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How does everybody feel about Saruman's Treason quests?

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Hi everybody,

 

I am more of a lurker on these forums and even though I own every expansion that has been released in my country so far quite a few have remained unplayed until this day.

 

There is always a lot of talk about player cards on this forum but I have not read anything on the new saga quests so far and I am really interested in the general opinion.

 

How are thee quests? Are they thematic enough? unique? Challenging?

 

How do they compare to the other saga extensions?

 

Cheers

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I have only played the first two so far (The Uruk-hai and Helm's Deep).

 

First off: spoiler alert, obviously.

 

The first one was on the easy side, I felt.  We won on our first attempt (2-player), then I won on my second attempt (solo 2-handed), then when I tried it 2-player again it took 3 tries, but we beat it on the 3rd attempt without any major deck modifications.  You only get 2 heroes for the entirety of the first quest, not counting the Fellowship Aragorn.  It felt appropriately thematic, as we were 'chasing' a pursuit tracker that got ever closer to its goal.  

 

I played Helm's Deep a couple of times in a 3-player group, and we lost each time.  It's got a very hard setup (a 4-threat enemy in the staging area, per player, plus 1 reveal per player).  You're meant to lose at questing quite a bit during this scenario, but that tricked my playgroup into believing it was OK to lose at questing early on.  Both times we tried the game, we committed nobody to the quest, giving up the first quest stage without a fight.  This allowed us to clear out some enemies, but then we're that much closer to failure (the encounter deck wins if it clears the 3rd quest stage-- well technically stage 4, but you start counting at 2 so it's the 3rd stage you're fighting over).  There's a very mean treachery in here that sunk us: places 3 progress on the quest and blanks all of your characters' textboxes, making those happy little Response and Actions on your heroes and allies quite worthless.  Gimli in particular was not happy about that, and it kills all your Sentinel and Ranged.  It looked like Helm's Deep would be significantly easier as a solo experience.  

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I have played all three quests quite a lot so far but only solo. I think that all three are thematic, mechanically interesting and very well done. As in the Lost Realm, my impression is that the difficulty is increasing with each quest, with the first one definitely more on the easy side and the last being very challenging.

 

Regarding the Uruk-Hai, GrandSpleen summed it up very well. The quest does not require any major deckbuilding and can be won with a variety of decks. I guess that the only thing to keep in mind is that you have one hero less, which can be quite important when thinking about card costs and sphere ratios. The pursuit value provides a nice incentive to replay the quest as it acts like a scorer but is much easier to keep track of than the usual quest score.   

 

I partially agree with GrandSpleen regarding Helm's Deep. If you end up in the last stage with the Defence keyword, things will end up being very close and it often is game over sooner than later. After playing this quest with a couple of different decks, I think it is important to quest heavily from turn one to make sure you can stay in the first and second Defence stage (i.e., actually stage 2 and later stage 3) as long as possible. If you can stay in Stage 2 for a while and manage most revealed enemies one by one, however, surviving should not be too hard. Of course, my experience is from solo play and I fully agree that this scenario will be more difficult with 2+ players. But if all players make sure to bring strong questing and some combat abilities to the table, this should definitely be doable. I will probably revisit this quest every now and then in the future to try out my stronger decks.

 

Regarding the last quest, Saruman is certainly a badass and my impression is that he will be as challenging to fight in multiplayer as he is in solo. I had to do a bit of deckbuilding to get a win out of this scenario and even that victory felt somewhat lucky. As in the other quests, the mechanics here felt fresh and unique to me, which definitely makes this quest worth revisiting. Especially Saruman and his wizardry stuff is very innovative and even getting close to him turns out to be hard. He is certainly a boss enemy that you do not want to miss!

Edited by tricil

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I myself am considering going on a spending spree and getting the quests in dwarrowdelf I don't have (FoS and TWitW) and getting road darkens and this box.  I want to know, would that be overkill?  would we get crushed by this box?  We need a challenge cause our dwarf decks can take on any quest including lake town reasonably easily.  But are these new quest hard enough that I shouldn't bother?  I love the saga theme and decided early on that I would get SoM and Dwarrowdelf, and all the sagas.  somehow I ended up with lake town and osgiliath also.  is this worth it?

