Helm’s Deep: 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:
Shuffle Pursued by the Enemy and Followed by Night into the encounter deck.
Set The Defense of Helm’s Deep, 1 copy of Deeping Wall and 2 copies of Soldier of Isengard aside out of play.

Player Deck Set-up:
Attach Valiant Warrior, Intimidation and Leaf-wrapped Lembas to Merry.
Attach Forewarned to Aragorn
Deck One draws opening hand, adds Glamdring to his deck
Deck Two draws opening hand, adds Anduril to his deck

Deck One
Threat: 32
Theoden (Spirit)
Elfhelm
Erkenbrand

Starting Hand:
Well Warned
West Road Traveller
Ride to Ruin
Warden of Helm’s Deep
Song of Travel
The Day’s Rising

We have a bit of everything here: threat reduction; sphere smoothing; resource generation; location management and even a decent ally for Stage 1B of the quest. All we need is a mount or two to take advantage of Elfhelm.

Deck Two
Threat: 25
Merry (Tactics)
Eomer (Tactics)
Hama

Starting Hand:
Dagger of Westernesse
Foe-hammer
Deorwine
Firefoot
Westfold Outrider
Song of Wisdom

Another good all-round hand, I am loving these toolbox decks so much more than the Voltron decks where I absolutely need to get certain attachments. Here we have card draw, a weapon to fuel it, an excellent mount, resource smoothing and another decent ally. This effectively means we will be taking the Poisoned Councils because I am terrified of this scenario and am willing to take the burdens for the remainder of the Campaign in order for any edge on Helm’s Deep.

Each player shuffles 1 copy of Poisoned Counsels into their deck.

Raise each player’s threat by 1 for the Fallen Hero Gimli

Turn No.1
Stage: 1B (-/-)
Active Location: N/A
Staging Area:
N/A

Trigger Stage 1B:
Deck One puts Warden of Helm’s Deep into play
Deck Two puts Deorwine into play

It’s a no-brainer really, choose the most expensive of the allies of each hand, and they’re both great defenders.

Resource Phase
Deck One Hand (New Card in Bold):
Well Warned, West Road Traveller, Ride to Ruin, Song of Travel, The Day’s Rising, Snowmane
Theoden (1), Elfhelm (1), Erkenbrand (1), Aragorn (1)

This is brilliant, now Theoden is up to 3 willpower which can be used for questing plus it can boost attack/defense if we can get Herugrim/Golden Shield out on him too.

Deck Two Hand:
Dagger of Westernesse, Foe-hammer, Firefoot, Westfold Outrider, Song of Wisdom, Secret Vigil
Merry (1), Eomer (1), Hama (1)

Classic questing aid and threat reduction. Especially welcome in this game.

Planning Phase
Deck One:
The Day’s Rising-Erkenbrand
Snowmane-Theoden
Song of Travel-Erkenbrand

We’ll save the West Road Traveller for next round so we can maybe do some location switching shenanigans. And while Theoden has sentinel as well, he also now has 3 willpower so unless we can quest successfully his defending prowess will be wasted. Erkenbrand has no willpower to speak of however, and a built-in defending ability to shut down shadow cards if needs be. If we can get an Armoured Destrier on him now then he will be a defending machine, hopefully earning an extra resource or two each turn. Then all we’d want is a Warden of Healing and a Golden Shield and he’s very nearly unbreakable.

Deck Two:
Firefoot-Eomer
Dagger of Westernesse-Merry

And our attackers are well on their way to getting powered up properly. Merry and Eomer attack together, Hama too if needed, and already we’re wielding at least 11 attack, before Eomer’s or the Dagger’s boosts. Merry then readies Eomer who is able to use Firefoot on a weaker enemy to do that famous trample effect. If Merry gets a Rohan Warhorse, he can then ready himself and go again with Aragorn or Hama if he wasn’t used earlier. A Fast Hitch just kicks the engine into overdrive, as the last attack Merry makes will be alone so he can use Intimidation to make an effective attack of 6, maybe 7 bearing Elfhelm’s boost in mind if we can get a Rohan Warhorse out.

Quest Phase
Stage 1B skips this phase.

Travel Phase

Encounter Phase

Combat Phase

Refresh Phase
Raise each player’s threat by 1
Deck One: 34
Deck Two: 27

Trigger Stage 1B, advance to Stage 2A. Trigger Stage 2A, add The Defense of Helm’s Deep and both copies of Soldier of Helm’s Deep to the staging area. Make Deeping Wall the active location. Shuffle the encounter deck and each player reveals 1 encounter card.
Deck One: Wild Hillman (3 threat) (Not terrible, not by a long stretch. We may actually be able to use this guy as an easy Firefoot target)
Deck Two: Devilry of Saruman (Well I suppose it’s better now than later, but 3 direct progress still hurts)

Turn No.2
Stage: 2B (3/8)
Active Location: Deeping Wall (0/4)
Staging Area:
Soldier of Isengard (4 threat)
Soldier of Isengard* (4 threat)
Wild Hillman (3 threat)

The Defense of Helm’s Deep (0/8)

We’re going to try a new thing here, if we have more than one copy of the same enemy in play, they will be assigned a symbol to go with them. So whenever you see ‘Soldier of Isengard*’, you know we’re talking about the same guy.

Resource Phase
Deck Two Hand (New Card in Bold):
Foe-hammer, Westfold Outrider, Song of Wisdom, Secret Vigil, Followed
Merry (1), Eomer (1), Hama (1), Aragorn (1)

And more staging area threat reduction is ours.

Deck One Hand:
Well Warned, West Road Traveller, Ride to Ruin, Westfold Horse-Breeder
Theoden (1), Elfhelm (2), Erkenbrand (1)

Hopefully we should be able find that Armored Destrier now to put on Erkenbrand and we take care of the vast majority of enemies in the quest from this side of the board.

Planning Phase
Deck Two:
Followed
Westfold Outrider

I’m really liking this Tactics pseudo-questing idea, we’ll have to see how it goes in practice

Deck One:
Westfold Horse-breeder (Free ally! Go Theoden King!) Trigger Westfold Horse-breeder: Ceorl, A Test of Will, Ride to Ruin, Westfold Horse-breeder, Armoured Destrier, Gamling, Snowbourn Scout, Burst into Song, Eomund, Song of Kings. Add Armoured Destrier to hand. (I didn’t realise how much 10 cards actually is, but that was brilliant!)
Armoured Destrier-Erkenbrand (And Erkenbrand is now at 4 defence and can cancel shadows all the livelong day!)

Ok, I think we’re good to go! Here comes the enemy! Brace yourselves!

