David F
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Luck in games, in measured doses, is the catalyst which enables shocking game-changers that you'll remember and talk about forever.
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EDIT: This game was played with the wrong rule that the Shadow player wins ties (it should be mutual destruction instead).

This was my first time playing against somebody who had experience with the game, I having taught my friend B a few weeks ago and he had caught on quickly. My not having to teach the game and go through the typical newbie mistakes made this game a blast, and re-elevated my opinion of it, which had started to flag. B, after me teaching him the game last time, felt strongly that it was very, very hard for the Free Peoples to win. I was up to the challenge of proving him wrong, and quickly turned the Mordor side of the board toward him.

ex post, this was the initial setup. I was Free Peoples.

--------------------------Flying Nazgul
-------------------Black Rider------------Warg
------------------------------Saruman

-----------Cave Troll----------------------------Shelob
Witch-king---------------------Orcs---------------------Balrog

Merry----------------------Gandalf---------------------Pippin
---------------Aragorn---------------------Gimli

---------------------------Legolas
------------------------Frodo------Sam
---------------------------Boromir

Seems to me Legolas should always be in The Shire. I usually keep Gimli on the 2nd line, ready to hit the Orcs after the first casualty. For the first time, I stuck Boromir in the back instead of at the front, because I had been losing him needlessly against weak Shadow characters. I hoped he could pick his own battles (or, uh, battle), starting from the Shire.

*below, characters in (parentheses) denote characters not yet revealed to/deduced by the opponent*

His first move was to move his (Orcs) into the mountains, but not into Caradhras. I had thought the conventional Shadow opening move was to put somebody in Caradhras, and B was trying to be unorthodox here. I responded by flinging (Gandalf) straight into danger through the tunnels of Moria, where next turn, he was attacked by Shelob. No match against his 5+5, I chose to retreat into Caradhras.

Afraid of pursuers, I immediately used Gandalf to attack the character on the far right. Bad idea, because I should have deduced that this would be the (Balrog) (it was the only space with a Shadow minion that bordered Caradhras). He played a 5, for 10 strength. I debated about the loss of Gandalf, my strongest character. Should I use Magic, my best late-game card, to retreat again? No, because I didn't think Gandalf would last another turn against Shelob or Balrog. Should I Noble Sacrifice? Nah, I'll save it for my wimpy hobbits. Deciding to focus on a strategy of drawing out Ben's strong cards early, I played a 1 to send Gandalf to his doom.

The (Orcs) then came over the mountains and cut (Merry) down. With (Aragorn) in the path of the incoming Orcs, I moved him up (maybe I should have attacked instead...). The (Flying Nazgul) then picked on (Gimli). As (Legolas) was right behind Gimli, I had no qualms about burning my 2 to let Gimli die, and Legolas avenge him next turn. He advanced Shelob.

Mistake #1: I attacked Orcs sideways using (Aragorn), figuring it'd surprise him. But I didn't count on the fact that he could retreat sideways, right in front of Legolas! Legolas died hastily next turn. With Orcs right next to the Shire, and with (Frodo), (Sam) and (Boromir) defending the Shire, something had to be done quickly. Sam fought the Orcs and defeated them (2+5 vs 2+3).

He advanced Shelob toward Aragorn. I moved (Frodo) up to join Sam. He chided that it was obvious I had moved (Frodo). I noted wryly, "A little too obvious for me, don't you think?). He took the bait, and charged the (Black Rider) into the Shire, only to find the trap waiting for him there.

After Pippin, attacked by Balrog on the right, used Noble Sacrifice, the dust had cleared. At this stage, I only had Frodo, Sam and Aragorn left, but I was in okay shape because I had opened a hole on the right. The path to the right was unimpeded until Gondor, where a single defender awaited. Shelob, (Witch-king) and (Cave Troll) were on my left, (Saruman) on the right, and Wargs in Mordor.

Ripe time for mistake #2!

He attacked Aragorn with Shelob. I decided to use my weakest card, a 3, to save cards for Frodo & Sam. 4+3 vs 5+2. Aragorn died... and Shelob teleported back to Gondor. Joining (Saruman). On the right. The hole had sealed.

NOOOOO! N00b mistake! I had forgotten.

It was just Frodo and Sam now, and I hightailed it across the mountains with Sam through the tunnel and Frodo over ground. Sam was met by an adjacent-attacking Witch-king after he exited Moria. I had Magic and 4 left, he had Magic and 4. I correctly decided I had to play Magic, because by playing 4 for a sure-fire loss against any card he played, Frodo would be cornered, and there would be no hope. He played a 4, and Sam used Noble Sacrifice through Magic.

Just Frodo left now, and he moved on. He made a glaring mistake, attacking Frodo with the Cave Troll, vacating the left side, and allowing Frodo to move down the left and avoid the double-garrison in Gondor. Or maybe he didn't make a mistake, and just wanted to give me false hope. Because the (Wargs) promptly exited Mordor and tore Frodo into pieces.

-------------------

I think this would have been competitive had it not been for my 2 mistakes. He made one mistake only in wasting Flying Nazgul on Boromir in the Shire (no point leaving Frodo alone in the Shire), and that was probably the difference.

