Players: Me (Brian), Rick, Marnie
#plays before this one: 3, 1, 0
In short, we lost. The hobbits put up a good fight and made it to the last board, but the power of evil was too great. We actually messed up one of the rules. We played cards with symbols not shown on scenario board (and cards with symbols of completed tracks) as wild cards... but these cards have "no effect". In contrast, event tiles with these characteristics that are considered to be "wild". This error probably would have altered the amount of card-drawing and moving away from Sauron.
HINTS & THOUGHTS:
1. The ring should probably get used once per scenario board
2. The collection of ring tokens shouldn't be taken lightly because the person furthest from Sauron is probably the best ring-bearer
3. Sam seems to be the best hobbit to be ring-bearer since he can only suffer one bad thing from the die rolls. This means less damage if Sam uses the ring to turn invisible.
4. Losing bonus hobbit cards early on the event track (typically the 2nd bad event) seems crummy. Maybe I've missed a rule or I am missing some part of the strategy.
5. Be aware that cards bearing the symbols that are not used on the map board (and symbols for tracks that are already completed) have no value... they do not count as wild cards. Only event tiles with such symbols are wild.
8/8 FREE, PROTECTED
Some edits to your hints that you might find helpfuL:
1- The ring is important to use, and is best used to bail you out of a tough spot. With a little practice you can rely on the ring as a safety net that will guarantee that you can avoid the worst of the bad events.
2- Sam is definitely the most effective ring-bearer, and is best saved for the board that is the most difficult to survive. Make sure he gets the ring on that board and is relative uncorrupt.