Anthony Marinaccio
Canada
Mississauga
Ontario
flag msg tools
I just picked up this game about 4 days ago, and had time for about 7 games: 1 two player game, 1 duel sphere game (solo) and 6 single sphere (solo) matches.

Firstly, I would just like to express how much I love this game. although difficult, it isn't EXTREMELY frustrating (it can get a bit frustrating, but never to the point where I don't feel like playing) Instead, each frustrating moment fuels the fire inside me to beat the game. I cannot wait to master this game and the expansions!

So, my first play through was with my brother in a double player, single sphere game. We both went into this game hearing how difficult it was, and neither of us are big on deck building games, so we have minimal experience with it. So out of the box, we each choose a deck: I choose leadership while he chooses tactics. Naturally, we play the first quest, passage to Mirkwood. We do the initial setup, and with the rule book at our side, we head out to destroy some spiders I will just summarize this game with saying that it didn't pose as big a problem as I was expecting. Now we did make a few mistakes, but mostly mistakes that may have made our lives a bit easier. Firstly, we didn't know what "ranged" meant or what it did. In knowing this now, he could have used legolas' ranged attack to help me out a couple times when legolas didn't have an enemy to fight. Also, after an enemy engaged us, if it was still alive after the combat phase, we would than return it to the staging area, causing a big traffic jam in the staging area near the end of the game, nearly killing us on threat points. Other than that, we were playing the game properly, and beat the quest no problem!

So, I thought "single player shouldn't be THAT hard"... boy was I wrong! The next five games I played were with single sphere decks playing solo, and I got demolished in 3 out of 5 games. In the second games (using tactics deck) I put up a decent fight and got to the second stage of the quest, but ultimately died. In the third game (using the lore deck) I actually made it to the final stage of the quest, before things got overwhelming and I just couldn't handle it. Overall, I had one chance to win, another decent game, and 3 games in which I didn't stand a chance.

After these five games, I realized single sphere decks really do rely on luck of the draw (with skill involved as well). So I decided to try my hand at crafting my own duel sphere deck. Now please remember I have never played a deck building game EVER, so this was my first attempt. (i also have a few questions if anyone doesn't mind answering along the way)

So I chose tactics and spirit. My thought process was brute force and questing mixed together to manage my threat level and be able to beat the quest as quickly as possible. I find myself losing control over the game the second I start leaving locations and enemies in the staging area, than my threat level rises, than the enemies overwhelm me. I figure spirit would be great for clearing these out of the way quickly, and tactics will give me the brute strength to deal with defending and attacking enemies. My starting trio of heroes were: Legolas, Gimli and Eowyn. Reasoning behind these three was ,again, my theory that questing as quickly as possible and being able to defend and attack high strength opponents. Eowyn strictly for her '4' willpower (upgraded to 5 when you discard a card). Legolas because he has good attacking strength, and contributes to the quest when he kills an enemy. And Gimli because this guy takes damage, and becomes a BEAST! He is necessary for dealing with the Ungoliants spawn once he can do like 9 damage per attack (after he has a few attachments that make him a tank. My deck totaled about 45 cards, which brings me to my first question: How many cards are allowed in your deck? And how much of each card are allowed? From what I understand, the minimum is 50 for tourney decks, and the max is 3 of each card, is this correct? Since I don't care and this is my first deck building experience, I found 45 acceptable.

I am at work so I can't list my entire card list for the deck, but it was split about 25 tactics cards and 20 spirit cards (give or take a few here and there) My main issue with duel sphere decks was coming up with a good balance with attachments and allies from each sphere type, and dealing with resources with each sphere type. So near the end of the game, when I had a strategy to win the game, I HAD to sacrifice Eowyn. Now when she is dead, I have no more spirit resources, does this mean all my spirit cards become useless? If I have no more spirit resources, how can I use a spirit card, right? So lets say halfway through the game I were to lose her, would I essentially be screwed? Is there certain cards that can help me use spirit cards with tactic resources? I am assuming this is just one of the obstacles when building duel sphere decks and it is something I am going to have to learn with experience.

