Recommend
 
 Thumb up
 Hide
43 Posts
1 , 2  Next »   | 

War of the Ring (First Edition)» Forums » Strategy

Subject: The Slow movement rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Philip Thomas
United Kingdom
London
London
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Read on some other thread about playing a 'slow game' as Shadow where you don't muster the Witch King.

How does this work? Taken to its logical conclusion, you don't muster Saruman either, so Gandalf the White never appears...but Aragorn is still possible? Anyway, you build up forces adjacent to Fellowship Strongholds and then attack as many as you can simultaneously, I guess...
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United Kingdom
LONDON
flag msg tools
mbmb
No Witch King
Hello, Philip

I would be surprised if *any* experienced WotR players thought that holding back the WK was a good thing: the benefits are just too great.

BTW: Have you played yet?

BTW (2): Last 75 games in our group:

FPM 11%
FPR 28%
SM 52%
SR 9%

[Well, the last 75 games have included a lot of Pirate's Cove - but you get what I mean]
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alex Rockwell
United States
Lynnwood
Washington
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Philip Thomas wrote:
How does this work? Taken to its logical conclusion, you don't muster Saruman either, so Gandalf the White never appears...but Aragorn is still possible? Anyway, you build up forces adjacent to Fellowship Strongholds and then attack as many as you can simultaneously, I guess...


My opinion is that not putting out minions as soon as possible is the biggest possible mistake you can make as the shadow player. (Ok, moving your armies to the middle of nowhere and letting the FP take your strongholds is bigger, but thats silly).
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Glenn Russell
United States
Austin
Texas
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I like to see it happen just for the variety. I think that if you draw threats and promises on turn 1, and Gandalf dies turn one, it would be worthwhile not to muster saruman or the witchking until either a few nations have been manually activated or strider is in Gondor.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Daniel Edwards
United Kingdom
London
Unspecified
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
Thats about the only scenario where I would consider it and I can't see it happening all that often. Even then the fp still has to actually roll a will on turn 2 to bring back gandalf the white.

Sometimes I'll wait a little bit on bringing in the wk (generally if I will not end up losing any dice or I think that the extra dice I will lose say by bringing the wk in on turn 3 rather than turn 2 is worth less to me than the gain say avoiding an extra elite being mustered somewhere I don't want it to be). Ill often bring the wk into play just prior to my first attack that activates a nation to minimise its downside. That doesn't mean Id bring him in late though.

I cant remember a game where I didn't bring saruman into play first turn where I had the muster dice to do so.

Thats a bit of a pity as it would be nice if the choice to bring your minions into play early was an actual choice rather than a no-brainer. Sounds like that changes a bit for the expansion at least for the wk.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Engle
United States
Unspecified
Unspecified
flag msg tools
mbmb

Alexfrog, Magic Geek (and many others) argue that the Shadow should muster Sauruman and the Witch King as quickly as possible, and then attack aggresively using the WK to draw lots of extra cards.

(There is some argument over whether it is better to draw extra character events and use them to slow the fellowship party or draw extra strategy cards to add weight to the Shadow military advance.)

I humbly offer that there is another way.

The WK game fails to take advantage of two huge advantages built into the Shadow side.

1) The Fellowship can't go to war until the Shadow player attacks.
2) The Shadow has an unlimited muster pool.

To maximize the power of these advantages the Shadow player needs to slow the pace of the game by using lots of eyes (2 to 4 per turn).
The Shadow builds up a massive military advantage outside of his chosen targets. This will take longer than it does in the WK game because the Shadow is using fewer dice to advance his military game, but that's OK, since the fellowship can't use muster dice to reinforce his defences while the free nations are passive, and the fellowship party is no threat because it can't move against the searching eyes.

It is NOT necessary to make all the attacks simultaneously. The Shadow can crush the free nations one at a time and then move on.

