Congratulations to shield, TheWizard, and DeltaAjaxNiner for sweeping the podium at EDC 2019!

Finished: 08 PM Fri 01 Nov 19 UTC
Private ODC 2019 - R2 G7
2 days /phase
Pot: 35 D - Autumn, 1908, Finished
Classic, Anonymous players, Sum-of-Squares Scoring, Hidden draw votes, Wait for orders
1 excused missed turn
Game drawn
26 Aug 19 UTC Spring, 1901: Moderator: (peterwiggin): Hello Everyone,

The moderator team has taken over running the tournament with the help of captainmeme due to the TD and selected co-td not having the time or necessary access to keep up with the games. From here on out, please direct all requests and needs to webdipmod@gmail.com. We have also turned on WFO mode in all the games. Please make sure not to trigger it: delaying a game more than 3 times will result in being replaced in the tournament. We'll have the 2nd set of games in this round up and running shortly.

Best of luck in the tournament!

The WebDip Mods
26 Aug 19 UTC Spring, 1901: Moderator: (peterwiggin): Hi all,

Nobody is playing the same power as their previous R2 game, so I've unpaused, turned press on, and reset the deadline to 36 hours.

Have fun!
26 Aug 19 UTC Spring, 1901: Have a fun game everyone!-!!
26 Aug 19 UTC Spring, 1901: Moderator: (peterwiggin): I changed the deadline to 48 hours to be consistent with games 1-4.
26 Aug 19 UTC Spring, 1901: Enjoy the game everyone, and good luck to those who believe in it!
26 Aug 19 UTC Spring, 1901: Welat a minimum I hope don’t get hit by a bus or get into a fight with your spouse lol
28 Aug 19 UTC Autumn, 1901: A slightly belated note: I inhabit a European timezone, so the current deadline is in the wee hours for me; please get your messages in several hours early if I need to read them. Relatedly, I'll be very grateful to anyone who moves the deadline to a Euro-friendly time.
28 Aug 19 UTC Autumn, 1901: Moderator: (Aurelin): Paused by player request. Email webdipmod@gmail.com for any questions or concerns!
03 Sep 19 UTC Autumn, 1901: Moderator: (Aurelin): Unpaused. Have fun!
03 Sep 19 UTC Autumn, 1901: I promise I am taking this match seriously but I have to re-orient my brain after this pause and I have a busy work day today. It will be a while before I reply to messages. I’m not ignoring anybody. My apologies.
05 Sep 19 UTC Autumn, 1901: Ditto, same apologies. Had some family stuff going on during the pause so will appreciate people's patience.
19 Sep 19 UTC Autumn, 1903: I feel I should post a warning here, for those who might follow in my footsteps and place some sliver of trust in Germany.

Germany and I shared a vision for the game which benefitted us both. We shared vast amounts of information, we coordinated on the board and in our diplomacy with third countries. We each took risks, and had our trust repayed. We planned for turns, for years, and for endgames. I am no novice, and I have rarely had such a convincing ally; and perhaps never been stabbed by one. Germany had two fairly equal routes for expansion here; and they have told me themselves that this was a narrow strategic decision. In the end, all the trust we had built was no more than a feather in those scales.

I have never met such an impressive liar. Do not trust Germany an inch. And if I can find a way to hurt their chances in this game, I will do it.
20 Sep 19 UTC Autumn, 1903: Aye, and they stole my husband!
20 Sep 19 UTC Autumn, 1903: Just a heads-up that I'm going to be missing the end of this phase - I'll go dark in about 12 hours' time. Pretty sure it's all going smoothly, so this phase shouldn't need too much diplomacy anyway.
20 Sep 19 UTC Autumn, 1903: I thought about this move too; Russia and Germany insist that I cover LIV. It may mean that they want to make sure I dont support EDI; or indeed that Germany wants to make sure I dont go to LON.
20 Sep 19 UTC Autumn, 1903: I chuckled at the idea that I would attack Liverpool. Sure, what I really need right now is a fleet that can do nothing about any of the attacks on me, and to reduce the number of disruptive pink units.