So my last game of the night was played with my duel sphere deck, and it went perfectly! I quested fast and often, getting through 3 locations and the first stage of the quest, all while only allowing 3 damage on Gimli (done on purpose to raise his attack... Gimli had the armor on that increases his HP by +4). The second stage took one Legolas kill to get past, and the third stage was to defeat Ungoliants spawn. I brought him into play, allowed him to attack Gimli (and increase his strength), while defending other enemies with allies and sacrificing Eowyn. Next round rolls around at Gimli does some crippling damage and kills the Ungoliants spawn, winning the game for me! First duel deck, first solo win. I was smiling ear to ear after that win. Very satisfying

So thanks for reading, hope to get some good input and feedback, and I will continue to experiment with different decks and tactics. Should be fun
--
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Richard Morris
Scotland
Harrogate
North Yorkshire
flag msg tools
designer
Join the BGG Folding @Home Team !!
badge
This user had more :gg: than sense
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
There are cards that help you with using resources from spheres that you do not (or no longer) have a hero for. They are called song cards. The bad news is that they come in the APs, so you have to spend more money to get them.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Anthony Marinaccio
Canada
Mississauga
Ontario
flag msg tools
AnnuverScotinExile wrote:
There are cards that help you with using resources from spheres that you do not (or no longer) have a hero for. They are called song cards. The bad news is that they come in the APs, so you have to spend more money to get them.


Which AP specifically? And are they event cards? So they would let me use resources from my tactics pool to bring on a spirit card? Thanks for the heads up
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Neil L

Winston-Salem
North Carolina
msg tools
mbmbmb
They are neutral attachments, and only cost 1 resource to play (which makes them mighty fine cards in my book).

Song of Kings- Leadership- Hunt for Gollum
Song of Battle- Tactics- Dead Marshes
Song of Travel- Spririt- Hills of EM
Song of Wisdom- Lore- Conflict at Carrock
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Richard Morris
Scotland
Harrogate
North Yorkshire
flag msg tools
designer
Join the BGG Folding @Home Team !!
badge
This user had more :gg: than sense
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Anthony8801 wrote:
AnnuverScotinExile wrote:
There are cards that help you with using resources from spheres that you do not (or no longer) have a hero for. They are called song cards. The bad news is that they come in the APs, so you have to spend more money to get them.


Which AP specifically? And are they event cards? So they would let me use resources from my tactics pool to bring on a spirit card? Thanks for the heads up


FFG are not stupid. The song cards are spread across the 6 APs in the first arc, with a max of 1 per AP. If you play multiplayer, they are less wonderful, perhaps, because it is likely that the other player(s) will have heroes that can get those cards out. But if you play solo, then they help a lot.

They are attachments, and they basically give the hero that you attach them to a second sphere. You can then spend the resources on that hero on cards of either sphere (this includes the resources already on the hero when he got the attachment). So, obviously, it makes sense to attach them to heroes that have special powers that get extra resources, or on one of the heroes from the sphere you have two of, in a 3-hero, 2-sphere setup. You can also use them to allow you to sprinkle a few key cards from a sphere where you have no heroes. 3-sphere and even 4-sphere solo decks are viable.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Anthony Marinaccio
Canada
Mississauga
Ontario
flag msg tools
AnnuverScotinExile wrote:
Anthony8801 wrote:
AnnuverScotinExile wrote:
There are cards that help you with using resources from spheres that you do not (or no longer) have a hero for. They are called song cards. The bad news is that they come in the APs, so you have to spend more money to get them.


Which AP specifically? And are they event cards? So they would let me use resources from my tactics pool to bring on a spirit card? Thanks for the heads up


FFG are not stupid. The song cards are spread across the 6 APs in the first arc, with a max of 1 per AP. If you play multiplayer, they are less wonderful, perhaps, because it is likely that the other player(s) will have heroes that can get those cards out. But if you play solo, then they help a lot.

They are attachments, and they basically give the hero that you attach them to a second sphere. You can then spend the resources on that hero on cards of either sphere (this includes the resources already on the hero when he got the attachment). So, obviously, it makes sense to attach them to heroes that have special powers that get extra resources, or on one of the heroes from the sphere you have two of, in a 3-hero, 2-sphere setup. You can also use them to allow you to sprinkle a few key cards from a sphere where you have no heroes. 3-sphere and even 4-sphere solo decks are viable.


oh very interesting! I will keep that in mind, and thanks for the input! I find it a little annoying that you have to constantly buy more packs of cards to get the full deck building experience. I just purchased The hunt for Golem and Conflict at Carrock, but I haven't opened them yet. I was planning on planing each of the scenarios in the core game a bunch of times before I even got to the APs, but I may buy the other two just so I could get the song cards to help me out, as well as other heroes and cards I could use. Thanks!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Neil L

Winston-Salem
North Carolina
msg tools
mbmbmb
Anthony8801 wrote:
I find it a little annoying that you have to constantly buy more packs of cards to get the full deck building experience.


Yes, it is a little annoying, but at least you know what's going to be in each expansion. No purchasing of infinite packs looking for that 1 elusive rare card.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jason
United States
Champaign
Illinois
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Anthony8801 wrote:
My deck totaled about 45 cards, which brings me to my first question: How many cards are allowed in your deck? And how much of each card are allowed? From what I understand, the minimum is 50 for tourney decks, and the max is 3 of each card, is this correct? Since I don't care and this is my first deck building experience, I found 45 acceptable.


