This was not a good game for me, and like my Round 2 game (but not my Round 1 game) I had to react to the strategies of other players rather than take command of the board. As a result I was never going anywhere this game, and spent most of it just trying not to get killed. Dissapointed to have been eliminated so late on in the game, but that's life.

Started off pretty standardly, 1901 ending with me in Rumania, 1 build and bounced out of Sweden. I decided that taking on Austria was probably the best course of action and moved to encircle him in Spring 1902. At that point the most important event of the whole game occurred - with the assistance of Italy cutting French support from Marseilles, Germany took Burgundy causing the French Army to be autodisbanded. With England also supporting him into Sweden and Paris wide open to be walked into it became clear that Germany was in pole position to become the Tournament Champion, and that unless something was done he'd grow so large so fast he'd roll right over the rest of us.

So I slipped an Army into Munich. It wasn't meant to be an effective assault on Germany, but merely to delay his growth until the rest of us could also grow a bit ourselves and then go against him. In 1903 I moved against Austria, taking Vienna and Budapest while Germany moved up to 9SCs. I might have been able to reel back and move to contain Germany at this point, but that plan was scuppered by England's lack of vision. Rather than seeing what was obvious (that a huge Germany would mean dead England and dead Russia), he actively supported Germany against me and took St.P. At which point, with no naval force in the west and no chance of retaking St.P (too easy to hold from the west) my slim chance of victory was over, and I started looking to survival.

It seemed that I had 2 choices - to wheel around my Armies against Germany in a war I had no chance of winning, thus exposing my rear to the hungry Turkey, or accept that my units were well positioned to strike against the Turk and hope to get lucky. I chose the latter. Predictably I didn't get very far beyond eliminating Austria, and Germany moved to take out England, who fell rapidly without allies. Gee, didn't see that one coming :sigh:

Then it was all about survival. Turkey and I banged our heads for a few years before calling a truce, then I switched back west to go against Italy/Germany. I was just trying to hold on, but ultimately Turkey stabbed me to make his bid for Champion - just as I knew he would. I hoped that I could hold on for a survival, but it wasn't to be. So close to salvation, yet so far.

Anyway, big thanks to Bobby for keeping this running, and I definately look forward to a rematch...