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Subject: Is not debating in the T1 a bad idea as the Papacy? rss

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Eric J

California
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Hi, I'm looking at some ways to get VP, and with my cards, Florence can be taken and St. Peters building commenced. But it will take some CP for movements. With a card already used for Diet of Worms, I really only have my 2 home cards. Is there enough buffer in Turn 1 to not initiate debates?
 
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Mark
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Unless the Prot had a very bad 95 Theses and Diet, then yes, the Papacy should be calling debates. Avoid the temptation to take Florence early. The Papacy is not a military power.
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Max DuBoff
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LeroyJS wrote:
Unless the Prot had a very bad 95 Theses and Diet, then yes, the Papacy should be calling debates. Avoid the temptation to take Florence early. The Papacy is not a military power.


I completely disagree. Taking Florence early is very important for the Papacy: it grants an extra card, it's 2 VPs in the bank that are hard for other powers to take later (you sometimes see wars declared on Papacy, but it's rare), and it prevents other powers from having a good shot at Master of Italy.

Florence is thus my first priority in T1 as Papacy. The religious struggle can wait until later. I recommend using Leipzig Debate to call a debate (because it gives pretty good odds, because you can either pick Eck or force the Prots to use a weak committed debater) and using the other cards for Florence or St. Peter's.

In general, aside from Leipzig Debate, debating is an opportunistic affair. Given their finicky nature and potential for small outcomes, debates are only really worthwhile if you can think you'll have good odds. This advice is particularly true for the Prots but still applies to the Papacy.

EDIT: And I should note that, in the groups I've played with, the assumption is generally that Papacy will go for Florence in T1 of 1517. You could call it groupthink, but I think this is a case where the play is optimal. It's also quite difficult for Papacy to hit 25 VP without Florence. Further, the Prots will often lay low on T1, and stopping them from getting many spaces in Germany isn't particularly relevant as long as they're not getting a bunch of electorates.
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Kristian Thy
Denmark
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Gunulfr ok Øgotr ok Aslakr ok Rolfr resþu sten þænsi æftir Ful, felaga sin, ær warþ ... døþr, þa kunungar barþusk.
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Completely agree that Florence is paramount for the Pope. SD to Ravenna and go to Florence with 4 units on your first impulse.

MD1616 wrote:
Further, the Prots will often lay low on T1, and stopping them from getting many spaces in Germany isn't particularly relevant as long as they're not getting a bunch of electorates.


Any halfway decent Luther will stop at 11 German spaces anyway, and until Paul III turns up you're not going to be doing much book-burning. As Pope, debates are for scooping up VPs, not flipping spaces.
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Jon Karlsson
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MD1616 wrote:
Taking Florence early is very important for the Papacy: it grants an extra card

No, it doesn't. (Your other points are good, though.)
 
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Mark
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Quote:
Taking Florence early is very important for the Papacy: it grants an extra card, it's 2 VPs in the bank that are hard for other powers to take later (you sometimes see wars declared on Papacy, but it's rare), and it prevents other powers from having a good shot at Master of Italy.


I get your point, and I'm not saying Florence isn't important for the Papacy but I jut don't see how Florence is worth the resources that the Papacy has to spend in getting it on Turn 1. It doesn't give you an extra card and you need to build 2-3 more regs/mercs, move 2 spaces to lay siege, and then assault. That's 5 to 6 CPs for a power that only starts with 3 cards. Plus, you are assaulting with 4 units maximum, which is not optimal. That's 2 dice to 2 dice and with a bad roll, you've essentially wasted a whole turn. 2 VPs are nice but the Papacy already starts out way ahead and I would be wary of sticking out my neck any further that early. Plus, I would be more inclined to contain the Protestant spread however I could (either through book-burning or debates) or dumping them into St. Petes to reach for VPs later on.

I could see making an exception if you were holding the Andrea Doria/Venetian Alliance card and were then guaranteed an extra card on the next turn. But again, that likely sets you up for beat-down-the-leader on the next turn, which is a very unpleasant place to be.

Perhaps my experience is more limited than yours, but in all the games where the Papacy committed resources to capturing Florence early, they fell behind the Prot and were not able to do enough to contain him.

Personally, I like to smooth things over with France, take control of Modena (Trace Italienne is great if you can draw it) and SD there every turn to protect the Papal states and keep France from taking Florence. By turn 3 or 4, you have built up enough units through Winter to go after Florence with minimal CP expenditure.

 
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Max DuBoff
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Jon Karlsson wrote:
MD1616 wrote:
Taking Florence early is very important for the Papacy: it grants an extra card

No, it doesn't. (Your other points are good, though.)

Ah, my apologies. In that case, when/if the Pope gets Venice or Genoa, it's an extra card, and that's still helpful.
 
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Jon Karlsson
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LeroyJS wrote:
2 VPs are nice but the Papacy already starts out way ahead and I would be wary of sticking out my neck any further that early. Plus, I would be more inclined to contain the Protestant spread however I could (either through book-burning or debates)

But everyone knows (or should know) that that lead is just illusory (unless the Protestant has a really bad day) and will come down. And the Pope is not so good at book-burning until the third Pope.
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Martin Hall
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If playing using the new Master of Italy card (500th Anniversary edition), then Florence will be much more contested, since even 2 of the 5 target cities (Genoa, Milan, Florence, Venice and Naples) is worth a card draw when the card comes out.
Attractive for both France (owns Milan) and Hapsburg (own Naples), but also attractive for the Pope, since they have opportunities to get Venice (card play as well as natural ally).

IMO the benefits of Florence outweigh the payoff from the alternative uses of CP in Turn 1.
 
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