School of War Summer 2019

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VillageIdiot
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Re: School of War Summer 2019

#121 Post by VillageIdiot » Mon Aug 12, 2019 6:35 pm

foodcoats wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 10:59 am
Perhaps the professors are avoiding addressing this directly, but I am very curious to hear which factors they believe "the rest" of the players should consider when determining whether a coalition is necessary against a "big alliance," or even just one big player.
Fantastic question!

There’s many times in a game where you’re trading punches with your immediate neighbour and you turn to look over your shoulder to see this looming storm heading directly at you both. What to do? That is a dangerously big storm and it’s only getting closer, it’s time to drop everything and go react!

In terms of deciding whether it’s time or not, you just need to look at the map and do your best to forecast where the next few years are going. How long until this problem is on your doorstep and will you have the capability at that time to do anything about it or will it be too late? In a lot of ways this is a game of numbers. If you are going to spend the next three years fighting an evenly matched neighbour while you likely are just going to swap 1-2 centres back and forth while another alliance gobbles up much easier territories and sprints across stalemate lines then it’s probably a good idea to update your priorities.

Easier said then done however, which brings me to my latest lecture.

Know how to be a General

The ability to rally others is an incredibly useful skill to have albeit a very challenging one to master. It's one thing to seek out and recruit a like minded ally and maintain a relationship on a one-on-one basis but one of the biggest challenges (and headaches) I ever come across in these games is when you are forced into the task to unify players to collaborate towards the common goal of halting somebody on the path to achieving a solo. I find less successful players don't even think about this need, they get so wrapped up in their immediate conflicts that they ignore the all too important big picture.

Successful players are capable of uniting a coalition and acting as General for it. No easy task as it often involves working with very different personalities, a lot of times with those you've been fighting with throughout the game. Once formed, you need to take on the exhausting task of maintaining it. This requires facilitating a lot of communication, soliciting input and laying out plans, and ensuring everything is set to execute well. To make things worse this often is burdened with personality clashes, ego stroking, differing needs for security or ambition, time zones, and sometimes heated debates on how to proceed. It can drain the best of them.

To do well in this situation it takes immense diplomacy skills and patience and helps to be generally regarded as a strong strategist. Overly committee-based strategy rarely works out so you need a strong vision and you need to be able to make people feel comfortable their interests are all being adequately considered. You need to be able to sell people on the idea that the good of the many needs to take priority over the good of the individual, very often not an easy sell. In these situations your coalition is often only as strong as it's weakest link, players that are poor communicators, unreliable, or high risk for straying for personal greed are the biggest threats to success and require special attention when they are identified. Occasionally this may even require cutting the throat of a weak link if an opportunity presents itself for the greater good.

It's a tough gig, but it's certainly helped me survive many a certain loss to a solo. No matter how big a game leader is until he gets to 17 he's still in the minority, all it typically takes is the ability to work together to be able to be able to stop them. This applies the same to a power alliance. Until they own half the board or more then they’re a minority alliance. These coalitions may not have to last forever, just long enough to break up a run. There’s no bigger fear to an ambitious minded player in a drivers seat then the threat of suddenly getting stuck in a 5wd stalemate. This can be a very effective means to encourage a power alliance breakup and redraw some alliance lines.
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Re: School of War Summer 2019

#122 Post by foodcoats » Mon Aug 12, 2019 6:43 pm

That's an awesome answer VI, thank you!
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Re: School of War Summer 2019

#123 Post by dargorygel » Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:29 pm

The game goes on...
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Re: School of War Summer 2019

#124 Post by foodcoats » Thu Aug 15, 2019 3:52 pm

Trying to keep my voice low from the peanut gallery, but here are two things (besides R/T and everything directly associated) I'm really curious about.

-Who are Germany and Italy talking to, and what are they proposing? What are others proposing to Germany and Italy? Despite being "the weakest" powers on the board, outside of the other four deciding, screw it, let's chop the pot, G/I could have immense influence at this juncture. Both threats and promises of help could bear fruit for either of them.
-What are people saying to France? What are people saying to other people about France? France's two builds are going to be very interesting, because they can be used to double-down or to switch course.
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Re: School of War Summer 2019

#125 Post by jmo1121109 » Sun Aug 18, 2019 1:54 am

Review of the Spring and Fall 05 Moves

Before I start on the western powers, you three are giving me a headache. It is entirely unclear how the alliances and goals between you three are playing out. So take my analysis of you three with a grain of salt.

