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 Heh, your situation is so like mine back then :) I felt like going back and read the advises people gave me back then and they are still valid. Much has been said here as well but you could always take a look if you want. Maybe you get some fresh ideas ;) here's the link to the thread.

http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_foros_discusion.asp?efid=201&efcid=4&efidt=550690&efpag=0#551542

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MyNeighbourTrololo said:

I construct tournament-legal 50 minimum card decks.

Then you're making this hard for yourself IMO. There's no reason to build 50-card decks with such a limited cardpool, you'll only end up with subpar decks. JDtA was definitely not intended to play solo with a tournament legal deck if you only have 1 Core Set and nothing else. You'll get that later, when you'll have a lot of expansions.

To beat Journey Down the Anduin solo, I think tri-sphere is the way to go. Théodred + Beravor + Éowyn is a very good team here.
I also beat the quest with my best deck so far using Legolas + Beravor + Glóin (I have a 2/2 winning record against Massing at Osgiliath with the same deck, only I used Gimli there instead of Legolas).
Both decks have around 40 cards.

Have to say though, I'm not that big of a fan of solo JDtA myself. Not that it's impossible, but it just limits your deckbuilding options too much. You need crazy card draw -> auto-include Beravor + 2 copies of Gléowine don't hurt. Beside Steward of Gondor you'll also need a hero that generates resources -> include Théoden or Glóin. You need heroes to have a starting threat below 30 etc.

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Hm, to be honest, now I'm intrigued by this challange :), I think I'm going to try to stretch my Anduin-beating decks to 50 cards (using only Core Set cards, of course). Shouldn't cause too much problem with Beravor there.
But I really suggest for you to try completing the quest with a smaller deck first, to get the hang of it.

Sorry for the triple-post.

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My advise would be this:

1. Build a tri-sphere deck without tactics.

2. Choose Eowyn, Thodred and either Denethor or Beravor

3. Include all possible threat reducers in your deck (2x Greetings, 3x Gandalf, 2x Sneak Attack)

4. Mulligan, if you have no threat reducers in your opening hand (unless its totally good anyway, like Steward of Gondor + other nice cards)

5a. If you chose Denethor, stall stage 1 until the end of days. Use him at the end of your turn to see what's coming and then commit exactly the amount of willpower to break even on the next quest phase.

5b. If you chose Beravor, try to use her for card draw and build up during stage 1 as long as your threat is below 30.

6. Use For Gondor! to kill the Troll in one turn.

7. Use Faramir to finish stage 2 in ONE turn. Do not enter stage 2 unless you can pull that off.

8. Stage 3 is actually cake, if you were able to follow point 7.

 

Hope this helps.

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plueschi said:

My advise would be this:

1. Build a tri-sphere deck without tactics.

2. Choose Eowyn, Thodred and either Denethor or Beravor

3. Include all possible threat reducers in your deck (2x Greetings, 3x Gandalf, 2x Sneak Attack)

4. Mulligan, if you have no threat reducers in your opening hand (unless its totally good anyway, like Steward of Gondor + other nice cards)

5a. If you chose Denethor, stall stage 1 until the end of days. Use him at the end of your turn to see what's coming and then commit exactly the amount of willpower to break even on the next quest phase.

5b. If you chose Beravor, try to use her for card draw and build up during stage 1 as long as your threat is below 30.

6. Use For Gondor! to kill the Troll in one turn.

7. Use Faramir to finish stage 2 in ONE turn. Do not enter stage 2 unless you can pull that off.

8. Stage 3 is actually cake, if you were able to follow point 7.

 

Hope this helps.

That's a good point. Though I tried something familliar(Eowyn, Denethor, Theodred), I pursued entirely diffirent tactcs.

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Yes, good advice about Beravor or Denethor, both strategies when combined with Théodred and Éowyn should guarantee at least fifty percent winning chance after you get familiar with the deck and quest (I mean the winning ways). First time I done it solo (with core only) I had Beravor, Éowyn and Dúnhere, my final threat was 0. Dúnhere rocks in this one but without expansions, Théodred might be a much better option still, For Gondor! will take you past the troll(s) like nothing. One just really needs to stay low on threat, starting at 29+ is a bad idea here.

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 I beat it my first time with the combination that Ranger of the Force mentioned. I used Eowyn, Dunhere, and Thalin. Thalin let me put Dwarven Axes on Dunhere, giving him +1 attack each. Thalin also killed the crows and I wouldn't have won without killing them before their Surge effect kicked in. Tactics was a good choice for this quest, in my opinion.

