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Joined: 05 Dec 2008, 11:29 am

Post 16 Feb 2011, 8:53 pm


I would like to begin by thanking for Orange for dedicating his time and energy in putting together a great tournament. I loved the theme (Deadly sins and road to redemption) and the chance to play the gunboat style. These were my first games of this nature. Orange was superb at keeping the game rolling, and providing quick updates round after round, even when the site went down and then switched over to the Beta system. While very different from Press Games, I really liked the gunboat style and found it quite fun and exciting. It definitely helps to hone instinct and tactics.

Ultimate Salvation would be decided by the power controlling the most centers at the end of the Absolution board. Due to my placement (5th) and previous nation allotments (Russia/Turkey), I would be leading Italy (I at least managed to avoid playing Austria, which I’m sure was last on everyone’s preference list; Italy was my second last choice). None-the-less, Round 3 was longer (nearly double the length) and that is better suited for the slow growing Italy. This EOG is a round by round account of the game and my perceptions/reasoning for issuing the orders that I did. I wrote this as each season progressed, therefore it’s a bit lengthy.

My opening moves (VEN to PIE, ROM to VEN and NAP to ION) were chosen carefully with the following rationale in mind:

1) I did not want to immediately threaten Austria and invite an R/T alliance.
2) I did not want to aggravate Turkey prematurely by setting up for the Lepantro; perhaps Turkey and Russia would find themselves at odds with each other (as was often the case in the previous rounds) and opportunity would arise to take Austrian centers later on as they (R/T) focussed on each other and Austria moved in to help one or the other.
3) I wanted to slow down, as much as possible, France’s expansion. France was the winner for both previous rounds obtaining 16 and 11 SCs. When France gets that big, the Med (and Italy) become a target.
4) Both PIE and TYL (in no press games) are likely open for Italy to take unopposed. PIE met the first 3 criteria. While not really expecting to get into MAR the first year, I was hoping to keep France to just one build.

The Spring moves were revealed, and things in the East were typical except that Austria was very trusting and moved full swing towards GRE, taking SER and ALB while bouncing Russia out of GAL (I guess he assumed that a round three Italy would have the common sense to leave Austria alone early in the game). In the West, France took ENG and forced his way into BUR. Germany took DEN, and descended on the lowlands while England took control the Northern Seas. The movements in the West set the stage to keep France to just one build.

Come the fall, I would take TUN, use VEN to signal to Austria that I wanted peace. I would also send PIE to MAR (an attempt to keep MAR put and limit France’s gains to one). The plan went well as France gained only one center, though it was SPA, meaning that MAR was open for the build. I was pleased by Germany’s moves: bouncing in BEL and SWE, thereby controlling both France and Russia’s growth. England played it neutral has he made no play for BEL, opting to hold in the NTH. In the East, Turkish and Russian movements went as one would predict. One point of concern was that Russia supported UKR into RUM, leaving SEV closed for a build: a positive sign for Turkey. Austria chose not to take GRE by force, instead using SER to offer friendship to Turkey (a tactical mistake in my mind; gaining an early friend is no doubt advantageous, but getting the units to put up a tough defence, thus making yourself a less desirable target, is most important I would think). The end result was a bounce in GRE, Russia’s successful movement into RUM and GAL and Turkey taking BLA. Both Austria and Russia’s positions were precarious: Austria had only one build coming and a Russian unit in GAL with no confirmation of Turkish friendship; Russia was bounced in SWE and his North could be in trouble. If Turkey sided with Austria, then his South would be in equal trouble. The fact that it looked like Turkey would be the one to tip the scales in an R/A conflict was worrisome to me, as it likely meant Turkey would see easy expansion. I built a fleet in NAP as this seemed most flexible: I could head to ION to face Turkey/Stab Austria or go to TYS and throw my forces into a Western Campaign.

The builds were revealed and Russia built in WAR (a sign of attacking Austria) and Turkey built a fleet in SMY (a likely sign of assaulting GRE and the ION in the near future). England did not submit build orders, France built an Army in MAR and Germany built an Army in MUN and Fleet in KIE. I was anticipating both Turkey and Russia to move towards Austria, but not coordinating together just yet. I felt Austria would be able to defend himself for a year or so and I decided to move West against France. I felt I had a slim shot of getting MAR in year 2 and a reasonable shot in year 3. Heading towards Turkey would likely mean several years before seeing a new gain and I did not want to linger at 4 centers for too long.

