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Fief: France 1429» Forums » Sessions

Subject: First play of Fief with six players rss

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Scott de Brestian
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We played Fief for the first time yesterday with a full six players. None of us had played before, although we were all familiar with hefty games. Rules were not a major issue during our session. Here is a brief report:

Turn 1: We all jockeyed for position, expanded a bit and tried to grab a fief of our own, as we began to familiarize ourself with the sequence of play. White bought two mills in expectation of a huge windfall over the game. The rest of us bought a mill and some troops.

Turn 2: A couple of players bought fief titles. The remaining open spaces on the board were gobbled up as we realized that bishop elections would be coming up soon. Those of us who didn't buy fief titles purchased troops or mills. White drew Joan d'Arc but had no female Lords, a problem that would plague him this game.

Turn 3: Bishop elections! It was quickly clear that several players had majority control of the one of the five bishoprics. The first two were divvied up without contest. Things became interesting once we realized the influence of the earlier elected bishops on elections later in the turn. Since White was my neighbor, I considered the election for the Blue electorate in the favor of Green. I changed my mind but voted incorrectly, so Green won the bishopric. The next bishopric I wanted to go to Black, and voted for him, but everyone else split their vote and Green won a second bishopric. Blue won the last bishopric.

We then had enough titled lords and clerics to elect a king. There was only one candidate: Blue -- everyone else either was a woman, a bishop, or didn't have a fief title. This was the beginning of the end, although we didn't quite realize it yet. Blue became king.

During the card play and purchase phase, Green, who had two bishops, played two tithe cards. This brought him 20 gold. The rest of us earned 5 or 6. He also went first, so he could play a cardinal card, and buy the second cardinal's beretta. It was becoming clear that there would be a Pope next turn, and it would be Green. All of the Lord cards had been drawn but one, and it was a Cardinal card. The third Cardinal card was owned by Black, who didn't have a bishop.

The outcome was clear: both Green and Blue would have 2 VP the next turn, they would marry, and win the game. The rest of us wanted to stop this. However, there were problems. Heavy rains immobilized the main armies of Yellow and White. Pink's forces were hit by the Plague. Meanwhile, in anticipation, Green spent the rest of his 20 gold on soldiers, then Blue and Green marched them all into their Fortified Cities.

Turn 4: The marriage took place. During the card phase, The King (Blue) and the Pope (Green) had the only tax cards. Blue got about 6 extra gold but Green got about 35. He promptly gave Blue 9 (maximum possible with the diplomacy chits). We tried to assassinate the Pope to delay their victory, but the King had a Secret Passage card which he gave to the Pope to protect him. There was no possible way to even threaten their cities so we called the game.

It seems likely that around Turn 4 there will be two leading players (likely the players with the King and the Pope), and they are highly incentivized to ally and try to win. The game then seems like it might devolve to a 4 on 2 situation as the rest of the players try to whack their cities. While our game had a number of highly contingent events (Green getting two bishops, drawing a Cardinal card, having three tax cards, Heavy Rains and Plague striking three other players, Joan d'Arc being unplayable, the allies having a Secret Passage card to thwart the assassination), it does seem like it will be hard to take down the King-Pope alliance if they turtle and hide in their cities. It might come down to whether the other players have a Secret Passage card. Does this comport with the experience of others?

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Simone Ferrari
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Some questions:
1) Do the newly elected bishops added their votes for the immediately next elections in the same turn? Because it's against the rules.

2) How many votes did Blue have to make the king by himself?
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Neil Christiansen
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I think we missed it if new Bishops are not allowed to vote in bishoprics that are resolved right after. We allowed it.
 
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Simone Ferrari
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chris1nd wrote:
I think we missed it if new Bishops are not allowed to vote in bishoprics that are resolved right after. We allowed it.


Yes, even if you resolve the elections in the order given by the # of the Bishoprics, newly elected Bishops cannot vote for other elections held in the same turn, even if made Cardinals.

Moreover, it seems to me you considered that 1 candidate means automatic election. That's false. Even if Blue had the only eligible Lord for the King you have to vote it and voting is never mandatory.
He needed 3 votes, which should include 2 votes from Bishops or 1 vote from a Cardinal.
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Scott de Brestian
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Quote:

1) Do the newly elected bishops added their votes for the immediately next elections in the same turn? Because it's against the rules.


