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Finished: 04 AM Thu 21 Jan 21 UTC
Gunboat 4 haroon #4
1 day /phase
Pot: 70 D - Autumn, 1925, Finished
Classic, No messaging, Anonymous players, Draw-Size Scoring
1 excused missed turn
Game won by leon1122 (190 D)
20 Jan 21 UTC Good game all! It seems like an eternity ago that we had a lepanto fighting a juggernaut.
Germany, just wondering, were you ever going to draw?
Sorry everyone, I should have left the stalemate positions in the South, but I guess I got paranoid after Russia was destroyed. Thanks Russia, Turkey, and Austria for accepting my initial call to stop the solo, even though it failed in the end. Good game all and well played Germany!
20 Jan 21 UTC Thank you. I would have taken a 3-way draw if Austria didn't give me the opportunity to solo instead.
20 Jan 21 UTC I will post individualized comments below.
20 Jan 21 UTC That was a mighty fun game (for me at least). I imagine it was frustrating for some other players. My heart sank when I saw Austria rush back to defend the German home centers in spring of last year since I needed those to win, but I was baffled and pleased when he decided to move those armies away again in the fall even though he could plainly see that I was guaranteed to take and hold Tunis.

England- You held out valiantly to the end and turned what looked like an easy path to victory for me into a quasi-stalemate that lasted almost 15 years. From the first turn that I stabbed you, I could never predict your moves. You were so trustful and aggressive earlier that I thought for sure you would move your units against Italy in Spring 1904. The last thing I expected was for you to hold all your units in the south. That delayed my ability to take Brest by a year and more importantly prevented me from putting serious pressure on Iberia until 1907. I think my greatest mistake this game was supporting Norway to Sweden in Spring 1902 instead of tapping Sweden myself. I thought Russia might move Sweden to Norway with support from St. Petersburg and me moving into Sweden in that situation would look greedy, but I don't know why I thought Russia would move with Sweden, and in any case Denmark moving to Sweden would be the right tactical choice. I believe that decision made you distrustful of me and made the tactical situation in the north more complicated when I stabbed you. I was hoping to have your Norwegian fleet in St. Petersburg by then so that you might not have 2 fleets on or bordering the North Sea. I'd love to hear if my decision not to tap Sweden in 1902 did indeed have any bearing on your decision to hold in place in Spring 1904.

This is also the first time I've seen England try to defend the Isles with only fleets, and it worked out surprisingly well since you were able to maintain a threat on the North Sea for a long time. You occupied a large portion of my forces for 7 years despite being severely outnumbered. You frequently left centers vulnerable to pursue tactical advantages, and that usually worked to your advantage though I was eventually able to take advantage of that pattern. I did find it very strange that you decided to give up on defending Iberia in 1907 when Italy was clearly coming to the rescue. You could have even changed course in 1908 after I already landed an army on the island. You could have held out in Iberia with the help of Italy and potentially made it into a draw. I'd love to hear your thought process in that respect.

I felt bad about grinding you down just to take a 5-way draw in 1911, so I'm glad I was able to get a solo out of it instead.

France- I don't have a lot to say. You fell apart the fastest I've ever seen France fall apart in a gunboat. You should've given me Belgium in 1901 after England opened to English Channel and Wales. That way, I might have had to think twice about which side to take. And then to abandon Burgundy after that was just foolish.

Italy- You were the first to recognize my solo threat and take appropriate action, and you played well in the endgame. My only confusion is why you left the Mid-Atlantic Ocean in Autumn 1909 (possibly because you were nervous about my incursion into Piedmont or Turkey being in Tyrrhenian?) and then never tried to move back even after Turkey moved Tyrrhenian to Tuscany. A fleet in MAO would have been a pain in my ass especially while I was still cleaning up in England. Perhaps you didn't want to disrupt my growth because you wanted me to quickly eliminate England and draw? Or perhaps you wanted me to get to 17 so Austria and Turkey wouldn't dare to stab you? In any case, your cautiousness allowed me to easily mop up my side of the board without taking any risks and put your fate in the hands of your allies. If Austria didn't decide to attack Turkey and didn't decide to abandon his German centers, I believe Austria and Turkey could have taken you out of the draw without substantial risk. Turkey had built enough fleets over time to take your place in defending the Mediterranean.

Austria- I believe you played a solid game except for the last 3 years. I believe that Italy was a viable target for you, but I don't understand what you were trying to do with Turkey. You took Sevastapol and then vacillated back and forth between defending against me and shifting back to attack Turkey. There was no way for you to break into Turkey proper without building a second fleet, and at that point you might as well use it to attack Italy. Did you intend to take only Sevastapol and not eliminate Turkey? What's the point of that? Why did you cover all your home SCs in Autumn 1923? If you built the 2 builds you had, there's no way I could have taken back my home SCs.

Turkey-I didn't pay much attention to you in the early game since you were on the opposite side of the board, but I guess you must have done a decent job to hold off the IA. You coordinated well with Italy and set yourself up well in the end-game.

