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

Subject: Session Report- The Fellowship is Broken rss

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Josh S.
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Thanks to a much needed winter break from grad school, I was able to take the time to play a long-overdue game of War of the Ring. This game was excellent, and was a prime example of a Fellowship rush if there ever was one.

Turn one began with Isengard going to war and Saruman making his arrival. The Fellowship started out daring, and moved three times, getting hit with one corruption the second time, and a 1+reveal the third.

As Isengard began building its forces and bringing in the Hillmen of Dunland faction, the Chief of the Ringwraiths was called in (since it seemed like the Fellowship was going to be rushed, this seemed to be the wisest option). The Fellowship continued their aggressive push, though Candles of Corpses ticked on another corruption, and another two moves brought with it a 1 and a 0+reveal for damage. Not too much happened this turn, but it was next turn where things got interesting, and the Free Peoples were dealt a crippling blow.

Isengard began its assault on Rohan, throwing Helm’s Deep into Siege, and the Balrog was called in. Meanwhile, The Fellowship moved once and got hit with a 3 tile. Obviously, Gandalf took the hit. However, the Shadow capitalized on a well laid-out opportunity: The fellowship was close to Moria and the Free Peoples were now out of actions for the turn. Thus, the card “A Balrog has come” was played to activate the Balrog, and then the Balrog was moved to the region with the Fellowship. To finish this off, I played “Nazgul Search” to reveal the Fellowship, which forced a draw due to the Balrog. Since all 4 Eyes were in the pool, I figured I had a good shot at drawing one. And as luck would have it, I did. Although it cost me the Balrog, it was a small price to pay in order to kill Strider.

Undeterred, the Fellowship pressed forward, immediately getting hit with a 0+reveal on the next turn. “Lure of the Ring” was played, and ultimately Merry was slain by Legolas to keep corruption from growing further (it was already at 4). Helm’s Deep was successfully taken and Sauron finally entered the fray, readying for battle in Gondor.

The Eagles decided to join the war, and eventually wound up assisting the Fellowship in moving. However, the presence of the allied eagle was not subtle, and ultimately Legolas was struck dead by an agent’s arrow (2 damage tile). The “Foul Thing from the Deep” came next, killing Boromir, leaving only Pippin and Gimli remaining with the total corruption now at 5, and still several regions from Mordor. Galadriel entered the war to offer the use of her ring should the need arise.

I thought the Fellowship would ease up for a bit, so I spent some time Mustering the Southrons and Easterlings to War and building their forces. A resistance force began building in Edoras, and a “New Power is Rising” was played to counter a potential military surge from the Free Peoples. Eventually, with a large Shadow presence still in Helm’s Deep and the new forces in Orthanc, a stalemate for military control occurred between the two groups.

The Fellowship lacked healing cards, but my opponent just kept pushing the Fellowship. With four dice in the pool, after the Fellowship’s first move, the dice were cast and 2 sixes were rolled. The free re-roll from the Witch King granted a third. Unfortunately, an Eye was drawn, hitting the Fellowship with 3 damage and a reveal. Gimli died fighting the supernatural agents of Sauron, but Pippin managed to flee to Minas Tirith. To add insult to injury, Frodo was struck with a “Morgul Wound,” bringing him to 6 corruption.

Now three regions from Mordor and revealed, the Fellowship got hit with “Isildur’s Bane” for 2 damage and then “Orc Patrol” for 1. I mustered in more forces in Umbar and brought some Ships into play, readying for a counterattack from somewhere. Though it became clear that, after another Fellowship move, my opponent was committed to dunking the ring despite how bleak it was looking. I only had 2 points because I had been fighting the Fellowship with the same aggression with which they were pushing to Mordor, and was really surprised that he stuck with them.

At this point, I had a huge army in Mordor and another in Umbar, and since it seemed it was going to boil down to the ring anyway, I marched forward with this massive army, of 5 regulars, 5 Elites, 3 Nazguls, and 3 Corsairs. With the Fellowship in Mordor and corruption at 10, the first move drew a 0+reveal tile, keeping the Fellowship hanging on by a thread for now. The Southron army reached Osgiliath, and the Sauron army of 4 elites, 6 regulars, and 3 Nazgul was right behind them for backup. The riders from Rohan came to the rescue, through “The Path of the Woses,” and reinforced the Gondor army with 4 elites and 2 leaders The Witch King flew to the Southron Army, and through “The Black Captain Commands,” Two Nazgul were summoned and the massive battle began. The battle raged on, and after some heavy blows to both sides, and all three Corsairs used and removed to provide backup, the battle was ceased so the Shadow could reinforce.

A second battle was declared, and now an even deadlier army was knocking on the door of Minas Tirith: 4 Southron Elites, 4 Sauron Elites, 2 Sauron regulars, 1 Spider, and all 9 Nazgul (because why not)! The Eagles arrived in order to cancel my Nazgul leadership, but the overwhelming force was likely going to be enough. On the first round of battle, the Spiders of Mirkwood “Hideous Speed” Call to Battle card was played. The Spiders charged forward first, seeking out the Hobbit leader. They were successful in their endeavor, killing Pippin before he could help defend against the Shadow attack that followed. With that, the last Companion of the Fellowship was slain. After only a few rounds of battle, the forces in Minas Tirith were small enough that they fled into siege.

However, the battle would not reach a natural conclusion, as the Fellowship took their second step on the Mordor Track, and even though Galadriel shielded them once from the fatal Eye of Sauron, she was unable to help when the Eye quickly fell upon them again. Frodo and Sam were slain, and the Ring recovered. All nine members of the Fellowship lay dead, and Sauron reigned supreme.

I really think my opponent should have bailed on the Fellowship before it got as bad as it did. Even though Frodo reached the Mordor track, it seemed clear that there was no way he was going to survive well before then. Although, if you couldn't tell, the Fellowship did get seriously unlucky with those hunt rolls.

Since I had been focusing on the Fellowship (since I pretty much had to be), switching to a military conquest would have been the more viable option. However, I think its common for some FP players to be too "afraid" (for lack of a better word) of pursuing a military victory since it is quite risky. Though to be fair, with so many companions dead, Gandalf the White would be the only person who could activate other Nations in this situation, so getting an army together in any serious way would have taken a long, long time.

Thanks for reading
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David Wiley
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Awesome report! I just got Warriors of Middle Earth for Christmas and I'm itching to try that one out in 2017. Now I just need to get my hands on Lords of Middle Earth...

I agree, the Free People are often afraid of going after a military conquest. I've successfully done it exactly one time, sweeping into the two northern Shadow territories and pressing into Moria for the victory. Not an easy route by any means, but it felt satisfying to accomplish that unusual path of victory.
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Josh S.
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dtwiley wrote:
Awesome report! I just got Warriors of Middle Earth for Christmas and I'm itching to try that one out in 2017. Now I just need to get my hands on Lords of Middle Earth...

I agree, the Free People are often afraid of going after a military conquest. I've successfully done it exactly one time, sweeping into the two northern Shadow territories and pressing into Moria for the victory. Not an easy route by any means, but it felt satisfying to accomplish that unusual path of victory.


Warriors definitely adds a lot to the game- I've been playing this regularly since about 2010 and when this expasnion got added, it really threw me off (but in an awesome kind of way) laugh Hope you enjoy it!

And yeah, I think in my years of playing, a military victory has happened maybe 3 times out of a small handfull of attempts, but I love how different and unique those kinds of games go!

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