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  1. The threat meter takes some getting used to. This game is all about trade-offs, so you need to balance exploration with the risk of generating new threat. Some guidelines: 1) don't explore too much too fast. Exploring can generate new explored areas, which means more threat increases. 2) explore areas that aren't near fog first. They're less likely to generate more unexplored areas. 3) Try to explore earlier in the action phase rather than later. This gives you time to deal with any threat tokens, unexplored areas, or enemies that might ruin your day. 4) try not to waste too much time moving. The more moving you do, the less other stuff you have time to do. 5) waiting for enemies to come to you, or using ranged weapons, saves you time. 6) focus on the mission objectives. You won't always have time to search everything (but sometimes you will). 7) don't neglect threat and search tokens. Removing Threat tokens decreases threat increase, and both search and threat token may also decrease the actual threat meter. I personally love these kind of events. By the way, always light the signal fire. You won't be sorry.
  2. If you have a musician (role) there are cards from there that can remove face-up fear, or flip them face down. There's also the extra rations trinket. It's pretty common and removes damage or fear (even face-up!) If Aragorn or someone near him has the banner, then resting gives inspiration too, so it might be in your best interest to pick up a rest card for next time.
  3. I wouldn't recommend Battle Axe for Aragorn because Aragorn is unlikely to get more damage from it with only 3 might. Also, you probably will be resting, guarding, or hiding and that banner will be moderately useful at least. Strider gives guarding. That being said, I've used him with the axe and it was pretty fun. I find it funny to use different starting weapons. I prefer sword and harp for Aragorn though.
  4. I love Legolas as musician/hunter because of the upgraded bow that benefits from singing for some reason. if you're having trouble scouting, try using Tale of Tinuviel musician card. It's worth it just for the scouting ability. Once you have lots of inspiration the only thing you fear is blank cards at the top of the deck, so scouting outside of the rally phase really helps. The best role for this is Captain. Maybe encourage your team mates to play Captain more often. Personally, I like being well-stocked in inspiration and scouting so much that my favourite 2-player team is Aragorn / Elena.
  5. They're useless for Beravor and Elena, ok for Bilbo and Aragorn, and best for Gimli and Legolas. Overall not that great an item in my opinion. Kind of similar to the rope.
  6. Hey there. I disagree with something you said (paraphrased): If you scout 2 success cards you should put them both back on top of your deck. Sometimes this is true, but not always. I think if you look at successes as only the success symbols in your deck, you're going to miss a lot of opportunities. A prepared card can be worth multiple success symbols. Basically any card that generates inspiration or successes from its prepared ability is worth a success symbol when prepared. Obviously, I'm going to want role cards #11 and #12 because they're also worth successes when not prepared, but that doesn't mean #4-10 are useless. Often these cards can be used to generate multiple inspiration tokens, or have other effects that can't be achieved by successes alone (like adding attack modifiers, getting a boon, or healing party members). Certain character builds call for a focus on certain key words to maximize their effectiveness, and #4-10 role cards help with that, too. A pathfinder needs as many sprint cards as possible, especially with the greenwood garb, Berevor's ability, or other such abilities that benefit from sprinting. A guardian wants guard cards, especially in tandem with the banner. A burglar wants hide cards, which can also key off the dunedain banner. A hunter wants strike cards, especially in tandem with guarded strike. Etc. Etc. That said, I generally play 2-player or single player, so I always switch to success cards whenever I can as there's lots of options available to me. Another thought -- Master Tactician: This greatly increases the chances of preparing those lovely abilities for the whole party.
  7. I wouldn't choose Bilbo to start with, as his playstyle is more complex and he's the most vulnerable to getting killed (I lost my first game on turn 2...not my greatest moment...let's just say he got shot by "event arrows"--you'll know if you play the Bones of Arnor). Legolas and Gimli are probably the most straightforward to play with, as they can handle enemies most easily. I personally prefer the Aragorn and Elena team though, one with the harp and the other with the banner. With this setup the inspiration keeps flowing in, especially once they gain more XP. Managing your scouting and prepared cards is probably the most important part of this game. Generally you want to prepare cards with no successes and put the success cards on top of your deck, but some success cards can be really powerful and useful when prepared. In the early game though, you only get 4 successes in your deck and you'll mostly want to be drawing those on tests rather than preparing them. Once you get XP, gun for the success cards, but choose ones you'll want prepared because you'll be preparing them more and more as the game goes on. Inspiration will become your main source of successes.