Russia- I really liked attacking Austria with you. We coordinated so well it's like we could read each other's mind. It's unfortunate that you had to be eliminated, but that's the way the game goes. I regret losing Vienna so easily without a fight. I must have had a brainfart that turn, though it was a lost cause in the long run.
20 Jan 21 UTC That Lepanto vs. Juggernaut lasted so long with so little progress for either side. In the time that it took me to capture all of France and Scandinavia, Austria took 1 SC from Turkey.
20 Jan 21 UTC Yeah Austria and I didn’t coordinate too well when we were attacking Turkey. I left MAO because I thought I would reasonably be able to take anything and we couldn’t stalemate the Mediterranean without it.
20 Jan 21 UTC Good game all and congrats to Germany!

Austria taking out Russia was justified, but those are always risky. Others will get paranoid, as witnessed here. I honestly had no intention of taking out Italy. I also felt tense. Austria's actions afterwards weren't great and the stalemate fell, apart but otherwise seems a solid player. Removing players from a draw is definitely a skill to master, and I must confess out of my comfort zone
20 Jan 21 UTC Hmm, okay. Being in MAO isn't necessarily about taking anything. It's more about being a nuisance to me by cutting my support or occupying my units to prevent you from taking anything or trying to kick you out without letting you retreat behind my lines. You don't need to stalemate the Mediterranean until I get past the MAO bottleneck. For instance, you could just retreat MAO to W Med when I kick you out of there to achieve the same position that you got by holding in W Med. The difference is that I would have had to think harder about my tactics in 1910. I agree it probably wouldn't have altered the course of this game too much though.
20 Jan 21 UTC You’re probably right. I hadn’t considered moving Western Med back to Gulf of Lyon to open up for a retreat, but that’s a good thought.
21 Jan 21 UTC Well done Germany. I'll try to do this in order...I was impressed with the collective rush to the line in 08-09. I was worried that Russia didn't see the need for armies to defend, but we solved that. I understood that Germany was looking to whittle and decided to take the room given to eliminate Russia. It seemed Italy and Turkey were on board. turkey then grabbed Gre for no obvious reason (I'd really like to understand the thinking there), that's where things started breaking down. I tried to signal with repeated supports of Turkey that I wanted the 4-way and with moves, including taking Sev, in A23 that I wouldn't tolerate dot-grabbing. At that point the line could have been held. in S24 Turkey grabbed Bul and removed the vital Ion from the line. Game over with Tun gone and turkey no longer supporting Italy in the Med. I can't remember my thought process on pulling back in A24, but remember being super frustrated that a draw was being thrown away and I didn't understand why.

I'm trying to improve my game and appreciate the reports and comments. More would be nice. Congrats to leon1122.
21 Jan 21 UTC I'm a bit mystified as to the conclusion that I was ever threatening Turkey. My only explanation is that folks may not be opening the big map and/or reading the orders and so missed the supports. I thought my commitment to the stalemate including Turkey was crystal clear.

Germany, if you wanted a 3WD you'd have had to pull back much further I think. I never considered whittling Turkey or Italy as it would clearly have resulted in you soloing.
21 Jan 21 UTC always facsinating to see how differently people understand the moves :-)
21 Jan 21 UTC Thank you Austria. I did read on the forum that you're trying to improve your game.

I obviously can't speak for Turkey in terms of his thought process, but I can tell you what I would be thinking if I were Turkey. As I watch you whittle away Russia in 1921 and 1922, I would be thinking that Italy or me might be the next target. You claim that your support holds signal a desire for a 4-way draw, but you also support held Russia the turn before your stabbed him. Supports mean nothing, only movement.

However, as I mentioned in my previous analysis, stabbing Turkey is foolish since you can't eliminate him. Instead, I would be preparing to take Italy's place in the Mediterranean in case Austria decided to stab Italy. For that, I need more than 2 fleets in the Mediterranean, and the only open center to get another build was Greece. It's a bit hypocritical to say that you won't tolerate dot grabbing when you just grabbed 3 dots and are the largest power in the east by a large margin.

Anyways, you responded by taking Sevastapol the next year. If I were Turkey, I would think that you're trying to whittle me like you whittled Russia. I would not even consider that it's a response to me taking Greece the previous year since you continued to act friendly (including with support holds) in the spring and especially since my build was so obviously meant for defending the Mediterranean. Your friendly gestures would indicate to me that you understood why I took Greece. When you're in a situation like this where you're defending as a group against a single power on the other side, you have to consider the optimal distribution of units between the countries. You had more armies than you could possibly use to defend against me, while Turkey needed more fleets in the Mediterranean. It's reasonable in such a situation to exchange supply centers. In 1924, I believe Turkey was trying to throw the game to me because he perceived your moves the previous year as an attempt to whittle him away. If I were in Turkey's shoes, I would be utterly baffled at what you were trying to do since there's no realistic way for you to actually whittle me. However, even with what Turkey was doing, the game was not yet lost in Spring 1924. If you continued to hold Berlin and Munich, it would have been incredibly difficult to make further progress. I'm not entirely familiar with southern stalemate lines, but at a glance Italy seems defensible if Turkey stopped throwing in 1925 as he did.

