"But this was a task far beyond the power of the Dunedain; and maybe it would still have proved so even if their captain, Aragorn, had been with them. But he was away to the north, upon the East Road, near Bree; and the hearts even of the Dunedain misgave them."The Hunt for the Ring - Unfinished Tales
This is the second scenario in the Fellowship of the Ring Journey Book from Games Workshop, and again it involves the Nazgul and the Dunedain. In this case, the Dunedain set up with some of the rangers already on the board, defending the Shire against the Ringwraiths, while the other rangers and the Nazgul begin moving onto the board from the first turn.
|Ringwraiths try to probe the flanks of the rangers' position|
The objective of the ranger player is to prevent at least five of the wraiths from making it into the Shire. The Evil player again has the Witch King and this time all of the Nine at his command. He does not get Cry of the Nazgul for this scenario, which in retrospect might have balanced things out a bit.
|Ringwraiths ponder a mysterious ley line...|
|The last pair of Nazgul entering the bottom of the picture|
It is another tough scenario for the Nazgul this one. A great deal depends on good Priority rolls combined with fending off the rangers early in the game. More rangers enter the game in pursuit of the Nazgul and the Good player gets to recycle lost Dunedain, but once they arrive they will tend to be trailing the Nazgul.
|Two Nazgul get mugged by rangers - the d20 tracks Will points.|
In the end not enough Ringwraiths got free. We estimated two, may be three at least would definitely make it into the Shire and onto the trail of Baggins. But with five wraiths down we declared it another victory for the forces of light. It seems the hearts of the Dunedain did not 'misgive' them, as they get to re-roll their Courage 5 in this scenario - a tough one to beat.
|A screen of brave Dunedain protect the Shire.|
A good, quick game this one. Kelvin complains that the Dark Riders are simply too vulnerable in a fight of this nature, and the Priority rolls make a much bigger difference in a smaller game like this with very specific victory conditions than they did in some of our larger battles in the Orc's Drift campaign. Mind you, he did roll appallingly on his Priority, making it that bit easier for the Dunedain in the end. I'd suggest adding Cry of the Nazgul and dropping the Courage re-roll special rule for this one, to even it out a bit.
Next time: Sam and Frodo begin their journey.