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How are you long time Veterans beating this game solo?


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#1 DurinIII

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 12:28 PM

As most of you know, I have been at this game from just about its conception.  I have yet to win much at all solo without the obvious limiting myself to Eowyn and Beravor.  What I am most annoyed with is that they are better bang for your buck when it comes to solo play; I am at a huge disadvantage if I do not play them, but I would like to be able to win a bit more with other deck strategies.  I am about to give up on this game as far as solo play is concerned. It is just not balanced well at all (I know, broken record, but I need to vent!) I have lost so much with new deck builds against any Quest difficulty 5 and up. I think that is pretty lame from a design perspective. Any help guys? Thanks! 



#2 richsabre

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 12:45 PM

no durin dont give up!!!!! :(  ok well you know ive been here since you have, and i dont pretend to be great at it as such, but i do have quite a bit of success having beat all but guldur solo

my strategies are thus

 

-PROTECTER OR LORIEN + HUGE CARD DRAW - cant stress this one enought- its great- get bilbo with his +1 per turn, and beravor with UC on, the gloewine, and youve got a S-LOAD of cards to discard to get those buffs

-MAP MAKER + BIFUR + STEWARD- no surprises here- simply huge resource draw on map maker

-MY CURRENT FAVOURITE- DAIN+2 DWARF HEROS- get UC on dain or use erebor record keeper to keep him ready to buff the other 2 up

-FOR GOBLINS- MIRKWOOD RUNNER- i think this is a very underrated ally- by pass the defense to hit points- love it

-DENTHOR- never played much with him till recently- he is GREAT- put UC on him for better effect

-FAST HITCH- gonna love this when more hobbits show up- so cheap- so good

LORE!!!!- this kick ass man, forget spirit- LORES THE WAY!!! i used to rely on eowyn, and i still think she has a place- though ive found the above much better

STICK TO 2 SPHERES - just my opinion, i find 3 too watered down- BUT with narvis belt things are getting better that way

my strategies have always been more about running than fighting as you can tell...ill do anythin but fight the buggers :P but....

EAGLES OF THE MISTY MOUNTAINS + CHEAP 1 PLAY EAGLES- the ones where you play once then discard- all build up to make EOTMM epicly good

ill add more as i think of them

hope i was of help

rich


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#3 PsychoPif

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 12:55 PM

I agree on Denethor. I put Burning Torch or whatever the shadow canceling attachment is named is and I can block almost all the monster without a single point of damage. With Forest Snare and Encounter Deck scouting, I rarely get any damage on my heroes.

One thing thought with lore. I feel the new scoring system really hurt a control deck vs rush strategy or combo deck. I can't seem to beat a quest under 10 turns unless I play Rambo style. I feel like 10 point per turn is a bit harsh, but that's another discussion :)

 



#4 richsabre

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 01:10 PM

PsychoPif said:

One thing thought with lore. I feel the new scoring system really hurt a control deck vs rush strategy or combo deck. I can't seem to beat a quest under 10 turns unless I play Rambo style. I feel like 10 point per turn is a bit harsh, but that's another discussion :)

 

ahhh well i couldnt coment on that- i dont take scores- win at all costs :D


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#5 Faradey

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 01:56 PM

I've only been playing the game for a month or so and I come from more of an RPG background, than CCG, so I like to add some element of that when I play. Call it a house rule. When playing solo (which is all I've played so far), I give each hero one free attachment (call it loot) at the start of the game. It is by no means over-powered and I still lose more often than not, but it does help a bit in the earlier turns and adds a bit of 'adventuring flair' to the game. I choose what would make more thematic sense for each character, such as Celebrian's Stone on Aragorn, or Dunedain Quest on Beravor, or Fast Hitch on Frodo, etc. You get the idea.



#6 booored

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 03:28 PM

What card pool do you have? Tell us that and maybe we can help you.

--

A lot of "vets" go on about how easy it is but I simply do not believe most of them. Even very active players get everything wrong.. like rich for example was playing event cards wrong this entire time making the game a billion times easier. I recently found out I was using UC wrong on Elenor when Khaz came out... again.. making teh game much easier. If a player is calming some huge win ratio in solo, you can almost be garmented they are either lying or making a mistakes.

