Middle Earth Remains in the Ascension
Newsflash! That's Andy Latto - he
of the four plaques - in an event in which he didn't even place.
Three rounds and he got squat. Maybe there is hope for us mere
mortals after all.
Chris Trimmer and Jason Levine vie
for the shield as GM Kevin Wojtaszczyk observes. Riku Reikkinen
- the Nest Slayer - watches after going four rounds with nary
a laurel. His best days lie ahead.
The One Ring was at the cusp of Mount Doom, when the might
of Chris Trimmer's Sauron armies dominated Middle Earth. Poor
Sam and Frodo were captured which ended the Middle Earth Pre-Con
with Sauron's forces once again victorious against the Free Peoples!
Congratulations to everyone who participated and made the
Middle Earth Pre-Con another successful tournament with a lot
of fun competitive play. The change in days/times to begin on
Saturday afternoon boosted the WOR numbers to a record 28 players.
Forty games were played. 11 used the basic game rules and 29
were played with the added expansion rules. The Dwarven Rings
bidding seemed to balance the game with the majority of the bids
giving the Free Peoples from 1-5 rings. (Four games had 1-2 rings
given to the SP player.) For the basic game, there were six Sauron
wins (four military/two corruption) and five Free Peoples wins
(three dunks/two military). On the expansion side, there were
16 Sauron wins (11 military/five corruption) and 13 Free People's
wins (nine dunks/ four military). A few new players joined the
battle for Middle Earth along with a number of past participants.
After learning the game last year, Jason Levine built on his
experience and rode a Free People's strategy all the way to the
Final. Chris Trimmer's multi-focused Sauron strategy was the
only one to stop Jason's path to victory. In the Final Strider
fell to a random casualty and the Balrog got a couple bonus hunt
tile pulls as Jason was revealed at 3 and chose to still run
the Moria gauntlet. On the FP bonus side, a bit later the Smeagol
tile was drawn back to back in successful hunts and, in Mordor,
Shelob came up a house spider '1'. In the end though, Frodo's
10 corruption upon entering Mordor made it a slow go. Jason did
manage to avoid a corruption loss only to have Chris's Sauron
forces dominate Middle Earth while Frodo cautiously navigated
Some highlights: Christopher Yaure gets a nod for Musterings
of a Long-planned War, being involved in two epic length games,
16 and 17 turns respectively, which each pushed the 4-hour session
limits. Most games fell in the 9-14 turn range and finished in
three hours or less. John Pack was a Ranger of the North, with
his Northern army taking heavy losses on a Dol Guldur siege,
but still managing to oust the Orcs for a Moria/Dol Guldur FP
Military victory. Sean Vassey waged some Rohan guerilla warfare
after losing Aragorn and Boromir in a Minas Tirth siege. Ahmet
finally ousted the Rohan militants for an SP military victory.
Eric Brosius raced to a hidden 5 move FSP start only to see the
Hunt tiles turn and corrupt Frodo. Chris Trimmer needed an Isildur's
Bane 3 tile pull plus a double Eye draw (one skipped with Mithil
Coat) to seal the Fellowship's path to the dark side in Mordor
in Round 3 to claim his spot in the final four over the GM. There
were a number of action dice quirks noted in the game logs from
too many FP musters which caused an Elvish lead military victory
to rolling only Wills and Events and the always present too many/few
Eyes/Character dice at the most inopportune times. Fortunately
some of those poor action dice rolls were mitigated via Dwarven
I plan on continuing the Middle Earth pre-con in 2009 and
hope to see everyone back again, along with new faces to challenge
Mordor's might. I plan to require use of the expansion additions
since I found the majority of players knew the expansion rules.
I will also be reviewing the expansion rules in the demo to get
everyone up to speed. Lastly, after talking to a number of players,
I heard a mix of comments on the day/time of the Pre-con. Some
want it moved to Mon/Tues while others liked the Sat/Sun so they
could participate in some of the other Pre-Con events afterwards.
If you have any ideas/concerns, feel free to email me before
the end of the year so I can have all the info prior to my decisions
for the 2009 event write-up.
Thanks again for participating!