Aldovar Morientes
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Hey folks,

We've played this game, me and my girlfriend dozens of times. We’ve tested all decks, heroes, cards and beated all scenarios on a nightmare difficulty. On our way through the Middle Earth we've gathered some knowledge of what you should and what you definately shouldn't do (if you wanna live longer than a hobbit alone in the Mines of Moria). Perhaps you already know some of the things we present here, as they are kind of obvious - others may seem strange to you, but believe me, it has all been tested the hard way - on the field :-)

No theoretic bullshit here. Only the stuff from the first line of nightmare difficulty, that saved our butts hundreds of times (and sometimes didn't)

Little info: We are in the possession of 3 core sets and 2 copies of each of the 3 expansions - so our deckbuilding is based on the assumption that you can build any deck you like, with the cards you've got. We are currently playing on Leadership/Spirit (me) on Aragorn/Theodred/Eowyn and Leadership/Lore (her) on Glorfindel/Beravor/Gloin decks.


For your convenience we've put it all in 3 GOLDEN RULES:



Rule no 1 - ECONOMY STUPID!

It goes down to two factors:

Resources
- no matter what kind of cards you've got in your deck, if you can't pay for them they are essentially useless.

Easy solutions:

- Build each deck supported with at least one leadership character (3 Songs of Kings if you really, really don't like leadership characters) and three Stewards of Gondor. Doesn't matter what kind of deck you've got - perhaps you are on your kamikaze solo mono - tactics mission - ok, ok that's fine. But for the love of God put there 3 Stewards and take a mulligan if you don't have it on your starting hand. It WILL help a lot. We are currently playing on 6 stewards, and sometimes we are able to got 5 stewards on the table in the second turn. It's like you hit the jackpot in the casino every resource phase.

- Cards that gives you resources are your friends: Gloin with Self Preservation, Theodred, Horn of Gondor... obvious choices.


Cards - more cards - more variety. You are ready on anything the game can throw at you. You are flexible, you can adapt.

- See that chick in the lore deck? Ever thought she is not that good and didn't include her in your party? Allright. Now go there and apologize to her. It's the single most powerful hero this game has to offer. It's the powerhouse of your economy. Put 3 Unexpected Courages on her. Bam! You've got 8 cards extra every turn. Who the hell needs Bilbo anyway?

- Cards that gives you more cards are your friends: Campfire Tales, Valiant Sacrifice, Gleowine, Loriends Wealth and so on...

- Remember that more cards create more cards.

Example: You exhaust Beravore to get 2 cards. One of them is Loriens Wealth. Ok, you play it to get 3 more cards. You get Valiant Sacrifice. On your combat turn you lose an ally, play Valiant Sacrifice, got 2 more cards. One of them is Unexpected Courage. You play it on Beravore to un-exhaust her. Than immediately exhaust her to get 2 more cards. One of them is Campfire Tales. You play it to get more cards... See what I mean?

If you play this right you are able to get easily over 10 extra cards each turn and over 10 extra resources per player/turn.
(3 basic, 6 for 3 Stewards of Gondor, 2 for Gloin with Self-Preservation, 1 for Theodred's ability - that's precisely up to 12 resources per one player/turn).



Rule no 2 - AND THEY SHALL KNOW NO FEAR

I know what you've already been told. Threat is the most important factor in the game. High threat is the worst thing that can happen to you. We'll let me tell you it's not. It's easily manageable. If you gonna be reactive instead of proactive and take weak heroes with low threat you gonna regret it as soon as shit hits the fan and flood staging area with enemies. Forget about the threat. Imagine it's not there. And then assemble your dream team.

Easy solutions to manage threat:
- 3 Galadhrim's Greetings with 3 Dwarven Tombs - always use it for -6, not for double -2, six uses
- 3 Gandalfs with 3 Sneak Attacks: -5 to threat for 1/5 points of resources, six uses


Remembering about the economy rule stated above you will be able to get through each scenario with threat much lower than your starting value. In all scenarios on nightmare with half deck of spirit I am able to keep both player threats below 30 all the time. And we are starting 29 and 31. We had lost to threat only once in over 50 games.



