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Subject: Why Gondor Sucks. rss

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Magic. Geek
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Go here for the finished article, Collected Evil http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/865384#865384

devil

Gondor is huge, and all in one place.
The King can only start in Gondor, and the King is powerful.
With his retinue, Minas Tirith gets HARD.

Any weakness can be counter attacked by newly arrived troops.
Gondor has more troops, forts, leadership, and friends.
Rohan is so close.

Gondor is the last place that companions can leave the fellowship. Splitting off Gandalf, then the King, then maybe someone else, and getting to Mordor means the vast majority of companions are always gravitating toward Gondor.

Lots of companions means lots of flashy card play and maybe some very bad results for the Red Man. If the Free Player never rolls more than three dice, the shadow has won. Minas Tirith starts with four. Losing the Witch King down the back of the couch can be embarrassing.

Borromir, Faramir, the King, Cirdans Ships, and Path of Woeses can all make troops appear.
Dead Men is the only forced retreat in the game, and then it starts the seed of an army in a conquered area.

Gaurds of the Citadel and Dol Amroth's are full strength reinforcements.

Free Military Victories come from Osgiliath, the only neutral fort.
Dagorlad, North Ith and South Ith are the only named neutral areas in the Free cards. They are between Mordor and Gondor.

Everywhere else has less nearby troops, fewer nearby muster pointers, and far fewer cards.
Lose badly in Gondor and the game is gone.
 
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Daniel Edwards
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Wait. Let me guess what your solution is ...... no wait its gone...
 
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Philip Thomas
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So, what you mean by "Gondor Sucks" is "Gondor is really tough to conquer and so the Shadow should avoid it". Interesting use of language.

 
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Dave J McWeasely
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There are two full mordor armies starting the game right next to Gondor. That's good. However, they've got a glass jaw in that they only have one elite among them. That means you can't control the pace of sieges, and a botched Deadly Strife can easily leave you rolling fewer than 5 dice when Minas Tirith sallies.

When I take on a stronghold that I suspect is going to recieve some under-siege reinforcements, (The Gray Company, Cirdan's Ships, House of the Stewards, or whatever), I like to bring three elites and press the battle, trying to win, or at least beat them down to 1-2 dice, before they can get the reinforcement.
 
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Stephen Sekela
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MrWeasely wrote:
There are two full mordor armies starting the game right next to Gondor. That's good. However, they've got a glass jaw in that they only have one elite among them. That means you can't control the pace of sieges, and a botched Deadly Strife can easily leave you rolling fewer than 5 dice when Minas Tirith sallies.


I'm not the most experienced player (maybe 5-6 full games with the same small group), but I do feel strongly about the value of the SP going all-out against Gondor.

In regards to the above quote, it's true that Mordor has two full armies, but Near and Far Harad have pretty robust forces with two elites, as well. Also, maybe it's just luck, but I always seem to get a card giving some kind of immediate muster at a non-settlement location that can give some extra units along the way.

Something I've seen done two times -

Legions of Harad march towards Dol Amroth, while Mordor armies go head on with Minas Tirith.

Preparation - Of course, these two nations get to war ASAP, and Mordor musters an extra elite or two to bring along to MT. This can usually be done in the first two turns (of course, you've got to concentrate your dice rolls on this effort). Bring along at least two Nazgul for each group, and of course the WK (I usually don't like to bring him out until after I've mustered/moved my armies, and just before I'm ready to lay seige to MT - I like to use the dice for muster/movement and don't see a point in activating all the FP armies earlier than necessary).

Flow of Battle - We've seen some really AWESOME battles in Gondor, especially at MT (Dol Amroth can be a pretty pitched seige, too, but still a smaller force and FP will usually, logically, support MT more). In one case, Aragorn was already in MT (in the other instance, he declared in Pelagrir using that card that lets him sneak in from Rohan - forgot the name! Then he tried a counterattack which didn't do too much, and he took off to Rohan). Anyway, the seiges were SPECTACULAR!!! The FP was using all kinds of cool combat cards and muster cards to reinforce, and the WK was using all kinds of combat cards, as well. There were times when, I must admit, the SP seiges lost steam, and had to wait for reinforcements (which were being assembled while the battle was going on - they could either be used against Gondor or, if that went well, diverted towards Rohan, Lorien, DEW, wherever). This one time (At Band Camp...) the SP even had 'Grond', which of course shattered MT's pathetic attempt to withstand the Dark Tide.

Bottom Line - With Mordor and Southron armies so close, and Gondor having 5 VPs, I really like going for it. Regardless of how well the FP plays, and what kinds of combat cards he has, the ultimate fact seems to be that it comes down to a war of attrition, and Gondor just doesn't have the staying power if the SP keeps the pressure on by moving troops there. On two occassions I saw Gondor fall simply because they didn't have any more troops to muster to their defense...

Caveats - Of course there are dozens of variables (is Aragorn/Borimir there? What kind of dice rolls are you getting, how good are the cards you have to support the war), and there are details I've left out because either 1) I don't remember the specifics, or 2) I don't have all night to write them down (I've got a Christmas tree to put up and get ready for work, you know!).

Point is, I like going for Gondor. I'm not a big DEW fan, and later in the game you may be sorry if Gondor is still around - and you get a motivated FP player who wants to make a suprise assault on Mordor.
 
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Dave J McWeasely
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I think there's a lot to reccommend a GF (Gondor First) strategy. One thing I'm currently working out is whether it is better to blitz in with one Mordor stack and get Minas Tirith under siege and leave a regular in Osgiliath as a possible These Shadowy Boots Were Made For Walkin'[i] reinforcement point, or it is better to march out with all 19-21 hit points of Mordor bad-assedness. Like everything else, dice are a variable. If both sides are rolling Chars like nobody's business, then it might be better to blitz in fast with just the one stack, lock out the companions, and only then begin moving up your second army to secure Pelargir.

By the way, I leave [i]Grond
home when facing serious opposition. Grond kills the Witch King more than any other card, trapping him in battles that he desperately wants to end. The only time to use it is against under-defended strongholds you want to take quickly, and you can't or won't be busting down elites.
 
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