Review by Sai, from Gondors angle…
From the start, I knew this was going to be difficult. The basic premise is can I kill enough orcs before I get overrun.
So to deploy, I went with a curved shape. I had to protect Gandalf, so he could get a charge off before the enemy. If Gandalf charges, everyone got a duel re-roll as per a banner. The toughest aspect of this fight was knowing there are unlimited orcs coming in and my forces would eventually dwindle.
So to kick things off, I won the first turn roll and both of us had 2 characters use Might to send troops forward out of turn. It was vital I got Gandalf to charge in and also important to block off the exists the orcs needed to get a foothold on the tower. It seemed like a decent idea to have a shield wall with the spears supporting as much as possible. The Left flank however was under a lot of pressure early on.
Gandalf failed to cast a cheeky spell attempting to knock an orc captain off the siege tower. Annoyingly, he failed to knock the guy off again in turn two too!
So, gradually the left flank was overrun. My troops were slowly going down through weight of numbers. Gandalf was still happily on full life and looking indestructible. Both of us burnt through all our Might really quickly too so the game had few additional tricks. Merry was a bit of a star player killing an orc a turn surprisingly. The other two heroes were doing pretty good too. The right flank was unwavering.
And then it happened… Through weight of numbers and little support for Gandalf, he lost a combat, but not before he did a comedy blast spell on his own combat knocking everyone over. The bad news was Gandalf was seriously outnumbered and it wouldn’t take him long to become trapped. 2 combat dice isn’t very much when your opponent has a handful of them.
What Pete was aware of however was my score totting up. He really needed to kill more of my guys earlier to stop the support. It was all these little kills here and there and before we knew it, I had won and Gandalf was relatively unscathed. The game was at a serious turning point but luckily his time had run out. It felt tough on him in a sense but it seemed to come down to initiative rolls more than anything.