Next level of gunboat metagame

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Carl Tuckerson
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Re: Next level of gunboat metagame

#21 Post by Carl Tuckerson » Fri Apr 26, 2019 5:31 pm

Claesar wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 8:26 am
Carl Tuckerson wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 11:40 pm
... If I fear England will move to the Channel, I tend to open:
Par-Bur
Mar-Gas
Bre-MAO

If Germany bounces you in Bur, you can cover Bre and still grab two builds. If you so desire. Few English players here move ENG-MAO in Autumn.
Slight quibble but wouldn't you rather move Marseilles to Burgundy and Paris to Gascony? I think I would rather be in Marseilles/Gascony than Paris/Gascony for A01. Don't know if it really makes a difference though.
...
No, that's exactly my point. If I fear Italy will open to Piedmont, I start with
Mar-Bur and Par-Gas. That way, if Germany bounces you, you can cover Mar while still grabbing Par and Por.

To counter England opening to the Channel Par-Bur is best, surely.
There is an advantage to Par-Bur vis-a-vis Mar-Bur, which is that Paris projects force onto Brest and Picardy. In the event that England decides on the full bore anti-French line of opening to the Channel and moving his army to Wales, you give yourself the opportunity to make England guess wrong on his convoy (as if you had bounced with Mar-Bur and moved Par-Gas, England would have a free convoy to Picardy).

The advantage to Mar-Bur over Par-Bur is that you can move Gas-Mar-Spa in the fall if Italy opens to Piedmont, which will punish Italy for trying to take Marseilles in the fall. Critically, in both cases, if England opens to the Channel and Italy opens to Piedmont and you decide to try for both Iberian centers, Gascony will be an overburdened defender, so in the unfortunate event that all three of your neighbors elect to move to the no-go spaces on the first turn, you'll have to forgo one of Portugal, Spain, or a perfect defense of the home centers.

To that extent it might be better to open Mar-Bur on purpose with the aim of enticing England to take the "safe" convoy to Picardy, so that Gascony can cover Marseilles while you take both centers. Of course, then one has to wonder what Germany would think of seeing you so far on the backfoot in 1901...

The overarching lesson here is that unless you're a savant and correctly guess that you need to bounce Piedmont and Burgundy on the first turn, you'll have to make a guess on the first turn as to which front you should risk--the English Channel, Burgundy, or Piedmont.

This raises an interesting question: which front should France be risking? There's a "level zero" component of geography (which front can France least afford to lose? most?) and a "level one" component of site meta (which neighbor is most likely to challenge France? least?)

Geographic: I think Burgundy is clearly the frontrunner, followed by English Channel, followed by Piedmont. Burgundy gives Germany an incredible number of options which are all terrible for you. English Channel gives England fewer options which are easier to insulate yourself against. Piedmont gives Italy one option which is trivial to thwart if you're not otherwise under pressure.
I would rate this, from most to least important: Burgundy > Channel > Piedmont

Site meta: This is where it gets interesting... I think Germany is the least likely to threaten France. Munich has a very strong option of going to Ruhr, which deters England from threatening Holland, puts force on Belgium, and still deters hostiles from threatening Munich. And as a generalized statement it's just been very rare to see anybody move Mun-Bur. That might just be my limited experience but it doesn't seem like it happens often.
Meanwhile, we've all discussed the fact that England should be going to the Channel more often than it does, suggesting England isn't all that likely to go to the Channel.
Italy is the most interesting case. I think I said earlier that my default opening is to move to Piedmont, Apulia and Ionian Sea with Italy, signaling total cooperation with Austria, setting up the Lepanto, and making France think more than he's used to thinking in 1901. I strongly believe this is the best Italian opening. But I also virtually never see it.
I think I would rate this Channel > Burgundy > Piedmont

This makes it clear that France should prioritize a defense of the Channel and Burgundy, which I think makes Par-Bur/Mar-Gas more preferred. Notably, I think it makes Mar S Par-Bur clearly wrong, as your most likely intruder is England, and that moveset protects you from England the least.
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Puscherbilbo
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Re: Next level of gunboat metagame

