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War of the Ring: Lords of Middle-earth» Forums » Strategy

Subject: New tactics to counter Lorien rss

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Zenphos Ruby-Eye
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As LoME provides substantial strengths to Lorien and Rivendell, the 2 fortresses hardest to defend in WotR, without an equivalent boost to the shadow forces. Gothmog is fairly useless and his ability is pointless around Minas Tirith, and although the Balrog is very powerful he is also unreliable as a single WotW dice stops him.

What new tactics have people developed to win?

(On a similar topic I have thought about letting the SP recruit Gothmog anywhere, to represent an Easterling Chieftain from Rhun, or an Orc champion from Gundabad, as the North or the Shire are 2 places where his ability could be useful.)
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Roy Subs
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For Lorien, I really only have one strategy to capture it, which is, if I get the opportunity very early, a very fast strike to try and wipe it out as quickly as possible can be effective, as once Galadriel comes, it can be very very tough trying to capture.

For Rivendell, if I get an early Rage of the Dunlendings or Monsters Roused, I often go for a fast strike there.

Apart from these early strike options to avoid Galadriel / Elrond, it's all situational I guess. If Free played Cirdan's Ships in Dol Amroth and mustered in Woodland Realm / Rivendell, he might not have any troops left to use with Galadriel's ability, so then Lorien becomes a viable option again. I very often don't go for Lorien at all on LOME, or, if I took all of Gondor + Rohan and just need 2 VP and I have huge armies in Rohan, I might go for it for last points even though Galadriel is tough but often that's my best chance before Fellowship dunk the Ring.

Gothmog is incredibly useful. You get both an extra dice, and his leadership (which is not Nazgul remember so is immune to Gandalf the White's White Rider ability) and you can muster in the field which can save lots of dice if needing reinforcements (been the difference between winning and losing for me in battles in Dol Amroth / Minas Tirith).

Your variant to allow Gothmog to be recruited in different places as a different named Captain sounds fine, but I guess more and more, I don't bother with variants and just play the rules straight.
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Grant Johnson
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roysubs wrote:
Gothmog is incredibly useful. You get both an extra dice, and his leadership (which is not Nazgul remember so is immune to Gandalf the White's White Rider ability) and you can muster in the field which can save lots of dice if needing reinforcements (been the difference between winning and losing for me in battles in Dol Amroth / Minas Tirith).


Not only this, but if you want to do a denial strategy for Gandalf the White Gothmog slides in neatly.

If you want to fight Lorien, wait until there are no Wills and bring out the Balrog. His 3 re-rolls go a long way in that battle. But I find it more useful to bring him as a threat, let the Free People muster their Elites in Lorien, and find something less fortified like Woodland Realm or Rivendell to get your points after the FP reinforcements are gone.
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Zenphos Ruby-Eye
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Good responses, thank you.

I don't play variants either, but do think Gothmog's ability is less than useful most of the time. Dol Amroth is the only place where his ability seems useful to me. And I think the black captain is just so much better at fighting that you should just bring him out.

I have heard of Gandalf the White denial strategy, but never seen anyone bother to do it. As not bringing Saruman out ASAP just seems counter productive. If Gandalf the Grey trips on his beard on the way out of Rivendell and falls down the steps, then maybe, I can see it being useful. But a first turn find, and GtG casualty is pretty rare.

I agree the Balrog is powerful, but a bit risky leaving Moria while you still have access to his dice. Oh and the first time I played LoME I didn't bother to waste a WotW dice on him as I didn't think it was worth it. After eating up all the Hobbits in the Shire and setting up dominion over the Grey Havens I don't make that mistake anyome.

 
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Paul Dawson
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Yeah, I think Lorien and Rivendell are only vulnerable if you have the right cards early, it just becomes too difficult later on.

I have rarely seen the FP players I go up against use Cirdan's Ships in Dol Amroth unless as Shadow you have already put Dol Amroth under siege early and they're doing it to buy a lot of time and soak up cards/units etc. There aren't enough elf reinforcements to waste 2 elites down at Dol Amroth on a speculative deploy until SP has well and truly committed down there.

Gothmog is not incredibly useful at all. It is not an extra dice really, as you lose him the moment the Black Captain enters play, so there's no net gain of dice between the two, and I have rarely if ever had a chance to use him against Gandalf. Aragorn is usually the one holding up Rohan or Gondor, whereas Gandalf will be in an elf stronghold most of the time.

One muster dice to recruit one regular unit or convert one regular to an elite is not that great a use of resources. Particularly given what you're giving up in not playing muster cards instead, and I doubt very much that you're going to be able to use Gothmog towards the end of the game after you've already expended your upgrade muster cards as he will have long since left play with the arrival of the black captain.

Personally I think LOME swung the pendulum way too far towards the FP, it is really hard as a SP to get a military victory in the time it takes to get your 10 VP's unless the free peoples player plays like a fool
 
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Paul Dawson
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tallgrant wrote:
roysubs wrote:
Gothmog is incredibly useful. You get both an extra dice, and his leadership (which is not Nazgul remember so is immune to Gandalf the White's White Rider ability) and you can muster in the field which can save lots of dice if needing reinforcements (been the difference between winning and losing for me in battles in Dol Amroth / Minas Tirith).


Not only this, but if you want to do a denial strategy for Gandalf the White Gothmog slides in neatly.

If you want to fight Lorien, wait until there are no Wills and bring out the Balrog. His 3 re-rolls go a long way in that battle. But I find it more useful to bring him as a threat, let the Free People muster their Elites in Lorien, and find something less fortified like Woodland Realm or Rivendell to get your points after the FP reinforcements are gone.


