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Subject: First game of Lords of Middle Earth rss

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Steve Dara
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Hello again BGGers! I'm here to share a fantastic session of WotR with you guys. It was actually a PBF funny enough so I'm sure my fantastic opponent, Menghini, will find this and chime in I'll also attach the link for anyone who want to see the turn by turn play... I would call this my favorite game of War of the Ring so far!

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1791316/wotr-pbf-008-all-yo...

Turn 1
It was a sunny day in Rivendell and the fellowship was preparing to embark (all 9 members of course) when Gandalf exposed his elven ring of power. He used the wisdom it bestowed on him to search for the safest path south and yet by using it Sauron had been alerted to the fellowships depart (rolled an eye). Quickly into the ring-bearers journey, the Witch King, chieftain of the ring-wraiths had descended upon the fellowship. Though no damage had been dealt, Frodo knew their path had gotten much more dangerous. Elsewhere in Middle Earth armies of Southrons and Easterlings approached the borders of Dale and Pelargir, while mustering closer to war. The North saw this as a threat to their 'only recently reclaimed' city and mustered themselves as well.



Turn 2
Rain continued pouring down upon the fellowship and yet their tracks were never hidden enough. It was by the grace of Elrond's blessing the fellowship were able to maintain progress, secretly moving two regions away. With only one die in the hunt box the shadow decided to not play 'Flocks or Crebain' and rolled a 5, then a 4 on the re-roll. Not taking chances anymore the shadow used the card for the second move, only being disappointed when the die showed a 3 then a 1... Trouble, however, brewed before the fellowship as word had spread that an ancient Balrog of Morgoth had been awoken in the bowels of the earth. As for the state of the North, Dale had been attacked and only by the early warning of scouts had they managed to retreat to the safety of Thranduil's halls in the Woodland Realm. Knowing the threat of loosing the old forest road, the North mustered an elite unit in the settlements of Carrock. Word reached Rohan and Gondor that Isengard had mustered to war and Sauron's forces had emptied almost wholly into Ithilien.



Turn 3
A dangerous fork in the road had befallen upon the fellowship. The path through Moria was a danger even greater than they yet knew, but Isengard was preparing to invade Rohan and trouble would be at every step of their path. Gandalf once again focused on his ring before making his decision, however another existence had sensed his thoughts (rolled another eye). He pushed the fellowship onward when a winged beast began to descend upon them. Using his wizard's staff, however, Gandalf was able to keep the party concealed from the Witch King's eyes. The Nazgul, who had all been in Dale coordinating the northern offensive, were sent to Pelargir to begin the invasion of Gondor. Knowing the enemies plans were in motion Gondor lit the beacons and Rohan began mustering it's defenses in Edoras. Shortly after Eomer was dispatched to Helm's Deep to prepare its defenses. Sensing Gondor's hesitation the forces that took Pelargir pressed on it's offensive and took the river city of Osgiliath.



Turn 4
Once again Gandalf looked into his ring, yet rather than finding wisdom he grew tired and wished only to sleep (rolled another eye!). Frodo urged the old man onward however and the fellowship proceeded under the cover of night. The forces of Sauron gathered in Osgiliath and prepared for a major offensive. While forces were gathering the Nazgul focused their evil will on the white city and spells of fire rained down upon the city, killing one regular regiment. Meanwhile leadership gathered in the halls of Minas Tirith and it was determined that more forces would be needed to withstand these dire times, so they called forth the guard of the citadel. Also a leader was mustered in Minas Tirith and a regular was mustered in Dol Amroth. In Orthanc Saruman arose from his tower and revealed that his new power was rising. With his newly developed forces he overran Rohan's forces in the Fords of Isen. Theoden answered this call to war from his throne in the golden hall at the city of Edoras.



