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War of the Ring (Second Edition)» Forums » Sessions

Subject: From the diaries of Grimbeorn and King Brand's Men rss

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George Hall
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Fallston
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I have a tale to tell of the strangest battle for Middle Earth that I have yet faced. It is a tale of valor, a tale of patience, and a tale of apathy. It is a tale of a game where I led the armies of the Free Peoples against two neophyte leaders of the Shadow armies. And it is a tale of struggle against the forces of luck itself! It is a tale of why I love this game.

In the interest of time, I randomly chose which variant of each fellowship member to take. I began with Gandalf the Grey as the guide, the standard Strider and Gimli, and the LoME versions of Merry, Pippin, Legolas, and Boromir. I elected to start both Legolas and Boromir in their respective homelands. I'm glad that I had Gandalf as the guide. In the first turn, I rolled two character and two palantir against 1 eye in the box. I had Axe and Bow and Mithril coat, so I played those then moved the fellowship two spaces. Saruman entered the board, Sauron shuffled some armies around, and they played a few events, including Threats and Promises. A sprint to Mordor was looking like a nice plan.

Giving up Gandalf's Narya die proved to be worth it, because on the next roll I pulled 4 palantir against no eyes. I passed a few times, as Sauron moved towards the DEW area, and Saruman mustered in Isengard, using the Voice for all he could. Seeing the incoming armies, and holding a handful of muster cards, I played King Brand and Grimbeorn back to back, along with Eomer in Helm's Deep and Faramir in Osgiliath. My hand was still full of cards, including Fear Fire Foes!

The next turn, I rolled 3 characters, and one Palantir. My brief joy sank when I saw the 4 eyes in the box. My gaze then shifted to the empty Dol Guldur, as Sauron had marched North from there. His other forces were slowly collecting around Minas Tirith. Saruman split his forces, sending some north towards Rivendell and some south to gather in Orthanc. Strider became frustrated with Frodo's slow pace, and took off for Minas Tirith, dragging Merry along with him. Pippin scooted off towards the Shire. Merry canceled "Threats and Promises" by heading for Helm's Deep. Fear Fire Foes got Strider to Minas Tirith, and Pippin rallied the North to War!

The rest of the game was a bit of a blur, but I never rolled character dice when there were less than 4 eyes in the box. Wormtongue kept Rohan from caring when wargs took the Fords of Isen, but Theoden, Eomer, and a bunch of elite Rohirrim made Helm's Deep a tough looking target. The armies of Carrock and Dale delivered a beating to the orcs of the necromancer on the Old Forest Road, and the lone Troll defending Dol Guldur fell in a two-round siege. The Dwarves consulted the Book of Mazarbul and moved to defend Dale and Woodland Realm. Faramir popped up in Osgiliath and joined his brother in Minas Tirith. Meanwhile, Strider was crowned as Isildur's heir the turn before the white city was besieged. The Men of Gondor fought bravely in the field, wiping out half of Gothmog's army before retreating into the stronghold.

Sauron was short on musters, since Saruman was intent on flinging Uruk-hai and Wargs north, taking the Shire and threatening Rivendell. Pippin fell back to the Grey Havens, where the Elves said, "Meh. We're leaving anyway." Gandalf became agitated at both the inaction of the Elves and the laziness of the Ringbearers, and left the Fellowship in order to become Gandalf the White. He rode Shadowfax south to Rohan, to wake them up, before joining up with the Dale-men and marching for Morannon, with Dwarves following a few regions behind. Pelargir fell easily, but Sauron left no one behind in Osgiliath. Theoden wanted to get in on the action, and seeing the token defense left in Mordor, he took the Paths of the Woses to join up with Gandalf and the Dale-men and shatter the Black Gate.

Sauron marched Gothmog back from Minas Tirith, through Minas Morgul, to defend Morannon, but he arrived one turn too late. Saruman made a last minute land-grab, taking Helm's Deep and Edoras, but it was not enough.

FPMV, FP 4, Shadow 5.

I've never had a game where I burned through the entire stack of FP strategy cards, or done all my musters with cards because I never got any musters, or had such little opportunity to move the fellowship.


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S H
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Merrillville
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Ahh, the fickle hand of (dice) fate. Congrats on a victory despite the game seemingly conspiring against you! Always nice to see that all-too-rare FP Military Victory.
 
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