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Subject: War of the Ring: Down to a Die Roll rss

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Pete L.
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I've been playing a fair bit of this game lately and in my view its one of those games that not only plays well within its theme, but lends itself beautifully to the retelling of the action that took place from start to finish. I thought I'd start off by talking about last night's struggle in Middle-Earth...

It was by far the closest game of WotR I've played to date. Rob C. opted to give the Free Peoples a go and right off the mark he sent the Fellowship tearing towards Mordor. I knew I had to push hard and great hordes of orcs came pouring out of Minas Morgul towards Gondor while I mustered additional Mumak and Easterlings in both Harad and Rhun. Rob took total advantage of my dice rolls (very few Eye dice) and easily whisked through Moria, shrugged off a bit of corruption and kept moving opting for the classic Strider rush tactic.

As Saruman was raising a few extra Warg Rider units at Isengard, I decided that given Rob's dash-like strategy there was little need for subtlety and suddenly the Lord of the Nazgul appeared at the head of a huge army in Ithilien. On the only turn that I rolled more than one Eye die for the hunt (five!), I was able to delay the Fellowship and began Sauron's conquest with an assault on Osgiliath only to have its few defenders retreat before the onslaught back to the temporary safety of Minas Tirith. The Witch-King's army closed in on the White City and quickly moved to besiege preventing Gandalf and Boromir from coming to its defense. As this was happening, another massive army of Haradrim coming up from the south crossed Gondor's borders and swept aside the pitiful defenders of Pelargir.

At this time Gandalf appeared in Edoras and was shaking Theoden awake to the dangers on his borders while the Fellowship under Strider's skillful guidance moved quickly towards their goal. Pushing hard, Rob handed me character die after character die as the Ring-bearer crept onward and finally I made my hunt roll producing a 3 corruption tile. The Fellowship opted to fight my agents and a random selection resulted in Strider going down to save Frodo. No more free rides now and suddenly character dice became even more precious.

With the fall of Minas Tirith, the Witch-King and several Nazgul then flew north to join the Easterling army now just outside Dale's border leaving the Nazgul-led Haradrim army to deal with Gondor's final city of Dol Amroth. Feeling it prudent to prevent my possible (and likely) stacking of hunt dice once the Fellowship entered Mordor, Merry and Pippin were booted out and told (by Gimli) to go make themselves useful somewhere. In the last move before passing through the Gates of Morannon, the stout dwarf fell to more agents of Sauron thus preventing most of another 3 corruption tile. In an act of possible desperation, Rob had already employed two of the three Elven rings which were now in Sauron's power and ready to be used.

The brave men of Dale woke up that morning to a dawn without sun and even as the defenders were taking up arms, the Witch-King's hordes swept them aside and then looked north towards the Lonely Mountain. King Dain was just taking his morning ale when word was brought to him of these dark events giving him just enough time to have the mighty gates of Erebor sealed before the Easterlings surrounded the fortress. Knowing the dwarves to be impossibly stubborn, the Witch-King ordered an all out assault, sacrificing many of his own forces in reckless attacks in an effort to ensure the fall of the dwarven city. Though costly, the plan worked and now his evil will could be turned to the last obstacle in the north, Thranduil's woodland realm. However, reinforcements would have to be called up before the attack could begin.

Frodo and Sam, now led by Legolas (unaware of the looming threat to his father's realm) darted into Mordor and began the grim trek through the barren Gorgoroth towards Mount Doom. Again, I rolled no hunt dice and aside from the one I was able to initially place it meant little corruption to the Fellowship if I drew Eye tiles. The corrupted Elven rings were then employed to change a couple of results to Eye dice in the hopes of having an effect. It didn't. Corruption tiles of 1's and 2's were drawn and the slopes of Orodruin were now easily in sight.

On the last turn of the game, the Fellowship made it to the very doors leading to the Cracks of Doom, but simply lacked the strength (and character dice) to carry on. Pitifully, bedraggled and broken they looked up at the beckoning portal as elsewhere in Middle-Earth the end was about to come to the Free Peoples. Thranduil's stalwart defenders slew many Easterlings under the eaves of Mirkwood, but the enemy's numbers were too great and too willing were they to charge recklessly into the hail of arrows in order to cut down the too few Elven defenders. And as the northern line of strongholds fell, the end came quickly for the Swan city of Dol Amroth now under siege. The last army die was used to renew the assault employing the last combat card on the last move of the game and with several high rolls the last of the Gondorian strongholds broke before the might of the Lord of the Rings.

An excellent session all-in-all and completed in a record (for me anyway) 2.5 hours. Thanks Rob and I look forward to the next time.

Pete
 
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Philip Thomas
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Nice report.

I wouldn't bother mustering the Southrons, unless you have to because of Many Kings. There are enough there to take Dol Amroth themselves.

Also you imply you waited before deploying the Witch King...I would play him ASAP...

Of course, I have played a grand total of 3 games, so what do I know
 
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Pete L.
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Quote:
I wouldn't bother mustering the Southrons, unless you have to because of Many Kings. There are enough there to take Dol Amroth themselves.


I'm not sure I'd agree with that actually and for this particular game session not at all. My opponent opted not to muster much by way of units for most of the game so even taking on the various strongholds were not too difficult. Only on the one occasion when I attacked the Woodland Realm did I have to wait to bring up reserve forces for the Witch-King's army.

Quote:
Also you imply you waited before deploying the Witch King...I would play him ASAP...


You're right and actually I did. He came on turn 2 with my fourth muster die.

Pete
 
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Philip Thomas
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When I said Southrons I meant Umbar/Far Harad/Near Harad, of course. Easterlings (North and South Rhun) need mustering quite a lot so they can take DEW.
 
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