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Subject: Could someone please clarify if i've played this right? rss

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David Folksman
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Hello,

I didnt know whether to post this in sessions or rules but here goes.

Last night I cracked open a shiny new WOTR 2nd ed and solitared it to learn the rules (I only played 3 and a bit turns)

As the shadow player I concentrated in building up saruman units, brought saruman into play on turn two and used the voice to convert to some elites and recruit some units.

Turn three I attacked rohan, during the first three turns i had used the fp to advance down the political track and I played event cards that allowed for the mustering of lots more troops in rohan and had massed them at the border of orthanc (sp)?. Sorry im not au fait with the territory names.

On turn 3 Saruman attacked rohans army with 9 units 3 of which were elites, but no leader. I was unsure if I got 1 or 2 rerolls with saruman as the leader of the army. His leader ship is 1 so I just used 1 re roll.

Rohans army was 8 strong w/ 2 elites and 2 leaders.

Sarumans army was crushed, the 2 rerolls were crucial and the fp had action cards to reduce rolls of the shadow player(if i am playing the rules right) rohan was in the last box on the political track due to mustering rolls from the fp turn 1 and 2, hence it was activated and moved into the at war stauts.

On the next fp action roll I used an army to move into orthanc and take it with 4 regulars + 2 leader vs sarumans 3 regulars who had retreated from the last battle.

I was surprised this was possible and am wondering if I played the rules wrong or just got unlucky with the shadow players rolls.

What do you think?
Thanks for any help.
 
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Mark L
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Remember that Saruman's ability causes all Isengard elites to act as Leaders as well, so you would get 3 extra rerolls with your 3 elites.

You were also lucky to get that specific muster Event Card, as you cannot muster via Action Dice as Rohan is still not At War. Finally, I don't think that a single attack on Rohan troops would have moved you to At War, so you couldn't have started a battle for Orthanc.
 
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Kevin Chapman
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You did do at least one thing wrong, but don't worry, as this was only your first game. It usually takes a few games to get it right.

The Isengard Army should have gotten 4 Leader re-rolls, as its Leadership was 4. Saruman's Servants of the White Hand ability allows Isengard Elite units to doulble as Leaders while Saruman is in play.

Beyond that, it looks like Isengard should have mustered up more troops before attacking. Since the Rohan Army was nearly as strong and had the advantage of the Fortification at Fords of Isen (the bad guys had to roll a 6 to hit in the first combat round), it would probably have been better to use the Voice of Saruman one more time to upgrade a couple more Regulars to Elites before attacking. A good Combat card never hurts, either.

You do realize that it would take at least two actions for the Free Peoples to take Orthanc, right? The first action would be to attack it, then the defenders would be able to retreat into siege immediately and the battle would be over. Then the Rohan Army could advance into the region, but another Action die would be required to start a siege battle. Alternatively, the defenders could try to survive one round of combat and retreat out of Orthanc, leaving Saruman there alone.
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Kevin Chapman
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markino wrote:
I don't think that a single attack on Rohan troops would have moved you to At War, so you couldn't have started a battle for Orthanc.

It would in this case, as the Free Peoples had already moved Rohan on the Political Track twice with Action dice.
 
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David Folksman
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Hello all, thanks for your assistance on this one.

I didn't realise that my leader ship was 4, thanks for that. That explains a lot. nevertheless for arguments sake, when the shadow player retreated to Orthanc, (which I was unaware was a stronghold) can I go immeadiatly into the stronghold as part of my retreat action? Or do I go into the siege as rohan attacks, do I have to fight 1 round of a field battle? I think I would have held out long enough to move some reinforcements into the region to help out as there were some stragglers i didnt manage to join up for the initial attack.

Could I have done this..

Retreat (go into siege)
FP player attack orth
(go into siege)* (if i couldnt do it at the retreat stage)
fight 1 round of siege
bring in reinforcements from other zone.

thanks again.

PS It's good to speak to you Krieg, i'm also thankful for your replies regarding axis and allies, you might know me on the other forum (AA.org) as general chang.
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Kevin Chapman
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Good to see you here, General!

You don't actually retreat into siege until your Army is attacked, at which point you may do so at the beginning of any combat round (before any dice are rolled), including the first round. Unfortunately, once your Army is under siege, it can't be reinforced. You can't move units into the region from outside or recruit units using a Muster die. The only exception is recruiting with an Event card, which is still allowed.

