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Subject: Major Power Activation Questions rss

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Jack Banon
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Yesterday on a play through with fewer than 5 people we came across a few strange scenarios regarding activation of Ottoman and HRE.

The easier question is, can power still resolve it's diplomatic status if it would end up declaring war on another one of it's powers? (i.e. Player controls Spain and France. Spain declares war on HRE. France wins the activation.) In that last example if France won, would the result be disregarded, would the next highest player win HRE activation, or is the entire move illegal, and Spain cannot declare war in the first place?

Second up was England had control of the Ottoman power, and the HRE. We had to resolve the HRE through card play and the Ottoman won as a deactivating power. Did England have to deactivate it's other allied major power, or should the Ottoman not have been involved in the roll?
 
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Alex Ferguson
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JackBanon wrote:
The easier question is, can power still resolve it's diplomatic status if it would end up declaring war on another one of it's powers? (i.e. Player controls Spain and France. Spain declares war on HRE. France wins the activation.) In that last example if France won, would the result be disregarded, would the next highest player win HRE activation, or is the entire move illegal, and Spain cannot declare war in the first place?

Yeek. I'm tempted to say, "the entire two-player game is illegal". (In theory I suppose it could occur in the 3pg, too, just not with those powers.)

I think the best solution would be to remove France from consideration from winning the status resolution. Controlling both while they're at war isn't an acceptable result, per SB p11. Making the entire DoW illegal seems excessive (even taking all that Hapsburg inbreeding into consideration), and I see no basis in the rules for it. France as an "ineligible receiver" is at any rate rationalisable as a generalisation of the usual step of disallowing the DoWing power, to DoWing player.

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Second up was England had control of the Ottoman power, and the HRE. We had to resolve the HRE through card play and the Ottoman won as a deactivating power. Did England have to deactivate it's other allied major power, or should the Ottoman not have been involved in the roll?

I think the HRE is deactivated. Per SB p12, the AMP Ottomans "conduct diplomacy normally", so that'd include being eligible in the resolution of another AMP, absent any statement to the contrary. Just as well they're only allowed to deactivate, for the sake of sanity... (If we had a MaP controlling an AMP, controlling an AMP, controlling a MiP, I think heads would melt.)
 
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Mark Maginity
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I'm not sure you're reading the rules correctly. Are you referring to the Intervention option on pages 13 and 14 of the rulebook? That's only applicable when war is declared on a minor power. When a major power is activated by a declaration of war, the activation procedure on pages 11 and 12 of the scenario book is used. In the Coordinated Defense step of the latter procedure, it is optional to have the newly controlling power enter the war, not required as it is for the Intervention option.
 
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Alex Ferguson
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mmaginity2 wrote:
In the Coordinated Defense step of the latter procedure, it is optional to have the newly controlling power enter the war, not required as it is for the Intervention option.


If I may quote from the OP: "Player controls Spain and France. Spain declares war on HRE. France wins the activation." It's already illegal, while controlling Spain, France, and the HRE to have two of them at war (Spain and the HRE), without compounding it by having France declare on Spain (which would be... illegaller, but as you say, is from an optional step, so isn't really an issue).
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Steven
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Alex is correct. Check out page 11 in the scenario book.

VQ Scenario book, pg 11 wrote:

Controlling 2 Powers
Additional restrictions are placed on any player that controls two powers:
• A player may never use one power to conduct piracy on the
other power controlled by the same player.
• A player may never have one of his powers declare war on the other.
• A player may never award a card draw or mercenaries from one of his powers to the other.
The two powers controlled by a single player may ally and loan naval squadrons however.
 
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Mark Maginity
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Agreed. I was just emphasizing the optional nature of the DOW to demonstrate that there was in fact no conflict in the rules (at least on this issue). There was a discussion in another thread where people were attempting to apply the rules for DOW on minor powers to DOW on activated major powers, so I just wanted to make sure that wasn't happening here.
 
