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Finished: 02 AM Thu 30 Jan 20 UTC
Vintage Diplomacy
2 days /phase
Pot: 707 D - Autumn, 1913, Finished
Classic, Anonymous players, Draw-Size Scoring
1 excused missed turn
Game won by marshal969 (1792 D (S))
21 Dec 19 UTC Spring, 1910: People, would you all be kind enough to, under the peaceful influence of Christmas, agree to a pause? From, say, the 24th to january 2th?
21 Dec 19 UTC Spring, 1910: People, would you all be kind enough to, under the peaceful influence of Christmas, agree to a pause? From, say, the 24th to january 2th?
21 Dec 19 UTC Spring, 1910: As a matter of fact, tomorrow will be very busy and I’m traveling on Sunday, so as soon possible would be amazing.
21 Dec 19 UTC Spring, 1910: I’ll concur England, as a good faith measure until 1/2. I’m on vacation and would be very convenient to pause through then.
21 Dec 19 UTC Spring, 1910: Agreed
21 Dec 19 UTC Spring, 1910: Ironically the only person who hasn’t voted to pause yet is England lol
21 Dec 19 UTC Spring, 1910: Now I have :)
02 Jan 20 UTC Spring, 1910: Happy New Year to everyone!

Are we ready to unpause?
02 Jan 20 UTC Spring, 1910: Hi! I'll vote in a few! My phone broke on the 24th, and it wasn't viable to get it fixed since then, so access has been less constant than desired. I'll have some time to enter my orders and thus safely unpause in the coming hours!
03 Jan 20 UTC Spring, 1910: Sorry all again! I'm receiving family over, will look at the game, enter orders and unpause in a few hours!
05 Jan 20 UTC Spring, 1910: Retreat to hel. Am i to die?
06 Jan 20 UTC Spring, 1910: Sorry Germany! You fought well to the end though. Good game!
09 Jan 20 UTC Autumn, 1910: :(
09 Jan 20 UTC Autumn, 1910: Germany, we will avenge you!
09 Jan 20 UTC Autumn, 1910: Good bye chaps
09 Jan 20 UTC Autumn, 1910: Auf wiedersehen. It was a valiant effort.
14 Jan 20 UTC Spring, 1911: the western alliance has collapsed without me!
14 Jan 20 UTC Spring, 1911: perfect time for austria to move on russia...
15 Jan 20 UTC Autumn, 1911: Couldn't agree more :)
18 Jan 20 UTC Spring, 1912: I fully understand I am in the position of vanquished with little power, but I will make another appeal regardless.

This game is concluded, at least as far as I can understand. Can we make and armistice now and be satisfied with how the new European map looks? As far as I can tell all four of us have played the game to the conclusion and should be included in the draw.
18 Jan 20 UTC Spring, 1912: No
18 Jan 20 UTC Spring, 1912: Game not over.
23 Jan 20 UTC Autumn, 1912: Hey! Just to let you all know today was busier than expected. Tomorrow morning I’ll give this game the time it deserves!
28 Jan 20 UTC Ok, I am a chump. You know, people, like me, want to believe something, and then they just look for facts that confirm what they want to believe. This game is not for me.
28 Jan 20 UTC England was right. And Russia played me.
28 Jan 20 UTC Good game all! This one was definitely interesting to say the least!
28 Jan 20 UTC But why did France help Russia win? He would have anyway, I see, as I gambled and support holded Belgium with Bur, rather than support holding Munich.

But why?
28 Jan 20 UTC Because France thought (or at least I assume, but, in any case, agree) that, even if Russia guessed wrong, there was no way you could prevent Russia from winning next year. Hence, there was little reason to postpone this inevitable outcome.

Despite our differences, it surprisingly became a very entertaining game! It was a very good learning experience, which I definitely needed to get back on track regarding tactics.
28 Jan 20 UTC Turned into a strange game. Not quite to my liking, but the challenge of trying to stop an opponent twice the size was absolutely interesting.

As England said, Russia was about to win, no reason to prolong the suffering. I also granted me a "survived".

In addition I got to admit there was a hint of salt, I really dislike predetermined draws, you might have picked up on that earlier :D
It makes for near unbreakable alliances and, to me, that is not the intention of the game.

I hoped it would hurt Austrias trusting nature, make him more paranoid. Now that's a sentence wich should not be taken out og context...

