The Juggernaut Bogeyman?

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hthefourth
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The Juggernaut Bogeyman?

#1 Post by hthefourth » Tue May 26, 2020 9:28 pm

I find that it's commonly understood that the juggernaut is the worst of all possible alliances for the other players around the table. In fact, hardly a turn goes by in any early game without someone--sometimes me--circulating fears of a juggernaut.

Sure, a Russia-Turkey alliance is a death sentence to Austria and an existential threat to Italy and Germany. I'm not saying it's not a big deal. But I wonder if the juggernaut's place in the meta as the ultimate evil alliance can serve to distract players from the danger of other common alliances forming (England/France and Austria/Italy, for instance). Do you think that the danger of a juggernaut is blown out of proportion? And, for those who have been around longer, is the fear surrounding the juggernaut a quirk of the recent meta or something more longstanding?
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Re: The Juggernaut Bogeyman?

#2 Post by Octavious » Tue May 26, 2020 9:43 pm

From a 5 minute live game (yes, there just to be loads of them) back in July 2010

"(To: Global, from Italy) - Autumn, 1902: Holy shit. There's a fucking juggernaut in the east and Austria's just warping around."

The juggernaut has been the bogeyman of choice for as long as I've been here, and as far as I can tell it has been since the early days of the game.

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Re: The Juggernaut Bogeyman?

#3 Post by mhsmith0 » Tue May 26, 2020 11:54 pm

If left alone (by most/all of IA and EG), the Juggernaut can be very strong
If left alone (by most/all of RIG) an EF can be very strong (but cannot easily 2wd)
If left alone (by AT + probably F), an IR alliance can be very strong
Etc

I don’t think RT is necessarily super strong on a given board; a well functioning IA alliance can beat it more often than not, ESPECIALLY if E and/or G is pressuring Russia up north.
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Re: The Juggernaut Bogeyman?

#4 Post by SaltyAboutBlackSea » Wed May 27, 2020 3:20 am

I think it's rather weak really. It loses to a good A/I 2v2 while requiring more trust than A/I. The black sea is the most troublesome space for an alliance to deal with in the game imo. Italy makes a better long-term partner for Russia and I think all southern powers are better served by digging out Turkey early all else being equal.

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Re: The Juggernaut Bogeyman?

#5 Post by swordsman3003 » Wed May 27, 2020 4:09 am

I don't think R/T is even the most powerful Russian+Neighbor alliance. I think A/R is stronger.

In the scheme of all possible 2-power alliances I'm not sure I'd even put Juggernaut in my top 5.
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hthefourth
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Re: The Juggernaut Bogeyman?

#6 Post by hthefourth » Wed May 27, 2020 4:21 am

Swordsman, curious to know your top 5 of 2-power alliances, and why you're not sure the juggernaut makes the cut. Is it because of conflicts around the Black Sea (appropriately mentioned by SaltyAboutBlackSea)?

One of the biggest problems I have playing a juggernaut is the amount of neighboring supply centers in the Balkans and through Austria's territory--ample incentive for stabbing.

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Re: The Juggernaut Bogeyman?

#7 Post by Claesar » Wed May 27, 2020 6:35 am

My top alliance pairs:

1) I/T. I should write an article about this one day. It's close to unbeatable.
2) I/R. Can work together really well without much risk of a stab.
3) E/R. Yes, England is a better ally for Russia than Germany. You've been doing it wrong.
4) F/G. Easy and stable border.
5) A/T. Strong but the border is volatile.


I'm measuring this based on how much you can help each other, how strong it is compared to your natural enemies, and how stable you can make it.

The Juggernaut is indeed very overrated, but it's nice as a scare tactic. When you're not R nor T.

I know several of my suggestions are unconventional. I ask you to think about it before you reply.

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Re: The Juggernaut Bogeyman?

#8 Post by Claesar » Wed May 27, 2020 6:43 am

swordsman3003 wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 4:09 am
I don't think R/T is even the most powerful Russian+Neighbor alliance. I think A/R is stronger.