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Alex Ferguson
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mmaginity2 wrote:
Agreed. I was just emphasizing the optional nature of the DOW to demonstrate that there was in fact no conflict in the rules (at least on this issue).

But that's not the issue raised in the OP, where there is indeed a conflict (or omission, or decided lack of clarity). Just "opting" not to have one's own two original powers then also DoW doesn't resolve that.
 
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Alex Ferguson
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JackBanon wrote:
The easier question is, can power still resolve it's diplomatic status if it would end up declaring war on another one of it's powers? (i.e. Player controls Spain and France. Spain declares war on HRE. France wins the activation.) In that last example if France won, would the result be disregarded, would the next highest player win HRE activation, or is the entire move illegal, and Spain cannot declare war in the first place?

It occurs to me there's a further possibility (rereading the section after Steven quoted it). A player isn't allowed to DoW a power he already controls; but what's happening here, it could be argued, that a legal DoW occurs, and control is obtained afterwards (albeit, immediately, as as a direct result).

I don't think that's sensible or desirable, though. The intent is presumably that at no point does a player control two powers, at war with each other. It sounds like a loophole waiting to happen. So on balance, I'm sticking with my original suggestion.
 
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Mark Maginity
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O.K., I think I'm finally grasping the issue here. I thought you were talking about France somehow coming into war against Spain, when actually what you're talking about is Spain and HRE at war when you control both after the latter's activation. And now that I understand what you're talking about, I was about to cast my vote as well for excluding any powers controlled by the player declaring war from the diplomatic status resolution until I realized that DOW on Ottoman or HRE by one player in the 2-player game would force the other player to take control of the newly activated major power. Note that direct application of the normal rules for excluding powers from diplomatic status resolutions triggered by DOW forces the England/Protestant player to take control of the Ottoman when France declares war on the latter in the 3-player game.

I think this is something that just wasn't thought through completely by the game developers. I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that with so many people eager to be involved in the playtesting that there wasn't nearly as much playtesting with only 2 or 3 players as there was for more players. All the more reason why I think I'll stick with Here I Stand when there are 3 players. It will be very interesting to see what Ed's response to all this will be.
 
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Alex Ferguson
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mmaginity2 wrote:
And now that I understand what you're talking about, I was about to cast my vote as well for excluding any powers controlled by the player declaring war from the diplomatic status resolution until I realized that DOW on Ottoman or HRE by one player in the 2-player game would force the other player to take control of the newly activated major power.

Y'know, that's a very telling -- and mathematically undeniable -- point. But it's not a complete reductio ad absurdum: one could take the view that it's an acceptable outcome, on the basis that if the France/Spain player doesn't want this to happen, he just plain shouldn't DoW on the AMP.

The only viable alternative to this that springs to mind is treating the DoWing player's other power as a possible deactivating power for these purposes. But that's a) really busking it, and b) probably not a good situation to have transpire in any event.

Quote:
Note that direct application of the normal rules for excluding powers from diplomatic status resolutions triggered by DOW forces the England/Protestant player to take control of the Ottoman when France declares war on the latter in the 3-player game.

Very true. Would seem to be a precedent for the deterministic resolution in the first case.

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I think this is something that just wasn't thought through completely by the game developers. I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that with so many people eager to be involved in the playtesting that there wasn't nearly as much playtesting with only 2 or 3 players as there was for more players. All the more reason why I think I'll stick with Here I Stand when there are 3 players. It will be very interesting to see what Ed's response to all this will be.

It's not something I'm gagging to play with 2 or 3 either, I must admit. Be nice for it to work reasonably well with those numbers, though, for "training up" newcomers for the game with more people, on the other hand.
 
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Chris McDonald
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On the subject of things that don't make sense in 2 player games - the Holy League. This forces Spain and France to be at war, yet they are controlled by the same player.
 
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Steven
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cfmcdonald wrote:
On the subject of things that don't make sense in 2 player games - the Holy League. This forces Spain and France to be at war, yet they are controlled by the same player.