I don't agree with the denial strategy at all barring very peculiar circumstances, such as Gandalf dying straight up and you don't need to do anything Isengard - Rohan is just too important to sack early before the FP player gets a big army into Helm's Deep with Aragorn or a hobbit with a bunch of ent cards

I think the Balrog as a threat in being is far more useful than an actual threat, as you say you have to wait til there is no WotW dice.
 
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Grant Johnson
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Ozathoth wrote:
I don't agree with the denial strategy at all barring very peculiar circumstances, such as Gandalf dying straight up and you don't need to do anything Isengard - Rohan is just too important to sack early before the FP player gets a big army into Helm's Deep with Aragorn or a hobbit with a bunch of ent cards

I think the Balrog as a threat in being is far more useful than an actual threat, as you say you have to wait til there is no WotW dice.


It's a lot less viable with Lords of Middle Earth because of the Keeper dice. But keeping that action die out of the hands of the Free Peoples in the base game can be huge. I think the best of circumstances puts Wormtongue and/or Threats and Promises out early, preventing build-up in Rohan. The Shadow gets his first offensive fully into position, then brings in both Saruman and the Witch-king, and ideally on a turn with no Wills for Gandalf to prolong the advantage.

Also can work if you decide not to play in Rohan, but then you usually need to get 5 in Gondor, 3 more in the DEW and something else like Rivendell or the Havens. Which is a lot more palatable with Return of the Witchking and similar cards to build a northern army.

 
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Paul Dawson
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I find Wormtongue/Threats and Promises doesn't work - my regular opponent does a runner with Strider and the 2 hobbits down to Rohan & then Gondor the moment he rolls up a will and a few swords and has a few moves on the fellowship track(and often uses an elven ring) and is usually there by end of turn 3.

Drops one hobbit off near Helm's Deep, other goes to Gondor. the hobbits nullify both those cards and having one in helm's deep and minas tirith each makes you a bit cagey about using the witch king in those fights with blade of westernesse lurking in the deck

once aragorn is crowned I find I'm against 5 dice usually by turn 4 anyway. I need Saruman early as possible to counter that.

 
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Roy Subs
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You can do that for sure Paul, but the Hobbits of the Shire variants have won me quite a few games when as Guide of the Fellowship in Mordor they can *destroy* a 6+reveal Eye (so they are much more powerful than Galadriel, for whom the hunt tile is only replaced). There are many options in LOME, and anytime you fancy playing an online game, I'd be very glad to test out our different strategies and see who prevails! (and playing online means very easy to play and save games if only have an hour to play in an evening).
 
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Paul Dawson
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roysubs wrote:
You can do that for sure Paul, but the Hobbits of the Shire variants have won me quite a few games when as Guide of the Fellowship in Mordor they can *destroy* a 6+reveal Eye (so they are much more powerful than Galadriel, for whom the hunt tile is only replaced). There are many options in LOME, and anytime you fancy playing an online game, I'd be very glad to test out our different strategies and see who prevails! (and playing online means very easy to play and save games if only have an hour to play in an evening).


Sounds pretty situational to me. Sure, if you can keep both in the fellowship, all the way to Mordor and if your opponent is relying on a 6+ reveal eye to win him the game and if he pulls a standard Hunt tile not a special tile etc etc etc - not to mention foregoing all of their abilities on the board the whole time

I don't play online but thanks for the offer
 
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Zenphos Ruby-Eye
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If as the FP you are relying on your opponent NOT drawing an eye tile to win the game, then things are going very poorly. Same for the SP if they are relying on stop tiles to win.

But there are a lot of things that can happen that mean you win when you shouldn't. I have won many a game because the gods of dice decided to not allow the SP any character (sword) dice for 3 or 4 turns.

I have always found it best to maximise your chances of winning by keeping your options open, and not hoping for a certain card or dice roll to win.

Personally I found this happens the most when I Crown Aragorn early, and keep Gandalf the Grey pumping out event cards as the Guide.

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Zenphos Ruby-Eye
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tallgrant wrote:
Ozathoth wrote:
I don't agree with the denial strategy...


It's a lot less viable with Lords of Middle Earth because of the Keeper dice. But keeping that action die out of the hands of the Free Peoples in the base game can be huge...


I would happily play 4 dice to 7 dice in the base game. It is when it gets to 4 dice to 9 dice that you really feel the pressure.

Wormtongue is not a bad card, but threats and promises is awful as all it does is prevent the SP from deploying the Witch King.
 
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Ozathoth wrote:
Sounds pretty situational to me. Sure, if you can keep both in the fellowship, all the way to Mordor and if your opponent is relying on a 6+ reveal eye to win him the game and if he pulls a standard Hunt tile not a special tile etc etc etc - not to mention foregoing all of their abilities on the board the whole time

Watching some replay of world championship games might interest you in that respect. You'd probably see some things that would make you raise an eyebrow, but fair enough, maybe you know better than all of them! It's not about relying on 6+ reveal, it's about odds, and increasing odds when you can - getting the 2x Hobbit's of the Shire into Mordor in the Fellowship are far more useful in Mordor that as leaders on the field imho (based on the now 300+ times that I've played this game now).

No one is *relying* on a 6+ reveal Eye Paul, but it's all about improving your odds. So you are near the end and there are many Eyes in the Hunt Box. Having the Hobbits in play gives you a *much* higher chance of making that critical move safely. Even if it's just a 2+r, where the reveal would stop you and force you to hide again, the Hobbits would destroy that and with your last die of the turn, you can have a chance to dunk the Ring.

No one is relying on a 6+ reveal ...
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Paul Dawson
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Wow

Clearly this means more to you than me so I will just say you are absolutely right and leave it at that
 
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Roy Subs
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Not really, but I guess it's like all good games, sometimes they have depths that are fun to explore. Just giving you some other options to consider. You could be absolutely right Paul, shame we can't get to test our tactical theories out on the battlefield.
 
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