Scott
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Hey gang,

Just played my first game (played first couple of turns while reading through the rulebook). Passage Through Mirkwood (obviously), using the shadow effects.

I played two handed, with the basic Tactics and Lore decks (with 2x Gandalf each).

I used all three heroes for each deck.

I don't really have a turn-by-turn report. But here are the broad strokes. And I'm mainly concerned with what basic newbie mistakes I made.

Questing

I generally always sent my three Lore heroes questing, and used their allies intermittently for their abilities or to chump block (though I only remember having one enemy engage the Lore heroes, as I always managed to engage with my Tactics heroes).

I also sent Thalin questing more often than not to damage the enemies as they came out. But more often than not I missed them.

I had Protector of Lorien out early. And I found myself having to use it to keep up with or just ahead of things, so my Lore hand dwindled to nothing by the time I lost. I had card-draw in hand, but there was always something more important to spend resources on.

Combat

I found using the Combat deck straightforward enough. I put out the basic attacking allies and chump blocked with them when necessary, or used them to attack if they were still around.

I found the cards that prevented enemies from attacking quite effective.

And Citadel Plate + Gimli seems like a good combo.

Legolas was probably MVP. His ability seems extremely powerful. I made a lot of progress with him, both early and late. By the end of the first stage I was doing normal questing with the Lore heroes just to hold the line and then killing an enemy with Legolas to get progress tokens down. I gave him Blade of Gondilin as well to increase the ability.

I drew Chieftan Ufthak and Ungoliant's Spawn early, one right after the other. I was able to let Ufthak sit in staging for a couple turns while I prepared for a big turn to stop him attacking and kill him outright. A turn after that Ungoliant's spawn came out and took a couple turns to kill.

Losing

I became able to count down the turns as my threat level increased. I saw Gandalf once out of my Lore deck and used him to decrease my threat.

All the while locations were stacking up in Staging. I was exploring them intermittently but it really seemed to delay matters. Eventually I figured I was going to lose at some point so on what turned out to be the last turn of of the first stage I didn't travel and just went for broke.

I completed that stage, but at the fork in the road I was short by about five questing points so I maxed out both decks at once.

Overall, I was happy to see that Ungoliant's Spawn was a significant part of the third stage, and I was able to deal with it early. But when I lost the Encounter deck had only three cards left, so wouldn't it just have been shuffled back in, and I'd have to find it again? That seems difficult.

Rules question: If I prevent an enemy from attacking, do I still have to resolve the shadow card? If not, and the creature isn't killed, do I deal that creature a second shadow card next round, or does every creature only ever get one shadow card at a time?
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David Ford
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When Feint (or some such card) is played on an enemy the Shadow Card is discarded at the end of the Encounter Phase and is not resolved. The enemy will get another Shadow Card next round if it is still engaged with you.

Some Enemies and Shadow Cards in future sets will dictate that a second Shadow Card is dealt, but don't worry about that just yet
 
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Justin Davis
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If an enemy does not attack, its shadow card doesn't resolve. It is discarded at the end of combat

 
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