EoG report for the Dutch 2018 Championship (part 1 of 3)

Players from the face-to-face Diplomacy community can post upcoming meet ups, tournaments, and house games here, and members from the webDiplomacy community can search for local face-to-face groups and events.
Post Reply
Message
Author
Claesar
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 501
Joined: Tue Oct 03, 2017 10:34 am
Karma: 172

EoG report for the Dutch 2018 Championship (part 1 of 3)

#1 Post by Claesar » Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:12 pm

This is my EOG for the Dutch Championship 2018 last weekend, which is a live Face-to-Face tournament. I think some of my strategy and diplomacy was interesting; hopefully some will find it interesting enough to read. My aim will also be to convince some online players to go to local FtF events themselves, which you may have noticed ties in with the recent (and future) actions of the mod team to try and bring FtF plus online (webDiplomacy) play together more. Lastly, I’m super happy with my results and I’d like to share that with you all! I finished 2nd (my first ever Dip trophy) and received the ‘Best England’-award (my first ever Best-award, too).

I’m a competitive gamer. I’m a semi-semi-pro at Magic (“the Gathering”, a strategic card game) which means that I go to a lot of tournaments and have mediocre results. If you’d like to talk about competitive MtG, send me a private message. I’ve even played Bridge competitively and was in the Dutch youth team. That sounds a lot more impressive than it was. About ten specific people would have to be physically unable to play before I’d have been sent to an international tournament.
I also love board games, especially strategic ones. Three years ago, I stumbled upon Diplomacy and started playing. It ticks so many of the boxes regarding what I look for in a game.

More specifically, I believe this happened: I stumbled upon the Dutch Facebook group for Diplomacy and saw a National Championship was coming up in a month or so. The group was headed by TheMinisterOfWar http://www.webdiplomacy.net/profile.php?userID=48609 (an ex-mod of ours), but don’t send him a message as he went into politics and has no time for Dip anymore :-(
Naturally though, he referred me to webDip. I jumped into three games, did a couple of turns, read a lot of strategy articles and joined the Championship! I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this to anyone, but I had fun. What intrigued me about this game is that my preparation wasn’t nearly enough, where it would’ve been for most other games! For instance, I built a fleet in Berlin, not realising it would anger Russia, and explained to him it was necessary for my attack on England. In Autumn I was congratulated on my ingenuity by the other players when I moved it from Baltic to Skaggerack. Unfortunately, the TD wouldn’t have it.

I played in the next two Championships as well, with a steady increase in finishing centre count (0, 1, 2, 6, 7, in that order). My main problem was the time limit though. 15 minutes per phase sounds like a lot more than the 7 minutes we have online, but it’s actually less when you can only talk to one player at a time. I’ve actively worked on this problem in the last year and here are my tips for you:
Play live games on webDip. It really helps! I recommend 5min/phase for Gunboats or 7min/phase for Full Press. Both will help you speed up your thinking. I can now do my orders (online) well in 1-2minutes.
After the turn processes, refuse to talk to anyone. Instead, first write down all your units and their location. This lowers panic when the round timer is low.
In fact, it would be great if you can write preliminary orders before talking to anyone. That way, you’ll never NMR but you can change them during discussions.
Tied in with #3, preferably even think about your plan before you talk to anyone. This lowers the chance you’ll be duped by fast-thinking veterans as you’ll have a better reply ready.
When the timer runs low (2 minutes), refuse to talk to anyone anymore. Don’t care how important they think they are, or whether you’ve talked to them at all that phase. It’s more important to get proper orders in.
2

Claesar
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 501
Joined: Tue Oct 03, 2017 10:34 am
Karma: 172

Re: EoG report for the Dutch 2018 Championship (part 1 of 3)

#2 Post by Claesar » Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:12 pm

That all said, let’s go to the games of last weekend! We were going to play three rounds until 1910, with the best two scores counting. The scoring was a Carnage variant (similar to Sum of Squares). The first draw was just downright horrible for me..
Austria: Me
Italy: TheWizard (http://webdiplomacy.net/profile.php?userID=10873), Tournament Director, German living in the Netherlands, and winner of the last three Championships!
Turkey: An experienced player from Germany (the tournament wasn’t for Dutch players only, and close to the border)
Russia: An experienced player from Germany..
France, England, Germany: I can’t even remember.