  8. Hello! What you're running into is a very important game mechanic: The "stickiness" of face-up damage or fear. It's meant to be annoying and hard to play around, and it also helps to give the musician a niche role, since musician isn't too good in smaller parties, really. Here's some other ideas for mitigating the effect of "exhaustion" specifically (the one that prevents putting cards on top of the deck when you scout): 1) Choose success cards that you would actually like to prepare: -if you can't put successes on top, at least make sure they'll be useful when prepared! 2) Focus on using your XP or choosing a role for cards that can generate inspiration: -Inspiration is always good to have so this shouldn't hurt your game -Burglar role is good for this ("Quiet" generates inspiration when using hidden, and self sufficient economizes successes) -Pathfinder role is good for this -Cards like "On the Hunt" (hunter) 3) If you're combat-oriented, focus on getting cards with "strike", so you can do damage regardless of drawing successes or not: -hunter role -most roles have access to cards with "strike" 4) Don't neglect scouting: -scouting is still useful despite being exhausted, unless you know for sure that all that's left are consecutive success cards. You will be able to prepare something, and you'll gain information on what's left in your deck. 5) Work together: -stay near a party member with the harp, banner, or other inspiration generating mechanics (eg. Elena, musician role)
  9. This is similar to my current campaign, which is on hard mode and so I need lots of ways to generate inspiration: Guardian Aragorn with sword, banner, and cloak. I took Captain role for first 3 missions to get Master Tactician. Aragorn's job is to guard, support the party with his ability, and do everything else reasonably well too. The Banner generates inspiration for him and nearby heroes whenever possible, and it gives him cleave when fully upgraded. I splashed in Burglar role as well for Embrace the Darkness. This gives him endless opportunities to hide, which generates inspiration from the banner, and he can get rid of the fear with gift of men or with help from Elena or musician Legolas. The banner also means he can get access to pierce (sword) and cleave, or smite (sword) and cleave, so he is good on the offense as well. Pathfinder Elena with dagger, harp, and travel garb. Elena's job is to be a super pathfinder by using the upgraded travel garb to scout for sprint cards. She also generates inspiration for the party with her ability and her harp, and trailblazer generates inspiration for her. Plus, she can heal the party, hide, and rest. The latter two also generate inspiration with Aragorn's banner. I splash in the burglar and captain roles for their sprint cards (quick thinking and wind among the grass). Musician Legolas with great bow and cloak. The Musician role is to generate inspiration for himself (endless wonder and endless melody) and the party (travel song), as well as boost the upgraded bow, Mourning Song (which has lethal). The cloak upgrades into fanghorn cloak/slipthorn which eventually gives him economical access to pierce (pierce + lethal is really good offense) and allows him to prevent extra damage or fear. I splashed in hunter role for On the Hunt, which also generates inspiration. Legolas is my hard hitter of the group, obviously.
  10. I do miss the scout bonus, but it's offset by the fact that Gimli not only reveals an extra card every time he attacks, but he can also place one of those cards on top for the next test (be it negation or through interacting with a token). I also really like how Gimli has 4 spirit. There's a lot of darkness tests throughout the course of this campaign, and even negate tests are commonly either might, agility, or spirit (Gimli with the travel garb is amazing at 2/3 of those, and still ok at the other). Aragorn is really good, too for the reasons you mentioned. I don't think one is better than the other, they're just different. Legolas is so good at dispatching enemies without taking hits it can make things seem too easy at times. But on the other hand, Legolas gets overwhelmed much more easily than Gimli, because he's not doing so well on 2/3 of those negate tests, or on darkness tests, and he ends up taking a beating if he gets swarmed. Thus, I like to pair Legolas up with a guardian, or give him lots of hide cards. I don't necessarily miss him if I don't use him either. One option is Beravor, who is a decent character on her own right and can use the bow decently well, along with her other tricks. Another option is letting the enemies come to you. If I'm Gimli (quite tough), or the guardian role, or hidden, sometimes I just play out my interactions and wait for the enemies to come to me, so as to not waste my actions moving around to kill them.
  11. I agree with everything you just said. Actually I play mainly solo, with 2 characters since I don't feel like managing three, and juggling 2 different roles is pretty much the norm for 2-players. And yeah, this build might actually be better on Aragorn! If you don't have Aragorn, this would be a nice alternative. As for not drawing the cards you need, I have several potential solutions to that: 1) switch roles depending on what's needed for the mission. For example, if you're investigating an Inn, you *probably* don't need strike cards, so you can switch your hunter to an alternate role. Or, if you're "racing to the brandywine" you might want to take pathfinder. The basic role cards are 3, including one that is auto-prepared, so that alters the deck quite a bit. 2) Master Tactician card. But, there's still the issue of drawing it... 3) wanderer's wish (upgraded travel garb): Allows you to scout a lot when exploring. Even the level 2 one helps a lot. 4) trinkets that let you scout or prepare extra cards: eg. tome, pipe Also I'm going to be posting another Gimli build, one centered on the Pathfinder role, with the same equipment. The equipment does overlap with Aragorn's ideal equipment... I'll add a section on suitable partners, then. These Gimli builds will work better with anyone but Aragorn (exception for Aragorn with a staff or some other different build).
