Ok. You’re wandering around Middle Earth, digging up treasures, recruiting armies, killing orcs, etc. Just minding your own business when suddenly, out of nowhere, your opponent comes marching over to your site and declares the dreaded Company versus Company Combat!!!! Your heart quakes with fear. But why? Are you afraid you’ll lose your wizard? No, Gandy with Orcrist can take care of himself. Are you afraid his group of orcs and evil men will kill an important character? Ha! Those ugly mugs couldn’t hurt a hobbit! But do you have any idea who takes what strike and what cards who can play when?
Well, fear no longer. With Wacho’s Company vs. Company Combat Guide version 2.01(TM) you’ll know whether Lt. of Angmar can pound on poor Halbarad or has to face-off against an enraged Aragorn carrying Andruil instead. You might even feel so confident you’ll march over to your opponent’s site and rough him up instead.
Ok, here’s what you need to know.
1. When can you initiate Company vs. company combat?
Well, first of all you have to be at the same site during the site phase. You have to face any and all auto-attacks first, and you can’t make an influence attempt against your opponent that turn. Your Company vs. Company combat replaces your chance to influence your opponents’ resources, and similarly you may only engage in one attack on your opponent per turn. The attack happens at the end of the site phase after all other actions.
As far as who can attack whom, it breaks down like this:
Heroes — minions, FW overt
Minions — Heroes, FW
FW overt — Anyone
FW other — Minion, FW overt
Also there is a minion resource, Prone to Violence which allows any minion company without a Ringwraith (the Balrog is OK) to attack any other minion company without a Ringwraith.
2. General Company vs. Company Combat stuff
If you are attacked, you are the defending company. The attacking company is considered to be making an attack with one strike for each character (and ally) in his company. Allies that can’t normally face a strike do NOT get a strike. The DEFENDER is facing an attack, the ATTACKER is not. One difference between this attack and a normal attack is each strike has a separate prowess and body. Each character can only be the target of one strike. Extra strikes from the attacking company give -1 modifiers, just like a regular attack. Any defenders not targeted by a strike can tap to support giving +1 to prowess, again just like normal. Another difference between normal attacks and CvCC is that cards that affect the number of strikes (such as Orc Quarrels, 2nd option) and all hazards have NO EFFECT on CvCC.
3. The steps of Company vs. Company Combat
1. Cancel/Affect the attack — Before strikes are assigned the DEFENDER may play cards or take actions that cancel the attack, and/or directly affect the attack. He may also play a card that is specifically allowable during opponent’s site phase (e.g. All the Bell’s Ringing). If a card that cancels an ATTACK is based on the race or races of the attack, (Trickery, Dark Quarrels, Not Slay Needlessly, etc.) it only may be played if EACH attacker has one of the races mentioned on the card. Also you can’t combine cards to cancel. One card has to do the whole job. Cards that affect the attack include cards that change the prowess or body of the attack such as Wizard’s Flame, and Black Arrow, and cards that change strike assignment such as Many Foes He Fought. However, you may not at this time untap via Cram, or And Forth He Hastened, etc. because this does not directly affect the attack. The attacker may neither cancel the attack nor play cards that affect the attack as he is not facing an attack. The attacker however may play any other resource cards as it is his turn as long as he does so outside of the strike phase.
Two cards that may NOT be used are Sacrifice of Form, and True Fana. Also as previously mentioned no card can change the number of strikes in CvCC.
Next comes the strike assignments. Unless a resource has been played that affects strike assignment the procedure is as follows:
2. Assign Strikes I — The DEFENDER picks which strikes his untapped characters will receive.
3. Assign Strikes II — The ATTACKER chooses which defending characters will take the strikes of his remaining untapped characters
4. Assign Strikes III — The DEFENDER assigns any remaining strikes.
Remember only ONE strike per character. And allies that may not face strikes don’t get strikes.
5. The Strike Sequence — each strike, one at a time resolves these steps. Strike order is chosen by the DEFENDER
a. Attacker may play cards or take actions that affect the strike (only one that requires a skill)
b. Attacker may use -1 modifiers from unassigned strikes
c. Attacking character may take -3 and not tap
d. Defending character may take -3 and not tap
e. Untapped defending character not the target of a strike may tap and add +1 to prowess in support
f. Defender may play resource cards and take actions that affect the strike (only one that requires a skill)
g. Both players roll the dice and add the result to their character’s modified prowess. As usual a tapped character receives -1 to prowess, a wounded character -2.
NOTE: Any card or action that directly affects the strike may be played in step 5a/5f. This can include things that untap a character, cancel a strike, modify prowess or body, etc. But it must directly affect the strike. Cards that cause indirect effects such as ring tests, playing twilight on a resource environment in play, or a card that causes a corruption check are not allowed. Examples of allowed cards would be Nenya, using Cram/Potion of Prowess/Healing Herbs, Magic Ring of Stealth, Orc Stealth, Swift Strokes, etc.
