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Subject: Removing the connection from Lousiburg to Quebec solve HH? rss

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Lucas Townsend
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Hey all,

I was curious if it would be possible/recommended to remove the connection by ship from Louisburg to Quebec and vice versa? Has anyone tried this, and if so, does it help prevent the Halifax Hammer? At least this way, the British have to conquer Gaspe to be able to lay siege on Quebec. Thoughts, and any experience with this?

Thanks.
 
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Ken Dilloo
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The Ginger Ninja
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Nope. Sacking Quebec is only one route to take after Louisbourg falls. It would all but eliminate that one route, but there are two other, safer, routes to the win.
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Romain Jacques
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James Wolfe would be desappointed.
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Lucas Townsend
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bigloo33 wrote:
Nope. Sacking Quebec is only one route to take after Louisbourg falls. It would all but eliminate that one route, but there are two other, safer, routes to the win.


I'm afraid I don't understand your answer, could you explain please? Thanks
 
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Federico
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Empires wrote:
bigloo33 wrote:
Nope. Sacking Quebec is only one route to take after Louisbourg falls. It would all but eliminate that one route, but there are two other, safer, routes to the win.


I'm afraid I don't understand your answer, could you explain please? Thanks

You don't need to go to Quebec from Louisbourg, most of the time you can, for example, siege and capture Trois Rivieres, which is usually less defended. That way Montreal and all the other cards upriver will not be able to trace a connection to Quebec and will be dead cards. If your opponent doesn't resign, you can then siege Quebec from there (and the French will have a deck full of dead cards).

And the British can also win without taking Louisbourg, even though that complicates matters a bit.
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Clyde W
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The thing is, the HH is less about what cities you go after and more about how you manipulate your deck.
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Chris Berger
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I don't know about "solving" the HH, but if you wanted to mess with connections, I think it would make more sense and probably be more helpful to remove the connection from Louisbourg to Trois Rivieres. Without that connection, a French player could fortify Quebec and have a pretty good chance of stopping any attack there, but with Louisbourg connected to both of them, if you fortify one the other falls, and either one is game over.

Then you have the problem that if you've been spending your time with forts, you may lose to the British on settling, but it would probably be more competitive.

 
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Mike Smith
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The connection Louisbourg - Quebec is entirely sensible historically. Its what Wolfe did in 1759. The game has historical pretensions and so that direct appoach must be in the game.
The connection Louisbourg - Trois Rivieres makes no historical sense. Quebec was built where it was to interdict naval moves further up the St. Lawrence. In 1759 the British were able to work vessals up past it, but such an operation was difficult and not just a matter of blithely sailing past. More effective French shore battery and floating battery siting in 1759 would have made it still more difficult for the British to achieve. Remember also that in 1759 Quebec was masked by the British siege. Operating upstream, with Quebec in French hands and unbesieged, would also have meant ignoring supply considerations and the need for a safe evacuation route. I cannot account for why Martin Wallace made it a link in the game.
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Chris Berger
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Mantuanwar wrote:
The connection Louisbourg - Quebec is entirely sensible historically. Its what Wolfe did in 1759. The game has historical pretensions and so that direct appoach must be in the game.
The connection Louisbourg - Trois Rivieres makes no historical sense. Quebec was built where it was to interdict naval moves further up the St. Lawrence. In 1759 the British were able to work vessals up past it, but such an operation was difficult and not just a matter of blithely sailing past. More effective French shore battery and floating battery siting in 1759 would have made it still more difficult for the British to achieve. Remember also that in 1759 Quebec was masked by the British siege. Operating upstream, with Quebec in French hands and unbesieged, would also have meant ignoring supply considerations and the need for a safe evacuation route. I cannot account for why Martin Wallace made it a link in the game.


Thanks for the history lesson, Mike. I didn't know the specifics, but that's in the vague general area of what I meant by "would make more sense" to remove that connection.
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Ken Dilloo
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I kinda think that is why TR has no ship symbol. That makes TR a fairly tough siege for the British, unless they hold a significant military advantage.

I do think that reevaluating connections is a good route to find that elusive balance, but unlikely. Also, might be tough to get an official sanction.
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Tom
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Spoilers.

