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Solo Mono Challenge 3: Rivendell 2.0


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#1 leptokurt

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Posted 14 June 2013 - 08:48 PM

Hi folks,

welcome to the third Solo Mono Challenge which will lead us to the famous little Elven community called Rivendell. But before we get there to deliver our package, we have to make our way through the mountains. And where there are mountains, there are Goblins too. Lots of Goblins!

This challenge is based on the Road to Rivendell quest. I have made some changes to increase the difficulty level, so that winning doesn't feel like a walk in the park. I'm now going to give you a list of the new rules:

 

1. Players build a Shadow Deck before the game starts. To do that the player searches the encounter deck for the following 17 cards to create the Shadow Deck:

- 5 copies of Goblin Spearman

- 3 copies of Mountain Warg

- 2 copies of Turbulent Waters

- 2 copies of Warg Lair

- 3 copies of Followed by Night

- 2 copies of Orc Ambush

 

Everytime an enemy is dealt a shadow card, the player draws from the Shadow Deck instead of the encounter deck (he still gets only one shadow card). The SD will get its own discard pile, and once the SD is emptied, the player reshuffles the SD discard pile to build a new SD (players do this only during the refresh phase).

 

 

2. It's been raining for weeks and the ground is wet and muddy. Most of the known paths are impassible.

Instead of drawing a random card during stage 1A the player searches the encounter deck for a copy of Pathless Country and places it in the staging area.

 

 

3. Stage 2B gets the battle keyword.

 

 

4. As your group flees from the Goblin cave, you cross the way of a Goblin patrol. Looks like you have to fight your way through them to get Arwen to Rivendell.

Instead of drawing a random card during stage 3B the player searches both the enocunter deck and the discard pile for one copy of the following three cards and adds them in the staging area:

- Chieftain of the Pit

- Orc Raiders

- Goblin Taskmaster

All Ambush effects on these cards will be triggered.

 

 

5. Challenge mechanics

 

The players build a mono sphere deck for each of the four spheres. This deck may only contain cards that have the resource icon of that sphere or neutral cards. Arwen may not be added to your spirit deck.

The player has three attempts for each deck. Each victory gives you one point. The players get an extra point each (= up to 4 points) if they do not use the following cards in their decks:

- Feint (tactics)

- A Test of Will (spirit)

- A Burning Brand (lore)

- Steward of Gondor (leadership)

 

The player with the most points wins the challenge!

 

 

Edit:

 

This challenge ends on 13th July, 8 pm CET

 

 

 

 

Current rankings:

 

 

1. Glowwyrm ~ 16 points of awesome

 

2. benhanses ~ 15 taletelling points

 

3. Narsil0420 ~ 14 astonishing points

 

4. Khamul the Easterling ~ 13 heroic points

 

4. leptokurt ~ 13 clone points

 

6. Pharmboys2013 ~ 8 threequarter points


Edited by leptokurt, 24 July 2013 - 02:00 AM.


#2 leptokurt

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Posted 14 June 2013 - 08:50 PM

I'd advise you to play some games to get a feeling for the shadow deck mechanic. You may test as long as you wish, but once you start the challenge with a sphere, the next three games in a row count as your result.

 

Good luck!



#3 Pharmboys2013

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Posted 15 June 2013 - 03:17 AM

Hooray I've been looking forward to the next challenge. Will be intriguing to see how the mono sphere cards in the druadan forest assist the decks. *goes to get his cards*


"His life is charmed, or fate spares him for some other end."

 

 

 


#4 Pharmboys2013

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 05:55 AM

shadow deck is kind of ruining it for me. its a surge everytime an enemy attacks, if you cant kill an enemy in 1 turn you're screwed. not sure i'll be completing this after my first few playthroughs


"His life is charmed, or fate spares him for some other end."

 

 

 


#5 leptokurt

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 06:25 AM

Hmh, I thought this would make the game more challenging and thus more interesting. Perhaps you should try out lore and tactics first, I playtested with these two spheres and won most of the games. Spirit is a lot tougher, true, but still doable. I haven't tried leadership yet, but spirit should be the hardest one.

