I was Austria. I couldn't let Italy have Greece in part because it would have Italy moving into the area I had for expansion. Also if Italy is moving east and I'm moving east it meant no pressure on France which is a huge problem.I was Italy. While I was eliminated, I think I did an okay job in the role as I got to switch sides a couple of times.
I originally allied with Russia against Austria. Austria then offered me an alliance as well against Turkey. I said I wanted to get Greece, but they weren't willing to let me get it. Then Turkey offered me an alliance against Austria. Austria was urging me to move my fleets east to attack Turkey. I agreed, but was really planning on using my fleets in the Ionian and Aegean to take Greece from Austria with Turkish support, while Russia began their attack on Austria from the north. Either through error or subterfuge, Turkey didn't come through with the support, so the attack failed and I lost my opening.
With no easy path into Austria left, I made peace with Austria and looked west to France, which was busy fighting England. I attacked France, but was exactly one turn too late to profit from their distraction. My efforts to get Germany to attack them went nowhere, and it was largely a slow collapse from there.
I have tried playing honestly (mostly) each time. This was the time I was most distrustful and least reliable. It wasn't a case of intentional dishonesty in most cases though. In Turkey and Germany both times I backstabbed them immediately after expressing no interest in doing so. Part of it was I was doing a poor job of predicting where builds would happen which happened after my statements. I ended up in positions where I could keep my word and lose or break it and maybe not lose.As an observation on play styles, the game where I played things the most honestly, keeping every transactional agreement, was the one where I played England and came in a very close second place. This was the game were where I most devious and underhanded in the early game, and while I had a lot of fun, I didn't actually accomplish much.
I have mixed feelings about the anonymity element. I like that it limits people forming the same alliances every game or acting out vendettas based on the previous game. That said, there is so much less information to use in making decisions in an online game. When playing it live as a board game, even when playing against people I don't know, I can look them in the eye to try and gauge if I can trust them. It's a lot easier to lie in a PM, especially when you don't know who the player is.
Still, it is fun figuring it out over the course of the game. By the time I formed my second and lasting alliance with Austria, I was pretty sure that @Bunch was the player.
On the whole, I think anonymity is the best way to go.
You have to stir the pot if you want to spread the flavor!I had a good chuckle when everyone I spoke to had nothing good to say about England, and that England were stirring the pot!