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Pawel Gutowski
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This time I decided to refresh Carrock a little bit. To be honest, I hate this quest and not because of the difficulty but because of its pace. Basically, the adventure is easy, if you know to play it and don't care about boredom. All it takes is to play some threat reduction and leadership hero. As it happens, my deck packs both. The game usually goes like this: quest slowly, build an army and hire Grimbeorn. When you have all the pieces, check your threat level. If it is 34 or above , reduce it, finish stage 1, engage trolls one by one, kill them one by one (or, if you happen to have 33 threat, engage Louis, kill it and next turn 3 trolls attack you). If you don't have threat reduction, stall the game until you draw it. The quest does not put big pressure on the player. There are almost no shadow effects and some enemy cards are helping you (like removing progress tokens from current quest). Sometimes the game gets harder, especially when early Sacked! card shows up, but this does not happen frequently. And even when it does, it is not deadly, it just makes this quest harder. Additionally, encounter deck can try to pull some nasty tricks just after you switch to stage 2(for example despair as a shadow card when you block with Grimbeorn, or frightened beast or Langflood, or angry Hill Troll). But once again, this does not happen frequently, player can counter shadow effects, can sacrifice a beast or play test of will and finally, there are ways to mitigate locations via Riddermark Finest / Tracker. If you have enough time to play the game, you can prepare for the worst before you flip to stage 2. If you want to finish game faster, you expose yourself to some risk. For sure, Carrock is a challenging quest if you play for the lowest score.

The game for which I want to write session report follows the usual pattern, but not exactly, I did not want to stall and instead decided to encounter trolls sooner. It's not really dramatic, but the description may be helpful for some players who struggle with this quest. The interesting thing about this report is that I did not play a single threat reduction card and I did not draw Gandalf. Right now, I am experimenting with Hail Of Stones and I am not really sure if I like it enough. Additionally, I started trying Shadows of the Past. I tried it before and did not like it. But maybe it is worth to give another chance? At least as a silver bullet.

Previous report can be found here:
http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/797763/return-to-mirkwood-so...


Deck (Legolas , Eowyn, Theodred):
Events (15 total):
2x Test of Will
2x Hasty Stroke
2x Feint
2x Ever Vigilant
2x Sneak Attack
2x Galadhrim Greetings
2x Hail Of Stones
1x Shadows of the Past

Attachments (2 total):
2x Steward of Gondor

Allies (33 total):
3x Vassal of the Windlord
3x Snowbourn Scout
3x Gondorian Spearman
3x Veteran Axehand
3x Riddermark Finest
2x Bofur
2x Eomund
3x Dunedain Observer
2x Descendant of Thorondor
2x Arwen
2x Northern Tracker
2x Faramir
3x Gandalf


Starting hand:
Riddermark
Vassal
Axehand
Hasty
Arwen
Scout

Comment: solid hand. No threat reduction but it will surely come up somewhere. The important part is that I have 1st turn chump blocker. My heroes do not have 2 armour so they are pretty vulnerable when it comes to Muck Adders. So here comes the Scout.

1st turn
Staging: Carrock
Active location:
Engaged with:
Allies:
Resources: L1, E1, T1
Cards: Riddermark, Vassal, Axehand, Hasty, Arwen, Scout
Draw: Vassal
Play: Scout (ability wasted), T0
Quest: Theodred, Eowyn (E2)
Encounter: Marsh Adder, compare 5 will vs 5 threat
Threat 27

Comment: Marsh Adder is not an issue, I will kill it sooner or later and while it is in play, it helps me control stage 1 progress. It seems I will be having a lot of small allies.

2nd turn
Staging: Carrock, Marsh Adder
Active location:
Engaged with:
Allies: Scout
Resources: L2, E3, T1
Cards: Riddermark, Vassal, Axehand, Hasty, Arwen, Vassal
Draw: Arwen
Play Axehand (L0), Arwen (E1)
Quest: Theodred (E2), Eowyn, Arwen (Axehand)
Encounter: Wolf Rider, surge into Langflood
Travel to Langflood
Compare 7 will vs 8 threat, threat goes to 28
Wolf attacks, block with Axehand
Legolas kills Wolf Rider
threat 29

Compare: I am building my army, slowly. I could have activated Eowyn, but maybe there will be better time to use 2nd Arwen (+1 threat is usually not a big deal and I prefer to use Eowyn so I can finish stage / location). I did not use Legolas ability, because I don't want to advance in quest.