England:
I do not actually have a clue where you're at alliance wise right now. I can't decide if you supported Germany into Belgium to help him or to screw him over by passing that info to France. It was a pretty poor move tactically because it didn't consider the rest of Germany's moves, which I'll explain more in his analysis. You have a number of really weird options this turn. But at the end of the day the main thing you need to be thinking about is this game is looking (this can obviously change at any time) like it will end in a 3 way draw. You, France, Turkey, and Russia are the contenders currently, all with a decent chance depending on the next couple of years. You are by no means in a solid position diplomatically or tactically especially because you seem at odds with France who now has 2 builds. The biggest problem you have is you do not have a clear route to your next build. Figure out how to fix that.

France:
I was hoping to see you and England make peace to present a united front against T/R but the route you went instead isn't awful. Especially given the R/T hiccup that slowed down taking Turkey's centers. I'm not going to go into the tactical breakdown of your moves because I think VillageIdiot nailed that to a T with his post. Really nicely done this past year, and ending it with 2 builds is a fantastic outcome considering what you were up against. You learned from past mistakes and have all 3 centers open for a build. Now that said, the west is still a mess and R/T do seem to be continuing on with their alliance so you have to have more than just this one good year if you want to make it into the end game. The biggest choice you have right now is if one of your builds needs to be a southern fleet or not.

Germany:
You made a decent go of holding off Russia and France at the same time. There were some areas for improvement though from a tactical standpoint so lets cover those. I've mentioned in the previous lectures that sometimes when a center is obviously defended, it ends up not being necessary to defend it because everyone assumes you will. That was the case with Berlin in the fall. Everyone on the board could see that you could hold Berlin, and so it became very likely that Berlin was NOT going to be attacked, which meant in turn that Russia's unit was very likely to go to Kiel. So a self bounce in Kiel with Berlin and Baltic while double tapping Ruhr with Belgium and Munich would have been a pretty safe set of moves nearly ensured to keep you at 5 centers. Thinking through the various scenarios takes time to get used to, so try to actively look for those types of "ideal" movesets.

Turkey: and Russia:
While I see where VillageIdiot is coming from by not wanting to comment on these moves, I feel someone confident that they were arranged. The main reason being, that I addressed for a few lectures how balance would be important and the outcome of the moves between you and Russia were balanced perfectly.

***Now at this point in the lecture I have to stop and admit I made a mistake which I've already warned you about, but I am calling myself out as a reminder of how important it is to keep in mind. I forgot to read the order logs for fall and because if it what I started typing about R/T's alliance is probably wrong ***

What I missed is "The army at Trieste support move to Venice from Tyrolia. (fail) (dislodged)", which signals strongly that Russia did not have Turkey's blessing to take Trieste, or if he did, Turkey messed up tactically in his attack on Italy.

Why do I say that? Because with Turkey's unit positioning there was no scenario where he shouldn't have been able to take Venice and Naples given Italy's previous indication that he had decided to only use support holds instead of other more likely to work defensive moves.

So with this in mind, Turkey and Russia are going to be needing to engage in some serious communication to get back on the same page if they want to continue their alliance if this was a stab. I am not entirely convinced it was, or if it was an attack it has since been smoothed over. The key item I'm using to base this on is Russia's retreat to Livonia. Livionia is a poor retreat choice when a disband and rebuild in Warsaw was possible. The only reason I see it happening is to appease Turkey that either: 1. a stab is not coming, or 2. the stab was a mistake and won't be repeated. Because while a Russian army in Warsaw would be a lot better against England and Germany, it would also be more threatening to a concerned Turkey.

The only other thing to call out here for you two is the slick move into Munich by Russia. That was well done and nicely took advantage of Germany's requirement to defend against two powers at once.

Austria:
I hope you're sticking around and watching and that your mentor and you are still talking tactics to answer any questions you have on what continues to happen on the board!

