Sunday, 13 November 2011 14:43

Third time the charm for Yeargin

Written by
Rate this item
(0 votes)

Peter Yeargin left Chicago a few months ago for his new life in D.C., but one thing he didn't want to leave behind was a Weasel Royale championship, the only major Chicago title to elude his clutches. In his third attempt yesterday at Dan Burgess' home in Downers Grove, he finally earned the title of Bull Weasel, to go along with his Weasel Moot championship in 2010 and his Weasel of the Year honors in 2009 and 2011.

The other players conceded the Bull Weasel title in Fall 1909. The final center counts were: 
Austria (Jim O'Kelley): 6; 13.953 points.
England (John Gramila): 0; 0.000 points.
France (Peter Yeargin): 10; 38.760 points.
Germany (Mark Weiskircher): 8; 24.806 points.
Italy (Tony Prokes): 0; 0.000 points.
Russia (Nate Cockerill): 3; 3.488 points.
Turkey (Peter Lokken): 7; 18.992 points.

It was a pretty straightforward game. In the West, France and Germany took on England, while Austria, Italy and Russia couldn't get their act together against Turkey. Once the F/G pushed East, the final outcome was never really in doubt.

Check out the supply center chart here. Hopefully player comments will follow.

The day opened with the selection ceremony, and as a four-time Royale participant, my advice is don't underestimate the importance of power selection. The seventh through second seeds all held serve, but Yeargin, the top seed, shook things up a bit by choosing to pick third. You can see the selection order on the supply center chart.

We worked in a Sneak meeting at lunch, and when the two games ended, we retired to the deck for cigars around the firepit. The day officially ended with a new tradition, the lighting of the wish lantern. There was a nervous moment when the lantern briefly snagged in a neighbor's tree, but it broke free to carry our wishes to heaven...or at least Westchester.

After the lighting, we went inside to play Lifeboats. All in all, another great day for the Weasels. Whether in the Royale or on the Undercard, count on seeing me there next year.

Read 2122 times Last modified on Wednesday, 14 December 2011 21:11

Comments   

# Andy Bartalone 2011-11-14 10:32
I am assuming that Jim was the problem in the east....it would be the norm.
# Jim O'Kelley 2011-11-14 10:42
Quote:
I am assuming that Jim was the problem in the east....it would be the norm.
I was the problem the third time we failed to take Bulgaria. The first two times, it was all Cockerill. And the first time, he also cost us Munich.

After those three failed attempts, Prokes stabbed me, permanently unleashing the Turk.
# Peter Lokken 2011-11-14 12:25
Yeargin decided that it was better to pick third than run the risk of being stuck between John and Nate. Probably wise, and what came with that was the advantage of having Mark Weiskircher, also known as the most stalwart ally ever, as his friendly neighbor in Germany. Mark decided to work with Peter instead of Gramilla. John got off to a rough start by trying to make his first build by convoying to Belgium. I cant remember who also tried for it but he didnt get in, and lost his '01 build. Was this what made up Marks mind over whom to ally with? After that it seemed just a matter of time before France and Germany could wrap up the region and head East.

Up until the end my game was fairly boring. Stuck at 4 centers (Bulgaria) for 8 years. My three neighbors were hell bent on Turkish destruction, but never made any progress. Only in the end was the door opened to leave my peninsula and become part of the line that was needed to stop France and Germany from taking over. We had an interesting army line along the dot-less center of the board and it seemed like it would crack as Mark started to misorder. That was really our only hope at progress. Tony guessed (correctly) that Nate's Russia was the one vetoing the draw and decided to teach him a lesson by backing off the fleet line in the Med, trying to convince him to throw down the red card. Confused and a little frusterated at this new liability, Italy was promptly eliminated, as the three of us weren't yet ready to throw in the towel. We ended up losing one sea space through the "restructuring" but were not in jeapordy of losing any dots and the line was sustainable. Nate then began to misorder in the North, and Jim and I decided at that point that he would be next. Our idea was to offer Mark a dot or two from this in order for him to realize his own strength and potential and stab Yeargin. He ended up not needing our help as Nate vacated his centers and just let Mark walk in. It seemed that there was one potential time for Mark to turn around and try to stab Peter but it didnt happen so we all voted for the draw. I hope im positioned adjacent to Mark in the next game!
# Mark Weiskircher 2011-11-14 22:05
Well, I see that I am going to have to defend myself a little bit on this one as I see that I have only cemented my reputation as a “stalwart ally” during this Royale.

First of all, I have to thank Chris Davis for having a conflict and allowing me the opportunity to play in this esteemed game with some fantastic Diplomacy players. To say I was a little intimidated going in is a bit of an understatement. I am not too proud to admit that. But, I was here, and I had an opportunity that I didn’t intend to squander.

Knowing the reputation I have as a player, I told myself numerous times that my best bet was to be unpredictable. To stab, and stab mightily in this game. I just had to make sure that when I did it, it was for the win. I also knew that I would most likely pick last or near to last and that I would be one of the Central countries of Italy, Austria or Germany. I figured I or A, but I ended up as G. I had Gramila as E and Yeargin as F.

