Dave J McWeasely
The Wizardry Variant - http://wizardry.osaurus.us
The Free had a sword, a Will, and three Palantirs. Therefore the fellowship moved once, then Strider played We Prove The Swifter to lite out for Dol Amroth. On the redraw, I Will Go Alone came up, so Legolas took his leave and headed for Woodland Realm. Aragorn was kinged that very turn, burning a ring.
On the second turn, the shadow only had one eye, and the Fellowship moved unhindered three times.
The shadow unleashes a major attack on Gondor. The Witch King kills Faramir's Rangers in Osgiliath, then locks Minas Tirith up in siege. Southrons pound up the coast and lock up Dol Amroth, joined by Half Orcs and Goblin Men. The Witch King suspends the siege of Minas Tirith, rationalizing that killing Aragorn is the priority, and his hand is all Mumakil and Delivery of Orthanc, ideal for this situation.
Dol Guldur puts pressure on Wooden Realm, and Thranduil dispatches Legolas is sent to Erebor to plead for support from the Dwarfs.
Meanwhile the fellowship is moving well, but is hit with a '3' from The Breaking of The Fellowship. It seperates the only three companions left: Gandalf the Grey, Gimli, and Pippin. Gimli runs to help Rohan, but Gandalf and Pippin go to help a third Gondorian army being built in Pelargir.
The Mordor beta army has been camped at Dagorlad, awaiting news of victory in Gondor so that it can march north to DEW. However, the Witch King orders them into the south to combat Gandalf the Grey's growing Pelargir army. In Lamedon they manage to surround and destroy the wizard, but not before they severely weaken the siege of Minas Tirith.
However, The Witch King recieves the reinforcements he needs to break the island fortress of Dol Amroth and slay king Aragorn. He then turns his attention to Minas Tirith.
The Fellowship eats a tile to declare in Morrannon with 3 corruption. Sauron has squandered Nazgul Search just a turn or two earlier for mainly military purposes, and is now regretting it as he's unable to stall the fellowship.
No matter, first to break Minas Tirith! Out comes The Madness of Denethor, but he's crazy like a fox, apperantly, since the Witch King will spend the next four turns trying to gnaw Denethor down to four dice, and just when they do, out comes Guard of the Citadel with the last two figures in the Gondor muster bag to get them back up to five dice.
A huge six elite, three regular force has been mustered in Orthanc, and they storm across. Even though Gimli and Theodred meet them at the fords with an extremely respectable three-regular two-elite force, the SP yahtzees with his combat roll and We Come to Kill. Gimli's force is thrown back into Helm's Deep with only three regulars!
The fellowship does extremely well in Mordor, not least because of Altheas, Bilbo's Song, and There is Another Way collectively healing 5 corruption. Shadow has only 3 vp, though they're on deck with 5 more. Under minimal time pressure, other than desire to go to lunch, Frodo sprints three spaces on turn nine to toss it in easily. 10 Corruption, and Mithril Coat left unused.
Turn 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 TOTAL
FPRing 1 4 3 4 1 1 3 1 3 21
FPMil 4 2 3 2 5 5 2 4 0 27
SPRing 2 1 4 5 2 4 2 4 5 29
SPMil 5 7 5 4 7 5 7 5 0 45
FPRV corruption=10, @3
The Shadow had some nice moves this game, like causing '6' corruption with The Breaking of the Fellowship. Nevertheless, the Fellowship got almost every other break it could get. I'll certainly never again squander a turn-stall card that badly.
Things were hard militarily. Unlike Aragorn, Denethor just wouldn't give up. When the Shadow targets Gondor initially, its a bad sign when Minas Tirith still has 5 army units at the end.
Woodland Realm was going to fall quickly to Dol Guldur, but Legolas was turning the at-war Dwarves into an Arsenal of Democracy. Lorien was well-defended and near Gandalf. Rivendell and the Havens weren't threatened, and were at war anyway, so could militarize if they needed
Gandalf the Grey cycled at least four character cards, and for good effects too. He then went on to a career in the Gondor military, which never fully broke out, but threatened to very effectively and thus slowed the Shadow way down. He is awarded the Free Peoples MVP for the game, posthumous.
The Shadow felt overmatched and outwitted at every turn. The extra event die was Very Extremely Helpful.
I love your session reports... my question is, how on earth (or on Middle-Earth) do you keep track of all the cards that were played when? For me, it would slow the game to a crawl...
Dave J McWeasely
Here's how the mental connections are made in my head:
I know its 9 from Rivendell to Dol Amroth. I know Strider was kinged on t1. I know I spent exactly one die (an elven ring, actually) to move companions. And I know I moved the fellowship exactly once. So Strider's card had to move him an extra two regions in order for him to gobble up the 9 regions to D.A. There's only one card that can do that: We Prove the Swifter.
Looks all airtight until you realize that I miscounted for Legolas: its seven from Rivendell to Wooden Realm, not 6 as it was played in the game.