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The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game – Heirs of Númenor» Forums » General

Subject: Into Ithilien: the first broken scenario? rss

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Ian K
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It was bound to happen eventually; with so many scenarios being produced for this game it was inevitable that sooner or later one would slip through the net and be grossly over-powered, and indeed I am beginning to suspect that Into Ithilien is not just over-powered but even broken.
Once you've placed the starting location and starting objective in play, there remains 35 cards in the deck. Out of those 35, 16 of them are enemies and 8(!) of them have surge on the first quest card while 2 of them make you search the Encounter deck/discards for a number of enemies equal to the number of players. So that's 26 cards that are either an enemy or make you draw again, thus giving you another chance to draw an enemy. That's three-quarters of the deck (for the pedantic among you, it's 74.286%).

Now in of itself, that's not so unusual for this game. But let's continue with our examination …
If you're on the first Scenario Card, Southron Company get +2 attack for a final attack of 5. Meaning that the average attack of the enemies in the deck is 3.7.
So in other words, you have a 75% chance of each card draw resulting in an enemy with attack 3.7. And that's on the first turn of the game.

How many Heores and Allies can stand up to an attack that high? Not many …

I haven't even touched on the text of the cards, yet.
Blocking Wargs: Surge. When Revealed: Deal 1 damage to each character commited to the quest. (If the current quest has the battle or siege keyword, shuffle this card back into the encounter deck.)
There are four copies of this card. So a 1 in 9 chance that every questing character will take one wound and then you shuffle the card back into the deck and draw another one. And what exactly are you supposed to do if you find the last two cards in the encounter are both copies of Blocking Wargs? The game enters an infinite loop in which you keep drawing them over and over until they kill off every single questing character and then keep drawing them … game over.

And as for Scenario Card 3B … "Enemies do not make engagement checks and cannot be opitionally engaged." … what?? So every enemy drawn just sits there? Slowly building and building in number with their Archery keywords and you not able to do anything to hurt them? Until suddenly you get to 4B which pushes up your threat by an additional two per round meaning chances are that as soon as you get there, all the enemies are going to pile on you with their average 3.7 attack.

And this is supposed to be a Difficulty 4 scenario????

I'm sorry but this is absurd. There is no way this is a Difficulty 4. The only way you can hope to beat it is with extreme luck. Not just luck in the way the opening of the Encounter deck plays out but also in your opening hand. You have to either kill the starting active location on the first turn or every player gets an attack 5 enemy with additional enemies at a probability of 75% for each player.

FFG have seriously messed up with this one. I genuinelly believe this scenario is the first broken one in the game.


(edit: also posted on FFG's own boards here: http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_foros_discusion.asp?e...)
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Martin Mlodzkoski
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Agreed difficulty 4 is wrong, should be at least 8. We beat this one but it was not easy so i cant say it is broken. Seige of cair andros though...now that might be broke it is ridiculous difficulty certainly not 7a as advertized. I think aall this is a marketing ploy. Next release will have uber player cards you NEED to beat these.
 
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Rauli Kettunen
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Stenun wrote:
I haven't even touched on the text of the cards, yet.
Blocking Wargs: Surge. When Revealed: Deal 1 damage to each character commited to the quest. (If the current quest has the battle or siege keyword, shuffle this card back into the encounter deck.)
There are four copies of this card. So a 1 in 9 chance that every questing character will take one wound and then you shuffle the card back into the deck and draw another one. And what exactly are you supposed to do if you find the last two cards in the encounter are both copies of Blocking Wargs? The game enters an infinite loop in which you keep drawing them over and over until they kill off every single questing character and then keep drawing them … game over.


Doesn't the surge trigger first? Meaning, you'd draw a new card, then do the WR and shuffle back. So with a 2-card deck, you draw BW, surge, draw BW, encounter deck empty, shuffle discard pile to make a new encounter deck, then shuffle BW back into that.

Quote:
And as for Scenario Card 3B … "Enemies do not make engagement checks and cannot be opitionally engaged." … what?? So every enemy drawn just sits there? Slowly building and building in number with their Archery keywords and you not able to do anything to hurt them?


There is still Son of Arnor and Dunhere options, former to drag them to engage, second to attack in the staging area. Or does the Archery keyword somehow stop those?
 
