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alexbobspoons

The newbies first experience

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Totally with you Alexbob. This box did not mesh with my partner's and my playstyle at all at the time, so we quit playing the game for a month. It was Cair Andros that did it for us, too--the frustration sort of built up throughout the box and then having Cair Andros as the capstone felt like a slap in the face. We eventually came back to it with two mono-Tactics decks, crushed it, rolled our eyes, and moved on.

There's definitely light at the end of the tunnel--the Against the Shadow cycle isn't nearly as hard as the Heirs of Numenor box, and it has a few real gems of quests in there. The Morgul Vale is pretty tough, but somehow it's easier to accept since it's at the end of the cycle rather than the beginning. Even so, it's not as frustrating as Seige of Cair Andros, in my opinion.

If you get too frustrated, you can just skip it and come back to it later. I'm a completionist too, but I won't tell anyone if you don't. ;) 

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As another newbie, I'm rooting for you alexbobspoons! I'm still in Dwarrowdelf and I'm a little nervous about reaching HoN based on its fearsome reputation. It sounds like there were some serious balance problems with the design of that cycle. It is reassuring to know that Caleb managed to strike a better balance with the sagas and subsequent cycles.

 

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Back to this time there was no nightmare or easy mode. They probably want to make everyone happy at the same time so they make quest with different challenge (some easy, some medium and some hard). Sound like a smart idea. But putting three hard scenario on the same box is pretty hard and that's the problem with heirs of numenor. To my own I found those quests very cool, even back to this time. Even when I start losing ten times in a row. After defeat them with regularity, with a deck who also stand very well against other quest, I really found myself having mastered LoTR in a whole new level :).

Edited by Rouxxor

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Hmm interesting.

So I made a totally fresh deck, mono tactics.

Beregond, Gimli and Thalin

I still lost, but I got all the way to the final stage. Also, I lost Gimli VERY early in the game he did almost nothing, it was a shadow-card-multiplier again where the total hit got up to about 9 sheesh.

I also had to suffer the Mumak.

Part of me feels that if I had managed to keep Gimli, his extra resources plus battling would have made a big difference. On the final stage we were in battle and I simply didnt have the axes to get any progress on it. If Gimli was still about I would have used my ciradel plate on him (still unused at end of game and Gimlis resource would have paid for it) and been able to quest-crazy with him, which would have cleared the quest in two turns (added to what I was already questing) and by defenders were enough that they all chump blocked until I dies on the third turn.

Soooooo, had I not lost Gimli early-days (had...if...possible etc yes I know...) then there is a chance the numbers would have worked on this quest and I may have beaten it.

 

So Hmmm, is this mono tactics deck capable of beating the rotten quest and get me onto other quests? Dunno.

 

But the main thing here is that I actually enjoyed it! I felt I had a chance even after losing Gimli and it didnt feel futile and disconnected. This I am very happy about as right now I am curious as to what the next game will bring and THATS back to where I want to be with this game :)

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Glad to hear that. Having access to the progression card pool, I'd say mono tactics is the way to go and knowing the cards of the encounter deck, I am convinced that is what the designers had in mind when designing the quest.

Quest is defenitly beatable with a mono tactics deck, a little more luck (yeah, kind of sad that the encounter deck still can simply crush you bringing out Mumaks, shadow card chains or simpely destroy specific locations without anything to do against it) and you can move on. As others have said the rest of the cycle is way more "balanced".

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I squeaked out a few progression style victories with Legolas, Boromir (T) and Beregond.

Blade of Gondolin x2 on Legolas can be really helpful in this quest, especially on that stage where heroes strong in battle/siege questing are useless due to the need for conventional Will questing. And mono Tactics neutralizes The Master's Malice. 

Edited by TwiceBornh

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On 16/7/2017 at 11:44 PM, alexbobspoons said:

I do think I'm in with a shout at this now if I make the right choices and with a LOT of luck.

