Alpha Weasel Matt Sundstrom posted our second solo of the year in Game 99, gobbling his 17th and 18th dots as Turkey in 1910. For Matt, it was actually his second solo as Turkey this season, with his first coming in the final round at Weasel Moot. (Tournament games don’t count toward league standings.)
The win vaults Matt back into his familiar first-place position in the club standings and also wrests Best Turkey away from Greg Duenow, who had grabbed it in the January 2 game at Matt’s.
We can guess how it happened by reviewing the supply center chart, but it’s so much more fun to hear from the combatants. Please post your endgame statements in the Comments section. Below.
Congrats to Matt! Here are the final supply center counts:
Next up: The 100th game celebration at Guthrie’s Tavern on June 10, followed by a game at Sam’s in the Gold Coast on June 12.
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it’s asking me to login when I click on the supply center chart.
Wow! And to think, he soloed with the 6th best player in the world on the board! 😉
Greg, I think I fixed that problem. Please try again.
I’d like to start out by saying thanking Matt for hosting and letting us invade his home. I didn’t realize that the price of admission would be him soloing when we started though, I may have to host a game or two. 😉
The opening negotiations were going well, or so I thought. As my first game playing Russia with the weasels I was quickly introduced into what seems to be the clubs attitude towards this unfortunate country. By Fall of 1902 I was stabbed by Turkey, Austria, Germany, and England. I’m sure Italy and France would’ve jumped on the bandwagon, had they had the chance. However, I tenaciously held on acting as a northern border for Turkey, after having welcomed them into Sevastopol with open arms and fresh Vodka in Fall 1901(there was no way I could have stopped it, so actually made this an order.).
For about four years I stayed in the game watching Warsaw change hands from Russia, to Germany and even helping Austria into it without anyone’s knowledge (including Austria’s) that I was throwing the support. This probably saved Austria for a little while giving him a build as Turkey stabbed Austria and “mis-ordered” his support for the attack on a German Warsaw. Austria fell shortly thereafter, all the while declaring and prophesying a Turkey solo. (Yes, Paul… you can say I told you so. But only once.)
With the fall of Austria, attempts to rally the board against a growing Turkey continued to fail, so I continued to act as his Northern border, hoping to live long enough for England or France to grow big enough to call a draw. This ultimately failed as infighting, a serious lack of trust, and a failure of England to reposition his troops, prevented us from advancing and creating a stalemate line. The collapse of Germany strengthened the English position, but an advance never came as English fleets remained on the northern coast and armies stayed in Sweden, Norway, St. Petersburg and Livonia. Italy eventually fell to a combined France and Turkish attack.
By Fall 1908, Matt (now at 12 centers) was beginning to realize that as Paul had predicted he might be able to pull out a solo. Attempts to rally England and France to draw a line continued to fail as Turkey broke into and took over Munich in 1909. He was forced out and retreated into Burgandy, where with additional support used it to take over Marseilles for his 18th center, as Russia watched Moscow fall for the first time during the entire game.
Some tidbits of knowledge I gleamed from this game:
1. Getting stabbed by four countries in the first two years of the game is a huge blow to ones ego.
2. Surviving the stabs and outliving 3 other countries is a heck of an ego boost.
3. Weasels hate Russia (or maybe it was just me on Saturday)
4. So far the two times I’ve played with the weasels at someone’s house, the host does well (Thom 10 center table top draw, Matt Solo). Note to self, host games…
5. Don loves Guinness… make sure to have it on hand for bribes.
6. If you are going to backstab someone finish them off, or make sure that they can’t reciprocate. This was seen by Paul’s stab of Turkey in Rumania, France/Germany’s stab of England in Belgium, and England’s stab of Russia taking St. Pete. None of them worked out as suspected, only gave them one center, and all of which they eventually lost again anyways.
