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Subject: Orcs and Frodo+Sam rss

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John Goodenough
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I ran into a tricky situation where the Orcs attacked Frodo on a space with Sam. I got an answer from Chris Lawson (he maintains Reiner's personal website) so it's almost as official as you can get.

Say the orcs attack Frodo and Sam is on the same space. Sam takes Frodo's place--do the orcs immediately defeat Sam,
according to their ability, or does the encounter with Sam count as a second encounter (they only immediately defeat the first attacked character)?

Answer: Sam counts as the first encounter in this situation.

The same thing happens if they attack Frodo and he retreats. After he retreats, is Sam still considered the first character?

Answer: No, the first encounter was Frodo (since Sam didn't take his place) and so
now the Orcs don't use their special power.

 
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Jeff Hoffman
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Re:Orcs and Frodo Sam
Game Geek (#3987),

Your second scenario would be a much wiser decision for the Good player. Why just let Sam get defeated? It would be wiser to let Frodo retreat and at least have Sam duke it out with the orcs. Give him a fighting chance!

~Jeff
 
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John Goodenough
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Re:Orcs and Frodo Sam
Gamemaster (#4004),

You're right, it's a very rare circumstance that Sam is expendable. Here's a couple of situations that you would want to use scenario #1.

Each player is down to just one card left in their hand. If the Frodo can defeat the Orcs in combat this will allow them to replenish their hand full of cards and get the much needed Noble Sacrifice and Retreat card.

The reason I emailed Chris Lawson the question is from this very tricky situation in one of our games:

I only had Frodo and Sam on the board, the Dark player had the Orcs, Cave Troll, and the Witch King.
The Cave Troll and Witch King were positioned side by side so there was no path to travel around them. Now I HAD to kill the Orcs in that combat or I would have lost the game.
If I didn't kill the Orcs, the Dark player would keep moving the Orcs forward forcing me to keep moving Frodo forward. Eventually, Frodo has to keep moving forward directly into either the Cave Troll or Witch King and both of them would have defeated Frodo in battle.

By defeating the Orcs, the Dark player was forced to move his Cave Troll or Witch King forward, thus breaking up his chain of defense. Now Frodo could be attacked, retreat sideways, and slip through the opening in the Dark player's defense.


 
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My First Name My Last Name
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Re:Orcs and Frodo Sam
I hate to burst your bubble but the dark players text takes place first therefor he would kill Frodo before he could retreat,
 
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Matthew M
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Re:Orcs and Frodo Sam
matitus wrote:
I hate to burst your bubble but the dark players text takes place first therefor he would kill Frodo before he could retreat,


This isn't true. The Light Player Unit text takes place first between units (Gimli kills the Orcs and stays alive, for example). The only exception to this is the Wargs ability to disable the Light unit text.

You may be confusing the unit text with the text cards. When both players play text cards in battle it is the Dark text that is acted on first.

-MMM
 
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Inno Van
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Re:Orcs and Frodo Sam
Frodo and Sam together.
Frodo is attacked and retreats to the side, both avoiding and using up the Orc's "automatic defeat for first attack".
Sam and Orcs now continue the battle.
Orcs are value 2.
Is Sam value 2 ...or 5?

I say Sam is 5. "The Good Player must reveal both Frodo and Sam at the beginning of a battle in order to prove Sam's strength." (p 5, emphasis mine)

Does anybody know?
 
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Matthew M
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Re:Orcs and Frodo Sam
Innovan (#4815),

In this example Sam is strength 2. Frodo must be present at the time of the combat for Sam's strength to be a 5. By the time Sam's battle with the Orcs occurs in your example the Good player cannot reveal Frodo is present as he has already retreated.

-MMM
 
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Christian
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Re:Orcs and Frodo Sam
It seems the Orc vs Frodo + Sam question has received a different response by Reiner Knizia...
Chris Lawson posted this on the FFG forum (I post here for reference) :

Finally managed to ask Reiner about this issue.
Here is his reply:

Frodo retreats *before* the Orcs attack, therefore they have *not* used their special power yet. If there is another Good character in the location, then the Orcs will be able to instantly defeat that character.

