Saturday, 28 May 2011 20:17

Close, but no retreat to Norway

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"One move can really make that big a difference?" asked developing player Nathan Kos during the postgame breakdown of Game No. 140, played today at John Gramila's home in Logan Square.

"Yes," chorused Gramila, Peter Lokken and I.

The one move was a retreat by new player Ben Dipaola, who was playing Germany. In Spring 1906, England (Gramila) dislodged him from the North Sea. Norway, which England owned, was open for a retreat. Sweden and Denmark, also British dots, were also vacant, the latter because the attack had come from there. Instead, Germany chose a more interesting retreat to the English Channel. ("I wanted to make more than one person uncomfortable," he would later explain.)

A retreat to Norway would have forced England to chase the Germans around Scandinavia, which would have opened the game up for my rampaging Italians. Instead the German fleet in the Channel worked with England against me, and the game ended by draw vote in Fall 1907 in the following center counts:

 

Austria (Nathan Kos): 1; 0.357 points.
England (John Gramila): 7; 17.500 points.
France (Nate Cockerill): 0; 0.000 points.
Germany (Ben Dipaola): 9; 28.929 points.
Italy (Jim O'Kelley): 10; 35.714 points.
Russia (Peter Lokken): 0; 0.000 points.
Turkey (Mike Morrison): 7; 17.500 points.

The supply center chart is here.

Thank you to John and Celeste for opening their home to us, and especially to Celeste, who picked up food for us in the rain. And special thanks to Kos the Barbarian and Ben for agreeing yesterday to play, ensuring that the game would go on and that the Weasels would end our mini-slump.

Next up is a Guthrie's game on Thursday. The seventh spot is open. Kos and Ben both are once again willing to take it if necessary, but both would prefer to see someone else step up. How about you?

Now, let's hear from Game 140's players.

Read 911 times Last modified on Tuesday, 05 July 2011 17:46

Comments   

# Jim O'Kelley 2011-05-28 20:35
Just a few quick comments. This was a fun game that featured strong starts by new players in Austria and Germany; good, patient play by Mike Morrison in Turkey; and plucky play of a losing hand by Peter Lokken in Russia.

It's also a game that will haunt me for a while, as I had visions of a much larger finish. Alas, whereas I was really, really patient in the opening, I was too aggressive later on, which left me spread thinly and with neighbors who weren't all that sympathetic to my ambitions. And I didn't manage my relationships very well.

Instead of a big board top and possibly even a solo, I settled for this result. It didn't end the way I wanted to. Still, not a bad way to spend a Saturday afternoon.
+1 # Mike Morrison 2011-05-29 01:09
Odd to see my play described as good and patient by Jim there...

I'd have categorized some of my choices as risky and results as lucky (although not so lucky a time or so as well, but on the ones that counted, I got lucky...)

Started the game allied with Austria, who double-supported Bulgaria to Rumania in Fall, 1901, only to stab me for it in Fall, 1902 when it was clear that Germany wasn't supporting him to Warsaw.

I probably had made a mistake building two armies in 1901, which I suspect was Russia's bargaining chip in talks with Austria. (Where's Russia's AAR?)

Things might have gone rapidly downhill from there if Germany and England weren't pressuring Russia in the North leading to a disband of fleet Sevastapol, and Italy's units busy in the West meaning Austria was the only real threat (although with 3 already surrounding Bulgaria at the start of the year, a very real threat indeed.)

I supported Bulgaria from Black and Constantinople, concerned that Austria would use the spring to move fleet Greece to Aegean unopposed, and bring another army to bear.

Russia agreed to my movement of army Armenia to Sevastapol that spring to be supported into Rumania in the fall. I had one support (from a German unit in Ukraine, I recall) into Rumania in the fall, and Austria defended once as well. Austria also did not hit Bulgaria with three that fall, so with 20/20 hindsight, I probably should have used Black Sea to support the move to Rumania.

On the other hand, who's to say that Russia with 3 wouldn't have been a bigger pain than Russia with 2! (I'll leave that part of the tale for Russia to tell...)

Austria did use that fall to put Greece in the Aegean, which led to me building fleet Smyrna, and though Germany and I made some progress against Austria in the next few years, Italy very neatly bottled my fleets up having made spectacular progress against an apparently unmotivated France.

At the end, an uneasy alliance versus Italy secured the draw satisfying no one.
# Jim O'Kelley 2011-05-29 08:58
Thanks, Mike, for a good, patient report.
# Peter Lokken 2011-05-29 13:48
Quote:
which I suspect was Russia's bargaining chip in talks with Austria. (Where's Russia's AAR?)
Yessir. If Kos the barbarian had done the move in spring instead of fall, I imagine it would have been a different fate for turkey and myself altogether; could have popped two instead of one army.

On a side note I have learned that whenever I try to squabble with Gramila I end up with the shit end of the stick. Lesson learned.

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