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Rock Steady (England)
John Kenneth Fisher (Germany)
Absolute victory for Germany in 1912.
End Of Game Reports (EOG)
This was my first time ever playing as England, and it was really frustrating. Trying to get armies off the island was nearly impossible, and trying to fight a land war with fleets is impossible. Basically, I looked to work with Germany from the start. I figured that if I could keep him happy while sweeping through France and Tunisia, I could position myself to swing around the Iberian and take Italy from "behind," while Germany was busy with Austria and Russia.
My strategies in France worked out pretty well, by coordinating with Germany but I started to get some inclination that the Kaiser was working with Italy when some plans we set out for Marseilles did not go as planned. By that time, I had fleets stretched out into the Mediterranean, and when Germany stabbed me, I didn't have the reinforcements to defend. I thought for sure He would not conquer the British Isles, and I would be able to hold him off while fomenting discord among his allies, by suggesting that he was getting too powerful. In the end, the difficulties of fighting with fleets on land were insuperable, and he was able to knock me out of my homeland. Here's my final press, though:
No hard feelings. All's fair in love and something or other, right? Good luck with that last SC. See you in about 30 years.
Prime Minster John Bull His Royal Highness's Government-In-Exile Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
ez3_Mefi just ended, and it was, frankly, teh awesome. I played as Germany, and while I "won," at the very end Italy and I were working together so closely, I'd really consider it FAR more accurate to say Italy and Germany won.
Here's the first part of mine. I should have taken notes on the way, so I'll try to remember what I was thinking early on. Also, the nature of the game makes these time breakdowns a bit flexible, but it should be about rightish if you see it as a loose timeline and not a strict one.
I wasn't part of the initial selections, but was slotted in as Germany before the game started. At this point, my vague plan was mainly to work with Austria, as my reading said that was pretty standard for Germany to do, but I didn't really have an "enemy" yet. Most of the other players seemed to write "in character," with my favorite at this point being from England: "You see, HRH has a inordinate fondness for waffles, and would love to get a foothold in Belgium. Of course, this advance into the low countries would be no threat to your glorious nation, but it would serve me well if the French get a bit stroppy (as I suspect they will)." Russia told me that she wanted my help in attacking Austria. I told Russia I would not help at this time, but that if Russia DID move, I wold ignore it if I had Scandanavia. I then told Austria about Russia's plans. I was hoping that hoping Austria would then move in a way so as to keep Russia from trying, so I could keep working with both.
Towards the end of pregame though, I began to worry. I hadn't yet heard anything concrete from Austria, and Italy referred to Austria having unspecified war plans. I still don't know how legit that was, but it did make me wary.
Austria's moves, and communiques made me feel better. England and I began to coordinate on moves more closely, with him offering to help me take Sweden later if I helped him into Belgium. I wasn't sure if I would want Sweden that way, but I agreed so he owed me a favor.
Austria forwarded me a mail from Italy (which could have been faked, but I doubt it), in which Italy asked to move into Tyrolia to attack me if I kept moving north. Austria replied to Italy saying no, and rather tersely. I remember thinking that replying that way might make Austria Italy's next target.
There wasn't a lot of intrigue in this turn, but I remember looking at the board and thinking that Austria was making a mistake by going into both Italy and heading way way south towards Greece, leaving Budapest wide open, as Russia was clearly coming into it. France looked somewhat vulnerable, as England was making inroads, which turned out to be correct, but I also should note that at this point I was sure Turkey was in serious trouble. While he had as many supply centers as anyone else, it just looked to me like Russia and Austria were putting him on the back burner. That turned out to be spectacularly wrong, and even now looking at the board I see it wasn't nearly as dire as I thought at the time. This thinking didn't really affect any of my moves, as Turkey was too far away to really worry about, but still.
In ths turn, I don't think I did much other than to move into Burgandy.
fall 1902-fall 1903ish
Around here was interesting, and around where my midgame strategy really came together in my head. A few things going on. I'll start in the West, where Russia began seriously moving in to my turf and to Austria's, concerning me greatly. I asked Russia to explain herself, and I messaged Austria with "I see we have a Russia problem. Thoughts?". Austria replied with "Well, I have an Italy + Russia + Turkey problem. Italy had originally wanted to march into Munich, and I said no, so here we are. Turkey and Russia, after scrapping a little, seem to be cooperating to remove me from the game. I'm not sure if there is an easy answer to your problems at this point, and I'm pretty sure I will be out of the game soon." After that mail I realized that a full out coordinated counter attack would be no good, and when Russia replied, with "My deepest apologies, I have no interest in your empire, I'm just trying to apply leverage to the Austrian Empire. We owe you one, we should have asked for permission first." I was much relieved, though, of course, I couldn't just take his word for it, but I was able to convince him to give me Sweden, if he took Norway. He agreed, probably because he knew he'd bounce with England -- but I knew he wouldn't, as England had told me it would be left open. Arguably, I didn't need Russia's approval here at all, but I figured that, with his permission, it wouldn't be seen as an invasion which would buy me more time.
