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Subject: Diplomacy commentary rss

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Rod Spade
United States
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Commentary on the Spring 1901 move of game BGG-05-1 hosted by Captain_Physics. Italicized material is from The Library of Diplomacy Openings.



A Ber - Mun
F Kie - Den
A Mun - Ruh

Named by Manus Hand, this opening gives Germany two units to attack Burgundy in Fall, while providing a say in the Lowlands and Scandinavia. One advantage to this opening is that if France has entered Burgundy, Germany is sure to protect Munich without risking the inability to build a fleet at either or both of his ports. If an Anglo-French attack is foreseen, the Sudetenland is a good choice.

In my experience, this is an unusual opening. On the surface, it appears anti-French. But if F/G decide to be friendly, I think we'll see Bur-Bel and Ruh-Hol in the Fall. In 1901 I would rather have one more build and a friend than one less build and an enemy.



f sev - bla
a mos - ukr
a war - gal
f stp - bot

Richard Sharp's name for any Russian opening involving the moves F StP/sc-Fin/BOT, A Mos-Ukr. There are five named variations:

1. the Austrian Attack (A War-Gal, F Sev-Rum)
2. the Livonia Variation (A War-Lvn)
3. the German Attack Variation (A War-Sil)
4. the Southern Defence (A War-Gal, F Sev-BLA)
5. the Southern Houseboat Variation (A War-Gal, F Sev H)

Named by Iain Forsyth, this Austro-Russian opening sends Budapest to Rumania, followed in the fall by a Russian convoy of A Rum-Ank. The Warsaw army is sent to Galicia as Springtime camouflage.

Aron Ambrosiani's name for the southern system follow-up which allows an R/T alliance to get both fleets into the Mediterarnean.

In Spring 1901, Russia opens F Sev-Bla, while Turkey opens the hedgehog. In fall 1901, Bla moves to Con, Arm to Sev and Con to Aegean Sea, and the Turkish A Bul can help a Russian army into Rumania.

The really hard thing with this variant is to the amount of trust it requires. The Fall moves are vital, since both countries move unsupported into each other's centers.

Ukraine System, Southern Defense - the intent may be purely defensive, but overall I'd say this is an anti-Austrian opening. If Turkey does not object to the Russian fleet in the Black Sea, a strong Fall continuation is Ukr-Rum with support. Turkey could do Con-Aeg or Con-Bul, Bul-Gre (or Ser), with Smy going to Con or Ank in case of a Russian stab.



Fleet in Brest will move to Mid-Atlantic.
Army in Marseilles moves to Piedmont.
Army in Paris moves to Burgundy.

Any Atlantic Opening sending Marseilles to Piedmont. A standoff in Piedmont may be arranged, which can be of great value to France, as it permits him to take Spain without having to guess the intentions of any Italian army. The standoff also provides Italy with good camouflage if he intends to make a grab for Trieste in Fall of 1901. Otherwise, entry into Piedmont by France is more likely to be a back door attack on Germany than an attack on Italy. (See the German Northern Tier Alliance Opening.)

About the standard Piedmont System opening (A Par-Gas), the Gamer's Guide to Diplomacy says, "this attack on Italy can sometimes yield stunning results. The fall orders can include A Pie-Ven or Tus. The latter is actually a little better because in 1902 the army threatens two Italian centers. This sequence presumes a three-way Western alliance and England/Germany are attacking Russia."

Probably defensive. I would guess that the bounce in Pie was arranged. Might be considered anti-German if both had agreed to stay out of Bur. I would expect France to take both Por and Spa in the Fall. Also Bur-Bel if he anticipates peace with Germany, or possibly Bur S Yor-Bel if in cahoots with England.



A Venice-Piedmont
F Naples - Ionian Sea
A Rome - Apu

The Swiss Lepanto, named by Manus Hand, often unnnecessarily antagonizes France. It can be used, however, if there is an Anglo-French alliance for sure and Italy wants to help Germany.

A Spring 1902 continuation of the Lepanto that sends F ION-ADR, F Nap-ION, and A Ven-Tri. Even if A Ven-Tri fails, Fall 1902 provides the choice of either F ADR S Ven-Tri with F ION C Tun-Alb, the less aggressive A Ven S Tun-ION-ADR-Tri, or the primarily positional F ADR S F ION C Tun-Alb (if Tri looks too secure). The point here is that a Lepanto start in 1901 does not preclude an attack on Austria as early as Spring of 1902.

This Fall Austro-Italo-German continuation of the Swiss Lepanto Opening was named by Dan Abbott after Kaiser Wilhelm II's sending the German gunboat Panther to Africa in 1911. The opening presents a combined front by the Central Powers (A/G/I) in an attempt to guarantee control of Africa and the Gibraltar block by controlling the Mediterranean. To do this, the rival Mediterranean powers (France and Turkey) must be taught a lesson.

In Spring, Austria opens to pressure the Ionian, while Germany opens to Burgundy and Holland. The pure Panther sees occupation of Serbia and Kiel in Spring 1901, but other variations are possible, which also put pressure on Russia.

In Fall, the Italian army in Apulia is convoyed to Albania by the Austrian fleet, while Italy takes Tunis, and both Germany and Italy continue to harass France in Marseilles, Burgundy, and Belgium. While France is occupied by pressure on his entire eastern border, Turkey sees two hostile fleets coming at him. The remaining two powers, England and Russia, should be pleased by the opening. Russia is able to not only get in on the Turkish party but also appeased by Germany's lack of Scandinavian force. England is also satisfied with the Scandinavian lines and can help out with France.