7. Russia opening with an Army to Livonia instead of St. Pete, while a sound conservative move in theory (protects Warsaw and can be convoyed to Sweden by F: Baltic) and is olive branch to England in not threatening Norway didn’t work out well at all. Especially with this group of warmongering, sword-rattling, backstabbing anti-Russian thugs. 😛
8. In the 6 games I’ve played with the club now (including 3 at CoDCon), I’ve now been on the board when two solo’s occurred, despite my best efforts to prevent them. (Thom:England, Matt:Turkey) I thought you people said these were rare occurrences with this group?!?
All in all a great game, one that I won’t be able to forget for awhile… no matter how hard I try. 🙂
Congrats Matt. Shame on the Western powers!
Yes, Tony, Russia is a typical whipping child in the club, though Adam’s solo was as Russia earlier this year, and I had a board top with it as well.
I wonder to what extent that players are figuring out in the new scoring system, centers matter more than draw size. we used to see the formation of stable alliances, which led to games becoming very static. Play seems to be opening up with more stabs, which can also create the opportunity for someone like Matt to get a full head of steam going.
First, Jim spoofed me good at his house game . . . telling me that Greg was best country leader for Austria . . . he left out Turkey apparently.
Second, thanks Paul valiant effort.
Third, no Tony . . . (but host) the host had a series of eliminations awhile back.
Fourth, you can lose the north as Russia and still do well . . . you have to keep Austria/Turkey in check.
The view from Constantinople
Obviously, the view from Turkey is pretty good. We drew powers randomly and Turkey was left after everyone else had drawn. My initial talks were with Tony who proposed a strong RT. Next was Austria who seemed open to a move on Galicia. After a few more conversations, we came back to that topic. I offered to open Smy-Arm if Austria opened to Gal. I thought we had an agreement, but Austria opened Vie-Bud, Bud-Ser and Tri-Alb. Italy had initiated the Lepanto. Only Russia was remotely friendly with the agreed bounce in Bla, War-Ukr and Mos-Lvn. Given the AI opening, I went back to Russia hoping I could somehow atone for my misreading of the board. Tony again sounded like that’d be fine with him, so I had some hope.
The Weasels tendency to pound Russia then showed up. There was some talk of a western triple, which was fine by me. England was to put an army in Nwy and Germany would bounce Russia in Sweden. Hearing the same story from multiple sources, Austria and I worked to get me into Rum. Bul-Rum didn’t bother me since I couldn’t stop a move on Greece and it sounded like Russia was in trouble. I figured the plan would work or three people were lying to me including England and Germany. As it happened, Tony was the odd man out. Bul-Rum was supported from Bud and Arm-Sev cut the support of Ukr-Rum. Denmark went to Sweden and Russia was left with no builds after 1901. This was actually the high point for Russia, but it is to Tony’s great credit he survived the whole game and would have been key to stopping me if that was going to happen.
From there, events in the west helped me for the rest of the game. France moved south, prompting Italy to move west (although I think France’s move was in part a response to Ven-Pie in Fall ’01). Austria moved against Germany as the triple looked like it was happening. As Tony noted, the south was lost so he focused on keeping what he could up north. He indeed ordered F Sev welcomes A: Arm with open arms and vodka. That left me free to take Sev and Bul in 1902. My position was pretty strong from there on out. The only hiccup was an Austrian move on Bul and Rum in spring 1903. I figured that was coming because there wouldn’t be a better chance for an Austrian move against me. I could easily cover Bul and did. Rum was harder, but if Austria went for it, he’d have trouble holding it. He went for both and got Rum. I took it back in the fall and stayed at six. Paul got into Warsaw with unexpected support from Tony to go to 7.
After that, it looked to me like Paul would get hurt pretty badly in subsequent years as I could take Greece and two of his dots were Munich and Warsaw. The triple had already split, so it wasn’t necessary for me to be patient. So I moved on Greece and positioned myself to take more. It looked like a one-dot stab at the time as Austria could hold Serbia. But it was more strategic than that in my mind as I figured Austria would also lose Warsaw and Munich (which did happen). He’d be weaker and I felt like I could take Serbia and the Austrian home centers after that. As it was, I also got Serbia in 1904. Austria went from 7 to 4 by sneaking into Berlin, but his position was severely weakened.
