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Subject: Seperating Strider? rss

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Dave J McWeasely
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As a companion to djarv's article about the Witch King
( http://boardgamegeek.com/article/457221 ), I'd like to know the equivalent about Aragorn. When do people like to seperate the ranger? Usually I've been forking him off once I get to the east side of the mountains, typically with a huge forward-leaning supply of successful fellowship moves. But then again, the free peoples always lose, so maybe this is where I/we are going wrong.

 
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Dick Jarvinen
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Re:Seperating Strider?
MrWeasely (#457577),

(Hmm... answered this yesterday but somehow it never appeared; now I suppose I'll end up with the inevitable double-post)

Anyway, I used to separate Strider as quickly as possible in order to get the coveted Extra Die. But my buddy would never separate anyone earlier, killng Gandalf on a draw of '2' or '3' damage, and then randomly drawing characters to absorb damage on subsequent successful hunts. This allowed him to use Strider's rather valuable Hide ability, which in many instances is basically an extra die.

The wisdom of this strategy became apparent after having my butt handed to me in more games than I care to recount.

This 'use the fellowship to absorb as much damage as possible' is (for me) the toughest Fellowship strategy to counter.

If Strider can lead the fellowship fairly close to Mordor, serious consideration should be given to killing off Strider if a '3' damage tile is drawn. The ability to absorb 3 corruption is not insignificant, while the time and die necessary to split off Strider to gain an extra die may not be worth it.

Having said all that, I often find it more fun (if not overly-wise) to separate one or more of the other companions in a (usually fruitless) quest to muster an army or nation, and lead a Free People's army in a hopeless assault.
 
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Kurt Keckley
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Re:Seperating Strider?
MrWeasely (#457577),
As a rule of thumb I kill Gandolf ASAP and keep Strider as my guide as long as possible. I find that his hiding ability makes for smooth sailing on the Modor track. Granted it's not always easy to keep him around that long. However, you can keep him until the Modor track, it's very easy to move and hide twice a turn with his ability.

I tried separating him from the fellowship for the first time last game I played. I did this almost right away (2nd or 3rd turn I think) and raced him to Gondor. Subsequnetly, I had the extra die for most of the game.

The extra dice (I had GtW also) proved huge. As the SP allocated more and more dice to the hunt I found that I often had more dice to use than he did. I tossed the ring in with the SP only having 6 points.

Now I think that my view has changed. The use of the extra die for several turns seemed to far out weigh the benefit of 3 corruption (as a casualty) and the hiding ability. This is especially true given the likely hood of a sword or WotW being rolled. I think a math geek would tell you the die is the better deal.
 
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Dave J McWeasely
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Re:Seperating Strider?
p38_Lightning (#458195),
Not just the die, but you also get a leadership-2 captain-of-the-west, who has some whomping special cards: Dead Men of Dunharrow, The Last Battle, Anduriel. I think the gamge *wants* you to seperate him.
 
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Dick Jarvinen
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Re:Seperating Strider?
p38_Lightning (#458195),

Well, I'm a math geek (although some might argue that point ) and I don't think the answer is entirely clear.

First, you have to get Strider someplace to actually crown him, and that can be difficult, as well as costing die for separation, movement, and the crowning itself.

So you have to figure in how many turn those exta die roll may have cost you when moving the Fellowship.

Another problem is that if you release Strider early, you have to use more character die to move him than you would if the Fellowship is closer to Gondor. And if you release him too late, you may find that he has no place to be crowned as Pelargir may controlled by the SP, and Minas Tirith and Dol Amroth are under siege (or even lost).

I think you also have to consider what tiles have been drawn as well. If all the '3' damage tiles are still in the pool, you have yet another argument for leaving him in the Fellowship.

Clearly there are advantages to releasing him (as mentioned above) but you should definitely weigh those against the negative factors.

Now, if you knew exactly what die you were going to roll for the next four or five turns...
 
