On our drive up to WolfCon last weekend, Matt Kade talked about the robustness of our club, both in terms of the quantity of the games and quality of the play.
"I tell my friends about the club, and they don’t get what a big deal it is to pull off two or three games a month," he said. "It’s not easy to find seven players."
Then he paused to reflect on his performance with the Weasels since joining the club at CODCon last April. "I’d like to top a board," he said. "I don’t think I’ve finished with more than six centers."
Within a few hours, he had topped his first board with us, a modest nine-center performance as Austria. Yesterday at Ted McClelland’s home in Rogers Park, he made it two in a row. And this board-top was nothing to blush about. Game No. 228 ended after Fall 1908 in the following center counts:
Austria (Lorenzo Davis): 7; 14.244 points.
England (Ted McClelland): 0; 0.000 points.
France (Matt Kade): 13; 49.128 points.
Germany (Ben DiPaola): 0; 0.000 points.
Italy (Mike Whitty): 2; 1.163 points.
Russia (David St. John): 11; 35.174 points.
Turkey (Ryan Whalen; Ted McClelland): 1; 0.000 points.
The two straight board-tops vaulted Kade into second place in the standings. St. John is right on his heels in third.
The supply center chart is here. Note that McClelland took over Whalen’s one-center position at some point. Whalen was only able to play until 4 p.m. as he had work to do. Per club rules, neither player scores the position, but its sum counts in the scoring. Therefore, this game totals less than 100 points.
Hopefully the players will chime in with their thoughts on the game. On Meetup, Kade commented that a solo was in sight until he allowed a Russian retreat into the Noth Sea. I’d like to hear more about that.
In the meantime, our next tilt is another Brawl game this Wednesday at the Red Lion. Two seats are still available, but we expect this game to fill, so speak up soon if you want to play.
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Writing up the game to 1908 would be quite a task – it was a wild up and down with a lot of dramatic twists and turns. Maybe another time. But since Jim asked about the final position, the potential solo turned draw, and the North Sea…
It was really the Spring that was the crucial turn for Kade. I let myself become complacent with my position in Scandanavia, believed in Kade’s goodwill because I thought he needed my help, and allowed him to execute a devastating stab positioning units A Kiel, F Helg, F Nth, F Skag and A Mun against my A Nwy, F Den, F Bal, A Ber, A Boh and Austria’s A Sil. I hate to have to admit, I did not see it coming.
My orders were F Bal S F Den – Kie, A Nwy – Swe, A Ber and A Boh S (Austrian) A Sil – Mun. Kade ordered A Kie S F Hel – Den, F Ska S F Nth – Nwy, A Mun – Ber. This dislodged my F Den with Nth as an available retreat, which I gladly took.
I was fortunate to do well in the south, picking up Smy off of Italy and Bul off of Austria. So my dot count was flat despite giving up two to France. I had a build coming since I had a fleet annihilated (in 1907 actually and I foolishly forgot to take the build).
Kade, owning all of the English centers at this point, did not have a single unit adjacent to the British islands. I admit that without letting my fleet through to Nth, he had a good play for taking the rest of the Scandinavian centers and a couple Mediterranean centers to hit 18. As it actually happened, he graciously agreed to a draw rather than playing out the drama of chasing down my rogue fleet, which could have ended well for either of us in my opinion.
It was a nice stab. Next time I won’t let my guard down as easy, Kade =)
Yeah everything seemed to go right for me in this game until I allowed that retreat into NTH. It started by me working with Ben (Germany), which was aided by David (Russia) heading north to StP in 1901. Looking like Russia wouldn’t get Rumania, I helped convince Ben to let David into Sweden. When Russia got two builds, he put a fleet in StP(nc) which tied up Ted (France) and allowed me to be in IRI and ENG, with an army in Wales, by the end of 1902. This pretty much sealed France’s fate when he also lost Norway in 1902.
When I picked up two English centers in 1903. I put a fleet in Marseilles, having already sent ENG to MAO in the fall. I fully intended to turn on Italy (Mike Whitty), and continue the alliance with Germany. At this point, Turkey was already collapsing despite having had an alliance with Russia, and David helped to convince me that there were more gains to be had moving against Germany (of course this also benefited him). I felt I could trust Mike to not move against me with a lot going on in the east, so I showed him my orders to come over the top and send Marseilles to Spain(sc). Ultimately, our game long DMZ gave me the breathing room to move on Germany. I got lucky with a few other aspects, which included successfully offering to put Austria into Munich, allowing England survival for several more years by putting him into Holland, and Ben getting attacked from behind by Russia when he threw everything west.
1907 saw me pick up two centers to get to 11, which was even with David as Russia. I decided to make a run for 18 in 1908, and I had a great chance. I was foolishly thinking about Denmark canceling support from NTH and took Norway from NTH instead of Ska. This allowed a retreat from Denmark (which I didn’t expect to take) into NTH. If I hadn’t done that, I would have had fleets in Denmark, Norway and NTH with armies in Kiel, Ruhr and Munich, and I was also in Tuscany and Tyrolia, with no other units on the Italian mainland. I was also in GoL, WMed and NAfr, forcing the Southern powers to guess between keeping Tun and TyS. And with only two northern fleets (Baltic and either Ska/StP, depending on whether David retreated or took his fleet off the board and put it in StP), I think I had a clear path to 18. It was a fun game, but I learned an important lesson about paying attention to potentially damaging retreats. I feel like this was my best chance to ever get to 18 with this group, as I’m sure Nate, Matt, and Jim won’t ever allow me such a golden opportunity.