Very well played of Russia to use and abuse Austrias goal to draw, instead of doing like me, I got something to learn there.

I've been out of webdip for about six years, just played a couple of games this time around. The feeling of the game have changed and it looks like points are more front and centre now, I'll take Austrias advice and play it as a possible advantage instead of fighting it.

Thanks for the game all :)
28 Jan 20 UTC It is my nature to be trusting. I suck at this game.
I did make it to ODC 2nd round, and I think I made it to like 12th place overall. Which is good....but .... I don't like to win alone. I just don't.

To win alone, I can think, I am the most clever, but in my soul I am a liar conniving bastard. Not worth it. I know, I am probably damaged goods, easily manipulatable.
28 Jan 20 UTC Well it’s a game so as long as you enjoy then all is good
28 Jan 20 UTC 'Turned into a strange game. Not quite to my liking, but the challenge of trying to stop an opponent twice the size was absolutely interesting.' Couldn't agree more.

Regarding the tactical side of it, which has occupied my mind during many hours of traffic and showers, I found it very thrilling. Both because of the inherent handicap of having fewer units and time against us, but also because Russia's tactical analysis operated in a way I thought similar to mine (and France's?).

At times, we'd figure possible Russian moves, all reasonable depending on either Russian intuition or priorities, and rarely did Russia move in a way we had not considered.

On the other hand, it took me a while to regain some of the flair I might once have had. In the beginning, France made an astonishing number of right choices on a row, and when I decided to try my wits, it went wrong. That's why Russia managed to break Norwegian in Spring 1908, as I actively chose to bet on something, despite France's correct prediction of Russian moves. Autumn 1908 was also my fault.

The interesting thing is that, until Spring 1908 went wrong both in Norwegian and in Kiel, the idea was to reach some sort of defensive line. The whole thing around Kiel was my suggestion for France to support Kiel-Ruhr, allowing me to disband my army. In the Autumn, we'd support Germany back to Kiel and I'd then build a fleet.

So the thing was to get Russia's moves right by guessing, in order to hold the line until the new fleet build (we'd have then have fleets in Norwegian, Edinburgh SH Norwegian, Nth, Lon SH Nth, and Hel SH Denmark). It also required Russia not to build - this line could be breached if Russia managed to bring another fleet to Baltic. If we kept Russia from conquering a SC (or, as happened, disbanding an unit), they'd have to manoeuvre to have a Russian army disbanded elsewhere, which could be trouble enough to prevent it from happening.

Anyway, Germany didn't get the message to move to Hol, though France entered the support, and simultaneously I made wrong calls on a row further North, definitely not guessing Russia's moves.

Russia's acknowledgement of Denmark's vital importance to our defensive lines, something which showed me Russia was devoting thought to it and knew well the weak parts of our defensive system, more than simply benefiting from our poor choices. Remarkably, though, it caused Russia's only serious mistake, Nth-Hel in Spring 1909, precisely when I regained some of my cognitive abilities which allowed us to take full advantage of it.

From Autumn 1909, thanks to our successful move to recapture North Sea and take advantage of Russia's single mistake, it seemed we could stop you. Unlikely, but possible. The whole idea was to get rid of Russian fleets and conquer Scandinavia + StP. It would then be possible to defend a stalemate line against you holding Portugal, the English Home SCs, Scandinavia and St. Petersburg. But it now required we went into the offensive, and quickly.

This total of 8 SCs would be defended by one unit in StP and another one supporting it, one unit (ideally, the German fleet) in Denmark, a French fleet in Portugal, another fleet in Mao (likely French - we'd have to arrange for France to conquer Norway and disband the Northern fleet) and another of my fleets supporting Mao, allowing us to retain two spare fleets, meaning this could work even if Russia managed to kept a fleet somewhere inside the Baltic/on the coast. Portugal and Channel supporting Mao would mean Austria would be unable to get past, even if the rest of the Continent was yours.

I looked at it very carefully. We had to push Russia back, making always the best possible choice, in time for us to be able to establish the line in Mao. And with time constraints as well, because, back then, the plan already took into account that France would fall in its entirety, so it had to happen before France fell. Also because it would be almost impossible to force such an advance on Russia once Kiel was lost.