#22 Post by Puscherbilbo » Tue Jul 16, 2019 1:48 pm

Being kind of new to the game I´d like to suggest that part of the Russian problem might be that his moves are too predictable.
Giving that he suffers worse from bounces in Swe or Gal than his opponent he might have to take the first step in risking occasionally moves that are suboptimally.
E.g. moving to Gal only 75% of the time changing the metagame in that away Austria can realistically choose to trust Russia to not occupy it.
Similarly in spots where there is a high probability to bounce in Swe going to BAL instead leaving Ger F stranded in SWE for the time being.
Again at least the chance to have to go to SWE should reduce GERs willingness to try to bounce to begin with increasing the odds to reach SWE for Russia if he does decide to do it.
One has to do some risk-reward-assesment in all those cases. But ending up in SWE looks like a much worse potential downside to me than ending up in GAL does.

foodcoats
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Re: Next level of gunboat metagame

#23 Post by foodcoats » Tue Jul 16, 2019 5:55 pm

swordsman3003 wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 11:53 am
It absolutely astounds me that the English gunboat meta is to open east and to avoid opening to English Channel.
Isn't the problem that an EC opener risks a no-build '01 if Russia opens north?

Does that mean meta-England incorrectly understands meta-Russia, who must always open south - therefore meaning meta-England can always open to the Channel without risking a No-Norway?

mhsmith0
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Re: Next level of gunboat metagame

#24 Post by mhsmith0 » Tue Jul 16, 2019 6:26 pm

There's always a risk. But "Russia gets strong" is less of a risk than "France gets strong". A strong Russia will still need to deal with at least one and uually multiple of Germany, Austria (typically strong Russia = dead Austria but not always), Italy, Turkey, and a Russian collapse is often possible even at like 10 center strength if things break a certain way.

Strong France means that England is usually the next target, and Italy typically is under siege or busy in the east. An EF alliance is (imo) quite dangerous for England most of the time. And even if England gets 0 builds... is it THAT much of a crisis? Say Russia overextends to the north and Austria or Turkey eats its lunch down south (or Germany bounces it out of sweden for that matter, and Germany usually SHOULD bounce if England opens south imo)... that Norway center is PROBABLY gonna be open sooner or later. Maybe the result is Germany gets strong, but if that happens France is gonna be fighting Germany, since France is hard to kill quickly, and maybe you get a chance to recover somewhere along the way.

Just my $0.02 though. Also, if France opens to the channel, then as England you kind of NEED to have bounced b/c that's better than a blue navy there. and if you DO get through, then you can potentially support convoy to Belgium, or convoy (given a Bur bounce while sometimes happens) and use ENG to move to Brest or MAO

My $0.02 is the bog-standard Lon-ENG, Edi-NTH, Yor-Lvp opening is optimal for England most of the time in gunboat. Keeps your options open and prevents any realistic worst case type outcomes.
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Restitution
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Re: Next level of gunboat metagame

#25 Post by Restitution » Tue Jul 16, 2019 6:35 pm

swordsman3003 wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 11:53 am
I don’t want to hear it about how England has “no choice” but to attack all-out in the east and hope to make so many builds so fast that France can be contained. I always open to English Channel and do very well as England gunboat.
What do you do after opening to English? Do you open North Sea, English, Wales and then try to convoy into France? Or do you try to convoy through English to Belgium while taking Norway with a fleet?

I never know what to do with that freakin' army as England!

Restitution
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Re: Next level of gunboat metagame

#26 Post by Restitution » Tue Jul 16, 2019 6:40 pm

swordsman3003 wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 12:30 pm
But I think the average player thinks that the purpose of opening KIE>DEN is to block Russia from getting Sweden and robotically executes this tactic every match.
What is the purpose, if not this?

