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War of the Ring (First Edition)» Forums » Sessions

Subject: A 3P teaching game rss

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David Boeren
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After some discussion of whether to play it as a 2P and let them collaborate on strategy or not, we ended up using the official 3p rules, but if they may have occasionally used a die on the other guy's army I didn't make a fuss. It was a learning game after all.

It went fairly well, and at least one of them is interested in playing again. We also had several onlookers ask about the game and one took my phone number so we could set up a game another day - so pretty successful I'd say.

As far as the game results...

I was playing Free People and had one prior game (while it was their first time), so I had the advantage I think. The game ended with the Fellowship waltzing into Mordor and dunking the ring without a care in the world. I was on 5 Corruption and still had several Companions with me as well. How could this be?

First, I had all of the blue Hunt tiles in the cup except for one, I'd been drawing and playing them throughout the game. There were no red Hunt tiles in there at all. So, a pretty beneficial tile mix. I'd been pretty good about moving the Fellowship when the Shadow wasn't looking and also used Axe & Bow for protection. The Shadow drew almost exclusively Strategy cards for the war, very few character cards, so in essence he ignored that half of the struggle too much and paid for it. I should mention though that because they wanted to jump right into the game the mechanic that they could get Hunt rerolls by parking a Nagzul/etc... in the region with the Fellowship did not get explained until late.

Both sides were also close to a military victory. We held out as long as possible, but at the end of the game the Shadow had conquered all of Gondor and Rohan for a total of 8 VPs, he only needed one more major victory. On my side, a large company of Elves from Lorien managed to besiege and capture Moria for 2 VPs, so I also needed only one more major victory. A lot of my strongholds were unguarded just because he had no forces nearby. Here's how it happened...

First, all nations were at war early since he'd brought in the Witch King as soon as he could. They seemed uninterested in the political track and though I explained the drawback it was viewed as getting rid of a mechanic that only slowed the game down.

He had been mustering forces in Dol Guldur, presumably to assault either Lorien or move north towards Woodland Realm or Dale. I suspected Lorien was the target and mustered forces there. He moved into South Anduin Vale, leaving 3 regulars to guard Dol Guldur (they realized that it would be bad policy to leave it empty). The remaining force would have been insufficient to capture Lorien, but he could put it under Siege to prevent reinforcements and bring more troops later. I was holding "A Power too Great" which I planned to play if he entered the Dimrill Dale but it never happened.

Meanwhile, I started bringing my armies from Erebor/Dale southward, followed by (once it seemed safe) the Woodland Realm. The Dwarves and men took up residence in Southern Mirkwood - which prompted him to move his armies from South Anduin Vale back into Dol Guldur to prevent a capture.

My Lorien army followed him - passing into the Dimrill Dale. I'm sure he saw this only in terms of me making a 3-way assault on Dol Guldur, but they unexpectedly changed direction to Moria and caught him unprepared with only two regular troops onhand. Even so, it was a close race to see if I could capture it before Saruman's troops from Dunland arrived. Here the action dice saved me, at that point in the turn he'd used all his army dice and the orcs in Dunland had no leader to use a character die. I was able to get through two assaults but only killed one Orc by the end of the turn.

Next turn I immediately went to hammering on Moria again, saving my dice to move the Fellowship for later in the turn and we just got into the stronghold in time. At that point, the Orcs were insufficient to recapture it, and attention turned towards the race for the last two VPs.

He had just finished capturing Dol Amroth - the last stronghold I had in the South of the map, but his armies were going to take some time to get to another target. I'd been looking for another stronghold to grab myself. Orthanc was totally open after a double Ent assault that took down Saruman, but I had no way to get anyone into the area and there was a large force besieging Helm's Deep at the time so the Edoras guys would never have made it.

I settled on Mount Gundabad as the best option and put my forces in motion. However, at this point he was well aware of the dangers and mustered reinforcements before I could arrive. He had 5 Regulars when the siege began. We took out one, then he sent his entire flock of Nazgul. With that many rerolls, there was no way we'd be able to take it with the size force we had - a LOT more armies would be needed and a lot more time would be required to raise and move them. The closest reinforcements were my Mirkwood guys, still hovering near Dol Guldur and pinning the Shadow force there. Presumably given time I could have besieged them as well and forced him to at least split the Nazgul, but I'd accomplished what I needed to - I'd put enough fear into him that he had to spend a good number of dice preventing my military victory (as I figured he could) and ended up with too few dice to put into motion his own.

Between defending his strongholds, losing Saruman, and keeping an Eye out for Frodo, the Shadow was stretched too thin. It gave us the time we needed to get the Fellowship to the Crack of Doom and seal the game.
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David Boeren
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I noticed we made one error in our game. When the Witch-King appears, he does not bring all nations to War. He merely Activates them.

This would have had some impact on the game, but I'm not sure how much...

Gondor was already at War, so that's fine. In Rohan, I used Scouts to withdraw from Fords of Isen into Helm's Deep so I don't think I actually mustered there at all - so that's OK.

Any difference then would have been either Northmen, Elves, or Dwarves - translating into a delay to get my forces to Moria, Mirkwood, and Mount Gundabad. Actually, I wouldn't need to enter Mirkwood, another adjacent region to Dol Guldur would have been just as good, so that's not an issue. Just moving the Elves and any Northmen they picked up on the way then?

Anyway, sorry about the mistake but hopefully since we won with a ring dunk it wouldn't have caused a difference in outcome.
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Mark Ashton
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If that's the only mistake you made, I'd say you did pretty well. There are a lot of rules to keep track of.
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David Boeren
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Well, that's the only one I've noticed so far anyway
 
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Evgeny Reznikov
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dboeren wrote:
This would have had some impact on the game, but I'm not sure how much...

It would have made quite an impact.
We're talking at least three muster dice (a turn's worth) just to get the elves to war (otherwise no Moria for the FP).
Also, no serious threats to Dol Guldur, as nations not at war cannot cross another nation's borders, unless willing to spend 6 more dice to bring North & Dwarfs to war too.
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David Boeren
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Moria probably wasn't necessary though was my thought. But regardless, we'll know to play it correctly in the future and I'll make sure to point it out to my opponents so they know the rule too.
 
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