A correct guess in the north, and Turkish pressure in the south made the solo a little less likely, so we settled on a 40-39-7-7-7 points distribution.
I went into Round Two in second place, one point behind Morgante, who wasn’t due to play again. The other board had seen an AIR alliance take 33 points a piece, so I would likely need another good score if I was to do the unthinkable and win this thing. At least Morgante, wouldn’t be playing, though, so I only had to match the best of the 33 Club.
We were initially a couple short for a second board, but, like the day before, Jorge found the extra players, and, like the day before, one of them was Morgante. Oh bother.
I wondered if there still might be an opportunity to ensure a safe passage into the midgame for us both - if we were to be neighbours in the west again, for example.
Nope. I’m Turkey. Oh crumbs.
And Morgante? Italy. Oh dear.
Turkey and Italy - perhaps the most natural of enemies on the board. The success of any potential IT would be dependent on aggression towards our respective neighbours.
On my northern border was Jaromir Sulja. Jaromir has featured in 4 of my 8 vFTF games, and I feel we have built something of a rapport, but he too had stabbed me in our previous game together.
Russia and Austria both told me that they had arranged a DMZ in Galicia - this made me nervous about a potential AR, in which case Morgante would be my man.
My priority was to ensure an AIR didn’t form to take me out before I made it to the midgame. Even better if I could get Austria to attack Italy!
Austria broke the Galician DMZ agreement, and Italy failed to move against them. Still, I felt the need to hedge my bets at the start of the game.