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Subject: Historical Outcome? rss

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Blake Neff
United States
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Saw a neat thread on the Here I Stand forum from last year where a guy tabulates all the VP's from the game to see who won (the Hapsburgs, apparently). Thought I'd try doing the same for Virgin Queen since it interests me.

Like him, I'll try tabulating it by subject rather than by power.

Unlike Here I Stand, this is a bit of a pain to determine, mainly because French, Spanish, and Protestant political control is rather hard to distinguish in the late game. Since Paris is Worth a Mass happened it's safe to say the Protestants control Paris, and they certainly held La Rochelle as well, but other cities are a bit tougher. Marseilles was staunchly Catholic, never had a notable Huguenot presence, and never was conquered by Henry IV, so how to class it?

Personally I've decided to divide it as follows: The cities that accepted Henry reasonably quickly go to the Protestants, while those that resisted longer stick with ordinary France. That gives Rouen and Marseille to normal France while Metz and Lyon are with Henry. It's a bit of a hash but I think it's the best outcome.

Things are also interesting for Spain, because they actually capture Calais on the last turn and hold it until a peace agreement in 1598. Since it's returned via a negotiated peace at game end, I'd say that it was rewarded in a mythical turn 8 diplomacy phase and should belong to Spain's Turn 7 territory calculation. In addition to Calais, Spain holds onto its Spanish keys, both Brussels and Antwerp, as well as Malta and all its Italian possessions. They also conquer Portugal. While Spain controls the Papacy for almost the entire game period, on the final turn its control is broken as Clement VII pursues greater Papal independence.

The Ottomans hold all their starting keys and capture Tunis, while the English hold their starting keys plus Dublin, and also have diplomatic control of Scotland as James VII prepares to take the English throne. The HRE holds all its keys but otherwise doesn't do much.

VPs: Ottoman 13, Spain 11, Protestant 11, England 8, HRE 8, France 3 VP

The Ottomans thrash the Safavids pretty hard in a war during this period, conquering the Caucasus and a chunk of Northern Iran. I think that's worth a War Winner VP. No significant war with Poland occurred at this time.

VPs: 1 Ottoman

Scoring this requires making a few subjective judgments since not every marriage neatly falls into one of the chart results. France successfully marries off Charles IX, Henry III, Marguerite de Valois, and Elisabeth de Valois, but since none of the marriages produce male heirs I wouldn't allot them any more VP. Philip II's marriage to Anna of Austria and William of Orange's marriage to Louise de Coligny, however, each produce heirs that I would give 1 VP apiece for.

VPs: France 4, Spain 1, HRE 1, Protestant 1

Art Patronage
Spain does superbly here, patronizing the Escorial, Burial of Count Orgaz, and Diana and Actaeon. The Ottomans are solid, picking up the Suleymaniye and the Elegy to Suleiman. France does some add-ons to the Louvre and sponsors the Portrait of Elisabeth of Austria as well as Les Amours. England gets Romeo and Juliet, the Protestant gets Fight Between Carnival and Lent, and HRE gets Vertumnus.

Don Quixote is unwritten at game end, while the Four Books of Architecture are written in Italy without the sponsorship of a power.

VPs: Spain 6, Ottoman 4, France 3, England 3, Protestant 2, HRE 1

Science Patronage
As far as VPs go science is something of a bust in this period, with both 2 VP awards going unclaimed. Spain picks up the Academy of Military Architecture, though, and Mercator's early atlas is assembled within the HRE. Also, the Ottomans get Mirror of Countries. On the Magnet narrowly misses the game's ending cutoff, while the Laws of Planetary Motion will wait over a decade, and Galileo takes even longer to earn the title Father of Modern Science.

VPs: Spain 1, Ottoman 1, HRE 1

Religion Spaces
Another one that's hard to tabulate, because it doesn't purely represent a region's dominant religion but rather whether the rebelling faith has reached critical mass or a degree of acceptance, forced or otherwise.

Most evidence suggests Rudolf II was not particularly fond of either Catholicism or Protestantism, so Balanced is probably the most reasonable guess regarding his policies.

In the Netherlands, the religious divide ends up pretty closely mapping to the political one. The Protestants end up with 10 spaces there. They get 3 in Scotland. England is super-hard to measure but the Catholic cause remained significant enough that I think giving the Catholics 3 spaces in the north is plausible. That's another 10 Protestant spaces.

Then we have France which is a huge mess. Huguenot geographical reach peaked early but then never recovered from St. Bart's Day. Nantes, Rouen, and Toulouse all end up anti-Protestant, and they make little headway in Provence or the northwest. After some heavy Googling, I'd say these areas would could be justifiably classed as "Protestant": La Rochelle, Montpellier, Avignon, Cognac, Bayonne, Grenoble, and Bourges.

That gives 30 Protestant spaces, which comes out to:

VPs: Protestant 4, HRE 4, Spain 3, English 2

Oh gosh this one is just impossible. The primary value of piracy of the period was in stealing money, destroying ships with raids, and denying the enemy resources, but all of those outcomes are non-VP options in the game. So what the heck amounts to a VP? It's super hard to say. That said, I think England warrants at least 3 VP for the damage they wrought. The Ottomans continued their formidable Barbary Piracy as well throughout the period. Since they were doing it more for slaves than for bullion or war damage, perhaps 4 VP would be justified. The Protestants were more limited and probably deserve 1 VP. The Spanish had the Dunkirkers but their effect should probably be limited to stealing a card or destroying a ship.

