Hi Michael - hats off to you as the CL! I am looking forward to the results swap to see how you developed so many agents so well and fast. How many first time players did you have on the DS? We had 3. They all played well and 2 made it to the end. Hopefully they will keep on playing to enlarge our community.
I started with NG and Duns and picked up Cardolan when our third new player departed. I don’t think I have played NG effectively in the 3 games I have tried…hopefully next time.
We debated two initial strategies. Plan A was to crash the gates, but we could not get buy-in from all the nations. We went with Plan B which was to focus on the periphery regions. We succeeded in Angmar. We nearly succeeded against the Dragon Lord (avoidable mistakes cost us 3822 and the command stack). We failed in the south. Unfortunately, we had several drops (4 nations total) and we really needed tigher coordination for plan B to succeed.
We did have all of our nations at the end. EO was down to just a coulple controlled characters at one point but was recovering well at the end. Likewise, the NM was restocked with characters. However, our character development was very poor compared to yours and it is clear that we could not win despite the two-nation advantage.
If that last roll had gone our way (Elrond vs. Urzahil), we might have spent a few more turns hoping for more luck, but it really would have taken a lot more luck to turn it around. There are so many little things that could have gone the other way, like answering the riddle for Curufin correctly.
All those excuses aside, you all just plain out played us. The Dog Lord in particular exploited our weaknesses.
Cheers to your victory and good luck in the next one!