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Subject: Catholic League- good or bad for the Prots? rss

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Jon G
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In the handful of games I've played, I've never seen the Catholic League form. Certainly, one reason for this is that it's terrible for France, so she has a strong incentive to prevent it. It seems great for Spain, even if they just take the troops to the Netherlands or elsewhere.

But is it good or bad for the Protestant? If Spain does nothing, taking regulars out of French keys leaves them open to revolts, and a hot French-Spanish war wastes the resources of you two main adversaries. You also get Paris is worth a Mass, which can score 4vp's if it goes off. Against that, Spanish-held keys in France can't be revolted, and if Spain and France coordinate their response instead of fighting over Lyon and Paris, you have a serious problem. You've also passed up whatever the French might be offering you to not trigger the League.

The diplomatic response would seem to depend on who's close to winning, and whether England & HRE are willing to declare wars without knowing what Spain & France have in mind. I'd more expect to see England & HRE stay out and score points in peace, maybe giving a card to their co-religionists.

Which brings us back to Spain. The Catholic League is best for you if you don't have to use the troops & your own CP's fighting Huguenots in France. Stealing Paris or moving the troops to the Netherlands is surely better. But if you do that, will the Huguenots revolt the other French keys and win the game? The middle path would seem to be fighting the Huguenots for one turn, then deploying them somewhere more useful, hopefully picking up a key in the process; that's still likely a net gain if you can do it without putting a great big target on your back.
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Bob Miller
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Good question to ask. The premise being: If the nail is sticking up too far, it will attract many hammers to pound it down. If the Prots do too well in France it will trigger the Catholic League response.

I'll answer in a round about way.

In a ftf learning game last month (involving a very whiny French player) I as Spain should have acted on the same basic premise of the Catholic League to fight the Prots more effectively. Prot was a good player and the above French player, ahem, wasn't. France and I allied and collaborated often late in the game to keep the Prots in check. I remember SDing thru France to fight the Prots in the Netherlands. That battleground was on favorable terms for the Prots. I realize now I should have just stayed closer to home and fought the Prots in France. If they have no keys in France and all of them in the Netherlands they would draw just 4 cards. The battle in France would have been more "Spanish" friendly.
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Steven
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Bob good point on Spain fighting the Protestants in France (closer to Spain, no risk of rebellion), but it was clarified in the latest FAQ (June 28th) by Ed that the keys outside of the Netherlands does not need to be in France.

Quote:
Power Cards (Protestant)
The text to the left of the Bonus VP box says “don’t have 1 key in both Netherlands & France.” How many cards does the Protestant draw if they control only Amsterdam and Edinburgh?

Treat the phrase “& France” as a shorthand for “and outside the Netherlands.” So they are only limited to 4 cards if they don’t control both one key in the Netherlands AND one key somewhere else on the map. In the example above they would have one in each of these areas (revealing both of the orange spaces on their power card) so they would draw 5 cards.


So the Prots can draw more cards than four if they have keys in Netherlands and Scotland (for example), but none in France.

EDIT:

Also, I think even the Spanish player (or for that matter anyone who is not France) has an incentive in some cases to play Protestant events in France to trigger the Catholic Leauge, especially if France is doing very well. There are risks involved, but why not go nuclear if France is getting near the 25 VP or auto-win mark? Plus Spain can start getting 2VPs a turn if they can snag Paris (in the latter half of the game)!
 
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Zack S.
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SW_Cygnus wrote:
Also, I think even the Spanish player (or for that matter anyone who is not France) has an incentive in some cases to play Protestant events in France to trigger the Catholic Leauge, especially if France is doing very well. There are risks involved, but why not go nuclear if France is getting near the 25 VP or auto-win mark? Plus Spain can start getting 2VPs a turn if they can snag Paris (in the latter half of the game)!

There aren't really many ways to make the Protestants gain political control of spaces. Can Jeanne of Navarre's first option be used by someone other than the Protestants?
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Jon G
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zackss wrote:
There aren't really many ways to make the Protestants gain political control of spaces. Can Jeanne of Navarre's first option be used by someone other than the Protestants?


It does look like anyone can play Jeanne (since a revolt in France can only be made by the Huguenots)... but either you've extracted a suitable price from the Prots, or you're giving them a gift that may exceed any damage they suffer from the Catholic League.

My last game as a Prot, the Spanish played it for me in exchange for the Philippines. It's pretty nasty that way, since the French player doesn't get a chance to re-convert the space between the Prot turn and Jeanne being played. the same thing is true if you can get the HRE to play a conversion event, then immediately revolt.
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Zack S.
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dr.mrow wrote:
It does look like anyone can play Jeanne (since a revolt in France can only be made by the Huguenots)... but either you've extracted a suitable price from the Prots, or you're giving them a gift that may exceed any damage they suffer from the Catholic League.

