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Subject: How to save Rohan? rss

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David Folksman
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In every game i've played so far, SP has bummed Rohan into oblivion very quickly.

Is there any way to save this nation?

Thanks for any thoughts and insight
 
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Kristofer Bengtsson
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DaveyF wrote:
In every game i've played so far, SP has bummed Rohan into oblivion very quickly.

Is there any way to save this nation?

Thanks for any thoughts and insight



Have you read this: http://www.aresgames.eu/2368 ?
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David Boeren
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Here's my take. If the Shadow wants to conquer some nation badly enough, he will. There is no way you can save ANY single nation, and this is not your goal.

What you're trying to do is make things take long enough to conquer that you buy Frodo the time he needs to dunk the ring. It doesn't really matter to you which specific places get conquered and which do not, only that the total time/effort it takes to do this is great enough.

That said, mustering more guys there helps a lot. I like to leave guys in the Fords to get pushed to war faster, then retreat them to Helm's Deep after the initial attack. If you can get them to war in time or if you draw a muster event, you may be able to hold out a while.

Also, station Gandalf in Fangorn. The threat of a possible Ent card will make the Shadow player cautious about leaving Orthanc. Do *not* actually play an Ent card unless Orthanc is lightly defended. You don't want to kill some crummy orcs that he can get back with half a Muster action. You want to kill Saruman. Unless the odds look good on that, don't spend it, keep it as a threat to keep his armies pinned there. Anyone sitting in Orthanc isn't attacking Helm's Deep, so there you go

This is what happened in a game we played the other day, Saruman had mustered up a decent army and upgraded most of them to Elites, but he was afraid to send them out due to Gandalf. He could send part of them, but then they're not going to take Helm's Deep. Eventually they left, took Helm's Deep, and we played our Ent cards and killed Saruman.

The same Ent cards are also excellent battle effects when used in Rohan BTW, so once Saurman is dead or you feel he's never going to leave it open, go ahead and use them in battle. 2 extra hits per card is very strong.
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The Bill
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It seems a bit meta-gamey, but I think it's always good to retreat the men from the Fords of Isen into Helm's Deep. The reality is Saruman has a big enough force to wipe those guys out on the first turn, and they would be more valuable (last longer) if you could pile them into a stronghold.

I like the idea of being able to muster after the Fords of Isen are attacked, but I feel like drawing the men into Helm's Deep works for two reasons:
1) It increases the troops in HD faster than it would if you spent the time mustering toward war and then getting attacked at the Fords. (you can move 2 regulars and 1 leader into HD, whereas if you wait to be able to muster there, you can hope to get 1 elite (2 regulars and a leader will be more valuable at that point).
2) If Saruman decides to go after Edoras instead, you'll have a larger force left behind in HD to attack him from behind.

In this way, I almost feel it is better to pull the forces from Edoras to join those at HD for the same reason as #2.

Assuming Wormtongue is not on the table, Saruman will
1) activate Rohan by entering the Fords of Isen,
2) move Rohan one step toward war if they capture the territory between HD and Edoras, or if they attack HD.

Either way, having a (relatively) huge force at HD will make HD be a likely target, since moving a larger force across Rohan will leave Orthanc open to attack from Rohan's (now larger) forces.

I would rather Saruman activate and move Rohan to war in ways that are less costly to Rohan. Leaving men in the Fords of Isen seems to be too expensive to me.
 
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Chris Young
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The way to "save" Rohan is to build up Edoras/Westement

Having the leader and one unit fall back not to HD but rather the Westement is the best bet overall.
The attack on the fords gets you part way to war (capturing a fortress doesnt move the political track)

The other important point is to get a hobbit or other companion to the Westement or Edoras.
By preserving the muster location in Westement you force the Isenguard army to protect its rear flank, Having a large army in Edoras or Westement presents you with plenty of opportunities to use through a day and a night or dead men of dunharrow as quick mobile combat troops.
Trying to defend HD is a waste of actions. its too easily besieged (cutting down muster attempts and limits the size of the army you can hold there.

Edoras is a city so first round combat requires the shadow to hit on six already. Westement is a musterable location and an army there can either help lift a siege or move on to orthanc. (With Ent help maybe)

All in all you make it more difficult and costly in actions for the shadow and buy frodo time if you rally around the eastern part of Rohan.
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Jay P

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David made the main point: You can't save Rohan.

Chris made the follow up point: But you can make the SP player pay.

Rohan is there to delay....thwart...stall...make SP expend resources and time. That said, because of Sauruman's powers, the eye (I mean hand) on Rohan is often the optimal opening move for SP.

There are lots of variables that come into play in the game opening, driven by card draws and action rolls. Rohan can be made into a resource sink for SP....but it can also become a resource sink for FP player as well.