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 I just put a deck together to try it out again and won! I'm so excited my deck still worked. I used Eowyn, Dunhere, and Thalin with the 29 Spirit cards, 3 Gandalf cards, and the following Tactics cards:

2x Dwarven Axe
3x Gondorian Spearman
3x Veteran Axehand
3x Blade Mastery
1x Stand Together
1x Horn of Gondor
2x Feint
2x Quick Strike
1x Swift Strike

I never did get any attack buffs on Dunhere, but I did get Unexpected Courage on him which was instrumental during stage 2. We took care of the troll on round 6 or 7 by playing Gandalf to deal 5 damage and then defend against the troll. I had enough attack power with Dunhere, Gondorian Spearman, Thalin, and Northern Tracker to finish the Hill Troll off. I used a Galadhrim's Greetings on turn 2 to keep the troll at bay, but two treacheries raised my threat by 2 and I ended up engaging him with 29 threat. Thalin pulled his weight because on what I thought would be the last round of the river section we drew two crows. He wiped them out, cleaning the staging area in preparation for the final stage which revealed Driven By Shadow, which surged another Eastern Crow, which surged a Dol Guldur Orc, and finally we drew The Brown Lands. My two Gondorian Spearmen defended against the two enemies and Dunhere finished them off using Unexpected Courage.

Conclusion: This quest is beatable, but I will not hesitate to admit that I did get decently lucky by getting a fair mix of Treachery, Enemy, and Location cards. If I had just Enemies or just Locations, it could have been totally different.

Edit: I forgot to mention that it was close because Eowyn and Thalin each had two damage on them from The Necromancer's Reach.

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Just tried  plueschi's suggestion. And won. But, this victory was too lucky.

My final score was 103.

Final threat level: +15.

Damage tokens on remaining heroes: +5.

Victory points: -7.

Number of rounds: 9(+90).

I drew extremely good starting hand, and most of first encounter cards drawn from the encounter deck was event which didnt affecteds me in any way(like removing 4 progress tokens from 0 progress tokens on the current quest at the beggining of the game), the only enemy which engaged me during the first part of the quest was crows and goblin, both got swiftly dealt with and produced almost no harm. 

Finally, I got Son of Arnor and Forest Snare combo, and all required resources to execute it. Snaring troll, I dealt 3 damage each turn to him, while adding more and more allies on the board(Faramir was in my starting hand and was already waiting for the second stage). 

As soon as troll was dead, I committed most of my characters to the quest and exhausted Faramir to support them. As a result I got 18 combined willpower against 3 threat in the staging area. Discarded one card from my enourmous hand by Eowyn's ability, increasing total willpower to 19, making it into 16 progress tokens and instant passage of second stage. By the forced effect of third stage was revealed only 2 locations. Remaining enemies was Wargriders and Crows. Destroyed them in last turn, and won. **** random.

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Pff, you played 20+ games without winning once, now you play one game and win and complain that you got lucky?? ;)

Assuming not all 20+ plays were unlucky before, I dare say the strategy made a difference lengua.gif 

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MyNeighbourTrololo said:

Well, I wish I'd get ton of empty treacheries instead of second troll/marsh adder/two goblin snipers/etc. before. 

A 2nd hill troll is really not that big of a deal as long as your threat remains under 30. Under those circumstances he only contributes 1 threat, no problem.

What's so bad about Goblin Snipers? Either Gandalf deals with them or you just let them sit there. 1 dmg, 2 dmg, activate Daughter of the Nimrodel, 1 dmg, 2 dmg, daughter ….

The marsh adder might be the more annoying card out of those, but you won't see her each game anyway.

But as far as enemies go, I would worry much more about the ones capable of engaging you, than the ones that clog up the staging area while you stall the game. Luckily those low engagement enemies don't live too long.

And there should be a reasonable amount of "empty" treacheries in each game. Despair, Evil Storm, Treacherous Fog and Driven by Shadow all do practically nothing anyway.

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I've said it before and I will say it again:  the base scenarios included in the Core Set are obviously designed and balanced for two-player, and are a terrible introduction to the game for solo players.  This is a very difficult game overall, and the design of the core set does nothing to mitigate that, but rather makes it worse by dumping the new player into scenarios that are particularly luck-heavy and unforgiving.

I repeat what I wrote over at BGG - we need better scenarios for introducing new players to the game, softball scenarios that can easily be beat, but allow the player a chance to fine-tune decks before tackling more difficult scenarios.  Opening up the Core Set and finding a nasty two-player-only scenario in Dol Guldur, a very luck-dependent scenario in Journey Down the Anduin, and a sometimes-super-easy-sometimes-super-hard (Turn 1 Encounter:  King Spider, good luck, you're going to need it) scenario in Mirkwood, and I feel like we're getting trolled by FFG.

 Every time I read a thread like this - and I have read many, including my first unhappy post at BoardGameGeek - I have to wonder, how many players had the same experience but instead of going to the forums, just threw it out and swore they would never waste another minute on it?  I think FFG should seriously consider re-designing the Core Set if they want to have any hope of retaining new players, with an eye toward scenarios that introduce players to the game concepts without being severely punishing.

