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Lokken tops board; climbs into fourth

Peter Lokken topped Game No. 123, played today at my home in Oak Brook, with an 11-center Austria. Finishing second with nine centers apiece were Chris Davis and fellow member of the class of Game No. 39, Ben Morof. Whereas Davis went on to join the Sneak and eventually lead the club, Morof was playing for the first time since that game in May 2008 and for only the third time ever.

 

The game ended by draw vote in Fall 1908 with the following center counts.

Austria (Peter Lokken): 11; 40.878 points.
England (Ben Morof): 9; 27.365 points.
France (Christopher M. Davis): 9; 27.365 points.
Germany (Nate Cockerill): 3; 3.041 points.
Italy (Jim O’Kelley): 2; 1.351 points.
Russia (Todd Woodman): 0; 0.000 points.
Turkey (Amanda Baumgartner): 0; 0.000 points.

The supply center chart is here. Of course, it only tells part of the story. Austria, Italy, Russia and France all opened against Cockerill’s Germany. Austria, Russia and Turkey combined to build four fleets in 1901. Austria eventually had three fleets…but two of them were north of the Bosporus Strait. Russia went from a solid six centers in 1902 to zero by the end of 1905. The Italians reached the English Channel. And Austria played two short in 1905 after going from seven to 12.

For all the details, let’s turn it over to the players…

Join the discussion!

Find out more about an upcoming event or article, talk smack before a game, brag about your board top, or most likely, ask what on earth your fellow Weasels were thinking!

This Post Has 21 Comments

  1. Jim O'Kelley

    Here are some random comments and quotes.

    * Ben, a childhood friend of mine, first played with me in December 1991. He played England in that game, too, as well as in Game No. 39. I finished with a two-center Italy in two of those games.

    * Todd Woodman, negotiating with me in Spring 1901: “Nate goes first, but then it’s your turn.”

    * Nate: “I’ve never been attacked by four neighbors before.”
    Me: “That takes a special kind of diplomacy.”

    * Amanda Baumgartner: “I can be a greedy little bitch.”
    Chris Davis: “So can Jim.”
    Tood Woodman: “Emphasis on the bitch.”

    * Amanda tosses Nate’s book toward him. It lands beside him on the love seat.
    Peter Lokken: “You missed.”
    Amanda: “I didn’t want to nut him.”

    * I won Aladdin’s Dragons after the Dip game. Kevin joined us at that point. Amanda won two games of 10 Days in Africa, and then Chris won Ticket to Ride.

  2. Jim O'Kelley

    One more:

    [b]Me:[/b] “Are you guys doing anything for the game tomorrow?”
    [b]Chris:[/b] “Dan invited some people over.”
    [b]Me:[/b] “Who, the Pigeon sisters?”

    Cue [i]Odd Couple [/i] music.

  3. Aashirwad Viswanathan Anand

    Know what this means? I need to top at least one more board this season. Game on, Peter L!

  4. Aashirwad Viswanathan Anand

    Also, who’s got the story on how Austria got FIVE builds in one year? This is unprecedented.

  5. Jim O'Kelley

    [quote]Also, who’s got the story on how Austria got FIVE builds in one year? This is unprecedented.
    [/quote]
    Actually it’s not. Nate “The Great” Cockerill pulled it off in Game No. 91, also as Austria and also at my house. (I still owe him a song about it.) See for yourself in the files section of the website. Like Peter, Nate also got pushed back, although more severely. As we discussed yesterday, it’s hard to sustain a jump from six to 11 or seven to 12. It’s equally hard, though, to resist the temptation to grab five centers…

    If memory serves, Peter grabbed two from Russia and one from Turkey, both of whom he was already fighting. And he walked into Greece and Venice, which were my centers.

    In 1905, the entire board turned against Peter. Amanda managed to sneak her last unit, a fleet, into Sev in the Spring as Peter took Moscow from Ben’s England. Peter meanwhile occupied Ank that season. But in the Fall, he moved F Ank to the Black Sea, forgetting that he didn’t own it. He compounded that error by not forcing Sev. So Amanda gained one and built an army in Ank. In 1906 and 07, Peter devoted five of his 11 units to Amanda’s elimination, which cost him tempo and perhaps a stronger result.

