Example of Play
This is an example of how the first two turns of a game of War of the Ring Second Edition can play out.
Please set up your own game and mimic the moves of this example to get a better understanding of the mechanics.
If you want more than these two turns of a game, you can download an annotated example of a full game (with player comments) from the
Recover Action Dice and Draw Event Cards Phase
As it is the first turn of the game no Action Dice are recovered. The Free Peoples player draws one card from each
of his decks and gets “Cirdan's Ships” and “Wizard's Staff” while the Shadow Player draws “The Ringwraiths are Abroad”
and “Horde From the East”.
Gandalf the Grey begins the game as Guide of the Fellowship, and the Free Peoples player decides to keep him as the Guide
as he hopes to be able to play at least one Event Card and make some use of Gandalf’s Guide ability
Hunt Allocation Phase
The Shadow player decides to put one Eye in the Hunt Box to be sure to at least have some chance to find the Fellowship, if it moves.
Action Roll Phase
Since no additional EYE Action Die results were rolled no additional Shadow dice are added to the Hunt Box.
Action Resolution Phase
As the Free Peoples player always have the first action he decides to use one of his Event Action Die result to play the
Event Card “Wizard's Staff” on the table.
He now draws a Character Event Card since Gandalf the Grey’s Guide ability allows him to do so when he uses an Event Action
Die result to play an Event Card. The card drawn is “Elven Cloaks”.
The Shadow player uses an Event Action Die result to draw an Event Card; he draws “The Shadow is Moving” and adds it to his hand.
The Free Peoples player uses his second Event Action Die result to play “Elven Cloaks”. He takes the Free Peoples Special Hunt Tile
"Elven Cloaks" and puts it aside to remember that it shall be added to the Hunt Pool once the Fellowship enters Mordor. Once again
he draws a Character Event Card due to Gandalf the Grey's Guide ability, this time he gets “There and Back Again”.
The Shadow player decides to use his Muster Action Die result to move the Political Counter of the Isengard Nation to the "At War"
box on the Political Track. Isengard can now muster troops, and, more importantly, Saruman can enter the game.
The Free Peoples player now thinks that it is time to move the Fellowship. He uses a Character Action Die result, and advances the
Fellowship Progress Counter one step on the Fellowship Track. Since there is one Eye die in the Hunt Box the Shadow player rolls
one six-sided die in his Hunt for the Ring. He rolls a “2” and the Fellowship is safe. As the Hunt for the Ring has been resolved
the Action Die used to move the Fellowship is added to the Hunt Box as a reminder that next time the Fellowship moves this turn it
will be slightly easier for the Shadow to make a successful Hunt roll.
The Shadow now brings Saruman into the game and with him an extra Action Die in the coming turn. This is done using an Army/Muster
Action Die result (used as a Muster).
As the Free Peoples player has fewer Action dice left to use than his opponent he now decides to pass.
The Shadow player uses an Army Action Die result to move two Armies. He moves all Army units and the Nazgûl
in the Barad-dúr region as well as the two Sauron Regular units in the Nurn region into the Gorgoroth region.
Once again the Free Peoples player passes.
The Shadow player now uses a Character Action Die result to move the Elite, 4 Regular units, and the Nazgûl
in Gorgoroth to Minas Morgul. This can be done with a Character Action Die result as a Nazgûl is leading the Army.
The Free Peoples player can no longer pass and decides to use his Will of the West Action Die result to move the
Fellowship (the Fellowship Progress Counter is advanced to the second step on the Progress track). The Shadow
player again rolls his single six-sided die for the Hunt, this time succeeding on “5” and “6” since this is the
second time the Fellowship is moving this turn. Unfortunately for him he rolls a “3”. As the Hunt for the Ring
has been resolved the Action die used to move the Fellowship is added to the Hunt Box as a reminder that if the
Fellowship moves again this turn the Shadow’s Hunt roll will be successful on “4”, “5”, and “6”.
The Shadow uses his last Action Die, the Event Action Die result, to draw a Strategy Event Card; he draws “Corsairs of Umbar”
Victory Check Phase
As neither side has fulfilled any of their Victory Conditions a new turn begins.
On turn one Gandalf the Grey makes excellent use of his Guide ability, bringing out “Wizard's Staff” and getting a
great new card. This is a very good turn one Character Event Card as it can protect the Fellowship against the Hunt.