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yeah i agree here- in over a year ive probably seen about 15 posts that voice peoples worries over the difficulty of this game for a solo player, some of these people stuck around, some were never seen again which is a shame

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In a way, the remedy has been done with the expansions, some of their quests being rather easier for solo play, in my opinion. However, this is really not a remedy as you "have to" start with the core set anyways. What was a great help for me was that from the start even when playing alone, I learned to play with 2 decks. And only after gaining that experience, I began to pursue the solo mode. I know some players, like Richard, aren't big fans of the two-hand variant, and I understand their point of view, but it can be helpful to learn new ways about the game, and even discover some mechanics which cannot be experienced in solo games.

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Runix said:

I repeat what I wrote over at BGG - we need better scenarios for introducing new players to the game, softball scenarios that can easily be beat, but allow the player a chance to fine-tune decks before tackling more difficult scenarios.  Opening up the Core Set and finding a nasty two-player-only scenario in Dol Guldur, a very luck-dependent scenario in Journey Down the Anduin, and a sometimes-super-easy-sometimes-super-hard (Turn 1 Encounter:  King Spider, good luck, you're going to need it) scenario in Mirkwood, and I feel like we're getting trolled by FFG.

Hm, I partly agree. You description for the 3 quests are very fit but I have to admit that it really is the most fair in order to make the game interesting for both the single player, the 2 player and the more experienced 2 players. This is after all also a game designed for those who only wish the core set and play a few times once in a while..BUT I also admit that it can be unfair to the new solo player only, that want to invest time nd money in the game and more cards. I think FFG should have made a single adv pack before the RtW circle with only quests. Maybe 6-9 quests in the same difficulties af the core set. (or even better, 3 quests and cards adding up sothere would be 3x of all cards ;P) either that or at least include 3 more question the core set with very easy, easy and medium difficulties.

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 I dare to say that FFG knows what they are doing and the core set is a carefully constructed beast. We (including me) often complain about:
1. Difficulty level for solo plays
2. Not all cards included in 3 copies
3. Only 3 quests
As far as I see it though there were some decent decisions made for each of those I will talk only about the difficulty level here.
PRO: If you want to play this game solo for an extended period of time you need challenge and you want an "opponent" that will do his best to trounce you. What is even more important FFG is reaching with LOTR:LCG to really dedicated players (who else will buy monthly packs?) that will tweak their decks time and time again to finally beat the scenario, players that will develop new strategies, synergies just to increase their chances (or enjoyment in case of theme decks). Would you be really interested in the game if anyone could beat all scenarios by say 6th play?
CON: I agree that FFG is loosing more casual solo players by not including simpler scenarios … but are those casual solo players a core audience? I am afraid they would play, win scenarios and forget about the game. There might be a few of them that would seek more challenging quests but most of them (when I read reviews or talk on polish boards) do not seem to be interested in constantly improving their skill and decks - they want to win and that is all.
Solution?: I would steer those players to excellent NinjaDorg's scenarios. I think they are much better at gently applying pressure (or spreading it throughout the quests). I think they loose some of the replay value due to that by giving you time to build up but maybe this is what casual players want.

SIDE NOTE: I think that many players make mistakes in the rules that make this game so hard but those can be only caught through extended discussions on the forums which rarely takes place (as in this case).

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Well, as far as I'm concerned, I did no rule mistakes in my play. I'm very careful.

 

Also, what I think, is that would be nice if core set featured 5 scenarios instead of 3, one of them was between first and second in terms of difficulty, and one of them was between second and third in same terms. 

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 I do not claim you play it wrong, although it is still a possibility, this was just a general comment.

As for difficulty level of the quests I mostly agree with you that FFG missed some oprotunity here but as I wrote before there are NinjaDorg's excelent scenarios that fill the void you are talking about. I think FFG was paranoid about realeasing game that was too easy that is why they decided to go for 1 easy and 2 difficult 1 dificult and 1 near-impossible one) quests in ordder not to loose hardcore players that would quit playing after second easy scenario.

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wojo said:

PRO: If you want to play this game solo for an extended period of time you need challenge and you want an "opponent" that will do his best to trounce you. What is even more important FFG is reaching with LOTR:LCG to really dedicated players (who else will buy monthly packs?) that will tweak their decks time and time again to finally beat the scenario, players that will develop new strategies, synergies just to increase their chances (or enjoyment in case of theme decks). Would you be really interested in the game if anyone could beat all scenarios by say 6th play?

I do not buy that argument at all. The point of a game is to be entertaining. If it isn't fun from the start no one is going ot put the time in. You can not make a game and then say.. well if you play it for 20 hours it will start to get fun. The game needs to be fun the momnet you start playing, they can ramp the dificulty in the APs.

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