Black Rider, They Ride Together and Heralded Lord V

marcos
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Post by marcos » Thu May 28, 2009 4:52 pm

i agree with Leon

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Post by Frodo » Fri May 29, 2009 9:25 pm

Whoops, I worded my new TRT pretty badly. I also forgot that some RWs can easily hold followers under DI, thus negating the need for Black Horses at all. I think reposting on this page the text of the new virtual TRT and Black Rider might help us review the issues:

They Ride Together Virtual (Leon’s version)
Permanent event. You may play any number of Ringwraith followers in your organization phase. If at least six of your Ringwraiths control a Black Horse, they may use region movement and you may tap this card when they move to a non-Darkhaven site not in or adjacent to Gorgoroth; their company must move again. If tapped, this card is worth 1 marshalling point for every 3 Ringwraiths you have in play. [71 words]

Black Rider Virtual
Permanent event. During your organization phase (or immediately after a ring is played), you may place a Black Horse from your sideboard with this card. These Black Horses may be played as if in hand. If at least half your Ringwraiths control a Black Horse, their company is in Black Rider mode and may move to non-Darkhaven sites. You may start the game with this card in lieu of a minor item. [72 words]

Joe’s Suggestion (newly worded):
“If you have at least 6 Ringwraiths and their company is in Black Rider Mode…”

The above should make it clear that the first requirement is to have at least 6 Ringwraiths, and the second requirement is to be in Black Rider mode.

Regarding my analysis of when you’d have 6 BH, I wrote that “if you start two BR (V), you wouldn't have 6 Black Horses in your movement phase until 4th turn (since you play the 5th and 6th at the end of your 3rd turn),” and that this was “a turn later than I’d like.” What I meant by this was that this is absolute fastest one could feasibly hope to get 6 RWs on horses out. I don’t think this strategy is highly unlikely, as long as you don’t commit yourself to one particular RW as your RW (of course, with 9 RWs in deck, you’ll have one in play first turn). Anyway, it doesn’t really matter, because I was only analyzing if TRT would be TOO STRONG with my proposed additions by trying to figure that fastest possible play of RWs. If people think 6 RWs by turn 3 is extraordinarily unlikely (thus granting you about 3 turns to take advantage of extra movements and CVCC), this only adds to my argument that TRT requiring 6 Black Horses is too great a challenge. Remember too that in the old TRT, there was no requirement to be in any mode or have any horses in order to move again and gain the TRT bonus.

FINAL QUESTION OF STRENGTH OF NOT REQURING 6 BLACK HORSES
We made TRT a little easier to pull off (6 MP and two extra movements of it) by lowering the requirement to 6 RW. Now I am on the fence as to whether having TRT require only Black Rider mode is too strong.

If it’s not already clear to everyone, my new clause suggestion to TRT would now require the 6 RWs to use either Black Rider Virtual (which means you need 3 Black Horses), or original Black Rider plus something to let you hold influence over all those RWs (e.g., Black Horses). In other words, I am reducing the amount of Black Horses needed from 6 to to 3, or else you use your RW’s DI, which means with a free Uvatha follower, Witch-King can maintain six followers/company of 7 without needing ANY Black Horses, and someone like Uvatha with 5 DI can maintain five follwers/company 6 without any Black Horses. Of course, you may not draw up the right RWs at the right time, so it seems likely to me (Marcos?) that a player will always play A FEW Black Horses. So again, I think that you will likely have 3 Black Horses with 6 RW if you are going to original Black Rider route. But remember if you make a pact with original Black Rider, your fate is sealed: you can’t EVER move to a Darkhaven, or you lose all your followers!! So once again, this encourages people to use Black Horse.

Btw, I just realized Indur Unleashed (V) puts the whole company in Black Rider mode, too. (Of course, so does Black Rider original anyway).

>Your argument about turns is solved if BR virtual can pull BR virtual from sideboard, so why not do that?

I wasn’t arguing that the Black Horses are being played too slowly. I was arguing that the RWs will only come up so quickly, so I don’t see WHY anybody would need to play more than 6 Black Horses before turn 3’s end. Therefore, I don’t see why allowing the pull of BR virtual from BR virtual will help. (Did I miss anything?)

There’s only one thing that will help now: lowering the amount of Black Horses required by TRT. Either we go with my clause, believing that this will assist the deck, or we go without it.