In the Spring of 02 I took the WES MED and TYS. I made another futile attempt for MAR (bounced) and used VEN to signal to Austria to move TRI to BUD to defend against Russia (which Austria did). I had thought about sending VEN to TYL in case Russia took BOH (I could then assist Austria by attacking BOH and cutting support), but decided against it. I knew Turkey would move to AEG and this would have left me too far away to protect NAP in Year 3 should the need arise. Austria again tried to vie for Turkish friendship and offered support to both RUM and GRE, but Turkey chose to attack SER instead. Russia did move to BOH, and had a good chance at crippling Austria in the fall. A major concern on the horizon was Germany: England had supported him into SWE, and France failed to order a retreat for BUR leaving PAR/BRE wide open. Combined with the fact that Germany could take BEL by force meant he could rise to 8 centers by the end of year two. I thought about leaving France alone, but I did not want to waste time flip flopping between the West and East (plus, I wanted some of the French spoils as Germany was likely going to strike hard and fast into France). I continued to set up my assault on MAR in the fall, bringing TYS to GOL while trying PIE to MAR. I used WES MED to Support MAR to SPA as I was hoping France would try a self bounce with MAR/POR, but he only used POR. The end result was that neither France nor I made any new gains. I also sent VEN to APU to guard NAP. I figured with Austria away from the border I could put his mind at ease by moving away as well. Germany took SWE/BEL/PAR while covering DEN. Luckily Russia made a stab at MUN, preventing Germany from gaining 3 centers (though the two builds coming Germany’s way would easily retake MUN). Austria moved his fleet to cover TRI (he seemed much less trusting of me than in the beginning) and Turkey took GRE. While I understand the need to cover home centers, it would have been nice to see Austria protect GRE and slow up Turkey’s advancement. Turkey would likely start ripping through Austria in year 3 (and a stab on Russia to follow soon after) with the freedom he was given by Austria, Russia and myself. I now started to regret my decision to head West first, but felt with the time I had put into positioning units and with a center gain likely in year 3 I had no choice but to continue.

I had a few concerns going into year 3: Russia’s likely retreat of MUN to TYL, Austria trying TRI to VEN, Turkey moving AEG to ION and France moving MAO to NAF. These would put VEN/NAP and TUN all at risk and could negate any gains I might make in France. As I didn’t need to capture a center until the fall, I tried a somewhat weak attack on SPA (WES MED Supports GOL to SPA sc / PIE and NAP to VEN), that would leave me set up to take MAR in the fall and/or defend all three centers if need be. I didn’t expect to get SPA, but this would allow me to see the intentions of France/Turkey/Russia and Austria in the spring without losing any ground or too much time. When the spring moves were revealed my worries were confirmed. Russia had moved to TYL, Turkey to the ION and France to NAF. On the plus side, Austria moved to ALB and I took control over SPA. I again thought of leaving France alone, but really needed a center. Turkey was about to get another build (maybe 2 if he stabbed Russia) and was sitting in the ION. I decided to cover both NAP and TUN while supporting SPA into MAR. This should either give me MAR or bounce and keep me in SPA. VEN would still be at risk, and with Russia losing 2 centers this year he would likely try for what ever he thought he could get, but with 3 other targets to choose from (TRI/VIE/MUN) perhaps I would be lucky. The fall moves were revealed and I was elated to see that NAP/VEN and TUN all remained in my possession (though Turkey had tried to support France’s fleet in NAF into TUN, but France sent the fleet to the WES MED instead). Then I turned my gaze towards my new center in France and realized that I had not taken SPA or MAR and I was missing a fleet. I quickly checked the orders and realized that I had made a mistake in submitting my orders and chose PIE as the destination of my attack, not MAR. My unit was destroyed, the rest of my units were out of place, and the wolves would soon be closing in. My heart sank as I knew any chance of surviving, let alone doing well (or even winning), was pretty much over. Austria had been reduced to one center (TRI). Russia would be closing in on that and likely VEN next year. I no longer had a shot at French centers and Turkey had control of the ION with a fleet likely to be built for reinforcements. With Turkey willing to give France TUN, I would likely be down a center in Year 4 and then it would be just a matter of time before I was eliminated from the game. One careless and stupid mistake at a critical point really altered the game for me.
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Post 16 Feb 2011, 8:53 pm

I tried to forge a new plan, with surviving as my new goal. I had a build coming due to the destroyed fleet and chose to build a fleet in ROM. I would abandon my attack on France and leave Germany free to swoop in. It would make Germany very powerful, and my thinking was that, hopefully, this would unite England and Russia to fight Germany and allow me time to hold back Turkey. If Turkey made a move against Russia (as I soon expected him to), then I might pick up an ally. Hopefully, France would be taken out before real damage could be done to my position.

