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Wojo's (beyond)100 plays challenge comments (UPDATE: The Redhorn Gate - conclusion)


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#41 Brownmantle

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 08:37 AM

I enjoy your posts. Keep it up! Looking forward to your thoughts on The Hobbit!

 

 

…you play alot more than I do, by the way…


But if it be a sin to covet honour,
I am the most offending soul alive.
 

 


#42 wojo

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 03:43 AM

 Glad to hear that you enjoy my post. As for hobbit I still have a long way to go as I will be playing the game in order it was released. Unfortunately this last two weeks I had little time to play the game as my schedule was very crazy but I am hoping that next week I will be back with more thoughts about the game.

Plan for next few posts is:
- Reach 10 plays of Massing
- Return to Core Set - see can I have a better luck against Escape From Dul Guldur with more player cards and experience
- Into the Khazad-dum

As a side notes:
- I just bought 3 first adventure packs from the second cycle. This were the first ones that I got new.
- I am really excited about Heirs of Númenor as I am impressed by the elegant way in which sieges and battles were implemented into the LOTR:LCG system.



#43 wojo

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 11:19 PM

Scenario played: Massing at Osgiliath
Date: 11 Oct 2012
Heroes (spheres): Eowyn, Frodo, Theodred (spirit/leadership)
Played 2 times - lost once and won once
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[Local] After my first successful attempt last time against the Massing at Osgiliath I wanted to check if the new modification of my standard deck and discovered strategy will be able to beat the scenario on a regular basis. First try was showing exactly that: I had quite a few allies, tons of resources (Eowyn had Steward of Gondor and Song of Kings) and I was even able to draw quite lot of cards. The only worry I had was threat I could not draw Galdaiers greeting for the life of me and some unlucky shadow cards (removing defender from combat) meant that Fordo had to convert tons of damage into threat. I was in the last stage of the quest and had 4 threat left before defeat. I could not afford to keep Whichking engaged but with all those allies and Faramir in play I was quite sure that I will manage to win. I made decent progress, Witchking engaged me, Snowburnt Scout was the designated defender … shadow card … remove defender from combat. I was devastated 6 damage to threat through Frodo meant I lost. EXCEPT later when going to sleep I realized that I could have sacrificed Frodo or Theodred and would be able to win next turn. This scenario does not leave much room for mistakes. Next time despite quite a bad draw at the begging I was able to win it was a struggle at least as the game length goes (17 turns, I've managed to go through all of the encounter cards) - although I was not able to field large army of allies I was quite luck as far as threat reduction goes. I also would have killed the Witchking (he had 8 damage on him) same turn as I completed the quest. Fun times.
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[General] I like how the scenario showed me that if I get careless and stop thinking it will punish me. I wonder now how many of the defeats I suffered could have been avoided if I just be more concentrated and saw a way out. This time I "paid the price" by playing according with the assumption - you can never allow your heroes to die. I am glad in fact that I realized that this is not the case - there are some very interesting (and thematic) plays available if you trow this assumption away. I still believe that if you loose a hero (I am talking about solo) at the start a game you will likely loose but … towards the end of scenarios it is not so. I am glad that the game forces me to question my strategic assumptions after so many plays.



#44 wojo

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 08:59 PM

Scenario played: Massing at Osgiliath
Date: 14 Oct 2012
Heroes (spheres): Eowyn, Frodo, Theodred (spirit/leadership)
Played 1 times - won
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[Local] Short comment this time. The scenario wanted me to reinforce the lesson from last time - sometimes you need to sacrifice a hero in order to win. What is funny - I almost missed it this time again and was about to admit to a defeat through reaching 50 threat (using Frodo ability to soak damage).
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[General] Recently I bought FFGs card boxes (more on this some other time) this allowed me to get the game with me "on the road" (ussing one box and 4 small containers for counters). I used to do it a lot in the beginning but soon my card pool extended so much that it did not make sense any more. Now I can do it again and it is very convenient especially if I already decided on the deck and scenario I will play.

NOTE: I played the game 3 times yesterday - I hope to log those plays today as well.



