Recommend
3 
 Thumb up
 Hide
4 Posts

Here I Stand» Forums » Variants

Subject: 2-player HIS imbalanced? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Daniel Kraus
United States
Austin
Texas
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Does anyone else feel like the 2-player game is a little bit imbalanced? I have played the 2-player version of HIS several times now, and while I understand it would be hard to fix, but it does leave a little bit to be desired. Just a few observations I've made through several playthroughs:

1. It seems like the Diplomacy cards are somewhat skewed in favor of the Papacy. I went through and counted the cards that had a definite benefit for only one side, and it seemed that the Papacy had 3-4 more one-sidedly beneficial cards than the Protestants. I did not count the cards that were a post-SL benefit for the Papacy since those can be used by either side. I remember the last time I played 2-player HIS as the Protestants, in the Diplomacy phase, the Papacy played the card to add Charles and "x" troops to Vienna, and the 2 cards I had in my hand either added Duke of Alva and "x" troops to a Hapsburg-controlled space or added Ferdinand and "x" troops to a Hapsburg-controlled space, I was forced to give the Hapsburg/Papacy another army to take over my electorates with.

2. The 2-player game doesn't take into account that the other forces will be fighting each other and moving their forces to defend/attack. I doubt the situation described above would ever happen in a game with at least 3 players. Also, since the scenario booklet tells you to only add 1 regular to each home key of the other 4 major powers, and there's the event Zwingli Dons Armor, I've used that several times to eliminate the French troop in Lyons to reduce the Catholic dice for reformation by 1 in that region. In a game with at least 3 players, the French would not leave that space unoccupied, especially since they could still be at war with the Hapsburgs or Papacy in turn 3/4 when I usually see the card played.

3. The 2-player game doesn't take into account that other powers will be playing cards and could draw events that are useful for the religious struggle and use them for "worldly gains" i.e. used for ops.

All this being said, my friend and I have some ideas for an improved 2-player version of the game that would involve (most likely) more time, but it would somewhat account for what the other players would do on their turns in a normal 6-player game. I will post findings once we are able to playtest them.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Daniel Blumentritt
United States
Austin
Texas
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm not sure if it's imbalanced or not, but it definitely is a disadvantage to the Protestants to not have other powers throwing cards in the discard pile. At first I thought that maybe each side could randomly throw in a card for their play for a certain number of rounds - based on how many cards that power tends to draw in a turn. But that would favor the Protestants too much since real players would play a lot of those remove events and get them out of the game, or would try to hold onto good Prot events if Luther is winning, and not play them as CPs until Here I Stand had already been played. You'd have to come up with some sort of chart as to which events would get played and removed (e.g. nobody is likely to be playing Copernicus as CPs to let the Prots grab it for 2 VP).

It also hurts the Prots a little bit not to have England actively wanting reforms too. But then again, the Pope can't have a phony war give him Venice.

Quote:
and there's the event Zwingli Dons Armor, I've used that several times to eliminate the French troop in Lyons to reduce the Catholic dice for reformation by 1 in that region. In a game with at least 3 players, the French would not leave that space unoccupied,


Yeah, it might be better to play that after a new starts, any empty key is re-filled with 1 new unit.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Daniel Blumentritt
United States
Austin
Texas
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
So, requiem and I started a 2-player full game with all 6 sides in play. We were only actually playing the Pope and Protestants - for the other sides, we'd draw a random card from their hand and then agree on the smartest play for that side. If we couldn't agree, we'd roll a die. We had a general list of priorities for each side, e.g. England will go for Scotland and then use it's home card to try to get a divorce. If we turned up a good combat/response card on a turn when that side might want it for a war they are in, we put it back and re-drew and played the other side as if they didn't know it was there.

It's basically a combination of playing the game solo and playing every side, and playing the 2-player game with an opponent.

It does take a lot longer than the normal 2-player, although it's still quicker than a full 6-player game. At one point to save time we just assigned Pope the Hapsburgs and Prots the Ottomans (but still randomly drawing card to play so it wouldn't affect our "actual" side to know what cards are out) just to make the Haps-Otts fight each other quicker than having to discuss the best move for each of them each time.

It's been really fun, although there are a couple of flaws/issues. The main one is that since there's no diplomacy and we just have to figure out together what the other 4 sides would want to do (but without actually knowing their cards,) those sides actually tend to do better relative to our actual sides - it's hard to play them to stop each other, and us 2 tend to be mostly focused on each other and keeping each other in line - but without any good way to make deals with other powers to help ourselves out along the way. As a result, it's looking like the Haps or France might end up winning the game as semi-bots before we do.

Also, it's hard to come up with a good way to decide when the other 4 would help/hurt us. How much do the Haps go for electorates? How much do the English publish treatises? What's the price for the Venice Intervention Tactic or a divorce? About the only easy decision was to have England and the Protestants continually ally once Anne of Cleves is a possibility.

Still, we ended up in a pretty fun situation where France is a threat to win on VP and Haps are a military win threat, but most of Haps armies are in the East (Otts just sued for peace b/c we both decided a real Ottoman player would have probably done it there, then rolled a die to see if our bot-Ott did it) and England has a much bigger army than France. All 3 of England, France, and Haps are at war with the other two. So we'll both be working together in playing each of them to try and keep the other two down.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Daniel Kraus
United States
Austin
Texas
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Also, we did away with the 2-player diplomacy deck.
 
 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.