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Subject: Early French auto-wins rss

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Steven
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Easily solved once players begin to adjust to France's ability to gain VPs via marriage, Paris, and Piracy. I would compare this to Here I Stand, where the English or Hapsburgs were winning, until players adjusted their play.

Some thoughts:

1. Someone has to be in conflict with France.

Whether pirating France (Ottomans or England), converting spaces in France (Protestant), or attacking France directly (any power); France needs to be spending cards to defend itself.

This strategy could be extrapolated out to any power; players being ignored by the rest of the board will be able to gain VPs via patronage, piracy or card play unopposed.

2. France needs to start "paying" for its marriages, not the other way around.

In my most recent game, France asked me (the HRE) to pay for the privledge to marry Elisabeth of Austria to Henry III. I quickly pointed out it should be the other way around.

Other powers should not be scared to charge France a card or treasure for every marriage, as a base cost. Unless you are getting something back from the French (card play, 4 mercs, etc), he needs to pay you.

I would compare this to the "fee" England has to pay the Pope for a divore in HIS. The going rate, to my knowledge, is two cards.

With the French home card, generally most marriages are almost guaranteed to gain France a VP. For example, If Henry III (+3 DRM), marries Elisabeth of Austria, and the French plays its home card, only a result of two ones will not grant France a VP.
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Steven
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Will W wrote:
It is much worse than that. With a +7 DRM, a roll of 6-7 (30% chance) is 2 VP, and an 8+ (42%) is 3 VP for France! Some rolls also grant France an extra card on the deal. The chance of getting nothing beyond 1 VP is only 1 in 6! As France, I would be delighted to pay a card for these fabulous rewards.

Not to mention, marrying Elizabeth of Austria grants France a free Suppress Heresy action.


Which is why I told him he needed to pay two cards, or a card or a treasure minimum.

I think once people realize the power of the Gouvernante de France home card and the ability for the French to get almost guaranteed VPs, the price on marrying a French noble off will go up.
 
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Antero Kuusi
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One thing that seems to give France (and to lesser degree, Spain) an advantage is too conservative play by Protestants. Very often they make a deal with at least one of Spain and France for peaceful coexistance. The problem with these deals is that they almost always give more advantage to the other side than Protestants. It really is not a problem if a rebellion is stamped out since it costs much more in terms of troops to stamp it out than it costs to start another one. These together mean that Protestants could take on both hostile Spain and France.

This means that the deals of no rebellions should really be done only if the other side is paying considerably for it. If Protestants keep making cheap deals with France that lets them to keep all or most of their home keys safe from rebellion, that helps France a lot for both auto victory and regular victory. The game seems to be balanced under the assumption that Hugenots keep rebelling and if this is not happening, France has a very strong position.

I think an important reason for why this is happening is that most players remember how weak Protestants were in HIS, so they are averse from trusting in their military to defend their rebellions. But the ability to rebel time after time means that Protestants have in reality the upper hand and they should not give up that cheaply through deals.

Quote:
France needs to start "paying" for its marriages, not the other way around.


I think this applies for French male royals. However, there are far fewer female royals to be married off, so they have intrinsically higher value. I would consider a marriage where French female marries another power's male about even in terms of payment. However, Franch should be paying for the marriage of their male royals.

And one important exception to this is Mary, Queen of Scots. She is vastly more valuable to whoever gets to marry her that France could expect to extract payment for her marriage. Especially since marrying her to Charles IX would be pretty good move for the French, so someone has to pay of her marriage more than France would gain from that.
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Steven
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pyton wrote:
I think this applies for French male royals. However, there are far fewer female royals to be married off, so they have intrinsically higher value. I would consider a marriage where French female marries another power's male about even in terms of payment. However, Franch should be paying for the marriage of their male royals.

And one important exception to this is Mary, Queen of Scots. She is vastly more valuable to whoever gets to marry her that France could expect to extract payment for her marriage. Especially since marrying her to Charles IX would be pretty good move for the French, so someone has to pay of her marriage more than France would gain from that.