One other exceptions of note. First Aiglos only gives its normal bonus in Company vs. Company Combat (it’s not affected by Doors of Night).
6. Body Checks — As the strikes are resolved, body checks are made normally. If a character (or ally) is eliminated the opponent receives kill Marshalling Points equal to the MP value of the character eliminated. However, no trophies may be taken.
There are two optional rules for CvCC that are sometimes used in casual play.
1. After combat if your opponent’s company only has wounded characters you may attempt to steal an item. Tap one of your characters who were involved in the combat. Your opponent must discard one item of your choice from his company that was involved in the combat. Additionally, if you have a manifestation of the item you may play it with the character that you just tapped.
2. If you are playing a Fallen Wizard and have more than 10 stage points the company with your Fallen Wizard in it may attack any of your opponent’s companies and may be attacked by any company.
Ok that’s it. Now for an example.
Bob is playing heroes. He has Gandalf, Gimli, Aragorn, Frodo, and Eomer w/ Goldberry are sitting at The Wind Throne. Gimli is carring Glamdring. Goldberry, and Eomer are untapped.
His opponent, Jim, is playing minions. He has a company consisting of Shagrat w/ Blackbole, Odacer, Horseman in the Night, Lagduf, and Old Troll. The Horseman has a Saw-Toothed Blade, and the Old Troll carries a Broad Spear. Jim decides to teach Bob a lesson and sends his company over to The Wind Throne. After the Movement/Hazard phase and the auto attacks he’s doing pretty well. No wounded and only Odacer and Lagduf are tapped.
Jim declares Company vs Company Combat. Doors of Night and Rank upon Rank are in play.
1st step…cancelling the attack. Bob looks at his hand and smiles as he drops Orc Quarrels to the table. But that won’t work. Although all of Jim’s characters are Orcs/Trolls/and Men he also has Blackbole on his team, and he doesn’t have one of those races. The ent isn’t drawn into the quarrel, spots the enemy and the battle is on.
Now strikes are assigned. Bob has Aragorn and Eomer untapped. Goldberry is untapped too, but doesn’t get a strike, because she’s so pretty nobody wants to hurt her (and it states on her card she can’t be attacked). So he picks Aragorn to take Shagrat’s strike and Eomer will take the Horseman’s.
Jim now has a chance to assign stikes. Odacer and Lagduf are tapped, but he can assign strikes from Blackbole, and the Old Troll. If Bob had chosen to assign Aragorn and/or Eomer stikes from his tapped characters Jim would have more strikes to assign, but Bob did his best to limit his choices. So Jim assigns Blackbole to Frodo, and has the Old Troll take on Gimli.
Finally Bob gets to assign any leftover strikes. Gandalf still doesn’t have an opponent so Bob assigns Lagduf to him.
Now the strike sequences. Bob chooses Frodo to be first. Jim doesn’t play any cards or assign his extra strike. He figures Blackbole can take Frodo easy. He taps Blackbole so he’ll be at full prowess. Jim however does play a card. Halfling stealth to cancel the strike.
2nd strike. Bob chooses Gimli and the Old Troll. Gimli is at 7 (5+3-1) and the Old Troll is at 7 as well (5+2) Jim plays Swift Strokes (+1 to prowess and 2 rolls) and taps the old Troll for full prowess. Bob thinks for a bit and taps Goldberry for support. Now both characters have 8 prowess but Jim gets two rolls. Jim rolls 8 twice. Bob rolls a 6. Gimli is wounded. But Jim rolls only a 6 for the body check. Gimli lives.
3rd strike. Bob chooses Aragorn and Shagrat. Jim assigns his extra strike from Odacer, who doesn’t have an opponent. -1 to Aragorn, and taps Shagrat for full prowess. Bob taps Aragorn and play Risky Blow +3 to prowess -1 to body. Shagrat has prowess 6, Aragorn has 8. They roll…Jim gets 7, Bob gets 9. Shagrat is wounded. Bob rolls a body check of 10! Shagrat is dead and Bob gets 2 kill MPs.
4th strike. Gandalf vs. Lagduf. Both characters are tapped and nobody plays any cards, so Gandalf is @5, and Lagduf @4. Bob rolls a 6. Jim rolls a 7. It’s a tie. No one gets hurt.
5th strike. It’s the last Eomer vs the Horseman. Eomer is @3 and the Horseman with his knife is @4. Jim points to Rank upon Rank, thinking he’ll get +1 from that because the Horseman is a man and he’s the attacker. But Bob says no, hazards don’t affect Company vs. Company Combat. So Jim just taps Horseman for full prowess. Eomer taps as well, and they roll. Jim rolls 8. Bob rolls 4. Eomer is wounded. But Jim only rolls an 8 for a body check. Eomer lives and the attack is over.
So the results are Gimli, and Eomer wounded for the heroes.
Shagrat is killed for the minions and Bob gets 2 Marshalling Points, the character value of Shagrat.