Finally! Turn 3 is over and it was an exciting one!! I didn’t believe it would be possible, but I got to burn a Protestant (sorry to anyone who may be offended out there. It’s not a practice I usually follow).
One of the advantages of playing the Pope is that the player has two “home” cards as opposed to one. A home card is basically a card that belongs to you and you get it back after every turn. As I said, the Pope gets two of these.
The first card is the Leipzig Debate. You can play this card for the three points OR you can play it as an event. The event is that you get to call a theological debate against a Protestant. You can either specify your own debater or specify that one Protestant debater is not available during any round of this debate. So I did! I chose Eck, my most powerful debater, to debate this weakling Tyndale in the English language zone. And, with Eck’s uncommitted bonuses, I was able to defeat him by a large enough margin that Tyndale was burned at the stake. This margin of 4 also determined the number of Protestant spaces I could flip to the Catholic side. Double cool!
I then played the Anabaptists card as an event to flip two Protestant spaces over to the Catholic side, but the Protestant player was able to flip two back so I ended up with no net gain on that one. Bah!
Then I played the Venetian Alliance card as an event which activated Venice. Venice was an independent power and on no one’s side. Once I activated it, I could control its forces because it is now my ally (there is no Venetian player.) Along with Florence, it also gave me some more progress towards mastering Italy and getting more victory points.
The second of my home cards is the Papal Bull which can be used to excommunicate a nation’s leader or played for points. Goaded on by the Hapsburgs and by the French themselves, I excommunicated Francis I of France. In order to remove the excommunication, I will need something from Francis, most likely a card. I haven’t heard from him in terms of what he’s willing to give to remove excommunication so I’ll have to wait and see. In the meantime, he is doomed to a -1 on his card draw.
My final card play was an error. I moved three mercenaries next to Lyons for some stupid reason when I should have spent the time building St. Peter’s in Rome. This was a mistake because I had to bring the mercenaries back for Wintering and they had to pass through enemy territory, causing attrition of two of those three mercenary units. So many details! No wonder it’s so hard to introduce the game. You really need patient players to hold your hand.
Now, onto diplomacy before we start round 4!