If the companions stay with fellowship the free nations can never muster and are relatively easy to take down. If the companions leave the fellowship, activate the free nations, and fight the war; attrition will eventually leave the the FP unable to muster.

It should also be noted that it's very easy for the Shadow player to abandon this 'slow approach' at any time of his choosing and begin playing the 'WK game.' Conversely, once one starts the 'WK game' the decision is irreversable. Activating the free nations means they must be attacked as quickly as possible. Otherwise the FP's ability to muster defences makes the Shadow's military conquest much harder.

(Another advantage of this approach is that many opponents simply lack the patience to play this kind of game. It maybe gamesmanship, but a win's a win. )

Personally, I think it's best to be aware of all the possiblities and play to maximize the value of the cards you're dealt. If there really is a universally 'best' strategy that just means the game's broken. And this game is certainly not.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Foster
Australia
Unspecified
Victoria
flag msg tools
mb
No doubt it's important to know your options. I will sometimes lean towards an untried or less successful path for a bit of variety. Especially when my opponent is not that experienced.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Daniel Edwards
United Kingdom
London
Unspecified
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
I think this approach greatly over estimates the Shadow's ability to keep the fp from moving while simultaneously preventing the fp nations from mustering.

With 3 or 4 dice in the pool the fp will still be able to move a space a turn and the shadow build up will be agonisingly slow. The fp will take some hits but will also have plenty of time within which to move and heal some of the extra corruption that it will have taken.

Further, there are several ways to activate the fp nations other than via the wk (either by card play or separating the appopriate companions) and the slow approach provides the fp with plenty of time to find / effect those ways.

Also, once your prosecuting your attacks I dont think your 2-3 dice is going to compare very well against the fp's 2-3 dice. Sure you will attrition them eventually but again that will take a very very long time and give the fp plenty of time to move and heal the fsp as appropriate.

Even if you can attack one unactivated fp nation at a time they are going to be able, within the time provided, to build at least one very large stack somewhere which will be a significant threat to you (either to re-take fp strongholds or threaten a fp military victory). Id say at that point you will need to reduce the eyes to increase your military efforts and the fsp will be able to start running with a fair start.

Id also submit that the fact that the game encourages the shadow player to bring in saruman and wk early for the extra dice does not make the game broken. In wotr your action dice are your primary resource. It makes sense in almost every euro/wargame to build up your ability to generate resources as soon as possible. I think though, as stated, it would be more interesting if the decision was a bit less of a no brainer.


daengle wrote:

Alexfrog, Magic Geek (and many others) argue that the Shadow should muster Sauruman and the Witch King as quickly as possible, and then attack aggresively using the WK to draw lots of extra cards.

(There is some argument over whether it is better to draw extra character events and use them to slow the fellowship party or draw extra strategy cards to add weight to the Shadow military advance.)

I humbly offer that there is another way.

The WK game fails to take advantage of two huge advantages built into the Shadow side.

1) The Fellowship can't go to war until the Shadow player attacks.
2) The Shadow has an unlimited muster pool.

To maximize the power of these advantages the Shadow player needs to slow the pace of the game by using lots of eyes (2 to 4 per turn).
The Shadow builds up a massive military advantage outside of his chosen targets. This will take longer than it does in the WK game because the Shadow is using fewer dice to advance his military game, but that's OK, since the fellowship can't use muster dice to reinforce his defences while the free nations are passive, and the fellowship party is no threat because it can't move against the searching eyes.

It is NOT necessary to make all the attacks simultaneously. The Shadow can crush the free nations one at a time and then move on.

If the companions stay with fellowship the free nations can never muster and are relatively easy to take down. If the companions leave the fellowship, activate the free nations, and fight the war; attrition will eventually leave the the FP unable to muster.

It should also be noted that it's very easy for the Shadow player to abandon this 'slow approach' at any time of his choosing and begin playing the 'WK game.' Conversely, once one starts the 'WK game' the decision is irreversable. Activating the free nations means they must be attacked as quickly as possible. Otherwise the FP's ability to muster defences makes the Shadow's military conquest much harder.

