ODC 2019 Tournament Start

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Napoleon of Oz
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Re: ODC 2019 Tournament Start

#381 Post by Napoleon of Oz » Thu Oct 08, 2020 3:02 am

I'm putting together my AAR - but can't help but notice that if I had to nominate the two most important issues I wish I had done better with - it would be exactly the same two Russia nominated - Italy/Russia relationship and relationship with/influence with France (the latter of which I felt was so staunchly pro-German throughout most of the mid-end game, and left themselves so open to to the German stabs, that once we were down to 4 powers, it was an extreme uphill battle for anyone other than Germany to win). The close third would be Russia and Austria having way too much visibility of my moves on the phases they stabbed hard.
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Josef IV
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Re: ODC 2019 Tournament Start

#382 Post by Josef IV » Thu Oct 08, 2020 7:43 pm

Hi, I was spectating from the first cheese joke to the last and both the game and the jokes were great! So many twists and turns...

For me as a newer player, I cant even imagine the intensity of press in such a game, especially in the first years, when you tried the "no retreats" variant of Diplomacy. When real life comes in, I sometimes have problems to get all press done even in a regular low-level game...

Also thanks for the AAR and looking forward to further, it was not possible to get much insight from global only...
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teccles
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Re: ODC 2019 Tournament Start

#383 Post by teccles » Thu Oct 08, 2020 7:58 pm

Yeah, in the first few years of the game in particular I found the press really exhausting. Particularly as Russia - most other powers can mostly concentrate on their sphere, but Russia really has to talk a lot to everyone. And when everyone is skilful, talkative and trying hard, that's a lot of work.
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Napoleon of Oz
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Re: ODC 2019 Tournament Start

#384 Post by Napoleon of Oz » Fri Oct 09, 2020 1:01 am

To give others an idea of how high press this was - my messages archives contains 355 pages - even with cheese jokes and Austrovid public announcements excluded that is a lot of messages. If you filter messages by country it becomes:
Russia - 129 pages (shows our diplomatic difficulties were not through lack of press I guess!), Germany - 61 pages, Austria - 52 pages, Turkey - 43 pages, France - 41 pages, England - 12 pages.
Obviously influenced by length of time they spent in the game, proximity to me, how high press the other player was and whether the other player was prone to respond quickly such that press became more like a near real time discussion (which happened particularly with Russia, Austria, Turkey quite a bit - and Germany and France about once or twice).
Spring 1901 is 10 pages of that, Autumn 1901 takes us to 22 pages.
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Napoleon of Oz
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Re: ODC 2019 Tournament Start

#385 Post by Napoleon of Oz » Fri Oct 09, 2020 2:50 am

I think I'm going to break up my report into a few chapters based on the distinct phases of the game:
Chapter 1 - Success to Tragedy in 3 years flat
1901: Heavy press with everyone other than England. Hit it off with Russia discussing wintergreen, Austria discussing AI, some central powers type discussions with Germany, and some nice but non-committal discussions with the Turk. That made it a clear RAI v T to start. Usual DMZs agreed with France and did not entertain any discussions about going west. Long discussions had with Austria about Ven/Tri border. I tried hard for agreement on something like Ven-Tyr, Tyr-Boh - which gives Italy so many more options, including a much stronger AI. Austria was not willing to take leaps of faith like that and I wasn't willing to jeopardise relations by pushing the issue - so after lots of discussion all fairly conventional and Tunis turns green.
1902: RAI v T going swimmingly - desperate to not be left as the typical Italy on 4 centres I negotiated hard for gaining a centre (happily got support from both Russia and Austria into Bulgaria with a view of forcing that into Turkey while it was taken by someone else next year as an army plus fleets would allow quick mop-up of the Turk). Was careful not to lie too much too Turkey at this point in case things got ugly.
1903: Spring goes well as RAI continues even with Turkey now moving to defend hard against me. However, Autumn is a complete and unmitigated disaster that looked like a 1904/5 elimination was on the cards. To date I had tried to keep alive both Wintergreen and AI as options - this turn I had to choose. I negotiated extensively with both - negotiations with Austria were very protracted and difficult - literally hundreds of messages with back and forth on details move sets - but felt like they were genuinely trying to resolve how to make the difficult AI border work long term and I made concessions on moves to try to make them more comfortable. I specifically set an alarm to wake up in the early hours of the Australian morning to determine what to do only for there to be a flurry of messages with both Austria and Russia. I flipped my saved orders between the pro-Austria and pro-Russia orders multiple times - both assured me we were still on as agreed. Decided that I had to go all in with the higher press Austria - they had a better time zone for a long term / high press alliance, had detailed and longer term plans with me and I thought it was clearer that them stabbing me would be suicidal for them as they would then be caught between Russia, Turkey and I. I find myself on the end of a super ugly Austrian stab, down a centre, Venice lost, Rome definitely lost next year. Getting up at 5am in the morning to find the tournament you have played for over a year is going to end in abject disaster - is an extremely humbling and depressing experience.
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Napoleon of Oz
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Re: ODC 2019 Tournament Start

