Paul Kimmel
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First let me say that I am by no means an expert at this game. I have enjoyed playing it, and I've read enough on this whole HH thing to understand the gist of it. Also, I apologize in advance if this has been suggested already, or if it's not a workable solution to the problem.

After reading a bit about New France and the history of the conflicts during the period, the first thing that struck me is that the HH breaks with history. It has the British doing what it did in the Seven Years War, but doing it a century or so earlier. The reason this works is twofold: first, the entire British Empire deck is available for purchase from the beginning of the game; and second, it's easy to thin out your draw deck early on by dumping cards into the Reserves.

And the solutions I've read here that deal with the HH have all addressed game mechanics in some way. Either limiting the possibility of playing a "thin deck" strategy, or changing the way Home Support works, or dictating what kind of cards you can put in your Reserves. But these solutions may create other problems further down the line, because they deal with the core mechanics of the game.

But what if the problem was addressed in a "Twilight Struggle" kind of way, by not allowing all the Empire cards to be available right away? There would be a little bit of fiddliness required (the addition of a turn counter), but you could reserve certain Empire cards for a later phase of the game.

This would also serve to bring the game more in line with history. After all, the first Intendant didn't arrive in New France until 1665. Should that card really be available at the beginning of the game? For that matter, why would the British bring all their available military resources to bear at the very beginning, to attack a region with a population of French settlers that numbered in the hundreds?

I haven't gone through the three Empire decks to see which cards might be held back, or even tried to determine how long you might make the "opening" phase of the game last. I just don't think the problem that allows the HH exploit to work is one of game mechanics. I think it happens because in the history of New France there were economic, political and historical reasons why the British didn't just take over all the French settlements from the beginning, and those reasons aren't represented in AFAoS if the entire Empire deck is available right away.

I'd be curious to hear what the more experienced players here have to say to this. Is it too micro-managing? Would it constrain gameplay too much? Honestly, I don't know. Please chime in, and thanks in advance for your comments.
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Ken Dilloo
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Thanks for the post. I would probably say that any rule change suggestions should probably be done after a lot of plays. I hope that doesn't sound elitist, but I can't imagine it is easy to design a game like this, much less suggest changes for it, without many plays.

Also, a lot of the fun of playing this game is to employ the cards in different combinations, and in different ways. Limiting that would seriously limit the game. Any fix, for the HH, would have to not drastically effect other points of the game.

My two cents.
 
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Clyde W
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So when French win on pure expansion, that would be changed to make the game more fit history too, yes?
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Maik Stich
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Dunno, I just think the whole HH thing is nothing but trolling. Sure someone might win with it, but testing and proving this and different strategies against will take another 10 games. All of them are interesting and tense.

If I have to change sth I would lock the reserve slots. Just put 5 coins on your reserve spot. In order to get rid of a coin (and therefore opening a reserve slot) one has to invest an order and pay 1 gold. Thats 2-3 actions that need to be taken before making a true HH. Depending on the french draw enough to go for a different strat.
 
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Christopher Dearlove
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Maik_Stich wrote:
I just think the whole HH thing is nothing but trolling.


If there's any trolling here, it's by you.
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Paul Kimmel
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MS, I see your point. Over the long haul, slowing down the first few card dumps into the Reserves would have a minimal impact on the game, but it would prevent the sort of instant thin deck mischief that can happen in the first few turns. Interesting idea.
 
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Alex Rockwell
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Maik_Stich wrote:
Dunno, I just think the whole HH thing is nothing but trolling.


Its not.
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Maik Stich
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Yeah that was the intention. I don't really want to say no to a certain playstyle, but maybe hinder it a bit. It also is done by using regular gaming material, makes sense to me as reserves need to be build first as well and represents a general "grinding" time until certain mechanics work. If you want to bring "back" France give him one reserve for free (so only 4 coins instead of 5 on his reserve field).

Our games against HH were rather close (me thinning out asap via reserves, no govenor or whatnot and with imperial supply I am able to put the bought unit right into my hand to keep the siege going) This made it impossible to use his Raiders or whatnot. A clever siege against Lousburg also saved him some time as he does not loose the "starting" infantry. This saved another turn. Again. I think while HH breaks the game mechanics and intentions it still is interesting to play against and with it. And for us it took good 10 games or so to try different variations against HH. Still interesting and entertaining for me.

Sorry, for hijacking this thread. Imo people just take this game too seriously especially their comments and somewhat aggressive stance towards HH is ridicolous. Some posters make fun of people saying HH is not the end of days. And that is trolling in my eyes.
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Paul Kimmel
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Maik_Stich wrote:
Imo people just take this game too seriously...


Amen to that.
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