#45 wojo

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 10:09 PM

 Scenario played: Massing at Osgiliath
Date: 16 Oct 2012
Heroes (spheres): Eowyn, Frodo, Theodred (spirit/leadership)
Played 3 times - lost once, won twice
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[Local] Few observations:
- In my first attempt I decided I want to see if I can kill Witchking (and would it made scenario easier) and in fact I almost accomplished it. But while attempting this I got too many enemies engaged with me and despite killing the big bad I was was stomped by smaller guys. They were able to kill my allies and my hope to run away and finish the scenario was buried by Pelenor Field ("auto travel" location with 7 progress tokens requirements).
- Next time was a nail baiter. I had a quite bad card draw at the beginning (actually the draw was decent but I was cut off soon and lost nice allies). It took me long time to build a decent team and moving no further. Threat was a real danger through out, despite a decent progress made once I started moving. I was sure that I will be killed again but few good draws (especially Eomyr? - the guy who reduces threat increase from encounter cards while he is ready) allowed me to win with a terrible score - 209 but a great feeling of just making it - threat 49.
- In this attempt my deck showed what it can do if I am lucky with draws. First time ever I had 3 Sneak Attacks and 2 Gandalfs near the end of stage 3. I could have played my cards better (score wise) but I went and killed Witchking :). Final score 133.
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[General] One thing that is great in replaying single scenario several times is that you get "some feeling" towards certain cards. For example you learn to hate Witchking, love some treacheries that are not so devastating. This enhances play experience as you are rooting for certain cards to appear, cursing others when they show up. This increases excitement and ultimately gives you better experience. Of course there is a breaking point here - you can burn out on a scenario if played too many times in a row. So far I found that 10 attempts is just right for me. I am just curious when I will get around to replaying scenarios again. With so many new waiting for my I am afraid that it will not be as soon as I would like but we shall see.



#46 Dam

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 11:13 PM

wojo said:

 and finish the scenario was buried by Pelenor Field ("auto travel" location with 7 progress tokens requirements).

Didn't have enough in the threat bank to take the hit instead of travelling?


"A dirty mind is its own reward."


#47 wojo

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 11:41 PM

 Hmmm good point … I do not remember at this point but I actually forgot that you can opt not to travel to Pelenor Fields by paying threat. Would love to be able to recreate this situation and check … it would be great (in a sense :) ) to know that I lost due to my own mistake. 

Anyway thanks for reminding me about this option on Pelenor Fields - this is my fault sometimes I tend to play without rereading cards often enough so it sometimes mean that I forget about less used options. 



#48 wojo

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 02:10 AM

Scenario played: Massing at Osgiliath
Date: 17 Oct 2012
Heroes (spheres): Eowyn, Frodo, Theodred (spirit/leadership)
Played 2 times - lost once, won once
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[Local] In my first attempt I was as unlucky as I was lucky in my previous game (the one with 3 sneak attacks on Gandalf). My ally count was very low in initial hand (despite using mulligan) and I was swamped with enemies in the staging area. I was kind of hoping to get many cards from two Ancient Mathom but I simply did not have enough questing power to put any progress on active location. I died on turn 4. In the second try it was much better. I had a decent draw and early Ranger of Ithilien allowed me to move to stages 2, 3 and 4 much earlier then usual, I was able to achieve my second best score of 143 despite the fact that I did not have a spectacular draw as before.
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[General] It is time to present my final thoughts about this scenario. In short I liked it very much - I am sure that it is in my top 3 favorite ones for now. At first I was a bit surprised why people rate it so highly but as I was playing it more and more I came to similar conclusion. I have only two knocks against it as far as its design goes:
- Idea of putting good cards into the encounter deck is great and very exciting but it makes it a bit more random then usual scenario. If you draw them early you will have much easier time if you do not see them at all. I think it might be more interesting of you had some sub quest that you would have to sacrifice something (time, resources, progress tokens) to get them under your control.
- The initial step where you almost have to stay behind to prepare for later assault does not work thematically. I know, it would be enough to change flavor text on the first card a bit to make it work … but for some reason it bothers me.
There are many positive points so I will mention just one of them that seem to be a bit less obvious:
- 40 card encounter deck that you almost go through works much better in delivering consistent play experience then the regular larger ones (composed of cards from the core set and scenario). In the second case you often get easy plays (example drawing only core cards as encounter cards) or hard ones (only scenario ones drawn).
In short other positive points:
- Pacing, excellent stage 3 and 4, very good climax, nice thematic distinction between locations (west vs east bank), high reply value.



