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Subject: LOTR LCG Duplicate Tournament #4: Dungeons Deep and Caverns Dim rss

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Gene Moore
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In March, an experiment was proposed by...
George Leoniak
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...to see what would happen if multiple people played the same scenario, using the same heroes and the same encounter and player decks, with all of the cards arranged in the exact same order. Would we all play it exactly the same way, or would we make different choices, and how would those choices affect the game?

The result was the first ever LOTR LCG Duplicate Tournament on BGG. 18 people participated, and a fun time was had by all. We played the Passage Through Mirkwood scenario, with the Leadership starter deck from the core set (Aragorn, Theodred, Gloin). The final scores ranged from 55 to 99, showing that people indeed took very different strategies for this simple quest.

Since then, we've traveled Into The Pit and Over the Misty Mountains Grim, and the results were just as entertaining.

For the July/August tournament, we are playing Dungeons Deep and Caverns Dim, the third scenario from the Over Hill and Under Hill Hobbit saga expansion. The available cards for the player deck will come from the core set and both Hobbit saga expansions: Over Hill and Under Hill, and On the Doorstep.

We'll start on Friday, July 25th, and everyone will need to have their reports posted by Monday, August 11th.

If you want in, just respond to this thread to let me know. I will send a GeekMail to everyone when the tournament begins. Also, please join in the discussion about how the player deck should be constructed.

Subscribe to this GeekList to be notified about future tournaments.
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Gene Moore
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General Tournament Rules

Honor System - Don't cheat. Even though it's possible to cheat, there's no reason to do so. There is no big prize to win. The purpose of this tournament is to see how player decisions affect the game, when all other conditions are equal. Just play the game and have fun.

No Shuffling - The format of this tournament relies on everyone seeing the same encounter and player cards, in the same order. Therefore, any situation where shuffling would occur is either handled in a special way, or removed entirely. Along those lines...

No Mulligans - There's no good way that I know of to make it work. Besides, if some people take a mulligan while others don't, then not everyone is playing with the same arrangement of cards, which defeats the "duplicate" purpose.

Spoiler Code - In this thread, there will be a post containing the exact arrangement of the encounter deck and player deck. It will be formatted with spoiler code, so that you can click through each card one at a time, as though you were drawing them from the deck. For example:

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Sneak Attack
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Miner of the Iron Hills

Remember that shadow cards are dealt to enemies in order of engagement cost (highest to lowest), so you may need to skip around the list according to the order that you choose to resolve attacks.

When you post your play-through in this thread, please also wrap it with spoiler code, so that nobody will accidentally see the card order before the end of the tournament.

Removing Cards from the Deck - Some situations call for a card to be removed from a deck, and then the deck is shuffled. In this tournament, there is no shuffling, so if/when you draw a card that has already been removed, just ignore it and draw the next card. (If there are multiple copies of the card, then assume that what was drawn was one of the other copies, until there are no copies of that card left.)

Exhausting the Encounter Deck - Unlike the normal gameplay rules, if the encounter deck runs out of cards, and a card is needed for staging, then the player has lost the game.

Dungeons Deep and Caverns Dim Special Rules

No special rules, but keep in mind that Nori's ability has been nerfed by the FAQ.

Response: After you play a Dwarf character from your hand, reduce your threat by 1.

This means that Sneak Attack, To Me! O My Kinsfolk!, and the Fili/Kili ability won't trigger Nori's threat reduction.

Dungeons Deep and Caverns Dim Player Cards

Hero
Thorin Oakenshield
Balin
Nori
Bilbo Baggins, OHaUH version

Ally
1 x Brok Ironfist (6)
3 x Dwalin (3)
3 x Fili (3)
3 x Gandalf, OHaUH version (5)
3 x Gloin (3)
3 x Kili (3)
2 x Longbeard Orc Slayer (4)
3 x Lorien Guide (3)
2 x Silverlode Archer (3)
2 x Son of Arnor (3)
3 x Snowbourn Scout (1)

Attachment
2 x Steward of Gondor (2)
1 x Unexpected Courage (2)

Event
2 x A Test of Will (1)
1 x Dwarven Tomb (1)
2 x Ever Vigilant (1)
2 x Hasty Stroke (1)
3 x Late Adventurer (0)
2 x Sneak Attack (1)
2 x The Galadhrim's Greeting (3)
3 x To Me! O My Kinsfolk! (1)
2 x Valiant Sacrifice (1)

Dungeons Deep and Caverns Dim Tournament Decks

Player Deck
Encounter Deck
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Chris Gordy
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This sounds like something I would like to try....I will have to pick up On the Doorstep prior to he 25th, but that won't be a problem.
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Tim Rogers
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Sign me up!
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David Lichtenstein
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Now that I have On the Doorstep, I am definitely in!