Quest Phase
Discard Westfold Outrider for Deck Two to engage Soldier of Isengard*. Trigger Followed: attach Followed to Soldier of Isengard* and reduce the threat in the staging area by 4. Trigger Eomer.

And now we only have 3 threat in the staging area. If we had a side-quest then now would be the ideal time, Keep Watch would be brilliant for this quest.

Theoden-3
Elfhelm-2
Westfold Horse-breeder-1
Aragorn-2

Total willpower: 8

So it begins.

1: Helm’s Gate (0/3, 5 threat) (Not ideal. We’ll need to try some shenanigans to try and avoid the nasty explored effect here, and 5 threat really stings!)
2: Reckless Hate (Thankfully we have a number of defenders who should be able to take care of this one. We won’t use Erkenbrand because we want to save his horse’s shadow cancellation for when there are shadows we can actually cancel). Soldier of Isengard attacks Deck One.
-Shadow Card dealt to Soldier of Isengard
-Warden of Helm’s Deep defends (3)
Isengard Uruk revealed as Shadow
-Soldier of Isengard attacks (4), deals 1 damage

Total threat: 8

Questing drawn.

I think we got off pretty lightly there, but we’ll never have it so easy again I imagine.

Place 1 resource on The Defense of Helm’s Deep (1/8)

Travel Phase

Encounter Phase
If we play our cards right, we ought to be able to knock out two of these enemies, maybe three, but we’ll have to see.

Deck Two optionally engages Soldier of Isengard
Wild Hillman engages Deck Two

Combat Phase
Resolve Archery 2, deal 1 damage to Eomer and Hama

[Deck Two]

Shadow Card dealt to Soldier of Isengard
Erkenbrand defends (5)
Fighting Uruk-hai revealed as Shadow
Soldier of Isengard attacks (4), deals no damage
Trigger The Day’s Rising, give Erkenbrand 1 resource
Trigger Armoured Destrier, ready Erkenbrand
Merry attacks (4), Eomer attacks (8), destroys Soldier of Isengard
Trigger Merry to ready Eomer
Deck Two plays Foe-hammer, draws: The Three Hunters, Fast Hitch, Golden Shield (And again, these are all really great cards that can be slotted in at any point. We’ll save Three Hunters until the opportune moment, Fast Hitch will go on as soon as possible, and Golden Shield might go on Erkenbrand. It’s unlikely that we’ll quest successfully so Theoden will probably only be used for his willpower, but the ability to give Erkenbrand an extra 2 defense on demand is brilliant.)

Shadow Card dealt to Wild Hillman
Deorwine defends (3)
Deck One pays 1 leadership resource to discard Wild Hillman’s Shadow Card
Wild Hillman attacks (3), deals no damage. Trigger Wild Hillman, place 1 progress on Deeping Wall (1/4)
Eomer attacks (8), destroys Wild Hillman, exhausts Firefoot to deal 2 damage to Soldier of Isengard*

Shadow Card dealt to Soldier of Isengard*
Warrior of Dunland revealed as Shadow
Erkenbrand defends (5)
Soldier of Isengard* attacks (4), deals no damage
Hama attacks (3), deals 1 damage to Soldier of Isengard*

That was good. We’ve taken out two of the three enemies, and left a Soldier of Isengard* alive with 1 hitpoint left, so he can be taken out by Firefoot if we need to clean up some enemies. Erkenbrand can keep defending against him after discarding his Shadow, ensuring a resource gain from The Day’s Rising. And all the while, Followed reduces the threat in the staging area by 4 making questing that bit easier. The only thing is the Soldier of Isengard* has Archery 1 so he will keep pinging away at us until he dies, but I suppose we can live with that.

Trigger Stage 2B, reveal Uruk-hai Fighter (3 threat)

While not nice, this certainly isn’t the worst that could have shown up (Warrior of Dunland). It does mean that we’ll be placing a progress on Stage 2 however.

Refresh Phase
Raise each player’s threat by 1
Deck Two: 28
Deck One: 35

Trigger Stage 2B, place 1 progress on Stage 2B

The Siege begins, and so far the defenses have held. But the night is long and dark and full of terrors. Wait a minute…

Turn No.3
Stage: 2B (4/8)
Active Location: Deeping Wall (1/4)
Staging Area:
Helm’s Gate (0/3, 5 threat)
Uruk-hai Warrior (3 threat)

The Defense of Helm’s Deep (1/8, 1 threat)

Resource Phase
Deck One Hand (New Card in Bold):
Well Warned, West Road Traveller, Ride to Ruin, Guthwine
Theoden (2), Elfhelm (1), Erkenbrand (2), Aragorn (2)

Excellent! Now we can get Eomer fully equipped so we can start cycling Rohan allies and keep powering up the Third Marshal of the Mark.

Deck Two Hand:
Song of Wisdom, Secret Vigil, The Three Hunters, Fast Hitch, Golden Shield, Warden of Healing
Merry (1), Eomer (1), Hama (1)

And now we can start negating the Archery damage that this quest throws about. The Fast Hitch is a greater priority however, to make the most of Merry’s ability to ready other heroes.

Planning Phase
Deck One:
Guthwine-Eomer (And the son of Eomund is in the building!)
West Road Traveller (We will elect not to trigger her response this time, but we just need the willpower on the table)

Deck Two:
Golden Shield-Erkenbrand (And we have a 7 defense hero, as long as the Deeping Wall holds)
Song of Wisdom-Hama
Secret Vigil-Uruk-hai Fighter (On reflection, we may need the threat reduction sooner rather than later)

Quest Phase
Theoden-3
Elfhelm-2
West Road Traveller-2
Westfold Horse-breeder-1

Total willpower: 8

Let’s hope this is enough to slow them down.

1: Isengard Uruk (2 threat). Trigger Isengard Uruk, deal 1 damage to Theoden, Elfhelm and Aragorn. (The threat is by no means bad, but the When Revealed effect stings)
2: Fighting Uruk-hai (And then there’s this. We’ll go for the encounter deck so we can thin it a bit. The worst part though is that Soldier of Isengard* now counts its threat and effectively cancels out Followed.) Reveal Uruk-hai Fighter* (3 threat) from the encounter deck and put it into play engaged with Deck Two. (The lower threat combined with no Archery makes this the best choice of a bad bunch)

Total threat: 13

This’ll leave us with the Deeping Wall explored, leaving the main quest exposed, taking away our defense bonus and boosting our threat by 4. We could Ride to Ruin away Helm’s Gate and reduce the loss to 1, but by doing so we wouldn’t survive the onslaught that would follow. No, we shall have to bite the bullet and take this loss head on.

