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Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation» Forums » Sessions

Subject: "I Have A Cave Troll!!!!" rss

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MK
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Game time last night consisted of playing LOTR:TC against 8-year-old nephew Michael, who understands the rules and the pieces of the game but isn't quite as well versed on tactics and the consequences of each move and play of the cards.

What side does an 8 year old boy want to play? Take a wild guess.

My front line put Aragorn, Gimli, and Gandalf as the first line of defense, Boromir and Pippin behind, and the other hobbits and Legolas waiting in the Shire.

Surely the game was off to a good start for Michael when the Witch King ruthlessly stomped over the mountains and killed off Gimli. I scrambled to get Merry up to where he could kill off the WK, but Michael did the job for me. He attacked sideways, and chose Boromir, relieving Aragorn of a deadly fight. Michael wasn't too displeased by this, since NOW the worst enemy of the CAVE TROLL was gone.

But then Michael brought the Flying Nazgul forward to attack Gandalf - and he screamed "I KNEW that was Gandalf there! Argh, how did I know that?" Well you know how that will go in the early game.

Aragorn met with Saruman in the mountains, mutual suicide. Pippin scouted the Orcs and retreated, bringing the Orcs forward into the mountains. Merry scooted around them, and Sam and Frodo maneuvered into Cardolan behind Gandalf.

Eventually Michael was left in a tough position... even though some of my better pieces were gone, Gandalf was still hanging around and Frodo wasn't sticking his neck out. The Orcs couldn't advance without getting hammered by Legolas (viewed through the Palantir) and nor could the Black Rider, which was too far to one side to reach the hobbits. The Balrog fell to Gandalf and Shelob was Pippin's sacrifice. I suggested that Michael use his Recall to Mordor to get the Orcs back in a useful position, and he took the advice.

But it didn't help, because as Gandalf advanced Michael had little left to resist him and his cards were all wrong. He'd used his big power cards to defeat minor opponents and had used Magic already - Gandalf was now hard to stop.

"Aha... Now I can use my CAVE TROLL!"

True enough, I told him.

"But you'll just use your 6..."

I don't have a 6, Michael.

"Oh that's right! But you still have Magic somewhere..."

True, but you have the Eye of Sauron to cancel it.

"COOL!" Cave Troll moves.

Except that, it's useless if you use it with the Troll.

"WHAT?!"

That's the drawback of relying on your Cave Troll for anything...

Michael scrunched up his face and realized he'd been defeated by his own piece!

Should we play again? You play light?

"Nah... I don't like light."

Ah well... 8 year old boys are a predictable sort, aren't they?
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Amy
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Very entertaining play-by-play. I've just begun playing this with my own young nephew and he does the exact same things! Always wants to be dark, because of the higher numbered cards. Always thinks the Cave Troll is the BESTEST. We have loads of fun.

One question: why was Saruman v. Aragorn mutual suicide? Is there a good reason to mutual suicide them rather than play cards?
 
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MK
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Luminous wrote:
Very entertaining play-by-play. I've just begun playing this with my own young nephew and he does the exact same things! Always wants to be dark, because of the higher numbered cards. Always thinks the Cave Troll is the BESTEST. We have loads of fun.

One question: why was Saruman v. Aragorn mutual suicide? Is there a good reason to mutual suicide them rather than play cards?


Because Michael decided not to play cards.

Hmmmm... I'm 50/50 on this match-up. The situation in the game will determine what ought to happen.

Early in the game, if I'm playing Saruman, I'd probably go ahead and not play cards, and kill both. Aragorn may not seem like a terribly powerful piece, but there are four dark pieces he can kill with the Elven Cloak (Orcs, Nazgul, Rider, Wargs), and all of those pieces have specific uses that I often would rather not lose and would rather not have to waste a card on just to save them from Aragorn. And early in the game, Aragorn makes an excellent sacrifice to take out Saruman, who can otherwise cut through most of the light side pieces without spending any cards. This is one of the keys to the game... the dark player would prefer generally to conserve cards so that in the End game, Frodo can be battled without a full hand of cards to choose from - more control over the outcome. If light can get a refresh of the cards before this, then a battle with Frodo will come down to a 50/50 shot on guessing the right card - less control over the outcome.

Anyway - so in the early game, if Saruman happens upon Aragorn, I'd go with just letting the both of them go. If Aragorn plays Elven Cloak, nothing dark plays can save Saruman except Retreat, but if Saruman was the attacker and retreats, Aragorn can just attack again anyway and expend even more cards with a second battle.

Later in the game... not so sure. If there are fewer cards in hand, then chances are Saruman can actually beat Aragorn on power. But if it's clear that no card in my hand can beat Aragorn, then I'd again choose no cards, and go for mutual death.
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Some say the world will end in fire, Some say in ice. From what I’ve tasted of desire I hold with those who favor fire. But if it had to perish twice, I think I know enough of hate To say that for destruction ice Is also great And would suffice.
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Excellent SR, Kima! Very fun to read. I played with my eight year-old son last night, which was the first time for both of us. An enjoyable game. To read your thoughts about how the individual pieces should be used makes me fearful to contemplate how many times you've played!
 
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