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Finished: 08 AM Sun 21 Jul 19 UTC
Private GR Top 100 Gunboat Series I: Game 5
1 days, 12 hours /phase
Pot: 140 D - Spring, 1911, Finished
Classic, No messaging, Anonymous players, Draw-Size Scoring
2 excused missed turn
Game drawn
19 Jul 19 UTC I give up. WP
19 Jul 19 UTC I had the winning order put in, then changed it in A10...
19 Jul 19 UTC Gal->Rum, Sev S Gal->Rum, BLA S Gal->Rum
19 Jul 19 UTC gg, wp!
19 Jul 19 UTC ggs. I enjoyed this one.
We were talking a bit in the Discord. I think I took about a turn or two too long to turn on Russia.
WP to France on defense and everybody take some time to laugh at my horrendous guesses lol.
19 Jul 19 UTC I just don't know how to play Turkey on gunboats. If I attack Russia I am smashed 3x1, if I don't attack Russia I also get smashed.
19 Jul 19 UTC If Italy doesn't jump Austria, you were in great shape. With A/I embroiled in a fight to the death, I figured an open Turkey would make a tasty snack.
19 Jul 19 UTC You don't have a lot of options. I sympathize heavily with the desire to try an unorthodox opening by moving the fleet out to the Mediterranean, but I think the Black Sea situation is one in which neither side can really afford to give it up unless both sides are under great pressure from Italy and Austria (where the tactical utility of an allied fleet outweighs the long-term strategic liability of that fleet not being yours).

I typically find that Turkey is railroaded into allying with Russia for the early game and mostly just hoping to survive whatever onslaught is coming its way, and relying on inertia to undo any A/I alliance. If Italy goes west or attacks Austria, and Russia doesn't have an easy opening to attack you, you generally can carve up Austria and the Balkans and almost go on cruise control from there, pushing into Italy and the western Mediterranean before stabbing Russia. It's highly linear and scripted but that's usually how it goes.
19 Jul 19 UTC Moderator: (Magnetic24): Well done, you three. It was certainly fun witnessing the AR... good luck in the other six!
19 Jul 19 UTC Once these wrap up I think I'll write an AAR/EOG/whatever we call them here. There were some very interesting decisions from my seat at the table that might be worth a post over.
19 Jul 19 UTC I'll write an EoG soon. Though I don't think I have anything interesting to say.
19 Jul 19 UTC I was not feeling it at the beginning, both England and Italy opened aggressively against France. England opened to EC and Italy to Piedmont. Sometimes luck plays a part…… England chose to take on Germany. Italy moved east. Spring ’03, not sure if England knew that I had ordered Picardy to support EC to Belgium, but that was my signal to England that I was ready to play with him. And Italy was kind enough to leave me alone, so thanks Italy for that! I kinda flopped around for a couple of years, but by Fall ’06 the writing on the wall was pretty clear, Austria was coming for me. I was wondering when Austria was going to pick up that Russia was becoming a steamroller. I decided my only hope was to dedicate my defense against Austria and hope that Austria would turn on Russia before it was too late. And again, I had to get lucky with my defensive choices. After the first attempt (Spring ’07), I lived in perpetual fear that Austria would move to Ruhr again.

I must admit, I took quite the delight in imagining Austria’s frustration regarding my defense!
19 Jul 19 UTC I noticed that. Did you see I supported you to Belgium on that same turn?
19 Jul 19 UTC Well, my plan didn't work. Hoping England would've worked with me, but what can ya do. gg all
19 Jul 19 UTC I think this is still a Russian solo from this position though. At least, it's posible. Not sure if this has been discussed on Discord.
19 Jul 19 UTC I did notice, and subsequently support EC to Belgium again the next turn. It just wasn't meant to be. I was desperately trying to give map visuals but our orders were not syncing. I just wasn’t sure if you were getting the message or not.
19 Jul 19 UTC Anyway, gg all.
19 Jul 19 UTC I noticed all of it, just didn't feel like going to Belgium.
19 Jul 19 UTC I felt like my last realistic shot was A10.
19 Jul 19 UTC I was never getting Smy back. I don't see two more SCs for me anywhere else.
19 Jul 19 UTC Why wouldn't you get Smy back? You have 3 units on it. 2 on Con. 2 on Rum. 3 on Gal.
You take Gal this turn, Rum next, Con the turn after. Solo possible.
19 Jul 19 UTC I almost drew after builds. Upset with myself for changing my previous order that would have won the game.
19 Jul 19 UTC *3 on Rum.