Italy:
I would have loved to see "riskier" but more aggressive defensive moves. Support hold is not always the best option. In the spring in your position I would have moved to Tyrolia, Tuscany, and Ionion Sea with my 3 units, which would have possible allowed Turkey an early take in the spring but also would have probably ensured he would have had to defend that taken center, leaving him with only 1 gain from you that year. Now you got lucky in that Russia and Turkey messed up in their communication. But you should have lost Venice as well this past turn. At this point you are most likely eliminated from the game. But continue fighting it out till the last minute. Diplomacy is an ever changing game and you aren't defeated until you have no units left...sometimes not even then (https://webdiplomacy.net/board.php?gameID=236429 note peterwiggin losing his last unit a couple of times and still making the draw).
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Re: School of War Summer 2019

#126 Post by VillageIdiot » Sun Aug 18, 2019 5:46 am

jmo1121109 wrote:
Sun Aug 18, 2019 1:54 am
I've mentioned in the previous lectures that sometimes when a center is obviously defended, it ends up not being necessary to defend it because everyone assumes you will.
File away in your playbooks, this is the sort of game style that separates the good from the great.
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Re: School of War Summer 2019

#127 Post by foodcoats » Sun Aug 18, 2019 11:31 am

VillageIdiot wrote:
Sun Aug 18, 2019 5:46 am
jmo1121109 wrote:
Sun Aug 18, 2019 1:54 am
I've mentioned in the previous lectures that sometimes when a center is obviously defended, it ends up not being necessary to defend it because everyone assumes you will.
File away in your playbooks, this is the sort of game style that separates the good from the great.
This is a really great point, for both defense and offense. I think of it as "multiple-level thinking" from my days when I flushed money playing online poker. At level 1 you only think of your own hand/moves, whereas at level 2 you think of your opponent's hand/moves and react accordingly.

What I've been thinking about lately is, when/does level 3 (and above) happen in Diplomacy? Level 3 being, when you think about what your opponent's moves are likely to be based on what he or she thinks your moves are going to be. Example being, "Berlin is likely to be defended, so I shouldn't attack it, so Germany shouldn't defend it, so therefore I should attack Berlin!"

Obviously, step 1 is just getting to 2nd-level thinking. But at a certain skill level, I assume everyone does this, and you need to adjust to the 3rd level or beyond.

So I guess my question is, how do you evaluate what level of thinking your opponent is at? What kind of press/moves are "tells" of how one's opponent reasons through the game? And although this is a full press SOW, are there any tips for evaluating an opponent's thinking level in a gunboat game?
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Re: School of War Summer 2019

#128 Post by VillageIdiot » Mon Aug 19, 2019 5:09 am

Great question. I’ve often said I love playing ”really good” players because they tend to be the most predictable. New players are unintentionally unpredictable because they don’t know what they’re doing and exceptional players just know it pays to draw outside the lines, but “good” players will just always do whatever the “best logical move is” in any situation and that’s very easy to forecast around.

And that’s basically how you vet the players. After a few moves, if somebody surprises you with their moves then they’re one or the other and it’s usually not hard to tell the difference 99% of the time.

The exceptions are the odd shark who’s learned how to fake incompetence really well and then occasionally your radar will get tricked if the players is simply being advised or puppetted by somebody better then them. Throws you off if they’re blatant bad players somehow managing to pull solid plays out of their asses. Eventually you should be able to piece this together though if you’re learning about everybody on the board like you should be.
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Re: School of War Summer 2019

#129 Post by dargorygel » Mon Aug 19, 2019 1:24 pm

Thanks, VI... we appreciate (still) you stepping up. Even IF your biceps are more Olive Oyl than Popeye...
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Re: School of War Summer 2019

#130 Post by foodcoats » Mon Aug 19, 2019 2:22 pm

VillageIdiot wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 5:09 am
And that’s basically how you vet the players. After a few moves, if somebody surprises you with their moves then they’re one or the other and it’s usually not hard to tell the difference 99% of the time.
Haha that is a great heuristic... I like it. Thanks VI.
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Re: School of War Summer 2019

#131 Post by VillageIdiot » Thu Aug 29, 2019 6:35 am

Lots of exciting stuff, love it! New post coming soon.
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Re: School of War Summer 2019

#132 Post by dargorygel » Sat Aug 31, 2019 10:14 pm

Summer's done... But not the school
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Re: School of War Summer 2019

#133 Post by jmo1121109 » Sun Sep 01, 2019 1:15 am

Review of the Spring and Fall 05 Moves

Before we start this, I want to apologize for missing Russia's support of Munich into Tyrolia in Autumn of 05. Which was further proof of the stab over a planned spat.

