After Action Reports: The First Tournament Game 5

Austria- AnimalsCS

1901

Spring
Among my neighbors, I received no press from Russia (they never responded to messages despite my repeated overtures during the first few turns), a non-aggression pact from Italy, who also requested Greece, and a Turkey who suggested an AT alliance and seemed very interested in working together.

I also received news from France that they intended to attack Italy first. I have never seen that be a successful tactic as the French. In addition, I thought Italy could be a potential ally so I let them know that they needed to bounce France in Piedmont.

Germany was a very vocal player who seemed interested in discussing strategy. It is usually a good idea for Austria and Germany to share news and tactics. I convinced Germany to ally with the English, despite their reluctance, in order to ensure that France didn’t have any chance of a successful attack on Italy.

England responded to messages, but their responses were very short, so I was not surprised that Germany was reluctant to work with them.

I convinced Turkey to move to Armenia in order to demonstrate their desire for an alliance.

Fall
Turkey moved as expected so I felt like there was a good chance we could keep working together. I asked Turkey to support me into Greece with the promise that next year I’d allow them to take it from me. Meanwhile, Italy continued to stubbornly ask for Greece. I told them that they should take Tunis since that was an open center they could take, and potentially in the future I could give them Greece. Sadly, Italy proved to be a stubborn player and didn’t show desire to negotiate.

1902

Since Italy wasn’t useful as an ally, and Turkey continued to prove their worth, I stabbed Italy.

1903

Italy was effectively destroyed, while the German-English alliance continued to make progress against France. Germany built army Berlin evidently to help out against Russia, but I convinced Germany to stay out of Russia as this would likely lead to difficulties dividing Moscow and Warsaw among 3 players (and I needed Turkey to continue to work with me, so they needed one of those centers).

1904

I made a good prediction for Russia’s moves so Turkey and I defeated Russia. I moved armies in position to stab Germany. Meanwhile, Turkey convinced France to throw their centers to him instead of to England or Germany. This created a bit of a problem for me since Turkey captured 3 centers while I only captured 1. At this point, I realized that if I wanted to top the board, I needed a few things to happen: Turkey needed to not use all 3 builds (or else a stab in 1905 would be too easy), and Germany needed to believe that I wasn’t going to attack so that I could capture German centers very quickly to catch up.

Since I had been making conversation with Germany the past 3 years, I convinced them that I was only pretending to be aggressive and following Turkey’s plan, but that I would be turning around and attacking Turkey since they were more dangerous now.

1905

My plan worked perfectly, and I took Munich and Berlin in spring. I then executed a double-stab in the fall by convincing Germany it would be better to stab England than to attack me, allowing me to move into Ruhr. I knew I could convince Germany to do this because, according to our press, they’d been planning a stab since the beginning when they reluctantly decided to work with England.

1906

Since Germany attacked England, and I was attacking Germany, I now started working closely with England to get them to help me against Germany. This also enabled me to get Turkey into St Petersburg (and convince them to move to NAO), keeping us even at 11 centers each. This makes England more invested in working with me since I’m their only ally.

In the winter, Turkey convinced me not to build in Trieste (which I said would be to move to Albania for protection), and in exchange waived a build as well.

1907

Spring
I made sure England convoyed their army in Picardy to Wales so that my army in Burgundy had a space to retreat to, so that I could capture Holland without having to disband a unit.

With my failure to protect Albania, and a greedy move of Venice to Piedmont when I could have held, I opened myself up to a 2-center stab from Turkey. I was particularly busy with work those few turns so I didn’t spend as much time on the game, but nevertheless the oversights I made that enabled the stab were very avoidable.

Fall
I convinced England to support me into Denmark in exchange for support to St. Petersburg, capture Belgium, and move back into Burgundy, meaning that I still built two units despite Turkey’s stab.

1908

I get England to reposition so that I could support their army from St. Petersburg-Moscow in 1909. England also retakes Liverpool from Turkey. I would have taken Paris, but I messed up my orders, which prevented me from building in the winter.

1909

This is where the real problem occurs, since I couldn’t build a unit and therefore couldn’t prevent Turkey from moving to Galicia (meaning I needed to move units in France back to Germany to protect those centers). In addition, England decided to take Denmark from me (perhaps because of certain comments about an Austrian being in Denmark on the WS discord).

1910

Since I didn’t have enough strength in France, I supported England into Brest so that Turkey has to disband a unit.

1911

Spring
I told England that if they decided to stab me I would throw the game to Turkey (if this were not a tournament game I would not have made the threat and instead pushed for a 3-way draw). My intent was that they would choose to continue working with me and getting supported into Turkish centers, and then toward 1915, when the game ends by tournament rules, they would try to stab me for the board top. At that point I should have a decent chance at defending against England to top the board. However, England decided to go ahead and stab me (for only one center!).

With both England and Turkey hostile, and myself in between, there was very little possibility I could top the board at this point. I could continue playing, but likely all this would accomplish is delaying the inevitable.