Thank you once more for organizing this thread.
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Gene Moore
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Let's talk about the player deck. Here are the number of encounter cards for each form of riddle.

Type: 4
Sphere: 3
Cost: 3
Type and Cost: 2
Type and Sphere: 2
Sphere and Cost: 2
Type and Sphere and Cost: 1

With just the core set and the two Hobbit sets, is it even possible to put together a mono-sphere deck that doesn't kill us on type and cost?

The last time I played this one, I gave up on the spheres, and went with a 4-sphere deck with Thorin, Bombur (or maybe it was Ori), and Oin. I focused on 3-cost allies and 1-cost events. I did win, but had to get lucky on a couple of sphere guesses.
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Jon Ben
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Having one or two possibilities per category is a good target. You often draw more than one card for the riddles.
Going to four spheres seems extreme to me. A solid major with a splash should be workable if mono-sphere is not.

Also, I'm in
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Benjamin Bickel
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I'm in as well.

I think dual-sphere would give the appropriate balance between the straight mono and the randomness of quad-sphere. I would agree that mono-sphere might limit the card pool too much for this particular quest.
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Gene Moore
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Here's an attempt at a Leadership/Spirit deck for this scenario. As you can see, it includes no attachments, and the focus was on cost 3 allies and cost 1 events. Card costs are listed in parentheses.

Hero
Thorin Oakenshield
Balin
Nori
Bilbo Baggins, OHaUH version

Ally
1 x Brok Ironfist (6)
3 x Dwalin (3)
3 x Fili (3)
3 x Gandalf, OHaUH version (5)
3 x Gloin (3)
3 x Kili (3)
2 x Longbeard Orc Slayer (4)
3 x Lorien Guide (3)
2 x Silverlode Archer (3)
2 x Son of Arnor (3)
3 x Snowbourn Scout (1)

Event
2 x A Test of Will (1)
3 x Burglar Baggins (1)
1 x Dwarven Tomb (1)
2 x Ever Vigilant (1)
2 x Hasty Stroke (1)
3 x Late Adventurer (0)
2 x Sneak Attack (1)
2 x The Galadhrim's Greeting (3)
3 x To Me! O My Kinsfolk! (1)
2 x Valiant Sacrifice (1)
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Jon Ben
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I've tried the proposed deck against the scenario a few times now. I won 1 out of 3 attempts. The winning run was went 9 turns and I ended with a single card left in my deck. If the final riddle hadn't gone well I would have been doomed. The main difference between the loosing and winning runs was getting the Dwarfs established. Cost 3 is high at the beginning of the scenario especially for the Spirit allies. I think I would mulligan for Kili because that push to the 5 Dwarf level is so crucial. In particular the extra resources from Gloin and getting the discount on Dwalin are useful. Kili/Fili is the only quick and cheap path to 5 Dwarfs.

The available cards put tight constraints on the deck so there isn't much room for adjustments given that we want a riddle deck. Here are some observations:

1) Burglar Baggins is dead weight. It can't be played on Bilbo until stage 3. It's a one cost event, but that's all it's doing.

2) I never had use for Late Adventurer. Could just be play style.

3) Steward of Gondor could help early. Could be worth including.

4) Unexpected Courage on Thorin would be wonderful. He's got 3 WP and 3 attack, it sucks seeing one or the other going to waste.

5) In my plays it has taken a while to make progress. The threat reduction from Nori is pretty minimal. Most of the Dwarfs are Unique anyway so you don't actually play a ton of dwarfs. Spirit resources are tight so Galadhrim is fighting for priority. My point being that Hobbit Gandalf is expensive to keep in play. He also doesn't combo with Sneak Attack well. The Sneak Attacks are pretty useless when you have a hand full of duplicate Unique allies.

I think I would swap out the 3 Late Adventurers and one Galadhrim for 2xSoG and 2xUC. Those cards have the wrong costs anyway and the hit on type inefficiency is worth 4 copies of some of the best cards in those spheres. Maybe switch Gandalfs, I'm not sure about that, I would really need to do more tests to form a better opinion.
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Gene Moore
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I haven't tried it out for myself yet, but I'm not surprised by your results. Do you think there would be better options with a different sphere combo? I chose Leadership/Spirit specifically for the dwarf selection (read: Fili/Kili), but maybe this scenario is better suited for a non-dwarf deck.

As far as the Gandalf version, I chose OHaUH for two reasons: 1) I figured this scenario would be one where he was needed more as a general ally with awesome stats (and the ability to quest without exhausting), and 2) I thought I'd nerf the idea of using him to lower your score.
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Jon Ben
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All the allies from the Saga boxes are 3-cost unique dwarfs. That really limits options if we want to constrain the costs to a certain value or venture away from a Dwarf-deck build. One option would be to ditch spirit in favour of lore. We could use Bombur to help reach the 5 dwarf threshold but then this deck and that used for Dup Torney #3 will be very similar.