#49 wojo

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 12:28 AM

Scenario played: Escape from DG
Date: 29 Oct 2012
Heroes (spheres): Eowyn, Frodo, Theodred (spirit/leadership)
Played 5 times (even more but I do not count games that lasted shorter than 2-3 turns) - Lost all of them (as expected :) )
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[Local] Finally I decided to try my battle (MatO) tested deck against the bane of all solo players - Escape from DG. Come on, the old core set scenario, how hard it can be? Well as you can see from my results despite the fact that my pool of cards was greatly enhanced since first attempts it is still pretty much un-winnable :). I lost two or three games on setup (say two enemies amd caught in the web guarding objectives). In few others I was not able to move past the first stage of the quest. The most interesting attempts were the first one and the last one.
During the first one I got a decent hand and average encounter deck draws (some terrible some easy ones). I was able to move past stage one, have a prisoner rescued and was able to balance the threat from the staging area for several turns that allowed me to draw two sneak attacks and Gandalf. I was ready to announce that I will do it! Then I got a treachery that forced me to discard all events from my hands … after that few enemies appeared back to back in the staging area and slowly I was overwhelmed.
Last attempt was even more successful. I was able to move past stage two and I even was ready to take the Nazgul down. Threat was very high at this point unfortunately and enemies plus shadow effects soon took me above 50. I decided to play just to see how much over I would have to go … I was able "to win" with threat dial showing 58.
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[General] My thoughts on Escape from Dul Guldur are not settled yet - I like the challenge on one hand but I am cursing the ridiculous difficulty on the other. I will try to make my mind about it latter as I decided to see if further player cards will make this beatable. Into the Khazad Dum next!

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With those plays I completed the original 100 commented plays challenge. It took me 5 months to do it which averages 20 plays a month or 5 plays per week throughout. I am glad that I did it as it not only gave me an additional push to play the game more but it forced me to think about it much more and see its particular elements in more analytic light. That in turn also greatly enhanced my enjoyment.

So what now? I will continue playing LOTR:LCG and continue writing my thoughts down as long as it is still fun. I am still planning to write my "great LOTR:LCG review" but the scope I decided on seems so great that it will take a while.

Thank you for all people on FFG forums that commented on my posts it gave me much joy and additional motivation to continue.



#50 richsabre

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 02:13 AM

congrats on finishing your 100 plays…

rich


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#51 wojo

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 10:32 PM

 Khazad-Dum scenario #1
Scenario played: Into the Pit
Date: 29 Oct 2012
Heroes (spheres): Eowyn, Frodo, Theodred (spirit/leadership)
Played 5 times - Won, lost twice, tweaked my deck and won twice
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[Local] First play seemed like doomed cause from the start … on the very first card from encounter deck (sudden pitfall?) I lost Frodo. I decided to carry on just to get a feel for the scenario. It was though but slowly my fellowship grew and despite missing the hero I was making a progress. I was a bit scared when the second scenario card instructed me to look for Patrol Leader but he seemed fairly harmless and the boon of discarding new enemies drawn from the encounter deck solidified this felling. Sure enough it was not so … his swing killed one of my Northern Trackers (with a little help from shadow card) and my killing attack was canceled by his ability. I calculated my chances and saw that I will not be able to kill him in one go next time around as one of my attackers would have to stand down to defend. Two swings in turn meant two chances that some damage will be be cancelled. Luckily for me I draw Gandalf and with his help I was able to kill the orc (no cancel this time). Last stage surprised me again with no resources generation but Theodred skill helped me to get few crucial cards out and I won. I was about to declare the scenario easy (well wining with only two heroes from the start made me fell confident) when next to plays happened:
- First I lost due to the threat dial exploding … treacheries and enemies kept my team down to only heroes and the amount of damage that had to be converted by Frodo to threat soon enough put me into high 40s. At the same time locations kept piling up (I was unwilling to explore Zigil Shaft using its threat raising ability and unable to overcome it in the staging area) and I made no progress … 50 was reached soon enough.
- Second one was lost by enemies chopping my team into pieces. I told you about the boon of discarding enemies in stage two? Well it turns out that enemies can show up from shadow effects as well - I had 3 goblin swordsman show up this way and this combined with Patrol Leader resistance to damage …
After those two tries I spotted 2 cards that were littering my deck (song of kings and dunedain mark) so I replaced them with more useful stuff (added 2 more copies of Elfhelm, 3x Zigil Miner and Lorien Guide). This made resource demand of my deck more balanced (more spirit cards since I have two heroes from this sphere) and in the evening I made two more attempts and this time was more successful.
- I would call this attempt - slow and steady way through the mines. I was able to menage my threat quite well and cancel some nasty shadow cards/treacheries with hasty stroke/strength of will.
- Next one was probably my favorite play of this scenario. I would entitle it: "Everything goes well until …". It was going extremely well I had ton of resources, quite a number of allies in play. I was about to take down the patrol leader when his attack shadow effect killed two of my heroes (Frodo was discarded as a defender and than Theodred had to die as a result of undefended attack). What was even worse damage from my attack was again canceled by Patrol Leader. I was about to quit … but for the last time I looked at my hand, the table. I had ton of cards but half of them was unplayable anymore with Theodred gone but I had Gandalf in hand and ton of resources on my last hero (Eowyn had a Steward of Gondor attached). I had last chance … play Gandalf and instant kill the Leader. It was cancelled of course but this time normal attack went through. Next it was a race to exit (well race up to find the book :) ). Of course enemies started to pop up from the encounter deck and watchful eyes that were placed on Eowyn. Next turn though I was able to complete this very exciting play and congratulate myself on the win and best score despite two dead heroes.
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[General] Short thoughts as I wrote too much already:
- I have a strange felling about this scenario's difficulty. I won it twice despite loosing heroes. I lost it twice despite avoiding the worst treacheries.
- I guess it follows from the fact that in this scenario is very dangerous if you draw too many enemies at the same time. This in turns follows from the shadow effects which are frequent and quite brutal (discard defender) /annoying (cancel damage on this enemy). This makes relatively weak enemies (as Goblin Swordman) quite powerful and unpredictible at times.
- I want to bash instant kill treacheries (especially sudden pitfall) but due to my experiences I am not ready to do it yet.
- I love some treacheries that force you keep strong guys ready (exhausted hero at the end of combat=another card from the encounter deck, exhaust character and see if he is not strong enough you have to discard him).
All in all I like this scenario even if it is a bit too swingy for my taste.