The rules said each bishop gets two votes and we didn't see anything that restricted newly-elected bishops from voting.

Quote:

Moreover, it seems to me you considered that 1 candidate means automatic election. That's false. Even if Blue had the only eligible Lord for the King you have to vote it and voting is never mandatory.


That's true. However, you only need 3 votes and 2 bishops in support. Green had two bishops. The rest of us abstained but it didn't help.

Even if Blue had not been elected, there would have been a King before long.
 
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Simone Ferrari
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Leovigild wrote:

The rules said each bishop gets two votes and we didn't see anything that restricted newly-elected bishops from voting.

I don't know if in the printed English rules is noted, but it should be.
In the online version that's specified for the Bishop but it's incorrectly lacking for the Cardinals.

Anyway, Bishops , if elected in the current turn, don't have any vote for other Bishops' elections. This is true even if they are made Cardinal by a Surprise card.

Quote:

That's true. However, you only need 3 votes and 2 bishops in support. Green had two bishops. The rest of us abstained but it didn't help.

Even if Blue had not been elected, there would have been a King before long.


Ok. I was wrong. Then Green was smart to decide in advance their ally.devil

However, nice report
 
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Neil Christiansen
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I think we got the voting right for King. They had four titled lords at that point, two of which were Bishops or Cardinals.

"candidate must receive a minimum of 3 Votes, have a simple majority (more votes than any other candidate), and the votes must include at least two bishops..."

It would have helped had there been another viable candidate, but I think the green player (that was going to be pope) would have tried to ally with any player that got the King.

Also, green could have pretty easily won by himself. He had income of about 55 across the two turns and we had 12 to 15. He had 2 VP (one for his Duke and one for his Pope). So he just needed to attack one fortress.

My take is that the Pope will snowball game end rapidly.

 
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Simone Ferrari
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chris1nd wrote:


My take is that the Pope will snowball game end rapidly.



In that case the problem has been: 3 Bishops, 2 Fiefdoms , the Pope and the King. That's a lot of power.

With the right rule about the election I think Green couldn't get the second Bishopric and the game could have been more balanced. But those are common mistakes in the first games.
 
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Neil Christiansen
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"2 votes for every uncaptured Lord Bishop the Player had in
play at the beginning of this round. (Newly created Bishops
cannot cast 2 votes this round.)"
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Neil Christiansen
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I think players need to try very hard not to let the same player get 2 bishops easily in a 5 or 6 player game.
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Kevin Duke
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Quote:
"2 votes for every uncaptured Lord Bishop the Player had in
play at the beginning of this round. (Newly created Bishops
cannot cast 2 votes this round.)"


And for the record, this quote comes from section 1.4, which is titled "Bishop Elections."

So while the rules are pretty full, much of the stuff I'm seeing posted really is covered in the rules.
 
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Neil Christiansen
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I am also thinking that allowing the exchange of the Secret Passage card may not have been correct.

It says diplomacy can be conducted at "any time", but lots of games also say that one action has to be completed before another action can be taken. So once the Assassination card is played on the table, it needs to be resolved before the diplomatic action to discard the token and pass the card could be taken.
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Scott de Brestian
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Quote:

So while the rules are pretty full, much of the stuff I'm seeing posted really is covered in the rules.


I didn't claim the rules were lacking. We were following the sequence on the player aid cards rather than looking through the rules, and I suspect that the full rule isn't on the card.
 
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Scott de Brestian
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Quote:
It says diplomacy can be conducted at "any time", but lots of games also say that one action has to be completed before another action can be taken. So once the Assassination card is played on the table, it needs to be resolved before the diplomatic action to discard the token and pass the card could be taken.


Yes, lots of the reports have mentioned assassinations, but I would think the first thing that an assassination target would do is to offer to purchase any Secret Passage cards held by other players if they don't have their own. So either that is illegal or other players were not as devious as our group.
 
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Phallos Maximus
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It would be against the spirit of the game (and logic), if an assassination can be spoiled by a diplomacy-talk that has to take place AFTER the actual murder-attempt.

