Westphalia: The End of the Thirty Years War Play by Forum

@CF_Kane did your copy come in? Are we about ready to get started?

Still waiting.

This reminds me a bit of Struggle of Empires, an old Martin Wallace design. You’d take an unrest token every time you lost a unit or borrowed money, and if you went over 20 you automatically lost no matter how many points you had. Such a classic.

Yeah, i’ve got that one coming in at some point, it’s interesting how that works.

I’ll be curious to see how this game works without any private communications. I can’t picture how either side can make a strategy or discuss tactics in public that will be of any value. Seems like it will just be every man for himself, and @Cuthbert take the hindmost.

Well, more than one person can win, and in the case of France and Austria, more than one has to win for them to win, so it’s going to be in people’s interest to negotiate and there’s no zero-sum issue

Well, it’s not really that sort of game. There aren’t going to be big sweeping movements of armies or team strategies (or backstabbing) that need coordinating. To a degree everyone is looking out only for their own interests - except those interests sometimes overlap, and in some cases your interests are tied inexorably with helping someone else further theirs.

FYI all, just got my shipping notification, so hopefully I’ll see it here by Friday or Saturday and we can get started.

No shipping notice for me yet, but I only ordered the day before Thanksgiving.

The game got here today. I updated the power description threads above with photos of the power cards.

I will draw secret goal cards and communicate my choice to @rho21, who has kindly agreed to hold information in escrow.

Once that is done, I’ll put an introductory post together and we can get started with the first diplomacy phase.

@CF_Kane can you please post a pic of all the Austria Goal cards? That would at least give us an idea of what the goal might be for Austria.

Diplomacy Phase 1

Power Prestige Debt Units Recruit
Austria 1 14 7 +1
Bavaria 0 8 3 +4
Dutch R. 2 8 8 +2
France 0 10 8 +6
Spain 5 17 8 +2
Sweden 2 10 6 +2
Pool 5 24

The Situation:

The Great Powers of continental Europe are exhausted and in debt after more than 25 years of war. Ferdinand III, by the grace of God elected Holy Roman Emperor, knows that continued war will neither drive the Swedes and French out of Imperial Lands, will not end the confessional schism, and will only leave the Austrian Hapsburgs deeper in debt. With manpower reserves tapped out (only 1 recruit a turn), the Austrians rely on their erstwhile ally, Maximilian I, Duke of Bavaria, to recruit troops to fight for the Catholic cause.

The Swedes, after making substantial gains under Gustavus Adolphus, have been mired in Northern Germany for a decade. They still have a powerful military, but must contend with both Austria and Bavaria.

Meanwhile, the French are opposing the Hapsburg coalition on two fronts, with an army marching in the Holy Roman Empire and another supporting the Dutch Republic. They are also fighting the Spanish Hapsburg in Spain (off-map), which is a constant drain on manpower and resources.

The Dutch Republic has been fighting the Spanish for the greater part of 80 years. This has forced them to divert men and treasure to their army, making it more difficult to pursue their far flung commercial interests.

The Spanish are deeply in debt, and focused on maintaining their prestige. Their New World colonies are still producing silver, and the wealth and prestige that the colonies generate is the only thing keeping the creditors away from Spain’s door.

There will be peace, but on whose terms?

Diplomacy Phase Sequence of Play

(Pause for negotiation at the beginning of the phase)

  1. Initiative Determination: We randomly determine turn order.

  2. Arrears: We all get more debt according to our current debt and prestige. (There is a table with the map).

  3. Recruitment: We get new units according to the recruitment level on our Power Card. The Dutch can put up to six units as ships in the Dutch Sea Box.

  4. Italy: We roll two dice, rerolling doubles. Spain and France lose units or take on debt equal to the lower of the two dice. This reflects Spain and France fighting over Italy, off-map.

  5. Gold: Spain tries to bring in gold, equaling 1 prestige, from the New World. Automatic if at peace with the Dutch. If at war with the Dutch, Spain rolls a die. If the die is greater than the number of Dutch ships, Spain gets 1 prestige. If it is less than the number of Dutch ships, Spain gets 2 debt.

  6. Commerce: The Dutch try to draw new Commerce Cards. They roll a die, and gain Commerce Cards if they roll less than or equal to the number of Dutch Ships. If at war with Spain, they draw once commerce card if successful. If they have made peace with Spain, they draw two if successful. The Dutch then remove half of their ships, rounding up.

  7. Unrest: Sweden and France jointly decide whether they want to flip zero, one, or two Unrest Cards. Each card flipped will result in the immediate removal of one Unit for both players. If they cannot agree, zero cards are flipped. When a card if flipped, Sweden and France must decide if one of them wants to take on the additional debt indicated on the card in exchange for advancing the indicated track (Toleration or Liberties) one step. If both decline to take the debt, Austria may elect to take the debt and reduce the indicated track by one step.

  8. Final Step: Players assign up to eight units to each of their armies. Any armies in excess of eight that are not traded to another player are discarded back to the supply. The Final Step ends when each player confirms that they have nothing further to trade or discuss, at which point things move into the next Phase on the Phase Track.

His Imperial Majesty Ferdinand III proposes that we determine initiative prior to opening initial negotiations.

Louis XIV jumps up and down and claps his hands in agreement


The Stadthoulder agrees.

Si, Señors

I pulled the trigger on randomizing initiative.


The turn order for the military phase will be as follows:

Country Player
Bavaria @Ironsight
Sweden @Panzeh
Spain @Navaronegun
Austria @CF_Kane
France @Cuthbert
Dutch Republic @Kolbex

Reminder, initiative, like pretty much everything else, is tradeable.

The next phase is Arrears, where we all get additional debt based on our current debt and prestige. The arrears table is below:

Arrears 0 1-2 3-4 5-7 8+
0-10 3 2 2 1 0
11-15 4 3 2 2 1
16-19 5 4 3 2 2
20-23 6 5 4 3 2
24-26 7 6 5 4 3
27-29 8 7 6 5 4
30+ 9 8 7 6 5

Prestige runs across the top row, and current debt on the first column, with your new additional debt in the table.

Before arrears accumulate, I have an offer for @Navaronegun’s Spanish Hapsburgs: I will take 2 of your existing debt (moving you from the 20-23 column to the 16-19 column) for one of your prestige (taking you from 6 to 5, and so maintaining your spot on the chart.

Any interest?

1 Prestige is quite a bit of Prestige.

Would you take 4 Debt?

I can do three, but it will compromise my ability to help you with debt in the future. Four is too rich for my blood.