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Here I Stand» Forums » General

Subject: First-Time Player Running a Game at a Con--Advice?? rss

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Kai Mayer
United States
Albuquerque
New Mexico
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Hello all,

I've never played Here I Stand before, although I've really wanted to for quite some time. I've finally gotten a chance to do so as there's a convention in town this weekend, and so I'm hoping to run a game of it. Does anyone have advice for teaching HIS quickly and/or advice for first time players? I saw the 20 minute teaching guide but just wanted to see if anyone else had any advice.

Thanks in advance!
 
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PJ Killian
United States
Watertown
Massachusetts
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Are people going to have a chance to study up beforehand? If so, I would forward them the 20 minute teaching guide and strongly advise that they read that and (at least) the power-specific rules in section 21 of the rules for their power. If they've got a little extra time, I would advise them to read the specific rules for the other five powers as well. Ed Beach's HIS site has a document with some decent basic strategy advice for each power. Might be in the files here, too. That's worth reading. The more prepared everyone is, the smoother it will go.

If they're coming in totally blind, I would put it to people this way: "I can go over the basics of this game in 20 minutes. It's not going to cover everything, but it'll be enough to jump in. If I do it this way, there's a chance that something is going to jump up and surprise you, and we're going to have to consider that a learning experience. Or I can cover most of the ins and outs of the rules, but it's going to take -- a while." Let them choose. If they choose the 20 minute option, go over that document and jump in.

Some quickie advice I would offer (bearing in mind that I'm pretty far from an expert on this game):

* Every power has a way of gaining VPs that cannot be taken away (exploration for the Atlantic powers, Ottoman piracy, Protestant Bible translations, St. Peter's for the Pope, chateaux for the French, and the marriage track for the English, burned/disgraced debaters, etc.). Permanent VPs are nice and you need a few to have a chance in hell at winning the thing.

* The French and English in particular have a good chance at scoring these VPs by playing their home cards for the appropriate events; they need a compelling reason for using their home cards for other purposes, especially since if the game runs long, the kings they need to play those cards eventually expire. Tick tick tick. More generally, everyone should usually be using their home cards for the events on most turns.

* The Papal player is definitely going to want to know about the Sack of Rome card. The Ottoman player will definitely appreciate a heads up about the Knights of St. John. Everyone needs to know about the Schmalkaldic League. You can't eliminate every nasty surprise in the game without boring everyone to death but those are things that define strategies for people and will tick them off if they don't know they're possibilities.

* Diplomatic isolation is in no one's best interest. With the possible exception of the Papal and Protestant players (and even they may find temporary common ground if a third party is running away with the VP track), everyone should be talking to everyone else during the diplomacy phase. Pretty much any event can be played for the right price. Be real damn suspicious of anyone who's totally not open to any deals.
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Martin Hall
Australia
Sydney
NSW
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HIS takes a LONG time to play, especially with inexperienced people.
Make sure that:
1) there is enough time available at the site - you do not want the game to be coming down to the last critical move or two and be told "sorry you have to pack up now!"
2) make sure the people involved understand the time frame
3) move as much as possible to pre-learning to make the game more manageable and less full of surprises.
4) consider playing the tournament scenario - it takes less time (though some consider it less well balanced).

Good luck
 
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Bob Holmstrom
United States
Illinois
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This is not a game to play with people who haven't studied the game before. It is too involved both rules and strategy wise.
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Jonathan Kinney
Canada
Surrey
British Columbia
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I used to play at a Con with all experienced players. It would take us at least 8 hours (two play sessions of four or so hours). I'd budget closer to 11-12 hours if all players are new.
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Kai Mayer
United States
Albuquerque
New Mexico
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Thanks all for the advice! Maybe I'll reconsider whether this is such a good idea...
 
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