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Subject: Ottoman strategy in the Mediterranean rss

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Henry Rodriguez
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Nice article.

I played as the Turks for the first time and pulled out a win by mixing piracy with attacks on Keys (Malta then Tunis). Naturally, I took care of Spain's fleet at Messina first.

This, along with other setbacks Spain suffered, made her agreeable to a peace I offered on the turn following the HRE declaring war on me. Then I took it to the HRE by smashing their armies and taking Vienna and Prague in one turn (all glory to Murad III and Allah). Auto-military victory and I had at least 6 vp's more than the next player before that.
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Philip Jelley
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I am playing the Ottomans in a game with Ed Beach as Spain. Having seen these two powers knock heads for no good purpose in most games we made peace on turn one, to the dismay of the Protestants. First card of the game; build corsair in Algiers, Dragut & Co to the Barbary Coast for some piracy against the fortresses of Gibaltar and Oran and roll 135655. That will be 2 VPs and 2 cards please. Easy when you know how.

whistle
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Henrik Reschreiter
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Philip Jelley wrote:
... build corsair in Algiers, Dragut & Co to the Barbary Coast for some piracy against the fortresses of Gibaltar and Oran and roll 135655. That will be 2 VPs and 2 cards please. Easy when you know how.

:whistle:


How did you manage to roll 6 dice? Fleets + 2 or more ports earns you 2 dice, Dragut the other 2 for 4 max. I was not aware of any means to increase this further?!
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Philip Jelley
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The first two dice were for Gibaltar and Oran, didn't even scratch the paintwork

arrrh
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Philip Thomas
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How much is an offer of Treachery on Malta worth here? Say on turn 1. Two card draws would be quite a standard rate but significantly hampers your ability to actually besiege Malta in the first place...
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Antero Kuusi
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Philip Jelley wrote:
I am playing the Ottomans in a game with Ed Beach as Spain. Having seen these two powers knock heads for no good purpose in most games we made peace on turn one, to the dismay of the Protestants. First card of the game; build corsair in Algiers, Dragut & Co to the Barbary Coast for some piracy against the fortresses of Gibaltar and Oran and roll 135655. That will be 2 VPs and 2 cards please. Easy when you know how.


Which is why Spain should be very reluctant to make peace with Ottomans unless they are reasonably certain that Ottomans will be occupied by war with HRE. Otherwise, Spain has just turned Mediterranean into "free piracy zone" without the ability to try to cut down on the piracy with naval battles.
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Steven
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A very well written strategy article Will. Thank you for sharing.

Philip Jelley wrote:
I am playing the Ottomans in a game with Ed Beach as Spain. Having seen these two powers knock heads for no good purpose in most games we made peace on turn one, to the dismay of the Protestants. First card of the game; build corsair in Algiers, Dragut & Co to the Barbary Coast for some piracy against the fortresses of Gibaltar and Oran and roll 135655. That will be 2 VPs and 2 cards please. Easy when you know how.

whistle


Did you make peace in the Dip phase, or just make essentially a non-aggression pact? I thought you could not agree to peace in T1.

In either case... that is an awesome piracy roll! arrrh
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Philip Thomas
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pyton wrote:
Philip Jelley wrote:
I am playing the Ottomans in a game with Ed Beach as Spain. Having seen these two powers knock heads for no good purpose in most games we made peace on turn one, to the dismay of the Protestants. First card of the game; build corsair in Algiers, Dragut & Co to the Barbary Coast for some piracy against the fortresses of Gibaltar and Oran and roll 135655. That will be 2 VPs and 2 cards please. Easy when you know how.


Which is why Spain should be very reluctant to make peace with Ottomans unless they are reasonably certain that Ottomans will be occupied by war with HRE. Otherwise, Spain has just turned Mediterranean into "free piracy zone" without the ability to try to cut down on the piracy with naval battles.


On the other hand it does mean your fleet can't be destroyed by the Ottomans in naval combat, so you can spread it around the Mediterrean to soak up piracy damage. I was Ottomans at peace with Spain in my last game (although only from turn 2 or 3 onwards) and it was quite difficult to conduct piracy away from the Spanish fleets- the HRE in Trieste was one target.
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Ed Beach
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SW_Cygnus wrote:


Did you make peace in the Dip phase, or just make essentially a non-aggression pact? I thought you could not agree to peace in T1.

