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Subject: Early Game Trick rss

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Mark Breed

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Here is a simple early game trick to use when faced with major wars that you believe that you cannot win.

The sequence of play allows you to declare wars on minor countries and then surrender before it is determined who runs those countries. As a result, you can actually come out ahead of the game on conquering minor countries.

For example, as the French player I was facing invasion by an allied army that was 50% larger than me made up of Austria, Prussia, and Russian forces. I had just got spanked by said army due to poor die rolls on my part and excellent die rolls on theirs. Moving last, I was able to fan out and garrison my remaining minor conquests (for instability purposes). Then, at the beginning of the next turn, I declared war on the remaining available neutral minor countries. Next, I surrendered. This resulted in me balancing the conquests that I had to cede as a result of peace with the ones that I just declared war on. And, there was nothing that the enemy major powers could do about it.

Regards,
Mark
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Ken
United States
Crystal Lake
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This can work, but there's some risks:

1. If the minor goes to a power you're at war with, you have to conquer it before you go to peace. If you don't, they keep the minor because your war with them and all their minors is over.

2. You have to avoid the Instability zone or have corps in all of the minors that could pop, which would include big ones like Flanders.

3. If you do this, you can expect your enemies to look for an unconditional surrender and be positively brutal with the terms. Its wouldn't be uncommon for a coalition to take 1/2 your army, your economy, three territories, and maybe Napoleon. If they're smart allies, this will happen if a separate peace gets declared.

With what you have written above, I think you actually had problem #1 but didn't treat the minors as going to peace. That's not what the rules call for - the surrender cannot happen before you've actually conquered the minors.
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Mark Breed

California
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Yes, there are risks.

Regarding 1, the minor control step happens after the peace step, so the minor country you just declared war on doesn't belong to anyone at the time that the peace terms are decided.

Regarding 2, I dispatched my corps to those minor countries under my control during the preceding turn where I moved last.

Regarding 3, this was the greatest risk. Of the three powers I surrendered to, two chose conditional peace as they were afraid that I would leave them out of the peace treaty, which is something that I counted on. Only one chose unconditional, Austria. I debated on leaving the Austrians out of the peace treaty, but in the end, I included them.

In the end, the Austrians did rape me by taking land (three minors: Holland [ceded again to Russia], Switzerland, and Venetia), army (which was mitigated by my detaching garrisons from most of the corps), and, what really hurt, he took Napoleon. This was totally unexpected by everyone considering how early in the game it was and my discussions with him earlier. So yes, the Napoleon loss is putting me really behind in the points. If not for that, I would have considered it a success given my strategic situation at the time.

After the peace, I was at war with only Great Britain; however, I have since declared war on Spain and am getting Tuscany and the Papacy from him. Then, I will get Naples from GB shortly. So, I hope to beat on Spain to get my political points built back up.

In the meantime, I am building the Guard and Artillery to prepare for the next round of fighting.



Note, GB declared on Portugal and I am running it. It will fall next turn. However, I actually was able to run wild with the Portuguese Navy and win a couple of engagements.

Regards,
Mark
 
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Oscar Oliver
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I don't see the benefit of this move.

You're at war with some Major Powers...

Political Phase begins...

B. The Declarations of War Step.

France declares war on X minor countries (-X PP)

D. The Peace Step.

France surrenders unconditionally to N Major Powers (-8 PP)

If peace condition B1, B4 or C1 is chosen it may lead to a lapse of war with some of the Minors upon war was declared.

F. The Minor Country Control Step.

Major Powers are selected to run the rest of Minors upon war was declared and normal play develops.

France has still to military conquer those minors, after losing at least 8+X PP. I don't see the benefit in doing it on the same political phase, and I see some risks as per peace condition victors may force a lapse of war.

I only see a way to raise the PP cost of your defeat... this game is not about conquering minors, but about having a good score on PPs.
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Mark Breed

California
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Did you just miss the part where I just got spanked in battle? I was facing a situation where I was going to lose most of my minors and army through attrition to a larger coalition of forces. The allies had me out number by at least 50%. I was going to have to surrender.

That being said, I am pointing out a way that I minimized the damage. I felt this was the best possibility for me to end up with a good production base to prepare for the next wars.

Forgive me if you have a better way.
 
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