This play was done using two of my varients. The Alternatives of Saruman and Galadriel. If something makes you go “whoa, that isn’t right!” It’s because of the varients which can be viewed
Here (Galadriel) http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/552128/galadriel
And here (Saruman) http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/540254/saruman-hero-idea
Turn 1- Isengard and southron and Eastrlings go to War. Saruman, the destroyer of the Fellowship enters play.
Turn 2- Sauron goes to war and his dark servants are summoned to Orthanc to aid the army of Uruks. (remember, this Saruman doesnt make elites leaders) Before a pre-emptive strike can be made, a messenger of Elrond has counsel with King Theoden. The King of Rohan sees the evil in Sauron and musters his forces to war. The messenger then informs the King of an emptied Dol Guldur, and how the army is pressuring Lorien. “We make for the forest of Mirkwood!” declared Theoden to his advisors. The messenger tried to tell Theoden of the risks, but the King did not change his mind. All of the Rohan troops were summoned except for one unit of foot soldiers and one platoon of Riders. The army of 4 rider units and 6 legions of foot soldiers made for Dol Guldur. Galadriel, the White Sorceress, emerged and prepared for War.
Turn 3- The Fellowship began its move, but an unknown force discovered them. Aragorn had separated before to head for Minas Tirith, leaving Gandalf in charge. They heard the dark words of Saruman, just before a bolt of thunder struck and killed Legolas. He dropped into a lifeless heap on the ground. In horror, realizing that their position was known, they hid themselves at the end of the mountains, so they could soon hope to get Lorien.
Turn 4- The armies of Rohan had gathered at Westemnet to start for their taking of Dol Guldur. But they soon realized that they needed a fourth leader to keep their army organized. Theodred, Eomer and Theoden debated on who to have lead their armies. Hama approached Theoden and reminded him of another who was loved and respected by the people. “Let her prove herself.” said Hama. Theoden looked over at Eowyn, who was experimentally swinging her sword. “ I Will inform the army of the fourth leader of the armies of Rohan. They will know she is in charge.” decided Theoden hesitantly. The fourth leader of Rohan was mustered. The army got within 2 regions of Dol Guldur. Khamul was right outside the Lands of Lorien when he saw the Rohan army and their obvious destination. “Forget the Elf-Witch. She will get hers later! We will destroy this wretched army!
The battle lasted one round before the Rohan army retreated. Two legions of orcs and 2 platoons of foot soldiers were killed. But then 3 goups of Olog Hai came forth. “We Come to Kill” they said, just before they charged, clubs swinging. An entire legion of Riders was destroyed, and the army fled. Then, with their trops in order again, they marched into Dol Guldur.
Turn 5- The Fellowship hid and moved before being revealed once more, and this time the Witch King arrived to greet them. He circled above the area of the Fellowship, searching for the Ring.
The army of orcs surrounded Dol Guldur, and a black smog caused by the Nazguls’ Dreadful Spells engulfed a unit of Rohan Riders. When the Somg cleared, nothing but the bones of the dead and Rohanese armor could be seen. Then the orc army attacked, but the Rohan army did not go into siege. The orc army had lost a nother two legions, but they took one of Rohan’s and were ready to destroy another, the Nazgul were swooping down but Eowyn herself confronted the four of them. She kept them at bay until her unit could escape. But she herself was killed by a powerful blade stroke from Khamul. The Rohan leaders were angered by the death of Eowyn, and vowed to avenge her. But they all agreed that it was indeed a Heroic Death. The Rohan army went to the refuge of the Stronghold, no down to 5 legions of foot soldiers.
Turn 6- Galadriel seized this opportunity and gathered all of her Galadhrim and lead her army to Moria. There the mighty army of the Balrog was put into Siege. After a long fight, which resulted in the Death of Celeborn, Moria was finally overcome by the elves, the power of Galadriel’s Ring allowed them to continue in larger numbers, and the Great Power of Galadriel destroyed the Balrog. Galadriel prayed that the army of Rohan could hold out for just a bit longer…
At Dol Guldur, a great platoon of Siege Towers was built, to take out the last of the Rohan Army. 3 legions of Rohan foot Soldiers would have been destroyed, but Eomer did the same good dead as his sister did and died a Heroic Death to save his unit. But then Theodred died painfully because of the Black Breath of the Nazgul. With only Theoden remaining, the last 3 Rohan foot soldiers fell. With that, Dol Guldur was re-taken.
Turn 7- The Fellowship made some progress, and Galadriel fled to Rivindell with the remainder of her Galadhrim, which consisted of one troop of Riders of the Royal Guard, and two legions of dismounted Warriors. But not before she tore down the foundations of Moria, razing it to the ground in the name of the fallen heroes. A messenger had stealthily invaded Dol Guldur and recovered the swords of the fallen heroes, and placed them in the ground, a Rohan Banner placed on either side of the memorial. She herself branded the sword of her husband and declared that she would move to Rivindell’s aid.
But with no reinforcements for the elves and almost none for Rohan, an easy 5 points were attained this turn just by simply moving units. Large armies began to form in North Rhun and Angmar, preparing for a strike on the elves.
Turn 8- the Fellowship made much progress, now about 5 regions and hidden, but Gandalf and Boromir had fallen in the process.
The Grey Havens was put into siege and there was going to be no help for the Elven refuge, and in a very short time, it was hopelessly destroyed. Gondor was moved to war as Aragorn was crowned some time earlier. They began mustering defenses against the two large armies heading for Gondor.
Turn 9- Unfortunately the same fate that befell the Grey Havens also held true for the Woodland Realm, and King Thranduil died defending his home. Victory was at hand; with the last action the large Southrons army destroyed Pelargir.
Much of the game was decided on the risky move made by the FP to take Dol Guldur. But they just couldn’t stand up to the superior cards and rolls of the SP. Galadriel was very effective as an offensive weapon, with the variant allowing her to take the fight to the Shadow if she get s a large enough force behind her. If she had stayed put in Lorien, It would have been a much more eventful fight (as it should be, considering Lorien/ Galadriel’s defensive prowess in Tolkien’s Lore)
5 VP were taken almost completely unopposed, and then it was an easy attack on the Elves from there. It was a good risk to take on the part of the FP, just like how “The Last battle” was in the books, but this time it didn’t pay off for the FP, and the SP was able to destroy Rohan and much of the Elves
Track: 5 steps + 4 already moved
SP captured settlements:
Helms Deep 2
Grey Havens 2
Woodland Realm 2
FP captured settlements:
These Varients worked out well, but this version of Saruman is very much less effective if the FP isn’t focusing on the Fellowship (since there is no “Voice” ability or “White Hand” ability), but can be potentially devastating to the fellowship if the FP is working a lot with the Fellowship. I personally think that this Galadriel Variant is my favorite hero variant, since she is effective but not overpowered (no Lady of Light or Valour abilities) All in all, this was one of the best games I have had to date, which in the end is all that matters really