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Subject: Can Spain win on its very first card play? rss

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Joel K
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Who can help with some math? I'm useless at calculating probabilities.

* The initial deck in the Campaign Scenario is 63 cards, and 26 get dealt--with Spain getting 6 of them.
* 21 of the 30 treasures are worth 2 CP or more.
* Then whatever the odds are of rolling the minimum number of successes required.
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Steven
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Another important question: is Tridentine Catechism included in Turn 1? The Roman Catechism was published in 1566 right? Would this be added in T2 or T3?
 
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Joel K
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SW_Cygnus wrote:
Another important question: is Tridentine Catechism included in Turn 1?

It's in the deck from the start.
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Przemek
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If it is true we should see some errata soon. "Religious automatic victory can not be claimed in the first turn of the game" or something like that.
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Ben Post
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JoelCFC25 wrote:
Who can help with some math? I'm useless at calculating probabilities.

* The initial deck in the Campaign Scenario is 63 cards, and 26 get dealt--with Spain getting 6 of them.
* 21 of the 30 treasures are worth 2 CP or more.
* Then whatever the odds are of rolling the minimum number of successes required.


By my math, Condition 1 has around a 7.9% chance of occurring, while Condition 2 has a 70% chance of occurring. Both of these conditions should be met about 5.6% of the time, or once every 18 games.

Condition 3 is much harder to calculate--I've only played HIS, and haven't looked at the rules for conversions in VQ, and even if I had there are a whole lot of possibilities to consider. But to simplify things: it looks like, in the OP's scenario, the Spanish player needs to roll 13 dice and get a 4+ nine or more times. The odds of that occurring are about 13.3%. (Based on this scenario, it looks like the odds should be slimmer, and perhaps much slimmer, since the OP needs a certain number of sixes in his first roll and also needs to avoid too many ones). Leaving Condition 3 at 13.3%, though, all three conditions will be met about .74% of the time, or once every 135 games.
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Joel K
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murcielago wrote:
(Based on this scenario, it looks like the odds should be slimmer, and perhaps much slimmer, since the OP needs a certain number of sixes in his first roll and also needs to avoid too many ones).

Actually, the Spanish player just needs to avoid misses, not ones specifically. Ones will generate an Unrest marker to be placed, but wherever the Unrest goes, that space still flipped and thus reduced the Protestant space count by 1.

English Recusants enters on Turn 4, the other two cards mentioned are in the initial deck.
 
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Kristian Thy
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Will W wrote:
Game over.

Now I have to say to my friends, “Well, er, this is awkward, but… I drew a great card in my opening hand and rolled well with my conversion attempts, and… I hate to say this, but I’ve won the game.”


I don't see the big problem. Chalk up one win, shuffle the deck, re-deal and sit down for "VQ2: The Rematch". arrrh

You'll forever impress others by being able to say you've played two games of VQ in one sitting!

(There are other games with similar issues, notably Napoleonic Wars where the game can end after turn 1 on a more-or-less random die roll.)
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Ben Post
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With that in mind, and taking into consideration the fact that your card play gives you a free 6 (don't know why I skipped this last time--always double-check the story problem before writing an answer!), and assuming you need to roll two or more sixes on the first half of your turn (giving you a total of three or more) the odds of Condition 3 end up being a bit worse than I originally thought: 10.2% (if the spreadsheet gods look upon me with favor, that is). A Tridentine Catechism first-turn victory should happen around .56% of the time, then, or about once every 178 games. Seems improbable enough that most of us will never encounter it personally, but likely enough that somebody on this website will experience it over the next several years (and hopefully share!)
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Ed Beach
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Yes, those are about the odds I see too. The good news is that if it ever freakishly does happen it won't take long to reset and start another game!

There were a number of other possible quick win scenarios we did explore and shutdown in playtesting but I admit we didn't consider this one in any great depth. Still, I doubt this one is likely enough we need errata.

However this is a great post because it clearly points out two very important lessons you'll want to keep in mind when playing VQ:

1) It's important that the Protestant (maybe with English or even HRE help?) starts working on religious conversions right away. You don't want to spend any time at the top of the Protestant space chart (near that Catholic Religious Victory).

2) Combining cards and treasures in a single impulse is very, very powerful. Spain is a tough power to play in VQ because you have so many people gunning for you. But you typically have more treasures than anyone else and that gives you a significant advantage if you use it well.

Oh, and that Turn 1 game end in Napoleonic Wars mentioned above? It actually happened to me the first FOUR times I played that game. I have to admit it colored my impression of that game a bit. So I am sensitive to issues like this!
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Przemek
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It's a different story than Napoleonic Wars. NW can end after one full turn when everybody got their chances to play several cards and actually do something. In this case nobody but Ottomans and Spain can do anythng. It's a big difference.
Of course if such a thing will happen you can setup another game and another and another. But it's not fun when you make setup and diplomatic phase all night long because odds didn't meet reality. And they won't. We can expect this kind of game ending will happen all the time. Murphy's Law
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The only important question: Does this type of lucky break in the beginning(not winning) give a huge advantage in the next few rounds? Even worse for a game is to have some loophole that basically ensures your victory in the very beginning but the game still lasts for several rounds. I haven't read the rules but my assumption is that many players can influence the religious situations unlike in HIS and this kind of very promising looking victory will be denied. Am I right?
 
