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alexbobspoons

The newbies first experience

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Ok, just played my first two games with core set :)

 

Loved it.

 

I played the passage through Mirkwood twice and both times used the leadership deck with Aragorn, Theodred and Gloin heroes. I wanted to get the feel of the game rules and mechanics for my first tries and so didnt want to mix things up with different quests or decks.

 

Really enjoyed it and one both times (yes I know its a starter quest) and didnt lose any heroes.

 

First game I made some early poor choices and both Gloin and Theodred took a chunk of damage as I didnt have any allies in play yet so they soaked on defensive moves. Rallied somewhat and pushed through to finally take the Beorn path on the last stage. I had managed to get the Aragorn pendant thingy attached to him to boost questing and so did a mad dash questing run to get loads of points on there to finish, while holding off a beastmaster with allies. A nasty little revealed treachery card did one damage to a load of characters (exhausted ones I think) which left Theodred on one remaining health, but he held on. Quest point were gained and game won :)

 

Second game, same setup. This time I got a few allies out to soak some damage and kept heroes fresh for attacks and started much stronger. Also managed to get Aragorn pendant thingy again which helped a lot. This time, the random pick on part 3 came up as the other quest and I had 2 of 3 heroes exhausted, but I still decided to go for speed and at the quest text searched and found Ungoliant Spawn and put straight into play. On the combat phase I had enough tokens to play a Gondor Banner to up my attack (but not defense as no Gondor characters) for the round. Ungoliant Spawn came in against one of my lowly allies who soaked the damage and crumbled to nothing.  My remaining hero had his attack buffed so he did a good strike on the spider but not enough to take all that health down. Next turn, no sense in questing so everybody was ready against Ungolint Spawn. I had another gondor banner to play and so down it went sending a buff around the party. The spider received another lowly ally as its defender and the poor sole simply perished. I then exhaused every remaining card as attackers, all buffed and did enough damage to take the spider down, which was good as next turn my threat would have increased to a level that there was an orcish card sat in staging waiting to join the fray, that would not have helped. All heroes did still have some damage this game, but not near as much as the last.

 

Overall, I had great fun!!

It involved a lot of leafing through the rulebook trying to get things right and remember rules, but that is to be expected in a new game. Generally I felt the rules played really well especially as a solo player

 

I was very happy with the games, and am very much looking forward to getting to the point where I know the rules well enough to mix in a lot of advance cards, later quests and some considered deck building. While it did need some rule-thinking, it ran very smooth for a first attempt and I am really looking forward to the game getting better and better.

 

My next plan for a game session will be to try a different starter deck with passage through Mirkwood, and go straight through into journey down the anduin. That way, I stick with the same easy first encounter, but spice it with a new deck, then jump into a new adventure with that same deck afterwards. Very much looking forward to it.

 

Thought it would be nice to put a post up about this first experience and also to say thank you to all those people on the forum who have given me advice over the last two weeks in my new foray into this game. It helped me with the choice to buy the game, heped me with choices over first purchases and accessories such as sleeves, carry cases, playmats etc. All advice has been appreciated and the results of this afternoons play are that it was all worth it.

Thank you very much.

On with the adventuring!!

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Welcome to the game!  Sounds like you had some memorable experiences.

 

I noticed in your second game that you didn't quest at all so you could kill Ungoliant's Spawn.  I just want to make sure that you still revealed an encounter card and raised your threat for questing unsuccessfully.  That is a mistake some new players make.  You still need to do all of the questing steps even if you don't actually send anyone to the quest.

 

Be prepared to lose repeatedly when you play Journey Down the Anduin, especially with the premade starter decks.  Don't let it discourage you.

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Glad to hear you're enjoying it so far. The Leadership deck is a good all-round deck with plenty of resources, decent questing and combat. Definitely try some of the other spheres as well - they all feel different. Though as Bullroarer hints, Tactics is difficult solo because it lacks questing power and is usually paired with another sphere, or another player plays a willpower-heavy deck.

 

Without spoiling it for you, JDtA is significantly harder than PtM and it may take a few tries before you find a build and strategy that works, but don't lose heart. This game just gets better the further you get and find what playstyle suits you and which cards you want to invest in. I've had many hours of fun with this game, though we usually remember the matches themselves with despair rather than fondness.

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At the moment I want to concentrate on getting the rules to be second-nature, so that then I can concentrate on how to play my deck/decks. Right now most of my concentration is on getting used to the rules.

