ER Bickford ermj1986 on BGG, has some fun with Lord of the Rings., another game that has issues but is just so dam fun AND evokes a bygone era for me that I love it despite its flaws. Make sure to check out more of his AARs on CSW @ ER Bickford’s Replays
I purchased this game on ebay. It came to me with no cards and most of the character counters were also missing. So I had to make my own cards; and my own character counters.
Oh and did I fail to mention that the seller said the game was complete. They offered a refund if I sent it back. I declined.
Since I had to make my own components, it took extra long for me to play this game. In the process I also decided to make counters for the servants of Sauron and for the implements that characters can carry. I also made some cheap Fellowship company markers to use to move the hidden forces.
We’ll see how that works. I have never played this game before so this should be interesting. Oh, and I make up a lot of my own rules.
The games doesn’t begin until the Fellowship forms at Rivendell. This leaves some action out like:
The ringwraiths search for the ring in The Shire. And they discover: It is not there.
So the Nazgul continue to search. Meanwhile the hobbits meet Strider in Bree.
And I believe that this is where Frodo takes that nasty wound from the bad guys.
Then the game begins with all of the characters alive and well in Rivendell. The fellowship is formed there.
Rohan enters the the war by and event card play by the Fellowship. Since the Misty Mountains Passes are not open, the Fellowship decides to move south through Moria. Not sure if this is a good idea.
Gandalf has Shadowfax and the elven sword Glamdring. Frodo is the ring-bearer and carries Sting and has the Mithril Mail. The Shadow forces’ search is ineffective.
Since the Misty Passes are closed, the Fellowship marches toward the Gates of Moria. The Shadow player sends the Lord of the Nazgul into Dimrill Dale.
So this photo shows the Fellowship outside of the Gates of Moria. Notice the homemade (not very beautiful) hidden company marker.
Gollum continues to be with The Fellowship. Rohan’s forces start to appear. Army and cavalry deploy in Rohan and cavalry is deployed in East Emnet.
Then The Fellowship enters the tunnel to the Gates of Moria. The Fellowship encounters the Balrog here. Gandalf decides to fight the Balrog. First he employs sorcery, which is less effective (-3 DRM) against the Balrog. I didn’t notice this at first. Nonetheless the Wizard manages to wound the evil beast. The battle continues and finally the Balrog is defeated. Gandalf, however is severely weakened (although not dead) from his terrific wounds. The Fellowship continues with a wounded Gandalf moving into Dimrill Dale. Saruman’s army is mobilized in Isengard.
The Fellowship makes it to Lothlorien. Unfortunately, I did not realize that Shadowfax could not go along through Moria. I should have known that but, now Gandalf is nearly dead and has no horse.
Gollum becomes neutral. He is mainly out for himself. The Shadow player’s searches fail to turn up anything of note.
Meanwhile the Fellowship moves into Lothlorien. Here they collaborate with Celeborn, the Elven King of Lothlorien and Galadriel, the Lady of Lothlorien. Samwise adds Galadriel’s Light to his possessions and Legolas takes the elven rope. The men of Rohan continue to mobilize and to assemble their forces at Helm’s Deep.
Saruman enlists the aid of the Dunlendings. The Chief of the Dunlendings and a small army are mobilized in Dunland. More orcs are produced in Isengard.
The photo shows Helm’s Deep. You can just see Isengard to the north.
Gollum is independent. The Shadow player uses the Fierce Storms event. Of course the searches fail utterly. Gandalf decides to remain in Lothlorien for a while. This allows Galadriel to heal him (somewhat). The weather is prohibitive for movement, so the men of Rohan remain at home. Meanwhile, Saruman continues to mobilize. The Nazgul sense the ring in Lothlorien and blanket the area in search of the ring-bearer.
Gollum becomes friendly with Frodo and the other hobbits again. The Fellowship crosses a minor river from Lothlorien into Fangorn. There is a dark rider there, and he successfully spots the group, learning that there are four hobbits in it. Eomer leads the men of Rohan into an assault against the citadel in Isengard. It is defended by Saruman and his army and the Urik-hai. The attack is successful and Saruman’s forces are reduced by 50 percent. Since Saruman still controls the citadel, he decides to break of the combat and to retire safely into the fortress.
This photo shows the siege at Isengard. Saruman isn’t too happy right now.
