Finished: 01 PM Fri 14 Jan 11 UTC
Private NYC LW/OB
2 days /phase
Pot: 35 D - Autumn, 1908, Finished
Classic, Anonymous players, Survivors-Win Scoring
1 excused missed turn
Game won by Zvi (116 D)
16 Dec 10 UTC Autumn, 1903: Austria: Turst?
16 Dec 10 UTC Autumn, 1903: To actually answer your question, Zach... I figured out Zvi almost immediately for the reasons he posted. The first Tuesday after the game started, I had lots of conversation with Andrew and Zvi, before I had figured out who anyone else was for sure, and that got me to Andrew/Scott being Italy/Germany. Once I had that figured out, Germany's writing style was obviously Scott. Andrew's bad mood post came just a few hours after Italy checked after the Venice backstab. Then this most recent Tuesday, with my guesses in mind, I watched microexpressions on Andrew and Scott, and they reacted appropriately during the discussion for those countries respectively.

Incidentally, I dropped MANY clues about being Russia during our in-person discussions. So many that I was shocked no one noticed!

But hey, I could still be proven wrong...
16 Dec 10 UTC Autumn, 1903: I figured you couldn't be Russia both because of how long it took you to communicate with me, contrasted with how obsessed with the game you obviously were, and because you clearly assumed I was Turkey, and several of your communications didn't jive with my model of you if you thought you were talking to me. In particular, the communications surrounding the building of the second southern fleet.
16 Dec 10 UTC Autumn, 1903: By the way, I am actually laughing out loud right now. I love it. This is like a whole new level of the puzzle! Plus it passes the tension while I wait for the turn to trigger since I locked in everything a while ago.
16 Dec 10 UTC Autumn, 1903: I agree, I am loving this right now. :)
16 Dec 10 UTC Autumn, 1903: I wonder if people will be less willing to backstab given the reveal. Knowing this group, I doubt it...
16 Dec 10 UTC Autumn, 1903: <reliable narrator voice> No. Way. In. Hell. </voice>
16 Dec 10 UTC Autumn, 1903: I deliberately was trying to conceal my identity during the game, and I am curious to know how effective it was. It had Zvi fooled at least. I was most worried about my particular writing habits showing up. Feedback?
16 Dec 10 UTC Autumn, 1903: France and Austria, welcome to OB/LW NYC! Introduce yourselves.
16 Dec 10 UTC Autumn, 1903: FWIW, I didn't establish priors, but besides for Zvi being Turkey, I wasn't confident about labeling anyone. Though, I've missed the past couple RL meetings.
16 Dec 10 UTC Autumn, 1903: "Germany's writing style was obviously Scott"

Fail! I'm the newbie, 'sceptical lurker'.
16 Dec 10 UTC Autumn, 1903: And. It. Gets. Better!
17 Dec 10 UTC Autumn, 1903: I take a nap and general chat explodes
17 Dec 10 UTC Autumn, 1903: Yo. I'm Alex Richard, from Atlanta.
17 Dec 10 UTC Autumn, 1903: is that true for anyone who takes a nap?
17 Dec 10 UTC Autumn, 1903: Wait, so.... wait, Scott is AUSTRIA?!

Tuesday must have been awkward.
17 Dec 10 UTC Autumn, 1903: Process of elimination, but I never would have suspected either. Very interesting.
17 Dec 10 UTC Autumn, 1903: Yep, Tuesday was very sad. Over all the game has been a sour one for me.

I did not join Russia's and Italy's attack against Zvi because from Russia's correspondence it was clear the attack would be purely motivated on the belief that Turkey's was Zvi, a player considered to dangerous to let live.

At the same time I did not want an alliance with Turkey. The bit of book I read said it rarely works out for Austria. I started off the game in a bad place. To make things worse I messed up my and moved alb ->tri instead of alb-> Greece.

Later, to my surprise after being so against Turkey, Russia rejected my offer to align against Turkey by disbanding the fleet in Rum instead of Gal. I was also surprised that Turkey and Italy did not work together and take Greece the turn beforehand. I had hoped for a Russia/Austria against Turkey/Italy that would have been victorious yet make for an interesting game.

