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Subject: 6 games in and we still prefer Here I Stand rss

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Shaun Derrick
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Our group in the UK play Here I Stand regularly and have now switched to playing Virgin Queen. We have completed 6 games in all with France winning 4 of them! Below are the results of the games we have played with some comments to follow..

Game 1 (ended during turn 4)
1st Scott Moore (Spain) 15 (won with English Catholic Rebellion)
2nd Matt Barratt (Holy Roman) 21
3rd Steve Files (France) 20
4th Shaun Derrick (Ottomans) 18
5th John Hatfield (Protestants) 15
6th Simon Gatherer (England) 13

Ottomans: 13 – 13 – 18
Spain: 14 – 13 – 15
England: 10 – 14 – 13
France: 13 – 13 – 20
Holy Roman: 11 – 11 – 18(+3)
Protestant: 07 – 08 – 15

Game 2 (ended turn 3)
1st Paul Johnson (France) 26
2nd Mike Wright (Holy Roman) 20
3rd Kelvin Allton (Spain) 19
4th Martin Mitchell (Ottomans) 15
5th Alan Martin (England) 10
6th Paul Dowden (Protestants) 8

Ottomans: 13 – 11 – 15
Spain: 18 – 16 – 19
England: 08 – 10 – 10
France: 13 – 16 – 26
Holy Roman: 09 – 12 – 20(0)
Protestant: 02 – 08 – 08

Game 3 (ended turn 4 time limited)
1st Simon Gatherer (Ottomans) 22
2nd Andrew Pearce (Holy Roman) 18
3rd John Hatfield (France) 17
4th Cath Thomkynes (England) 17
5th Mark Szolin-Jones (Spain) 17
6th Shaun Derrick (Protestants) 13

Ottomans: 13 – 16 – 19 – 22
Spain: 15 – 14 – 14 – 17
England: 10 – 13 – 15 – 17
France: 11 – 13 – 18 – 17
Holy Roman: 08 – 09 – 13 – 15(+3)
Protestant: 02 – 06 – 11 – 13

Game 4 (ended turn 3)
1st Andrew Pearce (France) 25
2nd Simon Gatherer (Holy Roman) 22
3rd Andrew Tampion (Ottomans) 17
4th Matt Barratt (Protestants) 17
5th John Hatfield (Spain) 15
6th Shaun Derrick (England) 15

Ottomans: 16 – 18 – 17
Spain: 20 – 17 – 15
England: 08 – 11 – 15
France: 12 – 13 – 25
Holy Roman: 08 – 13 – 20(+2)
Protestant: 08 – 13 – 17

Game 5 (ended turn 1)
1st Shaun Derrick (France) 11 (Auto)
2nd Simon Gatherer (Spain) 14
3rd John Hatfield (Ottomans) 13
4th Mike Wright (Protestants) 11
5th Mike Gallagher (Holy Roman) 10
6th Kelvin Allton (England) 8

Game 6 (ended turn 4)
1st Shaun Derrick (France) 25
2nd Simon Gatherer (Spain) 20
3rd John Hatfield (Ottomans) 19
4th Mike Gallagher (Holy Roman) 19
5th Kelvin Allton (England) 15
6th Mike Wright (Protestant) 9

Ottomans: 15 – 19 – 20 – 19
Spain: 16 – 17 – 17 – 20
England: 08 – 09 – 12 – 15
France: 12 – 13 – 23 – 25
Holy Roman: 10 – 10 – 14 – 17 (+2)
Protestant: 10 – 07 – 09 – 09

