In addition to the backstabbing, players in Game No. 306, played Saturday at Pete McNamara’s home in Evanston, were treated to ribs and brisket courtesy of grillmaster Pete.
"The barbecue turned this one up to 11," remarked Bryan Pravel, who, having now played in 13 club games, all since January, is something of an authority on the Weasels scene.
Could the club now have a third host extraordinaire to rival Messrs. Brown and Burgess?
As for the game, depsite being a house game with a generous 11 hours allotted for play, it ended by draw vote during the Spring 1906 turn in the following center counts:
England (Bryan Pravel): 0; 0.000 points.
France (Pete McNamara): 8; 25.197 points.
Germany (Brian Shelden): 8; 25.197 points.
Italy (Mike Whitty): 3; 3.543 points.
Russia (Ted McClelland): 6; 14.173 points.
Turkey (John Gramila): 0; 0.000 points.
The supply center chart is here. Players, how did it go down? Among other things, I’m sure our readers, not to mention your humble scribe, would like to know how Turkey was shut out in 1901.
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I’ll leave the discussion of Turkey to the players in the east. My game was pretty straightforward. I decided to go all in and attack Pete M. (France) immediately. I opened to ENG, NTH, and the WAL. I was expecting Mike W. (Italy) to open to PIE but apparently we did not communicate enough because he did not do so. Brian S. (Germany) opened standard and agreed to support me into Belgium. I decided to go all in. I convoyed to Belgium, and took NWY for two builds.
Generally when I play England I like to make my first build a fleet and the second an army but I knew this would allow Germany to take NTH so I decided to build 2 fleets, one in LON, one in LVP. Ted (Russia) was tied up in the east so I felt safe enough to commit against France.
Pete (France) played excellent defense and I think I made a tactic mistake of trying to protect MAO rather than forcing PIC. At the time I figured the loss of tempo was fine because the E/G gained position in BUR. I would get nothing in 02 but could take MAO and pick up BRE in 03, and Iberia in 04. It was slow but fine. The east was a mess. I was in no rush.
In the north Ted (Russia) built an army but that was not a big deal. I figured Brian S. (Germany) would be in Sweden and be able to support me back in. I guess I just assumed he would magically know that is what I was thinking because I don’t think I ever brought it up. He moved to GOB instead, so there was no way for me to force Noway back.
In F1902 I was looking at no builds from France and the loss of a build in Norway. Brian offered me Denmark. I thought this could be a potential stab. That was way too good to be true. I think I even told Pete “this turn is going to be really bad for one of us” or something along those lines. I was so “in” on this E/G I saw no other good options, and I felt the move actually made a lot of tactical sense of Brian trusted me. It was risky for him. It strong for the E/G and our position would be so strong afterwards I thought it was worth the risk.
I guessed wrong. Brian took Belgium, I had to disband two, and then I was scrambling.
Pete impressed me in this game. He never gave up, played great defense, kept chipping away at Brian, and then once Brian flipped, he immediately said “hey guys this is a great position for a western triple”. I had no better options, decided the risk was worth it, and shifted my fleets north to move on Ted.
Or at least I tried to. Brian S. mist have read my post about follow through because he took North Sea and started moving hard against me. I decided it was better to try and put myself in position to work with someone than fall back to a slow but inevitable defeat so I exposed my position to Pete in the hopes we could work together. Pete gave it some thought, probably remembered how I opened against him in he Channel and Wales, and joined with Brian to finish the job.
