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Gandalf dies almost immediately to a three while being
hunted through Moria, but the party makes it through without
getting revealed. Gandalf and Aragon both ascend early
An initial attack against Rohan falls a little short,
partially because of Gandalf the White's presence in
Fangorn causes some Isengard units to remain behind;
Helm's Deep is beseiged, but not captured, and Shadow
stops the attack with three Elites left.
On the other hand, Minas Tirith falls very quickly without
any mustering support, helped by Denethor's Folly. Lorien
falls relatively quickly as well. Dol Amroth musters a
bit with the help of the Imrahil, and manages to fend off
the initial attack from the Corsairs of Umbar, so Shadow
must enter the long way.
In the mean time, a large force is mustered in Edoras, which
then marches all the way to the Fords of Isen to play
Help Unlooked For, annihilating the remaining shadow army
besieging Helm's Deep, since they had no valid retreat. The
fellowship continues progressing towards Mordor, and takes
quite a bit of damage from hunts, losing Boromir, Gimli,
Legolas, and then all the hobbits to help keep the Fellowship's
corruption low. The hobbits use their special power as
guide, and eventually make their way to the Fords of Isen,
to help defend the next wave of Isengard units, after a
New Power is Rising.
The fellowship has the freedom to go relatively slowly, due
to Shadow's somewhat slow military progress. Also, the Fellowship
is delayed reaching Mordor by one turn due to a Nazgul Search,
revealing them at the end of the turn, preventing them from
declaring in Mordor the following turn.
A reasonable force is mustered in Pelargir, which defends once
before retreating to Lamedon, sandwiched between the remaining
besieging force in Dol Amroth (perhaps 6 units) and the 10 unit
force in Pelargir. Once Lamedon falls, Aragorn swoops in with the
Dead Men of Dunharrow, but does only a measely 1 casualty,
and doesn't muster any units since they've all been
mustered! Dol Amroth falls shortly afterwards, and Shadow
must figure out a way to get three more points. Rohan
seems relatively strong with Gandalf, both Hobbits, and
all the remaining Rohan units, but it's only a matter of
time before it falls.
In Mordor, the fellowship gets up to 10 corruption, after taking
5 from Shelob's Lair, and it seems like all hope is lost.
Nonetheless, few healing cards had been drawn by FP, so FP makes an
effort to stall the Shadow military victory until thost cards arrive.
With a reasonably large army of Elves and Northerners from
Woodland Realms and Carrock, FP feints at the military
victory from Dol Guldor and Moria, wasting some of
Shadow's time, and then sends the army on towards Lorien,
considering the possibility of recapturing it. In the
end, the army continues moving on even further, preparing
to give aid to Rohan, if they get close to falling. Since
Rohan is so well defended, Shadow attacks Erebor, and
smashes it quickly because no dwarven units had been
Around this time, the FP manages to draw into
some healing, and gets down to 5 corruption with Bilbo's
Song and unbelievably effective Athelas (three healing!)
With a few more movements, the fellowship is at 10
corruptions one step away from the crack of doom.
Delaying just long enough, the FP draws the last character
card, Mithril Coat and Sting, and proceeds the final step.
An eye is drawn (which would kill the fellowship), then
mithril coat is used, and then a -1 is drawn, so the
fellowship manages to destroy the ring! On that same
turn, shadow would have surely reached 10 points with
Gondor, Lorien, Erebor, and Dale.
Having 6 dice really helped that game, and obviously
Mithril Coat and Sting was the MVP card.
Honestly, it's session reports like this that got me to buy the game... I just picked it up, after really struggling with the "is it worth getting" question. I typically enjoy this kind of game, so I'm really looking forward to playing it.
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Glad you enjoyed the write up. I'm sure you'll enjoy the game - just ensure you give yourself enough time the first time through. You'll have plenty of rules questions, but once you get over the learning curve (one game), I think you'll find you really enjoy it.
Don't hesitate to post questions here. And also note that there is a well-maintained FAQ for this game, which is quite helpful, too.