Key Lepanto variant

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Claesar
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Key Lepanto variant

#1 Post by Claesar » Sun May 27, 2018 10:32 pm

We all know the Key Lepanto http://www.diplomacy-archive.com/resour ... epanto.htm. We all know it only works if Turkey doesn't suspect it. If T moves to Serbia in Autumn 1901, Austria is screwed because Italy is bounced out of Serbia and remains in Trieste. Austria has no build and the plan falls apart.

Recently, Enriador posted a variant that is a great improvement as it doesn't run that risk http://webdiplomacy.net/contrib/phpBB3/ ... ?f=3&t=557. Today I provide another alternative, cooked up by SpaceDip and Mercy independently, which has its own advantages.

An exclamation mark highlights an important move. A question mark signals alternatives are possible.

S01:
! Ven-Tri
? Rom-Apu
! Nap-Ion

! Tri-Alb
! Bud-Serb
? Vie-Gal

S02:
!! Ion-Aeg
? Tri -Bud
? Apu H

? Vie-Gal
! Alb-Gre (S Serb)

In other words, Italy can afford to forego Tunis for a year because Trieste yields a build (Fleet Naples). Austria also has a build. The large advantage here is that Italy positions his fleet in Aegean in 1901! This absolutely destroys Turkey, and much faster than the traditional Lepanto ever can.

This moveset was demonstrated in the World Cup http://webdiplomacy.net/board.php?gameID=219083. In the end I (Italy) stabbed Austria, but that wasn't due to this opener. It can work wonders in a Central Triple, which I regrettably didn't go for.
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Re: Key Lepanto variant

#2 Post by Enriador » Mon May 28, 2018 1:54 am

This opening is nothing short of brilliant! There are so many things I like about it that I will make a list:

1) Italy gets into Aegean Sea in Fall 1901. How can't we love that?

2) Austria assures itself of Army Serbia (which borders 5 other centers) and Fleet Greece (one of the best places on the board where an Austrian fleet can be).

3) If Austria backstabs Italy with F TRI-VEN/H in Spring 1901, Italy can just make a normal convoy to Tunis and make an Illyrian Opening next.

4) A TRI-BUD both does not destroy Austria's shipbuilding/westwards capability *and* puts "an extra army" in the battle for the Balkans (a key aspect of the Key Opening) without putting Serbia in danger. Italy's Army Budapest can play with Rumania or Galicia - perhaps even getting supported into Rumania, so to vacate the Austrian home center.

5) As in the Morean Opening, Army Apulia enables Italy to guard all its home centers and relax.

Of course, as in the Key Lepanto, we have dangers primarily on Austria's lap, but it enables a headstart for Italy so strong (and so surprising!) that it should definitively be considered by both powers.

Can't wait to try it out!
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Re: Key Lepanto variant

#3 Post by Enriador » Mon May 28, 2018 2:00 am

I suggest that:

1) You elaborate on your opening and send it as an article to a zine like Diplomacy World/Diplomatic Pouch. 8-)

2) You name your opening. Just remember to be ridiculous or use an unappropriate WW2 reference for a WW1 game. :-D

The name 'Hungarian Doge' crossed my mind - it has a Venetian unit parking in Budapest after all. Perhaps the Rome Protocols (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rome_Protocols) can serve as inspiration.
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Re: Key Lepanto variant

#4 Post by Mercy » Mon May 28, 2018 4:06 am

Let me add that this variant of the Lepanto yields another advantage: It counters Turkeys best counter to the traditional Lepanto.

Let me elaborate.

Suppose you are Turkey and after having sent and received press in the spring of 1901, you think that you can trust Russia, but you fear that Italy and Austria are forming an alliance against you. In this case, you can prepare against a Lepanto by suggesting Russia to DMZ the Black Sea and by ordering the following moves:

Spring, 1901:
Con-Bul
Ank-Con
Smy H

Autumn, 1901:
Bul ?
Con-Aeg
Smy-Con

Then you can build a fleet in Smyrna and have a fleet in Aegean Sea and in Smyrna at the start of 1902. This will shut down the Lepanto.

