Agents

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darkyeoman
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Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2017 3:07 pm

Agents

Post by darkyeoman » Tue Apr 09, 2019 8:47 am

I have seen very few decks that make good use of Agents, which were introduced in the Dark Minions set. I have never played with Agents myself, and have therefore many Agent-related cards that I never use. Does anyone have a good Agent deck to suggest or perhaps any tips on how to make good use of Agents? Or does no one play with them because they are too cumbersome to use?

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CDavis7M
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Location: California

Re: Agents

Post by CDavis7M » Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:56 pm

Hi darkyeoman! I love your blog and scenarios. I haven't followed any of them too strictly, but I've used them as a starting point for solo play. They are all very well done. Cheers!

Now, if you're looking for a "good" agent deck, maybe I'm not the one. But I have played with them and understand some simple strategy using them. But there is more than one agent strategy.

(1) You can use agents as characters in minion decks or fallen wizard decks. For example, Wormtongue is pretty weak. But he has 8 body, 6 DI against Edoras, and the sage skill, which seems to be less common for minion characters. A few other agents can use shadow magic, if that's your thing.

(2) Obviously, you can use agents as agents. I find that you can either (2a) use many of the lower-mind agents as agents to cover many home sites, (2b) use a couple powerful agents, or (2c) add only 1 or 2 agents without supporting hazards.

(2a) I have an old agent deck that I've been working on, and have changed a lot. The idea is for Aragorn to get Return of the King, stay in Gondor, and pick up Gondor factions while agents are spread to cover as many homesites as possible. This is because the homesite bonus is huge! I posted the older version of the deck here: https://councilofelrond.org/forum/viewt ... 128&t=3684. There is some discussion on the statistics. But after several plays I realized that it is much better to use home-site advantage over higher DI/diplomat agents when trying to influence away characters/resources. The current version of this deck has this hazard lineup.

Hazards: 30
Agent (8)
1 Deallus (Dunnish clanhold, bree, cameth brin)
1 Drór (Blue Mtn D.H.)
1 Fori the Beardless (Iron Hills D.H.)
1 Lobelia Sackville-Baggins (Bag End, Bree)
1 Nimloth (Thranduil's Halls, Sarn Goriwing)
1 Pôn-ora-Pôn (Druadan forest, wose passagehold, stone circle)
1 Râisha (Variag Camp, Easterling Camp, Southron Oasis)
1 Woffung (Lake-town, Dale, Shrel Kain).

These agents cover a lot of ground. I've been looking at other combinations of agents as well, but then when you swap one you need to swap others to "fit" and not overlap home-sites. For example, Gergeli is a diplomat (bonuses to influence) and covers Shrel Kain, Lake Town, and Easerling Camp (so then swap out Woffung and Raisha), and then Gisulf can cover Laketown and Dale, but also woodman town (rarely seen). Ivic is stron and a diplomat, he covers Southron Oasis, Variag camp, and Pelargir. So, you can see how you can mix and match these agents. There are also attack boosting card effects for scout agents if you want to mix in more of those vs diplomats. And of course, my agent deck is avoiding all of the Gondor agents because I need to use the sites for my own hero companies. If you place an agent and move them, or reveal them, then you are tying up all of those sites.

Creature (8)
1 "Bert" - Bûrat
1 "Tom" - Tûma
1 "William" - Wûluag
3 Cave-drake
2 Giant Spiders

These are just some basic hazards. They don't really work too well in this deck but I thought they were OK on their own. Other people like to play with Uvatha, Mouth, Assassin, and Slayer, and Cave Drake.

Permanent-event (2)
2 Foolish Words

This can stop a faction if an agent cant cover it by home-site (e.g., Eagles or Ents)

Permanent-event/Short-event (2)
2 Nobody's Friend
Short-event (10)
3 Good Sense Revolts
2 Muster Disperses
1 River
2 Twilight
2 Will not Come Down

These are mostly agent/anti-faction cards. Nobody's Friend can help you grab the right agent for the job, or it can let you place an agent to be in a position to attack. "Good sense revolts" lets you influence an ally, faction or character at +4 or it gives +8 bonuses if the home-sites match. "Will not come down" also lets an agent influence an ally, faction, or character and it removes the GI bonus for your opponent (good if opponent has more than 4-8 GI). The issue is that these cards require tapping, meaning that you can't move to the site (which taps the agent) and then use these cards. The agent needs to already be there. Which is why they work well at the home-site and why they work better for factions (which dont move) compared to allies and characters.

