Winter blasted the shithole countries of pre-World War I Europe Wednesday night at the Red Lion in Lincoln Square as the Ice Queen rolled to an impressive board-top. Two-time defending Weasel of the Year and reigning Bull Weasel Brandon Fogel posted his best result of the young Season 13 campaign in reclaiming his familiar spot atop the league standings.
Game No. 360 ended by time limit after the Fall 1906 turn in the following center counts:
Austria (Jim O’Kelley): 0; 0.000 points.
England (Braden Lenz): 6; 14.400 points.
France (Jordan Hodge): 8; 25.600 points.
Germany (Chris Kelly): 2; 1.600 points.
Italy (Ali Adib): 4; 6.400 points.
Russia (Brandon Fogel): 11; 48.400 points.
Turkey (Brian Shelden): 3; 3.600 points.
Hodge was playing his first game ever. He works with Lenz and Shelden.
The supply center chart is here. Players, what happened?
The Bar Room Brawl standings are here.
This Post Has 7 Comments
Note: Above all things, this comment is a guide on how to be static at the very same 4 centers for the entirety of a bar game. Also my website commenting debut, finally!
As Italy and with a noobie in France (who turns out to be an impressive boardgame player, which none of us could guess at the time), my options are: go for Austria ASAP or form a Lepanto against Turkey.
Jim O’Kelly in Austria; Brian Sheldon in Turkey; Brandon Fogel in Russia who had a very good run with the English player in the only game he’s ever played only a few weeks ago. Do I try for the straight forward option of Austria right off the bet or do I go for the complicated Lepanto and fully expose myself to the club’s “old guard”? Conservative or not, I think the Austria option is the winner. Hence Venice opens to Trieste. So does Trieste to Venice; and here we go: A long gird lock between me and Jim who a couple years later turns himself into Brain’s janissary against me. What a treat!
Jim eventually gets eliminated. I manage to stay even at 4 by guessing a few enemy moves correctly. But this is all when Turkey is at 6ish, France is at almost 7, and Brandon is about to turn 11 in just a year! Like I told Jim “there was not much for either of us in the fight”. But what other option did I really had when there’s a first time player in France??
Having Russian Brandon at 11 centers, ultimately Turkish Brian, German Kelly, Italian me, Braden and Jordan (two newer players in England and France) all team up to tackle the out of control board topper. Yet he manages to maintain his 11 for three years; classic Brandon. And that concludes this “weird” game.
Tunis was my only gain throughout. I even refused taking Munich when Germany offered or Trieste at times that Turkey or Russia offered. Those moves would only overextend me and leave exposed to the greater powers on the board. I was already too far behind for a bar game and there was not enough fighting going elsewhere to benefit me. Jim had dedicated himself to dragging me down with him. He died eventually but the least he achieved was to hold me down whilst Brain, Brandon and Jordan thrived significantly. His other major accomplishment was to get Brian and me fighting when we probably were the best prospect for stopping an exploding Brandon. In other words he helped Brandon with the major board top, not an outcome he’d like to see himself I believe.
Would any of that scare me off of choosing to not work with Jim again? The answer: NO!
Your initial choice in this game was risky, Ali, in that there were strong players in Russia and Turkey. Still, maybe it’s worth rolling the dice if you can get away with the attack.
But you didn’t. I played a Hedgehog defense, which stuffed your attack. How did you respond?
You doubled down by building A Venice.
At that point, my course was plotted. You were intent on ruining my game, so I responded in kind.
With the dynamics of this board, the Lepanto was undoubtedly the better choice. And if you (or anyone else) believe that my Austria will initiate a fight with Italy, then you either haven’t been paying attention to how I play Austria or haven’t read anything I’ve written about playing Austria ([url]http://windycityweasels.org/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=1096:the-wise-old-weasel-austria&Itemid=241[/url]) or both.
I enjoyed my conversations with the new guys and was glad to finally get Jake’s plate on Cockerill’s Orb. Otherwise, this game was a complete waste of my time.
I tried a fight against Jim as Italy (he was Austria) and it ended in complete gridlock. Needless to say, I won’t be trying that strategy again!
[quote name=”Ali Adib”]Jim had dedicated himself to dragging me down with him. He died eventually but the least he achieved was to hold me down whilst Brian, Brandon and Jordan thrived significantly. His other major accomplishment was to get Brian and me fighting when we probably were the best prospect for stopping an exploding Brandon. In other words he helped Brandon with the major board top, not an outcome he’d like to see himself I believe.[/quote]
I’m not entirely clear on what you think Jim should have done instead. Perhaps politely die as quickly as possible when you attacked him?
Is that advice you would take if you were in Jim’s position?
Brandon barely had to break a sweat to top this board, IMO – every other player (myself included) made initial choices that benefited him, and it led to him being essentially unopposed until he hit 11 centers. In Spring 1901, Turkey (Brian) didn’t go to Armenia; in Fall 1901, Germany (me) let him into Sweden; in Spring 1902, England (Braden) chose to attack Germany rather than press further in Scandinavia — and all the while, Italy (Ali) and Austria (Jim) were at each others’ throats.
I tend to agree with Jim that Italy’s choice to attack Austria was counterproductive. With Russia and Turkey not fighting each other, I don’t know how Ali could expect them to do anything else but gobble up Austrian centers, with thanks (but no reward) to Italy for providing a distraction. (Braden’s decision in S02 to send an English fleet to Helgoland Bight rather than the Barents Sea backfired similarly, not only surrendering Norway in the fall but ensuring Russia would be in position to pick up German centers from the east as the E/F alliance pressured me in the west.)
For my part, being aware that England & France (as new players who knew each other off the board) would almost certainly ally, I felt I had no choice but to sell my soul to the devil (a/k/a Brandon) in 1901 in hopes of working together to hold the E/F back. To make that plan succeed without tilting the results too far in Brandon’s favor, though, I needed Russia to feel some pressure in the south.
When that didn’t happen, I was guaranteed to be a minor player in the final results, at best. And even then, I had a dilemma — I wanted to punish England for its poor strategic choice, but I didn’t want to gift-wrap Russia a bigger board-top than I’d already helped him be positioned for. Fortunately, I managed to keep things interesting for the final few years by maneuvering between the two, bloodying whoever’s nose was within reach of my ever-shrinking fists. I was as surprised as anyone that I managed to hold onto a couple of centers (and even miraculously add a third briefly). But the real satisfaction was in containing both Russia and England’s final center counts to some extent.
Now, when you say “I felt I had no choice”, did you pitch the triple to EF?
No, I did not (though Brandon said after S01 that he half expected me to open to Prussia and Silesia). I’m not a fan of the triple as Germany, and decided to rest my slim hopes on tempting Jordan (France) to attack Braden at some point (he did build F Brest even after I explained to him how it would be interpreted, so at least a faint impulse may have been there).
That said, when I saw how well things were shaping up for Brandon, I tried to rally E/F into a belated triple in F02, setting an example by moving to Silesia, Berlin, and the Baltic Sea despite the many E/F units all along my western front. They didn’t follow my lead; I assume they wouldn’t have done it in 1901 either.