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Finished: 08 AM Thu 18 Feb 21 UTC
Private gunboat with EOG expectation 2
1 day /phase
Pot: 105 D - Spring, 1914, Finished
Classic, No messaging, Anonymous players, Draw-Size Scoring
1 excused missed turn
Game drawn
10 Jan 21 UTC Autumn, 1902: GameMaster: Game was extended due to at least 1 member failing to enter orders and having an excused missed turn available. This has un-readied all orders.
17 Jan 21 UTC Spring, 1904: GameMaster: Game was extended due to at least 1 member failing to enter orders and having an excused missed turn available. This has un-readied all orders.
30 Jan 21 UTC Autumn, 1907: GameMaster: Game was extended due to at least 1 member failing to enter orders and having an excused missed turn available. This has un-readied all orders.
10 Feb 21 UTC Autumn, 1910: GameMaster: Game was extended due to at least 1 member failing to enter orders and having an excused missed turn available. This has un-readied all orders.
17 Feb 21 UTC GG all! It will take me a minute to organize the ramblings in my notes tab into something coherent, but I'm looking forward to the post-game discussion.
17 Feb 21 UTC I'll contribute when I get around to it as well, you can count on me
17 Feb 21 UTC Thanks everyone. EOG will follow!
17 Feb 21 UTC gg. I will also get something together... also still need to do my post-game write up for game 4 which I was also in (oops). Definitely interested to hear people's thoughts though as I am sure there are plenty of moves I should have made differently. Not having a unit in Bulgaria ended up quite problematic and even if I did manage to take it having a fleet there would have been little help.

I also decided once I was shut into my corner that my strategy would be to just wait for my opportunity to arise having previously been in a game where Turkey did just that and eventually became the solo threat. Although looking back with this strategy I should have been much less aggressive to lull Austria/Italy into leaving a weakness. Then again... now looking at the players I don't know if that ever would have happened
17 Feb 21 UTC ^That is just quick thoughts and not my EOG
17 Feb 21 UTC Thanks for the game, everyone! I'll also collate my notes into something legible in the coming days.
18 Feb 21 UTC My EOG is not especially long, but probably long enough that it would be obnoxious to post here, so here's a paste link: https://pastebin.com/xS8kBWMf

Happy to share any of my other thoughts that might be relevant, and I'm looking forward to reading everyone else's EOGs.
18 Feb 21 UTC At the start I was pleased to see that Italy opened with the opening I often recommend (and prefer), kickstarting a possible I/A alliance, which I think is the best Austria can hope for in gunboat in the early game. Everyone's openings seemed standard—dare I say, exactly how I would have opened with each of those powers if I were playing them? So I thought, this will be a great match.

I freaked out at how I blew with with respect to Serbia in 1902...I underestimated Russia. What had started off pretty good for me was now an open question. That loss of Serbia debilitated me for several turns, and even though I got some good hits on Russia, I wasn't able to really pull ahead or accomplish anything strategically due to having to deal with that nuisance of a unit. Turkey stayed strong despite my success and this really sucked (for me). Meanwhile Germany ascended to be the strongest power.

I wanted to put some hits on Germany in order to stop Germany's ascent, but there wasn't any good opportunity for me. I struggled to inflict a decisive blow on Russia (partly due to Germany's intervention) and Italy and I didn't have enough forces to overpower Turkey until Russia was brought down. I was feeling outplayed somewhat (or at least, countered) around 1905, but not in danger.

The following years, Italy started attacking Germany in earnest and I really liked this. I thought, worst case scenario we get a good draw (what happened), best case scenario one of us makes a breakthrough and goes for a solo (I consider this a good scenario; I am willing to gamble my ally's solo if I have a chance too). It was kinda weird when Germany knew I wanted Italy out of Tyrolia in 1907, and I hoped (and I think this was correct?) that I felt just too in danger by Italy's position there while I was over-extended by Russia. That whole situation felt very intelligent, almost like we were playing a press game. Really neat.