Lose by 5, explore Deeping Wall, place 1 progress on Stage 2B. Trigger Deeping Wall, raise each player’s threat by 4.

Place 1 resource on The Defense of Helm’s Deep (2/8)

And we’re a quarter of the way there. The first part hasn’t been too punishing, but I’ve a feeling the temperature is only going to go up.

Travel Phase
Travel to Helm’s Gate (0/3)

With such a massive threat contribution, we don’t really have much of a choice in this.

Encounter Phase
Deck One optionally engages Uruk-hai Fighter
Deck One plays Well Warned to reduce his threat by 3
Deck Two optionally engages Isengard Uruk

The Archery levels of this quest can get out of hand if we don’t take action soon and kill these Uruks

Combat Phase
Resolve Archery 3, deal 1 damage to Eomer and 2 damage to Aragorn

[Deck One]

Shadow dealt to Uruk-hai Fighter
Warden of Helm’s Deep defends (3)
The Hornburg revealed as Shadow (Good and bad. Good, because no shadow and our defender lives another turn. Bad, because I really wanted to see this as an active location and reduce the Archery levels)
Uruk-hai Fighter attacks (3), deals no damage
(We don’t have the attacking power yet to deal him, so I’m afraid he’ll have to stay there for now)

[Deck Two]

Shadow dealt to Soldier of Isengard*
Erkenbrand defends (4), exhaust Golden Shield to give Erkenbrand 2 extra defense
Scaling Ladders revealed as Shadow
Soldier of Isengard* attacks (5), deals no damage
Trigger The Day’s Rising, give Erkenbrand 1 resource
Trigger Armoured Destrier, ready Erkenbrand
(And we’ll leave it there for now so we can continue to harvest those resources from The Day’s Rising and also make the most of Followed reducing the staging area threat by a massive 4)

Shadow dealt to Uruk-hai Fighter*
Erkenbrand defends (4)
Followed by Night revealed as Shadow
Uruk-hai Fighter attacks (3), deals no damage
Merry attacks (3), Eomer attacks (6), exhaust Guthwine to give Eomer 2 extra attack. Destroys Uruk-hai Fighter
Trigger Guthwine to return Rohan Outrider to hand.
Trigger Merry to ready Eomer
(This is really the first time I’ve been able to go nuts with Merry’s ability, mostly due to there not being this many enemies to deal with, such as during Breaking of the Fellowship, but I have to say I’m loving it!)

Shadow dealt to Isengard Uruk
Deorwine declared as defender (3)
Warrior of Dunland revealed as Shadow
Isengard Uruk attacks (3), deals no damage
Hama attacks (3), Eomer attacks (6), destroys Isengard Uruk
(So far so good. The plan is to keep up this partnership of these three until the siege breaks, or the defenses fall. And now the attacks are done…)

Deck One plays Ride to Ruin and discards Westfold Horse-breeder to explore Helm’s Gate. Trigger Helm’s Gate, each enemy gets 2 extra attack and reduces their engagement cost by 20.

The end of the round really is the best time to explore this location to avoid that potentially devastating effect.

Trigger Stage 2B, reveal The Hornburg (0/3, 3 threat) from the encounter deck.

The perfect location to draw at this point. That Archery was beginning to rack up the damage.

Refresh Phase
Raise each player’s threat by 1
Deck One: 37
Deck Two: 33

And the threat is creeping up, we’ll need to deal with this before it gets out of hand. But with no enemies in the staging area, Stage 2B doesn’t generate any extra progress.

Turn No.4
Stage: 2B (6/8)
Active Location: –
Staging Area:
The Hornburg (0/3, 3 threat)

The Defense of Helm’s Deep (2/8, 2 threat)

Resource Phase
Deck Two Hand (New Card in Bold):
The Three Hunters, Fast Hitch, Warden of Healing, Westfold Outrider, Legolas
Merry (1), Eomer (1), Hama (2)

Fantastic draw, he can help keep Deck One’s enemies under control and fuel Deck Two’s Card draw at the same time.

Deck One Hand:
Glamdring
Theoden (3), Elfhelm (2), Erkenbrand (3)

Short of further threat reduction, this is probably the best card we might have hoped for. Theoden’ll take it as Deck One needs the card draw more. Thematically, we might say Herugrim has been given an upgrade or something

Planning Phase
Deck Two:
Legolas (Once we travel to The Hornburg, Archery won’t be too much of an issue. We’ll take the extra attack just now and heal the damage off later)

Deck One:
Glamdring-Theoden (Card draw is badly needed here, as well as counter-attacking power. Also, this is our only card that we can play so there is that as well.)

Quest Phase
Theoden-3
Elfhelm-2
West Road Traveller-2
Aragorn-2

Total willpower: 9

That’s all we can muster at the moment, we shall have to see if it is enough.

1: Wild Hillman (3 threat) (Not bad, but we’ll need to deal with him quickly before his ability starts racking up the progress)
2: Deeping Wall (4 threat) (Hello again! We’ll leave this off for now so we can neuter the Archery picking away at us)

Total threat: 8

Win by 1, trigger Snowmane to ready Theoden.

Did not expect that win, but I will gladly take it!

Place 1 resource on The Defense of Helm’s Deep (3/8)

Travel Phase
Travel to The Hornburg (0/3)

The Deeping Wall does contribute more threat, but we need to get Archery neutralised until we can get out the Warden of Healing.

Encounter Phase
Deck Two optionally engages Wild Hillman

As long as we can keep dealing with enemies the same turn they appear we should be able to hold out long enough.

Combat Phase
[Deck Two]
Shadow Card dealt to Soldier of Isengard*
Erkenbrand defends (4), exhaust Golden Shield to give Erkenbrand 2 extra defense
Postern Gate revealed as Shadow
Soldier of Isengard* attacks (4), deals no damage
Trigger The Day’s Rising, give Erkenbrand 1 resource
Trigger Armoured Destrier, ready Erkenbrand and discard Shadow from Wild Hillman
(I completely forgot about the shadow cancellation earlier, but never again! Also, no counterattack for the same reasons stated above)

Shadow Card dealt to Wild Hillman
Deorwine defends (3)
Shadow discarded by Erkenbrand’s Armoured Destrier
Wild Hillman attacks (3), deals no damage. Trigger Wild Hillman, place 1 progress on The Hornburg (1/3)
Eomer attacks (6), destroys Wild Hillman
(Eomer is doing some work in this quest! Every turn, another enemy goes down!)