The only two nobels France may be able to get a good deal out of are Elisabeth Valois and Mary Queen of Scots. The former, because of Philip's "bonus" and the latter, because of her +2 diplomatic influence on Scotland bonus.

However, the marriage of Elisabeth could come to nothing, if Spain can find a better deal with the HRE, something for the French to consider when they made their demands.

Also, there is a downside to the marriage of Charles IX & Mary QoS, because the French player only gets a +3 modifier.

Remember, when nobles marry other nobles from the same power you can only use their highest modifiers. You also cannot use your home card, Gouvernante de France, to add +2. There is a possibility, that either noble could die. Any risk of Charles IX dying, leaving you with no admin bonus and no ability to hold cards, until Henry III comes to power, should be avoided.

She is far better marrying someone else.
 
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Alex Ferguson
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Will W wrote:
It is much worse than that. With a +7 DRM, a roll of 6-7 (30% chance) is 2 VP, and an 8+ (42%) is 3 VP for France! Some rolls also grant France an extra card on the deal. The chance of getting nothing beyond 1 VP is only 1 in 6! As France, I would be delighted to pay a card for these fabulous rewards.

Crunching some numbers (using some string and bailing wire), the expected return seems to be: 2.111 VPs and 0.278 cards to France. (But then again, it's also worth 1.139 VPs and the same 0.278 cards to the Haps.)

Even without the Festivities, it's worth 1.5 VPs and 0.222 cards.

Quote:
Not to mention, marrying Elizabeth of Austria grants France a free Suppress Heresy action.

Plus 2CPs!
 
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Antero Kuusi
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SW_Cygnus wrote:


The only two French Royals you may be able to get a good deal out of are Elisabeth Valois and Mary Queen of Scots. The former, because of Philip's "bonus" and the latter, because of her +2 diplomatic influence on Scotland bonus.


Female royals just by themselves are valuable regardless of their bonuses. In fact, their bonuses in most cases are secondary. There are far more available men, which means that several of them will go unmarried. This in turn makes a female royal is a valuable asset regardless of their bonuses. There's always additional offers available for females.

Quote:

However, the early marriage to Elisabeth could come to nothing, if Spain can find a better deal with the HRE, something for the French to consider when they made their demands.


Yes, but then there should be several willing takers of Elisabeth. Spain would still like to marry off Don Juan, Protestans would like an early match for William of Orange, and Elisabeth is very likely only possible match for Charles of Austria. The simple reason that there are more demand than supply there should allow France to get a good deal from someone.

Again when Marguerite is available, there's likely several 1-eligibility men around that would like to a some match. Again France should be able to extract some concessions from someone due to that lack of females.

Of course, this same works to make it much harder to marry the French male royals Especially Charles IX and Duke of Alencon likely have to pay considerable dowries to attract someone for a marriage.
 
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Robert Jenkins
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SW_Cygnus wrote:
Also, there is a downside to the marriage of Charles IX & Mary QoS, because the French player only gets a +3 modifier.

Remember, when nobles marry other nobles from the same power you can only use their highest modifiers. You also cannot use your home card, Gouvernante de France, to add +2. There is a possibility, that either noble could die. Any risk of Charles IX dying, leaving you with no admin bonus and no ability to hold cards, until Henry III comes to power, should be avoided.

She is far better marrying someone else.



Where does it say that France can't play its home card to bless a marriage between its own nobles? Admittedly, this is pretty much the only possible example of France marrying two of its own nobles, but still. I don't see why it couldn't happen. Did I miss an errata?

Edit: Doh. Just remembered that MQoS's marriage happens in the Diplomacy phase.
 
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Joel Tamburo
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As a corollary to what Antero pointed out about Protestant play, I would say that not only are they being too conservative but that they typically target the wrong area at the start. The Protestants actually should be targeting France first to get the Huguenots up and running and then going to the Netherlands.This is because France is not as well resourced as Spain and as such it is easier to make the conversions and rebellions stick against them.

