A Concession Retracted
GM Kevin Wojtaszcyk and Michael Sosa
do the Hobbit thing.
Jacob Hebner and Mike Shea kill lots
of plastic orcs.
Greetings fellow Hobbits, Elves, Humans, Dwarves and Orcs!
We had another great Middle Earth pre-con. The Sunday night start
allowed everyone to come in a day later and some decided to head
over to other games on Monday if they lost Sunday night while
others joined us Monday morning.
The competition was tough through all three rounds with many
instances of critical card plays, action dice rolls and hunt
tile pulls. Michael Sosa won a SP military victory without moving
any Mordor armies in one game. Ty Hansen's Helm's Deep stand
killed off an attacking Witch King on four 6's to hold off Jacob
Hebner's SP. Early Minas Tirith successful captures for Tom Holliday
and Jeff Pattison weren't enough to stop the FP in those games.
Chris Trimmer's SP killed Aragorn and Galadriel in a SP win and
Ty Hansen's FP bought time with the Ents killing Saruman and
got to use four elven rings after getting two back in card play
to seal a FP victory.
With everyone using the additional expansion rules, the free
people lead the way in victories 15 to 11. Three were FP military
victories while 12 were ring dunks. On the SP side, nine were
military victories and two were corruption victories. Even though
the FP won more overall, both semi-finals were won by shadow
military victories. The Dwarven Ring's bids varied from none
to three rings, with the most being five given once to the FP.
Only three times were they given to the SP, with one, one and
three those times. Ten of the games had no Dwarven rings bid.
The semi-finals featured Chris Trimmer vs Ty Hansen and Kevin
Wojtaszczyk vs Michael Sosa. Ty's FP held Chris's shadow at bay
for most of the game, launching many offenses against the SP
forces and requiring second and third waves of SP armies to march
on FP strongholds. In the end the shadow forces were overwhelming
and Chris took over ten victory points to make the Final. The
other semi-final had Kevin's shadow roll lots of musters almost
every turn and Michael try to race the FSP before the shadow
could execute their multi-pronged attack. Due to all the musters,
the Corsairs were an early play and siege towers were in vogue.
What turned out to be the final turn, had the shadow sieging
Dol Amoroth, Erebor and Helms Deep, all with siege tower superiority
setup from the previous turn. Michael tried for a stab at a FP
military victory, hoping the shadow wouldn't be able to grab
all three strongholds, but Gondor was still one away from War
which gave the FP one fewer dice to try it and Kevin's military
successes with just the right combat cards and die rolling 6's
managed to take out all three.
The Final pit the past two War of the Ring champions, Chris
Trimmer and Kevin Wojtaszczyk against each other. It was also
a rematch game as they met in the preliminary rounds, where Chris
won an SP military victory. In the bidding Kevin got three Dwarven
rings to play the Free Peoples. Chris got the Gates are Closed
card down early along with the Balrog to make a trip through
Moria ugly. The first seven FP moves were unfound with only a
couple non-reveal corruption tiles drawn, including one 3 which
took out the guide Gandalf the Grey. Strider separated from the
FSP at Turn 3 from Rivendell all the way to Minas Tirth due to
the FSP at the +5 level and We Prove the Swifter. A Will and
Muster later had both Aragorn and Galadriel in play. Mordor marched
north toward DEW while Saruman uncontestedly mustered with the
Voice due to the Ents never entering play. Saruman's troops laid
Helm's Deep under siege and took over all the other Rohan muster
spots besides Edoras while the Corsairs mustered in the south.
Mid-game turn had six Eyes rolled/allocated, which pushed the
FP to muster troops and not move the FSP. This strengthened the
West and got Gandalf the White and a couple additional elites
dug in at the Woodland Realm. The FSP were then revealed when
attempting to move their eighth step toward Mordor. Going through
Moria would be three tiles, but taking the mountain pass extends
the route, so Kevin chose to take the short route and get the
FSP established in Osgilith. The FP got blessed, getting hit
by an Eye that knocked out Legolas as guide, a normal 2 tile
and the Smeagol tile to get Smeagol into play. A couple turns
later, Smeagol declared mid-turn in Mordor with the FSP at 2
corruption and containing Smeagol, Gimli, and Pippen. Kevin figured
he was in good shape, with the shadow's military partially in
check and the FSP corruption low but then Chris nailed the fellowship
with a handful of corruption cards one after the other. This
pushed the FSP to 7 corruption and only Gollum was left standing
and the FSP only two moves deep into Mordor. The shadow military
then started to get the upper hand at Dol Amorth and Erebor and
the end game was looking very near. All the FP bonus blue tiles
made it into the hunt pool and only the 1 stop and Shelob made
it in for the SP. In the final turn Chris drew the Shelob tile
with the FSP's second last move attempt, rolling a 5 and pushing
the FP to what looked like a game winning 12 corruption and Kevin
began to congratulate Chris, however Gollum was shouting up from
Mordor in defiance of the dark lord. Sure enough, the Shelob
tile does not have a reveal on it, so Kevin used Gollum's ability
to reveal the fellowship and thus reduce the FSP corruption by
one. Two eyes were in the pool, along with the SP 1 special,
three FP specials and grey 0r, 1r, 1, and 2 tiles. Chris decided
to put Lorien under siege while the FSP hid, then attacked Lorien
to try and knock out Galadriel to prevent any Eye drawn from
being killed with an Elven Ring. The first battle knocked out
most the troops on both sides, leaving three shadow regulars
(plus Witch King and Nazguls) and two elven regulars. The FSP
moved safely with a 0r tile and Lorien held with one regular
remaining on the next attack, then the FSP's -2 was drawn for
the final move to dunk the ring in Mount Doom. So at the end
the FP were at 11 corruption and the SP were at 10 VPs when the
ring was dunked to have the FP win this year's struggle for Middle
Thank you to everyone who attended the tournament and I hope
to see you all back again next year for another epic battle for
Michael Sosa and Jeff Heidman pair
off in the first round.
The last two champs meet in the Final.