Naturally, this was my idea, which I urged France to consider. That is why all disbands were in the South: I assumed we had a slim chance to push you back in the North, which could then allow this absurd stalemate to be reached, whereas keeping our position in the South would be useless, should we lose the North.

Russia, I wonder, how much of these ideas or possibilities did you catch during the game? Did it ever seem to you that we could effectively push you back to this point, however unlikely it was? Was there something else we missed?

Anyway, Russia's attack on Denmark, in Spring 1910, was brilliant. We had assumed so far you would not take unnecessary risks, and yet you choose the single most risky set possible. Despite one mistake we had made in Autumn 1909, which I'll tackle below, we could have significantly improved our chances if we had assumed you'd order as you did.

More specifically, we had envisioned two sets: the one we ordered, and another one consisting of Den-Kiel with triple support, and a three-fleet attack on Norway. If we had ordered the latter, we'd have conquered Norway and forced the fleet's disband just as we did, but, thanks to GoB-Baltic, we'd have forced the disband of Kiel as well.

In other words, we'd then be deploying five fleets against two, while denying you the ability to build another in StP.

You took the risk and you got away with it, causing us significant trouble both tactically and by smartly forcing Germany out - which not only meant the loss of Germany and the fleet, but the bad positioning of our forces, despite my builds.

Notwithstanding that, we were still in play by next Spring thanks to the conquests of Kiel and StP (which, honestly, seemed absurdly out of reach a few seasons earlier. How did you, Russia, deal with the loss of it? I'm very curious to know what your thoughts were during this whole thing), but two mistakes made everything fall apart. As we knew from the start, we could not make mistakes. You had more units and time at will.

It strikes me as remarkable that our six years of struggle against you were not a shy delaying action. We managed to exploit one opportunity you gave us after some mistakes of ours to actually play for it. And we had been playing for it with real, albeit small, chances, until it collapsed in Spring 1911.

After my mistakes in 1908, there were moments we failed to make the best choice possible, but it still worked out alright. There were only two orders I'd call mistakes, that could have substantially changed things.

First is Barents' order in Autumn 1909, when France supported Liv-StP, and not GoB-StP. I realize France might have assumed Russia wouldn't actually self-bounce, but still, if so, the army would move in anyway. This would have meant a) it would take longer for the fleet to reach action around Denmark and b) we'd have been absolutely sure to conquer Norway by Spring 1910. Things could have been different.

And the second is our whole set in Spring 1911. I don't know why I chose to risk North Sea and move Edi-Nwg, this was wilder than appropriate. And again I have qualms with Barents' orders (to clarify, my only two possible critics to France the whole game). I don't know what happened, but I did ask France to support hold StP - both orders, Bar's and Edi's had to be different for it to have worked, but it could have kept our position solid.

There are many things that could have gone different. Deciding to heavily support Den-Kiel in Spring 1910 could have given us a definitive upper edge against the orders Russia ultimately entered, though only thanks to Bar S Liv-StP in the previous season allowing Russia to carelessly move GoB-Bal. I believe we could have won, had we done that.

Similarly, things could have been more favourable anyway if Barents had supported GoB-StP in Autumn 1909.

And lastly, I still had hope we could force Russia to negotiate even without achieving as complete a victory in the North. For instance, if I did not go wild and France did support hold StP, the convoy would have worked, and our position would have been stronger. After Russia's risky-but-ultimately-brilliant moves in Spring 1910, it would have been difficult for us to advance as we had hoped, getting rid of Russian fleets.

But if our position became solid enough, this meant Austria would be in Brest, Paris and Belgium before Russia could have advanced significantly. Then, perhaps, Russia could be forced to take steps to prevent an Austrian win, and force a 4-way draw (out perhaps or respect for our valiant efforts, as well - we'd have been undefeated in the North).

Anyway, we managed to creat a small chance, and fight for it on equal terms despite our many handicaps. That Russia managed to withstand all the thought and wits we put into this is, despite the favourable odds, a testament to Russia's skill and tactical knowledge.

In my opinion, a well deserved win, and a valuable learning experience!

Again, I'm curious as to your opinions on that, especially Russia's.
28 Jan 20 UTC Dear Austria,

I'm afraid you're jumping to conclusions too early. Though you've played many games, you've joined the site only in 2015. Apart from Turkey, France has been here since 2012, Germany since 2011, and Russia and I since 2009 (and Italy since 2008).