[Deck One]

Shadow Card dealt to Uruk-hai Fighter
Erkenbrand defends (4)
Isengard Uruk revealed as Shadow
Uruk-hai Fighter attacks (3), deals no damage
Theoden attacks (5), Legolas attacks (3), destroys Uruk-hai Fighter
Trigger Secret Vigil, reduce each player’s threat by 3
Trigger Glamdring, Deck One draws: Westfold Horse-breeder (Hopefully we can draw another Armoured Destrier to put on Elfhelm)
Trigger Legolas, Deck Two draws: Deorwine (Not ideal, but we can use him as fuel for Hama’s ability and recur Foe-hammer)
(That has got to be one of the most profitable killings I’ve yet done. Card draw threat reduction together!)

Trigger Stage 2B, reveal Postern Door (0/2, 3 threat) from the encounter deck

Refresh Phase
Raise each player’s threat by 1
Deck Two: 31
Deck One: 35

Threat levels are a bit healthier, and with no enemies in the staging area we avoid triggering Stage 2B again.

Turn No.5
Stage: 2B (6/8)
Active Location: The Hornburg (1/3)
Staging Area:
Deeping Wall (0/4, 4 threat)
Postern Door (0/2, 3 threat)

The Defense of Helm’s Deep (3/8, 3 threat)

Resource Phase
Deck One Hand (New Card in Bold):
Westfold Horse-breeder, The Riddermark’s Finest
Theoden (3), Elfhelm (2), Erkenbrand (4), Aragorn (4)
I think I may have underestimated the cost-curve of this deck. I am awash with cheap allies and awaiting the arrival of the more upmarket ones.

Deck Two Hand:
The Three Hunters, Fast Hitch, Warden of Healing, Westfold Outrider, Deorwine, Arod
Merry (1), Eomer (1), Hama (1)
These guys, on the other hand, always have something they could be buying, but never enough resources to get them all out

Planning Phase
Deck One:
The Riddermark’s Finest (Now at the end of the round we can clear Postern Door from the staging area and avoid its ‘When explored’ effect)
Westfold Horse-breeder. Trigger Westfold Horse-breeder: Gamling, Armoured Destrier, Ceorl, Snowmane, Snowbourn Scout, Poisoned Counsels, Gamling, Well Warned, Burst into Song, Song of Kings (Well there’s some of those allies we were after. Another Snowmane will be useless to us, but there’s the other Armoured Destrier we were after. There’s the first glimpse of Poisoned Counsels we’ve gotten this game. As our decks get smaller, the odds of running into one will increase). Add Armoured Destrier to hand.
Armoured Destrier-Elfhelm (Now he’s a serviceable defender with 3, if we can get a Song of Travel on him as well his willpower will also get a boost)

And again we’ve run out of cards so we’ll have to leave it there

Deck Two:
Arod-Legolas (With the canon of Middle-earth combined with the sheer flexibility of Legolas’s ranged attack, we can’t really justify putting him anywhere else)

We’ll call a halt here, saving up for the Warden of Healing and the Westfold Outrider next turn.

Quest Phase
Theoden-3
Elfhelm-2
Aragorn-2
Westfold Traveller-2
The Riddermark’s Finest-1
Westfold Horse-breeder-1

Total willpower: 11

We’re going to need to muster more willpower very quickly if we are to keep pace with The Defense of Helm’s Deep’s growing threat.

1: Soldier of Isengard (4 threat) (I think that may be the final one in the encounter deck, I can’t say I’m sorry)
2: Reckless Hate (This again? I suppose Erkenbrand can take this one)
-Shadow Card dealt to Soldier of Isengard
-Erkenbrand defends (4), exhaust Golden Shield to give Erkenbrand 2 extra defense
-Helm’s Gate revealed as Shadow
-Soldier of Isengard attacks (4), deals no damage
-Trigger The Day’s Rising, give Erkenbrand 1 resource
-Trigger Armoured Destrier, ready Erkenbrand

I just love this Erkenbrand all tooled up and ready for action!

Total threat: 10

Win by 1, trigger Snowmane to ready Theoden

Alright, another win questing! As long as we can keep on top of the enemies from now on, and keep chipping away at the locations in the staging area, we should be all good

Place 1 resource on The Defense of Helm’s Deep (4/8)

Travel Phase

Encounter Phase
Deck One optionally engages Soldier of Isengard

We’ll let Deck One handle this guy to fuel their card draw

Combat Phase
[Deck One]

Shadow Card dealt to Soldier of Isengard
Erkenbrand defends (4)
Deeping Culvert revealed as Shadow
Soldier of Isengard attacks (4), deals no damage
Theoden attacks (5), Legolas attacks (3), destroys Soldier of Isengard
Trigger Glamdring, Deck One draws: Ceorl (Well he’s not going to set the world on fire, but he’s got brilliant utility)
Trigger Legolas, Deck Two draws: Elladan (Huh. I suppose that at this late stage it’s unlikely we’ll get the chance afford it, let alone use his in conjunction with his brother, but we can always use it as more fuel for Hama)
Trigger Arod: place 1 progress on Postern Door (If we can chip away at this without having to sacrifice a body I’ll be happy)

[Deck Two]

Shadow Card dealt to Soldier of Isengard*
Deorwine defends (3)
Deck One spends 1 leadership resource to discard Soldier of Isengard*’s Shadow
Soldier of Isengard attacks (4), deals 1 damage
(And we keep on keeping this Uruk alive)

Trigger Stage 2B, reveal Deeping Wall* (0/4, 4 threat) from the encounter deck.

And there go our threat levels through the roof. But again, no enemies to trigger Stage 2B again at the end of the round.

Refresh Phase
Raise each player’s threat by 1
Deck One: 36
Deck Two: 32

Turn No.6
Stage: 2B (6/8)
Active Location: The Hornburg (1/3)
Staging Area:
Postern Door (1/2, 3 threat)
Deeping Wall (0/4, 4 threat)
Deeping Wall* (0/4, 4 threat)

The Defense of Helm’s Deep (4/8, 4 threat)

Resource Phase
Deck Two Hand (New Card in Bold):
The Three Hunters, Fast Hitch, Warden of Healing, Westfold Outrider, Deorwine, Elladan, Followed
Merry (2), Eomer (1), Hama (2), Aragorn (5)

I’m not sure about this, we can’t really afford a second enemy hanging about without acquiring more defenders

Deck One Hand:
Ceorl, Eomund
Theoden (3), Elfhelm (3), Erkenbrand (2)

More allies are always appreciated, especially one with such a universal boon as he can provide.

Planning Phase
Deck Two:
Warden of Healing (Now we can start chipping away at the Archery that has been our bane)
Westfold Outrider (This guy can act as an on-demand boost for Eomer whenever needed)

Exhaust Warden of Healing to heal 1 damage from Aragorn and Deorwine

A hero and a defender healed a bit and we’ll call it a day.

