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Subject: Fellowship Secret Movement rss

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Mark Ramsey
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I've been playing War of the Ring for a while now, but there is one thing in the rules that I still find a little weird. When it comes to the secret movement of the fellowship, I've found it a little bit weird that the FP player does not have to plot out a route in advance that they must stick to. There have been games where I, as the FP player, have had a fellowship route in mind and, when the Shadow player starts planting Nazgul in the territories where he assumes I might be based on the progress track, I can suddenly change my mind and decide that the fellowship went a different way altogether. It seems unfair to do it that way, but since the rules don't state that I can't, what reason is there not to? I'm not sure if the game was designed this way deliberately, or if it is merely an oversight.

I also play Fury of Dracula in which Dracula's secret movement is pretty much the most important mechanic in the game. In FOD, the Dracula player places location cards face down to indicate his trail. They do not get turned over unless a hunter player lands on a location that is in the trail. I wonder if WotR would benefit from a mechanic such as this. Or, alternatively, if the FP player should be forced to keep track of the fellowship's movement by keeping a hidden, but written record of it to resolve disputes with the Shadow player.

Any thoughts?
 
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David Klempa
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VanMark wrote:
I'm not sure if the game was designed this way deliberately, or if it is merely an oversight.

IMO, this was an deliberate design decision and resulted in a simple and elegant 'hidden movement' mechanic that did not have a any tedious bookkeeping (a first, in my book).

VanMark wrote:
There have been games where I, as the FP player, have had a fellowship route in mind and, when the Shadow player starts planting Nazgul in the territories where he assumes I might be based on the progress track, I can suddenly change my mind and decide that the fellowship went a different way altogether. It seems unfair to do it that way, but since the rules don't state that I can't, what reason is there not to?

It's not unfair and shows the beauty of the system: it just simulates that the SP was 'wrong'. And you know what happens when you assume.
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Eric Flood
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VanMark wrote:
I've been playing War of the Ring for a while now, but there is one thing in the rules that I still find a little weird. When it comes to the secret movement of the fellowship, I've found it a little bit weird that the FP player does not have to plot out a route in advance that they must stick to. There have been games where I, as the FP player, have had a fellowship route in mind and, when the Shadow player starts planting Nazgul in the territories where he assumes I might be based on the progress track, I can suddenly change my mind and decide that the fellowship went a different way altogether. It seems unfair to do it that way, but since the rules don't state that I can't, what reason is there not to? I'm not sure if the game was designed this way deliberately, or if it is merely an oversight.

I also play Fury of Dracula in which Dracula's secret movement is pretty much the most important mechanic in the game. In FOD, the Dracula player places location cards face down to indicate his trail. They do not get turned over unless a hunter player lands on a location that is in the trail. I wonder if WotR would benefit from a mechanic such as this. Or, alternatively, if the FP player should be forced to keep track of the fellowship's movement by keeping a hidden, but written record of it to resolve disputes with the Shadow player.

Any thoughts?


I've thought this would be a welcome addition for *years*. An extra deck of cards would probably be pretty costly, however.
 
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Jason Sadler
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I have played a fair number of games and have never seen this as a huge advantage for the Fellowship. The longer you keep your eyes off of them as the Shadow, the more likely they are to pop up just about anywhere.
 
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Ryan Newell
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I see where you're coming from, but I think the way it's implemented is a better match when considering the rest of the mechanics. For one example, it gives the Free Peoples player as much freedom as the Shadow player to alter his plan based on the strategy and character cards he picks up each round.
 
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Scott Lewis
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VanMark wrote:
There have been games where I, as the FP player, have had a fellowship route in mind and, when the Shadow player starts planting Nazgul in the territories where he assumes I might be based on the progress track, I can suddenly change my mind and decide that the fellowship went a different way altogether.

Why is the SP putting the Nazgul in the spaces where he thinks the Fellowhip *might* go, rather than the space where the Fellowship figure actually IS? There's almost no benefit for having the Nazgul in a spot where they might end up, except to have one waiting if they are revealed to increase their hunt chances the next time the fellowship moves. But you can do that by moving the Nazgul after they are revealed anyway.

