Wednesday, March 19, 2014

HIS - English - Turn 1

Scotland, New World, or Preparation?

On the first turn, the English player cannot use their Home Card to advance their marriage.  This leaves the question of "Marriage" for the next turn.  Still the player needs to decide on Scotland, the New World or simply Preparation.

Given the few cards the player has to begin with, it is necessary to choose one of the three and then focus on that goal till it is achieved.

Goal: Scotland
Scotland is Light Blue Minor Power
in the Game

Attacking and defeating Scotland is possible on the first turn.  It is not difficult, but it does require the expenditure of several command points.


  • 2 VP with the new Key,
  • Immune to the "Scots Raid" card (which is loss of English troops), BlueSecure the Northern Border from a possible French activation of Scotland later,
  • An additional Card Draw.


  • Not having enough Command Point cards in hand,
  • Revolt in Ireland will disrupt English Troops,
  • France could decide to intervene and actually attempt an early war with England,
  • Scots Raid,
  • Gout,
  • Poor Die Rolls will leave the Scottish in place.

Goal: New World
New World

Exploring the New World can grant some Victory Points and cards.  Both of these are items which England needs.  There are three ways to complete this goal: Conquer, Exploration and Colonization.  Each has unique benefits and risks.


  • Permanent Victory Points
    • Conquer (1-2 VP)
    • Exploration (1-4 VP)
  • Potential of additional card 
    • 28% - Colonization
    • 83% Conquer


  • "Loss" of spent command points for no gain 
    • Colonization (2CP): 17%
    • Exploration (3 CP):   33%
    • Conquer (4 CP): 72%
      • with Smallpox: 42%
  • Delayed through card play
    • Exploration
    • Colonization
If the New World is chosen, Conquering is the least likely opportunity for England.  If successful, however, the reward is both a Card and permanent Victory Points.  This costs a whopping 4 Command Points, however.

Goal: Preparation
Preparing England

Preparation consists of simply building up your forces.  This should consist of building both a naval force and land troops.  Both of these types of units should be placed in Calais.  The most "safe" strategy, it does permit the player to focus on a Marriage/New World for the following turn.


  • Gain military units


  • Revolt in Ireland can delay, but not stop, the build up.


Of the strategies, the most likely to succeed is the capture of Edinburgh.  If disrupted, however, it can leave England fighting a war on its island.  However, France is already at war with two other forces, and if either the Hapsburgs or the Papacy can be convinced to attack France, France will most likely ignore England.

France may also opt to ally with Scotland, thus providing France one of its two keys needed to gain another card.  If Scotland holds without France's assistance, France can find itself in a better position.

If going the Preparation route, it is recommended to spend the Home Card on an Exploration and a Colonization action.  The potential gains generally outweigh the potential risks in a long term gain.  In this scenario, England should hold one card for the following turn.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

HIS - English - Overview

The English

The English are the Red forces in Here I Stand.  Like the Ottomans, the English have a few fairly straight forward decisions to make.  Unlike the Ottomans, the English decisions begin on the first turn and greatly impact their ability to achieve various goals.  Forutnately for beginning players, the initial decisions are "cut and dry" and only occur after other events in the game happen.  In my opinion, this makes the English one of the more "Strategically effective" factions to play, but still easy enough for new players to grasp the various areas of play.


The English are the most versatile of the nations, capable of amassing an army for military conquest, explore the New World, and even actively participate in the Protestant Reformation.  This flexibility permits them to garner points in a variety of ways, but none so potentially quickly as the "Creation of an Heir".

The English Home Card, King Henry VIII, grants the powerful ability to declare war against a Power outside of the diplomacy phase.  However, it is also the only way the English King has of achieving a suitable Heir to the throne.


The English have several serious shortcomings.  Like the Ottomans, their starting position on the "island nation" is a liability, but it is also a benefit.  The island nation is unlikely to be attacked"by an enemy nation, but it is relatively easy to blockade the English ports, preventing the creation of large armies.  Fortunately, the English can raise an almost unbeatable navy, but at great expense in Command points.

Again similar to the Ottomans, the English have a "War Card" worry, which can cripple their plans, particularly if it comes out early.  The worst timing is if it comes out on Turn 1 or 2, just after the player declares war using their Home Card.  It is only 4 troops, but 4 troops is enough to halt an English offensive in its tracks.

"Fortress England": Difficult to Assail, Difficult to Leave

The last major weakness of the English is their lack of cards.  The English player, more so than any other player, is tempted to go in all avenues for Victory Points.  The New World and its riches await, Conquering Scotland seems a necessity, and the player still needs to go for an Heir.  Later, there is the Protestant Reformation to support.  All of these require cards, however, and the English player is extremely limited in this regard.  Therefore, the English player needs to focus on one or two

"The Heir Issue"

English Home Card
Historically, King Henry VIII's desire for a male heir drove many of the events, decisions, and (ultimately) changed the history of not only England, but of the world.  Representing this, the English player's additional concern is about acquiring a male heir to the throne.  There are two major impacts on the English player's game revolving the quest for an heir: Victory Points and Successors.  This is an important enough discussion it will be handled in a later post.

Home Card

The English Home Card is one of the most powerful cards in the game.  Not only does it grant the ability to advance the Marriage marker, but it also grants the ability to declare war during the Action Phase.  The use of the English home card can seriously disrupt the plans of any of their nearby neighbors.  The Spanish and French players must be particularly aware of a build up of English forces in Calais, as they represent a potential threat which should not be ignored.