Round 3, Board 2
This game featured one of the two Best Englands in the tournament.
The game ended by time limit at the end of 1909 with the following center counts:
Austria (Matt Sundstrom): 5; 10.081 points.
England (Don Glass): 11; 48.790 points. (Best England)
France (Nick Rohn): 2; 1.613 points.
Germany (Jake Trotta): 5; 10.081 points.
Italy (Kevin O’Kelley): 0; 0.000 points.
Russia (John Gramila): 3; 3.629 points.
Turkey (Brian Shelden): 8; 25.806 points.
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The Lazarus Game
On my first board the day before, I’d seen John Gramila go from a 2 center Austria to an 11 center best Austria. Whether that was mostly my own fault is neither here nor there- that game proved to me that it is in fact possible to have a strong game from the brink of elimination.
On this board, it was John Gramila that drove me to the brink of elimination. He was Russia to my Germany (woo favorite country!).
In 01, France violated our burgundy DMZ, then informed me of his intent to support the Italian into Munich. Don Glass appeared hell bent on bouncing Holland. So I told Italy of the great brotherhood that is the GI alliance, how we either win together or die separately, and how I have detailed my love of that relationship repeatedly on this website. He moved to Trieste instead, I forced Holland, and salvaged two builds. But then France dropped two armies, while England built F-edi.
John and I had an arrangement, which he broke. I partnered with Glass for a season, promising him all of Scandinavia. Then John and i had another arrangement, which he likewise broke. I had three enemies, no friends, 3 centers and terrible prospects.
So I said to EF that I will be the baby bitch of the western triple. That got me into STP and allowed me to keep Kiel circa 04. Due to English expansion, Gramila was feeling back. One threat down.
Next, I had a pull. My units were Ruhr, Baltic, and STP. I was likely to lose STP soon, Ruhr might offend France as it was behind his line, and Baltic was at this point useless. I pulled Baltic.
France was booming, and Don had no obvious next stage of growth. I offered to move forward towards Italy and help France across the line, which he accepted.
Then I pulled Don aside and said “look, France is going to outpace you pretty bad. Lend me Norway, I’ll take Belgium instead of passing through Munich, and we can have you lead from the front instead. It’ll be fun!”
Since I was throwing him a board top and France was so overextended, he was up for it. Because I maintained Kiel, I had a place to build, and gradually reclaimed the fatherland.
I actually had an outside shot at being in the ballgame of a board top. I went to six, but had no place for my second build. If I could hold Marseilles, I could build , slap down a fleet, make a play on Denmark, and certainly take Paris. With Russia crumbling, maybe I could take a flier on Warsaw. My ceiling was 8 centers, but that’s a hell of a lot better than 2.
Well, I made a stupid mistake that spoiled an otherwise amazing game by vacating Kiel in a fall turn. Don walked in, I had to reclaim it, and had to fight to get back to 5 centers in the final year.
Still, I thought I was dead, but hung around and a window opened. That window pushed me from bronze to silver on the weekend.
Shout out to Kevin the Grey, who not only nobly sacrificed himself to help me save Belgium, but wrote “because Jake is literally Lazarus” following the order