Frodo

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Thorsten the Traveller
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Post by Thorsten the Traveller » Fri May 29, 2009 11:29 pm

I really don't get it, the bottle neck is playing rw's, not horses, so requiring an equal amount of horses as rw's (at least to a max of 6) is only relevant in so far it delays you one turn because of the horses being played in site phase. If you play more than 6 rw's, it doesn't matter at all probably. Requiring 6 horses doesn't have to cost you speed, and if you can pull BR V by BR V, you can have 3 of these in org phase first turn, thus 4 horses in turn 2 and 7 horses and a BR in turn 3....
of course, with 9 RWs in deck, you’ll have one in play first turn
Since when is that allowed? However you'll turn it, the most likely scenario will be that the TRT movement is a last turn movement, unless you are lucky enough to draw the remaining nazgul way before the end of your cycle (KU or WKU can get you 3 from discard but not many more). Reducing the number required to only 6 means you can up the chances to such early draw, but still it is very unlikely to have them together before turn 4 (unless you use methods like Carambor to draw alot but then you screw up other parts of your deck). This is not even counting the fact that opponent might play alot of nazgul first.

In other words, the number of BH in company is not very relevant, from resource playing point of view (ok it takes up sb space). If you want to be on the safe side for TRT, you'll want more than 6 RW's, so that makes it even less relevant.

Now, would it be a bad thing to lower the number of BH required? One the one hand it doesn't matter, because if the horse goes, the rw goes, so if you've only got 6 RW, you can't use TRT anyway to full effect. On the other hand, the less horses the better, then one is less likely to die, and if you've got 9 rw and only 3 horses, you are more likely keep 6 rw around, so opponent has smaller chances to thwart the TRT strat, and that was what it was all about, since it is difficult enough if neigh on impossible to thwart it anyways. So I'd say, keep it 6 horses for now.

The only good thing I see about lowering the number or horses required, is that you can choose to go with only 3 or 4 rw's, thus getting only 3 mp from TRT, but doing it rather quickly, for other game objectives, like Bag End missions. Still, with the other unleasheds around you don't need this one to do it, so is it worth changing TRT for, I wonder.

btw. Indur Unleashed V doesn't allow a comp with rw followers outside haven, I believe.
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Post by Frodo » Sat May 30, 2009 12:10 am

I forgot about the fact that you can't have 9 RWs in play deck; shows how often I play Minion, right?

I see three bottlenecks to playing the horses:
1) The one extra turn site phase delay to play the last few you need
2) As Thorsten points out, "the less horses the better, then one is less likely to die, and if you've got 9 rw and only 3 horses, you are more likely keep 6 rw around"
3) Nobody has mentioned this, but: you DO have to tap for those Horses, and there are multiple cards that can tap out your horseless RW followers even if you're not moving: Adunaphel, Stench, Eye of Sauron (V). If you wanted to move them to a darkhaven for the draw rather than squatting, you can have more problems.

At this point, then, the issue is whether TRT would be too weak, too strong, or just right with the 6 Black Horse requirement. I'm still on the fence. Marcos has the most experience on this one; do you want to weigh in here on the above?

Last issue: Should Black Rider pull Black Rider (V)? Thorsten wrote: "if you can pull BR V by BR V, you can have 3 of these in org phase first turn, thus 4 horses in turn 2 and 7 horses and a BR in turn 3...." This is all true, but who needs 7 horses and a BR stacked by turn 3. Two startable BRs will give you 6 BHs by turn 3 or 5 plus BR--isn't this more than enough?

Frodo

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Thorsten the Traveller
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Post by Thorsten the Traveller » Sat May 30, 2009 9:16 am

sry I'm not marcos :wink: , but

1) If you play all nine (more mp's), then you'll probably have 6 rw's with horses on the table before you play the last 3, so this is no delay.
2) This is no "bottleneck", this the only way you can stop your TRT opponent (apart from snowstorms and such).
3) If I have Aduni on table, I'd not use her on tapping a rw I know will play the horse anyway next turn, I'd rather leave her so opponent can't play her as follower. Stench only taps one guy, so tap the guy who's already got a horse, should not be a problem once you've got a few around. So if you squat you're fine probably, not many people run Gnawed with Words as a strategy :D, and anyway, you need only 1 site phase to play all six of them, so tapping out rw's is very tricky to be effective, even when moving.

I don't know about the final strength/weakness balance, that has also to do with how many slots you need to sacrifice (in sb, for support cards like voices), how much time it all takes, etc., but I just wanted to point out that the whole reason for having this discussion is that we want opponent to be able to do something about TRT. If they just need BR and no horses, chances to tackle them are greatly reduced.

btw nobody needs 7 horses by turn 3, so much the better, you don't need 3 BR V either is all I'm saying, but what's the problem with pulling BR V itself? then you have 1 more starting minor, seems only fair...
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marcos
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Post by marcos » Sat May 30, 2009 12:29 pm

i'd go with this:

They Ride Together Virtual
Permanent event. You may play any number of Ringwraith followers in your organization phase. If you have at least 6 Ringwraiths and their company is in Black Rider Mode, they may use region movement and you may tap this card when they move to a non-Darkhaven site not in or adjacent to Gorgoroth; their company must move again. If tapped, this card is worth 1 marshalling point for every 3 Ringwraiths you have in play.

