Orc and Troll rules for Fallen-wizards

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Thorsten the Traveller
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Orc and Troll rules for Fallen-wizards

Post by Thorsten the Traveller » Fri May 04, 2018 7:11 pm

It has been stated that for Orc and Troll characters in play by Fallen-wizard players, as they are considered hero players and explicitly follow METW rules normally, minion rules (i.e. MELE rules?) do not apply. Deviating from METW, only the special rules for Orcs and Trolls as outlined in the MEWH rules booklet apply to them.

this means de facto that, amongst other things:
Orc/Troll companies have no leader maximum,
Orcs/Trolls cannot take trophies,
Orc scouts do not count as half against the hazard limit.
See the discussion here: viewtopic.php?f=16&t=2720

One could argue that this was deliberate and by ICE design, frankly we'll never know (I might ask Coleman about it).

To make rules and play more consistent and self-evident, I propose an amendment to the MEWH rules.
This could be amended on a case by case basis, rather, I would propose to add the following to the MEWH rules:

SPECIAL ORC & TROLL RULES

Unless otherwise outlined below, Orc and Troll characters in play by a Fallen-wizard player follow the rules for minion Orc/Troll characters, and companies containing an Orc or Troll follow the rules for minion companies....A company with any Orc or Troll characters is an overt company...etc.

the second part is tricky, as FW companies are not considered minion companies. But technically this is also not stated by the addendum, it says follow rules for minion company. This was added because the leader rule deals with minion companies, rather than minion characters. But hazardwise a FW Orc/Troll company would still not be a minion company.
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Re: Orc and Troll rules for Fallen-wizards

Post by Bandobras Took » Sat May 05, 2018 2:53 am

I would be absolutely against such a change.

It is consistent and self-evident that rules that are RW-only rules are for RWs.

FWs already have to jump through hoops to play Orcs/Trolls (Bad Company/Thrall) and what Orcs/Trolls they have access to are extremely vulnerable to Pilfer.

There are enough inherent limitations to FW Orc/Troll use that there's no particular reason to give them the RW limitations any more than there's reason to give them a mode card requirement to move to non-Wizardhaven sites.
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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Re: Orc and Troll rules for Fallen-wizards

Post by Theo » Sat May 05, 2018 6:14 pm

Thorsten the Traveller wrote:
Fri May 04, 2018 7:11 pm
But hazardwise a FW Orc/Troll company would still not be a minion company.
Other than:
MEWH wrote:Overt companies are are minion companies for hazards that can only attack/effect minion companies (e.g., Sons of Kings).
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Re: Orc and Troll rules for Fallen-wizards

Post by Thorsten the Traveller » Mon May 14, 2018 10:37 am

Bandobras writes:
It is consistent and self-evident that rules that are RW-only rules are for RWs.
You mean for minion players (in this case). Consistent and self-evident is relative, and often subjective. Some would say it's not self-evident that Fallen-Saruman is a hero player in the first place. And a FW overt company can attack Elrond at Rivendell, even if they use the minion site card, is that consistent or self-evident?
And if CoE would change the MEWH rule, that makes the MELE rules excluding hero bits irrelevant.
There are enough inherent limitations to FW Orc/Troll use that there's no particular reason to give them the RW limitations any more.
You mention limitations, but seems to me that taking trophies and having Orc-scouts count as half-characters are a big plus!

Otherwise, your argument is one of balance? If so, that does not seem valid.
1) FW's are the most successful alignment in tournaments, see here: http://www.fallen-gandalf.net/results/worlds.html
2) None of the winning decks ever play multiple Orc/Troll leaders outside a haven. Is that because the current interpretation does not allow it for them (without the use of a resource)? Hardly.
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Re: Orc and Troll rules for Fallen-wizards

Post by Bandobras Took » Mon May 14, 2018 1:34 pm

Some would say it's not self-evident that Fallen-Saruman is a hero player in the first place
Some would, but they would be wrong.
When you play a Fallen-wizard, assume that your Fallen-wizard is a METW "Wizard". All of the normal METW rules apply except for the specific exceptions outlined in these rules. The ME:LE rules that concern Wizards also apply to Fallen-wizards.
As well:
Consistent and self-evident is relative, and often subjective.
To make rules and play more consistent and self-evident, I propose an amendment to the MEWH rules.
You may wish to shift the basis of your proposal. :)

And no, having Orc Scouts count as half and collecting trophies do not make up for the vulnerability to Pilfer, the inability to use most hero resources, the five-mind limit, the two starting stage point cost, and the inability to visit many hero sites.