I knew I had to make a decision right away to keep them from ganging up on me. I chose to go after England with the idea of getting into a corner in England and then being a position to stab France later on from more a position of strength and relative safety. Such was the plan, but you know what they say about life and plans (and Diplomacy happens while you are making other plans too). So, my first negotiation with Yeargin went something like this. Y – “what do you want to do Mark?”. Me – “Kill Gramila”. Y – “ok”. And away we went. Lol.

Overall I think our offensive went pretty well. I was able to keep Nate’s Russia from getting too crazy against me, and the A/I/R against Turkey helped tremendously in allowing Yeargin and I to handle England pretty quickly. I ended up stabbing myself in the foot a couple of times with stupid, noob, misorders that would have put me on equal footing with France as far as centers, and then an ill-conceived retreat to London (which at that point I knew I couldn’t hold) from the North Sea made Gramila decide to throw his centers to Yeargin instead of me. So much for my plan….

So, I had to get centers from somewhere else and that somewhere was Russia in Scandinavia and Warsaw, or stab Yeargin.
Here was my thought process on that. First, Yeargin did a fantastic job of managing our alliance. Just like I do when I am allied with someone, I make sure we are close on center count so no one gets greedy and try to make sure I am not an easy stab. Well, Yeargin is MUCH better at both of those (esp the second) than I am. He really never gave me a good opportunity to stab him. If I had, especially at the decision point after England fell, he would have stopped it pretty quickly and then turned his attention to me. I would have been crushed between him and the A/R/T alliance that would have sprouted pretty quickly when my blood was in the water and Yeargin was taking my centers. Now, I will admit, I am not the best player when it comes to stabbing effectively so maybe I just missed the openings, BUT remember my original plan, I fully intended to pull off a stab so I could win. I just never got the chance without spelling my own doom and Yeargin winning anyway after 3 more hours of pain (for me).

So, maybe you all suffered for having a noob like me in the game, but I think I did the best I could against one of the best players in the hobby and certainly in our club. Had it come down to a one on one battle between Yeargin and I on equal ground, I have no illusions who would have come out on top…. I knew that if I was going to stab him, I had to make it hurt and I had to make it BIG. I really don’t think I ever had that opportunity.

Anyway, it was fun, it was a great experience, and I am very glad I had the opportunity. I know I was a bit outclassed, but I did finish 8th this season, so I wasn’t exactly a charity case. :P

Congratulations to Peter Yeargin. I am honored that I was able to be a part of your Royale victory, and maybe a big part…. :P

It will be different next year. I will be back for another shot.
# Mark Weiskircher 2011-11-14 22:15
Quoting Peter Lokken:
John got off to a rough start by trying to make his first build by convoying to Belgium. I cant remember who also tried for it but he didnt get in, and lost his '01 build. Was this what made up Marks mind over whom to ally with?


It was me that bounced him in Belgium from Ruhr. He told me he was going to convoy in instead of taking Norway (he had moved to the Channel in S01). So, I knew bouncing him would give him zero builds to my two (Denmark and Holland). I had already decided to go after him with Yeargin, so that bounce was just icing on the cake. :P

And as far as starting next to me next time, be careful what you wish for. :)
# Chris Martin 2011-11-15 09:35
Congrats Peter!

Question - how long does picking powers take with the seeded system? I am considering implementing this at the Invitational in 2013.
# Jim O'Kelley 2011-11-15 13:20
Quote:
Question - how long does picking powers take with the seeded system? I am considering implementing this at the Invitational in 2013.
It didn't take long. Maybe five minutes.
# Mark Weiskircher 2011-11-15 13:35
Quoting Chris Martin:
Congrats Peter!

Question - how long does picking powers take with the seeded system? I am considering implementing this at the Invitational in 2013.


Not only was it quick, it is a nice little "ceremony" to kick things off. I liked it even though being the 7th seed, I had very little to decide. :P
# Peter Yeargin 2011-11-15 16:34
Well…it's been a busy few days for me, but I definitely wanted to throw my two cents in for this game. It sounds like Mark needs some defending here after Lokken's comments and I think he probably deserves it in this case.

First of all, a big thanks to Dan again for hosting at the best locale for Diplomacy in the Chicago area. The beer was readily available, the chili was fantastic and the three negotiating rooms with completely updated maps are always a great perk when we play out in Downer's Grove.

The selection ceremony is always a fun experience, and each year, I always forget exactly how it works. It becomes a cloudy, murky river in my head as we are approaching the date of the game and I am trying to decide what, if any, strategy I will take with picking my power. At this point in my Diplomacy career, gunning for a specific power doesn't really make a huge difference to me. Each and every one of the seven countries presents a winnable opportunity. Obviously, some countries are more insulated and easier to defend than others, but those countries also have their own drawbacks to worry about.

Much more important is understanding the dynamic of the players you will be playing with, figuring out what their motivations are, how they've played in the past, how they've played with you specifically in the past, and how all of those personalities will ultimately interact with each other on a game board. It's a mouthful for sure, but it's also something you learn with experience and something you can always glean from any article Edi Birsan ever writes. It's easy to read and mentally understand, but it definitely takes a lot of time and a lot of games to be able to put into practice.