You're correct; a "tournament" deck must have a minimum of 50 cards and no more than three of any one card.

With the Core Set only, it's difficult to build decks that meet the 50 card minimum. It's really up to you what rules to follow in this regard. But be aware that most anyone discussing strategy, etc., about the game is likely doing so in the context of a 50-card deck.

Personally, I think a decent Spirit/Leadership deck can be built with the Core Set, using Eowyn, Dunhere, and Theodred. An advantage of this combination of heroes is their low starting threat. Using Gimli and Legolas as two of your heroes will result in a relatively high starting threat regardless of which third hero you choose.

Quote:
I am at work so I can't list my entire card list for the deck, but it was split about 25 tactics cards and 20 spirit cards (give or take a few here and there)


With only one Spirit hero, 20 cards seems a bit too many in a 45-card deck. Assuming you've got three neutral cards (Gandalf) in the deck, that leaves you with 42 other cards. 1/3 of that would be 14. Also, with only one Spirit resource per turn, you want to make sure none of those Spirit cards are too high cost. In this situation (i.e. no Song to allow use of other hero's resources for Spirit and no acceleration like Steward of Gondor to give your one Spirit hero more resources per turn), I wouldn't include any Spirit cards costing more than two resources simply because it's unlikely you'll ever get to play them, and if you do, you'll be doing so at the cost of not playing other cards.

Quote:
My main issue with duel sphere decks was coming up with a good balance with attachments and allies from each sphere type, and dealing with resources with each sphere type.


Again, this is difficult with only the Core Set because there aren't a lot of options for each sphere. For example, if you're using only one Spirit hero, there is only one ally in the Core Set with a cost of two or less (Wandering Took), and there are only two copies! Tactics is a little better with Gondorian Spearman and Veteran Axehand.

Quote:
So near the end of the game, when I had a strategy to win the game, I HAD to sacrifice Eowyn.


Surely you could have sacrificed one of your other heroes?

Quote:
Now when she is dead, I have no more spirit resources, does this mean all my spirit cards become useless? If I have no more spirit resources, how can I use a spirit card, right? So lets say halfway through the game I were to lose her, would I essentially be screwed?


If Eowyn was your only source of Spirit resources, then yes, you would no longer be able to play cards which require Spirit resources. You may not be completely screwed, but it would make things more difficult and render useless many of the cards in your deck.

If you're playing a deck with two heroes of one sphere and one of another, and you must assign undefended, lethal combat damage to one of your heroes, strongly consider sacrificing one of the two heroes that share a sphere.

AnnuverScotinExile wrote:
The song cards are spread across the 6 APs in the first arc, with a max of 1 per AP.


True, they are spread across six APs, but you need only four of the APs to get all of them:

The Hunt for Gollum (Song of Kings - grants Leadership)
Conflict at the Carrock (Song of Wisdom - grants Lore)
The Hills of Emyn Muil (Song of Travel - grants Spirit)
The Dead Marshes (Song of Battle - grants Tactics)
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Don Smith
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Anthony8801 wrote:
I just picked up this game about 4 days ago, and had time for about 7 games: 1 two player game, 1 duel sphere game (solo) and 6 single sphere (solo) matches.

Firstly, I would just like to express how much I love this game. although difficult, it isn't EXTREMELY frustrating (it can get a bit frustrating, but never to the point where I don't feel like playing) Instead, each frustrating moment fuels the fire inside me to beat the game. I cannot wait to master this game and the expansions!


Exactly my experience since getting into this game a couple of weeks ago - enjoy!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Anthony Marinaccio
Canada
Mississauga
Ontario
flag msg tools
binaryeye wrote:
Anthony8801 wrote:
My deck totaled about 45 cards, which brings me to my first question: How many cards are allowed in your deck? And how much of each card are allowed? From what I understand, the minimum is 50 for tourney decks, and the max is 3 of each card, is this correct? Since I don't care and this is my first deck building experience, I found 45 acceptable.


You're correct; a "tournament" deck must have a minimum of 50 cards and no more than three of any one card.

With the Core Set only, it's difficult to build decks that meet the 50 card minimum. It's really up to you what rules to follow in this regard. But be aware that most anyone discussing strategy, etc., about the game is likely doing so in the context of a 50-card deck.

Personally, I think a decent Spirit/Leadership deck can be built with the Core Set, using Eowyn, Dunhere, and Theodred. An advantage of this combination of heroes is their low starting threat. Using Gimli and Legolas as two of your heroes will result in a relatively high starting threat regardless of which third hero you choose.