The drawn card is a Free Peoples Special Hunt Tile, which he is also able to get into play this turn. The replacement
to that is in turn a card that allows Companions to separate from the Fellowship, which is great to have since it lets
you separate Companions from the Fellowship using an Event Action Die results.
Additionally, the Fellowship moves twice without incident. The Free Peoples are off to a smashing start!
The Shadow player is not as happy, since he got no great Muster Event Cards, even after drawing three Strategy Event Cards.
But he did get two Muster Action Die results, and so is able to bring out Saruman and get that important extra Action Die for turn two.
Recover Action Dice and Draw Event Cards Phase
The Free Peoples player draws “We Prove the Swifter” and “Help Unlooked For” while the Shadow player draws
“The Lidless Eye” and “Shadows on the Misty Mountains.”
The Free Peoples player keeps the Fellowship as it is and decides not to declare the position of the Fellowship,
leaving the Ring-bearers figure in the Rivendell region.
Hunt Allocation Phase
As the Free Peoples player retrieved (at least) one Action Die from the Hunt Box the Shadow player must allocate one Eye Die in the Hunt Box.
After some consideration he then decides not to allocate any more dice into the Hunt Box.
Action Roll Phase
Action Resolution Phase
As his first action the Free Peoples player uses a Character Action Die result to move the Fellowship (the Fellowship Progress
Counter is advanced to the third step on the Progress track). As the Shadow rolls a “6” and is successful in his Hunt for the
Ring the Free Peoples player quickly decides to use, and discard from the table, the Character Event Card “Wizard's Staff” which
prevents the Shadow player from drawing the Hunt tile. Now that the Hunt for the Ring has been resolved the Action die used to
move the Fellowship is added to the Hunt Box as a reminder that if the Fellowship moves again this turn it will be slightly easier
for the Shadow to make a successful Hunt roll.
The Shadow uses a Muster Action Die result to advance the Sauron nation to the “at War” box on the Political Track.
Again the Free Peoples player uses a Character Action Die result to move the Fellowship. This time the Shadow player’s Hunt roll
succeeds on “5” and “6” but the die comes up a “3”. As the Hunt for the Ring has been resolved the Action Die used to move the
Fellowship is added to the Hunt Box.
The Shadow player uses an Army/Muster Action die result as a Muster result to use Saruman's “Voice of Saruman” ability
to muster one Isengard Regular unit in each of the three Settlements in Isengard.
Fearing an attack on Rohan the Free Peoples player uses his Will of the West Action Die result to advance the Rohan
nation one step on the Political Track.
The Shadow player now uses a Character Action die result to attack the Fords of Isen with his Army in Orthanc.
The Battle at the Fords of Isen
The Shadow player secretly chooses a Combat Card to play and places it face down on the board.
The Free Peoples player examines his cards and comes to the conclusion that he has no Combat Card worth playing.
The Shadow player reveals the Combat Card he chose; it is “Swarm of Bats”. Since the Free Peoples player didn't play
any Combat Card "Swarm of Bats" will give the Shadow player +1 on any dice rolled during his Leader re-roll.
Since the Shadow Army’s Combat Strength is greater than five the Shadow player will roll five Combat Dice.
He will score hits on “6s” only since he is attacking a Fortification, which protects the defenders for the first round of combat.
He rolls “1”, “2”, “4”, “4”, and “6”, scoring 1 hit. He then re-rolls two dice (Saruman has a Leadership of 1 and the Isengard Elite
functions as a Leader when Saruman is in play), getting “3” and “5”. The “5” scores a hit due to the Combat Effect “Swarm of Bats”
played at the beginning of the Combat Round for a total of two hits.
The Free Peoples player now rolls two dice since he has two Regular units in the Fords of Isen region. He will hit on the normal
target numbers of “5” and “6”. The result is a “3” and a “4”. Fortunately for him he has a Leader in the region as well and gets
to re-roll one die. He rolls a “5”, scoring one hit.
Since the Shadow scored two hits the Free Peoples removes the two Rohan Regular units from the game, permanently. He also removes
the Leader since Leaders are eliminated if the Army units they are with are destroyed in combat.
The Shadow player removes one Isengard Regular unit since the Free Peoples player scored 1 hit. But differently from the Free
Peoples Army units and Leaders the Shadow units and Nazgûl are not removed permanently, they are returned to the Reinforcement
pool and can be mustered by the Shadow player later in the game.
