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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.

Rewards

  • 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.

Challenges

  • 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.

Rewards

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

Challenges

  • "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.

Benefits

  • Gain military units

Challenges

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

Review

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.
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