Tuesday, May 16, 2006

After Action Report - Here I Stand 3 player game turn 1

Here I Stand – 3 player game Turn 1 (records are not publish chronologically)

95 Thesis

1517 to 1523

A recalcitrant Augustinain priest named Martin Luther nailed his 95 Thesis on the church door at Wittenburg and sent them to various people across Christiandom. And the following confusion caused the neighbouring Leipzig to falter in their faith and rebelled against the Holy Order [Really bad die rolls for initial reformation rolls – 1 success out of 6 and Protties win draws!]

Alliance Phase
August to November
The English and the Hapsburgs ally - The English is able to take banking loans from Hapsburg’s merchants [The English gets Fuggers from the Hapsburgs – this should give them an average of 2,160,000 Venetian Ducats (5.4 CPs) to finance her goals]. The behaviour of the merchants upset Charles V as he was expecting to get those loans to sponsor the Empire’s needs [and you will see that the needs just get bigger and bigger]

Diet of Worms

After the clergy detains some of Luther’s supporters [The Pope plays Erasmus for the Diet of Worms commitment], Charles V calls Luther to attend the Diet of Worms with the Emperor’s assurance of safe passage. [Hapsburgs and the Pope played 3CPs each while the Protties commit 4CPs. Wow! That’s a lot of CPs for the Diet!] Our Cardinals and Priests disputed with him unconvincingly. The infection grows, the electorate Brandenburg also rebels [The result was average - Pope 2 hits and Prottie 3].

Round 1

The infidel Ottomans prepare for their war on Christianity. Khair ad Din (who was later to be called Barbarossa or Red Beard) was given the title Beylerbey (provincial governor) of Algeria. He begins to harass shipping in the Mediterranean Sea. Ottomans begin their siege of Belgrade [and the needs get bigger].

A letter that was being sent to Metz was intercepted. Charles V decides to ensure that the independent city of Metz does not waver in their support of the Pope. He orders Ferdinand to siege Metz instead of marching towards Paris.

Francis I builds his first chateaux [giving France 1 VP]. This was shown off to The Ottomans who sent a diplomatic envoy to Paris. Trade increases between the two countries [Ottomans give France a card and draws 2 cards – and gets bigger]. The Pope is very tempted to excommunicate Francis I for this friendship with the enemy of Christianity.

The Pope, Leo X issues a papal bull excommunicating Luther. The debate between Eck [excellent!] and Bucer results in the burning of Bucer [1VP to the Pope]. Luther had refused to attend the debate [Even though he was excommunicated, he could have substituted the chosen debater with the play of “Here I Stand” Home card]. The three towns recanted and returned to the Catholic fold - leaving Luther without any visible support [The Protties rolled 1 hit from 4 dice and Pope rolled 4 hits from 7].

A German traitor harbours Luther where he begins the translation of the German New Testament [3CPs are spent in this direction because the Protties cannot do anything else, with no reformer or Prottie spaces on board – Quite historical here, I think. Luther did translate the Bible while in exile]. Mel and some unknown French speaker also helps with the New Testament translations.

Round 2

The Hapsburgs prepare to protect merchant ships against the Corsairs [builds 1 ship]

An English priest (who probably had been tutored by Luther) roam the country side and cause the local peasants to rise against their rightful ruler, Charles V [England play Peasant’s War and place unrest on Munster, Bremen, Mainz, Regensburg and Innsbruck. This causes an international incident [Charles V sent a stinging letter of protest to King Henry XIII. If Hungary does not ally with the Haps, Ferdinand will be cut off from their eastern capital, Vienna]

Francis I sent Charles Bourbon to organise an expedition with the aim of conquering parts of the New World.

In competition with Francis I’s chateaux, The Pope begins his own building programme – St Peter’s Cathedral.

Round 3

The feared Corsairs increase their activity [1VP to the Ottomans]


It seems the English are getting ready for a war – King Henry XIII builds a ship and hires some Mercenary.

Francis I sends an explorer and colonists to the New World. When King Henry XIII hears of Francis’ I initiatives in the New World, he decides to send an explorer there.

Round 4

2 cities fall - The Ottomans take Belgrade and the Hapsburgs take Metz. The Hapsburgs also placate the peasants in Regensburg but were unable to do so in neighbouring Salzburg.

King Henry decides that he does not have enough troops [Plays home card for 2 reg and 1 Merc]. An arms race between France and England ensues [The French hires 2 Swiss Merc].


The Hapsburgs consolidate most of the eastern (ie all but Spanish) military might in Vienna bracing the city for the upcoming fight with the Ottomans.

New World

The Spanish explorer, Orellana, picked a route that led him as far south as he could. He locates the Pacific Straits (tip of South America) and decides to venture past that point. The brave man was able to get back to Spain, proving that the world was not flat [4VP]. A Spanish Conquistador, Cordova travelled on a different heading hoping to meet a rich tribe to pillage. He found one - The Maya [1VP]. The English explorer, Willoughby decided on an even more northerly route and discovered the St Lawrence River [1VP] (Canada). The French on the other hand have been less fortunate. The explorer, Roberval returned home without discovery while another expedition has not been heard from and presumed dead.

