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War of the Ring (second edition)» Forums » Rules

Subject: Mordor track question rss

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Alvin
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If you're on the Mordor track, does the limit of allocating hunt die depending on the number of companions still exist?

For example, if you're outside, like in Rivendell and have 3 companions, the shadow player can only allocate 3 hunt die. Does this remain true in Mordor?
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Jim Hansen
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Ishield wrote:
If you're on the Mordor track, does the limit of allocating hunt die depending on the number of companions still exist?

For example, if you're outside, like in Rivendell and have 3 companions, the shadow player can only allocate 3 hunt die. Does this remain true in Mordor?

Yep, the rule still applies in Mordor. Which is why it can be a good idea to separate a few companions right before you declare!
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David Williams
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Ishield wrote:
If you're on the Mordor track, does the limit of allocating hunt die depending on the number of companions still exist?

For example, if you're outside, like in Rivendell and have 3 companions, the shadow player can only allocate 3 hunt die. Does this remain true in Mordor?


I believe so. We have always played with the same restrictions on placing Eyes, both that must be placed if a FP die is recovered from the hunt box, and that you may only place as many as there are companions.

Going from memory, there's nothing in the rules for the Mordor track which tells us to play it differently. And if nothing tells us it's different then we assume it's the same.
 
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TJ
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Ishield wrote:
If you're on the Mordor track, does the limit of allocating hunt die depending on the number of companions still exist?

Remember, the hunt damage from drawn eye tiles in Mordor equals the number of dice in the hunt box. You absolutely need to prevent the shadow from allocating all his dice and hoping for an eye. So the limit still exists, yes.

Orion3T wrote:
We have always played with the same restrictions on placing Eyes, both that must be placed if a FP die is recovered from the hunt box[...]

Just to clarify, the Shadow must allocate a minimum of one die even if the Free People recover multiple dice from the hunt box.
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David Williams
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Teamjimby wrote:
it can be a good idea to separate a few companions right before you declare!


I realise you say 'can be' and not 'is' so this is obviously situational. But when you said this I was thinking bout it.

The only benefit of adding an eye at this stage is to increase the hunt damage when an Eye tile is drawn. Each Eye in the hunt box will add 1 corruption per eye drawn, and not all tiles drawn are likely to be eyes (unless the pool is extremely small before adding the eyes back in).

So if the plan is to dunk the ring as fast as possible and corruption is the only way the Shadow is likely to win, it still seems to me that companions are well worth keeping in the fellowship to protect the ring bearers, especially the stronger companions because they can absorb more corruption than will be added. Unlike Gollum they don't require the fellowship be revealed to reduce corruption.

I guess I'm just looking for confirmation that while your comment makes good sense if the companions will be of good use elsewhere (for example to defend Gondor, maybe crown Strider, etc) it depends on the state of the board. If Gondor has fallen and the companions aren't likely to be of much use they are still likely to be of overall benefit by keeping them with the ring bearers, right?

In other words, it's not worth separating them purely to prevent the SP from placing eyes, right? Even if they do place eyes, the companions you keep can absorb the extra damage the eyes will deal. Gollum actually can't do that (Eyes are worse for him, you have to reveal and he cannot reduce them) so if you are definitely going for the Crack of Doom it seems well worth retaining them, especially the level 2 and 3 companions because they can absorb more corruption than the extra hunt die will add.

Worst case scenario, the SP end up with loads of hunt dice and you only move once, but you can absorb some corruption and they hardly get any actions. As with everything in this game, there's a drawback to every decision!
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David Williams
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tatze wrote:
Orion3T wrote:
We have always played with the same restrictions on placing Eyes, both that must be placed if a FP die is recovered from the hunt box[...]

Just to clarify, the Shadow must allocate a minimum of one die even if the Free People recover multiple dice from the hunt box.


Yeah, that is what I meant. I didn't mean they must allocate 1 hunt die per FP die recovered. Sorry if it wasn't clear.
 
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Jason Dexter
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Orion3T wrote:
Teamjimby wrote:
it can be a good idea to separate a few companions right before you declare!