HOW DO WE STOP FRANCE WINNING!!
This seems to be the big question as 4 out of 6 games have resulted in French wins so far. OK, my win in turn 1 was a freak result but in the two games they have not won, one was won by Spain with English Catholic Rebellion and the other was time limited so lost out to the clock. The crucial benefit to France are those successful turn 3 marriages. This usually accrues so many VP’s that it puts France in a commanding position or an immediate win. Looking at all the games so far, the biggest jump in VP’s is France from turn 2 to turn 3 in all but one game. In the second game yesterday (Game 6) I should have been facing a pan-European alliance against me but it probably didn’t happen as we knew there was a time limit.
England is a very tough power to play. I can’t see them winning until at least turn 5 or later. There just aren’t enough VP’s out there for them to get. Maybe go heavily into piracy to get VP’s but that is risky with Hawkins. Or just pile into France as quickly as you can? Then from turn 3 Spain is always looking for espionage options to win via the English Catholic rebellion.
I still think we have not grasped the nuances of playing the perceived weaker powers so far. I think a game that gets into turns 5 or 6 will have quite different results. I am keen to try different strategies with the powers I have played as experimentation is needed.

There is probably a general concensus that Here I Stand is a better game as there are options to get the leader and the cards are less vicious. There seems to be a lot of VP’s accrued at the end of a turn when there is nothing much anyone can do about it, so the randomness of dice rolls overrides skilful play. However, I am of the opinion that more forethought is required in VQ. As you get to know what cards are out there and how powers can accrue VP’s, you need to prepare or counter the possibilities with your own play. We do this in HIS now. We know that the Protestants in HIS get the big 12VP boost at the end of turn 4 if they have all the Electorates, that’s more than France can usually achieve in turn 3 of VQ. So if you assume France will get 9VP’s max from marriage of all their 3 royals, take that into account when playing through the turn. Or, simply try not to marry your royals to the French. I know that is hard as the bonuses can be lucrative for the power marrying a French royal.
As an aside, a colleague and I were discussing the religious aspect of the game compared to HIS. There seems to be almost universal praise on BGG for the ‘simplification’ and reduction in time spent on conversions in VQ. Is this really the case? Personally, I don’t feel the VQ conversion system is any better than the HIS system. I don’t consider the VQ religious conversion procedure simpler in VQ, in fact it is more complex. It may take slightly less time but the decision making on which places to convert in the order required by the VQ rules pretty much negates the perceived advantages. In VQ, of course, only the Ottomans have no interest in the religious aspect, so it does affect all the other 5 players.
Moving forward, we need a few more games of VQ to ascertain the true qualities of the game compared with HIS. For me the thematic background is thoroughly absorbing in both games and I enjoy both of them immensely. The challenge is not to dismiss VQ as heavily dice-dependent (HIS is as well) but to consider the challenges with each power and try something new!

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Steven
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Thanks for sharing your results!

Quick point: What bonuses for marrying the French? They get a base VP per marriage, have a home card which helps to guarantee additional VPs, and the ladies on T3 (from the HRE), all give bonuses which tend to favor the French (free conversion, or re-roll).

What were the French paying you for their marriages? France is probaly always going to tend to be gaining more VPs from their marriages. Make them pay!
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Tripp Ritter
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To deal with France, it helps if there is some military action. In our last two games, the HRE took keys (and even Paris for a turn!) The Protestants should be sure to spread and revolt frequently. The English too can cause problems, by invading and taking either Rouen or Calais. This will force the French to invest militarily and not spend CP on patronage, circumnavigation or other potential VPs. Also, don't marry the French.
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Joel Tamburo
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I'm seeing some pretty broad declarations there that neither my play experience nor the WBC tournament experience nor playesting bear out.

First, the religious conversion system works rather a lot better and indeed it plays together perfectly with Rebellion. Once you get the process internalized it is very quick and in fact it shows off things like the effect of troops better than the old system.

Second, England is not that hard to win with. Piracy done right will yield lots of points and even Hawkins can do it effectively - remember that there will be lots of places on the World Map where the victim gets no defense dice. Also, England should be playing the Patronage and Marriage games except with Elizabeth.

Third, France. There are already threads on here by people who thought France was unstoppable only to discover that it is VERY stoppable. Part of it is proper Protestant play. Against a Protestant who gets the Huguenots rolling the French don't have a really strong defense - and for the Protestants the French are an easier target than Spain in the Netherlands early on. Then there is Spain simply going to war with France. Finally there are the marriages - with the VP benefits France gets it should be France giving stuff to other players to get a marriage.

