For the second time in four weeks, Tony Prokes topped a board with a large England. Game No. 117, played yesterday at Matt Sundstrom’s home in Glenview, ended after Fall 1911 in a four-way draw. The final center counts were:
The supply center chart is here.
Next up is Game No. 118 this Saturday at Pete McNamara’s home in Evanston. That one is full, but standbys are welcome. Then we’ll celebrate the holidays and wrap up the calendar year with weeknight games on Dec. 22 and 29 at Guthrie’s and 30 at Dan Burgess’ home in Downers Grove. Hope to see you there!
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Oooh yeah, 5 games for me this month. 😆
So I was running late due to some errands and traffic… being a native Chicagoan I really wish people would learn how to drive on snow and ice. Going 10mph down a salted street just defies logic. But I digress…
So by the time I made it, everyone was there except Jeff who walked in not even 5 minutes behind me. We choose countries randomly and we were off. I was a little disappointed to have grabbed England for my second game in a row but went with it. I could have been much worse, I could have been sandwiched between Peter and Matt. Luckily they were sitting next to each other as Italy and Austria.
Looking at the board we had:
Matt in Austria
Tony (myself) in England
Jeffrey in France
Nate in Germany
Peter in Italy
Mike in Russia
Aash in Turkey
The game from my viewpoint started out with some shaky alliances. I had heard that both Germany and Italy wanted to chase after France so I had little choice but to jump on the bandwagon and open my Fleets to the North Sea and English Channel. This of course did not sit well with France obviously. However, we were able to smooth things out and work together. I did not collect a build in 1901, as I opted to bounce in Norway with Russia (who had moved an army to St. Pete) and not collect in Belgium (as I was reading that I would just get kicked out by Germany anyways).
As the game progressed France and I was able to get along and Germany was allied at the time with Russia. (Nate, I still think that the “A Hol-Swed” would have worked beautifully with my “F North Sea C hol-Swed” and your “F Skag c Hol-Swed”.) However I managed to lose the North Sea to Russia and German fleets, it was at this time that Nate had actually landed an army in Yorkshire… I had managed to convince Nate not to take any of my centers and I would help him against Russia, this probably worked because Mike was threatening and had indeed taken Berlin.
Nate disbanded the army in England, and with some assistance from France and Austria helped drive the Russians and Italians out of Germany. Unfortunately for Nate they were eventually replaced by English and Austrian units. About this time Mike was beginning to hemorrhage dots and his orders got very ‘interesting’. As a matter of fact some of his orders made as much sense as driving 10mph down a salted street (see above). I believe at one time every country on the board with the exception of France and Italy owned a piece of Russian real estate. I never thought I would live to see the day that a Russian fleet would convoy a Turkish Army into Sevastopol (When Russia still owned it), but sure enough it did indeed happen.
It is interesting to note that all 7 countries were still alive and in play through (IIRC) 1907. The first country ousted was Italy in 1908. Russia and Germany were both ousted in 1910, an France was in danger of being ousted when a draw was eventually declared.
Once again as England I failed to reach the Stalemate line before the Eastern countries, however this time I was much closer as I had actually controlled Munich for a single spring turn, but saw I was unable to hold it. I was in a much better board position this time around than my last game and my army/fleet ratio showed it. At the end of the game I had 8 Armies and 6 fleets. The problem I faced was that Aash (Turkey) was a major fleet power and firmly believed that if he build too many armies or acted against Matt (Austria) that Matt would throw the solo my way. As England I didn’t believe this at all, but it was enough that Aash did. Therefore I couldn’t advance well enough against either one of them but was in position to hold what I had and finish taking out Jeffrey (France).
All in all I think it was a fun game that didn’t dissolve into a major stalemate for anyone other than Aash (for the first couple of years) and it had a lot of play. I was able to achieve one of my objectives, to increase my best England if I couldn’t solo. And as always Matt was a gracious host.
Some other interesting tidbits from the game,
1) I was able to perform a swap of two units by performing the following orders.
F North Sea convoy Hol-Bel
2) The game was declared a draw otherwise Aash was prepared to invade Spain with an Army from Ankara (via 4 convoy orders).
3) The number of fleets in the Mediterranean was very low until the end game. It’s very unusual for Turkey to sail from Ankara to the Tyr Sea unopposed.
4) As we have seen from posts a discussion arose about support orders on dual coast provinces.
5) According to Matt, Peter can’t be trusted… especially after that game in 2009
6) According to Peter, Matt can’t be trusted… this was underlined on Saturday.
1) The club standings have been updated through this game. Check the link under Links on the side menu.
2) I like that with the new scoring system, that you don’t have to catch a solo with a solo. Last year, Adam Berey locked up the Weasel of the Year award and the top seed in the Royale when he soloed in the second month of the season…until Matt soloed in the ninth month. This year, Tony can catch Peter with just a decent result in his third game.
Of course, Peter can, and likely will, improve his score over the course of the season, but you get the point. A solo yields a great score, but not the seemingly insurmountable score it used to yield. And that should keep things interesting as the season progresses.
