Flight To The Ford: Playthrough

The Decks I have used for the quest, and the notes for them, can be found here and here. The narrative for the quest can be found here.

Encounter Deck Set-up:
Prepare Burden Deck. Set Ford of Bruinen and The Witch-king aside out of play.
Add The Last Bridge and 2 Fell Riders to the staging area.
Add Gandalf’s Delay to the staging area
Shuffle Gildor Inglorion into the encounter deck
Set the Ringbearer’s life at 15.

Player Deck Set-up:
Attach The One Ring,  Old Bogey-stories and An Evil Wound to Frodo Baggins.
Attach Tireless Ranger to Sam Gamgee.
Attach Valiant Warrior to Merry.
Deck One draws opening hand, adds Ho! Tom Bombadil! to hand.
Deck Two draws opening hand

Deck One
Threat: 23
Bilbo Baggins
Pippin (Lore)
Sam Gamgee

Starting Hand:
Ho! Tom Bombadil!
Friend of Friends
Ranger Provisions
Lindon Navigator
Barliman Butterbur
Frodo’s Intuition

A pretty decent opening hand, I must say. Would have liked to have seen a Fast Hitch but we can’t have everything.

Deck Two
Threat: 21
Merry (Tactics)
Tom Cotton
Fatty Bolger

Starting Hand:
Song of Travel
Grappling Hook
Dagger of Westernesse
A Test of Will
Longbeard Sentry

This is good. Grappling Hook will be used on Merry, boosted with a Dagger, and Test of Will is gold in this quest!

Turn No.1
Stage: 1B (0/15)
Active Location: –
Staging Area:
The Last Bridge (0/4, 2 threat)
Fell Rider (2 threat)
Fell Rider (2 threat)

Ringbearer’s Life: 15

Resource Phase
Deck One Hand (New Card in Bold):
Ho! Tom Bombadil!, Friend of Friends, Ranger Provisions, Lindon Navigator, Barliman Butterbur, Frodo’s Intuition, Friend of Friends, Hobbit Cloak
Bilbo (1), Pippin (1), Sam (1), Frodo (1)

This is marvelous! Extra defense and both Friends on the first turn!

Deck Two Hand:
Song of Travel, Grappling Hook, Dagger of Westernesse, A Test of Will, Longbeard Sentry, Smoke Rings
Merry (1), Tom Cotton (1), Fatty (1)

A bit pointless until we can get some pipes out.

Planning Phase
Deck One:
Friend of Friends-Frodo
Friend of Friends-Sam
Lindon Navigator

And straight away, Frodo and Sam’s stats are boosted up. Extra questing power obtained with the Navigator.

Deck Two:
Song of Travel-Merry
Dagger of the Westernesse-Merry

That’s Merry up to 5 attack now, 6 if a Nazgul engages now, 7 if Frodo’s with Deck Two.

Quest Phase
Bilbo-1
Pippin-2
Sam-4
Frodo-3
Lindon Navigator-2
Merry-2

Total willpower: 14

So we’re going all out just now, keeping back Fatty for his ability and Tom as an emergency defender.

1: The Old Road (3 threat) (Not bad at all, though it’s safe to say we’ll never be using this ability)
2: Power In Their Terror (This is really the best time to draw this so I’m not going to cancel it.)

Total threat: 6

Total willpower: 13

Win by 7, place 7 progress on Stage 1B (7/15)

Trigger Lindon Navigator, discard Barliman Butterbur

Travel Phase
Travel to The Old Road

Encounter Phase
Trigger Fell Rider, reduce Ringbearer’s life by 1
Deck One engages Fell Rider
Trigger Sam, trigger Pippin: Quickbeam

Sam should be defending for 4, hopefully we can get away with no damage this time.

Combat Phase
Deal Shadow Card to Fell Rider
Sam defends (4)
Ettenmoors revealed as Shadow
Fell Rider attacks (4) deals no damage

And that’s that. Good old Sam!

