The Battle of the Pelennor Fields: 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.

We have come to it at last: the great battle of our time. Is it weird that I am feeling genuinely nervous about this scenario or do other folk get that as well?

Encounter Deck Set-up:
Put Pursued by the EnemyFollowed by Night and Saruman’s Voice into the encounter deck and shuffle it.

Add The Corsair Fleet to the staging area and place 5 resources on it.

Set Minas Tirith, Grond, The Witch-King and each copy of Wraith on Wings aside, out of play. Search the encounter deck for a copy of Pelennor Field and make it the active location.

Set one copy of Haradrim Soldier aside, out of play.

Player Deck Set-up:
Attach Valiant WarriorIntimidation and Esquire of Rohan to Merry.
Attach Forewarned, Anduril and Banner of Elendil to Aragorn, then set Aragorn aside, out of play.
Attach Esquire of Gondor to Halbarad
Deck One draws opening hand, adds Palantir of Orthanc and Poisoned Counsels to his deck
Deck Two draws opening hand, adds Glamdring and Poisoned Counsels to his deck.

Merry will get Esquire of Rohan, which may see him hitting 3 attack without any weapons. Halbarad will be questing every single turn so he’s our best target for Esquire of Gondor

Deck One
Threat: 26
Merry (Tactics)
Halbarad
Amarthiul

Deck One Starting Hand:
Dagger of Westernesse
Andrath Guardsman
Grimbold
Ranger of Cardolan
Send for Aid
Warrior Sword

As brilliant these cards are, they are nearly all contingent on being engaged with enemies, which we aren’t at the moment. I’m afraid we’re going to have to mulligan.

Deck One Mulligan:
Guardian of Arnor
Armoured Destrier
Secret Vigil
A Very Good Tale
Defender of the Rammas
Celebrian’s Stone

That’s a bit more like it. Armoured Destrier will make Amarthiel a much more efficient defender from the get-go, Defender of the Rammas will plug the gaps and A Very Good Tale can accelerate our board state.

Deck Two
Threat: 29
Idraen
Thurindir
Beravor

Deck Two Starting Hand:
Map of Rhovanion
Sulien
Elf-stone
Warden of Healing
Ithilien Tracker
Gleowine

This is good. Gleowine will help us keep drawing cards, while Elf-stone can get a big ally out for us. And while Pelennor Field can stop progress being placed in the staging area, there’s nothing it can do to stop Map of Rhovanion.

Trigger Thurindir: search Deck Two’s Deck for The Storm Comes and adds it to his hand.

Each player raises his threat by 2 for Fallen Heroes Gimli and Theoden

Turn No.1
Stage: 1B (0/2)
Active Location: Pelennor Field (0/4)
Staging Area:
The Corsair Fleet: 5 resources

Resource Phase
Deck One Hand (New Card in Bold):
Guardian of Arnor, Armoured Destrier, Secret Vigil, A Very Good Tale, Defender of the Rammas, Celebrian’s Stone, Legolas
Amarthiel (1), Halbarad (1), Merry (1)

A brilliant attacker and the potential for extra card draw. What’s not to like? Maybe the 4 cost, but we can stomach that.

Deck Two Hand:
Map of Rhovanion, Sulien, Elf-stone, Warden of Healing, Ithilien Tracker, Gleowine, The Storm Comes, Rider of Rohan
Idraen (1), Beravor (1), Thurindir (1)

As soon as we get a side-quest done, this guy can use both his attack and willpower. Action advantage will be key in this quest.

Planning Phase
Deck One:
Armoured Destrier-Amarthiel (With readying and shadow cancellation, this is one of the best combat support cards we can employ)

Deck Two:
Exhaust Beravor to allow Deck Two to draw 2 cards: East Road Ranger, The Road Goes Ever On (Just side-quest support all-round here. Happy days!)
The Storm Comes (As soon as this goes off, we’ll be getting out allies much faster)
The Road Goes Ever On-The Storm Comes (I’m not sure which side-quest we’ll pull next, maybe Send for Aid to get out more allies faster)
Gleowine (More card draw please)
Exhaust Gleowine to allow Deck One to draw a card: Dunedain Warning (This will go straight onto Amarthiel, bringing him up to 4 defense)

Trigger Stage 1B, place 1 progress on Stage 1B (1/2).

You know a quest is hard when it gives you free turns. Now we fast forward to the next one.

Quest Phase
Trigger Stage 1B: skip this phase.