Something I see that seems to become a trend in my plays is that I tend to pick the wrong card to play. Most card decisions in the game involve a strategy of either playing High or playing Low (with cases of playing in the Middle). I always pick High when my opponent picks Low, and I always pick Low when my opponent picks Low, losing quite a bit of "surplus" there. Even when I pick Middle, my opponent picks Middle +1. I hope it's been bad luck so far, and not something systematic in how I make decisions.
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Rauli Kettunen
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selwyth wrote:
he was attacked by Shelob. No match against his 5+5, I chose to retreat into Caradhras.

Afraid of pursuers, I immediately used Gandalf to attack the character on the far right. Bad idea, because I should have deduced that this would be the (Balrog) (it was the only space with a Shadow minion that bordered Caradhras). He played a 5, for 10 strength.


How'd he get 2 5s into play? Did he use Magic that early (guess not, given that he uses it later)?

Quote:
I debated about the loss of Gandalf, my strongest character. Should I use Magic, my best late-game card, to retreat again? No, because I didn't think Gandalf would last another turn against Shelob or Balrog. Should I Noble Sacrifice? Nah, I'll save it for my wimpy hobbits. Deciding to focus on a strategy of drawing out Ben's strong cards early, I played a 1 to send Gandalf to his doom.


I would've been tempted by Elven Cloak. Not sure if that would've been smart or not.

Quote:
He attacked Aragorn with Shelob. I decided to use my weakest card, a 3, to save cards for Frodo & Sam. 4+3 vs 5+2. Aragorn died... and Shelob teleported back to Gondor. Joining (Saruman). On the right. The hole had sealed.


Doesn't Shelob die on a tie just like (most) everyone else, so no teleporting back? She's gotta be alive for that.
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Chris
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Though here at journey's end I lie in darkness buried deep, beyond all towers strong and high, beyond all mountains steep, above all shadows rides the Sun, and Stars forever dwell: I will not say the Day is done, nor bid the Stars farewell.
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Nice report. I liked how you visually represented the opening setup.

selwyth wrote:


Quote:
I debated about the loss of Gandalf, my strongest character. Should I use Magic, my best late-game card, to retreat again? No, because I didn't think Gandalf would last another turn against Shelob or Balrog. Should I Noble Sacrifice? Nah, I'll save it for my wimpy hobbits. Deciding to focus on a strategy of drawing out Ben's strong cards early, I played a 1 to send Gandalf to his doom.


I would've been tempted by Elven Cloak. Not sure if that would've been smart of not.

[/q]

I also would have used Elven Cloak here. It would have saved your high numbered card as well as assuring mutual elimination, instead of just the elimination of you most powerful character.
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Rauli Kettunen
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Yeah, that was my thought as well. Don't want to give up Gandy for naught.
 
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Jim Cote
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You can use the code tag to make the results look exactly as they do in the editor, spaces included.

XXX
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David F
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Luck in games, in measured doses, is the catalyst which enables shocking game-changers that you'll remember and talk about forever.
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Dam the Man wrote:


How'd he get 2 5s into play? Did he use Magic that early (guess not, given that he uses it later)?



Oops, Shelob used a 6 for the first battle.

Quote:
I would've been tempted by Elven Cloak. Not sure if that would've been smart not.


Elven Cloak was used on the second turn [.bwto retreat Gandalf. I was worried about using up my Magic, or going back in the Mountains and fighting one of two beefcakes (Shelob, Balrog), with significantly weaker cards in my hand.
Quote:

Doesn't Shelob die on a tie just like (most) everyone else, so no teleporting back? She's gotta be alive for that.


OOOOOPS. I had been playing with the wrong rule that the shadow player wins ties. I had learnt the real rule before, but replaced it with that by accident, because every Lord of the Rings game I have played ended up in a line ike that.
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Anselmo Diaz
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selwyth wrote:

He played a 5, for 10 strength. I debated about the loss of Gandalf, my strongest character. Should I use Magic, my best late-game card, to retreat again? No, because I didn't think Gandalf would last another turn against Shelob or Balrog. Should I Noble Sacrifice? Nah, I'll save it for my wimpy hobbits. Deciding to focus on a strategy of drawing out Ben's strong cards early, I played a 1 to send Gandalf to his doom.




I may have spotted a rules mistake here.
From the rulebook:
'After both players have selected a card, they
reveal their card choice simultaneously faceup on the
table'.

So how come you knew the card your opponent was playing, and then ponder about which one to use to counter it? sauron
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Rauli Kettunen
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Echtalion wrote:
I may have spotted a rules mistake here.
From the rulebook:
'After both players have selected a card, they
reveal their card choice simultaneously faceup on the
table'.

So how come you knew the card your opponent was playing, and then ponder about which one to use to counter it? sauron


It's Classic Gandalf's ability, first oppo plays his card face-up, then you get to play yours.
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Anselmo Diaz
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Dam the Man wrote:
Echtalion wrote:
I may have spotted a rules mistake here.
From the rulebook:
'After both players have selected a card, they
reveal their card choice simultaneously faceup on the
table'.

So how come you knew the card your opponent was playing, and then ponder about which one to use to counter it? sauron


It's Classic Gandalf's ability, first oppo plays his card face-up, then you get to play yours.


Oops...I totally missed! shake
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