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The Woodsman- Ivan Kramskoy, 1874
The following is a game log of a 3p solo game between Fugger, Marchionni, and Coeur. I’ve played probably a dozen or so games of Pax Renaissance, with most being 2p games, and I feel like I am still just beginning to understand some of the deeper strategies and possibilities presented by the cards and board state. I promise that better moves could have been made, but I wanted to provide a detailed game log that explains not only the moves made but also the thinking behind the moves. Folks can and should suggest better plays or strategies so that others can learn and make their own play better.
Note: I am using the base game + expansion + BGG cards. Underlined words are game actions. Italicized words are my own commentary. [Words in brackets indicate card entry and movement on the East and West Market, with their location denoted by the cost, i.e. 5-spot is in the fifth spot or the card that requires five florins to purchase]
Fugger - Purchases and plays Hanseatic League, cost 1. Places a concession on England/France border.
(Looking at the opening set of market cards, nothing really jumps out as a must buy. Fogger needs to start thinking cash flow, as their initial concession is far from the origin of the Western trade routes. The Hanseatic League was cheap, has a West Commerce Op, and gave Fogger a concussion to boot. It also buys some breathing room in case the other players decide to go for an Imperial victory.)
[Almeida Armada enters West Market 5-spot]
Marchionni - Purchases and plays Elzbieta of Bohemia, cost 2. Triggers Coronation, acquires Portugal Empire card. Places concession on Portugal/Aragon border.
(With Fugger already adding more concessions in the West, Marchionni decides to match with a play of Elzbieta to secure Portugal. With no other Discovery icons available in the market, securing Portugal just might be enough to edge out a Globalization victory.)
[The Last Sigh enters East Market 5-spot]
Coeur - Purchases The Grim, cost 2. Conducts East Trade Fair. Coeur nets 2 florins.
(Going for an early East Trade Fair allows Coeur to place a white rook levy on the Ottoman Empire and set up a nice Jihad one-shot play with the Grim next turn.)
[Celebi Tax Revolts moves to East Market 0-spot, Grande of Spain enters East Market 4-spot, Despina Khatun enters East Market 5-spot]
Fugger - Purchases European Union, cost 2. Runs West Ops. Commerce (Hanseatic League) to take 1 florin off of Marechaussee card.
(With play of the Grim on the horizon, purchasing the European Union- with its Apostasy capability to remove Islamic cards- is a good hedge to help check the power of Coeur.)
[Order of Santiago enters West Market 5-spot]
Marchionni - Conducts West Trade Fair. Marchionni nets 3 florins, Fugger 1. Fair ends at England/France border. Purchases Reichskrone, cost 3.
(The Reichskrone allows Marchionni to acquire another Empire card, plus it has the added ability to allow Voting in the West. Flipping the HRE to a Republic via vote will discard the Reichskrone, but the HRE Republic side has a Vote Op of its own + a Law icon, giving Marchionni a path towards Renaissance victory. Conducting the trade fair not only brought in much needed florins, but also raised a key red rook levy on the Ottoman map card that would make a possible Jihad play more costly for the Coeur.)
[Marechaussee moves to West Market 0-spot, The Mary Rose enters West Market 4-spot, Margaret of Austria enters West Market 5-spot]
Coeur - Plays The Grim. Triggers Jihad one-shot for Ottoman map card. Adjacent black knight in Byzantium joins fight against two heretic rooks. That night and a black rook are removed. Ottoman map card flipped to Islam side. Coeur acquires Ottoman Empire card. Places concession on Papal/Ottoman border. Places black bishop on The Grim card. Purchases Sitt-i-Hatun of Dulkadir, cost 1.
(The threat of an Apostasy play by Fugger is huge, but opening the path towards a Religious victory by flipping the Ottoman map card is too enticing. Placing the concession on the Papal border helps mitigate possible East trade shift via purchase/play of The Last Sigh, and purchasing Sitt-i-Hatun allows Coeur to rebuild their Islamic prestige if Fugger goes for an Apostasy one-shot.)
[Damascus Coffee enters East Market 5-spot]
Fugger - Plays European League. Triggers Islamic Apostasy one-shot. Places red rook on HRE map card. Coeur discards The Grim, Ottoman Empire card. Purchases Kingmaker, cost 1. Gain 1 florin.
