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Post 22 Mar 2019, 2:46 pm


First of all, thanks, George, for running the game! You did a really great job, as usual. It's always nice to be in a game run by a real person, as opposed to the otherwise convenient online auto-judge games. In addition to the personal enhancements that GMs provide (such as George's interesting "14 points" theme and his historical musings as the game progressed), I find games featuring live GMs have greater player retention and produce less cholesterol in lab rats. As a point of comparison, a game I am playing on PlayDiplomacy (which uses automated judging) has had 2 Englands and 3 Austrias by 1906!

Anyway, a brief recap of the game from the English perspective. And that perspective is certainly to be rather rough, as I am a bit too lazy to go back and read all of the correspondence. So this is all from my memory. You have been warned! My initial challenge was to land an alliance with either France or Germany. As England, I prefer Germany. But Germany dithered and basically tried to lead England on. Perhaps it tried to stoke a contest between France and England. But it unreasonably (in my opinion) refused to have serious discussions, claiming that England's request for support into Belgium was some kind of affront to German security. So it gave Belgium to France, which ultimately turned on Germany.

France also dithered, maybe for similar reasons, so my entry into the Channel in the Spring was meant to spur what I hoped would be more serious talks. Actually, it evoked a lot more visceral reaction. Germany tried to egg on the French anger by encouraging England to sail into MAO.

This proved to be an extremely foolish and near fatal mistake!

It made what turned out to be a phony arrangement from France by evacuating the Channel. This had dramatically bad results for poor England.Meanwhile, we got along with Russia rather well, most of the time, and he provided virtually the only ongoing support to English forces. Thanks, Brad! Unfortunately, Germany and Turkey were out for Russian Rye and not settling for Borscht.

So England had both Germany and France against it. Most of the actual fighting was by France, with Germany providing diversionary and rear-guard distractions. No matter what I wrote, it seemed to do no good. I tried to get Italy to move against Gerrmany or France, but for most of the time, he was interested only in the East. However, I recognized Italy's expansionist tendencies early on and tried to warn France (partly as a hope of turning him to England's side), but he ignored Italy for far too long. Germany closed its English embassy.

English diplomacy was basically a pile of steaming dog poop at this point.

With German support, France continued to press the valiant, if frustrated English forces. England continued to get hammered, or should I say, chopped, port by port. But once France had a landhold on England, it was already pushing itself onto the Germans. Meanwhile, English agents reported the growing expansionism of Italy, but it was still focused on the East. Darn.

Somehow, the Turkish Gov't was able to save itself from becoming the unwilling recipients of Italy's attempts at creating a passable beer and went on to become a good ally to Italy. Things were really going badly back at home.

By 1905, England was a government in exile in Scotland. A Jacobean Renaissance, if you like. And as I had been warning France time and time again, THE I-TIES ARE COMING! THE I-TIES ARE COMING! And they were. France was heavily invested in the North and had all but neglected his own waters. England had a fishing fleet in the Norwegian Sea. At this point, France suddenly became more response to England's ongoing pesterings about how even a shrimp boat can perform good work, if only its single port on were left intact.

To be truthful (and it is sometimes soooo hard to do), France made the suggestion. To put up a good front, England hemmed and hawed for a few minutes before prostrating itself on the rotting deck of its ship and kissed the velvet-covered foot of the French Admiral. Our job would be to harass the Germans, who must have been smarting from not heeding England's warnings about France as well as its poor judgement in not allying with the English in the first place! Just an opinion, of course. But harass, we did. Even the French helped England regain some momentum. Of course, England was looking for opportunities to get some of its strength back. Russia, again, tried to help, even after some English miscommunications.

Germany was now writing England, asking for help against France! We did accept, though we kept France on a private loop. By 1906, England was able to secure London, getting a second fleet out of the deal. Germany was now the horseshoe on France's anvil. Meanwhile, Italy was also poking at Germany and grabbed Munich, while it was now heavily invested in war with France.