In either case... that is an awesome piracy roll! arrrh


Yikes ... certainly not the first time I've flubbed a rule to one of my own games ... but it isn't often quite so public. blush blush blush

Luckily we haven't proceeded past this first impulse due to the holiday so we can get this game patched up I believe.

And no ... I'm not going to insist Phil has to reroll that piracy roll. I think it must have been kharma-related after the rule flub!
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Steven
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Oh man, sorry! Was not my intention to call you out, I just thought you might have known something I did not, or that I had the rule wrong.

If he did this with only corsairs, it does not matter. He could pirate you with them anyway (I am sure you could find a way to ret-con them away if you wanted ).
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Philip Jelley
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Ed Beach wrote:
SW_Cygnus wrote:


Did you make peace in the Dip phase, or just make essentially a non-aggression pact? I thought you could not agree to peace in T1.

In either case... that is an awesome piracy roll! arrrh


Yikes ... certainly not the first time I've flubbed a rule to one of my own games ... but it isn't often quite so public. blush blush blush

Luckily we haven't proceeded past this first impulse due to the holiday so we can get this game patched up I believe.

And no ... I'm not going to insist Phil has to reroll that piracy roll. I think it must have been kharma-related after the rule flub!


In another game yesterday it was vital for me to roll a one in my conversion attempts so I could dump some unrest and stop a player winning the game. 15 dice; 344345444325555, no ones (no sixes either for that matter). It swings and roundabouts



Some damn fool buried the rule in the Scenario Book shake

• Ottoman and Spain are at war.
• England and France are at war.
Neither of these 2 wars may be ended during Turn 1 negotiations.

I suggest that we simply treat things as if we had made peace, so we don't attack, intercept, change political control or anything that we could do if we were at war. This means that Spain or the Ottomans could 'declare war' for free at the start of T2 if we don't agree to peace again.

Anyway, I am off to the Spanish Cash & Carry

arrrh

Philip
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Bob Miller
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Will W wrote:
As the Ottomans, if you make peace with Spain and aren't fighting the HRE, you are reduced to playing solitaire.

I'm interested in how the above poster managed to crush the HRE's army and take Vienna and Prague late in the game. How on earth were you able to cut through the border fortresses, Vienna, and Prague? Surely they were all well-defended by that point?


We have seen that in our game Will. If the HRE gets cute and spends all his points on Patronage, Influence and Marriage deals he may not have much of an army in place.
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Philip Jelley
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dreadnaught wrote:
Will W wrote:
As the Ottomans, if you make peace with Spain and aren't fighting the HRE, you are reduced to playing solitaire.

I'm interested in how the above poster managed to crush the HRE's army and take Vienna and Prague late in the game. How on earth were you able to cut through the border fortresses, Vienna, and Prague? Surely they were all well-defended by that point?


We have seen that in our game Will. If the HRE gets cute and spends all his points on Patronage, Influence and Marriage deals he may not have much of an army in place.


He saw your combat dice and was unafraid...

Philip
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Philip Jelley
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I am England and the Ottomans in a 4 player game and its come down to me or Spain. A nasty little strategy is to pirate with the Ottomans - got a card and 1 VP, then Gain Intell by England with an informant to look at his hand and force him to lose another card. Now its back to the Ottomans for more piracy. He started with seven cards (including his HC). As he played one himself and lost two he is down to four at end of the first round, I could get it down to two in the second round.

arrrh
 
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John Nestor
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Ed Beach wrote:
SW_Cygnus wrote:


Did you make peace in the Dip phase, or just make essentially a non-aggression pact? I thought you could not agree to peace in T1.

In either case... that is an awesome piracy roll! arrrh


Yikes ... certainly not the first time I've flubbed a rule to one of my own games ... but it isn't often quite so public. blush blush blush

Luckily we haven't proceeded past this first impulse due to the holiday so we can get this game patched up I believe.

