Gregor in his fiery version did appear only once in the core game scenarios und once in the wardens of the west expansion for me so far, but since he can be played in skirmish as well, and there is some promise of fire with the brotherhood without banners expansion, i would like to share some first thoughts about using fire.
Fire as neede for victory points:
Obviously in scenario 9 (and all others yet to come, which grant VPs for fire levels or devastated hexes) you would want to burn as many buildings (plus bridge) as possible. First thing to note: Gregors commit ability adds one fire level to all existent fires on the board.
We want to use that as late as possible, so we can limit our efforts in burning to level 3 fires, which will than later be increased to 4 and devastate the building.
Besides the obvious advantage of taking less time, having only level 3 fires adds another bonus: they do not spread on their own. If we have a level 4 fire, there is a chance, however small, for the fire to spread onto the hex of the unit which laid the fire, costing us one round with this unit.
Setting buildings on fire prevents enemy unit from taking cover in them. Sometimes its better to have to different buildings on fire 1, then it is to have building on 3 or 4. Even if the opponent can quench it, it takes him one turn, some luck, and we can just set it on fire again.
Another nice move is to occupy a building with one's own unit, and then later order two units, have the one leave the building and the other set it on fire. This way we can keep a building until friends with torches arrive, and leave no time window for our opponent to jump in and prevent us from burning.
If we really can't get someone out of a building (or away from the wood bridge), we can always use our spare time to set hexes next to the desired one on fire. This does not just lessen the possibilities for other enemy units to help out (like giving stalwart or such), but adds the chance for the fire to spread into the building, either natural or more reliable via Gregors commit ability. This cann get us VP, cost our enemy time while quenching, and even cause losses to enemy units.
Using fire to block, slow down or threaten enemy units:
Besides the points above, fire can block a path. It is quenchable, but the effort is mostly not worth the time. Even if it is, it takes our opponent precious time to make his way.
If we set a hex with an enemy unit on fire, which is still active, we prevent this unit from doing mean stuff to us, but instead it has to spend its turn to get rid of the fire. This is especially nice if someone hard to kill, say Robb, is going to ride somewhere or kill someone. Have Gregor set a fire, then commit to spread to fields, and see Robb quenching instead of killing.
Some units might also chance to not go near any fire as long as Gregors commit ability is still active, because if they did, they would become inactive and therefor unable to quench their hex. We can Gregor have the fire spread onto their hex and take damage, either killing or weakening the unit _and_ costing them their next turn to quench.
That said, when playing with Gregor in his torch loving version, always consider setting hexes on fire, even if it seems to not help with any objective immediately.
Especially since he can just move one and attack, it is often possible to set some fires while he is getting where he's needed. These fires can just be left burning on any level, and later be used to great effect when needed.Hurt units will have to maneuver around burning areas, just as units with time critical tasks, and if they don't, Gregor can just commit to block pathes, burn enemies and catch them on burning fields.
Last but not least, some fires on the field make the state of game more complex, giving your opponent tougher choices, leaving him thinking about what you might plan or he might be missing.
Playing against someone with headaches is easier
Nice, thanks for this. I've played Scenario 9 once.
One thing to remember is that you can't set units on fire. Pretty much the only way you can have units on fire is if fire spreads into their hex.
That's correct, thanks for pointing out again, i wasnt clear about this.
Then again, brotherhood without banners will bring flaming swords as a new way to put enemy units on fire, as far as i know. I am not quite sure how i will like that, cause it feels a little to magical, but it fits nice with the books and adds to an interesting mechanic, which is little used by now.