Rick Bateman
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Let me say first of all that I'm really nervous about posting a session report because I'm afraid that somebody will point out a major rule or card effect that I misinterpreted, thus philosophically invalidating my victory.
That being said, if I am doing something wrong, I'd rather know about it, so here goes.

This was my third time playing JatA, ever (well, I played a couple times to test out some house rules I'm working on, but that doesn't really count). Heck, I've only owned the game for two weeks! I don't say this to brag, but simply to contextualize my own astonishment at how thoroughly I defeated this scenario. I didn't really expect it would ever happen, at least not until I got some expansion packs, or at least broke down and played two-fisted. I've posted before about how frustrating it is that the game's difficulty makes choosing your heroes based on theme a good way to get your head handed to you on a bloody platter. So, in my first two games, I was kinda compromising; I chose my heroes according to theme, and then I swapped the most expensive one out for a cheap hero, to make sure my threat was low enough that I'd have time to prepare for the hill troll. I was pretty pleased in my first game when I did successfully defeat the hill troll, but even then (and more so in my second game) I never had the slightest expectation of winning. But being a gamer who is always very impatient for progress, by my third game I was ready to break down and choose my heroes based purely on the dictates of the game (I'm such a sellout). I was using a tri-sphere deck of Lore, Spirit, and Leadership, and I like what each of those spheres has to offer, so I selected Eowyn for Willpower, Denethor for defense, and Theodred mainly because he was cheap. I realized that those three don't have much in the way of combat, but I figured I'd just have to rely on allies for that.

I was lucky to draw some really good attachments early on. I put Celebrian's Stone and Favor of the Lady on Eowyn, boosting her Willpower to 7, making her a serious force to be reckoned with on quests. I put Unexpected Courage on Denethor so he could take his special action and still be available to defend later. I even had Steward of Gondor in my hand, and left it there because I wanted to wait until I saw that one sphere clearly needed it more than the others, and then assign it to that hero. I ended up leaving it in my hand through to the end of the game (along with a Self-Preservation), because none of the spheres ever really needed resources much at all (at the end of the game, I had a total of 12 resources in the respective pools). I also got two Galadhrim's Greeting early on, plus a Dwarven Tomb, so I was able to lower my threat by 18 before ever facing the hill trolls (yeah, the other came out and joined his buddy in the staging area), and used Gandalf to lower it by another 5 when he came out to help with the trolls. (You know, I really need to make sure I've got all three Gandalfs in my deck, because I can't remember a game when I've drawn more than one.)

Naturally, with that much threat reduction, I had plenty of time to prepare for the trolls. With Eowyn's Willpower so amped-up (and Faramir later on), she had no problem with questing, and I ended up with eight progress tokens just sitting on the first scenario card for quite a while before finally deeming myself ready to engage the trolls. When I finally did, I played a "For Gondor!" and defeated them in one turn (with my threat so low, there would've been no urgency to engage them until I could take them out all at once). I got through the second card in two turns; the only enemy that came up was a Misty Mountain Goblin, with the other cards being either locations or maybe a treachery that didn't hurt me noticeably. For the third scenario card, I drew Eastern Crows that surged into another Eastern Crows, but the other two cards just ended up being locations again (I did get pretty lucky with the encounter deck, other than that second troll and a Marsh Adder; I didn't even get any bad Shadow cards). I easily defeated the crows and the goblin, and that was the game, unless I'm drastically misinterpreting something here. The gamer side of me feels proud that I won so easily after I picked good heroes (though there was certainly a lot of luck, but I'm getting the sense that there always is in this game), but the thematic player in me kinda feels a little frustrated at the dramatic gulf between playing with thematic versus practical hero selection. Still, it does feel really nice to win.

If anyone's curious, my ending threat was 32 and I had no damage on my heroes, so with 10 VP, my old-style score would be 22. I'm way too lazy to keep track of turns, but based on how much my threat went up or down, (started at 25, reduced by 23, increased by maybe 10 or so by various card effects), I would estimate a new-style score of maybe 242. Not great, I would think, but I'm not really a fan of that new scoring rule. Perhaps it may be specifically directed at people who "turtle" like this to build up their forces while keeping their threat low, but I say, if I don't want to get on the raft yet, why should I be penalized for that? Anyway, old and new, those are my scores.

The trouble with playing a game solo is that you don't have anyone to catch your mistakes with the rules, and I did at one point catch myself doing one thing wrong (although I'm also fairly certain that it didn't have any major impact on the game). If in the course of reading this report, you see an indication that I did something else wrong which would significantly effect the game, all I ask is that you wait 24 hours to post it so I can enjoy my supposed victory a little longer. whistle
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Thanee
Germany
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Congratulations!

