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Subject: I need help explaining the game's balance to someone rss

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Josh S.
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my dad and i recently were talking about one of our WOTR games, and he insisted that because he was losing quite a bit more than me, it was proof the the game is "horribly unbalanced." i tried explaining things the best i could, but he wouldn't budge. Please help me figure out specific things i should tell him to argue his points in addition to two major points in the rules he also deemed as the main reasons for the "unbalance"

1) The fact that the fellowship can't go into a FP city/stronghold when revealed. He says that is the "dumbest rule" in the game. how should i explain the reasoning to that?

2) The Witch King: Chief of the Ringwraith's ability to grant a hunt re-roll for every nazgul in the same region as the fellowship's last known position. He says that is very one-sided.

3) he says that when a card says "same region as the fellowship," (ie, ... if a nazgul is in the same region as the fellowship...) the fellowship must be either revealed or at step zero on the track for it to be able to be played. I thought that means they just have to be in the last known position.
Thanks for any help ahead of time
 
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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Legolas105 wrote:
1) The fact that the fellowship can't go into a FP city/stronghold when revealed. He says that is the "dumbest rule" in the game. how should i explain the reasoning to that?

The FP was trying to reach the stronghold, doing which is signified by declaring there.. Unfortunately, the bad guys caught up with them at the last moment, just before they arrived.

Legolas105 wrote:
2) The Witch King: Chief of the Ringwraith's ability to grant a hunt re-roll for every nazgul in the same region as the fellowship's last known position. He says that is very one-sided.

The Witch King is a pretty one-sided guy; that's why he's a problem for the FP. That's like saying that Gandalf's powers are very one-sided, which is also true.

Legolas105 wrote:
3) he says that when a card says "same region as the fellowship," (ie, ... if a nazgul is in the same region as the fellowship...) the fellowship must be either revealed or at step zero on the track for it to be able to be played. I thought that means they just have to be in the last known position.

You are right, those cards mean same region as the last known position, as indicated by the fellowship marker.

These aren't really balance questions, but things that apparently frustrate your Dad. The best way to demonstrate balance in the game is to take turns playing from opposite sides. This can also help the two of you to develop new strategies. It's easy for two people to fall into a repetitious pattern when playing any complex game, in which case it appears far less interesting than it may actually be. That's far more apt to occur if you both always play the same role.
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dave
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1) Maybe they don't go there out of consideration of the townfolk? Maybe the townsfolk don't let them in with orcs/ringwraiths on thier tails? (It is a good rule). Edit: Sphere beat me to this and I like his answer better for this one.

2) The Chief is much weaker than the Black Captain--he should be glad you got it. If you're spending all those actions to keep nazguls there, the Shadow military isn't romping around the map!

3) You are right--the same region as the FSP is where the Last Known Position is (the Sam & Frodo marker).

So the easy solution to this is switch sides and repeatedly beat him with that side as well--that should shut him up. devil

I do think that the base game does favor the Shadow--but that's only if you are a superior shadow player. The expansion (or CE) does balance the game out a bit and adds some cool extra features.

When we first started playing, since it was my game, I got to play more than my gaming friends. Thus I became slightly better and could easily win as the shadow. Consequently, I spent the next 50 games or so being the Free, and was still able to just barely eek out the win. Every game is was just one tiny little thing to get me that one extra round to dunk the ring or that desparate attack for the military victory. It really is amazing all of the different things you can do to just get a little more time.

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David Douglas
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Regarding (1): I also think it'd be fairly difficult for Nazgul to attack, injure, and kill Companions inside a Free People's stronghold. Thematically it doesn't make sense; a successful Hunt is more than just spotting them, there's real potential for damage.
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Craig Rose
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Sphere wrote:
These aren't really balance questions, but things that apparently frustrate your Dad. The best way to demonstrate balance in the game is to take turns playing from opposite sides. This can also help the two of you to develop new strategies. It's easy for two people to fall into a repetitious pattern when playing any complex game, in which case it appears far less interesting than it may actually be. That's far more apt to occur if you both always play the same role.

I must concur with Sphere. Learning the game from both sides is the only way to appreciate how well this game is designed. It is also the best way to develop strategies for and against each side.
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Josh S.
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thanks all. he still insists that "even though i may be right, the game is still very unbalanced." *sigh* looks like i'll just pummel the crap out of him as the FPdevil
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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It sounds like he needs to justify why he is losing. That may also be why he doesn't wish to switch sides - if you beat him then, he'd have no excuse. At least he'll play. Hopefully he'll improve, and take you down eventually.
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D Hansey
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Sounds like your Dad needs to use his imagination a little bit.
 
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Kevin Wojtaszczyk
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he should try 7 companions to moria and go for a fpmv if you are playing the basic game.
 
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magic gecko
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7 companions to Moria. . . MADNESS !


So, just to be sure. . .
Your Dad reckons the most maligned and insulted piece in the game (Mr Hunty) is OVERPOWERED !

Your Dad reckons the Nazgul stroll about in towns?

