After whipping my brother-in-law in three straight games of War of the Ring, my brother joined forces with him to try to defeat me. I was the Free Peoples again (and I have yet to play as the Shadow), and Matt and Peter were evil. We decided to play with the 2-player rules.
Gandalf urged on the Fellowship to leave Rivendell hastily, while Mordor and Isengard declared war on all that is good and natural in the world. As the Fellowship the Misty Mountains, a Foul Thing from the Deep attacked, but it was defeated without harm or injury. Meanwhile, armies poured out of the dark lands of Mordor. Gandalf declared There is Another Way, changing the course of the Fellowship and causing Frodo to gain heart.
Strider decided that the time had come for him to follow his own journey. He went There and Back Again, taking Gimli as his only companion to the Narrows of the Forest. Then, they divided with Strider reaching the W. Brown Lands and Gimli hiking to the Woodland Realm. Meanwhile, the armies of Mordor and the Southrons gathered and moved closer to battle. Finally, Strider reached his kingdom at Minas Tirith, while Gimli brought The Book of Marzabul to his kin at Erebor. When word reached Sauron that the king was near, he immediately began breeding orcs furiously in the Pits of Mordor. Almost simultaneously, Aragorn was crowned king of Gondor, and Saruman was declared as the Wizard of Many Colors at Isengard. He peered into the Palantir of Orthanc to see what this ranger-king would do.
The wise among the Free Peoples quickly blinded Saruman's palantir. Meanwhile, Southrons and Easterlings moved forward and organized for battle. Then, the Fellowship entered Moria, where death and flame awaited them. Gandalf the Grey fell into shadow, and the ringbearer was left in anguish and revealed. Shadows Gathered, as the Fellowship hid again from unfriendly eyes. Finally, the Southrons and Easterlings were prepared for war, declaring undying loyalty to Sauron. The hour seemed dark, until a wizard began to stir in Fangorn. Galdalf revealed himself, resurrected, as the White Wizard. Sauron peered long and hard in his palatir, while the Elves moved to war. Flocks of Crebain hunted for where the Fellowship would emerge from under the mountains.
The Fellowship was on the move again, but they ran into danger. Boromir son of Denethor was slain defending his friends. News came from the east that Sauron was reaping the benefits of Mustering for a Long Planned War. The Fellowship encountered a band of Elves that gave them beautiful Elven Cloaks, but all they could think of was the way they were Worn with Sorrow and Toil since Galdalf and Boromir died. Suddenly, the war heated up in the south. Osgiliath was struck hard, and the scattered remnants of its army retreated into Minas Tirith, where multiple of units of elite soldiers were being trained. The shadow struck again at Pelargir. Further elite horsemen were mustered in Dol Amroth, while the armies of Sauron gathered and struck the ancient citadel. The defenders retreated into Dol Amroth, awaiting a merciless siege. At that moment, the Witch King of Angmar arrived to lead the foul army bearing down on Minas Tirith. However, the Fellowship continued to progress unhindered, bringing some hope to the Free Peoples.
The Fellowship declared in Lorien, while in the South Imrahil of Dol Amroth arose to defend his people against the gathering Olog-Hai. Meanwhile, the creature Gollum arrived in Lorien, where he was tamed. "Smeagol Helps Nice Master," he declared with sincerity. Meanwhile, the Witch King made war on the white city of Minas Tirith, but his orcs were slaughtered by a Sudden Strike from Denethor's elite forces. As the shadow forces retreated to Osgiliath, more leaders arrived to strengthen the cities defenses. In the far north, the Drawves of Erebor mustered some warriors. Alas, since The King is Revealed, Sauron decided to hold nothing back on his next offensive. The Fellowship traveled onward only to be discovered by Sauron's spies. As they hide, Shadows Lengthen in the south and fresh armies arrive to besiege Gondor. The Fellowship presses on, only to watch Legolas die at that hand of evil forces beyond their ability to comprehend. As if the darkness could grow no worse, Minas Tirith is finally put under siege.