To top it off Tuesday night gave me way more meta-game then I ever wanted. For me it changed the game from Diplomacy to... I don't know what.

Germany at some point if you don't mind I would like you to send me Russia German correspondence. I would like to know what I sound like.
17 Dec 10 UTC Autumn, 1903: I understand why you view Tuesday night the way you did, but believe me when I say I wasn't meta gaming and I don't think anyone else was, either; I certainly didn't think I was talking to Russia or Austria, unless you were Russia, and I wasn't thinking about anything but the fact that it was too good not to talk about it.

You're right that Turkey/Austria is a one-sided deal. The problem is that Turkey ends up with the edge of the board and naturally flanks Austria. He is safe and can't be effectively attacked, while Austria remains vulnerable, so eventually Turkey can either get a better and better deal and/or stab Austria for the win. That is also, of course, why I was so eager to work with you the whole time!

The problem is that you can't choose a middle path here. If Italy/Russia wants Turkey dead, joining them is a good plan. Pretending to do that then joining with Turkey is also a good plan, but striking out on your own was an invitation for them to let me join up which is what happened. By the time you were willing to talk, it was one turn too late to turn things around once I was confident Russia was willing to let me script the attack and Italy was willing to support into Greece. And frankly, the withdraw of support in Fall 1902 while I was already on a train to New Haven and the explanation you gave said to me you weren't prepared to think and play as a team.

Your play makes a lot more sense now; you basically saw other people playing one way because of my identity, and didn't want to play along which is admirable, but also saw the other option as unacceptable for strategic reasons, and tried to take a third option where there wasn't one. Diplomacy is not about setting up interesting alliance matchups and then playing fair! It's about crushing the opposition like a bug and then going to find new opposition.
17 Dec 10 UTC Autumn, 1903: I'd also note that it sounds like next time I should probably be Gamemaster rather than participate, since there are going to be multiple players who are going to want me dead from the start! That turns it into a very different game.
17 Dec 10 UTC Autumn, 1903: I take a nap and general chat explodes
17 Dec 10 UTC Autumn, 1903: France, soon as you're ready we can proceed to Spring 1904.
18 Dec 10 UTC Spring, 1904: I am waiting on confirmation with Russia then will lock in.
21 Dec 10 UTC Autumn, 1904: There is a bug in the game that prevents disbands from being locked in. We're simply going to wait until the time runs out; not Germany's fault.
22 Dec 10 UTC Autumn, 1904: To be fair, as Italy or Austria I'm going to want to kill any Turkey that takes the Black Sea Spring '01. Either Turkey has Russia completely flummoxed or has an alliance. Either way Turkey has a safe North border so either he'll rape Russia or move west. I was going after Turkey regardless of the player.
22 Dec 10 UTC Autumn, 1904: I did not study that much book but I found this to be of use.

I don't know if Russia meant it but this is the description of his opening:

Russia's second most popular opening, this generally means that Russia is confident he has a Turkish ally against Austria. A drawback is that the fleet in Rumania is poorly placed.
Russia must usually choose between a northern or southern strategy. This means putting her eggs in the appropriate basket. Here she is allied with Turkey against Austria. If there is a stand-off in Galicia or Rumania, there will be support for the same order in the Fall.

