Lorien Defense Nov 30, 2006 0:58:29 GMT 1
Post by theimmortal on Nov 30, 2006 0:58:29 GMT 1
mrweasely said:Funny, my first inclination was the exact opposite! I'd write off Rivendell and concentrate on doing something dodgy in DEW, where Help Unlooked For exists. Oh, I admit its a lopsided mismatch, but most Free victories have some partially successful DEWfences.
I was speaking only in terms of the specific example given where Magic Geek 're-allocated' the use of those first three rolls of yours. Seemed to me in that case neither stronghold could be in great shape, but the thing about Woodland is that because Sauron is sending 2 armies there, he can re-distribute as need arises; whereas if Rivendell could break the back of 10-regular force that was headed there, it takes a while for Sauron to readjust. In general I agree Woodland is the place to be, as I'll get to in a moment.
Especially when Aragorn costs 2-4 dice to create, most of the swords. From a sword-counting standpoint, he pays for himself around turn 8, sometimes even worse if he runs from Minas Tirith like a woos. And that's not counting his guide ability, or his '3' corruption absorption. So if MG isn't seeing ring victories, maybe he should take a look at the heir of Isuldur.
I agree completely. Turn 1 Aragorn costs 3 swords plus a Will - the Fellowship hasn't moved and no one is even close to at war. Gondor is active, that's about it.
Galadriel costs 4 musters, possibly only 3 if Sauron brings out the Balrog as Magic Geek advocates. AND the Elves are at war and can then respond to threats against them.
Option 1 makes sense if Sauron is going for a slow, corruption-based game. Upping action-dice-per-turn is critical for the Free if the game is going to go 10+ turns.
Option 2 makes far more sense if Sauron is ignoring the FSP and rushing the strongholds, primarily Elven ones like Woodland Realm and Rivendell.
So I've tried 4 self-play games now of basically the following:
1) Shadow places emphasis on Isengard/Saruman/using Voice a lot early
2) Mordor army and Dol Guldur head straight for DEW
3) Dunlands army heads for Rivendell
4) Orthanc plans to hit Rohan
5) Zero eyes are placed
6) No FSP harming cards are played except for turn stalls if they are available
7) WK cycles from Strategy deck
Perhaps some of these assumptions are not actually what is being advocated? But that's why I state them upfront, so I can be corrected if an assumption is false.
My main conclusions are as follows:
1) Crowning Aragorn, especially early, is horribly, horribly wrong. That's 4 dice out of the 15 (minus reveals) that the Fellowship needs to win.
2) Woodland realm is the place to defend. If played properly, it can become indestructible. Since Shadow is sending armies to DEW anyway, re-directing isn't really an option for them.
3) Gandalf the White is *key* and needs to rise up in the stronghold that will cause Sauron the most grief. Usually Woodland. This means Gandalf the Grey needs to die at the first opportunity. Since corruption isn't an issue, you won't be playing any Character cards so you won't even feel his loss.
4) The Fellowship needs to move relentlessly. All other resources need to go towards making ONE of Sauron's targets an impregnable bastion, rather than just slightly buffing each of them.
For the Shadow:
1) Early Balrog is incorrect in my opinion. It sucks up a much-needed early muster, and makes the Elves significantly more defensible. AND it provides for an easy way for Gandalf to die.
2) Dol Guldur needs to put Woodland under siege *fast*. This means Sauron has to go to war early. But this causes some tempo problems, since it sucks a muster or two away from the Voice; to be efficient, the Sth Dunland army needs to be moving for Rivendell in conjunction with Mordor heading for DEW so that Army dice can be split properly.
For both sides:
Precisely as one would expect for a short 'blitz'-style game, a lot of luck is introduced for both sides. If Sauron rolls only Armies, Swords and Palantirs on Turn 2 (which happened on game 4 of my self-plays), it's all over for him. Similarly, the Free needs lots of swords and no musters late game when everything's already under siege and the musters do little good. Mordor can easily be traversed in 2 turns with Galadriel in play and Strider as guide.
It's really remarkable how much LESS damage the FSP takes with zero eyes placed instead of the usual 1.
In contrast, if the Shadow goes for a Lorien rush, they have no hope of winning a foot-race with the Free. The plan would have to be crush Galadriel early, and then focus on corrupting the FSP with cards and Eyes since the Lady of Light is no longer around to protect them, and Aragorn and Gandalf will both sorely be needed for dice-generation in the longer game.