I believe that Louisbourg-TR link is totally unnecessary but any fix should rather make the deck fatter, at least for the British. After all, the Limited Governor variant testing, while making things a bit harder for the Brits, ultimately showed you don't even need to use Governor to win every game in a military way. The only important thing to achieve that is to avoid settling locations apart from Halifax/PR and Louisbourg. A fix should force them to settle some other locations to bloat their deck. I tried to do that with my limited reserve variant but alone it's still not sufficient.
Secondly, the settling race is imbalanced, it's much easier for th French to win it. I suggest the total number of town disks for the British should be reduced, at least by one, and for the French to be increased, at least by one. This is not a recipe, just a thought about the direction I believe should be followed to find a balancing variant.
At the beginning of the game, the British should have a dilemma: settling or military, similarly viable. As long as there's no choice and only war for them as a obvious path, the gameplay will be limited to British military vs French settling race.

The longer I play AFAoS, the more I realise how a horrible playtesting this game had in the development phase. Horrible.
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Federico
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solkan1 wrote:
Secondly, the settling race is imbalanced, it's much easier for th French to win it.

First of all: I don't know. I'm just asking to hear what's your opinion, as you seem to be certain about it.

You mean, the French surely win by settling or by developing? If it's the first, could you provide an example (a game on yucata, maybe?). If it's the second, what happens if the British limit the availability of settlers? Do you think that to be enough to make their deck too fat and military less effective?
 
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Tom
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By settling race I meant developing to towns as soon as possible. I think I've seen someone winning by placing the last cube only once. I believe developing is much quicker, so that the total number of cubes could be reduced too, for both sides, to make this possibility to end the game more viable.

As a British, you can reserve the neutral settler cards if you draft them to make things more difficult for your opponent, so they won't make your deck too fat. Under rules as written, you don't even need your reserve as the Brits, when you run a thin deck, the military cards go straight from discard pile into the siege - so those settlers in your reserve won't interfere with your strategy too much. The only time your deck is bloated is after the siege, but that is still manageable enough for them to win before the French can develop their towns.
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Federico
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solkan1 wrote:
By settling race I meant developing to towns as soon as possible. I think I've seen someone winning by placing the last cube only once. I believe developing is much quicker, so that the total number of cubes could be reduced too, for both sides, to make this possibility to end the game more viable.

Good point, reducing the cubes seems a good suggestion.

solkan1 wrote:
As a British, you can reserve the neutral settler cards if you draft them to make things more difficult for your opponent, so they won't make your deck too fat. Under rules as written, you don't even need your reserve as the Brits, when you run a thin deck, the military cards go straight from discard pile into the siege - so those settlers in your reserve won't interfere with your strategy too much. The only time your deck is bloated is after the siege, but that is still manageable enough for them to win before the French can develop their towns.

Yes, this was more or less what I was thinking. But my idea was reserving military (to defend in case of a French attack) while you out-develop the French by negating them at least 1 settlers card.

From my limited experience, the British seem to be able to develop quite well, to the point that it was my impression the French couldn't keep up with them (unless they draft all the neutral settlers). I asked about not making the deck too thick because, if the Brit starts drafting settlers, the French may try to win by going military. But if the settlers don't hamper the British's militar strength too much, how can the French answer?

On the other hand, you seem quite sure the French are better at developing, so I'm not sure what to think and I might have missed something obvious.
 
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Tom
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I wrote a response accordingly to my experience, but in the meantime I've found what Tim said about it:

Quote:
Ideally, French only settle Halifax (usually by winning a siege) and Fort Frontenac. Then they get a settler and develop as rapidly as possible. British can't hope to score more points than the French.

The problem for the British is that if they take both settlers to slow French development, then they will get steamrolled by the Pemaquid Piledriver. So the only viable British response is a military one, and that involves Halifax and a thin deck.


http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/8507642#8507642

So it turns out drafting both settlers by the British early will be fatal for them - and if they don't do that early, the French should be able to get one. We can try it on Yucata if you like.
 
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Dan Who?
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A little off topic but, We added a connection to Lousiburg via "a backdoor attack" by the french on to Norfolk, hypothetic carribean/france siege. It proved to make things intresting, also never heard anyone try it. I guess I should also mention the british player passes over their Norfolk card and replaces it with some french location that is not occipied, thus useless like sieged location card.
 
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Federico
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solkan1 wrote:
I wrote a response accordingly to my experience, but in the meantime I've found what Tim said about it:

Quote:
Ideally, French only settle Halifax (usually by winning a siege) and Fort Frontenac. Then they get a settler and develop as rapidly as possible. British can't hope to score more points than the French.

The problem for the British is that if they take both settlers to slow French development, then they will get steamrolled by the Pemaquid Piledriver. So the only viable British response is a military one, and that involves Halifax and a thin deck.


http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/8507642#8507642

So it turns out drafting both settlers by the British early will be fatal for them - and if they don't do that early, the French should be able to get one. We can try it on Yucata if you like.