I'm almost tempted to splash in shadow cancellation with a song. Few tries mono tactics first.

Add Landroval to the mix to necro a dead hero and counter in part the total annihilation due to shadow multipliers

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Beat it beat it beat it beat it yes yes yes yes! 

Errrr. .. I er,  I beat it .

One handed solo tactics.

Same deck as before. Gimli,  Beregond and Thalin. 

 

Good game, mumak passed as a shadow card. 

Cleared first two locations but lost the citadel however staying in siege worked better for me. 

Game went to plan though balancing questing attacking and defending was a difficult call. 

I got a defender of rammas out on turn 1 which helped. Beorn came out fairly quickly too and that helped. 

Archery hit me a few times but it buffed Gimli so he could attack. Lieutenant of mordor was tricky but Gimli and Beorn finished him.  Khazad khazad was a useful card too,  played two. 

Last phase I played a Gandalf. Everybody quested in a panic. Orc war camp came out for 5 threat and I had quested at 20 and needed 15 progress, win !!!!!!!

 

Awesome. 

Maybe play another for fun before moving on. Feel happier now :) less frustrated!

Edited by alexbobspoons
Spleling

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Had another go and lost but I gave it a good shot. 

Went down in stage 4

Didn't clear properly so stage 3 stayed in the deck and the willpower stumped me, managed to clear it with Gimli and Gandalf but it took a lot out of me.  The Mumak was in play too so I was losing a lot of allies to chumping. 

By stage 4 I didn't have enough cards out left to defend attack and quest so I slowly got ground down. 

 

Was a good fight, deck worked well even at a fail so it wasn't frustrating. 

 

Now onto battle of laketown (gulp) had a quick look and woah it looks hard. Mono tactics had no willpower so no point having a test go, need to design a deck that can quest. Thinking tactics/spirit as a start idea to test it. 

Gosh I'm waiting for the second hobbit box after this scenario for a breather after all these so hard quests. 

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Hmm I'm wondering if tactics/leadership might be better. Resource acceleration, celebrant stone, faramir ally. Might get better results from leadership than spirit. Also snowborne scout.

2 tactics 1 leadership hero maybe. 

 

Edit:

But then there are cancellation effects needed. Threat reduction and big defending needed. ..hmm.  maybe trisphere spirit/tactics/leadership I might even try and splash in healing. This is going to take some thinking about before I even play. 

 

Edited by alexbobspoons

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Battle of Lake-Town requires a whole other mindset/deck-building strategy to win. Ask if/when you get stumped.

Still one of my favourite quests... but was extremely frustrating until I figured out what had to be done.

Good luck!

Edited by TwiceBornh

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Its quite impressive how tastes might differ... For me, Into Ithilien and Siege of Cair Andros are amongst my favorite quests. I also enjoy Journey to Rhosgobel, another quest which is overall disliked by many players

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Firstly,  I like rhosgobel too :) also holds of Emin muin which many hate. 

 

Secondly I had a game of Laketown. 

 

Girls for attack, frodo for defending smaug,  glorfindel for questing and multi use.

Spirit for cancellation cards and threat reduction with added bonuses of unexpected courage and similar stuff. Valinor etc

OHAUH gandalf instead of core

Tactics for citadel plate, dwarowdelf axe etc.

Dwarven mail for frodo

 

All seemed a good idea. 

Smashed!!

 

The big smaug who makes an immediate attack came out, so frodo defended but threat rose. Then in the same turn, different phase (combat) smaug attacks again, frodo takes it undefended, so threat zooms more, shadow card added more hits and if I remember right another attack. 

Devastating.

I was questing very slowly add I didn't get any allies out, so only made about 6 progress while smaug was brutal. Bust 50 that before I could do anything good or get threat reduction going. Brutal.

 

I did consider lore aragorn to reset threat but thought I needed spirit cards and resource more. I may add him with healing and go trisphere after another go with the deck as is. 