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I have only played the first two so far (The Uruk-hai and Helm's Deep).

 

First off: spoiler alert, obviously.

 

The first one was on the easy side, I felt.  We won on our first attempt (2-player), then I won on my second attempt (solo 2-handed), then when I tried it 2-player again it took 3 tries, but we beat it on the 3rd attempt without any major deck modifications.  You only get 2 heroes for the entirety of the first quest, not counting the Fellowship Aragorn.  It felt appropriately thematic, as we were 'chasing' a pursuit tracker that got ever closer to its goal.  

 

I played Helm's Deep a couple of times in a 3-player group, and we lost each time.  It's got a very hard setup (a 4-threat enemy in the staging area, per player, plus 1 reveal per player).  You're meant to lose at questing quite a bit during this scenario, but that tricked my playgroup into believing it was OK to lose at questing early on.  Both times we tried the game, we committed nobody to the quest, giving up the first quest stage without a fight.  This allowed us to clear out some enemies, but then we're that much closer to failure (the encounter deck wins if it clears the 3rd quest stage-- well technically stage 4, but you start counting at 2 so it's the 3rd stage you're fighting over).  There's a very mean treachery in here that sunk us: places 3 progress on the quest and blanks all of your characters' textboxes, making those happy little Response and Actions on your heroes and allies quite worthless.  Gimli in particular was not happy about that, and it kills all your Sentinel and Ranged.  It looked like Helm's Deep would be significantly easier as a solo experience.  

This treachery is a must cancel for me by the sounds of it. No Response effect on Elrohir and Elladan is bad bad news

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Me and my friend opened our boxes today and took our first stabs at it.  Only had time for the 1st quest and we lost both times we attempted it.  Werent even close really.  Will need to go back to the drawing board on it I suppose

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I thinl that once again they have outdone themselves. All six quests from the two new big boxes are top notch. They are not the most difficult, but none of them are easy. Side quests from Lost Realm are perhaps the best mechanic ever and Helm's Deep is arguably the best quest made so far rivaling Into Ithilien for me.

The only negative is that the story line does not feel as strong as it did in the two previous cycles but there are six quests left for that to change.

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So this morning tried going at the quests solo. Used a mostly ent focused deck of Treebeard, Merry, and Mirlonde. (Sure Pippin would be thematically perfect, but then I cant play Lembas which is just too good with Treebeard)

 

Lost pretty quick again on the 1st quest with some pretty unfortunate encounter draws but then beat it on the second attempt.  Was worried though with Ugluk since i was utilizing ally Gandalf as my primary defender and Ugluk's attacks cant be defended by allies.

 

Then tried Helm's Deep and actually won on my first attempt.  It was difficult but I had kept things under control for the most part.  I had the benefit of not running into a ton of enemies during staging so even though the encounter deck naturally throws a lot of them at you I was able to manage them well.  It also didnt hurt that I had two booming ents swinging for 6 relatively early on in the game.  The mechanics of Helm's Deep itself were really fun to play.  It was a true paradigm shift in the manner at which the encounter deck works to go thru the quests and it was also a nice touch to have the beneficial locations you actually wanted to keep in play in most cases.  Will be looking forward to going at it again, I doubt I'll easily replicate today's success.

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Really enjoyed this set!

 

1st quest was the most difficult for me. Losing a hero right off the bat brought back some bad memories of Escape from Guldor (thought not nearly as bad). Merry was my captive, which meant losing some of my Hobbit synergy AND my heaviest attacker. Combat was tricky do to all the enemies with toughness, and archery is bad for squishy heroes (again, hobbits). Took several tries but managed to win eventually. I did have to crack my Phial of Galadriel to survive though =(

 

2nd quest was the easiest, but probably my favorite out of all three. I loved the defense mechanic and hope we see it show up again!

