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Subject: Into Fangorn - Fastest quest of all? rss

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A.J. Sansom
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A part of the One Deck to Beat them All geek list:

Into Fangorn

Somehow, on Arwen's watch last night, Mugash escaped. Arwen explains that the orc leader looked so battered and bruised that she loosened his bonds and gave him a portion of her rations. Glorfindel shoots Elrond a condescending look. No time to be frustrated though; the elves must recapture Mugash and bring him to the White Tower.

sideboard in:
2 Galadriel's Handmaiden
1 Warden of Healing
sideboard out:
2 Hasty Stroke
1 Will of the West


Turn 1 (18 threat - 0 progress - 4 time)
Resourceful Elrond Risks some Light as the trio enters the Edge of Fangorn, hoping to quickly recapture the weakened Mugash without incident. As they enter the forest, the heroes immediately get Turned Around and end up blundering straight in to a Deadly Huorn.
(+6 progress)

The treacherous tree-folk is not to be trifled with; the elves retreat and keep their distance as they continue their search for the fleeing orc leader.

Turn 2 (20t - 6p - 2 time)
Asfaloth and a Zigil Miner bring the group's number to five. Glorfindel Risks some Light once again as the heroes push on into Fangorn. Elrond is quick to Counsel that haste is needed; the group is already running dangerously Low on Provisions.
(+5p, complete stage 1)

Fortune favors the elves, it seems. Only a few more steps into the forest, the group runs into Mugash, ensnared in the branches of a Dark-Hearted Huorn. Glorfindel scoops up the beaten orc leader; the whole group quickly turns to leave Fangorn the same way they came in.

Turn 3 (18t - 0p - 4 time)
The lack of provisions seems to be affecting Elrond. He started a cleanse diet a few days ago, and well, suffice it to say that a lack of food has put him very much In Need of Rest. Not wanting to distract the group with his condition, Elrond Resourcefully nibbles on some hopefully-edible mushrooms as the group attempts to flee the forest.

The Huorn, sensing the unwanted visitors to Fangorn, have been stirred from their slumber. Branches lash out at the elves as they run through the dense brush; this will definitely slow their progress.

Turn 4 (22t - 4p - 3 time)
Elrond is not feeling well. Maybe chewing down some wild mushrooms wasn't the most prudent of actions. Staggering forward, Elrond falls to a knee. Beorn leaps from the darkness, grabs Elrond, and slings him over his shoulder; leave no elf behind. Seeing the mighty skin-changer fills Glorfindel with Unexpected Courage; Glorfindel's not usually prone to such emotion.

As the growing group is leaving the Heart of Fangorn, Elrond loses consciousness. If the heroes are to escape the forest with Mugash in tow, the responsibility lies firmly with Glorfindel.

Turn 5 (26t - 6p - 2 time)
Gleowine joins the party for the final push out of Fangorn. With the Huorn's Malice on full display, Glorfindel recognizes that if they don't exit the forest now, they probably won't be able to leave at all. Still with Mugash on his back, he gives a mighty yell to spur his comrades onwards. Branches whip at their legs and hands; despite Elrond's limp form, Beorn keeps pace with the rest. With one final exertion, the group crashes through the final foliage and tumbles into the sunlight. With Mugash still secured, and Arwen banned from night-watch duty, the group is ready to head back to the safety of Isengard.
(+6p, complete stage 3)


This quest got the best of me the first time playing it through. If you don't know the timing of the quest, stage 2 can come and go too fast to do anything. This playthrough was the second time through, and despite misplaying two Risk some Lights (reshuffled immediately after both in turns 1 and 2), I was able to push through the quest. It was no cake-walk through; I was sure that when I was unable to find a Warden of Healing to save Elrond before he died, there was no hope. In the final turn, I could muster 9 total questing, there was 2 threat in the staging area, and I needed 6 more progress to get out of the stage. I figured that my only hope was to quest with 8 and hope that a treachery came off the top of the deck; luckily, Huron's Malice came off and an untapped Beorn took the sole attack with ease to barely squeak out the victory. This quest is not my favorite because in solo play, if you randomly shuffle Mugash into the encounter deck, it could be a dozen turns easily before he even shows up again (I lost in turn 13 of my first playthrough). With a more appropriate way to scale for solo play, this quest would definitely be more enjoyable for me.

Final Score

= 27 + 13 + 4 - 1
= 43


Voice of Isengard Box Complete!!!

Elrond: Hooray! We successfully delivered the mighty Mugash to Saruman.
Glorfindel: It's odd... I wonder what he even wants with an orc leader anyway?
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