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Ian K
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Dam the Man wrote:
Stenun wrote:
I haven't even touched on the text of the cards, yet.
Blocking Wargs: Surge. When Revealed: Deal 1 damage to each character commited to the quest. (If the current quest has the battle or siege keyword, shuffle this card back into the encounter deck.)
There are four copies of this card. So a 1 in 9 chance that every questing character will take one wound and then you shuffle the card back into the deck and draw another one. And what exactly are you supposed to do if you find the last two cards in the encounter are both copies of Blocking Wargs? The game enters an infinite loop in which you keep drawing them over and over until they kill off every single questing character and then keep drawing them … game over.


Doesn't the surge trigger first? Meaning, you'd draw a new card, then do the WR and shuffle back. So with a 2-card deck, you draw BW, surge, draw BW, encounter deck empty, shuffle discard pile to make a new encounter deck, then shuffle BW back into that.


Interesting timing question ... *fetches down his rule book*
Page 24 of the rulebook, under "Surge": Resolve the surge keyword immediately after resolving any when revealed effects on the card.
So ... no.
With just two copies of Blocking Wargs in the deck, they do indeed form an infinite loop.


Dam the Man wrote:
Stenun wrote:
And as for Scenario Card 3B … "Enemies do not make engagement checks and cannot be opitionally engaged." … what?? So every enemy drawn just sits there? Slowly building and building in number with their Archery keywords and you not able to do anything to hurt them?


There is still Son of Arnor and Dunhere options, former to drag them to engage, second to attack in the staging area. Or does the Archery keyword somehow stop those?


True. But you shouldn't be forced to have one of only two cards from the entire collection in your deck each time you face a scenario.
And even if you do, what if you haven't picked up any copies by the time you get to 3B?
Besides, the Archers have defence 2 (iirc) and health 4, so Dunhere will still take four turns to kill just one of them.
 
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Rauli Kettunen
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Stenun wrote:
Dam the Man wrote:
Doesn't the surge trigger first? Meaning, you'd draw a new card, then do the WR and shuffle back. So with a 2-card deck, you draw BW, surge, draw BW, encounter deck empty, shuffle discard pile to make a new encounter deck, then shuffle BW back into that.


Interesting timing question ... *fetches down his rule book*
Page 24 of the rulebook, under "Surge": Resolve the surge keyword immediately after resolving any when revealed effects on the card.
So ... no.
With just two copies of Blocking Wargs in the deck, they do indeed form an infinite loop.


I seemed to recall this was the case, however, there is the case of Eleanor. She can cancel WR from Treacheries (assuming that's what BW is, sure reads like one) and forces a replacement, but she does NOT cancel any surge on the card she cancels the WR from. Further, she causes the card she cancels to be discarded, yet the surge would still trigger despite the discard.

Quote:
True. But you shouldn't be forced to have one of only two cards from the entire collection in your deck each time you face a scenario.
And even if you do, what if you haven't picked up any copies by the time you get to 3B?
Besides, the Archers have defence 2 (iirc) and health 4, so Dunhere will still take four turns to kill just one of them.


Since SoA is Leadership and there is really no point in using Dunhere unless you're boosting him (esp. with Leadership attachments), Dunhere, in a deck build around him should be hitting for 6 very quickly (2 +1 for his ability, only need another 3 from somewhere). Maybe this is a quest that you have to cherry-build for, worse so than Rhosgobel?
 
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Francois Fressin
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I completely disagree. And I want to share my love of the three HEN scenarios !

First, Into Ithilien is easier than Escape from Dol Guldur in solo play.

Second, I love the gradient in the scenarios difficulty! I think most of the people who buy HoN have access to a large pool of cards. And having access to the complete pool of cards, the game was to the point that we had a hard time even losing any 2-player scenario (as experienced players and deck builders)! And it terms of solo play, with a well-built deck there was barely any hope of losing 50-75 % of the previously available scenarios.

Most previously strong decks have a good shot against Into Ithilien, and a tailored deck has even more. And I agree even the very best deck is not 100 % sure of winning. But all of this seems all fine!

And in the very worst case, having an extremely difficult quest where you could only hope for a 25 % solo win-rate would be very welcome! I had way more fun attempting Escape from Dol Guldur with a reduced pool of cards in the past, again and again, than streaming down most of the Mirkwood scenarios where nothing harmful could even happen.