I was eliminated very, very quickly. Thankfully for me this ended up a really short game, I only sat a couple of turns, had time to enjoy a beer and listen to the other players negotiate, and then enjoyed some of Pete’s homemade BBQ and drinks at a nearby Irish pub to finish the evening off. All in all not a bad way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
Got to talk about Pete’s power assignment approach. It probably had as much to do with Turkey’s demise as anything. Each player picked a power for each person (including themselves). They also assigned a “weight” for each choice from 1-7 with 7 being heaviest and 1 being lightest. For example, I put Gramila in Austria with a weight of 7 and myself in France with a weight of 6 and so on. The assignments and weights were added up. Powers went to the person who had the highest number for it (I think). Ted in Russia was an exception as he was third highest but the two higher than him were highest for other countries. So the east was Matt in Austria, John in Turkey, Ted in Russia and Mike in Italy. John was immediately pleased and put his orders in the box right away. Ted didn’t take too kindly to this. So AR was born. Somehow Turkey did not move Ank-Bla in Spring 01 while Russia did move Sev-Bla. Fall saw Bla-Ank succeed and Turkey was at 3. AIR then ground him down.
The rest of my game was claiming the Balkans and a couple poaches. AIR needed to work together by spring 1906 as FG clearly looked good and were coming east. I was fine with a draw at that point with a 9-center board top. It happily passed.
The power selection was a lot of fun as was the game and barbecue. Thanks to Pete for hosting and everyone for playing. Really pleased to have Ted back. It didn’t last but he and I did work together for several years.
First, thanks to everyone for coming over. I enjoyed hosting and even though the game was short, I had a fun time.
Matt did a good job of describing the power assignment approach. I like that you get to have some influence where other people will be.
In the end, the fact that Turkey got destroyed early, helped save me as France. My negotiations with England and Germany indicated that both were open to working with me. England and I agreed to keep the Channel DMZ and Germany told me he was going to open “Standard”, which is Kie-Den, Ber-Kie and Mun-Ruh. Germany and I also greed to keep Burgandy DMZ. After talking with Italy and the rest of the board I decided to open Bre-Mao, Mar-Span and Par-Pic. I was surprised that England opened to the Channel AND to Wales. Every time I talked to England for the next two seasons he basically just said “I’m fully committed to coming after you and Germany is helping me, I hope”. Sure enough, Germany told me he was supporting England to Bel in F1901 and England’s die was further cast when he built Fleet Lon and Fleet Lvp.
One of my saving graces was that both Germany and England were pretty honest with me in that they never quavered from their all out assault on the poor and helpful peons in France. Since both of them told me that England was getting Belgium, I left Brest open and was able to get 2 builds and put a fleet in Brest. If would have had to cover Brest, then I would have had a harder time getting my fleets into position to defend myself.
So, onto 1902 and where the quick demise of Turkey comes into play. In the Spring, Germany had kicked Russia out of Sweden, as he told me he would do and Russia had taken Norway. England was down one. And, Turkey was sitting on one last center already by this time. So, I was able to convince Brian in Germany that while they could make progress against me, as a 5 center France and Austria getting big that the going would be slow and that he’d be better off working with me and taking Belgium for himself. At what seemed like the last minute, he agreed, kicked France out of Belgium and the glorious French were relieved of pressure.
After 1902, there was some growth and trying to not make Germany and Austria angry while I got into better position. The endgame was anti-climatic, but 1901 and 1902 made up for it.
Also, re: Turkey – the “Illusion of negotiation” is probably important! John threw his pad in immediately as per Matt’s note. Near the end of the negotiation period John announced to a couple of us that he was moving to Armenia. So, I assumed that Ted was going to get Sundstrom’d. I did not expect that along with Smy-Arm, that Ank would open to Con!
The other surprising part about 1901 was that John had told Ted he was going to bounce him in the Black Sea and Ted opened with Sev-Bla AND Mos-Sev…..if there would have been a bounce in Black, Ted would have had a small problem but instead Ted was in good position early.
[quote name=”Bryan Pravel”] I decided to go all in and attack Pete M. (France) immediately. [/quote]
Deciding to kill the host immediately? You’ve gone full Weasel.
[quote name=”Jake Trotta”]Deciding to kill the host immediately? You’ve gone full Weasel.[/quote]
That *was* the pitch from Brian. 🙂