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AE-Dip-00. Training Diplomacy micro-game.

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  Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: AE-Dip-00. Training Diplomacy micro-game.
    Posted: 23-Aug-2005 at 19:39
btw, why you all call the German emperor only Kaiser? the Austrian emperor was also called Kaiser...
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  Quote hugoestr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Aug-2005 at 19:43
During this micro-game, the Kaiser is a peace-loving man. Just read that happened during the first peace meeting from the official German newspaper:


Originally posted by DerPeaceUndLove

The Kaiser made a strong impression at today's meeting when he decided to reject protocol and show up wearing a tied-died t-shirt, jeans, and sandals.

An aid brought a guitar to him, he strummed it a couple of times, and then began to sing:

"Love is but a song to sing
Fear is the way we die..."

The leaders of the other European nations all held hands, and sang together with the Kaiser this know traditional anti-war song.
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  Quote hugoestr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Aug-2005 at 19:47
Originally posted by Temujin

btw, why you all call the German emperor only Kaiser? the Austrian emperor was also called Kaiser...

Because the German one was the Kaiser, just like the king is Elvis...

That and because the common title given to the Austrian ruler is emperor, at least in American textbooks
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  Quote Thegeneral Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Aug-2005 at 20:10

Originally posted by hugoestr

Originally posted by Temujin

btw, why you all call the German emperor only Kaiser? the Austrian emperor was also called Kaiser...

Because the German one was the Kaiser, just like the king is Elvis...

That and because the common title given to the Austrian ruler is emperor, at least in American textbooks

I like the first one better.  He is the Kaiser.

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  Quote Maju Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Aug-2005 at 03:08
Fall 1901:

La Gazette du Geneve (neutral press):
  • The Italian Army takes Trieste, Dalmatia, Croatia and Bosnia! Italian unification process is finally complete, the Prime Minister declares.
  • Revolts in Russia paralize the army: the soldiers decide to stop any advance till they get new boots and coats. Swedes and Norses welcome the Russian disorder.
  • Turkey takes advantage of the chaos in Russia and ocuupies Crimea and the Caucasus.
  • New British government decides finally to activate the Royal Navy and make them to patrol the seas.
  • Franco-Spanish troops invade Portugal accidentally... we thought it was the road to the nearest tavern and we ended in Lisbon, declared the an unnamed French military source located in a tavern... of Lisbon.
  • French succesfully repeals a german invasion in Belgium and sign a pact with the Belgian governement.
  • The Hungarian army occupies Serbia. Austro-Hungarian Prime Minister accuses the government of this country of supporting international terrorism. He also declared that the Italians will repent of daring to attack us.
  • The Kaiser decides to give vacation to his army. Asked about the naval operations in Belgium, he declared that they were just looking for a fine beach... but it seems that our neigbours planted their umbrella first.

Adjudication
:

Austria:
F Adriatic Sea - Ionian Sea (*Bounce*)
A Rumania - Serbia
A Vienna - Trieste (*Fails*)

England:
F Edinburgh - North Sea
A Liverpool - Yorkshire
F London - English Channel

France:
A Burgundy - Belgium
F Picardy Supports A Burgundy - Belgium
A Spain - Portugal

Germany:
F Holland - Belgium (*Fails*)
A Munich Hold
A Silesia Hold

Italy:
A Tyrolia - Trieste
F Tyrrhenian Sea - Ionian Sea (*Bounce*)
A Venice Supports A Tyrolia - Trieste

Russia: *NO MOVE RECIEVED* (all units hold)
F Black Sea Hold
F Gulf of Bothnia Hold
A St Petersburg Hold
A Warsaw Hold

Turkey:
F Armenia - Sevastopol
A Bulgaria Hold
A Constantinople Supports A Bulgaria

No retreats required.

Operations' map:


Current situation map:


Status:

Ownership:

Austria:   Budapest, Serbia, Vienna.
England:   Edinburgh, Liverpool, London.
France:    Belgium, Brest, Marseilles, Paris, Portugal.
Germany:   Berlin, Holland, Kiel, Munich.
Italy:     Naples, Rome, Trieste, Venice.
Russia:    Moscow, St Petersburg, Warsaw.
Turkey:    Ankara, Bulgaria, Constantinople, Sevastopol, Smyrna.
Unowned:   Denmark, Greece, Norway, Rumania, Spain, Sweden, Tunis.

