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Subject: The Gondor defensive-barrier rss

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Gergely Orsó
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I've been thinkin' about this strategy lately, wanna try it out soon, so what do you think about it?
As the FP, I always find it troublesome to defend Minas Tirith. I used to go with the MT to Osgiliath defense move, but my opponent lately just takes his time and walks past them through Pelagrir with his Southron friends, forcing me to retreat.
So what I have in mind is the following: waiting untill the SA preapares to leave Mordor through MM, (and putting Gondor one step closer to war in the meantime), and then, splitting the Osgilliath army in two, landing them in north and south Itthilien! This would result in 2 good things:
-Putting Gondor to war, when the invasion army is 2 steps away in terms of distance. that's 2 more elites in MT, and one (2?) less orc attacking it, for I wouldn't leave anything undefended with that pesky little Gondor regular bidding his time is the Ithilien that was not attacked.
- If the shadow do not want to cope with this, he can always take the long way up through Morannon...now that his army is positioned in MM and Gorgoroth, I'm always happy to see my opponent burn dice for nothing
And, although I do not have the map in front of me, but I think the north Ithillien regular may have some chances to intercept them before they exit, but I'm not sure about this..
Downside: losing 2 regulars, and the splendid defense position in Osgilliath. For the first, the 2 elites (1 elite+1 leader) in MT os a good tradeoff, and for the other: you can always do the MT to Osgilliath move.
I don't know if the Southron army could ruin this tactic in any way, I don't think they alone could threathen MT.
So, what do you guys think? Could this strategy work?
 
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Fredrik Sievert
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This idea works, with advantages and downsides as you wrote. Others have suggested it here on Boardgamegeek before. If you should use it depends on what your opponent tries to do, and what cards and die rolls you get of course. For example, if your opponend doesn't go for MT early, the maneuvre might be a waste of time. Also you need an army/muster die to do it, with nothing more important to use it for. And if you have Faramir's rangers on hand, perhaps it's better to stay in Osgiliath and get that card played including musters.


 
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Dave J McWeasely
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I agree, Faramir's Rangers are very important.

I would also be tempted to bring the Southrons up first to take Osgiliath for free. If its unoccupied, then S+E doesn't even have to be at war. Then Minas Tirith might well go into siege with only 4 army units.

So I think I'll wait for someone to prove this opening on me, before trying it myself.
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Glenn Russell
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I think I would follow it up with a move from either Minas Tirith or Pelargir to Osgiliath.
 
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Gergely Orsó
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MT to Osgilliath could solve this, by moving out of Pelargrir, you just give up a splendid point of defense, and one free move down the political track (not that the Shadow would actually attack there, but if you move out, that is too tempting). And you could do this two moves with the same army dice, so it's no big deal in terms of resource (unless of course if the SP had DEW in mind).
 
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Raf B
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Saeter wrote:
If you should use it depends on what your opponent tries to do, and what cards and die rolls you get of course. For example, if your opponend doesn't go for MT early, the maneuvre might be a waste of time. Also you need an army/muster die to do it, with nothing more important to use it for. And if you have Faramir's rangers on hand, perhaps it's better to stay in Osgiliath and get that card played including musters.


Excellent points above. This is not a gambit that works without the cooperation of the Action Dice. The only thing to add is that this a nice strategy early in the game if you happen to roll a couple Army/Musters as the FP and can close the southern approaches to Gondor as well. Here's my recipe with serving suggestions:

GONDOR FORWARD DEFENSE
1. With first die move the regulars in Osgiliath to N and S Ithilien.
2. With second die move the MT garrison to Osgiliath and Pelargir's regular to W Harondor (closing that avenue to the Southrons).
3. Taunt SP with liberal quotes from besieged French garrison in Monty Python & Holy Grail.

This allows FP to raise the cost of an attack on Gondor early which may prompt SP to concentrate on portions of the board closer to the FSP's location. In this case, companions can quickly reach those locations the SP has chosen to attack instead (DEW, Rohan, Lorien, etc.), especially if you hold We Prove the Swifter or Gwaihir.

With bulk of Gondor's pre-mobilization forces in Osgiliath, I can usually spare a Character die to move that force with its leader back to MT if the SP loops around into the Druadan Forest. This can also be a nice set-up if you hold Deadmen of Dunharrow, with Strider popping up in Pelargir to muster 3 regulars to round out the defenses further. If you don't hold that event card, a Gondor forward defense still buys a little more time for Strider to get to MT.

Finally, if you have a Scouts combat card AND Faramir's Rangers, use Scouts to pull a regular from Ithilien back to Osgiliath when the SP attacks it from Minas Morgul. The attack still activates Gondor and moves it on the political track, Osgiliath is one regular stronger, and now there's a Shadow army in Ithilien for Faramir to target.
 
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Dave J McWeasely
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put up or shut up!
I bet versus any of y'alls that I, sauron the great, can take apart any Gondor player executing this strategy. Regular or expansion. Face to face or using the java gameboard.
 
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Gergely Orsó
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Oh, I'm sure you can do that (reading the forum through give me the hint that you might be one of the most experienced players here concerning WotR), but this move is by no means a game-winner. It's sole purpose is to buy some much-needed time for the FP. And it certainly doesn't work if the SP is PREPARED for it, for he wont start moving units from morannon\ barad-dur to Minas Morul. With the SP going to DEW, it has no effect other than wasting a half-dice.
Defeating someone executing this move alone does not prove it to be innefective: if the defeat can be delayed for a few dices away, it was working all right. Just not eough on it's own for a wictory.
 
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Kevin Chapman
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MrWeasely wrote:
I bet versus any of y'alls that I, sauron the great, can take apart any Gondor player executing this strategy. Regular or expansion. Face to face or using the java gameboard.