FWs being the most successful alignment in tournaments is irrelevant. The question, again, is the scope of a niche play.
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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Re: Orc and Troll rules for Fallen-wizards

Post by Thorsten the Traveller » Mon May 14, 2018 4:27 pm

I assumed you understood the meaning of theme, it seems I shouldn't have.
ICE mixed minion and hero in the FW alignment, and decided that the player is hero, thereby creating both cool opportunities and difficulties. For me Orcs/Trolls will never be heroes, no matter who they work for. So consistency from my perspective refers to that.

YOU are putting up the counter-argument that FW Orc/Trolls have it tough and deserve a break. If you do not relate that observation to performance of decks in tournaments, then what does it relate to, your gut feeling, your experience vis-a-vis Hobbit riddling decks in your local playgroup? Yes they have to meet more requirements than other decks, but is that unbalanced, and if so, how do you assess that?

And on this topic, why are FW Orc/Trolls more vulnerable to Pilfer than other (FW) decks?
5 mind downside is the same for all FW decks, it does not hit Orc/Trolls any harder. Using minion sites is actually a benefit to many FW Orc/Troll decks and a reason to play them. More importantly, if trophy-taking and Orc-scout HL does not make up for all these downsides as you say, having multiple leaders does ??!!
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Re: Orc and Troll rules for Fallen-wizards

Post by Bandobras Took » Mon May 14, 2018 5:10 pm

1) I understand the meaning of theme. If you wanted this discussion to be about theme, you probably should have mentioned that somewhere, because you didn't.

2) Under the current WH rules, Orcs/Trolls *aren't* heroes. They also aren't working for Sauron or the Balrog.

3) I can certainly relate it to the performance of decks in tournaments. How many competitive FW decks make heavy use of Orcs/Trolls? If the answer is zero, then obviously FW Orc/Troll play is not too strong or even on a level with the other options for FW. There's no need to hobble them further by making multi-leader companies next to impossible (Ulkaur and 6-minders are the only options). And, as a final note, my "local play group" has consisted of just about everybody on GCCG, including people like Marcos, Zarathustra, and Sauron. I *have* tried heavy FW Orc/Troll, and it's even less viable than FW Dunk.

4) FW Orcs/Trolls are more vulnerable to Pilfer because most of them have the same home site as Golodhros. Minions are invulnerable to Pilfer, period. FWs are not. The issue at hand is applying RW-only rules to FWs. The fact that FWs and Heroes both need to deal with Pilfer is irrelevant, since we're talking about applying RW/Balrog restrictions to FWs.

5) Again, you're talking about giving RW restrictions on Orc/Troll use to FWs. The fact that FWs are limited by 5-mind is certainly a limitation not felt by RW/Minions. You seem to have become distracted from your original idea.

6) Using Minion Sites is rarely a benefit to FW decks (how many hazards force a FW to use Hero Sites?): again, I can speak from personal experience. The best one I've seen (other than R&L squat, which is available *without* Orcs/Trolls) is a Rivendell squatter, which is impossible to pull off with Orcs/Trolls.

7) Trophy-taking can, at most, give you +2 to prowess and DI, and that if you manage to defeat 4 MPs worth of creatures (does not often happen). Half size for Orc Scouts is better, but it doesn't have nearly the effect of 2x I'll Report You and 2x No More Nonsense. Even then, without applying RW-Only rules to FWs, they already have access to half-size characters through Hobbits. RWs receive half-size Orc Scouts to give them an option. FWs do not need that. So, no: trophy-taking is not enough of an advantage because it relies on your opponent's play, and Orc Scout size is not enough because FWs already have access to Hobbits for the same effect.

Again, since you're proposing adding restrictions that are RW-only to FWs, it needs to be shown that FW Orc/Troll play is strong enough *in comparison with RW play* that it merits the same kind of restrictions rather than the ones that the WH rules already give.
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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Re: Orc and Troll rules for Fallen-wizards

Post by Thorsten the Traveller » Tue May 15, 2018 10:40 am

Again, since you're proposing adding restrictions that are RW-only to FWs, it needs to be shown that FW Orc/Troll play is strong enough *in comparison with RW play*
Correction, I propose nothing of the sort! To you they are restrictions, not so to me. The 1 leader part is restrictive, but the trophy taking & scout parts are beneficial. I simply see it as extending Orc/Troll rules (theme) to Fallen-wizards. Your conclusion that balance must thus be considered is invalid - though considering balance is a good thing of course.

Furthermore, the discussion is not about theme, but theme is involved, as it's in the genetics of the game. Hence minions have other rules than heroes, hence Orc/Trolls can take trophies while heroes cannot. ICE did not make stuff randomly, theme was a basic element, and it should remain so.

