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Finished: 11 Oct 18 UTC
Private Best popular film
2 days /phase (slow)
Pot: 175 D - Autumn, 1911, Finished
Draw-Size Scoring
Game drawn
09 Oct 18 UTC Autumn, 1910: Draw votes before I make my destroy choice please
09 Oct 18 UTC Autumn, 1910: Hey england and Turkey go for the 2 way. You know you want to ;)
09 Oct 18 UTC Autumn, 1910: Anyway it was nice to be in a game with some really high quality press for a change. Play so many games where half the players don't hustle or give up etc. This was a breath of fresh air
09 Oct 18 UTC Autumn, 1910: It was nice to play with all of you.
09 Oct 18 UTC Spring, 1911: I enjoyed this game thoroughly. I received a lot of messages from every player, at least when it really counted.
09 Oct 18 UTC Spring, 1911: Turkey don't know the game is over....
09 Oct 18 UTC Good game! Sorry about delaying the extra turn. Wanted to see if you'd make a mistake France or if I could provoke England into doing something silly. Obviously not. :P
09 Oct 18 UTC A few of my thoughts (for anyone interested!).

At the outset I really had no grand plan except to focus on ensuring that I had solid security set up.

As such, I was definitely on board for Russia's mad plan for a super juggernaut. The weakness was that it relied too much on disharmony in the west. France took the bait, but England... did not (a common theme). For my part, I hoped for a quick end to Austria, followed by a flood of fleets.

You know how well that turned out.... :P

My initial hope for a juggernaut being dashed, I had genuinely planned on an alliance with Italy (despite my hedging of the fleet build) until the move to Tunis and catastrophic losses to Austria in 1904.

Why did I make my 'moronic' play Italy? I vainly thought Austria would be willing to do the land + sea combo team with me long enough for me to break into France, which was really the only way I could see a possible solo potential (with ETA as the fall-back). The hope would be that Austrian expansion would distract England enough for me to snag MAO. Unfortunately mutual paranoia really took its toll. The moves of Autumn 1906 (Austria moving all of his units towards me, abandoning Germany to the English) made me resolve to take down Austria instead of France. The other factor was that France was being unexpected successful in his naval defense. As a result of both of these things I decided I needed to commit and with the spectre of England looming I also ultimately felt the fall of France was more dangerous in terms of help English solo chances than the fall of Austria in a situation where Germany was going to be English anyway.

I will admit that towards the end I actually thought there was a risk of England winning if I didn't get Austria on side for the final stalemate line (and perhaps that would have been the case if Spring 1909 had gone differently), but after that turn I became 100% confident we had managed to thwart the risk. So my panic was only partially feigned.

I was really hoping for England to continue pushing there at the end but sadly it was not to be. Worth a try though.
09 Oct 18 UTC Russia, I do think your gambit was ill-advised, but we'd have looked like geniuses if it worked! Thanks for making the early game interesting, and thanks for (I'll admit it) setting me up for a much easier game than most Turkey's have to deal with.

Italy, too bad about the acrimony, but I want you to know that you genuinely did change my mind; it was mainly Austria's success that turned me back.

Germany, congrats on outliving two other players after what has got to be one of the worst German early games I have ever seen.

Austria; I understand your paranoia even as it grated on me. Despite my best attempts in the early game you managed to thrive and even managed to persuade me to consider a ETA. Sorry the game had to end that way!

France; well done on recovering from the early game danger from Italy, the mid-game danger from England, and thanks for being calm cool and collected while I freaked out about English solo chances and whether I had made a mistake stabbing Austria.

England, you were a consummate professional all game! I could tell you were dangerous from some of our earliest conversations; you really used press well. Despite our brief confrontation I do think we were essentially allies all game and I feel I really lucked out having you as far away as possible. :P
09 Oct 18 UTC Good game everyone, even though I had to be entirely reactive all game. Pretty successful given I never got bigger then my six centre start :)
09 Oct 18 UTC Thanks for preparing such a thoughtful EoG statement. I will produce one as well shortly.
09 Oct 18 UTC Austria and i never really saw eye to eye. But from the start, it was apparent that RT was there even though Austria felt like he was allied with one or the other. I actually wanted to attack Austria just from our press, but RT was something the needed to be contained.
So i moved west, and once i got the Russian support to Munich , France who i believed violated our non-aggression pact with a fleet in Marseilles, was going to feel my wrath. I had him too. The English gemmed and hawed at joining me and would have if the ausrrdid not stab. Still feel it was a stupid stab, and he claimed he was going to be overwhelmed by Turkey sorry i call bullshit. If he hadn’t stabbed, i was going to send units west. I had good conversation with Turkey, and believe i could have almost played both sides. We will never know

