Finally, after owning this for what seems like forever, I decided to sit down and work through the LOTR Saga expansions. Here's the story of my fellowship...
Part 1: A Shadow of the Past
Gandalf was delayed, but he was not idle. Before he disappeared, he managed to convince a trio of adventurers to go to Bag End and escort the brave hobbits on their way to Rivendell. Along the way, other friends would be recruited to help this important quest.
Strider, the ranger, and the elves Glorfindel and Legolas, met up with Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin, and they prepared to leave Bag End. Strider and Glorfindel walked with Pippin, while Legolas became fast friends with Merry, Sam, and Sam's pony Bill. Guided by Glorfindel's steed, Asmfaloth, the heroes left Frodo's home behind.
Sadly, Bill was not destined to stay with them for long. As our heroes left Bag End, a mysterious Black Rider overtook Bill in the darkness of Woody End. Scared and angry, Sam vowed revenge. Together with Legolas and Pippin, they struck a blow for goodness, and chased the Rider away.
Free, for now, from the spectre of the Black Riders, our heroes moved through Green Hill Country. Walking through the countryside they met the contingent from Gondor: the warrior Boromir, and his ranger brother, Faramir. With Faramir's guile, they were able to hide from the pursuing Nazgul.
There was much ground to cover, but the Light of Valinor shone on Glorfindel, aiding the heroes as they moved through the Shire. This peace could not last forever, as a Nazgul caught up to them and thwarted their attempts to evade it.
Boromir's noble sacrifice came much earlier in the journey than he expected. The determined Nazgul could not be stopped, and he bested Boromir in combat three times before the brave warrior could not go on anymore. Were it not for the inspirational presence of Arwen Undomiel, he could not have so valiantly defended the Hobbits.
Halfling determination helped the Hobbits counter yet another Nazgul strike, and they continued to move through the seemingly-interminable fields of the Shire.
Eventually, Frodo's Intuition guided him through the fields where he would find that Boromir has returned! And Bill the Pony! They were found by Gandalf the Grey, who joined them on their way to the Buckleberry Ferry. Despite the combined efforts of Middle Earth's greatest heroes, from the Wizard Gandalf to the brothers Boromir and Faramir, from the Hobbit to the Elves, no one knew how to get to the Ferry.
Eventually, with the shore of the river in sight, our heroes made a determined charge across the fields, passed the Nazgul, and onto a large ferry that took the party across the river. Free, for now, from the Nazgul, our tired heroes made for the village of Bree.
Game notes: I had lots of problems with location management, which is why it took so long to make it through the last stage. I just couldn't get the staging area free to travel to the Ferry. I couldn't even get Hide tests to make progress on those locations. When I finally did, I quested for 30 in the last round, so the outcome wasn't really in doubt. One deck did get to 42 threat, though (from 23), so it was sort of close.
The Nazgul were no problem: I could engage with Sam, Merry, and Legolas, readying Sam and giving the others a bonus thanks to their Daggers of Westernesse. A chump-block on the Nazgul, and a combo attack from those three plus another ally made short work of the ring wraiths. Eventually, Boromir took over the blocking detail. Aided by Arwen, he could take a hit, ready, and swing back.
As far as hiding goes, Arwen and Faramir (ally) were all-stars, and the Escort from Edoras helped too. So did Light of Valinor, allowing Glorfindel to quest and hide. I never really failed a test of any consequence this game.
Nice write up.
Fantasy Flight Games has done a great job of retelling The Hobbit & Lord of the Rings.
This game is my #1 card game.
The Fabulous Freebird