And no ... I'm not going to insist Phil has to reroll that piracy roll. I think it must have been kharma-related after the rule flub!


And apparently, not for the last time, either. In the same game, the Catholic League was started just a tad early.
 
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Lord Austere
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Will W wrote:
Your first order of business should be to annihilate the Spanish fleet at Messina. If you can do this cleanly, the Spanish will likely be pushed back to their side of the Mediterranean, allowing you to do piracy in the center. Fail, and a smart Spanish player will start building up at Messina, and then you are in trouble. My standard opening is to play Ottoman Tribute for CP, build an extra squadron in Istanbul, then use the remaining 3 CP to have the fleets rendevous and then attack Messina. This gives you 12 dice against 7. If you have a card like Fire Ships, a saucier option is to use the first 3 CP to attack Messina and (after hopefully winning the battle) do piracy in the Ionian with the last 2 CP.


Isn't a more elegant way to get rid of the fleet in Messina to use your starting fleet as follows: Spring deploy an army to coron, then (1cp naval move) 3 galleys to aegean sea and 3 corsairs to barabry coast, followed by (1cp naval move) 1 corsair to ionian sea and the of the fleet to the ionian. Now Spain will try an intercept (probably the lone corsair). If the intercept is succesfull, you lose the corsair and the rest of the fleet can freely pirate (2cp) in the ionian sea. If the interception unsuccesfull, you can (2cp) land an army in messina taranto and move them to messina (1cp). With no retreat options the fleet is automatically put to the torch and Napels is within easy reach (and you still will likely have forces to spare to take malta too). 4 5 cp needed, risking 1 corsair. It's a small risk, but odds are the intercept won't work and otherwise a 4 dice unopposed piracy attempt is well worth the single lost corsair.

[edited due to rules clarification by Joel k]

Or is there anything I am overlooking here?
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Steven
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Lord Austere wrote:
Will W wrote:
Your first order of business should be to annihilate the Spanish fleet at Messina. If you can do this cleanly, the Spanish will likely be pushed back to their side of the Mediterranean, allowing you to do piracy in the center. Fail, and a smart Spanish player will start building up at Messina, and then you are in trouble. My standard opening is to play Ottoman Tribute for CP, build an extra squadron in Istanbul, then use the remaining 3 CP to have the fleets rendevous and then attack Messina. This gives you 12 dice against 7. If you have a card like Fire Ships, a saucier option is to use the first 3 CP to attack Messina and (after hopefully winning the battle) do piracy in the Ionian with the last 2 CP.


Isn't a more elegant way to get rid of the fleet in Messina to use your starting fleet as follows: Spring deploy an army to coron, then (1cp naval move) 3 galleys to aegean sea and 3 corsairs to barabry coast, followed by (1cp naval move) 1 corsair to ionian sea and the of the fleet to the ionian. Now Spain will try an intercept (probably the lone corsair). If the intercept is succesfull, you lose the corsair and the rest of the fleet can freely pirate (2cp) in the ionian sea. If the interception unsuccesfull, you can (2cp) land an army in messina. With no retreat options the fleet is automatically put to the torch and Napels is within easy reach (and you still will likely have forces to spare to take malta too). 4 cp needed, risking 1 corsair. It's a small risk, but odds are the intercept won't work and otherwise a 4 dice unopposed piracy attempt is well worth the single lost corsair.

Or is there anything I am overlooking here?


I was planning on landing in Messina in my first impulse of my recent game as the Ottomans, but I chickened out. It's powerful opening move, however it requires some... gambling.

[EDIT: This would not have worked, see Joel's post below]

Reason why I did not make the move:

1. Not enough CPs to follow-up with multiple piracy actions.
2. Spain had mercenaries in Milan from the HRE in Milan and a treasure.

Other things to consider:

1. Friendly (or at least peaceful) T1 HRE?
2. Could Spain have Storms, Reiters, or Signal Fires?
3. Do you have a combat card?

In the case of my game I didn't have enough CPs to do more than one piracy action with my navy, because I did not want to spend Grand Vizier early in the turn and had a few events I needed to play. Also, I was nervous that Spain had one of the cards I mentioned... he turned out to have Signal Fires anyway. The main deterrent though is Spanish Road. Until the card is played Spain can move an army from Milan to Naples and if he played a treasure, he may destroy your landing party.

