GSG 08/18: Middle-Earth Quest
- ATTENDEES: Anthony, Phil, Mark, James, yBob, Eric, Gary, Tory
GAMES PLAYED: Middle-Earth Quest (2 games at the same time)
Anthony was kind enough to cook a BBQ meal for us this evening. And
my-oh-my, what a sumptuous feast he provided!! The buffet included
standard cheeseburgers and hot dogs (turkey, beef, and jalapeno), and
also included grilled chicken, kielbasa, chinese sausage, and pork
shoulder cooked over many hours in a smoker! Everything was
FANTASTIC! Thank you so much, Anthony!!
Anthony's brother-in-law, Eric, joined us for the feast, and stayed
awhile to play games.
MIDDLE-EARTH QUEST: Anthony, Eric, Gary, James
After a quick rules explanation with everyone present, these guys
retreated to the basement to play on Anthony's copy, which was already
setup. Anthony was Sauron, while the chosen heros included Thalin,
Eometh, and Argalad (but I don't know who chose which hero). Many
favors were received, characters fell into the arms of guards, and
double entendres flew with great regularity. They abandoned the game
after 2 hours, with markers just short of the third stage, as Eric had
to depart. James did not care for the game, while the others were
MIDDLE-EARTH QUEST: Phil, Tory, Mark, Bob
This was the first playing for all of us. I was Sauron, followed by
Tory (Eometh), Mark (Argalad), and Bob (Thalin). It is sheer
coincidence that the hero characters were the same as those chosen in
the other game (players have a choice of five heros). We played for
over 3 hours, ending because we were tired, with the hero story marker
poised to enter the third stage. I made way too many mistakes as
Sauron (I have to pay attention to the influence limits, I have to be
cognizant of my influence supply lines, and I must, MUST, read and act
on the special abilities of my minions and monsters), so hopefully
I'll be smarter the next time I play. The game itself is a little
klunky, with so many specialized decks to sift through and absorb.
The Peril deck really isn't that perilous. But I certainly want to
play again. I think the others feel the same way. The true test will
be to see whether my wife (she being the biggest LotR fan in this
area) will play and enjoy this game. What follows is a narrative of
this session, as told by Sauron.
My name is Sauron, and I am evil. The only thing I have ever wanted
is to rule the world. I came close once (curse you, Isildur!), and
have recovered enough from that atempt to try my hand again at world
domination. To do so I must raise an army to do my bidding, spread
corruption among my enemies, and seek out the One Ring to rule them
all. This last element is so crucial to my plan that it is my
ambition to obtain it all costs before my enemies complete their
plans. [ Sauron's mission is to advance the ring story marker into
the third stage. ]
I plotted to Hunt for the Ring, and spread my influence out of Dol
Guldur, Barad Dur, and Mount Gundabad throughout Mirkwood and the
Misty Mountains. I sent my minion, The Mouth of Sauron, to Esgaroth
to frighten my enemies. I had designs on sending the Dark Messenger
into Erebor, and also considered breaking the Line of the King in the
Woodland Realm. Such were my possible plans.
Three meddling heros chose to oppose me. The first, Eometh, rode out
to the Mouth of the Greyflood to complete a quest! It couldn't have
been much of a quest if it was accomplished so easily, but such are
the ways of those pesky heros. The second, Argalad, traveled west to
Rivendell and gained the favor of that upstart wizard, Gandalf. The
third, Thalin, was indeed frightened by my Mouth, and traveled north
to the Withered Heath. A random encounter caused damage to my Mouth,
but I was not too concerned.
Saruman made an appearance in Isengard, and I was determined to make
it difficult for the heros to visit him. But curses be! I discovered
that my influence was insufficient to cause the Broken Line of the
King! I rectified this situation, and also spread some influence
towards Isengard. The Mouth of Sauron entered Erebor. I also
summoned a monster -- a Snarga -- to the High Pass.
Eometh traveled eastward. Argalad traveled to a perilous place, but
encountered no peril. Wassup wit' dat? Thalin slinked over to the
Iron Hills to gain some training from Dain II. As chance would have
it, he encountered a mountain pass, and immediately moved into Erebor.
He pressed for an encounter [ which should not have happened -- the
Encounter card allowed the extra move, but not a whole extra travel
phase, so no combat should have taken place ], and so battled the
Mouth of Sauron -- and won! Arrgh!! [ I neglected to note the Mouth
of Sauron's special power, which was to give the hero a corruption
The Line of the Kings was broken in the Woodland Realm. I continued
to spread my influence, but left the Gladden Fields with little
influence. I tried to summon another monster, but got a rock.