The German, made it the worst case scenario for all the central powers with his debacle in 01,02. Russian help to Munich changed the tide for me. He was such a wild card though. Surprised that the Turk stayed the course with him as long as he did

Good game all. Turkey, i really wanted to work The IT. It would have been glorious had you bought in
09 Oct 18 UTC All I will say is that AI is difficult to run when the Italian opening press gambit is "can I move to tyrolia" in spring, and then actually moving to tyrolia in fall hahahaha
09 Oct 18 UTC I asked. You said no, really without explanation or offering how we could work together. As i said, i wanted to attack you after that. You were zero help
09 Oct 18 UTC I should comment on the Italian actually. My true intention was to move my fleets to Spain and MAO in spring 1902, a potentially neutral move. My preference was then to work with Italy and Russia and attack England. Press from both players meant I knew I was on the outs. It was only at that point that I decided to commit to England.
09 Oct 18 UTC My philosophy of English play is to try to ally Germany against both France and Russia if possible, and then stab Germany for the win if prudent. It is virtually impossible for England to win without completely crushing France, and this needs to be started no later than 1902 if possible.

However, I was unwilling to commit to attacking France in 1901 because
1) Russia's press, including the ideas underpinning it, alarmed me greatly.
2) France's press was very high-quality and consistent with my play style.
3) I had a sense that Germany was about to be smoked.

Specifically, I was fully aware in 1901 that Russia intended to ally Turkey and to attack Germany immediately. I consider an immediate attack on Germany to be a very bad strategy for Russia, and this game maybe evidences that conclusion; even though Germany was crushed, Russia was rapidly eliminated as well.

Because I understood that Germany was likely to be attacked immediately, and that Germany himself did NOT believe he would be attacked in Autumn 1901 the way he was attacked (he did not guard either Munich or Berlin, even after being warned about this attack pattern - that is my proof that he did not understand what was happening), I gave up hope of a German alliance during Autumn 1901 and instead pursued alliance with France to my maximum ability. There is no point, at all, in building up an alliance with a power who you know will be crushed in 1901 (and was, indeed, so crushed). The strategic situation forced me to rule out any possibility of alliance with Germany, since there was nothing Germany could ever offer me.

In choosing between alliance with France and alliance with Russia, I made that choice entirely based on press. Russia's press was full of red flags for me. I respond very poorly to threats in 1901, especially when they come from a weaker power (I consider Russia to be weak at the start, and to still be weak until Russia has surpassed something like 10 centers). I was absolutely astonished to see Russia build a fleet in STPsc in 1901, even though I had indeed politely asked for it and made all sorts of promises, because such a move struck me as just too foolish. I continued to manipulate Russia with my misleading press for some time, until Russia realized I had intended to attack him from the start and (correctly) pointed out that I had constantly lied to him just to cover up my intention to attack. At that point, it was too late for him. My conclusion is that Russia is not the most experienced player, and I took great advantage of that fact by concealing my obvious attack pattern (and obvious alliance to France) in a cloak of lies.

Meanwhile, I pursued alliance with Turkey right from the start. It is common knowledge that England and Turkey are natural allies, and a strong game by either power is a predictor of success for the other. There are all sorts of reasons why this is so that I don't need to get into here. But I take the idea of natural allies very seriously, and I FREELY dispensed all sorts of tactical advice and information to Turkey throughout the game, regardless of whether Turkey was using that information to directly protect my interests on a given turn (e.g. Turkey was allied to Russia, but I still wanted Turkey to do well anyways). This paid off HANDSOMELY. The strong Turkish game provided my all sorts of opportunity to expand onto the continent in mid-game. Furthermore, I used my rapport with Turkey to occasionally slip in manipulative information (true or false; it didn't matter) that I hoped would influence Turkey to take some action beneficial to me (like attacking his neighbors at a time when doing so would give me space to expand).

