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GSG 08/18: Middle-Earth Quest

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  • Phil Alberg
    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
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 22, 2009
      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
      mostly non-plussed.


      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. ]

      Week 1
      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.

      Week 2
      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
      card. ]

      Week 3
      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. ]

      Week 4
      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.

      Week 5
      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!

      Week 6
      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.

      Week 7
      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
      it.

      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. ]

      *****



      GSG 8/11
      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.


      GSG 8/4
      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
      Island.

      - Phil

      --
      Eastern MA Gaming
      http://www.unitygames.org/

      "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
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