First up many thanks to Mike for running the game and for doing a great job as GM. The time put in is really appreciated.

At the start of the game I actually put in a preference for Russia as I haven't played it very often and had a terrible show with it the first time I played it so it was nice to have a better run with it this time!

From what I remember Turkey and Italy were very friendly to start with and Austria petty quiet. Jason was keen to get a Juggernaut rolling and while I was excited at the idea I knew we had some good players on the board who would sniff it out too easily so I was nervous about doing anything too obvious. We ended up with a miscommunication over the Black Sea and my being in there for the early years proved pretty useful.

Austria was eliminated pretty quick, and I had agreements with both Italy and Turkey over what to do next. We'd worked well so far so unfortunately I had to choose one over the other to throw my chips in with and the main factor in the end was the shape of the board in the west. France was getting hammered and I didn't like the look of Italy/England helping each other out in Iberia.

In the north there were good agreements with G/E over Scanadinavia but once I'd commited to Turkey in the south I had to start focusing on growth in the north. I made a move on Scandinavia at about the same time Germany tried a stab on me. We pretty much blocked each other and that began several years of the three of us doing a very merry dance in the area. SCs went back and forth but no one really got the upper hand.

I'd been in contact with France most of the game and eventually it came down to a board wide alliance against the RT. The only way to pull them apart was to gamble and pull a stab on Turkey. Gareth had promised he would stab his neighbours if I did it but he needed me to make the first move. I didn't know if he would follow through but it seemed more fun than a 6-way stalemate so I went for it. Thankfully Gareth followed through.

From that point on I was basically flying solo and grabbing as many SCs as I could to try and push for the 18. There were two big seasons in fall 1907 where Turkey was unable to keep any units on the board and then spring 08 where I bounced Italy in Alb and destroyed his Greek fleet. Until that point I thought they were looking like they might just get the wall up in time but slightly defensive moves opened the door. I know its always difficult running through scenarios when you have a team of 4-5 players trying to stop the solo and its always easier to submit the safer moves than deliberate over how best to be aggressive as everyone will have different views. I guess that's the advantage of being in a position where you only have to worry about your own units!

So, I got across the line but congrats to all the guys for really making me sweat for it. It was a pretty close run thing in the end and with a little bit more luck you'd have pulled off a great campaign.

It was a fun game and played in great spirits and massive thanks to freeman for stepping in to take the Italy mercy role.

Hope to see you all again in a game soon.