Adjustments:

Austria:   Supp  3 Unit  3 Build  0
England:   Supp  3 Unit  3 Build  0
France:    Supp  5 Unit  3 Build  2
Germany:   Supp  4 Unit  3 Build  1
Italy:     Supp  4 Unit  3 Build  1
Russia:    Supp  3 Unit  4 Remove  1
Turkey:    Supp  5 Unit  3 Build  2

Orders for Winter 1901 are due in 48 hrs. Deadline is therefore: Saturday 27th at 7:00 GMT. Austria and England obviously don't have to submit any Winter orders, as they have no adjustments to make.

If everything is allright we will start the true game AEDip01 on Monday or Tuesday (with larger deadlines for regular turns). If Poirot continues will depend on wether he sends his removal order in time. If Pikeshot (who has solved his mail problems) takes his place, I will keep his preference for Austria and give Temujin France instead.




Edited by Maju

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  Quote poirot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Aug-2005 at 03:15
hmmm......actually the Russian Bolshevik Revolution started 17 years too early.  As a result, Russia is reorganizing under a new leadership dedicated to serving the interests of the proletariat and spreading the Communist Manifesto!
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  Quote Maju Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Aug-2005 at 03:19
Originally posted by poirot

hmmm......actually the Russian Bolshevik Revolution started 17 years too early.  As a result, Russia is reorganizing under a new leadership dedicated to serving the interests of the proletariat and spreading the Communist Manifesto!


Well, are you still playing?

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  Quote poirot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Aug-2005 at 03:26
yea
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  Quote Maju Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Aug-2005 at 08:07
A variant map for the same Winter 1901 (it takes a little more time though):



This way non-SC provinces are also given colors when occupied in any season (or by original empire). Seas can also be colored that way but I prefer not to because it doesn't add clarity to the map. SC provinces are still colored according only to stabilished ownership, as this concept is essential to game-mechanics.

If you prefer this way, I will try to create the maps for the new game in this more colorful style.

Another question I would like to make is the following: the map actually represents the situation in 1913-14 (or 1911 in Africa, considering that Tunis isn't yet French), not 1901. 1901 was chosen as start date by the designers only for convenience: that way game-years are sequential: 01, 02, 03, etc. so they are easier to remember. But as we are playing in the context of a history forum, would you prefer to make the game start in 1914 so it seems a little more historical? This way the typical Austrian invasion of Serbia would be justified in the press following the historical assasination of the Archduke in Sarajevo, etc. Whatever you prefer.


Edited by Maju

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  Quote Maju Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Aug-2005 at 08:40
Now that the training game is almost over, I would like also to comment on the openings (these are just my opinions, please feel free to comment yourselves):

Austria: A Vienna holds was most likely a waste of potential. Also typically F Tri opens to Albania in an attempt (often succesful) of taking Greece. Not defending Gal can be a risk for AH but this depends on diplomacy and trust (Austria must make some difficult decissions in the first year). But what gave Trieste to Italy was lack of a resolute defense in the Fall. F Adr-Tri, A Vie S F Adr-Tri would have kept Trieste Austrian and teached a lesson to the daring Italians.

England: It opened late but well. There are no many alternatives for the first English move, basically aiming more northwards. England normally takes Norway and has some options in Belgium, depending on alliances.

France: F Bre-Pic is not very common (more normally F Bre goes to the Channel or MAO)  but the armies' moves are. Still France has many options and much depends on diplomacy and strategy. The move on Burgundy normaly implies distrust of Germany but is very solid (unless bounced), for that reason often is supported by A Mar (Maginot opening).

Germany: I didn't like much the German opening. Germany can expect to take 2 neutrals (Den and Hol) with options to a third one (Bel) in 1901. While A Mun hold can have some meaning, A Ber-Sil was a total waste. My favorite is F Kie-Den, A Ber-Kie, A Mun-Ruh (or -Bur). There are some variants though.

Russia: Not any common opening: the most common is surely A War-Gal, A Mos-Ukr, F Sev-Bla and, naturally F StP-Bal, in hope to take both Sweden and Romania (though Germany may hold the key to Sweden if he moves to Denmark in the Spring). Still, it may be a possibility to try to deny Norway to England and play in the west more than in the east. Sadly, the Revolution took over and the Tzar's designs never were fulfilled. In any case A War-Ukr (instead of just holding) seems a must.