Refresh Phase
Raise each player’s threat by 1
Deck One: 24
Deck Two: 22

Reduce Ringbearer’s Life by 1

Turn No.2
Stage: 1B (7/15)
Active Location: The Old Road (0/4)
Staging Area:
The Last Bridge (0/4, 2 threat)
Fell Rider (2 threat)

Ringbearer’s Life: 13

Resource Phase
Deck Two Hand (New Card in Bold):
Grappling Hook, A Test of Will, Longbeard Sentry, Smoke Rings, Escort from Edoras, Halfling Determination
Merry (1), Tom Cotton (1), Fatty (2), Frodo (1)

Now this is good! A four willpower bomb will move things along very well, and Halfling Determination is always a welcome sight!

Deck One Hand:
Ho! Tom Bombadil!, Ranger Provisions, Frodo’s Intuition, Hobbit Cloak, Quickbeam, Fast Hitch
Bilbo (1), Pippin (1), Sam (1)

Planning Phase
Deck Two:

I’m going to hold off for now I think.

Deck One:
Hobbit Cloak-Sam
Fast Hitch-Sam

We’re getting there. Questing is almost up and running, and soon we can rid ourselves of this Nazgul

Quest Phase
Bilbo-1
Pippin-2
Sam-4
Lindon Navigator-2

Total willpower: 9

I know, I know, it’s not nearly as high as it should be, but we need to kill one of the Fell Riders and Deck Two needs nearly everyone for that.

1: Ringwraith (3 threat) (Well fudge…)
2: Ringwraith (3 threat) (I did shuffle this deck, didn’t I?)

Trigger Fatty, exhaust him, raise Deck Two’s threat by 3 to reduce the threat of the second Ringwraith by 3. Deck Two plays Halfling Determination on Sam

We need to clear out this location and keep moving!

Total threat: 7

Total willpower: 11

Win by 4, explore The Old Road

Trigger Lindon Navigator, discard Ranger Provisions.
Exhaust Fast Hitch to ready Sam

Travel Phase
Travel to The Last Bridge (No time like the present)
Trigger The Last Bridge: reveal Panicked.
Deck Two plays A Test of Will. (We can’t afford to switch up the first player just now, we’ll cancel.)
Trigger Surge
Reveal Power In Their Terror (Not bad at all. Our only ally is a Lindon Navigator so this draw is actually the best card I could possibly have gotten. I’m sure the encounter deck won’t let me off so easily in the future though.)

Encounter Phase
Deck Two optionally engages Fell Rider

Combat Phase
[Deck Two]
Shadow Card dealt to Fell Rider
Tom Cotton defends (3)
Fell Rider revealed as Shadow
Fell Rider attacks (4), deals 1 damage to Tom Cotton
Frodo attacks (2), Merry attacks (7), destroys Fell Rider

That was awesome! Merry is a beast, and that’s two Nazgul out of the way now!

[Deck One]
Shadow Card dealt to Fell Rider
Sam defends (5)
Black Steed revealed as Shadow
Fell Rider attacks (4), deals no damage

And we can’t strike back so we’ll leave it there.

Refresh Phase
Raise each player’s threat by 1
Deck Two: 26
Deck One: 25

Reduce Ringbearer’s Life by 1

Turn No.3
Stage: 1B (7/15)
Active Location: The Last Bridge (0/4)
Staging Area:
Ringwraith (3 threat)
Ringwraith (3 threat)

Ringbearer’s Life: 12

Resource Phase
Deck One Hand (New Card in Bold):
Ho! Tom Bombadil!, Frodo’s Intuition, Quickbeam, Elf-stone, Gimli
Bilbo (2), Pippin (1), Sam (1), Frodo (2)

I really like Gimli’s ability to react to approaching enemies, and Elf-stone should get him out faster

Deck Two Hand:
Grappling Hook, Longbeard Sentry, Smoke Rings, Escort from Edoras, Ring Mail
Merry (2), Tom Cotton (1), Fatty (2)

Planning Phase
Deck One:
Frodo’s Intuition: Bill the Pony, Song of Kings, Bill the Pony, Halbarad (Free ally! And resource smoothing, this was a good draw. It may take a bit to save up for Halbarad, but we’ll get him in)
Bill the Pony
Elf-stone-The Last Bridge
Song of Kings-Bilbo
Quickbeam, deal 1 damage to Quickbeam to ready him

Deck Two:
Ring Mail-Tom Cotton
Escort from Edoras

Quest Phase
Bilbo-2
Pippin-3
Sam-5
Frodo-4
Bill the Pony-1
Lindon Navigator-2
Fatty-1
Escort from Edoras-4

Total willpower: 22

Here we go! Time to get through this quest stage.