 

I actually didnt reveal encounter and raise threat, I thought that was done against questing characters and as none were questing, I didnt. Thanks for pointing out my error I will know next time. So basically, every turn the questing phase will reveal a card and if I dont meet that with some for of questing character I will have threat raised. Actually makes sense glad to know about that thank you. I was sure I would make some mistakes before getting used to it.

 

I do plan on having some games with each individual mono-deck. That way I should get a feel for where they work and where they are weak. That will be my basis for then creating composite decks to try and get some good complimentay things going. Right now I dont know enough about the decks to have an informed opinion of merging them, ive not even leafed through them.

 

Thanks for the feedback and thanks for the correction too.

 

Onwards :)

 

Edit: Ungoliant Spawn quest having zero quest points on it did a lot for me avoiding questing on it, but had I realized I still needed to meet the threat it would have been different :)

 

Extra edit: thinking about it, im glad Ive been corrected on the rules aspect, though thinking about it the result would have been similar (subject to the new card) as Aragorn and Theodred questing as a combo gives a decent quest score and Theodreds ability gives aragorn an extra resource he can use to ready himself, so I was getting a good quest score with only Theodred exhausted. Theodreds attack wouldnt have affected the outcome of the spider, so as long as the encounter card from questing wasnt game-changing (which it could be) then I think it would have ended same :)

Edited by alexbobspoons
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Definitely try all four starter decks. Don't be surprised, however, when you find that they aren't balanced well for solo play. Once you have an understanding of what each sphere does well (and doesn't do well) you're probably going to find it necessary to do a little custom deck building to have a chance at the later quests solo.

Glad to hear you're having fun so far!

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It's always great to hear of new peoples' experiences with the game - really pleased you had fun with it! 

 

I'd just like to second everyone else who has been warning against the difficulty of some of the later quests. I've been playing this solo for years, but being primarily a theme player, still regularly fail to complete quests. Don't let it discourage you! They may be awfully hard, but they're usually fantastic for having epic storytelling moments!

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Well ive slightly revised my plans.

I do plan to buy everything I can (cashflow permitting) as it appears, dont want to be held up by stock levels.

I do plan to play everything in order (maybe some sagas out of sync) even to the extent of not using extra player cards until i am on that expansion.

So pkaying everything in order and a good many times each quest.

After reading Beorns path (awesome) the deck building aspect really opened up, so i do need to know the strengths and weaknesses of each sphere, hence i plan to play the first scenario at least once (prob twice) to get used to the decks before doing some deck building. Beorns path lore/leadership decks was inspired.

So i want to be used to decks first, then build, then tackle scenarios in release order.

Good fun ahead

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Just played game 3, pasage through mirkwood with core lore deck, i got smashed to bits. Fun though. :)

Really early I dew Ungoliant spawn, dol guldur beastmaster and i think was dol guldur orcs. I had stated out with a threat of 30 and lost the first round of questing so ungoliant only spent one turn stuck in staging before engaging and everything else engaged quickly too.

I hadnt enough allies out to defend and attack and quest. Forest trap never drew which would have fixed ungoliant. Gandalf never drew. Id also been hit bad damage on all heroes (was a shadow or treachery) and denethor got caught in a web.

Just couldnt defend and attack and quest and died a bit more each turn.

 

Some initial lore observations:

Glorfindel is pretty rock hard

Denethor had good defense before being webbed

The deck has buckets and buckets of healing

Wasnt easy to quest with the deck

Not very hard hitting

Would have had good extra draw abilities if id played resources differently, to maybe get out cards like forest trap, but I needed resources to heal.

 

I can see why this works so well in conjunction with leadership on beorns path website suggstions, but i found it difficult on its own.

 

Next play will be a repeat of the same scenario with same deck before I move on to a different sphere again.

Edited by alexbobspoons
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Yeah, the mono-sphere starter decks are incredibly weak. I found that the only one that could consistently beat Passage Through Mirkwood was the Leadership deck. I think I won once or twice with the Spirit deck. Never with Lore or Tactics (the latter I believe is impossible… Tactics simply don't have the will power required to quest successfully). Still, I'd say give it a try so that you get a better sense of the different strengths and weaknesses of each sphere. 

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Yeah, the mono-sphere starter decks are incredibly weak. I found that the only one that could consistently beat Passage Through Mirkwood was the Leadership deck. I think I won once or twice with the Spirit deck. Never with Lore or Tactics (the latter I believe is impossible… Tactics simply don't have the will power required to quest successfully). Still, I'd say give it a try so that you get a better sense of the different strengths and weaknesses of each sphere. 

Thanks thats good to know.

