A change of pace as the heroes are directly involved in the war: they form elite units in actions crucial to the outcome of a major battle. The enemy plan (and what must be done to stop it) gets revealed in satisfying chunks. The four missions have good variety: a holding action, whilst wounded soldiers retreat; a lightning strike to decimate opposition commanders and discover their plans; a diversion, with stealth key; the final combat, something of a meatgrinder, with a potentially spectacular ending. Success (and items gained) in previous missions (can) influence how difficult the subsequent missions are. Missions one and three are for inexperienced rangers; two and four for grizzled veterans.
In two plays, ultimate success both times. The first group succeeded in all missions, doing very well in the first two, then losing a companion in both missions three and four. The second group did well in the initial mission, before losing two companions in the second mission; they were unable to burn/steal many stores in mission three before retreating, but managed to triumph in the finale with only one companion lost. The third mission seemed the trickiest, groups being menaced by respectively spectres and a swimming troll when making a forced escape by boat; it seems you can only knock out so many sentries by stealth before an alarm is raised. The extra companions were a real boon in the brutal final combat. The event deck mechanic kept things fresh and different in the replay.
Some may dislike the need for "junior", an inexperienced ranger and retinue. However many of the previous scenarios are enjoyable when replayed, and there are also very good fan adventures (for low experience rangers) such as Evacuation Mission, Black Hart and At Any Price available at BoardGameGeek, so blooding "junior" ready for play should be fun.
There is a welcome list of magical items, mainly weapons but distinctive and well described.
Very enjoyable, highly recommended.