(Fugger is suddenly very worried about The Mary Rose. The Hanseatic League has a white corsair op, but The Mary Rose is the rare red corsair. Play of the European League can’t be put off, as it offers Fugger a way to acquire money via its repress op. Purchase of Kingmaker also allows possible revenue via repress op, and its ‘free’ cost is attractive to Fugger.)
[The Bold enters the West Market 5-spot]
Marchionni - Plays Reichskrone. Triggers Coronation one-shot to take HRE Empire card. Pays 1 florin to repress/replace Fugger concession on France/HRE border with a Marchionni concession. Runs West Ops. Vote (Reichskrone) flips HRE Empire card to its Republic side at a cost of 1 due to the repressed Fugger pawn. Reichskrone is discarded. Concession placed on HRE/Papal border. Commerce (newly flipped Reichstag) to take 1 florin off of West Trade Fair card.
(A nice combo of using the Reichskrone vote to create a Reichstag republic that could have, in turn, flipped Portugal to its Republic side. All of this was made possible by the regime change brought about through play of Reichskrone, which allowed the Fugger concession to be repressed and replaced with a Marchionni concession- which then allowed the Vote Op to be carried out. Having Portugal remain on its Empire card side allows Marchionni some ability to fend off military threats from other players, or engage in campaigns of its own in order to create new republics via Reichstag Vote.)
Coeur - Plays Sitt-i-Hatun of Dulkadir. Triggers Coronation one-shot to take Ottoman Empire card. Places concession on Ottoman/Hungary boarder. Conducts East Trade Fair. Coeur nets 3 florins.
(With the Apostasy threat ended, for now, Coeur once again secures the Ottoman Empire card and further enhances its economic position on the Eastern AND Western Trade routes. Conducting East Trade Fairs is a no-brainer for Coeur- they not only net three florins in one action, but also place additional levies on the Ottoman Map card that count towards a Religious victory. In this case the East Trade Fair offered an additional benefit. Other players could have purchased the Tersane-i Amire card and place a black pirate that could, in turn, eliminate Coeur concessions. But with the play of the East Trade Fair, the threatening pirate card slips into historical obscurity and becomes the new East Trade Fair card.)
[Tersane-i Amore moves to East Market 0-spot, Zaporozhian Host enters East Market 5-spot]
Fugger - Purchases and plays Almeida Armada, cost 1. Pays 1 florin to repress/replace Marchionni concession at Portugal/Aragon border with Fugger concession.
(Purchase/play of the Armada means that Fugger no longer has any florins in reserve, but they compensate for that loss with the new ability to repress pawns around Portugal. Fugger can not trigger the Trade Shift, as they do not possess a Discovery icon in their tableau. Play of The Armada provides a Discovery icon, which helps Fugger keep Marchionni’s dreams of a Globalization victory in check. Hopefully paying to repress the Marchionni concession, and replace it with a Fugger one, will open up the possibility of greater profits from the West Trade Fair.)
[Cryptography enters West Market 5-spot]
Marchionni - Runs West Ops. Commerce (Reichstag) to take 1 florin off of West Trade Fair card. Purchases Mary Rose, cost 2.
(Feeling the pressure from Fugger, Marchionni decides to purchase the Mary Rose and threaten at least one Fugger concession next turn. The Mary Rose also has a Repress Op, allowing Marchionni the option to wear down England’s defenses in preparation for a possible Portugal Attack. Grabbing the England Empire card, and later Voting it into a Republic, would allow Marchionni to secure another desperately needed Law icon required for a Renaissance victory.)
[Reformed Theology enters West Market 5-spot]
Coeur - Purchases and plays The Last Sigh, cost 1. Pays 1 florin to repress a white knight agent with a black rook in Portugal. Elects not to have trade shift occur.
(Replacing the only offensive unit in Portugal with a defensive rook should put a dent in Marchionni’s plan of English conquest. Also, while Coeur would still make money with an Eastern trade route originating in Timbuktu, it makes little sense to change up the route and allow portions of the West to benefit from potential levies.)