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Sean McCarthy
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Re:Seperating Strider?
Mustering Aragorn is sometimes good, sometimes not. It's already been pointed out that he has multiple important uses both inside and outside the FSP. I'll just say a bit about separating him.

If you manage to build up enough movement pre-moria to slingshot him down to within 3 spaces of Dol Amroth, or even directly there with We Prove the Swifter, that's often a good idea. If you think he can live through a siege of MT (maybe you have Guards of the Citadel and that Boromir card), send him there after passing throuhg Moria, in one move.

Also, imo, Athelas > Anduril.
 
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Dave J McWeasely
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Re:Seperating Strider?
Quote:
Also, imo, Athelas > Anduril.


Hm...

Are you assuming Altheas with Strider as guide? If so, then yup, I'll agree. Otherwise, its just another 1-corruption-healer-for-one-action-die ho-hum, ala Bilbo's Song, Horn of Gondor, &c.

Anduril: assuming you've got Aragorn, you get 2 auto-hits, but since you sacrifice his leadership to do it (which will typically give you 2/3rd of a hit anyway), you really only gain 1.333 hits, or a little more than half of a muster die. Of course if you've got 7 leadership because you've got a mess of companions, then Anduriel gives you the full 2.0 hits again. Its particularly valuable when you're besieging those pitiful little orcs who are trying to deprive you of your mighty-smitey military victory.

In my last game, Aragorn and a big, powerful army were mounting an active defense at Osgiliath. The SP attacked with 10 regulars and 4 Nazgul. First round Anduril &c caused them 4 causualties. Orcs kept coming, and sudden strike and some lucky die rolling gave 5 more hits. He halted the attack with 1 orc and 4 Nazgul. Next blue action die, Gondor attacks the survivors in South Ithillien, sending all four Nazgul to the locker room. I should have pushed on into Minas Morgul, and threatened Gorgoroth. I wasn't mentally limber enough to capitalize on so much success . . .
 
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Rich Moore
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Re:Seperating Strider?
MrWeasely (#457577),
I have always broken him off early, but since I've been playing mostly as the SP lately, I've seen what he can do in the company and would like to try keeping him around longer the next time I play the FP.

Frankly, he really rocked...especially with a well timed Athelas, but also he really kept me from playing any of my events that require the FP revealed. Sure there's only 3 of these, but they can be nasty. As for the extra die, I'm not entirely convinced the FP needs it. In games where Aragorn has died early on (due to being smacked in Minas Tirith for example), the FP has still gone on to win.

Rich
 
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Dick Jarvinen
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Re:Seperating Strider?
rcmoore4 (#459096),

You make an interesting point about the extra die. There are lot of players (on both sides) who insist on getting that extra die (or two) regardless of consequences.

(Confession: I used to be one of those guys; my regular opponent has since converted me.)

I think you need to weigh the 'cost' of getting that die; in some cases, you may find it is actually more 'expensive' (in terms of movement, etc.) to get it rather than use those dice for additional Fellowship movement.

And then there are cases where the results might come so quickly (such as in "The Saruman Blitz"), you may decide any risks involved are well worth the payoff.

No doubt about it, the dice are important; but lately I've been seeing articles where some think that the Event Cards may sometimes even trump the die (yow! now there's an ugly metaphor!).

That's one great thing about this game. Nothing, and I mean nothing, seems to be cut and dried. There seem to be counters for every conceivable strategy.

 
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Rich Moore
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Re:Seperating Strider?
djarv (#459337),
Yes, as long as the FP is moving along nicely, the extra die doesn't seem to matter ALL that much. Sure it's nice to have, and gives you more options, but if you're getting 2-3 character die a turn using 5 dice, you'll be in good shape for moving the Fellowship along. But that's what makes this an interesting strategy. Plus, you could always try an Aragorn late strategy, where he hangs out with the Fellowship for a few turns and turns to Gondor in the late game. This might not be an option if Gondor is overrun, but if you have the Dunharrow card you can clear out an occupied Pelargir and crown the king!