#386 Post by Napoleon of Oz » Sun Oct 11, 2020 10:36 pm

Chapter 2 - The Path to East/West Stalemate
1904: Things are desperate, I am angry, Austria is unapologetic and all diplomatic bridges with them are burned to the ground. Rome falls and I need to find a centre someone to stay alive and enact some revenge. I engage in some desperate diplomacy to mend bridges with Russia and Turkey. Some of the cut-throat diplomacy Austria has engaged in with both comes back to haunt them. Turkey is also desperate for a shot at revival and Russia sees a real opportunity to dominate the east. Privately detailed duplicate messages are sent to both with suggested moves and both generally respond in kind. Publicly a series of public health announcements are made about 'Austrovid 19's' backstabbing nature and danger to health to make sure there is no doubts in Russia and Turkey's minds about my absolute commitment to attacking Austria. Italian refugee camp set up in Greece with Turkish support as Russia swarms over Austria
1905: The RTI alliance grinds Austria down. Unfortunately despite my best efforts Russia is getting most of the spoils and shows no signs of really being interested in raising me to any kind of equality. Not much option but to make this a problem for future Italy if we get there and discuss with Turkey/Germany in the hope of having friends when Austria is gone and Russia becomes the eastern threat. I cling onto Greece and get a disband of Austrian Rom. Bad news is that F Mar just appeared (France is super low press but claims it is for England and Par/Bre is blocked so vaguely plausible)
1906: New Austria appears. Despite my best efforts Russia remains uninterested in having a more equal partner. Accordingly, agreed with Germany and Turkey that Russia is now problem size and we need to take some action so I pass up the take of Rome to give it a chance. Trying to agree how Austria's units should move is very difficult given they cannot afford to lose Tri. I'm also conscious that it sounds like Old Austria will return and relations there are so bad that this can only really be a short term strategy. France stays west!
1907: New Austria is evidently playing both sides and Russia remains unwilling to help. Decide my best option is to take matters into my own hands and press hard for Rom/Ven and hope Germany and Turkey understand. Rome returns to its rightful owner, Austria bleeds- the east is R8/I4/T4/A1
1908: Old Austria returns - obviously still hates me, and is finally put down. Austrovid elimination in 1908 and a 5 centre Italy with all home centres back warms my heart. Russia remains unwilling to help and refuses to hand over Tri (or anything else) to secure a wintergreen alliance. Next priority dealing with Russia who seems completely unwilling to contemplate any alliance other than one extremely favourable to them. I commit hard to an unusual Turkey/Italy alliance with some ad hoc German help.
1909: Cede Greece to Turkey while I force Tri with a bit of Germany help (so that the eastern minnows are at 5 each). Italy/Turkey is an uncomfortable alliance - particularly where we already have two yellow fleets - but it is one built in maintaining relative equality - and the best hope I have. Discussions with Russia continue without a good outcome. Germany has stopped helping which is slowly progress.
1910: Have basically lost all hope that Russia will ever contemplate a a sensible alliance even though the west is starting to look dangerously like there is a strong GF alliance. Decide it is worth pretending I will stab Turkey so I can get Serbia even though it is a single dot. Finally get a fleet back to Ion to give some protection against France or Turkey.
1911: Has become clear that we now have a locked GF alliance who are mopping up England without mercy. Really want to stay with Turkey but decide that Russia is just taking way too long to take down such that I'll have French fleets rolling into the Med way too soon if I continue on the current path and the risks of being caught between Turkey and France are too great - so hatch a plan with Russia that disbands two Turkish forces and takes Bul (for Russia) and Greece (for me).
1912/1913 - Russia and I mopping up Turkey asap while screaming everything we can muster back to the stalemate line before we get rolled by the GF alliance. I take the lead on an early risky exit from the Balkans and Russia follows as it is clear now it is west vs east
1914/1915 - lose Tunis and get it back. We now have a secure stalemate line from Mos through to Tun - so mission somewhat accomplished. Plea for Russia not to take Ank so that we stay Italy 9/Russia 8 given I basically need 8 units to hold my bit of the stalemate line - they take Ank. It once against leaves me super vulnerable to Russia and provides another example of Russia's continuing inability to accept an equal alliance. Russia's dominance of the east and Germany's dominance of the west in terms of positioning means I have to find a way to shake up the stalemate otherwise it is game over.
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teccles
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Re: ODC 2019 Tournament Start

#387 Post by teccles » Mon Oct 12, 2020 7:52 am

A quibble on 1910 - the line we agreed there actually got you two centres (SER and GRE), which would have brought us to equality. You turning down this attack really convinced me that you preferred your alliance with Turkey to an equal partnership with me; though the swift progress of FG changed that in 1911.