Finally the Shadow player decides to advance with all of his units (except Saruman, who cannot leave the Orthanc region) into
the newly captured region.
The attack on the Fords of Isen activates and advances the Rohan Nation so the Free Peoples player flips the Rohan Nation’s
Political Counter to its activated side and advances it one step closer to the "At War" step on the Political Track.
The Free Peoples player passes.
The Shadow player uses a Character Action die result to attack Helm's Deep. This moves the Rohan Nation into the "At War" box
on the Political Track. Since Helm's Deep is a Stronghold the Free Peoples player decides to retreat his lone Regular unit into
the Stronghold (this is done by moving the defending Army into the Stronghold Box and the attacking Army advances into the region).
The battle in Rohan is going badly so the Free Peoples player decides to use his last Action Die and an Elven Ring (the Elven
Ring turns the Action Die into any result, except a Will of the West) and musters a Rohan Elite unit in Edoras. The Elven Ring is
then handed to the Shadow player, who can now use it.
Wanting to finish of Rohan as quickly as possible the Shadow player uses a Character Action Die result to attack the Stronghold of Helm's Deep.
The Siege of Helm's Deep
As attacks made against a Stronghold only hits on a roll of “6” and the attacker must downgrade an Elite unit to
Regular status to keep the combat going for more than one round the Shadow player needs a boost from a Combat Card
to quickly finish of the lone Rohan Regular unit. He secretly chooses a card to play and places it face down on the board.
The Free Peoples player once again comes to the conclusion that he has no Combat Card worth playing.
The Shadow player reveals the Combat Card “Deadly Strife”, which will add +2 to both sides' Combat roll and Leader re-roll.
The Shadow rolls “1”, “2”, “3”, “3”, and “3”, no hits! To add insult to injury his Leader re-roll is equally bad as his re-roll comes up a “3”.
The Free Peoples player rolls a "4", which kills one of the Isengard Regulars thanks to the "Deadly Strife" Combat Card.
Disappointed with his result the Shadow player decides to downgrade his Elite unit to keep the siege going for another Combat Round.
This time he decides not to use any Combat Card.
Again the Free Peoples player decides not to play a Combat Card.
This time the Shadow player is successful as he rolls “1”, “2”, “5”, “6”, and “6”. Two hits, which is more than enough to eliminate
the lone defender.
The Free Peoples player rolls a “3” and no further casualties are inflicted.
The Shadow player places a Shadow Control Marker on Helm's Deep and advances his Victory Points Marker two steps on the Victory
Points Track as he collects his first 2 Victory Points.
As the Free Peoples player has no more Action Dice left to use the Shadow player goes again and uses an Army Action Die result to move
two Armies. He moves the Army that captured Helm's Deep to Westemnet. As he does so he also puts a Shadow Control Marker on the region as
it contains a Rohan Town. He then proceeds to move the five Sauron Regulars in Gorgoroth to Morannon.
As both the Sauron and Rohan Nations’ Political Counters have reached the “at War” box on the Political Track during the second turn
the Shadow player now uses his Event Action Die result and the Elven Ring he received from the Free Peoples player earlier in the turn
to use the Action Die as a Muster Die result to play the Witch-king, the Black Captain in Minas Morgul, and with him another Action Die to
use in the coming turns. As he does so the Free Peoples player activates the North, the Dwarves, and Gondor by flipping their Political Counters.
Victory Check Phase
Both sides are still far from fulfilling any of their Victory Conditions so a new turn begins.
On turn two the Fellowship is primed to run with four Action Dice capable of moving it, and only one Eye to slow them, and “Wizard's Staff!” in play.
But as the Army of Isengard comes storming over the Fords of Isen the Free Peoples player decides to spend a precious Elven Ring to convert a precious
Character Action Die result into a Muster. Perhaps he should have saved the Character and Will of the West Action Dice results for later in the turn;
allowing him to move the Fellowship and playing one of the Event Cards he was still holding, using the Will of the West Action Die result to make use
of Gandalf the Grey’s Guide ability. The choice he made will undoubtedly have great influence on the rest of the game, only time will tell if he made
the correct one.
At the end of turn two, the players have largely passed each other in the night. The Fellowship is off to an excellent start. The Shadow player
has two Victory Points, but already has a worry in a potentially growing Rohan Army in Edoras. He has also made strides by marching out his Armies
of Mordor, under the command of the Witch-king. It looks to be an interesting game.