But FYI, this is the global chat.
21 Sep 19 UTC Autumn, 1903: Moderator: (bo_sox48): This game has been paused for 7 days by request.
28 Sep 19 UTC Autumn, 1903: Moderator: (bo_sox48): Unpaused.
28 Sep 19 UTC Autumn, 1903: ...hello?? is this game real?? I feel like it was a dream...
good morning world
04 Oct 19 UTC Autumn, 1904: *This* much movement and no retreats phase? And I was hoping to get a break from this game while we wait on some random retreat...
06 Oct 19 UTC Autumn, 1904: How does this now work - will the phase process as soon as we get the last orders?
06 Oct 19 UTC Autumn, 1904: Aye
10 Oct 19 UTC Autumn, 1905: Oh my god Germany kept a promise to me.
10 Oct 19 UTC Autumn, 1905: Well everybody, looks like Germany's going for the solo a little earlier than anticipated! Time to set our differences aside and make sure they don't get it.
10 Oct 19 UTC Autumn, 1905: Well I think it's a bit early to call it a solo win run but I doubt I can convince you of that today.

I still love you guys. Do what you gotta do!
10 Oct 19 UTC Autumn, 1905: France wasn't wrong, up above.
11 Oct 19 UTC Autumn, 1905: Glad to hear I've been right about something this game!
19 Oct 19 UTC Autumn, 1906: The French government-in-exile would like to publically state that they have renounced the concept of movement, which we have determined to be the devil's work. Our troops will no longer move, and they will vehemently oppose efforts to move by other powers. We urge the rest of Europe to see sense, and join us in the sedentary lifestyle.
20 Oct 19 UTC Autumn, 1906: You know, that’s not the worst idea I’ve heard.
24 Oct 19 UTC Spring, 1907: In light of Austria's declaration of war on the Italian people, I have voted to end this pointless conflict entirely in a draw.
27 Oct 19 UTC Spring, 1908: My draw vote is in.
28 Oct 19 UTC Spring, 1908: As is mine.
28 Oct 19 UTC Spring, 1908: Here as well.
29 Oct 19 UTC You can ready up your orders if you want to get this match over with
29 Oct 19 UTC Mine are readied.
29 Oct 19 UTC Ready
29 Oct 19 UTC Ready... God save the queen!
30 Oct 19 UTC But alas, not the Tsar. Good game Russia.
30 Oct 19 UTC Oof. Cruel ending for the Bear.
30 Oct 19 UTC Ah, well. Good game to everyone, had a lot of fun here and learned many valuable lessons. I apologize as my activity took a significant hit once the new semester started in September. Best of luck to everyone the rest of the way, and would love to play with any of you again!
31 Oct 19 UTC Thank you for playing everyone.

You might also know me as BrotherBored. I write a lot about Diplomacy.

Now that the match is over, I will reveal anything you want to know. I am completely forthcoming in AARs. I care a lot about this hobby and providing a fun and educational experience for folks who play with me.

Thank you for taking so much time out of your busy lives to play in the tournament. Some of you read enormous amounts of messages from me, and I know that each of you read them all very seriously. I really appreciate that and I consider this to have been a fun, high-level press game. Definitely in line with what I expected from this tournament.

England & Turkey: sorry we didn’t have too much to do. Hope you got something out of participating.

France: great game. You’re a delight to play with. I think you and I will have a long post-game conversation. It was a very close decision when I decided to attack you. I mean that. I don’t think you appreciated that, at the time, Russia and I had a very deep alliance—I had the same long conversations with Russia as I had with you. I would say I was equally close to both you. So the decision came down to strategy.

Russia: you played a great game. I think you were very close to doing well and then your defeat snowballed. I think that happens a lot for Russia, in my experience. It’s a shame real life interferes with your participation. It was a lot of fun playing with you.

Austria: really fun game. I loved our secret alliance and took it seriously the whole match. I did want to top the board or get a solo win if I could, which is why I didn’t take our alliance out to a 2 way draw. Maybe “alliance” isn’t the right word exactly but I really liked that we compared notes and stuff. I think that was a great way for you to play Austria, and that the sum-of-squares scoring does not do justice to how well you played.

