Recommend
2 
 Thumb up
 Hide
8 Posts

Holy Roman Empire: The Thirty-Years War» Forums » Rules

Subject: Potentially a real gem - but some rules questions rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Dave Carey
United Kingdom
Worcester Park
Surrey
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I played my first game of this on Wednesday evening with two friends - we were hoping for more but the others didn't show, and unfortunately I suspect that playing with fewer than six is not the best way to really discover this game.

I have to say that I love what the game is trying to achieve, that is, cover all the various aspects of a conflict that is very difficult to model - military, economic, diplomatic, religious, dynastic - and I think it stands up extremely well against, for example, GMT's Europe In Agony, which, while I do enjoy it, is basically a 2-player military game that inevitably sheds a lot of the nuances surrounding the war. We found the rules, while a little open and unclear in places, more accessibly written than some we have tried recently, and our shared interest in the period made us very keen to give it a try.

On the whole we were not disappointed. We leisurely - and rather haltingly - played through a single turn of the Campaign Scenario during the course of about 4 hours and we all found it a fascinating experience and feel we want to get to know the game better and try to play some longer games with more players. The only frustration was that we did keep on coming up against what seemed small gaps or ambiguities in the rules, hence I wanted to ask the designer some fairly basic questions so that we'll have a better understanding next time.

The fundamental question for us was the difference between the Controlled and Influenced States and how this affects game behaviour. I am aware of the following differences:

1. A controlled state is worth its full value in the income phase, whereas an influenced state is worth only half its value.

2. A controlled state is worth its full value in victory point calculation, whereas an influenced state is worth only half its value.

3. If hiring a mercenary leader, a state must be provided for him out of the controlled deck, and not the influenced one.

Is that basically it? In other words, controlled and influenced states (and even merely conquered states) alike contain the political marker of the controlling/influencing player, benefit from the extra unit the control marker represents and can regard the state as a friendly one for purposes of movement and retreat? And what of the armies of influenced states? In our game, this raised two specific questions:

1. The Palatinate starts with the UP under their influence. Does that mean that in Turn 1 the Palatine player can move the UP army and use it to conquer states (which he can subsequently upgrade to influenced/controlled at the usual cost)?

2. The Swedes start with the Hanseatic League under their influence. Similarly, would that enable the Swedish player to cross to a Hanseatic town and pick up the unit that has been placed there in the scenario set-up (I would like to point out in this context that section 9.11.3 in the version 1.4 ruleset ends with NOTE: but the note itself is missing)?

The influenced/controlled ambiguity is related to a second one regarding friendly/hostile. The rules define a hostile province as 'any state or province that does not contain a friendly political marker' (13.4.4) so this would suggest that a state would have to be in the controlled, influenced or conquered deck of the player concerned. Does that exclude then a state controlled by a power with whom an alliance has been made? Also, presumably a one-province-state in which the only enemy units are under siege still counts as hostile, as it is not conquered until all defending units have been eliminated?

A question concerning retreat after combat was raised by the Swedish invasion of Poland in Turn 1 of our game. What happened was this:

The Swedes crossed the Baltic and landed in Polish Pomerania. They then moved their full movement allowance of three to get to Warsaw but didn't leave any units in the provinces they had crossed, therefore presumably leaving them as hostile, i.e. under Polish/Austrian control. The Polish Army came out to fight them outside Warsaw and the Swedes did badly in the ensuing battle, opting eventually to retreat. The retreat rules state 'a player may retreat into a friendly city in the province or into an adjacent friendly province. Units may not retreat into hostile provinces' (18.2.3.1). Does this mean that the Swedish army would in this case have been eliminated, and if so could the Swedish player have avoided this by leaving a garrison in the provinces he had crossed? Or, as Rule 9.6.3 states that Poland is not conquered until every province is occupied, does that mean that until this happens every Polish province is hostile to the Swedes, irrespective of whether or not they have left troops there?

A small question re alliances. Rule 11.2 states that a player may not be a member of more than one alliance at a time, but rule 24.5.1 says that 'if a player is running more than one of the six major powers, those powers are always allied and may not attack or bid against each other'. Does this permanent state of alliance mean that, in a three player game, no new alliances can be made between players?

A further question re mercenaries: what happens to a state which has been given to a mercenary leader who is then successfully paid off? Does it become controlled again? I'm assuming that, as the state became independent when it was given to the mercenary leader, it remains independent after he is paid off, and remains the property of the mercenary leader until either he dies/is assassinated or one of the players reconquers it from him.

So, we had a lot of questions but on the whole we thought there was a lot to impress in this game and with a little tightening of the rules it could be a real gem.

As a side note, is there likely to be a Vassal module for this? This would be really helpful in becoming familiar with the game and identifying any other wrinkles.

Dave Carey
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tom Stearns
United States
Houston
Texas
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Dave

Did y'all use the updated rules or the rules out of the box? I know the updated rules addressed a lot of the rule ambiguities and holes.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dave Carey
United Kingdom
Worcester Park
Surrey
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Hi Tom

We were using the 1.4 rules, which seemed to be the latest ruleset available on BGG. Is there a more recent version?

