Sunday, 28 April 2019 09:43

Moot XIII, Round 3, Board 2

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Round 3, Board 2

The game ended by draw vote in Spring 1907.

Austria:
Tyler Waaler
(8)
23.529  
England:
Jim Calabrese
(1)
0.368  
France:
Erik van Mechelen
(9)
29.779
 
Germany:
Cori Neslund
(0)
0  
Italy:
Dan Perlman
(1)
0.368  
Russia:
Jake Trotta
(10)
36.765 (Best Russia) 
Turkey:
Chris Kelly
(5)
9.191  
Brandon and David Maletsky (and others?) sat out the last game so that the rest of us could play three games, which was big of them. I believe Brandon was on about 40 points and very much still in contention.

I drew an amazing early-game position, as France with Cori as Germany (she solo'd as Turkey in Game 2) and Jake as Russia (soloing in Game 1). Jake needed to do better than Cori to win the tournament (depending on what happened with Zachary on the other board) whilst Cori could win if she scored 15 points more than Jake.

In the mid-game after England and Germany were eliminated, I wanted to support Austria Tyler from Tyrolia into Russian-held Munich from both Ruhr and Burgundy, and also into Tunis. He convinced me to wait one more year to do it, and I 100% wanted this to happen and 1,000% blundered/misordered…my support orders read Ruh S Mun - Tyr (!) and Bur S Mun - Tyr (!). That was devastating. Tyler was equally upset with me because we'd both worked hard to carefully create that opportunity.

To my eyes, Austria Tyler had kept good relations with Russia and Turkey and had risen to 7 centers. With Munich and Tunis he would have gone to 9, with France (me) on 10, and Russia on 9 (England and Italy both on 1, and Turkey on ~5/6).

One of my takeaways from the tournament is that it is easy to beat oneself up about mistakes made and opportunities missed. This was definitely one of those, because I'd been talking frequently with Tyler and I felt he'd been playing a great game and he was ready to work together toward a big draw for both of us. Maybe he would have even won. Or perhaps I might have. Maybe Chris Kelly would have changed his mind about "wanting to end the game early" and who knows how the four of us would have sorted out the balance of the game.

As it was we did get Tyler safely into Munich the very next turn (a year too late), but Jake had brought another army from War-Sil and had out-played me in the North to reduce me to 9 centers from my peak at 11. Chris Kelly was also into the Western Med and if anything from here participating in a draw with 9 centers was lucky for me.

The game ended in a draw with Jake board-topping on 10.

Regrets: Already stated above ?

Congratulations toZachary ,Jake , andCori on their solos and podium finishes!

Alright…

That's my brief analysis, just from my own perspective and while trying not to steal any other players' destinies.

Now that I've got that in the open I can let it all go and look forward to the next opportunities to play with all of you. I learned something from each of your playing styles and approaches to negotiation, which made me appreciate the game even more.

Thanks!

This one won’t be as long as the last--hard to write a bunch when you’re out before anything juicy happens.

Even before countries were drawn for this game, I had decided to go into it with the intention of picking someone to support to a win. After an insane solo (and the accompanied stress) the day before, I felt like I’d already made the mark I wanted to make. Other folks talked about how if I played a good game I could beat Jake and try for tournament champion--but as surprised as some of you may be to hear it, I wasn’t interested. To some extent I believe in paying dues, and going further than I already had felt inappropriate.

Anyway, after the first move in which Jake tried to open into Silesia (but I had been tipped off by France) he made it clear to me in a fairly blunt statement that he was coming to wipe me out. His reasoning was sound, and while I was disappointed in my likely short game and couldn’t come up with a good response to him at all, I didn’t fault him for his choice (though I did wonder if he had ever considered asking me to be an ally instead).

Frankly, I simply didn’t have the experience (or allies) to stop him--and I’m not convinced that stopping him was even possible given what other folks were doing on the board. Since my major ally, Erik (France), had opened directly into my other potential ally, Jim (England), with a move to ENG there was no hope of a three way partnership. The move pushed Jim into being an ally with Jake--and that was that.

My lack of experience really showed in this game. I had no idea how to play Germany with such an aggressive Russia, especially not without support from England. When England took Denmark with Russian support I gave up and told France to move in and take my dots with the hope that he could stand against the ER (RE?) partnership. England was eventually wiped out and Russia/France both took a portion of the pie in a draw.

Players

I don’t have any individual comments for you guys in reference to the game since I wasn’t around long enough. Overall, I really liked playing with you and I would be happy to meet on a board again sometime! Though perhaps not as Germany...

WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN

This one stings. Best Russia is great, and I came into the tournament thinking if I slow down and enjoy myself, I’ll have a great chance to win. This was the first game that I got myself sped up. As a result of that, I took a draw in this game when I really shouldn’t have. The final margin between first and second was 21 points… essentially 2 or 3 dots. I think I left at least 2 or 3 dots on this board... and a good shot at a solo.

