Road to Rivendell: Planning

Card pool at the time of writing

So it is on the Road to Rivendell, the doom of our time will be decided. This quest was the genesis of the blog. Imagine coming back to it having not played it for years to run full-force into the mailed fist that is…well, originally I thought there was only one truly devastating treachery, but coming back to it now having not played it in year(s) I discover that particular treachery most definitely does not creep up on the party all by its lonesome. Continue reading “Road to Rivendell: Planning”


The Redhorn Gate: Refresh

There was a delightful post on BGG recently singing the virtues of Passage Through Mirkwood. As ‘Jason K’ notes:

Sometimes Chief Ufthak comes out; Sometimes it’s about Ungoliant and her spawn; sometimes those damn Hummerhorns strike at just the wrong time; and sometimes the Dol Guldur orcs savage your people in the quest. But they always combine in different, unexpected ways.

The sense that the encounter cards allow for a different experience every time is a facet of the game that I’ve appreciated for a long time, and Jason K does a great job articulating this. What’s more, the post comes out while I was experiencing a scenario that is a prime example of it.

Once again, I find myself regretfully concluding that I was playing a scenario wrong the first time round. Continue reading “The Redhorn Gate: Refresh”

The Redhorn Gate: Planning

Card pool at the time of writing

In the course of trying to bore lull my son to sleep over many nights in his formative years, I have had cause to read The Lord of the Rings to him word-for-word, as opposed to my usual reading style of sweeping over large wedges of text – almost like the way you are reading this now ahaha. It famously took him over a decade to write, and the transition from the Hobbit-like whimsy of the opening chapters, containing as it does a POV from a fox, to the ‘high style’ of the rest of the book is mostly a success. Alas, there are some desperately clunky passages in it, with the high style really struggling to cope with zooming into the characters, particularly the Frodo and Sam sections.

Where it really shines though is in the appendices. Continue reading “The Redhorn Gate: Planning”

Second Theme (Book Three)

A frequent question on BGG or Reddit about the game is “what should I buy first?” My response (if anyone cares): earlier content is better. This is not necessarily because the content is ‘better’ but because there is so much discussion of the early game out there. The early adopters gorged on the game, and it’s hardly a surprise that their respective muses lost inspiration over time, leaving a voluminous amount of content behind compared to the later game. Heck, this blog reflects that bias towards the past. It’ll be years before I get past the Against the Shadow cycle, by which time the game will have long gone out of print.

What struck me recently though is that all that old content can cause you to be unable to see the wood for all the Ents. Continue reading “Second Theme (Book Three)”

Flight from Moria: Refresh

I made a complete hash of this quest for the longest time. Given the choice on every copy of 2B to bypass this quest card at the end of the combat phase, I got the notion that the key to success was to, in the absence of Abandoned Tools coming out in the quest phase or as a shadow card (hence all those copies of Shadow of the Past), keep things ticking over until we flipped to Narrow Paths. Once Abandoned Tools was collected we’d do the same until we flipped to Escape from Darkness then charge towards the finish, using Unexpected Courage on the hero holding Abandoned Tools.

This wasn’t an entirely useless plan. Continue reading “Flight from Moria: Refresh”