Rich
 
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Dick Jarvinen
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Re:Seperating Strider?
rcmoore4 (#459817),

Yeh, that Dunharrow card bothers me a bit. Because of its wording, it is far better for the Shadow Player to abandon Pelargir as quickly as possible, leaving just a control marker in its wake. If Minas Tirith and Dol Amroth are then both besieged, it means there's no crownie for Strider!
 
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Rich Moore
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Re:Seperating Strider?
djarv (#459962),
I interpret that situation differently. Regardless of whether there are SP troops to begin with in Pelargir or not, after playing Dead Men, there will be no SP troops in Pelargir. Strider will then be in Pelargir with his gondor army units, thus gaining control of the city and the ability to be crowned if he can hold the city until his next play of a WoW die. Remember, Strider can be crowned in Pelargir too!

Rich
 
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Dick Jarvinen
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Re:Seperating Strider?
rcmoore4 (#460057),

You are correct; I was thinking you could only play Dunharrow if there were units in Pelagir. The card clearly shows you can move Strider there regardless of the presence of enemy troops.

So basically, the Dunharrow card always allows you to crown Strider (as long as you have a Will of the West die available).

Who knows? Someday I may actually learn ALL the rules.
 
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Yaron Racah
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Re:Seperating Strider?
rcmoore4 (#460057),

Indeed, but if there is a sizeable SP army near Pelargir, Strider will not hold on to his crown for any length of time. Unless you choose to forego the 3 regulars, and have him roam Pelargir on his own.

Yaron
 
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Dick Jarvinen
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Re:Seperating Strider?
yaron (#461542),

Large hint:

Try to have a 'scouts' card available when you play your Dunharrow card. Then you can grab the three new recruits with impunity as any attack will just let Strider and his buddies retreat one area closer (Lamedon) to Dol Amroth.

In a subsequent Fellowship turn, the Strider and his army can be in Dol Amroth with just another Character or Army die.

 
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Alex Rockwell
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Re:Seperating Strider?
SevenSpirits wrote:
Also, imo, Athelas > Anduril.


In a normal game, definitely. But Anduril is amazing when going for the FP military victory. Really helps to take a shadow stronghold to get 2 free hits.
 
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Ben Moscrop
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Re:Seperating Strider?
[quote]djarv (#463018)
Large hint:

Try to have a 'scouts' card available when you play your Dunharrow card. Then you can grab the three new recruits with impunity as any attack will just let Strider and his buddies retreat one area closer (Lamedon) to Dol Amroth. [/quote]

Not if the SP has 'Swarm of Bats'

 
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Dick Jarvinen
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Re:Seperating Strider?
TelexStar (#464151),

'near' impunity.
 
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Sam Butler
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Re:Seperating Strider?
MrWeasely (#457577),
I have been guilty of separating him early, but in my last game I think it was warranted to separate him on the first turn. There were 4 Shadow dice in the hunt box, so I did not want to move the Fellowship that turn. I also had taken corruption from a card, so I wanted to spend a turn to heal in Rivendell.

I used 2 Musters to move Rohan one space from "At War", separated off Strider, and used another Will of the West to move Strider closer to crowning.

This was not ideal, but what else are you supposed to do in those rare instances when you have corruption before you even leave, and there are 4 dice in the hunt box?

I will try keeping Strider around longer the next time it seems prudent...but I just wanted to bring out that there are times when separating off Strider may be best, even on the first turn in rare circumstances.

Sam
 
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Rich Moore
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Re:Seperating Strider?
butsam (#466388),
I'm curious to learn how you got 1 corruption in Rivendell without having moved the Fellowship. I can't remember any cards that can be played on a Fellowship in a FP stronghold with the the movement track on zero. What was the card that added the corruption?

Rich
 
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