If this game continues, I pop both French fleets in the North. I pick up Denmark and Sweden, potentially at the cost of Kiel and Holland. But at that point I have 4 northern fleets with no resistance. France can rebuild back home, but it’s a matter of time until I get all 3 English dots and get Kiel back. That alone gets me to 14/15.

In terms of a solo shot, Holland and Belgium are likely mine eventually as well. I’ve certainly got enough material to make a play towards Iberia… especially with an English fleet in behind. It really depends on how well Austria and France get along. Austria was in a bit of chaotic space turning on Turkey… and was unlikely to make much progress without my support. I may lose Sev or Rum, but am unlikely to have losses further than that. So unless I made a blunder, worst case is 13, best case is 18. But 13 may have been enough to put me past Zach.

Of course, I only got in that position because of a critical misorder… otherwise this whole discussion is a “moot point.” On to the recap…

EARLY GAME

Heading into the day, I was 15 points ahead of Cori, and the only way I would lose to tournament was if Corey passed me or if someone on the other board had a huge top or solo. The dream draw in this scenario is Russia to Cori’s Germany, so when that actually happened, I was ecstatic.

In the east, I only had to survive. I laid out my incentives to Chris in Turkey and Tyler in Austria, which led to about as strong of a RAT open as I’ve seen – SUCCESSFUL DMZs in Galicia and Black. In the west, I had to kill Germany. Cori handled our negotiations like she didn’t believe she could win. That was either very smart posturing, or genuine humility. I’ll address that further in my player feedback.

France took the channel in 01, which brought England strongly to my side. I got 2 builds and used one on fleet south coast. Taking out Germany was only a matter of time. The key moment was when France successfully convoyed up. Jim and I had talked about bouncing that potential move, but he decided on a higher risk move to Denmark that succeeded, but lost him Norway in the process. That essentially sealed his long-term fate, and set the west as a race between myself and France.

MID/LATE GAME

My biggest regret outside of taking the draw is not doing a good enough job managing the AT side of the RAT. They were making great progress on Italy and, due to my success in the North, could have made better progress on France. They decided to try to swipe Rumania at one point, which was the result of some negotiation breakdown and only heightened tensions. According to France’s AAR, Austria was trying to make a move on me as well as Turkey. This is likely because the AT stopped being efficient. Had I done a better job providing recommendations for how the AT could continue, the RAT may have continued.

In the north, France was a solo threat if I did not win out tactically. Fortunately, I won on most of the guessing games with France as Germany went out. I managed to pick up Munich, and Berlin. England became a pirate and landed in Portugal – a critical development. The key moment of the game was the failed French support of Austria into Munich. That allowed me to keep Munich while taking Kiel from France, turning the tides in the north. If that doesn’t happen, France doesn’t pull a fleet in the north, and it becomes a heavily contested three horse race.

A NOTE ON LONG TERM ATs

I’m a huge fan of the RAT because all three countries take on a good amount of risk, but the payoff is high. Russia has to deal with the north, Austria has to navigate early discomfort, and Turkey’s tempo is slow as it moves past Italy. The story of this game, in my mind, is the AT breaking up. Most long-term ATs do, but I usually think they shouldn’t as the stabs are often too small and inconclusive. If I’m Austria here, I wait until Turkey has already given me Naples and is justttt about to take Iberia to stab. That clears the entire south for your taking, but because the stab came too early, the east was likely to stay muddy. This ended up feeling an awful lot like my board at Tempest with Jay Heumann a couple years back.

PLAYER FEEDBACK

Tyler (Austria): You played very well on both boards I saw you on. It was a pleasure playing with you, and your apparent scheming shows some real good instincts. Once you get a little more seasoning and timing, you’re going to be wrecking boards.

Jim (England): You were a wonderful ally and it was a joy playing together. We could have had a lot of fun had this game continued, or if I had been able to assist you enough sooner. Bad break on the guesses, but looking forward to seeing you again.

Erik (France): I’ll give you broader feedback on your tournament – you were a strong contender on every board. The things that prevented you from topping each board were either small tactical errors or things beyond your control. For your first tournament, that’s an excellent place to be, and I’m eager to see how your game develops over the next year.

Dan (Italy): Nothing you could do here, buddy. Great seeing you on the board, looking forward to seeing you again soon.

Jake (Russia): You’ve won second prize in a beauty contest.

Chris (Turkey): I did not talk much about how wonderful our alliance was. This was our 18thboard playing together, and this is the first time we’ve worked together the whole game! Except that one season you attacked me! I’m proud of us except that one season!

A:Tyler Waaler
E:Jim Calabrese
F:Erik van Mechelen
G:Cori Neslund
I:Dan Perlman
R:Jake Trotta
T:Chris Kelly

 Go back to Weasel Moot XIII results

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