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From the Comprehensive Rules 4.0:
When the assignment phase is complete, each defending character will fight in a separate skirmish phase. In an order decided by the Free Peoples player, skirmishes are resolved one at a time by conducting a skirmish phase for each.
During each skirmish phase, players may perform skirmish actions (special abilities on cards in play with “Skirmish:” and events with that keyword) using the action procedure. Each skirmish action lasts only for a single skirmish. When all players consecutively pass, proceed to resolve that skirmish.
If the total strength of one side is more than the strength of the other side (but less than double), the side with the most strength wins that skirmish. (If there is a tie, the Shadow side wins.) Place one wound on each character on the losing side.
When the winning side has one or more characters with the keyword damage +1, then each losing character takes one additional wound for each damage +1. (Damage +2 adds two wounds, and so on.) This is called a damage bonus, which may be added to or removed by various effects.
If the total strength of one side is at least double the total strength of the other side, all the characters on the losing side are overwhelmed and killed (regardless of how many wounds or how much vitality each has). When a character is overwhelmed, that character does not take any more wounds — he simply dies.
A skirmish phase ends after all actions triggered by winning or losing that skirmish have resolved. A surviving minion or companion may skirmish again this turn if the fellowship makes another move (or if the minion has the keyword fierce).
After all normal skirmishes are resolved, surviving minions with the keyword fierce must be defended against a second time.