You mean the Catholic League?

I would say we need to wait until Ed rules on that too.

I have a feeling, based on the discussion of this thread that a player playing more than one faction cannot declare war on his other faction, however, the Catholic League may be an exception to the rule (no war is being "declared"). It just happens if the conditions are met.
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Chris McDonald
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SW_Cygnus wrote:


You mean the Catholic League?


Yep - I get all my Leagues mixed up.
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Alex Ferguson
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SW_Cygnus wrote:
I have a feeling, based on the discussion of this thread that a player playing more than one faction cannot declare war on his other faction, however, the Catholic League may be an exception to the rule (no war is being "declared"). It just happens if the conditions are met.

I'm going to provisionally agree with this assessment. It doesn't happen from any sort of choice by the player, and it's going to be much more of an encumberance to him than any sort of chance to "self-collude", in some sort of sockpuppet war with himself. Ideally the scenario setup would address the point explicitly, though. (CL step is skipped, is carried out but doesn't result in a war, or as above.)
 
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Steven
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FergusWindbag wrote:
I'm going to provisionally agree with this assessment. It doesn't happen from any sort of choice by the player, and it's going to be much more of an encumberance to him than any sort of chance to "self-collude", in some sort of sockpuppet war with himself. Ideally the scenario setup would address the point explicitly, though. (CL step is skipped, is carried out but doesn't result in a war, or as above.)


Also, the only way CL league can happen is if the Protestant pulls the trigger by taking over enough spaces (or Spain plays a Prot event!). If this happens its really a race between the Spanish/French and Eng/Prot player to take over Paris. OR in the case that France is ahead, the Spanish/French player will have a phony war with himself and try to hold onto Paris as best he can.

The English/Prot player has a much better chance, because he is guaranteed to draw his new home card, Paris is Worth a Mass.

The Spanish/French player better have a damn good reason to want to take the leap and trigger CL league!
 
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Chris McDonald
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FergusWindbag wrote:
SW_Cygnus wrote:
I have a feeling, based on the discussion of this thread that a player playing more than one faction cannot declare war on his other faction, however, the Catholic League may be an exception to the rule (no war is being "declared"). It just happens if the conditions are met.

I'm going to provisionally agree with this assessment. It doesn't happen from any sort of choice by the player, and it's going to be much more of an encumberance to him than any sort of chance to "self-collude", in some sort of sockpuppet war with himself. Ideally the scenario setup would address the point explicitly, though. (CL step is skipped, is carried out but doesn't result in a war, or as above.)


Why does this not present the normal chance of self-collusion? It seems Spain could use his troops in France to fight the protestants only, while allowing French troops to take Barcelona, Madrid, Seville (etc., for however many keys needed) for the military auto-victory?
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Alex Ferguson
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cfmcdonald wrote:
Why does this not present the normal chance of self-collusion? It seems Spain could use his troops in France to fight the protestants only, while allowing French troops to take Barcelona, Madrid, Seville (etc., for however many keys needed) for the military auto-victory?

I'm looking at the two and three player scenario rules for the answer to that question and... I'm thinking "who wrote this thing?" I was implicitly assuming a couple of things from HiS which don't hold true here. (Not sure if the differences would be sufficient, but they do exist.) So, I take that back. Not quite sure how best to handle this.
 
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Ed Beach
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I ruled on the Catholic League question today here:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/810876/2-player-game-cat...

Let me know if there are any other unresolved issues in this thread that I haven't addressed.
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Alex Ferguson
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Yes indeed: per the OP: "Player controls Spain and France. Spain declares war on HRE. France wins the activation."

Suggested resolution: France is not eligible to gain control of the HRE, due to also controlling the power declaring war. (A wording tweak in the rules from "power" to "player" would accomplish this, I think.)
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Ed Beach
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Yes, that'd be the right way to play it. I'll look into making sure all these 2-player game cases get closed up a bit better when I issue the next FAQ.
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