However, if Italy unexpectedly orders Ionian Sea to Aegean Sea instead of convoying an army to Tunis, then all of Turkeys moves in the autumn of 1901 will be blocked and Turkey will be forced to build in Ankara. In 1902, Italy can't be blocked if he decides to move to the Eastern Mediterranean, and neither can a supported move from Greece to Aegean Sea be blocked.

In http://webdiplomacy.net/board.php?gameID=219083, the game where this variant of the Lepanto was used, the idea to move Ion-Aeg only came up in the autumn phase and was suggested by Austria (presumably primarily because his team didn't want Italy to immediately get the upper hand in builds). Turkey and Russia moved in the spring of 1901 exactly according to the plan I previously described. Hence I guessed that Turkey would move Con-Aeg and Smy-Con in the autumn, so I thought that it would indeed be a good idea to surprise Turkey with Ion-Aeg. In the end, Turkey did not move as I thought he would, but the moves worked out well regardless.
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Re: Key Lepanto variant

#5 Post by ziran » Mon May 28, 2018 6:49 am

@mercy: turkey could move smy-ank in the spring instead of holding, guaranteeing smy is open for a build.
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Re: Key Lepanto variant

#6 Post by Mercy » Mon May 28, 2018 7:47 am

ziran wrote:
Mon May 28, 2018 6:49 am
@mercy: turkey could move smy-ank in the spring instead of holding, guaranteeing smy is open for a build.
That would indeed be the best response if he knew that Italy would move to the Aegean Sea. If Turkey thought that Italy was doing a normal Lepanto, moving Smy-Ank would be bad, though, because that would mean that Bulgaria would be pretty undefended at the start of the next year. And seeing how uncommon the move Ion-Aeg is, one can expect it to be a surprise to Turkey.
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Re: Key Lepanto variant

#7 Post by Mercy » Mon May 28, 2018 8:56 am

Sorry, I thought you were saying that he would move Smy-Ank in the autumn.

Moving Smy-Ank in the spring is indeed a real possibility. I would think that most players wouldn't think the spring move of Smyrna matters that much, but as we have seen here, it does.

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Re: Key Lepanto variant

#8 Post by Claesar » Mon Aug 13, 2018 9:20 pm

I'm pleased to report this opener works in Gunboat, too! Who would've thought you could Key in GB..

http://www.webdiplomacy.net/board.php?gameID=224632
Turkey opening a fleet to Con threw a wrench in the plan. I saw it through anyway and I think this could've still worked out well if things broke our (A/I) way a bit more.

http://www.webdiplomacy.net/board.php?gameID=222952
In the GBT, even! After destroying Turkey with our swift and unexpected blow, I managed to secure a nice 3-way AGI draw.
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Re: Key Lepanto variant

#9 Post by Mercy » Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:05 am

Nice to see that you have tried this out in gunboat too! :D And nice that you achieved a 3-way draw with it. My experience does not lie in gunboat, but nonetheless, here are my thoughts:

I think the biggest downside in gunboat compared to Full Press is that you can't communicate to Austria what you will do with your unit that you send to Trieste. One reason why this opening is powerful in Full Press is because the fact that Austria is deprived of one build is negated by the fact that the Italian army in Trieste can help Austria. But in gunboat, it is harder to coordinate with it, so in gunboat, having a green instead of a red army there makes it more difficult to pull of a successful fight.

Also, I am not a fan at all of the army convoy to Tunis. I think Tunis should be taken by a fleet in 1902 while the army moves to Venice. You could theoretically already move the army from Apulia to Venice in the autumn of 1901, but that may spook Austria, so I understand why you wouldn't do that. However, I would send the army to Venice in the spring of 1902. It gives you so many possibilities:
- You could attack either France or even Germany if you think that you need to do so in order to keep the west balanced, or if/when you feel threatened;
- You could help Austria defensively. If it looks like Russia can take Vienna or Budapest, you can send the army to Trieste and help from there.
- You can help Austria offensively by moving to Tyrolia and then to Bohemia, and then helping in Galicia (all the while making Germany nervous :p).
- You could hope that Austria thinks you plan to do any of the above and make a more effective stab on him.
In your games, having the army in Tunis and then convoying it back again looked like a waste of your units.