So here I was…Weasels Club Championship, 2011, surrounded by very good Diplomacy players. The seven people on the board didn't get there by accident. They all showed a great capacity and passion for the game and the ability to play well when presented with the opportunities. Mark shouldn't be discounting himself at all. He was on the board because he has those same characteristics and demonstrated them well enough to finish 8th in the most active club in the world. That's not a small feat.

Back to the selection process…here were the other six players in order of selection and a really brief run down of my experiences with them.

1. Nate Cockerill - Tends to attack me at some point in the game. Usually outright from the start or breaks an alliance within the first four game years. Waffles in our alliances and I haven't witnessed myself where Nate saw an alliance through to the end game without stabbing his ally. I find him most uncomfortable to work with long term simply due to my past traumatic experiences. :)
2. John Gramila - Typically plays out alliances with trustfulness with others. However, sees me as a threat at all times, and with 1 or 2 exceptions out of 12-15 games, comes right at me out of the starting gates. I'd tried to work with him in earnest many times to no avail.
3. Peter Lokken - Had a couple of long term alliances through to the end of the game. Very solid ally for the most part, but 2/3 of the time, attacks me right away.
4. Jim O'Kelley - Surprisingly, Jim and I haven't played a ton of games together. I still don't have a specific opinion on working with or against Jim. I really don't know why. I can't put my finger on it, but I do know others give him a lot of shit for grabbing dots. He's done this a few times with me, but not to the point where I would consider him a dot grabber. I think he gets a bad wrap! However, I do find Jim cagey to negotiate with. I never really get that warm fuzzy feeling out of him in an alliance…similar to when I'm working with Maletsky!
5. Tony Prokes - Had several alliances with Tony and he does tend to work strongly in an alliance as long as he is improving and the board dynamic is moving forward to his benefit.
6. Mark Weiskircher - Not much experience with Mark, but with this group of sharks, that was perfectly fine with me. He seemed trustworthy and up front in conversations we have and is easy for me to get a read on. I believe we had a good experience together in a club game early in the 2011 season and I know one thing. His name isn't Nate, John or Peter Lokken!

Last weekend, Jim and I were at DipCon and he was asking me what my strategy was for determining what place and country to go for. I basically said that my general goal was to be as far away from Nate and John as I could possibly be. Hence, when it came time for me to pick my position, I went 3rd after Nate and John.

I realize the long-windedness before even getting to the start of the game here, but the selection process really did dictate everything from that point on. Nate picked Russia with the 1st pick and John went for England. I actually wanted to play Germany, but there was no chance I was doing that after the first two picks. France seemed like the best choice left on the table and I hoped that Peter wouldn't pick Germany. Luckily he went with Turkey and Jim went with Austria, leaving probably the two easiest people to work with for me in Germany and Italy.

Mark already recounted the conversation we had to start the game. John helped cement our alliance after he ordered LON-ENG in Spring 1901. His Fall move of ENG-MAO and the bounce he got from Germany in Belgium sealed his fate and it was more of a mathematical exercise from that point on for Germany and France. The East was predictably a cluster with Jim, Nate, Peter and Tony unable to come to any consensus about who to kill. For a very brief moment, Peter was the target of the other three, but the general lying and back and forth doomed any thoughts of a successful attack they might have had.

By my count, Mark made three tactical mistakes that each cost him a dot and lost tempo. I was happy playing out as the second largest power in the alliance to Mark early in the game and taking my chances in the mid-game. However, John opted to defend himself against Mark and take back London while Mark's first tactical mistake cost him an opportunity to take Belgium early on. Those two dots game me 7 after 1903 and allowed our alliance to knock John down to 1 and eventually zero. At the same time, Mark made a retreat out of London back to English where the original attack came from and he had to play down a piece the following year because his supply centers were all occupied defending against Russia and a small encroachment of AI pieces in the center of the board.

Originally, Mark was to get EDI in the England split, but ended up losing Denmark to Nate sometime around 1904, I believe. That required repositioning his pieces again and left EDI to me that year. We settled on an amicable split of England for France and Scandinavia for Germany.

It was about this time that the full court Eastern press descended upon Mark to stab me. I was sitting on 8 and Mark was at 6. The Med was becoming a bottleneck and no progress was happening in the East. AIRT all saw that Mark and I had turned our attentions in that direction. The AIRT wanted Mark to turn on me because their own prospects for progress had slowed to a halt. If they kept banging on each other, Mark and I would plow into them in another 2-3 seasons at the most.

I can only assume their plan was to turn Mark around on me to occupy my pieces while they repositioned themselves and eventually took Mark's dots. My dots at the time were France, Iberia and England. None of those dots were anywhere near the East. The only power that had any chance of reaching them was Mark. Unfortunately for Mark, the situation begged the question that while he was turning around to try to take those dots, what would the other 18 units for AIRT be doing?

It was a pretty easy story to convince Mark of and to be fair, I think Mark had already figured it out. It didn't take any real prodding on my part. He was sitting at a strong 6 centers with a good ally in France and room to grow still in the North. There wasn't really any point to a stab here. In addition, I had one fleet and three armies occupying English Channel, Belgium, Burgundy and Marseilles. I wasn't much of a target for a stab and that was definitely on purpose.