Deck One:
Eomund (2 willpower is very respectable, but as we’ve said before it is his readying ability that truly interests us)
Ceorl (Cheap ally with easy readying. What’s not to like?)

Again we’re out of cards so we’ll need to call a halt there.

Quest Phase
Theoden-3
Elfhelm-2
Westfold Horse-breeder-1
The Riddermark’s Finest-1
West Road Traveller-2
Eomund-2
Aragorn-2

Total willpower: 13

With 2 Deeping Walls in the staging area, this is going to hurt.

1: Devilry of Saruman (Well shoot. I guess we’re progressing to Stage 3, like it or not.) Treat the text box of every character as if it were blank until the end of the round. Complete Stage 2B, advance to Stage 3A. Trigger Stage 3A, add Helm’s Gate (0/3, 5 threat) to the staging area from the discard pile, make it the active location and return The Hornburg (1/3, 3 threat) to the staging area. (To be honest, the worst thing is now that Elfhelm is now negated, so Theoden, Elfhelm and Eomer now have their bonuses stripped from them.)
2.1: Scaling Ladders (So far there aren’t any enemies in the staging area, so this isn’t too bad. It does Surge though so…). Attach Scaling Ladders to Helm’s Gate and trigger Surge.
2.2: Night without End. Trigger Doomed 2 (As much as I am sure it will hurt to reveal an extra two encounter cards, I’m not sure how well we might survive an extra turn of this. I’ll take the extra two.)
2.3: Devilry of Saruman (Why? Why? Why do I like to gamble with the encounter deck? It rarely pays off. Remember the 8%? Still, at least the text boxes are already blank so it’s just the progress we need to add.) Place 3 progress on Stage 3B
2.4: Wild Hillman (4 threat) (The extra threat comes from Scaling Ladders, but again the extra progress on locations is what will concern me)

Total threat: 18

Total willpower: 12

Lose by 6, explore Helm’s Gate, place 3 progress on Stage 3B. Trigger Helm’s Gate, each enemy reduces its engagement cost by 20 and increases its attack by 2.

Place 1 resource on The Defense of Helm’s Deep (5/8)

I’m glad we’re finally through that staging, but the turn’s not over yet. We still have combat to get through, and our enemies are stronger than ever.

Travel Phase
Travel to Deeping Wall (0/4)

We need the defensive bonus if we are to survive.

Encounter Phase
Deck Two optionally engages Wild Hillman

Let’s try and deal with him this turn.

Combat Phase
Resolve Archery 1, deal 1 damage to Legolas

[Deck Two]
Shadow Card dealt to Soldier of Isengard*
Erkenbrand defends (4), exhaust Golden Shield to give Erkenbrand 1 extra defense
Pursued by the Enemy revealed as Shadow (Another attack? Erkenbrand will have to go again)
Soldier of Isengard attacks (6), deals 1 damage
Trigger Armoured Destrier, ready Erkenbrand and discard Shadow from Wild Hillman

And now because of the Shadow, we’ll have to go again. We need Erkenbrand for the Soldier of Isengard*, so Deorwine will have to take the Wild Hillman.

Shadow Card dealt to Soldier of Isengard*
Erkenbrand defends (4)
Deeping Wall revealed as Shadow
Soldier of Isengard attacks (6), deals 2 damage

With the amount of locations building up in the staging area, we cannot afford to kill this guy yet.

Shadow Card dealt to Wild Hillman
Deorwine defends (3)
Shadow discarded by Erkenbrand’s Armoured Destrier
Wild Hillman attacks (5), deals 2 damage. Trigger Wild Hillman, place 1 progress on Deeping Wall (1/4)
Legolas attacks (3), Eomer attacks (5), destroys Wild Hillman
Trigger Arod, explore Postern Door.
Trigger Postern Door, no more attacks can be declared by the player this round.

This effect could have been savage if it had been explored naturally, but thanks to Legolas’s steed we get to sidestep it completely. And so battered and bruised we’ve survived Turn 6. It can’t get any worse, can it?

Refresh Phase
Raise each player’s threat by 1
Deck Two: 35
Deck One: 39

Turn No.7
Stage: 3B (6/8)
Active Location: Deeping Wall (1/4)
Staging Area:
Deeping Wall* (0/4, 4 threat)
The Hornburg (1/3, 3 threat)

The Defense of Helm’s Deep (5/8, 5 threat)

Resource Phase
Deck One Hand (New Card in Bold):
A Test of Will
Theoden (3), Elfhelm (2), Erkenbrand (2), Aragorn (6)

So now this shows up!

Deck Two Hand:
The Three Hunters, Fast Hitch, Deorwine, Elladan, Followed, Waters of Nimrodel
Merry (1), Eomer (2), Hama (1)

At this rate, we’ll need a second Song of Wisdom before we can afford this any time soon.

Planning Phase
Deck One:

No cards to play, nothing to see here.

Deck Two:
Fast Hitch-Merry (Either we can use his willpower and attacking, or make double use out of his ability)
Followed (This is more of a contingency rather than an actual plan, but we’ll see how we do)

Exhaust Warden of Healing to heal 1 damage from Erkenbrand and Deorwine

Exhaust and discard The Riddermark’s Finest to explore The Hornburg
Trigger The Hornburg, place 1 damage on Legolas

We’re happier with the damage on Legolas because he’ll never be thrown in as an attacker. Also, now we’re rid of a 3 threat location and have dealt with it’s Scaling Ladders.

Quest Phase
Theoden-3
Elfhelm-2
Aragorn-2
Merry-2
Westfold Horse-breeder-1
West Road Traveller-2
Eomund-2
Ceorl-1

Total willpower: 15

With just 5 threat in the staging area, the Deeping Wall being cancelled out by the Soldier of Isengard* with Followed, we ought to be able to survive this round

1: The Hornburg (0/3, 3 threat) (Didn’t we just get rid of this one? Ah well, 3 threat isn’t devastating) Shuffle the encounter discard pile and reset the encounter deck. (Here we go again)
2: Uruk-hai Fighter (3 threat) (As enemies go this is actually not bad at all. We can leave this here for questing, as opposed to utilising our Outrider, as we actually now have enough willpower to successfully quest)

Total threat: 11

Win by 2, trigger Snowmane to ready Theoden

Things seem to be under control after that calamitous, though not devastating, round we have last turn.

