When to play a non-standard alliance in the east?

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When to play a non-standard alliance in the east?

#1 Post by Restitution » Mon Mar 11, 2019 9:01 pm

In the West, there are four valuable 1901 alliances; the WT, and the three 2-man pairs.

In the East, there are only really two viable alliances, from my understanding; the I/A, and the R/T. The I/R and I/R/A also have some value, I guess? But I don't see why I would ever say no to an alliance with Turkey as Russia, unless he was clearly a lunatic.

Likewise, I have *never* seen the AT work out, and an A/I requires a very strong commitment for Italy that I don't think any sane Italy would do; taking Tyrolia or Trieste in Spring.

It seems to me that Italy has to commit like this in order for an IT to work, since anything else is tremendously spooky to Turkey and puts them on an inevitable path to war.

And likewise, the I/R seems bad for Italy, since he has to stab Austria before Russia commits anything.

Is my analysis wrong here? Is there any justification for nonstandard 1901 eastern alliances?

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Re: When to play a non-standard alliance in the east?

#2 Post by mhsmith0 » Mon Mar 11, 2019 9:34 pm

A/I/R is a great way to shove Turkey into the dustbin of history (as Italy I crippled Turkey in 1902 and outright eliminated him in 1903) and is FANTASTIC for Italy and Russia most of the time (for Austria it's fine... unless I/R stab you after they're done with Turkey... which is what we ended up doing in that game on the way to an ez 3-way FIR).

A/T is pretty solid against a cooperating I/R, but isn't really the alliance of choice for either side (particularly Austria)

A/I doesn't take a crazy amount of effort to make work, Italy vacates Venice, Austria goes towards greece with his fleet, and suddenly Austria is +2 and Turkey is stuck in awkward position and can very easily be stabbed by Russia if he goes all out against AI.

As Russia, I'm happy enough to be in an alliance with Turkey (if AI are fighting each other it's really easy to make this work well), but I'm probably HAPPIER to be in an alliance with Italy (again, unless AI are fighting each other). Turkey is still a neighbor, and can usually come up with decent stab opportunities, while Italy can grow pretty well without much competition (I/R 2-way draw is very easy to arrange if you're both big enough to conquer all other parties).

I think that I/T (or I/T/+1) is nearly impossible to make work long-term, but I think basically any other eastern pairing or trio can work well.
RAT can hyper aggressively take over the center of the board if the west is in disarray
AIR can crush Turkey and then move onto the various western powers
IR can run a good 2way or find virtually any other power on the board (other than Turkey) for a highly functional 3-way
AR can take advantage of a fractious IT relationship, and if AR aren't fighting each other, they have more options (in particular, Russia can open to STP, and Austria can do lots of productive stuff instead of going to Gal)

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Re: When to play a non-standard alliance in the east?

#3 Post by FiftyFifty » Mon Mar 11, 2019 11:36 pm

I disagree that A/T is nonstandard. I haven't seen it much on this site, but it's viable and not as unlikely as you'd think. It strives because Turkey shouldn't be interested in working with Russia or Italy if they know what's good for them. Turkey has the #1 solo rate on PlayDiplomacy, and A/I is a large reason why.

Some others I've used:
Solo'd as russia with A/T/R
Solo'd as turkey with T/E/I
3 way draw as Turkey with T/A/F
3 way draw as Italy with I/R
4 way draw as Austria with A/T/R (and F ultimately)
I just watched Austria 3 way draw with A/G/T - I was G

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Re: When to play a non-standard alliance in the east?

#4 Post by mhsmith0 » Tue Mar 12, 2019 1:02 am

I think that A/T is a fine alliance for Turkey but usually a problematic one for Austria, mainly because Turkey will likely have great stabbing opportunities while Austria won't, much like E/G on the western side of teh board (except even more so, since in E/G Germany can still build 2 fleets any given winter, while Austria can only do 1).

The other big issue with A/T is that it's fairly easy to stop them from the west - even if they're VERY successful as a 2-way alliance, it's brutally difficult for Turkey to force MAO (barring awful play from the west), and Austria taking and holding Munich/Berlin is hard enough, but Kiel/Hol/STP/etc are much harder lifts.

If your goal from the start is a 3-4p draw, then A/T + 1-2 from the west is easy enough to make work a good % of the time... but it's gonna be really hard for Austria to do any better than a 3wd working with Turkey, and Turkey will only do better than that if he's able to effectively stab Austria.

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Re: When to play a non-standard alliance in the east?

#5 Post by Claesar » Tue Mar 12, 2019 10:52 am

I just 'witnessed' this monstrosity:


The game is over (tournament game that runs until 1910).

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Re: When to play a non-standard alliance in the east?

#6 Post by swordsman3003 » Wed Mar 13, 2019 1:18 pm

If you are playing as Turkey, do anything you can to dupe Austria into alliance. That's a great path to a solo win.

If you are playing as Austria, any other power is a better ally then Turkey. Ally Turkey only as a last resort, because 1) you're probably going to get backstabbed by Turkey 2) you'll never get a solo win if you power up Turkey.

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