Many, many draw votes proceeded to occur and many, many draw votes failed to pass. However, eventually, the final draw vote did pass and a really fun game came to a close.

I'll finish up with a final thought.

When I look at the best players in the world…the Doug Moore's, the Chris Martin's, the Andy Bartalone's, they are all good allies. Being a good ally does NOT make you a care bear. Now, there are plenty out there that are care bears and make no mistake...care bears do make VERY good allies. However, just because care bear = good ally, doesn't mean the reverse good ally = care bear applies. Care bears have a ceiling in the game of Diplomacy. Conversely, look at Chris…he will work with you right up to the point you leave yourself a gaping defensive hole and then he will swallow you like a shark, chew you up a bit and jettison your remains on what's left of your pieces on the board while he rolls to a solo. He did that this past weekend at DipCon. It's just as much your own fault as it is your allies when you are effectively stabbed and probably even more so. Don't leave him the gaping hole, he'll leave you alone because he assesses the repercussions of the potential stab and realizes the short term gains in this instance don't outweigh the long term implications of the ultimate board outcome.

Now If you have a gaping hole in your defense because you happen to be overextended, your only real chance is to try to fill it through diplomacy. If the pieces aren't there to fill the hole, use logic to convince your ally that the stab will ultimately be detrimental in the long run. It doesn't really matter if the logic is sound. It only matters if your ally believes the logic is sound, right?! :)
# Jim O'Kelley 2011-11-15 17:16
Good stuff so far, but I think the idea that the East would have plowed into Germany if he had attacked France is flawed. Each of us in the East was trying to win the game, and we weren't going to do that by marching in lockstep to the stalemate line and beyond.

First, we needed to break up the F/G. If that had happened, then you would have seen a battle royale in the East until a dominant player emerged. I'm absolutely certain of that.

Fact is, everyone who didn't win--with the possible exception of Lokken, who didn't have many choices until late in the game--made mistakes. Otherwise, we might have won. We become better players by trying to understand what we did wrong so we don't do it again the next time.

For my part, choosing to play Austria instead of Germany was my first mistake. Instead of giving myself a say in how Peter's, John's and Nate's games went, I left that to either Mark or Tony, picking behind me, in favor of trying to romp to a big lead in an East that promised to be fluid. Lesson: Don't count on the other guy to do your dirty work.

My second mistake began in Spring 1902 and continued for a couple of turns. I tried to trick my way into Bulgaria instead of playing for position. Lesson: Remember what you learned when you first started playing the game, Dumbass. Spring is the season of maneuver; fall, the season of capture.

I'm sure I made others, but those are the two big ones.

For Mark's part, more than his tactical mistakes, it was the diplomatic choice he made that set up the difficult midgame dynamic where he couldn't find an opportunity to turn on Peter in France. He made that happen by helping Peter survive and thrive in the opening.

You have to be thinking down the board about who you want to face and under what circumstances. Mark knew he'd have a tough time winning a one-on-one tactical battle against Peter, yet he helped eliminate the one guy who could most easily tip the scales in his favor. Once England was gone, his only other option for help was Italy, and it was clear early on that Italy wasn't going to grow fast enough to be a factor in the western seas.

If Mark had been in France and Peter in Germany, then I wouldn't fault his decision. But the way it was, Mark's decision not to pile on when John stormed the Channel clearly was the wrong one if his goal was to win the Royale.

Mark's second mistake is the one I noted at the outset. The east was unified against the F/G because we had to be, not because we wanted to be. If Mark had stabbed, we would have turned on one another. I'm absolutely certain of that. Our path to victory was in the east, not Germany.
# Mark Weiskircher 2011-11-15 21:55
Thanks Peter and Jim. I will try to keep my mind open and learn from this experience. Lord knows I made some mistakes in this one, but I also learned a lot in this one.

One, I need to do a better job of "metagaming" and doing that long term thinking, not based on the countries and the board, but the players. I looked at it from the perspective of Germany getting into a corner by taking England (and thereby having the option of going against Russia or France), not from the perspective of "can I actually defeat Yeargin by myself after I take out Gramila". It was only after Gramila was out did the realization of how hard my task was against a player like Yeargin sunk in fully. And I think my confidence was shot by my order errors and it caused me to not be able to pull the trigger when even the barest hint of a chance popped up just at the end (when Nate pulled out and gave me Moscow and Warsaw).

Second, I need to be a better tactician. I guess I just need to play more for that to happen. Maybe get a board and recreate some games I can find full orders for. Playing online weakened me there, since I have so long to figure out moves, I don't practice thinking quickly on my feet in a fluid situation.

Also, maybe I will never be a good stabber. :P It IS hard for me to lie and deceive someone. lol. Another skill I have to work on in the context of this game at least.

Finally, I really do think that I would have been chum in the water if I turned on Yeargin and he started beating me or we staled against each other. I was the one of us that had the most exposure to the East. Maybe you guys would have fought amongst each other for awhile, but if Yeargin started beating me, I was done for. My only hope was to get in a good stab. Maybe because of the unique nature of the Royale I still should have given it a shot, but that just didn't appeal to me at all.

I think you are right that I made that inevitable by killing Gramila instead of helping him against Yeargin. I just didn't realize it at the time nor soon enough. Live and learn....