#52 wojo

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 01:11 AM

Scenario played: Into the Pit
Date: 07 Nov 2012
Heroes (spheres): Eowyn, Frodo, Theodred (spirit/leadership)
Played 5 times - Won 3 times, lost twice
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[Local] Last time I went overboard with describing how my plays want so this time I will keep it short.
LOST:
- Thread exploded (although I kept playing and my final threat level would be 48)
- Enemies overwhelmed me. I had 3 goblin swordsmen (their shadow effect is strong) and Patrol leader engaged at one time. At this point it didn't matter that I had 5 or so allies in my fellowship. I made a mistake here of traveling to Khazad Bridge and was unable to explore it next
WON:
I will not comment much here. The deck works quite good although I should consider few more cards that can put progress tokens on locations in the staging area (ex.: replace Zigil Miner with Ridermarch Finest) to be able to move through stage one faster if I do not draw Northern Tracker or Snowburn Scout).
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[General] Here I planned to put my final thoughts on the scenario but it is hard. Why? Because I do not like it so much but I can't seem to pin down why. Maybe bullet list will help:
The Good:
- Excellent and thematic first stage - you need to enter through a gate, visit the first chamber and traverse the bridge.
- Nasty treacheries that you have to take into account when planing your quest phase (ex.: The one that forces you to exhaust a character and by flip of a card check if he dies can be easily avoided by committing all characters but if you get an enemy instead? By a similar token sudden pitfall forces you to send some disposable characters on the quest not to loose your strong quester with same trade off)
The Bad:
- Although the scenario really tries to tell a story of entering the mines, grabbing a goblin and looking for a book for some reason it all feels a bit forcefully put together.
- Nasty, instant kill shadow effects (sudden pitfall, goblin enemies get +3 - they all are, +2 when last player is attacked - I always am solo) … I can see how to try to deal with nasty treacheries but here there is little you can do against shadow (there is only so many hasty strokes you can draw … except see final remarks bellow*)
- Stage 3 (and a second one once you get its start under control) are a bit boring to tell the truth. Yeah resource ban at the end seems hard but ussualy at this point you do not need much anyway as you racing to the end.

*I wonder if this scenario would play better with lore sphere. I can see several cards that would work great (Denethor, burning brand, Riversong, strider path, forest snare etc.). Especially Denethor's skill could offset some nasty strings of enemies and their deadly shadow effects while spirit would take care of location and questing. Yes I guess it would work better but two of my points of criticism would still stay the same.