[Dalmatian Merchant Marine enters East Market 5-spot]
Fugger - Plays Kingmaker. Runs West Ops. Repress (Kingmaker), removes white rook from England and adds 1 florin. Repress (Almeida Armada), removes Marchionni concession from Portugal/England border to Portugal Empire card and adds 1 florin. Repress (European Union), removes white rook from HRE and adds 1 florin. Repress (Hanseatic League), removes Marchionni concession from France/HRE border and adds 1 florin.
(Fugger finally cleans up using the accumulated West Repress Ops found on their cards. Marchionni may be in serious financial trouble due to all the Fugger meddling. This windfall of florins, however, cannot be sustained for Fugger, who must use their newfound riches wisely if they hope to secure a viable path to victory.)
Marchionni - Plays The Mary Rose. Places red corsair on England/Portugal border. Runs West Ops. Red Corsair (The Mary Rose), moves red corsair to Portugal/Aragon border and eliminates Fugger concession. Commerce (Reichstag), takes 1 florin off of Order of Santiago card.
(Placing and then moving the red corsair kept it out of reach of Fugger’s Kingmaker, while also removing a Fugger concession and bringing the dreaded red pirate closer to Coeur’s concessions in the East. Marchionni is definitely cash poor right now, with little means to recoup expenses. Also- until Marchionni can replace one of the rooks on Portugal with a knight, the offensive capability of the Portugal Empire card will remain ineffective.)
Coeur - Runs East Ops. Siege (The Last Sigh), removes red corsair on Portugal/HRE border. Purchases Margaret of Austria, cost 2.
(Turns out that Marchionni’s red corsair was bound to be eliminated no matter what direction it took. The Last Sigh is one of those rare tableau cards that resides in the East, but can conduct ops in the West due to its map card location of Portugal. I honestly forgot to see if Coeur could respond last turn when I moved the corsair as the Marchionni player! Purchasing Margaret will allow Coeur to later secure a Western Empire card and then Vote it in into a Republic, thus spoiling Marchionni’s plans and potentially giving Coeur another path to victory.)
[Michaelangelo enters West Market 5-spot]
Fugger - Purchases and plays The Bold, cost 2. Triggers Conspiracy one-shot. Two white knights on The Bold attack the lone white knight in France = success, with surviving white knight placed in Paris. Claims France Empire card and places a concession on the France/HRE border.
(Grabbing France was both cheap and necessary, given the intent signaled by Coeur to enter the Western political scene via coronation. France is one of the more potent empires in the West, due mainly to its ability to have two knights placed on its map card. If Fugger can trigger a West Trade Fair to bolster the levy in France, he will have the ability to go on the offensive. If the HRE receives a levy, the possibility is raised of a Reformation one-shot via play of Reformed Theology (thanks to the adjacent red knight in Hungary that would most certainly be needed to overcome the heretics in the HRE). Either way, Fugger is looking a bit more secure after building their tableau options over the past few turns.)
[Faith vs. Reason enters West Market 5-spot]
Marchionni - Purchases Order of Santiago, cost 1 florin and gain 2 florins. Runs West Ops. Tax (The Mary Rose) Fugger concession on England/France border. Fugger pays 1 florin to China as result.
(Marchionni realized that the Order of Santiago card might help them regain offensive control of Portugal. Its conspiracy one-shot, backed by two white rooks, would remove the black rooks already on the map card. Running a trade fair would then allow a possible white knight levy to be placed. That’s why Marchionni didn’t take a florin off the West Trade Route card via a Reichstag Commerce Op; they needed to make sure there would be enough florins on the card to go through two possible trade fair actions given the concessions on the board. It’s not a sure bet, but there is the possibility presented to Marchionni to resume their plans of securing England and flipping it via Vote to a Republic.)
[Scottish Privateers enters West Market 5-spot]
Coeur - Plays Margaret of Austria. Triggers Coronation one-shot. Claims Aragon Empire card. Places concession on Aragon/Papal border. Purchases Reformed Theology, cost 2.
(Coeur decided to grab Aragon as both Fugger and Marchionni do not have any Aragon cards in their respective tableaux. Coeur is increasingly becoming the master of both the East and West trade routes, with concessions set to gobble up much of the profits from either trade fair venture. Purchasing Reformed Theology was a defensive move. Other players could have used its Reformation one-shot to take over Aragon, as it has one white knight and one black rook on its map card. Coeur would have really liked to purchase Michelangelo in order to further increase the profits generated by trade, but losing their foothold in the West isn’t worth the benefit.)