(Another advantage of this approach is that many opponents simply lack the patience to play this kind of game. It maybe gamesmanship, but a win's a win. )

Personally, I think it's best to be aware of all the possiblities and play to maximize the value of the cards you're dealt. If there really is a universally 'best' strategy that just means the game's broken. And this game is certainly not.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Engle
United States
Unspecified
Unspecified
flag msg tools
mbmb
myopia wrote:

A) With 4 or 5 dice in the pool the fp will still be able to move a space a turn...

B) Further, there are several ways to activate the fp nations other than via the wk (either by card play or separating the appopriate companions)...

C)...you will need to reduce the eyes to increase your military efforts and the fsp will be able to start running with a fair start.


If the fellowship separates the companions and then moves every turn against that many hunt dice Frodo and Sam are going to be in a world of hurt. When the Shadow does finally decide to drop the hammer and start taking strongholds the Quest's start will be anything but fair.

On the other hand...

The Shadow must sooner or later attempt a military victory. If for no other reason than because the Shadow can't kill Frodo if the Fellowship player chooses to never move him. Activating the free nations is irreversable and allows them to muster their defences, so once the Shadow starts down the military road he should abandon the hunt and put his military game into high gear.

The question is when should the Shadow abandon the hunt for the ring.

All I'm saying is that the answer is not always "instantly". It's not quite the no-brainer many people complain of. Much of the time there is a great deal to be gained by holding off the start of the military game.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Philip Thomas
United Kingdom
London
London
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I have played one game, as Shadow. I intended to try slow, but I didn't realise GtW appeared if any minion was mustered, so I mustered Saruman. Once I had Saruman the Witch King followed- especially as I had "The Witch King returns" in hand.

The fellowship player kept Gandalf the Grey as guide all game long. At game end the fellowship was in Minas Tirith...
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steve Hope
United States
Woodside
California
flag msg tools
badge
Likes: Mountains, Tundra Turn-offs: Serpents, Marsh
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I don't believe this is a successful strategy.

However, the upcoming expansion enables it to be far stronger, possibly even competitive with the "normal" path for the Shadow to take. So if you like delaying the entrance of the Minions currently, you'll get to have your cake and eat it too!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andrew Palmer
United States
Windsor mill
Maryland
flag msg tools
mb
I don't believe this to be a successful strategy either.

1. There are numerous other ways to activate nations and bring them to war (companions, fellowship, cards)

2. The FSP can move 1 space even against 4-5 eyes in the pool without major danger.

3. Putting that many dice in the hunt pool, and without the extra minion dice, means that the FP is matching (or exceeding) you in action dice. That means heavy card play by the FP (musters, etc.) and a lot of maneuvering and combining of armies, making your slow-building SP military action even slower.

4. No other SP strategy creates a higher risk of FP Military victory. Roll a few too many eyes vs. a good FP roll and you could be in a world of hurt.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Philip Thomas
United Kingdom
London
London
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I am uncertain why you need that many eyes in the hunt pool anyway. Just play as per normal but you have less dice...yeah maybe this is a losing strategy.

Am I right in thinking once the Fellowship is in Mordor you no longer need to commit eyes to the hunt? Or am I being silly?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Engle
United States
Unspecified
Unspecified
flag msg tools
mbmb
Philip Thomas wrote:

Am I right in thinking once the Fellowship is in Mordor you no longer need to commit eyes to the hunt? Or am I being silly?


Quite the contrary. Eyes in mordor significantly increase the average damage caused by the hunt tiles. This is especially true if Gollum is the guide.

Another thing to consider, if the Shadow player is pushing for very short game the hierarchy of the victory conditions works strongly against him. It's important to remember that if the Fellowship achieves a ring victory on the same turn as a Shadow military victory, the Shadow loses.