I had a open completion for months for a 3/5 win ratio on one quest were I was giving away AP packs to a anyone that could win 3 out of 5 games in a single sitting. I had over 20 people attempt some of them famous board members.. not ONE of them was able to do it. Also worth noting is that out of those 20 1/2 played completely wrong. Even more interesting is that the most vocal "this is easy" people who I personally contacted to get them to play.. refused..... Says a lot.

This game is hard solo, the thing is that most "vets" seam to have fun PLAYING the game, regardless of their win or loss ratio. Like you might loose 5 games in a row, a vet might loose 5 games in a row, he just doesn't see this as a bad thing. Most quest are very beatable and, apart form some glaring exceptions, fun to play win or loose. As you play the game you start to get a handle on the quests and understand its threats, no when to hold outs and when not use them.. what threats are acceptable and what are not.

My main advise is this...

  • Try playing with 2 decks, as if it is a 2 player game. I personally do not do this as I find it unwieldy but many players do this and it is a fact that this game scales best for 2 players. That is what the game is designed for.
  • DO NOT use the default decks.. start deck building and do it now
  • Mix it up a bit, try new decks and set ups. Do not get stuck on the same heroes and sphere combinations. Ewoyen is a good example.. try some decks with out her.. see what happens.
  • Tailor your deck to the quest you are playing.. do not use generic "one deck to rule them all" this deck is a myth. (well.. it is getting closer to reality.. but not yet)
  • Go to CardGameDB and try out some of the decks others have posted
  • Lastly custom some rules to make it easy.. this is not a competitive game it is all about player experience. Is journey to Rasgobel a pain.. hey.. make Wylendor only gain 1 wound a turn and start turn zero with none... why the hell not?

Stick with it.. hard games are the best type of games imo, and the reward at winning is defiantly a plus... As you get better you can easily get high ratios at most quests, but it takes some time. Post your card pool for us so we can give you more specific advise.
 

 

 

I feel the new scoring system really hurt a control deck vs rush strategy or combo deck. I can't seem to beat a quest under 10 turns unless I play Rambo style. I feel like 10 point per turn is a bit harsh, but that's another discussion :)

don't get me started.. seriously... .. the rush home for points but have a terrible win ratio is amazingly lame. So lame that there has been a lot of though into a much better scoring system that uses averages between 3 games. So quest fails are taken into account.. it is a much better score system and you can find more info on it in Juices threads.


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#7 RGun

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 04:49 PM

I actually think the game is actually very well designed and balanced for solo play.  In fact it's the only game I enjoy playing solo.  I play a lot of boardgames, but prior to Lord of the Rings my only experience with deck building card games was a few games of Dominion.  Other than a couple of mechanics that don't apply (e.g. sentinal and ranged) the game plays solo very similar to multi-player.  I would say I am a player with average skill at best and the only two scenarios I feel are not at all balanced for solo play are Escape from Dol Guldor (have never won this) and Return to Mirkwood (although winnable, the mechanics are really not designed for solo).

I've played close to 100 games solo now, and my overall win rate is 26%.  This is not great, but frankly if I were to win consistently the game would not be much fun for me as I enjoy a good challenge and winning all the time would not be fun for me.  Also, I tend to stop playing a quest as much after I figure out how to win fairly consistently so I could probably get my overall win rate up over 50% if I really wanted to focus on improving it.

My win percentages by scenario are:

1. Passage Through Mirkwood (1) 67%
2. Journey Along The Anduin (4) 15% (was just learning the game and lost A LOT before I figured out the basic strategies)
3. Escape From Dol Guldor (7) 0%
4. The Hunt For Gollum (4) 27%
5. Conflict At The Carrock (7) 17%
6. Journey To Rhosgobel (6) 38%
7. The Hills Of Emyn Muil (4)100%
8. The Dead Marshes (5) 75%
9. Return to Mirkwood (7) 17%
10. Into The Pit (5) 11%
11. The Seventh Level (3) 29%
12. Flight From Moria (7) 29%
13. The Redhorn Gate (6) 50%
 

Unlike some players I enjoy building custom decks per scenario, rather than multi-purpose decks designed for a wide range of scenarios.  I suspect many solo players design custom decks for scenarios while multi players design more generic decks built around a sphere or theme.

