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Subject: Keeping monsters alive on perilous spaces to prevent hero mission rss

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Alex Rockwell
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It seems to me that if Sauron figures out that the hero mission is to end the game with very few monsters on the board (1 or 2, whatever it is), that Sauron can keep monsters on the board by putting them in perilous locations. Then, when the hero goes there to fight the monster, Sauron instead hits them with a peril card (since its peril OR monster).

What am I missing here? How can the hero ever kill this monster? Thanks!
 
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David desJardins
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In the Ambush step of the hero turn, Sauron must attack with a monster or minion, if present.

But you are probably right that Sauron can always prevent this mission if he really sets his mind to it. Just as the Heroes can always prevent "His Dark Throne" from succeeding.
 
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Rauli Kettunen
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This is News ?
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Sean D.
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Yeah, if the heroes figure out the Sauron has the Ring Wraiths or influence in the shire mission (Can't recall the name atm), they could just park a hero there. BUT if that isn't the mission, they have wasted that time there.

I think a certain amount of bluffing could stop any of the opposing sides from completely revealing their mission. I do think the the Sauron missions are harder to complete though.

Edit:Yeah, my point is that Sauron will never be sure that is the heroes mission, so he may be trying to stop something that was just a bluff on the heroes part.
 
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Matt Smith
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Hector131 wrote:
Yeah, if the heroes figure out the Sauron has the Ring Wraiths or influence in the shire mission (Can't recall the name atm), they could just park a hero there. BUT if that isn't the mission, they have wasted that time there.

I think a certain amount of bluffing could stop any of the opposing sides from completely revealing their mission. I do think the the Sauron missions are harder to complete though.

Edit:Yeah, my point is that Sauron will never be sure that is the heroes mission, so he may be trying to stop something that was just a bluff on the heroes part.

Right. That's the beauty of the missions. Looked at in a vaccuum, they seem very unbalanced, with some being ridiculously easy, and some being super hard. However, when put them in the context of game actions, it gets harder to tell if what a hero or Sauron is doing is related to their mission, or just reacting to board conditions/immediate needs. A little bluffing can go a long way.

Case in point: The hero team in yesterday's game thought their mission (5+ favor) was a gimmie going into the game. However, because they had to spend favor to defeat my plots, and I made them lose some favor due to defeating them in combat and other cards, they ended the game with only 4 favor. They never seemed to be conserving favor, so I had no idea it was their mission, but reducing their favor is always good for Sauron. Also, I was dominant by Stage III, so I really didn't care what their mission was at that point. They even had Eleanor, the favor machine, but it didn't result in a completed mission.

The heroes surmised my mission once I got got my second ring plot in play and dumped my starting black-marker plot. When I played a third ring plot, it was obvious what my mission was, but by then they had to focus on my plot anyway or lose the game (which they did by one space).
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Jim Cote
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After our first game (admittedly too little experience), I have to say that I am now of the mind that the "2 or fewer monsters" mission is silly. It's the one mission in the game that you just don't go after pretty much ever unless you have it. And to force combat (monster + peril), you have to end your turn on the space (usually crippling your strategy). The rest you can justify doing things that get you there (or mostly there) for other reasons. I can't see us ever wanting to play for 3+ hours again if that card is in play. We'll probably just leave it out of the mix.

I would change my mind if the rule was:

- monster/minion = fight
- perilous = peril
- both = both
 
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David desJardins
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ekted wrote:
After our first game (admittedly too little experience), I have to say that I am now of the mind that the "2 or fewer monsters" mission is silly. It's the one mission in the game that you just don't go after pretty much ever unless you have it.


Based on one game? Gee, that's not very much data. I think if you just do nothing and ignore it entirely, you'll complete "Against the Shadow" quite often.

The idea of this mission (and also "Minas Morgul Kept at Bay") is not for the heroes to dramatically alter their play. The idea of these missions is that the Sauron player has a choice---he can either go out of his way to prevent the mission, e.g., by summoning monsters in inconvenient locations, or he can play without regard to the possible mission, in which case he puts monsters (and minions) where they are actually useful to him, but the heroes will often complete the mission as a consequence.

This sounds to me awfully like sour grapes. Maybe you telegraphed your mission (that is the problem) and then the Sauron player easily prevented it? That's not the game system's fault.

These missions would be a big problem if the heroes can't win without completing their mission. But that's not the case, at all. I think the game would work just fine if there were some missions that were literally impossible to fulfill. So having some that are just difficult seems no problem at all.
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Jim Cote
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DaviddesJ wrote:
This sounds to me awfully like sour grapes.

I was Sauron, but winning or losing has no effect on my enjoyment or evaluation of a game.

I played 5 monsters total, and never moved them the entire game. They all happend to have 3 influence on them, for reasons other than blocking combat. I watched my opponent getting more and more frustrated that he had to move 1 space and stop just to force combat.

I see now that I missed this: "Sauron may only place one monster token with each Command Monsters and Minions action (regardless of the number of commands it provides)." I guess I'll be the hero next time, leaving this mission in, and see how it goes.
 