Turkey: Failing to bounce in the Black Sea was strange to say the least. The Black Sea is more essential to Turkey than to Russia, so Turkey can hardly allow Russia to take it without paying a price for it. Often, even if Russia and Turkey play allied, a bounce is arranged there - what can also make up to keep the rest unaware of such so much feared alliance before it is too late. The rest is quite common.

In the Diplomacy Archive you can find lots of articles on the different opening strategies (and almost anything else).

Please add your own comments now or after the adjustments.

But don't forget to send your orders in, even if they are irrelevant because the game doesn't continue, someone can learn something from them.



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  Quote Maju Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Aug-2005 at 11:31
Bishop has been added as observer. If enough observers are gathered I have no problems in GMing a second game.

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  Quote Thegeneral Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Aug-2005 at 18:54
IS the training ove, or do we still need to send moves?
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  Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Aug-2005 at 22:09
U didnt give a narrative on Italy's moves
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  Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Aug-2005 at 22:14
my fleet did not move from tys to ion like i ordered, i checked the move on the application and it seems to be valid, do you have a diff version maybe?

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  Quote hugoestr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Aug-2005 at 00:28
Originally posted by Thegeneral

IS the training ove, or do we still need to send moves?


You got to send orders to build or remove armies.
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  Quote Maju Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Aug-2005 at 01:30
Originally posted by Thegeneral

IS the training ove, or do we still need to send moves?


Send your building orders, please. I intentionately planned to play a full year so all rookies can see the full mechanics of the game. The training will be over tomorrow, when the Winter results are posted, not before.

Btw, I have only adjustments for three of the 5 powers that should have sent them.

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  Quote Maju Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Aug-2005 at 01:53
Originally posted by Zagros

U didnt give a narrative on Italy's moves


Ooops! Right.

Italy: I would have ordered F Nap-Ion, so Italy can maybe bargain regarding Greece. F Nap-Tys is usually reserved for anti-French openings. Not taking Tunis in the Fall was probably a waste.

The direct attack against Austria is one among 3 possible Italian strategies (well, actually there is very rare 4th: take Munich by surprise after pretending to attack AH). Other possibilities include alliance with Austria (very favored by most theorists):
  • Anti-French "Alpine chicken": A Ven-Pie, A Rom-Ven, F Nap-Tys. Usually inside a Triple Alliance with A and G. Nowadys rare but with good critics.
  • Anti-Turk Lepanto opening: A Ven holds, A Rom-Apu, F Nap-Ion, followed by convoy A apu-Tun, naval moves eastward in Spring 1902 and a landing in Syria or Smyrna in Fall 1902. The only problem is hat it is too popular and Turk players almost always foresee and tackle it.
  • A variant of Lepanto is the so called Key-Lepanto, a simulation of an Italian attack against Austria that requires most trust on the Austrian side (so it's very rare, and when done often ends in a true Italian stab ). Italy simulates to take Trieste in Spring 1901 but actually ends up with Serbia. As I said above, too often Italy just holds in Trieste in the Fall destroying such an elaborate anti-Turk plan (and Austria as well).
The reason aduced for A-I alliance is that while Italy can expect to get Trieste and maybe another center in an allied R-I (or R-I-T) attack against AH, Russia is the most favored by such a quick end of Austria and sooner than later Italy repents, when is stabbed by the consolidated Russian steamroller. On the other hand Austria has little benefits to reap from invading Italy early, but rather is normally more interested in conquering Russia and cornering Turkey (the evil witch of the south), so Italy heading against Turkey or maybe against France are true Austrian intersts.

Still, the problem with theory is that, unlike chess, in this game diplomacy plays a major part and therefore one can't say which one could be the best move in any given situation.


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  Quote Maju Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Aug-2005 at 01:54
Originally posted by Zagros

my fleet did not move from tys to ion like i ordered, i checked the move on the application and it seems to be valid, do you have a diff version maybe?


Austria ordered also F Adr-Ion, so it was a bounce (both movements fail: 1 vs. 1).

Notice that you can also bounce against your own units, what is sometimes used for defensive purposes (but you can't support units against your own ones).


Edited by Maju

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  Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Aug-2005 at 06:34

Aha, thanks - I actually saw the ionian sea move after first orders were accepted, so that is why i moved there late.

