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Here I Stand» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Beginner player rss

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Eric Lafrance
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Sainte-Julie
Quebec
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Hi,

I want to know, which is the best nation for a beginner that will play with 5 goods players.

Thank you.
 
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Richard Tyson
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Toddington
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Well I played my first game today (3 player game, I was England and the Protestants). As a combo they worked well, but I'm not sure either would be good for a new player against 5 experienced players.

The Ottomans seemed to be fairly simple to run - basically piracy and controlled military might from the few turns we got in.

Diplomacy would play a far more important role in a 6 player game I suspect, which again leads me to the Ottomans as a good role to start with in my opinion.

I thought it was a good game, had lots of fun, and am looking forward to another go at it, so whatever you end up playing I hope you have fun too.

If any experienced players have thoughts on this I'd like to hear them before my first 6 player game.

Richard
 
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Ed Beach
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Richard: I think your instincts on this question are good. I would also recommend the Ottomans as the best power to play in your first game against more experienced opponents. After that, probably France or England next.
 
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Daniel Berger
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Littleton
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Based on my limited experience (a single, 3-player short game) I, too, would have to say the Ottomans.
 
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Paul Elliott
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I would recommend the Ottomans and the Protestants as good beginning powers. Both of them are only concerned with a small portion of the rules in the first few turns (Turks: military, then later piracy; Protestants: religious, then much later military). Also, the diplomacy is relatively easy with both of these powers because each of them is only opposed by a single power in the first few turns (Turks: Hapsburgs; Protestants: Papacy).

In my opinion, the middle powers in complexity are the Papacy and England. Both of these have a lot of rules to remember, but they both have a defensive advantage. In either case, you can play conservatively until you gain some power.

The tough powers are France and the Hapsburgs. They have to understand almost all of the rulebook, and they are in tense diplomatic positions. France begins the game at war with two other powers, and the English are inclined to make it three. On the other hand, the Hapsburgs begin the game at war with one other power, but before it is over they may very well have fought with all 5 other players directly. I would not recommend either of these for a complete beginner.

Enjoy the game!
 
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Chris Farrell
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Actually, it seems to me that the most rules-intensive position is clearly England. They take part in the religious war as well as the land war, can colonize and explore, have to be concerned with naval matters, and have the most involved special rules pertaining only to them (Henry's Wives). Similarly the Papacy - although their military concerns seem less than the English, they can't ignore that part of the game.

France's diplomatic position is tricky. But their rules overhead is low. No religious conflict, they don't have to deal with the navy if they don't want to, and they have few national special rules.

Likewise, the Hapsburgs have a complicated position diplomatically, but I'd argue that from a sheer rules complexity standpoint, their position is easier to play than the Papacy, English, or even the Ottomans. I'd judge that Piracy is more complicated than the New World, since the New World is just a slot machine - unlike the French or English, the Hapsburgs *have* to explore to win, so just do it and roll on the charts. The Hapsburgs don't really have to take any interest in the Reformation at all, and arguably should leave those problems to the Pope while he keeps the Ottomans at bay.

The Protestants seem to me to be clearly the easiest to play for the first few turns. You can literally ignore everyone except the Pope. You don't have to manage any military matters, and the rules for the reformation seem simpler to me than those for moving units. You can watch the other players beat the snot out of each other for a couple turns and learn that way. But if you're playing a shorter, mid-war game, where the Protestants have an army, they become no less complicated than the Papacy.
 
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Chris Farrell
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Sorry, I should say too that from a new-player perspective, the Ottomans and Hapsburgs make particular sense to me. Both are strong and robust powers. Both drive events in the game. Neither have heavy rules overhead like the Papacy, English, or the Protestants (ultimately). It seems to me that if you're the Papacy, England, or the Protestants you can get kinda screwed up because your margin for error is a bit thinner. The Ottomans and Hapsburgs have breathing room and resiliancy. You're likely to learn more playing them. If you're a feet-first kinda guy, I'd definitely take one of those two - the Hapsburgs are not in an easy position, but it's not so much more complicated than just playing Here I Stand at all that I'd be too worried. If you're someone who'd like more to hang back and observe for a few turns, the Protestants seem like the way to go.
 
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