  6. Christopher Michael Davis

    Jim is leaving out the part where he devoted himself as Italy completely to a fight with France. He had two opportunities to guess right about the right move, and both times he failed to secure a dot. This allowed Austria free reign of terror in the east.

    Notable was the fact that of three Austrian fleets, two were in the Black Sea. After the game, I realized that I could have bottled him up pretty effectively with just one in the Aegean.

    In my last three games, someone has gone all out for my demise, and had naught to show for it. First it was Peter of Lokken at Guthries as Russia to my Germany, then it was John of Grammilla as Russia to my England, and now Jim of O’Kelley as Italy to my France. I hope the rest of the club will learn from the experience of these three, and work with me not against me.

  7. Christopher Michael Davis

    Mother of pearl! I just realized that I am in 7th in the standings. No wonder it is so cold…Hell has frozen over.

  8. Jim O'Kelley

    [quote]I just realized that I am in 7th in the standings.[/quote]
    I was actually going to work that into the headline, but I didn’t want to break anything.

  9. Jim O'Kelley

    [quote]Jim is leaving out the part where he devoted himself as Italy completely to a fight with France.[/quote]
    I played poorly.

    I committed to a Western campaign against France, knowing that Germany would be beset by A/I/R armies in Boh, Tyo and Sil, respectively, and that the novice player in England would be unlikely to play aggressively against France.

    I had another option, too, and it was a really good one. Austria agreed that my best opening would be to send my armies to Tyo and Ven. He opened with Vie-Boh, meanwhile. In the Fall, I knew I could walk into both Tri and Vie. Peter just wasn’t concerned about Italian treachery. (At least he didn’t seem concerned to me.) Both dots were going to be open.

    In my last conversation of Fall 1901, Amanda in Turkey warned me that Peter was urging her to build fleets to go after me, and Todd in Russia had flat out told me that I would have to go after Germany.

    Believe me, I was tempted by those Austrian dots. However, the Austrians, Russians and French all had offered to support me into Munich, and I was confident that they would. I didn’t want the attack on Nate to fail, since I had championed the A/I/R moves, and I didn’t want to enlarge the target that the others had already painted on me, so I took Munich and moved A Ven to Tyrolia, settling for two instead of three. I then built fleets in Naples and Rom and ordered Tyo-Pie, Rom-Tyn and Tun-Wes. I also tried to get Germany to support Mun-Bur, but he didn’t. I was committed to the French campaign.

    Six moves later, Peter made me regret it.

  10. Jim O'Kelley

    More evidence of my bad play. In Fall 1903, I had fleets in Spain and Lyon and an army in Pie. France had units in Por, Gas, Mar and Bur. I had lined up a German attack on Bur from Mun to cut a support, so the only way to ensure that I captured a center was to order Lyo and Pie S Spa-Mar.

    France had captured Bel in the Spring, so the best I could hope for was to keep him even, but Austria had promised me Gre, so here was a shot for me to gain two, allowing me to solidfy my home defense while also providing another unit for the French campaign.

    But I convinced myself that I was better off holding in Spain than attacking Mar because if successful, the attack on Mar would annihilate the French army there, allowing Chris to build F Bre despite staying even.

    Flawed logic to be sure. I ordered Pie-Mar, Spa S Pie-Mar, Lyo S Spa. Chris ordered Bur-Mar, Mar-Spa, Gas & Por S Mar-Spa. He kept Mar and Spa, gained Bel and built F Bre.

    It’s no wonder that after the game, Chris asked whether I had a brain tumor. šŸ˜®

  11. Christopher Michael Davis

    Jim is too hard on himself. I was loudly complaining that I could not take Spain. I knew that Marseilles could not be supported if he moved from Spain, so I kept telling him that he was going to keep Spain in hopes that he would think that I had given up on Spain, and that he would get greedy and order as he did.

