Crazy Fella
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I've had all the adventure packs in the first cycle for awhile now, but until last week I hadn't even delved into them to tune my decks, which finally happened due to a severe thrashing from Escape from Dol Goldur. Having satiated our thirst for vengeance against Dol Goldur with new decks using the adventure packs, my old man and I decided to begin the Hunt for Gollum.

My deck is a Lore/Spirit focus with Eowyn, Glorfindel and Denethor all from the Core Set.

His deck is a Tactics/Leadership deck with Legolas, Gimli and Aragorn. A higher starting threat but so far it hasn't been an issue.

I never look at the encounter cards before playing a scenario. I don't scout them out to see what's coming. I like to go into a scenario blind, not knowing the full extent of the danger I'm lurking past. I'm familiar with the other cards used in this quest, but the Gollum set was all new to me.

What follows is an account of our (failed) adventure and my thoughts henceforth.

Things were looking great at the start of the game. Glorfindel found Unexpected Courage early on, and Denethor even produced a Burning Brand, making him a solid defender. Gildor Inglorien even joined us. On the other side, Faramir, several eagles and citadel guards helped up make quick progress. We were hot on the trail of Gollum, both teams finding a clue early in the second phase. A lot of locations kept popping up in the staging area, but we explored them and were pounding through them slowly but surely.

Then it happened. We got into the third stage, both of us with clues and the end in sight. We got lazy. A flock of Eastern Crows was darting about the staging area, and my old man said he'd take care of them. Gimli stood ready to defend, and then the shadow under the crows was realized. As is standard in this game, the worst possible shadow card was drawn and each Hero holding a clue was dealt one damage. Clue cards back to the encounter deck and we went back to stage 2B.

Denethor should have engaged and blocked. His burning brand would have prevented that effect. Legolas is an archer, his ranged attacks could drop the crows easily, regardless of who they fought. Why didn't I see it coming?

We got lazy, over confident. We paid for it. Locations piled up in the staging area. I tried to get a Northern Tracker to join us, but as I got close to finding him, treachery cards ate away at Eowyn's resources, and she just missed her chance to recruit him to the cause.

We made it back into the third phase with a dire dilemma. I had a clue of Gollum's passing, but my old man did not. One was in the staging area, but he now had no way to claim it. Our threat was also at 49 each. The enemy was very aware of our presence in the area.

Faramir donated his support as my party went all out in a last ditch effort to quest. Perhaps through sheer willpower we could break through. It was not meant to be. Even with Legolas killing a foul creature we could not garner enough progress and would have to abandon the hunt or risk the enemy surging directly at us.

Overall it was a lot of fun, but it was a tough loss in that we could trace it back to one clear mistake. The mistake of not letting Denethor engage the crows for defense with his burning brand.

Or even if I had pulled hasty stroke into my hand instead of Gandalf through the Gildor's Counsel event card. It also struck me as interesting that this quest is very location heavy. Both decks committed lots of characters to questing, which is uncommon for us as we're used to constant combat worries. He handles that and I worry about questing typically.

Those treachery cards that cause you to lose resources or exhaust your heroes can be nasty, especially when you draw two in a row. That completely dashed my plans of getting Northern Tracker into play. Also didn't help that my songs of travel were all buried at the bottom of the deck. Just the way it goes sometimes.

We try again when next I visit, which as of right now is tomorrow night. Hopefully we will be more successful in finding clues to the whereabouts of the little devil!
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Crazy Fella
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For anyone still following this thread, tonight we were successful in our second attempt! We found a solid lead on Gollum's passing and journey towards the Carrock!

It was pretty amazing, being accomplished in four intense turns. We didn't draw any of the cards that we really wanted, and I actually thought my mulligan made my hand worse.

Highlights include using a Westfold Horse Breaker to ready Legolas during the combat phase, killing two Eastern Crows for massive progress (with a Blade of Gondolin).

The final turn I quested phase 3 all by myself as I had the only clue that turned up. I went all out, and we discarded to raise Eoywn's willpower and it gave us enough progress so that all Legolas had to do was kill something and we won. However he was up against the Misty Mountain Goblins, which could have been devastating! (They take away progress after they attack, and afterwards we found out their shadow card would have taken away even more progress!) Thankfully Legolas did a Feint and they did not attack, leaving him to score the kill and win us the scenario.

Very fun, and now we set our eyes on the next scenario, which I may or may not be secretly dreading.
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David Troutman
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I successfully hunted for Gollum tonight.

My heroes were Legolas for attack+questing, Aragorn for questing then defense, and Berevor for card draw and and holding clues. I also had the Song of Kings, Song of Wisdom, and Steward of Gondor in my deck for resource management.

The key to my success probably was the use of my 3 Sneak Attacks and Gandalf, which helped questing and lowered my threat by a ton.

I discovered having a threat below 35 is really helpful, as I encountered more than one potentially nasty card effect was ineffective due to my low threat level.
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