone of you in the future.

TBB
Wed 08 Jan UTC Hey Bulldog,

I can't believe the time you took to write that note... um novel. I appreciate the insight. Obviously, the victors can write the history books, but... I disagree with your take that I forced your hand and your fear of me was responsible for you stabbing me. I was never a threat to you with no fleets, and my expansion was limited elsewhere with no fleets. You just wanted to solo. My best guess is that me insisting on better defensive lines made you realize that you had to stab me early because you wouldn't be able to stab me later.

My last preference was to work with Turkey in this game, but it was so clear that IR were working together that I had no choice. Had Italy not told me off so early and so thoroughly, I may have teamed with him after the Russian threat was neutralized. However, Italy was so mad at me I felt that that option was unavailable and risky. I was in a box most of the game, because I knew that if I ever stepped out of line with Turkey, Turkey would join Italy against me in a heartbeat... which I think that Turkey fully knew and took advantage of when the time was right for Turkey. When Turkey insisted on building an army prior to stabbing me, I knew that I was likely on the Turkish menu but even then felt I had to risk that an attack wouldn't come because Italy was still too strong. I broke three keyboards writing lengthy messages to Germany and France to end their war because you would solo otherwise. :(

Good luck in the final Bulldog!
Wed 08 Jan UTC Thanks VK! As always your response is politely and accurately formulated, even though you disagree with me, which is much appreciated.

Key point for me is that I don’t claim that you forced me into doing anything. Instead, it is all about timing and positioning, and giving up Sev and Rum in 1907 would have implied that I needed to give up a strong position, waive the option of a solo and risk to be stabbed/a solo from you. That is at least, honestly, how I felt.
Wed 08 Jan UTC PS: I don't want to write history or justify any action. All is justified in Diplomacy. I just want to give all players and others some insight on what happened on the eastern end in this game, and why I made certain decisions / think that others made certain decisions. I am happy to read others' EoG analysis as well.

Start Backward Open large map Forward End

Turkey
Won. Bet: 5 D, won: 35 D
19 supply-centers, 16 units
France
DarthWader (107 D)
Survived. Bet: 5 D
5 supply-centers, 6 units
Germany
Chesney (673 D)
Survived. Bet: 5 D
5 supply-centers, 7 units
Russia
Senlac (138 D)
Survived. Bet: 0 D
3 supply-centers, 2 units
England
MakTub (1685 D)
Survived. Bet: 5 D
1 supply-centers, 1 units
Italy
diplomat554 (2116 D)
Survived. Bet: 5 D
1 supply-centers, 1 units
Austria
Vom Kriege (479 D)
Defeated. Bet: 5 D
Civil Disorders
Magnetic24 (0 D X)Russia (Autumn, 1905) with 2 centres.
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