Black Rider Virtual
Permanent event. During your organization phase (or immediately after a ring is played), you may place a Black Rider or Black Horse from your sideboard with this card. Such cards may be played as if in hand. If at least half your Ringwraiths control a Black Horse, their company is in Black Rider mode and may move to non-Darkhaven sites. You may start the game with this card in lieu of a minor item.

I mixed most of the suggestions. I kept black rider V able to be fetch from sb for the reasons that Eric pointed, and used Joe's idea about 6 RWs because as Eric also pointed out, you can choose to go with only 3 or 4 rw's, thus getting only 3 mp from TRT, but doing it rather quickly, for other game objectives, like Bag End missions.

Thougts?

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Post by Frodo » Sat May 30, 2009 6:03 pm

I'm fine with this of course, although now Eric is starting to convince me that these little bottlenecks might simply empower the opponent to feel like he can do little things to stop the TRT player. (Btw, I DO run Gnawed With Words ) :)

Leon weighed in for the full 6 horse requirement. So does Thorsten. Anyone else? We're probably ready to just vote on this.

Frodo

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Post by Frodo » Fri Jun 05, 2009 4:38 am

Bandobras, Jambo, or anyone else lurking here: what say you guys? We need to settle this one.

One thought, which probably points out the biggest limitation of the 6 Black Horse requirement: if the RW player sets out with 6 RWs and 6 Black Horses, as per Leon's version, and the opponent is able to kill just ONE Black Horse (Cave-Drake; they only have 6 body!; though of course you need something that chooses defenders, or assigns a strike to everyone), the RW player can no longer tap TRT to move again and get the points. In addition, since he was undoubtedly moving to a non-haven site, on his following turn he needs to move BACK to a haven to play another Black Horse, and then only on the turn after THAT can he attempt TRT again!

Now, you could counter-argue that the RW player needs to be prepared, and move with more horses. But this brings as back to the number-of-RW-in-play issue. Since you can't play more than one Black Horse per RW, you are limited to playing a number of them equal to how many RW you have out already.

It seems to me this might encourage less dangerous moves with TRT, which is not what we want.

Frodo

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Thorsten the Traveller
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Post by Thorsten the Traveller » Fri Jun 05, 2009 10:35 am

yeah, that's the difficulty, try to find a propper amount of risk vs reward.

But you'd be hard pressed to find a hazard that chooses defenders if I go from Carn Dum to Mount Gram to Gundabad, only the ahunts work there, can't even play Landroval because BR nazgul are covert.

TRT was meant originally to bring all 9 together. It's nice that with 6 you can also get a reward, but I also like the fact that if you move with 6, you take more risks, so that's your own responsibility in terms of protection. Sauron didn't send out 5 or 6, he sent all 9, so he perhaps calculated some attrition...

If it were up to me, and as I've suggested before, we would make the movement requirement to ruins/border/free, for thematic reasons and for gameplay....
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Nerdmeetsyou
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Post by Nerdmeetsyou » Fri Jun 05, 2009 12:09 pm

I've tried to read through your discussion to see what options we now all have. But am not quiet sure.

could anybody maybe sum it up for me, what's left to decide?
and where we are currently?

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Post by Leon » Fri Jun 05, 2009 6:24 pm

My point was mainly to have Black Rider and TRT as separate cards and we have agreed on that. I think that Marcos last version is ok and up for playtesting.

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Thorsten the Traveller
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Post by Thorsten the Traveller » Fri Jun 05, 2009 7:17 pm

actually, Marcos' last TRT version doesn't require any horse...
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Post by marcos » Fri Jun 05, 2009 7:20 pm

TRT no, but black rider does

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Thorsten the Traveller
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Post by Thorsten the Traveller » Sat Jun 06, 2009 9:43 am

yes but this discussion is about countering TRT, and you can move with TRT without horses, so that's not right imo, or how do you propose to counter TRT?
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marcos
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Post by marcos » Sat Jun 06, 2009 12:10 pm

Thorsten the Traveller wrote:yes but this discussion is about countering TRT, and you can move with TRT without horses, so that's not right imo, or how do you propose to counter TRT?
That is rather true...

What about a clause that TRT taps when the company moves using BR (V) ?? That way you need the horses from black rider, you make 1 black rider movement and then start tapping those TRTs

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