Your Dad reckons "when a card says "same region as the fellowship," it means the fellowship must be either revealed or at step zero on the track"
So, why bother says some cards can only be played when the FSP is revealed?

Frodo does not become immaterial because the precise nature of how hidden they are is confused. "The Fellowship" is defined as the piece that has the 2 hobbits on it. Where that piece is matters.



So, In summary. . .
The game may be balanced between Free & Shadow.

Your Dad just reckons the game is unbalanced against Him.



I think I understand and relate to your dad.
 
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Josh S.
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the problem with my dad us that he doesn't care about things thematically making sense, he thinks that, regardless of the reasons, the rules don't make sense. Two things he is challenging me at:1) even though it was fully explained thematically, he still doesn't see how the "can't go into a city/stronghold when revealed" rules helps balance the game. 2) he disagrees with the fact that Witch king the Black Captain is way better than Chief f the Ringwraiths. He thinks Chief of Ringwraith is WAY better.What, specifically, should i tell him to prove him wong in that area?
 
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Kristofer Bengtsson
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1) That rule is both thematic ( the FSP run into trouble with some agents of the Shadow, and the bad guys got the info to Bara-dur, not likely to happen in or near a FP Settlement) and a balancing issue (preventing the FSP from entering a friendly Settlement gives the Shadow player the chance to play some of his anti FSP cards as well as hunting the FSP with armies and Nazgul to get Hunt rerolls).

2) Your dad needs to try different strategies and play many games. Having played hundreds of games I can guarantee the The Black Captain's card drawing ability is soo much more powerful, it can be used to keep drawing character event cards to get the anti FSP cards and special Hunt tile cards or to draw strategy event cards to get good musters and powerful combat cards to play a strong military game.
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magic gecko
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Legolas105 wrote:
the problem with my dad us that he doesn't care about things thematically making sense, he thinks that, regardless of the reasons, the rules don't make sense.


I just dont believe you.
We play this game because it meshes the theme so well with a great game.
If he can't deal with the crapy rules, why not use these instead?
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/506938/the-actual-rules-...






Legolas105 wrote:
Two things he is challenging me at:1) even though it was fully explained thematically, he still doesn't see how the "can't go into a city/stronghold when revealed" rules helps balance the game.


I dont think it does balance the game.
It is there because Nazgul do not search in Minas Tirith or Pelagir without an Army.
This is not so much theme as a basic concept.



Legolas105 wrote:
2) he disagrees with the fact that Witch king the Black Captain is way better than Chief f the Ringwraiths. He thinks Chief of Ringwraith is WAY better.What, specifically, should i tell him to prove him wong in that area?


I do not know what to say.
I am almost alone in believing Mr Hunty is playable, let alone good.
ALL house rules about Mr Hunty strictly upgrade him to more powerful.

Don't get me wrong, I LIKE MR HUNTY.
But it is fair to say almost everyone else HATES him.
 
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Kevin Wojtaszczyk
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pre-Moria first reveal, I agree with you that Mr. Hunty is viable.

post-Moria first reveal... he isn't as worth it in my eyes.
 
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Derry Salewski
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The whole fellowship movement thing definitely takes a little bit of time to get one's head around.

It sounds like he's not quite there yet.

Moving the fellowship doesn't represent the player in control of the free people moving them wherever they want to. So, revealing the fellowship doesn't mean simply spotting them along a path chosen by the player playing the free people.

The battles are happening in real-time. The fellowship movement is much more abstracted in terms of when and where things happen.

Now whether or not it makes sense or not . . . well whatever. Lol. Tell him to design a better lotr game, find a new game to play, or shut up and learn to play this one!

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Josh S.
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haha! That's what i said laugh well, we switched sides, and the funny thing is, i'm probably going to get a military victory because of some stuff he did that ought to shut him up and prove the game's balance
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TJ
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scifiantihero wrote:

Moving the fellowship doesn't represent the player in control of the free people moving them wherever they want to. So, revealing the fellowship doesn't mean simply spotting them along a path chosen by the player playing the free people.


I agree with this completely. We have to remember that the fellowship's path is a story that is told a little bit at a time. When the fellowship's last known position is moved and the movement track reset, the FP player gets to tell a part of that section of the tale, but he doesn't get to tell the entire story; his story must fit logically with what is already told. If the movement track tells us that the fellowship has moved up to two spaces, it isn't logical for the FP player to tell a story about them moving five spaces. Moreover, if the sp's forces have found the fellowship, it isn't logical for the FP player to tell a story about the fellowship making it safely to a fp settlement; the sp's forces wouldn't have found them if they were there.

So, the rule doesn't exist because the fellowship wouldn't go there if the sp's forces had found them, or because the sp wouldn't try to search a fp settlement (the ringwraiths certainly did this in the books), but because the fact that the shadow player was successful in his search implies that they must not have had adequate protection, and thus were not nestled safely within the walls of a friendly settlement.

Sorry, long answer to a short question, but this is the only way it makes sense to me thematically/logically.
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