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Karlson

Voice of Isengard Discussion

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Just played 1st scenario with solo Caldera deck. Got a victory in 12 rounds, but it was not easy. Sort of reminds me of Drudan forest, but much more difficult solo. My Caldera deck had no card draw in it, and I was still getting pretty beat up, decks built with a serious draw engine are going to get slamed. Overall, I liked it and the encounter cards and quest cards worked really well together. Time mechanic is great and does add a sense of urgency, since time running out = very bad stuff, and it added a lot of tension to the game.

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I think Eowyn is the far-and-away best hero to use for The Fords of Isen quest.  Her ability to discard one card from each player's hand every round really helps out.  

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My theory is the reason why Into Fangorn is so easy is because the quest is meant to lull you into a false sense of security. The next quest is Dunland Trap.... notice the word trap in the title?

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My theory is the reason why Into Fangorn is so easy is because the quest is meant to lull you into a false sense of security. The next quest is Dunland Trap.... notice the word trap in the title?

Perhaps you're on to something there.  I had to reread the effect of the hinder attribute several times to make sure I was playing it correctly... it just seems so under-powered.  I beat this quest on only the fourth round without any attacks, just a couple of the Huorns "hindering" a couple progress off from the quest.  Maybe it was beginner's luck and this quest plays out differently depending on card draw, but I would agree that it seems way too easy from my initial experience.

 

"To Catch an Orc," however, brutally thrashed me around 5 or 6 times before I finally achieved a narrow victory.  I don't know what it is about that quest, but I find it to be quite challenging.  

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The second scenario is also pretty difficult. It took my Caldera deck 4 attempts to get a victory, but in 2 of the losses Mugash showed up in the first cards drawn from the 20 card player deck. The unpredictability of when he shows up will make the difficulty of this quest a bit more random then usual, since an early arrival will be very difficult for many decks to deal with. I even had to capture him again in the end. Not an easy scenario, the Time X mechanic is a really good improvement to game play, it adds a layer to the game that was only present in a few scenarios before, I really like it. I'm very curious how other deck types do on these, but on to 3rd scenario first.

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The first two quests don't require much questing power, but the third is all about Will. Conversely you need to fight early and often in the first two and not at all in the third. Add to that the Timed mechanic which basically doesn't let you develop your deck and you get very different construction requirements. So making a solo deck to handle all three reliably is tricky.

Also, please at least state how you are playing (solo one handed, solo two, multi-player) when reporting on the quests. (All of my attempts have been solo one.)

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The second scenario is also pretty difficult. It took my Caldera deck 4 attempts to get a victory, but in 2 of the losses Mugash showed up in the first cards drawn from the 20 card player deck. The unpredictability of when he shows up will make the difficulty of this quest a bit more random then usual, since an early arrival will be very difficult for many decks to deal with. I even had to capture him again in the end. Not an easy scenario, the Time X mechanic is a really good improvement to game play, it adds a layer to the game that was only present in a few scenarios before, I really like it. I'm very curious how other deck types do on these, but on to 3rd scenario first.

I predict that deck will do very well against quest three.

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The first two quests don't require much questing power, but the third is all about Will. Conversely you need to fight early and often in the first two and not at all in the third. Add to that the Timed mechanic which basically doesn't let you develop your deck and you get very different construction requirements. So making a solo deck to handle all three reliably is tricky.

Also, please at least state how you are playing (solo one handed, solo two, multi-player) when reporting on the quests. (All of my attempts have been solo one.)

 

I played all three of these quests in a solo two-handed format with a mono-Tactics deck (Theoden, Eomer, Hama) and the other deck jumping between Leadership-Spirit and Lore-Spirit.  I beat the first quest with the above mentioned Tactics deck as well as Theodred, Dunhere, and Eowyn.  

 

The second quest took some serious reworking before I finally beat it.  I would have to disagree that it doesn't take a lot of willpower; in two player, the locations can really add up fast and destroy your questing phase.  That may not be the case in solo one handed play, however.  Anyways, the player decks that finally gave me the win were Theoden, Eomer, and Legolas paired up with Grima, Glorfindel (spirit), and Eowyn.  I used these same setups to also beat the final quest (twice in a row).  

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The second scenario is also pretty difficult. It took my Caldera deck 4 attempts to get a victory, but in 2 of the losses Mugash showed up in the first cards drawn from the 20 card player deck. The unpredictability of when he shows up will make the difficulty of this quest a bit more random then usual, since an early arrival will be very difficult for many decks to deal with. I even had to capture him again in the end. Not an easy scenario, the Time X mechanic is a really good improvement to game play, it adds a layer to the game that was only present in a few scenarios before, I really like it. I'm very curious how other deck types do on these, but on to 3rd scenario first.

I predict that deck will do very well against quest three.

Played solo with Caldera deck on Into Fanghorn, won twice lost once.

The Caldera deck beat all 3 scenarios unmodified, with none of the new player cards. The second scenario was the most difficult, followed by the first then the third.

