Welcome, Guest. Please Login or Register
Old Scratch's HeroQuest Forum
01/15/19 at 8:46pm
Home Help Search Member Map Login Register


Page Index Toggle Pages: 1
Send Topic Print
War of the Ring (Read 3445 times)
Wolf
FIST!
*****
Offline


This is a probable fact.

Posts: 2372

The Land of YaBB, California, USA
War of the Ring
03/02/05 at 2:55am
 
Old Scratch and I finally got around to playing this game.  It is a very fun game and was very enjoyable to play.  There are two modes of play.  You can play the Quick-Start rules or the regular rules.  This being our first run of the game, we chose the Quick-Start rules.
Despite the 200+ figures it comes with and countless tiles/counters, it didn't take long to set up, and was actually pretty cool in the fact that you don't have to sit there and think about where to set your forces, they're already pre-set in the rule book.  So that was cool and we got to know the layout of the land rather quickly.
Then it went downhill from there.
Before I continue, I want to reiterate the fact that we played the Quick-Start rules only, and not the main game.  We both believe that they didn't play test the quick rules that much.  It turned out to be quite to the favor of the Shadow player (Sauron's Forces) and much to the dismay of the Free Peoples of Middle-Earth.  It was fun nonetheless, and we will play again.  Next time with full rules, of course.
Aside from the obvious military tactics that you must employ in a game such as this, you also have to consider politics, which is where the game went south.  At the beginning of the game, the Free Peoples control 5 nations, being Gondor, Rohan, Elves, Dwarves, and the men of the North (Rangers) and the Shadow controls 3 Nations being Sauron's forces, Saruman's forces and the Easterlings and Southrons forming the last Nation together.  According to the politics, none of the Nations start in a state of being "At War."  Being "At War" is a very big issue in this game.  There is a progression counter on the side of the board where you keep tokens representing each Nation's politics on the war.
The Shadow player receives more dice for actions in his turn than the Free player, and this gives him an advantage.  I guess it assumes the Shadow player is going to devote some of his dice to stopping the progress of the Fellowship.  Turns out that the Fellowship is really quite unimportant in this scenario.  It pretty much boiled down to martial strength.  And for the Free player, he starts off with several disadvantages when it comes to his military might.  First off, he gets less dice for actions each turn.  This is crucial because he needs these dice for things like movies armies around the board and calling in reinforcements.  Problem being, you can only call reinforcements for Nations who are "At War."  Secondly, the Shadow player has all three of his Nations starting in close proximity to the "At War" stage, so it takes very few turns to get his war machine mobilized whereas the Free Peoples player has his Nations further away from being "At War."  This presents a problem because it takes longer to get his armies mobilized or even reinforced.  Having less dice to move the Nations towards a state of War means it will take longer, so having them further away to begin with is quite a hindrance.  The Free Peoples' most War-minded army is only as war-minded as the Shadow player's least War-minded.  That sucks.  Thirdly, the Shadow player only has 3 Nations to move along politically into a state of War whereas the Free player has FIVE nations to move into being "At War."  Four of those start at the far end of the progression track.  The Shadow player never even runs out of reinforcements, as casualties are automatically recycled back into the pool of figures that can be called in as reinforcements during the game, while the Free player loses his pieces permanently.  Not that it matters, really.  Needless to say, the Free Peoples of Middle-Earth start at somewhat of a disadvantage.
Back to top
 

The Administrator.
WWW  
IP Logged
 
Wolf
FIST!
*****
Offline


This is a probable fact.

