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Subject: Worn with Sorrow and Toil - an introduction game rss

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Tomas
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Despite being an introductory game with urQuan it still didn't fail to provide plenty of tension and drama, and ended up being very close (as it usually tend to be). He wanted to play the Shadow Forces, so I picked the Free People. We did use the expansion.

And on they went

The first turns went introducing the game and explaining the rules.

Saruman and the Balrog arrived on the second turn. Galadriel too. The ringbearer decided to go through Moria despite the Balrog, which cost them Gandalf (who is unable to reappear for some four turns due to a lack of will of the wests).

After that the "fun" starts. With Strider at the helm a 3 tile got pulled after a successful hunt. I already had a few points of corruption, so I decided to prove my point that normal laws of probability don't apply with the random casualty pull. Of course I picked Strider from the six possible choices, causing lots of gnashing of teeth from me, and glee from the Shadow.

The fellowship is then unable to move for two turns, practically standing still outside Lorién, rolling only musters / army dice or palantirs.. This could have called for some military action but right now only Rohan and the Elves were at war (more below). On the third turn, I got frustrated and used an elven ring for the final die, but got revealed on the hunt.... breaking the fellowship was immediately played. However this time luck was on my side, and an eye tile was drawn.

meanwhile...

The Freewheeling Rohan

Saruman's wargs made the inevitable attack on the Fords of Isen. It sent the defenders retreating into Helm's deep, and Rohan to war. I had time to muster yet another elite in Helm's Deep before the siege begun. Meanwhile forces where mustering in Edoras like crazy thanks to an abundance of muster dice (that is 5 muster or army / muster dice), and a mustering event card. By then Helm's Deep had fallen.

The force from Edoras then moved forward in order to bait an attack, and succeeded, retreating into Fords of Isen. With my final army die I moved into the now empty Orthac. SP had lost some units in the siege against Helm's Deep, but mustered a few Dunlendings to patch up the lines. One small force went to take Edoras, while the other headed north to recapture Orthac. The next round, revealing yet another abundance of musters and palantirs for the FP, led me to muster elites in the now only free Rohan settlement in Anorien, and then recaptured Edoras sending a lone surviving Dunlending retreating.


Orthanc under siege - Lots of Dunlendings around

I now had a chance of taking back Helm's deep by eliminating the three Dunlendings in Westemnet and then pushing on into the empty stronghold. It didn't succeed, and the Dunlendings defended vigorously scoring two hits on my Rohan elites... The siege at Orthac was a losing battle for FP with only three regulars and a leader in the tower, but it did become quite costly for the SP, who time after time failed to kill the last remaining defender. Finally Saruman (who had probably hid in a cupboard all the time?) got enough and finished him off with his reroll. After that Gandalf reappeared in Fangorn with the Ents, effectively putting a stop to Saruman's voice.

The Free People Military Coup?

With Orthac under my control I could have made a push for Dol Gundur or Moria with the Elves. However both places had been reinforced thanks to mustering cards, as well as a Balrog in Moria, so it seemed like a long shot. I would likely had to start mustering more elves earlier in the game in order for this to succeed. Instead I got occupied trying to recapture Helm's Deep, which ultimately failed.

The Battle of the Pelennor Fields

Meanwhile a huge army had gathered outside of Gondor ready to attack. With Boromir dead, I separated a Hobbit with "I will go Alone" to activate and help defend Minas Tirith. At this point the SP brought the Hunting Witch King in play, and obviously went more for a corruption approach instead of a military victory. Still armies were quickly putting Minas Tirith under siege. After a few rounds of fighting the defenders were down to three regulars. At this point Rohan came to the rescue with the Path of Woses, and forces the weakened SP to retreat or risk losing his army. The SP army then regroups, and both the Witch King and the recently mustered Mouth of Sauron joins with some Southrons, and then makes another attack at the White City.

