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Subject: Tense and Exciting, Middle Earth is Safe rss

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Scott Lewis
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Last night I had the opportunity to play War of the Ring with my brother Josh. I played as the Free People, he played as the Shadow. So far, this has been the one game that I've been able to squeak victories out of against him. I hoped I would be able to do the same.

The opening was much like many previous games. I began by moving the Fellowship and mustering some of the Nations closer to war. Josh began by getting Isengard to war, bringing Saruman into play, and building an army. I knew Rohan was going to be attacked, but couldn't quite get them to War yet to really protect them.

Sure enough, he slammed into the Fords of Isen with a decent sized force. The survivors retreated back to Helms Deep. This act, fortunately caused Rohan to go to War, due to my previous movement down the Political Track. Helms Deep began to be seiged, but it held off for a time. Riders from Edoras tried to come in and relieve them, but it only slowed them down. The Isengard juggernought eventually took Helms Deep, and eventually all of Rohan.

Fortunately, during this time, the Fellowship had been moving steadily. One more turn would have put me through Moria safely. Alas, just as I was about to get there, the fate turned against me, and the Fellowship was revealed. I had to move them through the High Pass. However, I decided to use this as an opportunity to get Gondor to war. Boromir left for Minas Tirith, and soon after, Strider and Legolas left, too, to help reclaim Rohan.

Minas Tirith became active. Boromir was lost during a foolish battle to reclaim Helms Deep. Legolas was lost in battle to reclaim Edoras. My poor planning began to make me wonder if all hope was lost. Fate began to smile on me, however, when a good set of Action Dice allowed Ganalf to be sacrified, and reborn in Fangorn. Josh though Saruman was safe, as he had 3 casualties worth of units in Orthanc - killing them all with one of the Ent cards would be a 1 in 8 shot. I took the chance, however, and succeeded. Saruman was dead.

By this time, however, Sauron's forces had begun to muster enough troops for a full scale assault. Dol Amiroth was beseiged by some Southrons, and Erebor was beseiged by some Easterlings. The remaining Isengard units began to march west, to take the settlements out there. The fellowship was still a good distance from Mordor, and I knew if I did not hurry, all would be lost.

I began to push the Fellowship a little more, taking more risk than I had before. Gimli fell, and Pippen fled to save some corruption, and I was able to make it to Mordor with only 5 corruption points. Time was not on my side, however - I still needed to hurry.

Minas Tirith began to build up troops in preparation for the onslaught. Gandalf rode from Fangorn to help in it's defense - the Witch King and the Nazgul would have been devestating had he not come.

The Fellowship continued to press on. Merry was lost in Mordor, but just in time; Gollum's presense saved me from some nasty effects of Josh's cards. The Elves of Lorien were beseiged by forces from Mordor. However, Dol Gildur emptied itself, and the elves of the Woodland Realm began to march there, while some straggling Rohan warriors took Orthanc.

The situation became dire when Minas Tirith fell, and Aragorn and Gandalf were lost in battle. The loss of two dice for the next round, which would be my last chance to win, was very worrisome. However, fate smiled upon me - I rolled dice necessary to put Dol Gildur under seige (several troops had been recruited), as well as make the final push with the Fellowship. My thought was if the Fellowship was stopped with a Hunt, I could still potentially hope for a lucky Military win. That proved unneccesary, however, as with 8 Corruption, I took my final Fellowship move. The hunt pulled a 3, and was not stopped. The ring almost took Frodo, but in the very cracks of Doom, Gollum stole it, and fell into the fire to free Middle Earth from Sauron's evil presense.


I've played against Josh several times, but of the games we've played so far, this one seemed to be the tensest. We both discussed afterwards things that we could have done different, but we both had a chance, and we were both making good and bad strategic moves. In the end, while luck played some part, I think my allocation of resources at just the right time was just what I needed to tip the luck in my favor. An excellent game, which felt satisfying to me - and I suspect also for Josh, as I myself would have felt just as satisfied had I lost, as we were both in the game for the entire time.
 
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Simon Vasey
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sauronSounds like a great session - thanks for sharing! I am curious - did you use the Elven Rings at all?sauron
 
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