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Hubland Barbarians End of Game Statement

Before the Ego trip, I would like to thank Murky for his patience
and hard work in running this game. Hand adjudicating a standard
Diplomacy game is /relatively/ easy, with the aid of DipGM or a
similar aid. Hand adjudicating Hogfather, with no move-checking
programme and having to make your own map, would have been very
much harder. I hope that we _all_ appreciate that, and his efforts

As for the game, I thought it went rather well.

Oh? You want more?

OK. The diaries will reveal what we were thinking at the time, and
I am glad that we made the effort to keep them, and keep on keeping
them (IYSWIM). In retrospect, 10 game years from the start, I remember
four distinct phases to the game.

Phase 1 was (obviously) the opening year. For me, this was a very 
nervous time with Hublands having to vie with 4 immediate neighbours
for room, and with the prospect of 2 more arriving very soon thereafter.
Therefore, it seemed, I needed to be very busy with the courier pigs,
making friends everywhere I could, even though I could never honour all
of those friendships. I also had to find the opportunity for a balls out
attack on one of those neighbours.

As to the second part of that plan, Genua provided the opening by pushing
too hard and too fast in my direction. In doing this, he not only 
triggered a reflex response from me, but stretched himself too thin so
that I could make something of my attack. I was lucky in persuading
Muntab to help me here, and that allowed me to get a quick start, which
took the pressure off somewhat.

The diploming of Phase 1 seemed to bear fruit too, as Ogg attacked Agatea,
Agatea lined up against Ogg, and XXXX went for Agatea as well (instead of
me). I didn't get Circle Cities to attack Ogg despite my urgings, but maybe
I was a bit too public about that........

Phase 2 came when the alliances were there to see. Ogg and me (although
that was not meant to be seen by anyone else at that stage); Muntab and
me; Nef and Circle Cities; and Ogg and XXXX (or so it appeared). Poor
Jake was completely isolated as Agatea and going down, as was Alien
who had taken over from Ydris in Genua.

However, if Jason Ogg (Mike Smith) was to be believed (and we had overcome 
most of our mutual distrust by this stage), Bruce the Hoon in XXXX (aka Jason
Gool) was also friendless. This was very important to me because he was
just about to finish off Agatea and really had only one place to go after
that. So, I launched a pre-emptive strike at him.

I was worried that I had moved too soon, without enough force to make
the move decisive. That is a constant dilemma in Diplomacy. If you 
wait until you have enough force to overwhelm a neighbour, you will wait
forever, as he can see what is coming and build up his defences against
you; but if you move too soon, you enter a war of attrition which leaves
you vulnerable to attack by a third party.

In this I was lucky. The fleets needed to launch the attack were in the
right position because of their previous activity. I did not need to give
away my intention by moving them into position. I was further assisted by
Mike who was encouraging XXXX to finish Agatea (and offering assistance),
which meant that Jason didn't drop back into defence as quickly as he
could have done. Then, Mike's assistance never materialised.......

Phase 3 was started by John Fouhy when his Nefland forces turned against
their erstwhile Circle Cities ally. Again, from my point of view, the 
timing could not have been much better. Agatea was all but finished, but 
I still had a real fight on my hands with Jason in XXXX. That should
have been a time for me to worry, as Mike would have been looking for
new lands to conquer. However, Nef provided the diversion I needed.

I received a loud cry for help from Hosun, as did Mike. Mike and I had
to think a while before deciding to help Hosun defend the Circle Cities
insted of joing in the loot, rape and pillage. For me, the advantage of
helping was threefold. First, it gave Mike somewhere to go other than
Hublandwards. Second, it meant that both Mike and Hosun would have the
majority of there forces at the opposite side of the disc to my border......
.....and theirs. Thirdly, it took the pressure off my original ally,
Muntab, who looked to be in a very tight spot.

Therefore, I got heavily involved in the co-ordination of the defence
of Circle Cities, as well as trying to finish what I had started in

The final phase was down to timing. The bulk of Mike's forces were too
far away to prevent the rapid loss of 2 or 3 SC's, so long as I had
one clear phase as a head start. That came when Nef was anihilated, and
Mike told me that he was launching his long awaited attack on Hosun. I
also assumed that I could count on Hosun as an ally for 1 year, although
probably no more as everone else saw the danger. I also had to make sure
that I had enough units to act as a screen against Muntab who had made
considerable gains in the war with Nef.

To paraphrase Mike at the time, "And so it began."

I was surprised that the remaining powers did not ally to stop me, once 
I stabbed Mike. It would have taken time to turn all the units around
to bring them to bear on me (which is why I count phase 3 as the turning
point in the game), but if they had acted quickly enough, I am sure they
could have stopped the win. However, the coordination would have had
to have come from Mike who, as he explained in his own EOG was rather
busy at the time.

And so it ended.

Thanks to all of you for a very diverting 6 months. I hope you all enjoyed
it. I look forward to reading the diaries, and to the next phase of
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