You can't shop around among the other players for a Secret Passage card, totally disregarding the time-line. The Pope has to already HAVE the Secret Passage card to be saved.

The Secret Passage represents a construction that you either have, or have not at the moment of assassination.

Assassinations are meant to be an equalizer in a game like yours, that have 1 or 2 dominant players.
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I AM Not A Number
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PhallosMaximus wrote:
Assassinations are meant to be an equalizer in a game like yours, that have 1 or 2 dominant players.

That is why there was no escape to an assassination in the orginal version, and there is still none in the french version
 
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Scott de Brestian
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Quote:
You can't shop around among the other players for a Secret Passage card, totally disregarding the time-line. The Pope has to already HAVE the Secret Passage card to be saved.


Is that an official ruling? The English rules say that diplomacy can be conducted 'at any time' -- which is pretty wide-open.

Do I get an opportunity to talk you out of playing the assassination card? Can I spend a Diplomacy chit to take you aside and convince you not to do it? Can I bribe you not to play it? Or once it is on the table is it irrevocable?

Are there any other limits? Let's say you march an army into my city and it is time to declare battles. Can I give you a card at that moment in order to avoid an attack? Can I negotiate with another player to get the card that I will then give you to avoid the attack?

EDIT: Lest it be thought that I am rules-lawyering just to be a pain, I suggest that to make things simple that there be a dedicated Diplomacy phase, and that only during that phase should cards and money be able to be exchanged, and private discussions held.
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Scott de Brestian
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I just realized that even a dedicated Diplomacy phase doesn't cover every situation.

Here's a hypothetical sequence:

I am the Pope, whose family has a Lady wedded to the King. You want to assassinate my Pope to prevent an alliance win at the end of the turn. You play the card.

I see the card. I propose that rather than assassinating me, that you keep the card. In exchange, as Pope I will annul my family's marriage to the King. Next turn, I will then marry your family, and we will then be allies. You will hold the assassination card as security.

You agree, and decline to play the card.

Is this sequence legal? The rules say that the Pope can annul a marriage at any time.
 
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Sdric
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No it is not legal

Every declared event (card, power, round of a battle, one election -the all process-*, movement (one step), pre-battle attack, diplomacy token...) must be completely resolved before an other event can be played. As an example no opportunity card can not be play to stop something that was declared.

They are three exceptions :
-Assassination : you can play a secret passage to avoid it
-Uprising : you can play a secret passage or another uprising to boost the uprising. Cardinal and Bishop can attempts to stop the uprising (one attempt per card)
- You MUST chose the new controller among the present player, after the lost of village control due to other reason than a battle/cavalcade (ex : assassination, justice, upraising, plague, leaving the village).

Even these exceptions, we can argue that it is their normal resolution.


*Note entirely sure about this one : maybe assassination, transfer of village control, excommunication can be played during an election process to change it. [No official precision on this]


However a player can show you the assassination card and tell you he would like to play it and ask what is your proposition. But if he declare the assassination nothing can be done to stop its normal resolution.
 
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Scott de Brestian
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Quote:
However a player can show you the assassination card and tell you he would like to play it and ask what is your proposition. But if he declare the assassination nothing can be done to stop its normal resolution.


The distinction between a 'proposed action' and a 'declared action' seems like it would be hard to enforce. If someone says "I think I am going to play this card" is that something that is declared or proposed?

If I say "Blue, you need to assassinate Green's Pope" and Blue says "OK", does that commit him to the assassination or is there an opportunity for other players to chime in with their opinions?

It seems like this is a game of negotiation and discussion, and so it seems artificial to allow some players and disallow others from expressing an opinion. (Once the die is rolled, I am in agreement that an action can't be withdrawn).

If, on the other side of the table, Green has made an agreement to purchase Pink's Secret Passage card, which takes effect first?
 
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Sdric
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Until a player say I play the assassination the negotiation is on.
So if the Green player declare to play a diplomacy token before the blue player declare to play his card. The exchange between Green and Pink is possible. After the exchange. Blue can assassinate or not...

If Blue want to avoid any negotiation, it just declare I play the assassination card.

I Agree that you need to be clear between declaration and intention.
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