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Subject: Treebeard is not a Companion for the Ent Faction rss

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Urs Schaefer-Rolffs
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To make it clear, I will share the answer from this thread here in the Rules section:
Sargeras777 wrote:
USR2504 wrote:
Breothain wrote:
So a slight change, but one which preserves the feeling of the earlier version: Treebeard becomes a mobile Companion whenever the Ents become roused and engage in the War of the Ring.

...

The main one of these is that the Ents faction is instantly eliminated the moment that no Companion (or the Fellowship) is in Fangorn. This essentially means that to keep the Ents and their powerful combat abilities in play, you need to keep one of your Companions away from the action and in Fangorn. Since Treebeard counts as a Companion, recruiting him (now easier, and less costly, than in Lords of Middle-earth) frees up your forest-visiting Companion to spread the good word to the rest of Middle-earth.

Now we haven't seen all the Faction Event cards or Call To Battle cards for the Ents, and previously I thought that Treebeard might find further chances to shine through those cards. That's still possible, but I wouldn't be surprised if his main benefit is to help keep the Ents in play.

...

So there we have it - until we've got the game in our bark-free fingers, it looks like Treebeard's got a boost in usefulness by helping to keep the Ent faction in play (without needing to hold back one of the Fellowship's Companions), and is easier to get into play - but other than that, he seems to be the same Treebeard as he's always been. Which is a very Entish thing indeed.


Is it really the case that Treebeard counts as a Companion? Because the exact wording of Treebeard's Character Card, according to the rulebook is: Treebeard counts as a Companion for all Event and Combat Cards purposes if he is in Fangorn or a Rohan region. But the restricions for of the Ent faction is given on the Ent Reference Card, and not related to an Event or Combat Card.

So, I'd like to know whether Treebeard is a valid Companion for the Ent faction, or not?


Why don't you write to Ares Games? Maybe, if the print isn't out, they have still time to clarify that before a FAQ. Or clarify it in the rulebook anyway, for future reprints.


NO, Treebeard canNOT be used as a Companion to recruit and keep the Ent Faction in game. I asked Uthoroc at his German fan page, and he provided the answer from Roberto.

I suppose it is for thematic reasons, because Treebeard itself heself would not urge the Ents to fight; you need a real companion of the fellowship to persuade the Ents ...
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Harv Veerman
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USR2504 wrote:
... because Treebeard itself ...


You can refer to Treebeard as a "he". The Entwives are lost, tragically, you see...
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Atanasije Stojkovic
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I see.

Then his usefulness is limited to having an "extra Ent" for deploying (since an Entish figure can now be used for lengthening further the Ent-line, with him being an Ent).
 
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Kevin Chapman
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Treebeard is a Character, not a Faction figure, so he cannot be used for actions which require an Ent Faction figure. It would be like trying to use Boromir as a Gondor Army unit.
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Atanasije Stojkovic
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Krieghund wrote:
Treebeard is a Character, not a Faction figure, so he cannot be used for actions which require an Ent Faction figure. It would be like trying to use Boromir as a Gondor Army unit.


And how about the Witch-king of Angmar being counted as a Nazgul for all intents and purposes?
Your comparison may not be the best option, as the Faction Figures are AFAIK not Army Units.

If what you're saying and Treebeard doesn't count as an Ent figure, then that means this expansion has rendered Treebeard even less useful than he was before the release of Warriors of Middle-earth. This would also mean that his special ability to count as a Companion for playing Cards is virtually meaningless - since another Companion already has got to be in Fangorn in order to summon the Ents and maintain the Entmoot.

Also, let me remind what brings forth the Elimination of the Ents:
* Not having at least one Ent figure in Fangorn
* Not having at least one Companion in Fangorn

This means that Treebeard, the very leader of the Ents, isn't part of the Entmoot. So this brings us to having necessarily Treebeard, 1 Ent and 1 Companion in total in Fangorn.

