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Revolution: The Dutch Revolt 1568-1648» Forums » Rules

Subject: Allegiance Influence Question (6.16) rss

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Brian Fung
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
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During the Allegiance Influence phase (6.16), where each faction can bribe a city to change their allegiance, I couldn't think of any reason why a Burgher or Hapsburg faction would do this. The reason why I think this is because whenever an allegiance becomes really "Catholic" or "reformed", a Catholic or Reformed resource piece MUST be added/removed. A Burgher or Hapsburg piece is only used if there are no more Reformed/Catholic pieces left. As a Burgher, why would I waste valuable gold to help the Reform player place his/her piece? Same with the Hapsburg, why would he/she spend money to help the Catholic player take over a city due to a "Catholic" allegiance? I've played a 5-player game and there are times when the Catholics and Hapsburg factions are fighting each other and same with the Burghers and Reformers. What am I missing here?
 
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Maarten D. de Jong
Netherlands
Zaandam
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Good question. I think the answer can be summarised as 'Aid is fine in general, but too much aid is not'.

Habsburgs have a reason to aid the Catholics, namely to prevent a city from becoming completely reformed. That is a far too dangerous shift in the balance of power to be allowed to go unchallenged. Reformers have cheap armies, and once those are on the board, Habsburgs are as much in trouble as are Catholics. But the aid of course stops when the marker is moving too far to the left, because that increases Catholic influence too much.

Burghers are different because the Allegiance Table is not symmetric in its instructions. Nevertheless, the requirement of removing one anti-catholic unit every turn can add up, especially because Burghers are present in 'mixed areas' where they are likely going to be the anti-catholic unit. Even if they weren't it still shifts the balance, giving others the city card, and thus more income and new units. Of course the need is somewhat less pressing because the exchange of tokens under the table's influence proceeds more slowly. But it is not neglegible either. Therefore as Burgher you don't want the allegiance token to reside on the catholic areas. Personally, I always aim for the column next to the right of the Nobility. Close enough to the reformed section to be threatening to the other factions, but not so close that I aid the Reformers too much---I'd get kicked out too if I'm not careful. The Burghers balance is much more precarious than it is for the Habsburgs, which is why as Burgher you wouldn't want to have the token residing in 'your' column.

In fact, in Pieter van der Knaap's optional rules the Burghers column has moved one step to the left because of this; and in addition to moving under the influence of money, the markers move out of their own accord to the faction controlling the city at that moment. (If I recall, the city card is not the decisive factor here, but I'd have to look it up.)

Finally, there may of course be agreements between factions to aid each other in various ways, and then the above is chucked right out of the window. It's easier to hit on others together, knowing that in the end, you only have each other to worry about. (Of course, the others are not stupid, so this might not work as well as you had hoped.)
 
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Steve Bachman
United States
Colonie
New York
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It doesn't matter what faction you are playing, if you control (or are even present) in a city, you do not want to have the citizen allegiance on the other side of the ideology. Granted, if you are the Burghers, this can be a precarious balance, but you'd still want to keep the Catholics out. That self-interest is one reason to spend on allegiance.

Of course, another reason (which seems to come up at least as often) are the deals described by Maarten's final paragraph.

We haven't played with the PvdK optional rules yet (we only play with the published rules - no variants or changes needed yet), but it was tempting after our first game. We had three new players who choose to play the C-H-N factions, whereas the two of us familiar with the game were the B-R. The Reformers got a big lead due to the inexperience of their main opponents and I found that I, as the Burghers, couldn't do anything on the allegiance chart to slow him. Our next game, we had two new players and we had them choose between the H-B moderates while the two of us who were experienced choose between the C-R extremes. It went much better.
 
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