Meanwhile, let's go back to the west. England and I arranged to split France, where I got BEL, PAR, and MARS, and he got BRE, POR, SPA. What's amusing as hell to me now, is I realize, I agreed to this plan, and never did take Paris from England once it was his. I could easily have told England "so I'll just slide into Paris as agreed", but it just never occurred to me. I wonder if England realized I just forgot that part of the arrangement. If so, smart move just not mentioning it again. France asked me to coordinate against England, and I asked for more information, though I had little intent to do so. This was one of my favorite moments, where I arranged with England to push him out of Belgium, making it look as though I was on France's side. England was a bit wary of my intents (for once, they were sincere), but agreed. The cool part was when immediately after, France asked me to invade Belgium to prove I was on his side. I giggled.
Yeah, these time stamps are totally arbitrary. So that strategy I came up with was essentially to simply grow by helping everyone else around me. The strategy was, essentially - If I help England get, say, 2 SCs, he'll help ME get 2 SCs. If I then help, say, Russia get 2, Russia will help me get 2. And at the end of that, I'm up 4, and did it without betraying or misleading anyone. Making them trust me and owe me one. The problem there is when England and Russia get into conflict. England now asked me to support him into Norway, and really, there was no way I could agree to that, particularly with Russia still deep in my territory, and Austria down to a shell. It would be way too easy for Russia to just turn and crush me. England replied with asking me to cut MAR's support instead then, which I agreed with, and told me that he thought I could negotiate with Russia for Scandanavia by helping him against Austria and Italy. Around then, Russia asked me for an alliance against Italy and Turkey, to which I sort of quasi-agreed, by pointing out that I was concerned to head south with Russia still north. I knew Russia would disagree with moving out of there, but it gave me an excuse to not fully support his plans.
To be continued....
As Italy, I expected to spend a few seasons puttering around and not doing much other than snagging Tunisia. I was totally surprised when Austria tried to take Venice on the very first move. I tried to give him the benefit of the doubt, but moved to reinforce Venice just in case. He tried the same move next season, and then moved to ADR the following season. I snagged Trieste without conflict, and then played pretty defensively, looking for an opening.
I was loosely allied with Russia, but we didn't ever get the chance to help each other much.
I was allied with Germany for some time, but when he started to totally dominate the board, I tried to organize a resistance movement. Unfortunately, we couldn't coordinate to move against him. Turkey had me cornered pretty well, and even took one of my home supply centers.
It's very gracious of Germany to suggest that it was a mutual victory, but I still can't get the taste of toady out of my mouth.
As Turkey, you begin isolated in the lower-right corner of the map. I felt I had a risk of getting stuck in the corner and overrun if I didn't expand aggressively enough early on. As your only neighbors Austria and Russia are your obvious expansion targets, I felt that diplomacy would be somewhat useless, especially since there aren't many opportunities to help one against the other early on.
I have to admit that I ignored the goings-on in the rest of Europe for most of the game - I barely noticed when France and then England got taken out!
Standard opening for Turkey. Thankfully, Russia did not bounce with me in BLA, allowing me to push him out of BUL later. Seeing that I would be encircled by Austria if I attempted to move into SER, I made Austria the offer of uncontested movement into SER if he would let me have GRE. It was a long shot, but surprisingly, he accepted! Austria may have wanted to consolidate his forces, but in my opinion his position in GRE was definitely tenable. This rearrangement of forces allowed me to push him out of SER, and a convenient landing by Italy removed Austrian forces from the Balkans altogether.
The Italian fleet in ALB was an annoying thorn in my side, but I ignored it for the time being since there isn't any centre there and I regarded his position in the Balkans as somewhat weak anyway. My next expansion target was Russia. I attempted to move into SEV with my army in ARM, using the fleet in RUM as support. Looking back, this was a major mistake; I should have moved in with RUM and supported with ARM to avoid getting my support cut.
In Spring 1905, I felt that I wasn't able to make any more progress in the Balkans and decided to rearrange my forces, sending my fleets to the Mediterranean and moving my armies into the front lines instead. This cost me a lot of time, but I was able to take NAP and TUN. At the same time Russia was forced to remove a lot of its forces, allowing me back into BLA and finally into SEV.
At this point (Fall 1909) Germany and I agreed to start bouncing each other MOS - SEV to give the appearance that we were fighting. Since Italy was allied with Germany and I had little contact with England and Russia's lone remaining army, I'm not entirely sure what the purpose of this was, but I was in no position to take on Germany at the time anyway. We agreed to keep UKR as a DMZ, which probably benefited me much more than Germany.
Around this point, there was talk between me, England and Italy of cooperation against Germany, but nothing ever came through. I wasn't about to give up my new Italian centres, especially after losing Serbia, and England was too far away for me to coordinate anything with. Looking at the moves now, I guess Italy and England weren't able to work any anti-German alliance out either.
Fall 1909 brought an unexpected Italian withdrawal from Trieste. At the time I hinted to Germany that it was because of a secret anti-German alliance, although I guess he was just trying to reinforce his home centres.
I had been eyeing the largely undefended Russian north and Scandinavia for a while now. In Spring 1911 I made my move. I had intended to move my army into UKR and ferry troops into SEV, allowing me to take MOS, but made a big blunder in not supporting those troops into SEV, choosing to attack BUD instead. In retrospect, this probably cost me the game. By the time I had my troops ready for an attack on MOS, the Germans had moved in support and reinforced Scandinavia.
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