The game board overview:
And so it begins: all nine Dúnedain have camped atop the large hill. Three Nazgûl are approaching from the east – the Dark Marshal through the small forest in the northeast, the Shadow Lord near the center of the eastern board edge, and the Knight of Umbar in another small forest in southeast. Turn 1
– good priority. Rangers, noticing that something is wrong, divide into three groups – one remains at the edge of the hill cliff with their bows at ready, while others rush down the northern and the southern slope of the hill, attempting to cut off the black-clad intruders. The Ringwraiths carefully maneuver within the forest cover, aiming not to expose themselves to possible shooting attacks.Turn 2
– good priority. While the two ranger detachments continue their dash towards the shadowy figures approaching, the Shadow Lord casts a black dart. A ranger, standing too exposed against the sky at the very edge of the cliff, falls dead in the ground.
South of the hill, the Knight of Umbar casts another black dart spell, but the will of the approaching ranger is strong enough to resist the deadly incantation. The Dark Marshal, however, fails in his casting attempt on the north side, and the third black dart splutters into the void. A ranger takes aim with his bow, but fails to hit the Dark Marshal – still hiding partially behind trees.Turn 3
– good priority. The Dúnedain continue to advance towards the disturbers of the Shire peace, while the Shadow Lord and the Dark Marshal finally step out in the open. Again, the black dart of the Dark Marshal fails to materialize, and this time the Shadow Lord is also unsuccessful in his casting attempt. Over on the southern side, the Knight of Umbar shoots another black dart towards the exhausted ranger – and as his will is already down at zero, the black dart hits the mark. Fates are not kind to him, and he falls down dead. Three ranger arrows fly through the air in retaliation, hitting nothing.Turn 4
– good priority. While the remaining two rangers in the southern part of the board continue their rush to stop the Knight of Umbar, the Ringwraith moves swiftly westward, unleashing another black dart. The targeted ranger must expend his only point of might to bolster his will to resist the evil magic.
Over on the other side of the hill two men are already within a charging distance of the Dark Marshal. Unfortunately, the younger of the two rangers freezes in terror – he can only look in horror as his comrade-in-arms charges the Ringwraith alone. In the ensuing fight, the Dark Marshal is victorious; his blade kills the brave ranger.
In the shadow of the hill cliff, a lone ranger is closing in on the Shadow Lord, who seems to have chosen to circle around the central hill via south. The Shadow Lord’s black dart hits him, but fate smiles on him, this time, and no wound is caused. Not unsurprisingly, given the Pall of Darkness surrounding him, the retaliating ranger arrow fails to find its mark.
To be concluded in the next post...