1: Pathless Country (2 threat, 0/7)
2: The Enemy Is Upon Us! (Ouch, this isn’t good! We’ll we’ve got a number of ways to deal with this, but I think the safest may be to let Sam block this one so we don’t lose the Lindon Navigator’s willpower or get Quickbeam killed.)
-Fell Rider is dealt Shadow Card
-Sam defends (5)
Pale Blade revealed as Shadow
-Fell Rider attacks (4), deals no damage

Total threat: 8

Win by 16, explore The Last Bridge, add it to the Victory Display, complete Stage 1B.
Trigger Elf-stone: Gimli
Trigger Stage 2B, add The Witch-King and Ford of Bruinen to the staging area

Here he comes!

Trigger Lindon Navigator, discard Bill the Pony
Trigger Escort from Edoras, discard from play

Travel Phase
Travel to Pathless Country

Encounter Phase
Deck Two optionally engages Ringwraith

Combat Phase
[Deck One]
Shadow Card dealt to Fell Rider
Lindon Navigator defends (1)
Stricken Dumb revealed as Shadow
Fell Rider attacks (4), destroys Lindon Navigator
Quickbeam attacks (3), Gimli attacks (2), deals 2 damage to Fell Rider

Not as much damage as I would like, but it’s a start

[Deck Two]
Shadow Card dealt to Ringwraith
Tom Cotton defends (5)
Ettenmoors revealed as Shadow
Ringwraith attacks (5), deals no damage
Merry attacks (6), deals 2 damage to Ringwraith

Again, would like to have seen it destroyed but there’s nothing we can do about it now.

Refresh Phase
Raise each player’s threat by 1
Deck One: 26
Deck Two: 27

Reduce Ringbearer’s Life by 1

Turn No.4
Stage: 2B (0/30)
Active Location: Pathless Country (0/3)
Staging Area:
Ringwraith (3 threat)
The Witch-king (5 threat)
Ford of Bruinen (2 threat)

Ringbearer’s Life: 11

Resource Phase
Deck Two Hand (New Card in Bold):
Grappling Hook, Longbeard Sentry, Smoke Rings, Marksman of Lorien, Feint
Merry (3), Tom Cotton (2), Fatty (3), Frodo (1)

Now the combat side is really getting underway. I haven’t really seen a lot of the Marksman so I’m excited to try them out

Deck One Hand:
Halbarad, Naith Guide
Bilbo (1), Pippin (1), Sam (1)

More help with questing, just what is needed on this quest!

Planning Phase
Deck Two:
Marksman of Lorien: Fell Rider

Deck One:
Naith Guide: Sam

Here we go! Hopefully we’ll clear this location and knock off a Nazgul or two, but we’ll have to see.

Quest Phase
Bilbo-1
Pippin-2
Sam-4
Naith Guide-1
Bill the Pony-1
Gimli-2
Frodo-3

Total willpower: 14

Let’s do this!

1: Pale Blade-Fell Rider. Trigger Surge. (Hopefully the Fell Rider won’t be around long enough to make the best use of upgrade!)
1.1: The Troll’s Camp (0/2, 1 threat) (Praise Eru! A nice location that ought to help us out once we travel there!)
2: Pain Assailed Him (Ouch! We can’t use the One Ring to cancel it or we’ll need to deal with The Witch-king this turn and we’re not in a position to do that yet. And now there’s only one thing for it.)

Trigger Fatty, exhaust him, raise Deck Two’s threat by 3 to reduce the threat of Ringwraith by 3.

Total threat: 8

Total willpower: 12

Explore Pathless Country, place 1 progress on Stage 2B (1/30)

Travel Phase
Travel to The Troll’s Camp

Encounter Phase
Deck One optionally engages Ringwraith

Trigger Sam, trigger Pippin: Frodo’s Intuition

If we’re lucky, we might(!) see the back of at least two Nazgul here. Also, I really like Pippin!

