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Subject: Austin War of the Ring Day 7: For The Dwarf Lords rss

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Grant Johnson
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This past weekend was our seventh War of the Ring party. I started this event as an attempt to get War of the Ring to the table more frequently. It has been a great success for us- we get the game played regularly and have a fantastic feast to boot! We had a 25% increase in attendance (up to 20 this year!) and had 8 games of War of the Ring going at once.

I'm going to give a brief summary of the three War of the Ring games I played in. Then I'll give a list of the overall outcomes from the event, and finally provide a few pictures.

The Games

Game 8: Jon (Free Peoples) vs. Grant (Shadow)

The Free Peoples started with some early Fellowship movement, but Sauron lusted for the Ring and hunted vigilantly (most turns featured at least 3 eye dice). The Fellowship stalled out in fear of spies of Sauron. Saruman entered early, but the Dark Lord's attention was focused on Mordor armies and crushing Minas Tirith. The Shadow made an assault with reinforcements coming from Ithilien, and Aragorn was lost soon after crowning. The Dwarves and North went to war in response.

About the time a Dol Goldur army marched out to sack Lorien (which went off without issue), the Fellowship stalled in the wilderness and the Free Peoples leaders planned a new strategy. Rangers from the North Downs took Angmar, and a large Dwarf/North army set forth on the Old Forest Road and put a token force in Dol Goldur under siege. Isengard rolled Rohan in response and moved in to capture Helms Deep without much difficulty. The Fellowship began moving again as the military prospects dwindled, but a tempting opportunity presented itself.

Umbar had been left undeveloped during the war, holding only three regulars. A large army formed in Dol Amroth and headed to Lossarnach, stopping short of Pelargir (which the Shadow held). But Corsairs moved out of Umbar and took Dol Amroth unopposed. The Free Peoples army was stranded unable to move, and the Shadow held the victory.

Game 16: Grant (Free Peoples) vs. Dick (Shadow)

This game had a sprint by the Fellowship, using 4 action dice for most of the game due to a lack of Will of the West. The Shadow had a catastrophic play of Grond, losing an army with 3 elites and 7 regulars (and a boatload of Nazgul) at Minas Tirith. Strider's dice threw enough hits in 2 rounds to eliminate 9 units, and though Shadow wished to halt the siege he was forced by the card to continue and lost his army in the final round, including 4 Nazgul and the Witch King. By comparison Gondor lost 2 units, which were promptly replaced by the musters. Saruman did well against Rohan and success occurred in Pelargir and Dol Amroth, but the Shadow only had 6 VPS when the Ring was dropped into the cracks.

Game 18: Grant (Free Peoples) vs. Chris (Shadow), LOME
The Fellowship moved twice unopposed the first turn with Gandalf the Grey guiding, as Sauron neglected to hunt the Ring. But a Balrog was in Moria, and when found making a third move the Fellowship elected to go over the High Pass. Galadriel appeared and prepared for a siege, and was not disappointed to see a Dol Goldur army en route. A Southron army moved north, and Gandalf was sent to Erebor with the Book of Mazurbul. The Dwarves raised an army as Dale and the Woodland Realm was lost.

The Captain on the Ringwraiths was summoned to make the Fellowship miserable, particularly as Spear of Terror came with him. But two Shadow armies broke trying to take Lorien- there was a stubborn Elvish resistance, and almost all the Elven reinforcements recruited into Lorien. Smeagol appeared and was quickly sacrificed. But the Felllowship was discovered trying to reach Lorien, and spent a long difficult journey in Emyn Muil. Strider did eventually reach the White City and was crowned. While he was besieged by an army of regulars, Faramir appeared and relieved the Siege with Help Unlooked for. The Voice of Saruman was used to pump out troops, which traveled through Moria to complete the siege of Lorien. Rohan had been neglected and Helms Deep fell without a whimper soon therafter. Under these conditions the Fellowship arrived at Mordor.

The Fellowship moved slowly in Mordor, with Gollum guiding. A Southron army was assembled to assault Dol Amroth, which fell on the second turn of Mordor (atrocious die rolling shortened the siege considerably). However, Lossarnach had not been conquered and Pelargir was retaken in an attempt to stave off disaster. The Free Peoples saw a desperate attempt was required, but could not find the will to make the journey. Gandalf led the Dwarves out of Lonely Mountain and decimated the Southron army holding Dale. But there were not sufficient time to conduct a siege of Woodland Realm, and both Pelargir and Edoras were lost. The Shadow was victorious with the Fellowship sitting on step 2 of the Mordor track, and 7 corruption.

The game lasted 3 turns in Mordor. The Shadow typically had 4+ dice in the hunt box via rolling. The Fellowship was hampered by a lack of movement or army dice on the final turn (I think I rolled 1 character, 2 Muster and 3 Palantirs), and I didn't lay the groundwork for retaking Woodland Realm earlier. All in all this was my best game of the meetup, and it was quite fun to play.