Ten to one, eh? Hmmm...

Nah! shake

Just like any other strategy in this game, I'm sure this one has its uses in the right place at the right time, but I wouldn't want to decide out of the gate that I'm going to use it.
 
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(Chuck Singer)
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I have played against this move and It is really irritating in the early game. I fail to see how this isn't a good move in the first 2 turns of the game.

By mustering (1 Muster die) Gondor down one step and splitting the Osgiliath garrison to N. Ithilian/S. Ithilian (1 Army/Muster) you accomplish many things to dictate Shadow play:

1. You force Sauron to waste a Muster Die to go to War before moving out of the Minas Morgul, making it take longer to 'get into position' to attack Gondor. If playing the expansion, this can hasten the mustering of Galadrial.

2. If Sauron doesn't attack out of Minas Morgul, then you effectivly pinned his army in, forcing Sauron to either:
-waste Army die moving them around inside Mordor, or
-make Sauron concentrate elsewhere, neutralizing a nazgul/5 regular army with 2 guys.
-MT is now free for the crowning of Aragorn, which is a much needed die.

3. If Sauron does attack out of Minas Morgul, then you effectively have done this:
-Sent Gondor to war with the 2 oppurtunities to Muster Elites in MT, instead of just one.
-Made Sauron now have to deal with the guy in the other Ithilian This is irritating because:
---If undealt with, Minas Morgal needs some defense or its an easy 2 points. Now its harder to empty Dol Guldar for the other 2 points for the FP military victory, so you have to deal with the other guy.
-------If dealt with by attacking the 1 regular, you wasted the Shadow Players time and dice.
-------If dealt with by leaving troops behind in Minas Morgul, you tied up shadow player army strength.

4. If the Southrons are brought to war, they could creep up into Osgiliath and put MT under seige, but then the Shadow player lost great potential in sacking Gondor Muster points and putting Dol Amroth under seige with that army. This is also a win for the Free People because you can now muster into Dol Amroth a mighty army, and even possibly attack out of DA later in the game to reclaim Pelargir which might stall the Shadow Military Victory by a turn.


This is a lot of value for 2 regulars and 2 die that you wouldn't be using to move the Fellowship.
 
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Kristofer Bengtsson
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Chuck Singer wrote:
I have played against this move and It is really irritating in the early game. I fail to see how this isn't a good move in the first 2 turns of the game.

By mustering (1 Muster die) Gondor down one step and splitting the Osgiliath garrison to N. Ithilian/S. Ithilian (1 Army/Muster) you accomplish many things to dictate Shadow play:

1. You force Sauron to waste a Muster Die to go to War before moving out of the Minas Morgul, making it take longer to 'get into position' to attack Gondor. If playing the expansion, this can hasten the mustering of Galadrial.


Or you drive him into playing DEW North and disregard Gondor alltogether. In which case you could have used your Amry/Muster to get the Elves closer to War (and easier to get Galadriel if using the expansion).

Chuck Singer wrote:
2. If Sauron doesn't attack out of Minas Morgul, then you effectivly pinned his army in, forcing Sauron to either:
-waste Army die moving them around inside Mordor, or
-make Sauron concentrate elsewhere, neutralizing a nazgul/5 regular army with 2 guys.
-MT is now free for the crowning of Aragorn, which is a much needed die.


Again, this does nothing to slow down DEW North (as I wrote above, it might even invoke it)

Chuck Singer wrote:
3. If Sauron does attack out of Minas Morgul, then you effectively have done this:
-Sent Gondor to war with the 2 oppurtunities to Muster Elites in MT, instead of just one.
-Made Sauron now have to deal with the guy in the other Ithilian This is irritating because:
---If undealt with, Minas Morgal needs some defense or its an easy 2 points. Now its harder to empty Dol Guldar for the other 2 points for the FP military victory, so you have to deal with the other guy.
-------If dealt with by attacking the 1 regular, you wasted the Shadow Players time and dice.
-------If dealt with by leaving troops behind in Minas Morgul, you tied up shadow player army strength.


Again, the Shadow won't come from Minas Morgul, he will probably leave Gondor alone (and here in lies the strenght of your suggestion)

Chuck Singer wrote:
4. If the Southrons are brought to war, they could creep up into Osgiliath and put MT under seige, but then the Shadow player lost great potential in sacking Gondor Muster points and putting Dol Amroth under seige with that army. This is also a win for the Free People because you can now muster into Dol Amroth a mighty army, and even possibly attack out of DA later in the game to reclaim Pelargir which might stall the Shadow Military Victory by a turn.


Again, see above.

Chuck Singer wrote:
This is a lot of value for 2 regulars and 2 die that you wouldn't be using to move the Fellowship.


The real benefit would be that the Shadow player will forsake any plans he had in going for Gondor and any Event cards he draws during the game that targets Gondor (e.g. Denethor's Folly) have been neutralized.

This can be used to have Minas Tirith as a staging point for the Fellowship on its last leg towards Mordor. Being in a Free Peoples Stronghold prevents that irritating Nazgul Search turn stall and Cruel Weather won't move you farther away from Mordor.

The question is: are those early Amry/Muster better used elsewhere. Often the answer to that question will be yes.


P.S. I like your Avatar picture
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(Chuck Singer)
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It is true that it promotes DEW - which can be bad, for sure.

But to protect Gondor (Minas Tirith) for two dice (or even just one army die for the split), it is a mighty fine investment in my eyes. It gets even better if the Shadow player positions Mordor troops to strike from Minas Morgul. I think its better than using a Muster to put an elite in Minas Tirith.

In this game, where the shadow dictates most of the Military play, this is a move where the FP is dictating to the Shadow what to do.

 
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