Double yer money - 2 session reports in one.
My fiancée and I initially played LotR: tC about 6 months ago, and the perception then was that it was very fun, challenging, and quick play. We agreed to play again, but it was shelved up until last night. We were going to play Nautilus, but as it was somewhat late, after reviewing the rules decided more prep time was needed to digest the rules. We have about 30 games in all, and we both agreed to give the Confrontation another go.
After @ 10 minutes of freshing up on the rules, we were off.
The first War. She of course took the Fellowship (she named one of our cats Bilbo, need I say more?). I placed the Witch King, Flying Nazgul, Black Rider and the Cave troll in Mordor, with the others randomly chosen in the remaining lands.
She placed Gimli, Merry, and Legolas in the front lands as she anticipated quick victories against my Witch King (not!), the Orcs (DOH!), and the Nazgul (not!). The Shire was home to Frodo, Sam, Pippin and Gandalf.
I began play and like a chess match, we both advanced our lines towards and into the mountains. I felt pretty confident in my minions, and was the aggressor. From there it was quite literally tit for tat, as most of the first few conflicts, the person who initiated the attack was the victor. I have to commend her on excellent card play, as she seemed to know exactly what I was going to play. But I was sacrificing my weaker cards against her stronger ones. I then suffered losses of the Cave Troll and the Balrog, and could only gain ground with the use of the Black Rider. We ran out of cards and it came down to the Black Rider against Frodo, of which she would retreat from an attack, and then advance. Truly a photo finish!
The Second War. Reviewing the strengths of the Fellowship, and chalking up the loss in the first round to luck, I felt more timid to being as aggressive as I was with the Enemy. I placed Frodo, Sam, Pippin and Boromir in the Shire, and followed similar strategies of Gandalf (the exception), Merry and Gimli upfront. Play unfolded similar to the first, with the fronts moving towards the mountains. The Enemy soon positioned themselves on the outside edges of the board, leaving only the middle lands open. As I began approaching with Merry and Gimli, she countered with Saruman, and the Orcs, and then began hitting me with the Black Rider and the Nazgul. I played a mix of low cards and text cards to no effect. It soon came down to a battle of attrition, and before I knew it, she had the Cave Troll, the Flying Nazgul and Shelob near the border of the Shire, to my Gandolf near Mordor and only Frodo just now leaving the Shire. I realized I could not reach Mordor in the time it took her to pillage and plunder the crop of pipeweed.