Recommend
3 
 Thumb up
 Hide
10 Posts

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

Subject: What would YOU have done differently??? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
John Clark
Australia
Canberra
ACT
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Bruce, Joel and I met for a game. We decided on WOTR, new to Bruce and Joel. I have played many times (some reports found here). Bruce and Joel are experienced wargamers so they had no problem taking in quite a few rules. I suggested that they play the Shadow against my Free People.

Rather than discuss the entire game, I’ll skip through the key decision points for me – I’d be very interested to hear what others would have done differently.

Key moment 1: Turn 1. Move FSP. Hunt successful. Drew 3. GTG dies.
This was unfortunate. The SPs got off to a great start, although I was not that worried, since an early GTW is not such a bad thing, and I had a WOTW rolled anyway. No tough decisions here. However, I explained to SPs that for GTW to come into the game, there needed to be a minion on the table. SPs discussed, and decided to simply not bring a minion onto the table! I rolled my eyes. SP mustered Sauron and S/E and moved armies in Mordor. Pretty standard.

Key moment 2: On the third FSP move, the hunt was successful again, and the FSP was revealed (zero damage). Big decision: reveal in Moria or take the High Pass. I took the High Pass.

sauron What would you have done???

With SPs seemingly wasting some dice over-recruiting or moving too early, I figured I had some time up my sleeve and so the longer road would not hurt too much. I had rolled another WOTW but still no minion, so no GTW.

I moved the FSP more times. SPs focussed on the south, recruiting masses of troops and heading towards Gondor. I decided that Strider would have to rush to make it to MT, but I had Dead Men in my hand, so decided that Dol Amroth was a good location for a crowning.

I separated Strider and moved him (with a +1 from a card) to Anorien. Meanwhile, a 7-strong S/E army had taken Pelagir and was now in Lamedon. I had the card also which allowed mustering troops in DA.
The plan was as follows: use Dead Men to move Strider to Lamedon, roll for casualties, force the retreat, add 3 Gondor troops. Assuming that SP would then attack Lamedon, play the card I had which makes them roll one dice less for each companion and trust that they would not roll 3 hits. Then retreat after one combat round to DA and crown with my WOTW.

Key moment 3. I did this. I rolled a 2 for casualities. Hmmm. SP retreated back to Pelagir and predictably attacked Strider with 3 troops. I played the card and SP rolled 3 hits. Strider dies.

sauron What would you have done???

I thought it was a necessary risk. It was the S/E player’s turn, so had I not acted then, he would have put DA under siege, leaving a tough ask for Strider.

So, I was resigned to playing the game out with only 4 action dice, since SPs were resolved to not bring any minions into play!

SPs had a S/E army approaching Erebor. I was not worried, since it had not backup, so it would struggle to take the entire DEW line. Erebor fell, and Dale a little later, but Woodland Realm was too solid and SPs wisely did not try.

In addition, the S/E army in the South put DA under siege but with only 5 units, we never fought a combat round there.

I continued to move the FSP and muster some annoyance troops in Gondor.

Key moment 4. SPs played the card which hurts FP if they lose a companion to hunt damage, so I chose to take most damage as corruption.

sauronWhat would you have done???

I think that this was a mistake. When I entered Mordor I still had four companions. I realised I had a problem earlier and lost Boromir to damage. Fortunately SP chose a dud character card, but I had Athelas, Mithril Coat, Vial, Axe & Bow and another healing card in my hand at various times and could not risk losing them. However, four companions in Morder is bad, as we will see.

SP always put 3-4 dice in hunt box from this point. At this point, MT had fallen, thanks to an almighty attack by 4 trolls (and 6 regulars) which were all downgraded to get the victory in one go. Pelagir, Erebor and Dale were taken, leaving SP on 6 points, with DA under siege but no obvious way to get to 10.

Then, I rolled two swords and SP rolled 4 extra eyes to have 8 in the box! I took one damage for not moving in Morder.

At this point the four dice really hurt – in the next two rounds I rolled a total of only one sword and no WOTW. I used two elven rings to move the FSP. Took 6 damage (reduced to 5 with A&B) with one eye tile.

Finally I got Mithril Coat down, Athelas played etc. Then the companions all died.

SP brought up reinforcements for DA and it fell. In the end, they decided that Lorien was weakest and went after it for the win.
With 4 eyes in the box I kept moving. Drew The Ring Is Mine and got a redraw with Mithril. But it was too late. On 11 damage and no companions I tried for the final move and drew an eye, so it was a corruption win to the SP.

Lessons:
1. SPs did not bring a minion into play until the FSP was in Mordor! I don’t know if that was a great play, but because Strider died it hurt me very much. With Aragorn and an extra dice I think the SP would also need an extra dice or two, but seven dice to four is nasty.

2. Don’t bring companions into Mordor! Say it again! The extra eyes in the box will make it two difficult.

3. Early attack on Gondor is still a viable option. Recently I have been following a DEW line strategy, with Rohan and Lorien/Rivendell for additional points.