Eometh reached the Gladden Fields and expended enough favors to foil
my plot. It should be noted that the heros seemed to be swimming in
favors at this point. Argalad visited the Snarga and quickly defeated
this zealot archer. Thalin, fresh with travel vouchers, scampered
across the mountains and got as far as the Old Forest. [ We
discovered a little later that he should have stopped in the Ruins of
Angmar, as this is a permanently perilous location. C'est la vie. ]
My supply line of influence was shredded!!! I lost my influence in
the areas occupied by Eometh and Argalad, which cut off several other
areas from my strongholds, causing a reduction of influence in those
outlying areas. I think I lost half my influence. This was a
brilliant move by Eometh. It's tough being evil, as no else want to
help you. It was about this time that I captured Golum. I also
started to spread my influence again.
Eometh traveled south. Both Aragalad (Fanghorn) and Thalin (Blue
Mountains) visited locations and completed quests.
I finally got some good news. Gothmog, my lietenant, finally returned
from holiday and occupied my fotress in Mount Gundabad. The
Ringwraiths also joined the party, arriving in Minus Morgul. It was
about this time that I started spreading influence throughout Mirkwood
withour regards to limits. [ Both Mount Gundabad and Dol Guldur have
a limit of 3 influence, but I went as high as 4 both on the fortresses
and on other locations. I never did complete the influence supply
line back to Barad Dur, which has a limit of 6 influence. I finally
became aware of this mistake and corrected it during the seventh turn.
] I caused an urgent summons to be issued. [ But I neglected to
notice the blue dot on the bottom of the card, so the plot was not
placed in Rohan but rather in the Brown Lands. ] Gothmog was directed
to the High Pass, while another monster -- a Cave Troll -- was
dispatched to Weathertop.
Eometh rested, and then traveled northward. Argalad and Thalin each
discarded something, but my notes are vague on this issue. Someone
encountered a Giant Spider, which was handily defeated [ but I yet
again neglected the monster's special power ]. I will say that these
pesky heros seemed to have no trouble finding Gandalf and gaining his
favor to increase their wisdom. I was not causing them much peril
before, but with their enhanced wisdom it seemed as if nothing scared
them anymore. Hrumph!
With three plots in play, I thought that I was finally making some
headway. I spread more influence and introduced more blank monsters.
It is unclear what Eometh and Argalad did, but I'm sure it wasn't
good. I suspect Eometh completed another quest, and I think that
Argalad was successful in counteracting the Urgent Summons. I do know
that Thalin was successful at defeating the Cave Troll [ and again, I
failed to note the troll's special power about canceling a Melee
attack when the troll conducts a Ranged attack ], but during his
subsequent travels he suffered at the hands of a random encounter and,
being weakened, was defeated.
My Shadow powers had been mostly useless up until this point, but I
managed to resurrect one of my minions (Mouth of Sauron), for They Are
Terrible. I then directed him to visit Eometh along the Forest Road.
I also directed Gothmog to lie in wait for the rejuvenated Thalin.
Eometh handed my Mouth a huge helping of whoop-ass, but both were
exhausted from the encounter, with the Mouth of Sauron all but
defeated. Argalad then joined in the fracas to lay the death blow.
Thalin then looked at his watch and stated it was time to go.
[ If we had continued the game, there is no doubt that the heros would
have won. Their mission was to amass 5 favors, and between them they
had about 10. They were dominant, and were poised to eliminate more
Sauron plot cards. I needed to move the black corruption story
marker, but failed in drawing appropriate plot cards that would move
Now that I've made every mistake possible as Sauron, I want to try
this game again. I am confident that it will go better next time. ]
ATTENDEES: Phil, James, Anthony (Mary, Katie, and Joseph)
A small gathering at my house. James kicked butt at Kung Fu Fighting,
even though I nearly won by having a single health point left during
the last four turns. Mary and Katie then joined us for a game of
Glory to Rome, which Mary won 15, 12, 12, 12, 3. Anthony left, Mary
went away, and Joseph joined us for a short game of Arabian Nights.
ATTENDEES: Anthony, Phil, Ken
We played After the Flood at Anthony's house. It was slow going at
first, but we figured out the flow of the game some time during the
third (of five) turns. I edged out Anthony for the win, but this was
a big-time asterisk game, as I know I didn't introduce amies into
areas where I had workers until the last turn. By not committing the
resources to workers, I had resources at my disposal which I
subsequently applied to victory points. We've got to try this again,
just so we can play it by the correct rules.
The next GSG session will be at my place in Cumberland on 8/25. We
will be welcoming special guest Jeff Feuer (YankeeFan) from Long
Eastern MA Gaming
"But how do you plan for a bank full of nuns?"
"When playing a game the goal is to win, but it is the goal that is
important, not the winning."
- Reiner Knizia