Virgin Queen is balanced. Part of that balance is players keeping an eye on one another (like in all good multiplayer games). Each player power has at least one other player power that can and should be a check on them. I suggest reading the other threads here - plus time and more playings - to pick up the "how" of play.
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sderrick wrote:
As an aside, a colleague and I were discussing the religious aspect of the game compared to HIS. There seems to be almost universal praise on BGG for the ‘simplification’ and reduction in time spent on conversions in VQ. Is this really the case? Personally, I don’t feel the VQ conversion system is any better than the HIS system. I don’t consider the VQ religious conversion procedure simpler in VQ, in fact it is more complex.


I completely agree. To keep it polite, let's say I am not a fan of the religious conversion system in VQ.

Joelist wrote:
Second, England is not that hard to win with. Piracy done right will yield lots of points and even Hawkins can do it effectively - remember that there will be lots of places on the World Map where the victim gets no defense dice. Also, England should be playing the Patronage and Marriage games except with Elizabeth.


Don't know about "lots of places." By turn 3, there are forts in Panama, the Antilles and the Chilean Coast plus a couple patrols around the Caribbean. That pretty much leaves you with a single Spanish colony in the Canaries to target, plus the Channel if you've sunk the French navy.

As for patronage ... Dee has a bullseye painted on his back for Philosopher's Stone, and then England needs to patronize Hilliard and Marlowe just to get rid of them, so they can shoot for a 3 VP award to Shakespeare - in turn 6!

Red is by far my least favourite colour in VQ. (Haven't played Orange, Yellow or Green yet.)

EDIT: I agree that it shouldn't be that hard to stop France. The Protestant player just needs to be aggressive.
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Simon H
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In a 4-player face to face game I played, France was reduced to zero keys at the end of T4, by war with Spain and some lucky rebellion rolls in Paris and Calais (three hits each, both on three dice!). Add to that two -1 card markers for the next turn and we had to look up the 'minimum of one card dealt' rule...

We didn't have time to finish the game but it was basically a Spanish-Protestant tie. I also agree England seems very difficult to win with.
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Björn Engqvist
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I have five games and at this point overall I prefer HIS as well. One thing that VQ does better, it has to be said, is balance out playing time for all powers. HIS can degenerate into fests of boredom where people wait for a 14 card Habsburg hand to run down. Apart from that HIS is a masterpiece of a design, all parts fit together beautifully.

In contrast, VQ feels like it was designed for those who wanted HIS to be more chaotic, more cut-throat and more of a free for all. While this is great for groups of six die-hard players, the impression is that one or two newbies with suboptimal play will wreck any game of VQ. This is less of a problem in HIS since it is easier to understand initially what each power should and should not do. The learning curve is steeper in VQ.

While VQ is clearly a great game, I think it suffers from comparisons with HIS. Compared to HIS, VQ may try to do too much.
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Joel Tamburo
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Actually VQ is less chaotic than HIS. The Diplomacy phase rules cut a lot of the gamey chicanery out, the new way that minors are handled means that minor activation and deactivation are a slower, more deliberate process and also the new religious conflict system is less swingy than in HIS.

I find VQ a better game as it rewards forward thinking strategy more than HIS. The impression about sub optimasl newbie play isn't really true - to wreck the game would require multiple newbies playing with absolute stupidity not just sub optimally.
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Joel Tamburo
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turbothy wrote:
sderrick wrote:
As an aside, a colleague and I were discussing the religious aspect of the game compared to HIS. There seems to be almost universal praise on BGG for the ‘simplification’ and reduction in time spent on conversions in VQ. Is this really the case? Personally, I don’t feel the VQ conversion system is any better than the HIS system. I don’t consider the VQ religious conversion procedure simpler in VQ, in fact it is more complex.


I completely agree. To keep it polite, let's say I am not a fan of the religious conversion system in VQ.