Travel Phase
N/A

Encounter Phase
N/A

Combat Phase
Trigger Stage 1B: skip this phase

Refresh Phase
Raise each player’s threat by 1
Deck One: 29
Deck Two: 32

Turn No.2
Stage: 1B (1/2)
Active Location:
Active Location: Pelennor Field (0/4)
Staging Area:
The Corsair Fleet: 5 resources

Resource Phase
Deck Two Hand (New Card in Bold):
Map of Rhovanion, Sulien, Elf-stone, Warden of Healing, Ithilien Tracker, Rider of Rohan, East Road Ranger, Ioreth
Idraen (2), Beravor (1), Thurindir (1)

Extra healing is never a bad thing, especially when it comes in the form of a 0-cost ally.

Deck One Hand:
Guardian of Arnor, Secret Vigil, A Very Good Tale, Defender of Rammas, Celebrian’s Stone, Legolas, Dunedain Warning, Ranger of Cardolan
Amarthiul (1), Halbarad (1), Merry (2)

An excellent ally to have in this quest, we’ll be engaging enemies left and right so his ability should be easy enough to trigger

Planning Phase
Deck Two:

We’re not going to use Beravor’s ability yet. Depending on what allies get pulled up we may need her willpower

Exhaust Gleowine to allow Deck Two to draw a card: Thalion (Maybe our good designer will get a chance to be on the table this game, who knows?)
Ioreth (At 0-cost, there’s no reason not to)
Elf-stone-Pelennor Field (This will help us get an extra ally out once its cleared, but it does cost us an extra progress)
Map of Rhovanion-Idraen (Which will be counteracted by this)

Deck One:
Defender of Rammas (We’ll need all the defense we can get)
Dunedain Warning-Amarthiel (With Amarthiel having the Armoured Destrier we can make the most of his boosted stats)

And that’s all we can do for now. On we go.

Trigger Stage 1B, complete Stage 1B. Advance to Stage 2. Trigger Stage 2A, each player adds 1 copy of Wraith on Wings to the staging area. Each player discards cards from the top of his deck until he discards an ally not yet in play then he adds it to the staging area. (We don’t have many allies in play and both decks are stacked with them so we should be able to hit something pretty soon).
Deck One: Defender of Rammas, Palantir of Orthanc, Armoured Destrier, Poisoned Counsels, Boromir. (Well that was a few more than I’d hoped, and we’ve lost two staples of our defensive strategy, but on the other hand we did dodge Poisoned Counsels, so it’s not all bad. But now we really are going to have to focus on saving our allies, because I do not want to lose Boromir). Put Boromir into the staging area and blank his text-box
Deck Two: Leather Boots, Ithilien Tracker (That’s a bit better, only lost one card before we got to our ally.) Put Ithilien Tracker into the staging area and blank his text box.

Quest Phase
Remove 1 resource from the Corsair Fleet (4/5)
Add 1 resource to Wraith on Wings (1)
Add 1 resource to Wraith on Wings* (1)

Halbarad-2
Merry-2
Idraen-2
-Trigger Map of Rhovanion: place 1 progress on Pelennor Field (1/5)
Beravor-2
Thurindir-2

Total willpower: 10

Let’s bring our boys home!

1: Morgul Captain (3 threat) (Fortunately there are no Orcs in the discard pile yet, so this guy only gets added to the staging area)
2: Shadow of Mordor. Trigger Doomed 1. Deal 1 damage to Merry (1/2) and Thurindir (3/4) and treat their text boxes as blank. (I can like with this. It means the damage on our heroes has begun, but hopefully we can heal that off quickly enough. Even though he’s rather squishy, we’re taking this with Merry because Amarthiul will be defending against a Wraith this turn and we now need Halbarad’s ability to keep the staging area clear)

Total threat: 5

Win by 5, explore Pelennor Field and place 1 progress on Stage 2B (1/7). Trigger Elf-stone: Sulien. (With no new locations revealed, all progress next turn will go straight onto the quest. And Sulien’s 3 willpower will prove crucial in that endeavour)

Travel Phase
N/A

Encounter Phase
Now let’s clear the field.

Deck One optionally engages Wraith on Wings* and Morgul Captain. Deck One pays one resource to put Ranger of Cardolan into play.

Now Amarthiul and Halbarad will get the benefit of their abilities next turn.

Combat Phase
[Deck One defense]
Shadow Card dealt to Wraith on Wings*
Amarthiul defends (4)
Mordor Orc revealed as Shadow
Wraith on Wings* attacks (6), deals 2 damage to Amarthiul (1/3)
Trigger Armoured Destrier to ready Amarthiul and discard the Shadow Card from Morgul Captain

That hurt. That hurt a lot. We need to take this guy down.

