Veteran players often argue about the sustainability of certain alliance pairs, amongst which the most common disagreements appear to circle around Turkey with either Austria or Italy. Most of these discussions bring in philosophy of pla, and a perception of what will happen as time progresses, without any reality check. These discussions are often done with large amounts of liquids or smoke of various and sundry non-medicinal purposes, or simply late at night when the fatigue of a good game makes any of those substances unnecessary and usually detracts from the quality of the discussion. The fact is that all alliance combinations are both possible and sometimes a hell of lot of fun when the proper game background turns up. In reality, each game is very much rooted in:
In the recent Dragonflight (2007) games, the background factors of the game all lined up in a rare setting, so that the unusual combination of Austria-Turkey as a rock solid alliance with Austria as a sea power came to me as something rather funny and worth trying. This sort of thing comes up only once or twice in a decade, so when I saw it I jumped on it just because it is such a funny thing. This is the background:
It started very simply, with Italy going west and abounce in the Black Sea. However, Austria was in Budapest, so in an unusual opening in the Fall Turkey supported Budapest to Rumania, as did Army Serbia, so that the Austrians would get 3 builds! The deal of course was that Austria had to build a fleet. When this happened the alliance was on and the push into southern Russia was going to be slow but inevitable.
Meanwhile, with two Turkish fleets and two Austrian fleets and the rumor of a major stab by Austria on Turkey putting Italy off its guard — BOOM! Italy was easily vaporized, with another Austrian fleet hitting the shipyards. By 1905 the Austrian fleets were pounding on the Mid Atlantic, while their armies were lined up on Munich, with the Turks integrated into the line with two units in the back field (Fleet Black and Ionian) and Turkish armies knocking on Berlin with every expectation of getting in.
The tactical issues involved are not as important as to remember that in structuring an unusual alliance, the initiator must understand the background dynamics that make the whole thing work; and always think ahead of what comes next, knowing when to call it to a successful conclusion before ugliness spoils the entire effort.
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