4. Three player is challenging as the FP. The problem is that the SPs can hold 8 cards between them, compared to only 6 for the one FP. On the other hand, the FP should be able to take advantage of the fact that each SP can only move their own troops, but I need a bit more practice to get that right!

Finally, the game was EASILY the longest I have played of WOTR, clocking in at about 4.5 hours. The SPs talked at length about their strategies.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Gergely Orsó
Hungary
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
Most decesions you made had been OK I guess, except one: ALWAYS go through Moria. It saves you 2 steps. that's 2 times the shadow will roll for the hunt, that's an avarage 4 dice. even if you get caught, that's one tile, and out of 2 moves you are to be revealed anyway. Even if the Balrog card is out, it's still a 50% chance to be worthy going through.
The high pass onyl worthy if you are planning on Dale, but I don't think that's a vorthy strategy at all.
So much for the high pass.
Aragorn: It was fate against you.
GTG: The shadow was minionless thanks to that. that was a net -1 dice loss\turn for him, so that was not such a big deal.
The corruption\damage: I don't know. you lose a lot either way.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alex Rockwell
United States
Lynnwood
Washington
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Lord Vetinari wrote:
Most decesions you made had been OK I guess, except one: ALWAYS go through Moria. It saves you 2 steps.


No. It is 1 step. The high pass path is 11 moves to Mordor, the Moria path is 10. It is correct to go through the high pass in times like this, when revealing would put you in hollin or moria.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alex Rockwell
United States
Lynnwood
Washington
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Your mistake as FP was to not take the companions as casualties after the shadow played Worn with Sorrow and Toil. Keeping low corruption pre-mordor is more important that having some cards in your hand. As you noted, the mordor eyes were too painful because you had too many companions left.

Other than that you played very well (and got unlucky, especially with the Strider thing).

The shadow played badly by not bringing out any minions. The witch king is a huge boost. 9 dice to 5 is better for the shadow than 7 to 4. They shouldve brought out both minions and let you have GtW.


From the very long game time I am assuming that one or both of you was inexperienced and needed a lot of time to figure out what to do. It'll get better once you have it down better.

In the base game, the shadow has a large advantage, and its too easy to corrupt the fellowship. I'd recommend getting and learning the expansion.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alex Rockwell
United States
Lynnwood
Washington
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
johnclark wrote:

4. Three player is challenging as the FP. The problem is that the SPs can hold 8 cards between them, compared to only 6 for the one FP. On the other hand, the FP should be able to take advantage of the fact that each SP can only move their own troops, but I need a bit more practice to get that right!


Missed that part.

No wonder it took so long! You can cut hours off the game time just by limiting it to 2 players, and its a much better game.

Its really a 2 player game with some pasted on 3-4 player rules.

But anyway, 3 player should be EASIEST for the FP, since adding a player to a side weakens that side, by reducing their ability to concentrate actions in an area when needed, since they must split them.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jim Spoto
United States
Orlando
Florida
flag msg tools
badge
mbmbmbmbmb
I agree with Alexfrog... but I also think that losing Aragon was you biggest single mistake, apart from not splitting companions prior to Mordor.

Saving Aragon would have given you: an extra die for every turn, between his death and the end of the game -- that's a lot of potential! For example, just having him an extra turn could have offset the cost of the Highpass route being +1 longer. If I've lost as the FP, it's virtually always with Aragorn out of the game - I've found it's always best to use him conservatively in combat.

As an aside, in one memorable game Aragorn decimated an army with several Naz + WK, just to see them escape across the Isen with maybe a unit or two -- he certainly seemed safe. Next turn, the empire struck back, reinforced and with bloody cardplay, assasinating the short-lived king, and a close FP loss ensued. Moral: keep him safe if possible.

I think that with 5 vs. 7 dice, no minions, and with Aragorn + Boromir as threats in Gondor (and some good potential cardplay there), you would have had a good chance at victory.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alex Rockwell
United States
Lynnwood
Washington
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Obviously losing aragorn really hurt, but it wasnt a mistake. It was a good plan with a very small %age risk, and that risk happened to actually occur.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John Clark
Australia
Canberra
ACT
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Alexfrog wrote:


From the very long game time I am assuming that one or both of you was inexperienced and needed a lot of time to figure out what to do. It'll get better once you have it down better.


Yes, the two Shadow players were new to the game. Usually with a new player I have them play the FP, since the SP takes longer to play their turns. However, in a 3-player game I thought that it would be more fun to have the new players work together against me (played 20+ times).

It was fun, but also VERY long.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John Clark
Australia
Canberra
ACT
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks for the comments. It sounds like in general I did the right thing, except for not losing companions instead of corruption.


 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dave J McWeasely
United States
Louisville
Kentucky
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmb
People who poo-poo 3 player wargames generally don't couple their criticisms with suggestions of other 3-player war games.

Particularly with new players, I'd let them share cards and cabitz to their hearts intent, and let them shoo me out of the room for war councils. Or better yet, since they tend to turtle, put one Newb at the helm of the FP with orders to move on all swords, and put the other new guy as Sauron, with orders to bust heads.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
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.