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Into Ithilien: the first broken scenario?

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Ellareth said:

Hauptmann said:

 

I'm all for difficulty. However, I'm much more for balance and playtesting. I remember remarking to one of the FFG employees at Gencon that the Laketown scenario we were playing was flawed because the Tactics sphere had absolutely no use at all. The employee didn't seem phased and I don't blame him, there are plenty of trolls out there that don't offer much in the way of constructive criticism but I was disappointed that something as major as that slipped right by and into a printed scenario. Going to stick with the game for now but I really don't want to hear, "So, is anybody having fun with this?" asked at the table again. It was very disheartening.

 

 

I know this is off-topic but I couldn't help but comment on this.

I never actually noticed this problem because I treated Tactics like it didin't exist until Heirs of Numenor expansion.
But how ironic is it that the sphere that represent Battle-Strength is absolutely useless in slaying the last firebreathing dragon.

It's not. You need boatloads of attack to take down Smaug. Tactics is very good at that.

I don't understand the assertion that Tactics is useless in Battle for Lake-town. That's simply untrue.

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"It's not. You need boatloads of attack to take down Smaug. Tactics is very good at that.

I don't understand the assertion that Tactics is useless in Battle for Lake-town. That's simply untrue."

 

I'll settle on saying that if you use Tactics for Laketown, you are shooting yourself in the foot. With a very large calibre bullet. Every version of Smaug is immune to player card effects. That eliminates the all-powerful Feint and any and all direct damage effects from attachments and events. Smaug has a maximum ammount of damage he can take per quest phase, 6,12, and dead, respectively. There's no point in piling up Tactics allies as you're going to be racing to get to the last phase of the quest to kill him and the average 0-1 they're kicking in just doesn't cut it. Utilize solid questing characters and healers to manage burn damage and use attachments from other spheres, primarily leadership, to overcome Smaug's large numbers. Honestly, Tactics would add very little outside of waiting until phase three to have the chance to do its job properly. Even The Old Thrush works off of a discard mechanic, so you'll want card draw which Tactics has little outside of Foe-Hammer and that requires you to kill an enemy, who in this scenario is simply Smaug.

 

Now, I'll admit, the first time we ran through the scenario, I was playing Tactics/Leadership and had the delightful experience of realizing that the majority of my deck may as well have been blank. Switching back to Spirit/Lore at least gave me the satisfaction of pulling my weight and helping move the scenario forward. Please keep in mind, I'm speaking from a multiplayer perspective. Perhaps Tactics is the way to go for solo play.

 

If you find a Tactics strategy that works for you, go for it. I'm not saying its impossible. It may even be an interesting challenge to try it out some time. It just doesn't remove the fact that "Immune to player card effects," greatly limits what cards out of your collection you can effectively use and that's exactly the kind of game design that I feel greatly reduces a lot of the strategic creativity for players. Once options begin drying up and it is required to purchase more cards to fit the most effective cookie-cutter build in order to defeat a quest that was designed with increased static difficulty at the cost of unique/interesting/fun mechanics, I'm going to have to either take up designing scenarios as a hobby or move on to a different game.

 

Now a little off-topic: Anybody know the designer for Foundations of Stone? That's still my favorite and I want to give the guy a big, uncomfortable man-hug if I happen to run into him at a convention.

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starhawk77 said:

I don't understand the assertion that Tactics is useless in Battle for Lake-town. That's simply untrue.

This.

You know that stuff that adds to your own characters don't fall under the 'immune to player cards' thing, right? So you can still boost up your character's own attack/defense values for example.

If you are smart on this quest, you won't want to do much (or any) damage to Smaug most likely until the end stage, since there's stuff that will move damage from Smaug to Lake-town. So once you hit that last stage, you're going to need to do some major hits to take him down in a turn or two. This is EASIEST with Tactics because of their attack boosting & good ranged Heroes and allies like Vassals to join an attack from someone else. Not to mention all of the blocking you also need to do throughout the scenario because of some of the different Smaugs and treacheries. Beregond with Citadel Plate and certain other things like Winged Guardians are a godsend here in multiplayer.

There's certainly other ways to try and defeat the scenario but Tactics is FAR from useless or "shooting yourself in the foot".

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Oh dear, here I go using the wrong word to poorly say what I meant to say.

"Useless" isn't the word I should've said, because as many mentioned you could boost your character's attack and defence.

However, boosting your attack is only useful in the final stage of the quest, and boosting your defence is only useful against one trechery card that makes you unable to declare allies as defender.