Let's not forget, you brought up this issue 15 years after MEWH was released, and everybody (well, many people) had all those years automatically assumed that FW Orc/Trolls could take trophies. Perhaps they did not read the rules carefully, but you must admit, it's apparently self-evident to them - and perhaps even to you, or why make special mentioning of the topic?

nb. the 1 leader per company is a balancing restriction, but it's also theme! Put Shagrat and Gorbag together, or Ugluk and Grishnakh, and you have a fight on your hands.

Now about your analysis of balance. Golodhros as agent vs. hero does nothing 95% of the time. Perhaps you fear him being used against yourself as a minion, but that only applies to specific decks, and you as FW opponent can (and will) have him in your deck. Golodhros is not a common agent vs hero, and neither is Wormtongue (unless you play hazard decks with 30 half-creatures to favour your resource portion). There are also non-unique characters around, or are Orc-captain/Troll-chief bad characters all of a sudden? So the extra threat of Pilfer is not big.

I would take half HL ANY DAY !! over a +1prowess/+2 DI option. The +2 DI from No More Nonsense only compensates the -2 from I'll Report You. Low HL is key to success for almost any deck. Sure, you can throw 4 leaders in a company and add +1 body/+1 cc. Basically, you now have a Fellowship :-)

Competetively, FW Orc/Trolls will not win out against other FW decks, nor most Orc/Troll minion decks. Having more leaders will not change that, nor will taking trophies/Orc-scouts. That was not the point either. If you want, I'll explain my view on FW Orcs/Trolls and their raison d'etre in another post.

Besides, one can play Orders from Lugburz to have 2 leaders in a company. What can one play to benefit from trophies? It's a unique ability given to Orcs/Trolls by MELE rules, that adds great theme and cool plays. And you want to take it from them! :evil:
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Re: Orc and Troll rules for Fallen-wizards

Post by Bandobras Took » Tue May 15, 2018 1:42 pm

Thorsten the Traveller wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 10:40 am
Again, since you're proposing adding restrictions that are RW-only to FWs, it needs to be shown that FW Orc/Troll play is strong enough *in comparison with RW play*
Correction, I propose nothing of the sort! To you they are restrictions, not so to me. The 1 leader part is restrictive, but the trophy taking & scout parts are beneficial. I simply see it as extending Orc/Troll rules (theme) to Fallen-wizards. Your conclusion that balance must thus be considered is invalid - though considering balance is a good thing of course.

Furthermore, the discussion is not about theme, but theme is involved, as it's in the genetics of the game. Hence minions have other rules than heroes, hence Orc/Trolls can take trophies while heroes cannot. ICE did not make stuff randomly, theme was a basic element, and it should remain so.
Thus my response:

Under the current WH rules, Orcs/Trolls *aren't* heroes. They also aren't working for Sauron or the Balrog. As the rulebook states, FW Orc & Trolls have Special rules. A RW Orc/Troll should not play the same as a FW Orc/Troll, any more than a RW Elf should play the same as a FW Elf.

And whether or not one feels the benefits outweigh the restrictions, the fact remains that this would be adding restrictions. Trophies allow a RW player going overt to get some value out of hazards that don't give them MPs. FWs don't have the problem of defeated creatures not giving them MPs.

It's entirely possible for people to play incorrectly. Many people can't find their way out of a chain of effects, but that doesn't make timing rules somehow invalid.

It would be a shame to have a set of unique rules trashed in order to make FW Orc/Trolls into nothing more than a weaker set of RW Orc/Trolls.
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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Re: Orc and Troll rules for Fallen-wizards

Post by Konrad Klar » Wed May 16, 2018 11:40 am

White Hand, Special Orc & Troll Rules wrote:• Orcs that are “Half-orcs” are special - if a Half-orc is in a company with only
Half-orcs and Men, the company is not overt (i.e., the Half-orcs appear to be
ugly men to the casual observer). Half-orcs cannot take trophies. However, for all
other purposes a Half-orc is an Orc.
• You may not play Orc and Troll characters until you have played the appropriate
card (e.g., Bad Company).
CRF, Rulings by Term, Company wrote:A hero company is Wizard player's company, or a Fallen-wizard's company that has
no Orcs or Trolls. A minion company is a Ringwraith player's company, or a Balrog
player's company. An overt company is a company with Orcs and/or Trolls in it. Note
that some allies can make a company overt, but Half-orcs do not.
1.
I will try at a moment to consistently use FW Orc and Troll rules only for FW player and MELE Orc and Troll rules only for minion player.