Only thing that you might have done wrong (isn't quite clear from what you wrote) is, that you can only engage (actively) one enemy each round. So you would have to engage one troll, defend, then next round engage the other one, defend both, then kill them both (maybe that is what you did, though, as I said, it isn't quite clear).

Bye
Thanee
 
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Tom Howard
United States
Marina del Rey
California
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Well done!

You must've been turtling like crazy. Just looking at the Spirit cards you mention playing (Favor of the Lady, Unexpected Courage, 3x The Galadhrim's Greeting, Dwarven Tomb), you're spending at least 14 Spirit resources (with 12 resources to spare at the end of the game?). That's a lot for one Spirit hero to generate without Steward of Gondor, lol. I assume Theodred gave her a resource just about every round? Hell, if you pulled it off, that's awesome.

Congrats on your win.
 
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No No No Sheep
Russia
St Petersburg
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deck list please
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Thanee
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GeckoTH wrote:
(with 12 resources to spare at the end of the game?)


I read that as 12 betwen all three heroes, not 12+ each.

Bye
Thanee
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Rick Bateman
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Thanee wrote:

Only thing that you might have done wrong (isn't quite clear from what you wrote) is, that you can only engage (actively) one enemy each round. So you would have to engage one troll, defend, then next round engage the other one, defend both, then kill them both (maybe that is what you did, though, as I said, it isn't quite clear).


No, you're correct, I engaged them both at the same time. Now that you bring it up, I do remember reading the rule about only voluntarily engaging one enemy per turn, but I guess before now, I just had so little occasion to voluntarily engage enemies that it didn't give that rule a chance to sink in. It's okay, though, I would've had to shuffle a couple things, but I'm quite sure I still would've been able to beat both trolls (for that matter, I might've just been able to save "For Gondor!" for later, not that I needed it).

GeckoTH wrote:

You must've been turtling like crazy. Just looking at the Spirit cards you mention playing (Favor of the Lady, Unexpected Courage, 3x The Galadhrim's Greeting, Dwarven Tomb), you're spending at least 14 Spirit resources (with 12 resources to spare at the end of the game?). That's a lot for one Spirit hero to generate without Steward of Gondor, lol. I assume Theodred gave her a resource just about every round? Hell, if you pulled it off, that's awesome.


Yeah, Eowyn was the one whose pool was always the emptiest (but she was also usually the one with the least cards to buy in my hand). Theodred did give her quite a few resources, but mostly it was just having so much time from the threat reduction. I'm not sure if it all would've worked without that key element.

Thanee wrote:

I read that as 12 betwen all three heroes, not 12+ each.


Correct.
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David Rauscher
New Zealand
Mount Victoria
Wellington
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Last time I played this scenario (with 2 players), during set-up we drew 2 encounter cards, as directed bythe quest card (draw 2 cards from the encounter deck and place in the staging area). Both cards increased our threat levels, so we were at something like 34 and 35 respectively from turn 1. Never even had a chance to avoid that first troll, though a handy Gandalf let us take him out quickly.

Stage 2 was a killer though. Drawing that +1 encounter card meant that, even questing ~12-14 a turn we were still not getting out any progress tokens, which meant an effort at removing the tougher monsters from the staging area.

Still haven't figured out how to beat this scenario after 5 or 6 plays. Quite frustrating.
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Thanee
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One word: Northern Tracker

Ok, that's two words, actually.

They are really handy in keeping the Staging Area clean. Obviously, you also need a way to deal with enemies, but with two players, you can engage two per round (and hopefully kill them).

In general, the key is to have as few cards as possible in the Staging Area. To achieve that, you need to have the means to get rid of them.

Bye
Thanee
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No No No Sheep
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Thanee wrote:
One word: Northern Tracker

Ok, that's two words, actually.

They are really handy in keeping the Staging Area clean. Obviously, you also need a way to deal with enemies, but with two players, you can engage two per round (and hopefully kill them).

In general, the key is to have as few cards as possible in the Staging Area. To achieve that, you need to have the means to get rid of them.

Bye
Thanee


2 player deck , each with 2xNorthen Tracker, 4 Northren Tracker in play.. thats crazy.. thats 1 progress token on each location in staging are PER tracker.. no location is safe

Quote:
After Northern Tracker commits to a quest, place 1 progress token on each location in the staging area.










 
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