Marco Poutré
Canada
St-Jean-sur-Richelieu
Quebec
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Yes... I still like 'em 32 years later...
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I know I said in this post I would use the same deck but what can I say, I just love deckbuilding and had never used Brand before so...

Player 1's deck

Frodo Baggins, Brand son of Bain, Legolas. Initial threat of 26.

3x Gandalf
3x Gondorian Spearman
3x Zigil Miner
3x Horn of Gondor
3x Blade of Gondolin
3x Ancient Mathom
3x Unexpected Courage
3x Feint
3x Hasty Stroke
3x A Test of Will
3x Swift Strike
3x Veteran Axehand
3x Veteran of Nanduhirion
3x Horseback Archer
1x Beorn
3x Unseen Strike
2x Quick Strike
2x Renewed Friendship

Player 2's deck

Gloin, Beravor, Eowyn. Initial threat of 28.

3x Gandalf
3x Miner of the Iron Hills
3x The Riddermark's Finest
3x Westfold Horse-Breaker
2x Erebor Hammersmith
3x Protector of Lorien
1x Forest Snare
3x Unexpected Courage
3x Hasty Stroke
3x A Test of Will
3x Dwarven Tomb
3x Lorien's Wealth
3x Secret Paths
3x Lore of Imladris
3x Sneak Attack
3x Steward of Gondor
2x Celebrian's Stone
3x Snowbourn Scout

First player token to Player 1.

Player 1's starting hand : Gandalf, Beorn, Horn of Gondor, A Test of Will, Ancient Mathom, Gondorian Spearman.

Player 2's starting hand : Dwarven Tomb, Hasty Stroke x2, Steward of Gondor, Secret Paths, Protector of Lorien.

Average starting hands, I like to draw Feint in this scenario to prevent the big threat jump from Hill Troll but I got both my resource-accelerators so...

Setup : Massing at Night (Drawing 2 more cards), Despair (Yay, this one is pointless and it seems the Core Set wasn't a big fan of the "If this didn't hurt you, it gains Surge" thing), Eastern Crows, Chieftan Ufthak (That concludes the FIRST draw), Marsh Adder. I fetch Hill Troll from the encounter deck.

Of course, drawing one of the Hill Trolls as part of the setup is the ideal here. I already have 3 VPs-worthy guys in the staging area, that can't be good.

Round 1 - Resource phase

Player 1 draws Veteran of Nanduhirion, Player 2 draws The Riddermark's Finest.

Round 1 - Planning phase

Player 1 plays Horn of Gondor on Eowyn.
Player 2 plays Protector of Lorien on Gloin.

Round 1 - Quest phase

Player 1 : Frodo Baggins committed.
Player 2 : Gloin and Eowyn committed.

Encounter deck reveals The East Bight and The Necromancer's Pass.

Player 2 discards Hasty Stroke x2 and Secret Paths to Protector of Lorien. Willpower of 11 vs Threat of 11.

Very annoying staging area so far, I'm forced to ditch somewhat useful stuff to avoid raising my threat.

Round 1 - Travel phase

Travel to The East Bight.

Round 1 - Encounter phase

Player 1 engages Eastern Crows.

Round 1 - Combat phase

Brand son of Bain blocks Eastern Crows. Shadow card is The Brown Lands (No effect). No damage dealt.
Legolas attacks Eastern Crows and kills it, it is shuffled back into the encounter deck and 2 progress tokens are put on The East Bight.
Player 2 activates Beravor to have Player 1 draw 2 cards : Feint and Veteran Axehand.

Round 1 - Refresh phase

Player 1's Threat = 27.
Player 2's Threat = 29.
First player token is passed to Player 2 (Yes I know this might be confusing).

Round 2 - Resource phase

Player 1 draws Quick Strike, Player 2 draws Lorien's Wealth.