Also I am not sure why you would support Austria to Trieste. An argument could be made to not even move to Albania from Trieste, but if you move Naples to Venice, then moving Trieste to Albania is in my eyes often a good move if you don't want to spook Austria. In the situation though where Austria, after the build phase of 1901, has armies in Vienna, Budapest and Serbia, Russia has an army in Rumania and Turkey has an army in Bulgaria, maybe you could use Trieste to support hold Serbia immediately instead of moving it to Albania first. That situation didn't occur here though.

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Re: Key Lepanto variant

#10 Post by Mercy » Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:10 am

Mercy wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:05 am
- You could help Austria defensively. If it looks like Russia can take Vienna or Budapest, you can send the army to Trieste and help from there.
Austria may feel threatened by that of course, but if the situation is such that he needs you to defend his other home supply centers, then he has little choice but to trust you.

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Re: Key Lepanto variant

#11 Post by Ezio » Tue Aug 14, 2018 6:08 am

This variant is the main line of the Key Lepanto and is not a new innovation. It is significantly better than taking TUN in 1901 for Italy and Austria to work together.

Taking TUN with an army in 1901 is far too slow against Turkey and is essentially only optimal if Italy is planning on stabbing Austria as it keeps his fleet closer to the Adriatic Sea.

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Re: Key Lepanto variant

#12 Post by Mercy » Tue Aug 14, 2018 6:13 am

Ezio wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 6:08 am
This variant is the main line of the Key Lepanto and is not a new innovation.
Everywhere I ever read on the Key Lepanto, it said that in the Key Lepanto, Italy takes Serbia.

Maybe you want to edit wikipedia? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lepanto_o ... ey_Lepanto

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Re: Key Lepanto variant

#13 Post by Ezio » Tue Aug 14, 2018 6:47 pm

Mercy wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 6:13 am
Ezio wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 6:08 am
This variant is the main line of the Key Lepanto and is not a new innovation.
Everywhere I ever read on the Key Lepanto, it said that in the Key Lepanto, Italy takes Serbia.

Maybe you want to edit wikipedia? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lepanto_o ... ey_Lepanto
My apologies. I was looking at the
!! ION-AEG rather than the
? TRI-BUD. This is certainly a worthy variation.

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Re: Key Lepanto variant

#14 Post by Mercy » Wed Aug 15, 2018 6:50 am

Well, at least according to wikipedia, in the Key Lepanto it is even standard for Italy to take Tunis in 1901.

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Re: Key Lepanto variant

#15 Post by Claesar » Wed Aug 15, 2018 7:30 am

I agree with both of you.

Ezio is correct that this is essentially a Key Lepanto with a different main line. In my opinion, it's a far superior line. And that's assuming Italy doesn't kill the Key with Bul-Serb.
The innovation of Ion-Aeg is something I've never read about before, but I find forfeiting Tunis for a turn is definitely worth it.

Just like in the scientific world, an upgrade of an existing patent is also worth a patent.

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Re: Key Lepanto variant

#16 Post by teacher2 » Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:33 am

I recalled something like this in an old zine:

https://web.archive.org/web/20100704013 ... rient.html
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Re: Key Lepanto variant

#17 Post by Claesar » Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:01 am

teacher2 wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:33 am
I recalled something like this in an old zine:

https://web.archive.org/web/20100704013 ... rient.html
Yes, that's more like it! I'm not surprised someone else also thought of this plan.
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Re: Key Lepanto variant

#18 Post by Enriador » Thu Aug 16, 2018 11:40 pm

Found a better link (the one above doesn't render all the images for me): http://uk.diplom.org/pouch//Zine/S2001M ... rient.html
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