I spent the midgame taking other Austrian dots and helping Italy and Russia hold off France and England respectively. England eventually started to look at the French dots as an opportunity and moved on them around 1906-7. France had to pull back to protect his homeland, so I was free to attack the Italian and move further into the middle. The EF tension continued for much of the game allowing me to continue growing. Had EFR joined forces in 1908 or even 1909, I may well have been stopped. But two particular moves worked out well for me late. I was able to get into Munich and subsequently retreat to Burgundy. England also pulled back StP to Finland instead of Livonia, so I had three armies on Moscow and Warsaw. That was the position I needed to reach 18.
Thanks to all for coming. My son now really wants to play, so it must have made a good impression.
Thanks Tony and Matt. Nice write ups. I’d like to hear from the west, sounds like it was brutal.
Going into this game, I had two hopes from the draws:
Don’t get Russia. (Check)
Matt doesn’t get Turkey. (Not quite)
I immediately lobbied to have a R-A-I against Turkey due to Matt’s ability to dominate as southeastern nation. With some success, I got Paul’s Austria on board with a standard anti-Turkey opening, while Russia waffled back and forth. Russia seemed concerned with a western triple. I prepared a boring opening for Italy while keeping in mind a threat from the west.
In fall of 1901, I spotted EFG talking for an extended period of time, which confirmed Russia’s early rumor about a triple. After I asked Don about France’s position on the matter, I assumed that there would be issues. France’s proclaiming F MAR was a build in the winter led me to move VEN – PIE.
By 1902, the gig was up that we were facing a western triple, so I headed west. Paul attempted a mini-stab on Turkey which I read as canned, since it was easily countered by Turkey in the fall. I assumed that I was about to take a western triple from the west and an AT in the east. Matt kept arguing that he wanted revenge on Austria while I was over-stretched in the western Med, so I had no choice but to hope Austria could slow down a growing Turkey.
I joined the “Hey England, stab France” chorus by stabbed Germany and Russia. Doing so would force France to lay off and allow me to swing east. We needed a front quickly to limit Matt’s growth, but France was persistent as I blew an advantage in the western Med. My eyes got big for MAR, which was the end of Italy. France broke into the Med while Turkey exploded.
As Russia, Germany and Italy argued that Turkey would achieve a solo unless we unified, England kept his fleets way North and France pushed further into Italy.
It became apparent that France and Turkey wanted to carve Italy. From what I gather, Turkey fed England and France a three way draw while it was obvious Matt smelled 450 points.
I correctly guessed that the Turkish invasion would arrive soon when I offered Ionian to France with support. The look on Matt’s face was one of the better looks on the night as Don’s fleet disrupted gold army APU.
From there, Italy’s fate was settled. I left fully expecting to hear of a Turkish solo.
Congrats to Matt.
I tried, to the rest of the Weasels. Sorry, Adam.
I drew my least favorite country. I don’t like western triples especially as Germany. All was weel untill England built a fleet in London and Don(France) got pissed. He asked for support into Belgium. I gave it. England was angry and I recieved all his agression and France got off light. Probably my best achievement was orchestrating the loss of two Austrian dots and an annihlation of an austrian unit in the same turn. It was the death knell for Paul.
Though not my best game I still had great fun with Germany and managed to hold out until 08. I would like to have seen more discussion from England as he shut me out for the longest time. I began helping Matt as much as I cold the last two years because i couldn’t get anywhere with England or France.
I knew Matt wasn’t going to allow a 2 or 3 way draw. England couldn’t have tried to stop the solo because of his position and lack of armies. Still I had fun even though I had nothing to show for 7 hours of play. Thanks to Matt for hosting and the awesome Italian Beef!