 

I plan to play Passage through Mirkwood with each sphere as mono-core to do exactly that, but plan to do it twice as sometimes bad draws from deck or encounter can both have a heavy impact on game, so two plays from each sphere as my foundation for my knowledge before I move on to other adventures.

 

Afterwards, whichever deck I feel most easy to my play I also want to try Journey Down The Anduin as a mono-core-deck just to see how that fairs (Leadership current favourite) because I read Beorn's Path and it was fantastic, but I feel the deck design was so good that it would taint my own design thoughts without further experience. So Id like to mono that adventure (and likely get beat) to see where I fell down and then probably adopt the Beorns Path format to have another go at it. Future advventures I want to avoid reading up on as I dont want to affect my choices in deck building (which is really hard as reading about those adventures is such fun and exciting).

 

So plan now:

1: PTM lore mono GO2

2: PTM Spirit mono GO1

3: PTM Spirit mono GO2

4: PTM Tactics mono GO1

5: PTM Tactics mono GO2

6: JDTA (leadership or spirit probably) mono

7: JDTA Constructed deck (Beorns Path design)

8: All other scenarios in order with constructed decks each time making adjustments (this is the point Im looking forward to even more)

 

In order I now have all up to and including Khazad Dum so that will be my plan (I also have Black Riders and so will slot that in somewhere along the way as some play sessions).

I plan to buy packs when I have the cash available and/or they are in stock, but not introduce player cards or heroes into my collection until I am playing those scenarios. I then do want to take scenarios in order (as well as going back and replaying my favourites when I find new deck tweaks).

 

I must admit, Leadership seem to tackle PTM pretty well even on my first go's, but Lore just really taxed me and was hard. As a starting adventure with really low difficulty rating I found this somewhat worrying, however I can imagine a Leadership deck interspersed with healing and traps from Lore would completely demolish PTM too. Its good to see your comments TwiceBornh on PTM being shocking with Lore or Tactics mono, gives me hope :)

 

Cheers!

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Leadership and Lore build into a very nice two-sphere deck too. I don't solo play often, but I have run an Aragorn, Theodred, Denethor deck through Passage Through Mirkwood and it went smoothly. I would imagine that Spirit and Tactics would do well enough there too, particularly if you got the free ready attachment from Spirit onto Gimli for double duty blocking and attacking. Eowyn, Thalin, and Gimli are pretty interesting together for a core trio.

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Another two fun games played:

 

1: ptm lore mono go2: won this time yay!! Admittedly Gandalf turning up helped. Also, I had a nasty orc captain person who had a forced damage upon me at engagement which simply killed Denethor as I had nothing to reduce the damage (had things to heal damage but the amount killed Denethor in one go and you cant heal a dead hero). This captain seemed very tough against these heroes with I think defense of 3 and 6 damage points. Fortunately i pinned him with forest-trap which meant I only had to navigate his shadow cards each turn (im assuming he still gets dealt them even when trapped as he is still engaged with me technically).

Was a ruch to the finish to get the last 10 quest tokens before the threat rose too much and yay suceeded.

 

2:

Second game today i tried ptm with spirit mono... got smashed. Could quest pretty well but had hardly any allies to put up so once i had threef forest spiders against three heroes it wasnt good. With three attacks coming in and 3 heroes, did i defend all three and do no damage to them, with no questing raising threat, or if i attack them i am leaving undefended andthus full damage. I simply got mangled. Not enough allies to chump block or help with questing. Too many spiders too quickly.

 

Will try ptm again mono spirit before moving onto the final sphere of tactics.

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Well, I built two decks using only Core set cards, with Leadership/Lore in one and Tactic/Spirit the next. My brother and I tried the Passage Through Mirkwood scenario and learned the rules as we go, and I think we definitely made some errors along the way. First, it was hard to work with the resources that we generate, since each hero only produce one during the Resource phase. I know there are cards that can produce more, but we either didn't draw them or didn't have them. Also, without Allies the heroes do take a beating, and since attacking exhaust your characters you have to assign one character for questing so others can be ready for attacking later. Anyway, I think we played the game somewhat wrong but that was our observation in our first two-player game. 

 

Next time, I will incorporate other cards from the expansions and adventure packs to strengthen the decks and eliminate much of the weaknesses.

Edited by Star Lord
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I'm really enjoying hearing about your initial adventures. You're much more methodical about the Core Set than my wife and I were. :)

Thank you thats nice to hear as I am enjoying writing about them a lot and loving the game.