You need lore through out the quest because of deal 2 damage to all character trechery and card draw, spirit due to all those locations and nasty trecheries and shadows, and leadership has great selection of event and allies for chumpblocking (sneak attack + 6 x 1 cost allies), some resource boost and some shadow cancel.

While Tactics isn't completely "useless" (I'm sorry for my poor choice of word), it certainly isn't as useful as what some of the other sphere offers. Especially with cards like "For Gondor" that let's you do one big attack without having tactics sphere invovled (which is Tactics sphere's major, if not only, contribution to this specific quest)

Don't get me wrong, making Smaug immune to player card effect was a good choice, or else we would have another Shadow and Flame where we would just Feint -> Hama -> Feint -> Hama loop it for easy win, and Battle for Laketown is an entertaining challenging quest that I have no problem with. Just thought it was funny how unessential tactics was with dragonslaying.

 

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Well-aware of that fact. Why I used the term "direct damage" as in Dwarrowdelf Axes, Spears of the Citadel, Gondorian Spearmen, etc. Nine to twelve marks on a ranged attacker goes a long way and is cheap and effective on top of allowing you to load up a sentinel hero with enough warnings to not run the risk of any damage piling up. I'm more focused on the fact that Tactics would only be effective on the last stage of the quest as Smaug the Magnificent takes three damage from Smaug and puts it on Laketown every time it is revealed and there is a lack of any other enemy cards to attack. Dain and Hardy Leadership make all of your allies more effective at questing, attacking, and surviving the mass burn damage cards in the event deck. Unless you house-rule out Dunedain attachments and dwarves, Tactics is still the weakest of the spheres for the scenario by a long shot.

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Don't blame yourself for the "useless" fiasco, Ellareth. That is entirely my fault. You bring up an excellent point about Hama and Feint which makes complete sense. It's just a shame that an entire sphere was marginalized by the scenario sticking so closely to the lore. Though it's fun to play out events that occur in the stories of Middle Earth, I believe the designers have more wiggle room to create more balanced and inclusive quests when they pen their own narratives.

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Actually my dwarfs Dain/Thorin/Ori deck beat this quest withour any trouble. Also Pelargir. The bigest problem is last quest in the box. But i laos won coulple of times already. So even with old type decks is possible.

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Glaurung said:

Actually my dwarfs Dain/Thorin/Ori deck beat this quest withour any trouble. Also Pelargir. The bigest problem is last quest in the box. But i laos won coulple of times already. So even with old type decks is possible.

You've changed your tune!

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GrandSpleen said:

Glaurung said:

 

Actually my dwarfs Dain/Thorin/Ori deck beat this quest withour any trouble. Also Pelargir. The bigest problem is last quest in the box. But i laos won coulple of times already. So even with old type decks is possible.

 

 

You've changed your tune!

GrandSpleen said:

Glaurung said:

 

Actually my dwarfs Dain/Thorin/Ori deck beat this quest withour any trouble. Also Pelargir. The bigest problem is last quest in the box. But i laos won coulple of times already. So even with old type decks is possible.

 

 

You've changed your tune!

I understand the idea of the new quest and change my strategy without change or tune my decks. So for solo now i can win almost every time when i play agianst Pelargir and Into Ithilien. But last one no! Very difficult!!!

Dwarves rules! Only one problem for them is siege. Dwarves in my deck didn have high defense.

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Glaurung said:

 

I understand the idea of the new quest and change my strategy without change or tune my decks. So for solo now i can win almost every time when i play agianst Pelargir and Into Ithilien. But last one no! Very difficult!!!

Dwarves rules! Only one problem for them is siege. Dwarves in my deck didn have high defense.

 


 

 

I mean you changed what you are saying about Into Ithilien.  Earlier in this thread you were saying it was crazy difficult and that you were losing repeatedly (and loving it!).  Now you're saying that you are winning consistently without any trouble.  I wasn't able to come up with a strategy or a deck that could take this quest on without depending heavily on luck with the encounter deck.  Would you mind sharing your strategy?  I'd love to learn how to approach this thing, as it's still incredibly difficult for me to win!

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GrandSpleen said:

Glaurung said:

 

I understand the idea of the new quest and change my strategy without change or tune my decks. So for solo now i can win almost every time when i play agianst Pelargir and Into Ithilien. But last one no! Very difficult!!!

Dwarves rules! Only one problem for them is siege. Dwarves in my deck didn have high defense.

 


 

 

I mean you changed what you are saying about Into Ithilien.  Earlier in this thread you were saying it was crazy difficult and that you were losing repeatedly (and loving it!).  Now you're saying that you are winning consistently without any trouble.  I wasn't able to come up with a strategy or a deck that could take this quest on without depending heavily on luck with the encounter deck.  Would you mind sharing your strategy?  I'd love to learn how to approach this thing, as it's still incredibly difficult for me to win!