[Machiavellianism enters West Market 5-spot]
Fugger - Runs West Ops. Commerce (Hanseatic League), take 1 florin off of Cryptography. Repress (European Union) to remove red rook off of HRE map card to Reichstag Imperial Diet, add 1 florin. Siege (Kingmaker), to remove white knight on England map card. Campaign (France Empire card), to take HRE. Cost is 1 for one white knight, no defenders so auto-success. Claims Reichstag Republic card from Marchionni, flips to its Empire side, and places it as a vassal to France. Fugger emancipates its own pawn on the card, placed on the HRE/Hungary border. The red rook remains repressed. Fugger then pays 1 to repress the Marchionni concession on the HRE/Papal border and replace it with one of its own. Conducts West Trade Fair. Fugger nets 3 florins, Coeur nets 3 florins.
(In what is definitely another lesson in learning to read the board state, it appears that as soon as Fugger secured the French Empire card the clock began ticking on the Reichstag’s existence. Even if Marchionni had conducted a Trade Fair last turn to boost the levy in the HRE, Fugger still would have been able to repress a rook and attack with its own fresh levy of white knights. Fugger now has a viable path towards an Imperial Victory, if the timing works just right.)
[Cryptography moves to West Market 0-spot, Grand Inquisitor enters West Market 5-spot]
Marchionni - Sells Order of Santiago, currently in hand. Gains 2 florins. Purchases Zaporozhian Host, cost 4.
(Marchionni is suddenly without any good options. They can no longer use the Order of Santiago to empty out Portugal, as there are not enough florins on the West Trade Fair card to allow new levies to be raised on the Portugal map card. The West market cards offer nothing of benefit- so, Marchionni sells their card in hand and purchases the Zaporozhian Host in an attempt to use its Reformation one-shot to acquire the Byzantium Empire card and a much needed concession on the East/West trade route. But Coeur could undo everything if they decide to attack Hungary and eliminate its red knight that is crucial to the Marchionni Reformation plot. The only saving grace for Marchionni is that they control two cards with Discovery icons, making a Globalization victory all but impossible for Coeur and Fugger to achieve.)
[COMET enters East Market 5-spot]
Coeur - Runs East/West Ops, due to ability of Leo Africanus. Campaign (Ottoman Empire) to take Hungary. Cost is 3 florins. Three black knights attack one red and one white knight, leaving one black knight remaining. Claim Hungary Empire card from stack as vassal. Place concession on Hungary/Byzantium border. Conducts East Trade Fair. Coeur nets 4 florins.
(With the appearance of a Comet, and the fact that Coeur has neither the Discovery icons nor the black bishops required of the Globalization or Holy Victory cards, respectively, the race is on to secure enough empires to satisfy the Imperial victory or, perhaps, even the Renaissance victory thanks to Margaret’s Vote Op. Coeur decides to finally use their overwhelming Ottoman military force to take Hungary, thus denying Marchionni their potential Reformation play, and then replenishes their coffers with an East Trade Fair that benefits only the Coeur themselves. The HRE suddenly looks vulnerable now that the West Trade Fair card is depleted of florins- what will Fugger do to respond?)
[Grande of Spain moves to East Market 0-spot, Unity of the Brethren enters East Market 5-spot]
Fugger - Purchases and plays Despina Khatun, cost 1 and gain 1 florin. Trigger Coronation one-shot to claim Mamluk Empire card from stack. Pay 1 florin to repress and the Coeur concession on the Mamluk/Ottoman border and move it to the Mamluk Empire card. Replace it with a Fugger concession.
(England is a tempting target, but there is no way to raise additional levies with so few florins on the West Trade Fair card and Coeur dominating the West trade route with concessions. Taking England would deprive it of the white rook, which Coeur could retake with their forces from Aragon. In order to keep pace with the Coeur in terms of Empire count, purchase and play of Despina for the Mamluks made sense. This is a dead end, however, as the Mamluk have no offensive capability and no hopes for expansion on the horizon. The concession is helpful, however, in taking a slice of the Eastern trade that once belonged to the Coeur. Any sort of edge can be helpful here in the end game.)