Joelist wrote:
Second, England is not that hard to win with. Piracy done right will yield lots of points and even Hawkins can do it effectively - remember that there will be lots of places on the World Map where the victim gets no defense dice. Also, England should be playing the Patronage and Marriage games except with Elizabeth.


Don't know about "lots of places." By turn 3, there are forts in Panama, the Antilles and the Chilean Coast plus a couple patrols around the Caribbean. That pretty much leaves you with a single Spanish colony in the Canaries to target, plus the Channel if you've sunk the French navy.

As for patronage ... Dee has a bullseye painted on his back for Philosopher's Stone, and then England needs to patronize Hilliard and Marlowe just to get rid of them, so they can shoot for a 3 VP award to Shakespeare - in turn 6!

Red is by far my least favourite colour in VQ. (Haven't played Orange, Yellow or Green yet.)

EDIT: I agree that it shouldn't be that hard to stop France. The Protestant player just needs to be aggressive.


My English experience is that the Spanish rarely have the New World fortified like that by GT3. To do so typically requires multiple cards each turn and the Spanish usually have more pressing needs for their cards. And even if they do, Hawkins and the others (especially Drake) can still operate quite effectively. Remember that all a fortress does is shield a Treasure and provide a defense roll. And a Patrol usually is just fodder.

In addition, remember you can plunder Portugal as well and unless and until it is a Spanish ally there is no defense at all against it. So one way or the other you will get Treasures and VPs out of the World Map.

Also, Dee is not of necessity the target for Philosopher's Stone. In fact that card usually gets played on one of the HRE Patronage targets as they have special powers with regard to Patronage that make them the prime target.

Then there is the 1 VP for Elizabeth each turn she is single. Also the Virgin Queen home Card is very powerful as it can either be used to fisk out a discarded card or you can make a sham marriage with another player and still get a card and they get goodies by rolling on the jilted by Elizabeth table.

England (not "red") is a very viable power.
 
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Steven
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Joelist wrote:
In addition, remember you can plunder Portugal as well and unless and until it is a Spanish ally there is no defense at all against it. So one way or the other you will get Treasures and VPs out of the World Map.


Although I agree with many of your points, I was confused by what you meant here? If you target the Portugese they always get one piracy defense die per Portuguese settlement. Did you mean that there is nothing else to "soak" up hits or protect treasures, so that you are guaranteed treasures or VPs if you get piracy hits?
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Joel K
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Joelist wrote:
the new religious conflict system is less swingy than in HIS.

I might be using a different definition than you are, but I think it's quite swingy--though I don't mean it pejoratively. Each die rolled gives you a 50% chance of getting a conversion, and on top of the 5 dice rolled in the standard Suppress Heresy/Preach Sermon actions, you could see impulses with 7 dice (Papal Bull, Iconoclastic Fury, Belgic Confession, Tridentine Catechism, Huguenot Lent, et al), 10 dice (using the base action twice with a 4+ CP card), and all the way up to 12 dice + 2 guaranteed conversions (Calvinist Zeal).

In my games, the Prot space count has fluctuated wildly. Compared to Here I Stand, where each basic Publish Treatise/Burn Books action gives you only the hope of 2 flips, and only the occasional lopsided debate result yields 3+ flips, the Virgin Queen system has noticeably more see-saw action, IMHO.
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Zack S.
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Joelist wrote:
Actually VQ is less chaotic than HIS. The Diplomacy phase rules cut a lot of the gamey chicanery out, the new way that minors are handled means that minor activation and deactivation are a slower, more deliberate process and also the new religious conflict system is less swingy than in HIS.

Huh? Gamey != chaotic, in fact usually it's the reverse. I have almost exactly the opposite impression of you on both minor powers and the religious battles. I think there are game design reasons for both changes, but it's to purposefully make the game more chaotic (spawning more interaction, less chance of just being out of it), not less.
 
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Joel Tamburo
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Okay, three replies in one:

1) Portugal space: yes I was referring to their inability to shield rewards.

