Great, thx you both. I want a debrief now
Where to even begin? The fact that this match took place within the context of the tourney is a bit of a surprise in itself. When Lv34Mika and I were setting up the tourney, Sugar was still on the outside looking in, nagging every single aspect of it with the fury of 100 chinese wifes. He didn't seem interested at all by it. He only ended up joining, albeit passive-aggressively, when he was challenged to a match by BPINisBACK. As a participant I think he was content just beating back would-be challengers and kept his involvement to a minimum. That changed when a certain rookie claimed a higher spot on the pyramid, he had to involve himself in the tourney and issue a challenge himself to catch up. The tourney was made to gather some win-loss data to help balance and offer a way for players to play vs people of similar level of skill. It certainly wasn't build as a vehicle to show-off my skills. When the idea to set-up some form our tourney thing was bubbling up in the War Room forum, I was 2-1 at the time. Frankly I would have pegged myself as a middle of the road guy so going 3-0 right off the bat was also a bit of an unlikely event in itself from my perspective.
One of the fun aspect of the match is the fact that was a bit of a grudge match too. I've been Sugar mortal enemy since I've sort of out-argued him in the uber-diplo thread. He has the tendency of going 'I won 50 match so shut-up' trying to stifle debate, which is a bit bad form. For that reason, I admit I rather enjoy riling him up until his english starts breaking.
Going into the match I knew winning was a long shot. Enough has been said of the experience disparity. Doing the brunt of the AARing also a bit of a hinderance since you're exposing to the opponent what you know (and the limit of what you know) of his unit placement. That last one can potentially be very lethal. However, I didn't mind doing it as a public service so that the next challenger as more info to go with.
I did have some things working in my favour however. Sugar's cookie cutter is something of a known entity. It helps to prepare when you know what to expect. I had played vs HarryBanana who followed a similar script so I had some experience. Cripsy mini-AAR vs Sugar was also useful to figure out how he would react to certain situation. The last few patches helped the Allies a lot, notably the extra planes the UK get allows them to be more aggressive with their buys since they don't start in deadly danger of being vastly out-numbered by the Luftwaffe. Lastly, based on some of his statements in the uber diplo thread I deduced the diplo aspect was the weakest part of Sugar's game.
SC III is a game that has rather remarkable ripple effects. Small decisions taken in 1939-1940 can have enormous repercussion down the line even if they are not readily apparent after the fact. Diplo can have that big impact, a couple of diplo hit with the US or USSR can change the landscape. It worked out in this game, with the allies scoring 3 diplo hits (even if one of them was rolled back later) so the Russian had lots of mpp to prepare in tech and units which puts Germany in a bit of a deadly danger. If the USSR catch up in tech, it's almost impossible to make lasting gains. But Sugar had sown the seeds of my own future demise with his early investment in tech (even if that means a bit more growing pains in France) but also notably of Spy and Intel tech with Italy. Making the S&I race 2 (Germany, Italy) vs 1 (UK). It requires a bit a luck to establish the S&I lead, but those are some good odds which you can snowball into more tech gains. With the increased USSR income and S&I parity one could expect to be very close to Germany in tech by '43 due to the catch-up bonus. It was not so in this game as a couple of fortunate breakthrough saw Germany actually increase its tech lead. Not bad for a little 150 mpp tech! The S&I battle is really the Allies to win though. They have one more major to fish for breakthrough compared to the Axis so they can make it 3 to 2 rather than 2 to 1. If the Axis doesn't invest for S&I for Italy it can be even worst. With the extra AT tech chit for the USSR which you can cash in, all three allied power can have their S&I investment up on turn 1 at minimal disruption of the 'big 3' research (inf, tank, fighter).
In terms of tech, I regretted not investing in Tank tech for the American until very late. Past a certain threshold (I'd say about tank tech 4), infantry armies can't do much offensively anymore and they take a backseat to the tank and bombers. With the Americans I had planned to max my air and use infantry and rely on UK tanks, that was a mistake. Basically you need to have numerical advantage in tanks as much as you need numerical advantage in air.
Sugar said before that this game is really one of attacks and counter attacks. It is very true. There are very few areas where a committed defense can be (somewhat viable). If your opponent attacks, you better give way. In NA and Southern Russia my two biggest disaster on the field happened when I stuck around too long when I should have withdrawn my units.
I think we saw an example on how rail allows you to skimp on garrisons. While Sugar's France was guarded by a single unit in Paris, I had corps in NA protecting my rear that would have been massively more useful bolstering the frontline (and protecting my air!).
Despite all this, the Axis was under very real threat. With the the allies having the unit edge (and taking account Germany a fair number of garrison units boosting their number) they couldn't afford going 1:1 or even 2:1 vs the Russians. Sugar had little income to work with and, credits to him, managed to mount his Barbarossa on a shoestring budget.
In closing, I'd like to thank my opponent for a very fun and exciting game. I learned a lot and I feel a certain pride at having managed to take the 'reigning champion' to his limits.
Long live the SC Pyramid Tourney!
< Message edited by KorutZelva -- 6/11/2018 6:21:01 PM >