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The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Shadows of Mirkwood – One Deck (Part One) rss

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Neil L

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Having played all of the scenarios from the core set, Shadows of Mirkwood, Khazad-Dum & Dwarrowdelf at one time or another, I’ve decided my next LOTR challenge should be to play through the various series with a single deck (or pair of decks).

To kick off this challenge, I’ve decided to play through Shadows of Mirkwood with one deck. The deck I chose to use is the Aragorn/Eladan/Elrohir deck put together by FFG and listed on their website (link below). I like this deck thematically; these 3 “sons of Elrond” seem at home questing through Mirkwood.

I played this deck as listed with only 1 minor modification—I added 1 Path of Need to the deck, giving me a total of 51 cards. I think every leadership deck could benefit from the addition of this card.

The deck has a good mix of low-cost allies and attachments that compliment the heroes. There are a couple of challenges that the deck presents, though. First, Gandalf is missing, and getting used to playing without Gandalf is tough. Second, there’s no threat reduction in the deck (Gandalf would help here!). With a starting threat of 32, you have 18 turns before your threat hits 50—and that’s if you don’t take a threat hit while questing or from other card effects (unlikely). So you have to move quickly. Fortunately, the allies, attachments and events are all fairly low cost, so it shouldn't take long to develop.

Deck: http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_news.asp?eidn=3419

The Hunt for Gollum
Attempts: 1
Score: 201

This was a tough slog. I only had 2 allies make it in to play. At the end of the game, there were only 6 cards in my discard pile (including the aforementioned pair of allies). I did have a lot of attachments though— a total of 10. Aragorn had Sword that was Broken and a couple of Dunedain Quests to take care of questing. Elladan was buffed into a killing machine, so he took care of the baddies. Even so, with only a couple of allies to help, it took longer to get through than I would have liked—I managed to squeak out the win while sitting on 49 threat. No brilliant play on my part, it was more like I (just barely) outlasted the encounter deck.

One of the things that’s helpful in this quest is the “look at x cards and add one to staging” mechanic found on 1B and 2B. This allows you to avoid some bad encounter cards.


Conflict at the Carrock
Attempts: 2
Score: 173

This one went pretty well (on my second attempt). I was fortunate to get a good opening hand that included Steward of Gondor and Celebrian’s Stone—2 of the 3 key attachments you want to get on Aragorn (Sword that was Broken being the third). My good fortune continued when my very first encounter card was Bee Pastures, so Grimbeorn hit the staging area early. I already had Steward in play, so it didn’t take long to add Grimbeorn to my party.

From that point, it was a matter of managing my questing carefully—I actually wanted to stall a bit to get some allies into play before dealing with the trolls. Also, I needed to build up some resources on Aragorn. An ill-timed encounter draw of Brown Lands (threat 5) and then A Frightened Beast pushed my threat up, so I had to go ahead and put that last progress on 1B and move on to the trolls.

Dealing with the trolls wasn’t too bad—I took them all out in 2 turns.

On the first troll-turn, I used Parting Gifts to move a ton of resource over to Elladan. I played Feint on Louis, so he couldn’t attack and ding me for 3 threat. Played 2 copies of Dawn Take You All to eliminate 2 shadow cards. Grimbeorn took the attack from 2 of the trolls, and Elrohir from the third. Elladan used his ability to ready himself to unleash a barrage of attacks on the trolls. Elladan was equipped with Rivendell Blade, which lowered the defense of the trolls. With the help of the allies (including Grimbeorn) and the other heroes, Elladan took out Stuart first (to eliminate the +1 defense he gives the others) and then Louis (can’t have him raising my threat). Elladan was out of helpers, but by himself was able to ding Morris and Rupert for 4 damage each. And he also took care of the Muck Adder that accompanied the trolls.

On the second troll turn, Wargs joined the trolls. And the shadow card for the Wargs was a wolf rider, so things got a little complicated. Elrohir successfully defended against the Wargs and one of the trolls. Grimbeorn took the attack of the other troll. A brave Snowbourne scout fell to the Wolf Rider. Now it was time to mop up. Elladan used some help to take care of the last 2 trolls, and took out the Wargs on his own.

Final threat was 47, but it didn’t feel that close—as I mentioned before, a couple of encounter draws pushed my threat up a bit.
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John Davis
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Are you sure you played this correctly? If all 4 trolls attack together, Louis' ability will increase your threat by 12. With no threat reduction in your deck, and a starting threat of 32, I don't see how you survived this!
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Neil L

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Oh hell, you're right. I misread Louis.

I'll have to retry the scenario. Based on the cards in the deck, I'll need to have Elladan buffed and a couple of copies of Quick Strike in hand to take out Louis before he can attack. The other three aren't so bad.

So it's like drawing the inside straight in poker.

Every time I've played this in the past, I've used a deck designed to specifically keep threat low and engage the trolls one at a time. That won't be possible with this deck.

Just reinforces how hard it is to have utilitarian deck that can make it through all 6 of series of adventure packs.


Good catch, thanks for pointing it out.
 
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Neil L

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I've taken shots at Journey and Hills with this deck today (several shots, actually), and I don't think this deck is going to be able to solo all the way through the 6 Mirkwood quests.

I've got another "Sons of Elrond" deck that I made over the summer, with the Lore Aragorn, instead of Leadership Aragorn, and obviously a different selection of allies etc. It's a better balanced deck than this one, but not quite as battle-ready.

So I think I'll start over with that deck, as I still think Aragorn, Elrohir & Elladan makes sense as a set of heroes for this series. So stay tuned.
 
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John Davis
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To be honest, I don't think you'll have much success with the deck unless you add some threat reduction... Gandalf would be my choice.
 
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