England:
There's actually not a lot to write here about the last year. You did not really accomplish anything, and you did not really lose anything. You were able to help Germany get back to 6 centers, and reduced France a little, while keeping Russia at bay. But at the end of the day, you, France, and Germany are all effectively in positions that could have occurred after a single year of game play. Except you all have serious trust issues and are facing a Turkey with amazing positioning.

For going forward, normally when Russia gets stabbed England and Germany have a chance at the spoils but that isn't the case here due to the success of the Turkish stab. Turkey will get Warsaw and Sev before anyone else has the chance to stop him. Vienna and Venice should fall to him shortly too putting him at 16 centers. His fleets and armies are in a good position to blitz the borders and you do not have a good relationship with the western allies.

Fix that. Now.

Grade: D+

France:
Again, not much to say here, for the same reasons as with England. The west in general is just not doing much and it's potentially going to cost you all the game. Your decision to build entirely focused on the west last year was disappointing. I was hoping to see a fleet in Mar, but instead the attack you couldn't win against Germany continued. Right now your relationship with England and Germany is awful and if you can't fix it you all lose the game.

Grade: D-

Germany:
I'm a bit happier with your moves, because you're not eliminated and that was a serious possibility. You've removed Russia from your centers, kicked out France and made an ally in England. You're actually now in a position where you and France don't need to smash units together for the first time in a while. The problem you have is you were not able to leave a center open for your build. And if Turkey blitzes the line, you won't get the chance to build again. That said, England and France's relationship is still not looking good, and you and England have proven to have an ever changing relationship. So you are not in a good position to defend against a solo threat.

Grade: C+

Turkey:
ABOUT FACE!

FORWARD MARCH!

Brilliantly executed. You and Russia had danced a game of balance necessary for a Juggernaut and he got lax first. And boy did you ever give that knife a good twist once it was embedded. Going up 4 centers late in the game is the single best sign of a brilliantly executed stab there is.

So lets breakdown what you did correctly here a bit, because it's important. As I talked about last time, you must have been involved in Russia's choice to keep the fleet instead of disbanding it. Because Russia stabbed you, you were in the position to set some conditions for the continuance of your alliance. In that position Russia is thinking more about how to make up for stabbing you then he is about keeping the balance required to keep from being stabbed. It's a vulnerable mindset to be in and you and your mentor recognized that. The other key part to go with this stab is that it was unexpected because it didn't entirely make sense yet. I've written before on the forum about how the key to getting a solo in games is making a key move before it entirely makes sense. If you make a stab when everyone sees that's it's possible it will likely succeeded but only at the expense of the entire board having enough time to react to it.

What you did here was to drop your attack of Italy entirely, which nobody expected, in exchange for a brutally executed stab. The convoy back to Albania and the successful take of Bohemia are what made this so successful. Because they weren't moves taken into account as possible by anyone and they gave you a key tactical advantage unit wise against Russia for the fall turn.

Then you followed up in the fall by ignoring Vienna and instead taking the key tactical position in Galicia which will likely be the difference in you being able to take the Russian home centers before England has a chance too and before Germany has a chance to move units to threaten you.

In a normal game, you would have a pretty decent chance of a solo right now. I'm not saying it isn't possible here, but I do expect the western mentors will be panicking and informing their students that they need to counter you immediately. Which will likely help overcome the natural struggle many players have against understanding when it is time to drop all personal expansion gains to rush for a stalemate line.

What does help you here though is that despite your position being good it isn't amazing. You can still be stopped and slowed, so there will still be some serious temptation in the west to see if they can wipe someone out before coming to stop you. It's a delicate balance to understand every time it comes up in a game and people are bad at it because they don't run into it often. Unlike opening moves, which everyone gets to practice a lot, stopping a solo and knowing when to do it is something practiced far less and even experienced players can be awful at it (see my 35%+ solo rate as proof).

