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Subject: Antlered Crown - Most Speed-centric Quest? rss

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A.J. Sansom
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Episode #36 of the Play Them All geeklist:

The Antlered Crown

So apparently helping out the Boar Clan procure the Antlered Crown has not, in fact, magically united the warring clans under Chief Turch's brilliant leadership. Actually the opposite has happened; the rival Raven Clan's Chief has claimed the Antlered Crown for himself, initiating a localized war between the two clans. Rather than flee from the danger, the two mighty elven travelers hope that their combined might can bring the battle to a close before the Raven Clan Chief can rouse all of his followers and launch a sustained, full-scale war.

sideboard in:
2 Boromir
1 Warden of Healing
sideboard out:
1 O Elbereth! Gilthonial!
1 Power of Orthanc
1 Will of the West


Turn 1 (18 threat - 0 progress - 3 time)
Our heroes rush forward as Chief Turch leads the charge into the Dunland Battlefield, specifically towards a Raven War-camp. Glorfindel rides Asfaloth; Elrond is consummately filled with well-deserved yet Unexpected Courage. A Dunland Prowler emerges from Raven Country to challenge the Boar Clan Chief.
(- progress, +2 threat)

Chief Turch races towards the Prowler and cuts him down with Glorfindel's help. Surveying the surrounding area, Turch asks for Elrond's Counsel. Speed is key today, Elrond advises; strike at their encampments with all the strength you can and end this war before it grows out of control.

Turn 2 (18t - 0p - 2 time)
Chief Turch nods his approval. Together with these extremely helpful elves, the Boar Clan will strike the Fierce Folk like lightning!

The group races from one war-camp to the next, dispatching flies before they become a swarm.

Turn 3 (23t - 0p - 1 time)
Gleowine and Arwen trot up to the fast-moving group, ready to help. Well, not with the killing. But they're ready to help carry bags and spot enemies from a distance.

The hills are thick with the enemies; just as one group is cut down, the keen-eyed Gleowine spies another Raven War-Camp that will certainly need dealing with. Racing through Raven Country is definitely a threatening affair.

Turn 4 (32t - 2p - 3 time)
A Stargazer, disappointingly also a non-combatant, joins the mildly-thankful group. Racing across the countryside, our heroes finally hit a speedbump to their killing spree; a gigantic Raven Warrior stands firmly in their way.

Chief Turch bravely goes toe-to-toe with the Raven Warrior, sustaining mild damage in the process. Despite their best efforts, Elrond and Turch aren't able to bring the brute down. Hopefully this Warrior is the top of his class; too many more like him will spell doom for finding a hasty end to this war.

Turn 5 (34t - 2p - 2 time)
A Zigil Miner joins the cause, bringing the precious Light of Valinor with him, a gift for Glorfindel.
(+8p, complete stage 1)

As the group focuses back onto the Raven Warrior, a stray Dunlending Bandit leaps from behind a bush, driving his sword through the Stargazer's back. Shocked, Turch and Glorfindel grab the Bandit, throw him to the ground, and run him through. The Raven Warrior seizes the opportunity to strike Chief Turch and nimbly retreat once more. Chief Turch is looking ragged at this point; the man needs medical attention.

Turn 6 (35t - 0p - 2 time)
Desperate to find help for his tribal friend, Elrond pulls out Vilya, and promptly Counsels everyone nearby on its proper usage. The rest of the party rolls their collective eyes; if they still had an Imladris Stargazer, schooled in its mystical powers, here, goodness knows what good Vilya could do.

The persistent Warrior corners the heroes at the edge of a deserted Raven Village. Recognizing that Chief Turch is the linchpin of the whole offensive, the Warrior abandons all hope of personal safety and strikes out at the Boar Clan leader, dropping him to his knees. Before being able to deliver the final blow, ever-present and always-awesome Glorfindel dives into the foe's chest, driving his blade clean through. Despite bleeding from pretty much everywhere, Turch is thankful for the help.

Turn 7 (33t - 6p - 1 time)
Sensing the urgent need, a Warden of Healing joins the party and goes about the work of bringing Chief Turch painstakingly back from death's door. Despite having darted here and there, all over the battlefield, the number of Raven War-Camps and villages and little bands of enemies seem too great to overcome quickly enough to end this war.

If there is to be an end, our heroes realize that they must find and confront the Raven Chief and take him out of the equation altogether.

Turn 8 (34t - 12p - 3 time)
A scholarly Stargazer finds the group and offers to take pity on Elrond and show him how to better utilize his ring. Ashamedly, Elrond accepts; together, they draw mighty Beorn into the fray. No amount of Raven Skirmishers can stop the group in their quest to find the Raven leader now.
(+6p, complete stage 2)

With Beorn's natural warrior's sixth sense, he directs the group straight towards the most decorated Camp of all. Sure enough, emerging from the most ornate tent (it had *two* sets of antlers mounted over the entrance!), is none other than the Raven Chief himself. With bandages still wrapped over 90% of his body, Chief Turch launches forward with destructive intent. The two chiefs trade blows for several minutes; when they separate, gratuitous amounts of blood seep from both warriors.

Turn 9 (36t - 0p - 1 time)
Common warriors have sheathed their weapons and have drawn up to watch the two Chiefs fight this battle for them all. The circle of warriors grows, spurring on either Turch or his Raven rival. The entire battle will be decided here.

Elrond and Glorfindel watch on helplessly as Turch begins to increasingly falter. It's been a long day of battle for their comrade; it hardly seems fair for him to fight someone who's been lounging in the double-antlered comfort of his tent all day. They turn to each other, sharing a knowing glance; if things get any worse, they will need to step in. The two elves finish their momentary wordless conversation and turn back towards the action; at that moment the crowd erupts in a roar. Beorn, never known for any particular quantity of patience, has changed into bear form and has the Raven Chief in his claws, shredding him to death. Beorn stares at the dead leader now lying at his feet, then raises his eyes upwards. With frightening speed, Beorn takes off, chasing whatever Raven man happens to be closest at that particular moment in time. There will be no more Raven Clan by the end of this day. Chief Turch, on one knee, next to his fallen counterpart, weakly raises his hand in victory.
(complete stage 3)


The theme of trying to rush around the countryside, putting out fires before the Raven Clan can mobilize definitely comes through in this one through the clever use of the timing mechanism on the various locations in this quest. However, by having Asfaloth active in this game so early, I really didn't feel the pressure from the locations as much as I otherwise would; the only location to trigger is a Raven Country on turn 3 which hit me for 8 threat! Once the Northern Tracker showed up, I knew that I had this scenario firmly in hand. I'm anxious to come back and try this quest again with a different deck and see if this quest is a little more memorable; as it is, this one didn't put up enough of a fight to have any staying power.

Final Score

= 36 + 0 + 0 - 6
= 30


Ring Maker Cycle Complete!!!

Elrond: So, in the end, we count this as a success right?
Glorfindel: Yeah! We befriended the Boar Clan and convinced them to give their allegiance to Saruman. Hope he puts their devotion to good use...
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