Posts: 2372

The Land of YaBB, California, USA
War of the Ring
Reply #1 - 03/02/05 at 2:55am
 
So during the course of the first turn, Gondor prepares for War, and both Sauron and Saruman martial their forces.  The fellowship moves a little bit closer to their goal of destroying the One Ring in Mount Doom.  Very little.  But it doesn't matter.
By the second of third turn, the Fellowship is not much farther at all, and Saruman has already led an attack against the forces of Rohan that has left them wiped out.  Fortunately, by attacking them and taking control of their settlements and strongholds, it has embittered them enough to want to go to War.  The irony...  Yes, Helm's Deep was taken surprisingly fast and easily during the very beginning of the game because it lacked the ability to reinforce its forces and so its defense was pitiful.
The next couple of turns the Free Player tried to bolster its morale by adding reinforcements to Minas Tirith and a fresh little army in Rohan to try to take back Helm's Deep, as well as trying to make some progress with the Fellowship.  While Minas Tirith was left alone, the men of Rohan were completely wiped out.  Such an end...
So as of this point, the Free player only had one Nation that could attack and build up in forces.  One was out of the picture already (an important one at that!) and the other three Nations really couldn't care less that Sauron was taking over Middle-Earth.  The Fellowship moved a little bit closer to its goal.  Again, it made little difference.
Minas Tirith was reinforced, and so were the armies of Sauron and Saruman.  One army invaded Minas Tirith from the north, and the men of Gondor proved their quality by repelling their numbers with a decisive first round of combat, reducing their numbers to an unimpressive 3 while taking no casualties of their own.  Second round incurred one casualty for each side, and the forces of Sauron retreated.  Having two leaders at Minas Tirith was quite an advantage, and the strategy paid off.  It also gave the Shadoe player a great idea.  "Why don't I just fly all my other four Nazgul over to this army and attack with them?"  And so he did.  And so he did.  The second army of Sauron attacked (during the same turn, mind you) Minas Tirith, and with the power of 4 re-rolls due to his Nazgul, was able to bring Gondor's finest to their knees.  And the Fellowship made no progress this turn...
At this point, the Free player decided to try to mobilize the other Nations.  Rohan was gone and Gondor was in mortal pain.  The elves decided they might want to help and were starting to get upset.  Meanwhile, the Fellowship again does nothing in the way of progress and the forces of Sauron and Saruman build up all over Rohan and Gondor, leaving the land of Mordor all but unguarded.  This made no difference, seeing as to how the two main armies of the Free People were already decimated.  The Shadow player felt no more threat.  The Free player felt no more hope.
In a decisive turn, the elves finally decide that War is at hand and the armies of Sauron destroy the men of Dol Amroth, taking over their 5th enemy Settlement and winning the game.
Back to top
 

The Administrator.
WWW  
IP Logged
 
Wolf
FIST!
*****
Offline


This is a probable fact.

Posts: 2372

The Land of YaBB, California, USA
War of the Ring
Reply #2 - 03/02/05 at 2:55am
 
The Free People of Middle-Earth were brought low by their petty politics while the evil Sauron took over the world with very little opposition.  Where was the Fellowship that was no doubt the savior of the lands?  Trying hard but in vain to complete a quest that was pretty much irrelevant.  For all the vaunted might of the fortresses of Helm's Deep and Minas Tirith, they were conquered all too easily.  Its people barely able to put up a fight due to the fact that their leaders didn't think it wise to muster up armies for a conflict that they didn't intend to get involved in.  Well, buddies, War is at hand and it's kicking your asses.  Wake up and fight, damnit!  It didn't even take that long to take over Middle-Earth, either!  The Free player lost maybe about 20 figures.  That's all.  For a game with 200+ figures, with huge amounts on the board from the beginning and plenty of reinforcements to add later during the game, 20 figures is a surprisingly small amount of casualties to bear to determine the outcome of the game.

We both believe that it was unbalanced in the favor of the Shadow player.  With almost double the amount of dice and therefore actions each turn, the Shadow player was able to easily get his forces battle-ready and deliver fast attacks against unprepared defenders.  The Free player had very few options and with as little dice/actions each turn and so many armies to try to rally to the war effort, it is little wonder that he failed.  The Shadow player could have used more dice for the effort to stop the progress of the Ringbearers, but why, when he could simply take over Middle-Earth?  The Fellowship doesn't make very much progress each turn, if at all, even without the Shadow player devoting precious resources to stop it, so why should he bother?  Devote all your action dice to getting your armies battle ready and fattened up, then attack, and claim victory before the Fellowship even nears the half-way mark.

It seems that there are more rules in the main game that will help balance out the game.  The inclusion of characters (each member of the Fellowship) will help muster the Free Peoples of Middle-Earth a little faster.  The Free player has more characters than the Shadow player, but the mobility of the Nazgul are still quite an advantage in being able to get a lot of Leaders to any battle he chooses.  Using the Siege rules it will be a lot harder to take out places like Helm's Deep and Minas Tirith, but it's yet to be seen if it will be enough.  Basically the Free player has to play a waiting game, trying to outlive the Shadow player's attacks, while the Fellowship tries to accomplish its mission.  Destroying the Ring is an automatic Victory.  Taking over enemy settlements seems like it would be an easier Victory, however, in the Quick-Start rules.  I dunno.  We'll have to try the new rules out next time we play to see how they work.  And after that?  Rules modifications to help balance the game if we find out that it isn't balanced.

