John Bain
United Kingdom
Rochester
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Last night my brother and I tried out for the first time playing with both expansions. (Although we had previously played both expansions separately we hadn't felt ready for the two together until we had a few plays of Warriors under our belt.) This is what happened.

Unluckily for Joe, the Fellowship was revealed just one space out from Rivendell allowing me to quickly bring in both the alternate Witch King and also the Spiders faction, gaining two extra die. I was able to start using the WK's 'Spear of Terror' ability to cycle cards and I hoped the spiders might be able to harrass the fellowship as they headed south. I also brought in the Balrog (gaining another die) as I wanted to make the passage through Moria more perilous and I had decided against an early Saruman to try to deny him Gandalf the White for a while. Meanwhile Joe activated the Eagles partly in response to my armies heading towards the DEWline. It felt great having such a heavy influx of die so soon.

Things didn't quite go as expected however! I was going quite heavy on the hunt, adding two eyes to the search and gaining more from my roll, hoping to reveal the fellowship in or passing through Moria. All that happened was Smeagol appeared, as a nice level 3 guide. cry The fellowship was not only still complete but had now grown to 10 members. I decided I may as well bring in Saruman as Joe didn't seem keen to break off anyone at this stage. [As it happened Smeagol had the opportunity to sacrifice himself against a 3 damage tile soon after]

I still couldn't understand why he hadn't declared in Dimrill Dale. It soon became clear when he suddenly slapped down 'The Western Way'! cry [I later found out he had this from right at the start] My spiders and a couple of nazgul had been moved to spots on the traditional route and now were looking pretty stupid out in the middle of nowhere.

During this time my armies hadn't been idle of course. devil With the help of 'Horde from the east' and a Mordor army I had taken Erebor and Dale. However in my manoeuvrers I had stuffed up the attack on the Woodland Realm and Joe had recruited twice there, meaning it was no longer looking an attractive target despite still having a decent army leftover. Instead I turned to Gonder and with the Western Way now revealed, I pushed to complete my siege of Dol Amroth (Gothmog leading an army of Haradrim), and that victory left just Minas Tirith as a possible crowning spot for Strider.

Joe had brought in Elrond but was still struggling with just the original four dice, plus a faction dice and the Elrond dice. The Fellowship landed in Gondor with a 2 damage and reveal tile being drawn. Joe decided to kill a random companion rather than Gandalf and very unluckily randomly selected Strider – ending all hopes of a coronation and also his plan to bring in the Army of the Dead.

It now became clear that it would be a race between my military campaign and the Fellowship hurrying to Mount Doom. A force of 5 warg riders easily took Helms Deep, bringing the last Free People's nation to war, and pushed on to Edoras. Joe started the Mordor track with masses of companions still to absorb damage but not much time or dice. The Mouth of Sauron joined the Balrog in Moria.

After taking Edoras, I only needed one more point but was unsure of the easiest target, trying to decide between Rivendell (since the Elves only had one regular left in the supply and I had already played Monsters Roused), or the Shire. I also considered Minas Tirith but it was looking pretty strong still, even taking into account my spare armies nearby. I decided to end it with the Shire, activating the Balrog with his event card, and emptying Moria. I combined it with 'A new power is rising' to send a mixed force quickly west. The Mouth of Sauron lent his leadership and a couple of spiders that had regrouped in Moria joined in the fun. Funny stuff! Those poor hobbits didn't know what hit them!

The Fellowship finished two spots away from Mount Doom, respectably close but needing another turn to finish.

Final thoughts/notes:
Joe had made good use of alternate ways of moving the Fellowship, playing the Eagles card twice to move and also swift boats. He also used Elrond's ring ability to get another movement.

Although he used Gandalf's guide ability almost all game in the end and even wizard's staff while on the Mordor track, we decided it would have been better if he had sacrificed himself right at the start (Joe did have a chance to do this but chose to take 2 corruption instead). Then he could have got another dice happening and also brought in the Ents.

We were scared the game would be too crazy with all the factions mixed in and all the Lords components as well, but Joe wasn't able to bring in two of his factions because everyone headed to the Grey Havens for the Western Way. Meanwhile I didn't see the point of bringing in the Corsairs – they don't seem worth it to me – and I hadn't needed the Dunlendings to take Rohan. So all game we only had 1 faction each and neither faction had done much. This was weird – especially in comparison to our last game with Warriors. [And Treebeard still didn't make an appearance continuing his grand total of zero appearances soblue]

Overall, despite the factions not doing much this game, we decided the game had gone well. Joe said 'there was no going back now' and we left the decks set up for playing with both expansions next time.
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Joseph Bain
United Kingdom
Hornchurch
London
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Joe here! I also considered separating Aragorn earlier and rushing him down to Minas tirith but I forgot about Moria stopping companion movement so decided to take him by sea as well! Most gutting moment was seeing him then die in that random companion draw (a 1/7 chance!) But yes enjoyed the game and learnt a lot about controlling both the Lords and Warriors expansion simultaneously!
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The Captain
United States
Travis AFB
California
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Carry On!
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great report, thanks for sharing! way to teach them Shire rats a lesson!
 
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Grant Johnson
United States
Cedar Park
Texas
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Well me known for eating cookie when me don't they shout
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Look! He try to throw loyal fans a curve!
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The factions are spotty, and not absolutely dependable. If the wrong circumstances occur, or the cards come at the wrong time (or don't come at all) they won't show up in an individual game.
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