#53 wojo

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 12:05 AM

Scenario played: The seventh level
Date: 08 Nov 2012
Heroes (spheres): Eowyn, Gimli, Legolas (earlier Boromir) (tactics/spirit)
Played 4 times: 3 loses and 1 win.
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[Local] This time I've broken my own rule and glanced at the cards composing the scenario before playing. I saw many enemies and decided to that this a good excuse to finally significantly change my deck. I got rid of leadership and went with one spirit and two tactics heroes. Here is the summary of my experiences:
- First attempt (I used Boromir here). Goblin Archers were the bane of existence this time. I had almost no way to deal with them except Gandalf (I overlooked that 3 copies of one time use attack eagle had ranged skill). At first I was not worried looking at huge amount of hit points my tactics heroes had but … when two of them were in the staging area - I was taking two (or even four) wounds in one round and my progress was completely stooped.
- I decided to modify my deck to include more ranged characters but decided that the only way to be sure to have them in play is to replace Boromir with Legolas. This time I was unable to draw any allies and with three man team the pool of events I had in my hand quickly dwindled down to handle some not so difficult situations. I was soon overwhelmed by the enemies unable to keep up with limited support.
- I reduced the number of weapons in my deck and replaced them with more allies. I also included more spirit allies as resources kept piling up on Eowyn. This time I had an excellent draw and was sure to succeed this time. Everything went well until Orc Summoner appeared - including the additional enemy from scenario I had 4 enemies in the staging area after this phase. I looked at my cards and decided that I can still pull it off. Two of my allies went down and two enemies went down but … shadow effects added next two enemies to the staging area before next round even started … which added two more. I was dead.
- I was about to give up but determination kept me going and decided to go one more. I won this time but to tell the truth it was still though and it took me 11 turns (I was fairly lucky with draws in the second stage this time). Again I had problem with the archers. I realized that Legolas without any weapon can't kill them due to their ridiculously high defence of 3. Nevertheless once I was able to deal with them it went much better.
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[General] Oh man! This was way harder that I expected. After all FFG's DL for this scenario is 3 which is the second easiest ever. I think playtesters that assigned it were very very lucky in their attempts or their deck building skills are through the roof. In all honesty I can see that it can be very easy if you are lucky but it can kill any imaginable fellowship that you could construct with a little help of (un)luck. I feel that difficulty of particular attempt can rage from 1 all the way to 10. I do have some ideas on how to improve my deck though:

- I need more cheap allies with two willpower points - Eowyn needs support in questing at times.
- I am curious if all spirit deck can attempt to run through this scenario with reasonable chance for success.



#54 wojo

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 11:27 PM

Scenario played: The seventh level
Date: 08 Nov 2012
Heroes (spheres): Eowyn, Gimli, Legolas (tactics/spirit)
Played 4 times: lost x3, won once
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[Local] After each subsequent loss I went and adjusted my deck a little but it seems that I can't beat the quest on a regular basis. I will not go into the details of each play as the scenario seems fairly standard - I get overwhelmed by tons of enemies. As for deck tweaks I added more allies (spirit with 2 will power). What is even worse after so many failures my successful attempt didn't feel all that great and I would say that luck contributed as much to my success as deck changes.
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[General] Wow, talk about frustrating experience! At the same time I feel like FFG is mocking me with their difficulty rating of 3 for this one and this forces me to think about new tweaks to make my deck at least semi successful against this scenario. I even resorted to reading few session reports to get some inspiration on how to improve my deck and found few interesting ideas:
- How about replacing Legolas with Thalin? The main reason for introducing Legolas was to deal with goblin archers … but what if I could kill them just when they appear from the encounter deck?
- So far I didn't include the escort from Edoras as I felt that one time use allies are a waste for this scenario. Now I see that they might allow me to quickly finish stage two of the quest when things get out of hand quickly.

What I am worried about is the loss of progress I was getting from Legolas and the fact that I will have to keep Gimli behind to attack which means loss of one will power during questing (at least at stage one). We shall see.

So despite the above negative comments you can see that I am intrigued by the scenario which is a good thing of course - it forced me to question my deck building.



#55 monkeyrama

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 02:15 AM

For what it's worth, Seventh Level's difficulty rating seems to be set up for 2 players, since I've had the same experience as you in solo play: so hard! One way to get through the mass of orcs etc is to have Thalin questing, and then Gondorian Spearman as defender, since many many orcs in this quest only have 2 HP. It is very tough solo though, no question.