Italy: I really mean it that I didn’t help you against France for strategic reasons. At that time, I wanted to backstab Russia, and I determined that I needed French help or at least neutrality. I also wanted to prevent you from being able to leak to Russia. My backstab succeeded on a razor’s edge margin, so I stand by my strategic decision. But I really liked talking to you. Our attack on France was, for me, the highlight of this match.
31 Oct 19 UTC Thank you for the game everyone. It was one of the finest I have played, except of course that my own role in it was rather reduced for much of the game.

Germany: the feeling is mutual; our conversations both in "alliance mode" before your stab and "self-interested mode" after it were excellent. Of course, your stab on me was the defining moment of my game. I could write (and indeed have written) a short essay on my mistakes there - but for here, suffice it to say that I badly misread both your relationship with Russia, and Austria/Italy's position, leading me to make both tactical and diplomatic mistakes.

Italy: I feel we never quite connected properly; perhaps partly because you spent so very much of your time attacking me. I think this game is a fine example of how tricky it is for Italy to play a Western game. It's notable that you never once came under serious attack (for which well done), and you ended on 5 centres - and it's hard to see where you'd have got beyond 7. I'm not saying you got it wrong - with the earlier game alliances that formed, you were in a tricky spot.

Austria: I thought we had the potential to form a strong alliance, before I got myself so badly stabbed. I made a serious misstep in Autumn 1902; I thought it would be tough to get either you to attack or Italy to defend, and in the end both happened and I looked foolish.

Russia: I strongly suspect we were both so deeply convinced that Germany would turn on the other that we were OK with our own relationship being only lukewarm. A mistake we can both learn from, perhaps.
31 Oct 19 UTC *sigh*

To be fully honest, I'm walking away from this game with a sour taste in my mouth; possibly supplemented by the fact that I just played a face-to-face game last night as Italy with a very similar outcome.

I feel like I've drawn Italy disproportionately lately, and I'm thoroughly sick of it. I'll admit to not seeing myself as a particularly strong player. I have a hard time lying through my teeth and often can't devote the long-term thinking that this game requires. So the below rant is very much "speaking for myself":

But god damn... Italy! The conventional wisdom holds that it's stupid to attack Austria off the bat, and indeed I don't like to do this because it often results in ceding naval control of the Med to Turkey and France, which is an inevitable midgame disaster. But choosing not to attack Austria off the bat... basically resigns Italy to painfully slow growth! Greece is the only neutral besides Tunis that's reasonably available (even in 1902) and taking it often amounts to an attack on Austria.

So what's an Italian to do? You could wait for a Lepanto to start delivering Turkish centers (BORING), you can try to push north into Germany, or you can head west towards France. All of these strategies require intense trust and cooperation with Austria, who will often need to build in Trieste for perfectly legitimate reasons that nonetheless spook you. Not to mention that Germany and England can promise to help against France all day long without actually delivering (that's not what happened this game; it's just a familiar and frustrating dynamic)

Maybe it ultimately speaks to my lack of diplomatic skill, but I just feel like in all my games lately it's been so hard for me to make a real ally that lasts. And it's a shitty feeling! Austria, you were so opaque this game, I felt like I always had to sleep with one eye open. I heard from all corners of the board that you were on the verge of attacking me the entire game, and your moves often looked like that was coming. Germany... I enjoyed our relationship I suppose, but I can't help feel extremely manipulated (I know it's part of the game, and obviously you played a great game, but it was just got exhausting by the end).

And France... well, based on our communication, France should have been my best ally this game, but as you said, my attacking you got in the way. But by 1902, what was I supposed to do? Turn around? Resign myself to being a 4-center power indefinitely while Austria had grown so much?

Yikes. I'm not trying to make anyone feel bad. I dunno! This just turned into a pretty unpleasant game for me where I felt like I had no good options and no honest friends. I was sad to see Russia go. They were fun and easy to talk to.

Well played, all. Painfully well played :)
31 Oct 19 UTC Mr. Green, I think it was closer for you than the eventual results seem to demonstrate. If the strategic situation had been different, or even if a German player in my position had a different assessment of the situation, Germany might well have helped you take the 3 French centers as promised.

I personally dislike sum-of-squares scoring a lot, and among the reasons is that this scoring system implies that I did a better job than everyone else in this game *combined*, and to me that is ridiculous. I think you played a decent game as Italy, and it was not a foregone conclusion that you would end up with only 5 centers. If this were a draw-size scoring match, I'd say you did a fine job.

