Thursday, 11 November 2010 09:51

Fan favorite tops Armistice Game

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Fan favorite Jim O'Kelley defied the odds (referring to the 71.4 percent chance that someone named John or Peter would top) to top the Armistice Game, played on Veterans Day Eve at Guthrie's Tavern. Originally scheduled for Chicagoland Games, Game No. 113 relocated to Guthrie's because several of the players had Veterans Day off. That turned out to be a good decision--Guthrie's had a nice crowd for a Wednesday, but it wasn't nearly as jammed as it is on the typical Thursday.

Meanwhile, the game was another in a series of wide-open, fluid contests we've seen recently. Russia, which opened with three units in the North, was at nine after 1904 but finished with two. Austria had three after 1904 but finished with eight. Italy went from four to six in 1902, but then back to four the next year, before rallying to finish with seven. There were a lot of momentum changes.

By agreement prior to the game start, we stopped play at 11:11 p.m. to commemorate the Armistice that ended World War I. (That armistice commenced on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918.) We could have chosen to commemorate the 135th anniversary of the founding of the Marines Corps, or the 35th anniversary of the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald, but the Armistice seemed period appropriate. Plus, I was grateful for the day off.

So, we managed eight full game years. The final center counts were:

Austria (Peter Yeargin): 8; 23.358 points.
England (Jim O'Kelley): 12; 52.555 points.
France (Pete McNamara): 2; 1.460 points.
Germany (John Duca): 0; 0.00 points.
Italy (John Gramila): 7; 17.883 points.
Russia (Sam Bassett): 2; 1.460 points.
Turkey (Peter Lokken): 3; 3.285 points.

The supply center chart is here. Now let's hear from the combatants.

Finally, Saturday's game at Dan's is on life support. We're down to four players, not counting Dan. If you can play, please sign up now.

Read 1089 times Last modified on Saturday, 04 December 2010 20:48

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# Jim O'Kelley 2010-11-14 11:25
This game is already starting to fade from my memory, so I'll keep my comments brief.

First, I'm a big fan of Wednesday night Diplomacy at Guthrie's. The bar had a nice crowd, but we never had to compete for space, as we usually have to do by 9:30 or so on a Thursday.

Second, welcome back, John Duca. John played at Weasel Moot III and 2010 CODCon, but we hadn't seen him at a club game since August 2009.

He played a good game here, despite being the only player eliminated. I had agreed with Pete McNamara's France to DMZ the channel, but John lobbied hard for a three-country blitz of France. John Gramila, playing Italy, was on board, mistakenly believing that McNamara was the Peter who had recently soloed in a club game. Even after I informed him that it was actually Peter Yeargin, playing Austria in our game, who had soloed, Gramila remained intent on opening to Piedmont. (I'm switching to last names here because, as you've probably noticed, we had two Johns and three Peters in this game.)

So, we blitzed France. I opened to the Channel and Wales, Gramila went to Piedmont and, I think Tyn, and Duca went to Holland and Burgundy, which was bounced by a supported attack from Paris.

The surprise in Spring 1901 came from Russia where Sam Bassett, for all his bluster about needing to crush Yeargin, opened with Waraw to Livonia and Moscow to St. Petersburg.

It looked like the only way I could secure a build was by supporting an attack on Belgium. Instead, I convoyed to Brest, successfully, and bounced the Russians out of Norway, preventing him from building a northern fleet. Duca moved Holland to Belgium. Unfortunately, Gramila held in Piedmont. McNamara moved Mar-Spa but, with nerves of steel, held in Bur, bouncing Germany's move there and leaving Mar open for a build.

I flipped sides in 1902, stabbing Germany ineffectively for Belgium and trying to take Holland in the Spring before settling for Belgium in the Fall and returning Brest to France.

In 1903, the German attack gained traction, as he was under intense pressure from Russia. I picked up Holland and Norway to grow to six.

Russia reached its high-water mark in 1904, at nine centers, but his empire was far-flung and difficult to defend. That same year, Austria was down to three, but the Eastern tide was turning.

And in the West, Russia was losing his grip on Scandinavia. By the end of 1906, I had picked up Denmark, Kiel and Sweden to get to a board-topping nine. I also had a lock on St. Petersburg. Russia was still at seven, but his position was a mess. Austria, meanwhile, was up to five.

I secured St. Pete in Spring 1907, and in the Fall, I stabbed France for Munich, position, and by helping Italy take Mar. I was now at 11, my longtime French ally was at four. Russia dropped four centers to go to three, and Austria was the big beneficiary, getting to eight.

The final year, 1908, saw lots of jockeying. I took Brest from France while losing Munich to him. But I offset that loss by taking Berlin from Russia. And I did that even while accepting a Russian convoy to Livonia to help him hold War and Mos against Austria.

Italy picked up the two Iberian dots to grow from five to seven. Austria tried mightily to improve his count but couldn't.

And then, at 11:11 p.m., we dropped our pens and agreed to an armistice.
# Jim O'Kelley 2010-11-14 11:38
Oh, one more comment. I've had a rash of terrible misorders lately, starting with one at John Gramila's game in October that was so devastating to my momentum and morale that I voted for the draw on the next turn despite excellent growth opportunities. Three players in the Guthrie's game were also in the Gramila game, and a fourth was with me at Carnage where I committed two more boners (although in fairness, not on the board I shared with him).

Despite this run of ineptitude, no one believed me when I mistakenly supported a French move of Sil-Mun instead of Sil-Ber. Honestly, that was an honest mistake ... but a costly one for France. His failure to build helped persuade me to stab the following year.
# Jim O'Kelley 2010-11-14 12:04
For your amusement, and to reinforce my message that even aging former Grand Prix champs can make mistakes, here's the brief tale of my second of two misorders at Carnage.

I'm playing Germany. Conrad Woodring, my ally, is England, and Jon Hill is Russia. Conrad has a fleet in Barents, Jon has an army in Moscow and a fleet on the South Coast of St. Pete, and I have fleets in Bothnia and Livonia. It's Fall 1904, and Conrad has agreed to support Lvn-StP.

Now, Jon recognizes the inevitable, so he elects to send A Mos south. F StP is unsupported. Or at least it should have been.

I order Lvn-StP. No problem there. If Bot supports that order, I get StP. If Bot does nothing, I get StP. If it does just about anything, I get StP. But I ordered F Bot S StP, giving StP the support it needed to thwart my attack.

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