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War of the Ring (Second Edition)» Forums » Rules

Subject: Learning ... Battle question rss

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B G
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I am working hard at grasping this game and halfway through a complete game.

We are headed for a battle at helms deep which will likely be two regular and two elite Isengard units plus a nazgul, versus one regular and two elite Rohan units plus Gandalf the white, Boromir, Pippin, and Legolas. Obviously helms deep is a stronghold. I have not yet been attacked (I am FP) so I have not yet retreated into it.

Though I have started to grasp battles, there are enough variables and special things going on in this battle that my brain is melting down. My SP opponent is also a first timer.

Can a couple of experienced players offer some guidance as to how this should / might play out, mechanically? Thanks!!
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Nicholas
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Well, first off, the Shadow is likely going to lose the siege.

It works like this:

1. Shadow uses an army dice (flag) or character dice (sword) to attack the FP army. He can use the character dice as he has leadership from the nazgul and possible the elite Isengard units (if Saruman is in play).

2. FP have the option to withdraw inside the fortress, which they should do. Now the battle is ended and the SP might move into Helms Deep, which he will likely do.

3. Helms Deep is now under siege. You can not recruit there (except by cards) and companions may neither enter nor leave.

4. SP uses an army dice or character dice to attack.
Both player might play a combat card (SP declares first if he wants to and chooses one facedown if yes). Gandalf the White might cancel the Nazgul leadership (don't know when the right timing is for that).

5. The battle is played out:
Resolve combat cards, lower iniative number first. The Shadow has 4 combat dice (one for each unit) and a leadership of 1 (nazgul) or 3 (if Saruman is in play). The FP have 5 combat dice (1 regular+ 2 elite + Boromir + Legolas) and 3 leadership (Gandalf, Boromir, Legolas). Both side roll, possibly modify by combat cards.
For each leadership you may reroll one miss (all at once). Shadow hits on 6, FP on 5.
If both sides are still alive after the first combat round the SP has the option to replace an elite with a regular, to get another combat round (fortress rules).
If he does not, the action is over and the battle will resume if SP plays another dice for an attack.
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Heikki Laakkonen
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Nothing to add game mechanics-wise, but just few things to concider about the battle of Helm's Deep.

Nicholas M wrote:
2. FP have the option to withdraw inside the fortress, which they should do.


Usually FP wants to retreat to the stronghold but in this case (however not knowing the game status) as FP I might want to fight in the field as FP has a stronger army. Especially if rohirrim can be mustered right away after the (victorious) battle in Helm's Deep. Also fighting in the field might be a good thing (remembering that the defender can retreat after a combat round to the adjacent free region) to prevent Gandalf the White from being locked down in besieged HD.
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Kristofer Bengtsson
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An important thing to remember is that as soon as the defending Army retreats in to the Stronghold the attack is over and it becomes the defending player's turn to use an action die before the attacker can spend another action die to initiate a siege battle.
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David Williams
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As Heikki said, I would be tempted to fight at least 1 round in the field, in the hopes of destroying the Shadow army. But if the first round did not go well, such that the Shadow has enough dice left to potentially destroy the remaining army (and all those valuable companions along with it) I'd likely retreat. It would depend what else is going on - can more FP armies come to reinforce? Is there another Shadow army following the first?

If it weren't Helm's Deep, you could also potentially fight 1 field battle, then retreat to an adjacent region. Helm's Deep doesn't have any of those though; the only adjacent region is the one being attacked from. But if it were somewhere else this might not be a bad option, basically abandoning the Stronghold, but saving your many companions from (almost) certain death.
 
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Andrew Poulter
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Orion3T wrote:
. Helm's Deep doesn't have any of those though; the only adjacent region is the one being attacked from.


Helm's Deep has two adjacent regions - Fords of Isen and Westemnet so it may be possible to retreat away.
 
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David Williams
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GamesJart wrote:
Orion3T wrote:
. Helm's Deep doesn't have any of those though; the only adjacent region is the one being attacked from.


Helm's Deep has two adjacent regions - Fords of Isen and Westemnet so it may be possible to retreat away.


Yes sorry, you're right! I was going from memory and somehow convinced myself it didn't, I guess I'm thinking of the comment from the film that 'there is no way out, Theoden is falling into a trap'.

So yeah, it's possible to retreat after all. My bad!
 
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B G
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Thanks a lot, all!
 
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Atanasije Stojkovic
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So, how did it go? :-)

Regarding the option of a field battle, it always bit me in the behind whenever I opted for that strategy.

I've had an exactly the same situation and the Shadow Player had inflicted 3 hits in the first round of combat. I retreated into the Stronghold which now contained a force that could still give a punch, but with just a total of 2 hit points remaining I couldn't defend the stronghold for quite very long and it fell fairly quickly (and all those heroes and leaders died too).
 
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B G
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It ended in awesome fashion, I survived.

My son attacked me with a few armies and around 5 Nazgul. Gandalf the White used his ability to negate Nazgul re-rolls. We hunkered down inside and with some lucky rolls, survived several waves of attacks from Isengard.

Incidentally, my son had 8 victory points when I won by destroying the ring. Toppling either Helm's Deep or Minas Tirith would have won it for him. The "Gandalf vs. Nazgul" aspect of the HD battle was great and theme-heavy. I get why people love this game... it almost writes itself like a book.
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Raf B
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Your son was out of luck - a ring victory takes precedence over a Shadow military victory if they are both achieved on the same turn.
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B G
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Yes... I also tripped him up with a card (I forget the name now) that gave me some privileges for having an army with Gandalf on the borders of Mordor, creating a distraction like in the books/movies.
 
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