I had to laugh out loud when Lokken tried this argument out on me in a last attempt to stab Yeargin.

Lokken: "If you stab him it will pull all his fleets in the Med north so I can move in!"
Me in my head: "Why in the hell would I WANT all those fleets to sail north?! The only two people those fleets can kill are Lokken or me." LOL, not the most effective argument of the evening of ALL the arm-twisting I got from you guys. :)
Me out loud: "Yeah, sounds good". :P

Oh, one last confession. I vetoed the majority of the draws. I WAS trying to find a way to stab him, he just made it nearly impossible. The last two draw votes were the only two I put in a red card. And that last one I almost vetoed also, but his triple move onto my border sealed my belief that I had no chance.
# Jim O'Kelley 2011-11-15 22:07
Quote:
Finally, I really do think that I would have been chum in the water if I turned on Yeargin and he started beating me or we staled against each other.
Anything we did to you would have strengthened Peter's hand further. We needed you, and that's why I believe you could have turned around to fight him without being mauled from behind. At least for long enough to give it a try.

Funny about the draw votes. I wonder if anyone besides Peter voted for the first two.
# Chris Martin 2011-11-15 22:13
When you concede England to France as Germany (In exchange for SCANDINAVIA?!?! THANKS PETER! :o ) you've already lost. You needed to insist on Edi, even if it meant backtracking a step at some point. Don't tell me you couldn't have gotten to 9 with his nearest unit being in the channel; especially when you get the builds for Mos/War. Put down two fleets. Go to war.

Or, you know, end up next to me next time so I can win. Cause until you make that hard choice, you are every sharks best friend - or as we like to call them, "chum."

I say this knowing you'll stab the hell out of me the next time I play on a board with you because I'm being a bastard. :oops: But if you (ANY OF YOU READING THIS) fight Jim or Peter or Buffalo or Doug or any of the other A-list players in the hobby harder because I pissed in your cornflakes, I'll take that one for the hobby. Man up! So what if you lose? Letting him have the draw when he's topping IS A LOSS! 2nd place = 1st loser in Diplomacy.

There is, of course, a time and place to accept that 2nd is the best you are going to do, and hey, I wasn't there. Maybe it was - and only you get to make that call. I'm not trying to armchair QB games in the past. But ask yourself - if you and Peter's positions were reversed, would HE have taken the draw? Or would he have swung for the fences and let the chips fall where they may? 8)
# Chris Martin 2011-11-15 22:17
[quote name="Mark Weiskircher"]
Second, I need to be a better tactician. I guess I just need to play more for that to happen. Maybe get a board and recreate some games I can find full orders for. Playing online weakened me there, since I have so long to figure out moves, I don't practice thinking quickly on my feet in a fluid situation. [/endquote]

This is very true. Try maybe playing some no-press games where you only take 5 minutes to look at the board before you enter the moves? That helped me a lot when I was first starting to learn the tactics. Honestly it sounds like you're not far from being good enough at this now - it is way harder and way more important to be able to move people than pieces.
# Nate Cockerill 2011-11-18 01:01
I will write a more detailed game report later. Mr. Yeargin your comments about my play toward you should'nt be writ in stone. Do remember we were #1 and 2 nearly all season. I did what I thought I had to do in order to supplant you as #1 in the league.
# Peter Lokken 2011-11-19 10:51
I know this game is 2 weeks old but...Quote:
Mark's second mistake is the one I noted at the outset. The east was unified against the F/G because we had to be, not because we wanted to be. If Mark had stabbed, we would have turned on one another. I'm absolutely certain of that. Our path to victory was in the east, not Germany.
I thank my lucky stars that we had to face the F/G cause it finally gave me room to breathe. And in regards to turning on one another, we already did! We eliminated one of the four of us (Italy) in a season, then were in the process of eliminating Russia soon after (had he not self-immolated). What remained was a relatively weak AT, of which i'm sure would have resulted in attacking each other had the F/G shown signs of dispute. Mark could very well have one won. With the Austrian armies now his servants, albeit temporarily, we would have waited to find a more equal 4-way dynamic. Nobody knows who would have been the next 2v1 target. There was a lot of play left in that game. I can't wait to see Nates recap.
# Peter Yeargin 2011-11-19 15:18
I think you guys in the East are giving yourselves too much credit at this point to have done anything substantive but delay the inevitable for another 3 hours. Tony wasn't attacked by the East. Tony basically suicided because he saw the writing on the wall and pulled all his units back and invited me in. It looked like Nate was doing the same at the end. Perhaps he was giving his two dots to Mark to help him stab me. I did notice it though and told Mark I was probably going to take Holland at this point, just to maintain the dynamic we were in. He didn't tell me Nate was giving him two dots, but I saw Mark could take at least one more to get him to 9 and with me being at 10, a one dot delta at that point didn't make me comfortable. That's why I shifted all three armies along Mark's line of Kiel/Munich and shifted my fleets back up.

Next moves were to pull two more fleets up from the south and use the Holland build to drop down an army in Paris. At that point, I have three fleets in the North and four armies. Mark has two, at most three if he builds one more with his next build. My remaining three fleets and one army in the south can hold the line for quite some time before Turkey/Lokken could make any progress. At that point, it's a race to 18 and I'm already across the stalemate line holding Tunis.