The fewer turns in the game the more this effect works against the Shadow.
If FRV takes ten turns the Shadow must win in nine.
If FRV takes seven turns then Shadow must win in six.

Thus the shorter the game the worse the ratio of available turns for the Shadow player.

This is yet another reason that it benifits the Shadow to slow the pace of the game.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Glenn Russell
United States
Austin
Texas
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
however, you can only commit as many eyes as companions in the fellowship (and hope that you roll the rest) so that if is down to gollum in Mordor-and it tends to be-you can only place one eye.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alex Rockwell
United States
Lynnwood
Washington
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
daengle wrote:

The WK game fails to take advantage of two huge advantages built into the Shadow side.

1) The Fellowship can't go to war until the Shadow player attacks.
2) The Shadow has an unlimited muster pool.


The reason why this doesnt matter in the equation, is that the fellowship can make progress towards victory without ever being at war, while the shadow can only make limited progress toward victory without attacking.

If you delay the attack, and make it take longer by not having as many dice, nad not having the WK's card draw power, then you just greatly increase the chance of bein beaten by an FP ring victory.

The FP doesnt care that they arent at war if you arent attacking them anywhere! They just push the ring.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dave J McWeasely
United States
Louisville
Kentucky
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmb
Also, there's the issue of the dice clumping. On any midgame turn you want to use your chars to attack, your armies to move, your army-musters to move, your musters to muster, and your palantirs to play anti-frodo cards.

In the game where you partition it into all-muster THEN all-attack, many of the swords will be wasted on mere army moves early, and later musters will be wasted because you've already built sufficiently large armies.

Okay, I'm deliberately exxagerating to prove a subtle/minor point.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andrew Palmer
United States
Windsor mill
Maryland
flag msg tools
mb
Quote:
Another thing to consider, if the Shadow player is pushing for very short game the hierarchy of the victory conditions works strongly against him. It's important to remember that if the Fellowship achieves a ring victory on the same turn as a Shadow military victory, the Shadow loses.

The fewer turns in the game the more this effect works against the Shadow.
If FRV takes ten turns the Shadow must win in nine.
If FRV takes seven turns then Shadow must win in six.

Thus the shorter the game the worse the ratio of available turns for the Shadow player.

This is yet another reason that it benifits the Shadow to slow the pace of the game.

David. There are many misconceptions in this post. Yes, as the FP has the ability to aim for a shorter FP Ring Victory, the SP has less time for the SP Military victory. However, conversely, as the SP aims for a faster SP military victory, the FP has less time for a FP Ring victory.

The biggest advantage of the SP is the ability to take more actions than their FP opponent, via more dice. By not bringing in Saruman and the WK as soon as possible, you are just helping the FP by giving them more efficient use of their dice (i.e., you have fewer dice to counter each of his).

There is also the question of initiative. The more aggressive player will tend to sieze the initiative and will force dice play by their opponent. An aggressive Strider Sprint will force the SP to either spend more dice in the hunt or to take more chances with their rush SPMV. An aggressive military SP will force the FP to either spend more dice in defense, and in specific locations, or to take more chances with the FSP movement. Acting slowly just hands initiative to your opponent and forces you to spend dice where and when you hadn't planned.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ben Ibach
United States
Michigan
flag msg tools
Quote:
The biggest advantage of the SP is the ability to take more actions than their FP opponent, via more dice. By not bringing in Saruman and the WK as soon as possible, you are just helping the FP by giving them more efficient use of their dice (i.e., you have fewer dice to counter each of his).
In general I think you're quite correct. There are, however, a couple of subtleties to the question of when to get extra dice.

The most important measurement is the ratio of your dice to your opponent's dice. Your starting ratio of 4 dice to 7 dice is pretty darn good (1.75 SP dice per FP die). Bringing out the minions and letting Gandalf into the game is even better at 5 to 9 dice (1.8 SP dice per FP die). But that difference is really small (1.8 v 1.75). If you are able to move against FP areas that are not yet active, it may very much be to your benefit to not bring out your minions to keep Gandalf off the board. You are trading a slightly more favorable action dice ratio for a more favorable strategic position.

