Peril in Pelargir: Playthrough

The Deck I used for the quest, and the notes for it, can be found here. The narrative for the quest can be found here.

Encounter Deck Set-up:

Search the encounter deck for The Leaping Fish and Alcaron’s Scroll. Make The Leaping Fish the active location and attach Alcaron’s Scroll to Rossiel. Search the encounter deck for a copy of Harbor Thug and add it to the Staging Area.

Player Deck Set-up:

Threat: 26
Legolas (Spirit)
Argalad
Rossiel

Starting Hand:
The Door is Closed!
Henamarth Riversong
Light of Valinor
Ranger Spikes
Silvan Refugee
Ethir Swordsman

Ideally we should have liked to have seen a Scout Ahead side-quest, but I’m hoping that once we get our card-draw up and running it won’t be long before it comes into our hand.

Turn No.1
Stage: 1B (0/6)
Active Location: The Leaping Fish (0/6)
Staging Area:
Harbor Thug (2 threat)

Resource Phase
Hand (New Card in Bold):
The Door is Closed!, Henamarth Riversong, Light of Valinor, Ranger Spikes, Silvan Refugee, Ethir Swordsman, Mithrandir’s Advice
Legolas (1), Argalad (1), Rossiel (1)

Perfect. This would be even better in a mono-lore deck, but still fantastic here.

Planning Phase
Light of Valinor-Legolas (Now after we trigger his ability, we can have 2 heroes ready after questing)
Ranger Spikes (Enemies come off the encounter deck thick and fast in this quest, this should help slow that pace)

Quest Phase
Trigger Leaping Fish: discard Collateral Damage.

In single-player, this effect isn’t too bad, but when we get up to 2 or 3 players this effect can trigger practically every turn. Also, we need to be careful now as this can chain really badly later on, as it feeds off the amount of other copies in the discard pile. It’s a bit like Cursed Dead from the Angmar Awakens cycle, except it attacks your threat instead of bumping your enemy count.

Legolas-3
Argalad-2
Rossiel-1

Total attack: 6

Not the best, but it’s all we can do for now. Except this.

Legolas discards Silvan Refugee to ready Argalad. Exhaust Argalad to reduce Harbor Thug’s threat by 2 and deal it 1 damage.

I love Argalad. If you can get readying on him, he essentially can let you double-quest with him with some direct damage as a bonus.

1: Zealous Traitor (2 threat). Trigger Ranger Spikes, attach to Zealous Traitor. (And now we shall never hear from this guy again. Eru bless Ranger Spikes!)

Total threat: 0

Win by 6, explore The Leaping Fish, add it to the victory display.

We’re out of the fire, into the frying pan. There are no other locations in the staging area so we aren’t in a position to travel anywhere just yet.

Travel Phase

Encounter Phase
Optionally engage Harbor Thug

We’re not in a position to avoid this, and the only hero we have to defend is Legolas. I think this may have to be an undefended attack, and just pray we don’t get a Harbor Thug as a Shadow.

Combat Phase
Shadow Card dealt to Harbor Thug
No defender declared
Market Square revealed as Shadow
Habour Thug attacks (3), damage is assigned to Argalad
Legolas attacks (3), destroys Harbor Thug

Well I can’t say that didn’t hurt, but we’re clear of The Leaping Fish and our staging area is empty, barring one Spiked Zealous Traitor.

Refresh Phase
Raise threat by 1
Threat: 27

Turn No.2
Stage: 1B (0/6)
Active Location: N/A
Staging Area:
Zealous Traitor (0 threat)

Resource Phase
Hand (New Card in Bold):
The Door is Closed!, Henamarth Riversong, Ethir Swordsman, Mithrandir’s Advice, Leave No Trace
Legolas (1), Argalad (1), Rossiel (1)

If we can get this on a nasty location, such as Harbor Storehouse or Pelargir Docks, we’ll greatly reduce the chances of seeing it again, especially if we can use The Door is Closed! on them.

Planning Phase
Mithrandir’s Advice: Well Warned, None Return (Threat reduction is always appreciated, especially in a quest like this, and we have more fuel for the victory display machine)
Henamarth Riversong (Now we’ll be able to see exactly what is coming at us and plan accordingly)

Exhaust Henamarth to look at the top card of the encounter deck: Lost in the City (This isn’t too bad at all actually. This will allow me to pick out which location I want to get out the way just now. I think we may go with a City Street, in order to avoid triggering Surge later on)

Quest Phase
Legolas-3
Argalad-2
Rossiel-1

Total attack: 6

We know what’s coming, so no surprises here.

1: Lost in the City. Add City Street (2 threat) to the staging area from the encounter deck. Shuffle the encounter deck.