Bottom Line: Don't ask "How to save Rohan", but instead ask "How to play Rohan to maximize SP expenditure of resources for minimal FP expenditure of resources".
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Doug Adams
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DaveyF wrote:
In every game i've played so far, SP has bummed Rohan into oblivion very quickly.

Is there any way to save this nation?


If the Shadow decides to go that way, Rohan will get bummed ... rick, cot and tree. Make Rohan a costly speedbump, in this case.
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David Boeren
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blondlostime wrote:
It seems a bit meta-gamey, but I think it's always good to retreat the men from the Fords of Isen into Helm's Deep. The reality is Saruman has a big enough force to wipe those guys out on the first turn, and they would be more valuable (last longer) if you could pile them into a stronghold.


Well, you retreat after the first round of combat and then they get to move into Helm's Deep for free. They're being hit on 6's either place they're attacked. It is true that a bunch of men in one place will hit BACK harder though - I guess I view it as I'm trading one possible hit on the Shadow for half an army die to get to move them for free and an extra step on the political track. Seems like a favorable enough trade to me, but not really so hugely favorable that you can't do it either way.

However, there is one instance where I would definitely withdraw them to Helm's Deep early - if I have 2+ Ent cards at the time. Then I would want to do this as a way to try to draw the Orthanc troops out early. If Gandalf the White isn't in play yet they probably won't be worried about it and I can try to drop him for next turn and blitz Orthanc for a Saruman kill when they think it's pretty safe.

I've never been worried about Helm's Deep not being a target. They're definitely going to squish it once Saruman gets moving. That might not be until after something else gets hit, but it's coming.
 
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Chris Young
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For a little more detail on Rohan Strategy.

You have to first write off the fords and HD. Spending resources there is a trap.

Rohan is one of the most difficult nations to bring to war. So you need to let the Shadow do it for you. this requires at least 1 unit remain in the fords and spending 1 muster action to advance them on the political track so that they are at war when the shadow first attacks HD.

If you get muster cards that allow you to muster in HD you should only if you can get them out (or they will ensure a significant cost in actions to the shadow)

Ideally you want the shadow to spend 2 dice to defeat a single unit in HD and have a large army outside HD.

Once the shadow takes HD you can make an attempt to liberate HD and if the SP retreats into the seige (dumb thing for him to do but he might) he will be limited to only 5 units. Which probably means losing some.

He will more than likely stand and fight because if he becomes besieged then he gives you free mobility to attack orthanc. You do not have to move the entire army into seige HD either. A single unit will require the shadow to spend an action to fight a field battle and leave your army free to move on to orthanc.

"Through a day and a night" is a terrifying card to the shadow. So having a companion with any good sized army can give the SP pause.

In addition you can use the "Scouts" combat card to great offensive effectiveness some times and even the threat of an army scouting to attack orthanc will slow the shadow advance down.

An army in the eastern part of rohan also can support into Gondor or even make an attack northward to Dul Gadur should the opportunities arise. With rivendel and lorien collapsing on moria and Rohan and possibly the north from Carrok advancing on DG you can even threaten FPMV.

Rohan as a nation is generally lost if the Shadow chooses to stomp on it however what remains after the inital assault is the most important. Use the Shadows aggression against him. Your military (any nation for that matter) is simply inteneded to slow the SP down allowing Frodo to destroy the ring. However often times a small window of opportunity exists when the Shadow is vulnerable to military defeat. Your goal is to have troops in position to take advantage of those opportunities. The very existance of such a threat will force the shadow to slow down by preparing defenses of his own.

Every action taken by the shadow that does not directly advance him towards winning is a win for you. The FP cannot compete with the SP in actions so you need to get the most value out of the ones you take.

Id suggest reading my post on Playing not to lose.
[url]http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/766435/2nd-ed-playing-no...
[/url]
It has a link to the orginal post where I introduce the concept.

As others have said you dont save Rohan unless you "Save" Middle Earth.
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David Folksman
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Keep Crom and crush you enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentation of their women.
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Wow, thanks very much for everyones responses to my question. It seems this game has a thriving community and has high replayability when you get experienced with it.

My initial enthusiasm with the game waned somewhat when every time we played, the same outcome would play out, just as in the films, with the exception of Rohan being steamrolled in the initial exchanges (which was amazing the first three times we played) but began to grate as we played a fourth game.

Thinking outside the box is the key to replayability in this game, as in any war game I suspect.

I have a lot to digest, tip of the hat to you all!
 
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The Bill
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I still feel like having a maximal force in HD will slow down the SP long enough, and if you can pool your men there, it will be either a slow process taking HD, or, you will have a big force to attack him with should he try to sidestep HD and head for Edoras (either way, 1VP for Edoras is not as bad as 2VP for HD).