Claesar
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Re: Next level of gunboat metagame

#27 Post by Claesar » Tue Jul 16, 2019 6:52 pm

Restitution wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 6:40 pm
swordsman3003 wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 12:30 pm
But I think the average player thinks that the purpose of opening KIE>DEN is to block Russia from getting Sweden and robotically executes this tactic every match.
What is the purpose, if not this?
To have that option. Doesn't mean you must always do it. If I ate icecream as often as I could, I'd be morbidly obese.

mhsmith0
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Re: Next level of gunboat metagame

#28 Post by mhsmith0 » Tue Jul 16, 2019 7:01 pm

Specifically, based on fall 1901 moves it can be a very good or very bad option to block.

Vacated ENG = let Russia in most of time
Russia blatantly allying w turkey and Austria already looks doomed? Bounce
Etc.

Carl Tuckerson
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Re: Next level of gunboat metagame

#29 Post by Carl Tuckerson » Tue Jul 16, 2019 7:53 pm

I think England must get Norway in 1901 so that he can build a third fleet, but once he has the third fleet, losing Norway and being forced to disband the army that takes it is not damning as long as Russia isn't churning out northern fleets.

I also think Russia shouldn't open north. I don't remember if I followed up on this topic after the Russia thread, but I've since become convinced that sending an army north gains less than what you potentially lose in the south. Russia needs to cover Black Sea, and Russia's position becomes awkward if you don't bounce Austria out of Galicia unless you have armies in Warsaw and Ukraine (as you must now choose from among covering Warsaw, covering Black Sea, and taking Romania), at which point there's no reason not to bounce Galicia.

That said, I never quite feel fully comfortable opening to the Channel with England, because if Russia does decide to shake things up by opening north, things go south for you very fast.

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Re: Next level of gunboat metagame

#30 Post by mhsmith0 » Tue Jul 16, 2019 8:23 pm

As England, if Russia opens up north, you're probably in enough trouble that even that build won't save you... but usually he won't open north.

As England, if France opens to the channel (and France has a decent incentive to do so, I feel like I'd probably do it 25-33% of the time as France for how powerful an opening it can be if it gets pulled off correctly), it's incredibly hard to dislodge him and you're probably gonna lose, build or no build.

I also kinda feel like if I'm in a world where France AND Russia open north, I'd rather block France and then got blocked in turn from Norway, and just dance around defensively until the attacking coalition gets bored or *SOMETHING ELSE* happens (Russia getting overwhelmed in the south; Italy attacking France; Austria attacking Germany; F/G falling out; etc) to save me.

Carl Tuckerson
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Re: Next level of gunboat metagame

#31 Post by Carl Tuckerson » Tue Jul 16, 2019 8:32 pm

Talk me through the English Channel opening some from the French side. I'm coming around to the idea that it may be the necessary counter for France in a meta shifting strongly toward England opening there, but I have trouble finding the right proactive follow-ups if I do get there, and also with deciding exactly what my armies are doing. Are they forcing Burgundy and then letting me go for Belgium, are they going deep into Iberia and risking German attack?

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Re: Next level of gunboat metagame

#32 Post by mhsmith0 » Tue Jul 16, 2019 8:40 pm

If England NEVER opens to the channel, as France I'm probably thinking of going there once in a while but definitely not my main preference.

If England ALWAYS opens to the channel, as France it still isn't necessarily huge to go there defensively; provided England opens Yor-Lvp instead of Yor-Wal, he's almost never gonna convoy to Brest, so I don't have to be super worried about things defensively, at least not immediately (though obviously I'd rather have him not in ENG).

I don't really think that opening to Iberia as France is wise. At least one unit should be on Burgundy (forcing it is probably fine too), because Germany in Burgundy is really really bad for me as France. The generic Bre-MAO, Par-Bur, Mar S Par-Bur opening is overall fine on offense and defense, though personally I sort of like rolling Bre-MAO, Par-Gas and Mar-Bur, figuring that bouncing in Bur is pretty decent for me anyway.
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Matticus13
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Re: Next level of gunboat metagame

#33 Post by Matticus13 » Wed Jul 17, 2019 12:41 am

mhsmith0 wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 8:40 pm
If England NEVER opens to the channel, as France I'm probably thinking of going there once in a while but definitely not my main preference.