Can I get Munich/Kiel/Berlin without help from the East? No, of course not. But where is the east going to get any dots at this point without taking them off Mark. Mark in this scenario now owns home centers, Scandinavia, STP, MOS, WAR. I have numbers in the North, basically a stalemate (full stalemate with 1 more fleet) in the South, and 3 more dots in Scandinavia, STP, and Kiel as automatics for me. What dots can Mark possibly take off me? He can't get Holland or England from me because I have numbers in the water. I have five armies in Holland, Ruhr, Burgundy and Belgium and Marseilles. Who cares if Mark turns on me? All that happens is he loses his dots to the East and I probably solo. The game was lost in 1903/1904 when Mark and I finished off John and the East struggled with taking down Lokken.

Here is the final board position after Spring moves for those interested. Mark picks up 1 (up MOS, WAR, down HOL) and I pick up HOL.

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/2756520/Royale2011.bmp
# Peter Yeargin 2011-11-19 15:46
Quote:
I will write a more detailed game report later. Mr. Yeargin your comments about my play toward you should'nt be writ in stone. Do remember we were #1 and 2 nearly all season. I did what I thought I had to do in order to supplant you as #1 in the league.
Agreed on this. We were #1 and #2 most of the season. Looking back, it looks like I played 15 games last season and you were in 12 of them. The problem for me was that every single time we were on a board together, I got the feeling (and it sounds like it was relatively accurate) that you were gunning for me directly. 12 games gave me a lot of evidence of that. I didn't expect it to be any different with the Royale.
# Chris Martin 2011-11-19 16:32
The problem with that position, Peter, is that it's unacceptable for Germany to ever GET there. Why are you in Ruhr? To "help?" Failure of diplomacy there - you know you'd never, ever be comfortable as Germany in that position if I were France - and we've worked VERY well together! Burgundy, sure, to prop up Munich if needed. But German army Piedmont? No. French army Belgium? No. German Fleet Baltic? Not with you in Yorkshire - I'll be in Denmark, self-bouncing in the North Sea.

I guess it's academic at this point - but let this be a lesson to Germanies who replace England with their French Ally - what exactly did he get out of that? Not even HOLLAND, his own neutral. Give him back Holland and give him Edi, and lets talk about the endgame THEN. :)

DQ
# Peter Lokken 2011-11-19 16:38
Quote:
My remaining three fleets and one army in the south can hold the line for quite some time
Ya. I was going to start spiking your drink with the strong stuff, until you wrote western med to ionian
:)
# Peter Yeargin 2011-11-19 16:49
Hopefully not reliving the entire game at this point, but the pieces ended up where they did due to various tactical requirements. The army that finally ended up in Holland (German the entire game until then) started out by going to Burgundy per Mark's request because an AI combination of two armies was about to put pressure on Mark in Munich and he only had one army there and none to get back down to help cover Munich except my army.

The Burgundy-RUH and PAR-BUR move happened late in the game, probably that last year. That was because RAI all had armies right along the line or one move from the line and Mark again, short on pieces, requested me to move into RUH to help support Munich.

Mark kept his fleet back in NWY to deal with my fleet in YOR and we had just set up a bounce in NTH.

And back to being comfortable...the answer is an obvious HELL NO. Would I have invited another ally in there? Unlikely, but if it was the difference between the ally getting in there or me losing MUN (which he would have), then I probably do invite the ally to BUR. Not much chance I invite him to RUH there though.

Again though...this wasn't in my opinion a failure of diplomacy on Mark's part. It was primarily due to his tactical mistakes which are easily corrected with experience. I think Mark had perfectly fine diplomacy. His tactical mistakes led him to being down 2-3 supply centers with his ally and required the poor position he found himself in late in the game.
# Chris Martin 2011-11-19 16:54
I'll buy that. Honestly, its the veteran player's best shot at a board top - be an excellent ally and trust that your partner won't be able to have as much success as you.

Though, if you consider the natural spoils of the F/E to be: (3) Spain/Portugal/Tunis +(3) (English Home)+ (3) Scandinavia + (2) Lowlands, I note for the record that you at game end owned 8 of 11, and Germany owned 3. And if you take away Tunis & StP, as centers the other partner has no reasonable claim to, you're up 7/9. So, you "stabbed" for Holland. Before that, the split was 6 for you and 3 for him? THAT is a failure of Diplomacy. The fleet in Norway should have at LEAST been going back to get Edi. a 5/4 split, as you near the endgame, is fine. 6/3, not so much, and I point to the results as an excellent case in point.
# Chris Martin 2011-11-19 16:54
I'll buy that. Honestly, its the veteran player's best shot at a board top - be an excellent ally and trust that your partner won't be able to have as much success as you.

