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Subject: Card List & Analysis: Home Cards rss

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Max DuBoff
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Re: Home Card List & Analysis
Thank you so much for the insight. It's quite helpful (I was wondering what to do with some of those home cards...).
 
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Re: Home Card List & Analysis
This is an excellent article and a mandatory text (+2 CP) for all players.

I noticed:
UpstateGamer wrote:
#1 Grand Vizier (5)
[...]
-OR-
May be played as a Response by the Ottoman to cancel play of any card as an event.

NOTE: The final use of Grand Vizier cannot cancel mandatory events or combat/response cards. It can cancel the play of home cards.
Card FAQ says: Can not be used to cancel Mandatory Events, Combat cards, Response cards, or Home cards. But I would definitely love to use Grand Vizier to make sure Liz gets married laugh
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Re: Home Card List & Analysis
Thanks I play most of my games on line and in ACTS you don't see the home card text so it is easy to forget about the many options as the French and HRE.
 
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Re: Home Card List & Analysis
So has anyone seen the Armada in play?

Seeing it was such a spectacular historical event, it would be a shame if it is overlooked in the game.
 
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Jeff Kouba

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Re: Home Card List & Analysis
I'd be surprised if the Armada doesn't get used much. It seems like a key part of any attempt to take on England, and the naval strength can always be used against the Ottos.

I'm about to start Turn 4 in a game as Spain, and I'll be building the Armada this turn.

It's not just the naval strength that is useful, it's the ability to carry a D-Day-like invasion force. Spain gets a 2-rating army leader in Turn 4. Put him and some units on the Armada, and that becomes a threat against most any target you choose. And if you don't use it to invade a key, use it to land those units on English soil, which gives you a nice bonus in Catholic Rebellion attempts.

It may take you a couple of turns to build the Armada to full strength, and get a good-sized force on it, but I see Armada as an important part of late game Spanish strategy.
 
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Zack S.
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Re: Home Card List & Analysis
One of the best uses of Spanish road is to deploy a large stack somewhere and then use a treasure to put a key under siege. Especially when the Protestants have just taken a key (either in the Netherlands or an allied France).

Additionally, much of Walshingham's power is actually in deterrence. It's so powerful it'll pretty much shut down any of the serious intrigue actions (ECR and assassination), so if you haven't used your HC no one wants to waste 4-5 CP on a probably doomed intrigue. If you've got enough cards to hold your HC until late in the turn, you don't actually have to have Walshingham in hand at all, and can benefit instead from using Virgin Queen for a late turn card pickup (to prep for next turn's diplomacy).

Lastly, both of the mid-turn DOW cards are great as a bluff. When someone sees the HRE deploy a big stack to their border, they'll spend resources to defend it, and if you're at peace you might not have anything better to do with your troops during spring. Similarly with the Ottomans, a large stack on the border keeps the HRE honest rather than letting them just sit back an farm VP. The one downside with the Ottoman threat is that those troops the HRE is building assuming you'll be fighting may make the HRE more likely to then attack YOU.
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Excellent article, thank you for your analysis.

One mistake though regarding Calvinist Zeal and a treasure: "If you have a treasure, you can convert a key and then immediately rebel there." You cannot do one of these actions with a card and one with a treasure as Preach Sermon and Rebellion are the same type/color actions.

Per rules section 11, "When playing a card for Command Points, players
should note the types of the actions they are selecting (because the
same action types may not be repeated if the impulse is extended
by play of a treasure)."
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Zack S.
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friskey wrote:
Excellent article, thank you for your analysis.

One mistake though regarding Calvinist Zeal and a treasure: "If you have a treasure, you can convert a key and then immediately rebel there." You cannot do one of these actions with a card and one with a treasure as Preach Sermon and Rebellion are the same type/color actions.