I do agree several heroes are very well suited and powerful for solo play (Eowyn, Beravor, Denethor, Frodo) and almost all of my decks have at least one of these heroes in them but I am trying to branch out more now and with the larger pool of cards this is becoming easier to do.  I also find that Tactics is very challenging to use solo, although I am now in the process of trying out a tactics eagle themed deck for the first time and finding some of the cards much better than I initially thought.  Playing it against Conflict at the Carrock right now so will see how that goes.

Overall, if you don't like customizing decks for scenarios and enjoy the gameplay tactical decisions much more than the deck building aspect than solo probably isn't going to be for you. 



#8 booored

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 05:14 PM

<deleted to try and fix this stupid form>


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#9 booored

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 05:15 PM

I actually think the game is actually very well designed and balanced for solo play. In fact it's the only game I enjoy playing solo. I play a lot of boardgames, but prior to Lord of the Rings my only experience with deck building card games was a few games of Dominion. Other than a couple of mechanics that don't apply (e.g. sentinel and ranged) the game plays solo very similar to multi-player. I would say I am a player with average skill at best and the only two scenarios I feel are not at all balanced for solo play are Escape from Dol Guldor (have never won this) and Return to Mirkwood (although winnable, the mechanics are really not designed for solo).

There is a difference between the game being fun and payable solo and it being designed for 2 players and CAN be played solo. While it is a full argument in itself, to me there is no question that the game scales better in rule and card synergy for 2 player games than any other. A perfect example beyond cards and effects that simply do nothing in solo games (like you mentioned) you have cards like Bilbo or denathor / ear / riversong witch scale into ridiculous power as there is only 1 encounter deck there are many other examples.... regardless of the game being fun to play (and it is I play a lot of solo) it dose not scale well for solo. A great example is Journey to Rhadagast.. VERY different quest in 2 player.. in fact solo is is incredible levels of difficulty higher than 2 player, or Return to Mirkwood... Escape from Dul Gol dur.. all a ton easier with 2+ players.. then there is the other side.. 3+ makes pretty much every quest in the game trivial to beat.

I've played close to 100 games solo now, and my overall win rate is 26%.

<snip>

My win percentages by scenario are:

1. Passage Through Mirkwood (1) 67%
2. Journey Along The Anduin (4) 15% (was just learning the game and lost A LOT before I figured out the basic strategies)
3. Escape From Dol Guldor (7) 0%
4. The Hunt For Gollum (4) 27%
5. Conflict At The Carrock (7) 17%
6. Journey To Rhosgobel (6) 38%
7. The Hills Of Emyn Muil (4)100%
8. The Dead Marshes (5) 75%
9. Return to Mirkwood (7) 17%
10. Into The Pit (5) 11%
11. The Seventh Level (3) 29%
12. Flight From Moria (7) 29%
13. The Redhorn Gate (6) 50% 

I do not really keep track of these things but I think about 25% win ratio is a common average for the game in solo. It is just that loosing 85% of the time is unacceptable to many players. Just a side note.. now you are more experienced go back to Anduin and Carrock,.. those scores are crazy low!! FFG releases the packs so fast, I am still happy running different decks at mirkwood :) These scores just get higher and higher as you get more player cards and better decks and better understanding of how to do the quest itself.

Unlike some players I enjoy building custom decks per scenario, rather than multi-purpose decks designed for a wide range of scenarios. I suspect many solo players design custom decks for scenarios while multi players design more generic decks built around a sphere or theme.

I custom my decks per quest for solo, and custom my decks in multiplayer per cycle. This is not so much a scaling problem but a practical resutl. I store my cards using dividers, so when I play I have to take them all out, and I build a deck on the fly then, usually from memory. For multiplayer as my deck needs to connect to the other deck(s) I do not have this freedom to play about.

(Eowyn, Beravor, Denethor, Frodo)


I think Beravor and Frodo are good in any situation, they are just great heroes, there abilities are not "better" in solo due to scale problems. Bilbo's ability is boosted for example as you draw a extra card every turn, completely changing the decks you can run and Denethor + Elenore are more powerful due to only 1 encounter draw. I have a kind of personal hatred to Eowyn, I think she is a terrible choice in most situations I feel, I'll not go into why here...