[quote]I was able to achieve one of my objectives, to increase my best England if I couldn’t solo.[/quote]
Also, note that Tony’s score four weeks ago with one fewer center was better than this one. Center-count differential and the distribution of centers matters in this system. The 13-8-5 spread in Game 114 scored seven more points than the 14-10-9 spread in this one.
Quite an interesting game for me as Turkey. Initially, I had told Mike I was interested in a juggernaut, but then Matt (Austria) told me he was going for a Southern Hedgehog and that I could claim Greece for myself. WIth this in mind I requested a bounce in the Black See with Russia as I opened to CON and BUL. To my surprise, Italy and Austria had made peace and Matt had moved his fleet to ALB, a clear claim on Greece. When I asked him, he said he’d got a “better deal.” Russia had opened North and moved WAR-UKR, leaving Austria no opposition in the first year. On top of this, Matt promised to support me into RUM so I moved ANK-BLA again and BUL-RUM. Big mistake, as Matt supported himself into GRE instead. I built F SMY trying to make peace with Russia, and in 1902 I moved BLA-CON and SMY-AEG, to find that Mike hadn’t supported BUL as promised, but had instead moved Army SEV-RUM and allowed Austria to take BUL from me (unit disbanded).
So in Autumn 1902 I decided to screw Matt over, supporting ARM-BUL (via convoy) and Italian ION-GRE, thereby buying me some more years on the board and putting Matt down to 4 dots.
At this point, Russia was at 7 and quite strong in the North as well. Therefore, Austria, Italy and myself decided we’d try to put me back in BUL (EC) and if I moved my AEG fleet to CON simultaneously I’d have 2 units on BLA which could be used to destroy that Russian fleet. Unfortunately, while they had entered the correct supports, I failed to enter a coast for BUL and so it was counted as a misorder.
I somehow managed to hold on until 1904…for 2 years my units remained in the same positions (F CON, F AEG and A ANK)…no progress anywhere, I was stuck in my cage. The only reason I was alive was because Italy was occupied with 2 French fleets persistently attacking MUN and Russia had been assaulted up North by a revived England in the hands of an able Mr. Prokes. Meanwhile, Austria took both BUL and RUM from Russia and went back up to 6.
At this point, Mike agreed to convoy my Turkish A ANK to his Russian Sevastopol using his Russian F BLA! This was an awesome move and it worked. The logic was that he needed another army SEV-side to attack Austria (he only had 2 units, F BLA and armies in UKR and GAL at the time). Once I was in SEV, he’d put me in RUM (an assured gain if the attack came from SEV, such was the positioning of all the units). It worked, and I got RUM, to get back to 4 units. I built another fleet, and started working with Austria – I told Matt that if he dislodged my RUM, I’d retreat to SEV. What actually ended up happening was Matt and I exchanging GRE for RUM and me disbanding RUM to build another fleet. Unfortunately, Peter Yeargin convinced Mike to hit an empty ANK from the Black Sea so I had to rebuild RUM as an army…this I did and I took back ANK, while also getting into SEV with Austrian support. Then Russia, now on the decline, disbanded everything except the units around SEV and repeatedly attacked it until I had destroyed those units.
It was at around this time that England supported me from ION into French TUN (Italy had been eliminated) while stabbing France for POR, putting him down to 4. Now the only fleets west of AEG in the Med were my TUN fleet and English F NAf. In this turn I had 3 builds (French TUN, Russian, SEV and Austrian RUM, which I had taken by force). I build 2 armies and a fleet and proceeded to move all boats westward towards the stalemate. In a couple years, Austria and I had a nice defensive line. I was in MOS and LVN and Austria was in the German stalemate area. I had fleets in AEG, ION, TYS, GoL and WES. Austria got into MAR and was supposed to support my convoy from CON to SPA but instead he spent the last turn attacking me because he felt I had been vetoing the draws!!!
I will continue to maintain that I had not vetoed the draws. My score was going down the last two years of the game as England grew from 11 to 14, increasing the sum of squares denominator (since my SC count was constant my score was decreasing). I still feel that it might have been either Tony (who had said earlier that he wanted to up his Best England performance) or Matt himself (the sly diplomat that he is!).
Anyhow, I like how the game ended. I finally opened my scorecard for this year and there were some pretty neat moves.
And might I also add that we were all treated to repeats of “Sic ’em on a Chicken” by the Zac Brown Band – a song that I fully recommend be played at every Weasel gathering just for the reactions!
Game 117, played 12/2/2010, Matt’s house, Russia EOG:
No dateline, presumably Spring, 1901:
Stp(sc) – Bothnia
War – Ukr
Mos – Stp
Sev – Black
Conclusions: Warsaw to Ukraine for internal security… Ukraine is the Russian Gascony. Sev to Black since Turkey is a backstabber. (At least he had the decency to tell me he was stabbing! I was going to Black either way… I believe he knew that.) Stp – Bothnia is one of the quickest routes to Baltic. Moscow to St. Pete with tacit English approval based on the pull Germany to Sweden plan.