3rd turn
Staging: Carrock, Marsh Adder
Active location: Langflood
Engaged with:
Allies: Scout, Axehand, Arwen
Resources: L1, E3, T3
Cards: Riddermark, Vassal, Hasty, Arwen, Vassal
Draw: Hail Of Stones
Play: Riddermark E1
Quest: Legolas, Eowyn, Theodred (L2), Arwen (Scout)
Encounter: Grimbeorn
Compare will, Langflood is now explored
Threat 30

Comment: Grimbeorn is perfect, Theodred will start to accumulate resources. Nothing much to add, quest is playing as usual. However, I have hail of stones now and a lot of small allies in hand or in play. Maybe I will be able to stone a big troll to death? Hail of Stones is a relatively new card in my deck and I did not have a chance to use it against Louise before. I quested with Legolas just because I wanted to feed him with Theodred. A lot of blockers were ready to defend against enemies, but they did not come (and let's remember that there are almost no shadow effects in the encounter deck)

4th turn
Staging: Carrock, Marsh Adder, Grimbeorn
Active location:
Engaged with:
Allies: Scout, Axehand, Arwen, Riddermark
Resources: L3, E2, T4
Cards: Hail of Stones, Vassal, Hasty, Arwen, Vassal
Draw: Bofur
Play 2x Vassal L1,
Quest: Eowyn, Theodred (T5), Arwen (Axehand)
Encounter: Bee Pastures
compare will, stage 1 progress 1/7
travel to Bee Pastures
threat 31

comment: Theodred is accumulating resources. At this moment, I started to think that maybe I will not stall the game, but will try to finish trolls quickly, without help from threat reducers. So let's make the adventure more interesting.

5th turn
Staging: Carrock, Marsh Adder, Grimbeorn
Active location: Bee Pastures
Engaged with:
Allies: Scout, Axehand, Arwen, Riddermark, Vassal, Vassal
Resources: L2, E3, T6
Cards: Hail Of Stones, Hasty, Arwen, Bofur
Draw: Scout
Play Bofur E0
Quest: Eowyn, Theodred (T7), Arwen (Bofur)
Encounter: Gladden Fields
Play: Hail Of Stones L1, tap 7 characters , kill Marsh Adder
compare 7 will against 5 threat
Bee Pastures are explored
threat 32

Comment: I decided I want to engage 4 trolls as soon as possible. So I could not risk travelling to Gladden Fields and I did not need Marsh Adder in the staging area anymore. I killed him with Hail of Stones, preventing it from attacking me and I did not travel to Gladden Fields. The plan is to explore them with Scout from hand and Riddermark. Next turn I will be able to control if I switch to stage 2 with Riddermark (I can use ability or not, depending on the encounter card) and with Eowyn trigger.

6th turn
Staging: Carrock, Grimbeorn, Gladden Fields
Active location:
Engaged with:
Allies: Scout, Axehand, Arwen, Riddermark, Vassal, Vassal, Bofur
Resources: L2, E1, T8
Cards: Hasty, Arwen, Scout
Draw: Ever Vigilant
Play Scout T7 (Gladden Fields 1/3)
quest: Theodred (T8), Eowyn, Arwen (Axehand), Bofur
encounter: Hill Troll (I don't want to see more trolls this turn, so Riddermark and Eowyn do not activate)
compare 6 threat against 9 willpower, stage 1 progress 4/7
hire Grimbeorn (T0)
engage Hill Troll, block with Grimbeorn, shadow Sacked! , cancel with Hasty E0, Grimbeorn gets hit 3/10
Axehand, Legolas, beorn and Vassal kill troll, Vassal goes to discard pile
put 2 progress on quest 6/7
threat 33


comment: Hill Troll made me lose Vassal and wounded Grimbeorn. However, the biggest problem is 1 threat difference. Encountering 4 trolls when you have 32 threat means you can challenge Stuart/Morris/Rupert in first turn, Louise in second and remaining two trolls in the third turn. When you have 33 threat, you need to challenge Louise first and then 3 angry trolls will attack you next turn. This is not the safest situation, but sometimes you have no choice. Sure, I can stall the game and find threat reducers, but I don't want it.