 

(also it's a surge every third time an enemy attacks)



#6 Pharmboys2013

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 06:33 AM

leptokurt said:

Hmh, I thought this would make the game more challenging and thus more interesting. Perhaps you should try out lore and tactics first, I playtested with these two spheres and won most of the games. Spirit is a lot tougher, true, but still doable. I haven't tried leadership yet, but spirit should be the hardest one.

 

(also it's a surge every third time an enemy attacks)

what do you mean every third time they attack? maybe i just dont fully understand the mechanic


"His life is charmed, or fate spares him for some other end."

 

 

 


#7 leptokurt

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 09:26 AM

 

 

 

double post



#8 leptokurt

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 09:30 AM

Pharmboys2013 said:

 

leptokurt said:

 

Hmh, I thought this would make the game more challenging and thus more interesting. Perhaps you should try out lore and tactics first, I playtested with these two spheres and won most of the games. Spirit is a lot tougher, true, but still doable. I haven't tried leadership yet, but spirit should be the hardest one.

 

(also it's a surge every third time an enemy attacks)

 

 

what do you mean every third time they attack? maybe i just dont fully understand the mechanic

 

 

 

No, I just reread my instruction and it is badly worded. Sorry for that. It should read

 

"every time an enemy attacks he draws a shadow card from the shadow deck instead of the encounter deck".

 

So you still draw only one shadow card, but for example  you will never get Sleeping Sentry's shadow effect. However, there are five Goblin Spearmen in the shadow deck and some cards that put your enemy back to the staging area. I had games in which I had to fight four to five enemies at once - which is tons of fun!

 

 

I fixed the wording in the rules.


Edited by leptokurt, 03 July 2013 - 02:10 PM.


#9 Pharmboys2013

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 09:57 AM

oh jeez, no wonder i found this impossible, i was putting the cards in the staging area. makes a ridiculous difference. time to restart lol


"His life is charmed, or fate spares him for some other end."

 

 

 


#10 leptokurt

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 10:22 AM

Pharmboys2013 said:

oh jeez, no wonder i found this impossible, i was putting the cards in the staging area. makes a ridiculous difference. time to restart lol

Guess you just invented the Nightmare Mode of this challenge.

lol



#11 Pharmboys2013

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 03:33 PM

well i'm 3/4s of the way thru the challenge with pretty underwhelming results

started with lore which did great which i attributed completely to the dedicated encounter deck manipulation. won all 3 games

heroes: Mirlonde (couldnt resist) - Denethor - Aragorn

didnt use burning brand so total = 4 points

 

after that was tactics which did not perform that well mostly because of the lack of willpower. even with the newer event trained for war, i still had trouble in the first and last stages especially when the revised enounter reveal in 3B. only won one of 3

heroes: Thalin - Legolas - Beregond

didnt use feint so total = 2 points

 

The most frustrating sphere for me so far. lost 2 out of the 3 games soley becasue of SLEEPING FREAKING SENTRY killing Arwen.  on one of the times this treachery defeated me on literally the turn i would have won if ANY other card had been revealed. just devastating 

heroes: Aragorn - Boromir - Theodred

didnt use steward so total = 2 points

(just realized as i'm writing this that every game i muliganed for steward lol)


"His life is charmed, or fate spares him for some other end."

 

 

 


#12 leptokurt

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 12:08 AM

Pharmboys2013 said:

well i'm 3/4s of the way thru the challenge with pretty underwhelming results

started with lore which did great which i attributed completely to the dedicated encounter deck manipulation. won all 3 games

heroes: Mirlonde (couldnt resist) - Denethor - Aragorn

didnt use burning brand so total = 4 points

 

after that was tactics which did not perform that well mostly because of the lack of willpower. even with the newer event trained for war, i still had trouble in the first and last stages especially when the revised enounter reveal in 3B. only won one of 3

heroes: Thalin - Legolas - Beregond

didnt use feint so total = 2 points

 

The most frustrating sphere for me so far. lost 2 out of the 3 games soley becasue of SLEEPING FREAKING SENTRY killing Arwen.  on one of the times this treachery defeated me on literally the turn i would have won if ANY other card had been revealed. just devastating 

heroes: Aragorn - Boromir - Theodred

didnt use steward so total = 2 points

(just realized as i'm writing this that every game i muliganed for steward lol)

 

Wow, did you draw Sleeping Sentry twice? That's really bad luck. And why did you still send Arwen questing after she got 1 point damage?