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Jon G
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It does seem as though, thematically, a Catholic religious victory shouldn't be possible on the first turn, sortoflike how a domination victory for the Papacy doesn't make sense in T1 of HIS. It's 1559, central Germany is still Catholic, the Dutch haven't begun to revolt, the rulers are still having Coronation feasts... rolling back the nascent Prots in England/France/Netherlands isn't a big deal yet. Historically, if it had happened, the emphasis would have just switched back to Germany.

So it does seem like there's a justification for a "No religious victory till Turn 2" rule...

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Steven
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dr.mrow wrote:
It does seem as though, thematically, a Catholic religious victory shouldn't be possible on the first turn, sortoflike how a domination victory for the Papacy doesn't make sense in T1 of HIS. It's 1559, central Germany is still Catholic, the Dutch haven't begun to revolt, the rulers are still having Coronation feasts... rolling back the nascent Prots in England/France/Netherlands isn't a big deal yet. Historically, if it had happened, the emphasis would have just switched back to Germany.

So it does seem like there's a justification for a "No religious victory till Turn 2" rule...



I think that is a pretty good idea, just on the off chance that some extreme case like this happens. This opening would be pretty devastating, because the English and Prots would have little or no chance to react.

Plus: imagine if the Spanish opened with this card and did fairly well, but did not quite get to an automatic victory. Then the English do not have a very good card OR their religious rolls are not good. The French could then follow-up with a religious event and a treasure and steal the game.

The odds for the Spanish getting this card combo might be low, but a better than average Spanish and French anti-religious push would be pretty tough with the Prot spaces so low.
 
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Ben Post
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How about the variant "In the first round of impulses on Turn One, no power may use treasures"?
 
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Mark Maginity
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murcielago wrote:
How about the variant "In the first round of impulses on Turn One, no power may use treasures"?


To be precise, "Spain may not use a treasure in its first impulse of Turn One." None of the other powers have treasures during the first impulse.
 
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Philip Thomas
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mmaginity2 wrote:
murcielago wrote:
How about the variant "In the first round of impulses on Turn One, no power may use treasures"?


To be precise, "Spain may not use a treasure in its first impulse of Turn One." None of the other powers have treasures during the first impulse.


Why bother being precise if vague will do the trick? The rule sounds better in the general form...
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Stephen Lovell
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Philip Thomas wrote:


Why bother being precise if vague will do the trick? The rule sounds better in the general form...


Because precision avoids confusion. New readers of the rules would read "No power may use treasures on the first turn" on wonder why nobody but Spain has treasures.
 
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Kristian Thy
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tehgr8supa wrote:
Because precision avoids confusion. New readers of the rules would read "No power may use treasures on the first turn" on wonder why nobody but Spain has treasures.


Good point. I also always get confused by the naval rules when I play as the HRE.
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Steven
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turbothy wrote:
tehgr8supa wrote:
Because precision avoids confusion. New readers of the rules would read "No power may use treasures on the first turn" on wonder why nobody but Spain has treasures.


Good point. I also always get confused by the naval rules when I play as the HRE.


Would preventing treasures somewhat undermine Spain's position? What if Spain has a bad hand and needs to use their treasures? Also, you can trade treasures, correct? Would that also undermine Spain's diplomatic efforts?

Why hamstring Spain to prevent one or two card combos?

The simple solution, in my mind, is just add a clause which prevents religious victory on Turn 1. Then you never have to worry about this combo, or at the very least, the other powers would have a chance to counter-act this aggressive move.
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Russ Hewson
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First impulse of turn 1, not turn 1, just means that Spain can't have a mega first impulse and win.
 
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Steven
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Not to perform thread necromancy: Would this example be impossible on turn one. I just reread the rules and the Spanish get their treasures near the end of the Winter phase (if any remain). Thus it would be impossible for the Spanish to have any treasures on turn 1 (unless the treasure fleet mandatory event is played)?

So it is safe to say that it is impossible for the Spanish to win on the first action round because they generally will never have treasures during the first turn.

That being said I am not sure when the Treasure fleet card is added to the deck, but at the very least the Spanish would have no treasures until their second impulse.
 
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Joel K
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SW_Cygnus wrote:
So it is safe to say that it is impossible for the Spanish to win on the first action round because they generally will never have treasures during the first turn.

Spain is dealt one random treasure at the start of the game in the Campaign Scenario (see page 6 of the Scenario Book).
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That being said I am not sure when the Treasure fleet card is added to the deck...

It's in the deck from the start.
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Steven
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JoelCFC25 wrote:
Spain is dealt one random treasure at the start of the game in the Campaign Scenario (see page 6 of the Scenario Book).


Pays to read the senario book. Thanks for letting me know.
 
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Ken Marley
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One risk for Spain is that he might set up France for the win. If he flips 8 instead of 9 then France would need to only flip 1 more than england on the next action round to win.
 
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Wouldn't France win since the Protestants have fewer than 3 spaces?
 
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