That defence is not solid.
19 Jul 19 UTC Maybe I drew too early
19 Jul 19 UTC It's not a locked solo, I *think*, but there's a lot of life left.
19 Jul 19 UTC They had another army coming. Should have probably tried once more.
19 Jul 19 UTC I agree
19 Jul 19 UTC Did my builds after 04 trick you, Claesar? That's what I was hoping for anyway
20 Jul 19 UTC I guess they did. Can't remember exactly, but I never saw your stab coming.

I'm more surprised Austria just sat there after the double army build though..
20 Jul 19 UTC I tried to make it look as non-threatning as possible to A/E... Guess it worked
30 Jul 19 UTC I promised an EoG and I've come to the conclusion that I do have something interesting to say.

I opened to the Channel and Germany bounced Russia. Didn't mind much that he bounced me in Belgium, so I was ready to E/G against 0-build France. I almost built F Lvp.

In this position, Germany has three distinctly different build options, that send three different messages:

1) Double army build. It shows you want to E/G vs F and have a lasting alliance. I would've complied and attacked all-out against France.
2) Army Munich, Fleet Berlin. This shows you want to work together with England and stab them later. I would've complied and attacked France with some reservations.
3) Army Munich, Fleet Kiel. This clearly shows you are strongly considering stabbing England on the spot and wish to show it.

In scenario #3, every self-respecting England will abort the attack on France and pile on Germany. I would do it every single time. I allied R and rammed all units towards G.
However, Germany seemed surprised by this. Even in the EoG. What build changed your mind to start working with me, Fortress Door? Surely it wasn't F Lon..
30 Jul 19 UTC After the brilliant surprise stab by Russia (I have to call it brilliant. If it was obvious that makes me stupid..) I held on for a while. Against all odds I even managed to give Austria a great stab opportunity. Austria decided not to take it, so I was toast. This of course came to bite Austria not long after as the Russian solo couldn't be stopped anymore. Or at least, not by the defenders.
30 Jul 19 UTC To answer your question, it was just some lazy play by me. I built F Kiel instead of F Berlin because I wanted to be flexible, and hadn't really decided how I wanted to play it out. Honestly, the main build I considered was that I didn't like the Stp build at all, and wanted to go after Russia, since it seemed he didn't appreciate my bounce. Probably should've built F Ber, looking back, but I didn't think through fully how you would respond. Just figured France would be too vulnerable for you to pass up.
30 Jul 19 UTC I respectfully disagree with the idea that the Russian solo couldn't have been stopped by the defenders. Much has been made about the fact that Russia would have soloed if he had taken Romania in A10, but I had a move set available to me that would have countered an attempt to do so. There wasn't a dominant strategy that turn; he just guessed wrong. I could have played Bud S Rum, Rum S Boh -> Gal, and was going to do so for most of the turn, before I decided that he wasn't going to try for Romania because I was representing that defense and decided to take a shot at securing Galicia and beginning to turn the tide.
Nor do I think Russia's solo was inevitable if only he played on. I think I played too passively in S11 with Tyl/Boh but even with that, I think I only need to win one more guess on the Mun-Sev border in the fall to stabilize us.

~

Some highlights from the AAR:
+ I was certain Italy was going to double back on me in A01 almost as soon as the S01 orders resolved. I had a critical decision in A01 because I couldn't choose to force Greece, defend Galicia AND defend Trieste, which would have been the ideal situation.
+ I think I should have predicted that Turkey would self-bounce in A01 and thus made an error in not bouncing Galicia. However, Turkey's play was a very high-trust play, and I thought it was plausible that Turkey would commit to pressuring Greece and moving his army to Constantinople to maximize his efficiency.
+ I concluded by the end of A01 that Italy and Turkey were effectively "locked in" for the time being, and only Russia had remained noncommittal. Turkey deprived himself of any plausible pivot by pushing straight into Aegean Sea, and Italy would need a solid year to reposition anywhere relevant. I knew I'd need fleets to win the fight and hoped fleet Trieste would be a clear signal to Russia that I was committed to allying with him. Furthermore, I also knew that Turkey had presented Russia with a real, viable alternative to killing me off, which was convoying armies into Anatolia and annexing Turkey.