If England ALWAYS opens to the channel, as France it still isn't necessarily huge to go there defensively; provided England opens Yor-Lvp instead of Yor-Wal, he's almost never gonna convoy to Brest, so I don't have to be super worried about things defensively, at least not immediately (though obviously I'd rather have him not in ENG).

I don't really think that opening to Iberia as France is wise. At least one unit should be on Burgundy (forcing it is probably fine too), because Germany in Burgundy is really really bad for me as France. The generic Bre-MAO, Par-Bur, Mar S Par-Bur opening is overall fine on offense and defense, though personally I sort of like rolling Bre-MAO, Par-Gas and Mar-Bur, figuring that bouncing in Bur is pretty decent for me anyway.
For those of you missing out on Discord, we have been talking quite a bit about the ongoing shift to England opening to EC. It seems to be near standard now.

The best solution I've heard that doesn't involve opening to EC from Brest is Par->Gas, Bre->MAO, Mar-> But (which is what you suggested mhsmith). Gives France the best overall flexibility to defend itself, depending on the situation.

Right now, all you can really do as France lately is hope you get 5 units, go into fortress mode, and hope pressure comes from somewhere else (Russia or a stab) to disturb E/G. E/G is nearly a forgon conclusion at this point...
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Carl Tuckerson
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Re: Next level of gunboat metagame

#34 Post by Carl Tuckerson » Wed Jul 17, 2019 1:14 am

Matticus13 wrote:
Wed Jul 17, 2019 12:41 am
mhsmith0 wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 8:40 pm
If England NEVER opens to the channel, as France I'm probably thinking of going there once in a while but definitely not my main preference.

If England ALWAYS opens to the channel, as France it still isn't necessarily huge to go there defensively; provided England opens Yor-Lvp instead of Yor-Wal, he's almost never gonna convoy to Brest, so I don't have to be super worried about things defensively, at least not immediately (though obviously I'd rather have him not in ENG).

I don't really think that opening to Iberia as France is wise. At least one unit should be on Burgundy (forcing it is probably fine too), because Germany in Burgundy is really really bad for me as France. The generic Bre-MAO, Par-Bur, Mar S Par-Bur opening is overall fine on offense and defense, though personally I sort of like rolling Bre-MAO, Par-Gas and Mar-Bur, figuring that bouncing in Bur is pretty decent for me anyway.
For those of you missing out on Discord, we have been talking quite a bit about the ongoing shift to England opening to EC. It seems to be near standard now.

The best solution I've heard that doesn't involve opening to EC from Brest is Par->Gas, Bre->MAO, Mar-> But (which is what you suggested mhsmith). Gives France the best overall flexibility to defend itself, depending on the situation.

Right now, all you can really do as France lately is hope you get 5 units, go into fortress mode, and hope pressure comes from somewhere else (Russia or a stab) to disturb E/G. E/G is nearly a forgon conclusion at this point...
This all checks out but I feel like I'm always on the back foot if England gets in the Channel no matter the opening. Even stuff like a MAO/Gas/<Bur/Mar/Par> position after Spring 01 feels behind if England's in the Channel. I'm coming around to opening there as France, I just want to figure out the best way to use the armies so that in a world where I actually take the Channel, I have a real continuation.
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mhsmith0
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Re: Next level of gunboat metagame

#35 Post by mhsmith0 » Wed Jul 17, 2019 1:35 am

I think England in the channel with wales army is super nasty for France, but England in the channel with Yorkshire army isn’t THAT bad, since it can convoy to Norway or Belgium, and even if it goes to Belgium it can go after Germany instead of France reasonably well.

But to the extent meta shifts to where England commonly opens to ENG and Wales, France probably would need to suck it up and bounce ENG, which then basically cripples England since he has two units in awful position for fall 1901.

