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Subject: Learning "Here I Stand" with Sarah - a short 2-player game rss

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Merric Blackman
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Sarah and I have been very excited about Here I Stand, Ed Beach's take on the Wars of the Reformation. I've wanted to play it for a long time now, and I finally brought it out yesterday. Sarah and I attempted to play a 2-player game with Sarah taking the Papacy and me the Protestants.

I'm very, very glad we didn't just jump into a six-player game. We spent a lot of time coming to grips with the rules (four turns took us about three-and-a-half hours. Yes, I'd read them a few times before, but there are a lot of them and every so often an odd exception would trip you up. Or we'd spend time looking for a half-remembered exception! My hope is that once Sarah and I have the religious war rules down, we'll be able to introduce the game to our friends and let them play the more traditional nations on the map.

This isn't to say we didn't have an interesting time, because we certainly did. I'm just hoping that we are a lot better at it next time!

The game began, as all two-player games do, with Luther publishing his theses and the Diet of Worms being called - both rousing successes for the Protestant side, with Sarah being unable to roll much above a three. Alas, that her bad rolling didn't continue!



The early stages of the game were - despite France being at war with the Papacy and I was able to activate France - committed to the religious revolution. They weren't particularly successful past the initial Theses play, and Sarah wasted little time in excommunicating Luther. And again in the next turn.

In actual fact, I was doing horribly at actually converting people to my side. I finally got a move on in the third turn, where a really good set of rolls (and event cards) allowed me to form the Schmalkaldic League. The Hapsburgs were not happy with me, but at least I had a homeland - for now!



The pope excommunicated the French king, only to have the diplomacy card-play start up the war again. Corsairs raided the Papal fleet, and Plague merrily stalked the armies of the Catholics.

Meanwhile, Sarah the Pope amused herself by burning one of my heretics at the stake. A second attempt to do so went horribly wrong, with her debater shamed and pilloried. This is actually what led to the formation of the Schmalkaldic League. I challenged her later representative to another debate, and completely destroyed him, but I later lost another of my debaters to the stake. It's a high-risk strategy, debating the Word of God! Even Luther had to come to the rescue when a debate went to a second round...

The fourth turn saw me attempt a siege of some of the Hapburg's holdings in the Holy Roman Empire, to no effect. They all converted to my teachings, though. The addition of more reformers allowed my word to spread in England until good card play by Sarah brought half back under Catholic rule. Unrest hit the Catholic half of England, however.

Gains in France were more moderate for the the Protestant cause, but I was finally getting towards competitiveness in the victory point stakes; that was until Sarah spent a lot of card plays getting St Peter's Basilica properly endowed (the cause of all the trouble in the first place), and then played Michelangelo to round things off and gain a victorious lead!



The final scores were Sarah 21 to Merric 10, with the Protestants having converted 26 spaces on the board (of the 50 they needed for an auto-win).

Despite Paris being at war with Rome for almost all the game, I'd not moved their armies at all - my one move towards doing so was stopped by Sarah destroying their numbers, making it quite an unsure thing to do.

There's a lot still to take in about playing Here I Stand, but I do feel we've gone a long way towards coming to grips with the game.
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Jason Lee
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So, unless the 2-player version is different, the Pope can only excommunicate each reformer *once* per game. There's a little slot on the power card where you can note who has been excommunicated.

It often makes sense to save "Here I stand" for the end of the turn to make sure you can save the most flammable German debaters.

The Schmalkalkdic league is a mixed blessing for the prots. Before it gets played, the protestant armies help spread protestantism but can't be attacked. Afterwards, the HRE can occupy the electorates.

You don't mention any translations - timing the six free attempts to come out at the perfect moment is key to finishing off Germany, and then pushing into France.
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Sarah
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mazout wrote:
So, unless the 2-player version is different, the Pope can only excommunicate each reformer *once* per game. There's a little slot on the power card where you can note who has been excommunicated.

It often makes sense to save "Here I stand" for the end of the turn to make sure you can save the most flammable German debaters.

The Schmalkalkdic league is a mixed blessing for the prots. Before it gets played, the protestant armies help spread protestantism but can't be attacked. Afterwards, the HRE can occupy the electorates.

You don't mention any translations - timing the six free attempts to come out at the perfect moment is key to finishing off Germany, and then pushing into France.


I didn't realise the tokens for excommunication on the sheet were meant to stay there -- the fact that the excommunicated guy comes back next turn anyway seemed like he'd be able to be excommunicated again. We'll have to keep that in mind.

Merric did manage to translate the New Testament into German, English and French and I certainly felt the effects of the 6 free rolls, heh!
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Merric Blackman
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Indeed, I did the translations to help the game (but miscalculated the points left for France and was one short with my last card).

I know there was a limit against excommunicating leaders, but not sure about reformers - Sarah had the card so I didn't study it closely myself.

Thanks for the notes.

Cheers,
Merric
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