2) While a religious conversion attempt CAN yield more flips, the odds are it will not. In addition soldiers offer more security than in HIS (flip only on a 6 as opposed to just adding dice). There are some powerful religious events but there are likewise powerful religious events in HIS. Plus there are no debates in VQ to produce swings.

Over the course of a game the marker will swing a bit but has a marked tendency to swing within a narrower range.

3) Diplomacy is far less chaotic because the wholesale ceding tricks are no longer legal. Minor power diplomacy no longer features magical power shifts - to do so requires time to build up diplomacy points.
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Zack S.
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Joelist wrote:
2) While a religious conversion attempt CAN yield more flips, the odds are it will not. In addition soldiers offer more security than in HIS (flip only on a 6 as opposed to just adding dice). There are some powerful religious events but there are likewise powerful religious events in HIS. Plus there are no debates in VQ to produce swings.

Average swing for a VQ 2 CP standard conversion is 3 spaces, more than you can even target with a base HIS conversion action. For 4 CP (the value of many of the HIS conversion events) you can flip an average of 6 spaces, which is the number of attempts those events generally provide.

As far as soldiers, average chance of getting at least one 6 on six dice is 67%, which sits right around the likelihood of a 4v4 (69%) or 3v3 (65%) roll (win ties) and not significantly under a 5v4 (75%) or even 6v4 (80%).

Quote:
3) Diplomacy is far less chaotic because the wholesale ceding tricks are no longer legal.

In what way is that "chaotic"?

Quote:
Minor power diplomacy no longer features magical power shifts - to do so requires time to build up diplomacy points.

They're still there, now it's just a lot more random who gets the magical power... And in what way does gaining a minor power require building up diplomacy points? I've seen plenty of minors snagged with zero investment, even over people who had invested.
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Joel Tamburo
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Actually the probable yield (assuming full usability of minor and major conversions) is 2.5 flips not 3. Or another way to put it would be every other attempt would get 3.

However, that does not take into account the restrictions on minor conversions. It is not only easy but in fact frequent that you get into positions where minor conversions go unused. This happens because of the inability to "chain" flips and the inability to flip a space with an opposing military unit/Jesuit present. To do those you need major conversions - only happening on a roll of 6.

Given the low odds of getting multiple sixes (expected yield of one 6 per six dice rolled and you're rolling 5 dice) we can see that troop deployments can rapidly put the brakes on religious conversions. Plus you need the major conversions to get you out of "flaming out" by running out of adjacent places to expand from.

As to cost, a 2 CP cost means that most of the time (given deck CP distributions) you are doing one per card. Only 25 out of 102 cards allow you sufficient CPs to do it twice. Plus if you use card CPs to convert you cannot spend Treasure to convert.

Ask Ed, he can attest to this also. The typical game effect is that the Protestant gets some early flips in France/Netherlands but Spain and France in their turn convert back and once troops and Jesuits are in play it gets far harder to get real swings. This in turn drives the Protestant to need Rebellions to get their own troops and also to get their hand size up.
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Joel Tamburo
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As to Diplomacy, the fact that in VQ wholesale space trading is off the table does remove variability. Really the nature of deals has been narrowed in VQ, tending much more towards marriages, mercenaries and card draws than towards trading spaces. This in turn has made some of the loopier wars from HIS harder to do (like Ottoman overland invasions of France with Habsburg connivance in HIS).

As to minor power conversions, remember that the way the rules work is that players put CPs on minor powers in anticipation of a power activation/deactivation scenario arising. Those CPs translate into a positive modifier to your diplomacy roll. So if I put points on a power and you don't and we both roll for it I am heavily favored to win the roll.

This makes it less swingy because Spain (for example) typically makes sure that the Papacy has CPs on it and if they have Venice it likewise gets an investment. This is a defensive investment so that should an activation/deactivation scenario arise the odds favor no change. In HIS there was no way for Spain to protect itself - the magic card just caused the minor in question to change.