...
Could you elaborate on this? I've thought about it a lot and find that the mass of armies often gets entangled. In fact, I think it's one of the worst alliances on the board. I presume your plan involves Russia opening north and building a second fleet in Sevastopol? That puts Russia's fronts as far away from each other as possible.

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Re: The Juggernaut Bogeyman?

#9 Post by SaltyAboutBlackSea » Wed May 27, 2020 7:17 am

1) I/T. Italy is begging Turkey for mercy. Italy's weak points are naval so Austria or Russia make much safer allies. Turkey can expand more explosively and Italy sailing west can be a deathtrap.
2) I/R. Best alliance for both, just don't let A/T know early as they can fight off the 2v2. Weak early strong mid/late.
3) E/R. Very strong if you can pull the coup taking Denmark in 1901. Otherwise at a disadvantage to F/G. Very workable and fun though.
4) F/G. Excellent underrated alliance, strongest on the board. Germany has to be firm in asking for Belgium/Edi though.
5) A/T. Suicidal for Austria. Completely at the mercy of Turkey to the point that Turkey not taking advantage is simply ineptitude.



All else being equal, first order of business in 1901 should be to grab a shovel and head southeast.

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Re: The Juggernaut Bogeyman?

#10 Post by RoganJosh » Wed May 27, 2020 7:26 am

When I was a kid, we reserved the term 'juggernaut' for when Russia sent the fleet through Constantinople into Med.
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Re: The Juggernaut Bogeyman?

#11 Post by Yonni » Wed May 27, 2020 2:49 pm

I'm certain all of you banging the drum for I/T are just being contrarian. I mean, it's doable but it kind of sucks.
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Re: The Juggernaut Bogeyman?

#12 Post by Claesar » Wed May 27, 2020 3:27 pm

Yonni wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 2:49 pm
I'm certain all of you banging the drum for I/T are just being contrarian. I mean, it's doable but it kind of sucks.
No, I'm serious. It requires good communication but it's nigh unstoppable when you get it going.
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Re: The Juggernaut Bogeyman?

#13 Post by Hamilton Brian » Fri May 29, 2020 1:49 pm

I've tried the IT a couple of times as Italy, unsuccessfully. Once Austria was dealt with Italy was left travelling toward France while Turkey would have mopped up what was left of Russia, then to Germany.
In retrospect, conditions have to be near perfect and perhaps I wasn't paying close enough attention to the board. In the particular match I am thinking of, France and Germany dealt with England quickly (and a rogue England fleet made its way to Tunis to be a thorn in my side). Likewise, Russia fell all too quickly. So the balancing oppositions for France and Turkey were gone. Italy became the natural target for Turkey since Germany was stronger than I was.
If I try it again, then I need to make sure the same conditions are repeated.

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Re: The Juggernaut Bogeyman?

#14 Post by Yonni » Fri May 29, 2020 2:01 pm

Claesar wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 3:27 pm

No, I'm serious. It requires good communication but it's nigh unstoppable when you get it going.
Any alliance with great communication can seem 'unstoppable' but I don't see how - all things being equal - an IT alliance is stronger than the vast majority of other alliances. Both of them have an awkward time moving north and their potential there is stymied by not having any northern fleet. In the south, they both do well as water faring nations but that leads to a lot awkward positions and Turkey pumping out units 3 years away from the front lines.

I would take any alliance by two neighboring nations over IT except for AG and IF because, while they share a border, those two don't share the same fronts in the early game.

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Re: The Juggernaut Bogeyman?

#15 Post by Dioptre » Thu Jun 11, 2020 1:22 am

Getting back to the original question, I think one reason R/T is feared is not because of its intrinsic tactical power, but because of how often Austria, Italy or Germany thinks that they are part of an Eastern alliance, even as the juggernaut starts to roll. So the powers most suited to stopping the juggernaut end up helping it, while the other powers feel like they are screaming into the void.

Compare to England/France where it is very quickly obvious to Germany and Italy that the alliance doesn't include them.
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