#38 Treasure Fleet (2) (Mandatory)
Event: First, add an additional treasure to the Spanish treasure row. Then, Spain picks any two treasures from the treasure row to add to his hand immediately (if there are two escort galleons, he picks three treasures instead). Roll a die to determine where the treasure fleet appears:
1-2: North Atlantic
5: Spanish Main
6: Mexican Coast, if the Philippines have been conquered, otherwise Spanish Main
England can re-roll this die once if an English informant is spying on Spain and an English pirate is in one of these zones.
If no pirate is in this zone, Spain simply adds the treasures to his hand.
If a pirate is there, he has the option of attacking the treasure fleet. This costs no CP, and if multiple powers have a pirate there, they can all attack, in Impulse Order. The pirate rolls two base dice if at full strength, one base die if damaged, plus additional dice for his piracy rating. The treasure fleet rolls one base die plus one die for each escort galleon. Dice hit on a 5-6, the loser's hits are subtracted from the winner's to determine what effacts apply. If the pirate wins, awards are the same as normal piracy hits, except that the pirate gets to choose the award, not the Spanish. If the treasure fleet wins, the effects are the same as anti-pirate dice (1 hit = damage, 2 hits = whacked).
Historical Notes: In the 1560s, Menendez de Aviles (card #61) established a convoy system for shipping Spanish treasure back to the mother country. Two convoys a year would depart from Seville for the New World, and return to Seville laden with treasure. Also, galleon design was improved, which made treasure ships sturdier, and easier to defend. Over the years, many pirates attempted to capture the treasure ships, but most safely made it to Spain.
Strategy: This is a great card for the Spanish. First, it gives Spain an extra treasure. Second, it allows Philip II to optimize the flow of treasures into his hand. He might want the two best treasures right now, or he may want the worst ones now and the better ones next turn, or he may decide to ship crummy ones now, expecting a pirate attack.
If there are pirates waiting for the treasure fleet, things are more complicated, but the odds of a pirate capturing a fully loaded treasure ship aren't good, all things considered.
#39 Flooding (2) (Combat)
Event: Play when an enemy power assaults one of your fortified spaces in the Netherlands. No assault takes place, instead the besieging army loses 1/2 its mercenaries (rounded up) and retreats as if the siege was broken. If the assaulting power has CP remaining, he can use one to immediately restart the siege.
This card cannot stop the Treachery! event.
Historical Notes: The Dutch broke nearby dikes during the siege of Leiden. Their plan was to flood the surrounding land, throwing the Spanish into disarray, and allowing a Dutch fleet to reach the city. However, the waters proved hard to control, and the flooded areas were too shallow for ships to pass; many ran aground. The Spanish finally abandoned the siege after five months. The same night they retreated, part of Leiden's walls collapsed, after months of erosion by the flood waters. Had the Spanish stayed one more day, Leiden would have been theirs.
Strategy: Not a powerful or commonly used card.
#40 Tilbury Speech (1) (Combat)
Event: Roll two extra dice in a field battle, naval battle, or assault (attacking or defending).
If played by England, roll four extra dice instead.
"I know I have the body of a weak, feeble woman; but I have the heart and stomach of a king, and of a king of England too, and think foul scorn that Parma or Spain, or any prince of Europe, should dare to invade the borders of my realm; to which rather than any dishonour shall grow by me, I myself will take up arms, I myself will be your general, judge, and rewarder of every one of your virtues in the field. "
-Excerpt of Elisabeth I's Tilbury Speech
Elisabeth I gave this eloquent speech to her army at Tilbury, near the mouth of the Thames. The Armada had already been defeated and driven northward, but Elisabeth believed it was still possible that Parma's troops would invade England's shores. Had the Spanish landed, the English would have fought them with all their might.
Strategy: Better than its HIS equivalent (Arquebusiers) since it can be used for assaults. Much better for England obviously, although England does not normally fight much, except at Edinburgh at the beginning.
#41 Border Reivers (3) (Response)
Event: If you control Berwick, Carlisle, York, or any space in Scotland, steal a card from another power that also controls one of the above spaces.
Playable by France, England or the Protestant to immediately gain 4 influence with Scotland. Can be played right before a diplomatic check is made for Scotland.
