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Lord of the Rings: Sauron» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Four Hobbits versus the Dark Lord rss

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Andrew Chapman
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This was our 3rd game of LOTR and second of Sauron. One of the players had never played before, and we had a bit of rifling through the rules to sort ourselves out.

So Frodo (the newcomer), Sam (myself), Pippin (host) and Merry (Sauron's Dad) set out from Bag End under the baleful watch of the Lidless Eye (Merry's 12 year old son - an enthusiastic volunteer for the role of the Dark Lord). Frodo, who's always been a dreamy sort of hobbit, seemed to have some conceptual difficulties with the game early on, prompting Pippin to observe that it was a rather abstract entity, but captivating never-the-less. All the different tracks and not having an individual piece to move around a board seemed to throw Frodo at first, but Moria soon set him straight.

Things went poorly at first, although we avoided the worst events in Moria, and only trusty Sam, taking the fall for Frodo, advanced towards Sauron, who remained motionless at 12. But I came out of the scenario in poor shape with a much reduced hand of cards.

Then Things went badly. Helm's Deep was nearly a disaster, with Sam drawing half a dozen events in a row (some fended off by playing cards and life tokens), and the Black Rider galloping down upon us and heading back to Mordor at terrific speed.

We staggered into Shelob's Lair in very poor shape. Sam had only two cards; Frodo wasn't much better, and only Pippin was uncorrupted by virtue of possessing a suitable number of tokens. Sauron had taken a menacing few steps towards us.

Shelob's Lair exhausted us. There was desperate talk amongst the hobbits, and Sam, who was the Ring Bearer was carried by the others almost to the end of the main track to the very edge of where those two nasty big black squares are. Then he threw on the ring and managed a paltry one square move whilst being corrupted three spaces. Sauron advanced menacingly. Ringwraiths were hurled at as mercilessly by the Lidless One. Every event played out.

Sauron stood at 6 on the corruption line as we advanced into Mordor. Every hobbit -- except for Pippin, who's always been a greedy and idle little hobbit who spends too much time filling his sack with good things -- were corrupted horribly by a lack of tokens. However, Sam was saved by Pippin playing some of his hoarded stash and being drawn back toward the light.

In Mordor the end came swiftly. In all we advanced along the main track only one space before Sauron advanced swiftly and ruthlessly toward us, taking first Sam, then Merry, then Pippin, and at last Frodo.

It was a tough game, tense, but perhaps not quite as fun as the first two we played (although still enjoyable, and I look forward to another crack at it). Possibly I felt like we were never in control of the game, whereas the other two occasions I played I did not have that feeling (the first being easy with Sauron starting on 15, and the second... well... I was the Dark Lord and that is a role that exudes a certain amount of power!). Excellent stuff though.
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ART
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How skillfully would you say a Sauron player needs to play in order to tip the scales? I have yet to try this game with a Sauron player. Does it take a good understanding of the cards dealt, or do you think just about anyone can play a Sauron player adequately enough to pose a challenge?
 
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Matthew M
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ahoodedfigure wrote:
How skillfully would you say a Sauron player needs to play in order to tip the scales? I have yet to try this game with a Sauron player. Does it take a good understanding of the cards dealt, or do you think just about anyone can play a Sauron player adequately enough to pose a challenge?


Sauron takes some getting used to. The Sauron player needs to take a much bigger view of the course of the game compared to the hobbits, who are typically focused mainly on the here-and-now. A first-time Sauron player is going to be much easier to defeat as he isn't really using his resources as effectively as one who is more familiar with the weapons at his disposal and how best to apply them at critical points.

-MMM
 
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Werner Bär
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Against an experienced Sauron player, the expansion with Sauron starting at 15 place is IMO harder than the base game starting at 10. Even if you use that card that allows you to push Sauron back another 3 spaces. Death will usually come in Mordor, by the Black Rider reaching the ring bearer and be able to return home.
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