Another game, another near solo. This time, it was Nate Cockerill pushing Austria to 17 centers before being stopped by an F/G stalemate line. Game No. 133, played March 20 at Ted McClelland’s home in Rogers Park, ended after the Fall 1912 turn in the following center counts:
The supply center chart is here.
After the game, Nate texted me to say he had finished with 17 centers. I complimented him on his effort. His response: "I feel like I just got eliminated." Maybe he’ll expound on that sentiment in his endgame statement. And let’s hear from the rest of the players as well.
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For those keeping track, in our three March Madness games thus far, we’ve had 16 unique players and three new Weasels. And we’ve now played on six straight weekends. We’ll get to seven Saturday at Matt’s house, and then we’ll take a couple of weeks off before CODCon ([url]www.windycityweasels.org/codcon5[/url]).
The game started with talk of a Western Triple. England proposed an interesting variation on my understanding of the triple, where he took Denmark and I took Holland and Belgium (w/ the fleet!). I was hesitant about it, because without Denmark, I didn’t have the ability to grow into Sweden, and would be stuck at 5 indefinitely. But, I wanted to have a conflict free start to the game more than I wanted to know where my builds were coming from.Also, I thought a fleet Belgium would be righteous.
I stirred the pot with a move to Tyrolia S01, then moved back to Mun to cover from a A Bur.
The Italians and Austrians rewarded my medlling with a move to Tyrolia and Bohemia in S02, and I was looking like a great early target. WIthout a possible build in Sweden and a second fleet built (and in Baltic) Munich was very vulnerable, and I could smell the Frech move to Burgundy and doom close behind me. With the fleet in Belgium, I told France I was moving to Channel to attack England, but as soon as I heard from England that I was moving supposedly the English Channel, and that I should to bounce the French, there was no way I was taking that move. Instead, I managed to take Denmark, which left England with a fleet Barents, Skag, Nth and Norway and a French fleet in Eng and an army in Pic (and Italian pressure in the south).
I pointed out the France could have Liverpool for free and offered the English support into Sweden thinking I could take it later. We had a Turkish CD in 02, and it was looking like Russia was going to blow up, so I had to keep Russian pressure off me. I moved through Scandanavia, and was setting up to make gains of Moscow and Stp when Austria (my co-Russia attacker) stepped up and put himself into Munich. Eventually, I got it back, then had a misorder to Nwy, which caused me to lose Stp. The misorder caused me to lose all momentum against France, who I was gearing up to stab.
The rest of the game was taking as many dots as I could without losing the stalemate line at Spain and Mar, which would have been 18 for Austria.
It was an incredibly close game, with the loss of Munich and Stp to an ascendant Austria sending me into nervous fits. GGall.
This game didn’t turn out exactly as I had planned. I chose Russia because I wanted to try an opening called the Black Sea Exchange, in which Russia and Turkey swap centers so both can get fleets into the Med. Next to me in Turkey was Peter Lokken’s friend Kino, who had never played Diplomacy before.
Kino was willing to go along with anything I wanted to do. I even wrote out the orders for him. I told him to re-copy them in his own hand, so it didn’t look like I was playing two countries. After Fall ’01, the Russian fleet was in Con, the Turkish fleet was in Aegean, and it looked as though we were ready to roll over Austria and Italy with three fleets. Then Kino built A Ankara.
Realizing the newcomer wasn’t going to be a viable ally, I worked with Nate Cockerill’s Austria to eliminate Turkey. Kino was so eager to get away from the Diplomacy board that he threw us his centers and went into civil disorder.
Here’s where I made my fatal mistake. When Nate and I divided up the Turkish centers, I let him into Constantinople, giving up the position I’d won with my opening. I gained a dot by going to Ankara, so it seemed like an even trade. Wrong. My fleet was now useless, and Nate rewarded my generosity with a stab, attacking me in Rumania and bouncing me in Smyrna. If I had held in Con, I could have taken all three Turkish centers, and there would have been nothing Austria could have done to stop me. Instead, he blew up to 17.
Note to John Gramila: Russia always looks like it’s about to blow up. That’s why it rarely does. It’s not as big as it appears. Thanks to the board layout, a 7-center Russia looks much more menacing than a 7-center Turkey, when in reality, it is much less menacing.
I was most nervous before you got stabbed by Austria, when it looked like you had 2 guaranteed builds coming your way from Turkey and a dead Turkish fleet sitting in the Aegean and blocking the Austrian fleet. At that time, I was looking for my builds in Sweden and Norway, and if you had gotten a third unit up in the North (you already had a fleet sc and an army) I was going to face a huge struggle for those centers.
I’m trying to remember whether he had his fleet in Greece. If so, he could have forced his way in in the fall, but then I could have retreated to Smyrna, while my army would have been in Ankara.
Con and Greece are not adjacent, but he did have the fleet in Greece. He was stymied until F Aegean was disbanded.
I was never stymied the whole game. I took the Ionian in order to go around the Civil disordered Turkish fleet. That amde Aash rather uncomfortable until I explained the reason for the move.
But you wouldn’t have been able to beat me to Smyrna. I had an army in Armenia in Fall ’02.
In this game, I intended to start off safe with ROM-APU and NAP-ION. Austria was friendly and moved TRI-ALB. Turkey appeared to be a little clueless so I recommended moving to BLA but obviously Ted spent more time telling him how not moving to BLA was beneficial for their alliance. I would have let my A VEN sit but a last minute epiphany made my write A VEN-PIE. Thus began a 10-year battle against the Frenchman.
With one build in Tunis (taken with the fleet) I built F NAP and moved my fleets west into TYS and WES. My armies were up in PIE and VEN since Germany opened to TYR. By the end of 1902 I had a nice flotilla sitting around Spain and Germany had armies in TYR and BOH waiting to hit him. At this point Turkey got tired and threw his centers to Russia and Austria, which irreversibly unbalanced the game for me (since I wasn’t in a position to benefit).
Nevertheless, Nate and I schemed to put me in Munich in S1903, and I was all set to get Spain from France to go up to 6 centers. This was the turn when it all went wrong for me. While writing orders, I noticed Nate write F GRE-ION. This made me sacrifice Spain and turn one of my fleets around to go protect NAP/TUN. Nate also (purposely, according to Germany) misordered my support into Munich. All this conspired to leave me at 4 centers at the end of 1903. I do believe that Nate would have been better off letting me grow at the same rate as him at least until I got past the stalemate, especially if he wanted a solo bid. But such is life.
I negotiated Nate into moving his fleet into EAS and letting me have TRI for another fleet build. This gave me the advantage of having the monopoly over fleet builds in the alliance for the next 6 years. I turned around and went back against France. But by this time, France had stabbed England and was getting builds, so I was stonewalled for a couple years until an English fleet came to the rescue and hit MAO (with my support).
I managed to break MAO and take MAR at one point since Germany and France had some issues in LVP/EDI. I was dislodged from MAO and went to NAO to walk into LVP. At this point Austria stabbed me and I turned around to go harass him. Ultimately, I was going to convoy into Turkey and have all those dots when Germany took LVP and France convoyed Austria into Tunis in the same turn. At this point my score in the standings wasn’t going to be improved by any finish so I just threw my remaining centers to Nate so that Peter Yeargin would at least have some competition at the top.
That was my game.
We had pizza and my friend Nadji brought along a handle of Cruzan, which was well received.