#56 wojo

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 07:20 PM

Scenario played: The seventh level
Date: 12 Nov 2012
Heroes (spheres): Eowyn, Gimli, Legolas (tactics/spirit)
Played 2 times, won both.
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[Local] After so many losses it was refreshing to win twice in a row. I had previously constructed deck with me and was able to play for a bit. It means that I was unable to test any of previously presented ideas but here is short description of my experiences this time:
- First try was like walk in the park. Enemies were coming one or two at the time and even troll was unable to impress me much (I used feint and killed him right after that). In three turns I was ready to go to the second stage and I was able to beat it in two turns and achieved the best score so far.
- Second one was much harder. I had three enemies (including troll) engaged with me and two more waiting in the staging area at some point. Nevertheless by "clever wound distribution" among heroes i was able to survive and put everything under control. I won with the worst score so far this time. All of my heroes had max number of wounds possible on them.
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[General] What contributed to my wins this time was a slight change in my strategy and a little bit of luck (no orc horn blowers in both attempts - they were discarded as shadow cards). My "new" strategy is two move through stage one slower so that I am in a position to end stage two of the quest in at most two round. This requires a slower progress on stage one (several times in my second try this time I have not used the Legolas ability)

I can see that my deck is fairly effective against this scenario I really see cards that I am not glad to have drawn (maybe I might get rid of the armor for Gimli and replace it with stronger/more expensive tactics ally).

Monkeyrama, thanks for your replay. I was actually amazed by the fact that not so many players complained about this scenario difficulty, so thanks for stepping up and saying that you had similar experience. I can see now that indeed DR=3 might be correct for two players. Thank you also for the hint with Thalin/Gondor spearman combo - it is a very good one. I am using Swift Strike for the some reason but since I have only two copies of it available it is not so reliable and what is worst it is one time use only while your combo seems to have a possibility of working every round.



#57 wojo

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 10:53 PM

Scenario played: The seventh level
Date: 14 Nov 2012
Heroes (spheres): Eowyn, Gimli, Thalin (tactics/spirit)
Played 3 times - lost twice, won once (beat my worst score :) )
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[Local] I was abut to play the game with my recently successful deck but since this time I had my cards handy I decided to try replacing Legolas with Thalin. I attached the Book of M. to him so he can be committed to the quest and still be able to act as a defender. Losses were due to enemies swarming and location(!) lock. In all three games I faced trolls coming in close succession (twice it was round after round so I guess my shuffling was not throughout enough). I made small adjustments to my deck each time (getting rid of the armor, blade of Gondolin and replacing them with Veteran Axehand and Dwarrowdelf Axe). I felt confident that my deck is ready but still I lost twice. Here are some things that work great:
- Thalin and Gondorian spearman is an auto-kill for most of the enemies that come from the encounter deck (bypassing the shadow effect which is very important)
- One troll is not a great threat by itself although I usually need to sacrifice a strong ally (Winged Guardian all Gandalf) and powerful event (feint, quick strike etc.)
- Thalin auto-kill on Goblin archers.
Here are some things that were not great:
- Two troll is the row are also manageable most of the time but it cost me too much and if shadow effects are though I am left too vulnerable.
- Not enough shadow cancel (although I fell I have many ways, auto-kill combo as above, swift strike, hasty stroke … would love to have burning brand somehow)
- Thalin can't attack because of the book (although I need him committed to the quest anyway) this means that faint becomes waker then with Legolas as I am loosing some attack power.
- Not enough quest power to quickly go through stage two (here the loss of Legolas was visible and allowed for location lock once)
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[General] I hate this scenario for its random nature but I love the way it challenges me to optimize my deck to the last single card. On the other hand I can see that as far as mechanics go this quest is fairly weak and only its challenging nature keeps me trying to beat it. As I see it now if I find a deck with over 50% win percentage I will put this quest to rest and do not expect to return to it any time soon.

Having said that I am loving the fact that I get to play with so many new cards (tactics mostly) and said goodbye (for now) to few favorite but overused (Sneak attack, Steward of Gondor, The Galadhrim's Greeting etc.)

One more thing that I like is that now fighting feels very tactical. There usually few ways to deal with a given enemy (enemies) and you need a little bit of planing and some thinking on how to do it in oreder to be ready for later.



#58 wojo

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 08:23 PM

Scenario played: The seventh level
Date: 14 Nov 2012 (it is hard to keep the dates stright)
Heroes (spheres): Eowyn, Gimli, Thalin (tactics/spirit)
Played 2 times - won twice
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[Local] After last games I made two adjustments got rid of Stand up and Fight and Dwarrowdelf Axe and added Eagles of the Misty Mountains and Escort from Edoras. First choice was to add more expensive tactics allies as in several games I saw this resources pilling up on the heroes and I like the versatility of EoftMM as they can both quest and fight well (their response might be also interesting but my deck comes with 9 eagles cards in total so I am not counting on it much). Escort from Edoras was added mainly to push through stage two fast.
- First play was a fairly straightforward win although early troll did make me go slower than I would like.
- In the second play I've drawn Goblin Archer as a setup card (very unlucky draw for my deck as otherwise those guys die from Thalin's ability). This constant +2 threat lead to a location lock (augmented by annoying goblin scout) that almost killed me but with the help of Escort from Edoras and all my questing characters I was able to brake it. I lost a lot of time though and threat was a real danger but strong questing power (timely Gandalf helped) allowed me to get through stage 2 fast.
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[General] I think I've finally found a deck that I am satisfied with. Of course random nature of this quest will still lead to losses but I am quite confident that I can win more then 50% of the time now. I will play some more to confirm that but expect reports from the next scenario (Flight from Moria) soon.

All in all my final opinion on this quest is settling on a positive one. Yeah, it is random, non very well balanced and the story it tells is not an engaging one but it forced complete redesign of my deck which is a great thing, it allowed me to see and use so many cards that "were collecting dust" in the box, revisit heroes that I have not seen since playing with core set alone. New challenge is next to new stories and exciting games is something that I look very much in each new adventure pack so even if those other elements are missing I am still happy with how this scenario turned out after all.



#59 wojo

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 08:21 PM

Scenario played: The seventh level
Date: 18 Nov 2012
Heroes (spheres): Eowyn, Gimli, Thalin (tactics/spirit)
Played 4 times - lost twice, won twice
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[Local] First defeat was caused by the second troll coming before I was able to deal with the first one (actually other enemies slowed me down with killing the first troll). This was too much to handle and my heroes were defeated. In the second attempt treacheries had their way with me and the troll sealed my fate. Three of my allies were discarded due to treacheries and in that final one was discarded when defending the troll (which meant auto-kill on one of the heroes). I decided to play for a while (as troll did go down after that) but when unexpected courage of Gimli was discarded on another treachery I knew I was going down.

As for successful attempts there was not much to them. I got my deck going and even orc horn blower was unable to stop me although it did slow me down on my second attempt.
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[General] I know I am running in circles with a rating on this scenario and I think it will stay like this the end. This time I was dissatisfied with my plays. It feels that after all this deck optimization it still all goes down to how encounter deck is treating me - if it trows its best at me then I am toasted and if not the games are quite boring. I am glad that I am happy with all my draws and rarely I see a card that I feel is a waste at this time this means that the deck is as good as I can do for now.

If I put all this thoughts about The Seventh level scenario together I am coming up with an average score. The thing is that its best quality is that is first combat intensive one that forced me to rethink my strategy but I am fully expecting it to be overshadowed soon by another scenario that will do it much better and in a less random way.

This brings me to a more general observation about gaming (and even beyond): If a game (scenario, movie etc.) brings something new to the table (be it mechanics, felling, story) it will capture your attention for sure but after all the fact whether it is well executed will decide if it will stay and be enjoyed for longer time and be considered seminal or be replaced/forgotten.



#60 wojo

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 12:12 AM

Date: 20 Nov 2012
Heroes (spheres): Eowyn, Gimli, Thalin (tactics/spirit)
Played 2 times - won both
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[Local] Noting new to report here. During first play I had an excellent draws and was sure that I can win and I did. I was a bit disappointed that I was unable to beat my high score (actually it was way worse, I must have spent too much time in stage one). In the second case I had a terrible draw (too many spirit cards). I had a tense moment when defender designed to absorb troll's attack was discarded by a shadow effect I had to kill two additional allies to soften the blow before soaking damage to Gimli. Despite that I was able to kill the troll and go on and win in the end.
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[General] Nothing new about the scenario so I will go on and present a mini review of FFG's deck boxes in a separate thread.






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