This would mean that Treebeard's only real use is now the extra die in combat when defending in a Rohan region or in Fangorn. I guess something would change if some of the Ent-related cards (e.g. the Call of Battle) refer to Treebeard in specific, but considering that he in the first place came as a promo miniature, I think I am safe to say that this is highly unlikely.

So, I guess it's now easier to bring him into play then, but is also less useful himself. We should probably check with AG whether he at least counts as an Ent.
 
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Kevin Chapman
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Sargeras777 wrote:
And how about the Witch-king of Angmar being counted as a Nazgul for all intents and purposes?

Apples and oranges. This equivalency is explicitly stated in the rules.

Sargeras777 wrote:
Your comparison may not be the best option, as the Faction Figures are AFAIK not Army Units.

It's true that they are not Army units, but they are also not Characters. Like an Army unit, a Faction figure represents a collection of individuals, where a Character represents only one.
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Atanasije Stojkovic
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Then if it is so, like I said, Treebeard will be even more rarely used in games nowadays, literally only if you have got a Recruit Faction Die and really nothing good to do with it.

Maybe the Ent-related cards have got something, in case the Entish faction isn't yet in play / has been eliminated...(i.e. similar to his current use).
 
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David Williams
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I suppose his use is to 'replace' the Companion in Fangorn and assist with defense in Rohan.

While he has no leadership, he does provide an extra die (so generally better for defending a weak Rohan than a Hobbit who provides only 1 leadership, but not as good as Boromir, Gimli or Legolas who add a die but also have leadership). He can also allow you to trigger the Combat cards requiring a Companion.

Since he can be brought in with the Faction die, I think he will sometimes be useful. It will depend what else can be done with that die of course, but it's nice to have him as an option.
 
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David Williams
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Oh and just to clarify, none of the Ent Faction or Call to Battle cards mention Treebeard. I don't even think any of them required a companion (only glossed quickly to avoid spoiling too much since we didn't play with the expansion yet).

So he seems to operate independently from the Ents as a faction.

Still, nice to have available.
 
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Orion3T wrote:
Oh and just to clarify, none of the Ent Faction or Call to Battle cards mention Treebeard. I don't even think any of them required a companion (only glossed quickly to avoid spoiling too much since we didn't play with the expansion yet).

So he seems to operate independently from the Ents as a faction.

Still, nice to have available.


They had to have left us with that, at least.

The three Ent-attack cards were immensely powerful; may games were orientated across whether they had been played or not.
 
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Atanasije Stojkovic
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Darn it.

None do.
 
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Roy Subs
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All Ents Fanction Event cards and Call to Battle cards *require* a Companion to be in Fangorn (they don't need to state it on the cards as the Faction is automatically eliminated if a Companion is not standing in Fangorn).

And Treebeard specifically *cannot* act as the Companion for the purpose of either bringing the Ents into play, or keeping them in play, as before.

Treebeard can certainly seem of limited usefulness (no leadership but +1 Combat Strength in Rohan/Fangorn), but if Saruman is mustering and Rohan is looking like it will become pivotal a spare Muster/Recruit to get him in followed by a Call to Battle or Ents Event card to activate him, could see him being of some use in battles there.
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roysubs wrote:
All Ents Fanction Event cards and Call to Battle cards *require* a Companion to be in Fangorn (they don't need to state it on the cards as the Faction is automatically eliminated if a Companion is not standing in Fangorn).

And Treebeard specifically *cannot* act as the Companion for the purpose of either bringing the Ents into play, or keeping them in play, as before.

Treebeard can certainly seem of limited usefulness (no leadership but +1 Combat Strength in Rohan/Fangorn), but if Saruman is mustering and Rohan is looking like it will become pivotal a spare Muster/Recruit to get him in followed by a Call to Battle or Ents Event card to activate him, could see him being of some use in battles there.


The really good use I've seen for him is to suffer a Heroic Death during the defense at Edors, negating two hits the army would've taken (being a lvl 2 character).
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David Umstattd
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USR2504 wrote:


NO, Treebeard canNOT be used as a Companion to recruit and keep the Ent Faction in game. I asked Uthoroc at his German fan page, and he provided the answer from Roberto.