Shadow Card dealt to Morgul Captain
Defender of the Rammas defends (4)
Shadow discarded by Armoured Destrier
Morgul Captain attacks (3), deals no damage

And the Captain is pushed back from the Rammas. Now let’s hit back.

[Deck One attacks]
Wraith on Wings*:
Amarthiul attacks (3), Ranger of Cardolan attacks (2), deals 1 damage to Wraith on Wings* (11/12)

Other than maybe the Balrog, this has to be one of the toughest enemies I’ve faced! And yet we get them at the beginning of the quest. This really is the great battle of our time.

Refresh Phase
Raise each player’s threat by 1
Deck Two: 34
Deck One: 31

Deck One exhausts Ranger of Cardolan and Defender of Rammas and plays A Very Good Tale: Secret Vigil, Knight of the White Tower, Guardian of Arnor, Defender of Rammas (As much as I would love to put in Guardian, and I would, I think he’s brilliant, we need to get our money’s worth here) Put Defender of Rammas* and Knight of the White Tower into play.

Shuffle Ranger of Cardolan back into Deck One’s deck.

And that’s how to get 8 resources worth of allies by only 3. Now all that’s left is damaging our allies in the staging area.

Deal 1 damage to Boromir (3/4)

Turn No.3
Stage: 2B (1/7)
Active Location: N/A
Staging Area:
The Corsair Fleet: 4 resources
Wraith on Wings (1 threat)
Boromir (3/4)
Ithilien Tracker (3/3)
The Storm Comes (0/5)

Resource Phase
Deck One Hand (New Card in Bold):
Guardian of Arnor, Secret Vigil, Celebrian’s Stone, Legolas, Andrath Guardsman
Amarthiul (2), Halbarad (1), Merry (1)

And now we can avoid the Wraith this turn, which is just what we need

Deck Two Hand:
Warden of Healing, Ithilien Tracker, Rider of Rohan, East Road Ranger, Thalion, Elladan
Idraen (3), Beravor (1), Thurindir (1)

Another great ally, but we desperately need some resource acceleration here to be able to afford half of it.

Planning Phase
Deck One:
Andrath Guardsman: Wraith on Wings*(And to sweeten the deal, he even contributes 1 willpower)

We’re going to save our Tactics resources and hopefully get to buy Legolas next turn

Deck Two:
Exhaust Gleowine toballow Deck Two to draw a card: Wild Stallion (Nice. I have a plan for who this is to go on, but we need some resource acceleration first)
Rider of Rohan (We need the willpower, I’m afraid it’s as simple as that)
Ithilien Tracker* (Hopefully he can help us rescue his cousin)

Quest Phase
Remove 1 resource from the Corsair Fleet (3/5)
Add 1 resource to Wraith on Wings (2)
Add 1 resource to Wraith on Wings* (2)

The Storm Comes is the active quest

So I know this is a bit of a gamble, but this will smooth out my resources immeasurably and allow us to start pumping out the allies if it works. If.

Halbarad-2
Andrath Guardsman-1
Idraen-2
Beravor-2
Thurindir-2
Sulien-3
Rider of Rohan-2

Total willpower: 14

Trigger Ithilien Tracker* (This’ll be a nice little bit of insurance, just to be on the safe side)

1: The Rammas is Breached (Fortunately there’s just one enemy in the discard pile, so Deck One will be engaging it). Remove Mordor Orc from the discard pile and engage it with Deck One.
2: Orc of the Eye (0 threat) (There’s no Minas Tirith in play so we’re just going to have to eat the direct damage here). Trigger Orc of the Eye, deal 2 damage to Idraen.

Total threat: 2

Win by 12, complete The Storm Comes and add it to the victory display. Trigger The Road Goes Ever On to allow Deck One to search his deck for Keep Watch and add it to his hand. Shuffle Deck One.

We’re going to need to get our combat under control as soon as possible if we’re to survive long.

Travel Phase
N/A

Encounter Phase
We won’t engage Orc of the Eye this turn, let’s wait until we have another defender or two.

Combat Phase
Trigger Archery 1: deal 1 damage to Beravor (3/4)

And there’s Archery back again. I did not miss you.