Since we started (slowly) playing with my wife together, we have not lost a single scenario among the 10-15 we have played ! So when she offered me HoN a few days ago, the very best thing I could tell her after a few solo test games was " Yeh! I lost Into Ithilien a few times! "

It is one of the only first times I find an extension so well-crafted:
- it sets a new difficulty standard, which was by far the most important feature I could hope for.
- it strengthens the tactics sphere, which was behind the three others.
- the storyline feeling is even better than most of previous quests.



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ys jo
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I haven't gotten this expansion yet, so I can't really comment on anythign else.

From what I see that infinite loop of wargs does seem broken, I don't know if it was intentional so people would start using encounter deck manipulation more, or just an oversight.... probably just an oversight.

But as to enemies piling on, that shouldn't be problem anymore.

Dunhere, Son of Arnor are already mentiotned,
there is Hail of Stones, Hands upon bow (make Hama ranged and you can repeatedly abuse it), Descendent of Thorndor, Gandalf, Beorning Beekeeper (2 or 3 of those discarded at right moment is game changer, and with Daeron's Runes and other discard to draw effects, it's not that big deal even if they aren't needed).

If the encounter deck is enemy heavy, Thalin + Expecting Mischief + Fresh Track + Ranger Spike could come in very handy.



It's the 7th level all over again, we are probably suppose to stay away from Spirit/Lore and give some love to Tactics.
 
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Paul M.
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I too find this quest very, very difficult.

I have managed to beat it twice solo with two of my pre-HoN decks, but didn't count up the losses in between. Decks that previously flew through past quests can get stopped pretty fast in this one. I have been able to make changes to these decks that allow them to handle this quest a little better and still do well (untested) in the pre-HoN quests.

I agree that it is not a difficulty 4, based on the previously published quests, but I wouldn't say it was broken. A little bit of encounter deck manipulation deck goes a long way. I've even had luck with a mono-lore deck.
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John Steinbach
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It is not broken. It is quite beatable.

It is also much, much more difficult than its rating would suggest. However, I think the same can be said for all the HoN scenarios. That's why I'm in favor of dropping the difficulty ratings altogether and letting the players figure out which quests are the most challenging.
 
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Oleg volobujev
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Fanfan wrote:
I completely disagree. And I want to share my love of the three HEN scenarios !

First, Into Ithilien is easier than Escape from Dol Guldur in solo play.

Second, I love the gradient in the scenarios difficulty! I think most of the people who buy HoN have access to a large pool of cards. And having access to the complete pool of cards, the game was to the point that we had a hard time even losing any 2-player scenario (as experienced players and deck builders)! And it terms of solo play, with a well-built deck there was barely any hope of losing 50-75 % of the previously available scenarios.

Most previously strong decks have a good shot against Into Ithilien, and a tailored deck has even more. And I agree even the very best deck is not 100 % sure of winning. But all of this seems all fine!

And in the very worst case, having an extremely difficult quest where you could only hope for a 25 % solo win-rate would be very welcome! I had way more fun attempting Escape from Dol Guldur with a reduced pool of cards in the past, again and again, than streaming down most of the Mirkwood scenarios where nothing harmful could even happen.

Since we started (slowly) playing with my wife together, we have not lost a single scenario among the 10-15 we have played ! So when she offered me HoN a few days ago, the very best thing I could tell her after a few solo test games was " Yeh! I lost Into Ithilien a few times! "

It is one of the only first times I find an extension so well-crafted:
- it sets a new difficulty standard, which was by far the most important feature I could hope for.
- it strengthens the tactics sphere, which was behind the three others.
- the storyline feeling is even better than most of previous quests.




100% agree
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Jamie Riehl
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My advice is to stop looking at the difficulty numbers.
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Oleg volobujev
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Just play 4 of 2 player game against this quest. 3 lost 1 win. It was awesome! You really need to think and work together otherwise you doomed. very cool! FFG do they job good!
 
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Rauli Kettunen
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Okay, if Glaurung is losing, rest of us are screwed !
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camipco wrote:
My advice is to stop looking at the difficulty numbers.