I realized that my moves would determine which of the two would win. While England had been successfully stabbed by multiple players, and was only initially successful because of an alliance with Germany that I strongly encouraged, Turkey had demonstrated excellent play throughout the game. He was an awesome person to play with because of his thought-out press, frequent responses, and flexibility during negotiation. I had no doubt that Turkey was the much more deserving winner of the two. And, if I’m being honest, I made a number of critical mistakes while I can’t identify any errors from Turkey.

Fall
Since I had made the threat to England already, and would rather have Turkey win than England, I allowed Turkey to take my centers in order to solo. In future games, this result might be useful so that I can convince players I don’t make idle threats.

Final Thoughts
I had a great time in this game and I really liked the tournament structure. I look forward to playing in future W&S tournaments!

Congrats to Kwiksand aka Mathemagician for the victory, you really deserved it, even if I did throw it to you at the end.

Turkey AAR

Kwiksand (formerly Mathemagician on Backstabbr)


Spring 1901


Out of all the powers of Diplomacy, I consider Turkey to be the one I’m the worst at. I like to influence the board as much as possible, and it’s hard to do that from Turkey’s corner. As Turkey, the most success I’ve had is with an AT alliance (due to Turkey’s ability to make a crippling stab of Austria), so I went into the game trying to secure that alliance. I wasn’t going to ignore other options, but AT was the alliance I preferred.


As it turned out, AT was basically my only option. The Russian player had only sent one message to me the entire game, which made him nearly impossible to ally. The Austrian, on the other hand, was by far my best opponent. Austria had come to the same conclusion on Russia that I had- I don’t think Russia contacted Austria at all- and so we allied from the start, with me moving to Armenia and Austria attacking Galicia and Bulgaria.


Fall 1901


Throughout 1901, my goal in the west was to encourage as much fighting of eastern powers as possible. The best western alliance for Turkey in my opinion is the Western Triple, since it attacks 2 of Turkey’s neighbors. It becomes hard to solo if the WT stays together, but with a well-timed stab of Austria, it’s an easy route to a board top. Unfortunately Austria was more successful with his own meddling, and my plan didn’t pan out.


In an attempt to keep Austria weak and more reliant on me, I also encouraged Italy to go for Greece, hoping that he would bounce Austria. Unfortunately Italy had told Austria about his designs on Greece (I had framed his convoy as a stab so he wouldn’t tell Austria) so I ended up having to stab Italy early and support Austria in.


1902


In 1902, the EG and AT alliances had been set and would remain for much of the game. Austria stabbed Italy in the spring, and I took Greece from Austria so we remained close to each other in center count. Austria also asked that he stayed 1 or 2 centers larger to me so that it was harder for me to stab. I managed to convince Austria that this wasn’t necessary, which helped me a lot long term when I needed to stab Austria.


1903


I continued to speed forward against Italy, trying to get to France as fast as possible. Marseilles and Iberia were my easiest centers across the stalemate line, so I needed them to solo. Italy began NMRing in the fall of this year as well, which allowed me to go even faster.


Spring and Fall 1904


Our AT eliminated both Italy and Russia this year, which meant I started focusing on France and Austria on Germany. My diplomacy with France really paid off this year- since France didn’t want England or Germany to win, he agreed to do the moves I told him to and support me into his centers. This resulted in me getting 3 builds in 1 year, which rather spooked Austria.


Winter 1904


Austria was very scared by my 3 builds, and in winter made a set of harsh demands in order for him to feel “safe”. In actuality, he had set up a 3-center stab of me with Gre, Bul, and Con, since his demands left my front with him wide open. I caught this and proposed a much more reasonable and safe solution that Austria was happy with for the most part.


1905


1905 was when I first started to try to stab Austria. With Spain locked down, I could focus on the Balkans and Austria. Unfortunately for me, Austria probably sensed that now would be a good time to stab, and started asking for more and more arranged bounces and precautionary measures. I made no progress towards being able to stab Austria.


1906


I did manage to get Austria to move away from the Balkans, but Austria’s continued success in manipulating Germany meant they could build and defend themselves. I did get the MAO this year, which unlocked a lot of possible centers for me.


1907


I finally found a way to stab Austria this year. By supporting Austria to Marseilles with German permission, I was able to walk behind into Venice, and Trieste was wide open for my convoyed army. It wasn’t as big of a stab as I had hoped for, but I felt that after 1907, my opportunities for a stab would only get worse.


1908-1910


After my stab of Austria, the game quickly turned into a battle between Austria and I for board top, while England played kingmaker. Since I had stabbed England much more than Austria and was originally the bigger power, England sided with Austria for these 3 years. I slowly lost ground against their alliance. I tried to get England to stab every turn, but England was rather hard to work with- often just giving 1-word replies. I could never work something out with him without prompting him to respond almost every message.


In 1910, Austria also told both England and I that he would throw the game to me if England stabbed. To make Austria seem like he was bluffing, I told England that Austria threatened to throw to England.


1911


After 3 years of me convincing England to stab Austria, it was actually England who came to me about stabbing in 1911. This prompted Austria to follow through with his threat to throw to me. Honestly I think that Austria could have tried a little longer to get England to flip again, but I wasn’t going to turn down Austria’s offer. The moves I needed to make to get to 18 were surprisingly safe, and if Austria did stab, I still would have gotten Serbia and likely Trieste as well.

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