I guess for me, I don't see enough added benefit with this method.
 
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Andy Daglish
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VanMark wrote:
I've been playing War of the Ring for a while now, but there is one thing in the rules that I still find a little weird. When it comes to the secret movement of the fellowship, I've found it a little bit weird that the FP player does not have to plot out a route in advance that they must stick to. There have been games where I, as the FP player, have had a fellowship route in mind and, when the Shadow player starts planting Nazgul in the territories where he assumes I might be based on the progress track, I can suddenly change my mind and decide that the fellowship went a different way altogether. It seems unfair to do it that way, but since the rules don't state that I can't, what reason is there not to?


why would the Fellowship stick slavishly to a disadvantagous route? it is not the route that matters in game terms but the amount of SA stuff in the fellowship's current location that determines the likelihood success of the Hunt. To get away from that the Fellowship must declare themselves elsewhere. As it is, there is little scope for avoiding the enemy. Either Moria or the Gap of Rohan must be traversed and both are stiff with the minions of Sauron.

Quote:
I'm not sure if the game was designed this way deliberately, or if it is merely an oversight.


In the book, and as shown in the film, the Fellowship attempt the Caradhras pass and find it blocked by a snowstorm [generated by Saruman], so they retrace their steps and enter the Moria instead. None of this is known to Sauron, and the game portrays this lack of knowledge despite the SA player seeing it all on-board. It is a simple & clever design mechanic.

Quote:
I also play Fury of Dracula in which Dracula's secret movement is pretty much the most important mechanic in the game. In FOD, the Dracula player places location cards face down to indicate his trail. They do not get turned over unless a hunter player lands on a location that is in the trail. I wonder if WotR would benefit from a mechanic such as this. Or, alternatively, if the FP player should be forced to keep track of the fellowship's movement by keeping a hidden, but written record of it to resolve disputes with the Shadow player.

Any thoughts?


yes, the situations are different. The vampire hunters know the count exists and could probably track his movements using the Sunday newspapers, because he keeps biting important people in a rather high-profile manner. Sauron has very little current knowledge of the Ring, except for a lead about "hobbits" and "the Shire" led to his best operatives being very roughly handled over 1000 miles away from HQ. An idea he lacks completely is that the Ring will be taken to Orodruin and destroyed. He has no idea where it is, who has got it or what they intend, but his underlings have been told to report any and all news connected to it as a first priority. Sauron has good evidence that someone has it somewhere, but clearly if someone has the Ring they are not using it openly against him.
 
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Well, there is at least one huge difference between the mechanics of this game and that of Fury of Dracula. That is, in WotR, the enemy knows the ultimate destination of the FSP. Whereas Dracula can just run around all over Europe (if I understand the latter correctly).

It works just fine the way it is and doesn't detract from the theme or enjoyment. It just shows how difficult it is for the shadow player to hunt down and capture the fellowship.
 
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Kyle Meighan
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aforandy wrote:
except for a lead about "hobbits" and "the Shire"


Not that it matters much for this discussion, but I believe it was "Baggins" and "Shire". (virtually slap me if you must )

As for the discussion, I like the fellowship track as it is written. Depending on when the fellowship is revealed or declared the route changes. This is yet another mechanic which creates a different game every time.

If a route had to be pre-determined, then after a few games the FP player would learn the "optimum" route (accounting for SP also knowing the optimum defense for said routes) and use it every time, thus diminsihing replayability to a degree.

-One Wolf
 
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Dave J McWeasely
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Everything about the way the Fellowship works flows from a Saruon perspective. The fellowship is a schroedinger-cat that always pops up and squeezes out of "should haves" and "near-certain death" situations. Essentially, Sauron's anti-fellowship moves are an open book to the Fellowship, which always plays that game with perfect information.
 
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Mark Ramsey
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Thanks everyone. After reading your replies, I have a better understanding about why the fellowship movement is played in this way.
 
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