[Grand Mufti enters the East Market 5-spot]
Marchionni - Conducts East Trade Fair. Marchionni nets 1 florin. Coeur nets 2 florins. Fugger nets 1 florin. Plays Zaporozhian Host, triggers Reformation one-shot. Adjacent red knight from Hungary joins battle with one red rook and red knight (from card) against a white knight and a black knight. Red rook and red knight from Hungary are eliminated, along with the black and white knights. Remaining red knight is placed in Trebizond. Claim Byzantine Empire card. Repress Coeur concession on Byzantine/Hungary border and place on Byzantine Empire card for 1 florin and replace with Marchionni concession.
(Desperate times fall for desperate measures, and Marchionni must conduct an East Trade Fair that fattens up his rivals in order to raise the levies necessary to carry out the Reformation one-shot offered by the Zaporozhian Host. Marchionni is once again emptied of cash reserves, but its recent entry into Eastern politics means that the other bankers must secure *five* empires or vassals if they hope to take the Imperial Victory. The measly one florin earned by the Marchionni for their trade fair efforts was put to good use in repressing the Coeur concession and replacing it with one loyal to Marchionni.)
[Damascus Coffee moves to East Market 0-spot, Phocoean Alum enters East Market 5-spot]
Coeur - Purchases COMET, cost is 2. ACTIVATES RENAISSANCE VICTORY. Purchases Dalmatian Merchant Marine, cost is 1 florin and gain 1 florin.
(Coeur has just realized they have some nasty combinations in store for next turn. But they will just have to wait and see if they can pull them off.)
Fugger - Purchases and plays Gand Mufti, cost is 2. Triggers Jihad one-shot with target being the Mamluk map card. Two adjacent black knights on Ottoman map card join battle with one black rook against one white rook. A black knight and the white rook are removed. Since Fugger already controls the Mamluk Empire card, it flips to its Republic side and Fugger places a concession on the Mamluk/Byzantine border. Despina Khatun is discarded. Marchionni concession on the Mamluk card remains repressed. A black bishop (provided by the Grand Mufti) is placed on the Ottoman Empire card in Coeur’s tableau.
(Fugger managed to not only gain a Republic, which stifles Coeur’s plans, but also eliminated a black knight on the Ottoman map card AND placed a black bishop on the Ottoman Empire card itself, meaning that Coeur cannot conduct Campaign ops until the Bishop is removed. Fugger now also has a path towards the Holy Victory with the emergence of a Black Bishop.)
[The Last Byzantine enters the East Market 5-spot]
Marchionni - Sells Zaporozhian Host, gains 2 florins. Purchases Phocoean Alum, cost is 2 florins.
(Marchionni is clearly in a bad spot now, with very little ability to generate funds. The long-shot hope here is to play Phocoean Alum next turn and try to secure the East Trade Route by repressing/replacing both Coeur and Fugger’s concessions on the Ottoman borders. Still- looking pretty bleak for Marchionni in general.)
[Black Army enters East Market 5-spot]
Coeur - Plays Dalmatian Merchant Marine, represses Fugger concession on Ottoman/Mamluk border and moves it to the Ottoman Empire card and replaces it with a Coeur concession, cost is 1. Purchases Qizilbash, cost is 3 florins.
(Failure to see how the Grand Mufti could complicate Coeur’s larger plans was a mistake of which Fugger happily took advantage. Now Coeur must play defensive tactics, playing the Merchant Marine to free up a hand slot and the purchase of Qizilbash to not only keep Fugger from securing a Holy Victory, but also to provide a means to move the black bishop currently silencing the Ottoman Empire card from conducting any campaigns. Pax Renaissance is about taking advantage of slippery opportunities, and it feels like Coeur might have just missed theirs.)
[Vlad the Impaler enters East Market 5-spot]
Fugger - Purchases Unity of the Brethren, cost is 1 florin and receives 3 florins. Runs East Ops. Behead (Grand Mufti) assassinates Ottoman Empire Card. Grand Mufti is discarded. Ottoman Map card returns to stack, Sitt-i Hatun of Dulkadir is discarded, as is the black bishop on the Ottoman Map card. The Fugger pawn is returned to Fugger.
(Not many attractive options on the market right now, so Fugger decides to pick up the easy cash on the East Market and also pull the trigger on assassinating the Ottoman Empire map card via the Grand Mufti’s Behead Op. This should slow down Coeur and allow Fugger some breathing room to conduct military campaigns next turn.)