In 1908 I finally had my breakthrough vs Russia and I figured the situation in the south was all downhill from there. That was essentially true. I was able to wrap up my conquest of Russia and slowly-but-surely position to bring down Turkey later on. Italy continue to cooperate with me to hold back Germany, and I really appreciate this as it ensured that we could safely eliminate Russia and Turkey without either of them being able to throw to Germany.

Italy and Germany started each other down around MAO for years and years, and this was just fine by me. Peachy!

Once I finally got around Turkey's backdoor in 1911, I pondered whether a solo win attempt might be possible for me. I considered it every turn until the end when I voted draw. I was 100% confident I could dominate the entire south like nothing—just cut through Anatolia and the Italian peninsula like butter, even with just my one fleet—and I had no fear Germany would break through no-man's-land in the center.

However, I thought and thought about it, and I was pretty sure Germany would wind up with Tunis before I could ever get it. My deficit of fleets was the problem. It requires at least 3 fleets (often 4) in perfect positions to actually stalemate Tunis, and I was pretty sure both Italy and Germany were completely competent (and thus Italy would fight me off, and cede centers to Germany; and Germany would be able to solo win if it were at all possible). So I thought about it, turn after turn, but kept deciding that it was a suicide mission because there was no realistic way for me to keep STP, BER, MUN, or TUN vs. Germany.
18 Feb 21 UTC I kept track of almost everything that factored into my choices in this game, but even cutting out a lot of my ramblings, my entire EOG ended up being obnoxiously long, so I followed England’s example and put my turn-by-turn thoughts here: https://pastebin.com/WcBA4m90

A summary/highlights:

-I liked the opening I chose a lot (and yes, it was definitely influenced by BrotherBored's writings). Lepantos are slow, and France often seems to be dogpiled early in a lot of these games so I was glad I could benefit from that. I wasn’t surprised to see Germany coming out of it strong, as that seems to also generally happen. But I preferred that to England being the main beneficiary of France’s downfall because it meant I had relatively little resistance taking Iberia. I was glad the E/G didn’t last long.

-I wasn’t displeased about the Serbian hiccup, since I think the longer Turkey remained a threat, the more time I had before having to deal with a potential Austria stab. And it worked out well that I could use just one fleet to help keep Turkey contained while I made progress in the west.

-There were a few times where I was worried Austria would get impatient and would stab me, but I always thought that it would be too risky for them to do that while Turkey was still alive and allied with Russia. And, by the time Russia and Turkey were handled, I was pretty sure I could throw to Germany if Austria did stab me. Although I was surprised at how often they covered Trieste, because I never felt like stabbing them would be a good idea for me.

-I have such a defensive mindset in these games, and I need to work on that. The whole time I was fighting Germany in France I was focusing on slowing them down, not on making progress for myself. It’s funny to me that Austria was worried about my position, considering that *I* felt very overextended in the west. I definitely didn’t understand why Austria kicked me out of Tyrolia, and my response to that turn was the complete opposite of swordsman’s. Instead of “this felt like a press game” I thought “I don’t understand this Austrian player and I hate gunboat” haha. That was also the turn I could have slipped into the Channel, so I was frustrated that turn in general.

-I thought about supporting Austria to Berlin the one turn I thought it could work (spring 1911), but I decided that since I was already leaving myself so vulnerable it wasn’t worth encouraging them to go for their own solo run.

-Turkey, I saw you support me into Greece in 1909 but at that point it was much too late for me to stab Austria (unless I got crazy lucky against Germany, but that wasn’t happening). I might have considered stabbing Austria earlier if you’d been less fleet-heavy. As it was, I didn’t see any scenario where I helped you and you didn’t turn around and sweep through the Med.

-Overall this was a super fun game and I think I learned a lot. The EOG expectation really helped, because it forced me to spell out my thoughts for each turn and I think it caused me to make better decisions. I'd do another of these, if people are interested.
19 Feb 21 UTC I'd play again any time. I think my quality of play is far better when I plan to explain myself.