Total threat: 2

Win by 4, place 4 progress on Stage 1B

It almost feels like cheating when we use Henamarth. Almost.

Travel Phase
Travel to City Street (0/2)

Hopefully we should be able to clear this next turn and chip away a bit more at the quest as well.

Encounter Phase
Nothing to see here, we are quite happy with the Zealous Traitor sitting right where he is.

Combat Phase

Refresh Phase
Raise threat by 1
Threat: 28

Ok, we are making some headway, keeping on top of our board state. If we can get onto Stage 2 next turn we’ll be well on our way to finishing this quest in good time.

Turn No.3
Stage: 1B (4/6)
Active Location: City Street (0/2)
Staging Area:
Zealous Traitor (0 threat)

Resource Phase
Hand (New Card in Bold):
The Door is Closed!, Ethir Swordsman, Leave No Trace, Well Warned, None Return, Scout Ahead
Legolas (2), Argalad (1), Rossiel (1)

We will be doing this immediately. This will make the active quest not a battle one, and so with The Leaping Fish in the victory display Rossiel will be questing for 4 this time.
Planning Phase
Scout Ahead (More fuel for Rossiel)

We’re going to keep Legolas’s resources for future turns I think. If we get any Mirkwood Longknives or an Unexpected Courage I’d quite like to play it straight away.

Quest Phase
Scout Ahead is the active quest.

Exhaust Henamarth to look at the top card of the encounter deck: Harbor Storehouse. (Not a terrible location yet. If we get any further Collateral Damage however, this thing will very quickly become a nightmare.)

Legolas-1
Argalad-2
Rossiel-4

Total willpower: 7

Legolas discards Ethir Swordsman to ready Argalad. Exhaust Argalad to reduce Zealous Traitor’s threat by 2 and deal it 1 damage

Now we only need to do this once more and we can play None Return to get Rossiel up to 4 defence for most of the enemies in this scenario. But as for questing, this should be relatively straightforward.

1: Harbor Storehouse (1 threat) (Again, we shall need to travel here quickly and get rid of it before it starts dishing out the hurt.)

Total threat: 1

Win by 6, explore City Street, complete Scout Ahead, add it to the victory display. Play Leave no Trace to add it and City Street to the victory display. Trigger Scout Ahead: Pickpocket, Collateral Damage, City Street, Umbar Assassin, Pelargir Docks (So as bad as Collateral Damage may be, I’m afraid I’m going with Umbar Assassin here. While the former can bump up our threat, the latter can wreck us with archery, which we can’t cope with until we get some healing on the board, or can knock out a hero in one fell swoop.) Add Umbar Assassin to the victory display, shuffle the encounter deck. (And now we’re only two cards away from free Keen as Lances!)

Travel Phase
Travel to Harbor Storehouse (0/4)

Encounter Phase
Still not going to engage the Zealous Traitor

Combat Phase

Refresh Phase
Raise threat by 1
Threat: 29

Turn No.4
Stage: 1B (4/6)
Active Location: Harbor Storehouse (0/4)
Staging Area:
Zealous Traitor (0 threat)

Resource Phase
Hand (New Card in Bold):
The Door is Closed!, Well Warned, None Return, Mithrandir’s Advice
Legolas (3), Argalad (2), Rossiel (1)

More card draw, always a good thing.

Planning Phase
Mithrandir’s Advice: A Burning Brand, Keen as Lances (Well now things just got interesting)

Exhaust Argalad to reduce Zealous Traitor’s threat by 2 and destroy it. Play None Return to add it and Zealous Traitor to the victory display. (Which means the following is free)

Keen as Lances: Draw three cards. Mirkwood Runner, Mirkwood Longknife, Keen as Lances (This is one heck of a gravy train!)
Keen as Lances: Add 2 resources to Argalad’s resource pool.
A Burning Brand-Rossiel (Nothing’s going to touch her now!)
Mirkwood Runner (In a battle quest this guy will be questing for 2, making him a very decent addition. If he needs to be pressed into combat, most enemies don’t have more than 2 or 3 hitpoints anyway so his relatively low attack isn’t too much of an issue)
Mirkwood Longknife-Legolas (I mean, it couldn’t really go on anyone else could it?)

And I’m afraid that is all we can do this planning phase. I have to say, I am starting to fall in love with victory display shenanigans.

Exhaust Henamarth to look at the top card of the encounter deck: Harbor Thug (Should be pretty straightforward, we ought to be able to deal with him without too many surprises)

Quest Phase
Legolas-4
Argalad-2
Mirkwood Runner-2

Total attack: 8

1: Harbor Thug (2 threat) (I think this guy’s looking for a fight? Should we give him one?)