Grade: A+

Russia:
So I expect in hindsight you can see where things went wrong. In trying to make up for the stab of Turkey the previous year you opened yourself way to much and were to focused on reparations then on keeping the critical balance between your unit placement with Turkey.

What's important for everyone to understand here was Turkey was moving to stab before you stabbed him. Spring 05 was the start with the move to Bulgaria, which left Serbia as the only bordering center between him and you that wasn't defended by one of his units. Once he moved into the black sea in the fall you should have had panic bells going off...and in fact you might have because that's when you stabbed. The mistake was letting up and in taking Trieste with Budapest instead of Vienna. Budapest was the keystone of your balance. As long as you had an army there Rumania, Sev, and Budapest were all defended. But when that unit left those entire set of centers were left entirely open and you were punished for it. This is one of the more painful lessons in diplomacy, you can play an awesome game with tons of great moves, and get demolished in an instant by 1 missed observation. After getting stabbed I would have liked to see you focus on reclaiming centers and key positioning like Galicia instead of continuing the attack on Italy, but ultimately due to the success of Turkey's stab here it wouldn't have made much of a different. But many cases it will, so be sure to focus on defense and key positioning to protect your remaining centers in future games after a stab.

Grade: F

Austria: and Italy:
Italy, after the spring moves I thought you might have regained some life, but it was not meant to be. You now join Austria in the stress free position of getting to enjoy this game as an observer and continue watching the and learning with your TA's assistance. Or if they lose interest after your defeat, by messaging professors questions direction. Thanks for the time you put into the game and I hope up to this point it was helpful for you and your overall play style.
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Re: School of War Summer 2019

#134 Post by VillageIdiot » Mon Sep 02, 2019 8:24 am

This was such a delight to see unfold. Without further ado, let’s dive in!!

An Idiots Review of 1906

England
Not a bad year. I like how you were able to advance some fleets and keep France on his heels as you were able to help Germany pick chip away at him and force a destroy. Russia being forced to call off his campaign against Germany is going to really open up some opportunity for the two of you if you can keep this alliance going, which you should given how thin the german navy is. The lone fleet behind enemy lines should keep France and/or Turkey slightly off-balanced as you play loose canon and should be able to help advance your fleets. There is a large common threat in the game however that you’ll probably want to put some thought towards. On one side of the coin a monster on the far side of the board helps distract away from you but on the other side if you push too hard as he advances you risk some hard feelings based king-making occurring. There’s finesse needed in these coming rounds.

France
There were some tactical moves i would have played a little differently, I probably would have given the cut to English Channel from Brest and cut MAO to make Brest relatively safe and try the hit on Belgium from Pic without the concern of EC support. This required a lot of assumptions that are easier to see in hindsight, but given the pressure Germany had on his home centers it wasn’t unreasonable to see holding was a high probability. It’s a pity you and Russia weren’t coordinating more it seems there were opportunity for mutual assistance to be had there.

What i am intrigued by was that move to Ruhr. If that’s the start of some much needed relationship building as we near the end game portion, then well done. Many a player wouldn’t have appreciated the needed for such a move. That sacrifice may end up saving your life (and halt a solo) if it was intended and accepted as a peace offering.

Germany
Things are looking brighter, Turkey’s stab couldn’t have come at a better time for you and the Holland grab got you right back into the game. Congrats! You’re still not out of the woods yet and with Turkey’s recent boom you’ve got some decisions to make on your direction, but for the first time in a while you’re at least fairly secure. Depending which way you go, i’d really put a lot of diplomatic energy into negotiating how that comfort can remain. You may be potentially getting pushed to the front line while others salivate at your exposed rear or you may carry on against France and have a desperate Russia at your back looking for somewhere to sustain his numbers or further rattle cages to demand assistance.

Russia
Ouch, not a great year at all. I assume from some of those moves that you got completely bamboozled in the Spring and then your follow up in the Fall was less than ideal. I can’t tell yet if your current motives are strategic king-making or if there are some unobvious vendettas going on behind the scenes. Regardless you’re going to want to watch how far you take this as this gamble (or vendetta) could turn game ending. I’ll be interested to hear the story of these decisions after the game. Next round looks like it could regain some land but it’s going to take some smart play, and ideally support, if you hope to hold onto gains through to Fall and that’s really what matters.