7th turn
Staging: Carrock, Gladden Fields 1/3
Active location:
Engaged with:
Allies: Scout, Axehand, Arwen, Riddermark, Vassal, Bofur, Scout, Grimbeorn
Resources: L3, E1, T1
Cards: Arwen, Ever Vigilant
Draw: Test Of Will
Quest: Eowyn, Arwen (Grimbeorn), Bofur
Encounter : East Bight
compare will , stage 1 is done
Carrock becomes active location
add Stuart, Morris, Louise and Rupert to staging area
engage Louise
Louise attacks, threat 36, block with Grimbeorn , Grimbeorn gets hit by 1 (Arwen enhanced his armor) 4/10
play Ever Vigilant on Bofur T0
attack Loiuse with Grimbeorn, Legolas, Axehand, Theodred , Riddermark and Bofur for total 13 damage, Louise is killed
threat 37

comment: first troll dead. I hate Louise. I did the math and was able to kill it without using Vassal. 3 angry trolls are coming. To be sure, turn in which multiple trolls are engaging, is dangerous. I will see one encounter card and it can be Frightened Beast (counterable by Test of Will/Riddermark/Vassal), Brown Lands (killable by Riddermark), Langflood (this would be an issue) or 2nd Hill Troll (this would be a major issue). I should be ok if small location or small enemy comes (I can take a lot of undefended damage) and in case of Muck Adder, I will throw a chump blocker. Still, a chance for a dangerous card is pretty low.

8th turn
Staging: Gladden Fields 1/3, East Bight, Stuart, Morris and Rupert.
Active location: Carrock
Engaged with:
Allies: Scout, Axehand, Arwen, Riddermark, Vassal, Bofur, Scout, Grimbeorn 4/10
Resources: L4, E2, T1
Cards: Arwen, Test Of Will
Draw: Observer
Quest: Eowyn Arwen (Grimbeorn)
Encounter: Oak Wood Grave
Riddermark kills Gladden Fields
compare 6 willpower against 9 threat , threat 40
3 trolls engage
Morris is blocked with Grimbeorn (they all have 6 attack and Grimbeorn has 4 armor) 6/10
Stuart is blocked with Grimbeorn 8/10
Rupert attacks and shuffles Sacked into deck. I block him with Scout, Scout dies
Axehand, Legolas, Theodred, Vassal, Grimbeorn attack Morris, Morris dies, Vassal departs
threat 41

comment: so far so good. Morris is dead, Grimbeorn is now almost troll-proof. Oak wood grave was an easy encounter card. I wonder if I will be able to explore Carrock, so trolls will not be able to hurt Grimbeorn.

9th turn
Staging: East Bight, Oak Wood Grave
Active location: Carrock
Engaged with: Stuart and Rupert
Allies: Scout, Axehand, Arwen, Bofur, Grimbeorn 8/10
Resources: L5, E3, T2
Cards: Arwen, Test Of Will, Observer
Draw: Shadows of the Past (will my silver bullet be useful? last card is Bee Pastures)
play: Shadows L3, Bee Pastures are now on top of encounter deck, I know there will be 4 threat in the staging area total when I quest
quest: Eowyn (discard Arwen), Arwen (Grimbeorn), Bofur, Theodred (T3)
encounter: Bee Pastures
compare will , Carrock is explored (Grimbeorn is now troll-proof unless Despair is a shadow card)
travel to East Bight
stuart attacks, Grimbeorn blocks, Muck Adder shadow, Grimbeorn is now 9/10 (there are some more +1 effects in the encounter game so I need my Observer to guard Grimbeorn)
Rupert atacks, Scout blocks, Scout dies
Axehand, Legolas and Grimbeorn attack Stuart 6/10
threat 42

Comment: Arwen really shines here. And I am quite happy with Shadows of the Past. I have test of will in hand and don't see anything that may make lose the game at this point, especially after Observer hits the board. Maybe 2nd Hill Troll?

