Wednesday, 26 April 2017 22:29

Turkey's Turkey

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Jake Trotta in Turkey rolled a solid final frame to snatch the board-top in Game No. 339, played April 22 at Diversey River Bowl. The game ended in Spring 1909 in a seven-way draw. The final center counts were:

Austria (Brian Shelden): 3; 4.787 points.
England (Ali Adib): 5; 13.298 points.
France (Randi Miller): 6; 19.149 points.
Germany (Gus Spelman): 5; 13.298 points.
Italy (Chad Carson): 2; 2.128 points.
Russia (Matt Sundstrom): 5; 13.298 points.
Turkey (Jake Trotta): 8; 34.043 points.

The supply center chart is here. Randi Miller, another friend of Jake's, was playing her first full game. Although the game was played at a bar, it used standard timing so does not count toward the Brawl series.

Players, how about some endgame statements?

Read 4994 times Last modified on Wednesday, 17 May 2017 23:40

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# Jake Trotta 2017-05-01 13:00
Quitting is for quitters

The biggest lesson I learned from CodCon is that it only takes once for you to decide you’re dead; it takes your opponents numerous turns of collaboratively saying “yeah let’s kill that guy.” Or, in other words, don’t quit, you can always make a comeback unless people have it out for you. That spirit, plus some luck and some weasel magic in the last season, topped me this board.

I went into this one thinking “hey, let’s play patient” because I never do that as Turkey and am trying to get better. Add more tools to proverbial belt. Also, with a rookie in France, Chad in Italy, and me in Turkey, I had a pretty strong feeling there was an AI coming. Plus, I didn’t really feel like Sundstroming the Sundstrom, particularly when Matt said “you can’t Sundstrom the Sundstrom.”

My game both started and (and was saved by) Fall 03. I was on 3 dots, with a fleet just having popped in Aegean. Units A-Con, F-Black. Italy was in East Med and had a unit passing through Greece. Austria was in Aegean and Bul. Russia was in Armenia (with a fleet). I pitched like hell to get Austria to go stab Italy while he’s over extended and break from the peleton, but he wasn’t having it. His reason why was rock solid- “A 3 center power is still a power.” He was up for it once I was on 2. But once I was on two, it was going to be MUCH tougher sledding.

Then Italy came to me just before the deadline (like 30 seconds) and rushed to tell me that he was staying in Greece, would take Smyrna with the fleet, and that I should force myself into Bul. This was my window back into the game. I said yes, fully knowing that 1) I could bounce him out of Smyrna 2) His failed stab of Austria would break up AI and 3) that Russia and I had gotten along all game, so as long as I found a way to feed him, I could feel safe-ish.

I bounced him, rebuilt, arranged to be junior partner to Russia by promising him 2 dots in exchange for 1, then slowly ground my way up to 6. In the third to last year, Austria and I worked against Russia together. The decision making there was difficult and may have been a poor strategic choice- I had guaranteed dots if I kept chopping at Austria. My path to victory was win my theatre and hope France falls. But as I didn’t know if I had enough time to out-tempo Russia, I decided to stab him.

In the second to last year, Austria stabbed me back, despite Russia being in Budapest and Vienna. His reasoning was that I was a bigger threat to a board top, and building doesn’t really matter in a bar-style end of game scenario. Dots do. In hindsight, I was pretty open, so its very plausible that he had a point. I managed to hold onto 6, maintaining an outside shot at victory.

The final year began F7, R6, T6, A5, G5. Literally anything could happen. All of my dots were safe… except Tunis. I needed Austria to support me to hold there. In order to secure that, I offered Brian into two of Matt’s dots in exchange for returning Serbia like a gentleman and supporting a hold in Tunis. In the fall, Brian was in Rumania and Sevastapol and NEEDED my support to hold those locations. So I made a 100% unenforceable “support Tunis to hold or I’ll let Matt take your shit” threat, then stabbed for Rumania. Ion supported Tunis to hold, and France did collapse.

My margin of victory ended up matching my measly number of F03 units. Go figure.

PLAYER FEEDBACK
Austria (Brian Shelden): Your decision not to take my support in 03 comes down to this for me: is a 3 center Turkey still a threat to a 7 or 8 center Austria with 2 fleets? (Russia was crumbling at this point). I don’t have the right answer on this one. Very fun game all around, though frustrating that you’ve started picking up on my tells.
England (Ali): The other comeback amigo! That’s the great thing about witches, they never really die. If this game doesn’t have a hard stop, you’ve got some great opportunity to keep growing.
France (Randi): Very well done for your first game. Absolute savagery convoying into London. You’ve got the skillset, just takes reps to build up the endurance and awareness, but well on your way to becoming a strong diplomacy player.
Germany (Gus): Thought you played well to keep yourself in it, and another case where if the game continues, the board was really starting to open up for you. Germany is all about finding a way to spark that early tempo. Why that didn’t happen in this game comes down to your opening (Holland, Ruhr, Kiel). Newbies in France aren’t going to let you get 3 builds in 01. And even if you allow Russia Sweden, it is much harder to retake it for yourself (whether by force or in a swap) with just an army in Denmark. As Chris Martin said in the Wise Old Weasel, German Ascendance comes with Scandinavia in hand. With your delay into Scandinavia, you weren’t able to get that tempo fire going (though Ali kamikazeing his game your direction didn’t help either).
Italy (Chad): Even though this game didn’t turn out ideally, I saw some flashes that make me think the ol’ “Weasel Awakening” (Aweaseling?) is coming. First, the decision to move on Albania showed some tactical flexibility and creativity. That put you in a position where you could be a senior partner and potentially choose between R or T as your ally. Not bad. Second, your attempted stab of Austria, though it didn’t come off, had the right spirit. Truly brilliant stabs should have gains in tempo, relationships, and position. They don’t just get you dots and position, they use others to simultaneous weaken your ally while fostering a new alliance. The pitch you made you have done that perfectly- you just didn’t have the unit numbers to back it up, and I saw that I had something better to do. While that stab didn’t play out as you would’ve liked (trust me, I know all about stabbing poorly-just look at my Icarus recap from CODCON), the intention is dead on. My recommendation (for myself as well as you) is to be just a little more patient at finding those opening for game-changing stabs. Once that happens, the Chad Weasel coming out party isn’t far behind.
Russia (Matt): Always love allying, even if I was the only one in the alliance until 04 (or if I was the one that broke the alliance in 06). I am open to your comments and potential criticisms regarding that decision. You played well, just another tragic case of Russia suffering Scandinavia tempo death. The great stat still stands: on games we’ve allied in the same theatre, one of us has always topped the board. As a fan of “get to the dance” diplomacy, you gotta love those odds.
Turkey (Me): I was pretty damn proud of myself for this one, real hard fought W. I came in wanting to try a different playstyle… and really stuck to it even though I got jumped. That was admittedly uncomfortable- I felt following much of my negotiations that I had done them “wrong.” But the truth is there is no wrong, just different tools for different scenarios. Might not have learned exactly what I wanted to learn, but all learning is good learning. In terms of true mistakes, probably spread myself a little too thin late in the game, and definitely could have managed my relationship with Italy better after our brief IT fell apart. I also could have done more to influence the other side of the board, but it ended up working out for me. And there are always tactical moments you wish you could have back. Plus my spelling sucks. But hey! A win is a win. I’ll take it.

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