I realise you say 'can be' and not 'is' so this is obviously situational. But when you said this I was thinking bout it.

The only benefit of adding an eye at this stage is to increase the hunt damage when an Eye tile is drawn. Each Eye in the hunt box will add 1 corruption per eye drawn, and not all tiles drawn are likely to be eyes (unless the pool is extremely small before adding the eyes back in).

So if the plan is to dunk the ring as fast as possible and corruption is the only way the Shadow is likely to win, it still seems to me that companions are well worth keeping in the fellowship to protect the ring bearers, especially the stronger companions because they can absorb more corruption than will be added. Unlike Gollum they don't require the fellowship be revealed to reduce corruption.

I guess I'm just looking for confirmation that while your comment makes good sense if the companions will be of good use elsewhere (for example to defend Gondor, maybe crown Strider, etc) it depends on the state of the board. If Gondor has fallen and the companions aren't likely to be of much use they are still likely to be of overall benefit by keeping them with the ring bearers, right?

In other words, it's not worth separating them purely to prevent the SP from placing eyes, right? Even if they do place eyes, the companions you keep can absorb the extra damage the eyes will deal. Gollum actually can't do that (Eyes are worse for him, you have to reveal and he cannot reduce them) so if you are definitely going for the Crack of Doom it seems well worth retaining them, especially the level 2 and 3 companions because they can absorb more corruption than the extra hunt die will add.

Worst case scenario, the SP end up with loads of hunt dice and you only move once, but you can absorb some corruption and they hardly get any actions. As with everything in this game, there's a drawback to every decision!


Let's say that you split Gandalf away early. That leaves you with 6 companions left when you get to Mordor. You don't need to defend Gondor. So you take them all into Mordor. The SP places 6 eyes and rolls one more. An eye is drawn for 8 corruption (7 SP eyes and the die you used to move.) You sacrifice Strider. You are still left with 5 corruption to soak up. That is pretty disastrous. Taking 2 level 2-3 companions into Mordor is not bad, IMO. Each one would be able to soak up most of the corruption from one eye draw. But any more than that starts to get very dangerous.
 
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Jason Dexter
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And from a thematic point of view it makes sense. It seems it would be much easier for Sauron to spot if a party of 8 were trooping around through Mordor, especially with Gimli in tow.
 
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David Williams
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savedbyhim01 wrote:
Let's say that you split Gandalf away early. That leaves you with 6 companions left when you get to Mordor. You don't need to defend Gondor. So you take them all into Mordor. The SP places 6 eyes and rolls one more.


While not unlikely, they only have maximum 3 dice to roll another eye (unlikely all FP nations are at war in this scenario so no Mouth of Sauron yet). Possible but probably only about 43% of the time, with an average of 0.5 eyes rolled. But sure, it's possible.

Quote:
An eye is drawn for 8 corruption (7 SP eyes and the die you used to move.)


Hmm that's wrong I think. The FP die doesn't count until the next time you move, as it isn't added to the Hunt Box until the hunt is complete. The rules on p37 say the die is added after the Hunt is complete.

So most likely is 6-7 dice assuming they added all 6, but sure, they could get more.

Quote:
You sacrifice Strider. You are still left with 5 corruption to soak up. That is pretty disastrous.


Sure, 5 would be disastrous. Even if we go with 3-4 because we don't include the first FP die, it's still pretty bad. I didn't really mean to suggest it was realistic to keep all of them. In fact the odds are really small that you only took corruption once before then, to sacrifice Gandalf. You would surely get caught more often, and can sacrifice at least 1-2 level 1-2 companions.

EDIT - OK I realised here that I was assuming players take the risk of random casualties, which is what I tried in my last game. Maybe I got lucky in not drawing Strider but it seemed to work well, and I could tell Strider would not likely get crowned anyway.

It would also depend on the Hunt Pool, as I suggested. Plus you may have ways to mitigate drawing an eye such as Axe & Bow, Mithril Coat, Boromir's Horn (I don't recall the card name but I think they all do the same thing?) so all of those will help mitigate the odds of drawing an eye at all. And if the SP does not draw an eye, they can look very silly with all those dice in the hunt box.