So I guess if the stars align it's brilliant, however you still might find Mehmed and his troops in serious danger when Spain comes back at you.

EDIT: See Joel's post below.
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Lord Austere
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SW_Cygnus wrote:

I was planning on landing in Messina in my first impulse of my recent game as the Ottomans, but I chickened out. It's powerful opening move, however it requires some... gambling.

Reason why I did not make the move:

1. Not enough CPs to follow-up with multiple piracy actions.
2. Spain had mercenaries in Milan from the HRE in Milan and a treasure.

Other things to consider:

1. Friendly (or at least peaceful) T1 HRE?
2. Could Spain have Storms, Reiters, or Signal Fires?
3. Do you have a combat card?

In the case of my game I didn't have enough CPs to do more than one piracy action with my navy, because I did not want to spend Grand Vizier early in the turn and had a few events I needed to play. Also, I was nervous that Spain had one of the cards I mentioned... he turned out to have Signal Fires anyway. The main deterrent though is Spanish Road. Until the card is played Spain can move an army from Milan to Naples and if he played a treasure, he may destroy your landing party.

So I guess if the stars align it's brilliant, however you still might find Mehmed and his troops in serious danger when Spain comes back at you.


So basically it's a Sicilian invasion gambit. The mercenaries and diplomacy could indeed make it very tricky.

Still the spanish road could be subverted by using the 5th of your command points (assuming you use the ottoman tribute, which would make sense) to flip a space adjacent to Messina, like Palermo to generate a retreat option. It assumes you have sufficient resources to fight a war in italy and the spanish not having a sufficiently large starting army to dislodge you from your initial foothold. Otherwise you might be better of sending a smaller force (no mehmed) to do the burning. Then either the spanish needs to take effort to dislodge them (spanish road/building troops and moving them) or risk you increasing your presence on subsequent impulses.

In fact 2 cavalry and a regular or similar force might be perfect for the landing. enough so napels can't face them alone and guarantee succes, but enough to force a response from spain to buy you more time for piracy and taking malta.
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Steven
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Lord Austere wrote:
SW_Cygnus wrote:

I was planning on landing in Messina in my first impulse of my recent game as the Ottomans, but I chickened out. It's powerful opening move, however it requires some... gambling.

Reason why I did not make the move:

1. Not enough CPs to follow-up with multiple piracy actions.
2. Spain had mercenaries in Milan from the HRE in Milan and a treasure.

Other things to consider:

1. Friendly (or at least peaceful) T1 HRE?
2. Could Spain have Storms, Reiters, or Signal Fires?
3. Do you have a combat card?

In the case of my game I didn't have enough CPs to do more than one piracy action with my navy, because I did not want to spend Grand Vizier early in the turn and had a few events I needed to play. Also, I was nervous that Spain had one of the cards I mentioned... he turned out to have Signal Fires anyway. The main deterrent though is Spanish Road. Until the card is played Spain can move an army from Milan to Naples and if he played a treasure, he may destroy your landing party.

So I guess if the stars align it's brilliant, however you still might find Mehmed and his troops in serious danger when Spain comes back at you.


So basically it's a Sicilian invasion gambit. The mercenaries and diplomacy could indeed make it very tricky.

Still the spanish road could be subverted by using the 5th of your command points (assuming you use the ottoman tribute, which would make sense) to flip a space adjacent to Messina, like Palermo to generate a retreat option. It assumes you have sufficient resources to fight a war in italy and the spanish not having a sufficiently large starting army to dislodge you from your initial foothold. Otherwise you might be better of sending a smaller force (no mehmed) to do the burning. Then either the spanish needs to take effort to dislodge them (spanish road/building troops and moving them) or risk you increasing your presence on subsequent impulses.

In fact 2 cavalry and a regular or similar force might be perfect for the landing. enough so napels can't face them alone and guarantee succes, but enough to force a response from spain to buy you more time for piracy and taking malta.


