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The Witch-king steps to the edge of the abyss and looks down..

Ok, before we get into the game report, a quick question (ok 2).

1. Say, hypothetically, the SP got himself into a mess where Gandalf including 2 Archers (+1 hit if maneuver hits) was attacking the Witch-king and needed only 3 more damage to finish off the SP army. Yeah I know, you would never, ever would get into this situation, but that why it’s hypothetical. Please humor me.

The SP has several possible defenses, which one has the best chance of survival for the Witch-king?
SP plays Fog to stop the battle after 1 round (FP attacks at 2m3/3 at 5s).
SP plays Overmastered to cancel FP leader reroll (FP attacks at 2m3 at 5s).
SP plays Fierce Defence so FP needs 6s to hit (FP attacks at 2m3/3 at 6s).
SP plays the Black Uruks tactic so, if the maneuver succeeds, 4 hits are needed (FP attacks at 2m3/3 at 5s; SP is 1m/1 at 5s for Black Uruks).
2. Given the above scenario, what is the Witch-king's approximate chance of survival?
      9 answers
Poll created by dave65tdh

Ok, thanks for taking the poll. I trust you will choose more wisely than I did. Onto the game!

Turn 1: Across the river Anduin
C-in-C position 1; Fate: 3 (Imrahil ready)
FP dice: CCPH; SP dice: C/CCHHE

• Battle of West Osgiliath: SP inflicts heavy losses and routs the FP
• Battle of Causeway Forts I: SP fails to kill last routing Footman

The Olog-hai and Mûmakil smash the defenses and take Oz leaving only 1 survivor.

Turn 2: Pelennor Fields fall
C-in-C position 2; Fate: Xf (Fate = 5; Faramir ready/enters)
FP dice: CMWW; SP dice: CC/MPPH

• Battle of Causeway Forts II: SP again fails to kill the last Footman
• Battle of Causeway Forts III: SP finally kills the Footman and takes the fort
• Battle of Pelennor Townlands: SP kills Rider and liberates the town
• Battle of Harlond I: SP kills Rider and liberates the town

With Faramir reinforcing Cair Andros and Pippen giving the FP maximum dice, the Witch-king delays his attack on the island and instead the SP focuses on cleaning up the center of the board. The Great Dread destroys 3 recruits and the Black Uruks take the towns, leaving only a Footman in North Gate. Gandalf is looking old in Minas Tirith with only 2 body guards.

Turn 3: Cair Andros and the Outer Defences fall
C-in-C position 3; Fate: 2/1/1f (Fate = 6; Imrahil enters)
FP dice: CCPPHW; SP dice: CCC/CMMH

• Battle of Cair Andros I: Fog stops the Olog-hai
• Battle of Cair Andros II: SP successfully routs the FP and takes the island, leaving only 1 Footman alive

Gandalf Gather and Marshals and recruits troops in Minas Tirith while Harlond also Gather and Marshals. The Great Troll Chief prepares a party for Imrahil, but they only size each other up. Meanwhile, The Nazgul and his Prey feast on a Gondor leader in Cair Andros, but Faramir is unappetizing. Fog stops the first assault on Cair Andors, but the second attack succeeds and Faramir shows his true colors and escapes across the back ford.

Turn 4: Imrahil and the Gondor Farmlands fall
C-in-C position 2; Fate: 2/1f (Fate = 7)

• Battle of North Gate: Gothmog warms up his sword but the Footman routs to the North City Walls
• Battle of West Bank: The Footman again routs to Wetwang as the SP crosses the ford out of Cair Andros
• Battle of Harlond II: Imrahil attacks but his Fierce Defence is no match against the Olog-hai
• Battle of South Rammas: The Witch-king Encircles the weakened Imrahil, routing him beyond the city wall
• Battle of Lossarnach: The Witch-king finally kills Imrahil and liberates the town, but a wounded Rider routs
• Battle of Wetwang: The pesky Footman is finally destroyed and the SP secures the north

Gandy Gather and Musters his last defender in Minas Tirith while the Gothmog systematically advances on the city. Imrahil, having 3 Cs at his disposal, finally accepts the party invitation in Harlond, only to be roasted. The Witch-king then pursues him back to Lossarnach where the Olog-hai kill him without mercy. 4 wounded, but intact SP armies surround the city. Fear is ripe.

Turn 5: Angry Trebuchets and the Shadow Minions face the White Wizard
C-in-C position 2; Fate: 1/1 (Fate = 8)

• Bombing of Minas Tirith: 4 Trebuches destroy the Great Gate wall in 3 attacks
• Battle of Minas Tirith I: Fog stops Gothmog’s attack
• Battle of Minas Tirith II: The Witch-king joins Gothmog but takes heavy losses against Gandalf
• Battle of Great Gate: Gandalf sorties out from the city and comes within a hairs width of killing both the Witch-king and Gothmog.

