Thursday, 10 November 2016 09:59

Black is the new orange

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Only one board at the Red Lion last night, but it included a first-time Weasel. Plus, three potential recruits came out to observe and decide whether they'd like to play in the future. At least two of them seemed interested. Brian Shelden and Bryan Pravel rounded out the evening's cheering section.

Game No. 318 ended by time limit after the Fall 1906 turn in the following center counts:

Austria (Jim O'Kelley): 2; 1.653 points.
England (David Spanos): 0; 0.000 points.
France (Jake Trotta): 7; 20.248 points.
Germany (Matt Sundstrom): 10; 41.322 points.
Italy (Currey Dorris): 4; 6.612 points.
Russia (Alan Garbarino): 3; 3.719 points.
Turkey (Pete McNamara): 8; 26.446 points.

Most of us were playing with election hangovers. The supply center chart is here. Players, what happened?

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# Jake Trotta 2016-11-11 16:58
Had a very good time in this one. I very much enjoy playing France, I find it relaxing due to how defensively sound it is, so even though David “Style Points” Spanos and Matt Sundstrom shared my theatre, I felt good.

My game got interesting in spring 01, despite my theatre all opening standard. Curry, the Italian, told me in negotiation that he was moving to Piedmont. Like, didn’t matter if I moved there or not, going to Piedmont. He also said he was Lepantoing. Good negotiating, Austrian Jim.

I decided to bounce him out of Piedmont-and then he doesn’t move there. Now I’m in Piedmont, Italy is offended over a non-hostile move, and I don’t know what the hell to do with myself. Tyrolia could piss off Germany, Venice wouldn’t work and could sway Italy to head my direction, Marseilles closes off Marseilles for a build in case Italy did go my way. I ended up supporting Venice to hold, which Venice cut.

The West developed slowly, developing into an awkward (and slow) triple. The east saw Jim rise, move to Ionian, and promptly unrise to my amusement. Italy got Greece and built a second unit, an army, ending my awkward attempts at Venice that did little good. Seriously, all I wanted was to get the hell out of piedmont.

I swiped Liverpool from David with an army, turned towards Italy again-again-again (but this time with fleets!), and then Matt stabbed me because the damn Piedmont army was out of the way.

When I asked him in the post-game if he would have stabbed if I were in Mar instead of Pie, Matt said no. Dammit, Jake.

Matt’s stab resulted in him grabbing Paris. The rest of my game was a slow chug up to an honorable, if uninspired, 7 centers.

A quick note on Alan, first time Weasel. He’s a solid player, we had great communication. We discussed eventually hitting Germany together, though it never came to fruition. I really hope to see him again.

The turning point in the game was when Alan had an army in Norway, a Fleet in Norwegian, and a unit in Silesia. He coordinated with Matt for a convoy into Edi, while also leaving Silesia, instead of helping his good buddy France into the North Sea. Matt, being the shark that he is, swiped Norway while putting 2 on Warsaw. STP was uncovered, and Matt ended up with the board top.

Teachable moment from this game (and one another): The two times I’ve moved to Piedmont in 01 as France are two of my worst French results.


Quick Player Feedback:

Austria: Thanks for the entertainment-and keeping Italy distracted.
England: I thought you played well. Italy wasn’t profiting me much, had to make a change.
France: Don’t go to piedmont.
Germany: Very solid performance, enjoyed our negotiations, think we had a great alliance throughout the game. You made the right decision in stabbing me.
Italy: Despite our awkward entanglements, I very much enjoyed playing with you and think you did well to fight off Jim.
Russia: Very fun game, great negotiating with you. Very strong player, hope to see you on more boards.
Turkey: You did an excellent job to rebound from some initial challenges. I think you handled the Russia and Italy relationships well, and I also appreciated our infrequent chats. Despite not having much direct interest, I feel our backchanneling helped us both out.
# Jim O'Kelley 2016-11-12 19:55
Quote:
Italy got Greece and built a second unit
Italy's second build came from Smyrna, not Greece. He and I were still working together at that point, though his decision to build Fleet Rome in 1901 instead of Fleet Naples slowed us down and weakened my commitment to anti-Turkish moves.

I frequently talk about the need to discuss builds with new and rusty players. I did so here, but Currey, in the heat of the moment, mistook Rome for Naples. Or so he said.

Quote:
you did well to fight off Jim.
This is the kind of characterization of events that we often see in bar game write-ups by players on the opposite side of the board. Currey wasn't fighting me off.

Yes, I moved to the Ionian in Spring 1903. I did so as part of a bargain with Turkey to get needed support for my moves against Russia. Also, as noted above, I was reluctant to fully commit against Turkey since Italy, with only one eastern fleet and under attack from France, was a less-than-stellar choice as an ally at that point. However, Turkey failed to deliver on his end of the bargain, so in the Fall, I tried to send F Ionian back to Greece in an ill-fated attempt to defend the center against the treacherous Turks.

Italy lost Smyrna and I lost Greece (to Turkey) and Rumania (to the Russians). I kept fleet Ionian while Italy pulled his fleet in the Eastern Med. In Spring 1904, he piled on the R/T attack against me, so I nabbed Tunis from him in the Fall.

For me, the frustrating parts of this game were:

a) When in turn 5, I finally decided to pick an ally and commit, my choice could not have been worse.

b) For the remainder of the game, new players Currey and Alan continued to attack me, mostly to their detriment. There was one turn where Currey accepted Turkish support against me while at the same time, Turkey stole a center from him. And the armies that Alan maneuvered against me -- for no gain after taking Rumania -- might have staved off the German attack that savaged his chances to contend for a board-top.

Anyway, it was a fun game. I was dead tired and not expecting to play. Consequently, I played loosely. Too loosely. Ultimately, I paid for it.

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