Gollum continues to befriend Frodo. Gandalf heals a little more after further attention from Galadriel. The fellowship moves out of Fangorn and into East Emnet, which allows it to become unspotted again. Eomer launches another siege attack against the forces at Isengard. Both sides incur losses and again, Saruman decides to break off the attack.The Chief of the Dunlendings, marches with his army around the flank of the siege at Isengard, which threatens the rear of the men of Rohan.
Gollum becomes neutral again. He really wants the ring, but is too scared to do anything but tag along. The Shadow’s searches have no effect, but in the meantime, the Fellowship marches directly into one of the dark riders. The company is discovered once again. Aragorn leads the Fellowship southwards. Then Eomer breaks off the siege and leads the men of Rohan against the Dunlendings. The latter are defeated and are forced to retreat. The flanking maneuver is a success in that it has drawn Eomer away from Isengard. Since the hobbits were discovered, Sauron has been mobilizing the orcs. The first of these are appearing on the map as a threat to the Fellowship. Still, none have caught up with the Fellowship.
Aragorn is accompanied by most of the Fellowship. They have been quite successful in remaining underground, despite the size of the group.
Gollum switches sides and is now under the control of the Dark player (traitor). The Fellowship manages to avoid being spotted again. These continue moving and pick up a road in Anorien. The Fellowship has been divided into a third group. The Dark ruler is continuing to mobilize but he has limited ability to maneuver due to his shadow point limits.
Sauron’s men in the south are starting to stir.
Gollum continues as an enemy to the Fellowship. Gandalf uses the elven river boats card to move from Lothlorien down to the Falls of Rauros. The Fellowship led by Aragorn manages to get through the Nazgul and march up the road toward the Gate of Morannon. The other group led by Boromir also avoids detection and takes cover in the rough area to the NE of Minas Morgul. The Shadow player uses his resources to move the men from Far Harad toward the eastern entrance to Mordor. The Orcs from Nurn sneak though the narrow opening in the mountains.
This photo shows Gandalf at the Falls of Rauros. Even without shadowfax, Gandalf is making good time.
The Fellowship company outside of the Black Gate is Aragorn’s group. The company on the river banks is Boromir’s group.
Gollum remains enemy controlled and he is still following the ring-bearer. The hand-orcs have managed to discover the members in one of the Fellowship groups. It happens to be Boromir and Pippin, Merry and Gimli. The Fellowship uses the Black Gate card to cross into the Land of Mordor. Somehow they manage to escape the orcs, but it turns out that Shelob is there. She is the giant spider. Aragorn takes her on and quickly dispatches the spider with aid of Anduril, The Flame of the West.
As the company continues into Mordor, they are discovered by Sauron’s orcs. It is learned that Aragorn, Legolas and two hobbits are in the vicinity of Mt. Doom.
Scary place for the Frodo and Samwise.
Sensing that the ring is near Orodruin, the Nazgul consolidate on Mt . Doom. That uses all of the Shadow Points, so there is not other major maneuver.
Gollum remains on the shadow side. The party in Mordor is still spotted. Aragorn and Legolas lead Sam and Frodo up to Mt. Doom. They are greeted by the Lord of the Nazgul and four of the Dark Riders. Aragorn slays the Lord of the Nazgul with Anduril. Then he takes out another of the Nazgul before he succumbs. Legolas jumps in but is struck down quickly. Samwise fights valiantly inflicting enough injuries to temporarily knock out one of the dark riders.
But Sam too is killed. Finally Frodo, attacks. He has the advantage of the Mithril Mail and the elven sword Sting. Thus he slays the remaining of the Nazgul on Mount Doom. Gollum still lurks.
Frodo still has to get the ring into the cracks of Doom. Meanwhile, the Mouth of Sauron and Gothmog fly to Orodruin. Things do not look too good for Frodo. Gothmog attacks Frodo. Although Frodo suffers another hit, His elven mail are protecting him quite well from the deadly blows. Meanwhile, with the aid of Sting, Frodo slays Gothmog. The Mouth of Sauron strikes next. This time Frodo is slain. The ring is captured by the Mouth of Sauron and the Shadow player claims victory.
To see my other session reports go to ER Bickford’s Replays
To visit my game collection with in game photos go to:My Game Collection 2013: In Historical Order, Photos