UKR S SEV-RUM
Last minute thoughts during order writing: D’oh! I told Austria I was putting Ukraine in Rumania! Why would I do that? I’d better change plans! Sounds like England told Germany about the pull to Sweden plan… I don’t think I’m getting Rumania, better try for Norway AND Sweden. At least Ukraine is secure.
Recollections: There were an awfully lot of armies built. Wish I’d built some fleets.
FALL 1902 (large red marker, pen must have stopped working… hmmm… where are the Spring orders? Why are there only five orders?)
ARM – BUL
BLA C ARM-BUL
RUM – SER
GAL – BUD
NWY S SKA – NORTH
Conclusions: I need to find a working pen.
Builds: Armies Warsaw, Moscow. I believe I had an army already sitting in St. Pete. Sev was probably free for a fleet. Don’t want to anger my ally Turkey though, even though any fleet I’m building in Sev is clearly aimed at Italy.
F BLACK S BUL-RUM
Germany and I have been great allies. There must be something wrong. Besides, I don’t trust all these fleets he’s got. Austria’s disbanded his fleet–THAT I UNDERSTAND!
SIL S PRU-BER
UKR S RUM
Why are the Russian armies streaming into Scandinavia? Is this all because the Kaiser wouldn’t accept my proposed move of Fleet Norway to Norwegian back in the Spring?
I’m about to get my last build for a while, better make it count: A Warsaw!
BLA C RUM-ARM
SIL S BOH-MUN
BER S MUN-KIE
FIN S STP-NWY
Bounced in Armenia. Loyal Turkish ally needed reminder. Italians are very tricky! Why are we working with them again?
Spring 1909–BONEHEAD MOMENT OF THE GAME (down to one unit, and I misorder it, well, not misorder in the usual sense, but in a truer, deeper sense) — having worked together with Germany to take St.P. back from the British, I’m in Moscow, Austria’s about to take Livonia from where we could at least give enough support to St. Pete to require England to send 4 units to retake it, so I send Moscow to Livonia… bouncing Austria, letting England take Germany’s last center, and Austria/Turkey take Moscow as well. Why? I don’t think anyone asked. I’m glad. I’m tired of trying to answer that question!
I think Aash said it best (after/during a previous game): “Mike, you’re irredeemable.”
[quote name=”M Morrison”]
I think Aash said it best (after/during a previous game): “Mike, you’re irredeemable.”[/quote]
Mike, I didn’t mean that in the usual sense, but in a truer, deeper sense. “Well what’s that s’posed to mean, Aash?” If I recall correctly that was at the end of our game at the Pyle, where you threw Nate all your centers and played janissary for him in holding me off until you were finished. You did the same thing in our game at Peter Yeargin’s place a few weeks ago, and again this weekend when you disbanded all in the South except the units that could screw me over! I see a pattern!
Question for Jim:
In the club standings, which have been updated after board 9, Matt Sundstrom has taken over Best Austria, but the Best England title is still Tony Prokes’ Board 6 performance of 13 SCs. Is this because that yielded the most points?
Yes. See my comment above. Best country awards are based on score, not necessarily center count.
Ok, so that will be important to keep track of in future games. I recall that at points towards the endgame, I was crunching the numbers in my head and Matt Sundstrom and Tony Prokes were commenting on how they weren’t really paying attention to the points when thinking about their moves. I suppose it’s not that important in the early stages of the game, but under the new systems draws with fewer people aren’t appealing under some situations, and minor stabs for a few SCs are encouraged if you think you can pull them off (i.e. if it takes you from 10 to 13 or 11 to 14 that’s a huge increase in points).
Here’s a chart tracking everyone’s scores throughout the game.
Russia is in Orange (since I couldn’t make a white line on the chart). You can clearly see the early rise followed by the demise. Germany’s is the one consistently dropping score. My Turkey rises from the ashes following the midgame shakeout and I’d have ended the game tied with Matt if he’d supported me into Spain that last turn instead of attacking me over the draw!
Interesting dynamic with England’s score fluctuating all alone at the top in the last few years. Tony Prokes’ score hit 50 at 1908, then dropped for the next few years until 1911 when it rose above 50 again…at which point we drew (see, Matt?).
I didn’t know there was a usual sense! In any case, I doubt my play fits any nice patterns as you suggest, but I would surmise it’s all the other players with a secret pact to eliminate me from the beginning of all of these games you cite.
Haha, Mike, I think this was more the case of the midgame shakeouts, like Jim’s earlier article talked about. I’m willing to bet there were actually 2 midgame shakeouts in this game – one in 1902 (when Germany and Turkey were cut down to size) and the other at around 1905 (when Austria stabbed Italy and when you lost a bunch of units).
Another note on the scoring system…I was just looking at the chart again and it’s interesting how England’s score dipped the year he stabbed France (1908) because I got 3 builds to go up to 8, and Austria also got a couple builds to go up to 8.
Hey, I don’t participate in any midgame shakeouts! What are these anyway, I’ve never heard of ’em!
I think I missed the midgame shakeout. Oh wait there it is, nevermind.