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Subject: What happens in VQ if the Armada succeeds? rss

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Philip Goldfarb
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If you are looking for a historical answer, the issue of supply lines would be huge; 50k men would have difficulty foraging in that area, especially with hostile inhabitants, and harried supply lines would be a great difficulty (as would distance; before steam and electricity, it took a long time to traverse England). In addition, I can imagine nothing that would have caused England to rise to Elizabeth's support more than a foreign invasion...

Gameplay-wise, the Armada has to be in there (how could it not?) but it can't be a complete game-ender, or it's too much of a swing either way.
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Ed Beach
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Also keep in mind the VP Spain is gaining from seizing English keys, converting English spaces to Catholicism, and from the Enterprise of England card (sort of like Master of Italy in HIS, but only active on Turns 4 thru 7).

There are two ways to win as Spain when invading England: getting to 25 VP or initiating a Catholic Rebellion. We don't have a lot of data yet about which is more common, but I'm pretty sure it's roughly equivalent.
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Dan Moore
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The conundrum is this: without control of deep water ports, ie, the shipping channels and ports of Zeeland or Holland, Spain had no feasible way of getting Parma's troops across to England - - in terms of the VQ map, Dunkirk won't do.

On the other hand, Elizabeth wouldn't have allied with a rebellion that didn't control the deep water ports, and thus Philip wouldn't have had cause to resent Elizabeth deeply enough to invade . . .
 
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Joel Tamburo
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You need to remember that historically the Armada really had no chance of success. The problem of Parma holding no ports where the Armada could dock is one issue (and one the game does not show as it is too tactical)but also the difference in ship design between the English and Spanish was so pronounced that even with the wind gauge the Spanish could not dictate the action.

All things being equal VQs solution is appropriate for the game scale and design intent - it gives Spain a somewhat long shot at victory especially if England "goes to sleep" and does not play Walsingham as the event.
 
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Jon G
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So, operationally, Spain will load up a full Armada, plus a couple sacrificial ships, and attack with it in its first impulse, with the English navy at port. The English have a 50-50 intercept roll, or the Armada deposits its troops next door to London. Then the English try to drive the Armada away before it can support an overseas assault, and hope the Spanish aren't holding Treachery. Do I have that right?

It's interesting that there's no actual need to rendezvous with Parma's army, nor does the English navy necessarily get to prevent the landing. Then again, I could see that requiring both of those to happen despite the threat of unsanitary camp, merc desertions, foul weather, gout, etc, makes the Armada not even worth trying...
 
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Dan Moore
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On the question of tactical/strategic possiblity:

The Armada plan which included blithe assumptions about the ability to convoy Parma's soldiers wasn't the only option (and the control of deep water ports is actually the opposite of a tactical detail. It is deeply strategic and a flaw in the map design). The Spanish were at a disadvantage in ship performance and armament. But suppose they closed into an English port? The English could stand off and fire cannon, but not prevent landing. Indeed, fear that the English ships could be caught in port was a live and present concern.

Philip designated the Armada as 'Invincible' not through hubris but because he specified his commanders to calculate and muster the troops needed to ensure victory over projected English defenses. Many people hold that he overestimated English strengths. Since he would have been happy to capture London (not a cakewalk, but not impossible) and force England to abandon their Netherlands treaty, he wouldn't have needed enough of an army to conquer the entire country.

So a game mechanism that allowed this level of success - - ie, a landing which changed the game strategically without absolute conquest - - isn't unrealistic.
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Jon G
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My point is that the turn order plus interception rules seem to give the Armada a 40-60% chance of catching the English at port in the first impulse, which seems awfully high. After that, if the English don't put to sea in their first impulse, shame on them.

It may not matter much, as the Spanish need to hold the Channel/North Sea take advantage of it, and there's still a lot of ways it could go wrong, but it just seems odd that the Armada has that large a chance of "sneaking up" on England.
 
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Ed Beach
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We definitely added a few tools into the normal interception toolkit for England to take advantage of to help catch the Armada at sea. Keep in mind there are:

- 3 English Sea Captains with a Battle Rating of 1 or higher. For either HIS or VQ, that's the most potential naval leaders any power could have in play at the same time. Lots of stacks can get intercept bonuses.