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#10 Thorongil

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 05:16 PM

 I think if you handicap yourself two of the best solo heroes, it may be unfair to complain about losing. Nonetheless, there are other hero combinations that can pull through most (if not all) scenarios. As Rich mentioned, the dwarves are pretty solid right now with Dain and the Zigil Miners.

This is my deck which has a solid win percentage against all the existing quests (except Dol Guldur solo, of course). It uses every "cheap trick" that appeared in the game and draws from a card pool of 3 Core Sets, but I make no apologies for either of those facts:

Heroes: Aragorn, Beravor, Frodo

Allies (18): Gandalf x3, Snowbourn Scout x3, Miner of the Iron Hills x3, Gleowine x2, Northern Tracker x2, Radagast, Henamarth Riversong, Faramir, Gildor Inglorion, Haldir of Lorien

Attachments (15): Protector of Lorien x3, Unexpected Courage x3, Steward of Gondor x3, Celebrian's Stone x3, Dunedain Mark x3

Events (17): A Test of Will x3, Hasty Stroke x3, Sneak Attack x3, Stand and Fight x3, Lore of Imladris x3, Will of the West x2

The deck doesn't quest as quickly as a Rohan deck nor fight as hard as a dedicated Tactics deck, but its strength is in its versatility. With the attachments and the assortment of allies, the deck can become a little bit of anything. The key is Beravor, who drives the draw engine. Except in the rare combat-heavy quest, all the Unexpected Courage go on her. Even in combat-heavy scenarios, the first Unexpected Courage usually lands on Beravor, though Aragorn might get the second if he's decked out with Protector of Lorien (which also adds to defense!) and some Dunedain Mark.

If I fail a quest, it's usually on the first attempt, but by the second, I'll most often have a strong idea of when to play my Test of Will and Hasty Stroke. And I'll have a pretty good idea if I need to mulligan a hand or find good quest-specific tools in those opening 6 cards.


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#11 Narsil0420

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 09:25 PM

I know this is not exactly what you asked for but another option is to not care as much if you lose! If you try to focus yourself more on Bilbo/Pippin styles of play you wont be as upset when you lose.

I keep track of my wins/losses but really I enjoy playing whether I win or not. Like i've said before, to me solo is just a way to practice for the real game which is 2-3 players. I make a different deck every time I play, mostly. I like to do different things thematically and try Hero combos I haven't done before. Have fun man, experiment with different things, you never know what you'll find.



#12 Robert McMutton

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 11:36 PM

Thorongil said:

...

Heroes: Aragorn, Beravor, Frodo

Allies (18): Gandalf x3, Snowbourn Scout x3, Miner of the Iron Hills x3, Gleowine x2, Northern Tracker x2, Radagast, Henamarth Riversong, Faramir, Gildor Inglorion, Haldir of Lorien

Attachments (15): Protector of Lorien x3, Unexpected Courage x3, Steward of Gondor x3, Celebrian's Stone x3, Dunedain Mark x3

Events (17): A Test of Will x3, Hasty Stroke x3, Sneak Attack x3, Stand and Fight x3, Lore of Imladris x3, Will of the West x2

...

 

Nice deck Thorongil, but if I could ask, why Radagast if you don't have Eagles?

Greetings



#13 richsabre

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 12:10 AM

booored said:

 

A lot of "vets" go on about how easy it is but I simply do not believe most of them. Even very active players get everything wrong.. like rich for example was playing event cards wrong this entire time making the game a billion times easier.

 

 

as much as i admit to my stupidity here.... i thought the genereal idea in that thread, was that i was making things much harder not easier, i certainly dont believe that i was making it easier for myself the way i was playing them- it was extremely restrictive.......personally i dont see much of a difference....i certinly wont be striking my victoires off the table.......oh well, time will next when i next play whether its going to be harder/easier/same

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#14 DurinIII

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 12:58 AM

Man, you guys are quite generous in your lengthy responses, thank you! Yeah, I think I will continue to stick with this game as of now (if anything just for the collecting value).  My card pool is every product released as of now.  I will say this; I tend to limit myself to themes that I love (I am a "Bilbo" player for sure) to the exclusion of playing some very powerful cards simply because the card art doesn't "fit."  I am coming around and beginning to use other cards that don't fit a decks theme in my mind but really help the decks success.

