Despite two last-minute cancellations, Game No. 138 went down as planned Saturday at Ted McClelland’s home in Rogers Park. Peter Lokken topped the board with a 15-center Germany and moved into third place on the year. The game ended in Spring 1908 with the following center counts:
Special thanks to Christian for stepping in to fill the first open slot and to Ted for both hosting and finding a new recruit to round out the board at the 11th hour. The supply center chart is here. Now, let’s hear from the players.
Next up is a game at Ballydoyle on Thursday, followed by a game at Dan’s on May 14. And watch for a bonus May game opening…
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This game almost didn’t happen. On Friday night, I learned that Aash had dropped out, because he’d had surgery (hope it went well, Aash). We couldn’t find another Weasel to step in, so I put out a request on my Facebook page. Jose, my old boss at the Census bureau, offered to play. He’s a board game fan, but had never played Diplomacy.
Jose chose France, and ended up having a big impact on the course of the game. I’ll explain. I was England, so I took Jose aside and told him a good EF alliance can roll the board. I encouraged him to move A Paris to Picardy or Burgundy, so he could support me into Belgium in the fall.
A Paris held. Meanwhile, Peter Lokken in Germany had both proposed a Western Triple to me, and had offered Nate Sweden if he would open to St. P. Nate opened to St. P. That meant I had to take Norway with support, and couldn’t bounce Peter out of Belgium. In the fall, Jose moved F MAO to Western Med. He only got one build, and built F Mar, because he wanted to attack Italy. Germany got three builds, and built two fleets.
The move to Western Med disrupted the Key Lepanto that Italy and Austria had organized against Turkey. Jose picked up the game quickly. After 1901, he began to show a real flair for Diplomacy tactics. He convoyed his army in Spain to Tuscany, then correctly guessed that Matt would convoy Tunis to Rome to defend his home center. After Jose slipped W Med into Tunis, Matt just sat there shaking his head, both impressed and dismayed by the newbie’s play.
Up north, Nate built F St. P (nc) and I built F Edi. These were both excellent builds…for Germany. I lost Norway in the spring, but took it back in the fall, because Nate had to protect St. P. from my fleet in Barents. He’d promised to support North Sea with Norway, but scratched out the order and replaced it with a deliberate misorder, F Nwy S Nor. I attacked Norway after seeing him do it. As a result, Germany took the North Sea. Needless to say, our fight was to Germany’s benefit. He ended up with Norway.
My final center was Portugal, which I took from France in 1907. (France’s last center was Vienna.) I helped convince Peter to vote for a draw by promising to support Christian’s Turkish fleet into the MAO.
I know we’ve been keep a database of Spring 1901 moves, but I think it would be great if we could keep a database of all moves. That way players could recreate a game, and study their plays. I have a lot of orders still lying on my table. Maybe we could agree to leave our moves with the host after the game, or individually e-mail our moves to Jim or another Weasel who wants to keep records.
An early mistranslation of my suggested opening to Italy, the Kiel Epantso, led to my surprise that Tyrolia was in Trieste, Adriatic in Albania; (I allowed my twin, Ike Larsen, to write my own orders throughout, a novel idea, but a mistake nonetheless) and a Con game running in Bulgaria!
Someone should have negotiated with Turkey! I’ll make sure to send Ike in for that next time. (Or at least out for a nice Viennese roast and a couple dozen croissants…)
In any case, it was not long before the West bowed to the King of Prussia who had relatively little concern for the New Course of Austrian affairs and preferred ripping Dutch stockings and eating cake to administering aid and providing the long arm to the bread-roll military which had thrown up doughy hands in coup against Emperor Franz Josef, replacing him with a little-known Bohemian insurance clerk whose most evident qualification for military leadership was having been well-dominated by his authoritarian father.
In retrospect, there are few ways in which we can have improved upon the play of the Austrian player in this game, noticeably due to the fact that he simply didn’t know when to fake throwing a solo! (That would come back to haunt him, no doubt.)
Furthermore, it’s obvious to any observer of flies on the wall that you wouldn’t have wanted to be one, practically ever. Nope, a beetle’s got a better chance.
wow, quick moving game