Round 2 - Planning phase

Player 2 plays Steward of Gondor on Brand son of Bain and The Riddermark's Finest.
Player 1 activates Steward of Gondor, plays Gandalf, dealing 4 damage to the Hill Troll and plays Ancient Mathom on the Necromancer's Pass.
Player 2 activates The Riddermark's Finest to place 2 progress tokens on the Necromancer's Pass, it is explored and Player 2 draws 3 cards : Celebrian's Stone, Gandalf and Sneak Attack. Eowyn also gets 1 resource thanks to Horn of Gondor.

Well, that was a productive Planning phase.

Round 2 - Quest phase

Player 2 : Eowyn ad Gloin are committed.
Player 1 : Frodo Baggins is committed.

Encounter deck reveals Evil Storm (No effect) and Wargs. Willpower of 8 to a threat of 8.

Round 2 - Travel phase

No travel.

Round 2 - Encounter phase

Player 2 engages Wargs. Player 1 engages Hill Troll.

Round 2 - Combat phase

Beravor blocks Wargs, Shadow card is TReacherous Fogs (No effect), Beravor is dealt 1 damage and Wargs return to the staging area.
Player 1 plays Feint on Hill Troll, its Shadow card was also Treacherous Fogs.
Legolas+Brand son of Bain+Gandalf attack Hill Troll and kill it, 2 progress tokens are put on The East Bight.

Round 2 - Refresh phase

Player 1's Threat = 28.
Player 2's Threat = 30.
First player token is passed to Player 1.
Gandalf is discarded from play, Eowyn gets 1 resource.

Round 3 - Resource phase

Player 1 draws A Test of Will, Player 2 draws Westfold Horse-Breaker.

Round 3 - Planning phase

Player 1 activates Steward of Gondor and plays Gondorian Spearman.
Player 2 plays Westfold Horse-Breaker.

Round 3 - Quest phase

Player 1 : Frodo Baggins is committed.
Player 2 : Gloin, Eowyn and Beravor are committed.

Encounter deck reveals The Necromancer's Reach (Frodo Baggins, Gloin, Beravor and Eowyn are damaged. Gloin also gets 1 resource) and Goblin Sniper.

I thought about countering Necro's Reach but there are worse effects out there.

Player 1 uses Eowyn's ability to discard Quick Strike. Willpower of 11 to a threat of 9, 2 tokens are put on The East Bight and it is explored at long last.

Round 3 - Travel phase

No travel.

Round 3 - Encounter phase

Player 1 engages Wargs, Player 2 engages Chieftan Ufthak.

Ufthak, you're next, buddy. Typo or no typo in your name!

Round 3 - Combat phase

Player 2 plays Sneak Attack to put Gandalf in play, dealing 4 damage to Wargs and killing them (Its Shadow card was Gladden Fields).
Gondorian Spearman blocks Chieftan Ufthak, dealing it 1 damage, Shadow card is Evil Storm (No effect). Gondorian Spearman dies, Eowyn gets 1 resource, Chieftan Ufthak gets 1 resource from its ability.
Brand son of Bain+Legolas+Gandalf again team up to attack Chieftan Ufthak and they kill him. 2 progress tokens are put on the quest card and Beravor is readied thanks to Brand son of Bain's ability.

Player 2 activates Beravor to draw 2 cards : Erebor Hammersmith and Steward of Gondor.

End of phase, forced effects are resolved first so Gandalf and Legolas get the damage from Goblin Sniper. Gandalf is then returned to Player 2's hand, Eowyn gets 1 resource.

For those of you still unsure whether Horn of Gondor is worth playing, the answer is yes.

Round 3 - Refresh phase

Player 1's Threat = 29.
Player 2's Threat = 31.
First player token is passed to Player 2.

Round 4 - Resource phase

PLayer 1 draws Blade of Gondolin, Player 2 draws Dwarven Tomb.

Round 4 - Planning phase

Player 2 plays Dwarven Tomb to retrieve The Riddermark's Finest and then plays it.
Player 1 activates Steward of Gondor, plays Blade of Gondolin on Legolas and Veteran Axehand.

Here, I forgot to play Celebrian's Stone on Eowyn, that's a mistake.

