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Virgin Queen» Forums » General

Subject: VQ : Not enough action rss

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Stuart Tonge
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Rotherham
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We just played VQ for the first time (2 players) having had it on the shelf for a few years.
It makes me sad to say that neither of us felt the time spent was worth it, and we'd have rather been playing something else (ideally 'Here I stand'). There just wasn't much action for the time invested.

This isn't a troll bashing post, and I would like to know other people's thoughts. It's entirely possible that the 2-player game plays out totally differently than a multi-player game would or that we just played badly.

Also, were we to play this again (currently unsure about that) we would play the tournament game and skip the first few turns where really very little indeed happened (but it took 6 hours)


Here are my primary thoughts about the game

_Military_
1) VPs are too easily gained elsewhere, making fighting a poor option
2) Assaulting forts is prohibitively difficult and really requires good leaders to have a chance of success (otherwise 4 troops max). Even then, the 6 value leaders are going uphill versus a full fort - you really need the 8's.
3) Because good leaders are really required to assault forts, assassinating them is immensely powerful. This leads to more points being spent on espionage than on fighting and seems to rule the mid-game.
And I know that assassinations are really tough, but the best Huguenot general was killed in our game which basically skuppers them for the rest of the game. Way too powerful.

All of the above means the mililary aspects of the game play a minor role as military success is just so hard to achieve in Europe.
Almost all the fighting in our game was Ottoman vs. Spain and barring a siege of Cyprus it was all at sea, it was 'the fun bit' though and we enjoyed this part of the game.

The Religions aspects seem to work though there are a lot of turns where I roll 5 dice and then you roll 5 dice and it's really just an extended die rolling competition over 50+ tries at this throughout the game. There's not a lot else besides the requirement to have a space be your religion to make it rebel.
So, while not bad it feels a bit flat, but works OK.

Piracy seems at first a good thing for the Brits but my Brits had horrible luck and sunk a great deal of cash in for hardly any return. Not sure how this generally pans out though i did work out I could have saved a fair bit by setting up colonies first and then overwintering there.
The treasure fleet card did nothing always spawning in empty zones.
All told the Brits (or English rather) would have been much better off ignoring the new world and using their points elsewhere. Looking at the odds I see 2 points to pirate plus a point to get somewhere = 3 for a die roll rolling 3 or 4 dice. That's one hit on average. It *might* pay for itself on average throughout the game. Surely they have better things to do?
Conversely the Ottomans rolled very well and did a lot of damage which caused a huge over-response from the Spanish (all the fleets in the Med) but they were able to do this and not really suffer a penalty - they didn't seem to have a lot else to do. Likely we misunderstood what the Spanish should have been doing..

Marriages. In a multi player game I can see it working although it does still feel a bit tacked on. Personally i'd have preferred to ignore it altogether and have it just baked into a card here or there.
However it seems the tournament scenario largely does away with it since most royals are out of the picture by then.

In general actually I would have said that espionage, marriages, patronage and all the other stuff would have been better off on cards but then maybe we were expecting a wargame and it doesn't feel like this is actually a game about fighting.
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Marty Sample
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Some quick comments:

- piracy in the New World is more efficient if you can winter in a colony. Plus you may get cards from the colony. The other advantage of piracy is it forces Spain to burn CP as well as steal treasure which they can use as CP.

- with only 2 players, you don't have any diplomacy. This is where the Treasure Fleet card is better employed; say if Turkey has it, not much they can do, but if they show the card to Britain who can make sure they have a captain in a possible zone before hand when the card is played you can get something out of it.

- if a fort has a full 4 CU garrison, there are probably weaker targets elsewhere. Bonus cards are often used to speed the process against forts.
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wesley sermeus
Belgium
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i see your point, but first of all, i would never play VQ with 2 players.
This is a 6 player game imo.
a 6-player game is heavy and time consuming but the fun and decision making are fabelous.
i suppose you're right on the marriage thing with 2players because i do not believe this is that fun or interactive, but with a 6 player game it can be a good negotiating to get something else during the diplomacy fase.

combat ok, it's not a combat oriented game, and milatary victory is also not for each nation possible, but that doesn't mean it's bad.

but anyway, i suggest you try to play it with 6 players and then you'll probably rethink your thoughts of this game.
We play it a couple of times a year with 6 and everyone adores it. it's lot of fun, but take into account a 6player full game, will take up 6 or 7 hours playtime.

kr
Wes
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Stuart Tonge
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Cheers both, yes I should have wintered in the colonies. - and I guess you could share the intel (you'd read it..) but I never got the card anyway always the Spanish or French drew it.

and 6 or 7 hours? you're joking right? with 6 players i would expect double that. Or maybe 10 hours.

Really i would have to play it again to get a full feel for it but I just don't see it happening. If it truly isn't a combat oriented game (and i agree that it isn't) then what it is?
Point me to the fun bit!
 
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Marty Sample
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With experienced players, we find the game runs about an 60-80 minutes per game turn for 6 players. Not all games go the full distance .
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Michael Kiefte
Canada
Dartmouth
Nova Scotia
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stuuk wrote:
It's entirely possible that the 2-player game plays out totally differently than a multi-player game


VQ is, at its heart, a multiplayer game.

I wouldn't consider a 2-player game to be anything other than a rules-learning experience.
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Albin Menant
France
Paris
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The 6 player game is without doubt very good.

Marriages bring a lot to the game, and espionnage too.

Yes military is more difficult than other stuff, but that's very realistical, so I find it ok. It's not a military game, it's a diplomacy one.

between marriages, good events religion, the position of the protestant player I think it's very rich...
 
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Stuart Tonge
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Certainly the game loses some historical activities due to 2-player rules, for example the French will not raid Spanish ports. I appreciate that some things have to be paired down to accommodate 2 players though and the designer did his best so what more can you ask?

I'm not saying that assassinations don't add to the game but they do seem to be very powerful in comparison to military campaigns.
That said, you could try to kill someone all game and fail so it's in the lap of the dice gods I suppose.

Maybe I need to try a 5 or 6 player game and see how that works out. It almost demands a vassal PBEM setup though which isn't as fun as a FTF game IMHO.
 
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Alan Martin
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This is not a two player game and your time would definitely be better spent elsewhere, except as a way of learning the system. We have regular six player games of Virgin Queen at my place (four to six games per year in South Northants). As mentioned above the diplomacy and the various stitch-ups that arise from it are the heart of this game. We keep coming back to it again and again. It's less conflict based than it's older sibling Here I Stand but to me it's a gaming gift that keeps on giving.

It's a long way to come for you but if you, or anyone else, is interested in playing six player drop us a message and we can add you to the list.
 
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