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

Subject: Defending the Elven Strongholds rss

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Oliver O'Brien
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Lately, as the Shadow Player, I have been targeting Elven strongholds.

Basically, march armies up there real fast (even if they aren't as large as you might like) and then put them all in siege one action dice after another. Once this is done, attack Lorien until all the single units are on the board at which point you cease the attack.

Now you wait until you are able to march sufficient forces into the other strongholds (perhaps with a card allowing for extra movement, or perhaps the old fashioned way) and attack. The elites are unable to break down, and generally speaking there will only be 3 or 4 units in a stronghold making combat cards such as Great Host incredibly powerful.

This is an easy 4-6 points if pulled off properly and I guess I am wondering how others would defend against this strategy (other than trying to get to war before the Shadow nears the strongholds).

Thoughts?
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Jim Hansen
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Thanks for the post. That is a fairly common and effective strategy among experienced players. Lorien and Woodland Realm are pretty easy to get under siege before the Free Player can do anything about it. Rivendell or Grey Havens are usually hard to get under siege quickly enough unless the FP lets you and you get the right cards.

It's really hard to make the free player kill an elite (without downgrading) when they only need to take one hit. A good free player should kill a regular in Lorien instead of downgrading an elite to bring out the last regular. As long as there is one regular in the defending army or available in the reinforcements/dead pile, they can always kill the regular before downgrading. There is still some marginal advantage to trapping the regulars on the board, but it's not totally game breaking.
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Ira Fay
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FP should always be careful about having zero elven regulars available.

The bigger concern of putting multiple elven strongholds under siege: if you get the elves one away from war, once shadow puts the first stronghold under siege, the other ones can be mustered normally, even if they have other armies poised to besiege.

For Woodland Realm, FP can put a regular from Carrock in Old Forest Road, and then hopefully use Scouts to retreat into Woodland Realm.

Also, FP can draw strategy cards (especially quickly with Gandalf's power) to increase the chances of drawing the Elven recruit cards, the cards that put the north/dwarves to war (who can then support nearby Elven strongholds), and/or the cards that recruit in Dale or Carrock.

If FP does nothing to defend the Elven strongholds, they can certainly fall easily. But if FP focuses on defending them, they have a decent chance of being withstanding an initial assault, buying time for the ring to move.

One other good strategy: Get the elves one away from war, even if there is a large army ready to besiege Lorien. Clearly if you get the elves all the way to war, the army will simply besiege Lorien and the muster die will effectively be wasted. But, you can use A Power Too Great to get the elves all the way to war, and then you'll have an extra turn to muster into Lorien before they are besieged.
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Pawel Garycki
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With LOME you could also strenghten Elven strongholds by mustering Elrond and Galadriel. With WOME Eagles can help defend three Elven strongholds without a need to move. In rare occasions also Ents can help defend Lorien and even Grey Havens via the Old Forest. Don't also forget about the Council of Rivendell version of Legolas which can start directly in the Woodland Realm and move Elves to war quickly.
However if playing LOME there is a danger coming from Balrog and his free Sauron elite unit. With WOME there are also Spiders to watch out for in defending Lorien and WR. Even Dunlendings can pose some threat to Grey Havens, Rivendell and Lorien via Moria. Keep in mind that WOME's Western Way can bring focus to Eriador (Shire and Grey Havens).
Definitely the expansions enrich the strategy in the game regarding Elves.
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Zenphos Ruby-Eye
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This is extremely effective if you can catch the free player napping, say on a turn when they roll a lot of swords and globes.
I always assume the shadow will pick on the Elves because they are so soft and try to advance them along the political track once at least so I am semi-prepared to fortify in the other Elven strongholds.
The big thing that can ruin the shadow players day is if the FP is holding "Power to Great".
Of course in LoME Elven strongholds are much stronger, and this is not a very effective tactic.
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