Trigger Stage 3B, reveal: Scaling Ladders (Doesn’t hurt us immediately, but it sure will sting if we allow enemies to build up in the staging area)

Place 1 resource on The Defense of Helm’s Deep (6/8)

Travel Phase

Encounter Phase
Deck One optionally engages Uruk-hai Fighter

We’ll let Theoden and Legolas handle this one to fuel our card draw

Combat Phase
Resolve Archery 1, place 1 damage on Eomund

[Deck One]
Shadow Card dealt to Uruk-hai Fighter
Erkenbrand defends (5)
Wild Hillman revealed as Shadow (This is an interesting one). Place 1 progress on Deeping Wall (2/4)
Uruk-hai Fighter attacks (5), deals no damage
Theoden attacks (5), Legolas attacks (3), destroys Uruk-hai Fighter
Trigger Glamdring, Deck One draws: Burst into Song (Would be better, if I had actually come into more songs. I didn’t exactly shy away from them in my deck construction)
Trigger Legolas, Deck Two draws: Song of Lore (Well speak of the devil. This is absolutely crucial, now we can afford Elladan that bit quicker)
Trigger Arod, place 1 progress on Deeping Wall* (1/4)
Trigger Armoured Destrier to ready Erkenbrand
Trigger The Day’s Rising to give Erkenbrand 1 resource

Well we nearly didn’t get the resource from The Day’s Rising thanks to that nasty little shadow, but thanks to the Deeping Wall we were able to scrape on by

[Deck Two]
Shadow Card dealt to Soldier of Isengard*
Erkenbrand defends (5), exhaust Golden Shield to add 2 to his defense
Deeping Culvert revealed as Shadow
Soldier of Isengard* attacks (4), deals no damage

And again the Soldier of Isengard* lives to fight again. Honestly, this guy pseudo-questing each turn for 4 has probably save me this game.

Refresh Phase
Raise each player’s threat by 1
Deck One: 40
Deck Two: 36

Turn No.8
Stage: 3B (6/8)
Active Location: Deeping Wall (2/4)
Staging Area:
Deeping Wall* (1/4, 4 threat)
The Hornburg (0/3, 3 threat)

The Defense of Helm’s Deep (6/8,6 threat)

Resource Phase
Deck Two Hand (New Card in Bold):
The Three Hunters, Deorwine, Elladan, Waters of the Nimrodel, Song of Wisdom, Grimbold
Merry (2), Eomer (2), Hama (1), Aragorn (7)

Decent ally, 2 willpower in Tactics is not to be sniffed at.

Deck One Hand:
A Test of Will, Burst into Song, Well Warned
Theoden (4), Elfhelm (3), Erkenbrand (4)

A fantastic draw, as this deck is in dire need of threat reduction

Planning Phase
Deck Two:
Song of Lore-Aragorn (Let’s put these resources to use)
Elladan (Even without his brother, the 2 willpower will be extremely useful here)
Grimbold (And even more bodies for questing, this one with an inbuilt Feint)

Deck One:

And all we have here are events, we’ll have to pass at this point.

Exhaust Warden of Healing to heal 1 damage from Deorwine and Warden of Helm’s Deep

Quest Phase
Theoden-3
Elfhelm-2
West Road Traveller-2
Westfold Horse-breeder-1
Ceorl-1
Eomund-2
Elladan-2
Grimbold-2

Total willpower: 15

Not bad at all. Let’s see what’s coming our way then.

1: Isengard Uruk (3 threat) (Not bad, though to be honest I was hoping for something worse so we could trigger Well Warned on a juicer target, but we’ll take it) Trigger Isengard Uruk, place 2 damage on Elladan and 1 damage on Grimbold (Those new allies willl just soak up the damage)
2: Night Without End (Absolutely not, no. Not again). Trigger Doomed 2. Deck One plays A Test of Will (I could have saved that for another Devilry treachery, but I just couldn’t risk pulling two copies again because of this.)

Total threat: 12

Win by 3, trigger Snowmane to ready Theoden

Trigger Stage 3B, reveal Deepin Culvert (0/2, 7 threat) (And this is where my army of allies backfires a bit)

Place 1 resource on The Defense of Helm’s Deep (7/8)

We’re nearly through this, just one more round to go!

Travel Phase

Encounter Phase
Deck One optionally engages Isengard Uruk
Deck One plays Well Warned to reduce its threat by 2

Again, we would have liked to have engaged a juicier target, but we’ll take what we are given

Combat Phase
Resolve Archery 3, deal 1 damage to Ceorl, Eomund and Hama

[Deck Two]
Shadow Card dealt to Soldier of Isengard*
Erkenbrand defends (5), exhaust Golden Shield to add 2 to his defense
Helm’s Gate revealed as Shadow
Soldier of Isengard attacks (4), deals no damage
Trigger Armoured Destrier to ready Erkenbrand
Trigger The Day’s Rising to give Erkenbrand 1 resource

These guys have been going back and forward the entire siege! I think that thematically this would have to represent Erkenbrand and his forces holding off a whole regiment of these guys from ever reaching the fortress

[Deck One]
Shadow Card dealt to Isengard Uruk
Erkenbrand defends (5)
Scaling Ladders revealed as Shadow
Isengard Uruk attacks (4), deals no damage
Theoden attacks (5), Legolas attacks (3), destroys Isengard Uruk
Trigger Glamdring, Deck One draws: Snowbourn Scout (Well at least now we have a potential body to throw under the proverbial bus)
Trigger Legolas, Deck Two draws: Booming Ent (It’s about time. I was hoping for this earlier on so we could make use of a decent attacking ally, but better late than never)
Trigger Arod, place 1 progress on Deeping Wall* (2/4)

Hopefully we ought to only have one more combat phase and we’ll be home and dry

Refresh Phase
And we’ll use this while we can afford the Lore resources.

Deck Two plays Waters of Nimrodel to heal all damage from every character. Trigger Doomed 3.

Now we’re set as best we can for this final turn. I hope it’s enough.

Raise each player’s threat by 1
Deck Two: 44
Deck One: 42

Turn No.9
Stage: 3B (6/8)
Active Location: The Deeping Wall (2/4)
Staging Area:
The Hornburg (0/3, 3 threat)
Deeping Wall* (2/4, 4 threat)
Deeping Culvert (0/2, 6 threat)

The Defense of Helm’s Deep (7/8, 7 threat)

Resource Phase
Deck One Hand (New Card in Bold):
Burst into Song, Snowbourn Scout, Elrohir
Theoden (5), Elfhelm (4), Erkenbrand (4), Aragorn (2)

Shown up at the last then. Better late than never.

Deck Two Hand:
The Three Hunters, Deorwine, Feint, Secret Vigil
Merry (1), Eomer (2), Hama (1)

The only thing this is good for now is a final threat reduction for the final score.