By the way, do you remember why you covered Vienna and Budapest in Autumn 1923 (preventing you from making use of your 2 builds)?
21 Jan 21 UTC If I pulled back any further, I would start to consider you a solo threat. In the actual game, I pulled back to let you have Berlin, Munich, Kiel, and St. Petersburg though you never took the latter 2. If I also let you have Holland for instance, I would be hard-pressed to defend all my fronts while also trying to take Holland, Kiel, and St. Petersburg back. Then with 5 centers over the stalemate line, you would only need to take the Balkans and Venice to win. I believe that if Turkey was on board, you had enough space to whittle Italy in 1924 if you hadn't attacked Turkey. I don't think I would have been able to take more than Tunis, which is fine as long as you didn't give up Munich and Berlin. However, drawing wasn't my ultimate goal. I was hoping to exploit a moment of weakness in the south as you stabbed one of your neighbors and that is what ended up happening. I was especially encouraged by the fact that you sometimes left your German centers poorly defended earlier such as in Autumn 1923. I consider that to be a fatal mistake.
21 Jan 21 UTC Southern stalemate of the 17 “Southern centers” plus Munich and Berlin requires armies in Moscow, Livonia, Warsaw, Prussia, Berlin, Silesia, Bohemia, Tyrolia and Munich north of Switzerland, not much room for error there. The Mediterranean has some variation: there can be unit in Piedmont, Tuscany (if Piedmont is an army) fleet Gulf of Lyon, fleet Tyrrhenian, unit Tunis, and fleet Ionian Sea like we had from 1918-1920. There can also be unit North Africa, fleet Tyrennhian/Tunis (if North Africa is an army) fleet Gulf of Lyon, unit in Piedmont, fleet Tuscany/Tyrrhenian (if Piedmont is a fleet). All of these have 19 centers and require 13-16 units.

If you wanted the south without Tunis or any sea past the Ionian, as it was at the end, then that would require units in Piedmont, army Venice, unit Tuscany, unit Rome, unit Naples, fleet Apulia/Adriatic/Albania/Greece/Aegean/Eastern Med (if Naples isn’t a fleet) and fleet Ionian. This needs 18 centers and requires 15-16 units.
21 Jan 21 UTC There's a visual index of eastern stalemate positions here. I believe that even if Austria and Turkey stabbed you, and I tried to go for the solo, they would be able to hold at the minimum Position IV along with probably Naples and/or Rome.

21 Jan 21 UTC So basically Position II plus Munich and possibly Rome.
21 Jan 21 UTC True but Turkey may not have been able to get units there in time to stop a solo, as those positions only hold 16 centers and they would also have to have another center. They probably would have had to wait a year or two for Turkey’s fleets to be able to hold a stalemate once I am dead.
21 Jan 21 UTC thanks for the thoughtful response...very interested in Turkey's thought process
21 Jan 21 UTC Position II has 17 if Austria didn't give away Munich. I don't see how I could get to Naples before Turkey with my fleets starting in MAO and Irish Sea on the turn of the stab. I don't see how Turkey could have improved his position from Spring 1923 without arousing undue suspicion. Austria needed 2 armies bordering Venice though, and Turkey needed to tap Rome. That requires some mutual understanding.
21 Jan 21 UTC Sorry guys for not having the time to read everything in detail.

Austria, yes after the elimination of Turkey and two builds coming for you, I did feel like I could be the next target. Obviously Germany was interested to dance with you and give you additional centers should you need them. So basically I just equalized so that we both get 1 build. You obviously did not need that center for the stalemate. And the motive was indeed to discourage you for getting more centers from Germany, such as StP and Kiel (which Germany moved out soon thereafter).

After you took Sev, and moved the bulk of your armies to the south in the same move, you were no longer playing for the draw in my opinion. You no longer had the capacity to hold to Munich and Berlin (despite if you believed otherwise) and Tunis was pretty much lost already.

As Germany noted, support hold is "free of charge" and absolutely does not mean anything (unless it's against an enemy force attacking that territory).
21 Jan 21 UTC got it - thanks. why'd you pull back from Ion?
21 Jan 21 UTC To prevent Bul from retreating to Greece. In my view, Tunis was not defendable anymore since Ion could have supported either Tunis or Tyrr but not both. I admit that my view is overly pessimistic and attack on Bul not very rational. But as you said, dot for a dot

Start Backward Open large map Forward End

leon1122 (190 D)
Won. Bet: 10 D, won: 70 D
18 supply-centers, 16 units
ColoBoy (120 D)
Survived. Bet: 10 D
8 supply-centers, 8 units
alamothe (3367 D (B))
Survived. Bet: 10 D
5 supply-centers, 5 units
Potatoman77 (110 D)
Survived. Bet: 10 D
3 supply-centers, 3 units
Nurse Ratched (110 D)
Defeated. Bet: 10 D
amonkeyperson (100 D)
Defeated. Bet: 10 D
Randaz20 (5 D)
Defeated. Bet: 10 D
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