Hey guys, got my box in yesterday (woo) so i'm gonna talk about and reveal some of the stuff thats in it for those that are still waiting patiently
Quest 1 - Flies and Spiders
My own Ranking - 3 or 4
This quest isnt terribly difficult but can pose a lot of trouble to those that get behind quick. Many of the enemies and treacheries "poison" your characters which really doesnt mean much unless they get as much poison as they do HP then they are "unconscious" which means they cant do anything until they are made not unconscious later in the game. Doesnt mean too much to your big HP heros but your low 1 or 2 hp allies can succumb pretty easily to a treachery or 2. The locations also seem to hamper characters that are poised like not letting them quest etc.
The quest has a normal stage 1 but then seperates the players into stage 2 and 3 almost like foundations of stone. The first player gets bilbo but has all their characters "unconcsiocus" and have to use the bilbo resources to revive them and pass through the stage where they can rejoin the other players at stage 3 who are left to kind of just sit idely while the deck spits out lots of spiders at them until the first player and bilbo return to them. Provides a neat little expereince in the same way that foundation of stone did as i mentioned earlier
Quest 2 - The lonely mountain
My own Ranking 7-8
This is probably the hardest of the three quests IMO. Requires a lot of will power to quest through not only the lonely mountain location which stays in play but mostly smaug whom essentially decreases the WP of questing characters by 1. The quest has 4 stages but the first makes u skip the questing step which essentially just allows you to start the game with a free turn, the 2nd requires no progress but makes you make "burgle" attempts after questing succesfully. the burgle attempt is not unlike the riddle mechanic in the last hobbit box. if succesful you get a treasure from the mountain and can move onto stage 3, if unsuccesful smaug attacks you which blows. You can stay in this stage and try and get more treasures but the longer you stay the more likely it is that you get more travel tokens on smaug which can make you go to stage 4 which is basically a penalty stage where the more aggresive smaug comes into play and you need to attack and quest past him to get back to stage 2. If your content with moving on from stage 2 to 3 after burgaling succesfully the more aggressive smaug comes into play anyway and you have to place more progress on the stage than smaug has HP to pass. I dont feel like writing the equivalent of a book to describe the quest but i found it quite challenging because it requires a decent amount of willpower and attack strength.
Quest 3 - The battle of the 5 armies
My own ranking 5-6
A very unique if not complicated quest, it has 5 quest stages, the first of which is bascially just set up instructions. Then you have stages 2-4 in play all at once with the first player choosing which one the player(s) will quest towards each turn. What hurts is at the beginning of the game because each stage penalizes you if it has no progress tokens on it at the end of the turn. Stage 2 makes you discard a random card from your hand, stage 3 is a battle and makes you put the top enemy in the discard pile into the staging area and stage 4 is a seige that makes you discard all resource tokens if there is no progress tokens. To make matters more complicated there is a "boss" character who stays in the staging area, Bolg, who gives the first orc enemy revealed during staging surge. Many of the enemies and a few unique locations remove progress tokens from the quest stages which makes it difficult to manage. After all 3 stages have all progress on them, you can move onto 5 which simply makes you put out a "bodyguard of bolg" enemy for each player in the staging area and makes bolg engaged with the first player but hes not that tough, has 6 atk and 8 hp but we've all fought much harder
feel free to ask me any other questions about them…was gonna make another topic about the player cards but not sure i'm upto another small essay tonight