I like the idea of playing with 2 decks, though like you said booored, it seems a bit too cumbersome to control; too much to keep up with.

Not quitting yet!



#15 richsabre

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 01:47 AM

@ boooored- i am playing several games as i speak- certainly isnt any harder playing correct....infact its is easy to see how i was making things harder for myself.....admitedly there would have been times when i was using it in my favour- but the majority- no

 

@durin- good to hear you're gonna stick with it


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#16 Glaurung

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 02:19 AM

Mostly i play solo. And as i tell before i build up all of my deck against all scenarios. Change some cards which help you against certain quest sounds unfair to me. So and i never use Beravur and Eowyn in my deck cose for me is also unfair. And i can win all quest (exept Dol-GUldor) quite often.

Here is for example deck list which one can  win all quest:

Total Cards (50)

Hero (3)
Bilbo Baggins (THFG) x1
Frodo Baggins (CatC) x1
Glorfindel (Core) x1

Ally (15)
Gandalf (Core) x3
Gildor Inglorion (THoEM) x2
Gleowine (Core) x1
Haldir of Lorien (AJtR) x2
Henamarth Riversong (Core) x1
Rivendell Minstrel (THFG) x3
The Riddermark's Finest (THoEM) x3

Attachment (21)
A Burning Brand (CatC) x2
Ancient Mathom (AJtR) x2
Fast Hitch (TDM) x3
Forest Snare (Core) x3
Protector of Lorien (Core) x2
Song of Kings (THFG) x1
Song of Travel (THoEM) x1
Steward of Gondor (Core) x3
Unexpected Courage (Core) x2
Boots from Erebor (KD) x2

Event (14)
A Test of Will (Core) x3
Dwarven Tomb (Core) x2
Lore of Imladris (Core) x3
Sneak Attack (Core) x3
The Galadhrim's Greeting (Core) x3

This deck is the best for solo game. My best scores against all quest done with this deck.

IN all my decks I never use : Beravur, Eowyn, Trackers, Will of the west. I dont like this cards and i think they are broken the game to much.

If you add me as a friend you can see my scores many of them less then 80 points almost all quests.


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#17 leptokurt

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 03:39 AM

Beside choosing the right heroes and spheres, a lot depends on the player's choices during the game. When I started playing I made several mistakes. The three major ones being

 

1. to believe that this game is about fighting. It is not, it is 90 percent about questing.

2. to think that I have to avoid a fail in the quest phase under all circumstances

3. not  to maximize the use Gandalf's abilities (lowering threat isn't always your top choice)

 

Some comments to each point:

 

1. The faster you get through a scenario, the less encounters you will have. Less enemies, less locatiosn, less nasty treacheries. Try to playe allies that help you questing ASAP. Try to play cheap allies, don't save your resources for costy allies. Faramir won't help you anymore if your party has already been screwed when you enter play. Play some Snowbourn Scouts and Dúnedain studd instead.

Rich already mentioned that the lore sphere owns this game. This is not only because of the great cards already mentioned in thsi thread, but because Dáin improves the value of each dwarven lore ally. Erebor Hammersmith became a great card because of this. Erebor Record Keeper rocks, and Erebor Mapmaker will guarantee you a quick victory. Even Miner of the Iron Hills has some use, even if it's only to block stong enemies.

 

2. I try to give an example: I played Passage to Mirkwood during the last week with Glóin, Dáin and Bifur as my heroes. In the beginning I used to send both Glóin and Bifur questing, mostly joined by another low cost ally. That way I got some serious progress in the first round already. I could use Dáin as a defender against the Forest Spider, and Glóin (readied by travelling the Old Forest Road) could harm the spider a bit. Then I changed my strategy and sent only Bifur questing. Most of the time I got a threat penalty and of course no progress, but in the combat phase I was able to kill the Forest Spider immediatly (I either had a Snowbourn Scout or Erebor Hammersmith as defender) as long as I didn't draw another enemy. After that I could play the next few rounds relaxed and was prepared against nasty encounters and won almost all of my games.