Dave
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tom Stearns
United States
Houston
Texas
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
No I think those are the ones I was thinking of.

We played a 5p game last year at BGGCON. We felt the same way as you. Game with tremendous potential but a lot holes in the rules. I have not played with the updated rules yet.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Fawcett
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
woodle2 wrote:
1. The Palatinate starts with the UP under their influence. Does that mean that in Turn 1 the Palatine player can move the UP army and use it to conquer states (which he can subsequently upgrade to influenced/controlled at the usual cost)?


Influenced states are friendly to the player for the purposes of movement, but no units are controlled.

Quote:
2. The Swedes start with the Hanseatic League under their influence. Similarly, would that enable the Swedish player to cross to a Hanseatic town and pick up the unit that has been placed there in the scenario set-up (I would like to point out in this context that section 9.11.3 in the version 1.4 ruleset ends with NOTE: but the note itself is missing)?


The Swedes could indeed move to the Hanseatic ports and disembark, but the Hanseatic fleet (the only Hanseatic unit that may be moved, BTW) cannot be moved unless the State Card is in the Controlled Pile. The missing "NOTE:" was discovered and added to the v1.5 rules.

Quote:
The influenced/controlled ambiguity is related to a second one regarding friendly/hostile. The rules define a hostile province as 'any state or province that does not contain a friendly political marker' (13.4.4) so this would suggest that a state would have to be in the controlled, influenced or conquered deck of the player concerned. Does that exclude then a state controlled by a power with whom an alliance has been made? Also, presumably a one-province-state in which the only enemy units are under siege still counts as hostile, as it is not conquered until all defending units have been eliminated?


In addition to belonging to State Cards located on a Player' mat, friendly provinces may also be the result of conquering individual provinces of a multi-province State. Allied provinces are also considered friendly to the player.

Quote:
A question concerning retreat after combat was raised by the Swedish invasion of Poland in Turn 1 of our game. What happened was this:

The Swedes crossed the Baltic and landed in Polish Pomerania. They then moved their full movement allowance of three to get to Warsaw but didn't leave any units in the provinces they had crossed, therefore presumably leaving them as hostile, i.e. under Polish/Austrian control. The Polish Army came out to fight them outside Warsaw and the Swedes did badly in the ensuing battle, opting eventually to retreat. The retreat rules state 'a player may retreat into a friendly city in the province or into an adjacent friendly province. Units may not retreat into hostile provinces' (18.2.3.1). Does this mean that the Swedish army would in this case have been eliminated, and if so could the Swedish player have avoided this by leaving a garrison in the provinces he had crossed? Or, as Rule 9.6.3 states that Poland is not conquered until every province is occupied, does that mean that until this happens every Polish province is hostile to the Swedes, irrespective of whether or not they have left troops there?


A couple of things... First, don't do that! Second, DON'T DO THAT! And now you know why. If there's no friendly province that would allow for a retreat, no retreat is possible. Each individual Polish province may indeed be conquered (and a unit must remain in order to keep it occupied), but the Kingdom of Poland is only conquered when each province is conquered/occupied.

Quote:
A small question re alliances. Rule 11.2 states that a player may not be a member of more than one alliance at a time, but rule 24.5.1 says that 'if a player is running more than one of the six major powers, those powers are always allied and may not attack or bid against each other'. Does this permanent state of alliance mean that, in a three player game, no new alliances can be made between players?


Not at all, though I can see how that could be interpreted. When running more than one Power (any time you play with fewer than the full complement of six players), only one Alliance Marker is used to represent the forces run by that player.

Quote:
A further question re mercenaries: what happens to a state which has been given to a mercenary leader who is then successfully paid off? Does it become controlled again? I'm assuming that, as the state became independent when it was given to the mercenary leader, it remains independent after he is paid off, and remains the property of the mercenary leader until either he dies/is assassinated or one of the players reconquers it from him.


A State Card transferred to a Mercenary Leader becomes the property of that leader until he is killed, whereupon it becomes an Independent State--unless he was given a Hereditary State, whereupon it reverts to the original owner.

Quote:
So, we had a lot of questions but on the whole we thought there was a lot to impress in this game and with a little tightening of the rules it could be a real gem.

As a side note, is there likely to be a Vassal module for this? This would be really helpful in becoming familiar with the game and identifying any other wrinkles.

Dave Carey


Glad you enjoyed the game. Please make sure you get the most recent rules (v1.5 as of today) from the OSS Website or from the CSW forum for the game. A Vassal module is supposedly in the works, but I have yet to see it.

EDIT: V1.5 of the HRE rules are now posted to BGG, as well.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tom Stearns
United States
Houston
Texas
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
A vassal module would be great
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dave Carey
United Kingdom
Worcester Park
Surrey
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks for your response, Chris, that makes it a lot clearer. Yes, the Swedish action was unwise, although we knew it would be unlikely we would get to play more than a turn or two in the time available so we wanted to make sure we got at least one battle in to get to know the combat rules.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Martí Cabré

Terrassa
Catalonia, Spain
msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
+1 for VASSAL module.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.