Though your high number of games could suggest more experience than your time around here would indicate, I took a quick look over your games and, apart from a few players I've known and played with, it definitely does not seem you've played high level games as often as likely the rest of us did. Meaning you have a lot to learn, and that you so far lacked opportunities to learn it.

If I may, there are a few things I could say to you. Firstly, communication. I just went through this game's messages (I'm finally on vacations) and, apart from fiding very few messages from you, found this paragraph from France I'd like to share:

'That's a grand compliment :) and I can say the likewise about you. It's surprising how many players fail to realize how important communication is to success in Diplomacy.'

I don't know how your communication with Russia was, but until we reached draw debates, there was hardly a time you wrote me at length or actively brought something up. It is said that one should adapt his press to the other player's style. I agree this versatility can be very beneficial, though I lack it. Given that I write too much, you should look at Russian or French press as an example to be followed.

Second, it appears to me you should review the way you deal with tactics. In the early stages, or in some situations, there are things that might happen, that you may think are likely or not. But when the diplomatic setting is already defined and units, so many of them, already deployed, and especially when judging the possibilities for one or two seasons, you need to get out of theoretical debates over whether or not it is possible to actual move sets.

If you look at your possible orders, and at the orders available to your adversary, and you do not see a way your orders can succeed, than you have a concrete problem, way beyond a matter of opinions. When I told you we could not hold Russia to a draw without France it was because Russia's optimal moves would be physically unstoppable. Not to please me or anyone, but to achieve your goals, you must have in mind that, if you can't figure a set of orders that work, you're in trouble and opinions are not getting you out of it.

Also, try to figure what your opponent might value, which choices he'll likely make, what he's trying to achieve, and so on. I believe Russia and France would not disagree with these assessments, though they likely have valuable insights as well.

Lastly, don't mix the two things. In order to win, it is not a matter of outright lying, but rather crafting reality in a way that favours you. Stabs of several sorts will be forgiven if they are understandable. For instace, France and I attacked each other early in the game. But his attack was absolutely reasonable, something I could envision ordering as France. Similarly, when I attacked France (and soon had to abort it), it doesn't seem France held a grudge, because he understood why it all happened, and the fundamentals behind what I explained.

The ability to betray an ally in order to win is something players who manage not to take this emotionally understand - after all, it is a game, and doing so well is a fine part of it. There are many variants to the quote, but, substantially, 'a diplomat is a person who can tell you to go to hell in such a tactful way that you’ll actually look forward to making the trip'.

Besides, to build alliances knowing others might break it if it favours them, just as you would, requires an even higher level of trust, at times. I submit to your judgment my alliance with Turkey in this game: http://webdiplomacy.net/board.php?gameID=182485#gamePanel . Notice that I attempted to attack Turkey in 1903. And that then Turkey attacked me, along with Austria. But that was a lie: Turkey did not want Austria to get rid of me, and leaked me some moves.

Would you believe the guy whom you've just stabbed and is now attacking you to be on your side? When in Autumn 1905 he leaked me the attack plan on Sevastopol, would you have left Warsaw fully open and risk losing it as well as Ukraine and have your units in a terrible position, because a former enemy told you to do so?

We built a very close relation, that allowed us to effectively mask our true intentions and help each other out in very dire times. This game regrettably came to an end early (in 1914!) because Turkey had personal issues at the time. The game remaining so balanced so late was a result of having very skilled and especially communicative players around, all carefully handpicked and invited by myself. I'd have other examples, but I'll not bore you further.

There are many nuances you'll learn playing the best players around, and you'll always be learning. I thoroughly assure you this game is not incompatible with your nature.

As long, and this is the last peace of advice, as you take into account the other players reasons for doing something. If someone may win, you should assume he will and at least have a solid plan to make that impossible. Like a 'what if negotiations break down and it becomes a matter of force?' sort of plan.

I deeply hope this game has been a lesson to you in that regard, as it has been to me in many other. I write this as a friend, with no grudge whatsoever, but wishing you'll fulfill yourself playing this game as well as you can. It can be a marvellous wonder.

28 Jan 20 UTC The game has been good, perhaps, to me, in that I have learned to be more suspicious of people in general. I always, up to this point, have taken them at face value, believing what they said...well, not always, but mostly.

