You need a 'secrecy' hand first round, true. One copy of resourceful and one copy of 'Risk some Light', true. If not, you are in a problem. But there are lots of cards to draw, early you will get the secrecy cards. But true, all the game depends of the first hand.
Needful to Know is after you know the 3 top encounter cards, you use it when you know the next cards is coming has 2 or more threat points. Needful to Know is a little way to delay your secrecy time.
Gandalf is when you have lost the secrecy mode. You are between 21-25 threat and you have got any copy of Resourceful. If you have Risk Some Light and you arent in secrecy, this is so good card as to play it even paying!
If you control the encounter deck by Risk Some Light, low threat enemies not are problem, you can avoid them. Or you can prepare it so you can defend with another ally (there are some chump blockers like hammersmith or master of forge if you need block a hard attack) and kill the enemy with another ally (normally, low threat enemies have low attack and low defense). Gandalf also is never late
I have played this deck a lot of times and low threat enemies are not a big problem. Sure.
Even, it can seem that is imposible to play Peace and Thought, but if you know which cards are coming from encounter deck you can know the next total willpower you need to not loss the quest and use peace and thought without problems. Only with 2 wp from 1 hero and other from allies (Gildor is good, Gandalf if you need also, etc.)
Normally, if you play Peace and Thought the 2nd round, and 1 Mithrandil Advice, you have enough secrecy cards to continue playing goodly.
Traps are useless, trackers with bows are better. When you have played 2 copies, for example, of resourceful, you are ready to play trackers and bows. 3 copies of trackers and 2 copies of archers are enough to see in your hand any bow to can play on any eligible ally. 2 trackers with bows are very good, and 3: you are indestructible. You kill all enemy revealed, in 2 or 3 rounds, even before counting the quest.
Silvan Tracker is a defender, or a quester (you need willpower, of course, lol). And he is a very good passive healer. You dont need pay any cost to heal Mirlonde, Haldir or himselve. It is better than Warden because enemies dont damage you. Only the archery is the problem. When you have Silvan Tracker, you deal the damage archery in silvan characters and the problem is fixed. If you have 2 silvan trackers in play you can deal 6 archery per round! without counting haldir... It is a good idea, sure.
Dori is always if a hard enemy reach engage me and i haven't enough army to defend and attack. Dori gives me time (and peace) during one round to resolve the problem. Or is good when a treachery damage exhausted characters. Mirlonde is healed by the silvan ally, and Dori can heal the poor Pippin.
If you dont need decrease the threat (for example, you reached to play 2 copies of resourceful when you were in secrecy threat) Gandalf is a good damager of enemies. But, really, when you have in play the 3 trackers with bows, you dont need nothing more.
And yes: Nazgul dies by the 3 bower-trackers. Sure. Gandalf the fourth damage. And the 5th damage by attacking (you can add attacks: 2 mirlonde; 2 dori; 2 haldir; 2 gildor; 2 archers... and send him to staging to the trackers, lol). If you dont deal the 5th damage to the nazgul on the same round (for example, you used the trackers to kill alcaron) sure next round you will reach.
PD: the bigger problem is the resources, you need lots of resources to run the machine, if you dont have enough resourceful in play, you also can ask for resource to any friend thanks to Bifur (ah, playing with friends the combo RiskSomeLight+GildorCounsil is powerfull)
Edited by Mndela, 09 February 2014 - 10:51 AM.