Obviously the same advice about making sure to invest in diplomacy applies to other powers and not just Spain. And precisely because the player has some control over their destiny here (in the form of defensive spending) it is less chaotic.
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Zack S.
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Joelist wrote:
Actually the probable yield (assuming full usability of minor and major conversions) is 2.5 flips not 3. Or another way to put it would be every other attempt would get 3.

Oh whoops! I'd gotten it into my mind that it was 6, so all my numbers are wrong. One six is 60% instead of 65% and of course all the average conversions are off.

I haven't seen any problems with flipping until a conversion zone was almost done, but I'll admit to only having a limited number of games under my belt and none with wholesale deployment of regulars to hinder conversion (that seems inefficient and prone to rebellions). I will point out that in HIS France was often extremely difficult to crack because of all the Catholic troops, so I'm not sure I'd consider VQ troops radically more effective.

Quote:
As to cost, a 2 CP cost means that most of the time (given deck CP distributions) you are doing one per card. Only 25 out of 102 cards allow you sufficient CPs to do it twice.

I only brought up the 4 CP number since that's the value of many of the powerful HIS events.

Joelist wrote:
As to Diplomacy, the fact that in VQ wholesale space trading is off the table does remove variability.

I just wouldn't call player choice chaotic or variable. In reality, only one of the minors was ever frequently in question (Genoa), and once a minor allied or was conquered, that was it. Other than as a method to avoid a sue for peace for the win space trading never really entered into any of our games in a significant manner. I've certainly never even heard of its use for a Hab/Ott deal.

Quote:
This makes it less swingy because Spain (for example) typically makes sure that the Papacy has CPs on it and if they have Venice it likewise gets an investment. This is a defensive investment so that should an activation/deactivation scenario arise the odds favor no change. In HIS there was no way for Spain to protect itself - the magic card just caused the minor in question to change.

Only one minor was ever really in question in HIS (Genoa). Scotland was conquered, Hungary was perma-allied, and Venice usually landed with the Papacy or got conquered (or occasionally a lucky Habs allied it). Once those effects occurred they were generally only lost to wars or rarely card play to stop a leader. Otherwise are you really going to use a 4-5 just to deactivate a key away?

In VQ, everything's Genoa. And the checks are mandatory events, so they will happen whether or not someone feels like they can win it. So Spain can drop 5 CP into the Papacy and guarantee a win, but as soon as it resolves that's all flushed away and they have to do it again. Again, my experience is limited, but I've never seen someone invest that heavily just as a precaution.
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Joel Tamburo
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Hi Zack!

I think you need to get HIS out of your VQ thinking. That seems to be affecting a lot of things based on your posts.

For example, in VQ one can actually build "firewalls" with troops and/or Jesuits that are pretty effective in holding back conversions. This is where the VQ difference comes in - I need to roll a 6 to convert a space under a CU/Jesuit while in HIS that unit just adds a die to the rolloff. This happens in the Netherlands with some frequency because the "front" is pretty narrow.

Another example is the effect of removing space trading in Diplomacy. One thing that happened in HIS was the Habsburgs would cede a space like Innsbruck to the Ottomans to give them a base for a land campaign against France (it is known as the "Suleiman's Ski Lodge" gambit). Not possible in VQ.

That brings us to the minors. And really none are like Genoa because you can bank up the diplomacy points over time and by probability the minors will not check every turn. This type of spending is encouraged in the game especially if you have a natural advantage with a given minor. For example, I as the HRE make sure to plunk Diplomacy points into the minors I am eligible to activate so that when the time comes I have a legitimate shot at that minor.

VQ is a different beast than HIS, and needs to be played more than once to get the subtle aspects therein.
 
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Kristian Thy
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Joelist wrote:
One thing that happened in HIS was the Habsburgs would cede a space like Innsbruck to the Ottomans to give them a base for a land campaign against France (it is known as the "Suleiman's Ski Lodge" gambit).


What is that supposed to accomplish that a Turco-Austrian alliance wouldn't?
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Shaun Derrick
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SW_Cygnus wrote:
Thanks for sharing your results!

