I just got the base game + F&F this week myself (ordered them together, might as well only pay 1x shipping right?). Been running 2-3 hobbits solo so far. Over the weekend hope grab a game or two with a friend. Probably start with 1 hobbit each, if we lose (so far lost all my 2 hobbits games, though some barely), probably try 2+2 hobbits (like we play Arkham Horror with 2 investigators each). Not yet looking at the Sauron expansion, but I can see myself doing the same thing with that, one plays Sauron, other (since my gaming is pretty much 2-player max ) would run 2-5 hobbits (don't know # would make the most balanced so far).
I have never ordered something by FF. But with most things, you can combine shipping costs if you buy more items from the same seller etc
I have finish the game with 2 hobbits and without expansion( so only the 4 main boards.
I have also finish the game with 4 or 5 players with the friends&foes expansion.
and with a practice run in my own with the sauron &friend foes have i finish the game by defeating all enemie cards.with 4 characters. i won in helms deep. I have skip moria because i deafeated each enemie card.
But the game becomes harder if you are only with 2 a 3 hobbits. especially if you use the expansions.
That's a real pain and difficult to beat..