Total threat: 2

Win by 6, explore Harbor Storehouse, complete Stage 1B, advance to Stage 2. Trigger Stage 2B, attach Alcaron’s Scroll to Harbor Thug. (Well we’re going to have to do something about that, aren’t we?)

Travel Phase

Encounter Phase
Optionally engage Harbor Thug
Play Well Warned to lower the player’s threat by 2

There’s no escaping this, not that we’d want to at this point. We ought to be able to cut him down and be on our way.

Combat Phase
Shadow Card dealt to Harbor Thug
Rossiel defends (2)
Shadow Card cancelled by A Burning Brand
Harbor Thug attacks (3), deals 1 damage
Legolas attacks (4), destroys Harbor Thug

And another one’s down. Alcaron’s Scroll is now unattached in the staging area.

Refresh Phase
Raise threat by 1
Threat: 28

Turn No.5
Stage: 2B (0/13)
Active Location: –
Staging Area:

Resource Phase
Hand (New Card in Bold):
The Door Is Closed!, Deep Knowledge
Legolas (2), Argalad (1), Rossiel (1)

We’ve effectively cancelled out the threat gain we’d take from this last turn with the Well Warned, so this is great to see.

Planning Phase
Deep Knowledge. Trigger Doomed 2, draw None Return, Mirkwood Longknife. (Should this go on Argalad and boost his threat cancellation, or perhaps Legolas to make the most of his stats?)
Mirkwood Longknife-Legolas (In a battle quest, the ability to quest and attack for 5 is not to be passed up, and questing for 3 in the final stage will be hugely important in closing out the quest)

Exhaust Henamarth to look at the top card of the encounter deck: Lossarnach Bandit (This guy’s a bit meatier than the last, but he too shall fall before us)

Quest Phase
Legolas-5
Argalad-2
Mirkwood Runner-2

Total attack: 9

Legolas discards None Return to ready Argalad.

1: Lossarnach Bandit (3 threat) (His engagement ability will sting, otherwise he won’t be able to touch us with Rossiel defending)

Total threat: 3

Win by 6, place 6 progress on Stage 2B (6/13) (We’re just about at the halfway point, I think we should be well on our way to finishing this quest)

Travel Phase
Nothing to travel to, so nothing to see here

Encounter Phase
Optionally engage Lossarnach Bandit. Trigger Lossarnach Bandit, remove 1 resource from Argalad and Rossiel.

He was coming down anyway, so better to optionally do it and mitigate his engagement.m effect. In practice it amounts to the same end result, all our heroes with no resources, but it is still a good habit to get into for this quest.

Combat Phase
Shadow Card dealt to Lossarnach Bandit
Rossiel defends (4)
Shadow Card cancelled by A Burning Brand
Lossarnach Bandit attacks (3), deals no damage
Legolas attacks (5), Argalad attacks (2), destroys Lossarnach Bandit

Another one bites the dust. With a Zealous Traitor in the victory display, Rossiel is defending for 4 against everyone except the Harbor Thugs, and with A Burning Brand she can stop attacks all day long.

Refresh Phase
Raise threat by 1
Threat: 31

Turn No.6
Stage: 2B (6/13)
Active Location: –
Staging Area:

Resource Phase
Hand (New Card in Bold):
The Door is Closed!, Mithrandir’s Advice
Legolas (1), Argalad (1), Rossiel (1)

More card draw, let’s see what we get this time.

Planning Phase
Mithrandir’s Advice: Out of the Wild, Deep Knowledge (Ok, let’s go again)
Deep Knowledge: Trigger Doomed 2, draw Silvan Refugee, Silvan Tracker (We’ll keep a hold of both of these for now, we can’t afford the latter and the Refugee has more use in our hand just now as potential fodder for Legolas’s discarding)

Exhaust Henamarth to look at the top card of the encounter deck: Harbor Storehouse

I’m not too happy about revealing yet another one of these. This just makes the potential threat gain from a future Collateral Damage all the more steep.

Quest Phase
Legolas-5
Mirkwood Runner-2
Argalad-2

Total attack: 9

Legolas discards Silvan Tracker to ready Argalad.

1: Harbor Storehouse (1 threat) (The fact that we have to waste 4 progress to get rid of this one threat is adding insult to injury here)

Total threat: 1

Win by 8, place 8 progress on Stage 2B (14/13). Exhaust Argalad to attach Alcaron’s Scroll to him. Complete Stage 2B, advance to Stage 3. Trigger Stage 3A, add Harbor Thug to the staging area from the encounter deck.

Note that this guy is added to the staging area, not revealed, so we do not trigger the forced effect of Stage 3B that would cause revealed enemies to make an immediate attack against us.

Travel Phase
Let’s get this out of the way then.