 

Burning damage and damage on Laketown were no bother, it was questing and damage soaking that were problems. 

 

Fun though. 

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Into Ithilien and Defense of Cair Andros was my two favorite quest until recently. They bring the game in a new whole level. This is the moment the game came to maturity. From now I felt every quest on cycle 1 and 2 (and especially the 2) is annoying. But since they even create more sophisticated dynamics. Time counter was brilliant. It take me time to realise how it give rythm to the game but it became my favorite cycle more than one year ago. Cycle 5 have a lot of great thing too and may be I will realize how great it is soon too.

As rhosgobel and Emyn Mul are both not on the two first cycle you already know what I'm thinking about them ^^.

But we were talking about laketown. I got this quest pretty soon after it release and I play it numberous times. Here what I get:

1- Questing is very important. Every turn can set you closer to the defeat because of the burning of laketown and because you will have to sacrifice allies for Smaug;

2- Watch your threat. You have to be under 35, and under 30 is even better. If you can let Smaug in the staging area and only get the immediate attack of the smalest everything gonna be cool, as you have a LOT of willpower.

3- Watch for the shadow who deal 1 damage on every ally. It is very painful.

4- Having weapons seem useless. You only need to attack at the end so it will not serve until then. Armure plate allow you to block well with the hero attached to him? I doubt so. Play a lof of allies at small cost with willpower. And get support from who you can to kill Smaug at the end, but the first step is to survive at him first.

5- Of course it is useless to have anything that target enemies since all the Smaug are immunized.

6- Keep going! This one was really hard to defeat for me at this time. Good luck

Edited by Rouxxor

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On 28/07/2017 at 1:22 AM, Rouxxor said:

Into Ithilien and Defense of Cair Andros was my two favorite quest until recently. They bring the game in a new whole level. This is the moment the game came to maturity. From now I felt every quest on cycle 1 and 2 (and especially the 2) is annoying. But since they even create more sophisticated dynamics. Time counter was brilliant. It take me time to realise how it give rythm to the game but it became my favorite cycle more than one year ago. Cycle 5 have a lot of great thing too and may be I will realize how great it is soon too.

As rhosgobel and Emyn Mul are both not on the two first cycle you already know what I'm thinking about them ^^.

But we were talking about laketown. I got this quest pretty soon after it release and I play it numberous times. Here what I get:

1- Questing is very important. Every turn can set you closer to the defeat because of the burning of laketown and because you will have to sacrifice allies for Smaug;

2- Watch your threat. You have to be under 35, and under 30 is even better. If you can let Smaug in the staging area and only get the immediate attack of the smalest everything gonna be cool, as you have a LOT of willpower.

3- Watch for the shadow who deal 1 damage on every ally. It is very painful.

4- Having weapons seem useless. You only need to attack at the end so it will not serve until then. Armure plate allow you to block well with the hero attached to him? I doubt so. Play a lof of allies at small cost with willpower. And get support from who you can to kill Smaug at the end, but the first step is to survive at him first.

5- Of course it is useless to have anything that target enemies since all the Smaug are immunized.

6- Keep going! This one was really hard to defeat for me at this time. Good luck

Thanks for that much appreciated :)

 

I had considered blocking with chumps but thought I would run out of allies and thus Frodo would be better at the blocking, not sure if that was a good idea yet.

Also, my idea for damage on Smaug was that I would likely lose allies before final phase and not have enough left for damage, so as a result, get Gimli with enough damage on him with a citadel plate and a Dwarrowdelf axe to be doing serious high damage and then double-whammy with a Khazad! Khazad! card to take most (not all) off Smaug in a single turn once I get into the final stage. (Bearing in mind all these cards are played on the hero, not the target, so Smaug wouldnt be immune to any of this).

 

At this point, my one go at the quest skyrocketed the threat, so maybe Frodo blocking was a poor idea, or maybe its just that I didnt get my threat reduction into play :) Maybe I should have swapped Gandalfs for core to reduce threat.

