We play the Lord of the Rings cardgame with another couple as a four player game. That means not everything seems to be balanced for us. This expansion took the cake though.
We play all 4 decks and don't mix them up, so everyone has a concise role.
I started out, so I got Wilyador. I wasn't too worried about him, since we have a dedicated healer and he got enough hitpoints. But Rhosgobel prohibits healing Wilyador, so we decided to just sprint through the first part. Since we just got 1 bat, 1 swarm, a location and a treachery which the spirit player canceled, but have a lot of willpower to go around, we pretty much exploded the adventure (had 8 thread, got around 20 adventure points).
In part two we immediately went to Rhosgobel. I also pulled the bat to me. I didn't have a blocker, but they just do one damage, and Legolas snipered them out of the sky easily afterwards.
We where a bit surprised that Athelas was just featured in the flavor text but not in the win condition for part two, so in the next round, we again simply powered through. Again we just drew small enemies a low point location and an Athelas and beat both Rhosgobel and the 2nd part of the adventure with points to spare, just to stop dead as we realized that part 3 is not a further adventure, it's just the victory condition.
Wilyador was barely damaged (5 damage in total), but since we had no Atheas to heal him with we lost. All in all we just spent 20 minutes on those two rounds.
A little wise now we decided to redo the run.
We again powered through part one in the first round, then journeyed to Rhosgobel in the next, but where careful this time around and only put 8 willpower in the pool, to give us time to find an Athelas. That worked out pretty much exactly to the thread drawn. An Athelas was drawn that round, just guarded by a bat. I easily killed the bat with Legolas and the spirit player plucked the herb.
The next round we again put everything in the pool. The lore player had a card to heal all damage on Wilyador, we had the Athelas, so we where ready. Nothing unexpected came up, Wilyador was healed just after the thread draw, and so we again overloaded the adventure and this time came out victorious with just one round more, and again 20 minutes spent.
I really felt this adventure was way too easy when you know the victory condition. I assume most people read all the cards before starting a game, but we usually like to be surprised. That didn't work out too well this time, since our instinct of "run through, or the eagle might take more damage" was just a little too effective the first time around.
I also felt the enemies in this deck where a bit weak and there was just not a lot of thread building up. And 20 minutes of play is just too short. We usually spent about 2 hours on an adventure, which I feel is better value for the adventure packs.
This quest is highly dependent on encounter deck draws. I've had experiences with it similar to yours, but also experiences where it has taken a long time for any Athelas to come out. All in all, this is one of the more random (and in my opinion, less interesting) quests produced for the game.
Carlos Soto Power
IMO this scenario is easy to boring. I sincerely think Wilyador card needs to be errateted. My ideas:
a) It should read: "At the end of each round, Wilyador suffers 3 damage." (or even 4); or
b) "Wilyador cannot be healed of more than 3 wounds by a single effect." (or even 2); or
c) A mix of a $ b (e.g. "Wilyador suffers 3 damage at the end of each round plus Wilyador cannot be healed of more than 3 or 4 wounds by a single card effect".
Reason: Lore of Imladris (core) solves so easily the damage on the eagle (I could easilyt point more reasons, but this one is enough to me).
Just my thoughts.