Ok i got your point. But im not really good typer on the forum. But i will be happy to chat to you by the skype if you dont mind.

So send me personal message if you have a skype.

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Ouch, I feel ya.  It took us 13 times to get our first win after about 2 weeks of playing.  That was about 2 weeks ago; I haven't even tried the Siege of Cair Andros yet because I expect it to be hard as well, and we need to build our confidence back up before going on… :)

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GrandSpleen said:

Ouch, I feel ya.  It took us 13 times to get our first win after about 2 weeks of playing.  That was about 2 weeks ago; I haven't even tried the Siege of Cair Andros yet because I expect it to be hard as well, and we need to build our confidence back up before going on… :)

Dont get discouraged by Into Ithilien. The Siege of Cair Andros is far more doable than Into Ithilien. This is a very well designed quest and it actually feels that you can beat it. You can have a lot of fun with it without feeling the frustration that you could feel with Into Ithilien.

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Ok i got good stand for my galaxy note 2 and record some video how i play random game against Ithilien. Sorry for quality this is my first video. Actually i have fun with this so i will make more videos sure. English is not my native language so sorry for some speech mistake. There is 2 mistake i done but they very small and doesn change notning. Check it out!

Here is link for first part:

http://youtu.be/L0lSm_vWGkQ 

Here is link for second part:

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Thanks for the video. Have to say, having not built your deck to try it out, seeing it in action was impressive. Very effective use of dwarven synergy!

A wee note on the actual video. I liked that you play at a good speed, without explaining every action, but because of the camera angle the staging area is quite hard to make out. No need to fix the actual angle or anything, but if you mention what is coming out of the encounter deck as you reveal it, the whole process would be very easy to follow. As it is, I was at times working out what card had come out from what you put down in terms of progress etc, because the cards are really hard to make out. Otherwise, was good!

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monkeyrama said:

Thanks for the video. Have to say, having not built your deck to try it out, seeing it in action was impressive. Very effective use of dwarven synergy!

A wee note on the actual video. I liked that you play at a good speed, without explaining every action, but because of the camera angle the staging area is quite hard to make out. No need to fix the actual angle or anything, but if you mention what is coming out of the encounter deck as you reveal it, the whole process would be very easy to follow. As it is, I was at times working out what card had come out from what you put down in terms of progress etc, because the cards are really hard to make out. Otherwise, was good!

yes you right! this is my first video and next ones i will try make  better!

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Glaurung said:

 

Ok i got good stand for my galaxy note 2 and record some video how i play random game against Ithilien. Sorry for quality this is my first video. Actually i have fun with this so i will make more videos sure. English is not my native language so sorry for some speech mistake. There is 2 mistake i done but they very small and doesn change notning. Check it out!

Here is link for first part:

http://youtu.be/L0lSm_vWGkQ 

Here is link for second part:

 

 

 

Just say your video.

It was very interesting to see that your play style is totally different from mine, yet it has same result; I usually finish Quest 1 in about 3~4 turns, Quest 2 in 1~2 turns, and Quest 3 in 1~2 turns, which was very similar to how you did on your video.

I am very interested in trying out your way of playing (more playstyles I can do, better I'll be able to do against any quest) and have few questions regarding rules/strategy.

One minor rule question I have for you is when you played Very Good Tale for the first time, you first discard 5 cards and then bring back 2 allies from discard pile, so wouldn't you have been able to bring back a copy of Legacy of Durin from the Hammersmith you've gotten by Very Good Tale since Legacy of Durin was already in discard pile? (I know this doesn't change anything since you had another Hammersmith in your hand to bring back Legacy of Durin, but I just wanted to know if getting Legacy of Durin with Hammersmith you got form Very Good Tale was possible)

And I would like to understand your strategy further.

You were able to explore Ithilien Road on your first turn thanks to Ranger and a Sneaked Attack Gandalf. Is exploring Ithilien Road on turn 1 something you are able to do normally or was this an exceptional case of having Sneak Attack and Gandalf in your hand?
I see that you can generate 6 attack strength just by your heroes, but you need 7 Quest Power + 1 card (which I find to be around 3 threat) to clear the Road. And if you fail to clear the Road on first turn despite committing most of characters, I find chance of getting bad shadow that could kill your hero to be bit too high (2 x attack twice shadow, 3 x three attack strength shadow).
What is your usual opening move? Explore Road or not explore Road?

About halfway through your video, you assigned an Archery damage to 2 HP ally and then blocked Southron Company with him. Was this an oversight or was it as chance you took? It looked quite dangerous to me as there were 4  Blocking Wargs still in encounter deck and if you've gotten one as the shadow, 5 attack undefended would've killed one of your heroes.

And I find it almost impossible to win against this scenario if you get Mumakil early in the game (infact I lose everytime Mumakil enters play on turn 1). What is your plan in case of turn 1 Mumakil?…….. because I have none and would like to learn one if there is.

It was good video, I liked it was quick paced, and was nice to see an ally heavy deck in action. You should totally make some more of it.

 

Edit: As a newb to the cardgames in general (LotRLCG being my first one), I envy your shuffling skill. I wish my card shuffles were half as good or fast as yours were.

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Ellareth said:

Glaurung said:

 

Ok i got good stand for my galaxy note 2 and record some video how i play random game against Ithilien. Sorry for quality this is my first video. Actually i have fun with this so i will make more videos sure. English is not my native language so sorry for some speech mistake. There is 2 mistake i done but they very small and doesn change notning. Check it out!

Here is link for first part:

http://youtu.be/L0lSm_vWGkQ 

Here is link for second part:

 

 

 

Just say your video.

It was very interesting to see that your play style is totally different from mine, yet it has same result; I usually finish Quest 1 in about 3~4 turns, Quest 2 in 1~2 turns, and Quest 3 in 1~2 turns, which was very similar to how you did on your video.

I am very interested in trying out your way of playing (more playstyles I can do, better I'll be able to do against any quest) and have few questions regarding rules/strategy.

One minor rule question I have for you is when you played Very Good Tale for the first time, you first discard 5 cards and then bring back 2 allies from discard pile, so wouldn't you have been able to bring back a copy of Legacy of Durin from the Hammersmith you've gotten by Very Good Tale since Legacy of Durin was already in discard pile? (I know this doesn't change anything since you had another Hammersmith in your hand to bring back Legacy of Durin, but I just wanted to know if getting Legacy of Durin with Hammersmith you got form Very Good Tale was possible)

And I would like to understand your strategy further.

You were able to explore Ithilien Road on your first turn thanks to Ranger and a Sneaked Attack Gandalf. Is exploring Ithilien Road on turn 1 something you are able to do normally or was this an exceptional case of having Sneak Attack and Gandalf in your hand?
I see that you can generate 6 attack strength just by your heroes, but you need 7 Quest Power + 1 card (which I find to be around 3 threat) to clear the Road. And if you fail to clear the Road on first turn despite committing most of characters, I find chance of getting bad shadow that could kill your hero to be bit too high (2 x attack twice shadow, 3 x three attack strength shadow).
What is your usual opening move? Explore Road or not explore Road?

About halfway through your video, you assigned an Archery damage to 2 HP ally and then blocked Southron Company with him. Was this an oversight or was it as chance you took? It looked quite dangerous to me as there were 4  Blocking Wargs still in encounter deck and if you've gotten one as the shadow, 5 attack undefended would've killed one of your heroes.

And I find it almost impossible to win against this scenario if you get Mumakil early in the game (infact I lose everytime Mumakil enters play on turn 1). What is your plan in case of turn 1 Mumakil?…….. because I have none and would like to learn one if there is.

It was good video, I liked it was quick paced, and was nice to see an ally heavy deck in action. You should totally make some more of it.

 

Edit: As a newb to the cardgames in general (LotRLCG being my first one), I envy your shuffling skill. I wish my card shuffles were half as good or fast as yours were.

When i play first time A very good tale i put into play Erebor hammersmiht but i cannot use his ability to get back top attachment from discard pile cose to trigger his response i must play him from hand. A very goof tale put allies into play not play them.

 

About Road. yes sure you must to explore the location in the first round otherwise is 90% lost.

Mumak in the begin? 90% you lost a game.

 

I play card games for long time so i learn a bit how to shuffle card.

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Thanks for the video, Glaurung.  Actually, we play a very similar strategy on this quest-- Ithilien Road MUST go on turn one or you're pretty much screwed.  

We Are Not Idle + Lure of Moria is a super strong combination (I don't own Shadow and Flame yet so I haven't been able to take advantage of it).  Even stronger in multiplayer-- if you're the guy with the Steward of Gondor, you can drop a boatload of cash on your neighbor with We Are Not Idle and then everybody's happy.

I still wouldn't call this quest easy even after watching your deck in action. The encounter deck was very kind to you!  No Mumak, you got an Ithilien Guardian out on turn 1… we did see Blocking Wargs, albeit only one time.  Watcher in the Wood is way deadlier in multiplayer games, when there are twice as many questing characters.  