Travel to Harbor Storehouse (0/4)

Encounter Phase
Harbor Thug engages

The passive effect on Stage 3B means we cannot optionally engage enemies, making their engagement effects all the worse. We’ll need to clear out this stage quickly.

Combat Phase
Shadow Card dealt to Harbor Thug
Rossiel defends (2)
Shadow Card cancelled by A Burning Brand
Harbor Thug attacks (3), deals 1 damage
Legolas attacks (5), destroys Harbor Thug

All we need to do now is get 15 progress on Stage 3B and we’re in the clear. That’ll probably be easier said than done however.

Refresh Phase
Raise threat by 1
Threat: 34

Turn No.7
Stage: 3B (0/15)
Active Location: Harbor Storehouse (0/4)
Staging Area:

Resource Phase
Hand (New Card in Bold):
The Door is Closed!, Out of the Wild, Silvan Refugee, The Door is Closed!
Legolas (2), Argalad (2), Rossiel (1)

More cancellation, which is never a bad thing in this game.
Planning Phase
Silvan Refugee (Now is the time for willpower. We shall need as much of it as we can muster)
Out of the Wild: Collateral Damage, Pickpocket, Market Square, Zealous Traitor, Collateral Damage (This time I think we have no other choice than to go for Collateral Damage. Given the amount of locations we have still to go in the encounter deck, and the fact we are at a Harbor Storehouse with 2 other copies of Collateral in the encounter discard pile, we could easily threat out of one of these get revealed.) Add Out of the Wild to the victory display to add Collateral Damage to the victory display.

Exhaust Henamarth to look at the top card of the encounter deck: Local Trouble

Well there is nothing we can do about this, Legolas seems to be attracting the wrong sort of attention. But at least this won’t add anything else to the staging area and we can go all out on questing.

Quest Phase
Legolas-3
Argalad-2
Rossiel-4
Silvan Refugee-2
Mirkwood Runner-1

Total willpower: 12

1: Local Trouble: attach to Legolas. (At this point, Legolas shouldn’t be doing a great deal, so hopefully this won’t be triggered that often)

Total threat: 0

Win by 12, explore Harbor Storehouse, place 8 progress on Stage 3B (8/15)

Just 7 progress short now of finishing this quest. I can’t foresee anything that might cause us to falter here, but we shouldn’t get cocky.

Travel Phase
We’ve no locations in the staging area, so once again we miss out this phase.

Encounter Phase
And nor are there any enemies, so let’s move along.

Combat Phase

Refresh Phase
Raise threat by 1
Threat: 35

Turn No.8
Stage: 3B (8/15)
Active Location: –
Staging Area:

Resource Phase
Hand (New Card in Bold):
The Door is Closed!, The Door is Closed!, Unexpected Courage
Legolas (2), Argalad (1), Rossiel (1)

This would have been nice earlier, but I suppose it’ll be good as a parachute if we need extra actions from anyone

Planning Phase
Unexpected Courage-Argalad (Now we can utilise his action without having to trigger Legolas’s ability, and Local Trouble by extension)

Exhaust Henamarth to look at the top card of the encounter deck: Pickpocket (This is the first of these we’ve come across, but at this stage it won’t be enough to stop us from finishing the quest)

Quest Phase
Legolas-3
Argalad-2
Rossiel-2
Silvan Refugee-2
Mirkwood Runner-1

Total willpower: 10

1: Pickpocket (3 threat) (His forced effect would have been extremely debilitating earlier on in the quest, so we were fortunate in that we did not come across him earlier)

Total threat: 3

Win by 7, complete Stage 3B.

Victory.

Victory Display: The Leaping Fish (3), Leave No Trace (0), City Street (0), Scout Ahead (1), Umbar Assassin (0), None Return (0), Zealous Traitor (0), Keen as Lances (0), Keen as Lances (0), Out of the Wild (0), Collateral Damage (0)

Score: 35 threat + 80 for turns taken + 4 for damage on Argalad + 1 for damage on Rossiel -4 victory points = 126

Coming back to this quest, I think it has gotten a lot easier with age. It plays almost as the tutorial mission for every quest post-Dwarrowdelf, with smaller encounter decks that have greater synergy internally. There is no such thing as a truly dead encounter card, as often treacheries that may whiff will surge if they do so. Every enemy has something to be cautious about and locations become more ambiguous as to where the player should travel to next. This is still in its infancy here, with some saying the game did not fully reach its full majority until the first Lord of the Rings Saga quests were released halfway through this cycle, between Encounter at Amon Din and Assault on Osgiliath.

And so the first of The Appendices have been completed, Legolas and co. have successfully escaped the port and are on their way to Ithilien with an urgent message for Faramir. Will they reach him in time? Or will the tides of fate frustrate their purpose? Join us next time as we take on the infamous Into Ithilien.

ffg-pelargir.png

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