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.