Quick point: What bonuses for marrying the French? They get a base VP per marriage, have a home card which helps to guarantee additional VPs, and the ladies on T3 (from the HRE), all give bonuses which tend to favor the French (free conversion, or re-roll).

What were the French paying you for their marriages? France is probaly always going to tend to be gaining more VPs from their marriages. Make them pay!


What I meant by 'bonuses' for marrying a French royal are the possible VP accrual or +1 card markers. Yes, France gets them too so it is a win/win. But, because France accrues 1 more VP it's more of a win more than you/win!
So far the French have been getting the marriages cheaply. In the last game I had to give two card draws to the HRE for marrying my two guys to his two gals. Cheap? I would say so. Two guaranteed VP's for 2 card draws - no brainer.

Future games will probably see the French have to pay a lot more.

 
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Further to some of the comments made in the above thread, here is how I see the VQ/HIS comparison.

The Events in VQ are far more vicious and create a more chaotic game. Trying to plan is more difficult as the number of times cards can be swiped from your hand by other cards is far more frequent in VQ. I counted 14 cards that can remove cards from a players hand one way or another.
The Dutch Revolt (3vp's distributed) and Enterprise of England (a potential swing of 5 VP's in favour of Spain over England) give instant VP's, potentially better than the wonderful 'Copernicus' card in HIS.
Many cards are also multi-use which gives a lot more flexibility - I like this aspect of VQ.

English patronage!? Once Dee is used England has to wait until turn 3 for a pathetic '1' value artist and turn 5 for a medicore '2' value artist.
I still cannot see where England can win this game before turn 5 or later.
Marriage is not going to accrue much as both Leicester and Darnley are feeble characters. Elizabeth can promise to jilt for something, usually the HRE Mercs but that doesn't gain VP's.
Piracy is a dangerous option and only Hawkins is available on the first two turns - get him killed on turn 1 and you forget the New World until turn 3. Even if Hawkins is successful, Spain is likely to remove Patrols or even give England a treasure if the available treasure list is poor quality. So, maybe 1 or 2 VP's at most from the first two turns.
Circumnavigation is highly risky for all. It costs 7CP's to succeed, which is a good return but Navigation checks require high rolls and then there's Scurvy - used to kill off circumnavigation attempts in the last two games.
Invade France? The French navy needs to be sunk first and even if successful, 2 VP's for Calais or Rouen!
Control of Scotland? Spend heavily ready for Scottish Lords rebel in turn 2 or just invade and take Edinburgh by force. Invading France and Scotland is very difficult as you won't have the resources.
Is there an example of a 6 player campaign game (or tournament scenario) where England has won by turn 4?

I find the religious conversions more swingy in VQ than HIS. That is, once the Catholic powers start to do something about the Protestants. We find the Prots are given a free rein for the first turn and only from turn 2 onwards do the French and Spanish start looking at counter-reformation.

Diplomacy in VQ is more intense as there is more to discuss, particularly the marriages. The inability to trade areas in VQ was a restriction we didn't like at first, but we are coming to terms with it. In HIS, despite the abaility to trade away areas, it didn't happen that much. If you are allied, then movement into and through an area is basically the same. In some of our earlier games of HIS we were trading areas more but in later games (I have played 39 full games) this happened only occasionally. Why trade away an area to a power that in the following turn might be your enemy?
If the Ottomans allied with both HRE and France in turn 1 of VQ, they could Spring Deploy to the Spanish border, so the restrictions in terms of range are the same in both VQ and HIS.
Question: We have assumed that if the English and Protestants are allied that any English SD through Netherlands, even if it is to a further destination outside the Netherlands immediately triggers a war with Spain?

Back to the original problem of easy French wins, the Protestants may need to be aggressive in France but the French Home card - Gouvernante de France - can easily stop that aggression. Maybe the Prots need to hit France first, and hard; before the French get down to their 3 card limit in order to play the home card?




 
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Zack S.
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Joelist wrote:
For example, in VQ one can actually build "firewalls" with troops and/or Jesuits that are pretty effective in holding back conversions.