Combat Phase
[Deck Two]
Shadow Card dealt to Ringwraith
Tom Cotton defends (5)
Fell Rider revealed as Shadow
Ringwraith attacks (5), deals no damage
Merry attacks (7), destroys Ringwraith

That hobbit is worth his weight in gold!

[Deck One]
Shadow Card dealt to Fell Rider
Sam defends (8), exhaust Fast Hitch to ready Sam
The Old Road revealed as Shadow
Fell Rider attacks (5), deals no damage
Sam attacks (4), Quickbeam attacks (3), deals 4 damage, destroys Fell Rider

Deck Two plays Feint on Ringwraith
Marksman of Lorien attacks (3), deals 1 damage to Ringwraith

Well we managed to knock off two of them, which I am more than happy with. We just need to improve our questing so that we can finish this quest before Frodo dies.

Refresh Phase
Raise each player’s threat by 1
Deck Two: 31
Deck One: 27

Reduce Ringbearer’s Life by 1

Turn No.5
Stage: 2B (1/30)
Active Location: Troll Camp (0/2)
Staging Area:
The Witch-king (5 threat)
Ford of Bruinen (0/6, 2 threat)

Ringbearer’s Life: 9

Resource Phase
Deck One Hand (New Card in Bold):
Halbarad, Frodo’s Intuition, Fast Hitch, Song of Kings
Bilbo (1), Pippin (2), Sam (1), Frodo (2)

Deck Two Hand:
Grappling Hook, Longbeard Sentry, Smoke Rings, Hobbit Pipe
Merry (3), Tom Cotton (1), Fatty (4)

Planning Phase
Deck One:
Frodo’s Intuition: The Evening Star, Sarn Ford Sentry, Out of the Wild, Rosie Cotton (Some very nice cards here, no duds)
Rosie Cotton
Fast Hitch-Rosie Cotton (Classic combo, which is needed now to help close this quest down)

Deck Two:
Longbeard Sentry
Hobbit Pipe-Tom Cotton

And I’m afraid that’s all we can do this turn.

Quest Phase
Deck Two plays Smoke Rings, lower Deck Two’s threat by 1.
Trigger Hobbit Pipe [Fatty]: Smoke Rings (Getting an addiction here?)

Exhaust Rosie Cotton to add 2 to Sam’s willpower
Exhaust Fast Hitch to ready Rosie Cotton

Bilbo-3
Pippin-4
Sam-8
Frodo-5
Gimli-2
Naith Guide-1
Bill the Pony-1
Fatty-3

Total willpower: 27

We can’t finish it this turn, but we’ll take a bite out of the quest in any case!

1: Pale Blade-Ringwraith. Trigger Surge (Not terrible, but worries me)
1.1: Pain Assailed Him (Not again! I can’t afford to exhaust The One Ring because we need to keep The Witch-king’s engagement level above our threat to trigger our hobbit responses)
2: Rode Like A Gale (Well it could have been worse, but still not ideal). Return Ringwraith to the staging area.

Total threat: 10

Win by 17, explore The Troll’s Camp, add it to the victory display, place 15 progress on Stage 2B (16/30)

We’re getting close, but Frodo’s health is still dropping. All it will take is one bad turn and it’s game over.

Travel Phase
Travel to Ford of Bruinen (0/6)
Trigger Ford of Bruinen: Piercing Cry (Well it could hardly be more thematic. We’ve seen all the Fell Riders and all but two of the Ringwraiths. So we could cycle through the other Ringwraiths or bring back the slightly weaker Fell Riders. On balance, I think I may go for the latter.)
Search discard pile for Fell Rider, put it into play engaged with Deck One.
Trigger Sam, trigger Pippin: Ithilien Lookout

I’m not going to lie, I’m aiming to finish the quest by exploring the Ford. I mean, anything else would just Pale in comparison! So to that end, we must engage everything this turn! Wish me luck.

