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Subject: Return to the War of the RIng rss

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Bill Allen
Ngunnawal, Canberra
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It felt like it had been a while since we last played, and a couple of slips resulted. The key one was the Southron and Easterlings over-eagerness to engage in battle before going to war which accelerated a brutal DEW assault (later discovered with next musters dedicated to bringing them to war and a discard of a random card [lidless eye]). The same thing happened once to the Free people's as well, but with much reduced effect.

The game started with a very fast fellowship, supported by many muster dice (and poor hunting). As such, Rohan and Gondor were near war fairly early on and the fellowship were not found until they were at 5 on the track. (They scored a 1 and then another hit for going through Moria saw a 3 claim Gandalf). Just previously Aragorn has separated with a card which got him to Gondor and crowned shortly after.

The DEW assault went very well. One army started up from Mordor, Dol Guldor was ready ... but then a recruiting card let Sauron place two extra Southron/Easterlings in the Easterling provinces (and Umbar). They marched immediately on the dwarves with the witchking care of another card (move all Nazgul and attack) to take the Iron Hills and immediately seige Erebor thereafter. The dwarves died in to Grond and Deadly Strife without so much as a wimper, with only minimal Easterling casualties.

Then Dale immediately fell with no Sauron casualties and the Woodland Realms immediately after. Somehow the Easterlings (and WK/nazgul) had done it all by themselves without the need of a second army.

Monsters had already roused near Rivendell and then an Suron elite joined the existing elite in the Trollshaws, followed by the Witch King and his nazgul. Dark secrets (? - hits on adjacent army in 5's - one roll for each nazgul)) saw two losses to Rivendell so the Witch King immediately laid seige. The nearby Sauron regulars joined in and Rivendell was gone (with the combat card that does an extra hit if the Suaron player has twice as many units afetr removing casaulties).

Muster cards in Moria and the Rage of the Dunlendings saw a quite army arise in Moria to threaten Lorien supported by the Dol Guldur army. Unfortunately, Lorien had recruited well and were joined by Gandalf the White. This made the battle much harder and the losses were correspondingly greater, particuarly as Sauron's combat cards relied on nazgul leadership! Before long the Dol Guldur army was also bought in to reinforce the seiging army. Things were fine until an attempted onslaught saw Sauron sacrifice 4 regulars (to get 4 rolls which caused casualties on 4's and higher) to inflict no casaulties. The battle stalled shortly, but the next assault went particularly well (with 2 6's rolled) to finished off Lorien and Gandalf.

All this time, the character dice had deserted the Free People so they were left with large musterings and Gondor. Pelagir had been threatened (the vital 10th point), but musterings and Aragorn defended it well (although an earlier strike but Sauron would have been advisable). 'A King is Revealed' saw increased recruitments at Minas Morgul which marched on Minas Tirith and two elites (and then three elites andn a leader with the right muster card).

Sauron was tentative now. Armies threatened Pelagir and Minas Tirith. A huge army sat in Umbar awaiting the overdue Corsairs to no avail (3rd last card in the deck), hungrily eyeing a small garrison at Dol Amroth ... so Saruman upgraded 2 regulars and crossed the Fords of Isen. Helm's Deep looked like it should hold, but then the wolf riders trned to Westemnet, eyeing an empty Edoras (who were now in Gondor). At the same time, the seiging army at Minas Tirith broke off to reinforce the Edoras army if required and the army from ther Black Gate had turned to Rohan.

Edoras fell. The army at Helm's Deep tried to retake it, but were not strong enough. Sauron had won!
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