School of War - Fall 2017

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ghug
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School of War - Fall 2017

#1 Post by ghug » Sun Dec 31, 2017 6:26 pm

Figured we should migrate this to the new forum.

The School of War (SoW) is an exciting opportunity for everyone to learn from the best and to improve their diplomacy skills. Seven players wanting to bring their play to the next level have been chosen to play as students in a classic, high-quality, full press game. Seven experienced players will be assigned to a these students as Teacher’s Assistants (TAs) to provide one-on-one advice and tutoring about their great power, strategy, and the board state specific to their country. Several expert professors will also provide running public commentary and lessons to the entire board, posted in this thread.
This session will be taught by Professors ckroberts, eturnage, and Djantani.

Please remember that the rules still apply:
1. Be respectful of the Professors, and any reasonable request they make.
2. Students and TAs are not to post in this thread until the game’s conclusion, with the exception of bumping the thread.
3. If you are unsure if you should be posting in this thread, PM me or a professor to make sure.
4. There should be no communication about this game between Students/TAs and other users outside of the game, to prevent undue influence in the game.
5. Anyone not participating in the game may post in this thread to ask questions.
6. End of Game (EoG) statements from the students and TAs are highly encouraged, as they help everyone understand the game more fully.

Old forum thread

Game

Professors:
1. ckroberts
2. eturnage
3. Djantani

Players:
E: KansasBoyd/bo_sox48
F: Lazy Bones
I: ItsHosuke
G: PRINCE WILLIAM
A: Heywood Jablowme
T: AttiWoolf
R: yavuzovic

TAs:
E: Szpoti
F: Ezio
I: yoak
G: ghug
A: rdrivera2005
T: ishirkmywork
R: Hapapop

eturnage
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Re: School of War - Fall 2017

#2 Post by eturnage » Sun Dec 31, 2017 9:52 pm

Fall 1909

That was a great turn for Italy. :-D A bad turn for France. :o The odds of an Italian solo increase. The French solo chance in steep decline.

FRANCE

I appreciate an aggressive move. Trying to break into the Med would be awesome. However, sometimes it is wise to be more cautious. Before last turn, I wrote down some orders for you that would have saved your fleets and opened Brest for another fleet build:

F Naf-Mid; F Best-English Channel; F Lyo-Spain; A Spa – Mar; A Gas S Spa-Mar.

IMO, trying the obvious self standoff was too risky. You NEEDED A Gascony to support Mar. As it is now, Italy will take Mar from you this spring. He also might choose to blow up another fleet or take Spain. You're in a lot of trouble.

In the north, you maneuvered to take Stp. You will get that center this year. It appears to have been a calculated loss by the IG. You need to split them up. But Italy is in a good position diplomatically as all your potential gains must come at the expense of the Germans.

GERMANY

You're riding the edge of a knife. At any moment, Italy will decide now is the time to go for the solo. You need to keep the dialog open with France. Maybe you bargain for Stp so you can put some units along the Italian line. Maybe you negotiate a good sized dmz with Italy and threaten to throw it to France if he moves on you. It might force the draw.

ITALY

Excellent moves in the Med. The Frenchman made an ill-advised gamble and this last move almost made up for your earlier misorder. The momentum around Mid Atlantic is trending #Italy.

You need to think about how you're going to pull off the solo diplomatically. Once you break out into Mid Atlantic, the French and Germans can quickly patch up their hostilities.

RUSSIA

Not getting the move on Turkey.

TURKEY

Like a lot of Turkeys, Russia sealed your fate.

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Re: School of War - Fall 2017

#3 Post by MajorMitchell » Mon Jan 01, 2018 1:36 am

∆ +1 I agree with that assessment of Italy's moves in the Western end of the Mediterranean..well played

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Re: School of War - Fall 2017

#4 Post by ckroberts » Thu Jan 04, 2018 2:57 pm

I hope everyone had a good holiday! I have been away a while. The new forum feels weird, although it's nice to have smilies.

SOME THOUGHTS ABOUT 1909:

FRANCE: C-

eturnage laid out everything pretty well above. Marseilles is definitely gone this year, but Italy can potentially force you to make tough choices, if they're willing to take some risks in doing so. This game has a fun example of cascading influence; the decisions you make around Spain will influence how you move around Munich and potentially even how you try to take St P.

One thing that applies to England but in this case sort of applies to France: England can't usually win a game with lots and lots of fleets because England needs armies on the continent. France didn't make too many fleets, but there are also not enough French armies beyond Germany to give France the solo. Where are future French armies going to come from, and how are they going to get to Russia? I said it before and I will say it again: St P is not the key for someone coming from the north. St P will be there. Two of Munich and Warsaw and Tunis are the keys.

