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Minas Tirith - is it worth it?


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#1 sag_aloo55

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 10:18 AM

Have only played a couple of games and wondering if anyone had any views on Minas Tirith.

In the last game I played I managed to hold onto the city by putting a lot into the defence, including Gandalf the White and Aragorn (managed to get them in through a combination of Paths of the Dead and Gwaihir) but after the game I had a look at the Shadow combat cards and it seems that an experienced Shadow player will probably be able to take it if he / she really wanted to.

Do people normally find that the city is taken, or is it worth trying to mount a defence, possibly risking some of your more important companions?



#2 Sinis

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 05:08 PM

In the few games that I've played, I'd say yeah.  You've got a ton of orcs and southrons that are ready to assault the place, and Gondor in general has a lot of victory points.  You'll probably want to get the Witch-king out as well, so you're looking to spend a muster die to get Sauron to war anyway. 

The flip side is that if you don't attack, it seems you risk really bad stuff happening.  A common strategy is to spend an early muster die to bring Gondor one step away from war on the political track, so when the Shadow attacks Osgiliath, Gondor is pushed to war and the FP player has a brief opportunity to muster an elite in Minis Tirith.  Another common strategy for the FP is to get Gandalf the White out in Fangorn pretty early for the extra die.  If you don't put Minas Tirith under siege, there is a real risk the FP will move Gandalf the White to Minas Tirith (it's 3 spaces away from Fangorn) to activate them (if they haven't already been activated by the witch-king), spend a muster die to bring Gondor to war, and then start mustering troops.  At that point, you may be faced with a real possibility of a FP army on the offensive, with Gandalf the White leading (and Dol Guldur ain't far).  Secondly, by leaving Gondor unscathed, you allow the FP player to easily bring Aragorn into play, which gives them another action die, and grants them another strong leader with which to attack shadow strongholds.

Really, it's probably best to attack them.  Many players (from what I can tell) advocate attacking them first.

Edit: I just read your big defense problems.  You can typically avoid Gandalf the White being in Minas Tirith by not bringing in a minion until it is under siege (indeed, I rolled a friend who brought out the Witch-king early, and I snuck Gandalf the White in before he could get Minas Tirith under siege, and with him alone, it wasn't pretty).  The free peoples must have been motoring the fellowship for Aragorn to get there.  If they start throwing people in there, the best strategy is to put it under siege, and then leave it.  That will prevent those characters from creating difficulties elsewhere.



#3 Tsugo

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Posted 13 June 2009 - 07:17 AM

In a recent game, the SP waited too long to attack Minas Tirith.  I had already crowned Aragorn there and had enough time to build the defences fairly nicely.  Other than the late attack, the SP player had no cards in hand when he attacked with Grond.  The three round battle cost him the Witch King.  The dice were in my favor.  He lost his entire army, two nazgul, and the WK.  I lost an elite and a regular and kept MT for the remainder of the game.

Since Gondor is typically going to be one of the first nations to go to war, it makes sense to for the SP to hit as early as he can muster.



#4 Sinis

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Posted 13 June 2009 - 05:04 PM

It's true that Aragorn is one of the biggest deals about hitting Gondor.  It's an extra action die, and he's a powerful leader.

Though, Tsugo, your opponent must have been truly desperate to initiate a Grond attack with no cards in hand (with the witch-king, too).



#5 Tsugo

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Posted 15 June 2009 - 10:56 AM

Sinis said:

Though, Tsugo, your opponent must have been truly desperate to initiate a Grond attack with no cards in hand (with the witch-king, too).

I don't think it was sheer desperation that drove him to perform that combo.  I think he thought the variables were in his favor, mainly the one where he would not need to downgrade elites to continue the attack and the fact that I was prevented from playing cards (in my previous post, I failed to mention that Denthor's Folly was on the table).  However, not being able to modify the dice to overcome the defense of the stronghold was his downfall.



#6 Sinis

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Posted 15 June 2009 - 04:46 PM

Tsugo said:

Sinis said:

 

Though, Tsugo, your opponent must have been truly desperate to initiate a Grond attack with no cards in hand (with the witch-king, too).

 

 

I don't think it was sheer desperation that drove him to perform that combo.  I think he thought the variables were in his favor, mainly the one where he would not need to downgrade elites to continue the attack and the fact that I was prevented from playing cards (in my previous post, I failed to mention that Denthor's Folly was on the table).  However, not being able to modify the dice to overcome the defense of the stronghold was his downfall.

Mmm.  Without something to deal help with the siege's defenses (like desperate battle), the numbers have to be overwhelmingly in the shadow's favour.  Aragorn pretty much precludes that, because he provides two leadership and a combat die should the defenders winnow below 5 units.

It still seems like a dreadful move, even with Denethor's Folly, it really is possible to not roll a good number of 6s in three battles.



#7 joefling34

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Posted 15 June 2009 - 06:11 PM

To me Minas Tirith is a very important Stronghold, if not the most important. Reason being is very obvious. It is the easiest place to crown Aragorn King. As the Shadow player I would take it as quickly as possible. Try to get claim that and Pelegir before aragorn can get that far south. If im the FPP I would use a muster/army to move my regular units to North Ithlien and South Ithlien to prevent Mordor from getting to me so quickly. Not to mention if you move them there and muster gondor down one step, all it takes is for Sauron to attack one time and now you can muster two extra elites in MT. Also as the FPP my first few Character dice are used to get Strider to MT to use my first rolled WOTW to crown him. Dont forget that when you get Aragorn crowned, or simply move Boromir into MT then it automatically activates Gondor.






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