Quote:
Taking 2 level 2-3 companions into Mordor is not bad, IMO. Each one would be able to soak up most of the corruption from one eye draw. But any more than that starts to get very dangerous.


I think that's more realistic, and what I had in mind. Maybe 1 hobbit, Strider plus a level 2. If I were thinking this is going to be likely, I'd be looking to sacrifice/split off some of the level 1-2 companions long before reaching Mordor. Then even if an Eye is drawn and you cannot get rid of it, like you said the level 2-3s can prevent most of even the worst case scenario.

And if you really don't want to take the risk, the Shadow is crippling itself militarily by using so many AD for the hunt, and if you have 5 FP dice you are actually getting many more actions than them, and can consider looking at military options for a turn and just take the 1 corruption. Then they have spent 6 dice to deal 1 corruption, which rarely seems like a good deal to me especially if the corruption is low to begin with. If the FP takes 5 military actions and the SP keeps getting just 1-2, then the FP can surely cause military problems even if it does cost them 1 corruption per turn. Eventually I think the SP will need to stop placing so many dice.

Let's not forget the Mordor Track can be punishing no matter what you do - with Gollum as the guide the SP could still have 3+ dice just from allocating 1 and rolling the rest, and with Eye tiles Gollum cannot help at all. Or the SP could play that card which lets them add more dice, and you're in the same position but with no companion to take any of the hunt damage.

But I definitely take the point that actually the Hobbits (Merry & Pippin) are probably best to sacrifice (separate in their case) before reaching Mordor. If you're going to keep some, keep the higher level ones. (EDIT - Which I remembered means you must use the random casualty mechanic. I think maybe that it a bit unusual, but it's the scenario I had in mind, as I explain below).
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David Williams
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Just wanted to add again that I was thinking of a situation where the player had taken some random casualties and lost some level 1-2. This is what happened in my last game - the Fellowship kept getting caught and Gondor was locked down, so I couldn't really get Strider there. Once this was clear I took random casualties, maybe got lucky and drew Legolas and Merry IIRC. So I decided to keep Strider, Boromir, Gimli and the remaining Hobbit for the Mordor Track rather than separating them off without anywhere really useful to go.

As it ended up I destroyed the ring still on about 6 corruption. My wife decided not to put many eyes in (despite me reminding her she could) but even if she had there wouldn't have been more than 3-4 more points I think, and they reached the Crack of Doom after 3 rounds in Mordor.

It was fun, as Boromir and Strider were actually the last remaining companions! Definiely an interesting deviation from the books!
 
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David Williams
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savedbyhim01 wrote:
And from a thematic point of view it makes sense. It seems it would be much easier for Sauron to spot if a party of 8 were trooping around through Mordor, especially with Gimli in tow.


LOL - right.

However it also makes sense that Gimli, Boromir and Strider can still defend them from Orc parties in Mordor. And Strider is good at keeping them quiet.

See my post above for what actually happened in the game I had in mind - it was essentially as if most of the Breaking occurred in Mordor rather than its original location! Only Gandalf, Legolas and Merry (I think) had left. I don't think it was in any way unthematic, and maybe it was a big risk (if Wifey had placed more Eyes it might have been a close call) but it was fun to have Strider Boromir (I think!) as the last remaining companion, leading the hobbits up Mount Doom! Massive deviation from the books there of course - He finally redeemed himself for transgressions in another life!
 
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Jim Hansen
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Orion3T wrote:
Teamjimby wrote:
it can be a good idea to separate a few companions right before you declare!


I guess I'm just looking for confirmation that while your comment makes good sense if the companions will be of good use elsewhere (for example to defend Gondor, maybe crown Strider, etc) it depends on the state of the board. If Gondor has fallen and the companions aren't likely to be of much use they are still likely to be of overall benefit by keeping them with the ring bearers, right?

Without getting into too deep of a strategy discussion, yes, separating companions is highly situational. If the game has devolved to 100% corruption, then you probably don't want to separate. It's not so much that having companions in the fellowship is a negative, but that keeping them into Mordor can be less of a positive than one might think.