I think Austria's plays this game were overly aggressive and that Austria was too willing to change sides for his own good. I'll leave it at that. Austria is hard to play, but at one point this game Austria was very very strong, and I think lost out due to diplomatic and strategic issues rather than the inherent weakness of Austria (which exists in the early game, not the endgame).

The most important diplomacy moment of the entire game, from my perspective, was that France and I agreed not to build any fleets in London, LVP, or Brest, and that we honored this agreement in 1901, despite our large number of builds. This was absolutely HUGE in building a sense of trust and made alliance even possible between such natural enemies as France and England.

However, Italy, I absolutely was itching to attack France the entire game, and was really excited to be able to do so, but the opportunity for me to do it and get away with it didn't materialize. I was NOT lying to you about my desire to attack France, but you got backstabbed by Austria just around the time it might have been profitable for me to do so.

Even though, from the look of the board, I was solidly allied to France for many turns (until I stabbed him and tried to set myself up for a solo win of course), in fact behind the scenes I was trying to figure out how to create a situation that would enable to attack France. France is so much more powerful than England, France is a constant danger and can suddenly attack at almost any time. Furthermore, France is extremely difficult to eliminate, which is tough because France MUST be eliminated for England to win.

In the end, I did attack France and did attempt a solo win, but never really had faith in it. The problem was that France was too well-defended and Turkey blew up to such a high level of power towards the end -- these were things that I sort of knew would probably happen, but I also predicted (correctly) that it wouldn't COST me anything to try for a solo win. Despite all the griping that I had caused a 4-way draw instead of a 3-way, that was not at all true and I never for a second believed that my solo win attempt would prevent a 3-way draw if it failed.

So given my lack of faith in my ability to solo win, why did I even try? The answer is, what I really wanted to do was just keep France DOWN and prevent any possibility of something bad happening to me. The solo win attempt was just a bonus. I consider my Autumn 1905 stab of France to be a huge, beneficial decision for me, because it left France's fate entirely up to me. By stabbing France on the turn that he was finally going to get some builds, I prevented France from ever having a choice about whether he should stab me and attempt a solo win for himself. It didn't matter that my backstab was such a big treason, because there was nothing really that France could do about it other than defend himself. I prevented France from securing any builds to use against me at a time when most of his units were far away in the med. That is absolutely ruthless, yes, but in my opinion that is the only appropriate way to treat an alliance with France, as England - do not let France grow for any reason. It's just too risky. France is far, far more powerful than England.

Sun Tzu said that to make victory possible, you must first make defeat IMpossible, and that is EXTREMELY true of the defensive powers, England and Turkey.
09 Oct 18 UTC to follow up on France's comment, I think, in general, the players in this game revealed their intentions far too quickly and easily, and there were all sorts of leaks about what was going to happen. I understood almost everyone's plans before they happened. Turkey and I were sharing lots of press that was used to hurt our "allies"

France, it was a great alliance, you are a gentleman and a scholar, I would play a another game with you any day of the week. Thanks for putting up with me.
09 Oct 18 UTC England: thanks for the post game. In truth I felt weak throughout the game because the opening RT alongside an uncomfortable relationship with Italy made me friendless pretty much at all points.

I would be interested in when you thought I was looking strong and what you would have done in my place. I guess you think my duff move was spring 1907 and I should have just ploughed on against Turkey. I think I agree.
09 Oct 18 UTC Yes. I think you already understand as much as I can convey. I think you should have held firm against Turkey until absolutely forced to turn and face me to prevent my solo win, if ever, and threatened to throw me the game if turkey attacked you at all. I had not crossed the stalemate line in 1907 and had little ability to do so, so turning to fight me was just falling for a trick from turkey.
09 Oct 18 UTC I did really wonder why Kiel moved to Denmark in Autumn 1901.

Start Backward Open large map Forward End

Turkey
Drawn. Bet: 25 D, won: 58 D
16 supply-centers, 16 units
England
swordsman3003 (10160 D Mod (G))
Drawn. Bet: 25 D, won: 58 D
13 supply-centers, 13 units
France
Centurian (3257 D)
Drawn. Bet: 25 D, won: 58 D
5 supply-centers, 5 units
Italy
ssorenn (2662 D (G))
Defeated. Bet: 25 D
Germany
Defeated. Bet: 25 D
Austria
Hoppsywins (1098 D)
Defeated. Bet: 25 D
Russia
Superstition (100 D)
Defeated. Bet: 25 D
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