Encounter Phase
Deck One optionally engages The Witch-king
Trigger Sam, trigger Pippin: Friend of Friends (Well that’s a dead draw, but it was a bonus draw so I can’t really complain)

Deck Two optionally engages Ringwraith

Combat Phase
[Deck One]
Shadow Card dealt to Fell Rider
Quickbeam defends (1)
Black Steed revealed as Shadow
Fell Rider attacks (4), destroys Quickbeam

Shadow Card dealt to The Witch-king
Sam defends (7)
Piercing Cry revealed as Shadow (A second one? In a row? Well that’s just great, now the Witch-king will be attacking a second time. Just what we need.)
The Witch-king attacks (6), deals no damage (We can’t afford to take any undefended attacks so we won’t be attacking back with Sam)

Exhaust Fast Hitch to ready Sam
Shadow Card dealt to The Witch-king
Sam defends (7)
Pathless Country (…well of course it had to be The Witch-king who got these. Who else by he? Brace yourselves)
The Witch-king attacks (6), deals no damage
The Witch-king engages Deck Two

[Deck Two]
Rosie exhausts to add 2 to Tom Cotton’s willpower (I was planning to use this on Merry to kill the Ringwraith, but I suppose that won’t be happening now)
Shadow Card dealt to The Witch-king
Tom Cotton defends (4)
The Old Road revealed as Shadow
The Witch-king attacks, deals 2 damage to Tom Cotton (And that should be the last we have to face of him this round, thank goodness!)

Shadow Card dealt to Ringwraith
Discard 2 cards from the top of Deck Two’s deck to give Longbeard Sentry +1 defense and sentinel: Ancient Mathom, Halfling Determination (And there go two great cards. But here we go.)
Longbeard Sentry defends (3)
Piercing Cry revealed as Shadow (Oh, for crying out loud!)
Ringwraith attacks (6), (Ah. So I’d forgotten the Ringwraith had Pale Blade attached. Goodbye Longbeard Sentry!), destroys Longbeard Sentry

Shadow Card dealt to Ringwraith
Marksman of Lorien defends (0)
Striken Dumb revealed as Shadow (Finally, the massacre ends!)
Ringwraith attacks (6), destroys Marksman of Lorien
Merry attacks (7), deals 3 damage to Ringwraith

Well that was brutal. I’m not sure we could survive a second round of that. These Nazgul are savage!

Refresh Phase
Raise each player’s threat by 1
Deck Two: 31
Deck One: 28

Reduce Ringbearer’s Life by 1

So that happened. Apparently the Nine giving us payback for the ease we eluded them with in the Shire and at Weathertop. But hopefully this turn we should escape them once and for all! (Until Land of Shadow at least.)

Turn No.6
Stage: 2B (16/30)
Active Location: Ford of Bruinen (0/6)
Staging Area: N/A

Ringbearer’s Life: 7

So we only have win questing by 6 to beat the quest (assuming no more Ringwraiths show their face), and we’ll be clear. This has taken longer than I thought it would, but we’re nearly there. I’m going to use The One Ring to cancel any Nazgul that pop up or (shudder) any Rode Like A Gale, which would return every one of them in play to the staging area and absolutely screw us over

Resource Phase
Deck Two Hand (New Card in Bold):
Grappling Hook, Smoke Rings, Dunedain Hunter, Escort from Edoras (Well it’s about time. The former should help drag one of the two remaining Nazgul out of the encounter deck, while the latter will boost our questing)
Merry (1), Tom Cotton (1), Fatty (3), Frodo (1)

Deck Two Hand:
Halbarad, Song of Kings, The Evening Star, Sarn Ford Sentry, Out of the Wild, Ithilien Lookout, Friend of Friends, Ranger Provisions (Too little, too late with this draw. Still, I think we’ll play it as insurance just in case things go badly wrong)

Planning Phase
Deck Two:
Grappling Hook-Merry (never used this card before, but I’ve heard good things about it)
Escort from Edoras
Dunedain Hunter
Trigger Dunedain Hunter: Gildor Inglorion (of course you were next!), The Nine Are Abroad, Rode Like A Gale, Black Steed, Ringwraith. Put Ringwraith into play, engaged with Deck Two (only one left now), shuffle the encounter deck

Deck One:
Out of the Wild (we cannot afford to draw Rode Like A Gale while questing): Ringwraith, Ettenmoors, The Enemy Is Upon Us!, Power In Their Terror, Gildor Inglorion (No Rode Like A Gale, though Gildor is being really friendly all of a sudden. I think The Enemy Is Upon Us! would wreck us if it went off, so we’ll get rid of that one). Add Out of the Wild and The Enemy Is Upon Us! to the victory display. Shuffle the encounter deck.

