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Finished: 01 PM Sun 20 May 18 UTC
Private G-Candles Tracks
1 day, 12 hours /phase
Pot: 140 D - Autumn, 1914, Finished
Classic, No messaging, Anonymous players, Draw-Size Scoring
1 excused missed turn
Game won by Verseven (123 D)
19 May 18 UTC Hey sorry I don't know how my order didn't go through on that last turn I definitely input moves well in advance. Gg though
19 May 18 UTC It was lost well before that. Dagnabbit paul you could have had a 3 or 4 way draw easily, but you wouldn’t set up a stalemate position. It was really really obvious that France was going to attempt a solo and you should know by now that France can take over the entire north in the endgame and needs only Tunis to solo win.

You needed another fleet much earlier, or else you needed to wall off Munich to offset the loss of Tunis.

I became extremely nervous that you weren’t going to form a stalemate line in spring 1911 when you self bounced in Venice instead. of moving your armies west and north to fight France. And so your armies ended up only moving west after it was far too late.

It wasn’t possible for me or Turkey to defend Tunis or Munich, and it wasn’t possible for me to defend Berlin once you got pushed back out of Munich (because turkey can’t hold my armies from Warsaw and Moscow). So the whole game came down to whether you could defend Tunis or Munich, and you had a TON of points and builds to do that with, but you waited until it was too late to defend yourself. Don’t underestimate how strong France is. France was in solo win position by spring 1910. You seem to have noticed that, but didn’t defend yourself.

You can’t defend Tunis without 4 fleets so you needed to move your fleets west and let Turkey defend you from Ionian. Because you wouldn’t leave Ionian to go west turkey couldn’t help.
You needed an army in Silesia to defend Munich. You should have moved Budapest up into Galicia to get it in there.

Turkey was too far away to help without looking like he was attacking, and I could not possibly defend any relevant center in the long run — all I was doing was buying time for you to set up a stalemate line. I couldn’t move everything to defend Munich and Berlin while you kept a ton of armies next to my centers without making it possible to eliminate me in the endgame.
19 May 18 UTC GG. It feels great to finally get a solo win, though it came with a huge does of dumb luck.

My take on things was that initially England and Germany postured aggressively relative to me so I just focused on defense and holding onto my starting territories (plus Spain and Portugal).

Eventually it looked like Russia was getting the traction for a Solo Win so they had to turn their attention towards Russia. I initially intended to honor my Truce with England and send my fleet towards Russia Via the North Atlantic, Norwegian route to put pressure on them. But when England cut me off in the Norwegian Sea rather than moving to counter Russian and back up Germany further south I decided but to attack them and manage the fleets the way I though would work. (In retrospect I am not at all sure my read on the map was correct but that was my reasoning at the time.

After that I tried to back Germany up as a buffer trying to keep Italy from taking to much of them easily and encouraging them to go after Russia instead. However Turkey and Italy did much better in tandem with me in eating up Russia that I thought was possible at which point I just transitioned into all out aggression.

I made a lot of mistakes far as efficient placement and movement of my units (first time really navigating an end game from this perspective). But the fact that I had multiple avenues of attack and you could not all communicate directly to coordinate defense helped a lot (I have noticed that it seems to in a lot of other games I have been in on the other side as well).

I really wasn't thinking as far ahead or reading the map the same way as Blake, I just tried to optimize my moves for captures in the Autumn one set at a time.

The only things I would add to his analysis is that Italy probably could have given me some trouble if they had gone aggro aground Peidmont and not allowed me to get a foothold in Tryolia, and Turkey seemed to give me a Tempo advantage when they started taking Russia's Territories (I don't know if this was ultimately a sound strategy or not, it just seemed to give me some time to reposition some of my units in the north to recover from some of my mistakes in positioning). Would love to hear Blake's input on my reading of the situations (trying to improve on my ability to read the map and flow of the game).
19 May 18 UTC I gotta take a step back cuz I’m all butthurt about how we were so close to a draw and flubbed it to France which has happened to me in like 3 or 4 recent games. I’ll think more about what you said David and get back to you. Very good endgame play on your part.
19 May 18 UTC My phone battery is almost dead, so I'll comment later.