 

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  Quote Maju Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Aug-2005 at 08:43
Some strategy before we start our true game:

A basic concept east/west division of the board:


I've colored the map as follows:
  • Bluish areas are the Western half
  • Reddish areas are the eastern half
  • Grey areas are the badlands that separate both halves
  • Yellow areas are normally played as eastern teritories with a strong western potential, basically Italy and central Russia.
The early game normally starts ebing played along these lines: a western triangle and an eastern square (unless Italy or Russia follow a western strategy, what obviously would break the scheme). So we have E-F-G and A-R-T, with Italy as the odd man that most commonly plays in the east (see above for the Italian western strategy) and Russia that normally takes one or two units to the Scandinavian area (there is a Northern opening for Russia that again would change all the scheme, but it isn't the most common) but plays mostly in the south.

Now let's take a look at the various powers:

Austria-Hungary: the German alliance is a must and this is almost a never written rule in Standard Diplomacy. The central powers must fight back with back at least till one of the two half-scenarios have been solved and most commonly till the end-game. A succesful Austria usually means a succesful Germany and vice versa.
    France and England aren't a direct Austrian concern but all the others are. Probably Austria's best bet as ally is Italy but the Ven-Tri friction plays against their cooperation. Ideally Russia is the area where Austria should look for a piece of board-edge. Turkey is almost impossible to conquer for Austria alone but an active Turkey can be a pain in the ass for the Habsburgs, for that reason Austria often supports Russia against Turkey (or vice versa too) and seeks to involve Italy against Turkey in Lepanto-like strategies.
    Austria faces a dificult start. It can take two centers (in theory even three but this is very rare) but if attacked coordinatedly it can be denied everything and placed in a very dificult position. For this reason too the German alliance, beyond just the non-agression pact, influencing the actions of Russia and/or Italy can be a great help. Early coopertion with Turkey can also be a relief (but a too powerful Turkey is not Austrian interest either). While the war with Russia may not be easy to avoid, hopefully Italy can be persuaded to help against Turkey or head west. After surviving the first turn Austria has become surely a great power but still must dance among many confliting interests, preventing the R-T alliance while expanding mostly in the Balcans. When the occasion is adequate, Austria sould look to invade Russia and becoming an edge power. Turkey can be spared but not allowed to get out of its corner.

England: Having a rather poor start most normally, the strategy of England is usually to confront Germany and France and meddle at the expense of either one. Unlike in real history, the E-F friction is usually greater than the E-G one. This is because England is mid-term interested in controlling the SW and France can't accept it.
    Friction with Russia is likely also in Scandinavia but invading St. Petersburg is often a dead end for Britain.
    England is interested in having her continental allies building only armies, and Germany also fits better in that scheme than France.
    While in the early game, England can well play only with fleets, in the mid-game, she must build armies and convoy them to the continent to secure superiority. In the end-game control of the West Mediterranean can be decisive for an English victory.

France: A very versatile power, France can do almost anything and its winning empires have all kind of shapes. Hopefully Italy will play eastern strategies and France will be happy with that. Now, the question is to prevent an E-G alliance and some well-calculated generosity on Belgium can hold the key. If allied with England, France will most likely be suggested to build only armies, if allied with Germany to build only fleets but actually France must have a little of each. A 3rd army is a must for defensive reasons but a 2nd and even a 3rd fleet if possible are also recommended.
    Russia's well doing is often good for France but closer cooperation is only occasionaly achieved. Turkey and Austria are only counterwights against Italy but actually, as each wants Italy to head in the opposite direction, active alliance is not very common.

Germany: As said above the alliance with Austria is a must. But Germany has much greater possibilities: to start with is the only power that hope seriously to get 3 builds in 1901. But this is not all: the natural E-F friction for the Atlantic waters and the also natural E-R friction in the north can help Germany to be the lord of the board, with the necessary ehlp of a good diplomatic effort. Germany actually can avoid frictions with all its neghbours and still be strong but some well picked wars will give him greater power and security.
    One of the most strategical areas for Germany is probably Scandinavia, where she must masterfully confront Russia and England in German benefit. Russia can also benefit from an Austro-Russian war but there is more likely that Austria gets the share of the lion, so it's not a too interesting scenario unless well calculated. And of course Germany must stir the pot between England and France, some generosity in Belgium may help. If at war with England the North Sea is the main objective, if at war with France, Burgundy is the one. A fleet in Denmark can be most helpful.
    Regarding the always delicate matter of Austro-Russian relations, Germany can play an early role denying Sweden to Russia if the Tzar is too anti-Austrian (but allowing him in if he's more moderate).
    Italy is only a secondary concern for Germany and again this rotates in relation with Austria. Germany is totally uninterested in I-A war but instead can be interested in A-I cooperation or at least peace. A westward oriented Italy (the nightmare of France) can be a good thing for Germany, therefore the Triple Alliance (A-G-I) is quite desirable.
    Turkey is just there. Unless at war with Russia or Italy, the Kaiser  doesn't seem to have much to negotiate with the Sultan.

