PDA

View Full Version : Ringwraiths



dneff23
24-12-2006, 15:34
I was looking over the Return of the King rulebook and come across the Ringwraiths/Witchking. I read over the rules and a bit baffled...they have only one wound on their profile. If a single wound from the archer can kill off the Ringwraith, then are they really worth the points?

Kjell
24-12-2006, 18:54
Er, now, I'm no LotR aficionado, but don't Ringwraiths have more than their fair share of whatever it is you can use to reroll wounding hits against characters?

Dr Death
24-12-2006, 20:00
It is only the single wound. However they do have defence 8 which is no small number. They do also (or at least can) have might and fate which makes them quite a bit harder than your average ranker. But yes, the wraith rules as written are a bit of a personal issue, GW have reduced them to simple zappy wizards which i do not consider altogether appropriote.

Dr Death

Sniper Kelly
25-12-2006, 01:00
I know what you mena, one wound and one attack seems rather strange. But on the other hand it does make them a challenge to play effectively, and they are different to any other characters in the game...

lorelorn
25-12-2006, 04:31
Now you know how Aragorn drove them off Weathertop armed with only a flaming torch and a yell...

Mars
26-12-2006, 18:44
Nazgul are brilliant. Their defensive stats only come in play when they are attacked directly, which should by default be never.

They're good for

a) taking out enemy Heroes. Aragorn suddenly becomes a lot easier to kill when he's outfought by a measily Goblin. Never mind getting Compelled and trapped, taking up to 20 hits or 12 Troll clubbings.

b) countering enemy wizards. Don't like Gandalf blasting your ranks with Sorcerous Blast? Sap Will is cast on a redicilous 3+, and always take the Witch King for the extra stats and brilliant Destroy Staff spell. It will turn a 150+ points enemy into a useless D5 point sink in a matter of turns.

c) leadership. Courage 6 and plenty of Will, these bad boys will keep your warriors going for a long time.

d) -1 enemy courage. Brilliant when you have Terror causing troops like Trolls, or troops that attack Courage like Spectres. Or just for making Humans fail their courage tests as quickly as a Goblin :D.

Jon_Irenicus
27-12-2006, 04:27
I got the impression (from the books and the movies) that they´re not all-powerful (though effectively not being 'killed' by losing one wound). Alessio wrote that he wanted the Ringwraiths to be stealth assassins, not killing machines.

Catferret
27-12-2006, 11:32
I play Easterlings and have avoided Khamul because he is really expensive and has harder-to-cast spells than other Nazgul. OK, he can boost combat stats and replenish Will but that relies on winning combat based on a random dice roll. He just can't operate as well as the normal Wraiths in their appropriate role. I use a King and 2 Captains instead at 500 points. More Might points across the front line and more survivability.

Dr Death
27-12-2006, 15:23
Well the simple fact is (i do hate that phrase but i deem it appropriote here) that the wraith rules as written are unsustainable. Any creature that relies on a finite resource of points to do damage in a wargame with no limit on the number of turns simply doesnt work in the system. Their basic profile aside, their 'will of evil' rule (and this applies to the necromancer and castellens as well) is fundamentally flawed and the game designers have missed every potential oppertunity to remedy it.

Personally in my house rules i have it that a ringwraith only looses will in combat if they loose the combat. I find this works so much better because rather than forcing the wraiths to be standoffish and stay out of combat where they can use their will points on infinately more powerful spells it gives them the option of actually getting stuck into combat without being blown to the wind. What's more is that it encourages them to do exactly as allessio wanted as it's a dangerous thing to send a wraith into combat alone but when gathered in force they become a much deadlier foe.

From all that i've read of the stories surrounding middle earth this is far more accurate to how i interpret the wraiths then as the lotr equivilent of a spell caddy- sitting back and playing defensively while bigger fish do the combat stuff.

Dr Death

erion
27-12-2006, 15:49
Think about how the wraiths acted in the films.

1)Attacking sleeping hobbits en masse, under cover of darkness, as they slept at the prancing pony.

2)Attacking four hobbits at weathertop with what amounts to poisoned weapons.

3) Nine Wraiths vs. Arwen.

4) Even the Witch King at Minas Tirith let his Fell Beast do all the fighting until Eowyn took off its head. Only then did he set foot on the battleground, and at that time only vs. a single woman and a hobbit, at which time he was supremely confident he would win.

The wraiths are not intended to be Gods of War. At no point in the films do you see an unmounted wraith taking on massed enemies. You do see them taking on selected individual targets, or small, weaker groups of targets, when they have a distinct advantage. That is how they are intended to be played -- Turning the tide when needed and nullifying powerful characters.

Dr Death
27-12-2006, 18:41
But the films are a limited scope of representation of the wraiths. In the books there is far less made of their magical powers- the black breath and the spell used to break the gates of Minas Tirith are the only things made of it. Regardless, that's all by the by. I'm not suggesting making them particularly combat heavy rather simply allowing it as a viable option and not making them as useless as a scary glove puppet once they've run out of will.

Dr Death

Neknoh
27-12-2006, 18:49
I LOVE using the Ringwraiths, and I actually throw them into combat more times than you could think, with 2 might points, they are easely used combined with plenty of Orcs and a Compell on an opposing super-hero (read: Aragorn or similar strength) where you have your one attack and might to boost it to ensure that you, 50% of the time WILL get a 6 and ensure the victory on that combat, and then, once trapped, a mighty ammount of attacks thrown arround by the orcs usually ensures that the character in question takes a sound beating. Spears will also help boost the wraiths, they become quite formidable fighters when they have 2 attacks rather than 1.