Unfortunately, Austria is one of my three worst scoring powers online (yes, I keep track). Furthermore, the combined centre count of Austria in this tournament in the past three years has been 0. Always eliminated. In the year we had Best Country awards, we had to give it to the Austria who survived longest before being eliminated. I had my work cut out for me.

I quickly grabbed hold of Italy to chat with. He said that because he was TD, he wasn’t going to stab anyone.. He either wanted to do something funky, or just slowly wither and die. I wasn’t going to do a Key Lepanto with him though. And the second option was unacceptable as well, as that meant nothing would stop a Juggernaut. Unfortunately, the A/I is my preferred option for Austria. I tried to pitch a regular Lepanto, but I could tell he wasn’t very interested. In hindsight, my diplomacy failed here. I should’ve focussed more on what he wanted and at least come up with something that might interest him. Please post your suggestions in the comments.

Turkey was next and he asked for my support into Rumania. I said I’d be interested if he could clearly explain how I’d benefit. He gestured in the direction of Warsaw, but wouldn’t even mention it. Better players than me can see the benefit of supporting Turkey into Rumania and make their own happiness. I didn’t want to put words into his mouth though, which is probably wrong. I needed him to fully be on board, as he’d benefit first. So, I told him to think about a clearer proposal that would also help me in some way.

Russia immediately said that he REALLY wanted to bounce in Galicia. However, I read about a top tournament player (can’t remember who) that as Austria once managed to convince Russia not to bounce by explaining that Austria must always defend Trieste with the army in Vienna. I thought I’d try the same thing. I talked and talked and talked until I thought he believed I wouldn’t open to Galicia because I had to cover Trieste. There was still enough time in the round for him to relay this to Italy, so I opened to Tyrolia instead! Last year, as Italy, TheWizard opened to Tyrolia (without consent) and attacked Austria shortly after.

I briefly chatted some more with everyone but Russia, but nothing interesting came out of that. The turn was processed and Eastern Europe was as I would’ve guessed:
https://imgur.com/a/38zPpqY

Russia opened north, which is good for me. Italy remained in Venice, but I hadn’t asked him to move out either. Not sure I should’ve in combination with my move to Tyrolia. Now, he shouldn’t complain much about the obviously defensive move.

Talks resumed and Italy complained too much. I placated and pitched a Lepanto again.
Turkey asked for support into Rumania, which met a firm “not now”. I doubt I’d ever risk getting bounced out of Greece over such a support, which may be a flaw in my play.
Russia and I shook hands and smiled. We built trust. I tried to spend some credit to ask for a fleet in Rumania, but that wasn’t an option. No problem though.
Germany was slightly upset with my army in Tyrolia, but I placated.
Must’ve used the rest of the turn for a bathroom break, since I don’t recall discussing builds with anyone.
Tip: There’s no talking allowed during builds and retreats (like Rulebook Press online), so you should discuss during Autumn what to build.

https://imgur.com/a/iLM5VXl

Turkey moved Bulgaria to Rumania. A standard move, to ensure Russia couldn’t bounce him out of the Black Sea without giving up Rumania. Nonetheless, this is really good for me. It may create emnity.
Russia made it into Sweden and Finland, which is probably also good for me. He’s doing really well in the north, which means he probably wants to take it easy in the south. In this scoring system, it’s typically very dangerous to grow too big too soon. However, I failed to recognise this well enough.
I know the German builds are important here too, but I haven’t a clue what they were.

Discussions start again and Italy finally agrees to attack Turkey in some way. He asks me to move to Aegean. I tell him he’ll need to either support me there, or move to Eastern Med himself.

