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

Subject: In praise of healing rss

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Dave J McWeasely
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Healing the fellowship is good. Or rather, healing the fellowship should be worthwhile. Healing has a number of benefits for game pacing that lead to a more fun game:

The Free People are sitting around with all their dice devoted to military. This makes for more active military play. The ring game is fun and all, but does anyone here truthfully like it as much as slinging around armies? I don't.

If the Free People are able to hold cities and strongholds on The Path, then they should be rewarded for their efforts. They're translating military advantage to ring advantage. Negative one corruption a turn is not much of a "reward", especailly since you have to burn a move (or two (or three...)) to get into the stronghold.

For a while my group was allowing "intensive healing", whereby a FSP parked in a stronghold could spend a sword die to heal 1 corruption. That led to a fairly aggressive companion seperation policy, lots of character promotion, a fast Gollum sprint to Dale, Lorien, Minas Tirith, or Wooden Realm, followed by a rapid healing down to 0 corruption, then a final assault up Mount Doom. This pattern was not a marked improvement in fun, though of course it helped balance.

Has anyone tried healing two corruption per turn instead of one? What were the results?

Has anyone tried healing c/2 where c is the number of companions left in the fellowship?

Has anyone expreimented with letting companions rejoin the fellowship when they're in the same settlement in the fellowship phase? Presumably Aragorn would have other engagements, but I could maybe see Gandalf the White becoming guide.
 
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Alex Rockwell
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I agree that its too weak in the game, and should be stronger.

Perhaps you could use a house rule such as:

If the fellowship is declared in Lorien, and Galadriel is there (expansion), or in Minas Tirith, and Aragorn/Strider is there, heal 2 points instead of 1. Doesnt fix the DEW area though, which I find the fellowship goes to at least 50% of the time.
 
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Alex Rockwell
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The main problem is that it involves moving an extra space, and in that extra move youll have a good chance of being hunted, and if so youll probably take at least 1 corruption.


Here is another option for a house rule:

After the fellowship is declared in a free people stronghold (OTHER than Rivendell) or city, set the fellowship progress marker to 1.

This elimiates the 'extra move', by giving it to you! There are no FP cities/strongholds directly on the path, so you cant use this as a shortcut. (If youre thinking Dol Amroth/Pelargir, that path is already so much longer that it doesnt matter. Woodland Realm, and then next turn Dale for another 1? You could already have gne to Dale with the first. Westemnet? Its a settlement, not a city).

 
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Yaron Racah
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I usually play with the "spend character die to heal" rule.
Aggressive companion separation is nice - suddenly all those useless companion-dependent combat cards come into their own. And it creates a nice interaction between the ring game and the military game, in that the shadow might try to take a stronghold just because the Fellowship is in it.

But then, any faster-healing rule is likely to have the same two effects.

Admittedly, healing is so quick with this rule, that by the time the Shadow knows where they're going, it's usually too late to take it before they leave... Maybe slowing it a bit (limit to one extra heal per turn) would help?

I like that the extra healing takes dice, but I'm not sure what the effect on the game is.

Alexfrog's rules sound nice. I like how instead of healing faster, you give them a head-start once they leave. Gives the shadow time to get there before they're ready... Just don't let allow declaring outside the stronghold without making a real move first. Wouldn't do to have them slip out of a siege without hunt rerolls, or out of a just-taken stronghold without risking an extra tile for getting revealed.

Yaron
 
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Jeff Long
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Alex,
Would this house rule be necessary in the expansion, though? I thought the Fellowship had a much easier time of it in terms of coming back from a bad corruption run. I assumed this had something to do with the Stronghold healing since this was one of the most obvious underpowered elements of the original game...

Obviously I'm really just looking for more hints about the expansion. ; >
 
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Alex Rockwell
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The_Immortal wrote:
Alex,
Would this house rule be necessary in the expansion, though? I thought the Fellowship had a much easier time of it in terms of coming back from a bad corruption run. I assumed this had something to do with the Stronghold healing since this was one of the most obvious underpowered elements of the original game...

Obviously I'm really just looking for more hints about the expansion. ; >



Well, the FP has an easier time of it in the expansion...but stopping to heal still sucks.
 
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Dave J McWeasely
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I'm still hoping for a "quick fix" for the base game. While many groups apperantly reported huge swings in play balance as they learned various tactics, our group was pretty much: sauron, then learn a bit more then sauron, then learn a bit more, then sauron sauron sauron!

I don't think I saw a Free People ring victory among my first dozen games. Then again, I made the mistake of reading the 'geek before playing much. I don't do that anymore.

And when teaching the game, I think we can all admit that the basic rules are already overwhelming. Teaching the expansion at the same time is too much. But something must be done.
 
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Jeff Long
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I remain a fan of minimalist change...

I see nothing wrong with allowing 2 points of healing instead of one. It's an incredibly simple change and maintains the spirit of the original rule without introducing added complexity that might change something you don't expect.

Apparently, Sid Meier of Civilization fame said if you're not sure something is balanced, always double it or halve it at first and see how it goes. If it's STILL not worth it at two healing, then we know we have a problem.
 
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Sean McCarthy
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I have tried it, and I think that allowing healing to heal 2 is a bad idea. Why?

It is very, very easy for the SA to choose FP resting places as military targets, thus eliminating the possibility of healing. The actual effect of making healing stronger is to lock in the Shadow military targets, and make it so that stronghold healing never happens.

It is already excellent play for the Shadow to have their armies go where the FSP goes. Making healing good unfortunately exacerbates this problem.

Another issue with making healing good is that its availability is very random (even if the Shadow player does not exercise his ability to deny it completely). If healing was good, getting revealed on the stronghold-entering move is VERY swingy.

So, there is an inherent problem with stronghold healing, which is that whether or not it can happen is largely in the hands of the Shadow player and the dice. This makes it an un-ideal way to help out the FP.
 
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Jeff Long
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Mr. McCarthy,
Fair enough, these are definitely important issues to consider.

However, your same argument applies to every conceivable way of making healing stronger, not just healing 2 instead of 1. If what Mr. Weasely wants is stronger healing, then he'll have to put up with the points you raise, no matter how it's implemented.

I'm not convinced everything you mention is a bad thing, though. We all agree that splitting off companions is generally a pretty weak option; in part because the Fellowship needs them, and in part because if you send them somewhere, the Shadow can just go elsewhere. This change would mean it might be worth sending some companions in advance to garrison an important stronghold (mainly Lorien and Minas T) to make sure it will last long enough to give the Fellowship some healing time. Plus, the extra healing will mean that you don't NEED the companions as bullet-shields so desperately anymore.

Hey, and then the combat versions of the Special Tiles might ACTUALLY get played occasionally! Plus, in many cases I'd be quite happy if the Shadow attacked the strongest Elven stronghold first and sent the Elves to war before besieging any others.

As for the reveal roll being swingy, that's true. The Free People can't be any *worse* off than they were before though. It sounds like the expansion gives you some ammunition to counters this, but again we're trying to stay away from 'the expansion solves everything,' right?
 
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