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Diplomaticcorp Discussion Forum:  dc283

(1926 Playtest)

Subject:< 1926 091119: Peace Restored! - Britain EOG >
Topic:dc283 >
Category:< Closed Games 
Posted:Feb 27, 2010 at 10:27 pm
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Hi Everyone,

This was an uneven game thanks to some of the lags in playing time based on players leaving and not being able to get prompt replacements. More than anything, for me, this defined the game. I'm glad I played because I do enjoy Charles' variants and was glad to test this, but ultimately the playing of it didn't turn out to be very much fun. A shame.

At the beginning of the game I forged a strong, direct relationship with France and a strong, less direct relationship with Poland and Turkey. I am a reliable ally in Diplomacy, so pretty early on I was already sweating, wondering how to architect a result that was not a bloated 4-way draw without stabbing.

Early on France and I worked well together. I liked my end of our strategic split of SC's - his getting much of Africa, my getting Iberia and the Lowlands - and felt well-positioned for a good result. When Germany built a fleet in Kie over my strenuous objections in Winter 1926 he became my target and I spent much of the next three years working myself and with others to bring about his demise. My premise was that, because he was a threat, I could simply use his spheres of influence as a path to growth without upsetting my alliances.

There were two major events that dictated my evolving strategy: first was the full-on assault of Russia by Germany, Poland and Turkey. I managed to cooperate with Mikael for a time without upsetting my allies and then toward the end game exchanged a guarantee of survival for getting to use his units as an extension of my own. This allowed me to keep Poland from growing too large too quickly, while having a greater reach to batter Germany with.

The other major event was France allowing himself to get stabbed by Turkey. This destabilized his African holdings and thus threatened to have a trickle-down effect that would result in his trying to get some of my territory in Iberia and the Lowlands. It quickly became clear that I would need to stab him in order to prevent his mistakes from diluting my position. However, the original player quit and I quickly liked working with Darryl, his replacement. This led me to try and cooperate with Darryl while staying loyal to Poland and Turkey *and* keeping Russia alive. It wasn't easy. My hope was the board situation would create a clear and justifiable path-to-action that would not constitute a stab.

The event that nearly turned the final result of the game on it's head was Poland blatantly lying to Turkey and I in 1929. Comparing notes and realizing this, Turkey and I prepared to pound him in the fall. However, some press from Poland to Turkey in the summer changed Harvey's mind and we simply worked with him to shatter the opposition and drive toward a triple, the vote for which was, as we now know, successful.

This variant turned out very differently from how I expected. I thought Turkey was easily the weakest power going in, but watching the game play out a little I felt the position was a lot stronger than it looked. Poland was the power I most wanted and the strength of that position when well-played came across in our result. Yet I felt the same way about Russia (my second choice) and he was functionally the first player out despite having a top player holding the reigns. Needless to say my assessment on relative strengths may be misguided.

This variant is similar to Standard with a few key differences:

1. The addition of neutral armies that can be influenced by DP's. This is a favourite mechanism of Charles in his variants and adds a lot more diplomatic intrigue. The only downside with it is that all of the neutrals are typically conquered in the first few years, making it an early game only mechanism

2. The replacement of Austria with Poland. This is the biggest difference because it moves that power's center of gravity from southwest by Italy and the Balkans up toward Russia in particular, as well as closer to Germany. I suspect this will almost always force an early Poland-Russia conflict that will define the game for both. It also takes some pressure off of Italy and shifts it onto Germany, but unfortunately that does not make things any easier for Italy because...

3. Britain, France and Italy each have African holdings, which collectively stretch across the Med. This is why I incorrectly thought Turkey was a poor position since both France and Britain are in it's back yard; as it turned out, the remote nature of the BF positions makes the eastern Med untenable against a competent Turkey player, even less against a talented player like Harvey. In turn this funnels all of those fleets right at Italy. While Italy starts with African holdings the Med the area is just too busy and contested, not giving him much room to play. These shifts in power and influence are not necessarily a good or bad thing, but I suspect that, compared to Standard, Germany, Italy and Russia are worse off while the other four are all better off. Further testing of this variant might challenge these assumptions which are obviously coloured by the result!

As I mentioned at the outset I did not ultimately enjoy this game because of the long delays. Regardless I do enjoy the variant and like much of what Charles does as a GM so will be happy to play it again in the future. Thank you, Charles, for creating and running the game; thanks to Harvey and Wladimir for both being enjoyable to blather on with over the months of the game; and thanks to all of the other players for this game.


On Feb 27, 2010, at 5:04 PM, Charles Féaux de la Croix wrote:

Hi guys,

as the header might have already told you, the three-way draw proposal (including Britain, Poland and Turkey) was unanimously ratified.

Congratulations to Dirk, Wlad and Harvey for turning their respective countries into such powerhouses. The three-way draw matches those three countries' dominance of Europe. Yet let me also commend Matt, Mikael, Darryl and Greg for having fought the good fight. I'm especially grateful to Darryl and Greg for having taken over powers that were under considerable stress. Whatever the outcome you achieved, I hope you enjoyed the game and thank you all for having served as playtesters.

As my house rules stipulate that any further season is not adjucated, no winter adjucation here follows. But I wonder whether I should base the DC SC charts on what would have followed this winter. Perhaps I should inofficially publish it simply for that purpose and for sake of interest. Not sure.

Now only one last - hopefully not too onerous - task remains, namely for everyone involved to submit their EOG reports. Please send them to me by our traditional moves deadline time, Thursday 6 PM CET. I shall then publish them together with my own two cents and an assortment of stats.



BRITAIN: Dirk Knemeyer <dirk(at)knemeyer.com>
FRANCE: Darryl Good <dipknight(at)gmail.com> (joined Spring 192Cool
GERMANY: Matt Kremer <matthew.kremer(at)yale.edu> (eliminated Winter 1929)
ITALY: Gregory Bim-Merle <gbimmerle(at)gmail.com> (joined Winter 1927)
POLAND: Wladimir Mysonski <wmysonski(at)gmail.com>
SOVIET UNION: Mikael Johansson <m_don_j(at)hotmail.com>
TURKEY: Harvey Morris <hmtucaz(at)gmail.com>


SUPPLY CENTER OWNERSHIP (as of Winter 192Cool:
Britain(9): Belgium, Edinburgh, Egypt, Liverpool, London, Norway, Spain, Suez, Sweden.
France(5): Algiers, Brest, Marseille, Paris, Switzerland.
Germany(2): Berlin, Hamburg.
Italy(5): Austria, Milan, Munich, Naples, Rome.
Poland(9):Cracow, Czechia, Gdynia, Latvia, Leningrad, Lithuania, Moscow, Rumania, Warsaw.
Turkey(11): Ankara, Beirut, Bulgaria, Greece, Iraq, Istanbul, Izmir, Persia, Stalingrad, Tripoli, Yugoslavia.
USSR(2): Denmark, Finland.
Minor Powers(4): Hungary, Morocco, Netherlands, Portugal.

DEADLINE SCHEDULE: (all orders are due NLT 6PM CET (GMT+1)...not local time)
o EOG Reports: 4 March

<1926 091119 Fall 1929 Moves.gif>

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1926 091119: Peace Restored! - Britain EOG (dknemeyer) Feb 27, 10:27 pm

Diplomacy games may contain lying, stabbing, or deliberately deceiving communications that may not be suitable for and may pose a hazard to young children, gullible adults, and small farm animals.

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