Italy is, personally, one of my favorite powers if not my most favorite. Let me offer you some general advice, if you're interested:

1. You should get over the idea that going east is boring. The Turkish home centers are defensible and therefore very valuable to Italy. If you permit another power to take those centers (Austria or Russia), that power will likely become super-charged and potentially unbeatable. Austria starts off weak but can become immensely powerful if left unchecked in midgame (indeed, I think that Austria was much more powerful this game than the final score refelcts). So in general, if you're letting Turkey die, then you need to get something out of it for yourself, otherwise there will be trouble.

2. I think you left out an important strategy: fake alliance with Austria. Fake that you are going to attack Turkey, and then if it looks good, attack Austria instead. That's a way to keep the "go east" strategy a lot more fun to play -- if Turkey looks like the right victim, then do the Lepanto. But keep an open mind on attacking Austria.

3. It's not a big deal that Italy can dink around at 4 or 5 centers for a long time. I agree that Italy doesn't get big fast, but that's not important. Because of Italy's central position, good defenses, and the metagame that discourages early attacks on Italy, you can fling your pieces around the map to get involved in multiple conflicts. This will create leverage for players to eventually help you into centers. It's a really interesting and fun way to play Italy. You do not have to send all your forces in a single direction to do well as Italy.

----

You should feel extremely manipulated because you were. On many turns, I was able to convince you to do exactly what I needed you to do, and never faced any particular pressure to do anything for you in return.

Even when I was not the player influencing your decisions, I felt like if you *didn't* do what I wanted you to do, it was because someone else was the one influencing you instead. I never really felt your "presence" this match. I didn't feel like anything was transpiring because you had caused it to become so.

So, I offer this advice: as Italy, you don't have to think of other players in terms of allies and enemies. You can think of the match in terms of your "interests" and then influence players to do your bidding by offering them assistance or non-interference if they grant you favors. (This is what I am getting at in point 3). Now, that's not the *only* way to play Italy, but I think it is a good (and more fun) one.

I think it may have been hard for you to find honest friends because you never quite created a situation where someone was better off helping you take centers. That's a strategically complicated idea, but that's my opinion as to why your "allies" were were so willing to drop you.

-----
Speaking from my own perspective now, I think I was able to influence allllmost everyone on the board in some way into doing what I wanted, up until the very end. I would go as far as to say that almost everyone did what I wanted them to do for most of the match, and very few moves surprised me.

There was only one turn that didn't go that way for me: the turn where you (Italy) and France deceived me about how you were defending yourselves at SPA/MAR. That was huge, because if I had somehow guessed correctly that you were going to move instead of support-hold, I would have blasted your position apart and probably got a solo win. But, I fell for it, and so I only reached 16. GOOD JOB, as I think I am kind of hard to deceive this way.
31 Oct 19 UTC I rather enjoyed the diplomacy of that turn with you, swordsman. It was clear to me (and I'm sure you) that you no longer needed my permission for anything; after that turn I had no threat to make against you. But we each spent the entire phase pretending that you *did* care what I think - you so that I wouldn't bounce MAO, and I so that you wouldn't expect it when I did.
31 Oct 19 UTC And Italy: I have to say, I get where you are coming from. I was always looking for a route East for you, for my own benefit, and I never really found a convincing one. Opening to TYS seemed to really set the tone there - it made a move to ION hard to justify (you only *ever* moved to ION as a purely defensive measure).

Start Backward Open large map Forward End

Germany
swordsman3003 (12752 D (G))
Drawn. Bet: 5 D, won: 23 D
16 supply-centers, 14 units
Austria
Josafina (243 D)
Drawn. Bet: 5 D, won: 11 D
11 supply-centers, 11 units
Italy
Mr. Green (335 D)
Drawn. Bet: 5 D, won: 3 D
5 supply-centers, 5 units
France
teccles (183 D)
Drawn. Bet: 5 D, won: 1 D
2 supply-centers, 2 units
England
woland (340 D)
Defeated. Bet: 5 D
Turkey
ali2542 (812 D (B))
Defeated. Bet: 5 D
Russia
MoscowFleet (129 D)
Defeated. Bet: 5 D
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