But over all, it was very fun and we had a good time playing it.  Can't wait to play with all the rules and all the characters and all the event cards.  It should be more fun.  If only politics didn't get in the way of everything...
Back to top
 

The Administrator.
WWW  
IP Logged
 
Naked Ninja
ROCKET CAR!
******
Offline


M.I.A.
Posts: 1608

Adelaide, Australia, South Australia, Australia
Gender: male
Re: War of the Ring
Reply #3 - 03/02/05 at 2:55pm
 
Well done Wolf. Excellent report. Looking forward to see how it goes with the full rules. Would be very hard playing a game thats not ballanced for me as I'm fairly competetive and like to play to win usualy (I need to lighten up a bit sometimes). Although most of my games these days are with my 4 year old boy. Crazy Eights, Go Fish, Trouble, Snakes and Ladders, etc. so that's helping me break my competetive gaming attitude Smiley
Back to top
 
Naked Ninja  
IP Logged
 
Biff
FIST!
*****
Offline


SHIT!
Posts: 8546

Gardena, California, USA
Gender: male
Re: War of the Ring
Reply #4 - 03/06/05 at 2:02pm
 
It was definitely a very fun game.  Even though the quick-start was way unbalanced, we could tell during the game that it was gonna be a great game once we played the full rules.  We got the hang of the rules very early on.  We had a few times where we consulted the rulebook, but once for each topic was enough.

One of the things that was unclear:  We assumed that each "army" could only be given one action die per turn.  However, we spent probably 15 minutes each going through the rules, looking for where we read this.  So basically, one single army could be given every action die you roll, so you could move them three times and attack once, or move, attack, move, attack.  This really gave me (the Shadow dude) an advantage cause I had way more armies than Wolf.

One thing that sucked about the Quickstart is that I quickly realized that Wolf couldn't get his people mobilized.  I realized that I help bring Rohan to war just by attacking them, so after that, I never attacked the Elves, because doing so would get them closer to be at war, and thus would then be a threat.  But since the Elves were happy just sitting in their trees, I ignored them the entire game.

Helm's Deep kinda sucked.  It had ONE SOLDIER defending it.  When I went in with five dudes and a Nazgul, victory was easy.  Too easy.  It was ridiculous.  Like Wolf said, he couldn't reinforce Helm's Deep until Sauron had come through and destroyed it.  Then they were like "Hey, man, this sucks!  Let's go to war!"  And then the other guy was like "Great idea, but there's none of us left!"

On my first turn, I devoted three dice to the hunt for the ring.  It was the only time I voluntarily put dice in the box.  The fellowship moves very slowly, if at all, so they didn't even present themselves as a threat.  At all.  Just two guys way over there.  They never even got past Mirkwood before I had claimed Middle Earth.  So from then on, I devoted all my dice to military actions.  I was thinking a good rule (at least for the quickstart) would be to have a minimum number of dice in the hunt box, at least two, and at most 3.  This would even out the number of dice used by both sides.  The only time I felt a threat was at the beginning of the game, before I realized that none of the Free Peoples even wanted to go to war.  I wasted reinforcements placing troops up in the north to go and occupy a Shadow City, because it was completely empty, and I thought Wolf could get it.  Mind you, if the Free Peoples capture two cities and/or strongholds of the Shadow Player's, he wins the game.  The Shadow Player needs 5 to win.

When I realized that his dudes from the North couldn't even move to there, I didn't even bother defend it.  This was like HALF of his possible victory, but I didn't even defend it.  It was dumb.  I quickly decided that the way to win this game was to take over five of his cities.  Forget the ringbearers.  It would be like eight years before they got to Mordor.  It took like half a day to take over Middle Earth.

Well, just by reading the Standard rules, we can tell it's gonna be a bit more balanced.  I look forward to playing again.  It was a great game.
Back to top
 

SHIT AGAIN!
WWW  
IP Logged
 
Naked Ninja
ROCKET CAR!
******
Offline


M.I.A.
Posts: 1608

Adelaide, Australia, South Australia, Australia
Gender: male
Re: War of the Ring
Reply #5 - 03/06/05 at 6:40pm
 
hmm, I'm jealous of you two over there involved in gamefest 2005  Undecided
Back to top
 
Naked Ninja  
IP Logged
 
Biff
FIST!
*****
Offline


SHIT!
Posts: 8546

Gardena, California, USA
Gender: male
Re: War of the Ring
Reply #6 - 03/12/05 at 12:39pm
 
Ha yeah we've gotten some good gaming done recently.  Too bad it's 0 Dungeon Crawl.  Smiley
Back to top
 

SHIT AGAIN!
WWW  
IP Logged
 
Ogre
Ex Member





Re: War of the Ring
Reply #7 - 03/12/05 at 5:15pm
 
I gave up video games for lent.. and I have been miniaturen like crazy...

Boardgames and such... no video needed.
Back to top
 
 
IP Logged
 
Page Index Toggle Pages: 1
Send Topic Print