Historical Notes: "Reiver" is an early English word meaning "robber". The Scottish border was a lawless place in Tudor times, with ruffians who would rob anyone who was not next of kin.
Strategy: The first event can be used by either England or the power who controls Scotland to steal a card from the other one. England and France will seldom hesitate to steal cards from each other. England and the Protestant might hesitate, but do not count on it.
The other use, four influence with Scotland, is very strong, especially right before a diplomatic check, since that will probably give you Scotland. (Until Scottish Lords Rebel comes out again...)
Either way, this is a great card for France, the Protestants, or England (a possible Virgin Queen pick-up).
#42 Catherine's Flying Squadron (2) (Response)
Event: Cancel one of the following events:
(at any time)
Foxe's Book of Martyrs
Jeanne of Navarre
(if targetting a space in France)
City State Rebels
German Recruitment Curtailed
NOTE: If GRC is played by the HRE, the entire event can be cancelled by CFS, even if just one of the targeted spaces is in France.
NOTE 2: Metz is not considered "in France" for purposes of this card.
Historical Notes: This was a group of about eighty female courtiers of Catherine de Medici, who used seduction and intrigue for political ends. Catherine used them as spies to find out what her enemies were plotting. One member of the flying squadron, Charlotte de Sauve, became Henry of Navarre's mistress on Catherine's orders. Catherine later instructed Sauve to seduce the Duke of Alencon in order to make Navarre jealous and break up an alliance forming between the two men. Charlotte de Sauve then moved on to the Duke of Guise, spending a night with him at Blois near the end of 1588. The following morning, the Duke of Guise was assassinated.
More generally, this card represents the climate of intrigue in France during this time, in which plans could go terribly awry.
Strategy: Catherine de Medici, of course, will want to hold on to this card, since it can save France's bacon. If one of the cards on the list gets played and you are holding Catherine's Flying Squadron, you can try to extract a favor from the victim (usually France, but not always) in return for playing it and canceling the event. However, because you can't make these deals in advance, all your diplomacy will occur in plain view, and someone can always break a promise to repay you.
#43 Experienced Pilot (1) (Response)
Event: Play on any pirate on the world map. This pirate gains a +1 bonus to his navigation rolls for the remainder of his voyage. Cannot modify a roll on the navigation table after the dice are rolled.
Strategy: Not a good card. It can be used to assist another player's circumnavigation attempt, but the effect is small. I certainly wouldn't give a card draw for it, but might include it as part of a larger deal.
#44 Sack! (5) (Response)
Event: Play after an assault captures a fortified space. Adjacent fortified spaces may also surrender. Roll a die for each. If the roll is greater than the number of land units in the space (mercs do count), control of that space also switches to the conquering power from the original assault. Defending units in these spaces are displaced, not eliminated. Spaces controlled by a third party are immune to the effects of this card.
The victim (the power defending against the original assault) gets a +1 card marker.
Historical Notes: Spanish troops sacked many towns in the Netherlands during the years 1572-1579, often after a mutiny (card #17), which occurred when they were not paid. The most infamous example of a "Spanish Fury" (card #46) was the 1576 Sack of Antwerp, which killed some 7,000 civilians.
Strategy: 5 CP is a lot, so this is only worth playing when an assault captures a space adjacent to a key. (Usually, the first space is also a key, i.e., Brussels-Antwerp, Vienna-Prague, and Paris-Rouen). Even then, capturing the second key is not a sure thing, although the +1 card to your opponent next turn is. I have never seen Sack! played for the event, but if it does get played and succeeds, it is crushing.
#45 Scurvy (1) (Response)
Event: Modify any roll on the navigation table by -1. May be played after the dice are rolled.
Force any pirate to roll on the navigation table.
Strategy: This card is awful. Spain might well prefer a merc or an influence point to a long odds shot at a pirate.
The one case where Scurvy is not awful but very cruel is when Drake rolls a "4" on the navigation table while attempting to circumnavigate.
#46 Spanish Fury (4) (Response)
Event: Play after an assault captures a key. Conquering power steals a card from the defender, and draws a card from the deck as well. Finally, the defender receives a +1 card marker (for next turn).
Strategy: Spanish Fury is a "gaining momentum" card like Sack!, but it is stronger because it is more flexible. Like Sack!, it can be played after an assault you are not involved in, but that's a rich favor for someone.