+ S02 was just pure tactics. This turn might be worth a short post all on its own. I was very certain Italy was going to move Rom -> Ven -> Tyl -> Boh, Tun -> ION, and the question was how to punish this moveset to the greatest extent. I also was very certain that Turkey would attack Greece with support but didn't know which unit was going in. I had to find a way to trade for six hostile moves with as few moves of my own as possible, so I could make progress on one or both fronts without allowing my enemies to do the same.
Tyrolia is the most threatening province since it pressures two of my centers and permits combination attacks on Vienna and Trieste. In the fall, I'd have been obliged to waste a turn defending Trieste from possible attack, permitting Italy to outflank me by ordering the same chain of moves and gaining the upper hand. So even though it would have been preferable to trade one move for three by bouncing Bohemia, the tactical position gained by cutting him off at the Tyrolean pass was worth more, so I chose to only take a 2-for-1 by bouncing Tyrolia.
Since I needed to move Trieste to Adriatic Sea and Budapest to Trieste to advance my position (and could be very certain the moves would work), I needed Greece to cut Italy off from going to Ionian Sea. Since I couldn't support hold Greece in that scenario, I decided that attacking Bulgaria was best. If Turkey had forced Greece, then I'd still be in Bulgaria, and Turkey would be badly out of position against the Russian stab (which is why I think Turkey chose the attack he did). As it turned out he decided to use Bulgaria to support the attack on Greece, so Serbia + Greece got to trade for 3 hostile moves.
In the end Vienna trades for 2 moves, 2 units in Balkans trade for 3, and the move to Bohemia without backup actually hurts Italy's position for next turn, so now I've traded satisfactorily for two opponents' turns with about half of mine, permitting me to advance my position in ADR/Tri.

+ A02 was an obvious continuation IMO, Turkey pivoted as best he could but it wasn't enough. He had to hope that I would decide to support him into Romania so he wouldn't lose a center, and since he couldn't defend Ankara anyway, supporting himself to Bulgaria as a follow-up is the best play, since it protects from a 2-unit attack from me. But Russia decided to be a bro and push me through so it worked out.
I didn't have good attacks on Italy, but the threat of good attacks forced Italy's hand into a support hold, which was good enough. I decided to commit to the Bulgarian attack and stall Ionian Sea. I knew Vienna had to hold because Bohemia had no relevant plays besides attacking Vienna. I think I could have been confident enough to go to Tyrolia, but this sequence was fine; needing to use Adriatic to stall Ionian while I took Bulgaria constrained my ability to advance anyway, and since the Turkish front was collapsing in my favor, time was my ally anyway, so status quo for a turn was a good result for me.

+ Starting in S03 I entered cheeky support moves that I knew were wrong so that Russia wouldn't finish off Turkey too easily. I'm guessing Russia moved to Romania in S04 because he caught on, but I knew I couldn't get away with it for more than a couple of turns when the orders are so obviously bad. I was hoping they would be interpreted as a dumb guess or misorder but after my performance in 02-03 I couldn't bank on that assumption holding for long.
+ I'll be honest and admit that the idea Russia was setting up to attack me in 1905 didn't even cross my mind as a meaningful possibility. I knew I wasn't ever attacking him in that situation when I had a real chance to push into the western Mediterranean and cross the stalemate line. I probably should have been more aware of the risk, and I took some standard precautions, like not moving Vienna away in case Galicia did come south, so I didn't completely miss/ignore it, but it wasn't on my radar at all. Just didn't make sense given the position at the time, since England was still very strong and I knew England's natural check (France) was about to have a whale of a time between Italy's rogue fleet in MAO and my intent to push west.
+ That said, by 07-08 I was definitely leaving open the option to attack Russia. Those fleets crossing into ION weren't just for show; as soon as I had locked up Iberia I was planning to swivel around and stab Russia to try to solo.
+ But that never came because I fucking BLEW IT against France. I should have gone to Ruhr in A07, there was no reason to think England would cover it again. I thought I could level France by going to Burgundy while he saw my move to Ruhr last turn and moved there to block, but I think that was just stupid in hindsight. I then proceeded to level myself by continuing to go for Burgundy when it was obvious France was never going to abandon Burgundy. Then I finally wised up to the need to go to Ruhr again and managed to get blocked anyway. Just atrocious. Well done by France and England but also very poorly done by yours truly.
+ I think I stabbed at the right time, I legitimately expected England to win the fight up north until A08. My stab was rushed because I wasn't actually ready to attack Russia yet, but I don't think I got there too late. I cut it close for sure though.
30 Jul 19 UTC I might put together some thoughts later today. Stay tuned.
31 Jul 19 UTC bump for interest
31 Jul 19 UTC I'm going to disappoint tonight. Had to work 16 hours... Tomorrow!
31 Jul 19 UTC A reasonable disappointment lol. Sounds good, rest up
31 Jul 19 UTC I'm going to try and read your thoughts some time today..
01 Aug 19 UTC S01: Thought about trying a northern opening... Talked myself out of it (good call). Occupying Black Sea is a pleasant surprise.