The stronger agent influencing cards can also work well. These are "Twisted Tales", which gives +6 against factions or automatic if at the homesite. But let me tell you, with all of the homesite bonuses, an influence attempt with Good Sense Revolts is pretty much already automatic. For example, Fori has 1 DI, +2 against Dwarf Factions, and Iron Hil Dwarves gives another +2 as standard modification. Then Good Sense Revolts gives another +8. Then, in the Dark Minions rules you see that agents get another +2 DI at their homesites and if the faction is playable at the agent's homesite then they get another +2 AND YOU TREAT THE NUMBER REQUIRED TO BRING THE FACTION INTO PLAY AS ZERO. WOW!!! What a crazy bonus, that's basically treating the "greater than 8" on Iron HIlls Dwarves faction as "greater than 0."

So, Fori has a total of 7 DI at his home site vs Iron hills dwarves, and his roll is modified by +8. So you just need to beat your opponent's roll + his GI (usually 4-8). Say your opponent has 8 GI, you can lose the roll by 6 and still win. I posted about dice statistics here: https://councilofelrond.org/forum/viewt ... 128&t=3804. You can see that you have a 97.3% chance of at least losing by 6 on a player vs player dice roll.

Basically, I'm just saying that it's better to use the more robust cards like "Good sense revolts" and "Will not come down" over the stronger agent influenceing cards like "Twisted Tales", and also, "Your Welcome is Doubtful."

Another devious agent card is "Pilfer anything unwatched." You move the agent to the home-site of your opponent's character and if you roll greater than that character's mind, they are returned to hand. You have a good chance to return a 5 and 6 mind characters.

The nice thing about lots of smaller agents at homesites is that you can easily drop them and not move them. And you may never reveal them. So they are easier to manage.

(2b) As for poweful agents, there is Baduila (6/8, warrior scout), Elerina (5/9. shadow magic), Golodhros (5/9, warrior diolomat, can tap to influence), Raisha (5/9 warrior scout), Taladhan (4/9 scout, shadow magic), The Grimburgoth (7/9, warrior, can tap the attack). These guys can be pretty strong if you move them around and use the agent attacking effects like "Cunning Foes" (warrior agent attacks +3), "Sudden Fury" (scout agents get _1 strike and choose defenders). But you will be chasing your opponent all game. The agent-teleporters can help (Inner Cunning and Nobody's Friend). "Shadow Out of the Dark" allows a shadow-magic agent to tap to allow undead to attack without using hazard limit. I imagine this can be pretty brutal. One nice thing about agents attacking (vs influencing) is that they can attack during the site-phase without using a special card and they can even attack if they are already tapped from movement.

(2c) If you just want to add an agent without the extra cards, it seems a lot of people like "My Precious" (can take two agent actions each turn, can also block resource Gollum) and Baduila (discard at opponents new site to return them to their origin). Meaning you can park them in Arthedain, Anduin Vales, Northwen Rhovanion, and cover a lot of ground (they can only move 2 regions, their current and one adjacent).

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Bandobras Took
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Re: Agents

Post by Bandobras Took » Tue Apr 09, 2019 9:14 pm

The biggest thing about agents is making sure they can get where you need them to go. Agents do no good if they're on the other side of the map from the action.
Remember, NetRep rulings are official. This does not necessarily mean they are correct.

You probably aren't playing Fallen Wizards correctly. This prompted the backlash erratum that I will link to as soon as I notice it is officially posted. :)

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Mordakai
Posts: 234
Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2013 10:38 am

Re: Agents

Post by Mordakai » Fri Aug 09, 2019 7:41 pm

Well, just the basics:

Baduila: free bounce, no counter, just brutal. Always in.
My precious: Maybe some use vs One ring, but always in vs minion (play it face up and avoid Balrog playing Stinker in his own Haven)
Golodhros: Brutal vs Mordor Shuffle (and also one of the few cards really effective vs that deck). Always in vs minion.
Lobelia: Alwais in vs hero (along with Pilfer) to get rid of hobbits. At least in the sideboard.
Drór: Same as Lobeia, but vs Blue Mountains' dwarves (pilfer).
Elwen can be quite effective (along with Your welcome is doubtful) vs Minas Tirith squatters.

The rest usually not very seen on the table, really, but don't forget the agents can take that spot that your general hazard strategy do not reach.

Hope it helps.
C'mon, not the Elves of Lindon AGAIN...

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