Kim
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Through my many plays of this game, both solo and multi, l've come to the conclusion that keeping Strider in The Fellowship is very detrimental, even if you're going for a Fellowship Victory. The inclusion of the latest expansion, Warriors of Middle-Earth, even further strengthened my sentiment towards this. In my opinion, Strider is much more useful outside The Fellowship right from the start since he can buy The Fellowship a substantial amount of time to complete their mission. Even Gandalf's guide abiltity (both versions) are superior to Strider's in my opinion.

(Personally l love using The Grey Wanderer and sometimes just get that spam of Mustering Event Cards rolling, and watch the Shadow player just bite his lip).

My usual strategy for Strider as a Free Peoples player is to first move The Fellowship two steps, then separate Strider and one Hobbit towards The Gap of Rohan. Then l move them towards Edoras to activate Rohan. This prevents The Shadow player from playing the Wormtounge Event Card if he ever gets it, since that card basically screws Rohan entirely. After that l move them towards Fangorn and leave the hobbit there to keep the Ents in play. Depending on the situation, which Event Cards l have in my hand and so on, l move Strider towards either Minas Tirith or Dol Amroth (thank you The Dark Door!). I turn Strider into Aragorn first, then l put the Dead Men into play.

By the time The Fellowship has reached Lorien (in very few cases l go for the Woodland Realm instead) l've already completed the following:
- Activated Rohan, and saved the nation from potential guaranteed disaster.
- Put The Ents into play.
- Gained an additional Action Die.
- Put the Dead Men into play.
- All in all substantially strengthened The Free Peoples defenses and prolonged The Shadow's conquest of Middle-Earth.

(The worst thing that could happen right now in relation to Strider/Aragorn is to draw "Challange of the King" right after you've put the Dead Men into play, and yes, that happens to me every time).

I'm posting and presenting this to you since l'm very open to suggestion and criticism of my strategy. To me, the best utilization of Strider seems quite obvious, almost to obvious, as if l'm missing something. I know Strider would be nice to have as a fellowship guide after Gandalf has been killed (l almost always draw an Eye Tile when drawing Hunt Tiles for The Balrog) or when Gandalf has left The Fellowship, but by then l could've completed all the things l've listed above, which isn't a fair trade in my opinion.

(I always separate Gandalf from The Fellowship when they are in Lorien, to protect Galadriel and to keep The Balrog in check. I could write an entire page of my strategy around Gandalf, but l'm here to talk about Strider.)

And don't get me started on the "Athelas" Event Card. That piece of s**t card is always at the bottom of the Character Event deck in every game l've played. But anyway, what's your strategy for Strider? I'd love to hear it, maybe there's something l've overlooked.
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Ira Fay
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I haven't played enough WoME to really have a strong opinion, but regarding the base game, it seems to me that Strider's guide ability is very strong, and he can save you up to 3 corruption when he dies. You need 10 moves to make it to mordor, and then 5 more once you're in mordor. That's 15 C actions, plus hiding along the way. If you figure 4 dice for the first three turns (that's 12), plus 5 dice for the next three turns (that's 15), that gives you 27 dice to work with in 6 rounds. Given that you can use half the results (C, C, W) to move the fellowship, you're getting close to the 15 movement you need. It's quite hard for shadow to win militarily in 6 rounds, and even 7 can be tough. In 7 rounds, you'll have 32 dice total (approx), and with 3 rings, you're likely to be able to dunk the ring if you keep Strider in the fellowship that long. If you want to try a sample game via the online client, I'd be happy to try to make it happen. The best way to explore new ideas is to experiment with them. You could also watch game logs, and/or sign up for the online tournament that's coming up! (https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1743762/2017-war-ring-inter...)
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steva fields
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Sounds like a solid strategy, But with WOTR, I have not seen a strategy that would work in all games. You seem to be playing with all of the expansions. So we will assume this is what we are discussing. Since I would never consider this strategy for a standard game. Since it uses too many character dice and hinges on the right cards being available in the early stages of the game.