I suppose it is for thematic reasons, because Treebeard itself heself would not urge the Ents to fight; you need a real companion of the fellowship to persuade the Ents ...


Wait wait wait wait.

WHAT?

What could possibly possess the designers to make this design decision? (obviously the work of Sauron) So Treebeard does literally nothing? this makes no thematic sense. You still need a companion to go to Fanghorn to recruit Treebeard. Representing you convincing Treebeard that he needs to go out there and kick ass. So once he's hit the table I don't see any reason why he shouldn't count as a companion for the purposes of the ent faction which he literally is the leader of since the act of recruiting him is the act of convincing him that the ents need to take part in the war. And thus it makes sense that he would be better at leading the Ents than literally anyone in the fellowship.


This is so unthematic and against how the rule feel they should go that its breaking the game for me. It makes me question all other rules validity. Was I just assuming things before? What is truth anymore?

Why was the character included if it did almost nothing? That's not good game balance. It would have made perfect sense for Treebeard to be a replacement for the companion you sent to Fanghorn. With that being his primary purpose.


I don't care if you designed the freaking game. You're wrong about this. Treebeard should count as a companion for the purposes of keeping the ents on the table.


Sorry I'm getting so triggered by this, but for a game that is otherwise so thematic it is beyond confusing to have such a woefully unthematic and anti strategy mechanic like this.
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David Williams
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I think that since he was a promo they wanted to minimise his possible impact on the game.

Which makes sense to me, because it minimised the playtesting and balancing which would have been required if he were more useful. If they were going to go to the lengths of treating him like a 'normal' character, then they might as well have included him in the expansion permanently.
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Roy Subs
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That Treebead is not a Companion for the purposes of keeping the Ents in play is simply the most thematic points about him imo.

The trees are sleepy. In the books, when they started the Entmoot, they forgot what they were talking about by the end of it. They (including Treebeard!) were literally going back to Entish matters and back to sleep. The Hobbits had to get angry and rile up Treebeard all over again! Treebeard should count as a Companion for keeping the Ents in play?? Or would he just go back to sleep and dream about the great forests of the Elder Days again?? Yes, that is exactly what he would do, and exactly why he is not capable of keeping the Ents in play, and exactly why it takes another Companion to be there to keep him and the Ents awake and focused.

However, a caveat to this: in the books, the Hobbits go with the Ents to Orthanc (i.e. no Companions left in Fangorn). It was only due to the design of the Ents cards in the original game that make having a Companion in Fangorn essential (that they are instant attack cards that fall on Orthanc as an Event without requiring the act of moving to Orthanc). In Warriors there is an argument for a difference, as the Ents are now mobile figures, but it's quite awkward to change those rules in a sensible way as there are a number of rules that revolve around this mechanic, so it's much more sensible to just keep the requirement for a Companion in Fangorn to sustain the Ents focus and keep them awake. Simple, clear, and makes good thematic sense.

I completely agree that Treebeard is a little underpowered (in fact, a comparison that I come back to: a LOME Shire Hobbit, in the Shire is +1 Leadership and +1 Combat Strength, while poor old Treebeard, a massively powerful magical giant, is only +1 Combat Strength, so a Hobbit outguns ol' Treebeard), but I do also keep in mind that the designers constructed a balanced game and didn't want to throw it out of balance with an overpowerful Promo. For me, I'd like to see him +2 Combat Strength, and a bit more mobile (he can move whenever an Ent card is played). But I'm more than happy with the wonderful mix of strategy, luck, and skill in the game (luck seldom wins the game, and usually always down to good strategic play), and am very happy that components don't mess up that balance (hehe, maybe we should introduce a Sauron figure, +5 leadership, +5 Combat Strength, flies, and resurrects in Barad-dur immediately if ever with an Army that is destroyed: that'll break the game good and proper!! ).
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David Umstattd wrote:
USR2504 wrote:


NO, Treebeard canNOT be used as a Companion to recruit and keep the Ent Faction in game. I asked Uthoroc at his German fan page, and he provided the answer from Roberto.