After that, Russia offers me support into Bulgaria. He demands nothing in return, so I insist he backfills it after I take Constantinople later. It’s usually important to make people see things your way with an incentive of their own, but in hindsight that was not necessary here. Russia would’ve probably profited enough with a stable southern border and an ally. I trusted him to support me into Bulgaria, after the good experience with the DMZ in Galicia.

The conversation with Turkey went roughly like this:
“So are you going to support me into Rumania now?”
“Like I said, what would I gain from that? Make me understand how I would benefit.”
“Uhm, maybe you could get Warsaw later?”
“...”

Maybe?... This was of course a diplomatic error on my part. For my move into Bulgaria to work, it would be much better if Turkey moved the army there so he couldn’t support it to hold. I should’ve agreed to his offer so he’d try to take Rumania. I was too flabbergasted though.

A smarter player would’ve gone back to Italy to alter the plan slightly. However, I thought I could combine the two plans. My idea was that if one or both would come through, I was in good shape. In hindsight, I don’t think that’s correct. Allowing Turkey a retreat to Greece would’ve messed me up. Nonetheless, these were my moves:
Gre-Aeg
Serb-Bul
Bud-Serb
Tri-Alb
Vie-Bud
https://imgur.com/a/ZaWu1YM

However, neither Russia or Italy did as they promised. Turkey attacked Rumania though.

I’ll just summarise the rest of this game in a paragraph… I panicked after these results, and failed to mend things diplomatically. Autumn saw Russia supporting Turkey into Serbia, which I didn’t even defend against. The east had a hard time trusting each other though, so I was eaten up very slowly. At some point I managed to sneak into Warsaw and since Russia was very fed up with an English stab, he allowed me to stay there and focussed north instead. We drew in 1908 or 1909; Turkey had the coveted ‘board top’ (i.e. more centres than anyone else in our game). With my survive on 1 centre, I was actually in good shape to win Best Austria!

Drawing before 1910 allowed us to go out for sandwiches, so there was much rejoice. Had some great conversations during this break about boardgames. Found out someone had Resistance (a game similar to Maffia) with them! I spent the rest of the break listening to music in a corner, as I wasn’t feeling very well.

And I still don’t, so this report is taking longer than I’d hoped. I’ll cut it off here and post the other two parts later.
1

ziran
Posts: 126
Joined: Sun Dec 31, 2017 3:21 am
Karma: 35
Contact:

Re: EoG report for the Dutch 2018 Championship (part 1 of 3)

#3 Post by ziran » Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:35 pm

Claesar wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:12 pm

I read about a top tournament player (can’t remember who) that as Austria once managed to convince Russia not to bounce by explaining that Austria must always defend Trieste with the army in Vienna. I thought I’d try the same thing.
i believe you're referring to peter yeargin. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mm1et-Kvsw8&t=8m14s

was norway unoccupied after fall 01? that would be bad for you, as austria, i imagine.

i'm amazed austria does so badly in this tournament. congrats on breaking the curse!
1

Durga
Posts: 2402
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 6:01 pm
Location: Canada
Karma: 390

Re: EoG report for the Dutch 2018 Championship (part 1 of 3)

#4 Post by Durga » Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:44 pm

did vecna play?

bo_sox48
Admin
Admin
Posts: 1144
Joined: Thu Jun 08, 2017 1:01 am
Karma: 344

Re: EoG report for the Dutch 2018 Championship (part 1 of 3)

#5 Post by bo_sox48 » Fri Dec 07, 2018 4:50 am

Moved this over to the FtF section.
1

Claesar
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 501
Joined: Tue Oct 03, 2017 10:34 am
Karma: 172

Re: EoG report for the Dutch 2018 Championship (part 1 of 3)

#6 Post by Claesar » Fri Dec 07, 2018 6:50 am

ziran wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:35 pm
...
was norway unoccupied after fall 01? that would be bad for you, as austria, i imagine.

i'm amazed austria does so badly in this tournament. congrats on breaking the curse!
It wasn't! Good question. Russia moved StP to Finland while England took Norway.
Durga wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:44 pm
did vecna play?
Certainly, he's prominently featured in the second part! Kept the best for middle?

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests