After directing their steeds and stallions through the thicket of trees, my riders were delighted to finally find the open plains again. The river would take them directly to Lorien where they would deliver an important message.
Always caring about the well-being of their animal companions, Prince Theodred ordered to take them to the fresh pastures along the river. He came to regrett his command just a minute later.
Walking up to the shores of the mighty stream, Dunhere halted his companions with a raised hand. A Hill Troll! Oh why did we tell the riders to leave? The brute sniffed the air. Soon, he would discover my heroes.
This is the continuation of my Rohirrim sessions, started here: http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/765063/tales-of-the-ridderma...
My heroes were
My deck consisted mainly of Rohan characters but was more optimized than in my first go (so no cards that would give the title of Rohirrim to a Rohan character...).
With only four expansions, I lacked a few cards from the Return of Mirkwood and Hills of Emyn Muil packs. For a complete deck list, see the end of this report.
My strategy was to focus on questing to delay my combat with the Hill Troll. I'd use Dunhere to attack monsters in the staging area and gather allies until I'd feel good about the troll. From that point, I would quest as much as possible with selective engagement and Dunhere's special attack, so that I would not be overwhelmed in the final stage. So much for the theory.
Once again, I suggest to listen to the Rohan theme from the movie trilogy while reading this session report (you can search Rohan Theme in youtube).
My initial draw had Ancient Mathom and Elfhelm in it. I considered for very long but decided to redraw. Luck had it that I drew two Gandalf cards and the Galadrihm's Greeting, Elfhelm, A Test of Will and a Snowbourn Scout. Now I was only concerned about enemies. However, the troll camped on the Banks of Anduin (a reoccurring location whenever explored) which further played into my hands.
Elfhelm and a Snowbourn Scout returned refreshed to my heroes. "Our horses are rested and well fed, Prince Theodred, reported the scout." "Silence! There is a troll on the riverbanks.", replied Theodred.
The prince and Eowyn quickly explored the riverbank, but orcs rushed forward. The location left play as a shadow card, Elfhelm defended and Dunhere wounded the orcs.
After two rounds, I had two allies in play, a threat of 28 and drew ... unexpected courage. This was going too well!
At the end of round 3, there was only the Hill Troll in the staging area.
In round 4, I called upon Gandalf to reduce my threat. The wizard approached Eowyn, delivering the following script:
"Uncle Theoden!", Eowyn thought. "He really wants to do everything to keep me off the fighting. But why then did he send me on this quest? I didn't even know that he was this influential in Gondor".
Misty Mountain goblins severely injured Elfhelm (a nasty shadow effect) but were scorched by Gandalf. Dunhere, now even more dangerous with the Mark of the Dunedain, took care of the Goblin Sniper in the staging area.
At the end of the round, my threat was 20.
My riders felt ready for the troll. Aided by Gandalf for another round (the combination of Steward of Gondor and Theodred is remarkable!), the troll was first magically attacked by Gandalf. Then, Theodred, Dunhere (now with two Dunedain Marks) and Elfhelm killed the brute. The way to the river was free.
"So... the terrain makes riding impossible. How are the boats coming along?", wondered Dunhere.
Our boats passed the Brown Lands (Threat 5) in which Chieftain Ufthak lived. I quested with Eowyn, Theodred and a Northern Tracker. Elfhelm was to ensure no threat increase despite questing unsuccessfully. Dunhere, secretly trained by the Dunedain, injured him for 2. He would take him down within 3 rounds.
With a flash and a puff of smoke, a familiar face appeared amongst my Rohirrim. Drawing Gandalf three times this early (and having the resources to pay for him) made this quite an enjoyable journey.
I quested with everybody but the Snowbourn Scout. I still had a Test of Will in hand to cancel a nasty encounter card.
After 10 rounds, I had 11 progress tokens on the quest (out of 16) and only the Dol Guldur Beastmaster in the staging area.
Still, progress along the river was slower than expected. Without Gandalf, my willpower didn't exceed 8. And that was including Dunhere whom I would then ready to attack one enemy. The Northern Tracker was worth his weight in gold, and with the second Snowbourn Scout, my riders explored the Necromancer's Pass quickly.
A Marsh Adder in the Brown Lands increased my threat to 25. This was still looking great, but I desperately wished for some more allies. Well, after the lucky draw in the beginning, luck couldn't last all day long.
I really came to love unexpected courage and the Dunedain Marks on Dunhere, now. Just one round after appearing, he defeated the Marsh Adder and killed some Dol Guldur orcs, as well.
When I finally reached the shores, two Dol Guldur Beastmaster (one injured), a Wolf Rider and more Dol Guldur orcs were in the riders' way.
"Rohirrim!", ordered Theodred, "Attack!"
The battle was fierce, and two Snowbourn Scouts didn't live to tell the tale. Elfhelm defended bravely, and the combined power of the Dunedain, Theodred, Eomund and especially Dunhere was too much for the orcs.
The riders or Rohan made it to Lorien. They had fulfilled their quest. The King would be proud! Lady Galadriel and Lord Celeborn would be pleased to receive the important message. But what was the message? And would the Rohirrim continue to play a role in this quest?
This will be the tale for another time.
Final score: 161 (30 Threat, 14 rounds, 11 VP, 4 wounds from the Necromancer's Reach)
Closing comments: The game was rather easy due to my amazing starting hand and the timely reception of the Steward of Gondor, Unexpected Courage and two Dunedain Marks.
What I had experienced before with this deck is that I gathered too many unspent resources. In this game, I actually had ALL the resource token that came with the game on my heroes at one stage. I might have to include some more expensive cards. Any suggestions?
Celebrian's Stone x1
Westfold Horse-Breaker x3
Escort from Edoras x3
Ancient Mathom x3
Steward of Gondor x2
Dunedain Mark x3
Stand and Fight x2
The Galadrihm's Greeting x2
Sneak Attack x2
A Test of Will x2
Northern Tracker x2
Valiant Sacrifice x2
Strength of Will x2
Fortune or Fate x1
Snowbourn Scout x3
Mustering the Rohirrim x2
Unexpected Courage x1
Hasty Stroke x2
Dwarven Tomb x1
Faramir x2 (he'd eventually marry Eowyn, that's rohirric enough for me)