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”

The Seventh Level: Refresh

I wondered after Into the Pit whether too much time spent with the quest had blinded me to its inadequacies. There was also the recurring issue, left unsaid at the time, of recency bias. Having played The Seventh Level a number of times, I can confidently assert that neither of these are issues. Into the Pit is a good quest. The Seventh Level is not.

I know what they were trying to accomplish: Continue reading “The Seventh Level: Refresh”

The Seventh Level: Planning

Card pool at the time of writing

After the success of my first attempt at a themed deck as opposed to the usual sledgehammer-to-crack-a-nut approach, the prospect of The Seventh Level left me with a spring in my step and a song in my heart. At least, it did until I recalled that my 5-year-old son, he of the Devil’s own luck, is quite content to let me read him The Lord of the Rings as a bedtime story “but not the songs!” With a sense of foreboding duly instilled, let’s break down Sam’s contribution to Frodo’s lament for Gandalf. I mean, the encounter deck: Continue reading “The Seventh Level: Planning”