Friday, 30 March 2018 10:09

Opening Daze

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Normally the pitchers are ahead of the hitters at this time of year. Try telling that to Chicago's mighty offenses.

The Cubs officially opened baseball's marathon in Miami, spoiling the home team's opener by putting eight runs on the board. The Sox, who opened in Kansas City, started poorly, giving up four runs in the first. But they exploded the second time through the lineup. The good guys belted six home runs and scored the game's next 14 runs.

Both offenses looked really good...until Kevin O'Kelly told them to hold his beer.

In a game featuring three wild cards from the glory days of the Middle Guard, the Season One vet exploded for 17 centers. Only a misorder on the penultimate turn prevented him from posting the club's second bar-game solo. For now, the late-Nate "The Myth Chaser" Cockerill remains the only player to turn that trick. And for those keeping track, we've now gone 142 games without a solo. In our first 143 games, we saw eight.

Game No. 364, played last night at the Scout in the South Loop, ended by time limit after the Fall 1907 turn in the following center counts:

Austria (Chris Kelly): 6; 9.375 points.
England (Kevin O'Kelly): 17; 75.260 points.
France (Samuel Bassett): 3; 2.344 points.
Germany (Brian Shelden): 0; 0.000 points.
Italy (Braden Lenz): 1; 0.260 points.
Russia (Mike Morrison): 0; 0.000 points.
Turkey (John Gramila): 7; 12.760 points.

The supply center chart is here. Players, what happened?

Check out the updated Bar Room Brawl standings here. The current league standings are here.

Read 531 times Last modified on Saturday, 12 May 2018 17:51

Comments   

+1 # Jim O'Kelley 2018-03-30 10:38
Since we had eight players, I sat out and left after the first year, which was pretty entertaining.

In the West, Sam in France pushed all three units east, with F Bre-Eng, A Par-Pic and A Mar-Bur. All three moves succeeded.

Kevin opened with his army to Edinburgh, so he had an immediate dilemma to resolve regarding London. That decision probably would have been more difficult had it not been for Brian's blunder.

Shelden's Germans stabbed themselves. He opened to Tyrolia, which succeeded, probably to Brian's chagrin, and Berlin, which didn't because he misordered his fleet. Brian wrote F Den-Kie instead of the other way around. Instead of the customary two virtually certain builds, Brian had a guess for one.

He guessed wrong. The Brits bounced him in Holland.

The East was Weasels standard. Gramila Sundstromed, and then bounced Russia in Rumania and Black while holding in Armenia. Mike in Russia chose to contest the Black Sea instead of guaranteeing Rum, although the only guarantee he had was John's word that he would hold in Armenia.

The walk to Sweden softened the blow a bit.

Chris had opponents in Venice and Tyrolia (Germany) but didn't have to worry much given Germany's botched opening. He picked up Serbia and Greece.

Italy opened Rom to Naples, which is unorthodox, but he got away with it, as Italians normally will. You only pay when Austria queues up Venice, which almost never (and shouldn't) happens.

When the dust cleared, five centers were still neutral: Denmark, Holland, Portugal, Rumania and Spain.

The builds were interesting and telling:

Austria: Armies in Bud and Tri.
England: F London.
France: A Marseilles.
Germany: Nothing. Doh!
Italy: F Rome. A mistake. Braden was playing in his third game.
Russia: A Moscow.
Turkey: F Constantinople!

It was shaping up to be a wild game. I was sorry to go.
# Jim O'Kelley 2018-03-30 10:42
Of interest to me, if not anyone else, the game featured:

One player who joined in Season 1: Kevin.
Two players who joined in Season 4: Mike and Sam.
One player who joined in Season 5: John.
One player who joined in Season 6: Chris.
One player who joined in Season 11: Brian.
And one player who joined in the current Season 13: Braden.

That says a lot about the club.
# Bryan Pravel 2018-03-30 17:39
This game sounds as if it lived up to the club tradition of March Madness. Kevin, in this season this one game might be enough to get you in the Royale. Very impressive score.

I can’t wait to hear from the other players. The score implies drama. I’ll grab my popcorn.
# Chris Kelly 2018-04-10 13:37
The German mis-order during the opening move defined the first half of the game. It encouraged the formation of a strong English/French alliance to take advantage of Germany’s weakness — and, in reaction, a hastily arranged Eastern triple (Turkey/Austria/Italy) attempting to stop them.

As Italy, Braden got a good jump on France, seizing Marseilles before Sam used his builds from gains vs. Germany to send reinforcements south. But England (Kevin) was able to capture St. Petersburg to secure its northern flank by the time Austria/Turkey were conquering Warsaw and Moscow, respectively.

At that point, there could have been a tense standoff to see whether the E/F or A/T alliance would crack first, given the stalemate in the north. But no such waiting game happened, because Austria (me) and Turkey (John) turned on each other immediately. Specifically, John informed me that he was going to take Rumania - which he had supported me into years earlier - and in response, I immediately made a secret deal with England to support me into Moscow. We spent the rest of the game wrangling with each other.

John and I had a lengthy conversation afterward discussing how things could have gone differently. He believed he deserved more consideration for his honesty in telling me up front about Rumania; I replied that I felt boxed in by his ultimatum and he needed to sell me harder on why I should stay with the alliance despite giving up the supply center.

In the end, we were both guilty of wishful thinking, given the reality of the board situation. I let myself think John wouldn’t recognize the impossibility of further gains in the north, or at least not insist on growing elsewhere immediately. And John believed I would placidly accept losing Rumania as long as I stabbed Italy (which I did) to make up for it - even though, in pragmatic terms, his next most likely gains were my centers in Serbia and Greece, rather than waiting a year or two to try for Naples or Tunis.

Either way, the A/T alliance fell prey to its usual inherent tensions, Italy pulled back from Iberia in a mostly unsuccessful attempt to counter my stab, and the only remaining question was how England and (especially) France would react to their good fortune. Had Sam stabbed Kevin right away, the closing years could have been an exciting free-for-all to see who topped the board.

Regrettably (in my personal opinion), Sam made a different choice, rolling over and throwing dots to Kevin because he thought it would be fun to see a solo win. In my mind, there’s not much enjoyment in creating an artificial result like that - if Kevin could’ve earned a solo truly on his own, great, but I would be a little embarrassed to see a contrived situation treated like a legitimate achievement years from now. So I’m glad the scheme fell a bit short.

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