ITALY: B+

I think the build in Naples indicates that Italy is not going to try for a solo. Maybe it was necessary for continued German friendliness. But the fleet build seems like a mistake to me; seven fleets is too many. However, with luck, Italy can outguess France around Spain and maybe get some builds for armies.

To avoid any conflicts of interest or over-influence, I'm not going to make recommendations, but I will lay out possibilities. France can guarantee protecting either Spain or North Africa with MAO. France cannot protect both right now. Also crucially, France cannot get that new fleet into position to protect both without risking both. Technically Italy can also guarantee taking Mars this turn, although doing so means moving Munich and taking a slight risk.

Once France gets an army into Gascony, it greatly improves France's chances but does not eliminate completely the danger. If Gascony covers Spain, then Marseilles has the same circumstances as before; if Gascony guarantees Marseilles, then it's 50-50 with Spain and North Africa, which then if lost worsens the hold on Mars.

Overall, France has an advantage in the Iberian/Western Mediterranean area, but it's no sure thing. If Italy guesses completely right, and France messes up around Spain and Mars, then we have a very interesting situation with a 16 or 17 center Italy.

GERMANY: C

You'll probably survive this game, and you will probably make a draw unless you've done something to make Italy very mad or Italy decides to try for the win.

You need to be very defensive about your new homeland. You're going to lose St P; that cannot be helped. Beyond that, you need to do everything to ensure that you cannot lose more centers. One big component you have to deal with: If France gets armies over there, you cannot hold Warsaw and Moscow without Italian help. However, Italy is not necessarily your friend. An Italian army in Galicia/Ukraine is either absolutely necessary for you or absolutely forbidden, depending on how you look at it.

France and Germany's inability to get along remains a curious thing. Thus far, Italy has played the relationship among the big 3 (big 2.5) the best.

RUSSIA: D

There's really no reason for Italy to keep you in the game except to be nice at their own expense. Is Italy nice at their own expense?

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Re: School of War - Fall 2017

#5 Post by bo_sox48 » Sat Jan 06, 2018 5:01 am

That changes things.

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Re: School of War - Fall 2017

#6 Post by eturnage » Sat Jan 06, 2018 3:58 pm

Spring 1910

Not too much additional here to comment upon.

Italy's build of F Naples was maybe a mistake. You needed the army more in my opinion. Perhaps it's a bone for Germany so it could be worth it. I would have deferred the build instead of wasting it on F Nap.

Italy continues to press his attack on France. Notice the excellent tactics employed here by Italy to capture Marseilles, specifically, the beleaguered unit rule and the convoyed attack. The order F Wes-Spain cuts French support for A Mar. Normally, that would F Wes susceptible to dislodgment since it cannot move and be supported to hold by any other units. But by ordering F Tunis supports F Tyn-Wes; F Tyn-Wes; Italy strengthened F Wes to a strength of two units. Thus, the beleaguered unit rule foiled France's attempt to blow up the Italian fleet. Italy had his cake and ate it too.

A Mar has no retreat and must disband. Not a disaster. Losing the unit, means France will be able to build F Brest. Still, its a guessing game next move as to whether Italy takes Spain or destroys F Naf.

Italy gambled and won with A Munich by attacking Burgundy. He guessed right because if France used Burgundy to support an attack on Munich rather than attempting to support A Mar, a full blown French attack on Munich would have succeeded.

The French moves around St. Pete look odd. Maybe an intentional misorder to keep a secret alliance with Germany hidden from Italy. If that was the plan, the attack on Livonia could be deceptive as well.

Germany is continuing to ride the knife's edge keeping his alignment with Italy in place. Italy still hasn't broken out into Mid Atlantic yet. If Italy continues to out guess France, Germany will need to switch sides to prevent an Italian solo. Maybe he already has. He still holds St. Pete when by all accounts he cannot retain it against a determined French assault.

I like Steve Miller Band too. Lovey-dovey, lovey-dovey, lovey-dovey all the time. Lots of lovey-dovey stuff going on with Russia and Italy down in Turkey. Will Germany join the lovey-dovey fest?

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Re: School of War - Fall 2017

#7 Post by ItsHosuke » Sun Jan 07, 2018 11:00 am

Bumpy! ;)

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Re: School of War - Fall 2017

#8 Post by ItsHosuke » Wed Jan 10, 2018 1:19 pm

Bumpy

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Re: School of War - Fall 2017

#9 Post by eturnage » Wed Jan 10, 2018 3:51 pm

Looks like at this point the remaining players decided to take a three way draw.