Manus Hand's Fall 1901 continuation of the traditional Lepanto has the Italian covering a threatened Venice and feeling forced to take Tunis with the Ionian fleet. The Austrian (who opened to the Adriatic) sails to the vacated Ionian to be dislodged by F Nap and F Tun, retreating eastward to form part of the convoy chain that carries the Italian army to Anatolia. Described in an article in The Pouch Zine by Manus Hand and in a follow-up article by Derek Pillie.

Moving to Ion and Apu is a common opening for Italy. It provides the possibility of the following anti-Turkish continuation:

Ion Convoys Apu-Tun, followed by build F Nap and advance fleets east in 1902, potentially convoying Tun to Smy or Syr.



F Tri-->Alb
A Vie-->Tri

This Opening Is Unnamed and No Information Exists For It!

I'd say that Austria expected Russia to stay out of Gal and was wary of leaving Tri exposed to Italy. Bud-Ser may have been preferable to Bud H. Obviously, if the Russian aggression had been foreseen, a move to Gal would have been in order.

Austria needs peace with Italy and an alliance with Turkey, promising to support the Turk to Rum in 1902. If this can be arranged, a good move for the Fall is Tri-Ser, Alb-Gre, with either Bud H or Bud-Vie (flip a coin and make Russia guess).

One wrinkle is that conflict between Italy and Turkey is probably inevitable, but Austria needs to befriend both. That conflict can be resolved later.



F Ankara - Constantinople
A Constantinople - Bulgaria
A Smyrna Hold

Richard Sharp's name for the opening A Con-Bul and F Ank-Con. There are two named variations: A Smy-Arm (the Armenia Variation, better known as The Turkish Hedgehog, and also called Sharp's Opening and Soak's Bane) and A Smy H (the Smyrna Variation).

The intent here is, in the Fall, F Con-AEG, A Smy-Con (or HOLD) for a western push. If Russia treacherously ordered F Sev-BLA, Turkey can still defend. F Con-Ank, A Smy-Ank will hold all her home supply centers and leave Ankara open for the build of a fleet.

This opening anticipates peace with Russia and allows for an early entrance into the Med. Italy might interpret this as anti-Italian.

Turkey's continuation depends largely on his reaction to the Russian fleet in the Black Sea.



F(Edi)-NWG (Norweagan Sea)
F(Lon)-NTH (North Sea)
A(Liv)-Yor (York)

Richard Sharp's name for the opening F Lon-NTH and F Edi-NWG. There are four named variations:

* the Yorkshire Opening (the pure Northern Opening),
* the Churchill Opening,
* the Wales variant, and
* the Clyde variant,

In his book, "The Game of Diplomacy," Richard Sharp applied the term "Yorkshire Opening" to the pure Northern Opening (A Lvp-Yor). Although the offensive role of the English army is limited, this opening is the only move to guarantee England a build in 1901, since Yorkshire can guard London against a sneaky French assault through the Channel, and one fleet can support the other into Norway if Russia opens with A Mos-StP. The opening vies in popularity with the "Churchill Opening." Note that it may be important which England supports himself into Norway. If Russia orders A Mos-StP in Spring of 1901 and A StP-Nor in Fall of 1901 then to achieve Norway, the English will need to support a move by the fleet in the North Sea, in case Germany orders an attack on the North Sea to cut support.

Manus Hand's name for the anti-Russian continuation of the Northern opening. In Fall of 1901, the Norwegian sea fleet is sent to the Barents Sea while England's other two units take Norway. Especially if Russia has opened to the south, this opening puts heavy pressure on St. Petersburg, and can thus be used to relieve England's fellow "witch," the Turk, from Russian aggression. If Germany prevents Russia from gaining Sweden, the attack on Russia's north can be swift and final, often ending with Russia conceding St. Petersburg to the English in return for a promise that only fleets will occupy it. If Russia opens Mos-StP, England's better choice is a supported attack on Norway, but the threat of a Barents invasion in 1902 (with an occupied Norway) remains a strong argument for a Northern Opening.

Named after the German ship wrecked during WWI in the Baltic, which gave Great Britain and Russia access to German naval codes for the remainder of the war, this is Manus Hand's Anglo-Russian Northern Opening continuation. England's task is to convince Germany to open to Denmark and then move to stand Russia out of Sweden. Russia opens to the Gulf of Bothnia, and, in cahoots with his English ally, assists in isolating the German for a strong 1902 attack. Russia avoids Sweden in Fall of 1901 and instead sails to the Baltic. Simultaneously, England takes the vacated Denmark. Norway can go to either England (the "Prince Louis Madgeburg") or Russia (if Russia opens with a Northern System; this is the "Benckendorff Magdeburg"). The Prince Louis (F NWG-Nor in Fall 1901) has the diplomatic advantage of allowing England to claim shock and continued friendship with Germany, but the Benckendorff can be used to force a Spring disband of the German fleet (NWG HOLD in Fall 1901, then NWG-Nor and NTH-SKA in Spring 1902 while Russia moves her Norway army to Finland and send a newly built fleet into the Gulf of Bothnia), forcing the German to play a unit short in Fall of 1902.

This opening allows the possibility of the anti-Russian move Yor-Nwy with support from Nrg. Since Russia opened southward, the support is not necessary. England could do a very anti-Russian move of convoy to Nwy with Nrg-Bar. Of course, this would please Austria greatly.

Alternately, England has the potential of two builds with Nrg-Nwy, Yor-Bel. Either France or Germany could bounce the move to Bel, so England needs to convince one of them to support it (with the promise of an alliance against the other). The ideal English ituation, of course, would be for both F and G to support him to Belgium!
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Rod Spade
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a good move for the Fall is Tri-Ser, Alb-Gre, with either Bud H or Bud-Vie

Or Bud-Ser with Tri-Vie or Tri-Bud.
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