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

Subject: When to play Foul Thing, Isildur's Bane, & Orc Patrol rss

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Dave J McWeasely
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The best time to play the three "Draw a hunt tile..." cards is when the fellowship is hidden, since it has a 5/16 chance of revealing the fellowship. If that reveal hamstrings them across Moria, that's an extra hunt tile for you. The very very best time is as a potential mordor turn stall, where you get a 5/16 chance of keeping them out for a turn, AND getting an extra hunt tile.

If in Mordor and you have the "eye" special hunt tile and one of these cards, I think you should play the card before putting in the tile.

another quality post brought to you by the
"Master of the Obvious"

 
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Alex Rockwell
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Yes. This is actually really important. Play the tile draw cards when the fellowship is hidden! It can waste dice!
 
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Ben Ibach
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Hey Mr. Weaselly.

Good post. It leads me to a question I'd like to hear some opinions on:

What cards are so good that you hold them in your hand even if it pushes you to start discarding other decent cards?

Because you want to use the cards you mentioned at specific times, they are going to use up precious real estate in your stack of six. For me, the classic problem is that as FP late in the game I'll have 2 or 3 Ent cards, the Challenge of the King, and some other card that is good enough that I'm not ready to burn it until the right battle occurs. That means I'm occassionally discarding decent cards.

The problem happens less for me as SP, but it does happen. If you try to hold too many cards to induce a turn stall, you lose the ability to play other good cards.

So what cards are good enough that if you draw them in the first draw, you hold them until late in the game? Cruel Weather? Ents?

Thoughts?
 
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Dave J McWeasely
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Re: cards to hold.

If the ring is a posibility I keep:
Phial of Galadriel,
Smeagol Helps Nice Master,
Mithril Coat & Sting,
Bilbo's Song,

One ent card is near worthless, two are worth having, and three are powerful albeit a heavy burden on your hand size. If you hold 3, you need to feign some serious Rohan incompotence so Saruman attacks you!

From the strategy deck:
King Brand's Men,
Guards of the Citadel,
A Power too Great,
Through a Day and a Night,
Help Unlooked For,


For Sauron
Cruel Weather,
Nazgul Search,
The Breaking of the Fellowship,
The Palantir of Orthanc,
Dreadful Spells,
A New Power is Rising,
Pits of Mordor,
Orcs Multiplying Again.
Half Orcs and Goblin Men
(aka mini-minion)

Of course I don't always keep all of these, but I seriously pull my hair about discarding or battle-carding any of them.
 
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Alex Rockwell
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Another critical sauron card is Nazgul Strike.

Other ones I would be pained to discard are the tile draw cards (Orc Patrol, etc), and the play only if revealed cards (Breaking, Morgul, Lure of the Ring), as well as candles of corpses provided gollum is not the guide. And of course, shadow hunt tiles. Basically, all the fellowship smashing cards.
 
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Sean McCarthy
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Challenge of the King actually isn't very good, because it thins eyes but actually increases the % of red tiles, which are what really stall/corrupt you.
 
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Dave J McWeasely
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That's news to me! Well I guess Challenge of the King should be brought out then when the red hunt tiles are 50-100% red-eye, or when the Fellowship is going to move when there are 5 eyes in the hunt box...
 
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Alex Rockwell
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But challenge of the king IS good when the red eye tile is in there.
 
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Jeff Long
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Actually, I think optimally timing these cards is not at all obvious. There are several subtleties at play here.

Most important is Foul Thing: this is by far the most powerful of these cards, because it essentially has the power to increase the amount of damage in the bag. This happens when you draw a '1' tile, but the Fellowship is forced to kill off a level 2 or 3 companion! The only counter to this is to have Horn of Gondor/Axe and Bow on the table. Therefore, if at all possible you should force the Fellowship to burn those cards first before playing Foul Thing.

If the Hunt draws so far have been number-heavy, meaning the remaining concentration of Eyes is high, you also might want to hold off on playing these cards, or at least play the Nazgul Strike first if you have it.

Here's a question: which is the better use of Nazgul Strike? Generally, I prefer getting rid of the item, because I hate rolling dice when I don't have to. If it's Mithril Coat, most would probably agree with me, but how many people kill Horn of Gondor instead of rolling for the tile?
 
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Alex Rockwell
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The_Immortal wrote:
Here's a question: which is the better use of Nazgul Strike? Generally, I prefer getting rid of the item, because I hate rolling dice when I don't have to. If it's Mithril Coat, most would probably agree with me, but how many people kill Horn of Gondor instead of rolling for the tile?



Best use of Nazgul Stike:

You do not have Cruel weather or Nazgul Search to turn stall, so you use nazgul strike as a replacement, rolling for the hunt and trying to reveal the fellowhsip, as the last action of theturn when the FP has enough movement to get to mordor. Obviously this is if you dont have those cards.


Best non-turn stall use of nazgul strike:

Eliminate either Mithril Coat or Wizard Staff.

Barring that, use it to roll for a hunt, at a time when there are multiple dice in the pool and the FP has already moved in the turn, and is again hidden (so that a reveal would work). Obviously, the more eyes and the more times they have moved, the better.

Drawing a tile is pretty much always better than 1 damage. Even if the tile is weak, becuase it removes a weak tile.