Carl Tuckerson
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Re: Next level of gunboat metagame

#36 Post by Carl Tuckerson » Wed Jul 17, 2019 1:56 am

It's just real hard to make the right call on what to do in the fall because there's so many terrible fail states. The continuation into Mid-Atlantic is brutal and you can't protect against it unless you forgo a 2nd build. I find they rarely go for Brest, but God help you if you let them take it, and honestly God help you if you cover Brest and they don't go for it too.

I'm reminded a lot of the situation Russia and Austria face in Galicia honestly. Whatever other productive uses might be available for those armies is overshadowed by the ceiling of successfully taking Galicia in S01. The catch is that France has Portugal calling his name.

Thoughts on this?
Bre -> Channel
Mar S Par -> Bur

The main weakness of Mar S Par -> Bur is that you're vulnerable to a move to the Channel if you end S01 with a fleet in MAO and no other units adjacent to Brest. Moving to the Channel sidesteps that, has the upside of hard-countering Wal/Channel from England, and you'll have two units on Belgium in the fall if you do take the Channel, so you have a proactive way to try to get two builds.

edit: Plus, if E/G really is as rampant as people are saying, this is by far the strongest possible opening to protect yourself from E/G. I worry about pissing them off needlessly, but it sounds like current meta says that they're coming for you pissed or not, might as well put up a tough defense.
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Chaqa
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Re: Next level of gunboat metagame

#37 Post by Chaqa » Wed Jul 17, 2019 2:42 am

The live game meta - which is kinda a testing ground for the webDip gunboat meta as a whole, to some extent - has become EXTREMELY anti-French. Based on Swordsman's articles and the advice of players like NEFS and myself, I think England opening to the channel has become almost standard. This also leads to a lot of Italians and Germans making anti-French moves, to the extent we've barely had a game of live Gunboat where France WASN'T crippled lately.

In most of these games, Germany also bounces Russia in Sweden.

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Re: Next level of gunboat metagame

#38 Post by Puscherbilbo » Wed Jul 17, 2019 3:11 am

Fra might have to gamble on BUR more often going to Pic+Spain+MAO.
Also which discordchannel?

Matticus13
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Re: Next level of gunboat metagame

#39 Post by Matticus13 » Wed Jul 17, 2019 3:12 am

Carl Tuckerson wrote:
Wed Jul 17, 2019 1:56 am
It's just real hard to make the right call on what to do in the fall because there's so many terrible fail states. The continuation into Mid-Atlantic is brutal and you can't protect against it unless you forgo a 2nd build. I find they rarely go for Brest, but God help you if you let them take it, and honestly God help you if you cover Brest and they don't go for it too.

I'm reminded a lot of the situation Russia and Austria face in Galicia honestly. Whatever other productive uses might be available for those armies is overshadowed by the ceiling of successfully taking Galicia in S01. The catch is that France has Portugal calling his name.

Thoughts on this?
Bre -> Channel
Mar S Par -> Bur

The main weakness of Mar S Par -> Bur is that you're vulnerable to a move to the Channel if you end S01 with a fleet in MAO and no other units adjacent to Brest. Moving to the Channel sidesteps that, has the upside of hard-countering Wal/Channel from England, and you'll have two units on Belgium in the fall if you do take the Channel, so you have a proactive way to try to get two builds.

edit: Plus, if E/G really is as rampant as people are saying, this is by far the strongest possible opening to protect yourself from E/G. I worry about pissing them off needlessly, but it sounds like current meta says that they're coming for you pissed or not, might as well put up a tough defense.
I like this. Puts that brick wall up immediately, and puts England in a BAD way if they open Liverpool->Wales (which is why I usually open to Yorkshire as England when opening to EC). Have to try something....

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Re: Next level of gunboat metagame

#40 Post by Matticus13 » Wed Jul 17, 2019 3:14 am

Puscherbilbo wrote:
Wed Jul 17, 2019 3:11 am
Fra might have to gamble on BUR more often going to Pic+Spain+MAO.
Also which discordchannel?
Usually the live game channel. Probably should be discussed more in the strategy channel, but the current Discord metagame is making it the default server.

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