Wednesday, 01 May 2019 09:37

Moot XIII, Round 1, Board 1

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Round 1, Board 1

The game ended by draw in Spring, 1915.

Austria:
Zachary Moore
(10)
32.680 (Best Austria) 
England:
Brian Shelden
(1)
0.327  
France:
Chris Kelly
(10)
32.680
 
Germany:
Mike Morrison
(2)
1.307  
Italy:
Christian Kline
(10)
32.680 (Best Italy) 
Russia:
Dave Maletsky
(0)
0  
Turkey:
Jim Calabrese
(1)
0.327  

My game as France began by blundering into 3 builds in 1901. As Germany, Mike M. had misordered in the spring, and a hasty, botched read of the board made me think I had a chance at crippling him by sneaking into Munich in the fall while England stood him off in Holland - which Brian S. agreed to do. While writing my order, though, I realized the unit in Berlin had literally nothing to do but cover Munich, so I changed my move to Belgium without having a chance to inform England. I thought I’d make it up to Brian by waiving the build, but then I realized his army in Edinburgh meant he’d certainly build F London... so I had little choice but to build F Brest to cover myself. And so what I originally planned as an E/F alliance became an inevitable E/F conflict.

Growing to 6 units in 1901 naturally jolted England and Germany into allying against me, stalling my growth for the next several years. Then again, those same 6 units - and a sustained nonaggression pact with Christian Kline in Italy - enabled me to more or less fend them off in the short term, although Belgium changed hands several times in 1904-1907 even as I landed an army in Britain. Meanwhile, Russia fell to pressure from Germany in the north and Austria in the south, enabling Mike to expand to 9 centers, with German fleets swinging south toward Iberia as a quietly growing Italy had one lingering in the Western Mediterranean.

As it turned out, though, Christian (and his game-long Austrian ally, Zach) came to my rescue, if for no other reason than Germany becoming the larger immediate threat. Even as Mike forced fleets into the English Channel and Mid-Atlantic Ocean in spring 1908, he was losing home centers to an Austrian-Italian assault from the south - and that lurking Italian fleet in the Western Med helped chase him out of MAO as well. The 1909-1911 period saw Austria & Italy supporting French armies into German supply centers while my finally freed-up fleets enabled me to outmaneuver England, ensuring its fall and setting up my unit count to grow into the mid-teens.

Then it came time to repay the favors I’d received. There had been no detailed agreement in advance, but Christian had started lobbying in negotiations for a three-way 10-center tie between me, himself, and Zach, even though (or perhaps because) Austria had never had more than 6 centers through 1911. I griped about this more than once, especially since Brian and Mike were vacating their centers in my theatre & offering to help me solo - or at least get me as close as they could. But I *did* think that Christian (and to some extent Zach) deserved some consideration for their earlier help... and as I heard that Jake was in fact soloing as France on a neighboring board, any selfish desires I might have harbored about winning “best France” became irrelevant. So I agreed to the even split in hopes of ending the game as quickly and amicably as we could.

Strains developed, though, as Christian proposed convoluted methods of achieving a tie that involved me giving him centers in Iberia, then relying on him to convey other centers to Zach. Fearing that the fabled Scorpion might be seeking leverage for a potential last-second stab, I refused - hurriedly reinforcing my southern flank and eventually figuring out a way to eliminate the middleman, abandoning Berlin, Kiel, Holland and finally Denmark directly to Austria to boost his unit count.

Could I have soloed? 16 centers was clearly within reach, but getting the other two (out of Munich, Warsaw, or Moscow) seemed unlikely if Italy/Austria kept cooperating. In different circumstances (such as a defined end time, and/or Jake not soloing), I would have gone for it and at least earned a sizable board-top. At least, though, I should have prodded Christian for a less-even division of centers (with us getting 11 or 12 centers apiece, and Austria whatever he could manage), which he and Zach both indicated afterwards they might have accepted.

A:Zachary Moore
E:Brian Shelden
F:Chris Kelly
G:Mike Morrison
I:Christian Kline
R:Dave Maletsky
T:Jim Calabrese

F01 board picture is not available.

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