Standing Room Only ...
Is Martin Luther figurine providing
The finalists plot while GM/designer
Beach records the action.
Here I Stand returned for its sophomore year at WBC
and was able to repeat its strong first-year showing. Demos
were held before both the Tuesday and Thursday heats and were
well-attended again.. Many people wanted to immediately give
the game a try and joined the tournament heat that followed directly
The first night there were 29 entrants; the GM played as an
English-Protestant eliminator at one table to arrive at the ideal
number of 30. One of these opening round games featured three
of the subsequent finalists (Ken Richards, Chris Striker, and
Dennis Mishler). These three were able to keep Matthew
Beach's Hapsburgs from winning by 1 VP in each of the first two
turns. When the last heretic had been burned, Chris Striker's
French had prevailed with 25 VP on the final turn. Three
of the games that night did go the full three turns, including
two games that each featured five players with final scores between
20 and 23 VP. The other two games were first-turn knockouts.
Bryan Collars' Hapsburgs took Venice and Metz, and held on to
two German electorates. In the New World Phase he conquered
the Inca for a Domination Victory. Peter Card's one-turn
Protestant victory was even more impressive. With a loan
from the Fuggers that financed Copernicus' revolutionary publication,
Peter rolled to 24 VP on the first turn, a full 7 VP ahead of
any other player.
Wednesday night ran longer than Tuesday; there were no first
turn wins. Three of the five games went to the last turn
and enjoyed some wild lead changes at the end. The most incredible
such game saw Ed O'Connor's Hapsburgs end the game at 24 VP holding
a tie-breaker edge over Kirk Harris' Ottomans (also with 24 VP).
But they were edged out by Nick Benedict's Protestants, who trailed
by an amazing eight VP going into the final card play of the
game. But what a card play it was Nick had staged things
so he finished all three bibles on his final move. With
near perfect Reformation results, he picked up an amazing eight
VP, soaring into a tie with Ed and Kirk that Nick won based on
the tie-breaker of scores two turns earlier. Nick's simultaneous
publishing of bibles in all three languages has to be the most
incredible single Here I Stand impulse ever.
When the preliminaries ended, we had nine different single
game winners (GM Beach's win as an eliminator was thrown out):
These winners joined the at-large players with the highest
total VP accumulation for the Friday morning semis. All three
games finished in just two turns. With the games finishing in
rapid succession (and with many players hovering near 21 VP),
the race for the three at-large slots in the Final was extremely
close. In the first semi-final, Barry Setser burnt Cranmer
at the stake for a first-turn lead. But Dennis Mishler,
playing the Protestant for the third straight time, came roaring
back and edged out Barry for the win. The second game featured
some wild diplomatic maneuvering by Hapsburg Dan Hoffman, who
traded away two keys to the Papacy for two card draws at the
start. It paid off as Dan's second-place score (behind
AJ Sudy's French) was enough to advance. In the third semi,
three of last year's finalists battled it out: Chris Striker
(Ottoman), Ken Richards (Hapsburgs) and Bryan Collars (England).
Ken prevailed this time, stealing the 2 VP of Copernicus from
Bryan with the Cloth Prices Fluctuate event. All three
qualified for the Final.
Going into the Final, the win totals by power were: Ottoman 2,
Hapsburgs 3, French 3, and Protestant 5. Ken Richards ignored
these numbers and chose the Ottoman, leaving the Protestants
to Dennis for the fourth straight game. AJ Sudy made a
surprise choice of the Papacy next, leading the power selection
to fall out as follows:
1: Ken Richards (Ottoman)
2: Dennis Mishler (Protestant)
3: AJ Sudy (Papacy)
4: Bryan Collars (Hapsburgs)
5: Chris Striker (France)
6: Dan Hoffman (England)
Here are the highlights of the three-turn Final
Ottoman make peace (this was prevalent throughout the week)
· Henry VIII
granted a divorce for a card draw and 1 mercenary; Anne Boleyn
gave birth to a sickly Edward VI
· Five independent/minor
keys fall (Hapsburgs take Metz, English take Edinburgh, French
take Milan, Papacy takes Florence, and Ottoman takes Tunis).
These last four fell in a span of just five impulses! Trier
also falls to a Protestant army.
Vendor is played as an event by the French, depriving the Protestant
player of the VP from the Michael Servetus card.
· Roberval explores
the Mississippi while the Hapsburg gains VP from the Great Lakes
gain 12 spaces over the turn, following the Affair of the Placards
with the New Testament in French.
VP at end of turn: Ott: 18, Hap: 20, Eng:18, Fra:16, Pap:14,
ally with France and Papacy; England allies with Protestant but
has four other proposals rejected!
· Ottoman declares
war on Genoa and the Papacy.
· Spanish Inquisition
forces a Protestant discard of a 5 CP card (Diplomatic Overture);
the Knights of St. John force another 5 CP card (Calvin's Institutes)
to be lost by the Ottoman.
