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Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation» Forums » General

Subject: The four cards: Shadowfax = Win rss

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S Westenra
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Shadowfax = Win for the light side.

That is my personal opinion.
I have been scouring the discussion boards for info specifically on Shadowfax.
I have found some links for similar topics, but nothing that covers that four cards and specifically Shadowfax.

1) I have played this wonderful little game lots of times, and we generally find that:
without the 4 extra cards - The dark side wins about 70% of the time.
With the 4 extra cards - The light side wins about 75% of the time.

This is mainly due to Shadowfaxes ability to have a double turn.
They can either skip past the mountains, or skip past some (un)known threat,
it also makes dark side defenders in Morder useless and they have to step forward.
and worst - Frodo in the mountains (or behind moria) can threaten a win within the next turn.
I want to avoid discussing too much strategy here though as there have been endless discussions about tactics (see below)

2) It seems that some people insist that the four extra cards should not be used as they are for handicapping one player.
My interpretation is that they are like an expansion, and can be used to make a slightly altered game.
If the 'Handicapping' is the official way to play this game then surely all of them should not be used at the same time.
So which cards should be added - which brings about point (3)
I myself have only played with all four cards, not a selection of them, as - like someone else mentioned - we're all to proud to admit that we need a handicap.

3) Ranking the 4 extra cards.
Best=Shadowfax lets White win. IMHO this is the best of the 4 cards.
Next Best=Gandalf the white - gives White an Expendable Gandalf who can rampage into dark territory and drain Black of their good cards.
Next Best=Return to Mordor- Allows Black to di s similar task with the Orcs or Cave Troll etc.
However this is a disadvantage for the Balrog, is useless for Shelob, and would make the alternate winning condition (3 in shire) impossible
Worst=Palintir - good but very situational. it really is only a scouting card or a card to help black determine where characters are. It doesn't guarantee a kill.
Granted it can help a lot (Flying Nazgul/ Orcs&Gimli / etc etc) and is useful, but it is not *as* useful as the other three.
Perhaps this should be a topic for another discussion, but I feel it needs to be here.

So in summary:
What brought me to this topic is they my play buddies have been trying to work out how to reduce the abilities of Shadowfax.
We are wondering if we enforce a rule that it can't be used for Frodo,
or perhaps stop if being used to go to Dagorland or Gondor (nd therefore step in for the win).
alternatively We can try and upgrade the other cards (too difficult)
or We can upgrade/downgrade characters (far too difficult to balance)

Has anyone else found this imbalance in victories?
Has anyone else found Shadowfax too powerful?
Can someone please disagree with my rankings on the four cards.

Cheers and thanks to Reiner Knizia for such a cool game.
Simon
---
References.
The abilities of Shadowfax has already been discussed a bit in
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/82758

and winning percentages are mentioned in
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/22995

and a very off topic discussion about the four cards in
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/17746

Also the Palintir tactic :
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/31215
 
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Sean McCarthy
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A very efficient way to deal with both Gandalf the White and Shadowfax is to always keep a guy in Fangorn. This not only outright stops GtW, it makes it suicide for frodo to a) use shadowfax to cross the mountains or b) try to get within two spaces of Mordor to threaten a win next turn. Either of these related plays puts Frodo next to Fangorn, in a region he can't retreat from. You can easily kill him with the nazgul, or even the black rider.

Keeping a guy in Fangorn is VERY important.

I do agree that Shadowfax is the best of the variant cards. I'm not quite as convinced about GtW, and I think you are underrating Palantir. There are a lot of situations in LotR:TC where knowing which enemy piece is which can change a 50% win into a 100% win, or a 25% win into a 50%.

 
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Leonardo Gonzalez
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Quote:
3) Ranking the 4 extra cards.
Best=Shadowfax lets White win. IMHO this is the best of the 4 cards.
Next Best=Gandalf the white - gives White an Expendable Gandalf who can rampage into dark territory and drain Black of their good cards.
Next Best=Return to Mordor- Allows Black to di s similar task with the Orcs or Cave Troll etc.
However this is a disadvantage for the Balrog, is useless for Shelob, and would make the alternate winning condition (3 in shire) impossible
Worst=Palintir - good but very situational. it really is only a scouting card or a card to help black determine where characters are. It doesn't guarantee a kill.
Granted it can help a lot (Flying Nazgul/ Orcs&Gimli / etc etc) and is useful, but it is not *as* useful as the other three.
Perhaps this should be a topic for another discussion, but I feel it needs to be here.



Dark cards:
IMO both Dark cards are easier to play then light cards.

The Palantir-
Any light character you reveal with should be helpful for a doing a srategy with the dark side.When used in the first turns and two light characters are in a region its common for the dark player to know approx. 50% of the light pieces pretty fast.

Recall to Mordor-
Is usually easy to use in the game and as powerful as Shadowfax. Usually finding the appropiate moment to play this card isnt as tight as Shadowfax. If the light player does not know which character you moved back to mordor is also helpful.


Light Cards:
Powerful but not as easy to play as the dark cards.

Gandalf the white card-
Should be hard to use if the dark side plays well. No dark caracter in Fangorn is not easy to deal with and also if the dark player has the Orcs on Gondor or Dagorlad makes the card harder to use. At least in my experience its not uncommon for the card never to get played on a game. Also if Gandalf is not killed in the game you cant use the card.

Shadowfax-
Yes its powerful, but its not so easy to find that appropiate moment for playing the card. At least on my experience its common to see this card used not for a win but to save frodo.

 
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