I actually tried this strategy today since you'd been talking about it. It didn't work out, at least in the Netherlands. All the ports, along with the eastern entrance made it too leaky to ever force a dropped conversion, particularly once Antwerp fell. There are 8 spaces out of 21 with direct connections to Protestantism, with 3 more if you lose Antwerp (which you're probably never going to get back). That's not really a narrow front, especially with the scarcity of Spanish troops available in the Netherlands.

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Another example is the effect of removing space trading in Diplomacy. One thing that happened in HIS was the Habsburgs would cede a space like Innsbruck to the Ottomans to give them a base for a land campaign against France (it is known as the "Suleiman's Ski Lodge" gambit).

I too don't see how this would help the Ottomans. Without Vienna there is no spring deployment path to France, and if you give them Vienna it's not a gambit, it's just giving up.

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That brings us to the minors. And really none are like Genoa because you can bank up the diplomacy points over time and by probability the minors will not check every turn.

Given that resolution cards frequently add 2-4 Influence to the target before resolving you need to REALLY overspend to have any sort of lock on your diplomatic possession. I count 5 different cards that add influence and then immediately resolve the status, along with at least 2 response cards that instantly add significant influence and could be played in response to a resolution event. That's a lot more minor-swapping than HIS (I believe HIS had 3 cards that did it, and 2 could only activate OR deactivate).
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Zack S.
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sderrick wrote:
English patronage!? Once Dee is used England has to wait until turn 3 for a pathetic '1' value artist and turn 5 for a medicore '2' value artist.
I still cannot see where England can win this game before turn 5 or later.

We just had a T4 English win (Campaign game). They got 3 VP from Dee (Observatory+VP, 2VP) and 5 from piracy (Drake is insane). 4 more from Virgin Queen and then a few from other sources.

Spain and HRE were both knocking on the door. Strangely France didn't do too well. Many unlucky "+1 card" marriages.
 
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Shaun Derrick
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zackss wrote:
sderrick wrote:
English patronage!? Once Dee is used England has to wait until turn 3 for a pathetic '1' value artist and turn 5 for a medicore '2' value artist.
I still cannot see where England can win this game before turn 5 or later.

We just had a T4 English win (Campaign game). They got 3 VP from Dee (Observatory+VP, 2VP) and 5 from piracy (Drake is insane). 4 more from Virgin Queen and then a few from other sources.

Spain and HRE were both knocking on the door. Strangely France didn't do too well. Many unlucky "+1 card" marriages.


Pity you don't have the details of where the other VP's came from as they need 8 more for victory! 2 keys would be 4VP so the rest must have been from Marriage/Circumnavigation/Dutch Revolt/Enterprise of England. Sounds as if he was extremely fortunate or other players gifted him the game.
 
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Zack S.
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sderrick wrote:
zackss wrote:
sderrick wrote:
English patronage!? Once Dee is used England has to wait until turn 3 for a pathetic '1' value artist and turn 5 for a medicore '2' value artist.
I still cannot see where England can win this game before turn 5 or later.

We just had a T4 English win (Campaign game). They got 3 VP from Dee (Observatory+VP, 2VP) and 5 from piracy (Drake is insane). 4 more from Virgin Queen and then a few from other sources.

Spain and HRE were both knocking on the door. Strangely France didn't do too well. Many unlucky "+1 card" marriages.


Pity you don't have the details of where the other VP's came from as they need 8 more for victory! 2 keys would be 4VP so the rest must have been from Marriage/Circumnavigation/Dutch Revolt/Enterprise of England. Sounds as if he was extremely fortunate or other players gifted him the game.

I'll try to remember:
2-3 from religion
2 for Edinburgh
1 Virgina Dare
1 Enterprise of England
1 Wedding

The Spanish would be their main limiters and they were at 24 for most of the turn (before some religious losses), so it's not like they threw the game, they just pushed for a win and didn't make it. The 3 VP from Dee was extremely lucky, and I believe Drake may have gotten 2 VP from a piracy once (3 hits with only 2 valid rewards).
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