This Austro-Russian combination requires a careful diplomatic setup of Turkey, but guarantees to keep the Turk at three SC's by the end of 1901. Austria opens with Tri-Alb and Bud-Ser, while Russia sends the Sevastopol fleet to Rumania. In the Fall, Turkey is convinced by one or both of Austria and Russia to attempt a move out of Bulgaria, and A/R combine to dislodge the unsupportable Bulgaria. Doug Beyerlein wrote an article on the Bulgarian Gambit.
22 Dec 10 UTC Autumn, 1904: ---------------
The has worked out well for Russia because of England initial mistakes and disinterest on placing pressure on Russia's north. Germany's current collapse puts Russia in a very strong position.
In addition because I feel like it my 2 cents. Interested in feed back from Zvi on flaws in my view.
England has recovered a bit and looks to be working with Russia. Will they try a backstab and go for ST.Petersburg? How are they going to handle the German fleet in the North Sea? What do they expect to get long term from an alliance with Russia?
Germany, can they make peace with France and hold off collapse? Doing so would probably not gain them a win but would prevent destruction. They still could be a king maker. How does Germany feel toward France vs Russia? Who do they want to win?
France, if they can make peace with Germany and convince England to attack Russia the game would find balance. They could push though Italy or perhaps better give Italy back rome hold Tunis and work with Italy and place pressure on the Russian/Turkey alliance. If Turkey can not move forward they are forced to stab Russia.
Russia, keep the status quo, keep the alliance with England, Crush Germany, Stab Turkey before they stab you, Win.
Turkey, you need to grow quicker. Can you use diplomacy to slow Russia down while keeping him your friend? Can diplomacy get you into Italy and the centers you need to keep pace with the northern bear?
22 Dec 10 UTC Spring, 1905: The opening Russia played on my suggestion is a double-edged sword; it's obviously superficially aimed at Austria but can be a setup of Turkey. I certainly don't think it offers anything that dooms the two to a war, but it's the most powerful thing R/T can do against Austria quickly. The Bulgarian Gambit I've never seen pulled off successfully, but it's obviously beautiful if you do.

I've offered my own strategic commentary, but I think that your comments are mostly on point. There are certainly a lot of ways things can go down.
23 Dec 10 UTC Spring, 1905: I will be away on Christmas Eve and much of Christmas Day, so I plan not to check in during that period. I should be back on the night of the 25th, but don't read anything into it if I don't reply until the 26th. I will assume that many of you have similar tasks to attend to, and as Tom Leher says: On Christmas Day you can't get sore. Your fellow man you must adore. There's time to rob him all the more the other three hundred and six-a-ty a-four... Merry Christmas, everybody!
26 Dec 10 UTC Autumn, 1905: Spring 1905 summary up on mailing list; I sent emails upon my return last night.
01 Jan 11 UTC Spring, 1906: Reminder to all: You need to order both the army to move via convoy AND the fleet to convoy the army to its destination for the order to be valid. Either order by itself does nothing.
03 Jan 11 UTC Autumn, 1906: On being ready: Remember that the game only proceeds if *everyone* clicks ready, and you can always take it back later. Thus, if you're ready to proceed in the situation where everyone else thinks they too are ready, you can safely click ready. I might well change my orders, but if everyone else doesn't think I need to, then I won't, so I'm ready.
05 Jan 11 UTC Autumn, 1906: In order to aid in negotiations not being held up: Turkey is building F Smy, A Ank, A Con.
05 Jan 11 UTC Autumn, 1906: In order to aid in negotiations not being held up: Turkey is building F Smy, A Ank, A Con.
05 Jan 11 UTC Autumn, 1906: aren't those the only places you CAN build?
05 Jan 11 UTC Autumn, 1906: Yes, but I have the army/fleet choice so making sure everyone knows.
08 Jan 11 UTC Autumn, 1907: Thanks for the game guys, I look forward to going over the game and perhaps trying to think of some strategies for G/A/I to stop them getting crushed from all sides in future! Not that I am blaming my defeat upon bad luck in starting country - Germany has strengths in starting near 3 SCs, unlike A/I who are just very weak.