gg! Congrats France.
19 May 18 UTC Italy, I was trying to work together with you around 1908 and before, but with you at 8 centres and amassing at my border, but me at 6 centres, I was strongly feeling Rumania should not go to you. That's why I supported Russia back in.
After that I tried to nudge you towards defending Tunis with subtle support moves, but in hindsight I should have retreated earlier to allow you more breathing room.
After we lost Tunis you did well to help him in Berlin, but unfortunately that position was not possible to hold with this configuration.

France, you must be mistaken asI did not take a single Russian centre once you started to attack him. I even bypassed Rumania so he'd have the most units possible to defend.
19 May 18 UTC I was thinking mostly of Warsaw, which let me reposition my fleets to attack Livonia without risking losing st. Petersburg
19 May 18 UTC So to discuss further with you David:

(1) France, in my opinion as a highly experienced and successful gunboat player, is the strongest power in the game by almost every way you would measure a power's abilities. (I think my claim is also supported by the results of this League, which I have recorded for over a year now, which show France has having the most solo wins and also the most draws.)

(2) In the context of France going on offense for a solo win, France has a stronger ability to get a solo win than any other power because once France controls more than 50% of the supply centers on the northern part of the map (which I've drawn and explained in a lot of detail in my educational materials, if you haven't read them and want a link just text me; I'm going to put it on my blog once my blog is up), once France has more than 50% of the north, is it extremely easy for France to grind down the remaining 50% of the northern centers. In other words, if France has 9 centers and isn't threatened by Italy (or a Turkey who destroyed Italy), in my opinion France has the greatest solo threat at 9 centers of any other power. No other power, in my opinion, is a solo win threat at 9 centers. But France is.

(3) So in Autumn 1908,you had 9 out of 17 northern centers. In my opinion, after Autumn 1908, the only way you would not solo win is if the other strong powers either attacked you (Italy elected not to attack, and I had already been shut down in the south so I wasn't going on offense; i needed to keep warsaw and Moscow to get into a draw or threaten to throw the game if Italy or Turkey attacked) or else the major powers needed to cooperate to form a stalemate line that France could not pass. This stalemate line would HAVE to either include Tunis (creating a 100% southern centers defense, which includes warsaw and moscow and not STP munich or Berlin) or else Munich (the same line, except with Munich instead of Tunis).

(4) Forming a stalemate line vs. France is harder to form. It's not the hardest, but it is difficult. Here's why: In order to form a stalemate line at Tunis, the defending alliance needs a unit in Tunis (almost certainly a fleet), a fleet in ION to support-hold Tunis, a fleet in TYR Sea, and another fleet behind that fleet somewhere on the Italian coastline - AND that coastline fleet needs to not be able to be touched by any French unit who could cut support; e.g., it won't work if France has an army in Piedmont and the support-holding fleet is in Tuscany.

Because Italy build an army in 1908 instead of a fleet, and only built a 3rd fleet in 1910, the defending alliance started off very, very behind in building this stalemate line. France was able to get a jumpstart by moving to GOL in 1910 and building another fleet in MAR (if I were you David I might have build another fleet in BRE instead of an arm in PAR so that I could put more fleets to go get Tunis but it worked out for you). Another reason why the defending alliance started off so far behind is that Italy sent his army in venice AWAY from the stalematemate line in 1910, into Trieste, instead of into Piedmont. This meant that France had a strong ability to cram fleets into the positions needed to take and hold Tunis before Italy and TUrkey could form a line.

Let me explain further: Tunis can EASILY be taken by France, and once France takes, Tunis, it will not be taken back. It is EASIER for France to a form a stalemate defensive position that includes Tunis than for Italy to do so. And not only that, because Italy was short of the needed 4 fleets to form the stalemate, that meant Turkey had to provide one of the needed fleets, which means Turkey needed to move a fleet ion ION sea somehow without making Italy think this was an attack. Very good players would understand that Turkey wasn't attacking if he did that, but because Italy repeatedly kept sending armies eastward to fight or guard against Turkey or Russia, I would have read - as I expected Claesar did - Italy as a player who was easily spooked and unwilling to defend against France, and therefore would have interpreted the attempt to help form a line as an attack.