I own a business, and I see how diplomacy is in many ways like business. Businesses may ally, as long as it suits them, then they may actually betray each other, but that is something I cannot do, but have had others do to me.

I didn't communicate with you much as you early on were grating on me, as you were trying heavily to get me to do your bidding, when I wanted to do my own.

I haven't been able to focus on this game for about 6 months, and have left most of the thinking to my allies in this time. Running a business is pressing and takes up a bit of time and mindspace.

But when I can focus, I realize that you trust your allies, but always leave yourself unexposed, just in case. Here I didn't do that as much. Diplomacy takes more thought than that.

Strategically, I am weak. Tactically, an amateur. My win loss record is dismal, but this is because I always play gunboat, which I cannot master. I get clobbered over and over in gunboat. Playing full press, I do relatively well. Especially in person. And I think it is because people recognize a trusty ally. I came in 15th at WDC in Marseilles last year, my 3rd face to face ever. The Europeans were very good players. After 3 games I was in 25th at WDC in DC 2 years ago. ( I didn't realize there was a 4th game until too late.)

But I saw early on during my 2nd round of ODC that there is a whole nother level of sophistication to this game, which I have not had the discipline or time to address.

Anyway, thank you for the kind words. Even though in the end I tried to scheme with you, I did want you dead.
28 Jan 20 UTC I just hate always have around 100 coins.
20 Mar 20 UTC A bit late, but well...

I fully realize how work and other responsibilities might take its toll in press and all. I've been through all that, albeit to a lesser extent, as I've never owned a business. I've known some people who did, though, and I've seen the struggle.

I'm happy you don't betray people in actual businesses and real life transactions :) Also, congratulations on the tournaments! I've never had the opportunity to play F2F, even though I have the game. While fully acknowledging the value of your qualities as an ally, maybe I could summarize all to 'consider other's will do what benefits them most, if they can get it', and try to steer things so that what benefits them the most actually benefit you as well, or even more.

This could have been done regarding my early press as well.

Lastly, I'd ignore points, if I were you. They aren't really a measure of something.
20 Mar 20 UTC And now, equally, or more importantly, I've just created a new game. You can guess which one it is by the settings and by the title. It would be an honour, and a challenge, to have each and every one of you there!
20 Mar 20 UTC Old fashioned game, preferably for talkative playe?
21 Mar 20 UTC Exactly :)
21 Mar 20 UTC I'm afraid my tiny civil disorder with France this game dropped me to 94% reliability, 1% too little
22 Mar 20 UTC :((((
22 Mar 20 UTC I’ll email a mod to see if the settings can be changed. Otherwise, I can simply recreate it. It would be a shame to not have you because of that.
22 Mar 20 UTC Most appreciated, keep me posted
23 Mar 20 UTC I joined :)
23 Mar 20 UTC With a small delay, I just messaged the mods! It seems I can no longer leave the game and consequently cancel it, but, if we're unable to have you in, for which I apologize beforehand, I'd be very happy to create a second one so that you could be in. Quarantine does force enough free time upon me that I can manage two games at once.

Still, I'm confident the mods can help us out with ease.
23 Mar 20 UTC great, marshal! It will be an honour to play you again :)
23 Mar 20 UTC great, marshal! It will be an honour to play you again :)
24 Mar 20 UTC Yes, this was a great group for sure.
24 Mar 20 UTC Just checked the mod's answer, and it seems there is nothing to be done :(

As promised, though, here is another game!: http://webdiplomacy.net/board.php?gameID=277519

I'd have called it 'Old fashioned game, preferably for talkative players, but slightly move accessible', but the site curbed my enthusiasm after I created it and it got named as it now is. Needless to say, you're all invited!
24 Mar 20 UTC Excellent :)

Start Backward Open large map Forward End

marshal969 (1792 D (S))
Won. Bet: 101 D, won: 707 D
18 supply-centers, 15 units
Survived. Bet: 101 D
15 supply-centers, 14 units
Thomas Olai (562 D)
Survived. Bet: 101 D
1 supply-centers, 2 units
Survived. Bet: 101 D
0 supply-centers, 1 units
Pantalone (51 D (S))
Defeated. Bet: 101 D
KingJohnII (1539 D (B))
Defeated. Bet: 101 D
DabelDiBiBi (100 D)
Defeated. Bet: 101 D
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