I suppose it is for thematic reasons, because Treebeard itself heself would not urge the Ents to fight; you need a real companion of the fellowship to persuade the Ents ...


Wait wait wait wait.

WHAT?

What could possibly possess the designers to make this design decision? (obviously the work of Sauron) So Treebeard does literally nothing? this makes no thematic sense. You still need a companion to go to Fanghorn to recruit Treebeard. Representing you convincing Treebeard that he needs to go out there and kick ass. So once he's hit the table I don't see any reason why he shouldn't count as a companion for the purposes of the ent faction which he literally is the leader of since the act of recruiting him is the act of convincing him that the ents need to take part in the war. And thus it makes sense that he would be better at leading the Ents than literally anyone in the fellowship.


This is so unthematic and against how the rule feel they should go that its breaking the game for me. It makes me question all other rules validity. Was I just assuming things before? What is truth anymore?

Why was the character included if it did almost nothing? That's not good game balance. It would have made perfect sense for Treebeard to be a replacement for the companion you sent to Fanghorn. With that being his primary purpose.


I don't care if you designed the freaking game. You're wrong about this. Treebeard should count as a companion for the purposes of keeping the ents on the table.


Sorry I'm getting so triggered by this, but for a game that is otherwise so thematic it is beyond confusing to have such a woefully unthematic and anti strategy mechanic like this.


Treebeard wasn't created as a part of WoMe, but to go along with LoMe.

There, he makes sense. He can be used to play the Ent cards against Isengard, freeing Gandalf (or any other Companion) to use elsewhere. Many a game have seen Gandalf just idly standing in Fangorn, when he would've been pretty useful in places like Minas Tirith, or even lead an offensive here and there.

The only thing I think they should've changed is granting Treebeard the ability to chain-link Ent cards (and only Ent cards); copying in that case Gandalf the White's special ability.
 
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David Umstattd wrote:

Why was the character included if it did almost nothing? That's not good game balance.


Treebeard is a promo character, added on top of an already balanced game. If he did more than "almost nothing", it would tilt the game balance in the Free Peoples' favor.
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Dulkal wrote:
David Umstattd wrote:

Why was the character included if it did almost nothing? That's not good game balance.


Treebeard is a promo character, added on top of an already balanced game. If he did more than "almost nothing", it would tilt the game balance in the Free Peoples' favor.


That's not the issue; it's whether he's worth the cost. And he's definitely not worth a Muster Action Die at this point.

By the way, it is the opinion of most players that the game slightly favors The Shadow (at least a bit). If Treebeard really tilts the game balance one little bit in the Free Peoples' direction (e.g. like having Gandalf in Minas Tirith instead of Fangorn and then late game pushing him into a Helm's Deep under siege), then it actually helps the game's balance.
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Chuck Finley
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Have to disagree. By the very definition of the rules, according to the glossary, a "Companion" is defined a "character controlled by the Free Peoples player" and a character is defined as a "personality represented by a one figure and one card, with level leadership, and special abilities." All of which Treebeard has (while they may be 0, they're still there...), thus, he's a companion and meets the requirements to keep the Ent faction active by sitting on his hands in Fangorn.

You can argue the nuances of theme and if 0-point value traits are true and all the subtleties of balance vs. unbalance all day long, but at the end of the day, if I were to rule it according to RAW, Treebeard meets the requirements.

I think it makes sense that he keeps the Ents in play as he is one of their own and one of their elders. It makes sense that he's a crappy leader (0 leadership) as Ents probably don't have a very organized military organization and it does make sense that he begins with a level 0 as, like most of the mightier races of Middle-Earth (the Eagles, the Dwarves, and even the Elves...), they're reluctant to get involved as their time is ending in the world. You also have to remember that WotR is not a game of absolutes... It isn't going to exaclty reflect the events of the story as we know it. LoME demonstrates exactly that (which, I believe Treebeard is a promo for, and got upgraded, or at least got a new card, in WoME) if you read the rulebook it's littered with the phrase "what if..." It's a game of 'what if the story happened like this?'. What if Treebeard was willing to rally the Ents to attack Isengard as soon as he found out what Saruman was up to?
 
