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  1. The rule is confusing when considered by itself but remember that the quoted text is from the "Discarding" section of the Reference Guide. If you had that situation come up and referred to that section for answers it would be clearer because you'd have the situation in context. As for player count, as you increase the number of investigators you also increase the number of items that spawn (gates, monsters), as well as increasing the number of items needed to complete mysteries that require item collection. You can do more but there's more to do. I think the sweet spot is 4. There's a statistical spreadsheet out there that tracks all kinds of things, including AO and player count difficulty, if you're interested. Search this forum or wait a few minutes. I'm sure someone will link to it below.
  2. 1) Once the AO awakens doom cannot retreat. Check the reference guide on the same page as your quote in question 4. 2) You can discard all monsters, including the cultist, EXCEPT any epic monsters. They can only be defeated by losing health. 3) The new investigator does not get that item. This also applies if the item is in the possession of a defeated investigator. 4) I can't think of a specific example but I think this is referring to an effect that says something like "discard 3 clues" when there are only 0, 1, or 2 clues on the board. You just discard however many are on the board. You don't reach into the clue pile and discard any that haven't yet entered play just to get to a total of 3. EDIT: 3 is a tough number of investigators to play since many mysteries require clues, eldritch tokens, etc., equal to half the number of investigators. You always round up, so requirements are the same for both 3 and 4 investigators. Better to play an even number.
  3. You might also print out these cheat sheets (and check the site for cheat sheets for other games you might play): http://www.orderofgamers.com/downloads/EldritchHorror_v3.pdf
  4. So on Saturday this happened... I was playing THfG 2-handed, using slightly-modified decks based on Beorn's decks (https://hallofbeorn.wordpress.com/2013/02/26/beorns-path-part-7-deck-tuning-the-hunt-for-gollum/), substituting Glorfindel for Denethor just because I'd never played with Glorfindel. My Tactics / Spirit deck is Eowyn, Legolas, and Thalin - a starting threat of 27. My Leadership/Lore deck is Aragorn, Theodred, and Glorfindel. That's a whopping starting threat of 32 but, what the heck, it's only a game, right? Everything's shuffled, I'm all set to go, so I start this game like every previous game, with the Setup: "Reveal 1 card per player from the encounter deck, and add it to the staging area". As a sign of things to come, the first card is "Old Wives' Tales": "When Revealed: Discard 1 resource from each hero's resource pool, if able. Exhaust any hero that could not discard a resource from its pool." Since this is Setup, I have no resources so all 6 heroes are exhausted. The second card is "Signs of Gollum", which seems like a good thing as it's a needed Clue. It's "Guarded" so I then deal another encounter card for it, which is "The West Bank", a 3 threat location. I don't remember my starting hands exactly, but I drew only 2 allies - Snowbourn Scout and Gondorian Spearman, neither of which have any willpower. Things could be better, but I get my allies on the table and get 1 progress token on the location when Snowbourn Scout enters. Of course, I have no ready heroes and no allies who can quest so I resign myself to taking a first-turn quest-phase threat hit. And that's when the full fury of this game shows itself. The first revealed encounter card is "Eastern Crows". Only 1 threat, but it surges. The next card is, you guessed it, another "Eastern Crows". Another 1 threat, another surge. The next card is "Hunters From Mordor", only 2 threat but because there's a Clue in the Staging area it gets +2 threat, for a total of 4. And I still have another encounter card to draw. I take a deep breath and reveal..."Goblintown Scavengers". It only has 1 threat but it's "When Revealed" effect is a doozy that I have no way to cancel: "When Revealed: Discard the top card of each player's deck. Until the end of the phase, increase Goblintown Scavenger's Threat by the total printed cost of all cards discarded in this way." I don't know whether to laugh or cry. My Tactics / Spirit deck draw is another Gondorian Spearman - 2 cost, so 2 threat. My Leadership / Lore deck draw is Faramir. 4 cost, 4 ****ing threat. I decide to laugh. Turn 1 Total Staging Area Threat is 16: "The West Bank" - 3 "Eastern Crows" - 1 "Eastern Crows" - 1 "Hunters From Mordor" - 2 (+2 for the Clue card) "Goblintown Scavenger" - 1 (+2, +4 from player deck discard boosts) As you'll recall my heroes are completely exhausted from all the "Old Wives' Tales" gossip, so Turn 1 Total Questing Willpower is 0. Player 1 threat increases from 32 to 48. Player 2 threat increases from 27 to 43. After less than 1 turn. I was so amused at this point that I went ahead and played it out. I somehow managed to get to Quest stage 2B before the inevitable Threat-Out. I'm hopeful that sharing my misfortune will provide some amusement to you, some catharsis for me, and maybe score me some karma points. This game can be a real jerk sometimes.
  5. Yes, that was a legal play… but FYI, the quest only requires that you have the three objective cards attached to heroes in order to pass from stage 2 to stage 3 of the quest. You don't have to have all objective cards in hand to win stage 3 -- you just need to make sure the Nazgul is no longer in play! Ha! Another lesson that card text is to be taken very, very literally. I just assumed the stage 3 requirements carried over. Good catch, thanks!
