• Wargaming with Men – Playing “Here I Stand”

    by  • June 1, 2012 • Reviews • 5 Comments

    I ‘ve almost finished my first game of Here I Stand and am sitting in second place.  That’s not too bad for a first-timer, although I have to give credit to the fine gentlemen who played with me and who held my hand during the game.  All of this playing was done electronically with people around the world and I knew no one other than one person whom I consider one of my closest friends.  Now I’m on to my second game, with mostly novice players and one veteran.  Once again, all male with the exception of me.  And this time I don’t know ANYONE.

    What I’d like to do in a series of posts is share my experience playing Here I Stand and wargaming with men. Looking back at my first game, I can certainly see the differences.  We’ll see what new ones come up this time around.

    First, what is Here I Stand?

    Here I Stand: Wars of the Reformation 1517-1555 is a game that covers the political and religious conflicts of early 16th Century Europe. There are six main powers in the game: the Ottomans, the Habsburgs, the English, the French, the Pope, and the Protestants.  There are nine turns max and each turn can take an immeasurable amount of time depending on how many maneuvers go on, secret deals, use of cards etc.  You have to reach 25 victory points at the end of a turn in order to win and that can happen at any turn.  It’s a fascinating game, but hard to explain in a short synopsis.  So join me as I play through my second game!  (Be warned, the first one took us exactly one year to finish!)

    To start with, to play long-distance via email, you need several components.

    1. At lease six players of course;
    2. Cyberboard which is basically the map which allows you to track control of spaces, military maneuvers, formations, exploration of the new world, etc;
    3. ACTS account (Automated Card Tracking System);
    4. A manual (you will read this like a legal code!);
    5. A regular email account.

    The first time around I played England, a simple country for a beginner although I managed to make my learning process a DRAMA!  This time I somehow ended up as the Pope… which is HARD!  Time to turn on The Borgias?

    More to follow as we conduct the Diet of Worms!

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    About

    I was always interested in D&D from the time I found Basic and AD&D at my local hardware store while in junior high. I bought both and found out that only boys played and I wasn't allowed to play with boys :-(. At the age of 38, I joined a group with my husband and played tabletop for 2 years. Now we LARP together in World of Darkness games. We are also working on some Call of Cthulu, Mouseguard and Savage Worlds tabletop games. I'm probably the odd person out having come to the hobby so late in life compared to others. My special love is plot, character development, interaction, and DRAMA!! In real life, I'm a tax auditor and an animal shelter volunteer.

    5 Responses to Wargaming with Men – Playing “Here I Stand”

    1. avatar
      June 3, 2012 at 03:35

      I’m looking forward to hearing more! This sounds like a descendant of play by mail games, as games like Diplomacy or counter-pushing wargames were played in the 60s-70s. Is it more political, like Diplomacy, or resource intensive, like a classic wargame?

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      • avatar
        Anna
        June 5, 2012 at 17:16

        I’d say both to a certain extent. Alliances and war declarations are important. There is a diplomatic phase at the beginning of every turn. Never trust that an ally one turn will be an ally next turn, especially if you are suddenly gaining in Victory Points and are getting close to that 25 point edge. It’s a lonely feeling to have everyone at war with you or loaning others their fleets to beat you. :-( Instead of managing economic resources, you are managing card plays, military/religious forces and points. You have to make strategic decisions like, if you are England, should you use points to build your fleet or fortify Calais or something else? Should you play that card as an event or for points? If you are the Pope and you are debating someone, when do you commit your debater? Who do you commit? Should you debate against a Protestant or take Florence for an attempt to control Italy. Complicated!

        My husband belongs to a group that war games and I’m going to look at other games to get a sense of comparison. Another idea for an article! Thank you!

    2. avatar
      funeralparty
      June 3, 2012 at 03:49

      It sounds like a very fun game, and of course very complex. If I didn’t have so many games on my plate already, I would be tempted to join!

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    3. avatar
      maastrictian
      June 3, 2012 at 23:04

      I love Here I Stand, but have only been able to play it a few times. Any tips or tricks for someone wanting to get involved in the game online? What’s the time commitment per day like?

      Looking forward to more in this series!

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      • avatar
        Anna
        June 5, 2012 at 17:08

        That’s a great question! I believe you can go through BoardGame Geek, but I was kind of hand-held because of my friend who already plays. I will get back to you!

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