Rule no 3 - TANK & SPANK

Let me ask you a question. Is there any character, that can withstand defending against strength 12 attack with shadow effect, each turn, without any help?

Well, there is.

Take an Aragorn, put 6 Dunedain Warnings on him, give him two Self - Preservations, Song of Wisdom, A Burning Brand and you've got an ultimate tanker (Don't forget he is a sentinel as well, so he can defend monsters from both players engagement areas).

In one scenario we pimped him that much just for the fun of it, as it was nothing that could possibly threaten him. In fact you need maximum 3 Warnings, and one Self Preservation.
We are still eager to see an enemy that can bite this tanker.

PS: Yes, I am aware that you may put these +4 tactic armors on someone, but that boosts only hit points, so without constant healer awareness low-defense high-hit points tanker gonna bite the dust as soon as he stops getting obscene amount of support healing.
Not good enough.



That's pretty much it. I'm not gonna bore you with advices like "heal with healers", "deal damage with damage dealers", "quest with questers" and others of that kind.


Feel free to discuss, criticize or present other Golden Rules that you are using in your games :-)

Cheers,



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Antti Mäkinen
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Hmm Steward of Gondor is unique.. Otherwise pretty solid rules.
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Aldovar Morientes
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Oh my...

You are right mate.

Looks like we did it all wrong.



I think I'm gonna hang myself

All our games went down to hell and we are back at the beggining
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Tony Fanchi
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While the Steward uniqueness is a pretty big oversight (don't worry, everyone makes mistakes), there's still some good tips in here, especially for beginners. I'll be interested to see how you change your strategy to work with reduced resources.

Good work!
 
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Roger Munk
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Thanks for the ideas, as a new player, I'm getting pounded. I just have a single core set, and expansion decks that I haven't tried yet. I don't know why I didn't think of sneak attack with Gandalf-that's worth the price of admission right there.
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m b
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Quote:
See that chick in the lore deck? Ever thought she is not that good and didn't include her in your party? Allright. Now go there and apologize to her. It's the single most powerful hero this game has to offer.


I agree. Beravor is really powerful.
But I think Bilbo is also very good, since he must not exhaust to draw a card. If you play solo, Bilbo is equal to Beravor, especially if you only have one core set with 1 unexpected courage.
I usually attach 3 dunedain warnings and a burning brand on him which makes him a decent defender.

Regarding your tips:
The most important one is card drawing! It's much more important than ressources. When I started my adventures in Middle Earth, I usually had tons of ressources but no cards in my hand. That's frustrating.

Focus on card drawing in the first place! Steward of Gondor will show up and then you can play all cards that you want to. If you have the whole player deck in your hand, there's almost nothing that could kill you... I once had a setup with bilbo + beravor (with unexpected courage) + gleowin... I even considered to put more than 60 cards in my deck when playing with bilbo and beravor. (I usually have slightly more than 50 cards in my decks...)

The first step down the Anduin and Escape from Dol Guldur still remain pretty difficult though.
 
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rich sabre
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good advice, just one question though- you said put 6 warnings on aragorn- however you are only allowed 3 of each card, so are we talking 3 from each player? or is nt that allowed? (ive only play the game solo so cant really remember the 2 player specifics)
 
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Aldovar Morientes
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Quote:
The first step down the Anduin and Escape from Dol Guldur still remain pretty difficult though.


I agree. Doesnt' matter if we played on Mono-Tactics + Lore/Spirit, on a pre-build core decks or anything else, Down the Anduin was for us always the hardest scenario of all.
 
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Aldovar Morientes
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richsabre wrote:
good advice, just one question though- you said put 6 warnings on aragorn- however you are only allowed 3 of each card, so are we talking 3 from each player? or is nt that allowed? (ive only play the game solo so cant really remember the 2 player specifics)


That's right - it's 3 copy of a card per deck, which makes 6 copy of a card for a 2 player game.
 