  12. With the recent clarification of Gimli's ability, it's clear that Gimli's main strength lies in attacking, possibly more so than any other hero thus far. In addition to attacking he's also amazing at defense, through the use of his ability as well as his amazingly high 4 might and 4 spirit, which helps negate a lot of damage and fear. Gimli is someone it's best to build your team around, since his role is so clearly combat-oriented. With that in mind, I've come up with some potential "best builds" in terms of roles and equipment: Guardian/Striker: Essential role cards: Ready Defense (Guardian), On the Hunt (Hunter) Optional Role Cards: Guarded Strike (Guardian), Master Tactician (Captain) Starting Equipment: Sword, Banner, Travel Garb The idea with this is to be able to prepare lots of cards using the upgraded travel garb, and fight as often as possible in order to strike and guard as often as possible. The banner gives inspiration for guarding and Guarded Strike gives inspiration for striking. I put it as optional because there's a lot of other good options for 7 exp cards in the Hunter pool, especially if you want a certain modifier, like lethal. Master Tactician really helps preparing and scouting for successful attacks, although it works just as well on another team member. On the Hunt is the best card to have for attacking, since it will give an inspiration every turn you or someone nearby attacks, and can always be discarded for 2 hits when really needed. Ready Defense is the best card for defense, and its 7-exp cost seals the deal. The upgraded banner also provides cleave and extra hits, not to mention the upgraded sword providing an extra card on the attack. This combo, along with the inspiration gained, makes it far better than the axe in this build. They also upgrade sooner, and the maximum damage is only slightly lower (11 hits versus 13 hits). Recommended teammates: Any team member would benefit from Gimli's abilities to deal with combat, to guard, and to manipulate the deck (master tactician). An ideal teammate would also be able to support Gimli by providing inspiration (Elena or musician role), movement (pathfinder role), or scouting (Aragorn). Team members that benefit from Gimli include those that are more frail than he is (everyone) because he can guard for them, and team members who can also dish out the damage, so they can benefit from On the Hunt. Build #2: Pathfinder/Burglar Essential role cards: Honed Instinct (Pathfinder), Unstoppable (Pathfinder), Quick Thinking (Burglar) Optional Role Cards: Master Tactician (Captain) Starting Equipment: Sword, Banner, Travel Garb This is a variant on the first role, to be used when Gimli's teammate is a guardian/hunter. The starting equipment is the same, only now it provides inspiration when Gimli hides using the burglar cards. The burglar role is very good at economizing inspiration through the use of Self-Sufficient (burglar) and the hidden mechanics. In addition to that, the Pathfinder role is good at generating inspiration through Trailblazer (Pathfinder). Pathfinder also helps Gimli do more combat by not wasting time on moving. It's also an essential role for making certain missions a lot easier. Honed Instinct has a dual purpose for allowing huge sprints in those big map quests, and giving him a hide card. Quick Thinking allows more preparation in addition to having another sprint card, plus the other ability. A very good, flexible card to have. Unstoppable is more of a late game card that can help you net max damage when it's needed, or you use it to sprint 2, but that's secondary. Master Tactician as noted before, has amazing utility. Recommended teammates: Guardian role is pretty much mandatory here, in order to take full advantage of the banner. With that in mind, Aragorn and Elena stand out since they come with other benefits for being nearby. more builds to come...
  13. I assume each campaign is independent. So, you start over every time. Maybe this isn't correct? It would be neat to keep going, and clearly the items were designed with a potential for a stage 4 upgrade (the stage 3 items have lore thresholds). Personally, I'd like to see more role cards in the existing roles, to add more choices.
  14. Yeah this is a good example of the randomness and/or foreknowledge factor. Before playing the campaign once, it's impossible to know all of these tricks. In addition, not finding the torch REALLY hurts against the final boss. It makes (or would've made) a huge difference. There also aren't that many cards that can provide stun or smite, so you'd have to run coordinated strike, run crescendo of dawn, or have that fire-y title, or prepare from before the first mission by taking weapons that can get those modifiers (or even all of those things). Once you know the tricks, it becomes a lot easier. But probably the game is balanced towards not knowing them.
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