Small Earth 1v1, #2
This loss is brought to you by one of Illuminati's top students, Black Dragon.
The position highlights some common themes in Small Earth: while SA has better access to easier bonuses to capture (Africa/ North America, and Europe, compared to Russia), Aus is easier to defend. SA was a first-turn bonus, and was my first pick, but in hindsight I might have gone for Aus myself if I had known how this game would play out.
The position is equal in terms of income: both of us stuck at 7 armies per turn for the entire game. Black Dragon is always threatening to move into SA via North Africa, so I must match his threat with a suitable defense. I could not afford to let him take Europe or Russia, so the game is effectively his to control: I must respond to both his offensive and defensive movements, instead of his move responding to mine. This, and poor predictions in later turns, allowed him to slow chip away at my total number of armies while maintaining a solid position. Examples include turn 12, putting myself into a position to lose Kazakhstan turn 13 because I had second order; turn 16, moving into S. Europe with a small stack despite having second order next turn, thus losing the stack to Egypt; and the final turn, him correctly predicting I would move to take South Africa and destroying my attack. I could see no way to survive after that mistake, so I surrendered.
gg! Always nice to see one of our students defeat me!