That at least is how Reiner intended the rules to apply.


And in fact the rules say that Frodo and Merry flee *before* the battle.
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Matthew M
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Re:Orcs and Frodo Sam
Kris (#5495),

You're quite right. I was about to correct myself. It appears I got my rules/sources confused as to which was the official interpretation.

Thanks for clarifying!

-MMM
 
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Paweł L
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Hi,

I am a new and happy LOTR-tC player, however I'm a bit confused about this situation, when Frodo retreats leaving Sam after Orcs attacked. The confusion comes out from Orcs descritpion:
"Frodo may retreat sideways before the Orcs defeat him in this fashion. In further battles follow, the Orcs do not have their special ability for the remainder of the turn"

Here it looks like that further battle can apply to fight with Sam, who stayed alone. I know that Frodo escapes BEFORE the battle, but for me it looks like Orcs descrition denies the interpretation, when we let them kill Sam without a fight. I will follow Mr Reiner's rule, however it would require a little more clarification.

Regards, m.
 
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Daniel Edwards
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The orcs attack frodo and sam together.

The dark chooses a piece to attack randomly. If dark chooses frodo the light may choose to use sams power to have sam substituted for frodo.

If frodo is selected and the light elects not to use sams power then the orcs encounter frodo. Frodo's ability allows him to retreat before battle (and before the orcs use their ability). The orcs encounter sam. The orcs power kicks in and kills sam.

Note this is a bit unintuitive. After all frodo and the orcs have had an encounter. But thats the official ruling so there you are.

If sam is encountered then the orcs power kicks in and sam dies. The orcs then encounter frodo and would have their normal strength of 2 if frodo does not elect to retreat (which he might want to do if had better cards and wanted to stay put although I can't say Ive ever seen it happen myself).
 
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Amit Arnon
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Quote:
The orcs attack frodo and sam together.

The dark chooses a piece to attack randomly. If dark chooses frodo the light may choose to use sams power to have sam substituted for frodo.

If frodo is selected and the light elects not to use sams power then the orcs encounter frodo. Frodo's ability allows him to retreat before battle (and before the orcs use their ability). The orcs encounter sam. The orcs power kicks in and kills sam.

Note this is a bit unintuitive. After all frodo and the orcs have had an encounter. But thats the official ruling so there you are.

If sam is encountered then the orcs power kicks in and sam dies. The orcs then encounter frodo and would have their normal strength of 2 if frodo does not elect to retreat (which he might want to do if had better cards and wanted to stay put although I can't say Ive ever seen it happen myself).


Ok after going through the rules again, I have to say that i don't agree as it's specficially written that if frodo retreats from the orcs, they won't have their power in further battles (Counter to what Reiner Knizia replied before - maybe he was misunderstood?)
Anyway - probably a good player would not bring sam to the front in case the Orcs attack frodo first but just retreat and let sam fight - BUT there IS a situation where this would be a good thing to do. When frodo is attacked FIRST but he can't retreat sideways (for example he's on the river and the only route available is blocked by an evil character). In that case - sacrificing sam first would give frodo a fighting chance (or Retreat chance with a card - more likely ).
 
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1. The original rule
(Just for reference.)
Amitloaf wrote:
Ok after going through the rules again, I have to say that i don't agree as it's specficially written that if frodo retreats from the orcs, they won't have their power in further battles
Note that, in the original (German) Orcs rule, Frodo isn't named at all and retreating mentioned only in a conditional subclause (in the first sentence). In FFG's English Orcs rule, on the other hand, a full new sentence solely about Frodo was created just before the one about the Orcs losing their ability.

