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Subject: Protestant openings (95 Theses and Diet of Worms) rss

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Doug Muir
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So what's the best way for the Protestant to play his opening Reformation attempts?

You start with Luther and one regular on Wittenberg, which gives you four die rolls on the adjacent spaces. So, Magdeburg-Brandenburg-Leipzig are obviously your first three targets. (Magdeburg first, right? Because you'd prefer to be sure of Brandenburg?)

But what then? Lubeck is tempting, but maybe it can wait for a later impulse? With the extra die, does it make more sense to chase Erfurt and then, if successful, take a flier on Kassel or Brunswick? Nuremberg... well, two dice against five is not great odds.

And then the Diet. I have the impression that the most popular strategy is to play a 3 or 4 card and hope the Catholic powers play low. So if you do win one or two spaces, where to go? My natural inclination is to try to break out of the eastern bloc towards the western Electorates as quickly as possible. So, Nuremberg or Kassel if one win, and then Mainz if two?

-- I can see an alternate strategy along the northern line: open Magdeburg - Brandenburg - Lubeck - try for Hamburg - finish with either Brunswick or Bremen. That would put you either one or two spaces away from Munster. But I have the impression the Rhine valley is better attacked from the south than the north.

Has anyone gamed this out in detail?


Doug M.
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William Bentley
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Best is difficult gauge and will obviously depend on your cards and opponent's ability, but here is an interesting outcome I had recently. I feel using the debater bonuses and adj. troops are critical to success so driving SW through Nuremberg to the western electorate triangle and Augsburg and using Bucer's proximity bonus within 2 spaces of Strasburg can work well to unlock the electorates and escape the NE Germany trap.

The extra die from 95 Theses combined with adjacency to Luther, troops and/or Bucer's proximity from Strasburg allowed me to convert Leipzig, Nuremberg, Worms, Augsburg and Mainz in that order on the opening card. Boom, like that all of Germany is opened! The rest is mainly cleanup and you've got nearly all the goods way before SLeague can hit. Can't reference the exact odds, but I'd say you have 65% or better on all of them save the bridge to Nuremberg which was 3 dice vs. 5 or 50something%. Oddly enough it took three attempts later to flip Brandenburg even after Magdeburg was converted, go figure.

Then try not to lose anything at the Diet. If you have cards to get a space or two use it to flip tougher nuts like Trier in the above situation or bridging that gap between the NE German trap and Mainz or Augsburg if the above scenario wasn't blessed by key rolls. Never use the home card in the Diet. You'll need it to go fishing for a good card or setting up a late turn reformation blast with Melanchthon to finish the GNT and get another 6 attempts to do cleanup.
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Andrei Shlepov
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I always try to go at Breslau first to get a sort of "flank DRM." There also exists a very mean tactics of flipping Bucer while rolling for 95 Theses.
 
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Mark D
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The most common opening I've seen is Brandenburg, Lepzig, Nuremburg and then either Augsburg or Mainz. From there the rest of the Electorates. Basically you want to get the most Electorates while flipping the least amount of spaces. Because once the electorates are flipped once, your SPs are on the board and they become harder to flip and easier to convert back.

If you have the electorates, you have to get one of the North Sea ports, either Hamburg or Bremen. I usually prefer going to Lubeck then Hamburg, but if that gets blocked you can always go for Magdenburg - Brunswick. The north sea ports importance can't be stressed enough, as without them Papal debates lost in England have no effect.

If you get all the electorates with a minimum of spaces either start translating or save two cards for next turn. The idea of using HiS and Protestant debates (since you can flip a lot of the bad Prot debaters) and offensively going after Papal debaters has been debated. I've tried it and it seems like more of a crap shoot then papal debates. If you do try it, its good to hold onto HiS in case you get a bad matchup. Or you can use it in case Catejan or Tetzel are the defenders.

For Diet of Worms I wouldn't recommend using a 3 or 4 unless Hap/Pope is being played as a Dual power. On Average the Prot will win a 2 hit victory, and more CPs spent on this don't tend to increase the amount of hits. Better off burning a two instead of a three you could use as a debate or a treatise/translate.

Of course, most games I've played the Pope usually spends the first turn getting Florence and not fighting the Prot except for Lepzig Debate.
 
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Doug Muir
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Bucer gives +1 on rolls within 2 squares of Strasbourg, yes?

That's interesting, but I see two problems.

1) Attacking Nuremberg, you have two dice at +1 against five. Your odds of winning are a little over 60%. That's great -- but if you don't win, Bucer is wasted, because you can't easily get within two spaces of Strasburg otherwise.

2) Doesn't this leave Bucer dangerously vulnerable to an attack by Eck? Eck rolls six dice, versus just three for Bucer. You'd almost have no choice but to substitute Luther.


Doug M.
 
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Ed Beach
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Nice thread!

Bucer allows an extra die to be rolled, not a +1 die roll MODIFIER. A big difference. Only the Bibles and Calvin's Institutes give the die roll modifier.