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Michail Giannis
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Quote:
We are currently playing on 6 stewards, and sometimes we are able to got 5 stewards on the table in the second turn.


A whooole different game... but an honest mistake.

Since you had so many resources and so many cards maybe you have done other mistakes.

1. Check for all the unique allies, there can be only one on the table at any given time no matter how they entered. (Gandalf, Beorn, Gleowine, Faramir and some more).

2. Check for all the restricted attachments. A character can have a maximum of 2 restricted items.

3. Since you say you played it at nightmare mode i want to remind you that there has been some changes about this and it's on the official FAQ. So give it a look before you try it again.


Keep Up the good work mate and never stop trying.
 
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Rauli Kettunen
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Edgewalker wrote:

Example: You exhaust Beravore to get 2 cards. One of them is Loriens Wealth. Ok, you play it to get 3 more cards. You get Valiant Sacrifice. On your combat turn you lose an ally, play Valiant Sacrifice, got 2 more cards. One of them is Unexpected Courage. You play it on Beravore to un-exhaust her. Than immediately exhaust her to get 2 more cards. One of them is Campfire Tales. You play it to get more cards... See what I mean?


This example doesn't fully work RAW either. UC is an attachment so you can only play it on B during the Planning phase, not during the combat phase, so next turn only.
 
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Aldovar Morientes
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Dam the Man wrote:
Edgewalker wrote:

Example: You exhaust Beravore to get 2 cards. One of them is Loriens Wealth. Ok, you play it to get 3 more cards. You get Valiant Sacrifice. On your combat turn you lose an ally, play Valiant Sacrifice, got 2 more cards. One of them is Unexpected Courage. You play it on Beravore to un-exhaust her. Than immediately exhaust her to get 2 more cards. One of them is Campfire Tales. You play it to get more cards... See what I mean?


This example doesn't fully work RAW either. UC is an attachment so you can only play it on B during the Planning phase, not during the combat phase, so next turn only.


Right, right. Just a quick example out of my mind to show the point, not intended to raw :-) Just put another card-drawing-card there and it's ok.
 
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Aldovar Morientes
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MountainRoot wrote:
Quote:
We are currently playing on 6 stewards, and sometimes we are able to got 5 stewards on the table in the second turn.


A whooole different game... but an honest mistake.

Since you had so many resources and so many cards maybe you have done other mistakes.

1. Check for all the unique allies, there can be only one on the table at any given time no matter how they entered. (Gandalf, Beorn, Gleowine, Faramir and some more).

2. Check for all the restricted attachments. A character can have a maximum of 2 restricted items.

3. Since you say you played it at nightmare mode i want to remind you that there has been some changes about this and it's on the official FAQ. So give it a look before you try it again.


Keep Up the good work mate and never stop trying.


Sure, we know all the FAQ's. The ones with cards explained are especially useful. Everythig else we did good. Just the damn Steward - I just can't believe I missed that.

Luckily we beated the game on other decks without Leadership at all as well - but still it's a pain.

Thanks for the kind words.
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Justin Fitzgerald
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Okay while all of these resources and things are fine and dandy but what do you do when you get a misdraw and a Hill Troll is staring at your unprepared heroes?
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Dave D
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Here's a generalized question that is hopefully appropriate here.

To what extent is it better to use abilities like Denethor's, to look at the deck prior to questing, versus prior to engagement/combat?

I might use the knowledge pre-questing, to decide to not keep a defender un-exhausted if a location is coming up. Or, I'm really worried about shadow effects, so I need to watch for those.

I imagine this partly depends on encounter deck setup, depending on how bad the shadow effects and treachery cards are, but I can't tell if I should favor it one way or the other.
 
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Rauli Kettunen
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I rarely use him to scout for combat, prefer Dark Knowledge on him for that (D doesn't quest for me). Since he is a great wall on defense (esp. with Burning Brand and/or Protector), I use him mainly for that. However, if nothing requires his defense, I use his ability at the end of the turn, before the Refresh Step to see what's coming up next.
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