Maybe we just use the word "easy" in different ways!  After all, you wrote:

Glaurung said:

About Road. yes sure you must to explore the location in the first round otherwise is 90% lost.

Mumak in the begin? 90% you lost a game.

Make sure you are counting those turn-1 forfeit / game restarts when you calculate your win%!  That is how I ended up with my current 1-12 win-loss rate.  If I ignore the crappy starts I have about a 1 in 3 chance of winning, but that's a meaningless number.  We play 2-player only, and that doubles your chance of a "game losing scenario" on turn 1.  

 

 

 

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GrandSpleen said:

Thanks for the video, Glaurung.  Actually, we play a very similar strategy on this quest-- Ithilien Road MUST go on turn one or you're pretty much screwed.  

We Are Not Idle + Lure of Moria is a super strong combination (I don't own Shadow and Flame yet so I haven't been able to take advantage of it).  Even stronger in multiplayer-- if you're the guy with the Steward of Gondor, you can drop a boatload of cash on your neighbor with We Are Not Idle and then everybody's happy.

I still wouldn't call this quest easy even after watching your deck in action. The encounter deck was very kind to you!  No Mumak, you got an Ithilien Guardian out on turn 1… we did see Blocking Wargs, albeit only one time.  Watcher in the Wood is way deadlier in multiplayer games, when there are twice as many questing characters.  

Maybe we just use the word "easy" in different ways!  After all, you wrote:

Glaurung said:

 

About Road. yes sure you must to explore the location in the first round otherwise is 90% lost.

Mumak in the begin? 90% you lost a game.

 

 

Make sure you are counting those turn-1 forfeit / game restarts when you calculate your win%!  That is how I ended up with my current 1-12 win-loss rate.  If I ignore the crappy starts I have about a 1 in 3 chance of winning, but that's a meaningless number.  We play 2-player only, and that doubles your chance of a "game losing scenario" on turn 1.  

 

 

 

yes you right is not as easy as i say. Actually is quite difficult. But if i can win 4 times from 5 doesn matter how difficult it is but the numbers of win is easy. If you understand my points? About Mumak and other encounter cards. You must play fast and then encounter deck will dont have enouhg time to revealed more cards so you get less chance to get something bad. Dont waste time and play as quick as possible and most of the time you will run trought withoyt big problem. this strategy works fine for most of the quests.

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Good video glaurung. Enjoyed the pace of your play and your english is excellent seeming as its not your first language. Good use of the combination of We Are Not Idle then the untapping card. Great resource generator. Can you call out the encounter card in future vids as i couldnt quite make out the staging area. Well done though, i enjoyed it. Keep them coming.

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Glaurung said:

Ok i got good stand for my galaxy note 2 and record some video how i play random game against Ithilien. Sorry for quality this is my first video. Actually i have fun with this so i will make more videos sure. English is not my native language so sorry for some speech mistake. There is 2 mistake i done but they very small and doesn change notning. Check it out!

Here is link for first part:

http://youtu.be/L0lSm_vWGkQ 

Here is link for second part:

 

Lol, somehow I excactly pictured you playing like this. Please try not to destroy that table!

 

Good video!

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leptokurt said:

Glaurung said:

 

Ok i got good stand for my galaxy note 2 and record some video how i play random game against Ithilien. Sorry for quality this is my first video. Actually i have fun with this so i will make more videos sure. English is not my native language so sorry for some speech mistake. There is 2 mistake i done but they very small and doesn change notning. Check it out!

Here is link for first part:

http://youtu.be/L0lSm_vWGkQ 

Here is link for second part:

 

 

 

Lol, somehow I excactly pictured you playing like this. Please try not to destroy that table!

 

Good video!

Ha ha ha! Table suffer a bit. Leptokurt where you been? You should give a try for HON. Amazing box!

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Glaurung said:

leptokurt said:

 

Glaurung said:

 

Ok i got good stand for my galaxy note 2 and record some video how i play random game against Ithilien. Sorry for quality this is my first video. Actually i have fun with this so i will make more videos sure. English is not my native language so sorry for some speech mistake. There is 2 mistake i done but they very small and doesn change notning. Check it out!

Here is link for first part:

http://youtu.be/L0lSm_vWGkQ 

Here is link for second part:

 

 

 

Lol, somehow I excactly pictured you playing like this. Please try not to destroy that table!

 

Good video!

 

 

Ha ha ha! Table suffer a bit. Leptokurt where you been? You should give a try for HON. Amazing box!

 

I got HoN on Wednesday. It's not even on amazon.de yet, had to wait until now to get it from another distributor.

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