· Jesuit universities
appear in Lyon and Shrewsbury, just before the Papal Inquisition
strikes. A debate ensues in England, but Tyndale defeats
the hot-head Aleander for the second straight turn.
· England DOWs
the Hapsburg and marches on Antwerp. The attack is repulsed
when England's mercenaries are bribed just before the battle.
· Ottomans successfully
· The Papacy
excommunicates Cranmer, and once again Tyndale takes the stand
to defend the Protestant cause in England. Pole bests him
at every turn (3-0 debate result). Tyndale is burnt at
the stake! England and Scotland have completely returned
to Catholicism. Overall in the turn, the Reformation loses
· Late in the
turn, the English take a loan from the Fuggers and take one more
shot at Antwerp. This time it falls!
· Michael Servetus
appears and publishes his scientific works for France. France
also picks up VP from a chateau and Cartier's exploration of
the St. Lawrence.
VP at end of turn: Ott: 20, Hap: 19, Eng: 18, Fra: 19, Pap: 17,
· The Turn
6 Diplomacy Phase is where this game gets quite interesting.
England makes peace with the Hapsburgs and French. England
allies with the French, Papacy, and Protestant. Papacy
cedes Siena, Ancona, and 1 mercenary to the English! France allies
with the Papacy and swaps Rouen for Florence.
· The Ottoman
DOWs the English to get access through Ancona to Rome. Hapsburgs
and French both DOW Genoa. A race is on for that city!
· Both England
and France deploy armies to Grenoble to help the Papacy fight
off the Ottoman army.
· A renegade
Ottoman cavalry leader reinforces the army in Ravenna.
· In a critical
move, the Hapsburgs play their Home Card to bring Charles to
Barcelona. They make a preemptive strike on the French
fleet, wiping it out. Charles then transports an army to
Genoa to put that key under siege before the French can react.
The key falls on the next Hapsburg impulse.
· The Knights
of St. John steal another 4 CP of riches from the Ottoman.
The active knights allow the Papacy to finish St. Peter's by
the end of the turn.
· So desperate
for aid in Italy against the Ottoman, the Papacy plays Dissolution
of the Monasteries as an event. The Pope is giving the
English permission to loot the churches of England to finance
the war effort against the Ottoman.
· The English
and French armies reach Pavia and Milan, respectively.
The Ottoman continues to reinforce, building regulars in Coron
and taking out a loan. The English army attacks in Ravenna,
but is ambushed by a surprise attack and is repulsed.
· Dragut takes
over the Ottoman fleet and scores 1 piracy hit. On the
final impulse he tries again and fails with a roll of four
· England declares
war on the Hapsburg and makes a play on Metz. With a final
effort, the English mine under the walls of the town, but it
holds in the end.
· The Council
of Trent is held and Dennis' Protestants come out gaining concessions
from the church council. Combined with the publication
of the Bible in French, the Protestant score grows. Hapsburg
sieges of Wittenberg and Papal book burnings at two electorates
all fail, leaving the Protestant VP total at 22.
· Entering the
New World Phase, the Protestants enjoy a 2-point lead.
But Orellana sails for the Hapsburg. If he can roll a 7,
Bryan will pick up the discovery of the Amazon and win the game
on the tiebreaker (higher score at the end of the previous turn).
Orellana succeeds, giving Bryan the win in a very tight tournament
VP at end of turn: Ott: 21, Hap 22, Eng: 18, Fra: 20, Pap: 17,
Question: Which power did people most want to play?
If a power is selected first in a game, I am assigning it
a score of "1". The power picked last gets a "6".
Based on this scoring, for the whole tournament, the results
So the Ottomans were the most sought after power; the Papacy
the least preferred (unchanged from last year). It is interesting
that the Hapsburgs are the next least favorite, given that they
won four of the 14 games, including the Final. Perhaps
that will change next year.
Question: Did choosing early lead to victory?
For the entire tournament, the winning player chose third
on average (the numerical average was 2.8). So getting to play
a power of your choosing was helpful, but not an overwhelming
advantage. This stat has held up iboth years
Question: Did earning a higher seed and choosing early
in the semis and Final help?
Yes, a bit.
In the first two rounds (when selection order was random),
the numerical choice average of the winners was 2.9. In the later
rounds when players chose their power, this number did drop to
2.5. In the semis the three winners were players that chose their
power 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. But then in the Final Bryan Collars
won with the 4th pick (Hapsburgs).
Question: Did the player choosing last ever win?
Yes, for the first time this was true. Again it was
Bryan Collars who pulled off this feat; his table allowed him
the Hapsburg with the final pick of a Tuesday heat. This
game was the first to finish that night. Bryan won with
a Turn 4 Domination Victory.
The breakdown of wins by selection position over the 14 games
were as follows:
First choice: 5
Second choice: 1
Third choice: 3
Fourth choice: 3
Fifth choice: 1
Sixth choice: 1