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Subject: HIS Reprint - Accelerated Religion Variant? rss

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Ed Beach
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I have been working under the assumption for the past 2 or 3 years that I would never circle back and tweak the Here I Stand design. No major issues have arisen during this time and play balance has remained good overall. However I found out three weeks ago at WBC that the game is once again out of stock and so will be reprinted again in the near future. GMT asked me if I had any adjustments I wanted to make. Which got me thinking...

First of all about possible porting of the Virgin Queen space trading limitations to the HIS diplomatic system. Discussion of that is underway on Consimworld and I will put out a final proposal in that regard in the next few weeks. So you’ll hear more on this but it isn’t the point of this post.

What it ALSO got me wondering was if VQ’s religious system (roll one set of dice for ALL attempts in a conversion action) could also be ported back to Here I Stand. Not to replace the original system, but instead just to maybe be an official variant that folks could use if they wanted accelerated play. I initially thought that it would be impossible to capture all the subtleties of the debaters’ bonuses, winning/not winning ties, and so on.

However, thinking about it this week, I do think there is something that could be workable. The conversion goes something like this:
- For each Publish Treatise/Burn Books action, 4 dice are rolled
- As in VQ, “4”s and “5”s are minor hits, “6”s are major hits
- We use the same rules as in VQ for major hits except you won’t have to worry about nullifying Unrest rolls of “1” – we will only generate unrest in the case of Carlstadt publishing a treatise
- Any attempts that are “+1 DRM” (Bibles, Calvin’s Institutes) will still get +1 DRM
- An extra attempt (Cajetan, Carlstadt, Caraffa, Calvin) will be roll 5 dice instead of 4
- +1 die within 2 spaces of City X (Bucer, Oekolampadius, Zwingli, Farel, Contarini, Cranmer, Cop) will be “roll 5 dice but all flips must be within 3 spaces of City X”
- In general all attempts like in VQ must target/effect a single zone. However you can opt to roll one less die to have your action apply to ANY language zone. (This choice is made before any dice are rolled of course.)
- Bibles/New Testaments would probably roll something like 8 dice and the first roll would automatically be a “6”.
- Popes before Paul III will always roll one less die in Burn Book actions.

But what about the physical components that are tied to the old system? Well we’d have to offer second versions of about half the debater counters, but that could be done for the reprint. And 13 of the cards would need alternate text, but at least most of the cards with alternate text on them are short. So a card needing both sets of text might look something like this:

Quote:
A MIGHTY FORTRESS
If Luther is uncommitted, Protestant player makes 6 Reformation attempts targeting the German language zone. Commit Luther.

Accelerated religion:
If Luther is uncommitted, roll 8 dice in a conversion attempt that must affect spaces in Germany. The first die is automatically a "6"; the rest are rolled randomly. Commit Luther.
Finally I would have to have two sections in the rulebook (and the Reference card?) to cover the two ways this can be played.


However before I proceed any further with this idea I want reaction from HIS players (both on Consimworld and BGG). I’m not personally convinced this needs to happen. So let me know what you think of this idea by giving me one of these three possible votes (voting by just posting to this thread is fine):

a) You are a Heretic. How can you possibly think of making such a significant change to a top-rated game 8 years after publication? I am not interested in seeing this at all.

b) Intriguing but not entirely sold [sort of like the CW’s TV series “Reign” on Mary Queen of Scots]. Worth an article in GMT’s C3i magazine where the alternate debater counters could appear. But don’t touch the actual game itself for the reprint.

c) Best thing to happen to the Reformation since Coverdale’s large-print bible appeared in 1539. Please press ahead with plans to include this in the reprint (and also publish an article in C3i so existing owners could get the new debater counters.) [We could also encourage GMT to print extra decks so those could be ordered as well].

I’ll tabulate responses from the two sites and let you know what the overall consensus is. IF there is a consensus for (b) or (c) we’ll need to get some playtesting going. Luckily I think that can be handled entirely by playing the two-player HIS game.
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Philip Jelley
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I would opt for B
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Taran Wanderer
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C. Sounds like fun! Anything to make HiS a bit faster and more likely to get on the table is a plus in my book.
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Erwin Lau
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C. assuming that an upgrade kit is available for version 1 owners at reasonable price.
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Eric Alexopoulos
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B. Not sure if this will add anything to the game or reduce play time significantly.
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Martin
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I like option C. I may never use this variant, but I'll bet a lot of people will like it and it serves both parties.

