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Subject: The English Crush the Scots rss

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Brian Vogle
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Jenks
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After the defeat of the English in http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/165739 in a previous game, SiddGames and I decided to switch sides for our second game, again playing the Braveheart scenario. I took the English, he the Scots. Fueled by frozen custard that he made me buy for us, I was wired and ready to hammer some Scots.

I had only played two complete and one incomplete game of HotS before this session, so I'm by no means anything event remotely close to an expert, and my strategies for most games fail pretty early on, but I decided to take an alternate approach to what I've seen my opponents try in previous games.

In the games I've played, the English have always tried to seize Bruce and Galloway in the south before beginning to attempt to grab the north. I decided to try the opposite; I'd try to grab the north, since it's been my opinion that it's tough for the English to grab the north once the Scots have reinforced it.

Year One, 1297: I was lucky and drew the "Sea Move" card, which really aided my strategy by letting me quickly move two units from England to Buchan in the north. My next move was to send troops into Fife, in an effort to try to tie up Wallace.

Siddgames met my invasion, but decided to retreat into Angus with all 3 of his blocks (I had previously moved Angus out). Both of our sets of blocks took minor damage.

During the last round of 1297, I sent armies into Angus from both Fife and Buchan. I whittled down his three blocks to one step each. I had three units left to roll for, and in what can only be described as scream-inducing, I rolled three ones, destroying Wallace, Douglas, and Barclay.

Year Two, 1298: I continued to press the north, and aided by a good card draw (including two threes), I was able to take the north by the middle of the year. I then turned my attention to Bruce and Galloway in the south, who had unsuccessfully attempted to seize nobles during the early parts of 1298.

I have to say it's much easier to make use of the English levy when you're fighting so close to England. As Bruce, Galloway, and one additional Scottish block were trying to invade Lennox and Lanark from Carrick, English infantry moved into Galloway and Annan. When the year ended, the Scots lost Galloway to England when he returned to an occupied home, and a wounded Bruce was forced to stay in Carrick (which, due to castle limits, resulted in the loss of the additional Scottish unit).

Year Three, 1299: England again had lucky card draws, with a hand containing a Pillage. I played the pillage round one, and since Bruce only had 2 steps, he was removed to the Scottish draw pool.

It did lead to an interesting question for us that we had to solve. With Pillage played, Bruce went to the Scottish draw pool. England had not technically won yet, in 1299. But, Scotland had no way of getting any pieces back on the board (except for the use of a Herald card, which we didn't think of at the time). We ended with the idea that since England did not control all nobles, but Scotland couldn't play any more (again, forgot about the Herald), the game technically lasted until the end of the scenario (1305), but nothing could really happen during those years.

With that, England was victorious.

 
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Flannel Golem
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Nice report.

Only thing to point out is that generally when a noble is killed by a pillage card, it is immediately replaced by its opposite (English, in your case) at strength 1. Killing any other block (e.g. Wallace, Moray, black cross units, etc.) via Pillage will indeed return these blocks to their respective draw pool.
 
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Brian Vogle
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According to the v2.3 of the rules, under section 5.8:

EXCEPTION: When eliminated in Battle, blocks with a black cross (see sidebar) are permanently eliminated. All blocks eliminated as a consequence of the Pillage Card, Border Raids, or Winter Attrition are disbanded to the Draw Pool.

Based on this, we sent Bruce to the draw pool (especially since section 5.7 talks about nobles switching sides only when eliminated in combat). Has this changed from earlier versions of the rules?
 
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Mike Haverty
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Vengeance shall be mine!
 
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