So with all the expansions, I might try something like this sometimes, but it is still a risky move if the Deadmen, and Ent cards are on the bottom of the deck. I would not try it if the fellowship were revealed in the first two moves, since I would not go through Moria then, and it would take even more character dice to do it.

I also have found that Striders guide ability can be useful to speed the fellowship along, and with a early witch king, I would want to keep him in the fellowship to soak up more corruption.
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Jim Hansen
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Interesting discussion. I haven't played WOME yet, but I don't think that would be a very effective strategy in the base game. Wormtongue rarely hits the table because the WK is usually in play by turn 3 or 4 anyway, so I wouldn't build my strategy around preventing it. You are using I believe 4 actions to separate and move Strider around the board before he makes it to Minas Tirith. That is a lot of actions that could be spent moving the fellowship (plus non-C/W actions that could be spent hiding the fellowship).

Generally, I try to only separate Strider at the point where I can bring in Aragorn with my next action. Or sometimes I will keep him into Mordor because I need to soak the 3 corruptions or his guide ability would be more useful than anything else he can do on the board. But like Steva said, no strategy works in all games.
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Kim
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Yeah, l should've mentioned that l don't really rush Strider and the hobbit down towards Rohan, l actually keep The Fellowship moving as well depending on the situation. I very often, as a Free Peoples player, find myself in a situation where l have too many Character Action Die results than l would like. Depending on how many Eye results there are in the Hunt Box l only move The Fellowship maybe once or twice per turn. Like, if there are 5 Eyes in the Hunt Box, and l have 3 Character Action Dice, l move The Fellowship once and use the rest for Strider. I'm a very slow Free Peoples player, l tend to not risk any Hunt Damage until l'm on the Mordor Track, and therefore l need all the time l can get.

But yeah, before WOME l actually kept Strider in The Fellowship until l could separate him towards Minas Tirith/Pelargir/Dol Amroth with just one Character Action Die or Event Card, then l made him King of course.


@Teamjimby
I think it really depends on who you are playing against l guess. My opponent really takes his time. He takes advantage of the fact that the Free Peoples don't have many nations active at the start of the game, and he doesn't attack before he has a full force (unless l've managed to move that nation towards "at war" already). I don't remember how many turns it usually takes for Isengard to be at full strenght, but during that time he has sometimes acquired the Wormtounge Event Card.
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Marc M
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Lillgubbe wrote:

@Teamjimby
I think it really depends on who you are playing against l guess. My opponent really takes his time. He takes advantage of the fact that the Free Peoples don't have many nations active at the start of the game, and he doesn't attack before he has a full force (unless l've managed to move that nation towards "at war" already). I don't remember how many turns it usually takes for Isengard to be at full strenght, but during that time he has sometimes acquired the Wormtounge Event Card.


This is tangential but, in my experience (100 games or so), the Shadow loses when they take too long building to 'nothing can stop me' levels; I feel like SP needs to strike even though they still don't quite feel comfortable. It's a fine balance of just enough buildup but not hesitating too long.
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Zenphos Ruby-Eye
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Crown Aragorn first then move him back to Rohan and recruit some men, I also keep a hobbit with him at all times as the threat of "Blade of Westernesse" keeps the Witch-King from messing with him.
If he is in Rohan you can then threaten with "Dead Men of Dunharrow" and/or "Paths of the Woses". Also potentially relieve a siege at Helms Deep or Lorien with "Help Onlooked for" or ride into Orthanc, or rush to Fangorn if you get Ent cards, and/or Anduril. As well as the simple fact that Aragorn with an army is something the shadow can never ignore. The potential damage he can cause forces the shadow player to be a bit more careful and slows her down.
To maximise his already high levels of Orc Killing, keep Gandalf in the fellowship as long as you can to cycle through as many of your events cards as you can, as event cards are the most powerful thing the Free Player has to win the game.
Keeping Strider in the Fellowship is great, so long as he is not killed as a random casualty. An unlucky early Strider death from randomness or gasp! "Foul thing from the deep" and chances are very high that the lands of middle-earth will be covered in a second darkness.
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Raf B
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Reasons to keep Strider in the Fellowship:

1. Ration provisions so that Merry and Pip don't cut too far into supplies
2. Push Gandalf to take one for the team at the right moment
3. Keep a wary eye on that up-jumped Steward's son from Minas-f'ing-Tirith
4. Play relationship coach for Gimli and Legolas
5. Keep It secret, keep It safe...