Along the same lines, one can expect that Spain should try for Metz should circumstances allow. They want it to ensure the Spanish Road is open.
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Sean McKenzie
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Essentially ditto to all the above.

France seems weak but marriages, marriage vp + a little patronage and they win.

Basically the other players need to not make those marriages or make the French pay a lot.

2/3 of my solo games admittedly ended with French Marriage Victories.

I'm about to start my 4th solo game. The way I see it is for other players to play it differently.

In another forum someone suggested diplomacy between the Protestants and Spain, actually looking like a good I dea to me.

Between Marriages, Paris, Patronage the French are earning tons of permanent VP. Other players have to do something.

France is weak militarily, but if no one attacks them...

I have had very little fighting between France/England in my games, perhaps this needs to change. At least 3 French Keys are on the atlantic coast, may be england should go for these.

Although as said in other forums, this may actually hurt the protestants.
 
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Antero Kuusi
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smckenzie wrote:

Between Marriages, Paris, Patronage the French are earning tons of permanent VP. Other players have to do something.

France is weak militarily, but if no one attacks them...

I have had very little fighting between France/England in my games, perhaps this needs to change. At least 3 French Keys are on the atlantic coast, may be england should go for these.

Although as said in other forums, this may actually hurt the protestants.


But the question is, why are all those keys in French hands and not Hugenots? Especially La Rochelle should fall to Protestants easily and well before England could hope to mount anything to take it. Rouen should follow pretty often soon after.

Yes, someone should be fighting France and that someone is Protestants (unless France is paying through their nose to keep them off). Then the question is, who else will pile on to get easy pickings off of them.
 
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Björn Engqvist
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Antero and then Joel speak wisely of resistance to the French. In our current game just starting turn 2 the French:

1. Have an inexperienced Protestant opponent who failed to take keys in France T1.

2. Played a merc event to defend Edinburgh with extra troops first impulse although England played the cards needed to take it anyway (but then did little else during the turn).

3. Played Holy League and managed to bag both the Papacy and Venice (expected with the Pope, lucky with Venice).

4. Held City State Rebels as their last card and could have used it against Edinburgh with 2 defenders but felt an auto-win turn 1 would be boring.

Yes, as has been pointed out these are rare occurences but since several people have seen them happening they may not all that rare after all. Yes, people should stop treating France gently diplomatically, but perhaps we ought to make military safeguards as a matter of course in every game as well?
 
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Alex Ferguson
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Delirium_EU wrote:
4. Held City State Rebels as their last card and could have used it against Edinburgh with 2 defenders but felt an auto-win turn 1 would be boring.

Whaaaat, deliberately suboptimal play? I demand a stewards' inquiry! (Or for Auld Alliance fans, a Stuart enquiry.)
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Sean McKenzie
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ounter Reformation is perhaps th ebest way to prevent protestants rebellions.

I am playing solo right now.

But in one game I played it where Otts/Spain did not fight it out, but were republican's about it and made a deal. (American Joke).

This left the French/Spanish with so many cp to do counter reformations the Protestants never got off the ground. The french especially reconverted france. a certain amount of luck in this.

Perhaps the protestants should be taking spaces in france, but even if they try they will not always succeed.

My current game, France holds only paris at start of turn 6, but still has 18 VP, so 16 permanet vp and 2 on board. France used city states rebel to tae paris late on T5 for 2 Paris vp on t6. At 18 VP france is in 3rd right now.
 
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Lynn Carrington
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It's interesting to find out that other groups have quite a few French Auto wins. The group I play with has never had a French win, auto or otherwise. We've had English, Spanish, & HRE wins but not France. In the first game we ever played, I was France and was closing in on Victory when England invaded taking Calais away from me and keeping me from patronizing enough to win the game. Since that time France has had the boots taken to it. The Protestant player normally keeps France on the defensive and doesn't get enough help from Spain to have a chance to win.
 
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