Year 4 and my new plan started to show signs of promise. In the West, England moved against Germany. Germany did not swoop in to take more from France (as he had to now face England), and France continued to hold his centers. I lost TUN to France as Turkey supported him into it (so much for my original idea of keeping France weak and at bay). I failed to submit a retreat order and the unit was destroyed. This didn’t matter too much as I had no hope of retaking TUN and would have likely disbanded it in the winter anyway. However, with no room to build and Germany right on the Iberian doorstep, France would unlikely press a serious attack against me. Perhaps, France and I would even work together in the future, as Germany grew stronger. In the East, Russia finished off Austria and Turkey made his move against Russia (taking SEV). Turkey still controlled the ION, but moved the AEG fleet back to CON (likely to take BLA) as he began making his assault on Russia. Fortunately for me, Turkey and France did not work together to take TYS, leaving me with a somewhat reasonable defensive position. I had moved my armies to TYL and VEN while using NAP to support the French Fleet in TUN to ION. I knew that France wouldn’t leave TUN, but I needed to give him a friendly message and try to make up for my failed assault on him. Perhaps he would take TUN as compensation and leave me alone.

My plan for Year 5 was to make a quiet move on MUN. If I could pick up a quick center/build, perhaps I could get TUN back in year 6; this would put me back into the game. I felt a bit confident that Germany vs England/Russia and Turkey vs Russia would keep most people away from me, giving me some time. I only had to watch out for France/Turkey working together against me, and France trying MAR to PIE. With this in mind, I would again Support France into the ION while using VEN/TYL to self bounce in PIE. If all went well, MUN would still be open and I could sneak in. Unfortunately, Germany moved into MUN, thereby protecting it for the Fall. Luckily for me France remained in TUN, ignoring Turkey’s signs to attack me. The real test would be Year 6, as France managed to leave MAR open for a build: A fleet could mean trouble, where as an Army likely means Italian/French relations are repaired (even if only somewhat). With an army, there was a chance that France would eventually support me into MUN. Elsewhere on the board, Turkey managed to take another center from Russia and England/Germany switched NWY/BEL. I would still have to bide my time, but hopefully opportunity would arise soon.

The start of 06 looked difficult for me as France built a fleet in MAR and Turkey built a Fleet in SMY. I feared an attack from both France and Turkey. I continued to send France signals to attack Turkey ordering NAP Supporting MAR to ION. After all, Turkey was growing to be just as much of a threat as Germany, while I (at 3 SC’s) was no longer a threat to France and my attempts at MUN should make me beneficial to France. I would also choose to leave VEN exposed as I made a stronger bid to capture MUN: Moving TYL to BOH and VEN to TYL. Unfortunately, I was bounced in TYL by Germany and a glance at the spring moves revealed that France was holding in BUR/GAS, making no attempts for PAR. This was worrisome, as perhaps France’s intention may be to work with Turkey to take me out before striking at Germany. In the fall, I debated supporting VEN into TYL to have the supported move into MUN, but I wanted to stay in VEN to cover ROM should France decide to come after me. After the fall moves were revealed, my mind was set more at ease with regards to France: he self bounced in TYS and took PAR back which I took as a sign that he was looking for peace and wants to work together against Germany. Germany gained two more centers from England and was now at 11 centers. With 2 more English Centers to come and a strong force that could push West/South, the game looked like it would soon be a German Solo. Turkey must have had the same felling as he played defensively and signalled Russia to move UKR to WAR to meet the growing German threat. Perhaps Turkey would be willing to sit back and bide his time while Russia/France and I tried to bring Germany under control. For the builds, I was expecting German Armies to appear in KIE/BER (making MUN difficult for me to get) and a French Army in MAR. I was also expecting England to disband Clyde in order to protect EDI/LON as long as he could.

The builds/disband went as expected and my focus for Year 7 would still be MUN. In the Spring I would order VEN to TYL with BOH supporting, while using NAP to signal to France which unit I intended to attack MUN with (NAP S Army BOH to MUN). France had reasonable chances of taking BRE this year and I was hoping he would move to BUR to help me into MUN come the fall. With German armies built in KIE/BER, I couldn’t take MUN on my own. Hopefully, France would realize this and work with me. France did attempt to take BUR, but bounced with Germany (3 on 3), meanwhile, Germany positioned himself to take EDI, which would make up for the loss of BRE this fall. Russia also started to move towards the German border moving to WAR/GAL as Turkey continued to hold his position, giving F/I/R room to fight Germany. For the fall, I would support Russia into SIL (From GAL) and hope that he would move WAR to PRU. The German defence was pretty tight on our border and we needed all the units we could muster. Hopefully, Russia would attack BER and Support BOH into MUN. Germany could still defend, but it may give France room to take BUR. From there, perhaps MUN would fall. The moves went well and France took BRE and moved MAR to GAS, leaving MAR open for a build. Russia also moved into PRU and SIL (my support paid off). France is now in a position to take BUR which should give us three (F/I/R) the force needed to take MUN/BER. Turkey continued to hold his position. Sitting at 8 centers, he could let F/I/R take Germany down a few notches and come out ahead. Turkey had a solid defence and with most of our resources fighting Germany, he could win without having to work too hard for the second half of the game; He would just have to wait for the right time to strike as our defences on the Eastern border are very weak: BUD, UKR and WAR are wide open, I have only NAP to guard my centers and France has only TUN to guard that center and his Mediterranean underbelly.

