Tuesday, 11 April 2017 11:24

CodCon 11, Round 1, Board 1

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Round 1, Board 1

This game featured the eventual Icarus award winner, Jake Trotta, who reached 8 centers by the end of 1903, only to be eliminated in the final year, and three best country awards.

The game ended by draw vote during the Spring 1910 turn with the following center counts:

Austria (John Gramila): 11; 30.402 points. (Best Austria)
England (David Hafner): 14; 49.246 points. (Best England)
France (Nicole Campbell*): 0; 0.000 points.
Germany (Kevin O'Kelley): 0; 0.000 points.
Italy (Brad Harrington): 9; 20.352 points. (Best Italy)
Russia (Jake Trotta): 0; 0.000 points. (Icarus Award)
Turkey (Nick Rohn): 0; 0.000 points.

*Nicole Campbell was replaced by Grant Smith in Spring, 1905. 

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Read 2070 times Last modified on Tuesday, 11 April 2017 16:57

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# Jake Trotta 2017-04-11 18:44
Flew too close to the sun and all I got was this stupid roast

This was the most-awarded game of the tournament, with Best Austria, Best England, and the Icarus Fish for Biggest Fall from Grace all going down. The biggest story of this game is John Gramila’s remarkable comeback from being pretty much dead to winning best Austria. I was in spectacular position in the midgame, but during the lunchbreak was lamenting to Nicole about how poorly I was playing. Honestly, I was fortunate to hang out as long as I did.

Here’s a list of all the tactical mistakes I made that could have (and should have) been fatal (and in most games are). Note that these do not get into strategic or diplomatic gaffes, which I will discuss after.

02
Moving to Trieste from Budapest because Austria told me to. Ruined relationship with Italy.
03
Building a northern fleet after telling England “I would only be a threat if I built a northern fleet.” Nearly ruining my relationship with England
04
Not asking for or taking support into Serbia from Nick. Ruined any potential of future southern growth.
Stabbing Nick for one dot (and moving myself out of position) with no allies in either theatre. Ruined the last ally I had, and turned my position from “defendable” to “LOL what are you doing”
06
Going for Berlin instead of covering Warsaw, essentially trading home centers with Germany for no damn reason. Made me dependent on Austria for getting Warsaw back, essentially an invitation for Austria to surround Warsaw.
07
Taking North Sea when not noticing that England was getting 2 builds. Cost me a build and position.
08
Moving War to Ukr in the fall because “Johnny G wouldn’t swing at that with a unit that had nothing better to do.” Lost Warsaw.
Lying to Brad about support into Edi for no damn reason. Cost me STP.

Sure, I got off the ground, but that is some United-level incompetence on the way down. #topical
That last one caused Brad to partner with England and eventually taking STP. That’s right, an Italian fleet in STP. No shit I died, I just deserved it much sooner. Ended up throwing dots to England and playing off both sides to keep me alive. Johnny G eventually put the dagger in me.
Moving on to the strategic and diplomatic mistakes…

A bird in the hand without friendship is worse than a bird in the hand with friendship.

Should you ever, for any reason, be afraid of a 2 center Austria as an 8-center Russia? Absolutely not. John Gramila displayed a brilliant way of breaking up an alliance- if someone is going to take your dot, offer to be useful to them and give them a different dot that’s better for you. I had Budapest, he couldn’t take it away. But because I chose to take Trieste with his support instead of giving Italy Vienna, I lost tempo and any possibility of an alliance with Brad. I got spooked by Gramila’s threat of throwing everything against me- which, again, homeboy would’ve been a 2 center Austria. Bad Jake. If you’re going to take a janissary, never be the frontline units- that’s your janissary’s job (more on that in upcoming R3 AAR).

Warning: Messing up EGR may lead to Scandinavian tempo death
So Nick and I were set to roll an RT, I was making progress on John until I chose the wrong bird, and all I had to do to guarantee an awesome game was find a way to break up EG. Both were younger, less experienced players that perceived me as the big bad wolf as defending champ. True story- the first and only time I’ve ever been described as “manipulative” in this game was when EG were chatting between rounds.

Now this EG was especially close- they were spending 12+ minutes of the 18/16 talking with each other. That is tough to break up. I didn’t do a good job of assisting France on tactics, my negotiations with both EG were less than stellar (too much stick, not enough carrot), and by pitching both sides of the EG openly, I may have turned them both off. As a result, Scandinavia was never really resolved until I was out of the picture.

To England’s credit, he flipped on Germany at the perfect moment- right after they had rallied to kick me out of Sweden and I had snuck into Kiel. But the struggles in Scandinavia by coming to no real resolution came to haunt me several times in the game.

Second worst stab I’ve ever executed
So Turkey disappeared for a season (mix-up about the lunch timing), and in that season Brandon hopped in and I lost faith in the alliance because Brandon did start the tournament by saying “Jake Trotta must be eliminated on every board.” So I snuck into black and set up for a stab.
Unfortunately, I didn’t do enough to win allies during the stab, and despite Nick being very understanding about me being in Black, I still followed through on what was probably the second worst stab I’ve ever executed.

Player Feedback
Austria (John Gramila): While you ruined every board I shared with you this tournament, you also showed me how to salvage board 3 by example with your play here. Without that, I get third instead of second. As always, every board with John G on it is a blast.
England (David Hafner): Very impressed by your play, you’ve got a good feel for the game. Thought you played Germany and I pretty perfectly. Only improvement I can see is utilizing me as a janissary better- you left a dot or two on the board.
France (Nicole): You were pretty unlucky this game, and I didn’t do enough to help.
Germany (Kevin the Grey): Good job on the alliance. Your instinct to stab for Bel when England was getting too big was correct, but flipping back to him the next year and supporting him to Sweden gave me one way to go. Next time, demand Belgium and take Sweden. You’re Germany!
Italy (Brad): You played a good game, but come on dude, an Italian fleet in STP?
Russia (Jake Trotta): Award-winning diplomacy. Don’t ask what award.
Turkey (Nick Rohn): I feel like I played you terribly wrong the entire tournament, and I feel bad as a result of that. However, your banter was much appreciated on each board.
# Jake Trotta 2017-04-12 09:40
One last note (and mistake on my part)

There was an opportunity to draw at 8-8-8 which I vetoed. My eyes got bigger than me- I thought I could get a bigger score, which was a poor read of the board. Since this tournament only takes about 70 points to win unless someone solos, a first round result of about 28 would've been more than worth taking (especially with Kaleidoscope Russia that looks different every turn).

Don't know if anyone else vetoed, so it might be a moot point.

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