Round 4 - Quest phase

Player 2 : Eowyn and Gloin are committed.
Player 1 : Frodo Baggins is committed.

Encounter deck reveals The East Bight and Despair (The 2 progress tokens on the quest card are removed).

Player 2 discards Steward of Gondor to Eowyn's ability. Willpower of 9 to a threat of 6, 3 progress tokens are put on the quest card.

Round 4 - Travel phase

Travel to The East Bight.

Round 4 - Encounter phase

Player 2 engages Marsh Adder, Player 1 can now engage Goblin Sniper.

Round 4 - Combat phase

Westfold Horse-Breaker blocks Marsh Adder. Player 2's threat is increased by 1 to 32. Shadow card is The Brown Lands (No effect). Westfold Horse-Breaker dies, Eowyn gets 1 resource.
Veteran Axehand blocks Goblin Sniper. Shadow card is Dol Guldur Orcs, Goblin Sniper gets +1 ATK and that's enough to kill Veteran Axehand. Eowyn gets 1 resource.
Legolas+Brand son of Bain+Beravor attack Marsh Adder and kill it, 3 progress tokens are put on The East Bight. Beravor is readied thanks to Brand son of Bain.
Player 2 activates Beravor to have Player 1 draw 2 cards : 2x Horseback Archer!

Round 4 - Refresh phase

Player 1's Threat = 30.
Player 2's Threat = 33.
First player token is passed to Player 1.

Round 5 - Resource phase

Player 1 draws Unseen Strike, Player 2 draws Lore of Imladris.

Round 5 - Planning phase

Player 1 activates Steward of Gondor and plays both Horseback Archers.
Player 2 plays Celebrian's Stone on Eowyn and plays Erebor Hammersmith. Ancient Mathom is returned to Player 1's hand from his discard pile.

Round 5 - Quest phase

Player 1 : Frodo Baggins is committed.
Player 2 : Gloin, Beravor and Eoywn are committed.

Encounter deck reveals Driven by Shadow (It gets Surge since no cards are in the staging area), Misty Mountain Goblins and Necromancer's Pass.

Player 2 activates The Riddermark's Finest to put 2 tokens on Necromancer's Pass, it is explored, Eowyn gets 1 resource. A willpower of 12 to a threat of 2, East Bight is explored and Stage 1 of the quest is over!

Round 5 - Travel phase

Nowhere to go!

Round 5 - Encounter phase

Player 2 engages Misty Mountain Goblins.

Round 5 - Combat phase

Horseback Archer blocks Goblin Sniper, Shadow card is Eastern Crows, Goblin Sniper gets +1 ATK and kills Horseback Archer, Eowyn gets 1 resource.
Erebor Hammersmith blocks Misty Mountain Goblins (Their ability has no effect since there are no progress tokens on the quest card), Shadow card is Dol Guldur Beastmaster (No effect). 1 damage on Erebor Hammersmith.
Brand son of Bain+Horseback Archer attack Misty Mountain Goblins and kill it, Beravor is readied.
Legolas attacks and kills Goblin Sniper, 3 progress tokens are pu on the quest card.
Player 2 activates Beravor to draw 2 cards : Miner of the Iron Hills and Erebor Hammersmith.

Round 5 - Refresh phase

Player 1's Threat = 31.
Player 2's Threat = 34.
First player token is passed to Player 2.

Round 6 - Resource phase

Player 1 draws Unexpected Courage, Player 2 draws Miner of the Iron Hills.

Round 6 - Planning phase

Player 2 plays Dwarven Tomb to retrieve The Riddermark's Finest from the discard pile and then plays it.
Player 1 activates Steward of Gondor, plays Veteran of Nanduhirion and Unexpected Courage on Legolas.

Round 6 - Quest phase

Player 2 : Eowyn, BEravor and Gloin are committed.
Player 1 : Frodo Baggins is committed.

Encounter deck reveals Hill Troll, Dol Guldur Orcs (Dealing 2 damage to Frodo using his ability to convert the damage to threat, now at 33), Eastern Crows and Misty Mountain Goblins.

