Alliances are fickle things. They get broken all too easily. Suddenly, the team you trusted in your fight against an enemy has allied with your enemy and is ripping through your weakened borders, spelling the end of your team. Other times, you are the one to turn on an ally. You can see them getting too strong, too powerful, so you ally with weaker teams so you can be the strongest. We all know how it goes.
I, however, have lived to see an alliance never truly broken. An alliance so perfectly cohesive, it was shocking.
10pm rolled by, and the Russian Writers lightning game began. We chose the south. Red chose our northern border and up. Green claimed the northern most part of Florida. Purple ended up on the east coast, trying hard to make up for their under-sized team. Blue seemed a bit confused on where to go and never really managed to get good footing. It took a few turns to get situated, just like most games, especially lightning, but by about turn 7 or 8, we had worked out decent borders. Sara West and I, commanders of red and orange respectively, agreed upon an alliance before the game even begun, as fighting four other teams at once is never a great idea, and purple asked for some help, being the underdog, so our three teams allied together against blue and green.
The orange team was pretty much good to go, nice and cozy in our southern lands with red and purple between us and any enemies. Meanwhile, blue and green irritated the heck out of our allies. Within a few turns both asked for some help with our enemies, as would be expected of their ally. We could have stayed back while our allies were being attacked or even taken advantage of the weak borders we shared, but we didn't. Were the situation reversed, we trusted that our allies would aid us against our enemies and not destroy us. Plus, it would be fun to rip through an enemy, and we'd get more territory, the key to winning.
Using the waterways, we managed to send large numbers of troops at green from both sides of Florida. By turn 18, we split their empire of 30 connected territories in pieces, the largest only 9 territories. That was only possible, of course, because red and purple, our loyal allies, were protecting our other borders and fighting green's southern front. Through our combined effort, blue, green, nor any other enemy that we could have had, stood a chance of winning.
All too soon though, green was forced to shield, blue already long gone, and our three teams were left with no one to fight but our own loyal allies. We merely swapped while green had their shield up, dreading when we would have to turn on our own allies. Finally, however, the time came, and we all agreed that we shared the victory and that we would fight out the last few turns of the game just for our own enjoyment.
(WANTED: field journalists! If you think something of note occurred in your team or in your game that everyone ought to know about, just type something up an send it to firstname.lastname@example.org, and I'll have it up as soon as possible!)