Top 10 upstart Kaerox takes on the long-reigning champ Buns157 on the East Asia and Oceania template. https://www.warlight.net/MultiPlayer?GameID=13277790
Yesterday this spotlight covered another EA&O game where one player made bold yet risky picks of 1,2,3 in the east islands. In this game, both players go 1,2 in the East Islands! Pick 1 is in the Marshall Islands 4-bonus and pick 2 is a combo-assist in Hawaii. A 4-bonus combo with 1,2 is a common, highly effective opening salvo on this template.
Kaerox gets first pick in the Marshalls and Buns157 gets the assist spot. Those 2 are not adjacent and effectively cancel each other out for the early game. As B was not first he also gets his third pick on the Arabian peninsula 3-bonus. Now Kaerox gets 3 and 4 which land a backup 4-bonus combo in East Kazakhstan. On this distro this bonus is strong because Xinjiang got wastelanded and normally is a menacing splitting flank. Finally, Buns157 picks up another 3-bonus on the West coast of Australia.
The picks awarded give good opportunities to both players. They know about each other in the East Islands, but neither player picked up any additional pick intel. This has to be nerve-racking for both of them as there are multiple productive regions on the map.
K deploys 2 to Marshals to take a territory there even with the knowledge that B is parked in the adjacent 5-bonus. This could be argued as a mistake because B isn't a threat for the opening turns. 2 armies spent unwisely in the first turn could easily lead to ruin against the champ.
Fortunately, K completes a 4-bonus without delay on turn 2 and gets to reuse some armies towards the central Asian 4-bonus to the south. B immediately gets to work on his pair of solo 3-bonuses. While taking the second 4-bonus K deploys two extras to the Marshals. B waits patiently on the other side of the fog.
B completes his 3-bonuses a turn before K's second 4-bonus. The champ heads out in 3 separate directions! With only 11 income, this is a huge expense. Probably B reasons he can find and harass K in one direction and then expand in one of the other places. He steps into India+4, Middle East +4 and South Australia, +5.
K is up 13-11 on income and the early game is over with no contact yet. K has basically two choices: charge south into Middle East +4 or try to eliminate B from the East Islands. K opts to deploy 12 to crash through the fog on Hawaii's front porch. The other army is deployed to tap and take Afghanistan, which is a critical 3-split on K's 4-bonus. K saves the +5 reinforce card. On the same turn B gets info that he's probably alone in Australia and maybe even India. Using the +5 card he starts completing India and crashes 9 into Iran, anticipating K to the North.
Both players get a huge first hello on turn 6 and the fighting begins. Facing a 14-stack, B deploys 10 to augment his 4 starting armies in Hawaii to avoid elimination there. He deploys the extra to create a preemptive mini blockade of a split on Arabia. He has a naked contact point against K's central asian +4, but ignores it and attacks the 3-splitting flank instead.
K's got first order and has Hawaii on the brain. B anticipated a big attack, but K throws down the saved +5 card, deploys all 14 and sends a size 31 Tsunami before the champ can even say Aloha! K decisively wins the East Islands!
However the game's not over yet as B has the nasty 3-split against Central Asia. Income is still 13-11 in favor of K. B calmly deploys 2 to start tapping his South Australia +5, 1 to finish India and 7 to the 3-split for an assault stack of 12. Both players drop a delay card.
K sets up a 6,10,3 defense against the split. After the delay he shuffles around, taps the split 3 times to weaken it, probes Iran with 3 and hopes the remaining 2,6,5 stacks will hold. K actually over-delayed, and 1 of his taps against the split was late. B overruns 5 defenders with the minimal size 8 attack and K loses the 4 bonus. B also takes +4 India.
Turn 7 is truly a case study in efficiency by the champ.
Fortunes are now reversed as B takes a 15-9 income lead. K still has safe income about to ripen in the East Islands, but Buns has massive expansion in Australia and a favorable position in central Asia.
K plays well but can't grow fast enough to recover. B makes a successful title defense.
wp both players.
For an intro to EA&O see ps's thread and excellent video. https://www.warlight.net/Forum/253549-strategic-guide-east-asia-oceania