So because France is just 1 player who only really needs 3 fleets to form a defensive position around Tunis, and Italy and Turkey are 2 players who can't talk and need 4 fleets to form the line, France is extremely advantaged in, and this was made much, much more of an advantage because Italy had the wrong composition (too many armies) and the wrong positions (no fleet in TYR or TUN; fleet is over in ALB; armies are over in the east defending vs. Turkey and Russia who are not in position to solo win).

[in passing let me say paul, there's no way Turkey could have attacked you by 1908, definitely by 1910, without causing France to solo win; That's why he never attacked and I'm sure Claesar will say that's what he was thinking]

(5) so because Tunis was unlikely to actually be defended with a stalemate position, that mean the last hope was to try to form a stalemate line around Munich. This is just as difficult, or arguably even more difficult, but not impossible.
In order to incorporate munich into a southern stalemate line, The defending players need armies in:
Munich
Tyrolia
Bohemia
Silesia
(this creates a triple-support-hold on Munich that cannot be overpowered by an attack from Burgundy, Ruhr, Kiel and Berlin)
AND ALSO, to prevent those support-holding units from having their support-holds cut on the flanks, the defenders also need units in:
Piedmont (to protect Tyrolia from being poked by a hostile army)
and (sort of) Prussia (to protected Silesia from being poked by a hostile army; but this is not the whole story is Munich could be traded for Berlin, it's a really trick end-game situation if you try to do that though)
This involves a shit-ton of units have to be in the correct positions.

So when this happens, France again has a huge advantage as France is as close to Munich as anybody and can build armies for immediate use is attacking. It is much easier to attack Munich from the North, and to hold it from the North, than it is to take or hold Munich from the south (by comparison, Munich and Berlin can be held from the north by putting 4 armies in Munich, Berlin, and 2/3 of Burgundy Ruhr and Kiel, and 1 fleet in Baltic sea to protect Berlin -- positions that are all very natural and places your units are likely to already be in just from attacking; the southern defense of Munich involves placing units into all these unnatural positions like Silesia, Bohemia, etc)

(6) I was extremely disturbed by Italy's 1908 gameplay. Italy CONTINUED to attack me even though I was on the ropes and France was running rampant in the north. thank GOD Turkey helped me keep Rumania so that I could rebuild a unit in STP to slow down France. Italy's 1908 Autumn build of an army showed me that Italy did not understand the danger France posed, and I was very anxious about Italy's lack of fleets and lack of fleets in the correct positions. I was worried that France's 2 fleet builds (BRE and MAR) in 1908 were going to swiftly go over and snatch Tunis. It didn't happen the way I thought but it did happen.

So I had previously been trying to defend Germany to slow down France, but after Italy started attacking GERMANY in 1909, I decided that maybe we had a chance at forming a really strong stalemate line that included Munich if Italy could take it (since Italy had a shit-ton of armies, this was a viable idea) as some insurance in case we lost Tunis). So I supported Italy into Munich in spring 1910, hoping that A) Italy would go the fuck away from my border B) would build another fleet to guard tunis C) would defend munich the rest of the with my help, so that we had to work together to force a draw with france

The fact that Italy kept armies in Serbia, BUD and, most of all, GAL, was KILLING me, because I wanted so badly to send all my units to go guard against France, but I could not possibly justify doing that when there was a chance Italy would greedily just walk into my centers, as Italy had attacked and taken my of my centers earlier and clearly did not consider France a threat. I already know by 1908 that all by northern centers were going to be eventually taken by france (Denmark, Sweden, St. pete - these can't be defended from the south. It's not possible) and probably Berlin (it's extremely difficult to defend Berlin from the south; it is possible).