Quote:
I am at work so I can't list my entire card list for the deck, but it was split about 25 tactics cards and 20 spirit cards (give or take a few here and there)


With only one Spirit hero, 20 cards seems a bit too many in a 45-card deck. Assuming you've got three neutral cards (Gandalf) in the deck, that leaves you with 42 other cards. 1/3 of that would be 14. Also, with only one Spirit resource per turn, you want to make sure none of those Spirit cards are too high cost. In this situation (i.e. no Song to allow use of other hero's resources for Spirit and no acceleration like Steward of Gondor to give your one Spirit hero more resources per turn), I wouldn't include any Spirit cards costing more than two resources simply because it's unlikely you'll ever get to play them, and if you do, you'll be doing so at the cost of not playing other cards.

Quote:
My main issue with duel sphere decks was coming up with a good balance with attachments and allies from each sphere type, and dealing with resources with each sphere type.


Again, this is difficult with only the Core Set because there aren't a lot of options for each sphere. For example, if you're using only one Spirit hero, there is only one ally in the Core Set with a cost of two or less (Wandering Took), and there are only two copies! Tactics is a little better with Gondorian Spearman and Veteran Axehand.

Quote:
So near the end of the game, when I had a strategy to win the game, I HAD to sacrifice Eowyn.


Surely you could have sacrificed one of your other heroes?

Quote:
Now when she is dead, I have no more spirit resources, does this mean all my spirit cards become useless? If I have no more spirit resources, how can I use a spirit card, right? So lets say halfway through the game I were to lose her, would I essentially be screwed?


If Eowyn was your only source of Spirit resources, then yes, you would no longer be able to play cards which require Spirit resources. You may not be completely screwed, but it would make things more difficult and render useless many of the cards in your deck.

If you're playing a deck with two heroes of one sphere and one of another, and you must assign undefended, lethal combat damage to one of your heroes, strongly consider sacrificing one of the two heroes that share a sphere.

AnnuverScotinExile wrote:
The song cards are spread across the 6 APs in the first arc, with a max of 1 per AP.


True, they are spread across six APs, but you need only four of the APs to get all of them:

The Hunt for Gollum (Song of Kings - grants Leadership)
Conflict at the Carrock (Song of Wisdom - grants Lore)
The Hills of Emyn Muil (Song of Travel - grants Spirit)
The Dead Marshes (Song of Battle - grants Tactics)



Thank you thank you thank you!!! I really do appreciate everyone taking their time to help, and this whole write was a great read and very helpful, so thank you!

In regards to sacrificing Eowyn, it was my second to last turn, I had
Gimli with 5 damage on him (with armor), Legolas had 2 damage, and I had Unguliant Spawn (with no damage) left to attack. So my thought process was to sacrifice Eowyn, than next turn, use another ally to defend, and if another enemy was drawn, than I defend with Legolas (which would kill him) and than win the game. Now I realize that many things would've went wrong here and I could have lost easily, but I had a series of unfortunate events happen (with two treachery cards in a row) and therefore I thought of it as a mad scramble to the end. Lucky for me, there wasn't another enemy, therefore Legolas and Gimli teamed up to deliver the final blow and win me the game. Also remember this was my first win, I didn't even score myself after because I was so happy just to win with MY deck creation.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Anthony Marinaccio
Canada
Mississauga
Ontario
flag msg tools
Don Smith wrote:
Anthony8801 wrote:
I just picked up this game about 4 days ago, and had time for about 7 games: 1 two player game, 1 duel sphere game (solo) and 6 single sphere (solo) matches.

Firstly, I would just like to express how much I love this game. although difficult, it isn't EXTREMELY frustrating (it can get a bit frustrating, but never to the point where I don't feel like playing) Instead, each frustrating moment fuels the fire inside me to beat the game. I cannot wait to master this game and the expansions!


Exactly my experience since getting into this game a couple of weeks ago - enjoy!


Out of curiosity, what is your experience like now after a few weeks? Are you building decks like a pro? lol Yeah I am loving the game right now!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jason
United States
Champaign
Illinois
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Anthony8801 wrote:
In regards to sacrificing Eowyn, it was my second to last turn, I had Gimli with 5 damage on him (with armor), Legolas had 2 damage, and I had Unguliant Spawn (with no damage) left to attack. So my thought process was to sacrifice Eowyn, than next turn, use another ally to defend, and if another enemy was drawn, than I defend with Legolas (which would kill him) and than win the game.


That's why I wrote "strongly consider", and it sounds like you did exactly that.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Anthony Marinaccio
Canada
Mississauga
Ontario
flag msg tools
So this deck is 4-0 so far in the first quest! So I tried the second quest and ended up losing near the end of the second stage. It wasn't a bad game so I was pretty happy with the game, although I am expecting a victory next game! I am in the process of making a lore/leadership deck now, just to try something different
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.