Moot XI, Round 4, Board 1

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Round 4, Board 1

The game ended by time limit after Fall, 1908.

Jim O’Kelley
Mike French
Mick Johnson
(Best France)
Siobhan Nolen
Chris Kelly
Jorge Zhang
Ali Adib
A:Jim O’Kelley
E:Mike French
F:Mick Johnson
G:Siobhan Nolen
I:Chris Kelly
R:Jorge Zhang
T:Ali Adib

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Chris Kelly

    The most recent [url=]Wise Old Weasel[/url] suggests that I play Italy well, but there was very little evidence of that in this game. In fact, I think probably none of the competitors in this game would say they were incredibly proud of their play, save for perhaps board-topper Mick Johnson — and even he conceded afterward that he’d made some tactical mistakes. He was also chided by some of those who finished behind him for not building more fleets, but I think that was a strategic plus: it kept England and Italy from feeling threatened, which in turn gave Mick’s armies the space they needed to bulldoze through the center of the board.

    For two experienced players who both believe in the value of Austria/Italy working together, Jim & I made our partnership look more like a Keystone Kops flick. I overreacted to Jim getting into Galicia in S01, plotting a stab into Trieste & Greece — but having to back off the latter part when Turkey (Ali) got cold feet about a minute before the deadline. So I was left with a half-assed stab that had predictably half-assed results.

    Similarly, Jim proposed a plan to set things right by shuttling my army to Serbia & then parts beyond, then decided to rewrite his moves at the last moment, negating the fact that I had gone along with it.

    Then I informed Jim of France’s desire to pass an army through Piedmont & Tyrolia to attack Munich (a maneuver Jim himself had used recently), only to have Austria support a German unit into Tyrolia, stranding the French army in Piedmont. This backfired on Jim, as the glut of units in northern Italy forced me to build an army in Rome that winter, rather than the fleet he had hoped for.

    After that, we bickered over whether Italy should attack Turkey by slipping into Smyrna (which I did briefly) or the slower classic-Lepanto convoy to Syria… which was pointless, since Russia had already decided (and admitted afterward) to back off Turkey & let it defeat any Italian assault, no matter where it happened.

    And so Jim & I were left pointlessly playing tug-of-war over Venice & Trieste like it was 1901 in the game’s final years, even as we lost centers to France & Turkey encroaching behind us. Not a game you’ll find either of us including in our Diplomacy resumes, it’s safe to say.

  2. Jim O'Kelley

    It seems my relations with critical neighbor Italy were torpedoed by generally good advice gone bad.

    [quote]I overreacted to Jim getting into Galicia in S01[/quote]

    I always advise new players to talk with everyone, not only to build rapport but also to inform their moves. I didn’t [i]want[/i] to be in Galicia. I moved there–violating the DMZ with Russia (Jorge Zhang)–because his story didn’t check out.

    Jorge had said that he wanted to play north and requested the DMZ so that he could move Warsaw to Ukraine. I agreed. In a subsequent conversation with Germany (Siobhan Nolen), though, she expressed surprise when I mentioned that Jorge was going north.

    “I haven’t heard anything about that,” she said.

    When I asked France (Mick Johnson) whether he was thinking about working with Jorge, he reacted similarly. “We haven’t talked about it.”

    Okay, so maybe Jorge was planning to hit Germany in conjunction with England (Mike French). Nope. “He hasn’t mentioned it,” Mike said.

    Now, normally, I don’t go blabbing plans like that, but as Austria, I thought it prudent to check out Jorge’s story. Just because I had been a loyal ally to Jorge the night before didn’t mean I would be a loyal ally today, and I expected nothing less from him.

    When the story didn’t check out, I concluded that he was trying to dupe me.

    I was wrong. Jorge moved Warsaw to Ukraine and Moscow to Livonia, and I stole into Galicia, freaking out my neighbors in the East.

    When I’m playing Austria, I want the move to Galicia to bounce. You can’t defend against Italian perfidy from Galicia.

    In the Fall, I talked to Turkey (Ali Adib) first, if I remember correctly, offering to support him into Rumania. He said he’d get back to me. Jorge, on the other hand, jumped at the offer. And when I told Chris that I would use Galicia to support either Russia or Turkey into Rumania, he expressed a clear preference for Russia.

    Near the end of the deadline, Ali came to me and asked for the support into Rumania. I agreed. Good thing, too, apparently:

    [quote]plotting a stab into Trieste & Greece — but having to back off the latter part when Turkey (Ali) got cold feet about a minute before the deadline.[/quote]

    Anyway, despite assenting to Ali’s request, I did not change my order. Army Ukraine got into Rumania with my support while Fleet Sevastopol slid into Armenia. Jorge built another fleet in Sev. Ali, now in the Black Sea, built a fleet in Ankara.

    [quote]Similarly, Jim proposed a plan to set things right by shuttling my army to Serbia & then parts beyond, then decided to rewrite his moves at the last moment, negating the fact that I had gone along with it.[/quote]

    After dotting me for Trieste and then seeing the R/T builds, Chris apologized for the stab and asked whether there were a way to turn his treachery into a positive for the A/T. That’s when I pitched moving Serbia to Trieste while my Greece supported Serbia to Bulgaria. I knew my attack would succeed, so I was willing to go through with these moves, and Chris also liked them.

    But as I stood at the table with the clock counting down, I was reminded of a second piece of advice that I frequently give new players: Filter what the other players are telling you through what the board is telling you.

    When I’m playing Italy, I normally won’t jump Austria unless I think I can get away with it. Given the chaos in and around the Black Sea, it certainly looked to me like Chris could get away with it, [i]especially[/i] if I continued moving away from him. Tunis to Albania, supported by Trieste, and Venice to Tyrolia would have been devastating.

    So, with about 15 seconds left, I scribbled out everything but Galicia to Vienna and rewrote the other three moves.

    Even the best advice will be wrong sometimes.

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