Also, if you look at the board and the mechanics, consolidating in HD will "produce" more troops in that area in less time as opposed to waiting until you are at war.

I think as the FP are concerned, big siege armies are the way to go (you want him to have to reduce a lot of elites or spend a lot of action dice on attacking in that one spot). This allows you more mobility with other troops in other areas.
 
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Chris Young
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At most a army under siege from Isengaurd at HD is going to contain 10HP of units (very likely the best you get is often 4) An Isenguard army is more than likely 15-16 points (may be less if GtW is in play) HD is a big trap. Putting the units under seige means they cant recruit and he is free to take the rest of Rohan with little to no resistance as well.

By massing at HD you are giving away initiative to the SP.

It seems like the long siege is more of a slow down and on occasions it can be but more often than not it isnt. You just dont have the time to mass forces. (You cant muster till at war, can only move edoras with an army die (1 face of your die[WoW often have a better use]) and its 2 moves away) Often once HD is undersiege the SP can often move on and take the points when he has the right combat cards.

Many of my SP games have been to put 6-8 points of SH under siege and then take my time ensuring that I can be effective in the siege rounds.

All in all the preservation of your units needs to be the focus. They come at such a premium that you dont want to waste them. A free mobile army causes the shadow more wasted actions than an additional siege round.

 
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The Bill
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I guess it depends on what the SP does in response. If they pile up troops to siege it, that's good for me, because it will be a long time for him to take it (or hold it indefinitely).

If he decides to bypass it, then there is always the chance to make a counter strike at Orthanc or at the army that is sitting in the territory adjacent to HD. Plus you can always attack, see how much damage you do to them, and then press the attack if it goes well. The bottom line is you will have a much larger army to attack with and cause damage. Since all units in WoTR are equal in terms of what they hit on, it's most important to have a bigger army.

If you get locked in a siege, a bigger army allows you to make a more effective sortie (again, you want as many dice as possible to get as many hits as possible). Throwing one or two of your troops under the bus to get advanced politically is pretty costly to me since it will take a lot to get Rohan mustered.
 
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Chris Young
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I understand that the tactics are situation but as a general rule I dont want to pin my army behind walls and let the shadow romp the rest of the way around Rohan. Strongholds tend to be death traps for the units in them. The Shadow units recycle yours dont. You have fewer actions as well so every action you take is important. I understand sometimes you have to defend specific locations but more often than not HD is not one of them. There is an old saying dont let your enemy pick where you fight. My suggestions are all about not surrendering initiative to the shadow. Edoras is a much more tactically important location to defend than HD. As FP you have limited Resources by comparison to the shadow I want to maximize the effectiveness of those resources defending a siege is not the most efficient use of those troops. The number of actions that the SP has to spend to deal with a mobile army is significantly more than those he must spend on even a 5 elite besieged army.
 
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Matt Epp
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I usually retreat all but one man from both the fjords as well as osgiliath.

You come out even on the die usage, but you get the benefit of both a bolstered stronghold and an activation/political track movement when attacked.

If you are able to push yourself to the brink of war, and let the SA push you over, you can still muster and hope for a long and bitter siege.

If the siege draws out, you can easily muster an army in the other Rohanian regions if Saruman does not bother to take the rest of the region right away or cannot afford to split his forces.
 
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Chris Young
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I realize that a long and bitter siege is preferable to a short one. I was only suggesting that you dont consider it to be your only option. There are times when it works and there are times when it doesnt. The reasources spent in hoping it works and it failing are more devestating than some of the possible alternatives.

When I play the shadow I generally try to get most of my points on siege lockdown before I ever actually take them. Ive had HD be my first siege location but my last points taken. By stalling the attack it gives me time to have good combat cards to make efficient work of it.

All in all there are many ways to make the shadow pay for his progress just dont get locked into the idea that a costly siege is the only way.
 
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Jay P

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I was able to save Rohan in a game tonight. After HD fell, Rohan was able to Muster a sizable army, with three leaders and GtW. Crashing into the remnants of the Isengard forces, the Rohirrim marched on Orthanc, bringing it under siege, and praying for some Ent support that never came. SP still held HD.

Kinda funny, seeing Gandalf besiege Orthanc with Saruman inside...the Wizards face off!

In the meantime, Boromir and Strider arrive in MT....and a king is crowned.

Sounds like a nice FP play? Not so. Character dice were sparse. When they did come up, eyes were many. The fellowship moved extremely lethargic.

Lorien fell quickly....due to a very nasty Balrog. Followed by a DEW move. The Elves put up a good fight, but fell to a combined S&E and Sauron Army lead by Witch King (and some of his nasty BCs). Even then, the Elves were oh so close to holding them off. And the Dwarves...they were never challenged. But DW was all SP needed, as an S&E Army, supported by full cache of Nazgul swept Pelargir and Dol Amroth. Three in the north. Three in the south. Four in the middle (HD & Lorien). MT never threatened. Sound SP strategy. Go where FP isn't. In the end, it wasn't even a close game.

