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Subject: Best determinate of victory is.......... rss

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Bob Miller
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Is it good strategy and political manuvering?

Is it getting good cards?

Is it getting good dice rolls?

Is it other folks not paying attention to the winner's run, or is this included under the good strategy aspect?

Unfortunately I would make the break down;
50% Good Dice rolls
30% Good strategy
20% Good cards

Dice rolls are actually relatively infrequent in this game (I am an ASLer) and when they get rolled they tend to grant big VPs or not grant them. For example the French player. He could almost expect 3 total VPs for the Phillip / Eliz Valois wedding if the HC was played on it (good strategy). But if snake eyes are rolled, that's three VPs down from where he could have expected to be. Suez canal for Ottoman. Patronage very dicey although I do like the bonus modifiers given for higher CP points spent on the Patronage. This aspect needed to be more fully developed in order for VQ to be a GREAT game. It is a good game and very fun..... but I can't say it is great due to the high influence dice rolls play in the outcome and victory.

It seems that I can manage bad cards better than bad dice. If I get four or five miserable cards..... offer cards draws for other folks to do things for me.
 
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Kristian Thy
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If the luck of the dice is not to your liking, may I recommend this.

I keed, I keed!
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Mike Metcalf
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Ow! Touche! (sounds of cats caterwauling in the wind).
 
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Alex Ferguson
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dreadnaught wrote:
Dice rolls are actually relatively infrequent in this game (I am an ASLer) and when they get rolled they tend to grant big VPs or not grant them. For example the French player. He could almost expect 3 total VPs for the Phillip / Eliz Valois wedding if the HC was played on it (good strategy).

He might well be hoping for three, but if his expectation was in line with the statistical one, according to my reckoning it'd be 2 1/9 VPs.
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Simon H
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Diplomacy.

(To answer the initial subject)
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Sean McKenzie
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Agree with SImon. Diplomacy.

One on one wars, well you could get lucky in win, but it tends to be expensive to gain VP through 1 on 1 wars, even when you win. Points better spent on Patronage, Piracy.

On my fourth game and despite all the death and destruction, armies in double digits repeatedly going up in smoke, the HRE has never held an Ottoman Key at the end of a turn. The Ottoman has never held an HRE Key at the end of a turn.
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Zack S.
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shaldon wrote:
Diplomacy.

(To answer the initial subject)

Wheeling and dealing won't do much to help a HRE who fails his patronage rolls.
 
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Matthew Totonchy
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Putting yourself in a position that other powers cannot counteract through the use of successful diplomacy is what determines the winner. Any power that is riding on good die rolls will usually get shut down by other powers as they get closer to winning the game.
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Steven
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Gazpar wrote:
Putting yourself in a position that other powers cannot counteract through the use of successful diplomacy is what determines the winner. Any power that is riding on good die rolls will usually get shut down by other powers as they get closer to winning the game.


I agree with you Matt. In my last completed game of HIS, as the Papacy, I got lucky and burned three Protestant debaters in the first two turns.

Let's just say my "luck" could not stop the large number of Protestant events played against me in turns three and four. Even when I was no longer the clear frontrunner (turn four), England and France were happily feeding the Protestant juggernaut.

Ironically the Hapsburgs won, because everyone realized (almost too late) how well the Protestants were doing and turned on them. He played everyone by convincing us (not like I had anything to lose anyway) that he only had a long shot to win.
 
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Zack S.
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Gazpar wrote:
Putting yourself in a position that other powers cannot counteract through the use of successful diplomacy is what determines the winner. Any power that is riding on good die rolls will usually get shut down by other powers as they get closer to winning the game.

But diplomacy doesn't do that. When you're about to win you're going to be a target regardless of your diplomacy. Being an early frontrunner is the risk, not the way in which you got to that position.

If anything a lucky burst to victory (rather than a masterful plan) is a lot safer from interference because it's innately unlikely and thus less worthy of counteracting. If it fails you're going to be a big target next turn, but that's true of both paths.
 