This was England's chance to gain even more. By this time, Turkey and Italy started soliciting England about a 3-way draw. Well, what was poor England to think: "Oh, no. That would not be honorable to go against the French, who sponsored England's return from the dead, a status that the French, itself, had inflicted upon England!" Huh?! Well, of course, England responded with "From now on, all British children will get free rations of Turkish Taffy and the adults will eat spaghetti every Wednesday, with Chianti Classico!" So the Grand Reversal began to take shape.

France had been hoping (that is, that was its original deal) that England would grow at the expense of German territories in Scandinavia, so that its forces could sail down and sink the Italian Navy. But the French were in Denmark! That's not supposed to happen! By 1907, Germany only possessed Berlin, Norway, and Sweden. Scheming England kept France in the dark, of course, about its true intentions of going its own way (as much as it could). France put up a good face and tried to write off some of England's theft as merely the reactions of an immature spoiler. But Mssr Emile Loubet knew that England was not going to send any ships south, except to protect English forces. England had joined the Italian-Turkish-English Alliance Towards a Better Ending.

***Now, let me say that, as a general rule, I do not like draws. In my opinion, a draw is an admission of failure on the part of anybody going for a solo. On the other hand, a draw is a wonderful tool when it is used to stop OTHER PLAYERS from gaining a solo. Since England's chances of gaining a solo were already lost by 1902, a draw looked a lot better than elimination. Still, I don't like 'em. Okay, back to the EOG. *******

By 1908, England was merrily stealing centers in Belgium, Holland and Norway, while France could do nothing about it, being under tremendous Italian attack, with a Turkish fleet in North Africa lending a hand. By the way, England had tried several times over the years to break up Turkey and Italy, but with no avail. Apparently, they had traded pictures and love letters and were permanently smitten with each other. (Well, okay. The French were able to strike back and throw me out of Sweden, for a bit). But by fall 1901, England was in control of Norway and Sweden, along with Belgium and Holland.

From here on, it was simply a game of watching France get taken apart. I tried to avoid any direct action in that regard, mostly confining myself to grabing Liverpool and Denmark. As the junior partner in the TIE alliance, I was told to confine my revenge to 8 centers, wherever I could grab them. Again, survival won out over England's inherent nature to tell Italy and Turkey to take their plans and get ready for retaliation. But once again, Reality won over fantasy. If England was to do this, Italy would almost certainly gain a solo. Or Turkey and Italy would eliminate Foolish England. As I wrote before, sometimes a draw (DIAS) is the best solution.

Sorry Fred. It might have been a good alliance had it been put together earlier and Italy been put in its place before it put itself into France's. Had Italy NOT been a major factor, the French-English alliance would probably have continued to grow, taking out Germany at the very least. I think I have to blame the Turks for not stabbing the Italians when they could have. I can see why they did not do that, but still, you have to take chances!

Anyway, Randy played a great game as Italy, taking advantage of the nearly empty seas to build his empire. Riaz showed a strong enough hand and insight to become Italy's Eastern Pacifier, and equal partner in time. England was just lucky this time.

So, thanks everybody (Fred, Randy, Brad, Riaz, Freeman, Frost, and The Other George) for another Redscape Diplomacy Game.

George Atkins
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Post 27 Mar 2019, 12:33 pm

Germany: I think I can summarize this EOG in three words. Never Trust Englander!
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Post 27 Mar 2019, 12:55 pm

In all seriousness...France made a mistake in attacking me. On some boards it might have worked...but Riaz and Randy are too good of players not to mend fences to stop a looming France solo. France should have hammered Italy for a while and then come after me But whatever...he threw the dice and it didnt work. Hindsight is 20/20. Letting England come back from the dead and then having him turn on you...that's got to sting. Again, I think Fred would have been better off mending fences with me than working with George. It takes a certain amount of chutzpah to attack the guy who let's you live...but hey, I guess all is fair in love and Diplomacy.