#13 Khamul The Easterling

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 02:50 AM

Hey Leptkurt.  I'll be doing the challenge :)  Really too bad that nobody else is.  What ever happened to all the people when you did the Peril In Peligir challenge?  There are only about 4-6 consistent people now on these forums.  Too bad.  Anyways yeah I'll be doing the challenge.  :D

 

Khamul


Now at that time the Chieftain of the Ringwraiths dwelt in Minas Morgul with six companions, while the second to the Chief, Khamul the Shadow of the East, abode in Dol Guldur as Sauron's Lieutenant, with one other as his messenger."  - Unfinished Tales


#14 monkeyrama

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 03:28 AM

Man, I would love to do this challenge! RtR has always been an underplayed quest, and I like monosphere requirement of the challenges. When I get more time, I'll try and join in a later challange.



#15 Glowwyrm

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 08:03 AM

I'll be doing the challenge too, just as soon as I get Road to Rivendell in the mail next week.



#16 Pharmboys2013

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 11:04 AM

the first time i lost from 2 sleeping sentries, i just figured my odds would be low enough it would be worth the risk after the first one appeared.  the second time, i didnt use arwen at all after the first one was revealed until that last turn where i needed her 2 will power to win the quest. i figured what are the odds one final card will be it…it was.

in hindsight i should have been more cautious…but whatever


"His life is charmed, or fate spares him for some other end."

 

 

 


#17 Narsil0420

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 11:05 PM

Well, I'm all done with my journey to Rivendell!

My results are:

Spirit - Eowyn/Eleanor/Glorfinedel

3 Wins! Plus no Test of Will, 4 points

I was really worried about this sphere but actually got mostly sub 100 scores with this.
The key was just bolting through and most games ended with a horde of enemies engaged with me on the last turn and just questing through to the end!

Tactics - Thalin/Beregond/Legolas

3 wins, minus Feint = 4 points

Another sphere that I was worried about but Arwen provided enough questing (plus Eagles of the MM, Bofur, and my first use of Trained for War).

Leadership - Aragorn/Theodred/Balin

2 Wins, 1 Loss, no Steward = 3 points

I think my loss came from foolishly thinking another Sleeping Sentry wouldn't come up!

Lore - Aragorn/Beravor/Mirlonde

2 Wins, 1 Loss, no burning brand = 3 points

The key to this deck was getting new Gandalf out and letting him help out with combat.

 

Total Score: 14

 

Overall, the changes made things tricky because of all the surging Goblin Spearmen and retreating enemies. This led to some huge ramping up of enemies and frustration watching them retreat. There were times that I just had to put progress on hold until I got enemies under control, especially for Leadership and Lore, and led to some long games! I enjoyed the changes though, especially the battle questing stage.
Really, the MVP for the quest was Arwen herself. with good starting willpower and that resource, she helped cover for the weaknesses in certain spheres.
What surprised me was that Spirit and Tactics, which I see as the more unbalanced spheres, did really well and Leadership and Lore struggled more. I think that the rush through deck with Spirit, definitely has great advantage and will probably see a lot of play as the tournament scene develops for the game. It also gives me hope that Hobbit-sneaky decks will be able to do well in some quests.



#18 leptokurt

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 06:56 AM

Thanks for the kind feedback, guys!

 

I just finished my leadership attempt. I tried a Gondor/Dunedain Deck with Imrahil, Boromir and Aragorn. I won 2 out of 3, loosing the last game because of *drumroll* 2x Sleeping Sentry after 5 turns. I used Steward of Gondor (forgot about my own bonus system, lol), so no bonus points.



#19 benhanses

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 08:05 AM

I'll be starting the challenge soon! Just had a lot.going on the last week or so… family visiting, hectic work, blah blah blah… I know. Priorities, right??

"... but I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend...."       -Faramir, The Lord of the Rings, Book IV, The Window of the West)

 

"Since it is so likely that children will meet cruel enemies, let them at least have heard of brave knights and heroic courage."     - C.S. Lewis


#20 Glowwyrm

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 01:44 PM

All done with my journey to Rivendell!  I ended up with an unusual amount of free time to experiment with decks for the challenge, which helped out a lot.