[Deck One defense]
Shadow Card dealt to Mordor Orc
Amarthiul defends (4)
Southron Champion revealed as Shadow
Mordor Orc attacks (2), deals no damage
Trigger Armoured Destrier to ready Amarthiul and discard the Shadow Card from Morgul Captain

Minas Tirith isn’t out yet, so that shadow had no effect. And now we’ll be using Amarthiul to counterattack when we’re ready

Shadow Card dealt to Morgul Captain
Defender of Rammas* defends (4)
Shadow Card discarded by Armoured Destrier
Morgul Captain attacks (3), deals no damage

Once we nullify the Shadow Cards, these Defenders will be a bulwark

[Deck One attacks]
Wraith on Wings*:
Amarthiul attacks (3), Halbarad attacks (2), Merry attacks (2), Knight of the White Tower attacks (2), deals 5 damage to Wraith on Wings* (6/12)

We’re halfway there, then we can move onto the second Wraith

Refresh Phase
Raise each player’s threat by 1
Deck One: 32
Deck Two: 35

Trigger Stage 2B, deal 1 damage to Boromir and Ithilien Tracker

Turn No.4
Stage: 2B (1/7)
Active Location: N/A
Staging Area:
The Corsair Fleet: 3 resources
Wraith on Wings (2 threat)
Orc of the Eye (2 threat)

Resource Phase
Deck Two Hand (New Card in Bold):
Warden of Healing, East Road Ranger, Thalion, Elladan, Wild Stallion, A Test of Will
Idraen (1), Beravor (1), Thurindir (1)

Brilliant! Though something tells me this won’t be staying around for too long

Deck One Hand:
Guardian of Arnor, Secret Vigil, Celebrian’s Stone, Legolas, Keep Watch, Dagger of Westernesse
Amarthiul (3), Halbarad (1), Merry (2)

A lovely little attack boost that should hopefully see some enemies bite the dust.

Planning Phase
Deck Two:
Exhaust Beravor to allow Deck One to draw 2 cards: Deorwine, Warrior Sword (Sweet Christmas, yes. This will go straight on Amarthiul!)
Exhaust Gleowine to allow Deck One to draw 1 card: Andrath Guardsman (This is what we were really after though, that or a Feint. Now we can definitely knock off the first Wraith. Still no Steward though, which is what we’re looking for)
Warden of Healing (Pretty obvious, this one. We’ll save our Spirit resource for A Test of Will)

Deck One:
Andrath Guardsman*: Wraith on Wings* (Lather, rinse, repeat. Now to finish off this big bad)
Secret Vigil-Morgul Captain (It’s time to lower our threat I think)
Warrior Sword-Amarthiul (And that’s him up to 6 attack now. What a champ!)
Dagger of Westernesse-Merry (Once we can get a Fast Hitch on him, he and Amarthiul can shred whole armies together)
Keep Watch (I’m considering doing something stupid here)

Quest Phase
Remove 1 resource from the Corsair Fleet (2/5)
Add 1 resource to Wraith on Wings (3)
Add 1 resource to Wraith on Wings* (3)

Keep Watch is the active quest

I know, I know. But if we can keep the number of enemies down, then we can use as much time as possible to prepare for the battle proper and still save Boromir. At least, that’s the plan.

Trigger Ithilien Tracker*

Halbarad-3
Idraen-2
Thurindir-3
Sulien-3
Rider of Rohan-2
Knight of Minas Tirith-2

Total willpower: 15

Remember Halbarad gets boosted now if he quests alongside a Gondor character, in this case the Knight of Minas Tirith

1: Southron Champion (0 threat) (This shouldn’t be too bad. If Amarthiul can discard his shadow, a Defender can cover this guy)
2: City Wall (3 threat) (A blessed location! Finally something that isn’t a direct and immediate threat)

Total threat: 8

Win by 7, complete Keep Watch and add it to the victory display.

The gamble has paid off! Now we can rescue our friends next turn.

Travel Phase
Travel to City Wall (0/4)

We’ll need to lay on the willpower next turn if we’re to blast through this and complete Stage 2B all at once.

Encounter Phase
Deck One optionally engages Orc of the Eye and Southron Champion.

With Keep Watch completed, suddenly they become less formidable and much more manageable.

Combat Phase
Trigger Archery 1, deal 1 damage to Ithilien Tracker*

That Orc of the Eye needs to be taken down sooner rather than later

[Deck One defense]
Shadow Card dealt to Morgul Captain
Amarthiul defends (4)
Morgul Captain revealed as Shadow
Morgul Captain attacks (2), deals no damage
Trigger Armoured Destrier to ready Amarthiul and discard the Shadow Card from Southron Champion

We won’t defend with him a second time, but rather we’ll save him for our own attacks

Shadow Card dealt to Southron Champion
Defender of Rammas defends (4)
Shadow Card discarded by Armoured Destrier
Southron Champion attacks (3), deals no damage

And if needs be, we can keep this up all day

Shadow Card dealt to Mordor Orc
Andrath Guardsman defends (1)
Spells of Ruin revealed as Shadow
Mordor Orc attacks (2), deals 1 damage to Andrath Guardsman

Well that is unfortunate, but he survives to fight another day.