Fate (Frodo and the Ring) is now almost at a standstill. Théoden and his Rohirrim ever so slowly advance down the Forgotten Road. Where are they? The beacons have been lit??

With the Horse-lords still in the distance, the Witch-king has time to prepare his assault on the White City by building Trebuchets. These are not the usual defensive machines, but are angry armaments whose sole purpose is to destroy the Great Gate. When the dust settles, Gothmog takes the first crack at the city, but his Battle-fury is no match for Gandy’s Fog. Next, the Witch-king Moves to Strike and joins Gothmog but the Gondor Archers prove too deadly, leaving the SP army badly hurt. Gandalf sees his moment of victory and the Archers rush out to kill both Shadow Minions, but they barely escape and deny the Free a victory.

Turn 6: The White City falls and Éomer attempts a rescue
C-in-C position 3; Fate: 2f (Fate = 10; Théoden and Éomer ready/enter)

• Battle of Minas Tirith III: Gothmog kills Gandalf and city falls
• Battle of North City Wall I: An SP army takes position to block Éomer’s access to the city
• Battle of North City Wall II: Éomer attacks, but the bulk of the SP army routs to the Great Gate—still blocking the entrance to Minas Tirith
• Battle of Great Gate: Éomer again attacks, but this time Fog stops the battle and again Éomer is prevented from directly attacking the city
• Battle of Minas Tirith IV: Prevented from going through the existing breach, Éomer must attack the city through the strength 10 wall but is easily defeated in his last desperate act

The round opens with Gandy Rallying his troops. Feeling the steps of thousands of Rohirrim hoof beats, Gothmog seizes his moment and again attacks the city. This time there is Great Confusion among the Gondor Archers, and the Mordor Orcs slaughter all in their path. The entire Rohirrim army enters at the Forgotten Road, but Éomer just cannot make it to the Great Gate to fight Gothmog. Instead, Éomer must attack from the side and the city’s protection is just too great. The world is doomed as the Shadow covers Middle Earth.

The Witch-king with Gothmog?
After a solid SP game, I came within a die roll of squandering it by placing both the Witch-king and Gothmog in the same army and attacking Gandalf in Minas Tirith. Yes it was a bit unlucky for me that the Archers scored 5 hits on me while I only gave them 1, but it was a needless risk. There’s really no excuse. I had originally had plans to attack the city with my last action die, then the WK would come off the board during the turn change if need be, but somehow I had forgotten that and wanted to use my last P die for a possible attack in the hopes that the Easterling Infantry would get another card. Doh! I guess I just wanted to go for the win before the hordes of Rohan entered the game. Sometimes you have to take risks, but I don’t think this was one of those times.

Then, to compound my mistake, I chose the Black Uraks tactic rather than playing Fierce Defence. Double Doh!! As it turned out, I didn’t get the maneuver rolls, but only the 1 archer hit so it was only 2 total damage total and the WK was able to luckily rout to safety. Lesson learned though (I think! Although memory says that this isn’t the first time I’ve done this!).

Fierce Defence is the clear winner on all fronts as it has the highest chance of success, and I never ended up using the Event portion of the card anyways (Call to Arms). Since the game was one the line, no event should take precedence over saving the WK!

………3 hits needed to kill WK …………........ ..……..WK lives …….WK dies
FP is 2m3/3 at 5s (no SP defense, e.g., Fog)… ……25.4%..........74.6%
FP is 2m3/3 at 5s (SP 1m/1 at 5s Black Uruks).....38.5%..........61.5%
FP is 2m3 at 5s (SP Overmastered)…………… .....…..56.0%..........44.0%
FP is 2m3/3 at 6s (SP Fierce Defence)……… ....….….66.0%…….…..34.0%

Thanks again for taking the poll.

So after starting off quite favorable for the FP where Imrahil was ready on turn 1 and Faramir on turn 2, fate took a turn for the dark side and proceeded to increase by only 1 for the next 3 rounds. Some of this was caused by a “greedy” FP as he passed on a “2” on turns 3 and 4, only to draw a 1 and a 1/1 (serves him right!). Then the real kicker was the 1/1 draws on turn 5 which critically delayed Théoden, Éomer, and the entire Rohan army. Who knew this was going to come back and bite him. Fate is a fickle thing and I guess the lesson learned here is you should take what you can while the getting’s good.

Well another tense exciting game all the way through. This is not a game for the faint of heart as I think mine stopped several times. Endless decisions, so many choices, each seeming crucial to the final outcome. This is madness. I can’t wait until we play again.

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Andrew Poulter
United Kingdom
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Great game, great report!
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