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Subject: The Reformation reaches Wellesley, MA rss

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Andrew Young
Wales
Wellesley
Massachusetts
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And if you never have, you should. These things are fun and fun is good.
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Played yesterday for the first time face to face.

Ottomans: Rob Masson
Hapsburgs: Andrew Young
England: Jim Crimmins
France: Mark Christopher
Papacy: Asher Diamant
Protestants: Brian Woodring

All I can say is wow. This game is a joy to play. We played for about 7.5 hours getting 4 turn done. We started at 1517. It didn't feel like 7.5 hours though... it was such a joy to play, with tenseness, hilarity and bickering!

We had an auto victory at the end of Turn 4 in the New World Phase by the Hapsburgs. France was hard pressed, the Haps took 2 keys (Bordeaux and Metz) while also taking an electorate (I think Mainz). The Protestants were on the board militarily but had failed some dice rolls on their siege of Augsburg (though the Protestants had incredible Reformation dice all game translating German and English Bibles). The Ottomans were pillaging the seas most of the game as the Hapsburgs tried to deal with 3 fronts (the Protestants were dealt the Schmalkaldic League on Turn 2 I think). The Ottomans had taken H/B down but hesitated a bit in attacking Vienna- they eventually did but the Haps were prepared.

At one point, Navarre was in French Hands. The English had a very tough time taking down the Scots and eventually landed on the continent. Edward the VII was born. 5 out of the 6 were above 20 VPs, I think. But the Haps (having about 3 more cards then everyone with excellent New World Riches rolls all game) were dealt both Small Pox and Mercator on Turn 4. After Alva took Bordeax and Ferdinand Metz they used the cards to send ships across the ocean. The rolls resulted in 4 VPs for the Amazon and the Aztecs (I think) for 4 more VPs. Game over.

What an incredible game. We did some things wrong but are eager to play again! I'd love to see more events played next time.

Thoughts on the game:

1. Diplomacy is everything. We had some diplomacy but I think the complexity of the deals were lacking due to our unfamiliarty with the cards, etc. But, we also wanted the game to move along. I think the Haps and France needs to be ahead of the diplomatic curve to ensure that they have peace on 1 edge of their empires. Accomplish this in anyway. The Haps and the Papacy must really be on the same page if the Reformation is doing well AND if the Ottomans have Barbary Pirates in play (I think Rob got it on turn 1!). The Papacy can really use their Home Cards to get certain things from powers. The -1 Card draw is tough if it stays there for turn after turn.

2. The New World is key for the powers that can benefit from it. France was hard pressed in the game and thus, behind the curve on the NW. If you have the Smallpox or Mecartor cards USE them for NW stuff unless you are about to lose a key.

3. Watch your LOCs. 8-)

Great game and well played by everyone.
 
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Mark Christopher
United States
Salem
Massachusetts
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In the wonderful game, Bonaparte at Marengo, this is how to get nasty Frenchies out of a village.
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Yah, what a great gaming experience that was. I can't wait for the next play!

As Andy said, the New World can be crucial; indeed, it's where the Hapsburgs got a lot (11 or so?) VPs. I believe England got 2 points, and I (France), 1.

I think I missed out big time by using a minor power activation card for the CPs, not the event. Had I activated Venice, I could have gotten another key as well as more ships and troops.

A few details I remember are (and these are likely going to be Franco-centric):

Round 1)
I chose to ally with England, as I was already at war with the Hapsburgs and Pope. As either his first or second round action, I think, the Pope excommunicated me, which added a couple of unrest counters to France (one of which would actually help me later on) and reduced my card draw by 1.

The Hapsburgs, England, and France all sent ships to the New World. For the Hapsburgs, it was a COnquistador and an explorer. England sent an explorer, and France set up a colony, to try to make up for that -1 card draw due to the excommunication.

Martin Luther posted his 95 theses and wow, did they take Germany by storm. I think he made all of his reformation rolls that round. A wave of change started.

Milan was besieged and fell to the Hapsburgs, denying me automatic VPs for chateau building.

Rounds 2 and 3)
Most of the rest of Germany fell to the Protestant meme, including all the electors. Brian played the card enabling him to form a league of states, getting him a military force. The Reformation started moving to England.

The Ottomans were roaming around, raiding. I think it was round 3 where they conquered Buda and started getting close to Vienna.

The French and Hapsburgs were at one another's throats, with the French invading Spain and taking Navarre for too short a time (I think the Hapsburgs took it back at the end of round 3 or beginning of round 4), and the Hapsburgs spreading unrest and inciting rebels in France.

The English crushed Scotland and Henry started getting worried about his lack of heir.

Round 4)
The Reformation, after taking most of Germany and England, finally slowed. The Pope counter reformed Geneva, which was as far as the Reformation got in French-speaking territory. The Pope and the Protestants traded a few German territories after that, and the Protestants completed a couple of bible translations.

The Ottomans and Hapsburgs fought a couple of large naval battles, stopping the piracy for a bit but not destroying the Ottoman fleet. The Ottomans besieged Vienna, but couldn't crack through the large numbers of defenders.

The English allied with the Hapsburgs, moved a massive army to Calais, and declared war on France. France pulled troops back to Paris, built a fort between Calais and Rouen to protect it and Paris, and recruited mercenaries. The French and English fought a couple of large, inconclusive battles. The Hapsburgs took the opportunity to take Lyons, and then after a prolonged siege, Burgundy Bordeaux. They also took Metz, which France had occupied back on turn 2, I believe.

Up to now, England and the Ottomans were within 2 points of victory, but The Hapsburgs, continuing their remarkable New World rolling, explored the Amazon and conquered the Aztect to vault to the win.

It was a fantastic game, one that I'm looking very forward to playing again.
 
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