[Theft of the Holy Crown enters East Market 5-spot]
Marchionni - Conducts East Trade Fair. Marchionni nets 2 florins, Coeur nets 2 florins. Plays Phocoean Alum. Pays 2 florins to repress Coeur’s concessions on the Ottoman/Hungary border and the Ottoman/Mamluk border. Replaces those with Marchionni concessions.
(Marchionni finally is able to secure a means of making money by dominating the East Trade route with its hard won concessions. But it may be too little too late, with so few cards remaining and no clear path to victory for Marchionni. There is the possibility of a Globalization victory, but only if Marchionni can pry West Trade route concessions away from Fugger.)
[Ottoman Navy moves to East Market 0-spot, COMET enters East Market 5-spot]
Coeur - Plays Qizilbash. Places black bishop on Byzantine Republic card. Purchases Michelangelo, cost is 1 florin.
(Coeur must begin putting money into the West market if it hopes to secure any additional sources of revenue in future turns- Marchionni’s meddling has proven costly to Coeur. The hope is that play of Michelangelo will allow Coeur to both skim more off potential trade fairs AND give them the edge in possible vote ops that will be required if Coeur wants to secure a Renaissance victory. It seemed earlier that Coeur was close to beating out the other two players with their huge bankroll and scheming plans. Now, Coeur must move carefully if they hope win.)
[COMET enters West Market 5-spot]
Fugger - Run West Ops. Campaign (French Empire card) to attack Papal States, cost is 2 florins. Two white knights attack one white knight, victory. Claim Papal States Empire card from stack as vassal. Fugger represses Coeur concession on Papal/Ottoman border and places it on Papal States Empire card, cost is 1 florin. Fugger then adds its own concession on the Papal/Ottoman border. Conduct West Trade Fair. Fugger nets 2 florins, Marchionni nets 2 florins, Coeur nets 1 florin. Trade Fair ends at Papal/Aragon border.
(Fugger would have liked to attack England, because their Kingmaker could repress the white rook there and, thus, ensure an auto-victory. But there was no way to fatten up the West Market to the point where the profits would reach England and bring in additional levies- levies that would deter an assault by Aragon. Taking the Papal States is risky, because it is inherently weak with only one knight icon, but at least it could be reinforced via trade fair levies. Fugger now believes that only an Imperial Victory is within their reach, and acquisition of the Papal States was key in that regard.)
[Faith vs. Reason moves to West Market 0-spot, Margaret of Anjou enters West Market 5-spot]
Marchionni - Purchases Black Army, cost is 2 florins. Conducts East Trade Fair. Marchionni nets 4 florins.
(With little opportunity to do much in the West and their powerful Byzantine Empire card silenced by the black bishop, Marchionni decides to set their sights on Hungary, and takes advantage of their domination of the East Trade route to refill coffers.)
[The Last Byzantine moves to East Market 0-spot, The Crim Horde enters East Market 4-spot, Mamluk Slave-Soldiers enters East Market 5-spot]
Coeur - Plays Michelangelo. Purchases Vlad the Impaler, cost is 1 florin.
(Coeur needs to be able to at least think of purchasing additional cards in order to improve their position, so playing Michelangelo was a no-brainer. Grabbing Vlad was a defensive move against suddenly flush-with-florins Coeur, but it might prove useful in a nice combination down the line if the other players don’t meddle too much.)
[Hurrem Sultan Roxelana enters East Market 5-spot, EAST MARKET IS EXHAUSTED]
Fugger - Purchases COMET, cost is 2 florins. ACTIVATES IMPERIAL VICTORY. Sells European Union, adds 2 florins.
(Fugger decides to activate the Imperial Victory, hoping that their relatively strong position can hold out one more turn. Selling the European Union is risky, but Fugger is betting that they can, at the very least, keep the others from securing the Imperial Victory if not secure it outright for themselves.)
[Mons Meg from West Trade Route deck enters East Market 5-spot]
Marchionni - Purchases and plays Mamluk Slave Soldiers, cost is 3 florins. Triggers Jihad one-shot. Two adjacent black knights, from Ottoman and Byzantium map cards, join battle with one black rook on the Mamluk map card and the one black knight provided by Mamluk Slave Soldiers. One white rook is eliminated, as is the black knight from the Ottoman map card. Place black knight on Mamluk map card. Claim Mamluk Republic card from Fugger and flip to its Empire side. Repressed Coeur concession is not emancipated.
