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Subject: Papal troops in Germany? rss

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Greg Forster
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"When playing a game, the goal is to win, but it is the goal that is important, not the winning" - Dr. Reiner Knizia
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I'm playing the Protestant in a PBEM game, and the Pope has made an alliance with the Hapsburg and has Papal troops running around Germany to give him extra religious dice. He's actually succeeding regularly in burn books rolls even before Triple Paul becomes Pope. I've never seen this strategy before, and it's so contrary to anything that could ever have really happened that it feels like it must be wrong - but of course I can't find any rule against it. Does this happen often?
 
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Colin Hunter
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You probably already know this, but it is worth mentioning (as I made this mistake when I first played) that the papl troops have to return home during winter. I haven't seen this specific strategy though, but it seems awfully resource intensive.
 
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Matthew Arbo
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I have to agree; it seems like an awful lot of resources to commit:
A lot of CP spent once to raise troops.
A lot of CP every turn to spread troops out.
At least one card to ally with Venice, if they went the land route.

Given, I'm only on my first game, so I may be missing something. But I've tried putting my troops in Germany for this purpose, and they aren't doing diddly that would be worth the CP.

I've got more I could say, but I'm not sure whether it's cool to dump out specific strategy (even if it's most likely misguided) if this is a game in progress.
 
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Philip Thomas
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I am the Haspburg player. The Pope used the sea route over the Adriatic to Trieste. But if he had had to play Venetian Alliance to get a land route I think that would have been an added bonus- control of Venice is 2 VPs and an extra card (given he has Florence).

The Spring Deployment to Leipzig cost the Pope nothing: papal spring deployment is normally insignificant. Since then he has spent 2 Cps to spread out. He had the troops anyway from his turn 1 capture of Florence. He has also spent 2 Cps on burning books and he got 3 C-ref attempts from Defender of the faith.

All that said, the strategy is not very difficult to counter: the Protestant can concentrate on areas of Germany where there are no Papal troops, and in due course he will have his own troops who can chase the pope out.

I'd better not say anything mores specific as it could constitute negotiation...

 
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Karl Kleve
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I think this sounds like a very good idea which does not require too much CP-spending. But it does require a very close and stable Papal-Habsburg relationship. But since Papal troops in Germany would greatly benefit Habsburg also, it will probably be a stable alliance. Habsburg could consider giving the Pope Prague (in return for Florence, maybe), so that he doesnt have to retire all the way back to Italy every winter.

I think this could also be given a sound historical explanation: Bohemia was a Kingdom and Electorate. Of the 7 Electorates, 4 were Kingdoms and 3 were Archbishoprics. Bohemia has a history of protestant rebellion. To counter the fear of protestantism in Bohemia and show his solid support of catholisism, Emperor Charles support the Archbishop and Cardinal of Bohemia (we could call him Vaclav) in his claim to the throne of Bohemia. Cardinal Vaclav is a strong supporter of the Pope (actually a position he hope to aquire himself in due time), and upon ascending the throne, announces Bohemia to be fortwith a Papal fief governed for all eternity by that glorious representative of the Church: The Archbishop. It will be a beacon of light for all catholics in this troubled parts of Europe. And Bohemian troops, now fitted out in their new livres of lily and violet, march forth into Germany to do God's work (and maybe plunder a bit on the way)
 
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Ed Beach
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Papal troops did in fact fight in the Schmalkaldic War in Germany alongside Charles' imperial forces. See this article for details.

http://www.answers.com/topic/schmalkaldic-war

A few snippets:
"The immediate circumstances that finally allowed Charles to act against the Lutherans were ... the successful negotiation of the participation of papal troops in a campaign against the league, as well as free passage for these troops through the Bavarian territory of Duke William ..."

"... the imperial troops under Charles and Alba escaped from Regensburg by outmaneuvering the league's forces and then joined forces with papal troops from Italy via Bavaria and with heavy cavalry from the Netherlands under Egmont, count of Buren. The indecisiveness of the league's war council caused Schertlin to be called off just when he could have cut off the papal reinforcements in the mountains and destroyed them piecemeal."

So the Papal spring deployment of troops into Germany is an intentional feature of the design and something I frequently try to do when playing the Papacy.
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Simon H
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I've seen it in both FtF games I've played. In this case (I'm also playing in the game in question) I think the Pope's card deal helped guide his decision, since he had Defender of the Faith and was therefore obliged to make counter-reformation attempts. If he had not drawn that card, perhaps he would not have deployed troops to boost the counter-reformation chances.
 
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Jon Karlsson
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Mirimon Laitosto wrote:
Habsburg could consider giving the Pope Prague (in return for Florence, maybe), so that he doesnt have to retire all the way back to Italy every winter.