My fear for year 8 was that Turkey would convoy ALB to APU to take NAP/ROM or VEN. This would be a good year for Turkey to strike out as I have most of my forces committed in the battle for MUN. If I can get MUN, then that would allow me to reinforce the Boot. The other possible plan for Turkey would be to take TYS and move GRE to ION and convoy the army to APU in the fall. While my orders for the armies were easy enough to come up with (BOH to MUN under TYL Support), ordering the Fleet was much trickier: APU to block the convoy, TYS to block fleet advancement or hold tight and order support moves to help orchestrate an attack on Germany???? I also worried a bit about Russia moving TRI to VEN; unlikely, but still possible. I chose to move the fleet to APU as it allowed me to retake VEN in the fall should Russia make a play for VEN. The newly built fleet in MAR was also worrisome. Perhaps France, having all his home centers back, would strike out at my weak position. I was hoping to see an army in MAR that could force its way into BUR and then help me take MUN. Of course, Germany had a strong navy, and MAR could be intended to reinforce France’s navy in the North. A DIAS was proposed and defeated. I voted yes for it, as it may have been my best shot at survival. With 7 years left, a poorly defended homeland and Turkey close to 1st place, it’s just a matter of time before he strikes out and takes 2-3 of my centers.

The Spring 08 moves were revealed and I was pleased to see that I took MUN, though holding it is likely impossible. If I could hold it, the build would come in handy as Turkey began his move against me, making me happy that I decided to send NAP to APU to block the convoy. Turkey made no headway, but with superior force, it’s just a matter of time. Also troubling is Russia’s support of Turkey to APU, and Turkey’s support of Russia to VEN. While neither were valid support orders, they do make me worry about Russian intentions for the TRI/VEN Border. With this in mind, I decided to forgo supporting MUN (which was likely to fail anyway) and cover VEN and support the French fleet to ION. MUN would retreat to TLY if I was wrong about Russia or OTB if I was correct. The unit could be rebuilt in ROM making my defences of the homeland a bit stronger. I would choose to allow the convoy this year, as I didn’t want to risk Turkey sneaking into NAP as I left it to bounce in APU again. The fall results revealed that Turkey did convoy to APU and Russia did not move against me. He even supported my army in MUN----which in the end retreated to TYL. Even if I had gambled and used TYL to Support MUN, I still would have been dislodged as Germany attacked MUN in the manner in which I anticipated. None-the-less, with Turkish armies on the Italian PENN, the retreat towards home is needed to defend the homeland. In hindsight, I should have disbanded and rebuilt in ROM as that would have made NAP safer. As of now, Turkey can take NAP by force in 09 which will reduce me to two units.

1909: Turkey took NAP via a convoyed army under support from his army in APU. This gives Turkey two armies in my Homeland. Russia also moved into TYL and then took VEN, leaving me only 1 center (Rome). I expected the Russian move against me this year as he would need VEN to build up his strength (Turkey and Germany were growing in strength, and will likely try to crush Russia from both sides). Elsewhere, Germany took the last remaining English Center and put up a wall along his French border. Germany will soon rearrange his naval force to take the MAO, giving him access to SPA, POR and BRE.

My only hope for year 10 was that Russia would support me in Rome in an attempt to slow up Turkey’s progress. I used ROM to signal to Russia that he should move GAL to BUD to guard against Turkey who will no doubt be looking to take some of the Austrian holdings away from Russia in a sprint to the finish. Russia did not support me and I retreated to TUS. In the fall I attempted the futile attack of Rome, hoping for a miracle. Turkey easily defended and I was eliminated in Year 10.

Despite my disastrous mistake in Year 3 (failing to take a French Center), I’m fairly pleased with my play for the tournament overall. These were my first 3 gunboat games ever and I feel I learned a lot; I look forward to playing more gunboat style games in the future. From a tournament point of view, I made it to round 3 and will likely finish with the points to finish 5th or 6th---not too bad for my first gunboat games. It would have been nice to have survived the final round, but I guess it wasn’t meant to be.

Good Game all, and Great Tournament. I hope to see/play it again in the future. I can’t wait to learn everyone’s identities. Thank You Orange,

Absolution Italy (Archilles)