(Grabbing the Mamluk Empire card from Fugger was a necessary hedge against their Imperial Victory play. But it remains to be seen how Marchionni can find a way to secure a victory of their own. They have only one Patron prestige, which is the measurement of victory in the event that both Trade Fair Route decks become exhausted. Fugger has one as well, but Coeur is in the lead with two. Give that only a few cards remain in the West Trade Fair deck, Marchionni is seriously pressed for time.)
[COMET from West Trade Route deck enters East Market 5-spot]
Coeur - Runs Ops. Commerce (Dalmatian Merchant Marine) takes 1 florin off of Theft of the Holy Crown card. Siege (Qizilbash) to remove one red knight from the Hungary Map card. Vote (Margaret of Austria) to flip Aragon Empire card to its Republic side. Discard Margaret of Austria. Place a concession on the Aragon/Portugal border. Play Vlad the Impaler. Triggers Conspiracy one-shot. Two white rooks attack one white knight on Hungary map card. One white rook placed on Hungary map card. Flip Hungary Empire card to its Republic side. Pays 1 florin to repress Marchionni concession on Hungary/Byzantine border and move it to the Hungary Republic card and replace it with a Coeur concession.
(Marchionni decides its time to spring its long planned Republic flip in order to sprint towards a Renaissance victory. Using Margaret’s Vote Op to flip Aragon to its Republic side, and the concession it placed on the Portugal border, could have triggered a chain-effect whereby the newly exposed Vote Op of the Aragon Republic card could have flipped (and claimed) the Portugal Empire card. Coeur held off on this, however, mainly because that would allow Fugger to easily claim an Imperial victory next turn. The Last Sigh, with its Leo Africanus ability, has been an unsung hero for Coeur. The efficiency of having the ability to conduct both East and West ops in one action, instead of two, is allowing Coeur to gain an advantage over their rivals turn after turn.)
Fugger - Runs West Ops. Tax (The Bold) targets Fugger concession on France/England border. Fugger decides not to repress its own concession and pays 1 florin, then adds a white knight levy to the France map card. Campaign (France Empire card) to attack Aragon. Cost is 2 florins. Two white knights take on one white knight and one black rook. All pieces are removed and the battle is inconclusive. Campaign (Papal States card) to attack Aragon. Cost is 1 florin. Auto-success due to no defenders. Claim Aragon Republic card from Coeur and flip to its Empire side. Becomes vassal of Papal States. Place concession on Aragon/France border. Sell Unity of the Brethren, held in hand, for 2 florins.
(Fugger almost conceded the game before they realized that they could use The Bold’s Tax Op to tax *themselves* and place a levy. This, in turn, could be used to wear down the defenses of Aragon and allow the Papal States to make a vassal of them. Suddenly it appears the tables have turned, and Fugger is now in firm command of an imminent Imperial Victory.)
Marchionni - Runs West Ops. Tax (The Mary Rose) targets Fugger concession on England/France border. Fugger removes the concession. A white knight levy is raised on the England map card. Purchases Theft of the Holy Crown, cost is 1 florin and gain 1 florin.
(Marchionni is giving Fugger a taste of their own tax medicine, making it almost impossible for Fugger to take England next turn and secure an Imperial Victory. Purchasing the Crown card was a means of generating cash next turn without conducting a trade fair and depleting the West Trade Fair deck further.)
[French Pirates from West Trade Fair deck enters East Market 5-spot]
Coeur - Run Ops. Commerce (Hungary Republic card) to take 1 florin off of The Crim Horde. Commerce (Dalmatian Merchant Marine) to take 1 florin off of the East Trade Fair card. Conduct East Trade Fair. Coeur nets 3 florins (boost from Michelangelo), Marchionni nets 2 florins.
(Unless another Patron Prestige appears on the market, Coeur is now going for a win by deck exhaustion and having the most florins- the tie-breaker if everyone has the same amount of Patron Prestige. Again- will have to wait and see if this strategy will work out.)