Good idea, but you can't cede minor allied keys.
 
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Greg Forster
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Thanks to everyone for your resopnses.

Ed, I won't press this point too hard, but Charles was in a very different position during the Schmalkaldic Wars than he was in the early days of the Reformation, no? The Pope sending troops to help during a war with Protestant princes is one thing; the emperor allowing the Pope's troops to wander the German countryside in peacetime is another. At first Charles tried to keep the peace with the Protestants and didn't get too close to the Pope, as I understand it. He certainly did the Pope no favors by granting Luther a trial at Worms with a promise of safe conduct when he could have just tied Luther up and handed him over to Rome. And, again as I understand it, the issue at stake in that decision was precisely the empire's political independence from Rome. Would Charles really have trusted the Pope enough to let his forces just pass in and out of Germany as they pleased? The very fact that passage through Bavaria for Papal troops had to be secured through negotiations even during the Schmalkaldic Wars suggests that it wouldn't have been diplomatically possible to secure it during peacetime.

Enough. I'm just bothered because it's my first time playing the Protestant and I'm not getting the super-easy early game that I'm used to seeing the Protestant get.
 
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Philip Thomas
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Greg, yes the historical Charles V did not ally with the Papacy and allow Papal troops in Germany in the 20s (Turn 2 is the mid-1520s I think). But the game allows the players to make different choices from the historical protagonists.

 
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Matthew Arbo
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Thoughts from a bored (future) mathematician
It sounds a bit like a chancy strategy, given that if you have four dice, odds are that you will roll a 6, so that even if the Papacy scraped up hundreds of dice, the most they could get the chance of success up to is about 48%; even for 3 dice it's only 58%. So it seems to me like the Papacy took a bit of a risk in doing this when he's losing ties, but it paid off. (And if it hadn't, you'd be be sitting there laughing at all the futile rolls he had made.) (As I haven't played a whole game yet, the best I can do is crunch numbers. )

It sounds a bit like how the Protestants have been in our game: between an inconclusive Diet (8 dice on each side; one success on each side), an Ottoman play of Defender of the Faith (CR success against Leipzig and Wittenberg), and a Papal Leipzig Debate using Eck (against Bucer, so Protestants played HIS; one success to Brandenberg), the Protestants were reduced to Stettin by their first impulse, and had already used Here I Stand. And all this without help from the troops I'd SDed to Erfurt.

Keep in mind that this is a newcomer game, so there may be glaring strategic errors abounding; I'm guessing such a huge commitment by the Habsburgs(me) to fight the heresy is one, but that's what learning is, right?
 
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Philip Thomas
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The counter-reformation attempts were made against spaces with only 1 or 2 protestant dice, making the odds quite good.

If the Hapsburg player can spare the troops there's nothing necessarily wrong with putting them in Germany. But its a big if as you start at war with France and the Ottomans are coming after you and you need to keep up your end in the New World. In the game Greg is tallking about I haven't been able to get any Hapsburg troops into the German heartland, although the Papal troops are doing the job so well on their own it would be superflouous. Rather more embarassing is that I am about to lose Vienna...which kind of scuppers the whole strategy.
 
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Matthew Arbo
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Yeah, I think it's a rather big "if." Thinking of things that are open-table and in the books...
I played City State Rebels for the Diet, which is a big Whiskey Tango Foxtrot. Hello, Matthew, there are Ottomans to stop. Then I SDed 3 troops to Erfurt. At least the war with France is nonexistent; so far it only consists of Montmorency and 3 troops sitting in St. Dizier with a general pronouncement of intent to besiege Metz that is less than completely reassuring to my Brussels garrison.
 
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Philip Thomas
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City State Rebels is an excellent card for the Hapsburg player to keep until he can set it off under an Ottoman Belgrade, preferably thereby cutting the supply lines to an Ottoman army.



 
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Matthew Arbo
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Philip Thomas wrote:
City State Rebels is an excellent card for the Hapsburg player to keep until he can set it off under an Ottoman Belgrade, preferably thereby cutting the supply lines to an Ottoman army.
Yeah, I realised that. Unfortunately, I realised that right about the time the Catholics rolled their 1 success at the Diet. (ouch)
 
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Erasmo Rotter
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Hi!

I'm playing with the protestant and the british and in the 4th turn the pope is going to bring more than 10 mercenaries (thought Venice) to germany (all the electorates are mine and almost all germany). I'm going to translate NT and I have the sicky Edward with the british. What is the best strategy to stop them? I have not many troops and the militar power of the bristish is very weak. It is my firs game with the protestant...

Thanks!
 
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