10th turn
Staging: Bee Pastures, Oak Wood Grave
Active location: East Bight
Engaged with: Stuart 6/10 and Rupert
Allies: Axehand, Arwen, Bofur, Grimbeorn 9/10
Resources: L4, E4, T3
Cards: Test Of Will, Observer
draw: Sneak Attack
play Observer T0
quest: Eowyn, Arwen (Grimbeorn), Bofur
encounter: Langflood (current threat 4)
discard Sneak Attack
compare 9 willpower against 7 threat, 2/6 progress on East Bight
Stuart attack Grimbeorn, nothing
Rupert attack Grimbeorn, nothing
Axehand, Legolas, Theodred deliver killing blow to stuart
Grimbeorn wounds rupert 2/10
East Bight progress 4/6
threat 43

Comment: I should win the game next. I believe only 2nd hill troll can delay victory.

11th turn
Staging: Bee Pastures, Oak Wood Grave, Langflood (current threat 3)
Active location: east bight 4/6
Engaged with: Rupert
Allies: Axehand, Arwen, Bofur, Grimbeorn 9/10, Observer
Resources: L5, E3, T1
Cards: Test Of Will
draw: Gondorian Spearman
play: Spearman L3
quest: Arwen (Grimbeorn), Eowyn, Bofur
encounter: Anduin Bank
compare 7 threat against 8 willpower, east bight progress 5/6
Rupert attacks, Eowyn is sacked, Grimbeorn blocks
Grimbeorn, Legolas, Axehand, Observer, Theodred and spearman kill Rupert
put 2 progress tokens (Legolas), explore location and win the game

comment: The game was not really dramatic, but some sense of danger could be felt. I found it slightly more interesting than usual Carrock game due to the fact that I did not draw a single Greetings/Gandalf and that I was facing 3 trolls at the same time. Still, I feel that my recent changes to the deck (remove Radagasts/Misty Eagles and put hail of stones/eomund) made it a little less effective vs Carrock.
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Fran Quinti
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Nice report, as always (and better when you take the risky path!). I may say: try to put at the start the heroes you use (as always, too, hehe). I know there are always the same, but is easier for others .

One doubt I had: Legolas ability is a response, so on turn two, did you trigger it to put progress tokens on the active location (Langflood) in that moment? Because on that comment you say the opposite! hehe

Aside from that, this quest with a tri-sphere lore-leadership-spirit is even easier thanks to forest traps and healing. I remember the first times that we did it, trying to run with the quest (as we were used to) and then, BAM, 4 buffed nasty trolls .

But yeah, a "control" adventure, like Anduin or Watcher, imho.
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Derek Coon
United States
Redwood City
California
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Jekzer wrote:
Nice report, as always (and better when you take the risky path!). I may say: try to put at the start the heroes you use (as always, too, hehe). I know there are always the same, but is easier for others .

One doubt I had: Legolas ability is a response, so on turn two, did you trigger it to put progress tokens on the active location (Langflood) in that moment? Because on that comment you say the opposite! hehe


Yes, I'm sure it was an oversight, but please put the heroes upfront. Nice report.

Responses don't have to be triggered and since he wanted to stall it was a good play.
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Fran Quinti
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Bullroarer Took wrote:
Jekzer wrote:
Nice report, as always (and better when you take the risky path!). I may say: try to put at the start the heroes you use (as always, too, hehe). I know there are always the same, but is easier for others .

One doubt I had: Legolas ability is a response, so on turn two, did you trigger it to put progress tokens on the active location (Langflood) in that moment? Because on that comment you say the opposite! hehe


Yes, I'm sure it was an oversight, but please put the heroes upfront. Nice report.

Responses don't have to be triggered and since he wanted to stall it was a good play.


Totally right, I forgot that responses are like actions .
 
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Pawel Gutowski
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I edited the post and added heroes upfront. Don't really know why they were not there
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Box of Delights
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Neston
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Great session report. This will really help us next time we play ! Awesome. Rick.
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Chris Fuller
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I am not sure on this, but can't you only put one resource token on Grimbeorn at a time? Every time you can do an action? Since the Action says only 1 resource?

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Rauli Kettunen
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But nothing stops you from taking that Action multiple times.
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