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Subject: unusual hybrid rss

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Tim K
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I'm a big fan of Here I Stand. It is my favorite multi-player CDWG, and one of my favorite games, period. However, HIS has its drawbacks (for example, religious yahtzee, and the campaign game requiring setting aside a full day for FTF play). I anticipate great things from VQ by Ed Beach and his development team. I figure he addressed similar concerns in his effort to raise the bar even higher for multi-player CDWGs.

I just finished reading VQ's rules and I'm looking forward to my first FTF game in a couple of weeks. I have a few observations, and I wonder what others think. In case anyone misunderstands me, the following is said with a sense of amusement.

VQ is not sufficiently described as simply a multi-player CDWG. I think it is an unusual hybrid of a CDWG, Eurogame, and the Dating Game.

Patronage of scientists and artists? I already have Princes of Florence for that. Setting up royal marriages? "Bachelorette #1, what would you do if Captain Drake was pirating all your New World colonies?". (In fact my nephew has what I think is a relatively obscure card game called Suzerain where a player wins by setting up a royal wedding.)

Seriously, I trust Ed's instincts. It appears he was trying to increase player interaction when he developed the Marriage rules, and player interaction is exactly what I find most enjoyable about games like HIS. A friend who is a diehard Eurogamer tried HIS once but didn't like the demands it put on him to match his wits directly with other players. I'm a big Eurogame fan myself, but I must agree with Chris that compared to HIS, most Eurogames are "multi-player solitaire".

Stll, I can't help but observe that some people will get teased over VQ. The "Jilted by Elizabeth" table has to be one of the craziest wargame elements since ASL's Kindling table. Ah, the things we'll do for fun.

Tim K.
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Joshua Patterson
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I'm in the first Diplomatic Phase of my first game ever. (Playing as France)

I've come to the conclusion that the Royal Marriages are one of the best things that ever happened and really wish it could be backported to HiS. The reason is that it gives you something else to negotiate over and in my case can give me leverage throughout the entire game. (Since most all my Royals are value 3)

In fact, I wish that Ed had combined the 12 and 13 results on the wedding table to give the powers something else to argue over. "Well, I'll marry him but ONLY if I get the card. You can have the VP"

I'll also go on record as saying that the Diplomacy phase of VQ is going to be a LOT more nasty because of Royal Marriages.
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Russ Hewson
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Of course, once you've played a few games you'll realise that as France your royals give you no leverage at all as you'll rapidly find yourself begging to get them married off when people realise that easy marriages = easy win for France
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Jeff
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During the negotiation segment of my last play of VQ, the French agreed to marry the faction I played, the Protestants. The Spanish player then showed the French player that he had a card that he could play to benefit France. The French Royal was then prepared to reject the Dutchman for a Spaniard. When I became aware of this, I then threatened the French with the numerous cards I was fortunate to have been dealt that would allow the Huguenots to very easily take over Paris. The French Royal ultimately agreed to marry the Dutchman.

I had enough victory points coming in at the time through more peaceful means that I did not want to draw so much attention to myself by also conquering Paris. However, without the possibility of gain through marriage, then to Paris we would have went.

When I first read of Royals and marriages being included in Virgin Queen, this concept seemed silly. After my 3rd play of VQ, I am now beginning to see the brilliance of it all.
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Johan Johannesson
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Uhtoff wrote:
Of course, once you've played a few games you'll realise that as France your royals give you no leverage at all as you'll rapidly find yourself begging to get them married off when people realise that easy marriages = easy win for France


They do give VPs to France, but France starts very low and will probably have a hard time winning without the marriages. At the same time the frech royals with their high eligibility give other players a chance to get som cards/vps themselves. I think it will be very hard to resist the temptations of marriage here. I know I wont be able to resist marrying off my nobles =).
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Chris Montgomery
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Simon_le_Bon wrote:
Uhtoff wrote:
Of course, once you've played a few games you'll realise that as France your royals give you no leverage at all as you'll rapidly find yourself begging to get them married off when people realise that easy marriages = easy win for France


They do give VPs to France, but France starts very low and will probably have a hard time winning without the marriages. At the same time the frech royals with their high eligibility give other players a chance to get som cards/vps themselves. I think it will be very hard to resist the temptations of marriage here. I know I wont be able to resist marrying off my nobles =).


As with so many other aspects of this game, time will tell what strategies/agreements are actually worth.

I took me about five plays of HIS before I finally realized the need for the Papacy to demand two cards from the English player in order to grant a divorce. Generally, the English player won't pay that price. But what the English player is buying is TIME, not a divorce. Getting a divorce on Turn 2 allows the English to marry someone else right away, and move along the marriage track. Without it, they have to expend a card AND they lose time.

That's just a way of illustrating that the value of deals will slowly gel over time. I think the French have a hard of time of it - at least in my game. Without a huge standing army, putting down the Huguenot rebellions are a bit tricky. The marriage VPs help out. But just from the early impulses in my game, I can see the need for France to start building REGULARS in every city quickly. Or be prepared to spend quite a bit of CPs on Suppressing Heresy.

Amazingly enough, mercenaries in VQ don't stop rebellions. And even if the cities are well-defended, they could still lose to Huguenot die rolls.

So I see the marriages, patronization, and piracy as France's main method to get VPs elsewhere. Unlike Spain, they won't be able to go off and fight foreign wars - they've got a rebellion at home.
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