So too much threat not enough questing was the main issue in my first go.

Will give the same deck another try before deciding properly what goes wrong and how to tweak/change it :)

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The best things is to not have to blocked at all. For that you need to be at small threat. It is impossible with your frodo strategy.

Why would khazad! khazad! will be better than ally? Allies don't die if you care enough. You can cancel the shadow who deal 1 damage on each. Get allies so you can both quest on early game and attack on end game.

And that may me think that tactics do pretty poorly in this adventures because it don't have any cards for doing this. In solo I always found that tactics was really weak compared to other spheres. I just take a look and none of my 11 best solo decks use tactics, even if five of them are tri-sphere. For comparison I got 9 deck for each others spheres.

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6 hours ago, Rouxxor said:

Why would khazad! khazad! will be better than ally? Allies don't die if you care enough..

Only because if Gimli gets to do someing like 11 attack, that's high damage against smaug if the objective card reduces his defense, so being able to do the same amount of damage with a single card at zero cost is pretty good. 

To get allies out of equal damage is a lot of resource and then there's the trick of keeping them alive long enough. If Smaug engages that's one ally gone. Most heroes are around 10 cost so keeping the threat really down can be hard. Glorfinfel is a good bet but unless valinor goes on him, he is raising threat every quest phase. I'm also not sure a chunk of good questing spirit allies can do enough damage thigh they would quest well.

I do like your idea though and it has obviously worked for you! Maybe I should look at leadership for some allies as maybe they will balance questing with attacking :)

 

Need to have a good think :)

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Why did you say "If Smaug engages that's one ally gone"? That mean you sacrifice the ally on the attack? So if you have khazad! khazad! instead you just lost a hero (because you don't have any option that loose that ally)?

Few heroes are at 10 cost or more. Except in tactics (did I ever mention that I don't like this sphere in solo ? :p). Yes for example Glorfindel for to quest at 3 every turn and have a low threat. Play 3 light of valinor, regular drawing cards and you will have it soon and be able to attack for 3 when needed.

You can also go for a dwarf deck with Dain, so allies can either quest or attack.

Elrond/vilya is as always a good deck

Probably even secrecy can make it out with Timely Aid, big allies and a very good tale

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Every time I have beat this quest, I used Frodo. Keeping threat low in the early game was really important, though, so that the only thing I had to worry about was the Smaug that makes an immediate attack. I believe I used Dunedain Warnings and a Hobbit Cloak to buff Frodo's defense as much as possible to buy myself more time. Once my threat inevitably got too high, I would sprint to the finish, hopefully having built up enough forces by then to take Smaug down.

I never played it progression-style, though, so I don't know how many cards I was relying on that you haven't added to your collection yet.

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On 30/07/2017 at 10:33 AM, Rouxxor said:

Why did you say "If Smaug engages that's one ally gone"? That mean you sacrifice the ally on the attack? So if you have khazad! khazad! instead you just lost a hero (because you don't have any option that loose that ally)?

Only because khazad khazad is just one card and zero cost, I would still have allies in play as well, but paying for allies and losing them to Smaug would be false economy (if threat too high) hence why I aimed to use Frodo and avoid losing too much to Smaug.

Glorfindel is already in my deck as is Valinor, so that aimes to keep my starting threat down some.

I can certainly see the benefit of lots of allies and dont think I yet have enough in my deck.

Still going to play another game with current deck just to test its strengths and weaknesses :) 

 

Thanks for all the good advice to everyone.

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Looking back at my sheets, looks like I only used Gimli when playing 2-handed.

Seems I beat the quest solo progression using Frodo, Aragorn (L) and Glorfindel (S)... but lost far more than I won, and that was the only lineup I tried.  It's been over 2 years since I last played Lake-Town... I think either Aragorn (L) or Glorfindel (S), with Frodo and Gimli might also work solo. 

Edited by TwiceBornh

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