Hope to play again soon.
08 Jan 11 UTC Autumn, 1907: My opinion is that Italy is very weak, but that Austria is fine and Germany is solid. The statistics back this up. Austria is high variance, if not quite as high as Russia; a successful Austria can get very big quickly.
08 Jan 11 UTC Autumn, 1907: In general, my biggest piece of advice to future players of Germany is: Do not take Belgium. Trade it to France or England, depending on who you want to work with.
08 Jan 11 UTC Autumn, 1907: My other piece of related advice: F Kiel - Denmark. A fleet in Belgium and an army in Denmark are both out of position and annoying, and neither works out all that often.
08 Jan 11 UTC Autumn, 1907: I would have thought that Austria is weaker then Italy, as Austria can be attacked by G/I/R/T, while Italy can only be attacked by F/A, neither of whom generally want to attack Italy, and given openings like the lepanto Italy can get off to a good start in the opening. And as I said, Germany's 3 nearby SCs mean Germany can build up a lot of strength quickly if he can avoid being attacked from all sides.
The stats I found said that Italy is 7th, Austria is 6th and Germany is 3rd - so you're right about Austria and Italy. Germany isn't a poor starting country, but I'm lumping it in with Austria as a central power which can be attacked from all sides, so perhaps the two countries should be considering similar strategies.
The problem with giving Belgium away is that it can make the other country too powerful - for instance France could get 6 SCs in the first year, and once England is defeated Germany can still be attacked by Russia and Austria, or whoever has conquered them and taken their place, while France boarders Italy (the weakest country) and a Russian fleet or two. Basically, I would have thought Germany needs to take more SCs then it's ally to compensate for it's vulnerable flanks.
09 Jan 11 UTC Autumn, 1907: Italy's problem is that it's hard to get big. You're often stuck at 4 centers, attacking Turkey leaves you exposed to Austria and France while not attacking Turkey leaves you with an ally who has tactical advantage on you and wants to go through you in the midgame. Neither option is fun, and often you do all right but are outpaced by another player. Austria's problem is survival, and for him centers are vital. If you can pick up the entire Balkans, Austria becomes strong, but Turkey is still very hard to work with without giving him the edge and Russia will often outpace you as an ally. Italy should be first choice if you have that option.

The issue for Germany is that he's never strong enough to survive an attack by everyone, and if he gets into a 2-on-1 in the west as the strong 1 then what happens this game tends to happen: Eventually Russia or Austria shows up. Many players will see Germany take Belgium and then feel like the German isn't offering enough or is greedy or can't be trusted, whereas once England or France is taken down you can split the centers however you like to make it fair.
10 Jan 11 UTC Autumn, 1907: gg no re
10 Jan 11 UTC Spring, 1908: Okay, the moves for this turn are finalized.

Russia: StP-Bar, Gal-Ukr, Tyr-Boh, Mun-Sil, Kie-Ber, Hol-Hel, Ruh-Mun, Par H.

England: Nor-StP, Den-Bal, Lon-Yor, Eng S Bre-Mid, Gas S Gul-Spa

France: Mar-Pie, Bur-Mar, Bel-Pic, Bre-Mid

Italy: Gul-Spa
10 Jan 11 UTC Spring, 1908: Best of luck to you, Turkey!
11 Jan 11 UTC Spring, 1908: Aw shucks, France really did cooperate! I admit I did not expect that to happen given our previous interactions, but I am glad that the desire to win won out, so to speak. I figured France would defect, Turkey's victory was guaranteed, and that I would get the highest ending score by taking as many SCs as possible this turn.

Good game guys. This has been eating my life and I am VERY eager to move on.
11 Jan 11 UTC ...and that's game. Moscow supports Ukr-War, Gal-Vie, Vie-Tri, Rom S Ven, Ion-Nap and the eastern 17 are safe plus Portugal means 18. Good game, everyone!
11 Jan 11 UTC Reminder to all: I will be publishing my full communication logs at the conclusion of the game, and encourage others to do the same. If there is anything you wish me to censor (so far no one has requested anything) please say so before the conclusion of the game.
11 Jan 11 UTC Aside from potential center shuffle in Brest, only one question remains: Will Italy survive?
12 Jan 11 UTC Well done turkey. Are we going to go back over this on LW? I don't think much actual formal game theory was used, but discussing the game could still prove interesting.

Start Backward Open large map Forward End

Zvi (116 D)
Won. Bet: 5 D, won: 19 D
18 supply-centers, 14 units
Cosmos (104 D)
Survived. Bet: 5 D, won: 9 D
8 supply-centers, 8 units
ecoli (102 D)
Survived. Bet: 5 D, won: 7 D
6 supply-centers, 6 units
Randaly (100 D)
Survived. Bet: 5 D, won: 3 D
2 supply-centers, 4 units
Mycroft (100 D)
Survived. Bet: 5 D, won: D
0 supply-centers, 1 units
diplomat_890 (100 D)
Defeated. Bet: 5 D
GodsFlaw (101 D)
Defeated. Bet: 5 D
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