Heya, so I'll give you my analysis of the game!
It first starts with all of our heros we were using. There were other characters on the other side of our heros, but the instructions for demo recommended Argorn, some elf, and some other dude theodray or something?... Aregorn had 12 shadow, 5 hit points, 2 wisdom, 3 attack, 2 defense (not actual stat names, but close enough). His ability was that he didn't exhaust when he committed to quests. The elf healed one of your guys a damage when it was committed to a story, and the other guy let you discard a card to add a resource token to a hero (any it seems not just yours). The elf was Spiritual (Blue) sphere of influence, and the other two were Purple... Leadership iirc.
The starting quest had us facing down a forest spider and an old forest road. The spider had 3 hit points, 1 armour, 2 attack, 2 threat. The location had 1 threat and an ability that granted the first player of that turn some card draw or something when we'd traveled there.
We'd play some cards, maybe some 2 cost purple unit that had some generic stats (IIRC 1 attack 1 defense 1 wisdom 3 hitpoints) or maybe a Seal of Gondor (exhaust the seal to add a resource to the hero its on) or Blessing of [something] (+1 wisdom to attached hero). Some other cards I remember were tactics that cancenled when revealed effects of shadow, that canceled shadow effects, ones that reduced your threat and readied a hero, let you draw two cards after an ally left play, an ally that allotted a progress token to all locations and the active quest, some archers which could attack when another player attacked...
We'd send in Aregorn and then elf usually (they both had 2 wisdom each) for quests, over powering the Shadow threat there by 4 initially, hoping stuff didn't go bad for us when more shadow cards were revealed. 2 more cards were thrown in (if there were two players) their "when revealed" effects resolved (sometimes decreasing each hero's willpower by 1, sometimes requiring that we all exhaust a character, sometimes requiring we all remove someone from the quest), and then we'd compare our willpower to the new threat. Sometimes progress was made, sometimes it was break even (if your will is greater than the threat, you apply the excess as progress to the quest). If it was too low all of your threat meters go up by that amount it was shy.
First you Travel. Players may choose ONE locaiton in the staging area (where the shadow encounter deck cards are initially). It gets moved out of the staging area and placed next to the quest card. Progress tokens are added to the location now, first, instead of the quest, until the location gets its own progress requirements done. This slows down your progress on the quest, but by traveling you at least don't have that extra threat sitting there for next time you quest. You may also encounter the enemies there. One by one players choose to encounter an enemy, moving it off the staging area and in front of their.. for a lack of a better term Party. This also removes its Threat from impeding your Progress but is now going to have it pummel you. The third step after selecting Enemies to encounter is for any in the staging area to come visit you. If a player's threat is high, the enemies might come visit you. Each enemy has its own threat threshold (usually like 35 or 40, but some are low like 10). They will visit you if your threat is higher than its threshold (you start at 31 = the sum of your heros starting threat, and it goes up by one each turn, and more if you suck at questing. see above). There may still be some enemies in the staging area. There was one particularly nasty one that would deal 5 damage to a hero the first time it encounters that player... that would kill off one Hero... its threat threshold was 40... best to avoid it and leave it in the staging area (it only had a will power threat resistence of 1).
Now the combat. One by one the enemies would get the top card of the encounter deck face down on them. One by one player's would exhaust a character to defend (hero or ally). That enemy would reveal its shadow effect (special text on every other card on encounter cards), do its attack minus the defenders defense in damage. Then repeat for each enemy. Then player's fight back. They would exhaust any number of their characters to attack enemies, adding up their attack, subtracting defense of enemy, and dealing that much damage. Some enemies had 3 HP, some 5, one nasty boss spider had 9... and also it had 3 defense... and 5 attack btw...
And viola. Get resources (one per Hero), play Ally or attachments, Questing, encounter cards added to staging area, results applied to quest card or locations you are travelling at, monsters encountered, defend against monster attacks, attack back. repeat.
Hope that gives you some idea of the mechanics. sorry i couldn't remember names of some stats... game on.