But as soon as Aragorn is imminent or there is no benefit to be gained from keeping nations passive, by all means pop out the Witch King and Saruman ASAP.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andrew Palmer
United States
Windsor mill
Maryland
flag msg tools
mb
Quote:
If you are able to move against FP areas that are not yet active, it may very much be to your benefit to not bring out your minions to keep Gandalf off the board.

Ben. This advantage is a fallacy as the FP will rarely use Musters to bring a nation to war anyway. As soon as you attack, they are activated and advance a step. Avoiding activation only helps when facing a FP opponent who fully intends to go for a FPMV. In all other situations (i.e., the other 99.9% of the time) you gain no real benefit with regard to slowing FP mustering and lose out on the card drawing ability of the WK.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ben Ibach
United States
Michigan
flag msg tools
andypalmer wrote:
Ben. This advantage is a fallacy as the FP will rarely use Musters to bring a nation to war anyway. As soon as you attack, they are activated and advance a step. Avoiding activation only helps when facing a FP opponent who fully intends to go for a FPMV. In all other situations (i.e., the other 99.9% of the time) you gain no real benefit with regard to slowing FP mustering and lose out on the card drawing ability of the WK.
Andy, I quite disagree. There are many situations where you will end up mustering nations, particularly in early rounds where bad rolls prevent the SP from moving quickly. And what are you doing with the muster dice you roll for the FP if you aren't getting them to war? If you are not gaining a benefit from keeping the FP nations passive, I suspect that it is because you only play with an immediate Witch King muster and you haven't looked at the alternatives.

You are telling me that gaining a 0.05 better dice ratio is better 99.9% of the time than keeping nations passive. You have a lot of proving to do to make that assertion plausible.

I said I agree with you in general that the minions should come out early, but to say it's the best move 99.9% of the time simply isn't true because your advantage in dice simply isn't that large. Consider the impact of NOT bringing out two minions early. You lose the 0.05 dice edge, but you can add two elites to your armies with those muster dice. That is not a small upgrade. You can prep your armies by mustering and moving in the first round or two and then bring out the minions just before the fighting starts. That prevents musters in your targeted FP areas and it still gets the Witch King drawing cards.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Philip Thomas
United Kingdom
London
London
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
What can Musters be used for again? I seem to have forgotten the use that is neither getting a nation to war nor mustering troops (which requires the nation to be at war.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United Kingdom
LONDON
flag msg tools
mbmb
Philip Thomas wrote:
What can Musters be used for again? I seem to have forgotten the use that is neither getting a nation to war nor mustering troops (which requires the nation to be at war.
That would be playing muster cards, Philip.

Also, a muster card can be used to prosecute a siege.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Philip Thomas
United Kingdom
London
London
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Muster cards...Interesting. I can't imagine you will ever have enough muster cards to use every single muster die on them. (Prosecuting a siege is irrelevant since the nations aren't at war yet)
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Engle
United States
Unspecified
Unspecified
flag msg tools
mbmb
CrazyStraw wrote:
You are trading a slightly more favorable action dice ratio for a more favorable strategic position.


Yeah! Somebody gets it.

andypalmer wrote:

There is also the question of initiative. The more aggressive player will tend to sieze the initiative and will force dice play by their opponent. ... Acting slowly just hands initiative to your opponent and forces you to spend dice where and when you hadn't planned.


And now we come to the crux of the biscuit.

The whole point of this thread is that attacking is not the only way and not always the best way to sieze the inititive. Much of the time building a 'more favorable strategic position' yields better control of the battle than straight forward aggression. If the cards and dice say 'attack', by all means attack. But sometimes the way is subtler.

Because a well prepared attack can be much more effective it is often worth the extra time it takes to prepare. And, in WOTR the Shadow can use hunt dice to create time.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.