Virgin Queen is the sequel to Ed Beach’s earlier game, Here I Stand. It is based on the political and religious conflicts within Europe during the reigns of Elizabeth I of England and Philip II of Spain. Each player controls one of the major powers: the Ottoman Empire, Spain, England, France, the Holy Roman Empire, and the Protestants (representing the Dutch and Huguenot factions).
The Rules are available here: Virgin Queen Rules
The Scenario Book (with historical notes!) is available here: Virgin Queen Playbook
The VASSAL module which we will be using to play the game is here: VASSAL Module
Many of the basic mechanics of Here I Stand return to Virgin Queen, with a few significant differences:
The Religious Struggle
The core focus of the religious struggle has shifted from Germany to England, France, the Netherlands, and Scotland. The old mechanic of contested rolls between Papacy and Protestant is gone. Now, a power attempting to promote their religion rolls “conversion attempts.” They are detailed in Section 18 of the rules, and are important reading for England, France, the Protestants, and Spain. The Holy Roman Empire cares a little, as they secretly choose a side at the beginning of the game (Catholic, Neutral, or Protestant), and score points on that basis.
There are also Protestant rebellions, which can take place in France (Huguenots) and the Netherlands (Dutch). This is how the Protestants initially gain spaces on the map, and allows them to pop up with Regulars in France or the Netherlands.
There is an espionage system, allowing a player to potentially inspect their opponents hand, force their opponent to discard, assassinate their opponents rulers/generals, and, for the Spanish, win the game by executing the Gunpowder Plot and blowing up Parliament.
Piracy and the New World
Everyone can be a pirate now, but only Ottoman Corsairs can do privacy while at peace with the target power. Piracy can be done on the Europe map, like in Here I Stand, or in the New World map, where the powers can pirate Spain or Portugal. Successful piracy results in the pirating power potentially obtaining VPs, Cards, or Treasure Tokens. Treasure tokens represent Spanish (and Portuguese) new world riches, and allow bonus CPs during card plays.
The English, French, Protestant, and Ottoman can also earn VPs through having a sea captain circumnavigate via the New World map.
The crowned heads of Europe can arrange marriages, which creates another diplomatic tool and source of VPs.
Arts and Sciences
The players can patronize great artists and scientists to obtain VPs and other benefits.
The players in this game will be (in impulse order):