The record
Overall, the games went as follows:
1. Chris V (Shadow) def. Greg (Free Peoples), Military Victory
2. Chris T (Shadow) def. Dick (Free Peoples), Military Victory
3. Josh (Shadow) def. Jonathan (Free Peoples), Military Victory
4. Greg (Shadow) def. Chris C (Free Peoples), Military Victory
5. Alan (Free Peoples) def. Daniel (Shadow Player), Ring Victory
6. Summer (Free Peoples) def. Dave (Shadow), Ring Victory
7. Chester (Shadow) def. Brian (Free Peoples), Ring Victory
8. Grant (Shadow) def. Jon (Free Peoples), Military Victory
9. Daniel B (Shadow) def. Laurie (Free Peoples), Military Victory
10. Chris T (Shadow) def. Dick (Free Peoples), Military Victory
11. Alan (Free Peoples) def. Greg (Shadow), Ring Victory
12. Daniel B. (Free Peoples) def. Dick (Shadow), Ring Victory
13. Chris T. (Shadow) def. Greg (Free Peoples), Military Victory
14. Laurie (Shadow) def. Daniel K. (Free Peoples), Ring Victory
15. Grant (Free Peoples) def. Dick (Shadow), Ring Victory
16. Chris T. (Free Peoples) def. Laurie (Shadow), Ring Victory
17. Jonathan (Shadow) def. Dick (Free Peoples), Military Victory
18. Chris T (Shadow) def. Grant (Free Peoples), Military Victory

Overall a dark day for the Free Peoples. The Shadow goes 12-6, with 9 military and 3 corruption wins. All 6 Free wins are ring dunks.

We also had 2 Battle of Five Armies games, both Shadow wins. They were:
1. Grant (Shadow) def. Jonathan (Free Peoples)
2. Jonathan (Shadow) def. Alan (Free Peoples)

Though both Free Peoples players were in their first games!

The Event
Here are a few photos. First, our event hosts and guests (thanks to Greg for his camerawork):


Snapshots of the feast (including 81 lbs of meat)





The Lidless Pie of Sauron!!!



And as is tradition, the gratuitous dishwashing picture


Finally, a big thanks to our attendees.

Grant Johnson
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Dick Leban
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Dave K
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Love 'em even if a few games get scuttled from time to time.
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And those not on BGG (or with supersecret usernames). Without your attendance this wouldn't be the success it is, and I'm impressed with your devotion- especially those of you who came from out of town! 7 years is far too few to spend among such excellent hobbits! I hope to see you next year for Austin War of the Ring Day 8: The Darkening of Valinor!

Finally, if you love your War of the Ring and are near Austin (or wanting to travel in August of 2017) by all means send me a geekmail. We like making new friends and are happy to talk about what we've got in mind for next year!
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Jon Horne
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Re: Austin War of the Ring Day 7: For Mortal Men
Oh, Grond, you duplicitous devil.

Man, if I had a dollar for every time I've seen Grond screw over the Shadow... I could buy two, almost three, candy bars.
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Rob W
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Re: Austin War of the Ring Day 7: For Mortal Men
Cool! I wish I lived near Austin
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Dick Leban
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Re: Austin War of the Ring Day 7: For Mortal Men
Oi! Here I thought this year was named "Austin War of the Ring Day 7: For the Dwarf Lords" and next year's had a Super Secret name which is not "Austin War of the Ring Day 8: The Darkening of Valinor."
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Grant Johnson
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Dwarf Lords it was. Dunno why I had a stupid moment. Curious as to how you'd subtitle 8...
 
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Alan Richbourg
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> 5. Daniel K (Shadow) def. Alan (Free Peoples, Military Victory

Just for the record (I'd rather talk about the BBQ!), Alan def. Daniel with a ring dunk in that one.

The second Battle of Five Armies was shaping up as a total victory for the Free, until I completely misunderstood the victory conditions and how many dice Jonathan had. Gave that one away like a free lunch with milk and cookies.
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steva fields
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You must have had a troop of dwarves over with all of that food. You have made Gimli proud.
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Alan Richbourg
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8 legs. Spiders. The Darkening of Valinor. I get it.
 
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Grant Johnson
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chargetheguns wrote:
8 legs. Spiders. The Darkening of Valinor. I get it.


Overthinking it. Not correct.
 
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Alan Richbourg
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Well one big spider. It fits even if it's wrong, lol. And very hungry. In the past.
 
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Dick Leban
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Re: Austin War of the Ring Day 8: ???
Grant doesn't favor movie quotes with his Lord of the Rings, so I guess "Austin War of the Ring 8: Meat's Back on the Menu" won't be it.

Quote:
and TVDinner sprang upon the tile; and with his black knife he smote each brisket to its core, wounded them deep, and their juice poured forth as it were their blood, and was spilled upon the cutting board.
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Jason Dexter
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Wow, that looks awesome. Food and fun. If any of you are ever in Guangzhou, China I will be happy to host a War of the Rings day here.
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Brian Roundhill
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tallgrant wrote:
7. Brian (Shadow) def. Chester (Free Peoples), Ring Victory


Sadly incorrect. The fellowship was constantly hounded, with many successful hunts. The Shadow played the Event that prevented Political track movement, so the war was ponderous and slow. Entered Mordor with Gollum as the Guide at 8 corruption and could only advance 3 or 4 spaces before succumbing.

Chester (Shadow) def. Brian (Free Peoples), Corruption Victory
 
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Walt MacEachern
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Great stuff. Texas gets on the news up here for all the crazy scary states rights and gun wackos, then I see stuff like this and it restores my faith in Texas as the home of BBQ and fun people!
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