Unless I am wrong, I believe you need 5 Cps in your opening move to take out the fleet and flag Messina. You cannot flag an adjacent space, because it needs a line of communication and have it free of enemy units or not adjacent to the unit in Naples.

1. Naval Move: Nav Leader, 3x Galley Istanbul-Aegean
2. Naval Move: Nav Leader, 3x Galley Aegean-Ionian
3-4. Naval Transport: Coron-Messina
5. Flag Messina.

There is a risk to sending a smaller force, because you might lose your landing force to the lone regular in Naples if it successfully intercepts, or you run into a Reiters greeting party.


EDIT: This is an impossible move, see Joel's post below.
 
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Joel K
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Lord Austere wrote:
If the interception unsuccesfull, you can (2cp) land an army in messina. With no retreat options the fleet is automatically put to the torch and Napels is within easy reach (and you still will likely have forces to spare to take malta too)...

Or is there anything I am overlooking here?

You can't naval transport units into a port that contains enemy naval units (Naval Transport Procedure step 3, page 24).
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Steven
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JoelCFC25 wrote:
Lord Austere wrote:
If the interception unsuccesfull, you can (2cp) land an army in messina. With no retreat options the fleet is automatically put to the torch and Napels is within easy reach (and you still will likely have forces to spare to take malta too)...

Or is there anything I am overlooking here?

You can't naval transport units into a port that contains enemy naval units (Naval Transport Procedure step 3, page 24).


Well I am glad I did not try to make an illegal move then.

Thanks for clearing that up Joel.
 
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Lord Austere
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JoelCFC25 wrote:
Lord Austere wrote:
If the interception unsuccesfull, you can (2cp) land an army in messina. With no retreat options the fleet is automatically put to the torch and Napels is within easy reach (and you still will likely have forces to spare to take malta too)...

Or is there anything I am overlooking here?

You can't naval transport units into a port that contains enemy naval units (Naval Transport Procedure step 3, page 24).


I imagined i had missed out something. :-) So then it's really a gambit, landing at taranto and moving to messina.

This should be legal:

1. Naval Move: Nav Leader, 3x Galley Istanbul-Aegean, Nav Leader 3x Corsair Algiers-Barbary Coast
2. Naval Move: Nav Leader, 3x Galley Aegean-Ionian, Nav Leader 2x Corsair Barbary Coast-Ionian, Corsair

Then either: (if spainish fleet remains in messina)
3-4. Naval Transport: Coron-Taranto
5. Move Taranto-Messina. (and burn spanish fleet)

Or: (if spain intercepts the lone corsair)
3-4. Pirate Ionian
5. Profit!

I would use 2 or 3 units unless you feel very confident. With no spanish reaction you can reinforce this foothold and take southern italy, otherwise you should have your hands free for piracy.
 
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Lord Austere wrote:
JoelCFC25 wrote:
Lord Austere wrote:
If the interception unsuccesfull, you can (2cp) land an army in messina. With no retreat options the fleet is automatically put to the torch and Napels is within easy reach (and you still will likely have forces to spare to take malta too)...

Or is there anything I am overlooking here?

You can't naval transport units into a port that contains enemy naval units (Naval Transport Procedure step 3, page 24).


I imagined i had missed out something. :-) So then it's really a gambit, landing at taranto and moving to messina.

This should be legal:

1. Naval Move: Nav Leader, 3x Galley Istanbul-Aegean, Nav Leader 3x Corsair Algiers-Barbary Coast
2. Naval Move: Nav Leader, 3x Galley Aegean-Ionian, Nav Leader 2x Corsair Barbary Coast-Ionian, Corsair

Then either: (if spainish fleet remains in messina)
3-4. Naval Transport: Coron-Taranto
5. Move Taranto-Messina. (and burn spanish fleet)

Or: (if spain intercepts the lone corsair)
3-4. Pirate Ionian
5. Profit!

I would use 2 or 3 units unless you feel very confident. With no spanish reaction you can reinforce this foothold and take southern italy, otherwise you should have your hands free for piracy.