Per rules section 11, "When playing a card for Command Points, players
should note the types of the actions they are selecting (because the
same action types may not be repeated if the impulse is extended
by play of a treasure)."
Calvinist Zeal is not performing conversions through playing for Command Points. As long as the conversions come from an event you can double up.
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I hadn't realized that, thank you for pointing that out. I haven't seen that 1-2 punch (conversion with Calvinist Zeal followed by rebellion using a treasure). Perhaps because the rebellion would often be relatively weak as most treasures are low CP values. But still, this is good to keep in mind when playing as the Protestant or if France or Spain faces a Protestant with treasure.
 
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Zack S.
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friskey wrote:
I hadn't realized that, thank you for pointing that out. I haven't seen that 1-2 punch (conversion with Calvinist Zeal followed by rebellion using a treasure). Perhaps because the rebellion would often be relatively weak as most treasures are low CP values. But still, this is good to keep in mind when playing as the Protestant or if France or Spain faces a Protestant with treasure.
Yeah, I haven't seen it either. More often people will convert/rebel in the same CP against an empty key. This type of combo is more powerful in allowing someone to do a double/triple conversion to push for an autowin. It's also great with Spanish Road to allow a surprise long-distance siege of a key next to an ally's space.
 
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Found a cached copy of the OP (I think)....

Quote:
by UpstateGamer

Ottoman

#1 Grand Vizier (5)
Event: Add any combination of four units, either regulars or galleys, to Ottoman home spaces and/or foreign war cards. Galleys must be placed in a port adjacent to the Aegean Sea.
-OR-
Roll to build the Suez canal.
-OR-
May be played as a Response by the Ottoman to cancel play of any card as an event.

NOTE: The final use of Grand Vizier cannot cancel mandatory events or combat/response cards. It can cancel the play of home cards. Regulars may not be added in Algiers or Djerba/Tripoli as per normal rules.

Ottoman players are well advised to use this card for the 8 CP of builds, usually galleys. If you don't do this, you will have trouble matching Spanish builds, due to Spain's larger hand and treasures. You cannot win without a lot of naval strength in the Mediterranean. If war clouds are brewing with the HRE, building regulars is good, but remember that you can garrison both Buda and Belgrade by simply spring deploying four regulars to Szegedin and waiting for winter.

I'm not a fan of going for the Suez Canal early, though some Ottoman players really like to try. If you fail, you have wasted a lot of power, and if you succeed, you paint a target on yourself. It is also prudent to wait until you have the Excavation bonus.

The third option, canceling an event, can be crucial, since there are a lot of Ottoman-hosing events. What events should you consider canceling as the Ottoman? Army Mutiny, Treachery! (vs. Algiers, Buda), War in Persia, and Holy League (though Holy League can open up new piracy opportunities). Grand Vizier can also cancel an event that will likely end the game (such as Holy League if it will give a power a military win, or Tridentine Catechism if it will drop the Protestant space count below 10). However, I wouldn't hold on to Grand Vizier just in case an event rears its ugly head, if you need the units (or 5 CP) now.

If the Sultan can get his hands on a treasure (probably through diplomacy), using Grand Vizier to build units and then immediately move them with the treasure is strong.

#2 Ottoman Tribute (5)
Event: Declare war on Spain, Venice, or the HRE and then take 2 CP of actions. Spain and the HRE may offer tribute to cancel this DOW in that order. Ottoman may decline to accept tribute. If tribute is accepted, Ottoman draws either one card or one treasure (Ottoman's choice) from the target power's hand and also draws one card from the deck.

As the Ottoman, you will always have this card on turn 1, and on turn 2 also, if Suleiman survives turn 1. After that, you will have to choose, and 90% of the time you want the flexibility of Grand Vizier. If you use Ottoman Tribute to declare war on Spain or the HRE mid-turn, as opposed to declaring war in the DOW phase and then playing OT for CP, you lose 1 CP. You have to gain a positional advantage, or catch your opponent by surprise, to make this worth it. The best use of this card is to attack the HRE after he sends his main army elsewhere, but unfortunately, he will be usually see you coming.