    I took advantage of two facts. One, that the more experienced players in the club do not think I am that strong of a player (while the new players over estimate my abilities), Two, that most Diplomacy players are greedy. They will gladly take two dots even at the risk of one.

  12. Peter Yeargin

    Ok, this is hilarious reading. I appreciate the comments and the overview. I can feel the tension that must have been percolating all over the board.
    [quote]Actually it’s not. Nate “The Great” Cockerill pulled it off in Game No. 91, also as Austria and also at my house. (I still owe him a song about it.) See for yourself in the files section of the website. Like Peter, Nate also got pushed back, although more severely. As we discussed yesterday, it’s hard to sustain a jump from six to 11 or seven to 12. It’s equally hard, though, to resist the temptation to grab five centers…[/quote]

    And Peter/Aash, I can definitely attest to Jim’s quote here. I actually made a very similar mistake this past weekend at the NADF Master’s tournament. I was England to Alex Amman’s Germany. We had destroyed France surgically with the help of Italy. I however had stabbed Italy by not supporting him into two centers to keep him at 4, while I went to 8 after 1903.

    He effectively worked with the remaining players on the board to set up a stalemate line with the remaining 3 powers on the board (Russia, Austria and Turkey). Their stalemate had a hole in the north though and I had just set up to exploit the hole in 1905. I was guaranteed the force of St. Petersburg while losing nothing in the south and gaining the 9th piece. From here, the north would have slowly fallen.

    Germany was a stalwart ally with me and the only one on the board. However, that same season, I also saw the ability to walk into 3 additional German centers and grow from 8 to 12 while knocking him from 6 to 3.

    While it looked like a great stab on paper, it turned out to be anything but as it was completely unsustainable as Jim said. The rest of the board along with Germany and his 3 centers moved against me in 1906 and I went from 12 back down to 7 the very next year.

    It’s a good lesson to learn and one I should have been able to see. In my opinion, stabs should have a few qualities and I’ll create a list as Jim loves lists and who doesn’t:

    1. Stabs should, above all else, provide strategic gain
    2. A good stab should yield at least two and possibly three centers within the next two Fall seasons.
    Note: An exception to this rule is when you are reasonably confident that another player on the board will help you long term to take advantage of the stab and provide yourself much stronger growth possibilities then you currently can envision.
    3. A good stab should be sustainable.

    It’s obviously best if your stabs (as mine did) don’t turn the entire board against you. If, as I did, you have one friend on the board, stabbing said ally probably isn’t the wisest of moves if you still have growth possibilities in other regions.

    Peter

  13. Aashirwad Viswanathan Anand

    [quote]Nate: “I’ve never been attacked by four neighbors before.”
    Me: “That takes a special kind of diplomacy.”[/quote]

    This is at least the second game this season when Munich has ended up with multiple armies adjacent to it in S1901. I feel like it’s becoming a sort of cop-out for Austria, Italy and Russia in terms of “how can we compromise and not fight each other to the death…oh yeah, let’s move towards Munich!”

    Ultimately, only one person can own Munich at the end of the year, so I don’t understand why it benefits all parties if F-I-A-R all move adjacent to MUN in year one. Ultimately, it makes England nice and strong and takes a lot of heat of Austria, thereby screwing Turkey over. Hey, maybe we should make this into one of those debate articles like “A MAR S PAR-BUR.”

    Or I could make it into a hat: “VEN-TYR, VIE-BOH, WAR-SIL, PAR-BUR, MAR S PAR-BUR.”

    But that might be a little too long for a hat.

  14. Jim O'Kelley

    [quote]I feel like it’s becoming a sort of cop-out for Austria, Italy and Russia[/quote]
    In general, I’m not a big fan of adjacent triples. However, at least the A/I/R deals with its own Heartland (by attacking Turkey) in addition to storming the other. The Western Triple defers the issue of settling its own Heartland.

