Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Lord of the Rings LCG replay: Passage to Mirkwood Part 1

Though I had won this scenario co-op I wanted to try it solo with a Tactics\Leadership deck of 50 cards that I had made. This was my first attempt solo with a deck I created. Well that I half and half created. I pretty much took the red tactics deck in the core set and then interspersed some purple (leadership) cards and swapped Gloin in for Thalin.

The quest is simple: deliver a message to Lady Galadriel of Lorien while avoiding the dangers of the Passage to Murkwood. It is the beginner scenario in the Lord of the Rings Living Card Game and supposedly the easiest. I had previously lost co-op and then won co-op but not tried solo where I actually worked to finish it.

The deck consisted of:

Gimli son of Gloin

Veteran Axehand x3
Gondorian Spearman x3
Gandalf (core set) x3
Snowbourn Scout x3
Silverlode Archer x2
Longbeard Orc Slayer x2 (a risky card with only one Leadership Hero and a high cost but meh)
Blade Mastery x3
Feint x2
Quick Strike x2
Swift Strike x1
Thicket of Spears x2
Rain of Arrows x2
Stand Together x1
Ever Vigilant x2
Sneak Attack x2
Son of Arnor x2
For Gondor x2
Valiant Sacrifice x1
Citadel Plate x2
Blade of Gondolin x2
Dwarven Axe x2
Horn of Gondor x1
Steward of Gondor x2


Standard turn one stuff for this scenario. The spider already on the board will engage due to its low encounter threat so I plan ahead. My card draw for my hand is Blade Mastery. I do not use any resources this turn.

During the questing phase I am outdone by one point so my threat goes up.  The encounter deck plays Great Forest Web location and the spider comes down to engage. I decide to travel to the old forest road to ready Gimli for free. That leaves only Gloin, his father, off questing. The spider attacks and Gimli strikes back.

My threat goes up one at the end of the turn and sits at 31 already. Next turn starts with Gimli having a wound and the spider down to two hit points. My plan is of course to have Legolass kill him to allow me to place progress tokens.


I draw Snowbourn Scout. This is a horseback riding Rohan Scout at last some help has arrived! Time to spend some resources and figure out questing. Questing may be a spot this deck is weak in.

I play Snowbourn Scout and activate its special ability instantly placing a progress token on Old Forest Road.  I also play Veteran Axehand.

I get gutsy this turn and send BOTH Gloin and his son Gimli questing and draw my Encounter Card. It is Caught in a Web which kind of stinks but is better than more threat out there. I attach this card to Gloin since I do not mind missing him in combat. He cannot refresh now unless he pays two resources as he is stuck in a web.

With my questing done I end up winning the questing phase by 2. My 4 questing minus the threat of 2 for the Great Forest Web. This allows me to place two more progress tokens on the Old Forest road thus closing it out. I discard that location card.

I decide not to travel this turn as I want Legolass to kill the spider and place his progress tokens on the actual Quest (which needs 8 to advance) since I just cleared Old Forest Road this is now possible.

Encounter phase. I choose the Veteran Axehand to defend against the Spider. The Spider deals one point of damage to him. The Shadow Card I draw for the Spider had no effect since I own no attachments I can ignore it. I now declare attackers against the Spider. Legolass attacks! He deals three to the spider killing it!

I place 2 progress tokens on the current quest. Here is the scene after all the combat is resolved:

As you can see the staging area is clear except for the location and we have actually made progress on the quest. I refresh all cards except Gloin because he is caught in a web and I increase my threat by 1 to 32.


Gloin will not refresh but is now at 2 resource points. My card draw this turn is Horn of Gondor which gives me money when my cannon fodder characters die. I immediately decide to attach this to Legolass. I play Rohan Horse Archer for 3 and now I am broke. I have a solid line of defense however. I realize that one card I have, Thicket of Spears, is useless and will need to be removed from the deck after playtesting. This card requires 3 resources one from a different hero. Since my Purple Sphere hero cannot pay for Red Sphere cards I can never get this card into play. Oops.

Time to quest. The threat in the staging area is two and I need to at least match that. I send Gimli and keep Legolass back. The Encounter deck plays Driven by Shadow Treachery card. Again no threat this turn but the card increases the Great Forest Web to 3 threat thus I lose the questing phase by 1 and my threat goes up to 33. I decide during the travel phase to travel to the Great Forest Web and I exhaust Legolass knowing I will get him back soon and that there is no combat this turn. During the refresh phase I use Gloin's resources and break him free from the web so he refreshes. He is now broke but he is back in action. The great party prepares to move forward now and we go to Turn 4.


Can't complain really so far. We have made some progress, I have allies on the table and everyone is still alive. My threat is now at 34 however and usually 35 is a bad point in this game so we will see how it goes. 35 threat means a lot of nasty things will auto engage if I draw them from the encounter deck.

This will be the last turn of this blog post, you can tune in later for the rest of the turns of this game.

My card draw is Dwarven Axe which of course I give to Gimli to make him a killing machine. During the questing phase I send in Gloin and Legolass. I want to plan ahead for 2 threat being drawn and if it is a treachery card even better as all my questing points will go toward the quest. Here we go! I draw the King Spider!

His threat is 2, my questing is 3 so I place a progress token on the current location. The King Spider's text tells me when he is revealed I have to exhaust a character I control. Note it says CHARACTER not HERO. I exhaust the Snowbourn Scout. That is why he is there after all !

Slow and steady wins the race. Sure this deck is not knocking out the questing but we are combat ready and   plucking away each turn. Lets move on the Engagement check now. The Spider's Encounter Level is 20 so is he going to come down out of the trees and attack me this turn. During the enemy attack phase I choose Veteran Axehand to defend and he is killed outright by the Spider. I gain a resource thanks to the Horn of Gondor. Again I was lucky and the Shadow Card I deal to the spider is a location and has no effect on combat!

During my attack phase a crazed Gimli, who has a axe and a wound (making him enter frenzy mode) goes after the spider. Gimli's attack is 5 (+1 for the wound, 2 for the axe plus his base of 2), the spider's defense is 1 so Gimli SMASHES the spider and clears the staging area once more! Here is the board at the end of combat:

Stay tuned later this week for the conclusion of this solo game!

1 comment:

  1. The Tolkien geek in me can't help but point out that Legolas has only one 's' in his name. Also that the forest the party was travelling through is Mirkwood, not Murkwood. I spotted the spelling in your link on google+ too. Good thread, otherwise. What software are you using for the game?