Only four of us tonight and me (yellow/good) just having got this game this week, it was screaming to be played. Greg (black/evil), Collete (green/good) and Micki(red/evil) were all familiar with basic risk, but Greg was the expert Risk player. There was a cursory review of the rules and changes from basic Risk, then we all chose good or evil and distributed the lands. Greg got off to a quick start as an evil player, securing Rhun for an extra 2 units each turn. I tried to make an end run push from the Western Port into the North to break his lock, but he retook it eventually. Nobody made an effort to dislodge Greg and he eventually took all the Elvish mid-lands as well. I managed to get out quite a few event cards worth 7 points in the final scoring but had been knocked down to 3 territories. When the Fellowship finally left the map, Greg won and evil prevailed. Final scores:
Overall the game was well received. Everyone wants to play again now that we have a full understanding of how to complete the secret missions, and use leaders to gain more action cards. We also missed the rule that gives you a bonus 2 units on card trade-in if you possess the area on a card. The time mechanism of the Fellowship moves the game along and this one clocked in at about 2 hrs. We did play a rule that if you lost a leader, he came back into play at the end of the redeploy phase but before cards are drawn (per the rules). In this manner, if you placed a reappearing leader in a territory you own with a "symbol of power" you could then claim a card in the "draw card" phase.
As with most LotR games, I think this one's a keeper. Better than regular Risk, but not quite as good as Risk 2210.