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Subject: Newbie Sauron crushes the Vet Free rss

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Dave J McWeasely
United States
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Richard sat down for his first game as Shadow, I took the FP. He mustered Sauruman first, then hit with Threats and Promises, and didn't bring the Witch King until turn 3 for lack of musters. I seperated Pippin who went to Bree and shouted Fear Fire Foes! Gandalf deployed his staff and the Fellowship pushed through Moria, declaring in Dimril Dale at the start of 4.

Sauron invested Minas Tirith with 11 hit points to the standard 7, and took it with 6 units to spare. The Southrons came steaming up the Pelagir-Dol Amroth axis with 10 hit points, but were checked by the Dead Men of Dunharrow in Lamedon (casualties=1 ). They counter-attacked and soon enough Strider and five regulars stood in Dol Amroth, while the Witch King had to send for reinforcements from the victorious Minas Tirith forces. By the time he got the Gondorians under siege Strider was up to 4 regulars, 1 elite, and three leaders, plus 6 cards in hand thanks to The Grey Company. Against this, two elephants and about 5 regulars. But the FP combat cards were suprisingly bad: Valor, Daring Defiance, that's it. Grond, Hammer of the Underworld came out (to my quiet delight), but alas, the dice blew his way and they won with at least four hit points to spare.

I proceeded to roll all Army-Musters, and at this point I got caught up in the military campaign. Saruman mustered like a crazy-man. To counter I got Edoras to the Fords, and mustered Rohan to War-Minus-One. But this was a mistake, because all 6 Wargs Came to Kill (is that 6 bonus die rolls or capped at 5?). A lone Rohan regular retreated to Helm's Deep to join the other guy there. An elite was mustered, but there's just no way for 4 hit points with no leadership to hold off 12 hit points with max leadership. Helm's melted like it was a Mayonnaise castle. The SP had 7 victory points!

The Louisville Game Shop was closing, and we had to go, but the fellowship was still sitting revealed in Westemnt, eons away from accomplishing anything. Edoras and Lorien were clearly lost in the next turn or two at the outside. So we shook hands and called it a game.

Saruman outplayed me at the Fords of Isen, as simple as that. My seige-simulator showed me winning Dol Amroth with 55%-41%-4%, and definately NOT caving in one Grond Grind. When radically overflowing my card had with The Grey Company to get combat cards for Dol Amroth, I should have kept the one ent card that I discarded. Perhaps I should have sent more companions to both Rohan and Gondor. I'll have to think on that. But mainly I just was just crushed by a nice Mordor/Umbar roll out, and a devastating We Come to Kill, where Richard adapted quickly and well to the obstacles I was able to throw in his path. Grrr...
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