I am surprised to hear you say you pleaded for me not to take ANK. In my notes and from a glance through our messages, you accepted that me getting ANK was fine for years before it happened. Perhaps you had given up on me being reasonable by then.

I didn't say much about ANK in my own AAR. But indeed, I wanted it so that I had a better position to fight you when the 2v2 setup dissolved (however it dissolved). Perhaps it was predictable that the position would collapse in the way it did, but if so that was beyond my wit to see.
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Napoleon of Oz
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Re: ODC 2019 Tournament Start

#388 Post by Napoleon of Oz » Mon Oct 12, 2020 1:40 pm

The above is obviously my perspective - trying to reflect my thinking at the time based on the rough notes I have. I'm going to try to respond below without being too argumentative - but I think it would be fair to say that how you engaged with little Italy between 1905-1909 obviously coloured how truthful I thought you were being in 1910. That would have been the first year you had actively helped me rather than attacking the same enemy while trying to take the spoils yourself or attacking me since I think 1902 despite numerous pleas for better treatment in the years before. I don't think the Turk had lied to me once all game at that point. I don't think it is particularly surprising I was not convinced. Frankly the very fact it might have equalised me - made it sound very unlike anything you would actually do based on my experience to that point ;)

I expressly asked for Ank in 1910 when it was clear how much I had tied up in the stalemate - and yes I accepted it earlier because it became clear from the years before that I basically had to accept an unequal alliance and then force it to be equal later on to keep us heading in the same direction. While I think you taking Ank was a mistake the real problem (as I think we would both agree) was how much France left themselves open to the German stab - so just sitting until the forced draw was a win for Germany. Ank could easily have sat in wait - within one move of my centres and given you 2nd strike capability against me if I turned around while we waited to see if GF broke - but I think it would have been an extremely rare player who decided to wait it out when you took Ank, positioned for a stab and France had absolutely all their forces on my doorstep.

*For the avoidance of doubt for other reading - this is the only time I have played with teccles - I didn't know who he was during this game, and I'm not in any way claiming my experience reflects his style of play outside this game. Our alliance was clearly coping with some scar tissue from 1903-1909 and I think this game and our particular situation was a fairly unique one. In a normal game - it doesn't matter who takes Ank because this is a 4 way draw where he and I stick together and force the draw.
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teccles
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Re: ODC 2019 Tournament Start

#389 Post by teccles » Mon Oct 12, 2020 5:18 pm

Thanks! And in my last post I forgot to say thank you for writing this up - it's really interesting to hear how this very difficult period of diplomacy looked from the other side.
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teccles
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Re: ODC 2019 Tournament Start

#390 Post by teccles » Fri Oct 16, 2020 8:47 pm

I would like to point out that Brumark's banner is incorrect. He won *last* year's ODC.
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gimix
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Re: ODC 2019 Tournament Start

#391 Post by gimix » Sat Oct 17, 2020 12:32 pm

teccles wrote:
Fri Oct 16, 2020 8:47 pm
I would like to point out that Brumark's banner is incorrect. He won *last* year's ODC.
Perhaps just *the latest* ODC, since it spanned over two years?

Peregrine Falcon
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Re: ODC 2019 Tournament Start

#392 Post by Peregrine Falcon » Sat Oct 17, 2020 1:15 pm

They're always labelled by the year they start, regardless of how long they go. Take the 2012 World Cup for example...

Ogion
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Re: ODC 2019 Tournament Start

#393 Post by Ogion » Sat Oct 17, 2020 3:46 pm

Shouldn't we try to start the 2020 version sometime during 2020? Or is that going and I missed it?

Peregrine Falcon
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Re: ODC 2019 Tournament Start

#394 Post by Peregrine Falcon » Sat Oct 17, 2020 5:04 pm

Ogion wrote:
Sat Oct 17, 2020 3:46 pm
Shouldn't we try to start the 2020 version sometime during 2020? Or is that going and I missed it?
ODC has run every two years after starting in 2015. The next one should be in 2021 and will likely be hosted somewhere other than on webDip.

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