Shadow Card dealt to Orc of the Eye
Defender of the Rammas* defends (4)
Fell Beast revealed as Shadow
Orc of the Eye attacks (2) deals no damage

Now it’s time to cull the herd

[Deck One attacks]
Wraith on Wings*:
Amarthiul attacks (6), Merry attacks (4), destroys Wraith on Wings* and adds it to the victory display. Trigger Merry, ready Amarthiul

And he is down, ladies and gentlemen. Now for the rest.

Orc of the Eye:
Amarthiul attacks (6), destroys Orc of the Eye

We needed to get rid of the Archery while we can otherwise it’ll keep chipping away at us.

Morgul Captain:
Halbarad attacks (2), deals 1 damage to Morgul Captain

I know it’s not massive, but we’ll take everything we can right now. And before we move on…

Exhaust Warden of Healing to heal 1 damage from Amarthiul and Merry

Refresh Phase
Raise each player’s threat by 1
Deck Two: 36
Deck One: 33

Trigger Stage 2B, deal 1 damage to Ithilien Tracker

Turn No.5
Stage: 2B (1/7)
Active Location: City Wall (0/4)
Staging Area:
The Corsair Fleet: 2 resources
Wraith on Wings (3 threat)

Resource Phase
Deck One Hand (New Card in Bold):
Guardian of Arnor, Celebrian’s Stone, Legolas, Deorwine, Vigilant Dunedain
Amarthiul (2), Halbarad (1), Merry (1)

Defending the hordes of Orcs just became a whole lot easier

Deck Two Hand:
East Road Ranger, Thalion, Elladan, Wild Stallion, A Test of Will, Ghan-buri-ghan
Idraen (2), Beravor (1), Thurindir (1)

I’ve never actually played this guy before, he’s mainly here for thematic reasons. We’ll have to see how well he does here

Planning Phase
Deck One:
Legolas (Ranged attack and card draw in one neat bundle. We may boost him with a Warrior Sword, we’ll need to see)

Deck Two:
Exhaust Beravor to allow Deck One to draw 2 cards: Send for Aid, A Very Good Tale (Because Thurindir is now at 4 willpower, we can hopefully get by without using her willpower this time. These are both very good just now, if we can get the side-quest done we can ensure each player will be getting yet another new ally out.)
Exhaust Gleowine to allow Deck Two to draw 1 card: Elf-stone (Absolutely brilliant! We’ll have an army together before too long!)
Elf-stone-City Wall (Yes it makes it harder to complete Stage 2B this turn, but I reckon we should be able to pull it off)
Ghan-buri-ghan (And this guy will help us. With 3 willpower this turn, he’s definitely pulling his weight)

Quest Phase
Remove 1 resource from the Corsair Fleet (1/5)
Add 1 resource to Wraiths on Wings (4)

Trigger Ithilien Tracker*

It’s time to rescue our boys!

Halbarad-3
Idraen-2
-Trigger Map of Rhovanion, place 1 progress on City Wall (1/5)
Thurindir-4
Sulien-3
Ghan-buri-ghan-3
Rider of Rohan-2
Knight of the White Tower-2

Total willpower: 19

1: Followed by Night (So this means we’ll be getting the Orc of the Eye back. We don’t trigger the forced effect, so the worst thing about this is the Archery we’ll be suffering). Put Orc of the Eye into play engaged with Deck One. Trigger Surge
1.1: Mordor Orc * (0 threat) (With Keep Watch in play, this guy will only be contributing 1 attack, which is almost negligible but will still be dangerous in large numbers) Trigger Surge
1.2: Pelennor Field (2 threat) (Not that we have any Northern Trackers out, but if we did this would gum up our progress.)
2: Fire-filled Trench (2 threat) (This is a horrible one, with the potential to counteract our Test of Wills. We’ll travel here next and get rid of it as soon as possible)

Total threat: 8

Win by 11. Explore City Wall and complete Stage 2B. Trigger Elf-stone: Vigilant Dunedain (With Keep Watch completed, the Vigilant Dunedain will be able to block 3 of the 4 enemies engaged with us and, barring a bad shadow, not take a scratch.)

And now we come to it, the Siege of Minas Tirith

Trigger Stage 3A. Deck One takes control of Boromir and exhausts him. Deck Two takes control of Ithilien Tracker and exhausts him. Deck One adds Minas Tirith, Grond and The Witch-King (Captain) to the staging area. Deck Two searches the encounter deck for Mordor Orc^ and adds it to the staging area. Shuffle the encounter deck.