One concern is that with any official variant you wind up with some people that will only play with one ruleset and some that will only play with the other. Are there enough players out there to support a schism?

Another concern is whether speeding up the religious struggle for the other four players will leave the Prots and Papacy without a lot to do. It looks like this will just reduce the number of calculations you have to do for choosing dice and the number of times you roll them, so it's probably fine, but you don't want to wind up with a vestigial Protestant power.
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Wendell
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Probably between B or C. The VQ religious system as an OPTION for Here I Stand's, but not as a replacement. And hopefully made available cheaply or free for those of us who already own HIS...

The religious tussles in Here I Stand are a big part of the appeal of that game; given the era, the simpler version was fine for VQ.
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Paul Schulzetenberg
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I think B, leaning even a bit toward A. It'd be nice to have a faster resolution, but anything that puts extraneous text on cards is something I'd prefer to ignore. It makes the game harder to teach to new players. If the C3i supplement or reprint included completely different cards that could be substituted for the old cards, I'd be more likely to use it.

Regardless, as long as it stays an optional rule, I'm unlikely to use it.
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Aaron Cappocchi
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B. Might be interesting. Definitely could help. But if it just cuts a 6-hour game to 5.75 hours and creates confusion on the player base ("We playing first edition or third edition? Oh, we have to pause to teach Kristian the new rule then.") it might not be necessary. Really, the overhaul of such a central mechanism to a finely balanced and crafted game needs lots and lots of repeated playtests and there might not be time to adequately do so.

itsmarty wrote:

One concern is that with any official variant you wind up with some people that will only play with one ruleset and some that will only play with the other. Are there enough players out there to support a schism?


Schism....schism...vaguely reminds me of some other great disagreement, maybe a long time ago. You guys know what I'm talking about? It's on the tip of my tongue. Lots of "heated" discussion and uh.... published pamphlets? Strongly held opinions on both sides? Whatever, maybe it'll come to me later.
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Andy Foulke
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I'm an A guy, maybe B. I enjoy the reformation mechanics of HIS more than VQ. I don't want my copy of HIS to be obsoleted, or for pick-up PBEM games to have another squabble point to find compatible players.
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killy9999
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I'm between A and B.

EDIT: After a moment's thought I'm A.
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Phil van Niekerk
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I'm between A and B as well.

VQ is there for people who prefer its religious mechanics.

The HIS player base doesn't need to be divided between people who prefer the old rules and people who prefer this variant.
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David Peacock
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Definitely C, might be able to bring back HIS to the table, at the very least, B, a C3i article with the counters and cards.
 
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michael heitz
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Definitely A. I like the feeling I am playing two different games, rather than the same game with a different setting. Also, the HIS system is more of a sub-game; the order spaces are targeted, the position of troops, etc. matter greatly. Just thinking off the cuff, but wouldn't the VQ system would encourage counter-reformation attempts by the Papacy earlier than is normal in HIS (if you roll a 5 or 6, you get to flip a space for sure). This could alter the early stages of play in HIS. A. Definitely.
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Bob Holmstrom
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A.
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Mattwran
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Definitely B for me.
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Dave Rubin
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B. Wait, I already "voted" on CSW ...
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Blake Neff
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I'd say I'm a B overall, but I feel that if you do it you should just go all-in and make it the default option for the game. The alternate card text and counters and the like are an awful lot of overhead for what is ultimately only a slight difference seeking to speed up play. If you or others genuinely think it's an improvement, just make it the new norm.
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Chris Tham
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Option A.
 
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Jeff
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Strong C. HIS is my favorite game of all time. VQ's religious system ported into it would somehow improve on perfection.
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Ground Pounder
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Option B. if it ain't broke . . .
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Martin
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Unitoch wrote:
It'd be nice to have a faster resolution, but anything that puts extraneous text on cards is something I'd prefer to ignore. It makes the game harder to teach to new players. If the C3i supplement or reprint included completely different cards that could be substituted for the old cards, I'd be more likely to use it.


I agree, my first thought about alternate text on cards was 'bleh'. A clean set of substitute cards would be preferable, if it's possible to match the current printing.
 
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Alberto Buj
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Option B. I think original game is great, perhaps like variant rule it works.
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w teefha
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Option A
 
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Martin B.
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Between A and B.

B is OK, if the original game can be played exactly as before with no options WITHIN the game. But I rather have two different games.
 
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