CENTRIFUGE+: AN OPENING FOR 1900

by "Airborne"


The original Centrifuge Idea for standard Diplomacy was proposed by Clinton Wolf in his article in the S1999R issue. How can it be adjusted for use in the 1900 variant?

1900 Map

(Click for a full-size view in a separate window)



First, let's say you have drawn Germany in a game of 1900.

Germany is the beast of Europe in 1900 starting with 4 units, and controlling 7 or maybe 8 units by 1902. This is explosive growth — and that is Germanyís problem. The Fatherland is in the center of Europe, (quite rightly) feared by all, and can be attacked by all but Turkey, who is too far away.

Letís get back to the game. What to do…

  • Bully the French? BORING!
  • All out attack the Russians… again…
  • Stab your best friend in the South? Cruel.
  • Pick up neutrals and wait and see? What a bore.

How about this exciting opening for a change? Itís absolutely free: just read the Centrifuge+ article in the DP Pouch and collect your free opening article!

Getting down to business

Being a central power, Germany will need to get a corner to rest his back on. The Southern ones are too far away since Germany has no ports in the Mediterranean, and getting down there is slow. That leaves the North-East, and the West. Getting the West involves a lot of hard work cracking the English defenses and more or less allying with the French. This will take a while, and it most likely will end up being an "allied" corner with France in Lvp and Lon. St. Petersburg is the best choice: itís the shortest in region distances, taking that corner will cripple Russia, and it will make you the leader of Scandinavia. Perhaps you can then kick the English out of Norway and move into the NWG and NTH.

The Opening

This variant is Centrifuge heaven:

  • Munich is safe from France because of Alsace.
  • Italy usually attacks France, thus freeing you from the threat of an attack from Tyrolia. True, Austria has more incentive to attack you; but more than likely you can count on your German cousins.
  • A British-French war is more likely, thus freeing you from B/F ganging up on you.
  • Germany also has another army to play with.

Okay: prepare to commit yourself to a wild gambit. Before finalizing I will wait as you write up your will just in case… good, here is how you start:

First, in Spring 1900:

A Col-Bel
A Ber-Pru
A Mun-Kie
F Kie-Bal

Now Russia is annoyed at your inept opening — you look anti-Russian, but without A Mun-Sil Russia can block A Pru-War easily. F Bal will move to block Russia at Sweden, leaving the Baltic for a savvy Russia to move into with F GoB-Bal.

Now here is the punch — two, actually: Alpha and Beta. Alpha follows Clintonís Hook-Line-Sinker Strategy, and Beta mixes it up a bit.

In the Fall

Alpha
A Bel S Kie-Net
A Kie-Net
A Pru-Den
F Bal C Pru-Den

Look at this. Now Russia has moved to defend itself from… nothing. Germany has "retreated" and gained three builds, apparently gaining his senses back.

Beta
A Bel-Net
A Kie-Den
A Pru-Swe
F Bal C Pru-Swe

Retreat is for pansies. This is a bit for riskier, since Russia will not be lulled into dropping his guard and if Russia ordered F GoB-Swe… but this can lead to great results.

In the Winter

Build A Mun
Build A Col
Build F Kie

Now Germany looks like he is striking at the West…

Spring 1901

In the Spring your Western units — that is A Net, Bel, and Col — are free to do as you please. The important units are going to be A Mun and Den and F Kie and Bal.

Alpha
A Mun-Kie
A Den-Swe
F Kie-Bal
F Bal-GoB

And bang. StP is in your grasp, and so is Sweden. This is the risky part: if Russia moves into or stays in GoB your work is ruined. If you feel unlucky, there is the fast convoy option:

A Den-Lvn
A Mun-Sil
F Kie-Den
F Bal C Den-Lvn

Which puts one unit on StP and Mos and two on War a strong combination.

Alternatively, you can try the anti-English approach, the Heligoland Shuffle:

A Den-Kie
F Kie-Hel
F Bal-Den

Letís get back to the Beta path

Beta
A Swe-Fin
A Den-Swe
F Bal-Lvn/GoB
F Kie-Bal

Again Russia is hammered by German units aiming to take StP. Whatís different is that Russia is most likely more prepared for this assault, since you were always anti-Russian because you didnít retreat in Fall 1900. Still, this is a good shot at that vital corner.

So now youíre thinking "This is great! Iíll do it in every 1900 game now!" DONíT. Russia will be your savior if Britain and France ally. The Kaiser's best option is to align himself with the ally he feels he can work with best. If you ally with Britain use your Western units to deal with France as you Centrifuge yourself into St. Petersburg.

Diplomacy: What you want everyone else to do

  • Austria-Hungary: Austria can be of great help in the Russian Campaign by making Russia commit units to the Southern Front. Be careful; Austria may try to shove armies up Munich by attacking from Bohemia and Tyrolia, which wasnít a threat in standard, but you have to deal with it.
  • Italy: The last thing you want is Italy in Tyrolia, and the first is Italy in Marseilles —which isnít hard, given Italyís new western inclination in the variant.
  • Britain: You want him fighting France so A) he wouldnít notice the danger of those fleets, and B) You take more spoils. However, if he insists on alliance go ahead.
  • France: You want a DMZ out of him. Hopefully he will have his own problems so he wonít bother you
  • Russia: The big target; you're gunning for him from Spring 1900. Mostly you want him to think you are a noob and that youíre sorry about your opening moves. Then in Spring 1901̴ I want a picture of the look on Russiaís face. Then again Russia like I said could be your savior if Britain and France combine. Those "Retreat" moves will come in handy if you want a Russian ally.
  • Turkey: You want him to flat out attack Russia. Then again, you always do. This is for the same reason as Austria: so Russia will be exposed to your epic combo. Of course Turkey can have Rum and Sev; that's Austriaís problem, not yours.

Conclusion

Now after blitzkrieg-ing the North-Eastern corner giving you a wall to put your back on, and gaining Den, Swe, StP, Hol, Bel plus Germanyís Home SCs putting you half-way to victory, you have plenty of options to get to victory. One is to head South into the War-Mos-Sib corridor. Another is to take Norway and prepare to invade the Isles. So many fun things to do, so little Europe to play with!

"Airborne" c/o The Editor
(editor@diplom.org)

If you wish to e-mail feedback on this article to the author, and clicking on the envelope above does not work for you, feel free to use the "Dear DP..." mail interface.