VPs: Ottomans 4, England 3, Protestant 1

Dutch Revolt
Unfortunately, scoring this is harder than with Master of Italy because while that card has a predictable outcome in Here I Stand, the Dutch revolt was in major flux the whole time. On average it should appear about twice during a game, and if we assign the "scoring" to the periods of maximum activity, I'd say Turns 4 and 6 are the best turns t count it. Turn 4 favors the Dutch heavily and ends up with a 2 VP result for them, with Spain only holding a sliver of territory with the Union of Arras. In turn 6 things are a lot better for the Spanish, and Maurice's failure to capture Groningen until 1594 is just enough for them to eke out 2 VP.

VP: Protestant 2, Spain 2, England 1

Enterprise of England
Once again, a tough question regarding how often this scores. Spain definitely put in a lot of effort against England, which I suppose one could say reflects that the card appeared at least twice. Using the "peak activity" measure employed for the Dutch revolt, turns 6 and 7 seem the best choices. Since there are numerous Jesuits active in England throughout the game timeline, I think it's safe to say that Spain never suffered the -1 VP result, though they also never gained any VP. Based on the slightly greater suppression of Catholicism England had at game end, I think a reasonable outcome is zero VP in Turn 6 and 1 VP in turn 7.

VPs: England 1

William of Orange and Henry III are assassinated by Spain. Guise and Coligny are assassinated by France.

VPs: Spain 2, France 2

England circumnavigates with both Drake and Cavendish, scoring a cool 3 VP.

England 3

Virgin Queen
Elizabeth never got married, so, uh, yeah.

VPs: England 5

France keeps Paris solidly in hand for turns 1-5, before losing it to the Protestants for the last two turns.

VP: France 6, Protestants 4

France is chosen by the Protestants during the Act of Abjuration, and also wins the Polish Royal Election. Both are totally abortive endeavors, but I'd say they count. England picks up Virginia Dare a millisecond before getting pwned by Lost Colony. The Ottomans captures Cyprus.

VPs: France 3, England 1, Ottoman 1

Negative VP
Mary Queen of Scots is executed and Hawkins pioneers the triangular slave trade, so England absorbs both negative VP hits.

VPs: England -2


Spain: 26
Protestant: 25
England: 25
Ottoman: 24
France: 18
HRE: 15

Well, by my calculations, it looks like Spain ekes out the narrowest of wins, but in such a near-run affair even a slight adjustment to my evaluations of piracy and the like could change the victor.

It does feel a little odd to have Spain coming out on top, given that they largely seemed to be in decline throughout this period. However, this being the apex of their artistic golden age helped in a huge way, and while their ambition to utterly crush Protestantism fell short, they also held on to half the Netherlands and did a lot to prevent a much a stronger Huguenot outcome in France. That's nothing to sneeze at, given that a Protestant-dominated Europe was a real threat.

HRE ends up dead last, "suffering" from their lack of involvement in large-scale wars and the near-total flameout of Rudolph's patronage.

France fares only a little better, as the centrist group it represents is utterly torn apart by the Protestants and Catholic League. Catherine de Medici's marriages are also huge disappointments that doom the Valois to extinction.

England does quite well and picks up VP from a wide array of endeavors. It's reasonable to think that I shortchanged them on piracy or Enterprise of England and that they're therefore the real winner.

Protestants perform strongly as well, but during the game's timeframe they fall well short of expelling Spain from the Netherlands, and by the 1590's they are significantly weaker in France than they were in the 1570's. If they'd simply held Antwerp they'd be the decisive victors.

The Ottomans reach their apex, but their failure to take Malta or any other key spaces besides Tunis leaves them just slightly on the outside looking in.

I'm open to anybody pointing out glaring historical or game-related oversights on my part.
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Daniel Blumentritt
United States
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This is assuming the game went to the final turn, right? One could potentially theorize an auto-win earlier?
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Blake Neff
United States
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I thought about that as well. My conclusion was that the only potential auto-win was Spain, which wouldn't change the result:

-Romeo and Juliet is traditionally dated to 1594 or 1595, so England would be well below 25 VP until the final turn. I also had them pick up an Enterprise of England VP on the last turn.
-The Protestants pick up 4 VP from Paris on the final two turns, so they were not near 25 VP until the very end.
-Needless to say the Gunpowder Plot never happened.
-The Protestants were never so weak that a Catholic religious win would happen. Similarly, the high-water mark for Protestant spaces was around the 1570's, and while they had several additional spaces in France they were still quite a bit short of 50.
-No power achieves a military auto-win. The Dutch do have mastery of all 3 Dutch keys during turns 4 and 5, but these coincide with a period where the Huguenots are very weak.

Spain may have ended turn 6 with 25 VP, however. They grabbed Calais on the final turn, but every other key they owned at game's end was in hand. Their patronage and assassinations were completed, and if there was a single additional Catholic space in turn 6 compared to turn 7 (quite plausible), they get another religion VP.
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