  6. Thanks for all the replies! I'm familiar with some of the linked resources - the TftC New Player Buying Guide convinced me I'd prefer to pick up expansions in release order and I'd been following Beorn's Path for the first 2 core scenarios (more on that later). I'll check out the other blogs I hadn't stumbled on yet and will make my way through TwiceBornh's EfDG write-up. That looks interesting! As I mentioned, I had used Beorn's Path for the earlier scenarios. I probably wouldn't have been able to complete Journey Down the Anduin without using his "path" deck (with a couple of minor modifications) and strategies for dealing with the Hill Troll. Through the first 2 quests I had only played single-handed. After my first epic EfDG failure with a single deck of my own design, I decided I wanted to try playing two-handed solo. I mistakenly assumed Beorn's Path continued to use a single deck (don't know how I missed the article's title) and set off looking for 2-deck recommendations. Prior to my original post, I had found and used Xanalor's decks that Teamjimby linked. I made it to the second stage of EfDG a few times but was never able to push through. I'm sure those decks are well-constructed, and I'll likely return to them at some point, but I don't think I was fully utilizing Beravor (rarely triggered her ability and mostly dedicated her to questing) and I had some bad luck during setup, with Eowyn being made prisoner 2 out of my 3 games. When I woke up yesterday to see Dan himself had pointed me back to Beorn's Path I took another look and finally noticed his EfDG article focuses on "Building a Second Core Set Deck". So I built his decks and gave them a couple tries. My first attempt came up short again with Aragorn imprisoned and 2 early "Caught In A Web" cards draining my resource tokens. On my second try the prisoner was Thalin and I thought I was going to have trouble without his damage-dealing but, to my complete surprise, I won! Ok, I won with an asterisk. I had some good luck with an early Gandalf appearance and a timely Forest Snare, easily pushing into the second stage with Gandalf's Map in Eowyn's hands after 5 rounds. She can't attack or defend while holding that map? Who cares? I have no plans to use her for that! As I moved to the second stage I had a lot of cards on the table. I hadn't had to chump-block a single ally, I had 3 enemies engaged, and the staging area was 5-6 cards deep. So I completely forgot to put the Nazgul in play when I rescued Thalin. I noticed it a couple turns later but I was too far along to figure out how to backtrack. My threat was low enough that he didn't engage even by the time I finally did move him to staging. But Eowyn had been a buffed-up 8 willpower questing machine and I had made good progress without having to deal with the Nazgul's 5 threat. Thus...an asterisk. I think I still would have won. I had some allies who could have quested during those turns, if necessary, and I wound up with 19 progress tokens out of 15 required when I advanced to the 3rd stage. A couple chump-blocks and whacks from a bleeding Gimli made quick work of the Nazgul in stage 2 and the low requirement of 7 progress tokens allowed me to complete the 3rd stage in 2 turns. That's all I had time for yesterday but I'll add yet another "thanks" to Beorn for his "Path" series! I plan to try EfDG one or two more times using his decks, then move on to THfG. Maybe I'll come back to EfDG with a hand augmented with AP cards. Either way, I'll definitely continue to follow the big bear's lead! As a reward for making it through this lengthy post, I'll ask one more question. During the 3rd stage I had the Shadow Key attached to Thalin since I was able to keep him healed with Daughter of the Nimrodel. In the first round of that stage Thalin was defending when the Cavern Guardian came up as the Shadow Card. Since I had to return an attachment to staging I chose to return the Shadow Key to avoid the ongoing damage hit, then later reclaimed it as my last act to win the scenario. Although this benefited me, I could find no reason I couldn't do it. Was that a legal play?
  7. First off, I want to thank everyone involved in this game's community. I include these forums, BGG's forums, and all of the YouTube videos in those thanks. Every resource has been helpful and informative. A little background (skip to next paragraph to avoid boredom) - I'm a longtime LotR fan. For reference, the Rankin/Bass version of The Hobbit (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0077687/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1) debuted on TV when I was in 3rd grade and I'm old enough to have seen the first LotR movie in the theater...the Ralph Bakshi version (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0077869/)! I got into "heavy" boardgames as a pre-teen, focusing mostly on Avalon Hill "Bookcase" games - wargames like Third Reich (http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/1563/rise-and-decline-third-reich) - but I was too old (so I thought) to get into Magic: The Gathering when it came out and I looked down on the whole CCG culture, mostly because I didn't understand the mechanics. Fast forward many years to about a month ago when multiple "Rahdo" and "Watch It Played" videos finally convinced me that the theme of this LCG, combined with it being a solo game (the wife isn't interested, although I'm working on my 8-year-old), might interest me and I bought the Core Set as an early Christmas present to myself. Long story short, I'm hooked. I play it as much as I can (4-5 days a week / 2-3 games per day), I'm catching up on podcasts like "The Grey Company" and "Cardboard of the Rings" (Hi, guys! ), and I find myself thinking about strategy and deck-building in the long hours between play sessions. So after enough of the fanboy BS, I do have a couple questions... First, a rules question - I've seen a couple threads about this one but nothing definitive. While playing "Escape From Dol Guldur" I was dealt the Iron Shackles so I put it on top of my player deck. During the next Quest phase I traveled to the Iron Gate, which initiates the Orc Guard: "After traveling to Tower Gate, each player places the top card of his deck, face down in front of him, as if it just engaged him from the staging area." Since Iron Shackles is on top of my deck should I take that card and make it the Orc Guard or should I take the top card beneath the Iron Shackles and make that one the Orc Guard? Following this game's Golden Rule of "worst interpretation of the rules is usually correct" I left Iron Shackles on top and took the next face-down card as the Orc Guard. But what is correct? Second, an expansion question. I've had the Core Set for about a month and played about 30 games against the first 3 scenarios. I've won the first 2 scenarios a few times but I've never beaten "Escape From Dol Guldur" playing 2-handed with core set cards. I've purchased "The Hunt For Gollum" but have been waiting on that scenario until I beat "Escape From Dol Guldur" like a good completist. I've read enough to know that "Escape From Dol Guldur" almost requires expansion cards in the player deck to beat it. Do any of you have core set recommendations to beat "Escape From Dol Guldur" or should I move ahead with a few expansions and come back to this scenario with the additional player cards?
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