It is curious why WH rules mention that Half-orcs cannot take trophies. After all a taking trophies is ability restricted for Orc and Troll characters under control of minion player.

Half-Orc characters controlled by minion player would not make its company overt (as stated in CRF), but could take a trophies.

2.
Now I will try at a moment to consistently use FW Orc and Troll rules all players and MELE Orc and Troll rules only for minion player.

Now "Half-orcs cannot take trophies." is applicable to minion players but "You may not play Orc and Troll characters until you have played the appropriate card (e.g., Bad Company)." is applicable too.

3.
Now I will try at a moment to consistently use FW Orc and Troll rules for all players and MELE Orc and Troll rules for all players.

Now "Half-orcs cannot take trophies." restriction makes a sense for FW. But for minion players "You may not play Orc and Troll characters until you have played the appropriate card (e.g., Bad Company)." is also applicable.

4.
Now I will try at a moment to consistently use FW Orc and Troll rules only for FW players and MELE Orc and Troll rules for all players.

Now "Half-orcs cannot take trophies." restriction makes a sense for FW. Half-Orc characters controlled by minion player would not make its company overt (as stated in CRF), but could take a trophies.


Each of the four above options creates some problems.
I see the option 4 as the least problematic. It is, as I understand, equal to the Thorsten the Traveller's proposal. I would vote for it but I think also that it requires adding the statement "Half-orcs cannot take trophies.". The restriction is missing in CRF; it is only present in WH rules set.
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Re: Orc and Troll rules for Fallen-wizards

Post by Bandobras Took » Wed May 16, 2018 1:48 pm

I would only say in response that ICE has had redundancy in its rules before. Stating something that could be figured out anyway isn't necessarily a sign of contradiction.
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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Re: Orc and Troll rules for Fallen-wizards

Post by Bandobras Took » Wed May 16, 2018 1:50 pm

The problem with #4, incidentally, is that it means that
Corruption checks for an Orc or Troll character are handled as if he were a minion character. That is, if the roll for a corruption check for an Orc or Troll character is equal to his corruption point total or one less, he is tapped instead of being discarded. He is not considered to fail the corruption check in this case.
would be even more pointless if Orcs and Trolls somehow inherited MELE rules by default.
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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Re: Orc and Troll rules for Fallen-wizards

Post by Konrad Klar » Wed May 16, 2018 2:14 pm

But as you said before "Stating something that could be figured out anyway isn't necessarily a sign of contradiction".
It is often just a redundancy.
An omission is other thing.
"Half-orcs cannot take trophies." cannot by inferred from anywhere by minion players, if WH rules for Orc and Troll do not apply to them.
If it could be inferred, then FW players could infer that Orc scouts count as a half of character for purposes of calculating a company size, or that (non-half-)Orc and Troll can take trophies (from MELE rules that do not apply to them).
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Re: Orc and Troll rules for Fallen-wizards

Post by Bandobras Took » Wed May 16, 2018 3:48 pm

I see your point. Yes, that would be a consequence of the separate rules I had not noticed. Half-Orcs when controlled by a RW player would be able to take trophies.

I still favor a difference of play between FW and RW Orcs/Trolls, rather than a uniformity.
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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Re: Orc and Troll rules for Fallen-wizards

Post by Thorsten the Traveller » Thu May 17, 2018 8:20 am

It would be a shame to have a set of unique rules trashed in order to make FW Orc/Trolls into nothing more than a weaker set of RW Orc/Trolls
What makes them a set of unique rules is mostly the fact that they do not copy some of the MELE rules ;-)
And this could well be by negligence rather than design...

In the MEWH "Special Orc & Troll Rules" there's basically only 2 things that separate FW Orc/Trolls from minion Orc/Trolls.
A. Orcs that are "Half-orcs" are special - if a Half-orc is in a company with only Half-orcs and Men, the company is not overt (-). Half-orcs cannot take trophies. However, for all other purposes a Half-orc is considered an Orc.
B. Overt companies are not minion companies for the purposes of the detainment attack guidelines in the ME:LE rules (p. 31)

A) is the introduction of a new keyword. CRF extends A to minions (at least the first part). This is another indication I would say that the similarities between FW Orc/Trolls and minionr Orc/Trolls are self-evident.
B) is not changed in the Erratum Proposal.
So the rules are not special at all, they simply pan out that way. They are only special in the context of a hero player normally not being allowed to play Orcs/Trolls.

And Konrad makes a good point, if it is mentioned that Half-orcs cannot take trophies, this would suggest that normal FW Orcs can.
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