I tend to go overboard with spending when I like something new so already have core plus 6ap 2deluxe and 1saga so if i didnt do this methodically i wouldnt have a clue and would be swamped by my cardpool.

Its only really ptm that I intend to specifically play this much as my intro, after that i will play other scenarios in order but only as much as I fancy at the time :) 3 more games until Anduin!

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Ok another two fun games:

 

1: ptm go2 on spirit. Lost again but did do better. Did really suffer from simply not enough allies. Once you have a few enemies engaged i just didnt have enough to defend and atack at same time. Trod water afew turns then risked undefended atacks to do some damage but lost heros.

 

:  ptm go1 on tactics: woah tactics are rock hard. BUT nothing to quest with. I got stuck with four locations in staging that had more than all my willpower combined so even though i could mincemeat any enemy, questing failed badly every turn until i bust the limit at 50. Ill have another solo before I design my first deck, but I dont expect to win. I think tactics would work very well with spirit or lore but difficult to quest on its own. Spirit quested ok but not enough allies to hold in combat, so spirit/tactics may be good while lore/leadership works well too.

One more go at ptm with mono tactics before I choose a deck design and either replay ptm a seventh time or have a crack at journey down the anduin.

:)

Edited by alexbobspoons

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Two more games:

1st mono tactics again on ptm. Did much better but still lost. Just cant qust well and the threat goes up then swamped in monsters.

 

Then I designed my first deck, lore/leadership with Aragorn, Theodred and Denethor. As it was first senario i went for 40 cards and have put aside another 10 to make it fully legal later.

Went well. Denethor hardly drew any cards so had lots of spare resource so playing Gandalf against Ungoliant Spawn was easy. A clear win.

 

Next, ill put my deck to the full 50 (even though that means some cards im not too thrilled about) and a journey down the anduin.

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You may find it more fun to use your 40 card deck while you're just playing with the core set. There really aren't enough good cards to fill a standard 50 card deck, and it can be especially frustrating solo to have to glut your deck with substandard cards.

If it helps, you'll note that there technically isn't a minimum deck size for this game -- they call 50 cards a "tournament legal" deck but the "standard rules" don't impose that limitation.

Once you have a few expansions in your card pool, you should have no problem filling out a 50 card deck, and throwing in "junk cards" will become a thing of the past.

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I stuck with 40 cards and have had 3 goes at journey down the anduin.

 

First two just got overwhelmed early. A extra staging card plus troll plus usual turn 1 staging card puts 3 cards in the staging area straight away. Just got mashed as the troll jumps in and raises your threat count so high that other enemies then engage and burry you. Neither time did I manage to get Gandalf of Forest Snare on him.

3rd go I took out the troll through sheer beating, which did mean by that time it had taken turns and my threat was higher. I finally got to stage 2 and wow 16 quest points to get while the deck is adding TWO cards to its threat pool per turn gosh. I was making progress but not fast enough and I bust the 50 threat limit.

I had two steward of gondor cards running so had masses of resources just not the cards to play. I may give this build another go before considering a bit more card draw into the mix :)

The marsh adder was a cool card/enemy to fight. Also the **** wargs kept engaging, attacking (occuping a defender) and zero shadow card so jumped back to staging before I could damage them. Tied up Denethor for quite some turns without damaging them before the raft phase trapped them in staging.

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I noticed you said you had two steward of gondor cards out and running. As indicated by the little diamond emblem right next to the title on the card, steward of gondor is unique. Only one copy of a unique card can be in play at a time. So really you can only have one copy of steward of gondor in play. I made that mistake too when I first started playing! That's pretty crazy you got all the way tostage 3 on Anduin though! You killed the hill troll and everything! I must say, most new players take much much longer to achieve such success on that quest. I do believe you are having a great and smooth introduction to this game compared to many others. Good job!!

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Eek i didnt notice the little star on steward of gondor oops. Ive generally been looking for that star on allies more than anything so i made a mistake there thanks.

 

I didnt get to stage three though. I was in stage two and just couldnt get the 16 questing points before i bust the 50 threat. I was trying to engage enemies by choice to get the staging areas threat amount down but with two cards revealled per questing phase i just didnt have enough characters to quest sucessfully and fight as well. All the cards seemed to be monsters with high threat (if they were locations can you still travel to them despite being on a raft? Id think so as nothing says you cant).

I do think a key to this is a good first draw on those initial staging area cards, then being able to deal with the troll quickly, so that you can rush up your 8 questing points to get on that barge and rumble through the 16 points before the staging area is too full to quest against.

Some of the enemies seem pretty strong against my heros and allies in this deck too.

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