What I like is the idea that they should only loose will when loosing combat rather than per combat is something I like a LOT.

erion
27-12-2006, 18:50
The game is based on the films as a primary source, and on the unadapted works of Tolkien second. That's why I based my analysis of their in-game utility on their actions in the films.

guillimansknight
27-12-2006, 18:54
[QUOTE=Neknoh;1174052]I LOVE using the Ringwraiths, and I actually throw them into combat more times than you could think, with 2 might points, they are easely used combined with plenty of Orcs and a Compell on an opposing super-hero (read: Aragorn or similar strength) where you have your one attack and might to boost it to ensure that you, 50% of the time WILL get a 6 and ensure the victory on that combat, and then, once trapped, a mighty ammount of attacks thrown arround by the orcs usually ensures that the character in question takes a sound beating. QUOTE]


errrmmm...... im new to lotr but id use lots of archers on "super heros"

Neknoh
27-12-2006, 18:59
They are useful on Boromir, yes, but, with a force without Easterlings or Haradrim, we are talking Shotvalue 5+, not to mention that most superheroes have 3 Fate as well as Defence high enough to render strength 2 next to useless

Catferret
27-12-2006, 23:31
Actually, I take it back. Khamul can do combat if you shell out for a Fellbeast. He is more likely to win combat and do some damage and therefore regain his Will points. Still, can I afford to invest that many points in one model? Maybe if he had as many attacks and wounds as the King of Men that he used to be....

Dr Death
28-12-2006, 08:57
The fact still remains though that for as long as the wraiths are dependant on a finite source to do any damage they are going to use it to do the most damage they possibly can rather than what is particularly 'themed' and in most cases that is using their precious resource on spells. The fact that they are so dependant irks me more than the relative balance of combat vrs magic. It simply doesnt work from any rational point of view in a game that can last for any number of turns aside from being a complete corruption of the sentiment of the text in the book.

And to erion- how many times do you see wraiths using magic in the films? The threat is always portrayed as a combatant one rather than the fear of coming up against a mighty sorcerer.

Dr Death

Neknoh
28-12-2006, 10:33
The threat of the wraiths aren't conveyed as combat, it is conveyed as pure evil of the dark beings, or through their Fellbeasts, both ways are also conveyed in-game

Besides, if we are going to use the movie for refference, I have a hard time seeing how Arwen would survive long enough to flee from the nine

Neldoreth
28-12-2006, 19:59
Dr. Death, I love your metaphores!

"Zappy Wizards"
"Scary Glove Puppet"

I love it man, keep them coming. I also like your house rules too by the way :)

n.

hiveminion
28-12-2006, 20:20
I think the fact that Ringwraiths are dependant on their will is a good rule, that makes sure they stay out of combat as much as they can. After all, in both books and film, Ringwraiths rarely engage in a fight against the regular grunts. Instead, they swoop over the battlefield, using their magical powers to influence both enemy and ally. If they are present at all during a battle. Most of the time they're on a "secret mission" or are sitting in their fortress(es).
Ringwraiths aren't combat monsters, they're cursed spirits with magical powers, exactly as they're represented in the game.

Dr Death
29-12-2006, 16:37
Dr. Death, I love your metaphores!

"Zappy Wizards"
"Scary Glove Puppet"

I love it man, keep them coming. I also like your house rules too by the way

n.

Why thank you, i am afraid i cant claim credit for spontaeity though, i've used those on more than one occassion before but they aptly sum up what the official rules reduce the wraiths to imho.


I think the fact that Ringwraiths are dependant on their will is a good rule, that makes sure they stay out of combat as much as they can. After all, in both books and film, Ringwraiths rarely engage in a fight against the regular grunts. Instead, they swoop over the battlefield, using their magical powers to influence both enemy and ally. If they are present at all during a battle. Most of the time they're on a "secret mission" or are sitting in their fortress(es).
Ringwraiths aren't combat monsters, they're cursed spirits with magical powers, exactly as they're represented in the game.

I can agree with parts of what you are saying but not all. Yes, the wraiths were not combat monsters in book or film but neither were they particularly magical. Tolkien himself regularly points out that "their chief weapon was fear" (which actually means being as useful as a scary glove puppet isnt quite as inappropriote as a first thought:rolleyes:). But the 'will of evil' mechanic is simply unsustainable (literally) and the simple change i offer above i beleive to be a far superior way of dealing with their dependance on Will, retaining their inherit fragility while still allowing them to take part in the cut and thrust of battle when properly supported.

Dr Death

Catferret
29-12-2006, 16:45
In the Fall of the Necromancer book there is a scenario where the evil player gets to recycle dead models while trying to kill Elrond. Use all your Nazgul's will casting Black Dart at Elrond then bring him back next turn and do it again! And again. And again...
This seems to be the only real advantage to the "Will of Evil"...

WH40KAj
04-01-2007, 16:13
In the Fall of the Necromancer book there is a scenario where the evil player gets to recycle dead models while trying to kill Elrond. Use all your Nazgul's will casting Black Dart at Elrond then bring him back next turn and do it again! And again. And again...
This seems to be the only real advantage to the "Will of Evil"...

Not the only advantage, if the ringbearer is there with the ring on then you don't loose any will. I admit that the chances of this happening are low, but "will of evil" is there to make you not go into combat with the Nazgul, besides they have only one wound, they shouldn't be in combat really.
I think for the tabletop game, their role in the game fits them perfectly. Whether they go with Tolkien's image is itself debatable.