The defenders in Minas Tirith were now down to two regulars when the Ents awoke, and made the journey to Minas Tirith. I made a few lucky roll, and the shadow army was gone, including the Witch King and the Mouth. Yay! After retaking Pelargir the SP military machine had effectively ground to a halt, with only Helm's Deep under Shadow control.


Ents to the rescue! The Witch and the Mouth bite the dust.

A perilous Journey or...



Meanwhile the Fellowship had made it's way to Mordor with next to no corruption, and two companions left (Legolas and Merry). At this point Sméagol decided to join too. This of course meant that the SP could put three eyes in the box every turn, which he did. Now "Worn with Sorrow and Toil" was played, which meant that for every casualty in the fellowship I had to lose a random character card or a card on the table. Since I had no way of getting rid of it anymore, or any way to legally separate characters without them dying, I was in a dilemma. Take casualties and risk losing cards, or soak up the corruption.

I chose the former, and ended up losing both my healing cards that I had saved for when Gollum would be my guide. This was bad. Also SP rolled an insane amount of eyes every turn, so there would be 5-6 eyes in the box on average, and I had only one elven ring left. A lot of revealing tiles came up and SP hit me with plenty of corruption cards too.

Since things where suddenly looking a bit itchy in Mordor, I again considered the military approach. After the victory in Minas Tirith, I captured an empty Minas Morgul, and pushed south from Pelargir, and put Umbar under siege, while the elves headed for Moria. Some tight battles followed, but I did not manage to hold Minas Morgul long enough, and was still fighting in Umbar when I lost it. Moria had been reinforced, and capturing it was not very likely. The Free People military push had failed.


The last defender of Minas Morgul gets cut down.

The Fellowship was now two steps from the Crack of Doom with Gollum as the guide and had 9 corruption. I moved and a 3 tile was pulled. I had Mithril Coat and Sting in play, so I could force a redraw, but about half the remaining tiles were eyes or Shadow special tiles that would kill me instantly, while the other half were 0 tiles. I decided to save my coat for the final tile, and take 2 corruption and reveal myself. Surely SP had exhausted his hand by now.. Then with the last die, SP played Lure of the Ring, adding the one corruption needed for a win.


War rages in the south - There would be no dawn for men sauron

Thoughts:

All in all a very close game despite being urQuan:s first, that took an interesting turn with the corruption of the fellowship. A threat that I didn't take too seriously due to my low corruption upon entering Mordor, and good healing cards in my hand. Worn With Sorrow and Toil and a surprise Sméagol removed my character cards pretty quickly. A combination of good cards and rolls from the Shadow helped too.

The FP military approach might have worked better if I had committed to it fully earlier. Now it was more of an afterthought, and as a reaction to things going downhill in Mordor. Too little, too late.

The Card cycling Witch King might have worked better with the SP since he hit the table quite late. Then again he died quickly in Minas Tirith too, thanks to the Ents.
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Miikka Sohlman
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Pretty pictures must have rendered people speechless here.

Very good session report. Nice ending. To fall to the Lure of the Ring so near the end... sauron

I bet your friend got hooked.
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Tomas
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Very good session report. Nice ending. To fall to the Lure of the Ring so near the end... sauron


Thanks.
Mordor is quite strange in that last game the fellowship went into Mordor with moderate corruption, but ended up one step from the crack of doom with 0 corruption! I played SP and got a military win at that point. This time Mordor proved somewhat more dangerous. Still most games tend to be very close for some reason.

Quote:
I bet your friend got hooked.


Yes, trying to make the time for a rematch soon.
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Jeff Smith
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Thanks for the session report. I can't wait to get my hands on this game. May will not be here soon enough.
 
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Tomas
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Thanks for the session report. I can't wait to get my hands on this game. May will not be here soon enough.


While I don't need the painted minis in the Collector's Edition, I would really like to get my hands on the bigger board and new cards. Can't see why anyone would sell them though.
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