Let’s do this.

Travel Phase
We can’t actually travel to any of the Pelennor locations while at Stage 3B, and I don’t feel like we’re in a position to so travel to Grond yet, so I’m afraid we’re stuck for now.

Encounter Phase
Deck One optionally engages Mordor Orc* and Mordor Orc^

We should be able to take care of both of these with the Vigilant Dunedain but we’ll start culling enemies to be on the safe side.

Combat Phase
Trigger Archery 1, deal 1 damage to Boromir (1/4). Trigger Boromir, ready him. (And now he’s ready for the counterattack)

[Deck One defense]
Shadow Card dealt to Southron Champion
Amarthiul defends (4)
Shadow of Mordor revealed as Shadow (We’ll take the extra attack instead of dealing Minas Tirith damage. We have the defenders, no sense in unnecessarily damaging the White City)
Southron Champion attacks (3), deals no damage
Trigger Armoured Destrier, discard Shadow from Morgul Captain and ready Amarthiul

So it’s annoying that we have to deal with an extra attack, but at least we got to discard the Shadow Card from the Morgul Captain

Shadow Card dealt to Southron Captain
Defender of Rammas defends (4)
Orc of the Eye revealed as Shadow
Southron Captain attacks (4), deals no damage

This is why it’s good to take redundant defenders. They can plug gaps in our defense, or if they aren’t needed for that they can chip in their 1 attack.

Shadow Card dealt to Morgul Captain
Defender of the Rammas* defends (4)
Siege Tower revealed as Shadow
Morgul Captain attacks (2), deals no damage

And the rest should be handled by our resident Vigilant Dunedain

Shadow Card dealt to Orc of the Eye
Vigilant Dunedain defends (2)
Black Dart revealed as Shadow
Orc of the Eye attacks (2), deals no damage

Shadow Card dealt to Mordor Orc
Vigilant Dunedain defends (2)
Pelennor Field revealed as Shadow
Mordor Orc attacks (2), deals no damage

Shadow Card dealt to Mordor Orc*
Vigilant Dunedain defends (2)
Mordor Orc revealed as Shadow. Trigger Shadow, Mordor Orc’ engages Deck One and is dealt a Shadow Card
Mordor Orc* attacks (1), deals no damage

Shadow Card dealt to Mordor Orc^
Vigilant Dunedain defends (2)
Gate of Gondor revealed as Shadow
Mordor Orc attacks (1), deals no damage

Shadow dealt to Mordor Orc’
Vigilant Dunedain defends (2)
Saruman’s Voice revealed ad Shadow
Mordor Orc’ attacks (1), deals no damage

All I can say is, that goodness for that Elf-stone fetching out our Vigilant Dunedain.

[Deck One attacks]
Morgul Captain:
Amarthiul attacks (6), destroys Morgul Captain. Trigger Secret Vigil to reduce each players threat by 3. Place 3 progress on Stage 3B (3/12)

And that’s us a quarter of the way already. We’ll need to blast through this quickly before the Pelennor locations build up.

Southron Captain:
Merry attacks (4), Legolas attacks (3), destroys Southron Captain. Trigger Legolas, draw 1 card: Ranger of Cardolan. Trigger Merry, ready Legolas. Place 2 progress on Stage 3B (5/12)

We found him again, though our board state is now probably established enough we don’t need to make use of his ability.

Mordor Orc’:
Legolas attacks (3), destroys Mordor Orc’. Trigger Legolas, draw 1 card: Dagger of Westernesse. Place 1 progress on Stage 3B (6/12)

Another little attack boost for Merry, thank you very much.

Orc of the Eye:
Boromir attacks (3), Halbarad attacks (2), destroys Orc of the Eye. Place 2 progress on Stage 3B (8/12)

And that’s all we’ll be doing this turn by way of counterattacking. We’re two thirds done, so we should be able to finish out this Stage next turn.

Exhaust Warden of Healing to heal 1 damage from Amarthiul and Boromir.

Deck One exhausts Vigilant Dunedain and Andrath Guardsman and plays A Very Good Tale: Fornost Bowman, Ranger of Cardolan, Warrior Sword, Vigilant Dunedain, Fornost Bowman. (Well the only way we can get 2 allies from this is if we put into play both copies of Fornost Bowman, who will each be attacking for 4 right now, which is not something to be taken lightly). Put Fornost Bowman and Fornost Bowman* into play.

