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Subject: 5 player game in Wendover rss

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Matthew Barratt
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On Saturday I went down to Bucks to play Here I Stand (card driven reformation/Italian wars/Schmalkaldic League/Mohacs/loss of Calais) with a bunch of guys I met on the consimworld discussion board. I played both England and the Protestants as we were one short of the full complement of players. I waffled in the first turn as England, declaring war on France then hiding in Calais when the French built a massive mercenary army. I then got stuck in an inconclusive war against the Habsburgs where he couldn't seige Calais nor invade England due to his navy being tied down in the Med fighting Ottoman pirates, while whenever I attempted to go on the offensive the massive hand he had (due to the riches flowing back from the new world) always gave him the combat cards he needed to give my armies a spanking. Once I was one hit away from having Henry VIII and Brandon (my other general) captured. Later, I almost lost Brandon again while Henry was fighting the Scots.

On the plus side the distractions provided by the English and the Ottoman thrust towards Vienna meant that the Habsburgs didn't have the opportunity to crush the Protestant Schmalkaldic League. His one shoe string attack took Cologne but almost ended up in having Charles V captured by the bigamist Philip of Hesse. Meanwhile my other Protestant general, John Frederik, captured Prague (worth 1 VP to the Habsburgs and nothing to the Protestants), which I traded back to the Habsburgs in return for getting Cologne (worth 1 VP to the Habsburgs and 2 VP to the Protestants) back and gaining the fortress of Besancon in Franche-comte. (I wanted Besancon even though it was not worth any VP as troops stationed there could influence reformation and counter-reformation attempts in Eastern France) A peace treaty between England and the Habsburgs was also part of the deal. We both wanted the Protestants to also make peace, but they are permamently at war with the Habsburgs and Papacy.

Turn 6 was to be the last turn as one of the players had to get away at 5pm. France was in the lead, despite not having fought another player all game, due to having gained 5 VPs from building one chateaux each turn with their home card plus having picked up a few VPs from exploring the new world. The Protestants were in the middle of the pack having converted almost all of Germany plus a couple of spaces each in England and France. The English were last by quite a way only having gained 2 VPs for conquering Scotland, 1 VP for discovering the Great Lakes, 1 VP for having 2 Protestant home spaces and 2 VPs for Henry having sired Elizabeth.

I wanted to attack France, but all my cards were either too useful in advancing the reformation or didn't have the 3 CPs required for a declaration of war against France. My home card could have been used for a free DoW, but I also wanted to use it for a last attempt to sire a male heir, since Henry can die from turn 6 and if Mary comes to the throne every card I play has a 50% chance of being given to the Papacy for use in counter-reforming England.

I put in a massive surge in the last turn despite England suffering from the Pilgrimage of Grace, due to a combination of good reforming cards and completing the Bible in English and the New Testament in French. I converted all of England and Scotland (but not Wales) and six more French spaces, and also had Katherine Howard give birth to a healthy Edward VI (5VPs but stops me scoring the 2VPs for Elizabeth). All of this pushed the Protestants to 24 VPs and the English to 22 VPs, however the French managed to get 25 VPs for the victory. My massive surge of reformation in the last turn combined with the Pope's failure to burn any Protestants at the stake all game pushed the Papacy to a distant 6th, while the Ottomans could feel hard done by to only finish 5th despite having conquered Vienna and Prague. (Their problem was an intensive anti-piracy campaign by the Habsburgs (using loaned Papal fleets as cannon fodder) that limited the Ottomans to 2 of a possible 10 piracy VPs and also conquerred Algiers)
 
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Ed Beach
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Nice report, Matthew. Good reading! Did anyone attack the French on Turn 6?
 
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Matthew Barratt
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No, everyone wanted to leave the task to someone else.
 
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MYOB MYOB
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Heh. I've seen that pattern in -so- many games; hear that!

"Anyone wanna take one for the team and stop this guy from winning?" "Nope."
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