England (Peter Lokken): 0; 0.000 points.
France (Jim O’Kelley): 10; 26.455 points.
Germany (Paul Pignotti): 9; 21.429 points.
Italy (Nathan Cockerill): 1; 0.265 points.
Russia (Pete McNamara): 14; 51.852 points.
Turkey (Don Glass): 0; 0.000 points.
McNamara’s haul puts him in first place through three games in the young Season Eight, about three points ahead of Beefy Nate Cockerill. He started fast, picking up three centers in 1901, and never really looked back, despite long wars with Austria and Germany.
The source of McNamara’s third build in 1901 was a bit of a surprise. He got into Galicia in the spring, and also opened to Rumania and St. Petersburg. Turkey, meanwhile, opened with Ank to Con, which rang alarm bells across Europe. Especially concerning was the fact that Cockerill’s little Italy snuck into Trieste and Venice off the bat.
But in the Fall, the Eastern dynamic flipped on Glass’ Turkey. He bounced Austria out of Greece, but Italy stuffed him in the Aegean, while Austria supported Russia into Bulgaria. McNamara followed Rum to Bul with Gal to Rum, and the rape of Turkey was on.
In the West, Pignotti and I sprung a Sea Lion on Lokken, succesfully capturing the North Sea. But we squandered that advantage in 1902, and by the end of the year, we were desperately fighting off the A/I/R.
My game was teetering on the brink in 1903. Italy had the jump on me in the Mediterranean, and England was flexing his muscles behind me. Fortunately, I was able to broker a temporary G/R truce that resulted in Germany recapturing Munich from Italy. Austria also retook Trieste that year, forcing Italy to disband. Italy never really recovered from that Fall 1903 turn, and in 1904, Pignotti and I got England back under control.
After the frenetic opening, the game settled down as France, Germany and Russia worked toward a three-way draw. The alliance was far from harmonious, however, and there were anxious moments in the final years as both Germany and Russia employed aggressive defenses to keep the other honest. But cool heads prevailed in the end.
Miscommunication between Russia and me cost me Italy’s last center on the final turn, I thought about dragging out the game another year to retake Rome, but I didn’t feel right about making the other guys play because of a mistake I had made. Besides, Nate played his usual solid game, despite the result, and I felt he deserved to survive.
You can check out the supply center chart here.
After the game, we had cigars on the patio. Don and Nate left after that, but the rest of us played other games until 12:45 a.m. or so. It was a fun day, and a nice way to celebrate my birthday.
Next up for the Weasels is the Weasel Royale and Undercard Game on Oct. 27 at Dan Burgess’ home in Downers Grove. We tried to talk Paul into driving back down for the Undercard, but as he colorfully put it, "I don’t do J.V." There’s still room for you, though. I hope you’ll join us.
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Here Russia’s perspective:
1901 was for me the most interesting year for me. Everyone seemed to want to have Russia on their side…
Turkey (Don) and I discussed an RT and how to best make that work. He went on for quite some time about having Russia open to Rumania and then Turkey open to Black Sea AND send an army to Armenia. Then in the Fall Turkey would convoy the army to Bulgaria. As Russia, I was of course interested in an RT but I wasn’t interested in bearing all the risk of an RT. We finally agreed that we would just make it evident of an RT and I would open to Rum and he would open to Con with his fleet.
Next up was Austria. Ulysses had already talked with Italy and told me they were interested in a Turkey First strategy. He told me he would bounce me in Galicia and I was fine with that. I did warn Ulysses to be aware of an Italy back dooring him in Trieste. He did not seem too worried…
I talked with Nate in Italy and he confirmed a Turkey First with Austria. Turkey First and Austria Second was the strategy. We would use Austria to help us take out Turkey and then split up Austria. We thought we could do this because we expected a lot of fighting in the West between Jim, Paul and Peter L in England
Conversations with Paul and Jim indicated a Sea Lion and would I consider going North?
So, let’s see…I am Russia. I have Turkey who is opening away from me and I have Austria and Italy who want me to help them on Turkey First. Meanwhile on the other side of the world if G+F are in fact doing a sea lion then my move to Norway will prevent England from building helping me secure one border. This sounds like a tasty Russian opening!
Lastly, with 30 seconds left in the Spring negotiations, I ran into Ulysses. I re-confirmed that we would bounce in Galicia. He told me no, he did not know what he would do with Vienna. I told him that I don’t mind if we bounce but if you don’t bounce me, make sure you cover Trieste.
So, 1901 happens and the Sea Lion is on which means I will get Sweden. Meanwhile Turkey does open to CON and we have VEN-TRI and VIE HOLDS!?!
In the Fall, Italy and Austria approached me and asked me to instead of working with Turkey to instead move to Bulgaria with support from Serbia. This was so that I would not go for Budapest from Galicia. After talking with F+G, I thought this might be a better move for me as they would be less likely to work with England if there was an RT. So, while my initial thinking was for an RT, after the 1st year of negotiations I thought Turkey First was a better strategy.
I was very worried that moving to seven centers right away would make me a target, but with stronger players on the board overall, I was hoping that I could still stay somewhat under the radar. This held true for the most part as the West kept talking to me about controlling Nate and Nate kept talking about controlling Jim.
For the rest of the game, I never had one ally with whom I was able to work with but there was always someone or more who wanted my assistance. While I kept getting bigger someone always wanted my help in spite of my size. I was hoping to find one person to work with but it wasn’t happening this game.
I did have a chance at the end to get 15 or 16 centers at the expense of Germany. However, I was tired and I did not want to swing the fortunes so much that Paul would give everything to Jim. The way I viewed it, with Jim, Nate and Paul on the board I was the weakest tactically and I did not want to see my 14 center Russia end up a 7 center Russia. That was probably unlikely but I was very happy to end with 14 and to enjoy the rest of the evening on the porch, playing other games and drinking beer.
I will also put in a plug for the Undercard at Dan’s. I have played it at least once and it’s a blast. And as Jim notes, the last 4 years the winner of the undercard has made the Royale. Maybe it’s JV, but it’s the ticket to Varsity.
Fun aha! moment with Pete:
[b]Pete:[/b] I want to work with you. How can I help you?
[b]Me:[/b] Just get big.
[b]Pete:[/b] How does that help you? I keep offering to help you, and you just keep telling me to get big. I think you want me to get big so that everyone focuses on me instead of you. … [Light bulb goes on.] Oh, [i]that’s[/i] how it helps you.