Of note, there is no stalemate at Mid Atlantic right now. It's still a 50/50 guess as to whether Italy takes Spain or destroys F Naf. France cannot support both with one unit (F Mid Atlantic). A Gascony support can be cut.

With regard to the north, St. Pete is going to fall to France if France wants it. However, because France must build F Brest this turn an additional army from St. Pete would be insufficient to push past a determined German/Italian line to take Moscow and Warsaw.

I think there's still a little play here. Italy only needs two centers. He's building armies. F Ionian Sea could return to cover Smyrna. Seems like Italy's passing up a solo shot by agreeing to the draw. Let's see what happens with the votes.

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Re: School of War - Fall 2017

#10 Post by Octavious » Wed Jan 10, 2018 6:03 pm

It's funny the psychological impact a late NMR can have. Some players beat themselves up over not entering the orders that would have one the game. Some feel that the NMR makes any win devalued, and lose their desire to get it. In this case, however, it seems a 3-way has been settled on earlier.

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Re: School of War - Fall 2017

#11 Post by PRINCE WILLIAM » Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:04 am

I guess we can post freely now the game is concluded?

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Re: School of War - Fall 2017

#12 Post by Claesar » Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:51 am

Yes, feel free to post your EOGs!

eturnage
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Re: School of War - Fall 2017

#13 Post by eturnage » Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:10 pm

Yes, please do. After all the time everyone put into analyzing the game it would be appreciated by many in the community.

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Re: School of War - Fall 2017

#14 Post by MajorMitchell » Sat Jan 13, 2018 1:24 am

Big thanks all ( with perhaps one exception ) who participated in this Skool of War game and forum discussion. The player and their mentor with Italy deserve credit. Italy is perceived by many as a most difficult country to play.
The "exceptional?" Kansas Boyd with England took the game into unusual circumstances, and although it would have been much better not having had to endure what occurred, the players coped with it, continued​ to play, so in a unwanted way, it was also a "learning experience" ....Daffy Player in the game.

Big thanks to eturnage, ckroberts, the Peanut Gallery and others for their thread posts... bring on the next Skool of War.

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Re: School of War - Fall 2017

#15 Post by Octavious » Sat Jan 13, 2018 8:49 am

Italy may well be perceived that way by some players, but all those players are wrong :p.

Plenty of errors from everyone in this game, which is what you'd expect. Pointless joining it if you weren't making mistakes. Hopefully it's helped iron some of them out :).

For me, most impressive player award has to go to Germany. Fighting for his life for much of the game, yet finished as joint leader. Bloody good show.

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Re: School of War - Fall 2017

#16 Post by Octavious » Sun Jan 14, 2018 9:00 pm

Bump

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Re: School of War - Fall 2017

#17 Post by PRINCE WILLIAM » Sun Jan 14, 2018 9:50 pm

Well thank you Octavius, it was a difficult thing to pull off at some points of the game.
Here is my EoG statement:

Prince William’s EoG Statement
Now that the game is concluded let’s talk about it. I want to begin from the choice of country. When Peregrine Falcon asked me if I wanted to avoid some countries, I was faced with a dilemma. At this point I had never played England, Turkey or Germany with the later I had a limited experience since I had played Germany in some 1vs1. So I asked not to have England or Turkey. Now to play the country I had less played was one to five. I took it with a good humour that I got that one and prepared to play.
As a player my strong point is strategy, most of my plans work, my weakest is negotiations, I do poorly and I enter the game with the goal to try to fix that. I think I did some progress.
And so the game started. My initial moves the fleet down to Holland from Kiel, the army from Berlin to Kiel, confused many people. The reasons were guessed, I wanted to get SCs and my press with Russia was good. The strange choice of what each unit will do was due to inexperience. Things worked well, and I got two SCs while I had a good communication with all.
At this point I had no fixed alliances yet, England and France were both in good terms with me each trying to put me in a war with the other. I hadn’t picked one over the other. The only thing I was sure it was that I wasn’t going for a solo, that was out of my reach so I would need a trusted ally.
1902 started with bad omens. France invaded Ruhr, Russia invaded Prussia. That meant war with two, a two-front war as Germany actually fought in WWI and later in WWII. There I picked my allies, England was willing, Italy was sympathetic. I allied with England and cultivated the relations with Italy as I tried to negotiate with my enemies. With France worked with Russia no. He agreed only to attack again but fortunately for me I outguessed him and took Sweden.
1903 was a year of doubting, I was accused of the unmoving of the army in Munich and what the fleet in Baltic was doing. My Italian friend even made a joke about it. I must say that I am a rather careful player trying to avoid risks as much as possible, as Djatani correctly pointed out. With so many armies around I couldn’t move the army from Munich? In this year I lost my ally as Kansas Boyd started the behaviour that got him expelled. I was an ally to this moment and tried to help and gave advice. He didn’t listen and did not cooperate. As France would soon take Belgium I went there first. At the other side I agreed to a truce with Russia he didn’t keep. From this point on he was to be destroyed. I couldn’t trust him in my borders.
1904 came and with it the moment all were waiting for, the army in Munich moved! It went east dealing Russia a double blow with the help of the bold move to Livonia. At the moment I had been talking with all having a good communication with the exception of Russia who I was not trusting anymore.
1905 was my zenith in the game. I was to put down Russia and have two additional armies. And then I misordered. Fortunately, that meant I didn’t finish off Russia but had no other catastrophic results. In retrospect, it may even for good. Had I the additional armies war with France would last more and Italy may have the path for a solo open, yet this is one option only as what ifs are with no end and many things could have happened. Maybe France would have never attacked as I’d be much stronger. Anyway.
And then France decided to stab me. He invaded Belgium and I had a unit in retreat, a retreat that too many people’s annoyance I thought for 30 hours. The reason was simple. I thought what if instead of a retreat I’d disband the fleet and get a build to build a much-needed army? I wanted to discuss this with my TA and that makes me delay as my TA and I have a time zone difference and had specific times in the day we could speak. I build the army and tried to defend my land.
A note in personality.
Diplomacy is a game and a game where lies and betrayal are in the very essence of it. So you are expecting to lie and be lied to, betray and be betrayed. How you will react to betrayal is a matter of personality. It matters also how bad the stabbing for your game is. Many players, me included, are revengeful, if they lost then they will make sure the traitor won’t win either. I told France that I was gone but I’d make it sure he wouldn’t win, whatever it would take, even if I had to give my SC’s to Italy. He took it in good humour wished me good luck and challenged me to continue showing my strategic abilities as I had done to this point.
By that point, we were left five. France was an enemy, Russia wasn’t trustworthy so I had to work with the other two who unfortunately for me were in the war between them. I am too honest for my own good in this game but in this case, it served me well. Having from the beginning admitted that the draw was the goal made me believable to Italy and Turkey needed a way to expand, into Russia was just good as any other direction. So I stood in 1906 when I could have fallen.
In 1906 I send an army to Ukraine causing all the teachers and TAs wondering what the hell I was doing. Well, this turns orders never got to complete due to an internet failure which also didn’t let me communicate and answer messages from the other players. Hopefully, my move made all others so confused on what I was up to that nothing bad happened.
1907 and France were still cutting pieces from my lands. Trying to protect my country I made a new unexplainable movement. I took Saint Petersburg instead of sending the fleet west to help the defence. No agreement was made for exchanging SCs or something. The answer was simple, I didn’t trust Russia that wouldn’t help France attack me on Norway so I hit Saint Petersburg to cut him, as he moved I found myself taking the area!
Munich was lost, Italy could take it by force, to ask was a noble gesture and I agreed to make the point once again to France that I would fight with every means to stop him from winning. I retreated the army to Ruhr with the hope of making a chaos in France’s rear but it didn’t work.
In 1908 I lost Scandinavia but took Moscow, Russia tried again to double-cross me but I managed to turn it against him, though I had hoped we may together build a defence that would allow us to survive until a draw he did not what he agreed and I took Moscow.
Meanwhile, the map was resembling all the more the France vs Austria configurations and then for the first time I realized that I could make it to a draw. I had fought many times in the Berlin Munich line, I knew the difficulties for both sides of attack. Turkey was almost gone and Russia had made a mistake that would destroy him. At this stage, we spoke with Italy for all the moves.
In 1909 Turkey died and Russia’s execution was set. I started then talks with both the great powers about the draw. Both agreed yet France made an effort to take me at his side, to secure the draw, but in reality a last attempt to take the upper hand and go for solo forgetting that I had been a sworn enemy. So after Russia’s demise in 1910, we reached the end.

I do apologise if my statement was too big.

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Re: School of War - Fall 2017

#18 Post by Octavious » Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:06 pm

Ha! Once we break you out of that unfortunate playing for the draw habit you've got the potential to be a fine player.

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Re: School of War - Fall 2017

#19 Post by Octavious » Fri Jan 19, 2018 11:01 pm

No more?

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Re: School of War - Fall 2017

#20 Post by ItsHosuke » Fri Jan 19, 2018 11:31 pm

I still can't find the time to...

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