A01: Pretty standard orders. Having both Galicia and BLA not so standard. My southern flank looks amazing. Even better, A/I are already engaged in battle. Giving heavy consideration to working with Austria at this point. Turkey is going to be dominating the Mediterranean if I go with the Jugg. Not sure what is going to transpire in the North at this point. There's a good chance they outrun me to the finish line in France.

1901 builds: Army in StP for me. Turkey and Austria go fleet, Italy army. The builds made my decision easy. Austria is fully committed to a campaign against Italy. Turkey season!

S02: Thought Ank would be open, but wanted to make 100% certain I would land the convoy.

I threw a support hold on Norway, fully expecting it to be ignored. Thought I'd try once more for Sweden. Why not? It actually worked!? England supports me in, choosing to go with a weak France instead of Germany in the west.

A02: I'm helping my bro Austria into Bulgaria to accelerate Turkey's death.

I thought about supporting F Ska->Den, but wanted the army out of Norway. Put that support order in, hoping England was on the same page (nope).

Moved StP->Liv so I could build another fleet and commit the army to the German front.

S03: I expected England to try Ska->Den again (nope). Decided to keep Warsaw in place in case of a stray Italian unit poking into Galicia. I'm an idiot in Turkey...

A03: Rum->Gal is to prevent Italian raiders. Felt like Germany would cover Berlin or self bounce, so Pru->Sil. GoB was a big deal.

S04: Rumania open is making me nervous (Gal->Rum). Forcing Baltic and covering a possible retreat to Liv up north to continue squeezing Germany.

A04: Out guessed Germany in Berlin. They had been actively trying to cut support for years, so I figured they would cut Baltic. That army in Liv was perfect for a convoy. Plus, I love convoys.

I have to make a choice: England or Austria... The Italian fleet poking through into MAO, favors a surprise attack on England. They will have to defend against a move to NAO, *if* Italy keeps the fleet. Plus, I see a brick wall in Austria...

Builds: I could have built 3 units. If I built all 3, I was worried Austria (A or F Sev) or England (F NC StP) would retaliate immediately. I saw an opportunity to convoy Berlin to Sweden, so I figured Moscow was close enough. The build I saved was going to be a fleet next year in StP if everything went well.

S05: Italy keeps the fleet, so it's definitely England getting a knife. The English stab is the kind of move set that should give away my identity immediately in a non-anon game... If I'm confident in my assessment, I'll try an unsupported chain of 4 units. I'm quite sure I've done more in the past :P

Wanted Austria to move towards Munich, but no dice. I'm quite vulnerable in the south...

A05: Tapped NTH to cut potential support for Denmark. Put the fleet in Denmark to threaten NTH in 06. I support Ruhr->Kiel, fully expecting Germany to try for it... England would have bounced and forced to disband a unit. Now, they have a fleet threatening Baltic.

Builds: I build StP SC to help shore up Baltic and chase the English fleet from Kiel. I thought about NC instead, but decided to save a build for that purpose next year.

S06: Nothing went well in the north. Tried to kill off Ska (fail). Tried to support Austria into Munich (fail). The south is all holds.