- I covered Trieste because I thought you (Italy) might kneecap me to stop me from going for a solo, and I wanted to be able to go for a solo if it were possible.
19 Feb 21 UTC Oh, that makes sense. Could I have gotten away with trying that without starting an all-out war between us?
19 Feb 21 UTC Absolutely, with me you could have. I often as Italy (and have often seen Italy in high level matches) seize Trieste with no follow up invasion force just to prevent Austria from being able to build any fleet during endgame.
19 Feb 21 UTC It’s brutish but it gets the job done. Less-experienced players might overreact but I wouldn’t have. I was trying to counter you from attempting it so that I would be able to build a fleet and solo if that became possible somehow.
19 Feb 21 UTC Thanks everyone for a good game! I am writing before having reviewed your comments and questions. I’ll respond after sending this.

I toyed with a northern opening but decided to make the more common opening for Rum as I assumed there would be experienced players and I wanted to avoid committing too early. In Autumn I moved to Ukr to open War for an army and took Rum with the army to try and set up R/T vs. A. With England’s success and apparent desire to work with Germany, I changed plans and built F StP nc, which I think could have wrecked my game. In retrospect, I wish I’d built A War even at the expense of StP.

France was going down fast, so in ‘02 I hoped to defend against Austria, and avoid E/G vs R. With the failure to build an army, I hoped to get Turkey damaging Austria enough to divert forces away from attacking me. Germany supported me to Nor and then built fleets, which I thought indicated success on that front.

For ‘03, I’d like to know why Germany chose to take Swe before turning on England as that pretty much bottled me up in the north. With Italy turning west, I hoped to see Turkey making progress, but no such luck. I/A served them both well. I’m curious if either of them entertained breaking it at any point. Turkey, why didn’t you ever force Ion? After Spring ‘03 I felt that my game was shot and I’d be hanging on from there, which was one thing I got right :-).

For the next few years I feel I defended pretty well against Austria, but with F StP sc, had no influence on the north without provoking Germany. In ‘04 I predicted A/I/G and my best hope was to become important to a line stopping a German solo. In ‘05 there was brief hope that Germany might try to get across the line, which would finally get some pressure on Austria. Germany, did you consider trying to push south then? If not, why not?

In ‘08 I thought I might be able to grab Swe and it was clear that Germany wasn’t going to be of any help. Germany, did you anticipate that lunge? That failure was the last nail in my coffin even if you didn’t bury me for a few years.

Take-aways - one poor build choice can doom you. I probably would have been better off sticking to the original strategy rather than switching right away.

I look forward to your comments, thoughts and questions, if any.
19 Feb 21 UTC Swordsman, could you elaborate on being surprised by my support of Bul to Ser? Thanks
19 Feb 21 UTC I considered attacking Italy every turn; I always consider the value of changing sides. But my calculation, each turn, was that I had more to gain from working with Italy than by attacking.
20 Feb 21 UTC I thought about stabbing Austria most turns after 1901. Unless Austria attacked me first, I can't think of anything that would cause me to fight them as Italy in the first year (in gunboat).

Up through 1905, the main reason I didn't stab Austria was the clear R/T alliance. Austria was a very comfortable buffer against that threat, and I had options to grow in the west. If I wasn't getting anywhere against France I think I'd have been more likely to change things up, but as it was I was looking for Turkey to make the first move.

After France was eliminated I struggled to decide what to do next, and stabbing Austria was one option I considered. But I thought Germany was too strong for that to be a good idea, and was worried that if Austria and I started fighting it would give Germany a chance to cross the stalemate line or break into Iberia.

Start Backward Open large map Forward End

Drawn. Bet: 15 D, won: 35 D
13 supply-centers, 12 units
swordsman3003 (14469 D (G))
Drawn. Bet: 15 D, won: 35 D
12 supply-centers, 12 units
kgray (647 D Mod)
Drawn. Bet: 15 D, won: 35 D
9 supply-centers, 9 units
ThePremier (464 D)
Defeated. Bet: 15 D
AnimalsCS (181 D)
Defeated. Bet: 15 D
Talby2 (80 D)
Defeated. Bet: 15 D
ColoBoy (120 D)
Defeated. Bet: 15 D
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