Italy: The big problem of Italy is what to do apart of taking Tunis. The options are basically three:
  1. Alliance with Austria against Turkey (see Lepanto openings in a previous post).
  2. Triple alliance with A-G and head westward against France (just don't leave Venice open... too tempting). It has some good critics but I haven't seen it often.
  3. The classical atatck on Austria. The main problem here is that Austria fulfills an important role in containing Russia and Turkey and that Germany will probably oppose it from Munich. Typically Italy has to retreat under A-G pressure or (if Austria actually falls) under Russian one. The biggest danger here is the R-T alliance, against which Italy has nothing to do.
Russia: Russia seems big and it has a lot of potential but also a lot of dangers. It is the most common winner but also one of the most commonly eliminated early (after Austria, I believe). Russia and France have the unique ability of being able to build fleets in the Atlantic and the Mediterranean basin, though the French position is much more propitious for naval strategies. Russia's best bet is no doubt the R-T, also known as the juggernaut. The problem with this feared alliance is (a) what to do with the Russian Black Sea fleet (so it doesn't threatens Turkey)?; and (b) how to decieve the rest of players so they don't automatically unite against it. A common solution is to neutralize the Black Sea via an eternal naval bounce.  Still other problems may arise as the alliance succeeds: the Balcans are propitious for a stab in any direction and France may be gaining too much from the general panic.
    Destroying Austria is the most common mid-term objective of Russia but also invading Turkey is an interesting possibility... if succesful (Turkey may be a slow starter but it is a good survivor), specially because it would allow for an exit to the Med.
    Italy is a natural Russian ally but once they start succeding against either Austria or Turkey (or both), frictions are more than likely. Obviously Italy won't want Russia to substitute Turkey as Eastern Mediterranean power, while Russia may want more of its agreed share in the Danub.
    The relations with Germany, if not a function of those with Austria, should be related to the northern triangle, aka Scandinavia. Eventually Russia can get easier gains from Germany then from England but taking Norway or at least preventing a British invasion of northern Russia is something that the Tzar should consider too. R-E is not necessarily a path of roses either.
    Normally Russia will try to secure Rumania and Sweden while preventing a Turk attack to Sevastopol and therefore it will play in the south, looking at Turkey or Austria as her objectives but there is an alternative: the Northern opening that may change it all. This could be the only case when Russia and A-G can cooperate rather well, as the Russian objective is Scandinavia and even maybe Scotland (after building F StP/nc). In this case Russia accepts to play only a secondary role in the Balcans, at least initially.

Turkey: Ottoman main objective is to get out of its corner. Normally Turkey can be pretty sure of getting Bulgaria... but what then? If A-R can't be pushed to war and Italy is being nasty... how to go farther or even retain Bulgaria? Patience. Turkey is a strong survivor and the wicked witch of the south that can hope to have a slid game even if the starts are difficult.
    Hopefully this stoicist strategy won't be necessary and Turkey will manage to get their neighbours to fight each other and reap some benefits from that. As it grows, building new fleets, particularly in the Med, will be necesary. If in 1901 Greece can be out of reach, in 1902 it can be the main objective. Naturally this requires an alliance with Russia. And will cause concern in Italy.
    But Russian cooperation has some problems: the Black Sea. Under no circumstances Turkey should allow Russia to control it and, if possible, the Russian fleet should be forced to disband. Declaring the Black Sea a demilitarized zone seems promising but it can be tricky.
    In the end-game, if succesful, Turkey has another problem: its home centers are far away from the frontlines. For this reason good convoying lines (and control of the Med) are a must.


Triangular dialectics in Diplomacy: red lines are applying tensions. Black lines are (normally) non-applying ones. See how almost all the board can be concieved in terms of dialectic triangles, with some exceptions caused by impassable Switzerland and the special A-G relation.



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