Seriously, though, the Strider sprint strategy is one worth trying, especially when you draw some Character Events that allow you to manage Corruption in case you have to Use the Ring a bunch to avoid losing Strider to a random draw (I Will Go Alone, Athelas, etc.). Each side in WotR has its own way of reliably pressuring the other on tempo - for the Free it's pushing the FSP quickly, for the Shadow, as noted above, it's going to war with the army and event cards you've got rather than the ones you wish you had. As nice as Aragorn's extra die is, you can compensate for its absence by using non-C/W dice to hide after reveals.
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Atanasije Stojkovic
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Lillgubbe wrote:
Through my many plays of this game, both solo and multi, l've come to the conclusion that keeping Strider in The Fellowship is very detrimental, even if you're going for a Fellowship Victory. The inclusion of the latest expansion, Warriors of Middle-Earth, even further strengthened my sentiment towards this. In my opinion, Strider is much more useful outside The Fellowship right from the start since he can buy The Fellowship a substantial amount of time to complete their mission. Even Gandalf's guide abiltity (both versions) are superior to Strider's in my opinion.

(Personally l love using The Grey Wanderer and sometimes just get that spam of Mustering Event Cards rolling, and watch the Shadow player just bite his lip).

My usual strategy for Strider as a Free Peoples player is to first move The Fellowship two steps, then separate Strider and one Hobbit towards The Gap of Rohan. Then l move them towards Edoras to activate Rohan. This prevents The Shadow player from playing the Wormtounge Event Card if he ever gets it, since that card basically screws Rohan entirely. After that l move them towards Fangorn and leave the hobbit there to keep the Ents in play. Depending on the situation, which Event Cards l have in my hand and so on, l move Strider towards either Minas Tirith or Dol Amroth (thank you The Dark Door!). I turn Strider into Aragorn first, then l put the Dead Men into play.

By the time The Fellowship has reached Lorien (in very few cases l go for the Woodland Realm instead) l've already completed the following:
- Activated Rohan, and saved the nation from potential guaranteed disaster.
- Put The Ents into play.
- Gained an additional Action Die.
- Put the Dead Men into play.
- All in all substantially strengthened The Free Peoples defenses and prolonged The Shadow's conquest of Middle-Earth.

(The worst thing that could happen right now in relation to Strider/Aragorn is to draw "Challange of the King" right after you've put the Dead Men into play, and yes, that happens to me every time).

I'm posting and presenting this to you since l'm very open to suggestion and criticism of my strategy. To me, the best utilization of Strider seems quite obvious, almost to obvious, as if l'm missing something. I know Strider would be nice to have as a fellowship guide after Gandalf has been killed (l almost always draw an Eye Tile when drawing Hunt Tiles for The Balrog) or when Gandalf has left The Fellowship, but by then l could've completed all the things l've listed above, which isn't a fair trade in my opinion.

(I always separate Gandalf from The Fellowship when they are in Lorien, to protect Galadriel and to keep The Balrog in check. I could write an entire page of my strategy around Gandalf, but l'm here to talk about Strider.)

And don't get me started on the "Athelas" Event Card. That piece of s**t card is always at the bottom of the Character Event deck in every game l've played. But anyway, what's your strategy for Strider? I'd love to hear it, maybe there's something l've overlooked.


The chain that often happened to me was sacrifice Gandalf - get Strider, hide FSP.
 
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