 

Tactics: 4 points (3 wins, no Feint)

Heroes: Hama, Beorn, Thalin

MVPs: Hama, Trained for War, Thicket of Spears

 

Thicket of Spears protected me from Sleeping Sentry, so that I wasn't taking undefended attacks, but Trained for War was what made the victory possible.  Beorn was the primary defender while I got the deck going, then shifted to the primary quester, and Hama kept pulling the events I needed back into my hand.  The first game I started with both Thicket of Spears and Trained for War and I rode the Hama-cycle to an easy victory.  The last two games I had to sweat out drawing Trained for War, but once I did I cruised to the end.  Tactics is my favorite sphere, so I'm happy with Trained for War, which gives it a chance in traditional questing stages.  

 

Spirit: 4 points (3 wins, no Test of Will)

Heroes: Glorfindel, Eowyn, Eleanor

MVPs: Eleanor, New Gandalf

 

Fairly simple strategy: I just kept lowering my threat and dealing with one enemy at the time until I had enough allies in play to blaze through the final two stages.  Eleanor canceled at least one Sleeping Sentry every game, and New Gandalf was essential to battling questing and handling the ambush at the end (but I didn't play him until stage two so that my threat would stay down).  The first two games were a breeze because I had some combination of Galladrim's Greeting, Elrond's Counsel, Dwarven Tomb, and Damrod (a useful ability with 6 enemies in the staging area) that allowed me to keep my threat low (finished below 20 both games).  The last game was challenging, because I didn't get any threat lowering cards until the end of the game, but I had enough allies in play to hold my own in combat to tough it out until I had enough questing strength to win.

 

Lore: 4 points (3 wins, no Burning Brand)

Heroes: Glorfindel, Denethor, Mirlonde

MVPs: Denethor, Asfaloth, New Gandalf

 

This was the deck I had the most fun playing.  Between Denethor, Hennamarath, Risk some Light and Out of the Wild, I was able to control the flow of the game.  Asfaloth provided location domination, and like the spirit deck, I played Gandalf just in time for the battle questing/rush to the end.  The most difficult part was when the Orc Arsonist showed up and torched some of my traps (because they're still attachments I control, right?).  

 

I played 6 games with this deck (two to test, 3 for challenge, one "victory lap"), and during the last game, I had my favorite LOTRLCG moment to date.  Due to some bad breaks and some bad decisions, I faced mounting threat, lots of enemies, and had to quest to stage three before I was ready.  With the Goblin Spearmen, enemies I'd already engaged, the stage three enemies that ambushed me, and the traps the Orc Arsonist torched, I ended up facing 11 enemies on one turn!  My allies bravely sacrificed themselves to protect Arwen, and even Denethor bravely laid his life down against the orc onslaught.  With my threat at 48 and 11 enemies engaged, I had to quest to victory this turn or I was toast.  If I quested everyone, I had just enough willpower to finish, as long as now new threat was added to the staging area (so slim odds).  Glorfindel hastily laid down some ranger spikes and Gandalf urged the fellowship on.  A foolish Black Uruk, thinking to join the orc mob that surrounded me fell into the trap, and the company rushed Arwen to the safety of Rivendell.  My favorite moment playing the game so far.

 

Leadership: 4 points (3 wins, no Steward)

Heroes: Boromir, Balin, Theodred

MVP: Balin, Dunedain Watcher

 

What is that?  Another Goblin Spearmen shadow card?  Not so fast!  After three spheres of watching those pesky things pile up into the staging area (or watching enemies hop back into the staging area), it was satisfying to discard them with Balin and Dunedain Watcher.  Theodred and Arwen provided the extra resources so that I could spend in the planning phase and still have at least one on Boromir and one on Balin.  This was also the sphere I had the most luck with.  I played five games with this deck (two to test, three for the challenge) and drew ONE Sleeping Sentry.  That was appreciated.

 

Total score: 16

Overall, I enjoyed the challenge and the changes to the scenario.  It felt thematic, dodging hordes of orcs that threatened to pile up on you, being ambushed by three orcs at once, then having to run for safety at the end.  






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