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Subject: VQ Strategy for Solo Play and more.. rss

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mark Hodgkinson
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VQ Strategy

At WBC we played the campaign game a few times in open gaming. I had the feeling that I did not know the expected progress of each power. All our games ended by turn 4 with a win to someone. All we decent players. So I decided to have a closer look at Strategy for each power. This also helps in solo player in war game deficient Bahrain.

The Goal is 25 VPs and I as usual use a sturdy technique of (1) know your forces, (2) know the enemy, (3) know the battle field, (4) Visualize the battle and finally determine what comes after the battle. In this note, I am just looking at 1: Know your forces. I invite others to fine turn or substitute these strategies.

Ottomans
Start on 11 and so need 14 to win. They start with the biggest army and navy. A logical path to victory seems:
• +2 Suez Canal
• +2 Tunis (early)
• +1 Cypress
• +3±1 from patronage
• +2 VP early piracy
• Then either , Naples, Rome, or Vienna, Prague or some combination of two (2).
The Sack card looks a good one to hold onto for Naples and Rome.

Spain

Starts 17 and needs 8. A Religious victory is viable option if Scotland goes Protestant. France may not play along with that but with so many cards a Spanish player could do an end run on conversions.
Also, Venice, Portugal and Ireland would yield a Military Victory and this could be done in a similar way once Venice is safety acquired.

A logical paths is
• -1 VP Dutch Revolt
• -2 VP Religion
• +1 VP treasure
• +1 VP marriage
• +1 Venice
• +1 Portugal
• +3 Patronage.
• +1 Assassination
= only 5. Hence Ireland or an Invasion of England looks to be the logical path.

England
Starts with 6 and needs 19. A logical path is,
• +2 Edinburgh
• +3 Piracy
• +5 VQ
• +2 Circumnavigation
• +1 Enterprise of England
• +4 Patronage
• +2 Dutch Revolt
• +1 Assassination
+2 Religion
= 22

France
France look like it can sneak over the line by doing little. It starts on 9 and needs another 16VP
A logical path is;
• +3 Weddings
• +4 Valois
• +7 Paris
• +3 Patronage
• -1 Protestant Key
• +1 Assassination or Venice or Scotland
= 16 ±1

The HRE

HRE starts with 8 and needs 17 VP. A logical path is
• +3 Weddings
• +5 Patronage
• +4 Religion (pick central)
• +2 Poland
• +3 Central Europe.
= 17

Protestant
The protestant starts at 1 and needs 24. Getting started in Holland has to be the key. France can wait. A logical path is
• +3 Religion
• +6 Holland Keys
• +4 French Keys
• +3 Patronage
• +3 Dutch Revolt
• +1 Assassination.
= only 21. The other 4 has to come from Scotland , Metz, of France.

I welcome better ideas over this very basic analysis.

I think if we are playing and a power is way ahead of these par scores, then the other players need to act. Quickly! That way games will make it to Turn 7!

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mark Hodgkinson
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Since no plan usually usually survives the battle, I tested the above.

This is the brief AAR of that test.

Turn 1:
Diplomacy: Ottomans, Spain, England and France all have card they do not want to part with. HRE allies with Spain for a marriage and with France for 4 merc.
Progress
Ottoman: Behind plan. Only 1 Piracy, no gains
Spain: Just a marriage and some new world defences set up
England: Patronage yields VP and Cryptography while Jilted VQ rolled a 6. Turn 2 will be strong.
France: Piracy yields a surprise VP and treasure, twice! France with 2 VP from Weddings is winning.
HRE: Patronage and troop building is done.
Protestants: No rebellion. Conversions to 30 and 1 vP patronage.

Notable events: Spanish disaster at sea with the loss of 3 Galley's. France draws a 5 card from England with Witchcraft. Ottomans fail 3 assaults on the Knights. Spain flags Sienna so that Spring Deployment can reach southern Italy.


Turn 2:
Diplomacy: Spain and France do not Ally but Mary QOS to Marry Charles IX. Spain will play Taxis for alliance with HRE and a coordinated attack on the Ottomans. Protestants demand England play pro-Protestant cards or they will play Puritans.

Progress
Ottoman: 11 VP: Lost of Buda and Belgrade to HRE (last under the nose of a poor Spanish attempt)
Spain: VP= 13: Loss of Amsterdam, Venice and no Patronage leaves Spain behind plan.
England: VP =15 Jilted Lover yields another 2 +1 cards. 2 Piracy and 1 Patronage sees England on target.
France: VP = 20 France is winning. Loss of La Rochelle hurts but 4 Piracy, 4 Weddings,3 Patronage and 2 Paris put them ahead.
HRE: Coming Second with 16 (really 19 in secret). Master of Central Europe, 2 Keys and 3 Patronage is a string showing.
Protestants: VP= 11 VP. 36 spaces.