I have been wrong already once today, but I believe Spanish fleet is not destroyed. Simply moving to the space will not destroy it because you have to take control of the space to force them to retreat (and maybe destroy them if they have no valid retreat path). See 12.2 (pg 16):

VQ Living Rules, pg 16 wrote:
Place a new control marker on the space to indicate the new owner (unless it is reverting to its original owner and no marker is required). Make sure to place the new marker on the proper side so the religious influence is unchanged. If this space is a port that contains naval units, those naval units must immediately retreat to a sea zone adjacent to that port following the instructions found in Step 9 of the Naval Combat Procedure.


You cannot simply move into the space and kill them that way... I did not see anything in section 13 (Land movement) that forces enemy naval units in an unfortified space to retreat. I think your move is still 1 CP short.

EDIT: Fixed post a bit.
 
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Lord Austere
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SW_Cygnus wrote:
Lord Austere wrote:
JoelCFC25 wrote:
Lord Austere wrote:
If the interception unsuccesfull, you can (2cp) land an army in messina. With no retreat options the fleet is automatically put to the torch and Napels is within easy reach (and you still will likely have forces to spare to take malta too)...

Or is there anything I am overlooking here?

You can't naval transport units into a port that contains enemy naval units (Naval Transport Procedure step 3, page 24).


I imagined i had missed out something. :-) So then it's really a gambit, landing at taranto and moving to messina.

This should be legal:

1. Naval Move: Nav Leader, 3x Galley Istanbul-Aegean, Nav Leader 3x Corsair Algiers-Barbary Coast
2. Naval Move: Nav Leader, 3x Galley Aegean-Ionian, Nav Leader 2x Corsair Barbary Coast-Ionian, Corsair

Then either: (if spainish fleet remains in messina)
3-4. Naval Transport: Coron-Taranto
5. Move Taranto-Messina. (and burn spanish fleet)

Or: (if spain intercepts the lone corsair)
3-4. Pirate Ionian
5. Profit!

I would use 2 or 3 units unless you feel very confident. With no spanish reaction you can reinforce this foothold and take southern italy, otherwise you should have your hands free for piracy.


I have been wrong already once today, but I believe Spanish fleet is not destroyed. Simply moving to the space will not destroy it because you have to take control of the space to force them to retreat (and maybe destroy them if they have no valid retreat path). See 12.2 (pg 16):

VQ Living Rules, pg 16 wrote:
Place a new control marker on the space to indicate the new owner (unless it is reverting to its original owner and no marker is required). Make sure to place the new marker on the proper side so the religious influence is unchanged. If this space is a port that contains naval units, those naval units must immediately retreat to a sea zone adjacent to that port following the instructions found in Step 9 of the Naval Combat Procedure.


You cannot simply move into the space and kill them that way... I did not see anything in section 13 (Land movement) that forces enemy naval units in an unfortified space to retreat. I think your move is still 1 CP short.

EDIT: Fixed post a bit.


That leads to an interesting rules question as to what happens to naval units in the same space as enemy land units. Afterall at the end of a field battle (if there had been enemy land units) the rules make it clear that all units (so not just land units) should retreat. (rulebook p20)

Quote:
14.1 Retreat
All remaining units and army leaders from the losing power must
retreat. If no legal space exists, all units in that stack are eliminated;


However a field battle can only occur if an enemy formation is present. (rulebook p19)

Quote:
A field battle occurs due to a Move action into a space occupied by
an enemy formation or because of a successful interception.


This could result in the odd situation that naval units are better protected if there are NO land units present. Which is silly.

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{edit} Apparantly the here i stand errata faq rules that this seems to be correct:

http://home.comcast.net/~ebeach/faq.htm

Quote:
12.2 Unfortified Space

Can a friendly land unit coexist in an unfortified space with an enemy naval unit (that is in port)?

Yes. They will remain together in that space unless the power with the land unit spends 1 CP on the Control Unfortified Space action. Then, as specified in 12.4, the naval unit must retreat to sea.
 
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Mark Maginity
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Was your second naval move supposed to include one corsair moving to the Tyrrhenian? Is that the lone corsair that Spain could intercept? If so, and the Spanish fleet remains in Messina instead of intercepting, then the Spanish fleet would be destroyed once you take control of Messina since both adjacent seas would have enemy naval units, right?
 
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