Of course, an outside Army can attack the Army that's besieging you and try to either destroy it or drive it away. In such case, the besieged Army can't participate in the battle.
 
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Jay P

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Welcome to the game! Others have focused on the rules, I'll provide some comments on situation probability and strategy.

On the Muster:

Bringing Rohan to 8 units (including 2 Elites) and 2 Leaders without a normal muster requires the use of two Rohan recruit cards (as noted). The probability of drawing two such cards in the first couple of turns is unlikely. So right off the bat, regardless of what follows, the event tree is unlikely based on card draw alone.

Note that two of the recruit cards require special conditions (companion in Rohan or Gondor active). So the dice rolls would need to facilitate the necessary character rolls, and an early decision to separate the fellowship to support the recruitment. Or, will require activation activity of some kind.

Strategy Comment: If you used the recruit card requiring a companion, then keep them with the Army. A companion in the Army would be significant, as some activate Rohan, they provide leadership, some add combat strength, and they all support combat card combos.

On the decision to attack:

An attack into a fortification at negative odds is not usually warranted on turn three. Even more so given Rohan cannot muster normally and Isengard can crank 'em out like there's no tomorrow. Why rush an attack? You will need more units to take Rohan, even if you get lucky. So there is really no reason to rush things at this point. In fact, SP might need to re-consider the optimal path to victory. FP has spent a lot of resources on Rohan, at the expense of options elsewhere. Pin Rohan and move north and south might be the best path to victory. But let's say the SP is feeling lucky, and doesn't care if Rohan goes to war. Isengard has a 12 hit point army, so even a perfect FP defense would only bleed off five (before taking battlecard into account). SP attacks, Rohan goes to war, and SP gets a round one bloody nose.

Strategy comment: One character die can bring all Nazgul to the battle. If you're going to attack, stack the odds. A character dice is a small price to pay for the punch four Nazgul bring to the table. In this instance it would take SP to eight leadership (4 Nazgul, 3 elite, and Sauruman). But more importantly, it opens up a boatload of battlecard possibilities that key on Nazgul.

On the decision to continue the attack:

After getting a bloody nose on an attack that wasn't really warranted, the greater folly is to continue the attack where the strategic loss far outweighs any gain. If SP only has three regulars at the end of battle, then the SP lost 9 points over the course of battle. SP never should have forced the issue to the tune of that many loses.

Also note that an attacking army does not retreat. It simply ceases to attack. Hence, the three remaining regulars would remain in the Orthanc region once SP decided to cease the attack.

Strategy Comment: It is very important for an attacking player to carefully consider worse case scenarios against a defending army capable of a "game changing" counter attack. This is true not only in the scenario discussed herein, but in many scenarios throughout the game. As the game progresses, and the stakes increase, sometimes you need to take chances and hope for the best. But unless the current strategic position dictates the need to take chances, don't push luck that gains little on the win, but results in great loss on defeat.

Retreating into Siege:

If the 3 Isengard units retreated into siege it would take another FP action dice to execute an attack. With 4 Reg and 2 Leaders, it would take several more action dice and some more luck to breach the defense. The 4 Reg would need to roll three sixes (or have battle card augmentation) to win in one round. This against 3 plus 1 leader needing to roll 5 or 6 to hit. Note that siege attacks only go one round unless the attacking player reduced an elite. Without an elite, FP must use an action dice for each attack.

Strategy comment: The SP might consider dropping a couple of Nazgul in defense. Although SP runs the risk of having to recruit them again if Orthanc falls, a 3/3 defense in fortification should prevail over a 4/2 attacker.






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David Folksman
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Thanks so much for your detailed responses to my questions.

Just a quick comment on the point being made about the fp player needing the extra action dice to attack.

It was the SP who used an action dice to attack, and then ceased the attack. If the FP player then attacks, and the sp player retreats to siege, does the siege battle take place straight away? or does the sp get an action now, then the fpp have to use another action dice, for a total of two dice, to initiate the siege?

Also, an unrelated question, while there are many experienced people contributing to my thread..

During the allocation to the hunt, SP allocates one dice. Then, after the roll, three eyes come up and are also added to the hunt box. The fpp seeing this, decides not to move the fellowship.

Some observations..