The third scenario, was not as easy as others made it seem. There can be some nasty combination of encounter cards. When ever i had choice of selecting a Huorn enemy i selected the Dark-hearted one with engagement of 1, and it raises threat by 2. Having a few of them engaged can lead to threat problems and they combo pretty well with one nasty treachery card. Also, the other Huorn enemies are pretty nasty too with some pretty bad forced effects. It kind of reminds me of Return to Mirkwood in that if you dont finish in 5 or 6 rounds with heavy questing you could threat out or be in serious trouble. It seems like it is designed to be a fast race type of quest, and if i modified Caldera deck to include even more questing power it would be even simpler. Overall I think it is pretty cool scenario. I'm happy with all the scenarios, and am excited to try some other decks against them.

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The first two quests don't require much questing power, but the third is all about Will. Conversely you need to fight early and often in the first two and not at all in the third. Add to that the Timed mechanic which basically doesn't let you develop your deck and you get very different construction requirements. So making a solo deck to handle all three reliably is tricky.

Also, please at least state how you are playing (solo one handed, solo two, multi-player) when reporting on the quests. (All of my attempts have been solo one.)

 

I would have to disagree that it doesn't take a lot of willpower; in two player, the locations can really add up fast and destroy your questing phase.

 

Fair enough, and it is true that after you've captured him you want to get off the mountain as soon as possible.

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Even though I struggled the most with quest two, I think it's my favorite quest out of all three of them.  I need to give the first quest some more attention because I rather rushed through it, but did enjoy that one as well.  However, I felt like the second quest really provided some interesting mechanics that felt unique and interesting.  

The "out of play" deck was a great idea to add an element of suspense and it really varies how the quest unfolds as well.  It could be a long, perilous search throughout the mountain (if Mugash is on the bottom of your deck) or it could prove to be a quick capture and tense fight with the Uruk.  The quest definitely has the potential to feel different each time you play it, and even though it kicked my butt at first, I think it allowed me to enjoy it all the more and makes me excited to play it in the future.

 

I like the setting and unfolding plot of the third quest, but so far, both my playthroughs have been a breeze and over very quickly without incident.  In my opinion, the Huorns should still be able to attack during the combat phase in addition to depleting the active quest of progress.  I just think their "hinder" ability is too weak as is.  

Edited by Karlson

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Even though I struggled the most with quest two, I think it's my favorite quest out of all three of them.  I need to give the first quest some more attention because I rather rushed through it, but did enjoy that one as well.  However, I felt like the second quest really provided some interesting mechanics that felt unique and interesting.  

The "out of play" deck was a great idea to add an element of suspense and it really varies how the quest unfolds as well.  It could be a long, perilous search throughout the mountain (if Mugash is on the bottom of your deck) or it could prove to be a quick capture and tense fight with the Uruk.  The quest definitely has the potential to feel different each time you play it, and even though it kicked my butt at first, I think it allowed me to enjoy it all the more and makes me excited to play it in the future.

 

I like the setting and unfolding plot of the third quest, but so far, both my playthroughs have been a breeze and over very quickly without incident.  In my opinion, the Huorns should still be able to attack during the combat phase in addition to depleting the active quest of progress.  I just think their "hinder" ability is too weak as is.  

 

Yeah, I think a big problem too is only having two quest stages, which makes it really easy to just blow through the quest. If there were more quest stages, it would give more time for the huorns to pile on players and let hinder and those forced effects do some damage.

 

p.s. I know there's technically three, but the third only comes into play if you don't blow through the quest in the first place.

Edited by Raven1015

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I think I'll try to purposely let the time tick down and out on the first quest phase so that Mugash can escape into the encounter deck. That will definitely make the quest longer and undoubtedly amp up the challenge as well.  

 

Also, the Huorn enemies keep reminding me of this scene.  Tell me I'm not the only one!

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Oh in the Banner along the top!  Please be Arwen.

This was from early speculation about the female elf in the banner on VoI page. Looks like it was used on one of the quest cards, so I wonder if that excludes it from being a player card in the future. I thought for sure it would at least be a player card if not hero by the look of it. Oh well.

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I would have mixed feelings about it there being another Arwen... not because i wouldn't want Arwen as a hero or another even Ally, but because there aren't that many Elves and I would prefer more in terms of numbers of different cards to choose from rather than different versions of the same Character.... oh the small matter of the current version being pretty jolly awesome.

Edited by chuckles

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Oh in the Banner along the top!  Please be Arwen.

This was from early speculation about the female elf in the banner on VoI page. Looks like it was used on one of the quest cards, so I wonder if that excludes it from being a player card in the future. I thought for sure it would at least be a player card if not hero by the look of it. Oh well.

Yeah I saw that when I opened the box. Long sigh. Don't think we'll be seeing her this cycle, but one can hope.

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Man, these quests are awesome!

 

It took me 5 tries to beat the Fords of Isen with Matthew Newman's Rohan deck and the victory was so tense it was great!