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David desJardins
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ekted wrote:
I played 5 monsters total, and never moved them the entire game. They all happend to have 3 influence on them, for reasons other than blocking combat.


Why did you place monsters in locations that the heroes would not have to fight? The whole purpose of the monsters is to interfere with hero movement. If you're wasting actions placing monsters that do nothing, this is a significant advantage for the heroes.

Quote:
I watched my opponent getting more and more frustrated that he had to move 1 space and stop just to force combat.


As I said above, he's not supposed to try to force combat. If the players don't understand that they can't complete some of the missions by overtly pursuing them, and it's foolish to try, that is a problem, but it's a problem in teaching and learning the game, not in the game itself.

It's entirely natural for a first-time player with no idea of what he's supposed to be doing to start off by actively pursuing his mission. It's just wrong in this case. You shouldn't judge a game based on the results when a novice player pursues a wrong strategy.
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Jim Cote
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DaviddesJ wrote:
These missions would be a big problem if the heroes can't win without completing their mission.

On this note (again only one game played), what are typical results in the final battle? The hero loses any saved cards, so in effect is crippled compared to normal turn combats. Before the final battle even started (Ringwraiths with -1 penalty), I thought I had an easy win, and it was. Thalin had (I think) 9 cards and 8 strength to my 8 HP. I had 2 HP left when he went exhausted. Was this really just bad draws?
 
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Jim Cote
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DaviddesJ wrote:
Why did you place monsters in locations that the heroes would not have to fight? The whole purpose of the monsters is to interfere with hero movement. If you're wasting actions placing monsters that do nothing, this is a significant advantage for the heroes.

I placed them in locations between the hero and their goals and my plots.
 
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David desJardins
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ekted wrote:
Before the final battle even started (Ringwraiths with -1 penalty), I thought I had an easy win, and it was. Thalin had (I think) 9 cards and 8 strength to my 8 HP. I had 2 HP left when he went exhausted. Was this really just bad draws?


That's 3 stat increases, which is a lot. Did he have any training? Even without that, I think he should crush you most of the time.

Here's a random set of 9 cards for Thalin:

Reckless(5/3)
Sweep(3/1)
Overpower(2/2)
Rush(1/1)
Parry(1/1)
Block(0/2) x2
Dodge(0/3)
Evade(0/1)

With 8 strength, he can play all of the first five cards, inflicting 14 damage minus whatever you can cancel or block (Overpower gives +2 to the next card).

Here are 7 random Ravager cards for the Ringwraiths:

Aimed Shot
Poison Arrow
Fall Back (1 shield, cancel Melee next round)
Attack of Opportunity
Charge
Anticipate (1 shield, play face up next round)
Hack

As long as Thalin doesn't play Reckless or Overpower on the turn he knows it's going to be canceled, he's always doing at least 9 damage.

I don't think this is a particularly favorable draw for Thalin, either. His deck has 4x Overpower (effectively 4 damage), 5x Sweep (3 damage), 2x Reckless (5 damage). That's 41 damage on just those cards; if he draws 9/25 of his deck, the average is 14.76, at a strength cost of 19*9/25 = 6.84. And there are some other cards that can do damage also. And training can help further.

For defense, the Ravager deck has a total of 16 defense (counting Parry as 3 and Concentrate as 2), and two Fall Backs that cancel the next card if it's Melee. Expected defense draw in 7 cards is 16*7/25 = 4.48, expected Fall Backs is 0.72.

Clearly, it can go either way, but with +3 stats and -1 for the Ringwraiths, I think Thalin has a considerable edge.

Note that a game with more players is more favorable for the heroes, because they can pick and choose which hero gets a good draw for the finale.
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David desJardins
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ekted wrote:
I placed them in locations between the hero and their goals and my plots.


But if you're placing them on perilous locations, and then choosing peril rather than combat when the heroes move onto them, then you aren't using them to slow the heroes at all; they might as well not be there.
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Rauli Kettunen
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ekted wrote:
I played 5 monsters total, and never moved them the entire game. They all happend to have 3 influence on them, for reasons other than blocking combat. I watched my opponent getting more and more frustrated that he had to move 1 space and stop just to force combat.


Don't forget that Heroes can cut your influence chains, dropping those 3 influence locations (unless they were the Shadowholds) down to 1 influence.
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Jim Cote
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DaviddesJ wrote:
ekted wrote:
I placed them in locations between the hero and their goals and my plots.

But if you're placing them on perilous locations, and then choosing peril rather than combat when the heroes move onto them, then you aren't using them to slow the heroes at all; they might as well not be there.

I accept that. As I said, the influence was for other reasons (plot cards as I recall). It was a mistake to put them together if I wanted the monsters to fight. And it may have also been a mistake to choose peril (I didn't know which to choose), but I would have lost if I had fought 3 times (and presumably lost). Though, that's not saying much newbie vs mewbie.

This has been a helpful discussion.
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