Integrity or Victory?

November 15, 2009

In today’s game of Here I Stand, I had an interesting dilemma.

I was the front-running Hapsburgs, and in my desperation for an alliance, I made a deal with the last place English. However, as the turn went on, the English ended up as the only team that could win except for myself. We were the only ones with meaningful cards left, and I would win any VP ties. In hindsight, I should have added a caveat to our deal, “I won’t play it if it comes down to you and me.”

If you agree to a card play in diplomacy, do you play it knowing that if you don’t you are guaranteed to win? At what point is winning the current game worth undermining your integrity with friends and in future games? Winning is great, but do you screw a friend out of a chance of winning just to lock up victory for yourself? Or is the breaking of deals just so common in Here I Stand that I’m just being silly? Probably. In one hand, victory and betrayal. In the other, a dice fest in which I had about a 50/50 chance of winning. What if you know you will be playing with the same group again? Is integrity worth more then? I know I remember who can be trusted . . .

I chose to keep the deal, but it wasn’t an easy choice. The play of Book of Common Prayer ended up winning the game for England after the Protestant player succeeded in rolling him to two additional VP’s. Then in the New World, he scored 1 VP on an explorer, putting him up on me by 1 VP. Granted, without England’s help, France may have won the game (England took a French key). I’m just curious if anyone else has a similar horror story. What deals have you made that ended up putting you in a similar spot? What did you do? Would you do it again?