    Also, in this game, there was talk of a Western Triple, and also reason to suspect one. Experienced players often prefer not to open against novices since we want them to have a positive experience, so there was reason to believe that F/G would be pitching a Triple to E. The A/I/R is a suitable response to the threat of a Triple, and it also tackles the thorniest problem in the Eastern Heartland: Turkey.

    All that said, my decision to stick with the A/I/R in Fall 1901, and again after Austria built F Tri, was incredibly stupid, and I deserved to finish with two centers.

  15. Peter Lokken

    [quote]Peter meanwhile occupied Ank that season. But in the Fall, he moved F Ank to the Black Sea, forgetting that he didn’t own it. He compounded that error by not forcing Sev. So Amanda gained one and built an army in Ank. In 1906 and 07, Peter devoted five of his 11 units to Amanda’s elimination, which cost him tempo and perhaps a stronger result.[/quote]

    …this was the worst mistake ive made yet in diplomacy. my game could have turned out so much better had i not had to use half my units playing musical chairs to finish off turkey. im still thinking about it.

    I had three back-to-back stabs which all but elimiated russia and turkey, and crippled italy. Then the “coalition of the willing” took over. I had two builds in the pocket, and should have been two more had i not messed up my moves around the black sea. I also now regret drawing when I did. With turkey removed, I would have been able to move my Blk fleets out to work on the med properly. My inexperience with being a bigger power and having everyone gang up scared me into drawing so as not to lose my edge. Which was stupid since i got where i was by being aggressive and ballsy. Oh well.

    Regarding bottling the austrian fleets up in blk, I dont think you could have with just a fleet in Aeg, Chris, as an austrian (i had 2) fleet could just move to bulg s.c. or smyrna to have a 2v1.

  16. Jim O'Kelley

    Here’s another interesting tidbit from this game. Conventional wisdom states that if Russia opens to Silesia, he won’t get Sweden. In this game, Russia opened to Silesia but still got Sweden. Germany had opened to the Baltic. In the Fall, he used both armies to try to save Munich, which meant that Baltic had to move to Denmark. That gave Russia a free pass to Sweden.

  17. Nate Cockerill

    Four people couldn’t eliminate me.

  18. Peter Yeargin

    [quote]Four people couldn’t eliminate me.[/quote]

    Nate…you’re SOOOOOOO good lookin’!! šŸ™‚

  19. Jim O'Kelley

    [quote]I also now regret drawing when I did.[/quote]
    In my opinion, when the game ended, the British and French positions both were better than the Austrian position. You had five units in the southeast corner of the board and three more tied up in the defense of Venice. That left only three in the middle, where you were incredibly weak. The British were in Warsaw and Ukraine. The French owned Vienna. Had you not gotten distracted by Turkey, you likely would have had a great position at this point. But you did get distracted by Turkey, and by 1908, England and France had more momentum than you.

    England voted for the draw because Amanda wasn’t playing for score. Ben left after the Fall 1907 turn, and Amanda, just eliminated as Turkey, took over the British position. (BTW, both the Prime Weasel and the War Weasel agreed that Ben should get the points for the British position rather than a zero because the draw passed in Fall 1908, so the center counts rolled back to 1907.) It wasn’t her game, so while I’m sure she would have enjoyed playing out the strong British position, she rightly, in my opinion, voted for the draw.

    France voted for the draw because he was in danger of losing two dots and he was now dealing with a more experienced England.

    Germany and Italy voted for the draw because our positions sucked.

  20. Peter Lokken

    [quote]You had five units in the southeast corner of the board and three more tied up in the defense of Venice.[/quote]
    Once turkey was out of it those units were free. I was stalemating france in italian territory. If i were to hold that stalemate off until those 5 units, particularly the fleets, arrived to striking distance, especially since: france was going to go down two, and now up against a more experienced england, and the coalition of the willing disbanded, i thought austria could have faired better than it did in the end.

  21. Peter Lokken

    [quote]Four people couldn’t eliminate me.[/quote]

    We’ll have to try harder next time! Remind me wednesday

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