It would seem that all the risk with regards to moving the ring lies soley in the hads of the fpp. If he sees a low number of dice, he moves, if not he stays. is this intended? It would seem the fpp is able to waste a lot of the sp dice, if he rolls a lot of eyes and/or allocates a lot of dice to the hunt.

What are your thoughts?

Also, while I think on, another question (sorry)

If sp allocates 3 dice to the hunt, then rolls and succeeds, resolves the hunt tile. Then, the fellowship moves again in the same turn, does the sp still get the three dice to roll?

Thanks again for your amazing help.
 
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Jay P

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DaveyF wrote:

It was the SP who used an action dice to attack, and then ceased the attack. If the FP player then attacks, and the sp player retreats to siege, does the siege battle take place straight away? or does the sp get an action now, then the fpp have to use another action dice, for a total of two dice, to initiate the siege?


FP uses one action dice to attack. If SP decides to retreat into stronghold, and the FP decides to initiate a siege, then the siege begins...battle ends...no attack rolls. The SP will then get an action opportunity. When the FP has their next action, they must use an action die to attack. Only one round, unless the FP has elites that can be reduced to continue the attack.


DaveyF wrote:

During the allocation to the hunt, SP allocates one dice. Then, after the roll, three eyes come up and are also added to the hunt box. The fpp seeing this, decides not to move the fellowship.

Some observations..

It would seem that all the risk with regards to moving the ring lies soley in the hads of the fpp. If he sees a low number of dice, he moves, if not he stays. is this intended? It would seem the fpp is able to waste a lot of the sp dice, if he rolls a lot of eyes and/or allocates a lot of dice to the hunt.


This is a core part of game strategy and design; the balance between the hunt for the fellowship versus a military victory. The more attention SP places on finding the fellowship the less attention the SP has for winning a military victory. And vice versa. With lots of eyes, the fellowship might decide to chill for a turn. It may take an extra turn to get to Mordor, but if that turn can be made up by slowing down the SP military victory by a turn or more...then that's a good strategy. Note that if SP has lots of eyes, SP has few military moves. On the flip side, by not moving the fellowship, the FP can make military moves...which ultimately slow down the SP military options. It's a fine balance.

DaveyF wrote:


If sp allocates 3 dice to the hunt, then rolls and succeeds, resolves the hunt tile. Then, the fellowship moves again in the same turn, does the sp still get the three dice to roll?


Yes. In fact, not only will SP still roll three but will get to add one to each die for each move the fellowship makes that turn. First move, roll 3 dice (need 6 to hit). Second move (on same turn), roll 3 dice (need 5 or 6 to hit). Third move (on same turn), roll 3 dice (need 4, 5, or 6) to hit.
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David Folksman
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Thanks again for your quick reply

Im playing a solitaire game right now and I have just drawn the action card for sp called "the nazgul strike"

It states, move the nazgul, if the nazgul is in a region with the fsp, then do x.

My question is, why would the nazgul NOT be in a region where the fsp is after playing this card. It seems, if this were not possible, one would not play this card.

Also, it would seem that seperating legolas from the fellowship straight away to get the elves in the war would be a wise move, is there any instance where you wouldnt seperate him?

Thanks again for your help and assistance, the game is amazing I cant wait to get all the rules down and introduce it to my friends.
 
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Jay P

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DaveyF wrote:

My question is, why would the nazgul NOT be in a region where the fsp is after playing this card. It seems, if this were not possible, one would not play this card.


Most of the time, that is how the card is played.

However, let's say the fsp is in a FP Stronghold that isn't under siege. You need to move Nazgul to a key point (or several key points) on the board and don't have any character action dice left to perform the action. But let's say you have an event action die. You can play the card using the event action die and get those Nazgul where they need to go. Even if the fsp isn't in a stronghold, there might be rare occasions where one Nazgul can't be spared to get the effect.

It can also be useful for deceiving the FP as to your options. If you don't have any character action dice showing, a FP player might make decisions assuming the Nazgul can't move this turn. That decision could open up a vulnerability that can be exploited by playing the card to move the Nazgul.

Basically, it will mostly be played to get the added benefit against the fsp. But there are exceptions.





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David Folksman
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Ah ok thanks again

I hope im not annoying you asking all these questions, I have another if you would be so inclined, or if someone else would like to answer.

I have a situation where Gandalf the white is in a siege in helms deep, its not going well and I want to get him out of there.