Refresh Phase
Raise each player’s threat by 1
Deck One: 31
Deck Two: 34

Turn No.6
Stage: 3B (8/12)
Active Location: N/A
Staging Area:
The Corsair Fleet: 1 resource
Minas Tirith Health: 50
The Witch-King (Captain) (6 threat)
Grond (0 threat)
Wraith on Wings (4 threat)
Fire-filled Trench (2 threat)
Pelennor Field (2 threat)

Resource Phase
Deck Two Hand (New Card in Bold):
East Road Ranger, Thalion, Elladan, Wild Stallion, A Test of Will, Prince Imrahil
Idraen (2), Beravor (1), Thurindir (1)

The Prince of Dol Amroth will essentially be an insurance package in case we have a hero that goes down. Then Imrahil will be able to step up and plug the hole.

Deck One Hand:
Guardian of Arnor, Celebrian’s Stone, Deorwine, Send for Aid, Ranger of Cardolan, Dagger of Westernesse, Steward of Gondor
Amarthiul (2), Halbarad (1), Merry (1)

At long last, yes. This should probably go with Deck Two and help pay for all the allies they can’t afford

Planning Phase
Deck Two:
Thalion (Just one more side-quest to go and we can get ourselves a fourth hero)
Exhaust Beravor to allow Deck Two to draw 2 cards: Elrond’s Counsel, Rider of Rohan

We can’t play the first until either Elladan is on the table or we’re able to dig out one of the other Noldor characters. As for the Rider, we’ll there’s always room for more of those. Next turn though, we need to save a resource for A Test of Will

Exhaust Gleowine to allow Deck Two to draw 1 card: East Road Ranger

By the time we can afford to pay for these guys, we’ll have done all our side-quests. But at least she has 2 attack, so she can still help out.

Deck One:
Steward of Gondor-Idraen (We need Spirit resources more than Lore at this point, but because of The Storm Comes, we can still use her to help get out more Lore allies onto the battlefield.
Send for Aid (Extra allies and the chance to make Thalion a hero. We’re going for this)
Dagger of Westernesse-Halbarad (Just so we can share the combat love around. He won’t exhaust after questing, so we can make full use of his boosted attack.)

Quest Phase
Remove 1 resource from the Corsair Fleet (0/5)
Add 1 resource to Wraiths on Wings (5)

Trigger The Corsair Fleet, the first player takes control of Aragorn and adds Corsair Fleet to the Victory Display

The King has returned! Now it’s a party!

Trigger The Witch-King (Captain): Dread and Despair, The Rammas is Breached, Orc of the Eye. Add Orc of the Eye to the staging area.

But the bad guys have their own King too! See though that the Orc of the Eye is added to the staging area instead of revealed so we dodge his stinging effect.

Trigger Grond: place 1 resource on Grond (1) and deal 1 damage to Minas Tirith (49/50).

I may have to travel here sooner rather than later, before the damage begins to escalate.

Trigger Ithilien Tracker. Send for Aid is the active quest

Aragorn-2
Idraen-3
Thurindir-5
Thalion-3
Sulien-4
Rider of Rohan-3
Ghan-buri-ghan-1
Halbarad-3
Knight of Minas Tirith-2
Andrath Guardsman-1

Total willpower: 32

Let’s hope it’s enough!

1: Siege Tower (3 threat) (Hey, we can actually travel to this one! 3 Archery does hurt, but we aren’t going to leave it up there long enough to do a great deal)
2: Fell Beast (We cannot afford the Witch-King to get this. 7 threat, attack and defence? Such thing would be an abomination) Attach to Wraith on Wings. (Though this does mean we need to deal with him this turn, but better the Wraith than the Witch-King. Oh, this surges as well!) Trigger Surge.
2.1: War Mumak (Oh snap, here we go. It’s time for the pain train! We’ll leave him up in the staging area until we can handle him I think)

Total threat: 22

Win by 9 . Complete Send for Aid and add it to the victory display.

Trigger Send for Aid; Deck One: Feint, Secret Vigil, Legolas, Ranger of Cardolan, A Very Good Tale, Secret Vigil, Guardian of Arnor, Feint, Prepare for Battle, Knight of Minas Tirith. (Well we’ve two 4-cost and one 3-cost allies to choose from, so it becomes a question of what we need the most. Given the the Winged Wraith and War Mumak coming at us, we’ll probably be wanting to throw up our defenses as much as we can. To that end, we’ll go with the Guardian of Arnor). Deck One puts Guardian of Arnor into play and shuffles his deck.