The Fellowship use their Elven Rope. Meanwhile, the Nazgul are on the move. They press on towards the E. Brown Lands, where Merry is taken captive by orcs. In the south, the Siege of Minas Tirith continues for four days, with terrible losses on each side. Finally, Aragorn and his brave defenders fall, while Rohan begins to stir. The Nazgul move again, as the Fellowship hides and presses on, losing Pippen as well. The Nazgul use Dreadful Spells against the garrison at Dol Amroth in preparation of a final assault. Saruman musters hillmen and half-orcs incessently, while Rohan draws nearer to full-scale war. Then, an Onslaught against Dol Amroth leaves many casualities on both sides, yet the Free Peoples hold on to the citadel. Meanwhile, Saruman captures the fords of Isen, but the defenders escape due to the heroism of their Scouts.
Galdalf rouses the Ents against this new threat rising on the River Isen. After a lengthy Entmoot, the Ents assault Orthanc and bring an end to the filth of Saruman. Meanwhile, the leaderless Uruk armies besiege Helms Deep, and Theoden summons his most elite riders to Edoras. Sauron snarls, "The Ring is Mine," terrifying the Fellowship back into hiding. On, On They Went, and they continued to make respectable progress. As the Fellowship pressed on, the Uruk-Hai conquered Helms Deep. The ever-growing shadow then mustered 4 legions of elite Trolls, as Frodo and Sam entered the dark land of Mordor.
The Elves realize the danger that they are in, but they trust in A Power Too Great. However, dark times are upon the lands of Middle Earth. It is A Day Without Dawn, and even the great power of the elves wanes. The last hope of the Free Peoples, Frodo presses on only to be discovered. Armies of evil venture forth from Moria to besiege the fair land of Lorien.
Thranduil's Archers gather to defend the northwest. Meanwhile the Mouth of Sauron rides forth with a great host. Many elite riders led by Gandalf himself arrive at Edoras for a last stand against the forces of evil. Meanwhile, Lorien is assaulted. The Balrog of Moria leads the goblin host, but he is ineffectual against the magic of the Elves. However, their Charge is equally futile. After four days of hard battle in the Golden Wood, the last Elves are slaughtered. The shadow makes a number of moves, musterings, and preparations. Finally, he sends the full fury of Isengard against Gandalf and the riders of Rohan. After four days of hard battle, the invaders are nearly annihilated. The courage of Gandalf gives heart to the brave people of Rohan.
Meanwhile, Frodo is ready to continue after Sam gives him a healing tonic made from Athelas. They hear rumors that great armies are moving again. Frodo finally states, "I Will Go Alone." As hard as he tries, however, he is unable to make any progress due to the foul machinations of Sauron. The Black Captain Commands the armies of Mordor, who finally defeat the stubborn defenders of Dol Amroth. Moreover, Frodo and Sam's misfortune is compounded when their guide reveals his true malice, screaming, "Give it to Usss."
The army that conquered Lorien moves northwest, prompting elites to gather in the Woodland Realm while the Drawves garrison Dale. The inevitable is delayed when shouts of "The Eagles Are Coming" are heard. These new allies scatter the Nazgul, leaving the horde of orcs leaderless. The Fellowship presses on, but there is no way for them to go any further for now. The forces of Moria and Dol Guldor regroup around Dale. Gimli and his kin fight hard for two days, but they are finally defeated. Sauron has covered all the world in a second darkness.
So, two heads must be better than one because they finally beat me. I blame bad dice. I couldn't get character dice to save my life in the last few turns. Plus, I had blown a couple of my Elven Rings early in order to blitz Strider to Minas Tirith. In retrospect, I might have prolonged the game slightly if I had Gandalf's little army try to recapture Helms Deep. It would have been a really close thing, but it could have given me one more turn to try to get Frodo and Sam to Mount Doom (they needed two more moves). Instead, I tried to beef up Dale, and I was almost able to hold it.
We all had fun, and I'm sure that there will be a rematch at the next family gathering.