[The Crim Horde moves to East Market 0-spot, India Armada from West Trade Fair deck enters East Market 5-spot]
It appears that the game has entered into a kingmaker standoff. Fugger cannot secure victory this turn, but depending if they decide to buy a card from the market or not will determine the winner. Fugger cannot take the heavily fortified England map card. It also cannot purchase/play Hurrem Sultan Roxelana to gain the Ottoman Empire card, because they need an additional action to declare Imperial Victory.
If Fugger purchases a card, then the West Trade Route deck (which has only two cards remaining) would be reduced to one card, which Marchionni could exhaust on their turn by conducting a trade fair. That action, combined with selling the Holy Crown card for 4 florins, would allow Marchionni to edge out Coeur on the florins victory condition by 1 florin. (Each player has one Patronage Prestige in their tableau, thus the need to see who has the most florins to determine victory.)
If Fugger doesn’t purchase a market card, then Marchionni cannot exhaust the market without purchasing a card themselves- thus depriving them of an action to sell the Holy Crown for 4 florins. In that case, Coeur would win by conducting a trade fair and exhausting the deck on their turn.
This game was very, very close. Obviously optimal play wasn’t achieved- I noticed a few mistakes after I made them, and I tried to note that in the commentary above. Marchionni made a nice come-from-behind move to secure what I am going to call a tie between them and Coeur.
What really helped Marchionni was grabbing two Discovery Prestige cards in the early game. Even though they struggled to keep concessions on the board, these cards made sure that both Fugger and Coeur could not go for a Globalization Victory even though they both had, at times, plenty of concessions to qualify for a win. Grabbing the Phocoean Alum was a huge coup for Marchionni. Their ability to scrape by with just enough florins to replace two concessions around the Ottoman map card allowed Marchionni to capture the majority of Eastern Trade Fair profits towards the end game. Timely arrival of the Holy Crown, which could be sold for 4 florins, also was very helpful. While I’m sure this aspect of the game drives some folks crazy, I see it as being in the right place at the right time.
Coeur came close to winning with their Republic play, but the main issue with the Vote Op is that it cannot target Empire cards that are vassals or in the Empire card stack. When Fugger began acquiring Western Empires via French Campaigns, it was hard for Coeur to pry these vassals away with Conspiracies, Revolts, or Religious Wars as the opportunities did not present themselves in the market. One would have thought their early stranglehold on the Eastern Trade Route combined with their Leo Africanus ability would have given them the decided edge. But inattention to possible threats to their concessions cost them in the end.
Fugger had most of the West under lockdown with their vast array of Western Ops, and if they hadn’t turned the Mamluk Empire card into a Republic they might have been able to secure an Imperial Victory early in the game. One big issue was the inability to have enough florins placed on the West Trade Fair card to allow levies to be consistently replenished in far-flung locations such as France or the HRE. France is, indeed, a powerful Empire card to possess. But without the ability to replenish those knights by trade fairs or purchased cards, you can only conduct so many offensive campaigns. Still, they were close to winning as well in the end. Grabbing the Ottoman Empire card would have sealed victory, but the market simply didn’t have enough cards to last an entire turn.
For completists sake, the last two cards in the West Trade Route deck were Swiss Reislaufer and Gold Coast Monopoly.
- Last edited Tue Oct 17, 2017 8:08 pm (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Tue Oct 17, 2017 7:24 am
Great playthrough! Thanks!
Great write-up! You're a more patient man than I -- thanks for sharing this.
I do have a question: in turn 3, why does the Apostasy force the discard of the Grim and the Ottoman Empire card? It was my understanding that Apostasy would only effect a player who has influence in more than one religion. The Grim and the Ottoman Empire both provide Islamic influence.
I've not yet played with the expansion yet, so this may be a change of which I'm unaware.
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I do have a question: in turn 3, why does the Apostasy force the discard of the Grim and the Ottoman Empire card? It was my understanding that Apostasy would only effect a player who has influence in more than one religion. The Grim and the Ottoman Empire both provide Islamic influence.
Ahh, looking over the Apostasy section more closely I see that I messed up that rule. I was thinking it would target one religion OR the other, not that you needed both for it to take effect. Of course the example and rules specifically state this, but I most likely read it too quickly and just went with an assumption. Thanks for pointing this out!
Reading this playthrough has me salivating to play Pax Renaissance again this Sunday!