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Lord of the Rings» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Session Report rss

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Tim Comfort
United States
Littleton
Colorado
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Jen (Pippin), Greg (Sam), Chris (Frodo), Rachel (Merry), and I (Fatty) set off on a long journey to destroy the One Ring. Chris was the only one of us who had never played before, so we started Sauron on 12. After moving through Bag End without incident, we expected to move through Rivendell without incident as well. Hmmm. While we were declaring the Fellowship, Sam decided to save resources and count on his stout heart instead. The result was the Eye of Sauron. We were already groaning and bickering, and we hadn’t even gotten to Moria!

The bad taste in our mouths continued without a break, as Frodo somehow managed to pluck five consecutive bad tiles from the bag to start our trek. We managed to limp our way through. Frodo tried to heal whenever possible, but we were short on time. We were all short on life tokens, and with five Hobbits, we couldn’t call Gandalf yet. When we got hit with yet another sundial, Frodo decided to put on the Ring, and he suffered greatly for it. By the time we stumbled into Lothlorien, Sauron had already advanced twice, and Sam and Frodo were together on the ‘6’ marker. Oh man. At least Frodo was able to hand the ring off to Pippin. Little did he know that he would be bearing the weight of the Ring again very soon.

Helm’s Deep was another rough scenario. We were hoping to enlist the aid of the Riders of Rohan, as well as Shadowfax, Éomer, and Théoden. Instead, we managed to lose all of them in one fell swoop. Things were definitely going poorly. By the time we entered Shelob’s Lair, three of our Hobbits were within two steps of Sauron. Frodo was one of them, and somehow he received the ring again. We were trying to get the ring to Fatty or Merry, since they were relatively pure, but events simply occurred too quickly to control anything. Frodo would have to endure some more pain. We managed to attain the services of Gollum, thinking he would play a big part in this journey before the end. Merry called upon Gandalf for Guidance, assuming the two ring tokens would make him the ring-bearer through Mordor. He was still the most pure, so that was our best hope. Instead, since the battered Frodo was the active player when we had to call for Guidance, he received the ring tokens and once again (for the third time!) had to bear the weight of the Ring, this time for the long trek through Mordor.

We started with two Hobbits adjacent to Sauron, and the three others were only one further step back. We very quickly exhausted all of our traveling resources, and yet we were still on the ‘53’ space. Ugh. After three events in a row, Pippin got swallowed up. As his final action, he summoned Gandalf for Foresight. Unfortunately, two of the three next tiles were bad ones. We used the power of Gandalf’s Staff to avoid one event, and his Magic to avoid another. Still, Fatty failed a corruption test and was lost. He managed to feed his Lembas Bread to Frodo as his final act, since he wouldn’t need it anymore. We were two Hobbits down, Frodo was face-to-face with Sauron, and there was still an eternity to the top of Mount Doom. That ever-present feeling of hopelessness had really set in.

Gandalf was summoned yet again, this time for Persistance. Frodo needed some feet, come on FEET! Gandalf came through, providing a white card and some gray feet, meaning Frodo could advance the ailing party two more steps. Merry then suddenly fell while keeping Sauron from advancing onto Frodo. He somehow managed to give Frodo his Elessar, instead of using it himself. This was it. Frodo and Sam were alone. The “Surrounded By Dark Forces” event threatened to end it all (they only had six cards between them, with no way to get more, and they needed seven). Frodo used Gollum to sprint forward three more precious spaces towards the Cracks of Doom. He lost his resources and gained corruption in doing so, but he also gained the strength to call on Gandalf for the fifth and final time. Sam then sacrificed himself to save Frodo by offering to corrupt himself. Frodo was alone, battered and bruised. The only way to get to the lava was to don the Ring for the third time. He was wavering badly, but a huge cheer rose from the already-corrupted Hobbits when a blank appeared. The impossible task of merely overlooking the lava had become reality. Frodo was on the lip, trying to release the Ring, when he was overcome. But wait! Gandalf still had one trick up his sleeve! Frodo used his last shields to be Healed by the White Wizard. The Ring melted into nothingness, Frodo had saved the world.

The ability of this game to produce absolute hopelessness before the wonderful moment of dunking the Ring is nothing short of spectacular. In this particular game, Frodo survived four rolls of the die when all hope had left the building: One for Gollum, one from the traveling track, one for wearing the Ring, and one for destroying it. The group used all but three of its shields, for a Final Score of 63, calling Gandalf five times in the process. Sam’s ability was almost completely wasted, as he staunchly refused to roll anything other than Eyes during the terrible journey. Frodo bore the Ring ¾’s of the time, despite the fact that we didn’t want him to. He was spared at least 12 points of corruption: Two from Gandalf’s Healing, three from Pippin’s Athelas Weed, one from Merry’s Elessar, three from Fatty’s Mithril, three from resting whenever he felt he could afford to, and an unknown amount from Sam’s Belt. Despite that, he victoriously ended the game close enough to Sauron to smell him. Whew. I love this game.
 
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Jeff M
New Zealand
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Great report Tim - has inspired me to finally give this game a try.
 
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