Though, if you consider the natural spoils of the F/E to be: (3) Spain/Portugal/Tunis +(3) (English Home)+ (3) Scandinavia + (2) Lowlands, I note for the record that you at game end owned 8 of 11, and Germany owned 3. And if you take away Tunis & StP, as centers the other partner has no reasonable claim to, you're up 7/9. So, you "stabbed" for Holland. Before that, the split was 6 for you and 3 for him? THAT is a failure of Diplomacy. The fleet in Norway should have at LEAST been going back to get Edi. a 5/4 split, as you near the endgame, is fine. 6/3, not so much, and I point to the results as an excellent case in point.
# Peter Yeargin 2011-11-19 17:06
Yep...very true Chris. The split we had should never have happened.
+1 # John Gramila 2011-11-22 18:23
Short game for me, not much going on diplomatically. Following Chris Martin's (hi Chris, this is now awkward) advice in the Diplomacy Podcast, I wanted to play England aggressively so I had originally planned a move to the Channel. But Peter and I shared some nice words, so I decided that I wasn't going to move there. However, I got a weird vibe off Mark in Germany when he actively discouraged a move to the EC.

What German doesn't want to see an English move to the EC? A German who was super into a FG knocking E down.

To counter this perceived German impulse, I moved to the Channel (smart? turns out not, but at least it's proactive), hoping that my aggressive early positioning would toss a wrench in the FG wagon wheelhouse and make it an EG (in F 01 I had sugar plums dancing in my head of an army in Belgium, Piedmont and Burgundy and a fleet in MAO).

In F01 I had confirmation from 3 players on the board that Germany was moving Ruhr to Burgundy, (Turkey, Italy and Germany) so I decided to stick it to France and make the risky move of moving to MAO. This sure stuck it to myself when I got bounced in Belgium and ended up with no builds. Germany dropped two fleets and I was dicked. Things might have been a little better if Russia had been able to put some pressure on the German, but he had a Turkish army in Armenia and wasn't in position to make a play for both Sweden and Norway or I would have happily conceded those centers.

After the game, Tony Prokes playing Italy let me know that he had head about the Belgium bounce and decided not to warn me. I don't understand this lie, as it essentially guarantees that France is going to get back up after a rocky start, have a BFF in Germany and eventually come South. This is exactly what happened. I held on for as long as I could, but my diplomacy was essentially over after 01.

There were a couple chances to turn Germany around so I could fend off France mano a mano. But those depended on getting the Eastern powers to take Munich and force a German fleet to disband. It was close, and I tried my best, but there wasn't enough trust in the East to make that happen.

There was no way I was going to turn France around without some Italian pressure and Italy was stuck up in the EMS. I managed to force Belgium in 02, giving up the North Sea in the process. I told Mark that I was taking the North Sea back and leaving him Belgium, and if he retreated in an aggressive manner, I would give France my centers (it was becoming increasingly obvious that the East wasn't coming together to hit Germany or France). He retreated to London, and I kept my word (having a choice of covering Liverpool from a French fleet or taking London back), eventually giving all three of my home centers to France.
# Chris Martin 2011-11-23 13:29
Hi John! I think you did the right thing opening aggressively; but you ran into a non-rational actor in Germany. :) Not much you can do about that. I have found that taking the MAO in F01 is almost never worth it, though. Question - if you expect Belgium to be empty in the fall (so you will be the one to get it) what is the advantage of taking THAT center rather than Norway? If it really IS empty, you can always convoy there in the spring of '02 - and if it isn't, you have a build and valuable information.

Would you have gotten Belgium if you had supported the convoy from the Channel? Would a long-convoy to Brest have worked, or did Peter cover? I am curious about all these things. 8)

DQ
# Jim O'Kelley 2011-11-23 13:44
All hail the Alpha Weasel...but I'll answer his questions. (by the way, great write-up, John).

Quote:
Would you have gotten Belgium if you had supported the convoy from the Channel?
Yes. Mark moved in unsupported.

Quote:
Would a long-convoy to Brest have worked, or did Peter cover?
Peter covered.
# Peter Yeargin 2011-11-23 14:25
Jim is accurate. Here were the Spring 1901 moves:

England -

F EDI-NTH
F LON-ENG
A LVP-YOR - note no move to Wales

John tried to use this move to convince me he wasn't all in against me. I was still open, but the Fall move to MAO sealed it for me, especially with such a determined ally in Germany.

France -
MAR-SPA
BRE-MAO
PAR-GAS

Germany -
MUN-RUH
KIE-DEN
BER-KIE

Fall 1901 Moves

England -
YOR-BEL
NTH C YOR-BEL
ENG-MAO

France -
SPA H
MAO-POR
GAS-BRE

I preferred to have my armies close just in case Germany did decide to invade Burgundy. A German army in Burgundy would have been annoying, but manageable with A BRE, A PAR, A SPA, A MAR.

Germany -
RUH-BEL
KIE-HOL
DEN H
# Jim O'Kelley 2011-11-23 15:29
Quote:
I do know others give him a lot of shit for grabbing dots. He's done this a few times with me, but not to the point where I would consider him a dot grabber.
Because we all seem to want to keep this thread alive, I thought I'd address this in the court of public opinion.

I'm not sure there's a universal defintion for dot-grabbing. To me, it means grabbing a dot without consideration of the consequences and repercussions. Now, when I think about dot-grabbers in our Chicago hobby, one guy comes to mind, and he's not me. He's the loveable John Duca.

Quick funny story. At CODCon two or three years ago, John dotted the always affable Mike French. After the orders were read, Mike stood at the table, shaking his head, which prompted John to ask, "Did Jim tell you about my shortcomings?"

