Marathon Session Sets Up Gaming Group for Future Here I Stand Play
We finally reached the date for our stab at Here I Stand last night. Six area gamers including me filled out all the major power slots and shrink wrap was broken and rules were scrutinized as we were all tackling this deep game for the first time.
The group arrived mid afternoon at Joel’s wonderful house in Elmhurst. We each had scoured the various resources for learning the game, but we all knew we would be learning together while we played.
I lobbied for playing the Hapsburgs drawn in by their superior capabilities in exploring the New World. Surely, nothing could distract me from that right?
Wrong. Almost immediately I was caught in a quagmire in war with France. Support from temporary ally England was helpful but it was a long time for me to regain what I had lost to France. That happened just in time for England to dissolve our allliance and declare war on the Holy Roman Empire (shouldn’t that name be enough to scare him off?) and for the Ottomans to open up a second front on me near Vienna.
My plans for the New World would have to wait.
The Ottomans soon took Vienna but I was able to stall their advance with some maneuvering behind the front lines. Nonetheless, this was more of a delay tactic than anything as they were a formidable land force. On the naval front I had some success though. My naval squadrons were boosted by some loaners from my new Papal ally. Over a few impulses I was able to wipe out the Ottoman corsair fleets and get in some nice hits on the English units parked in the English Channel.
What I just described was my experience over nearly three full turns and about 8 hours(!). So yes, the game takes a long time to play. In the meantime, the Protestants became a formidable scoring force and was leading for most of the latter half of the game closely trailed by the Papacy. I have to admit the conflict between the two was hard to follow as I was embroiled with my own concerns.
The New World Pays Off
The hour was getting late and we decided to call the game around 11:45pm by finishing the 3rd turn. By that time I had committed to a New World exploration. During the New World Phase, England settled a colony and I drew my Explorer who turned out to be the famous Magellan who provided a nice +4 to my dice rolls for Exploration. Two quick rolls later he had completed circumnavigation, added 4 VPs to my total ( a massive amount considering how poor my scoring had been to that point), and satisfied the hunger I had for taking the Hapsburgs in the first place! A nice high note to end on!
Here I Stand Endgame
We all seemed pretty pleased to have the opporutnity to play the game. Here I Stand has a reputation for being difficult to get a full complment of players to play face-to-face and then one factors the time commitment on top of that . . . who know when we’ll be able to do this again!
For sure, I get what the hype is about would love to give it another shot sometime. We made some rules mistakes but that was a fair trade off to get the game to the table.
Not sure if this goes in the buy column for me especially since the folks I am most likely to play with already have it. Maybe I can pick up Here I Stand at 50% off during GMT’s next sale.
I’ll always gave my circumnavigation feat though!
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