Being quite taken with the idea of an evening stroll in Middle Earth, Matt and Ben inhabited the earthy cloaks and shining helms of the Free Peoples while I assumed a darker - you might even say more shadowy - guise.
We didn't really know what we were doing (which incidentally favoured this incarnation of the Shadow, whose main strategy seems to be a blunt one: attack with overwhelming force), but here is a short AAR anyway.
The Shadow mobilised for war and took Lothlorien almost immediately with a scarcely credible series of dice rolls. Rivendell was thence bent to our Will.
|A shadow falls on Middle Earth...|
For the Free Peoples the Elvish folk were ready for war but no one else cared to entertain the thought. While Gandalf and Strider detached from the fellowship and sped around in a vain yet Churchillian endeavour to warn the North and Rohan (and everyone else) of the coming peril, Saruman prepared and struck at Rohan with all his might, or at least a decent percentage of it. Helm's Deep fell without a blow, and Edoras too was abandoned.
Why was Edoras abandoned? Because the Rohirrim, fighting fire with fire, sought to capture Dol Guldur from the forces of the lidless eye.
|Orcs and Nazgul attack nasty Elves.|
And so an entertaining game of move and counter-move followed as both sides utterly disregarded the Ring and strove to win a military victory.
The Free folk took Angband and threatened Mount Gundabad - which would have left them one VP shy of victory - but the Shadow retaliated by taking various other spots and threatening Dol Amroth, leaving Sauron two short of a dark triumph of his own.
|On to Gundabad!|
But with both sides still a turn and some good results away from win, the bell sounded, and we were obliged by our native good sense to call it a night.
We were all over the place with rules and strategy, but in spite of that the game was great fun, and we could all see the potential there.
Hopefully we'll get to play again.