You can also play this card with the intention of accepting tribute, but you need to be strong enough that your opponent doesn't just tell you to stuff it. If Spain gives Istanbul tribute, the extra cards can be used for more piracy against Spain, so I would never give tribute as Spain. That leaves the HRE on turn 1. Deploying your army to Buda and demanding that Maximilian pay up is an interesting Ottoman opening, one I have not seen. Giving Spain a breather in the Med is a major downside, though, and the HRE might decline, secretly having the cards he needs to stop you cold...

Spain

#3 Spanish Road (5)
Event: Add 1 regular in Milan. Spain may move one leader on the map to Milan if desired. Then, Spain moves a formation from Milan to any friendly space. This move uses the rules for spring deployment, with some exceptions: independent spaces can be used as if friendly, and one (only one) mountain pass can be crossed. No sea zones can be crossed, however, and no spaces along the path may be controlled by a non-ally major power or contain enemy units.

This is the main Spanish home card. Its most obvious use is getting Spanish troops into the Netherlands. To do that, Spain must 1) have an alliance with France, or 2) have an alliance with the HRE, or 3) control Metz (or be able to pass through an independent Metz). As Spain, if you still control Antwerp and Brussels, try to negotiate an alliance with one power or the other. Then, deploy as many regulars as you can up there, stack 3-4 each in Antwerp and Brussels, while letting the Dutch have Amsterdam, and you are in fine shape. Once you have lost Antwerp and Brussels, though, getting them back is very hard if the Protestant defends properly. It may be better to write off the Netherlands and devote your attention elsewhere.

Less orthodox uses of Spanish Road are: deploying troops to southern Italy, deploying troops to the HRE-Ottoman border, and deploying troops to France. These moves may catch your opponents off guard and make something happen!

Using Spanish Road to deploy troops and then a treasure to move and start a siege is very strong and highly recommended.

#99 Spanish Armada (5) (Turn 4)
Event: If the Armada is not on the map, build it in Seville, Corunna, or Lisbon (if controlled by Spain). Then, spend 5 CP on upgrading the Armada and/or building units on it. Units already in the Armada's space can be transferred to the Armada at no cost.
-OR-
If the Armada is already on the map, spend 7 CP upgrading it, building units on it, naval moves, or naval transport. Either way, spend 1 extra CP if Elizabeth has been excommunicated.

NOTE: The second option could be used to do 7-8 CP of naval moves/transport not involving the Armada.

I've never seen the Spanish Armada do much in the game. If the situation is right for it, though, remember you can use it against the Protestants, French, and Ottomans as well as against England. Again, try and catch your opponents off guard and make something happen!

England

#36 The Virgin Queen (5)
Event: If Elisabeth is alive, England may pick any card up from the discard pile, either playing that card immediately or holding onto it for later.
-OR-
Elisabeth may jilt a male royal who she has agreed to marry. England draws one card from the deck. Jilted royal's power rolls on the "Jilted by Elisabeth" table and implements the result.

NOTE: I'm not 100% sure of this, but I believe England cannot pick up from the discard 1) mandatory events, or 2) cards that England already played for the event this turn.

There are a lot of things England can do with this card. Obviously, jilting another player's royal can be negotiated. The value of being jilted varies, but it is roughly equal to one card. Jilting Charles of Austria in return for four mercenaries for hire is a common deal. New English players: If you plan to jilt someone, you must follow through, marrying Elisabeth I off is BAD.

Jilting Leicester is possible. On average, doing so is a little better than just playing the card for 5 CP, but you do lose flexibility.

Another option, one that I haven't seen England use very much, is using the card to pick up an important card from the discard when it becomes available. No, not Signal Fires (highly unlikely that will prove decisive against the Armada down the road). How about Army Mutiny or Treachery!? Those cards have enormous value in negotiations. Alternatively, John Hawkins and Muscovy Company are simply great cards for England.

#81 Walsingham (4) (Turn 3)
Event: Playable as either event or response. England sets espionage policy to either defensive (all espionage attack dice vs. England only hit on a 6) or offensive (all English espionage attack dice hit on a 4-6) for the remainder of the turn.
-OR-
Remove an enemy operative (informant spying on England or Jesuit) and then take a Gain Intelligence action with two extra dice.

