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Subject: Hope is Kindled... Hope is Extinguished rss

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Luke Heidebrecht
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My gaming partner and I have been playing through a rather epic game of WotR that has been going on for over a week (as I can only manage to find 1 hour time slots to offer). Each time we get together I am sure the game will conclude itself, and yet here we are playing after 4 sessions. Hopefully, the following will recount some of the story of our game.

The story begins with the fellowship in Rivendell and Middle-earth on the brink of war. The power of Isengard musters quickly with Saruman in command. Rumours of armies moving in the south and in Mordor strike fear into the nation of Gondor. The board is set and the pieces are moving, as the free peoples prepare to stave off a massive shadow assault.

In the north the Balrog emerges from the deep and the fellowship prepare for the long arduous journey with plans of avoiding Moria at all costs. However, as they journey the Eye is foiled time and again; Sauron's worst fear. However, the Shadow military continues its relentless march as Easterlings muster large hordes and begin the long journey across the plains of Rhun toward the northern free peoples nations. Gimli, along with Merry decide to rouse the nations! They break off from the fellowship, journeying far from Rivendell: Gimli to Erebor with the Book of Marazubal in hand and Merry to Dale. Hope is kindled in the North.

In the south, Faramir and his Rangers were prepared for the battle, having sensed the mustering armies they hold off the fortress of Osgiliath in a valiant battle before retreating to the safety of Minas Tirith.

The Fellowship continues their journey, unhindered. Strider, sensing the despair of his people in the south decides to forsake the fellowship and journeys down to Minis Tirith within the nick of time as he sees the Shadow armies march through a broken Osgiliath. As he enters the stronghold he is crowned King and Aragorn rallies Gondor to war! Gondor musters in the southern settlements of Pelagir and Dol Amroth posing a formidable force for the shadow hordes to deal with.

Just north on the plains of Rohan Saruman's Uruk-hai and Warg armies have assaulted the Rohirrim and Helm's deep is on the brink of falling. Against all odds the Rohirrim band together in Edoras, gathering an army that even causes the power of Isengard to question their attack. Sauron, sensing the free peoples hope empties his hoard in Dol Gulder in an attempt to counter this counter maneuver.

The fellowship, already broken has been moving stealthily across middle-earth. The time is right, and to the surprise of the Shadow they move through Moria despite the Balrog's presence, and continue on to Lorien. Here they remain for the time being, unscathed.

Saruman's Uruk-hai have also moved north, in a horde large enough to strike fear into the hearts of those living in the former lands of Arnor. This army moves through Moria and positions itself for an onslaught of the Elven stronghold of Lorien.

Then it begins, an assault on Minis Tirith, led by the newly awakened Witch King. The onslaught it fierce and only the first of many hordes. However, something totally unexpected and utterly surprising occurs. The free peoples send the attacking army into confusion, which weakens the army immensely. Perhaps because of this the army in its attack is unable to create any success in their attack. The free people inspired by this attack with the power of Aragorn with the most fierce attack imaginable, which decimates the Shadow army. The Shadow halts its attack with losses to great to imagine. Now the free people take up the banner and assault the army upon the fields before Minis Tirith. The ensuing attack strikes fear into the heart of the enemy and even the Witch King feels mortality. The result is unimaginable - the Shadow horde along with several Nazgul and the Witch King are destroyed! Beyond hope Gondor is victorious... for the time being.

The fellowship takes advantage of this time and forges ahead... But, while hope was strong with the war it will not be so for the fellowship. Every move they make on their last legs of the journey they are met with the corrupting eye of Sauron. The breaking of the fellowship occurs soon after leaving Lorien and three companions are forced to flee leaving but Pippen to accompany Frodo and Sam. Gandalf arrives in Fangorn, Boromir to Gondor, and Legolas retreats back to Lorien before it is put under siege. The following turn Gandalf the White arises and with the power of all the Ents levels the stronghold of Orthanc and Saruman along with it.


The growing Rohirrim army in Edoras, seeing a vulnerable Orthanc plans to make its move, but is quickly cut off by the army from Dol Guldur. Changing its plan it abandons Edoras and begins the march towards Gondor seeing the second and third wave of enemies approaching.

Gondor is, for the time, safe and yet hordes beyond number continue to amass and press from all sides. The defence is strong, but can it hold out against a tide that is relentless? The Shadow army pushes back and forces the Gondorian troops to withdraw into Minas Tirith once again. Then, looking north the large army of Rohan ambushes the shadow and forces their withdrawl. The free peoples press the army to the banks of the Anduin river and hold Osgiliath once more. The Shadow is beaten, Sauron's foes have struck fear deep into his heart. But Sauron, beaten, is not defeated.

The fellowship struggles across the dead marshes in its journey toward Mordor. It heads to the north gate of the Morannan. Every step of the journey is devastating, Pippen is separated and the corruption of the ring grows in uncountable ways. Just before the gates of Morannan the fellowship is stalled. Their corruption to much to bear, and the Shadow having put much energy into hunt, they decide the unthinkable. Frodo, Sam, and Gollum move towards Minas Tirith in the hopes of regaining some strength before the final assault. The journey to Minas Tirith is hardly easy and they arrive barely with the strength to hang on.