The full Orcs rule, original and in FFG's first edition:
Reiner Knizia — in the German Kosmos ed. rules — wrote:
Ork (2):
Immer, wenn der Ork selbst angreift, besiegt er sofort die erste angegriffene helle Spielfigur — sofern sich diese nicht zurückzieht. Folgen weitere Kämpfe im selben Zug, so hat der Ork keine besonderen Fähigkeiten mehr. Gimli besiegt den Ork und bleibt dabei selbst unverletzt. Falls der Ork gegen Boromir kämpft, sind beide Spielfiguren besiegt.
In English (if, like in FFG's text, Spielfigur is "character" and helle Spielfigur is "Good character"):
Whenever the Orc attacks, he immediately defeats the first attacked Good character — unless it retreats. If further battles follow in the same turn, the Orc has no longer any special abilities. Gimli defeats the Orc while himself remaining unharmed. If the Orc fights against Boromir, both characters are defeated.

Fantasy Flight Games wrote:
Orcs (2):
When the Orcs attack, they immediately defeat the first attacked Good character. Frodo may retreat sideways before the Orcs defeat him in this fashion. If further battles follow, the Orcs do not have their special ability for the remainder of the turn. Gimli immediately defeats the Orcs and is therefore unharmed. If the Orcs battle against Boromir, both characters are defeated. The Orcs have no special ability when attacked by a Good character.

Now, Amitloaf, the way you relate the rule, "if Frodo retreats from the Orcs, they won't have their power in further battles", obviously isn't how it's actually written in either rule version. I'd agree, though, that a reading of only FFG's second and third sentences together would encourage this interpretation. Less hints are given in the original rule as to what happens in the case of a retreat (i.e. if the subclause condition of the first sentence isn't fulfilled).


2. The rule clarified
More importantly and as was already established above, Knizia later clarified this rule of his:
Kris wrote:
Chris Lawson posted this on the FFG forum (I post here for reference) :

Finally managed to ask Reiner about this issue.
Here is his reply:

Frodo retreats *before* the Orcs attack, therefore they have *not* used their special power yet. If there is another Good character in the location, then the Orcs will be able to instantly defeat that character.

That at least is how Reiner intended the rules to apply.

myopia wrote:
Note this is a bit unintuitive. After all frodo and the orcs have had an encounter.
I don't think the word "encounter" is anywhere used in the rules, only Kampf in the original, "battle" in the English translation. The orcs, in particular, when charging into battle, would seem to get their auto-kill versus the first character they actually crash into (which isn't Frodo if he escapes), while this collision/release of violence also is precisely what will break the momentum of their charge.

Amitloaf wrote:
(Counter to what Reiner Knizia replied before - maybe he was misunderstood?)
What's to misunderstand? To me, the quote above seems crystal clear (and, incidentally, intuitively right too), and it would be his own explanation, just forwarded by Chris Lawson. It doesn't contradict the original rule, and I don't even think it really contradicts FFG's first wording either.


3. FFG versus Reiner Knizia
Of course, FFG, on their part, have meanwhile and since then, in FAQs and their deluxe edition (2006), dug in even further on the opposite rule. So, in the end, it really just comes down to whether you play by the rules of Reiner Knizia or the ones by FFG. Either way, you will, by now, find crystal clarity.

According to Knizia: If the orcs come charging at Sam and Frodo, once Frodo leaves Sam alone to face them, Sam will surely die.

According too FFG: If the orcs come charging at Sam and Frodo, once Frodo leaves Sam alone to face them, the ferocity of the orc attack will suddenly evaporate, and combat will proceed as if the orcs aren't charging/attacking anymore.

Amitloaf wrote:
Anyway - probably a good player would not bring sam to the front in case the Orcs attack frodo first but just retreat and let sam fight...
In FFG's game, yes, having Sam refrain from defending Frodo when the orcs are coming (and Frodo leaving him) is indeed the encouraged behavior. Thus, the explicitly stated ability of Sam to intervene specifically against the orcs will be almost never used — the only real exception being the one you mention (when the good player simply has no other choice, due to Frodo being unable to retreat).

In Knizia's game, no, you might as well let Sam and Frodo stick together to the end, and have Samwise Gamgee loyally defend his Mister Frodo, also against the orcs.
 
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