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Subject: 6 hour game - totally worth it! rss

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Ira Fay
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I played perhaps the most epic game of WotR yet. I played the forces of good, only for the second time. My opponent (Gabe) played Shadow, and this was his first time. We'd played once before with reversed roles, though I've played probably 5 other games as Shadow, which was obviously an advantage.

Gabe started strong with a quick attack on Rohan. He also got out the Balrog of Moria on the third turn or so. I managed to inflict several casualties on his army on it's way to helm's deep, but he took it quite quickly. I spent time mustering units in Westemnet and Edoras. I moved the fellowship about once per turn, and on my fourth move I was revealed. I debated going around Moria, but decided to chance it because I was fairly low on corruption. He drew a three, so I sacrificed Gandalf, and then the Balrog hit me but it was an eye. I had one will of the west die left, so Gandalf came back immediately. I got amazingly lucky the next turn and drew an ent card, killing Saruman!

I mustered like crazy in Rohan and managed to take back helm's deep. Gabe also took Lorien, and then moved his forces from Lorien towards rohan to help with the battle there. By now, Gimli, Legolas, and Pippin all died from corruption prevention, and Aragorn was in play in Minas Tirith. Gabe wasn't moving on Gondor at all (he left his forces in Mordor) and I was holding onto Faramir's Rangers for many, many turns. I also drew Men of Dunharrow, so I brought Aragorn north to assist with Rohan. Gabe had mustered quite a bit in Orthanac and was preparing his second wave against Rohan.

At this time, the fellowship had gotten up to 8 corruption and was three away from Mordor. Since Gondor was safe and Gabe was making slow progress against Rohan, I decided to send the fellowship to Minas Tirith, where it stayed until their corruption was back down to 1. (with the help of Bilbo's Song and There Is Anothey Way.) Just before I entered Minas Tirith, Gabe played the Breaking of the Fellowship, and Boromir and Merry were kicked out, who then went to help defend Rohan, too.

Merry got a good shot at the Witch-King with the Blade of Westerness (I opted to play risky and give up Mithril Coat and Sting.) With three dice, unfortunately Merry didn't connect and the witch king lived. Aragorn promptly used the Dead Men of Dunharrow and escaped south with the two hobbits, simply recruiting 3 units, not kicking out any Shadow army. Gabe did use the Corsairs of Umbar to take a reasonably defended Dol Amroth, and I had visions of Aragorn freeing the Stronghold, but I had mustered all of the Gondor troops to defend Minas Tirith,a nd didn't have enough to spare retaking Dol Amroth - it's just crazy to fight such an uphill battle, when there are so many other places to defend.

I also feigned at Umbar and Moria for a military victory, and actually managed to take Umbar with one regular unit, who was promptly stomped. I decided to put the North to war, because my Elven reserves were quite low. I mustered quite a bit in Bree, and brought in the elite from North Downs. They marched all the way to Moria, and then beyond, reclaiming Lorien which had been vacated by then!

Once Gabe captured Rohan, he moved his armies out of Mordor and began his attack on Minas Tirith. He also attacked in the North, and managed to get Dale and besiege the Woodland Realm. Around this time, the fellowship decided it was time to continue and luckily made it from Minas Tirith to Mordor without being revealed. All four of the good and evil tiles were prepared and added to the bag. I saved the Challenge of the King for the whole game, and when I played it, I drew zero eyes. Ah well.

In the most devastating battle for Gabe, he attacked a besieged Minas Tirith with "only" 1 elite unit, 5 regular units, several Nazgul, the Witch King, and the Mouth of Sauron - just mustered that turn. With Confusion, I managed to inflict 4 casualties on him, and then counter attacked immediately, killing off the army and both his remaining minions. It was understandably devastating. He mounted another attack on Minas Tirith, and this time, I moved my rather large army in Lorien towards the South, looking like I was going to retake Helm's deep. Instead, I played the so rarely useful card, Path of the Woses, and managed to bring strong defense to Minas Tirith, which held the whole game.

Fortunately for Gabe, along the path towards the crack of doom, he drew the 3+stop, and the Eye+stop. Fortunately for me, he also drew the -2 and 0. On the last turn of the game, he only rolled one eye, I moved once, got a 1, and used Gollum's special power to reveal and reduce the damage. Then I hid, and moved again at 9 corruption. He drew a 2 and that was it - ring destroyed!

Perhaps the most amazing thing about the game was the Elite unit from North Downs ending the game in Minas Tirith! I don't think I'll see that again for a long time.
 
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Robin Munn

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ira212 wrote:
Gabe started strong with a quick attack on Rohan. He also got out the Balrog of Moria on the third turn or so. I managed to inflict several casualties on his army on it's way to helm's deep, but he took it quite quickly. I spent time mustering units in Westemnet and Edoras. I moved the fellowship about once per turn, and on my fourth move I was revealed. I debated going around Moria, but decided to chance it because I was fairly low on corruption. He drew a three, so I sacrificed Gandalf, and then the Balrog hit me but it was an eye. I had one will of the west die left, so Gandalf came back immediately. I got amazingly lucky the next turn and drew an ent card, killing Saruman!


So in this game, Gandalf died protecting the Fellowship from the Balrog in Moria, then came back in Fangorn and led the Ents to destroy Saruman's tower?

Wow. It's amazing how well this game manages to recreate the events of the books sometimes, even when the players are playing it only as a game (e.g., not deliberately trying to recreate the books, just playing for the best game position they can reach). Just one of the many reasons I like it...
 
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Dave J McWeasely
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North downs ending in Gondor is one for the books, for sure. I'm lucky if I get that guy to Bree!
 
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Eric Brosius
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Needham Heights
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My favorite 18xx game for six players is two games of 1846 with three players each.
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Of course, in the book the guy from the North Downs got to Minas Tirith by way of Pelargir.

 
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