That said, I love the "use Bucer during the Theses to get to the electorates strategy". If Leipzig is successful, I almost always try that.

And yes, you are right that Eck could come back with Leipzig Debate (7 dice, not 6) vs. 3 on Bucer. You'll probably lose a few spaces there, but a burn (which would be bad) still isn't that likely.
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William Bentley
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Now armed with exact odds...
Reforming Nuremberg as described with Bucer under 95 Theses is 3 dice vs 5 so 56% where you win ties. I would not let the slight chance of a burning stand in the way of such obvious gain of getting to the western electorates on the first card.
BTW, the odds of Eck burning a committed Bucer (7 vs 3) is only 21%, though you'll probably lose 1, maybe 2 spaces. However, once you flip electorates and get those SPs on the board you can use the powerful +2 dice they provide to recover quickly.
 
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Doug Muir
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-- So, we can decide to commit a debater in mid-impulse? I did not know that.

Hm. If you adopt this strategy, then you attack

1) Leipzig; if won, play Bucer

2) Nuremberg. That's three dice versus five; you have a just-better-then-even chance of winning.

If you win, you hit Mainz; win that, and spend your last two going for Trier and Augsburg. (But not Koln, because it's too far from Strasburg.) Fail at Mainz, and your last two attacks would be Worms, then Augsburg.

It's intriguing, but the bottleneck at Nuremberg is the alarming part -- fail that, and the play of Bucer is just wasted.

As for the debate, seven dice versus three... Eck has about a 12% chance of burning Bucer. If you're playing the Pope, certainly worth trying.


Doug M.
 
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William Bentley
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vormuir wrote:
-- It's intriguing, but the bottleneck at Nuremberg is the alarming part -- fail that, and the play of Bucer is just wasted.

As for the debate, seven dice versus three... Eck has about a 12% chance of burning Bucer. If you're playing the Pope, certainly worth trying.


That "bottleneck at Nuremberg" is a primary reason you want to go for the Western Electorates" right off the bat. The bottleneck (elsewhere referred to as the NE German trap) won't go away, so you should take the opportunity offered by the extra dice from 95Theses and Bucer at this time. It only gets harder to bridge out of NE Germany if you wait.As for Bucer being wasted if it doesn't work? Risk and reward is what it's all about. Is your glass half-full or empty?

I'm pretty sure the odds on burning a committed Bucer are 21%, but still well worth the risk. Many Popes will prefer the build St.Pete's and/or prepare to take Florence strategy early anyway, so your risk of losing him to the pyre are well below 1/5. And if you're really a nervous nelly, Luther can always step in.
 
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Doug Muir
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Eck vs. Bucer: Bucer has a value of 2, so Eck must beat him by 3 or more.

Bucer # of hits

0 30%
1 44%
2 22%
3 4%

Eck # of hits

 
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Doug Muir
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? for some reason, most of my post disappeared.

Well, anyway -- William is right and I'm wrong. Second try, I got a result of 20.8% for Eck's chance of burning Bucer.

Eck is just a menace, isn't he.


Doug M.

 
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Mark D
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Just a quick point, but if you are worried about Bucer getting burnt via Eck and Lepzig debate you can always play HiS and insert Luther.

Also, the other way around Nuremburg is on Turn 2 to Convert out of Zurich and get Innsbruck then Ausburg. I had a game as Pope in which I excommed Luther on the first turn and flipped the prot down to 0 spaces and he couldn't do anything but translate. The next turn he started out of Zurich because I had played Trace Italliene on Nuremburg, and managed to steam his way through Augsburg and get the western electorates. Later on in the turn he was able to flip Wittenburg and Madengburg and get back on track. So its quite possible.

Like I said, its just all about flipping the electorates once so the Prot SPs are on the board. If you fail during 95 Thesis to flip Nuremburg its not that bad. You can always go Efrut - Kessel - Mainz or flip towards a North Sea port.
 
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David Roe
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WebBard wrote:

If you have the electorates, you have to get one of the North Sea ports, either Hamburg or Bremen. I usually prefer going to Lubeck then Hamburg, but if that gets blocked you can always go for Magdenburg - Brunswick. The north sea ports importance can't be stressed enough, as without them Papal debates lost in England have no effect.


This is a very important point. If your Papal players knows this he will definitely target Tyndale right from the start since there's really no risk for him.

I usually try to keep the number of converted spaces below 12 to put off the SL for as long as possible - until I have the maximum number of electorates. It's not really possible to do this AND get a port since you'll be bound to go over the 12 quite quickly.

I won my first game by getting all six electorates but keeping my number of spaces on 11 as long as possible. The SL was played at the start of turn 3 to no effect and then I went all out. I won at the end of turn 4 when my 13 points from converted spaces (and I think the German bible) turned into 25 with all 6 electorates on the automatic formation of the Schmalkaldic league.
 
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Andy Foulke
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Archiduque Carlos
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is reading this...
 
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