+1

Fixed difficulty ratings make less and less sense as the card pool gets bigger and the power of cards and combos increase. Difficulty rating is dependent on the cards available at that time, cards you actually own and amount of players at your gaming table. FFG should have sticked to easy/medium/difficult or get rid of difficulty ratings altogether.
 
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Jonathan Pickles
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Also some scenarios are easy if you design specific decks for them while others are still hard in any case.

Skewedness is a factor - I have not won Escape for Dol Guldur with my one hero secrecy deck though I live in hope.
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Mike Jeter
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I love that a wounded Gimili with a couple Khazad Khazad cards you can really quest out on Battle Quest Cards. Axehands rock the Battle quests too. Especially with Dain added in.

These quests are tons of fun....I dig the new challenge.
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Erik Isch
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where is the fun in a scenario that you always win at? Man up or I should say Gamer up! Be challenged or go back to playing candy land.
 
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Ian K
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Well, having now – finally – beaten the Scenario, I’m still not happy.
I was determined to keep trying it until I beat it purely to maintain the fact that I have beaten every scenario (including both the print on demand scenarios) but this is not one I will be returning to often – if at all.
My friend and I were playing 2 player games and it was quite common to have 13 threat in the staging area during the first turn’s questing. Even with the Battle keyword on Stage 1, how many decks can you think of that can stand up to 13 threat on the first bloody turn??
On the first turn of one particular game, we had our threat raised by five, every questing character took 2 damage and we ended with 14 threat in the staging area. We didn’t even bother going on to the combat, we just stopped and started the whole game again.
In the end, the way we finally beat it came down to pure luck. We used Spirit-half-Rohan and Tactics-half-Eagles. The Spirit deck ran all the cancellation cards and cards to add tokens to sites while Tactics concentrated on high attack with the Eagles and lots of events.
And even then we lost two heroes purely because of Blocking Wargs which constantly wounds all questing characters. Having cancellation cards is all very well but you only have so many and it only takes one Blocking Warg to trigger to get it shuffled back in your deck to come up again later – 3 copies were cancelled, 3 triggered.

If that’s what it takes to beat this scenario, it doesn’t exactly sit high on the “replayability” score line.
 
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Ian K
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greasygoblin wrote:
Man up or I should say Gamer up! Be challenged or go back to playing candy land.


Do you think this is a productive comment? Or are you just a 12 year old boy looking to stroke his own ego by trying to belittle others?
 
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Joe Thompson
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Stenun wrote:
greasygoblin wrote:
Man up or I should say Gamer up! Be challenged or go back to playing candy land.


Do you think this is a productive comment? Or are you just a 12 year old boy looking to stroke his own ego by trying to belittle others?


I think he's just saying he enjoys the challenge. No need for you to get on your high horse.
 
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Ian K
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ShallowThought wrote:
Stenun wrote:
greasygoblin wrote:
Man up or I should say Gamer up! Be challenged or go back to playing candy land.


Do you think this is a productive comment? Or are you just a 12 year old boy looking to stroke his own ego by trying to belittle others?


I think he's just saying he enjoys the challenge. No need for you to get on your high horse.


It was not the intent of the reply that annoyed but more the way in which it was expressed.

But I shall say no more.
 
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ys jo
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I play mostly solo so some of the tips I am about to give may or may not work, but give the scenario one more chance with these things in mind before you pass it on as unreplayable.

1. Beorn and Eleanor is a life savor.

Stenun wrote:
how many decks can you think of that can stand up to 13 threat on the first bloody turn??


Most heroes these days can provide 3 attack strength, and Beorn provides 5. Beorn is a great first turn buffer in Battle quests because he can either quest massively himself, letting other characters deal with enemies, or he can block every enemies (he will be taking massive damage, but he will save you bacon for a turn, which is all you need most likely) and possibly kill an enemy, letting every other characters to quset.

Stenun wrote:

...... Having cancellation cards is all very well but you only have so many and it only takes one Blocking Warg to trigger to get it shuffled back in your deck to come up again later – 3 copies were cancelled, 3 triggered.


That Warg cards are brutal. Normally in solo play, I do not run Eleanor. But for this quest, I've had many success with decks that feature Eleanor. So I can only imagine in 2 players where you reveal 2 cards per turn, Eleanor shines even more.

