When I arrived I discovered Steve Perkins lurking in the car park, so I showed him the way in. It was his first visit to the Stag, having missed attending in December, due to bad weather and consequent traffic problems, and he consequently had a couple of boxes of stuff from GamesLore, which had been building up.
Onto the games, Mark, Steve & I had agreed to give Middle Earth Quest another run out and we were joined by Jaime to make up the maximum 4 players. I played Sauron again with Steve repeating as Beravor, Mark took Eleanor of Minas Tirith, with Jaime as Thalin the Dwarf.
I spent the game mostly lurking around Mordor and Gondor having plot cards mainly affecting Minas Tirith or so it seemed (I did have one as far away as Edoras), so I built up a lot of influence down there allowing me to place and protect some of the plots as well as place a lot of monsters. In the initial stages, Eleanor was my primary target as she started in Minas Tirith, while the other two dallied in the North and West dealing witgh quests and collecting favour.
As the game went on the others gradually headed in my direction and I made a point to send the Ring Wraiths in the direction of the Shire, bluffing that I had that mission card, in the hope of drawing them away. This had no real effect, but I was able to delay Beravor who was heavily wounded in battle with the Mouth of Sauron. Although he defeated the Mouth, I was able to defeat him in turn by an attack by Crebain, triggered by a Shadow card, before he had a chance to heal.
The game came to a swift finale as it came to stage III, as I had plots and the current event, moving the red story marker 6 spaces a turn, unfortunately it was the black one that I needed to concentrate on and had been unable to arrange its speedy movement. At the end I was dominant, but had not acheived my mission, the heroes had achieved their mission of getting 5 favour bewteen them, so it came down to a battle between the Ring Wraiths and the heroes' champion Beravor who narrowly failed to defeat them before falling prey to exhaustion. So Sauron was victorious again.
After 2 weeks in a row we'll leave Middle Earth for a time, but I would hope to return later in the year.
Of the other games, there were further plays for Suburbia and Magnum Sal, this one featuring the Muria expansion. Viticulture was a first time play. I believe Race for the Galaxy was base game only, although both Dave F and I took delivery of extra base game copies plus copies of Alien Artifacts, which I expect to see play in the not too distant future.
All games played as listed below.
|Middle Earth Quest - 180 Mins.|
|Suburbia - 120 Mins.|
|Viticulture - 140 Mins.|
|Magnum Sal - 135 Mins.|
|Carcassonne - 25 Mins.|
|Race for the Galaxy - 30 Mins.|