Planning Phase
Deck One:
Snowbourn Scout: (We don’t really want to be exploring anything right now, all the effects could ruin us at this late stage, so I will not use its Response)
Elrohir (And the twins are up and running)

Deck Two:
Secret Vigil-Soldier of Isengard* (As I said above, all this serves is as a last-minute threat reduction)
Booming Ent (We can’t use his attack this turn, but he’ll give us 3 hitpoints for Archery soak)

Hopefully if we quest well enough we’ll finish this siege without too much bother.

Quest Phase
Theoden-3
Elfhelm-2
Aragorn-2
Elrohir-2
Westfold Horse-breeder-1
Ceorl-1
Eomund-2
Grimbold-2
Elladan-2
Eomer-1
Hama-1

Total willpower: 19

That it literally everything I can throw at the quest that I can ready up later. We can only hope it might be enough.

1: Warrior of Dunland (5 threat) (So this isn’t going to be as easy as we thought) Trigger Warrior of Dunland
-Shadow Card dealt to Warrior of Dunland
-Erkenbrand defends (5) (We’ll risk not using The Golden Shield this time)
-Pursed by the Enemy revealed as Shadow (Brilliant, another attack from this guy)
-Warrior of Dunland attacks (5), deals no damage
-Trigger The Day’s Rising to give Erkenbrand 1 resource
-Trigger Armoured Destrier to ready Erkenbrand

Ok, that’s the first one done.

-Shadow Card dealt to Warrior of Dunland
-Erkenbrand defends (5), exhaust Golden Shield to add 2 to Erkenbrand’s defense
-Reckless Hate revealed as Shadow (For crying out loud! A third attack?!)
-Warrior of Dunland attacks (5), deals no damage

Erkenbrand is out of action for this next attack, we’ll have to use Deorwine

-Shadow Card dealt to Warrior of Dunland
-Deorwine defends (3)
Deck One pays 1 leadership resource to discard Warrior of Dunland’s Shadow Card (At least now the streak is over)
-Warrior of Dunland attacks (5), deals 2 damage to Deorwine

And finally we move to the second encounter card

2: Followed by Night (I suppose it could be worse, it’s not Devilry, but another enemy is still another obstacle). Deck Two engages Isengard Uruk from the discard pile. Attach Followed to Isengard Uruk. (Isengard Uruk doesn’t trigger its ‘when revealed’ effect because it was added instead of revealed)
Trigger Surge (And here we go again)
2.1: Fighting Uruk-hai (For goodness sake! Another enemy for the swords of Rohan to slay I suppose. We’ll go for Uruk-hai Fighter, for its comparatively low threat and attack) Uruk-hai Fighter revealed from encounter deck, engaged with Deck Two

Total threat: 25

Lose by 6, explore Deeping Wall. Trigger Deeping Wall, raise each player’s threat by 4. Complete Stage 3B.

Trigger Stage 4A, shuffle the encounter discard pile into the encounter deck and discard until 2 enemies are revealed and added to the staging area: Soldier of Isengard, Wild Hillman. (Oh. That was remarkably straightforward! Now let’s do it again I suppose)

Place 1 resource on The Defense of Helm’s Deep (8/8), advance to Stage 5A, add The Defense of Helm’s Deep to the Victory Display

Trigger Stage 5A, shuffle the encounter discard pile into the encounter deck and discard until 2 enemies are revealed and added to the staging area: Devilry of Saruman, Deepin Wall, Postern Door, Soldier of Isengard^, Reckless Hate, Devilry of Saruman, Isengard Uruk* (And there you have it. We’ve managed to bypass some nasty potential Shadows with that, but now we have a grand total of 8 enemies standing between us and victory.) Trigger Isengard Uruk, deal 1 damage to Booming Ent, 2 damage to Legolas. (The Ent needs this to get boosted up, and Legolas won’t be defending so he’s safe to take this)

Travel Phase
Travel to The Hornburg (0/3)

We need to cut down on the Archery if we are to get through this. With Erkenbrand now limited, we’re going to have to draft in Elfhelm and Theoden to pick up the slack.

Encounter Phase
Here we go.

Deck One optionally engages Isengard Uruk
Trigger Elrohir

Deck Two optionally engages Soldier of Isengard
Trigger Elladan

The thinking is that Deck One needs to get the weaker enemies so that what little attack they can muster will be best used to destroy the enemies they have before them.

Warrior of Dunland engages Deck One
Soldier of Isengard^ engages Deck Two
Wild Hillman engages Deck One

We’ll not discard the Westfold Outrider to engage someone from Deck One until he’s had a chance to use his 2 attack. We’re that pressed for action advantage right now.

Combat Phase
Resolve Archery 6, deal 1 damage to Elladan, Ceorl, Westfold Outrider, Grimbold and destroy Eomund.

Trigger Eomund, ready every Rohan character in play. (Forth Eorlingas!)

This time, because of the vast number of enemies attacking and being attacked we’ll record all the defenses first, followed by the counter-attacks. Let me know what you think of this system. Now we can’t really afford to chump-block this round because there are Shadow effects that place progress on the quest if characters are destroyed, and if The Hornburg is destroyed then we’ll need to assign a bunch of damage across our characters, but with chump-blockers taken out of the picture, it would need to be our attackers that soak up the damage and we really need to close this out this turn.

[Deck One Defense]

Shadow Card dealt to Warrior of Dunland
Elfhelm defends (3)
Deeping Wall revealed as Shadow
Warrior of Dunland attacks (5), deals 2 damage
Trigger Armoured Destrier to ready Elfhelm and discard Shadow from Isengard Uruk*
Exhaust Warden of Healing to heal 1 damage from Elfhelm and Ceorl

Not the happiest at having to use Warden of Healing so soon, but we can’t afford Elfhelm to take more damage than he can handle, especially with him not being the sturdiest defender but having to pull double-duty.

Shadow Card dealt to Isengard Uruk*
Elfhelm defends (3)
Shadow Card discarded by Elfhelm’s Armoured Destrier
Isengard Uruk attacks (3), deals no damage

I absolutely adore the Armoured Destrier, I want a whole stable of them. Readying and Shadow cancellation? What’s not to like?
Shadow Card dealt to Wild Hillman
Elrohir defends (3)
Isengard Uruk revealed as Shadow
Wild Hillman attacks (3), deals no damage. Trigger Wild Hillman, place 1 progress on The Hornburg (1/3)

Ouch, more progress-pushing. We can’t really afford to take too many more of these, or the whole thing will go up in our faces.
[Deck Two Defense]

Shadow Card dealt to Soldier of Isengard
Erkenbrand defends (4)
Fighting Uruk-hai revealed as Shadow
Soldier of Isengard attacks (4), deals no damage

Erkenbrand will just have to defend the 1 attack. We’re going to save our Burst into Song for when we’re counter-attacking, we’ll need Erkenbrand’s attack for that and it means we can also ready Aragorn and Hama after they’ve both done a round of attacking and send them in again.
Shadow Card dealt to Soldier of Isengard*
Discard Grimbold to prevent Soldier of Isengard* from attacking Deck Two this turn

Another attack taken care of. Essentially Grimbold acts like a chump-blocker without giving the enemy the satisfaction of killing something.
Shadow Card dealt to Soldier of Isengard^
Theoden defends (2)
Wild Hillman revealed as Shadow, place 1 progress on The Hornburg (2/3)
Soldier of Isengard* attacks (6), destroys Theoden. Trigger Soldier of Isengard, explore The Hornburg. Trigger The Hornburg, destroy Westfold Horse-breeder, Warden of Healing, Warden of Helm’s Deep, deal 1 damage to Elladan, deal 2 damage to Elrohir and Deorwine.