Spirit and Tactics has a nice synergy in Oin who gains a tactics icon at 5 or more dwarfs. I would need to do some more work to put a coherent idea together for such a deck. At least the Fili/Kili combo could still work, and that goes well with a Spirit major, Tactics splash.


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David Lichtenstein
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Just a quick reminder about the possibility of subbing Unexpected Courage into the deck: There is only a single UC card in the Core set. It is a great card, and I wish I had access to three of them, but if we are assuming only a single Core set plus OHUH and OTD, then there can't be more than one UC.

As to Steward of Gondor, I admit that I'm addicted to the card for any deck that has Leadership at all.
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Jon Ben
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The Bearded One wrote:
Just a quick reminder about the possibility of subbing Unexpected Courage into the deck: There is only a single UC card in the Core set. It is a great card, and I wish I had access to three of them, but if we are assuming only a single Core set plus OHUH and OTD, then there can't be more than one UC.


Since we're clicking on spoiler tags and not actually building and shuffling a deck I see no reason why we are beholden to the single core set limits. You can grab your single UC if it's needed, and if another happens to be drawn grab a post-it note or some other substitute.
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Gene Moore
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I hope we get more people signed up before the end of the week. I don't know why the turnout is so low this time.
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Matthias Nagy
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lwdgames wrote:
I hope we get more people signed up before the end of the week. I don't know why the turnout is so low this time.


Summer Holidays???
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Josh Walton
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Sorry, I've been moving! Count me in!
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Allan Clements
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I probably have too much time this week, so I will try this one, missed the last one.
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Ian Martin
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I'm in and should be able to actually get it done this time.
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Erv Walter
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I'm in
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Jon Ben
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After fooling around with a spirit/tactics deck I'm convinced you made the right decision Surprisingly, it's hard to get enough questing power with that build.

I also think your choice of Gandalf is best. He can be key to victory. However, I do think the swaps I mentioned are for the best. Additionally I would remove all copies of Burglar Baggins and put in Will of the West and another Test of Will. Those are also 1-cost events but they help more and are in a useful sphere for riddles.

No matter what, this is going to be a tough one. This might be the first duplicate tournament that nobody wins
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Gene Moore
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JonBen wrote:
Will of the West

My only objection to Will of the West is that, because of the tournament rules, you can't use its ability. It's a 1-cost Spirit event, but otherwise it's even more useless than Burglar Baggins.
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Jon Ben
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lwdgames wrote:
JonBen wrote:
Will of the West

My only objection to Will of the West is that, because of the tournament rules, you can't use its ability. It's a 1-cost Spirit event, but otherwise it's even more useless than Burglar Baggins.


Shoot, I forgot that we couldn't use it.

Even so, I think it's better than BB. The only times I've made it to 3B I've had tons of questing power and easily blew through in one round. It's possible that BB could be useful then, but that's the only time. All other times it's worse than WotW.

Of course, any other cost-one event that's Spirit or Leadership would be better, but that's not possible unless you want to go above the core box card limits. As I've said already, I don't see why that limit is being imposed, but perhaps others disagree.
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Gene Moore
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JonBen wrote:
I don't see why that limit is being imposed

It's not a hard and fast rule. For bookkeeping purposes I am using physical cards and not OCTGN or random card list generators, so it's easier for me to go with the actual card set.
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Gene Moore
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Here's the final deck. I replaced Burglar Baggins with Steward of Gondor and Unexpected Courage, but I left in Late Adventurer. I kept Will of the West out solely because it can't be used in-game other than as a riddle answer.

I realize that this is going to be a tough scenario. Even if you lose, please post a report. The winner may be the one who lasts the most rounds before losing. sauron

Hero
Thorin Oakenshield
Balin
Nori
Bilbo Baggins, OHaUH version

Ally
1 x Brok Ironfist (6)
3 x Dwalin (3)
3 x Fili (3)
3 x Gandalf, OHaUH version (5)
3 x Gloin (3)
3 x Kili (3)
2 x Longbeard Orc Slayer (4)
3 x Lorien Guide (3)
2 x Silverlode Archer (3)
2 x Son of Arnor (3)
3 x Snowbourn Scout (1)

Attachment
2 x Steward of Gondor (2)
1 x Unexpected Courage (2)

Event
2 x A Test of Will (1)
1 x Dwarven Tomb (1)
2 x Ever Vigilant (1)
2 x Hasty Stroke (1)
3 x Late Adventurer (0)
2 x Sneak Attack (1)
2 x The Galadhrim's Greeting (3)
3 x To Me! O My Kinsfolk! (1)
2 x Valiant Sacrifice (1)
 
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