I’ve been having awful luck my last few games of Here I Stand. I just realized that I haven’t won a game since late October. Some of those are due to games ending early. But my bad luck in the last three games is starting to reach epic levels. We’ve been testing out lately doing 5 player with Haps/Pope instead of Eng/Prot. I’m just going to run down the last turn of all three games.
I spent most of the turn floating around 21/22 VPs while holding Copernicus (A card that if played as an event gives +2 VP). Fortunately for me due to a lot of building, the Pope was closer to winning. He even got up to 25 VPs during the turn. The Pope played Papal Bull removing Calvin, debating in France with Campeggerio. The Pope wins the first debate only by 1. I flipped my German debaters with lower ratings. I then targeted Campeggerio as the Pope hadn’t flipped any other debaters. I win the Debate 3-1 but Campeggerio’s special ability cancels the debate win. I go back and forth a bit with publishing treatises to counter burning books. Campeggerio is still the only committed Debater,so I try again. I win the Debate 5-1. This would have disgraced Campeggerio giving me two vps and flipping four spaces. But once again Campeggerio’s special ability struck and canceled the debate win. This was actually the third time that game in which a debate had been cancelled.
In the end we didn’t finish the game, but I was at 21 or 20 VPs and without enough cards to get me up to the 23 I needed to win. This was just about the first time I had ever seen Campeggiro’s ability have an effect on the game this big.
I took over for the Ottoman player who was new. For some reason despite being at war with the Haps, most of his forces were in the Coron area. He had just finished conquering Malta and Messina. This actually hurt his cause since pirating in Ionian Sea against the Haps faced only 1 port (meaning 2 dice max for Pirating with Barbarossa). The Ottos were also dead last in the game at this time. Through a liberal use of the Otto Home Card and other powers attacking the Haps I was able to turn things around. I rolled back the Haps to Vienna and slowly started pirating. Finally the Haps player, upset at the English for using Eight Wives against him sent Charles to Antwerp and built up there. I took Vienna and Prague, despite being the target of both Foreign War cards that turn. My final last chance at Pirating gave me the 1 VP I needed to get to 25.
Unfortunately the Haps weren’t able to make any headway against the English. With 22 VPs the English had sent out an Explorer and Conquistador. The Amazon River and one of the 2 VP Conquests. Amazingly the English successfully hit both, giving them 26 VPs and they had the tiebreaker from the previous Turn.
On my first turn I picked up Printing Press from the Discard and saved another five op card. The next turn I saved them both again, while getting both German and French New Testaments One op from completion. Using Printing Press and the rest of my cards I was able to finish both New Testaments and the German Bible to convert almost all of Germany and a large portion of Northern France.
On the last turn I finished off the French Bible while the Pope kept losing debates. The French had attacked the Haps at Metz and Antwerp. This left Paris and the surrounding area devoid of troops. The Pope wasn’t able to successfully burn books and I even began converting northern England (and the Scots). At this point I was at 26 VPs and even after the English gave a card to the Pope, they weren’t able to push me back down.
Meanwhile though during turn one the Haps had used Diplo Marriage on Hungary. The Ottos captured Belgrade twice but weren’t able to hold it. Even with the lose of Metz and Antwerp the Haps were at 11 Keys. Once the French used his last card, Charles used Holy Roman Emperor to move to Navarre. He then moved the Duke of Alva with 7 Sps and combined him with the 4 Sps in Navarre. Charles crushed the Eng/France army in Bordeaux, then quickly marched on Lyon. Without the French being able to react the Haps took Lyon and marched on Marseilles. The last hope was that the Ottoman fleet could destroy the Hapsburgs and not allow an assualt. The battle ended up being a 5-5 tie, giving the win to the Haps. A desperation assualt on Belgrade only killed 3 of the 4 Sps, while the assualt on Marseilles was successful giving the Haps an auto victory before the end of the turn.
So that’s been my last three games. I’ve been just banging my head into my desk as I’ve watched three victories slip away with nothing I could really do about it. The worst by far is the English win depriving me of an Otto win. As the chances of the English getting both a 2VP Conquest and 2VP Explorer on the same turn are hugely against them. Right about now I’m due for some luck to go my way.
But I did come with some good news. I finally won a game. It was a Three player as France/Ottoman.
On the final turn I SD’ed 20 SPs to Belgrade. Using Andrea Doria I flipped Agram, moved a single SP to Mohacs. Then I moved 16SPs to Szeged, flipped it and attacked Buda. I won 5-4 but I was now down to 12 SPs to Vienna’s 17. Charles (with Ferd) went to move on Presburg but I gouted Charles as Otto. As France I played Cloth Prices to force a discard (Haps lost Surprise Attack) and add Unrest to Graz and Trieste. As Otto I then played Zapolya giving me 4 more SPs in Buda for 16 total. Haps decided not to move on Buda and instead massed fleets in the Barbary Coast. The English player used Haley’s Comet to force a discard from the Pope, causing him to lose City States Rebel. Then as the French I played Unsanitary Camp on Vienna, knocking that stack down to 11 SPs. The Prot player sees that Tetzel is the only committed Papal Debater and uses Tetzel’s special ability to flip him. This puts Vienna and Linz both in Unrest along with Graz and Trieste.
I probably missed a turn in describing that. But right now as the French I’m holding Treachery after using Diplo Overture to give the Ottos Aquabustes. The Ottos have a single 3 Ops card left and two 1 ops left (Aqua and Landschnecks) So I have just enough to flip Pressburg and get to Vienna. The Haps have either 5 or 6 cards left at this point.
I use my 3 Ops to move on Pressburg, only for the Haps to play foul weather on me. I have 2 ops left, and now I know I can’t get to Vienna. Looking at what I can do I decide to move my one SP from Mohacs to Graz just to be a nuisance and flip it. The Haps decide to intercept and are successful using their whole stack (9 regulars, 2 Mercs, Charles & Ferd). I play Landschnecks, leaving them with just 9 regulars. So Haps are rolling 12 dice against my 1 dice. Haps miss on every single dice and I roll a 6 on my one dice for a 1-0 victory.
The Haps have no retreat path due to unrest, so their 8 remaining sps are destroyed and Charles & Ferd are captured by the 1 SP. When I let everyone know that I also have Treachery as France we decide to end the game. No one could believe what had happened, and a few more people had shown up so we could start a six player game.
So I finally got some luck my way and ended my streak of insanely bad luck. Apologies for the mis-spellings, I tend to always spell the names of a few cards/places in the game wrong.