 

Still working on capturing that bloody Orc with Glorfindel/Grima/Strider. I just finished an epic 21 turn game where I was 3 progress away from winning!

 

I'm playing pure solo and I haven't had this well-balanced of a challenge in a long time! Way to go Caleb and Matthew!

Raven1015, Karlson, Tracker1 and 1 other like this

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21 turns for 21 forum pages.

 

Ugh, this is very annoying. I have been feeling like I have such a big cardpool that my diversity of decks never ends, and the diversity of quests runs a very wide amount of variety, so I was going to halt acquisitions at this point. It sounds like the quests really are peaking here, though.

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I have been playing the 2 nd scenario a lot. It is really pretty challenging solo.

Some spoilers ahead.

The time 2 on the first quest card requires you to quest successfully almost every turn to ensure you can put another time token on the quest card. Usually the first round of questing this is acomplished, but 2nd round with an active location can be difficult to clear and it often requires 8 or more will power to achive, some slow decks that do not have Eowyn and spirit questing power are going to have a challenge with this. If you quest unsuccessfully the 2nd round, you will be down to one time token at the end of the round, and it's likely you will not quest sucessfully third round. At the end of the round when the last time token is removed 2 cards from the encounter deck are revealed. I have not done a through analysis of the threat values of the encounter cards, but it's probably hovering around 3. At this point it's pretty much game over. If you dont quest successfuly on the first round your fate will come sooner. Not only do you have to be able to quest well, you are also going to need to be able to defend high attack enemies that have decent defense and a hefty amount of HP. Also, the unpredictable revealing of Mugash from the out of play deck with engagment of 1 and big time stats will destroy even a good start.

This is one of the more difficult quests I have seen in a while, Maybe I have not thrown a lot of different decks at it yet, but I would put it on par with Morgul Vale.

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More spoilers



I agree, Traker.  It is easily my favorite quest in the box and the one I have played the most.  In two-fisted, the locations pile up quickly and slow you down.  In a couple of games, the treachery that forces you to remove a time counter or damage all exhausted characters (and surges!) came up twice in one quest phase and caused me to choose between losing heroes and failing the quest or letting the timer run out and taking FOUR! more encounter cards.  Needless to say, I lost those games.  I think the search mechanic is great and adds a lot of unpredictability and replayability to the scenario.  When you add more players, you risk the chance of finding one of Mugash's guards, which are really nasty too.  Or, you can flip over Mugash and a guard in one turn, and you'd better be ready for it.  Just a great quest, a solid difficulty, interesting mechanics, and lots of strategic decisions that the player has to make. 

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As long as we have started to talk about strategy...

 

The Timed mechanic does what it was designed to do: put early pressure on players not to dawdle.  The effect on my deck building - and this is especially true of "To Catch an Orc" - is that I now am running a lot of 3 of Uniques where I used to run two.  Examples are Asfaloth and Arwen.  Where I used to run only two of them figuring I would get one sooner or later, now I run three because I want them in my opening hand and in the case of the second quest, I don't want all the copies to be in the orc deck. 

 

Of course this means having even more cards in my hand that possibly might not do anything, so loot cards and conversion cards are also important.  By this I mean cards like Daeron's Runes and Protector of Lorien.  Throwing away useless cards to Eowyn's ability is obviously good too.

 

Great quests in my opinion and they have really got me streamlining my decks.  Cards that were "nice to haves" aren't making the cut in some cases now.

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Man you guys are all breezing through these quests, I just got Vol yesterday and played the first quest last night.
Lost about 5 times and couldnt play anymore (was getting far too late and was also getting frustrated).
I did get to the third stage twice though and lost on the second stage the other times.
The time counters and whatnot aren't so bad its the enemies themselves..... for a quest that you need to be quick with and quest with lots of willpower to make any progress the enemies are quite difficult with their high armour, high health and even high attack as well........ even the goddamn trackers or scouts or whatever have 3 armour....

My decks are just too slow and get really strong over time not straight away and this quest more than almost any others (other than obvious ones like SAF, Morgul Vale etc) starts off pretty frantic and can easily overwhelm you within just a few turns.

I find the King's Road and Dunland Chieftain the worst of the lot.... If Kings Road comes out first turn and either deck has 5 cards in hand and you have to travel there instead of The Islet you can be in for an early struggle to get Grima and move to the next quest before running out of time especially if you cant clear the staging area.
I've edited both decks (play double handed) specifically for the quest however and am going to give it another shot tonight.
I'm fairly confident with my deck tweaking and hope/expect to beat it tonight! Hopefully the first time! Probably not though....

Edited by PsychoRocka

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PsychoRocka:

Definitely not breezing through them.  I have lost quite a few games too (except on the third quest).  I am lucky enough to have the expansion come out on a week when I have more time to play than usual.  If you're still struggling, I posted two decks I made that are thematic but can still beat the quests.  They pump out a lot of willpower quickly and have enough combat power to take down enemies.  Just a suggestion for you: http://community.fantasyflightgames.com/index.php?/forum/250-strategy-and-deck-building/

 

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