After I got Italy Munich, I thought FOR SURE Italy would send a bunch of armies over there to go defend it (into Piedmont, Tyrolia, Bohemia, SIilesia) but instead Italy didn't do that. By Autumn 1911, it was extremely difficult, verging on impossible, for the defending coalation to form a stalemate line anymore; I would say something like 80-90% chance that a player who knows the rules of diplomacy would get a solo win, because France had an army in Piedmont and 2 fleets bordering Tunis . France did exactly what was the right follow-up move: poke Tyrolia with Piedmont, cutting the defense to Munich. (recall what I said earlier; if France gets an army into Piedmont, it is IMPOSSIBLE to defend munich in the stalemate line; Piedmont is PART of the stalemate line because Tyrolia has to be protected from poking.

Italy moved everything west in spring 1912, but it was far too late by then because France already had all the key positions (Tyr SEA, Piedmont, Munich, etc.). The entire defensive position collapsed and France broke through everywhere. Italy needed to move way, way more units vs France in 1910 (instead moved away from France) and needed to move EVERYTHING vs france by 1911 (instead holding virtually every position; only NAP was moved; all other units held).Italy let France into Piedmont in 1911 even though that was easily preventable, so the game was lost.

(conclusion)
hopefully my explanations all make sense. France is EXTREMELY powerful and advantaged in every area of the map in endgame. No time can be wasted forming a stalemate line against France. Even a delay of 1 turn can cost the game.

DO NOT EVALUATE THE GAME IN TERMS OF NUMBER OF CENTERS. In Autumn 1908, Italy had 8 centers and France had 9. Were they equally strong? NO - Italy had to share the southern side of the map with 2 other huge powers, Russia and Turkey. France, by contrast, had to only share the north with a 3-center Germany and a crippled Russia. In effect, France was extremely strong and the number of centers is not the correct way to see who is the stongest.

Also, not that it mattered this game, but Russia - as demonstrated in this game - can be pushed back out of centers it takes with relative ease. That is not true for most other powers. A russia at 9 centers can still be eliminated. a France at 9 centers is approaching a solo win threat. You can't just count centers to evaluate who is winning. YOu have to think about the inherent abilities of the powers and the strategic situation of what it takes to reach 18 centers at win.
19 May 18 UTC You see the game a lot differently than I do as a relatively inexperienced player. I understand what you are saying about the positions, and I was able to realize the importance of Tunis and Piedmont by thinking through moves rather than experience dealing with the situation, but my read on the map was way different than yours throughout much of the game (reading it I am pretty sure your read is dead is on its just a skill I haven't developed yet). I will look through the game a few times and try to get a better feel for the flow of it.
19 May 18 UTC Of course :) that’s why I put the effort to explain how I was reacting on the various turns and trying to plan things out etc.

There are really, really common stalemate lines that run from the bottom left to the top right, relevant to defeat or accomplish any solo win attempt (except a Russian solo). The difference between a good player and a great player is that a great player, when going for a win, will convert any mistake in the other players stalemate line into a WIN, and a great player, when defending, will prevent any mistakes in the stalemate line and get DRAW instead of a loss.

Therefore it’s really important to learn from what I’m saying about defending Tunis and Munich from the south. It’ll come up in the majority of games you play, as long as you aren’t eliminated early.
19 May 18 UTC In 1910 I started nudging Italy towards defending Tunis, so I guess I was a bit late to the realisation as well.

Start Backward Open large map Forward End

France
Verseven (123 D)
Won. Bet: 20 D, won: 140 D
19 supply-centers, 17 units
Turkey
Claesar (4539 D Mod)
Survived. Bet: 20 D
8 supply-centers, 7 units
Italy
BarnabyWilde (100 D)
Survived. Bet: 20 D
5 supply-centers, 7 units
Russia
swordsman3003 (13174 D (G))
Survived. Bet: 20 D
2 supply-centers, 3 units
England
kbchitown (100 D)
Defeated. Bet: 20 D
Germany
tennis (114 D)
Defeated. Bet: 20 D
Austria
dargorygel (546 D Mod (G))
Defeated. Bet: 20 D
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