Halifax: yes, but Tim expects a siege to enter the equation at least sometimes.

I'd still try a couple of games on yucata, but we need to decide how to set them up.

Some thoughts:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
I'd use normal second edition rules, raids included, but forbid sieges.

Regarding Halifax: on turn 1 the British would usually merchant for 6$ or draft the Governor, but if they wanted it they could usually settle Halifax first (math might be wrong, but: about 95% which becomes ~97% if we consider the fact the French might be unable to settle on turn 1).
Of course if they do get it, to take care of it they need to spend more actions than the French.

To simplify things we could agree on either the French settling Halifax and Fort Beat. (to avoid raids) or the British settling Halifax and drafting one dead card (a neutral Fortification?) to defend it.

What do you think, does it seem reasonable?
 
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Clyde W
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You're suggesting we fix the HH by forbidding sieges? That seems a bit drastic...
 
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Federico
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No, we're not searching for fixes.

This almost off-topic talk between me and Tom started because I'm not sure the French always win if there are no sieges. We'd simply like to test that.
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Chris Berger
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Fede__ wrote:
No, we're not searching for fixes.

This almost off-topic talk between me and Tom started because I'm not sure the French always win if there are no sieges. We'd simply like to test that.


I would posit that the French always win if sieges are prohibited. Which isn't quite the same thing, but similar.
 
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Tom
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Fede__ wrote:

Halifax: yes, but Tim expects a siege to enter the equation at least sometimes.

I'd still try a couple of games on yucata, but we need to decide how to set them up.

Some thoughts:
What do you think, does it seem reasonable?

I would consider occasional sieges (non-HH, or at least inland ones, like e.g. a siege on Albany stared from Ft. Stanwix) and (particularly) raids to be a part of settling race, but if you wish we may try a sole settling. The French will probably need to draft the Settler card as their first action when only they have the needed money, in order to secure it. I'll send you a geekmail to set up a game.
 
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Federico
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solkan1 wrote:
I would consider occasional sieges (non-HH, or at least inland ones, like e.g. a siege on Albany stared from Ft. Stanwix) and (particularly) raids to be a part of settling race, but if you wish we may try a sole settling. The French will probably need to draft the Settler card as their first action then, in order to secure it. I'll send you a geekmail to set up a game.

Raids are fine of course, I didn't consider inland sieges, but I have nothing against them.
 
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Federico
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Game 1 was rather close.

Both sides can do better, so we'll try again

Edit: a few more comments.

Tom tried to get all the neutral Settlers on his second turn (which in the replay is turn 3), so I had to buy the Intendant to recover Quebec from the discard pile and use it as a second Settler.

I decided to play it safe towards the end to avoid risks, as I had a little margin. That's why I used the Intendant to get the Fortification instead of Quebec on turn 27 and kept Quebec in the discard pile as much as possible at the end (as otherwise a raid on Quebec would have made me discard it, even though I had Fort and CdB in hand).

I think the British should develop Albany first and use it as a bateaux afterwards.

I'm not sure it's good for the French to settle Halifax as soon as possible: Halifax means having one more card in the deck and having to care for both it and Port Royal against raids. It might be better if the Brit takes it instead.

If someone looks at the replay and has ideas, questions or suggestions, feel free to share them
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Ken Dilloo
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I sometimes, if I am feeling frisky, employ a strategy I call the Northern Neighbor Neuter (didn't really catch on, surprisingly) where I raid Quebec down to nothing, then buy both settlers on my next turn. It is a total gimmick, but pretty fun, as the French flounder around with no way to win.

Up for trying the no siege approach (I don't study already played games), as any thought experiment away from HH, would be welcome. I am Bruceleroy 33 on Yucata. Might be a bit rusty, but I will give her a go, if anyone wants to shoot an invite, and let me know how they want to play it.

Honestly, I don't see the French losing with no threat of sieges.
 
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Tom
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bigloo33 wrote:
Honestly, I don't see the French losing with no threat of sieges.

Curiously, when no sieges are allowed (we played with no noval sieges in the game linked above by Federico) that actually helps the British.
No sieges mean the British can grab both neutral settlers (before the French can get one) unpunished, because the French can't answer militarily with Pemaquid Piledriver. Both neutral settlers in British hands and only Quebec for France to develop results in a balanced developing race, I'd even say the British with an optimal play might have a slight advantage then. Of course, if the French had at least one neutral settler, it would be a whole different game - certainly not as close as our was.
No sieges also mean that some unconventional (so to speak) moves suddenly become good moves. During that game I realized that e.g. I should governor Boston, because I had no purpose to use it anymore (money and military symbols were not important).
 
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