Turn 5
Though the journey had been perilous the fellowship reached the haven of Lorien, still untouched by the enemy (no casualties). Through the mines of Moria they traversed, right under the Balrog's nose, and yet at the exit of the caves they found the gates were closed. Corruption was finally added to the ring-bearer, going to 4 (then immediately back down to 3). In the tranquil woods of Lorien the fellowship had learned of the fragile state of Middle Earth. Dale had been taken by Easterlings and Pelargir by the Southrons. Osgiliath was overrun by orcs and wicked men while the Fords of Isen were held by a mighty army from Isengard. Learning this, Boromir, son of Denethor, requested to leave the fellowship to secure his father's city. Gwaihir was summoned to allow the steward's son to travel the distance required in the short time they had. His arrival was just in time as well, as once he touched down the enemy had reached the gates and the siege of the white city began. Boromir's arrival had been invaluable to the defenders as the stewards had prepared a mighty defense for the siege. We were now at Boromir, 3 Leaders, 3 Elite units and 2 Regular units! Additional forces reinforced the enemy's presence in Osgiliath and North Ithilien, while Southrons ransacked the fiefdoms of Lossarnach and Lamedon. Heroes of both sides were called to service as Gothmog appeared in Minas Morgul and Elrond from his house in Rivendell. The Isengard warg riders continued their assault on Rohan and laid siege to Helm's Deep. The siege did not last long however as it was a deadly strife on both sides and soon the Free People lost control of the ancient stronghold of Helm Hammerhand. The forces of Theoden left Edoras and entered the fields of Westemnet while the North, not seeing any enemy activity for several days, had left the settlements of Carrock and proceeded to Eagle's Eyrie.



Turn 6
Having not moved from the safety of Lorien the fellowship continued to recover. Elrond's wisdom now guided the forces of good, using his elven ring of power to urge the Northern forces on by announcing a surprise assault on the ancient fortress of the Witch King, Mount Gundabad! The enemy, taken aback, retreated into their fortress. The shadow nations, sensing a will of resistance from the free people, hurried their forces along. Soon the Folde of Rohan and Edoras was taken by forces of Sauron and all of Dunland was approaching Saruman's fortress of Orthanc. The fellowship sensed the urgency of these trying times and proceeded with great haste. Strider, dunedan ranger, took the lead and moved the fellowship two entire regions. Unfortunately Legolas, son of Thranduil, was tragically lost on their journey along the Anduin. Denethor, confused as to why the besieging forces had not yet attacked looked into one of the lost seeing stones. There he saw the eye of Sauron and was driven mad. Sanity only returned to him when a wind from the west broke the cloud cover and he could at last see the sun again. To play that card cost me Gandalf's elven ring.



Turn 7
The fellowship's scent had been lost by the Witch King ever since they entered the elven city of Lothlorien. He knew it was finally time to take lead of the forces, and so he took up his mantle in the besieging forces of Minas Tirith. Throughout middle earth all could feel the Witch King's rise to power. Dreading the times in which the cruel king ruled Angmar, the Northern forces attacked Mount Gundabad. The North offered no quarter, and yet that was not even required. The assault gave me two 6's and only two 4's in return, incredible! Angry at the loss of his ancient castle the Witch King initiated the assault of Minas Tirith. The fight only lasted two rounds with the loss of only one leader on the defenders side and yet the attackers suffering two casualties. Amazing combat card play here. I predicted he'd play cruel as death so I played 'Advantageous Position' and sure enough he did, quite lucky! Sensing a weakness in the enemy's military plan the Elves began mustering towards war. However the fellowship's visit in Lorien was not welcome by all and some viewed their presence as the coming of a stormcrow. Seeing the will to fight by the free people, the Mouth of Sauron took charge of the forces of Dol Guldur and led all but one regular unit to the South Anduin Vale.