Of course, the downside is that now you need to reveal 2 additional cards (Warg's surge and Eleanor's replacement card), but since you are likely to be questing with 1 hit point allies, saving those allies are totally worth the trade.

Also, even when you have A Test of Will, try and use Eleanor's ability first in case of back to back to back Wargs trechery cards.


2. Don't quest the first turn.

Stenun wrote:

On the first turn of one particular game, we had our threat raised by five, every questing character took 2 damage and we ended with 14 threat in the staging area. We didn’t even bother going on to the combat, we just stopped and started the whole game again.


I understand in 2 player game you begin with 6 threat in staging area. So you have revealed 2 Warg trechery which surged into 2 4 threat locations is what I assume happened here.

But I wouldn't call this a bad start, infact this looks like a promising first turn in terms of encounter deck, if you did not commit any characters to quest.

Not questing and taking full threat damage is a great strategy when you have too many enemies to deal with; in fact, I find that in Heirs of Numenor quests (as well as other similar quests like Massing at Osgiliath), it is impossible to win if you try and quest first turn.

Give up questing, take the threat, kill enemies first, and then worry about threat and locations.


 
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Ian K
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ellareth wrote:
Stenun wrote:

On the first turn of one particular game, we had our threat raised by five, every questing character took 2 damage and we ended with 14 threat in the staging area. We didn’t even bother going on to the combat, we just stopped and started the whole game again.


I understand in 2 player game you begin with 6 threat in staging area. So you have revealed 2 Warg trechery which surged into 2 4 threat locations is what I assume happened here.

But I wouldn't call this a bad start, infact this looks like a promising first turn in terms of encounter deck, if you did not commit any characters to quest.


So with two players having a starting threat in the late 20s, you recommend taking a first turn hit of +14 threat?
You will end that turn with +1 threat, then need at least one turn to kill the starting active location, at least one turn to kill the first quest card, at least one turn to kill the second quest card (either 2 or 3) and then when you've done that you threat will go up by 3 because of the text of quest 4 which you will need another turn to beat.
So at least four complete turns, including one with an addition +2 threat, so six threat in total from all that.

So that's now up to +20 threat for players whose starting threat was in the high 20s. And that's assuming you ace it every other turn AND avoid the two Doomed 3 cards and the card which adds one to each players threat for EVERY questing character?

Um ... you REALLY need to justify this tactical advice.
 
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ys jo
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Stenun wrote:

Um ... you REALLY need to justify this tactical advice.


Gandalf x3
Galadhrim's Greeting x2
Elrond's Council x3

And Lore version of Aragorn but that is a hero card so I'll leave it out.

I've had plenty of times where I have entered the second turn with 45 threat and still managed to reduce it back down to early 30's.

Infact, my threat is usually over 40 by turn 2 or 3 because of the way I play, but I usually manage to lower it back down.

And also another adivce, never enter quest phase 3B, always kill off that ranger. Stay in quest 1 until that ranger dies. (which should be easy because just about everything seems to damage him)

Focus your card draw and search function (Daeron's Runes, Ancient Mathom, Gleowine, Imladris Stargazer) for Spirit/Lore player for threat reducer,

and keep exhausting your weapon with Foe-Hammer and retrieve with Hama for tactics player to search for Gandalf in tactic's player's deck.


Of course, my experience with this game is mostly based on solo plays, and maybe I am wrong, maybe in two players game you get more doomed and surge cards and things are more hopeless.

All I'm saying is Into Ithilien used to kick my butt until I tried the two things I mentioned in my earlier reply, and maybe trying them out yourself will make this game more enjoyable.
 
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Ian K
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ellareth wrote:
Stenun wrote:

Um ... you REALLY need to justify this tactical advice.


Gandalf x3
Galadhrim's Greeting x2
Elrond's Council x3


Given the situation I outlined above involved getting 20 threat in four turns AND staying on top of all the questing after the first turn AND keeping at least one hero alive per player AND making sure you can cancel the Treachery card that gives you +1 threat for each questing character AND deal with all the enemies that come out ... how many cards are you picking up in these four turns and how are you paying for it all?

Every single deck I've ever built for this game has had a minimum of 50% allies and yet I've still had games where I haven't had any allies in hand until the third or fourth turn.
And now eight cards out of 50 are going to solve all my worries in just four turns? :-)
 
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