Posts tagged: Ed Beach
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.
I recently had a post about opening moves in Here I Stand. For the Ottos I recommended heading towards Vienna. It has recently come to my attention that if pirates comes out in turn 1 or 2, there is the possibility of an easier path to victory. The Ottos start the game with 8 VPs. If you get Pirates early enough and the Hapsburgs can’t counter you it is easy to get the 10 Piracy VPs. Also, if you only take Belgrade the Haps can’t fight you fleet on fleet. Worst case scenario if the Haps do spread out their fleets you can always take Buda and then run around and try to destroy as many of their fleets before they combine them.
So now you’ve got your 10 VPs for piracy. That puts you at 18 VPs. Then you get two vps for taking Belgrade (20) two vps for taking Buda (22) and two vps for War Winner (24) leaving you only one VP from victory.
Meanwhile if you wait on pirating, the main problem becomes the entry of Venice and Andrea Doria. Also the Haps after turn one can turn a large amount of their attention towards just fighting you. The more time you give them, the more they can spare on building fleets.
My recommendation still stands though, during turn one take Rhodes and Belgrade. The removal of Rhodes is important for the Otto player, losing a card is a huge blow on any turn for Otto.
If anyone has better opening moves feel free to send them my way, I’m just trying to get a lot of them together for new people.
I’m sure the title of this blog is going to get a bunch of Protestants coming to my site and being confused. This is about Ed Beach’s great game, Here I Stand. To keep it short, basically you take over one of Europe’s powers at the start of the Reformation. Those powers are England, France, The Hapsburg’s (Spain, South Italy and Germany) Pope and The Ottomans. I decided to help some newer players by posting what seem to me to be the most popular openings and some of their variations. Obviously some of these don’t consider that you might either get a great opening hand or horrible hand.
Its a rather easy goal for the Ottos. Conquer Vienna, Pirate the Mediterranean and even torture the Pope. This is the power most recommended for new players. The most normal start is to take Belgrade on Turn 1 and take Buda on Turn 2. Since taking Buda normally puts you at war with the Haps and gives them another card via getting Prague as a key you don’t want Buda on Turn 1.
Another variation is to send Ibrahim to Belgrade and Suleiman to Rhodes. This removes one of the most annoying cards to the Ottos, Knights of Rhodes, if successful.
The most important objective early for the Haps is to capture Metz. Usually Ferdinand is Spring Deployed with all the SPs from Vienna to Besancon. On the first impulse HRE is used to send Charles to Besancon and 4 of the 5 CPs are used to add mercs. The Final CP is used to put Metz under siege. The rest of the turn is used to build up in Vienna for the Otto onslaught next turn. You can also send a colony to the NW and threaten Bordeaux.
Another verison of this is to spring deploy everyone in Valladolid to Navarre. Use HRE to send Charles to Besancon and build a 4SP Merc army for him and siege Metz. On the next impulse send the Duke up to Bordeaux. The downside is that if France has an anti merc card, you could lose Charles rather easy. The other downside is that its easy for the French to get a fleet to Bordeaux and block the assault.
If the French decide to head for Metz you can make life unpleasant for them very quickly. Retreating from them if they attack Metz, you can flip control of Dijon and St Dizier and attack them. If they lose they are without a path of retreat and lose all survivors and any leader is captured.
Diplomatic Marriage is one of the best cards the Haps can open with. Use it to take control of Hungary early and give yourself extra keys early.
The most important thing for England is grabbing Edinburgh early for the extra card. Most usually this is done by using Eight Wives to declare war on Scotland. This will cause a war with France usually, but unless they have Treachery they are usually busy with the Haps and can’t take Calais.
If your short on CPs you can always declare on Scotland during the diplomacy phase which costs 2 CPs, but also costs the French 2 CPs to defend Scotland. Any spare CPs during Turn 1 should be used to either work on the NW map or to build up the navy/army.
Also, another way to get Scotland is to make a deal with France. The deal usually is France moves the Scottish SPs from Edinburgh. England should be able to take Edinburgh easily after that. During the winter deployment France sends the Scottish SPs to France. This is usually good for both sides unless France has Treachery. France normally needs the Regular SPs and England needs Edinburgh for as cheap as possible.
France starts off in a bad position. At war with the Haps and Pope, and normally goes to war with England. Since there are a large amount of events and movements that all need different responses. Personally I tend to play France peacefully. Metz is a huge trap waiting to happen, angering the Pope can make Milan exposed and you need a navy to fight the English.
It is tempting to try to take Florence, but the CPs are rather expensive and in anything less then a Six player game its not in your best interest to disrupt the Pope. Also it takes 2CPs just to cross into Italy and usually it puts Paris in danger of a Hapsburg attack.
The Treachery card gives a chance to surprise the English in Calais. Otherwise it can be saved until you want to take Genoa. The best way to deal with the English is to trade Edinburgh for the Scottish SPs and Fleet. The fleet can not be underrated. With a fleet in Marseille, the French can not equal the English in the Channel. The Scottish fleet allows the French to build an equal strength fleet to the English.
There are a lot of options out there for France, moreso then a lot of powers. This is just my favorite way to play as France.
There usually seems to be two ways to play with the Pope. Ignore the Prots on turn 1 and take Florence, putting you one key away from a bonus card. After taking Florence the next Key is easy as you can have the Haps declare on Vienna, Diplo Marriage or Andrea Doria to give you either Vienna or Genoa.
My preference is to go after the Prots on Turn 1. Use Papal Bull to excommunicate Luther, hope that Eck isn’t randomly chosen in the debate. In the next turn use Lepzig to put Eck against the remaining Prot debaters. Carlstadt or Bucer are the best targets, while you want to stay away from the pool that Melanchthon is in. If Eck was randomly picked during the previous debate you can always take a chance and use the Lepzig card to keep Melanchthon out. Outside of debates burn books and work on building St Peters. If you can flip all Prot spaces and excommunicate Luther the Prot will be unable to flip any spaces for the rest of Turn 1.
Obviously you want to flip Brandenburg as one of your first moves. Otherwise it comes down to one of two paths. Since you need to get as many keys as possible, some people will go straight for Nuremburg and Mainz. If you can flip Mainz the SP is a great bonus for the future. Part of the problem with this is that without flipping Mainz or Augsburg its a tough position to hold.
The other path is to flip the 5 spaces to the left of the Prots begining position. That would be Lepzig, Erfut, Kassel, Brunswick and Magdenburg. Grabbing a port early too isn’t a bad idea. Since Nuremburg is surronded by 6 Spaces, this gives more dice instead of the straight charge towards Nuremburg.
Usually as the Prot you try to stay away from debating if possible, hopefully using Here I Stand to pull good Prot cards from the discards. Usually though you have to defend Prot debaters from Eck. Sometimes though you can use the HiS card offensively, if theres a second round of a debate and the Pope has to use a poor debater. I’ve even seen people use Luther against Eck to try and disgrace Eck.
Although these are some of the most common first round openings I’ve seen or have worked, nothings perfect. Sometimes you get a crazy Pope who takes florence and moves on Milan and towards France. Sometimes the French are able to fight the Haps and English at the same time. It all depends on what the cards hold. If you have any advice for opening moves feel free to comment so I can add it onto this post.