The armies of Rohan and Gondor are now in position to hold the nation and provide the fellowship with enough time to heal from their toil so that they can make their final assault on Mordor. It is at this time that the Southron nation musters massive armies and Mordor once again births an army in Minas Morgul. The free peoples brace themselves for a long and bloody war.

Rohan is overrun and abandoned, Lorien is under siege, and Gondor while victorious is showing signs of weakness as their army dwindles ever so slowly.

In the north the battle fares well for the free poeples. The Dwarves, Elves, and Men muster large armies and prepare to march upon a vulnerable Dol Guldur. Just before it, with no Shadow armies within reach and victory within their grasp, the armies of the Easterlings, stationed in the Vale of Carmen march through the night and arrive to the aid of the pitiful band of orcs holding the stronghold. The free peoples, discerning their commitment to this battle to be more than they can afford decide to retreat back to the north and hold off the DEW line.

South, the victorious Gondorian and Rohirrim armies are assaulted again and again, numbers dwindling... the battle of attrition taking its toll. They are pushed back into Minas Tirith once more, the companions and leaders are strong but the troops are just too few. Gandalf rides to their aid before their are forced into siege. The shadow pushes the assault on Minas Tirth and in a Kamikaze move decimates the troops of the free peoples. Fearing the death of their leaders, Aragorn, Gandalf and Boromir the free peoples decide on an unexpected maneuver. They push the battle to the fields and drive the opposing army back. The fear of defeat is near and so they decide to retreat towards Pelagir where a small but fierce army of troops awaits this ragged band.

The fellowship has not been given its chance to heal and in its attempts to flee Minas Tirith along with the army is exposed and corrupted by the ring once again forcing them back to the edge of destruction. Is there any hope in the fellowship? They are now further away from Mordor then before with the same level of corruption that they had before the gates of the Morannan. Hopes fades.

The Shadow, once beaten has arisen, slowly, relentlessly... they are poised to win the war. The free peoples are pushed to the point of desperation. How will they last the tides of war? The hope of the ring bearers is lost and the armies, while valiant, are slowly being ground down.

In a last desperate effort the armies of the North make their move and march upon the northern Shadow stronghold of Mount Gundabad where the Shadow forces are weak. The Shire is mustered and marches parallel towards Angmar... perhaps, the free peoples have a fighting chance!

The War of the Ring stands on the edge of a knife. Rohan and Minas Tirith are in Enemy hands. Lorien is about to fall from the raider of Saruman and the reinforcements of Dol Guldur nearby.

All that stands in the way of a Shadow victory are the last remnants of the Gondorian army amassed in Pelagir and Dol Amroth and the failing band of Elves in the Stronghold of Lorien. The hope of the ringbearers has failed, Mordor is far in the distance and Frodo's corruption is about to break him. All hope now lies, unexpectedly, in the armies of the North, the Dwarves of Erebor, and the Elves of the Woodland Realm. As they lay siege to a small shadow force in Mount Gundabad they wonder at the wisdom of their cause. Is this last effort enough? Where will the free peoples find their final victory? The remaining army of Gondor stands at Pelagir along with Gandalf, Aragorn, and Boromir ready for the first attack... their choice is before them: do they retreat back to hold off the last of the Shadow forces at Dol Amroth? Or do they flee with a fools hope towards the Southron city of Umbar?

This is where our game stands as of last night...
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M Larsson
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Epic writeup! Sounds like a fantastic game!
Good luck to you both!
 
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Marc D
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Fantastic session report! This is what I hoped for when I bought the game. Still haven't found a local playing partner, so I'm having tomakecdo wih painting the minis...
 
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Daniel Francis
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Great report loved it! Go for Umbar! That was my last chance at victory in the last game I played although it didnt pay off
 
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Mark L
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Through a Day and a Night...

Man, leaving us hanging like this is just evil. angry
 
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Luke Heidebrecht
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markino wrote:
Through a Day and a Night...

Man, leaving us hanging like this is just evil. angry


You are right! However, I have still not had the chance to get back to play! Through several days and nights it seems... this has (honestly) kept me awake at nights Although, my gaming partner has to deal with the game still set up on his kitchen table!

I have never played a game where the narrative being created becomes so immersive. It truly is a delightful experience every time we begin. I'm quite new to the game, bought it at the beginning of March, but I have been pursuing opportunities to play more vigorously than I ever thought possible!
 
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Chris Buhler
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So the 'free' peoples are holding conferences in other lands now?!

Ah, no matter --it won't be long before this battle is finished. My shadow forces are growing and the mounting corruption of the ringbearer tastes of weakness and despair. You underestimate the resolve of the Northern Orcs--they'll not fall as easily as you imagine.

With no cards left to draw and a dwindling army in the south it is only a matter of time before my destiny is fulfilled and you are forced to kneel before the shadow and pay for your insolence and the death of my minions.

cool

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