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Matthew Totonchy
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Diplomacy does do that. What it won't do is save you if you end a turn at 24 points. The game is won and lost not on die rolls, although they can be instrumental in getting you whatever it is you need to win. Diplomacy is what puts you in a position to make that drive for a win. If you don't negotiate your way to a position where you can make a play for the win, all your good rolling won't get you far.

If you look at the very short term of, I'm at 20 points and I need 5 to win and I will get 5 points if I roll a X on the next 3 rolls then sure it looks like it all comes down to rolls. What you aren't considering is why you are even able to make those rolls and how you got to that position in the first place. The reason you are there is because you negotiated with other players for beneficial agreements, you negotiated to avoid spending all your cards counteracting other players aggression so you could use it to advance your own position, you negotiated to play the other players off of one another so they would not focus on your rise in position, you convinced other powers to work with you more often than against you because they perceived it was to their advantage to work with you rather than try to benefit from your demise.

Granted I have played games that ended as a result of other players simply dropping the ball and not recognizing the position of the victor, however, this was more a result of lack of experience and an inability to identify a player's potential in the final turn. A little lucky for the winner sure, but I believe it is also preventable after players gain more experience.

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Zack S.
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None of that is "putting yourself in a position that other powers cannot counteract".

While in HIS the declarations of war were critically important because that was the best way to reduce VP, in VQ you've got a combination of more auto-wars, harder to take and/or less valuable keys, and a tendency towards VP paths whose primary counter is event play that means it's a lot harder to lock-in non-interference, and thus as soon as people realize you can win your diplomatic work can be mostly negated.

I'm not saying it's not useful, but when it falls apart during the win drive and you've got a handful of 2d6 rolls responsible for half or more of some powers' VP, it's hard to justify it as the primary determinant in victory. Or, to put it another way, a player with terrible diplomacy can win on luck, but a player with terrible luck cannot win on diplomacy.
 
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Matthew Totonchy
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I actually think rolling really well is detrimental until you are trying to win the game with a final push towards a victory condition. Usually if a player is rolling very well they put a target on their back.

I agree with you in that VQ allows for more interaction/interference without a declaration of war, however, I think you overstate how effective such interference can be for most powers. Part of diplomacy is knowing what other powers can do, such as declare war mid turn. There are more such abilities in VQ but they are certainly not generally accessible for the majority of powers in the game and they are not free either, requiring the activating power to play the card for the event instead of the CP or alternate event or possibly different home card that turn. Perhaps what I should have said was "putting yourself in a position that other powers will unlikely be able to counteract."

I can only speak from my experience of 4 VQ games (I'll leave HiS out of it). In the games I've played, they have not been determined by lucky dice rolls at all. Where I have seen players roll very well one turn, they usually get knocked down the next turn. Also, most successful rolls are not only successful because of a straight die roll, but are successful because the player invested substantial CP to modify the die roll, for example in a minor power activation, a patronage roll, or revolt.

I have seen powers (Spain/France) accumulate 10+ points in one turn through marriages and patronage rolls, but again this was because no one was attacking them at all and they could spend all their CP on high cost bonus VP accumulation. Being able to even get to the point where you are spending CP on VP instead of holding onto the ones you have REQUIRES diplomacy. You don't even get to roll those dice for patronage if you have to spend that 4 CP card to build forces to defend against sieges, piracy, conversions, revolts, espionage, etc.

I also believe a player with terrible luck can win on diplomacy, he would just have to focus on spending cp on things that modify die rolls to the point where they were a sure victory. Don't get me wrong luck helps. Anyway, I'm sure we won't convince one another but those are my two cents.
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Bob Miller
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I can finish a competitive second or third with bad cards, maybe eek out an occasional win. Bad dice......near the bottom. Note that good strategy is a constant in the above two equations.
 
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Kristian Thy
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That makes sense. You draw your bad cards at the beginning of the turn and then decide what to do with them. If you knew when your bad die rolls were coming in advance, many things would be easier ...
 
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