Round 2, Board 1
This game featured the best score by a player who didn’t win a best country award.
The game ended by draw vote during the Spring 1908 turn with the following center counts:
Austria (Christian Kline): 0; 0.000 points.
England (Grant Smith): 10; 29.240 points.
France (Kevin O’Kelley): 6; 10.526 points.
Germany (Nick Rohn): 0; 0.000 points.
Italy (Brian Shelden): 1; 0.292 points.
Russia (Bryan Pravel): 3; 2.632 points.
Turkey (Jake Trotta): 14; 57.310 points.
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This was the tournament of seconds for me: second CODCON, second place, second best Turkey, second board (only good board for me all weekend). I was STOOOOOOOOKED after the board call. I was Turkey, a country that I’m good at but had previously never topped with. Russia was tournament leader Bryan Pravel, less than 10 minutes removed from an exhausting 8 hour game. Since Bryan wasn’t playing the Sunday round, he needed points. Austria was Christian Kline, while Italy was Brian Shelden. They have their own rivalry and drastically different playstyles. The west was Kevin the Grey, Grant, and Nick Rohn.
First, I was fortunate in that all my pitches landed. To Russia, you need points, and I need a good result- I’ll play senior partner and we’ll get you the 20 points you need to lock up the title. He loved this pitch so much he invited me into Armenia.
To Austria, the tournament leader is in our theatre, and when we ally, one of the two of us always wins. Let’s get to the dance.
To Italy, it’s the one year anniversary of the super fun IT we ran together in the same roles. You don’t want to work with Christian, I don’t want to help Bryan, so let’s run IT the whole way.
I bounced Russia out of Rumania while taking the black. Russia had gotten into Galicia, but was bounced in Sweden and was at a strong risk of losing STP (the west opened as a triple). Italy took Trieste with the follow up in Venice, breaking any potential AI.
In the spring, Austria recognized that he was getting jumped, so offered me support into Rumania while I also picked up Sev.
Italy asked for support into Serbia. I asked him to wait for the fall, he agreed. France had built a southern fleet and he was nervous.
Russia was concerned by the number of units on his borders. I told him that I could gut you if I wanted to, but you’d be a lot more useful to me helping kill Kline and hold back the west. So I asked him to go to Bohemia and Galicia, allowing me Rum and Sev (with a fleet, or at least I said).
In the fall, we had Russia in Bohemia and Galicia, Italy in Trieste, and myself in Rum and Sev. Moscow was open. Austria wanted me to take it and flip him Bul, I decided to do neither, and I got two builds. I asked Italy if he would like assistance against the French onslaught, and was invited into Ionian.
End of 02 as Turkey- Sev, Rum, Bul, and Ion. Not bad.
[/b]Eliminated Austria and was careful to feed Russia a couple Austrian dots. He went off to go hold up the line. Italy invited me into Venice, frustrated at Germany taking it. Moved around Italy with fleets to be in position for Iberia.
This was the ballgame. I saw a narrow path to a solo. Russia was out of position, and if I moved quickly England couldn’t move over quickly enough to keep me out of Mos and War. I counted the remaining three Italian dots, as I had him surrounded. All I needed was Marseilles for 18, which I would pick up the next year.
I ordered Rum-Sev while sneaking into Warsaw behind Bryan, but it looked like Rum-Ser because of my bad handwriting. That cost me a season of tempo directly, forced me to use black sea inefficiently, a guarantee of Moscow and Warsaw, a decent chance at a solo, and possibly the tournament. Ugh.
Just polished up the rest of Austria and Italy. Couldn’t take Tunis-Brian Shelden flipped, which I can’t really blame him for. Didn’t need to hand me a solo. Ended on 14, thought about vetoing, but I had nowhere else to go because of the tempo slowdown.
[b]So why did this go so well for me?[/b]
First, I had a solid read of the players on the board right from the jump, and by letting them know what I hoped for out of them in the long term right away, they had a path to follow. Second, I had a little bit of luck- France moving on Italy early tired Italy out, encouraging him to janissary for me. Third, I didn’t lie, except right when Austria got killed. I was very forthright with the players on the board, even when I was attacking them. That decreased the drama, allowed me to play calm, and preventing anyone from coming after me. Fourth, I was patient. There were numerous times where I could have had one more, or maximized short term position. I could have taken Moscow in 01. I could have demanded for more of Austria in the midgame instead of Russia. But because I kept feeding my allies and avoiding getting too big, too fast, they moved out of position, I didn’t spook the other side of the board, and I was able to stab very effectively in the final two years.
[/b]Austria (Christian Kline): Not much you could do as you got jumped from the start. You were making all the right pitches, it’s just Italy and Russia were already offering those things.
England (Grant Smith): You played a great game. Played with fire a little bit, chomping dots off France behind the line, but you read correctly that Kevin wouldn’t throw the solo. Well done.
France (Kevin the Grey): We didn’t really interact too much in this one, but I’ll repeat what I said the night of: if someone is chomping at you behind a needed stalemate line, no one should be mad at you for defending yourself or throwing a solo.
Germany (Nick Rohn): Enjoyed having you on the board, sorry you got jumped so hard.
Italy (Brian Shelden): Thanks for being a great ally- you stabbed me at the right time.
Russia (Bryan Pravel): Honestly, I thought you played a decent game. Great job rallying everyone to protect the stalemate line. Your decision to trust me pays off if Italy has a better game. Ultimately, we completed our goal: got me close to you, where I needed a result the next day to pass you. I’m like 12% sorry I did.
Turkey (Jake Trotta): This game really showed me where I’ve grown. I don’t need to be the smartest guy on the table to win. By playing patient and establishing great relationships, the board opened itself up for me- I didn’t have to force it. This style is a new and welcome addition to the arsenal- learned a lot here that should help me in future games. And hey, second best Turkey and Tournament ain’t bad either.