In unison, the entire table answered, "Yes."

At the Royale, I dotted twice. I don't have my order booklet in front of me, and the game is not as fresh in my mind as it was last week, but here are the circumstances as best I can recall.

In Fall 1906, Tony Prokes (Italy) had a build coming. I think he had retaken Tunis from Peter Yeargin (France) in the Spring. He and I had discussed the need to build a fleet so he could maintain his position in the Mediterranean. However, during the adjudication, something happened that changed my assessment of our needs.

Mark Weiskircher (Germany) dislodged me from Tyrolia. Both Trieste and Venice were open. With the Germans in Tyrolia, I felt that our line was in jeopardy and that we now needed to start working on the fallback position that concedes Tunis.

The right build, in my opinion, was now an army, not a fleet. It's possible that Tony had reached that same conclusion, but I didn't know that because we couldn't talk. Therefore, I retreated to Venice, essentially becoming the Italian build, while I built an army in Trieste to act as my retreating army.

Tony was the first guy I talked with after that turn, and while he would have rather had the build for himself, he didn't have a problem with my thought process.

The second time I dotted was in Fall 1908, I think. This time, Peter Lokken (Turkey) and I had hatched a plan to promote Mark by weakening Nate Cockerill (Russia). Our thinking was that if Mark could gain centers at Russia's expense, he could rival Yeargin for the board top. That would create tension in their alliance, possibly opening the door for one of us to challenge for the lead.

Nate was about to lose St. Pete. Rumania was open, and I was adjacent to it, so I took it, ensuring that he'd lose two units and his ability to defend against Germany.

There you go. I feel like dot-grabbers are motivated by the "shininess" of an open center, that there analysis doesn't extend beyond, "Hey, I can take that."

I freely admit that I will take an open center, but I'll do it only when I think it's necessary and when I believe I can live with the consequences, not just the next turn, but down the board as well.
# Chris Martin 2011-11-23 15:40
Quoting Peter Yeargin:
Jim is accurate. Here were the Spring 1901 moves:

England -

F EDI-NTH
F LON-ENG
A LVP-YOR - note no move to Wales

John tried to use this move to convince me he wasn't all in against me. I was still open, but the Fall move to MAO sealed it for me, especially with such a determined ally in Germany.

France -
MAR-SPA
BRE-MAO
PAR-GAS

Germany -
MUN-RUH
KIE-DEN
BER-KIE

Fall 1901 Moves

England -
YOR-BEL
NTH C YOR-BEL
ENG-MAO

France -
SPA H
MAO-POR
GAS-BRE

I preferred to have my armies close just in case Germany did decide to invade Burgundy. A German army in Burgundy would have been annoying, but manageable with A BRE, A PAR, A SPA, A MAR.

Germany -
RUH-BEL
KIE-HOL
DEN H


just thinking out loud here -- weigh the alternatives. If England convoys to Norway + Take the MAO, he has F MAO, NthS, A Norway, Build F London. If you support the convoy, you have F Eng, F Nth, A Bel, . . . F Edi?

I see English players make the convoy choice all the time - all the time. Which position would you rather have? If France covered Brest, then at worst you have F [Iberia] and F Marseilles - If Germany is hostile, you can deal with it, and have the "safe" Norway. You don't even have to waste tempo forcing the Channel. France is over a barrel; any German worth his salt smells blood in the water and - even if he took Belgium with an army ought to be building A Munich and FORCING BURGUNDY in S1902. France is DEAD.

Wow, I like that as an opening strategy. somehow, it doesn't seem to work out all that well for England though. On paper its great, but it turns out that the Iberian dots are the last ones to get pried out of the cold, dead hands of France, and you either need Russia to be very tied up in the south or rather more Italian help than you want to net them. The early success does tend to make Italian nervous about fully committing to the Eastern Med, which makes pinching Tunis (the only dot that you really care about beyond 5, for my money) hard to do.

Still, its mighty pretty, and ought to work. Hella better than taking the Safe Eight from StP to Belgium.
# Chris Martin 2011-11-23 15:42
"I freely admit that I will take an open center" - You heard it here first, folks.

My personal experience here is Jim is way more likely to take an open center and not have fully though through the consequences of his actions if the bar is open and its been more than 2 hours since the bar opened. YMMV. :D
# Jim O'Kelley 2011-11-23 15:51
Depends on what I'm drinking. If it's Jack & Gingers, watch out: www.windycityweasels.org/game-reports/wcw-2011-season/286-jack-ginger-and-jim-a-winning-combination.

But leave it to Chris to sift through 13 paragraphs of exposition and find the only clause that matters. That's why he's our Alpha Weasel, folks. :lol:
# Peter Yeargin 2011-11-23 21:21
And leave it to Jim to count the number of paragraphs he wrote to spit that out. :) And Chris is spot on with the bar comment. We all know this about Jim. :)
# Jim O'Kelley 2011-11-23 22:56
Bars are my natural habitat. Underestimate me in one at your own peril.

You have no rights to post comments

Who's Online

We have 1310 guests and 5 members online

  • au64
  • jimok

User

To request an account, contact us at info@windycityweasels.org.