Where to begin? I think the winners were deserving and they were all my closest allies. So even though I "missed out" on the winning coalition, I feel like I had a big part in it. I will also say that this variant is insane, but I love it. This was only my 2nd play in NWO and my first making it to the voting. I'd say I did pretty well coming in 2nd place... ;) I learned a lot in both plays through NWO, and I'm happy to say that you all will see me again!

Anyway, on to the EOG...

I did not ask for a C power or any nation at all, but I was hoping to play something a little easier than Venezuela since I had proved I was serious about the game by writing an EOG last time. When I found out I was India, I was a little overwhelmed because it was a lot more responsibility but I was up for the challenge! I knew that my priority was to figure out what to do with China, and as many have already mentioned, Rob played this one masterfully. Actually Rob was the first one of my neighbors to reach out to me, and immediately I knew I was going to ally with him.

One of the lessons that I learned in my first NWO game from Zac is communication is crucial, early and often! So, I reached out to all of my neighbors and to many of my neighbors' neighbors before the first turn, and continued to communicate with as many as I could throughout. I'm bummed to say that there were a few I never got to chat with, and now I realize that maybe if I had, I may have done better in the voting. But I digress...

Early Game:
Within the first year, I was rewarded for choosing to ally with China because Rob warned me that Pakistan seemed to be playing two-faced. He was friendly to both me and China, telling me that he wanted to work together forming an India/Pakistan alliance like no one had ever seen, while at the same time telling China that he wanted to attack India which China tipped me off to. And while the US was friendly especially with the efforts to take down Iran/Pakistan, I knew I had to walk a fine line of keeping two superpowers happy. At this time, I made nice with Kenya, South Africa, Russia, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Japan while I both consolidated the India subcontinent and continued the conquest of my closest rival. It was also about this time that I heard about the plot to stab Russia, but I needed Russia to help me put pressure on Pakistan so I kept that nugget to myself. Even though Hunter wasn't the most responsive player, he stayed true to his word and I appreciated that. Once Pakistan was conquered, I could settle in to my mid-game strategy.

At this point, I began to need to grow beyond the subcontinent, so I started reaching out to Israel to see if we could negotiate a coexistence in the Arabian peninsula. Unfortunately for Israel, I wasn't able to betray the US's confidence--he told me that while he had promised Israel help his plan was to not follow through. I tried to drop hints to Israel, but they were not heeded. This was also about the time the original Sri Lanka player dropped out and we got a gunboat player instead. Seriously, what a crazy turn of events, and FWIW, I'm still upset that no one will tell me who that guy was!? The UK was dying and reached out to me to help, and I took him up on the initial part of the offer, and that was to help him take Sri Lanka's capital though I had no intention of letting him be the "tip of the spear" for me in SE Asia. I think he knew he stood no chance and ceded SRI to me and then I was free to continue taking the rest of Sri Lanka's territory even though the gunboat player made it difficult (good job, BTW, whoever you are!). It was at this point, I had to make the difficult decision to stab the US, to take control of the votes in the region. I learned--also from Zac in the previous game--that it is better to control the votes/SCs yourself than to trust someone else to do what you want. So, while it was later than the much bigger China/Japan stab on the US, I got what I wanted. Kenya was always a very strong ally, and I appreciated that. Even though we didn't have much direct cooperation, we always discussed the regional happenings, and we found out we were on the same page much of the time. It was nice to have someone that I could be honest with and have the same reciprocated. I learned much from you, Mike, for which I will always be grateful. It was about this time that several struggling players started warning me that I was vulnerable to a stab from China, which I recognize I was, but I'm not sure anybody really knew how close China and I were all game, and I was happy to oblige the paranoid with rumblings that I was worried he might attack me to gain sympathy. It was also around this time that Sweden reached out to me to make a pact for Middle Eastern votes, in particular Tehran, which I will admit I was hesitant to do but because I was open to the conversation, Randy rewarded me with an invaluable alliance and trust. I was worried that if I gave up Tehran that it would slow down my growth potential to the west, and I had my sights set on Turkey's territory.

On the subject of nuke production, I was marginally successful in building nukes, but I would say I did alright since this was my first time having the technology. At least I was always able to build at least one each year, and most years I had two to work with. I was only ever slowed down in my production cycle by Argentina's request to help with the conquest of Australia. Even though I had been friendly with Australia, I never had any reason to work directly with him and besides, the spot Argentina asked me to nuke was not an SC, so I didn't think it would hurt too badly. I was asked to increase my range for that move, which took away my ability to continue building 2 nukes/year for a short time, but I think it was worth it to help South Africa.

Late Game/Voting:
I honestly had no idea that voting changed the game dynamics so much. It is like a whole different game, one that I got valuable experience at this time around. I'm sure I still have a lot to learn, but for my first time in voting years, I think I did alright! As I mentioned earlier, I think things might have gone a little bit differently for me if I had opened communication with more of the Americas--I am sorry to say that I never got a chance to chat with Canada or Mexico, and that was a huge mistake. I also think that if I had reached out earlier to countries in Europe like Germany, things might have been different. Probably not because I had pretty much no influence when compared to China. But who knows. I will take all of my lessons learned into the next game, and hopefully someday find myself in the winner's circle! It was absolutely awesome getting to know you guys, and for the only woman in the game, I'd say I'm doing just fine indeed!

Take care all, and see you in the next game!

p.s. - Sorry this is so late... I actually wrote my EOG much earlier but Redscape apparently doesn't keep you logged in for very long, and it kicked me out after what it thought was inactivity (even though I sat typing in the interface for what seemed like hours non-stop!) and I lost all of it!!! This version isn't as complete (or as humorous) but it'll have to do...