- the Telescope Science Bonus that gives +1 or all intercept and avoid battle attempts (land or naval). No guarantee that England will have researched that, but it's an option.

- the Signal Fires Response card has been added to the deck. A simple 1 CP response card that makes a naval intercept from port automatic and gives you 2 extra dice in the ensuing naval battle. If England ever gets this in their hand they should stash it away as one of their 2 cards they get to save at the end of each turn.
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Benjamin Hejda
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Will W wrote:
...

If Spain ever rolls 4 or more hits than England does in an ECR, then Spain wins the game (a Catholic monarch becomes ruler of England).

...

What are other people's thoughts on this?


I must say, this rule somewhat bothers me - I dislike the idea of just one huge roll, that can decide the game. The dice can be strange - in a recent game of HIS there was a 7 hits victory in a battle of 18 dice vs 17. And I think we have all seen disgracing/burning 3-value debaters in HIS.
I dont have any suggestions, but it seems to me that the auto-win conditions ought to be more deterministic.
 
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Kristian Thy
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bhejda wrote:
I must say, this rule somewhat bothers me - I dislike the idea of just one huge roll, that can decide the game.


Consider that Spain has to put a lot of effort into getting just a small chance of this roll succeeding, and England will have to spend a lot of effort keeping it small. Basically, the fact that Spain can get a long shot at winning by initiating a rebellion keeps England focused on beating up Spain. If this possibility wasn't there, a Spain low on VP would mean England were free to attack France, which isn't good for play balance (they have enough enemies as-is).

I've seen a Catholic rebellion succeed once during playtesting ... during a game where I played England ... and I started the rebellion myself modest (I was hoping it would fail, just to get rid of a nasty event. Never again!)
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Benjamin Hejda
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turbothy wrote:
bhejda wrote:
I must say, this rule somewhat bothers me - I dislike the idea of just one huge roll, that can decide the game.


Consider that Spain has to put a lot of effort into getting just a small chance of this roll succeeding, and England will have to spend a lot of effort keeping it small. Basically, the fact that Spain can get a long shot at winning by initiating a rebellion keeps England focused on beating up Spain. If this possibility wasn't there, a Spain low on VP would mean England were free to attack France, which isn't good for play balance (they have enough enemies as-is).

I've seen a Catholic rebellion succeed once during playtesting ... during a game where I played England ... and I started the rebellion myself modest (I was hoping it would fail, just to get rid of a nasty event. Never again!)


Dont get me wrong - I like the rule itself - its just that actually the Spain may win by lucky roll having like 8 dice against 10 of the English. It's ok if this can happen in an important battle, but winning whole game thanks to it doesnt seem right. As I said - I dont have any particular suggestions but there could be some rule like the gunpowder plot success is only possible if the Spain has at least 12 dice or something.
 
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Noel Houben
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Quote:
I doubt that England would have survived long once the Duke of Parma landed in Dover with 50,000 men.


And yet the Spanish (including the Duke of Parma) never succeeded in conquering the northern Netherlands, despite this impressive army... Apart from the resistance of the English themselves the French and the Dutch wouldn't probably just sit and watch it happen. Those 50.000 troops might be needed somewhere else soon.
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Joel K
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bhejda wrote:
Dont get me wrong - I like the rule itself - its just that actually the Spain may win by lucky roll having like 8 dice against 10 of the English.

The number of Spanish dice in an English Catholic Rebellion attempt has the potential to get a bit scary, so England will be motivated to keep the number manageable. They have a home card that is effective against Spanish espionage and forces to keep the Spanish out of the British Isles. Oh, and keep Mary's executioner limbered up and ready. devil
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Mark Maginity
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bhejda wrote:
Will W wrote:
...

If Spain ever rolls 4 or more hits than England does in an ECR, then Spain wins the game (a Catholic monarch becomes ruler of England).

...

What are other people's thoughts on this?


I must say, this rule somewhat bothers me - I dislike the idea of just one huge roll, that can decide the game. The dice can be strange - in a recent game of HIS there was a 7 hits victory in a battle of 18 dice vs 17. And I think we have all seen disgracing/burning 3-value debaters in HIS.
I dont have any suggestions, but it seems to me that the auto-win conditions ought to be more deterministic.


Heck, I've had MARTIN LUTHER burned at the stake when I was playing Protestants! Needless to say, the Protestants did NOT win that game.
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