Turkey
Just wow, standing ovation. That was beautiful to watch unfold! Not only did you convince Russia to leave his guard down, but some how you managed to keep his focus on somebody else after your stab and his destroys were pretty pro-Turkish. I liked how you fed Munich back to Germany to stoke the fires in the west and further deplete Russia’s power. I think i probably would have hit Vienna, if for no other reason then just to help ensure you held onto Budapest, but it turned out well enough regardless.

If the rest of the players are wise then a strong reaction should be coming that you’ll need to prepare yourself for, but at least a couple more builds coming your way before much of a resistance could even reach you. Keep the fires stoked elsewhere and this is your game to lose.

Italy
Spring was off to a reasonably good start. You had to throw yourself into vassal mode and it got you in as decent position as you could hope in in that round. Good work on the diplomacy. Where it failed you was you still had Rome surrounded come Fall and despite having some ability to defend centers elsewhere Russia seemed to have it in for you which probably meant some failure at the social game. Russia ought to have wanted to keep you alive so you could defend Rome and yet chose to go a revenge route. Something certainly went wrong there.
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Re: School of War Summer 2019

#135 Post by foodcoats » Wed Sep 04, 2019 10:19 pm

jmo1121109 wrote:
Sun Sep 01, 2019 1:15 am
Germany:
I'm a bit happier with your moves, because you're not eliminated and that was a serious possibility. You've removed Russia from your centers, kicked out France and made an ally in England. You're actually now in a position where you and France don't need to smash units together for the first time in a while. The problem you have is you were not able to leave a center open for your build. And if Turkey blitzes the line, you won't get the chance to build again. That said, England and France's relationship is still not looking good, and you and England have proven to have an ever changing relationship. So you are not in a good position to defend against a solo threat.

Grade: C+
Awwww... I think this grade is unfair. I think this is a great aboutface from Germany. Germany has been at war at one point or another with ALL her neighbours, and I think it's rare that the price of peace is... gaining back 2 SCs. Although I have to wonder what England and Germany each thought about the Belgium defence - whether it was a cost to be paid or a coordinated strategy to keep out France, and whether their opinions differed, and in what ways they might've been surprised, pleased or disappointed regarding the outcome - it feels to me like, most of the time, players who get put down stay down. Germany has played a fantastic game and this latest reversal of fortunes needs to be viewed in that context.

jmo, what set of moves do you think would be deserving of a higher grade? Given Russia's F Pru / A Sil / A Tyo, France's A Ruh / A Pic, and Germany's need to occupy both Mun and Hol at the end of the turn, what is the "A+ play?" Do you seriously criticize Germany for not freeing both home centres for builds in this scenario?
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Re: School of War Summer 2019

#136 Post by foodcoats » Mon Sep 09, 2019 10:16 am

I want to know what the profs think of Turkey's recent PP strategy.
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Re: School of War Summer 2019

#137 Post by mhsmith0 » Sun Sep 22, 2019 6:57 am

Looking back at turkeys stab of Russia, does that still merit the really high grade given at the time or was it in fact a poor stab? I look at the convoy from Tuscany to Albania as particularly questionable given that turkey could have crippled Italy by forcing Rome AND had a useful army pretty westward AND gone ION-TUN to threaten MAO. Why was that a good stab of Russia if turkey ended up in a 3 or 4wd position? Why is that a better strategy than sitting back and letting Russia fight off the west and seeing if the Juggernaut could take it to a 2wd or present a solid solo stab chance later or maybe realign later with E or F if needed? Apologies if that starts to move into commentary but I’m thinking multiple years later it ought to be ok to discuss?
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Re: School of War Summer 2019

#138 Post by VillageIdiot » Tue Sep 24, 2019 6:28 am

Sorry gang for the neglect, both work and Diplomacy had unexpectedly amped up for me but I'm back and ready to throw out a new lecture. I'd like to also echo other's sentiments in thanking our replacement Turkey for stepping in and helping the game maintain some integrity. It's a shame when these things happen in a game, but sometimes life gets in the way.

