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War of the Ring (First Edition)» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Two rules on how to lose as SP rss

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John Clark
Australia
Canberra
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First game of WOTR with Bill for quite a while - about 9 months in fact.

We were playing with the expansion. Bill randomly drew FP. I drew Wormtongue to start so figured that the three Rohan points would be part of my strategy. I put one dice in the hunt box for most of the game.

So, here is rule number one on how not to win: roll 2 musters in the first three turns of the game. Early on you need muster dice. You must get an extra dice on each of the first two turns. If you roll four on the first turn (reasonably likely) then you can muster both WK and Saruman on the first turn. As we were playing with the expansion, you only need three muster dice on the first turn to get the Balrog and Saruman. Having rolled one muster on turn 1 I got the Balrog. Then on the second turn I rolled an eye, an event dice and FOUR swords. No musters at all. Great. Swords are really pretty useless at the best of times for the SP but early they are really useless.

On turn three I rolled more swords and only one muster, making it two musters for the first three turns. I got Saruman out during turn four. This means that for the first four turns I could use a total of 7+8+8+8 = 31 dice, compared to the best case of 7+9+9+9 = 34 dice. If we had been playing without the expansion (and the Balrog was therefore not available) I would have got the first minion out during three, making my dice for the first four turns as 7+7+7+8=29.

OK, enough about that but you can see it was unlucky and bad. Bill, on the other hand, rolled two WOTW dice at least half the time. Aragorn was crowned on turn 2 and Galadrial came in on turn three.

Meanwhile, with my sword dice, and having drawn A Balrog Has Come, I decided to go after Lorien using all the Nazgul and the Dol Gulder/Moria army. Of course, I could not attack since I could not get Sauron to war, but I moved a bunch of troops over there, including the Morannon army.

Rule number two on how not to win: (this only applies to the expansion) Don't attack Lorien. Ever. Galadriel can muster in Lorien while it is under seige, so the elven troops take a long time to run out. In addition, once you have taken Lorien and killed Galadriel, the FP can get the action dice back immediately with GTW, so not much is gained for a lot of effort expended.

I bashed away at Lorien for dice after dice and eventually had to give up.

Meanwhile, the fellowship got to 6 steps on the track (with only Gandalf lost) before they were declared (not revealed) and I hit them with some nasty cards for a few corruption, which was undone by Athelas.

It was not all bad - I got the Palantir card out and got some good card cycling going.

However, I drew Cruel Weather with the last action dice on a turn, immediately after Bill got to Minas Morgul cry

While Bill was in Mordor I made an attack on Gondor from the South with a big S&E army. Aragorn, sitting in Rohan, used the Dead Men of Dunharrow and pushed me off, but the second attack was more successful and I eventually took Pelegir and Dol Amroth.

I was using the Palantir to get through all of the character cards possible, and found two of the special hunt tiles. One came out on the first step of the Mordor track (with three companions) and I got Shelob in after that, but Bill had three of then FP tiles in there.

In the end, Bill won pretty easily, destroying the ring with only 5 corruption after 2.5 hours. I got down to the last three character cards, and two of them were mordor tiles ...

---------------

Closing thoughts:

In this game I made some mistakes (attacking Lorien) and had some very bad luck. The recurring question for WOTR is how much luck is tolerable in the 2.5 hour game? Mostly the game goes fine, with luck fluctuating, but not rolling early musters must be one of the most frustrating thing.

Here is the summary of the games we have played:

2005 Apr 28 FP (Bill) ring victory (11 corruption). SP on 5 points.
2005 May 15 SP (John) corruption victory. FP on step 3 on Mordor track.
2005 May 19 FP (Bill) military victory.
2005 Jun 22 SP (Bill) military victory.
2005 Aug 31 FP (Bill) ring victory (11 corruption). SP on 8 points.
2006 Feb 02 SP (Bill) military victory
2006 May 21 FP (Bill) ring victory (7 corruption). SP on 9 points.
2007 Apr 02 FP (Bill) ring victory (1 corruption). SP on 8 points.
2007 Jun 14 FP (John) ring victory (5? corruption). SP on 6? points.
2007 Nov 18 SP (John) military victory. FP on step 2 on Mordor track.
2008 Jan 22 FP (John) ring victory (5? corruption). SP on 6? points.
2008 Feb 28 FP (Bill) ring victory (7 corruption). SP on 7 points.
2008 Nov 23 FP (Bill) ring victory (5 corruption). SP on 3 points.

Totals:

9 to 4 wins in FP favour
9 to 4 wins in Bill's favour

7 FP ring victorys
1 FP military victory
3 SP military victories
1 SP corruption victory

Strangely, we have a large number of FP ring victories, which is opposite to the general thought.
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simon thornton
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Strangely that is my experience. Ive only got it out 3 times , 3 FP victories (2 ring dump , 1 military) . And no disrespect to yourself but it basically looks from your stats like Bill is the better player.
 
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David Witzany
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As long as Bill plays the Free People, yes, he does better. When Bill plays the Shadow player, he's just 50/50. Let John play the FP for most of the subsequent games and see how he does. Maybe the FP just have an advantage in games between these two.

 
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Bill Allen
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Ngunnawal, Canberra
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Hi,

This is Bill. (Nice summary John)

Usually the luck seems to balance out - I often roll very poor action die while rolling great combat die for example ... or I roll about as poorly as John. This game however, the action die mostly loved me and they hated John, and the combat die were average for me, and not particularly happy with John.

I think we still haven't worked our strategies out quite right for the Shadow Player since the expansion came up. I tried the Hunt Witchking once and it totally failed on me ... Lorien is a whole different ballgame with Galadriel ... and we both baulk at using the Voice of Saruman for fear of the ents ... nor have the Dunlendings really seen any court time.

Maybe we just need to play more often (WotR, as well as TS, HotS, H:RvC, etc.)!

Cheers,
Bill
 
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magic gecko
Australia
Melbin Oz
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Great to see someone else keep track of their games.

The bit that I see is Shadow winning 1 game in 7 since May 2006.
The other 6 are Ring Victories.

The Expansion came out in 2006.


I think you guys just need to play another twenty games to get the wrinkles out of your play.

4 Musters on the first turn should not get Mr Angry And Saruman.
The Hillmen should see play in 90%+ of games.

Lorien should not be attacked lightly.
Running Mr Hunty properly is hard to do.
 
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John Clark
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bluekingzog wrote:
And no disrespect to yourself but it basically looks from your stats like Bill is the better player.


I think you are correct, particularly for our first few games. Bill always picks up strategies quicker than me and a couple of games I just did dumb things, which is always the case when the FP win a military victory! In recent times we have been pretty even. I am pretty sure at least one of my recent wins was when the luck went strongly against Bill, so it does average out I guess. The question is if really bad luck happens too often in a game of this length.
 
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