On Pearl Harbor Day, with Tora, Tora, Tora playing in the background, 12 of us gathered at the Red Lion in Lincoln Square to bomb the crap out of each other and, in some cases, ourselves. On Tuesday night, we had 15 for this Dip & Drinks event, but three dropped on the day of. The 12 fit sort of neatly into a big board for vets of varying seasoning and a small board for newish and rusty players, with Peter Lokken and me pulling double duty.
The big board played into Fall 1906 before calling the game at the 11 p.m. time limit. The center counts rolled back to 1905, which were:
The small board got through 1906, finishing in the following center counts:
The supply center charts are here.
Another good night for the Weasels, with two more new recruits. Ryan is another player connected to Ben and Peter, while Kenny found us on Facebook. Hopefully, they’ll both be back.
And you’ll recall that at our season-opening game at the Red Lion, we learned about a regular who was trying to recruit players for a game. We met him and a friend last night. His name is Glenn Wilson, and I think we can look forward to them joining our group in the near future.
Despite the incessant, often misguided sneak attacks, our club continues to thrive. Torra, Torra, Torra that.
This Post Has 12 Comments
Just as a follow up to our Royale discussion (http://windycityweasels.org/game-reports/tournaments/386-third-time-the-charm-for-yeargin), I played Gramila’s opening here.
Germany had opened to Holland and was offering Belgium to me. I thought about taking it, but once in the Channel, I didn’t want to move away from France, even for a center. Instead, I asked Germany to move there himself to bounce the French army in Burgundy.
“Why don’t you want the supply center?” He asked.
“Because I’d rather do something more interesting with the fleet in the Channel,” I answered.
France, like all my neighbors, was a new player, and conventional wisdom says that new players always cover Brest while vets leave it open. So, I moved to the Mid Atlantic and convoyed Yorkshire to Norway. Taking the safe build instead of gambling on German support seemed like the smart play.
Conventional wisdom be damned, ’cause France ignored the threat to Brest, taking Portugal instead. Meanwhile, Germany, apparently suspicious of my rejection of his Belgian offer, held in Holland, allowing France to pick up Belgium for a third build.
He built F Brest and promptly dislodged my fleet from the Mid Atlantic, but he left Spain open for a retreat. Thanks to that error, the gambit paid off for me. Absent a mistake like that, I think you need France to cover Brest and Germany to keep him out of Belgium in order to cash in.
I wouldn’t hesitate to try the opening again, but I’d work harder to get Germany and Italy on board from the start.
Ganging up on a player who has volunteered to play on two boards so that four other players don’t have to sit out, is a dick move. Especially in a social setting like a bar game with short deadlines. And especially to the point where you’re pouring over the map, searching for the best moves, while the distracted player helps the new guys adjudicate on the other board.
However, we were playing on the anniversary of the Pearl Harbor sneak attack, the mother of all dick moves, so what do you expect? And Diplomacy often rewards dick moves, so there’s that on top of that. And I know I won’t get far asking for a break.
So, how about this? A distracted player may make a good target, but I’ll suggest that he makes a better ally.
When you’re playing on two boards, all you’re looking for is a guy who will work with you and take the lead in the alliance. You simply don’t have the time to do the things that every ally worth his salt should be doing: that is, thinking down the board and trying to subtly undermine your position so that when the game shakes out, it does so in your face instead of his.
In our club, the knee-jerk reaction is to gank the guy playing on two boards. “Hey, he can’t focus on this game, so let’s kill him.” Then what? You hope for the best, that’s what.
Well, my fellow Weasels, hope is not a strategy.
Next time, try working with the guy playing on two boards. In him, you’re going to get an ally who does not have the time to scheme against you. Treat him fairly, and you’ll have an ally who will help you reach the midgame with a much stronger hand.
And, you won’t be a dick.
J’accuse! False promises! Some of us will be dicks anyway!
I do have to say, that despite having three (and even four at times) of us attempting to pile on him, Jim defended quite well, and it was even looking like the Western Triple (what’s a WT plus Austria called anyway, the Decadent Anschluss?) was going to save his bacon, until the ill-fated comparison to a television show which until recently starred “Winning”‘s own Charlie Sheen by one of the triple’s own members stirred up enough controversy that little Vienna sausages were filling the stomachs of hungry children everywhere… There’s a lesson here somewhere, but I’m no Aesop.
Jim, teacher or consummate meta-gamer? You decide. Remember, if you gang up on him, you are a dick. I think he is trying to plant a seed for next game…. 😀
If I’m metagaming, then I’m metagaming for the next guy who plays on two boards. He won’t be me. I’ve done it the last two times we needed a volunteer. Next time, it’s someone else’s turn.
I’ll play on two boards next time. I’d love to be the beneficiary of Jim’s metagaming, and if it doesn’t work, well, I probably deserved it.
I rallied for your survival Jim.
Wow, ganging up on Austria?? Perhap’s this is only Occam at work.
However, it is the reason I’ve never played two boards (well, that and a defecit of skill).
Who the players are and what powers they’re playing is just noise. Yes, a compelling case can be made for ganging up on me [Chris Martin, stop reading here.] regardless of whether I’m playing on two boards. Same thing, Austria.
Strip all that out and ask yourself, have you ever been in a game with a two-board player and concluded that your best course of action was to wipe him out specifically because he was playing on two boards? For most of us, myself included, the answer is yes.
I’m suggesting that maybe it isn’t the best course of action.
Assuming he can write competent orders, then a player who is reliant on you and who hasn’t put as much effort into his diplomacy with other players as you have, seems like a good person to take with you into the midgame. His options are more limited than yours.
The only reason you need to try working with the distracted player is that it may improve your hand in the midgame shakeout. The fact that you will be treating him, at least initialy, in a manner that rewards him instead of punishes him for his noble sacrifice is just a bonus.
Sometimes you can get ahead in this game without being a dick. This may be one of those times.
I think it’s also important to note that the players who typically play multiple boards are often the strongest players, and thus can often be magnets for pile-ons regardless. Also, the very dynamic you write about where the player competing on two boards can prove to be a valuable ally by virtue of his split focus can also be exploited by your other opponents on the board. This presents a classic prisoners dilemma where one must weigh the risk/benefits of working with the multi-board player vs. his opponents doing the same. Given that the split focus offers way more negotiating time to the constant powers playing a single board, it is unsurprising that most players choose to eliminate the high variability of the multi-board player, working instead with their other neighbours who present more “known knowns”. This outcome also presents the opportunity for better strategic/tactical discussion by virtue of more negotiating time. While the more experienced multi-board player may not need the extra analysis/discussion to select the proper direction or set of orders, the more inexperienced players often do, and feel uncomfortable without exhasutive discussion, which is problematic with multi-board players.
Probably a really good Diplomacy World article in there somewhere.
I think you just wrote the article, Christian. May I suggest a title of “Multiplayers and Metagamers: Jim Okays Prisoners Dilemmas”