Starting on turn 3, England typically must choose this card and use it defensively each turn. If England does not, the chance of Spain winning by Gunpowder Plot is too great. However, if England can negotiate an alliance with Spain (which means no Gunpowder Plot is possible this turn), or if Spain is out of cards, then England can do something else.

France

#33 Gouvernante de France (5)
Event: If a French royal is betrothed, add the "+2 Wedding Festivities" marker to that wedding. Then, France either draws a card from the deck or may add Grand Tour to his hand if that card is in the discard pile.
-OR-
Impose a truce on the Huguenots. This option is only usable if France currently has two or fewer non-home cards in hand. France and Huguenots are no longer At War. Roll a die and add +2. This is the number of spaces in France that the Protestant must either: switch religion from Protestant to Catholic, or switch political control from Huguenot to French. No more Huguenot rebellions in France this turn.

NOTE: If no French royal is betrothed, option #1 is unavailable. Mary, Queen of Scots can never benefit from the +2 Wedding Festivities bonus because her marriage is resolved as soon as it is declared.

AMBIGUITY: If Grand Tour is picked up, can it be immediately played as the event, similar to a card picked up with The Virgin Queen?

AMBIGUITY #2: For option #2, can the Protestant flip political control of a space, and religion in the same space, to satisfy two spaces?

AMBIGUITY #3: Can Jeanne of Navarre cancel play of GdF, if GdF is played for CP?

This is a great home card for the Valois monarchy. Option #1 is best, unless the Huguenots are going to smash France this turn. The +2 bonus to the marriage roll has a good chance of generating an extra VP for France (and the other power), which alone makes this event worthwhile. Picking up a card from the deck is always good, but picking up Grand Tour is much better, since that is an excellent card for France.

Option #2 has the effect of 1) shutting down any Huguenot (or Dutch) activity in France for the remainder of the turn, and 2) forcing the Huguenots to give up ground in France. If the Huguenot presence in France is small, and the roll is high, the Huguenots may have to cede keys back to France, resulting in all Huguenot units/leader/capital there being eliminated.

Anyway, this card does have its limits. First, it can be cancelled outright by Jeanne of Navarre (although Jeanne of Navarre can in turn be cancelled by Catherine's Flying Squadron). If France is winning, the Protestants may get Jeanne played through negotiations. Also, the second option can only be used if France is low on cards. It is possible to give away cards in diplomacy so as to be able to play this right off the bat, but that is risky, since France will have few cards for defense if another power attacks.

#80 The Black Queen (5) (Turn 3)
Event: Place an informant on any power with an army leader in France. Then make an assassination attempt against any power with an army leader in France as if 4 CP were spent. The informant just placed can contribute two extra dice to this attempt, an exception to the usual rule that informants cannot have any effect until the impulse after they are placed.
-OR-
Either place 2 informants, or take a single espionage action as if 3 CP were spent. Then draw a new card from the deck.
-OR-
Look at any power's hand. Then, either draw a card from this power's hand and keep it, or draw two cards from the deck.

If the Huguenots have France at their mercy, this won't stop them, but GdF might. Otherwise, this is another very strong home card.

Option #1 bets everything on one roll, while raising the odds that roll will be successful. In some situations that is best, but I have seen option #3 used more often, to draw two cards. Option #2 I haven't seen, although it is quite efficient (4 CP of informants, plus an additional card). By this point in the game, France is often starved for cards, hence option #3 is most commonly used.

Holy Roman Empire

#34 Holy Roman Intercession (5)
Event: HRE joins a war in progress between two major powers. Add an 'At War' marker between HRE and one of these two powers, and an 'Ally' marker to the other. The HRE may not already be at war with either power before this event is played, and the victim may not be a current HRE ally. After this, HRE adds two land units to any HRE home space, and may move an HRE leader to this space as well. Finally, the victim rolls 5 dice and places an unrest in an HRE home space for each '1' rolled. Unrest may be placed in spaces with units.

AMBIGUITY: Can the HRE add the units/leader to an HRE home space in unrest?