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Nominrath wrote:
By the very definition of the rules, according to the glossary, a "Companion" is defined a "character controlled by the Free Peoples player" and a character is defined as a "personality represented by a one figure and one card, with level leadership, and special abilities." All of which Treebeard has (while they may be 0, they're still there...)

While that's true, expansion Companions that begin the game not in play (Elrond, Galadriel, etc.) have their Companion functions limited by the descriptions on their Character cards. Treebeards card limits his to "all Event and Combat Cards purposes if he is in Fangorn or in a Rohan region". This doesn't include keeping the Ent Faction in play.
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Chuck Finley
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Krieghund wrote:
Nominrath wrote:
By the very definition of the rules, according to the glossary, a "Companion" is defined a "character controlled by the Free Peoples player" and a character is defined as a "personality represented by a one figure and one card, with level leadership, and special abilities." All of which Treebeard has (while they may be 0, they're still there...)

While that's true, expansion Companions that begin the game not in play (Elrond, Galadriel, etc.) have their Companion functions limited by the descriptions on their Character cards. Treebeards card limits his to "all Event and Combat Cards purposes if he is in Fangorn or in a Rohan region". This doesn't include keeping the Ent Faction in play.


Well, look at that. Takes a little rules lawyering to understand his purpose, but there it is. So, Treebeard basically becomes a 'rogue' ent. LoL He can act independently of the faction.
 
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David Umstattd wrote:
USR2504 wrote:


NO, Treebeard canNOT be used as a Companion to recruit and keep the Ent Faction in game. I asked Uthoroc at his German fan page, and he provided the answer from Roberto.

I suppose it is for thematic reasons, because Treebeard itself heself would not urge the Ents to fight; you need a real companion of the fellowship to persuade the Ents ...


Wait wait wait wait.

WHAT?

What could possibly possess the designers to make this design decision? (obviously the work of Sauron) So Treebeard does literally nothing? this makes no thematic sense. You still need a companion to go to Fanghorn to recruit Treebeard. Representing you convincing Treebeard that he needs to go out there and kick ass. So once he's hit the table I don't see any reason why he shouldn't count as a companion for the purposes of the ent faction which he literally is the leader of since the act of recruiting him is the act of convincing him that the ents need to take part in the war. And thus it makes sense that he would be better at leading the Ents than literally anyone in the fellowship.


This is so unthematic and against how the rule feel they should go that its breaking the game for me. It makes me question all other rules validity. Was I just assuming things before? What is truth anymore?

Why was the character included if it did almost nothing? That's not good game balance. It would have made perfect sense for Treebeard to be a replacement for the companion you sent to Fanghorn. With that being his primary purpose.


I don't care if you designed the freaking game. You're wrong about this. Treebeard should count as a companion for the purposes of keeping the ents on the table.


Sorry I'm getting so triggered by this, but for a game that is otherwise so thematic it is beyond confusing to have such a woefully unthematic and anti strategy mechanic like this.



I completely agree. First of all, you NEED a companion in Fangorn to Muster Treebeard. As I see it, the companion manages to make sense to Treebeard as in the urgency of the Ents going to battle. All characters of the FP are considered Companions, even Elrond and Galadriel.

It even says on the card of Treebeard: Treebeard counts as a Companion for all Event and Combat Cards purposes if he is in Fangorn or Rohan region!

So we play it like this: one companion talks to Treebeard, and treebeard on its own is a companion, thus can recruit the Ents!
(just like the book, i might say)
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Keimpe Visser
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roysubs wrote:


And Treebeard specifically *cannot* act as the Companion for the purpose of either bringing the Ents into play, or keeping them in play, as before.


Where doe is say that Treebeard cannot act as a companion?
I only have his new card from Warriors of Middle-earth. There it says that Treebeard acts as a companion for the purpose of event and battle cards.

Kind regards,
Keimpe
 
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See my last post above.
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