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War of the Ring 2014 Tournament
Ira Fay (9) (ira212) vs Glenn Shanley (1) (Magic Geek)
Quarterfinals, Game 1
Glenn preferred to start with Shadow, and I took FP.
Shadow started with nothing devoted to hunting the fellowship (0 + 0 eyes), but the fellowship only rolled 1 C. Shadow also got plenty of musters early game, and Saruman appeared on Turn 1. Shadow focused on strategy cards, and there were some Shadows on the Misty Mountain. The FP countered with some Elven Rope, and also used Narya to move a second time.
Shadow continued with only minimal hunting of the fellowship (1 + 0 eyes), and the Fellowship got 2 C this round. The party was revealed in Dimrill Dale, having been caught with an Eye going through Moria. Boromir sacrificed himself at random to the follow up 1r. With some Voice of Saruman followed by the Rage of the Dunlandings, 6 Isenguard units quickly arrived in Cardolan. Seeing a force from Mordor heading north toward DEW, the Elves prepared for war the hard way, and with a little help from the Wisdom of Elrond. The Shadow Lengthened, getting the force from Dul Guldur to Dimrill Dale, and most of the force from Moria to Cardolan. Clearly the elves were going to see some battles, and were only one away from war.
Shadow devoted some effort to hunting the revealed fellowship (1 + 2 eyes), but the fellowship only had 1 C and 3 palantirs. With impending war on the elves, the FP really would have liked at least 1 Muster... The Phial of Galadriel and Swords in Eriador, combined with Gandalf's guiding, led to many cards for the FP as the armies of shadow marched to the Woodland Realm, Grey Havens, and waited outside Lorien. The Grey Havens was besieged first, and the FP used the help of Nenya to get some reinforcements into Woodland Realm. Lorien was also besieged.
Since the fellowship merely hid in the previous round, Shadow focused fully on military power (0 + 0 eyes). Cirdan's Ships appropriately reinforced Grey Havens, though the Witch King promptly appeared there as well, yielding a battle of 1/3/1 elves vs. 7/2/3 shadow forces. With some incredible luck for Shadow (and the help of Grond), Grey Havens falls in two rounds of combat, leaving a Shadow army of 4/2/3 to inhabit the stronghold. Woodland Realm also falls, with a army of 6/0/2 remaining. The fellowship makes rapid progress (3 moves) with the help of Vilya, but no longer has any Elven Rings remaining.
Shadow decides to pay more attention to the ring bearers (1 + 3 eyes), and the fellowship continues to make progress (2 C). The Shire falls. The force in Dale scouts into Erebor. The Southron and Easterlings go to war and amass in Umbar. Then, Corsairs of Umbar besiege Dol Amroth, and they are promptly greeted by Imrahil. Unfortunately for the FP, even 3/1/1 wasn't enough to withstand 8/2/5 with Deadly Strife, and Dol Amroth fell quickly. Shadow held 8 VPs (Grey Havens, Shire, WR, Dale, Dol Amroth), and the fellowship was still one step away from Mordor. Without any Will of the West, neither Gandalf the White nor Aragorn made an appearance.
Shadow continues to focus on military (1 + 0 eyes), and the FP realize they must fight back in some way. A force of 0/5/5 warg riders muster up in Orthanc, but opt not to besiege Helm's Deep with 3/1/2 (including Pippin). Instead, they move on to an undefended Edoras while the remaining 6/0/5 Dol Amroth army marches toward Pelargir. In desperation, Gimli, Legolas, and Merry leave the fellowship and head north, reading a book they picked up in Mordor to pass the time. When they arrive in Erebor, the finish reading the Book of Marzabul, and the Dwarves in Erebor are instantly convinced that they must go to war. Unfortunately for the FP, Shadows Gather and the army in Dale quickly goes from 4/0/0 to 7/1/0. Though Gimli, Legolas, and Pippin try their best, the forces in Dale hold out, and an endless Shadow covers the land.
I made a few minor mistakes on the last turn (didn't reinforce Pelargir with Osgiliath when I could, didn't also send Gandalf with Legolas/Gimli/Pippin), but overall, the dice were against me. I didn't roll a single WoW on Turns 2-6, and Glenn's combat dice were insanely good. Here are my action dice stats:
FP rolled 24 action dice (4.00/result)
W: 1 (-3)
C: 9 (+1)
P: 6 (+2)
M: 5 (+1)
H: 3 (-1)
The musters are misleading, because the one turn I needed them to reinforce the Elves going under siege, I rolled none! And here are Glenn's combat dice:
SP rolled 100 combat dice (16.67/result)
1: 11 (-6)
2: 12 (-5)
3: 17 (+0)
4: 17 (+0)
5: 21 (+4)
6: 22 (+5)
With a couple Devilry of Orthanc's, other combat cards, and the final field battle in Dale, those 5s were huge hits as well.