The HRE can usually join a Spain-Ottoman war, or France-anyone war, so this could simply say "declare war on a power mid-turn, etc". For real punch, the HRE needs to use this card with a treasure, to immediately remove unrest and put a key under siege after declaring war. Any under-defended key within one move of the HRE is vulnerable to an HRI attack. However, the victim will see a big HRE stack deploy toward its target, and will reinforce the key pre-emptively, unless he is distracted elsewhere or doesn't see the threat.

This card is powerful since the HRE in general is powerful.

#35 Patron of Arts & Sciences (5)
Event: Patronize a specific artist or scientist from Italy, or a random artist or a random scientist from the HRE, as if 3 CP were spent. Add the "+2 Prague Cultural Center" bonus to this patronage if Rudolf II is Emperor. Then, draw one card from the deck.
-OR-
Draw two cards from the deck. Then, give any specific card to any other major power. Mandatory events may not be given and you cannot elect not to give any card.

Unless the HRE has a specific plan to use HRI, they are better off choosing this card.

Options #1 and #2 are both very strong. Option #1 becomes obscenely strong if Rudolf comes up early and the big patronage chits are still available. Option #2 is one of many diplomatic weapons at the HRE's disposal. Generally, the HRE will negotiate to give a specific card to a specific power in return for something big. However, sometimes one of the two cards the HRE draws from the deck will create a different, better option. This can lead to open-table diplomacy ("Well, Spain, I was going to give you Treachery, but it looks like you're winning, and I just drew Army Mutiny. If France gives me two cards next turn I will give him Army Mutiny instead...")

Of course, as the HRE, you can also use option #2 to draw two new cards and give your Scurvy to anyone, without any diplomacy beforehand.

Protestants

#32 Calvinist Zeal (5)
Event: Take 7 Protestant conversion attempts in France, then 7 more in the Netherlands. The first roll in each area is an auto-6.
-OR-
Start one rebellion in either France or the Netherlands as if 7 CP were spent.
-OR-
Start two rebellions, one in France and one in the Netherlands, as if 3 CP were spent on one and 4 CP on the other.

Standard advice for the Protestant player is to use this card for the conversions every turn, particularly early in the game. Do anything else and you are shooting yourself in the foot on VP from the Protestant space count. You may also open the door to a Catholic religious victory.

If you have a treasure, you can convert a key and then immediately rebel there. Unfortunately, getting treasures is hard for the Protestants, and you need a 2 CP treasure or better. If Elisabeth I obtains treasures through piracy, she may give you one in return for something.

If you absolutely need a 4-5 CP card for a preach -> rebel combo, Calvinist Zeal works but is highly inefficient used this way.

The 7 CP rebellion (8 dice at La Rochelle, Rouen, or anywhere in the Netherlands) is powerful. It means that any key in Spain or France that gets flipped to Protestant religion, even if guarded by a stack of Catholic units, is not safe from rebellion. For Spain and France, you simply have to keep flipping your keys back to Catholic whenever the Protestants convert them. This is especially true for Paris.

#111 Paris is Worth a Mass (5) (Turn after the Catholic League forms)
Playable if: (1) The Huguenots control either Paris or 2 spaces adjacent to Paris (unrest negates control), (2) Henry of Navarre and five or more Huguenot regulars are within one space of Paris, and (3) France and the Protestant are not allied.
Event: The Protestant gains political control of three more spaces adjacent to Paris (possibly Paris itself) and moves the Huguenot Capital marker to Paris. Paris becomes a split French/Huguenot space for the rest of the game. Remove card from deck if event is played.

If the Protestants can play this card as the event, they will likely win the game. However, achieving the pre-conditions for it is a Herculean task. France and Spain can attack Huguenot regulars and remove Huguenot political control around Paris. Any power can play an event that generates conversions, perhaps causing unrest in one of the two Huguenot-controlled spaces. If all that fails, Henry of Navarre can be assassinated, which kills this event for the rest of the game. If the Protestants are in a position to play Paris is Worth a Mass, the whole table will probably work together to stop them.

If it ever happens, it is amazing.
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