[The game begins with a slight advantage with Haps, France and England having more cards than the rest. In this game, this card advantage shifts to England with Hapsburg giving them 1 card. Both the French and Ottomans catch up with Diplomatic Overture. The Pope’s turn 1 draw was bad. Happily they don’t have very much to do in turn 1. Most of the Pope’s current good situation has to do with the Protties bad die rolling and the Pope’s good ones. Other than the stopping of the cult of Luther, nothing significant was achieved in turn 1. The setting up of Pirates so soon in the game was a surprise. The lack of progress by the Ottomans over land may be explained inability to carry out two different wars – the Pirates Raids and the land campaign. A more sneaky view would be that the Ottomans may have wanted to force the Hapsburgs to burn one card clearing the Unrest in Germany. The prevarication on the part of England on who she wanted to DOW may have caused him lose the opportunity. In my opinion, the French, the English and the Ottoman did not use their card advantage wisely. I have not played the French nor the English so I may not be able to see the subtleties from their point of view.]

Jad the Grey

Sunday, April 23, 2006

IGNORANCE!!! - The re-printing of the "Danish" cartoons

Some of the media says they re-print the cartoons as a matter of principle. I say "what principle"? The principle to insult someone just because you can?

I have tried to keep quiet but I can't stand the amount of ignorance there is in the world (including
Singapore). Most people think that this is an issue of right of free speech vs religion sensitivities

It is NOT. West (including
Singapore) segregates "normal" life and religious life and expects the world to be the same. Actually the world is NOT like that. Even Christian Life (as opposed to Western and Singaporean life) is not like that.

The west doesn't see that the cartoons are viewed as violence against Mohamed and Islam. And they don't realise that Islam is more important to them than their family and their own lives. (See how someone would react if someone wrote or joked in the newspapers that his / her mother or wife was a prostitute).

Yes. I agree that the violence is political - the cartoons came out in Sep and the violence only recently occurred. You must also factor in that news travels slowly in some of these countries.

But there is genuine anger.

If the reaction was not voilent, we would not hear about in the news. A quiet disagreement is not going to make any headlines = No newspaper articles = therefore their anger would not be heard. No one wants to hear about these powerless (even in their own country) people disagreeing with a newspaper so far away.

So I actually think the media is partially to blame for this. If they thought race relations was important (as Singapore media thinks it is - please note this may be the only time you hear me praise Singapore media). And if the media thought that understanding is more important than freedom, I think there would be less problems.

I know freedom lovers will not like it very much but if you don't understand (e.g. others, yourself, the laws that govern the land), you are still a slave to whatever people tell you. Is not ignorance the bigger slavery?

And that is my accusation of people on both sides (and some that sit on the fence) of the debate - ignorance. That and the unwillingness to admit it.

Thus endeth my tirade.

Monday, April 10, 2006

After Action Report: Friedrich 01.04.2006 - The French view

Jad the Grey

To see the Russian view and overview read:

The game started quite uncertainly for me. It seems the more experienced players were playing Prussia and Austria - the biggest armies on the board. I found out later that this means they carry the heaviest burden of combat - at least the way the game played out.

As I advanced on the Hanoverian troops, I was more than a little peeved that Russia seemed to avoid combat. I found the system forces players to do things (or avoid doing things) that they would not like to do. This made other players question your motives and commitment to "the cause". Both the Austrian player and I were gritting out teeth saying that the Russians MUST attack or at least force the Prussians to attack them.

turn 2: I forgot that very quickly when the whole Hanoverian Army stood in front of 40% of my own. My other group had gone north to capture one of the objective cities and was unable to engage.

The choice was 1. Wait until my main force joins with the blocked force. 2. Wait until my main force can attack the Hanoverians. 3. Attack straight away.

Being a little impatient (Can you hear some people shout, "A LITTLE??"). So I chose 3. Another reason is my "long hand" (my strongest suit in "bridge talk") would be used for combat. It would be the Hanoverian's long suit as well because they moved in the position knowing that it would block my path. I decided that I have a slight advantage in cards.

I was proven correct. I used my last card in the suit. It was quite a strong card. It wiped the Hanoverian forces out to everyone's surprise - even mine.

Turn 3 to 4: With some combat happening between the Prussians and the Austrian but nothing else happening elsewhere, I decided to go on my merry way capturing more objectives.

Turn 5: Realising the the Hanoverians were re-grouping and that the last few objectives were not far away, I engaged the Hanoverians one more time. And again were able to wipe them out - this time with more of a margin on my part, I had one reserve card remaining to play.

Turn 6 (I think): The Prussians started running a force back in turn 4 but were unable to reach the French before I was able to take all the objectives.

The Russians ended the game complaining about not have the "right cards". And I agree that in this game that could be problem BUT I enjoyed the game thoroughly. Though it is NOT a wargame, I think it comes close enough with the tension and manoeuevre (and choices to give combat). Though we did find out later we played the retreat rule wrongly, I felt that it was a worthwhile game to play again.

In fact, all the players wanted to try it again - so we did. Though I had to leave in the middle of the game, the French almost did it again. Foiled by the lightness of the counters - one control counter was accidentally moved off the map by some clumsy person (me). We ruled (and I "graciously" accepted) that we should leave it uncontrolled. If not the French would have won again!

I continued to chase the Hanoverians until the wife sounded the recall for dinner.

The game continued with one of the other players continuing as the French player. I expect that the French spent the rest of the game running round the board trying to pin down the Hanoverians.

I declared the day truly well spent and went home to my wife with a smile on my face.

I would recommend this game to all but those who constantly complain that there is "too much luck involved".

Though I do agree luck plays a big role in this game, reading the other players and learning how to maximise your hand will allow you to enjoy this game more. I think Bridge players may have a slight advantage in this game.

I can't wait for the next game of Friedrich. Whatever nation is offerred.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Jad the Grey