 

Last quest was another tough one. So many different things get thrown at you over the course of the game. Take your time in first stage and get those Ents! They made all the difference for me.

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Just finished playing each quest once 2H solo. First impressions were they are so thematic and awesomely constructed. I really enjoyed this saga box. Aragorn is a monster and his ability is ridonkulous.

 

One deck i had Treebeard Elrond and Pippen. The other deck was Theodred (Spirit) Eowyn and Idraen. I feel like some of the recent cards are sooo powerful, but i like it that way. Tactics Legolas is so strong especially if you can get multiple attacks on him and Treebeard is omg sooooo powerful i love it. 

 

I beat first quest after the second try and 2nd and 3rd quest on the first try. They were all hard though. I felt like the third one was the easiest cuz the ents help out a ton. The first quest i had trouble with cuz i made 2 fresh decks and being down a hero hurt a lot.

 

My thoughts for the quests are they are thematic home-runs they felt awesome and mirrored the events in the book pretty well. I cant wait for the Road to Isengard nightmare version to come out so Saruman can obliterate me. Anyway i think the saga quests do an excellent job of capturing the events in the book and each quests feels unique and innovative. They might not be the quests i go to to replay over and over to try new decks and new archtypes but Ill definitely play them again to get a feel for specific events in the book

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This box is Black Riders good.

 

I decided to restart the saga quests and OMG i hate hate hate the first quest to the Black Riders, "a shadow of the past" maybe its because i make thematic decks to play the quests... or maybe its Hide tests lol i donno but I think im gonna skip that quest everytime i restart

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This box is Black Riders good.

 

I decided to restart the saga quests and OMG i hate hate hate the first quest to the Black Riders, "a shadow of the past" maybe its because i make thematic decks to play the quests... or maybe its Hide tests lol i donno but I think im gonna skip that quest everytime i restart

 

I use theme decks for the sagas and I love SooP.

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This box is Black Riders good.

That is great to hear. I think this was the best product they have released so far.

Black riders, Heirs of Numenot and almost all packs in third cycle a best product for the game in my opinion.

Really bad ones is : hobbit sagas boxes. Voice of Isengard and whole fourth cycle.

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I love the new box, the new cards are great and the scenarios are both thematic and challenging especially Helms Deep. When I first saw people saying they found this quest fairly easy I was dismayed (I did not have the box yet) but it was very very challenging for me (even had to use up Phial of Galadriel to eventually beat it) which is what I wanted from a quest that tries to encapsulate the epic battle of Helms Deep. Road to Isenguard was pretty great too and I found Saruman pretty awesome. He can raise your threat, make you discard allies etc (via wizardry effects from shadow cards) as well as provide fearsome attacks (at 7 or 8 strength) every time any player draws a card and can heal himself. I think he is somewhat similar to Thaurdir from the Lost Realm mechanically as they both heal themselves from attack effects, are both indestructible but must have no hitpoints remaining to beat the quest and both make multiple attacks a turn based on other effects (players drawing cards or treacheries with the sorcery keyword being revealed) that are based off magic; Sorcery keyword and Wizardry keyword.

 

The Uruk Hai was I suppose less amazing than the other two scenarios but not by much and was still very enjoyable.
The new boons and burdens are great too. Beyond All Hope is a thematic and mechanical home run in my opinion, even if I personally have not yet used it and have no immediate plan to either.

Already cannot wait for the next saga box!

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Not exactly, though side quests do help some. The current quest stage along with all side quests are in play, so the forced effects on (for example) stage 2 would still trigger - even when the active quest is a side quest. Player side quests can still help with Helm's Deep, as they allow you to quest normally (they don't have the Defense keyword) and avoid having to put progress on the main quest stage. Now if only there was some way to mitigate all of the terrible locations in that quest.

Edited by danpoage

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(sorry for going off-topic, but I do not want to start a new thread for this)

My box of Treason of Saruman seems to be missing one card. Has it happened to anyone else? I seem to be missing 1A/1B for Helms Deep and it is killing me!

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