So yeah, Rohan can survive! Rohan can even make a counter offensive into Orthanc. But FP can still lose badly.


 
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Craig Rose
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I used this very strategy in a game with Chris tonight. When the Fords were attacked, the army retreated to the Westement. I was then able to muster a sizeable army in both the Westement and Edoras. I even managed to retake Helm's Deep.

Not only was able to keep Rohan defended, the DEW was was overloaded with elites, as was Minis Tirith.

I did ultimately lose because I didn't manage corruption well. If I had used Gollum's reveal ability, I would have actually been able to destroy the ring. I even managed to hold the shadow to 2VP.
 
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Kevin Wojtaszczyk
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Another annoyance, especially useful with scouts, is to scout the Rohan units into the Gap of Rohan! (or retreat there if you survive the first attack)

True, Rohan isn't at war, but retreating (or scouted) armies are allowed to cross nation boundaries.

This puts the Rohan rag tag force right outside of Orthanc... they can't attack until Rohan goes to war, but it will cause the SP player to waste a die attacking backwards and/or gets in the way of north/south dunland units to meet up quick with some of the SP bonus army move events.

For extra crazy, though it's getting more costly in actions, you could retreat the Fords guys after they are attacked over into Druwaith Laur... which happen to be on the coast... so could be a Cirdan's Ships event away from having 2 elven elites join them. Typical that card is more useful elsewhere, but in the odd crazy game, having a Rohan leader, 2 regulars and 2 elven elites could make things interesting.
 
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Jay P

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New game. I saved Rohan again. Yaaa! Even took HD back from Shadow and Ents were one away from crushing Orthanc.

Highlight of the losing war....the Dwarves marched to the aid of a besieged Woodland Realm...and lifted the siege. Dwarves...come to the aid of the elves. Strange times indeed!

Still lost. Boooo! One of those games where many of the FP battle rolls were "just short" of success and the SP rolls "just enough" for success. (Example: Rohan had to roll 17 dice, reducing twice, before getting a six to kill ONE orc in HD). SP counter-attack against the fortress gets two hits on four dice to kill the garrison. The entire game was like that. Probably one of my more frustrating FP games.

 
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Jonathan Couper-Smartt
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Quote:
capturing a fortress doesnt move the political track


To clarify what "fortress" means in this context. Capturing a FORT does not move the track. Capturing a STRONGHOLD does move the track.
 
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David Boeren
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In my last two games Rohan has been a significant force, with big armies being mustered in Edoras both times.

In the most recent game, the Shadow was lax about reinforcing Orthanc, so armies from Edoras joined up with the Fords of Isen troops and went north to capture Orthanc and kill Saruman with the help of Gandalf the White and a pair of Ent cards. No Rohan territories ever were captured by the Shadow and we eventually won a military victory holding Orthanc and Mount Gundabar.

In the game before that, Helm's Deep was captured but a force from Edoras snuck over and grabbed Orthanc before they could get back to defend it. I like the Edoras location because they can go several ways quite easily - moving west to defend or attack, moving north towards Dol Guldur, or south towards Minas Tirith. It's not super close to anything but with a big force there you keep your options open and the Shadow player has to be ready for any of them.
 
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Kevin Wojtaszczyk
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Not sure how Rohan would have mustered troops. Rohan would need to be At War before they can muster and attack anywhere, which costs a lot of action dice. If the shadow player attacks Rohan and pushes them to war but fails to capture all their settlements, then they would be asking for trouble and what you did does work to make Rohan deadly.

It's like the sleeping giant... the shadow can't wake it up to war and then leave it be, they have to knock it out completely while still groggy...
 
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Chris Young
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If you have a companion in edoras there are enough cards to recruit in Rohan there which gets a sizable force as the Shadow attacks in the west.
 
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David Boeren
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kwojtasz wrote:
Not sure how Rohan would have mustered troops. Rohan would need to be At War before they can muster and attack anywhere, which costs a lot of action dice. If the shadow player attacks Rohan and pushes them to war but fails to capture all their settlements, then they would be asking for trouble and what you did does work to make Rohan deadly.

It's like the sleeping giant... the shadow can't wake it up to war and then leave it be, they have to knock it out completely while still groggy...


Edoras is several steps away from Helm's Deep and not worth as many VPs. Plus, they may have taken enough losses that they're not ready for another fight. I don't think it's so farfetched that troops could be mustered. There are also some cards that you can use to muster troops which don't require you to be at war yet, these can help you build up a bit faster if you draw them.
 
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