Notable events:Edinburgh falls then immediately rebels and then falls again. Ottomans gains Venice Diplomatically.

T3:
Diplomacy: Spain leads a chorus to stop France. No one listens as all powers are too interested in their self interests.
Ottomans draws 10CP (4 cards) with nothing of note.
Spain 15 cp (5 c) +3 Treasures and has Treachery!
England 15 CP (4+1 C) Witchcraft and Cipher Key
France 15 Cp (4 +1 saved) Nothing of note.
HRE 10 CP (5-1C) Has Sea beggars but will need the CP.
Protestants 12 (5+2held c): Has John Know, Scots Rebel and Navigation.

Hence diplomacy revolves around mutual benefit in marriages. I rolled a dice to give 1 33% chance that Everyone would shun France but it failed. Protestants and HRE see VP in the French marriages. 4 marriages are planned.

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mark Hodgkinson
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4: Diplomacy: With France almost winning. All powers decide on a cease fire while France is brought under control. Spain and HRE DOW France. The turn ends with Paris, Calais, Lyon and Marseilles under foreign control
Ottomans draws 14 CP
Spain 19 CP (Lyon and Marseilles)
England 17 CP
France 22 CP (gains from Patronage)
HRE 18 CP
Protestants 17


T5: With the game on the end run all Powers decide that the cease fire is over. France will only have 1 or 2 cards so should no be an threat.

HRE and Spain drive deep into Ottoman's. Protestants are in reach of an auto Religious victory so Spain has to spend treasures on suppressing Heresy . The HRE take Istanbul to win an auto victory. Spain could have done it the next card and the Protestants could have gained a auto on their next card. If England has successfully gained 2 VP from Patronage they could have won at 25 VP victory. Hence 4 Powers could have won. The strategy of HRE and Spain picking on the Ottomans was the easy road for them.

Notable events: A very big Lapanto sees the whole Ottoman fleet go down with the aid of a 6 strength Armada. Edinburgh returns to England via Scottish Lords..

Postmortem

Ottoman (VP 12)
Military Defeats on land and sea and low patronage were
Root cause of failure.

Spain (VP 20 : 1 space a way from Mil.Victory)
Polish +2, Piracy in North sea and no Dutch revolt was a bonus. Needed Autowin as Religion control was poor.


England
(VP 23)
The game ended too early for England. Good Artists were
due next turn. Only +1 Circum. Navigation +5 VP VQ. No Enterprise of England and No Dutch Revolt saw points low.

France (VP 19)
Loss of 4 keys in T4 when France went for win too Early on T3. Piracy was a bonus and was good luck with patronage.

HRE (AUTOWIN: MILITARY) (VP 24)

The Military Victory was needed as the religion had got out of control

Protestants (VP 17)
Circum.Nav +2 made up for not Dutch Revolt. Needed Rebellions in Holland and one more in France if Religious Auto was not gained..






 
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mark Hodgkinson
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Conclusion:

So does the budgeting for VP really Work in VQ? The short answer is no.

However, there are some learning for me in this.

1: Ottomans must be moderate and take only Tunis and the Knights of St John while building up forces to keep the European keys. Targets of opportunity in Patronage and Specials will arise.

2: Spain: Lets some other player go to the lead while keeping check of Religion and keeping the Ottomans to only zero or 1 key. Much CP will be spent on the navy and setting up treasure defences. When the time arises, go for a military victory with overwhelming forces.

3: England: A Scottish ally will be expensive to keep but is good business. Piracy and Patronage should be the targets of opportunity.

4: France: Weddings, A strong Paris and Patronage is vital. Targets of opportunity will be piracy and diplomacy.


5: HRE: looks to be the most fun to play. This is simple one. Build a big army!

6: Protestants: Concentrate on Holland first with Amsterdam and the fort to the south of it. Then go for opportunities and then finally France to win. Try to get Scotland when an English treaty is no longer needed.
 
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Sean McKenzie
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I have played 5 solo games and am now playing 1 online 6 player game.

I would tend to think you are way off for the most part.

My original thoughts were also way off compared to what people are doing.

Just looking at turks, just 2 VP Piracy.

Tunis, yeah if you can get it. Spain may want it, and thene there is city state rbels.

You're spanish is relying on too many diplomacy/conquest vp's.
s
Alliances hard to hold onto in thi game.
 
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