I have the card Gwaihir the Windlord, it states I can end the movement in a stronghold under siege. Can I move him out of there as well? I dont think I can but would like clarification.

I direct you to my legolas question above also.

Thanks again for all your help, you are doing me a great service.
 
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Jay P

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DaveyF wrote:

Also, it would seem that seperating legolas from the fellowship straight away to get the elves in the war would be a wise move, is there any instance where you wouldnt seperate him?


Situation dependent; what is the SP player doing? Smoke rising from Dol Guldor, troops moving west toward Lorien? Nazgul on the move. Yeah, moving the elves to war might be a good idea. But unless SP is doing something that requires the elves to be mustering immediately, there are usually other better options available...based on SP moves.

It will take a character dice to separate and three other dice to take the elves to war. Basically, all the options available on turn one. You get the elves to war and SP uses seven action dice to prepare assaults elsewhere.

And if the last SP action is a Muster, in comes Witch King on turn one. Assuming Sauruman is brought in as well, that's Eight dice to four beginning turn two.

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David Folksman
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Hm, lots to think about. In my solitaire game, Rohan is getting pounded from 2 fronts from isengard and mordor, and I havent managed to get gondor into the fight. Rohan looks screwed, the fellowship hasnt moved much. Strider has just reached gondor and legolas is busy trying to get the elves to war. Playing the fpp is hard

Why would the sp bring the witch king in turn 1, if it takes all nations to war?
 
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Chris Young
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Doesnt take them to war just activates (flips) them.
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Jay P

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DaveyF wrote:
I have a situation where Gandalf the white is in a siege in helms deep, its not going well and I want to get him out of there.

I have the card Gwaihir the Windlord, it states I can end the movement in a stronghold under siege. Can I move him out of there as well? I dont think I can but would like clarification.


Gandalf is stuck.

DaveyF wrote:
Rohan looks screwed


Rohan usually falls against a determined SP player. Sometimes, very quickly. Most FP Rohan options are geared for delay.
 
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David Folksman
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Well, i nearly finished my first game, but it was late and I had to pack up. I think the overall feel of the game i s amazing. As the fpp things look bleak from the outset. But little by little, the ringbearers make their way to mount doom. Golums ablity to not reveal the fellowship or take a hit on the mordor track is invaluable. It came down to 2 spaces on the mordor track vs 1 siege.. a race aainst time just like in the books and films. I think the sp would have won though with 6+ action dice left to commit to a siege with massive isenguard reinforcements coming in. I didnt manage to get the dwarfs into the war at all, there was just too much to do elsewhere, but with all the focus south the fpp could have dunked the ring without the help of the dwarves. Rohan and Gondor had fallen, so I think I need to find a way to get them active quicker and to get help moving south from the elves or dwarves. Thanks for all your help, couldnt have finished the game (nearly) without ya!!
 
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Andy Latto
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DaveyF wrote:
Also, it would seem that seperating legolas from the fellowship straight away to get the elves in the war would be a wise move, is there any instance where you wouldnt seperate him?

I think you are confusing activating an FP nation with bringing an FP nation to war.
Activating a nation just means flipping it over to the blue side. Separating, for example, Gimli, and moving him to a Dwarven city or Stronghold would activate the Dwarves. But this would not enable the dwarves to muster troops, enter another nation, or attack. To do any of these things, the Dwarves must be "at war". This means the political marker must be moved down three times to reach the "At War" box. All that activation does is flip the marker over, which is a prerequisite to getting it to the "At War" box; it can only be moved the last space to that box if it is on the "active" side.

There is no need to separate Legolas to activate the Elves, because the Elves start the game already active. And getting the Elves to war still takes three action dice, whether or not Legolas has been separated.
 
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Chris Young
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However Legolas can use more than just a muster die to get them to war so there is reason to send him off quickly.
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Jay P

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DaveyF wrote:
I didnt manage to get the dwarfs into the war at all, there was just too much to do elsewhere,


That is very common. The dwarves are too distant to make any impacts on the main SP thrusts. Hence, "too much to do elsewhere". The exception is when the SP executes a north strategy, in which case the dwarves muster in defense..or possibly a defensive offensive.

In fact, the Dale-Erebor-Woodland Realm (DEW) northern thrust was evolving into an optimal SP strategy in the first edition; that's half the VPs needed all bottled up close to each other. The game designers recognized this and plopped an additional dwarven elite into Erebor on setup for second edition.
 
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