I'll start with some high level feedback to cover the past few years.

England
I think you've made some very good choices here in calling off your battle against France and a great job in your surgical elimination of Russia. It's a tough call taking a hit on somebody when a solo threat is on the board but you handled this well. This got you some valuable growth to keep you in the conversation and helped eliminate somebody who may have had lingering resentment towards you or later made demands for reciprocity over past gains. That worked out terrific. The German stab was an unfortunate and unforeseeable twist but your game's still going and there's still room left for some ebbs and flows. You're likely to take more hits, but reasonable to think the Turkey/Germany relationship will have its limits.

France
Also great that you were able to put aside differences, although i'm surprised by how little you've been able to progress in the years following. There's been a fair amount of inefficiency in setting DMZ's with England which has handcuffed your ability to pitch in against the fight and make advancement. I would have expected you to have cleared out GoL and advanced to Pied by now and diplomatically you should have been insisting on some parity with your allies. Your conservativeness has made you less effective as a much-needed ally for England now and I would assume there's probably some tension between the two of you to make a cohesive team. If so I would work on clearing that air and getting down to business. If you can find the trust, there's the ability to make progress in this fight.

Germany
You've been a testament to tenacity. Many a player would have felt defeated after your 1904 and here you are over double in size and landing yourself in second place. It's a great place on paper, however, you do need to consider the sustainability of your position. There's a lot of centers there that are going to be difficult to hold if Turkey turns on you which he has a lot of incentive to do, especially if those who you've recently wronged are willing to make deals at your expense. It's a great snapshot position but long term it's shakey.

Russia
I dig that you're doing down swinging. You're playing as well as you could in this position.

Turkey
I think some tactics you could have hit a little bit harder in order to hold some gains, but diplomatically you're doing fantastic. It's terrific how you've been able to hold yourself in the southwest and I love how you've leveraged Germany desire for growth as of late to clear the playing field and shake things up. I'll be interested to see if you further invest in that or take advantage of the situation. You've got some center counting to do and decisions to make if you think you can make the sprint or not and gauge how hard of feelings there are on the other side of the board and how well you can leverage that. Timing is everything.
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Re: School of War Summer 2019

#139 Post by VillageIdiot » Tue Sep 24, 2019 6:37 am

mhsmith0 wrote:
Sun Sep 22, 2019 6:57 am
Looking back at turkeys stab of Russia, does that still merit the really high grade given at the time or was it in fact a poor stab? I look at the convoy from Tuscany to Albania as particularly questionable given that turkey could have crippled Italy by forcing Rome AND had a useful army pretty westward AND gone ION-TUN to threaten MAO. Why was that a good stab of Russia if turkey ended up in a 3 or 4wd position? Why is that a better strategy than sitting back and letting Russia fight off the west and seeing if the Juggernaut could take it to a 2wd or present a solid solo stab chance later or maybe realign later with E or F if needed? Apologies if that starts to move into commentary but I’m thinking multiple years later it ought to be ok to discuss?
Definitely a good question.

At the time Italy was pretty neutralized so crippling him further didn't really gain too much more advantage. Russia was very far down into Turkey's growth path and to carry on this way was become very high risk for an eventual stab. Leveraging Italy in this sense gave Turkey an ability to make a debilitating blow on somebody arguably his largest long term threat in the game, gave him a chance at a solo run or at the very least puff himself up to a critical mass where he would likely never be at risk of elimination, and by leveraging Italy rather then eliminating him he had a nice little pawn who could be useful for him, keep his numbers a little bit down on paper to look less a solo-threat, and still be low hanging fruit to grab at a later date when more practical (which he soon did). Yes these solo runs do run the risk of everybody locking arms for a stalemate but there was reasonable chaos in the west at the time to want to make the gamble and was early enough in the game to reset if it didn't work out, now with one less giant threat hanging over him. The biggest threat to him was a WT (which happened) but in this particular game there's an England with a history of being opportunistic, which makes for a very uneasy Western Triple. It was a well analyzed gamble.
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Re: School of War Summer 2019

#140 Post by dargorygel » Tue Sep 24, 2019 1:03 pm

Thanks, VI for starting up the lectures again.
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