 

3. Again I will use PtM as my example. A lot of players will keep Gandalf back when they have the Sneak/Gamdalf combo in their starting hand or, when they play him immediatly, use his threat lowering ability. However, the best strategy is to play him in round 1 during the quest phase and to use his ability to kill the Forest Spider. In that case a player should quest like hell to finish the first stage in one single round. An unexperienced player might  hesitate to kill the spider, because it seems like waste to use Gandalf to kill such a relatively harmless enemy. But early enemies are the meanest, and you best get rid of them before they get company.

 



#18 booored

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 03:47 AM

richsabre said:

 

@ boooored- i am playing several games as i speak- certainly isnt any harder playing correct....infact its is easy to see how i was making things harder for myself.....admitedly there would have been times when i was using it in my favour- but the majority- no

 

 

From what I understand of your error you were making the game easier not harder. I didn't pay much attention to the thread though after you found you were playing wrong as I'm more interested in correct play. So i might be wrong.

Though as I understood it you were playing events in the planning phase and leaving them on the table like an ally allies or something, sac'n them when you needed them.


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#19 Thorongil

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 04:36 AM

Robert McMutton said:

Thorongil said:

 

...

Heroes: Aragorn, Beravor, Frodo

Allies (18): Gandalf x3, Snowbourn Scout x3, Miner of the Iron Hills x3, Gleowine x2, Northern Tracker x2, Radagast, Henamarth Riversong, Faramir, Gildor Inglorion, Haldir of Lorien

Attachments (15): Protector of Lorien x3, Unexpected Courage x3, Steward of Gondor x3, Celebrian's Stone x3, Dunedain Mark x3

Events (17): A Test of Will x3, Hasty Stroke x3, Sneak Attack x3, Stand and Fight x3, Lore of Imladris x3, Will of the West x2

...

 

 

 

Nice deck Thorongil, but if I could ask, why Radagast if you don't have Eagles?

Greetings

Thanks. I have Radagast in the deck because he helped with A Journey to Rhosgobel, he's a 2-willpower ally, and (unless I'm mistaken) he can help pay for Gandalf (hard cost, not via Sneak Attack). That said, I rarely put him into play. One of the nice things about having so much draw power from Beravor and Unexpected Courage is that you can actually afford to include situational cards in the deck. If I didn't draw so many cards, each of them would have to be useful every game. In this deck, they still are useful every game, but many of them are merely +1 bumps to Willpower via Protector of Lorien.


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#20 leptokurt

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 04:49 AM

Thorongil said:

Robert McMutton said:

 

Thorongil said:

 

...

Heroes: Aragorn, Beravor, Frodo

Allies (18): Gandalf x3, Snowbourn Scout x3, Miner of the Iron Hills x3, Gleowine x2, Northern Tracker x2, Radagast, Henamarth Riversong, Faramir, Gildor Inglorion, Haldir of Lorien

Attachments (15): Protector of Lorien x3, Unexpected Courage x3, Steward of Gondor x3, Celebrian's Stone x3, Dunedain Mark x3

Events (17): A Test of Will x3, Hasty Stroke x3, Sneak Attack x3, Stand and Fight x3, Lore of Imladris x3, Will of the West x2

...

 

 

 

Nice deck Thorongil, but if I could ask, why Radagast if you don't have Eagles?

Greetings

 

 

Thanks. I have Radagast in the deck because he helped with A Journey to Rhosgobel, he's a 2-willpower ally, and (unless I'm mistaken) he can help pay for Gandalf (hard cost, not via Sneak Attack). That said, I rarely put him into play. One of the nice things about having so much draw power from Beravor and Unexpected Courage is that you can actually afford to include situational cards in the deck. If I didn't draw so many cards, each of them would have to be useful every game. In this deck, they still are useful every game, but many of them are merely +1 bumps to Willpower via Protector of Lorien.

Sorry, but he can't pay for Gandalf, only for creatures. He might buy him a drink though.






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