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MacDonald’s brief hiatus ends in Italian Glory

Eric Brown’s top Italy only lasted seven days as Christian MacDonald sailed past him by a whopping 4 points to take this season’s Best Italy to date.  Peter Yeargin finished second with a 10 center France.

Super Bowl Sunday seemed like a great day to host a little Diplomacy prior to the big game, so I decided to throw the idea out to Jim who agreed completely.  Judging by the comments post game, it may happen again next year.  Game time was 10 am, and by 10:15, our last arriving participant, John Gramila, arrived via bicycle to begin the festivities.

The West looked interesting as I found myself in France with a relative newcomer in John Gramila in England and Mike Morrison in Germany.  As per my normal response to newer players, I decided in my head I would be taking it easy to begin with on the newbie and try to play a neutral opening.  A British fleet in the English channel in Spring 1901 changed that in a hurry and France spent the next 6 years trying to dig out of an early hole while keeping the sharks at bay. 

Side note to self:  Rethink this strategy.

Christian’s Italy had its own plans which didn’t include the West or France would have been early fodder.  Indeed, if not for a critical tactical error on the part of Germany, France still would have been in serious jeopardy in 1902.  However, Germany failed to support army Burgundy and promptly lost the spearhead into French territory in Spring of 1902, giving France a negotiation ploy with the English and ultimately causing the entire Western side of the board to turn into a six year quagmire.

Meanwhile, in the East, club points leader Adam Berey found himself in Turkey with the unpredictable Greg Duenow in Russia and Sam’s Austria trying to maintain a streak of no eliminations and figure out how best not to be eliminated in a game for the 8th time in a row.  Sadly, it was not to be, despite Sam’s chidings of "I propose a draw" every single season from 1902 through 1907, the year he finally lost his last center.  It was a valiant and spirited effort, probably thanks largely to the myriad of stats Jim posted on the club website over the last week or two.

Duenow blew up to seven centers quickly by 1903, but an unlikely and temporal alliance between the Germans and French for exactly one year, spelled his quick downward reversal as Germany armies moved to Prussia and Silesia, followed by Livonia and Prussia with a French army following closely behind to Silesia.  Turkey also took the opportunity to grow to 7 during the onslaught.

A critical misorder on Turkey’s part gave Christian an opening in 1906 and allowed Italy to gain a slight positional advantage which he used to slowly gobble up Turkish centers.  Meanwhile, in the West, France finally made some headway, picking up a couple of critical centers and finally building his 2nd and 3rd fleets in 1907.  Yes, France had a single fleet for most of the first six years of the game.

Super Bowl time crunch was upon the players and the game only lasted a few more years as France and Italy solidified their position and slowly trudged forward.  Play still existed in the game, but all players seemed ready for the game to end, and so it did with a draw vote in 1910.

Final standings are below and supply center chart can be downloaded here:

Austria (Sam Bassett): 0; 7 points.
England (John Gramila): 4; 50 points.
France (Peter Yeargin): 10; 110 points.
Germany (Mike Morrison): 3; 40 points.
Italy (Christian MacDonald): 12; 154 points.
Russia (Greg Duenow): 2; 30 points.
Turkey (Adam Berey): 3; 40 points.

Great game, interesting in all areas.  As happened the previous week, no stalemate lines ever came close to materializing, and a dynamic and interesting game was the result.  Thanks to all who came out for the game and also for the Super Bowl.

-Peter

 

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This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Mike Morrison

    Ah, EOG spin… where to begin?

    First of all, I don’t think Mike(Germany)’s critical move error was not supporting Burgandy. I think it was not supporting Munich!

    (Although, I must admit, supporting Burgandy might have been a good idea as well.)

    But even more important than tactics, I feel I made a psychological mistake in assuming John(England)’s last-minute and unannounced convoy to Gascony was a bizarre stab planned in advance by Peter(France) and J(E). I immediately jumped ship on the alliance, which was not a good idea, given P(F)’s loyalty to his “good” ally, Christian(Italy).

    C(I) was proving to be such a good ally to both P(F) and Adam(Turkey), that at two separate points in the game, Greg(Russia) and M(G) proposed to the rest of the board that we needed to stonewall the southern allies, although C(I) and A(T) advanced towards each other shortly after each of these, advantage C(I).

    Sam(Austria) chose to be eliminated by acting badly while ensconced in Kiel, where I’d have gladly hosted his government in exile had he behaved.

    In the beginning, this was a game of E/G/R vs. F/I/T with A stuck in the middle.

    In the end, F/I were advancing on the rest of the board, and it looked like Italy might have had a good shot at the solo, had the game continued.

    Thank God for the Soup or Bowl!

  2. Greg Duenow

    Game 89 – “Pull Out Slowly”.

    Saturday morning I began with my normal routine. Put on the pink socks. Do some squat thrusts. But today was different. “I’m playing Diplomacy”! I thought.

    So I boarded the Red Line and got to Peter’s Condo in no time flat.

    The game was your typical sausage fest, or in this case roast beef fest. We huddled around the board and moved some wooden blocks around pretending it was important. Sometimes we got mad. Mostly we were joyous and spontaneously erupted in song. Most noteworthy was newcomer John’s rendition of “Standing on the Promises”.

    Then the game ended and we watched some football.

    šŸ˜‰

  3. Samuel Bassett

    Just a minor detail… I didn’t start singing the draw song until 1905! I knew not to pull out too quickly, thanks to Greg’s advice.

    In any case, I learned a valuable lesson this game: never play not to lose. It is a self fulfilling prophecy.

    Had I been more aggressive, I would have allowed myself to line up against an FI from the start. Granted, the result would have likely been the same, Austrian exile in (insert Mike’s province here).

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