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Here I Stand» Forums » Variants

Subject: Rule suggestion: Reformation outside language zones rss

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Sophie Zhang
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At the moment, there are three groups of spaces [excluding the Mediterranean ones] in Here I Stand outside the major language zones. Because the Protestants can *never* win ties while reforming [not to mention the Catholic troops usually in/adjacent them], it's highly unlikely for them to go Protestant [as opposed to Germany/France/England.]

These three groups of spaces are:
- the Netherlands [Amsterdam/Antwerp]
- Bohemia/Moravia [Prague/Breslau/Brunn]
- Hungary [Pressburg/Buda/Agram/Mohacs/Szegedin/Belgrade]

Already, we can see that, as a representation of history, this is extremely unrealistic! All three of these saw significant reformations during the time period in question.

- the Netherlands saw the Anabaptists grow popular in the Amsterdam area during the timespan of this game [the Calvinist surge being mainly outside this time period.]

- Bohemia/Moravia was perhaps the most staunchly Protestant area of them all, being the precursor - the Bohemian Reformation occurred half a century before the game began, and the Czech Bible was translated in 1488 [the Prague Bible.] Although we wouldn't want the Protestants to start with Bohemia [for balance/gameplay reasons, and also the realistic truth that the movements were culturally different and needed to be reconciled], the current situation in which the Protestants almost never get into Bohemia is rather unrealistic.

- The Reformation was also considerably successful in Hungary at the start, primarily after the Battle of Mohacs due to disillusionment. The Hungarian Protestants were however heavily stymied by the counter-reformation, with several exceptions [such as the Principality of Transylvania, most famous for their participation in the Thirty Years War.]

The issue of course with sweeping rules changes is that they have the potential to highly unbalance the game. Still, as a representation of history [which is, after all, the selling point of this game], the complete inability of the Protestants to break into these areas that historically saw a strong Reformation is a bit off-putting.



The rule proposal that I'm hence inclined to suggest is as such:

When a card says that you receive reformation attempts targeting all language zones, that includes these minor language zones as well [possibly subtracting a dice for balance if considered necessary - I haven't played enough games to tell.] The end result would be that the Protestants would have some opportunities for reforming there, but they'd be chancy [you couldn't predict timing/availability] and very vulnerable to being rolled back later, which would at least be a better reflection of history than the current game state. In addition, it would perhaps increase the global feel of the religious struggle [with the potential for the Protestants to break into areas such as Bohemia and Hungary - as they historically did - rather than being confined primarily into Germany/England/France.]


Thoughts? If you think that this would be an unbalancing change/bad idea for some reason, please feel free to explain.
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Aaron Cappocchi
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Pro: More historically accurate.

Con: Boosts the Protestants at the expense of (mainly) the Pope. The Prots win their fair share (or more) of games, the Papacy is considered by some to be the weakest major power and not that fun to play. From a game balance perspective, the rich get mildly richer and the poor are worse off.
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Dan Shaw
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This game is remarkably well play tested for balance and I agree that this would offer too much of an imbalance in favor of the Protestant.
 
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Sophie Zhang
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Fair enough [I haven't played enough to understand the balance, and the main motive in my suggestion was simply historical immersion.]

I would still like in some way to allow for Protestant conversion of those spaces while coupling it with a different Protestant penalty to cancel it out, but I realize that such a move would be extremely difficult to balance, without an apparent payoff.
 
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Kristian Thy
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It is not uncommon to see Bohemia reformed (especially in longer games). The Netherlands also see their fair share of conversions in my experience, while you are right that Hungary is almost never converted due to bad conditions for adjacency and cantonment of Catholic units.

Also, you are wrong when you say they would be "very vulnerable to being rolled back later" since the Pope also always loses ties when counter-reforming outside language zones.

If we slightly modify your suggestion to include events that give Counter-Reformation attempts then these are the affected events:

RA Event
~6 Marburg Colloquy*
4 Erasmus (Turns 1 + 2)
5 Katherina Bora*
3 Printing Press

CRA Event
3 Defender of the Faith*
4 Erasmus (Turns 3+)


RA/CRA specifies how many (Counter-)Reformation attempts the event grants.

All in all, I'd be in favour of trying out this variant - even as Pope. Perhaps you could do a package like this:

• Events that say they "target all language zones" also target spaces not in any language zones; except
• The event Katherina Bora only targets the German language zone plus Bohemian/Hungarian home spaces; and
• When committing Cajetan, target spaces outside any language zone count as being in the chosen language zone.
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Sophie Zhang
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turbothy wrote:
It is not uncommon to see Bohemia reformed (especially in longer games). The Netherlands also see their fair share of conversions in my experience, while you are right that Hungary is almost never converted due to bad conditions for adjacency and cantonment of Catholic units.

Also, you are wrong when you say they would be "very vulnerable to being rolled back later" since the Pope also always loses ties when counter-reforming outside language zones.

If we slightly modify your suggestion to include events that give Counter-Reformation attempts then these are the affected events:

RA Event
~6 Marburg Colloquy*
4 Erasmus (Turns 1 + 2)
5 Katherina Bora*
3 Printing Press

CRA Event
3 Defender of the Faith*
4 Erasmus (Turns 3+)


RA/CRA specifies how many (Counter-)Reformation attempts the event grants.

All in all, I'd be in favour of trying out this variant - even as Pope. Perhaps you could do a package like this:

• Events that say they "target all language zones" also target spaces not in any language zones; except
• The event Katherina Bora only targets the German language zone plus Bohemian/Hungarian home spaces; and
• When committing Cajetan, target spaces outside any language zone count as being in the chosen language zone.
Your package suggestion seems quite reasonable.

Perhaps an additional balance option [if thought necessary] would be allowing the Pope to use burn books to to target spaces outside any language zone [which I incorrectly thought was the case, hence your correction.] That would allow the Pope to push back whenever/however he wanted, while the Protestants could not respond without the right [rare] card.
 
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Daniel Blumentritt
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I like Kristian's ideas. The overall imbalance is slight - although granted it is slight and towards the direction of an already favored side.
 
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