Turn 8
The Mouth of Sauron sensed the free people's hesitance to act and took it as fear. And so he lead his forces to Lorien, expecting a brutal siege. The commander was taken aback however, when the elves did not retreat into their wood and rather retreated to Parth Celebrant after the first round of fighting. The fighting was costly however, suffering 3 casualties after accounting for 'Shield-wall'. Now in a hurry, Celeborn moved his remaining forces swiftly into the Brownlands. Rohan saw the opportunity provided by the elves and moved into the lands of Eastemnet. Seeing the forces at the border of Dol Guldur, Sauron mustered a second regular regiment in the stronghold. Theoden and his riders met with Celeborn and his galadhrim forces in the Brownlands just south of Dol Guldur. Using Elrond's ring to keep the Army/Muster action die. The forces of men and elves were not at 3 Leaders, 3 Elites and 3 Regulars. Now knowing that free people forces were ready to attack the stronghold, two Nazgul were dispatched to see to the defenses.



Turn 9
Strider sensed that Lorien and Rohan were emptied in an effort to attack Dol Guldur. He concluded that, should the offensive succeed, Sauron would be powerless against the marshaled forces of men, dwarves and elves. He declared the fellowship's presence in the fortress of Dol Guldur and made his companions ready for the attack. Corruption rose to a staggering 8! It was all or nothing now... Sure enough the alliance of men and elves attacked the evil stronghold and the defenders retreated into the siege. The defending forces were hill-trolls, however so the attack might not be so easy... At dawn the attack began, using the power of the one-ring (as it was a gift) the forces of the Free People destroyed the trolls in almost one round of combat (despite the dread and despair of two Nazgul). After the leader re-roll we scored 3/3 hits! The second round was finished after a swift sudden strike. Now with the strongholds of Mount Gundabad and Dol Guldur liberated the forces of shadow did not hold a candle to the remaining forces of good. Here the game was called as there were simply not enough dice left or opportunities to account for a SP military victory (being at 7 points).



In Conclusion

Rohan was completely eliminated, though Gondor was doing quite well with Minas Tirith still very strong in it's stronghold and Dol Amroth not yet attacked (Corsairs were already used as Helm's Deep combat card and I did have Prince Imrahil of Dol Amroth). The elves were at war at the end of the game, but aside from loosing Lorien they haven't been touched (same with the dwarves)...

I love trying out new things and the risky moves I took at the end of the game were very exciting for me (even if they wouldn't have paid off). I've never used the North to take a stronghold before (I intended to use Carrock to provide 'Help Unlooked For' to the Woodland Realm). I think the Lords of Middle Earth expansion provided a bigger benefit to the Shadow Player this game, as Gandalf rolled 3/5 times an 'eye' result and Smeagol never coming up (even though there were 4 tiles for him). Although Elrond did help a lot during the last 3 rounds and his 'special' ring ability was the reason I could take Dol Guldur that last round!

Menghini and I are playing another game with our roles reversed and I'm really excited to see what happens there (It's already a strange one with Aragorn being crowned in the first turn cry). Anyways let me know what you guys think and feel free to ask questions or leave suggestions or stories of your own! I love you all and happy gaming!
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Dennis de Vries
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Deventer
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Ah, doctor, that aneasthetic is perfect!
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Nice session report! And a deserved win. I think I waited too long to attack anything big. Especially the early Rohan and Gondor card musters made me hesitate. And my S&E army was too small to go on in Gondor and the DEW-line. Maybe I should have focussed on S&E first...

So many lessons for me in this game!

One thing for the readers of this report: 1 mistake (V and I didn't know at that time the exact ruling, so that's how we played). The Fellowship shouldn't have gotten the (first) point of healing when declaring at Lorien. See some discussions/threads elsewhere on BGG. Not that this matters, though.
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Koolin
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I really like the pictures, where did you get them from (if i may ask)?
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Steve Dara
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Just googling for images actually! I follow several artists who paint lord of the rings artwork, but the pictures I used are from several different artists (some of whom I do not know).

If you like the images I selected check out the works of John Howe!
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