Who makes the choice on where the rebellion happens? If the player, you could choose a non-key space just to get the (up to) 6 spaces flipped to Hugenot control. If the Protestant, they'll just choose an appropriate spot so that they don't get undesired spots.
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Jon G
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zackss wrote:
dr.mrow wrote:
It does look like anyone can play Jeanne (since a revolt in France can only be made by the Huguenots)... but either you've extracted a suitable price from the Prots, or you're giving them a gift that may exceed any damage they suffer from the Catholic League.

Who makes the choice on where the rebellion happens? If the player, you could choose a non-key space just to get the (up to) 7 spaces flipped to Hugenot control. If the Protestant, they'll just choose an appropriate spot so that they don't get undesired spots.


Hey, that's a really clever thing for the Spanish to do.
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Steven
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zackss wrote:
There aren't really many ways to make the Protestants gain political control of spaces. Can Jeanne of Navarre's first option be used by someone other than the Protestants?


No there are not many, Jeanne of Navarre is basically the only main way for another power to create a rebellion for the Prots in France (as you both have pointed out)! There are however two more cards which generate conversion attempts (Huguenot Lent and Iconoclastic Fury). Just assisting in getting more spaces converted could free up the Protestants to rebel instead of having to convert then rebel.
 
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Zack S.
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SW_Cygnus wrote:
There are however two more cards which generate conversion attempts (Huguenot Lent and Iconoclastic Fury). Just assisting in getting more spaces converted could free up the Protestants to rebel instead of having to convert then rebel.

Yeah, but the Protestant doesn't gain much from having a lot of non-key spaces in France, so he probably wouldn't overdo it to the point of triggering the Catholic League.
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Steven
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zackss wrote:
Yeah, but the Protestant doesn't gain much from having a lot of non-key spaces in France, so he probably wouldn't overdo it to the point of triggering the Catholic League.


I suppose it all comes down to how strong France is and how much you are willling to give to the Prots. If you are an enemy of Spain and France, why not try to have the Prots rebel in a key space? Frankly the only power who would force the Prots to rebel in a non-fortified space is Spain (unless the Prots are very close to winning)...
 
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Zack S.
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SW_Cygnus wrote:
I suppose it all comes down to how strong France is and how much you are willing to give to the Prots. If you are an enemy of Spain and France, why not try to have the Prots rebel in a key space? Frankly the only power who would force the Prots to rebel in a non-fortified space is Spain (unless the Prots are very close to winning)...

I would think the choice to rebel a key or not would be entirely dependent on the relative powers of France and the Protestants. There's no reason for any other power to give the Prots a key unless France needs to lose it. Absent a clear power to target I would expect no change of key but increased conflict to be more desirable to others than being entirely anti-French.

Of course that's only possible with Jeanne. If all you can do is convert you might need to tempt the Protestants with the converted key, but that puts all the decisions solely in their hands, so you can't expect it to harm them in any way.
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Sean Whittaker
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If England draws Iconoclastic Fury or Huguenot Lent Turn 1, I can't see them not bargaining with the Protestant player for a favor (future card play or card draw) in return for the event being played. England and the Protestant are natural allies and if they can further distract and weaken France's position early on, they should do so.
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Steven
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England (and the HRE if it goes balanced or Prot) have more than just an incentive to weaken France. Remember that they can get VPs depending on how well the Protestants are doing. England's VPs gains may be small, but those VPs may prove to be what gets them over the finish-line down the road. The HRE has an even bigger stake in the religious game.
 
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Joel K
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SW_Cygnus wrote:
Plus Spain can start getting 2VPs a turn if they can snag Paris (in the latter half of the game)!

If Spain is in the ascendancy after the Catholic League occurs, Guise becomes a high-profile assassination target--Spain needs him alive to get the 2VP version of the Paris control award. His defense won't be that great since he won't (can't, in fact) ever be on home turf.

The Protestants have just as much motivation to take Paris with a force led by Navarre, and with the right rebellions they can build additional units right on the Parisian doorstep (Orléans or Rouen). Guise is limited to the force he starts with, barring a play of Foreign Volunteers.

Obviously France will want to have a say in all this...but the time the Catholic League happened to me, I got eviscerated by Spain and the Protestants. The details are a little fuzzy now, but I know one of the times mid-game where I wanted to restore some order, the Protestants had built a huge hand of cards and we weren't at war, so he was able to just wait me out until I was forced to play Gouvernante de France, and then made hay with rebellions. The other time I was in a position to hammer him with GdF he had drawn Jeanne of Navarre and promptly canceled it.
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Steven
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Great points Joel!

The only thing I would like to add is that a creative Spanish player could resupply Guise with additional troops with his Spanish Road home card. That is assuming he can keep a path open to Guise(diplomatically or militarily).
 
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Zack S.
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Spain can always build directly in Besançon too.
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