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Sunday, July 27, 2014

HIS-English: Assault of Scotland

Goal: Scotland

Attacking and defeating Scotland is possible on the first turn.  It is not difficult, but it does require the expenditure of several command points.  The goal is to capture Edinburgh as quickly as possible.  The required steps for this plan are as follows:
General Plan
  1. During negotiations with France, DO NOT offer an alliance with France.  You cannot declare war on Scotland if allied with France.
  2. Spring Deploy troops from London to Berwick.
  3. Move both navies to the North Sea (2 cp).
  4. Play English Home Card to Declare war on Scotland.
  5. Move troops to Edinburgh and lay siege to it.

York vs Berwick

It is possible to launch an attack from either York or Berwick.  If launched from Berwick, it will be necessary to spend at least 1 cp for a mercenary and then spend 1 cp to move into Edinburgh.  The other option is to Spring Deploy to York and move all troops to Edinburgh.  This also takes 2 cp of movement.

The Berwick approach is the better option.  Both options require 2 cp, but replacing the York regular infantry would cost 2 cp whereas the loss of the mercenary effectively brings the player back to their starting pieces.

Average Losses & Winning the Combat

On average, it takes 9 dice rolls to eliminate the units in Edinburgh.  Mustering enough troops to reach these 9 dice rolls will require at least 8 troops.  With only three cards, and the 4 cp required to lay siege to Edinburgh, getting the additional 5 cp of troops needed to meet this in one die roll is highly unlikely.  Therefore, England will need to combat Scotland at least twice.

England can expect between 2 and 4 losses.  Therefore, England should begin the invasion with at least 2 mercenaries, with 3 being preferable.

Benefits and Challenges

If successful, England conquers Scotland and controls Edinburgh.  This gains them one Key and an additional card draw per turn.  Given Edinburgh's remoteness, it is unlikely anyone will be able to retake Edinburgh.  This makes conquering Scotland an attractive target for England.

The worst case for England is if France intercedes on Scotland's behalf.  In this case, the French could spend resources tying up England in a War in England.  This essentially places England in the unenviable position of fighting a war both on their island and near Calais.
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