Into the Pit: Planning

Card pool at the time of writing

I cannot tell a lie. I found building a Dwarf deck far more cumbersome than I expected. Possessing as I did all but one part of the Khazad-dûm/Dwarrowdelf cycle (dark muttering about the missing piece), the first Hobbit Saga box, and the indispensable element that is Leadership Dáin Ironfoot, it seemed like it would be straightforward enough. A quick search on Hall of Beorn to see how many Dwarf heroes there are and..,

Hmm. 19 in total. I only owned nine of them when I started out building the decks – On The Doorstep did not arrive until later in my endeavors – and two of them are the same character (add in Spirit Dáin Ironfoot). Building two decks should be easy – if only because I have so few choices.

Naturally the place to start is with Leadership Dáin Ironfoot. The next consideration is the balance between the four spheres. Continue reading “Into the Pit: Planning”

Second Theme

When I set out with the blog, I was quite explicit that the motivation was to make decks that would consistently beat the particular quest and how the “best theme is 50 good cards”. Win the quest at all costs, and if that meant Eagles learning to fly with the agility of a goshawk in order to navigate through a fortress of pure evil, so be it. I left myself open to the possibility of building themed decks at some point in the future, but I’m sure I imagined it would be matter of years rather than months into the future.

Well, it’s a year and a month on from that particular post and the time is now at hand. The Khazad-dûm/Dwarrowdelf cycle will be assaulted by a deck built around Dwarves.

What caused this change of tack? Continue reading “Second Theme”

Return to Mirkwood: Refresh

Having built several scenarios in the Shadows of Mirkwood cycle around the notion of a ‘trick’, Return to Mirkwood is more a jack-of-all-trades effort. You had to be good at lots of things, and it duly rewards a multi-sphere approach. In terms of the effectiveness of the decks though, I can’t say with certainty that the ones I put together have the scenario cracked. Two out of three is probably the best I would promise from my decks. YMMV.

The problem I found in the playing was that you would be frequently hit with a one-two punch from the encounter deck. Continue reading “Return to Mirkwood: Refresh”

Return to Mirkwood: Planning

Card pool at the time of writing

And so we conclude the Shadows of Mirkwood cycle, and if the intention was to have a memorable story arc then I’m afraid it was not a success. Yes, it’s all tied together by the notion of hunting for Gollum, but it’s a struggle to tie it all together into a cohesive whole. We hunted for him, then we fought the trolls, then we hunted for him in Emyn Muil, then we hunted for him and caught him in the Dead Marshes, and now we are returning him to Thranduil for interrogation. It’s all there, but there is little in the way of narrative linking them together.

Setting out on this final scenario in the cycle, I’d like to highlight a truly superb piece of artwork, one sadly hamstrung by the diktats of the game – pesky words – but rescued for posterity by the rulesheet (which I’ve only just realised now is called a ‘rulesheet’):

Continue reading “Return to Mirkwood: Planning”

The Dead Marshes: Refresh

It was not my intention to turn this blog into an exercise in ranking the scenarios. It was meant to be about understanding each one better so that I’d have a reference to how to play them should I return to them at some point in the future. It’s surprising that I didn’t contemplate it until I was several scenarios into the project. And yet, when you consider that it didn’t occur to me until I had reacted badly to a particular scenario, it’s not surprising at all. The most popular restaurant reviews are those where the writer gives the unfortunate establishment both barrels.

What does all this meandering tell us about The Dead Marshes? Continue reading “The Dead Marshes: Refresh”