Some reasons to separate before Mordor:
- To get Strider his crown.
- To use companions in battles.
- If you are planning to move 2-3 times per turn and you think Sauron will allocate the max dice, it can be safer to have fewer companions.
- To get you closer to having Gollum as the guide (this is probably the most common reason)

I have definitely seen people separate companions while already in Mordor, just to get them out of the fellowship. An example would be if you had only separated Strider and Gandalf, yet corruption was relatively high. When you have the other 5 companions, that means each eye tile could be 5+ damage, yet you can only soak 2 of it at a time. You just don't have enough time to use all of them before you get corrupted. In this case, it can be worthwhile to separate Boromir and Gimli, leaving you with the ability to soak 4 corruption (from a single tile, if necessary) and the SP cannot allocate as many dice.

So it's highly situational, depending on the number of companions, level of corruption, military state, and hunt pool.
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David Williams
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Teamjimby wrote:
[q="Orion3T"]Without getting into too deep of a strategy discussion, yes, separating companions is highly situational. If the game has devolved to 100% corruption, then you probably don't want to separate. It's not so much that having companions in the fellowship is a negative, but that keeping them into Mordor can be less of a positive than one might think.

Some reasons to separate before Mordor:
- To get Strider his crown.
- To use companions in battles.
- If you are planning to move 2-3 times per turn and you think Sauron will allocate the max dice, it can be safer to have fewer companions.
- To get you closer to having Gollum as the guide (this is probably the most common reason)

I have definitely seen people separate companions while already in Mordor, just to get them out of the fellowship. An example would be if you had only separated Strider and Gandalf, yet corruption was relatively high. When you have the other 5 companions, that means each eye tile could be 5+ damage, yet you can only soak 2 of it at a time. You just don't have enough time to use all of them before you get corrupted. In this case, it can be worthwhile to separate Boromir and Gimli, leaving you with the ability to soak 4 corruption (from a single tile, if necessary) and the SP cannot allocate as many dice.

So it's highly situational, depending on the number of companions, level of corruption, military state, and hunt pool.


Yep, all makes sense to me.

It has usually been the case in our games that most or all of the companions are sacrificed or separated before Mordor. But the last game I played (described above) led me down a different route, and I didn't feel it was a bad choice to keep the 4 companions I had left (Strider, Boromir, Gimli and Merry IIRC). Perhaps if I had thought of it and had a spare character die it would have made sense to separate Merry, even though he couldn't really do much alone. I just felt at the time that even with maxing hunt dice, and since I also had some good cards on the table (Mithril Coat & Sting, Axe & Bow, and yet to draw Athelas from a largely depleted character deck) their benefit would be enough to virtually guarantee a ring dunk in fairly short order.

The cards in play (and yet to be drawn) are also a factor, I think. Again those cards are ones that usually get used for combat effect but I actually used all of them to protect the Ring Bearers IIRC (Horn of Gondor, Mithril Coat, Axe & Bow). It was good to see them put to good use as event cards for a change!
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Jason Dexter
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One other question, does the first die used to move the fellowship get added to the hunt box before or after it is resolved? (In other words, does an eye tile in Mordor also give one corruption for the first die used to move the fellowship?)
 
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David Williams
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savedbyhim01 wrote:
One other question, does the first die used to move the fellowship get added to the hunt box before or after it is resolved? (In other words, does an eye tile in Mordor also give one corruption for the first die used to move the fellowship?)


No, I don't believe so and am pretty confident about that. The rules say the die isn't added until the hunt is complete, and the Mordor rules don't mention that this changes in Mordor. The rule about Eye tiles changes but it still states:

Quote:
including dice previously used for moving the Fellowship during the same turn


But maybe one of the real rules gurus can confirm?
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Keith Craig
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The dice used to move the fellowship is added after everything has been resolved.

An example there are 2 eye dice in the hunt box. The free people move using a dice. The shadow draws an eye tile. The hunt damage is 2.
After the free people has dealt with the 2 hunt damage either through companions or corruption then the dice used to move is added into the hunt for the ring box.
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Jim Hansen
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David and Keith are correct, the character die gets placed in the hunt box after the hunt tile is resolved.
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