Way to refill the staging area.

Player 2 plays Lorien's Wealth on himself, drawing Lore of Imladris, Sneak Attack and Miner of the Iron Hills.
Player 2 the discards Miner of the Iron Hills x3, Lore of Imladris x2 and Erebor Hammersmith ro Protector of Lorien. Willpower of 18 to a threat of 6, 12 tokens are added to the quest, making 15 total.

I intentionally didn't finish it yet because of the "When revealed" effect of stage 3.

Round 6 - Travel phase

Nowhere to go!

Round 6 - Encounter phase

Player 2 engages Hill Troll. Player 1 engages Misty Mountain Goblins.

Would love to engage more of them but I can't because of Stage 2 continuous effect.

Round 6 - Combat phase

Player 2 plays Snak Attack to put Gandalf into play, dealing 4 damage to Dol Guldur Orcs and killing them.
Gandalf blocks Hill Troll, Shadow card is Eastern Crows, Hill Troll gets +1 ATK and deals 3 damage to Gandalf.
Veteran of Nanduhirion blocks Misty Mountain Goblins, 1 progress token is removed from the quest card (Now at 14/16). Shadow card is Wolf Rider, it's put into play along with a Shadow card. Misty Mountain Goblins don't damage Veteran of Nanduhirion.
Horseback Archer blocks Wolf Rider, Shadow card is The Necromancer's Reach (No effect), 1 damage is dealt to Horseback Archer.
Erebor Hammersmith+The Riddermark's Finest+Legolas attack Hill Troll and deal him 2 damage.
Brand son of Bain attacks Wolf Rider and kills it.
Player 1 activates Unexpected Courage to ready Legolas.
Legolas attacks Misty Mountain Goblins and kills it thanks to Blade of Gondolin. 2 tokens are put on the quest card, finishing Stage 2.
Encounter deck reveals The Necromancer's Reach, Player 1 counters it using A Test of Will, Banks of the Anduin, Wargs and Goblin Sniper.
Goblin Sniper triggers his ability, 1 damage is put on Gloin (Along with 1 resource) and 1 is put on Brand.
Gandalf returns to Player 2's hand (Eowyn gets 1 resource).

Round 6 - Refresh phase

Player 1's Threat = 34.
Player 2's Threat = 35.
First player token is passed to Player 1.

Round 7 - Resource phase

Player 1 draws Swift Strike, Player 2 draws Snowbourn Scout.

Round 7 - Planning phase

Player 2 plays Snowbourn Scount, the progress token is put on Banks on the Anduin. He also plays Gandalf, dealing 4 damage to the Wargs and killing them.

Round 7 - Quest phase

Player 2 : Eowyn is committed. 6 willpower to a threat of 4 = 2 useless progress tokens are put on the quest card.

Round 7 - Travel phase

No travel.

Round 7 - Encounter phase

Player 1 engages Eastern Crows, Player 2 engages Goblin Sniper.

Round 7 - Combat phase

Veteran of Nenduhirion blocks Eastern Crows, Shadow card is Enchanted Stream (No effect).
Snowbourn Scout blocks Goblin Sniper. Player 1 plays Swift Strike, Goblin Sniper is killed (His Shadow card was Misty Mountain Goblins).
Gandalf blocks Hill Troll, Shadow card is Evil Storm (No effect), Gandalf is dealt 2 damage.
Frodo Baggins attacks and kills Eastern Crows.
Brand son of Bain+Legolas+Horseback Archer+Gloin attack and kill Hill Troll, GAME OVER!

Final score

Player 1 : Threat 34 + 3 wounds = 37.
Player 2 : Threat 35 + 5 wounds = 40.
6 complete rounds = 60.
-15 VPs

122

I really love this scenario. Simple design yet a lot of action. Good mix of enemies, locations and events. Always a blast to play.
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Rauli Kettunen
Finland
Oulu
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Insanely lucky shadow card draws cry ! Bastard !
 
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