Quest Phase
So of a 13 card encounter deck, there are 2 cards that would really mess us up. Rode Like A Gale and the sole surviving Ringwraith. There’s a 15% chance of me drawing either, an 8% chance of me drawing both. Let’s gamble, shall we?

Exhaust Rosie Cotton to add 2 to Sam’s willpower
Exhaust Fast Hitch to ready Rosie
Exhaust and discard Grappling Hook to commit Merry to the quest, using attack instead of willpower
Deck Two plays Smoke Rings, lower Deck Two’s threat by 1.
Trigger Hobbit Pipe [Fatty]: Unexpected Courage (Would have been nice earlier)

Bilbo-1
Pippin-2
Sam-6
Gimli-2
Bill the Pony-1
Rosie-2
Naith Guide-1
Frodo-3
Merry-6
Tom-1
Fatty-2
Dunedain Hunter-1
Escort from Edoras-4

Total willpower: 32

Let’s do this. Now, even if a solitary Ringwraith shows up, we should hopefully be able to quest past him.

1: Rode Like A Gale (Absolutely not!). Spend 1 Fellowship Resource and exhaust The One Ring to cancel this card and reveal another encounter card
1.1: Ringwraith (3 threat) (…8%. It’s a good thing I don’t gamble, or else my bank statement would be even worse than it already is! 8%!) Trigger Gimli
2: The Nine Are Abroad (Oh my word! Morgorth really has it in for me today!) Treat the text box of each character in play as blank until the end of the round (!). (There goes Merry’s questing prowess. But wait for it…) Trigger Surge.
2.1: Black Steed-Fell Rider (We’ll put it on the weakest Nazgul just in case things get worse. Which they may yet, because…) Trigger Surge.
2.2: The Nine Are Abroad (We get it! They’re abroad! Now my blood pressure is through the roof…) Trigger Surge
2.3: Stricken Dumb (It must be describing me! Well there is no way I am cancelling this quest phase so I’ll be taking another burden and revealing yet another encounter card). Reveal and shuffle Weight Of The Ring into the encounter deck. (I’d say that this is just about the worst burden from this box set, let alone this scenario. The potential to disable The One Ring for an entire quest is not to be taken lightly, especially as Frodo’s abilities develop.)
2.4: Ettenmoors (This sees the end of the encounter deck’s play this turn, and boy was it something.)

Total threat: 5

Total willpower: 26

Win by 21, explore Ford of Bruinen, add it to the victory display, discard The Witch-king, Fell Rider, Ringwraith, Ringwraith, complete Stage 2B

Victory.

Victory display: The Last Bridge (3), The Troll’s Camp (1), Out of the Wild (0), The Enemy Is Upon Us! (0), Ford of Bruinen (5)

Score: 28 threat + 30 threat + 60 for turns taken, 3 for damage on Tom Cotton, -9 for victory points=112

Well that was intense at the end. One bad draw would have spelt doom for the company as the Nazgul were beginning to overwhelm me. In the end it came down to that 8% I was talking about, if either had failed to show we would have been home and dry as The One Ring could have cancelled the other but instead we had that hair-raising final push at the end. And that’s what it’s meant to be like, especially with a scenario that is meant to represent a race against time. MVP has to be Sam for tanking those Witch-king attacks, though again Fatty gets a very honourable mention as without his ability we would have been sunk. Let all Fatty-haters know this, he is indeed a decent hero!

Well it’s goodbye to my hobbit decks now. After five scenarios with them, I have grown quite fond of them and have a new respect for what they can manage to achieve. But the Fellowship needs must be formed, and even the pluckiest of hobbits will not be able to make the journey without aid. Without Gandalf to speak for them, which of the hobbits will be sent home by Elrond? Will any of them be part of the Fellowship of the Ring? Who do you think my heroes should be going forward, bearing in mind the theme I am playing to. If you need a reminder, it can be found here. Hope you are enjoying the series so far, let me know your thoughts. Any and all feedback is very much appreciated.

Add Panicked to the Campaign Pool
Add Weight Of The Ring to the Campaign Pool

FFG- Nazgul

One thought on “Flight To The Ford: Playthrough

  1. Pingback: The Ring Goes South: Playthrough – The Road

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