 
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Dave J McWeasely
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I wouldn't bother zapping Wizard's Staff unless the FP rolled 3+ swords that turn. Definately don't zap it if their dice include a WoW.

Wizard's Staff is the Grond of the Free People. One kills characters when it shouldn't, and the other keeps characters alive too long when they should just die. Both lose games for their masters.
 
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Jeff Long
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Alexfrog: Agreed that pulling a tile is better than 1 damage, I'm just not sure whether the CHANCE of pulling a tile is better than 1 damage. Mainly because I just hate rolling dice. If it's the usual 2 Eyes in the pool, 1 re-roll from that Nazgul and +1 to the roll 'cuz they've moved once, that's only a 70% chance of drawing the tile. Of course to set up to play Nazgul strike, you should probably allocate an extra hunt die that turn, so you can improve the odds, but then there's a greater chance you don't roll any palantirs or swords that turn.


MrWeasely: I personally don't think Wizard's Staff is THAT bad, so long as you use it at the first opportunity. And if I can't, due to not being hunted, then I'm laughing anyway. Under normal circumstances, I'd gladly pay one die a turn to guarantee that the next 5 hunt rolls won't hit me.
 
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Alex Rockwell
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The_Immortal wrote:
Alexfrog: Agreed that pulling a tile is better than 1 damage, I'm just not sure whether the CHANCE of pulling a tile is better than 1 damage. Mainly because I just hate rolling dice. If it's the usual 2 Eyes in the pool, 1 re-roll from that Nazgul and +1 to the roll 'cuz they've moved once, that's only a 70% chance of drawing the tile. Of course to set up to play Nazgul strike, you should probably allocate an extra hunt die that turn, so you can improve the odds, but then there's a greater chance you don't roll any palantirs or swords that turn.


MrWeasely: I personally don't think Wizard's Staff is THAT bad, so long as you use it at the first opportunity. And if I can't, due to not being hunted, then I'm laughing anyway. Under normal circumstances, I'd gladly pay one die a turn to guarantee that the next 5 hunt rolls won't hit me.


I think over the course of several turns, there should be some great opportunity to ue the nazgul strike, with over 70% chance.

It does damamge, possibly reveals (and it can reveal on eyes!), and removes a tile from the pool.
 
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Alex Rockwell
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For example, if they ever move tice in a turn, nazgul strike with only a single eye + the reroll from the nazgul is 75%. With two eves its 87.5%. Thats huge.
 
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Philip Thomas
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Why not just play Guards of the Citadel and King Brand's men? There doesn't seem to be an advantage to keeping them off the map, and the latter lets you draw a replacement card. I suppose if you have 0 Muster dice it is an issue.

Foul thing is nasty: when it hits Strider it is doubly so...especially if you drew a reveal!
 
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Ira Fay
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Lots of good thoughts in this thread!

One additional note regarding the hunt-tile drawing Shadow cards, is that you want to play them before Gollum is the Guide. Once Gollum is the guide, they have no chance to reveal the fellowship. Also, since I personally play that "discarded" eyes are not put back in the bag when the fellowship reaches Mordor, I try to play them when:

- The fellowship is hidden
- Gollum isn't the guide yet
- There are few eyes left in the bag (or a lot of non-eyes)


Regarding Challenge of the King, I think it's an interesting point that it may not actually help the FP, since it increases the Red tile percentage in the bag. Nonetheless, I think eyes are one of the worst tiles in the bag for the FP in Mordor, because Gollum is often the guide by then, so they are the only thing that reveal the fellowship. Furthermore, they can sometimes inflict large amounts of corruption, depending on how many Eyes were rolled. Without the Eye tiles in the bag, the fellowship can move more quickly in Mordor since they don't get revealed, or use gollums special power to move more slowly with lower corruption. So, I think Challenge of the King is still probably good to play.


Ent cards are quite tricky for the FP. In my experience, Rohan often gets attacked, so they're good for combat. On the other hand, if the Shadow player sees you discarding or playing Ent cards in combat, he will not be afraid of vacating Orthanc and throwing everything at you. If you hold Ent cards, ensure that you actually get Gandalf the White to play them, or threaten them. If Rohan is going to fall and you don't have Gandalf the White (and don't anticipate getting him anytime soon), then I'd play them as combat cards. On the other hand, if you manage to kill Saruman while Rohan is still alive, then Rohan will be much safer (and it's so FUN!)


I couldn't quite follow what was being said about Wizard's Staff, but my opinion is that it's one of the best cards for the FP, and if you have Nazgul Strike, you should discard it without question. I'd also discard Mithril Coat and Sting, and anything else, I'd probably roll for the Hunt.
 
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Jeff Long
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I'll agree with Mr. Rockwell that an 87.5% is good enough to roll for the hunt. I still think though that in the specific instance where you are holding Foul Thing, it is often better to get rid of the Horn/Axe if they have it, especially if none of the '1' tiles have come out yet. Killing Strider with the 1 is the ideal case, but getting one of the Level 2 companions is excellent too.

As for Challenge of the King, I don't think it should be played until all of Foul Thing, Isildur's Bane and Orc Patrol (the cards in question in this thread) have come out, because you *want* them to draw eyes and fizzle. And also not until the Ring is Mine is in play. I find it to be a pretty weak card overall, probably worth it if all these conditions are met but generally not otherwise.
 
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