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Subject: One ring to whack them all... rss

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Paul S
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DARK IN HERE, ISN'T IT?
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Another 4p game with the base set tonight, and much fun had by all.

It's been months since we last played, and I now wonder: why?! It's a great game.

Took us maybe 20 minutes to get back into the hang of it (what do the symbols mean? How can you spend cards? How do the player abilities work? and so on) - but once you have it back, like riding a bike, you can rattle on at a great pace and there's very little downtime, especially if you allow any amount of chatting.

I never understood, at first, the "no showing cards" rule. The more I play, them more I see the genius of the point. It's amazing to me, to see how the Alpha-player problem disappears (at least: is reduced) by keeping cards to chest. I like that. Everyone feels they, and only they, make their decisions, whatever advice they get.

We had a tough start: sundials out of our asses on Moria, and our cards were depleted early on. To the point, in fact, that I doubted we'd get past board 2, let alone Shelob.

Delightfully the luck changed again - as it often does, I think, since the game is long enough to let a really good streak even out a really bad one - and by the end of Shelob we were beaten and battered but 4 of us were still standing with about 2 spaces on the main track to go. My Frodo was, however, only a square away from Big S on the corruption track, and with only 2 life tokens, needed just one more token or was doomed to be devoured.

Player 3 (with me as 1) moved the right track along one - so all I needed was one space to get my life token and live to fight the final board. Player 4 turned over the top tile... Arrrgghhh! He grabbed the final token; what can you do?

Just as I threw myself to the ground, Steve was able to play a card to reduce the life token effect. I might survive by the skin of my teeth. But the rest of the cards weren't going well, and saving me was going to hurt the bigger picture. I went down battling, playing my last few cards and tokens to prevent more event nastiness. With only one more board to play, I was happy to take one for the team.

But the event tiles were still against us - we were hammered by sq 53 - the ringbearer piled into Sauron who took a fun-sized bite to finish us.

Still a top game. All 4 of us loved it. We felt luck was a little against us - but I think that is the usual feeling, here. At least once we should have let an event happen, when it would have helped us - but in the end we were never likely to get to the end, and that's as it should be; if Frodo and Sam had an easy job, it'd be a chore.

More soon, I suspect, of this one. Would like to try it with 5, since Fatty hasn't had an outing yet.
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Tristan Hall
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LIFEFORM - LATE PLEDGE NOW!!!
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Neat report - we've never seen Fatty either.
Question: does anyone ever use the Heal action to move yourself back one space on the corruption track instead of drawing/playing cards? 30+ games and I don't think anyone in our group has done that yet...
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Paul S
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I remember a big debate last night, on the very point you make - do we move back, or get cards - and honestly I cannot remember what we did.

I think our general view was - get cards. Though my own position tends to be - keep distance.

Maybe one of my players will finally succumb to my BGG invitations and post here!
 
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