A06: I was concerned with Tri->Bud after the spring. Nothing I can really do about it at this point without losing all momentum in the north.

In the north, I'm just trying to cut supports until I can get all my units into position. Austria takes my support this time. Hoping being a good ally, coupled with the fact that I am no threat will buy me more time to build a defensive line in the south as England falls.

*My plan for the solo is to overwhelm England by sheer numbers, then, snag a couple SCs off France, or Munich and coastal French SC . France will hopefully be occupied with Austria in the Mediterranean. On my southern front, all I want is to hold the line.*

Builds: Got myself that northern fleet I had in my back pocket.

S07: I remember thinking England might try and bounce Barrents, and cut Norway from North Sea. So, I moved to Norwegian, and supported an army to Norway, to eventually convoy onto the Island.

Not how England orders at all, but still a solid result. Denmark is a hiccup... Kudos to Claesar on all of 1907. The south is more of the same.

A07: The convoy and backfill work well, but I had a major brain backfire elsewhere. Giving up Sweden wasn't a big deal, but forcing a retreat into Denmark and vacating Baltic was infuriating... I cannot tell you why I thought it was a good idea.

Builds: Disbanding A Smy was the moment I figured my solo had gone away. When Austria did decide to turn on me, I was going to be heavily out gunned in Turkey.

S08: The main goals of this phase were to get a fleet into NTH, and not be forced into disbanding Edinburgh. I thought England might support Edi->Cly to try and force a disband. You cannot see it on the map, but I actually tried a sneaky convoy from Cly to Edi. It would have been hilarious if it had worked. Unfortunately, England played it safe.

Austria continuing to hit a blue wall is a little frustrating. Worried they are going to give up and turn on me.

A08: Had to pass on a potential convoy from Norway with an English fleet hovering in Ska. I tapped Denmark to either cut support or take Denmark if England supports Den->Kiel.

Austria is still hitting a wall...

Builds: The fleet in StP should have been A Warsaw looking back. It was obvious Austria was going to have to do something very soon. I thought I might still be far enough away from 18 that the A/R might hold for another year.

S09: Praying that Austria holds off in the south (they don't).

No clue how England would choose to defend this phase. Getting another fleet in NTH was a priority to finish England off by the end of 1910. The moves to Lvp and Edi were essentially attempts to cut support for any attacks on Clyde or a support hold on NTH.

A09: Best guess was that England would try and support York->Lon, and defended accordingly (correct). Attempted to support Kiel->Hol from NTH to hopefully axe England (support cut, works anyway :P).

Knowing I was going to lose Rumania by next year no matter what, I moved Sev->Arm to defend Turkish home centers.

Builds: I chose a fleet in Sev for both offense and defense. It can threaten/support so many centers in the Turkey/Balkan area.

S10: I see two nearly guaranteed SCs (Munich/Belgium) this year. I see a guaranteed loss of one (Constantinople). Rumania looked vulnerable as well if I could get enough units surrounding it.

Gave it a shot, but Austria bounces Galicia. Everything else goes as expected.

A10: I originally had an order set that got 18 entered, but changed it :'(

Gal->Rum, Sev S Gal->Rum, BLA S Gal->Rum. Changed my orders to guarantee Munich, which was a mistake.

The rest as they say, is history :P

The openings from Italy and Turkey were good fortune. A friendly England was another lucky bounce. I made some solid choices in the game to get as close as I did (along with plenty of errors), but the first couple years would have put most Russians in wonderful shape.

If anyone had any specific questions I did not answer, feel free to ask :)

Start Backward Open large map Forward End

Russia
Matticus13 (2947 D)
Drawn. Bet: 20 D, won: 47 D
17 supply-centers, 17 units
Austria
Drawn. Bet: 20 D, won: 47 D
12 supply-centers, 12 units
France
mdrltc (1811 D (G))
Drawn. Bet: 20 D, won: 47 D
5 supply-centers, 5 units
England
Claesar (4342 D Mod)
Defeated. Bet: 20 D
Italy
Defeated. Bet: 20 D
Germany
Fortress Door (1891 D)
Defeated. Bet: 20 D
Turkey
rdrivera2005 (3548 D (G))
Defeated. Bet: 20 D
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