That was not the plan. That was definitely and categorically not the plan. That is the exact opposite of the plan. Theoden King is dead, felled by a hidden Wild Hillman, and The Hornburg has been breached. We’ve lost a hero, and several of our weaker allies. Others are on their last legs. This game needs to end, and soon. Things are falling apart.
Shadow Card dealt to Uruk-hai Fighter
Warden of Helm’s Deep defends (3)
Scaling Ladders revealed as Shadow
Uruk-hai Fighter attacks (4), deals 1 damage

I know this guy is simple, no tricks, bells or whistles, but he does his job. I respect that. I’m not in love with him, but I respect him.
Shadow Card dealt to Isengard Uruk
Deorwine defends (3)
Deck One pays 1 leadership resource to discard Isengard Uruk’s Shadow
Isengard Uruk attacks (3), deals no damage

This guy is worth his weight in gold. I got him free this scenario, which has been a massive boon because he’s been able to shut down the weaker enemy attacks turn after turn.
Well that was a bit of a mixed bag. Most of my defenses held up marvellously, except where it mattered. Praises shall be sung of Theoden King, who led out one last glorious charge into the ranks of his foes, and was slain protecting his people. Now, let us seek vengeance.
[Deck One Attacks]

Warrior of Dunland:
Aragorn attacks (3), Ceorl attacks (2), deals 4 damage
Deck One pays 1 spirit resource to ready Ceorl and give control of him to Deck Two

Deck One pays 1 fellowship resource to ready Aragorn

I like that wee trick, I’ll need to remember it for the future.
Isengard Uruk*:
Aragorn attacks (3), Legolas attacks (3), destroys Isengard Uruk
Trigger Legolas, Deck Two draws: Feint (Now you’re just making fun of me. I don’t like it.)

First one down, which means now we can do this.

Deck One plays Burst into Song to ready Aragorn and Erkenbrand
Wild Hillman:
Aragorn attacks (3), Erkenbrand attacks (2), destroys Wild Hillman

Three in a row for the Heir of Isildur.
[Deck Two Attacks]

Soldier of Isengard:
Merry attacks (2), Eomer attacks (8), destroys Soldier of Isengard.
Trigger Merry to ready Eomer, exhaust Fast Hitch to ready Merry.

And now we can do this again!
Soldier of Isengard*:
Elladan attacks (3), destroys Soldier of Isengard*

At long last he has been slain. It was nice working with you! Oh by the way, I’ve just remembered that we can’t go reducing our threat on this stage, so Secret Vigil really was useless.
Soldier of Isengard^
Merry attacks (2), Eomer attacks (8), destroys Soldier of Isengard
Trigger Merry to ready Eomer

If only we’d found an Unexpected Courage, or a Rohan Warhorse. Then these two could have cleared up everything!
Uruk-hai Fighter:
Eomer attacks, exhaust Guthwine to give Eomer 2 extra attack (10), destroys Uruk-hai Fighter, exhausts Firefoot to deal 2 damage to Isengard Uruk

Firefoot really is such a powerful card, especially with Elfhelm’s bonus. Imagine the carnage if we were able to use it on something without Toughness.
Isengard Uruk:
Hama attacks (3), Westfold Outrider attacks (2), destroys Isengard Uruk

And there is but one left to fall.

Deck Two discards Westfold Outrider to engage Warrior of Dunland

So now we can hit him again!

Warrior of Dunland:
Ceorl attacks (2), destroys Warrior of Dunland

And that, I believe, is that.

Victory

Victory Display: The Defense of Helm’s Deep (8)

Score: 48 threat + 46 threat + 90 for turns taken – 8 victory points, 1 for damage on Elfhelm, 12 for slain Theoden = 189

The battle for Helm’s Deep is over. The people of Rohan are safe for now, though it was paid for with many lives. Theoden King is dead, and the cost of that death will hang over us now for the remainder of the Saga. In the end, this game was as almost tight as it could possibly have been. Another turn or would have spelt doom for us, and in the end it took the efforts of nearly every character in play pulling together to make this victory possible. I thought the decks were quite well-balanced, though again Deck One could have done with a bit more card draw. Otherwise, death of Theoden notwithstanding, everything went as well as it could have done. Erkenbrand defended like a champion, and Eomer slew enemies left and right. We got really lucky with our starting allies, who were well worth the cost of Poisoned Counsels, which never actually showed up in the game. I had a look at the decks after the game, and apparently it was the next card to come for Deck Two, but Deck One’s was all the way down at the bottom. Without Deorwine or the Warden of Helm’s Deep though, this would be a defeat I’d be bringing to you and not a victory.

Going forward to Isengard then, we will need a new hero to take the place of Theoden King. Should we take a Spirit Rohan hero, Fastred would fit into the defending role very nicely. Or should Eowyn join her brother in their counter-offensive against Saruman. Another alternative, we could use Leadership Eomer In Deck One and find a replacement for Deck Two. Either way, someone new comes with us to face The White Wizard. Who do you think ought to join us? Should Eowyn take up the quest for justice? Or will Eomer step into his new role as King to lead Rohan forward? Do you think I should have taken Poisoned Counsels, or was the victory here worth the detriment to the rest of the Saga? Let me know what you think as we reach the mid-way point in our quest to destroy The One Ring.

Add 2 copies of Poisoned Counsels to the Campaign Pool

cropped-ffg-helms-deep.jpg

2 thoughts on “Helm’s Deep: Playthrough

  1. Dren608

    Um didn’t you play the booming ent on trun 9 then used it to attack? I thought they came in “exhausted” what did I miss?

    Like

    1. You missed nothing, that was a mistake on my part. Thanks very much for picking it up, I’ve now corrected it. One day I hope to manage a playthrough with no mistakes in it!

      Like

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