Trigger Send for Aid; Deck Two: Elrond’s Counsel, Elrohir, Rider of Rohan, Warden of Healing, East Road Ranger, Poisoned Counsels, Unexpected Courage, Glorfindel, Northern Tracker, A Test of Will (Here it is a little more difficult. The Rider of Rohan can both quest and attack now there’s been a side-quest completed, Glorfindel can bring high willpower and attack, there’s plenty of work for a second Warden of Healing to do, Elrohir will go nicely with his brother and once we clear out Pelennor Field the Northern Tracker will help keep us free of location-lock. Given that he costs the most, and so we’ll save the most money by choosing him, I think the wisest option to go for would be Glorfindel.) Deck Two puts Glorfindel into play and shuffles his deck.

Trigger Thalion: Thalion loses the Ally card type and gains the Hero card type (First time I’ve been able to do this, and now we have 5 heroes controlled by Deck Two. Maybe I should get Swordthain on the go and bring it up to six.)

Travel Phase
Exhaust Steward of Gondor to give Idraen 2 resources.

Travel to Siege Tower. (So we do get rid of a pile of Archery by doing this, but there is a cost) Trigger Siege Tower: shuffle the encounter discard pile into the encounter deck and discard cards from the encounter deck until an enemy is discarded: Black Dart, Pelennor Field, Fire-filled Trench, Dread and Despair, Pursued by the Enemy, Pelennor Field, Shadow of Mordor, Southron Champion. Add Southron Champion to the staging area. (It could have been worse, at least it wasn’t the second Mumak or The Black Serpent.)

Encounter Phase
Deck One optionally engages Orc of the Eye and War Mumak (We need to get rid of this Archery sooner rather than later)

Deck Two optionally engages Wraith on Wings (We should be able to deal with him in one turn, if the shadows allow. We’re going to keep Southron Champion up in the staging area though, his engagement cost means he won’t be coming after us just yet.)

Combat Phase
Trigger Archery 3: deal 1 damage to Andrath Guardsman* (1/2), Ghan-buri-ghan (1/2) and Rider of Rohan (1/2)

Fortunately we’ve been able to churn out plenty of allies and are able to soak up this for now

[Deck Two defense]
Shadow Card dealt to Wraith on Wings
Aragorn defends (3). Exhasut Forewarned to discard the Shadow from Wraith on Wings
Wraith on Wings attacks (6), deals 3 damage to Aragorn (2/5)

We won’t bother with Anduril, because since the Fell Beast has boosted the Wraith’s defense to 5 we’re unable to hurt it.

[Deck One defense]
Shadow Card dealt to Mordor Orc
Vigilant Dunedain defends (2)
Black Dart revealed as Shadow
Mordor Orc attacks (1), deals no damage

Shadow Card dealt to Mordor Orc*
Vigilant Dunedain defends (2)
Southron Captain revealed as Shadow: deal 1 damage to Minas Tirith (48/50)
Mordor Orc* attacks (1), deals no damage

Shadow Card dealt to Mordor Orc^
Vigilant Dunedain defends (2)
Shadow of Mordor revealed as Shadow
Mordor Orc^ attacks (1), deals no damage

Shadow Card dealt to Orc of the Eye
Vigilant Dunedain defends (2)
Pelennor Field revealed as Shadow
Orc of the Eye attacks (3), deals 1 damage to Viligant Dunedain (2/3)

Shadow Card dealt to War Mumak
Guardian of Arnor defends (6)
The Rammas is Breached revealed as Shadow: deal 3 damage to Minas Tirith (45/50)
War Mumak attacks (5), deals no damage

We could have let the Mumak attack as second time, but I’d prefer we didn’t have to sacrifice an ally to it if we could avoid it

[Deck Two attacks]
Wraith on Wings:
Glorfindel attacks (3), Rider of Rohan attacks (2), Ithilien Tracker* attacks (1), Legolas attacks (3), Fornost Bowman attacks (6), Fornost Bowman* attacks (6), destroys Wraith on Wings. Add Wraith on Wings to the victory display. Trigger Legolas: Dunedain Warning

Shot out of the sky! And now we place progress according to his threat…

Trigger Stage 3B: explore Siege Tower and place 2 progress on Stage 3B (10/12) (Almost there!)

[Deck One attacks]
Orc of the Eye:
Merry attacks (4), destroys Orc of the Eye. Complete Stage 3B. Trigger Stage 4A:
Set The Witch-King aside, out of play. Each player searches the top 10 cards of his deck for an ally and puts it into play, then each player shuffles their deck. Deck One: Sword that was Broken, Fornost Bowman, Legolas, Feint Grimbold, Ranger of Cardolan, Prepare for Battle, Vigilant Dunedain, Delay the Enemy. (Well for purely thematic reasons alone, we’re going to go with Grimbold I’m afraid). Put Grimbold into play, shuffle Deck One’s deck. Deck Two: Glamdring, The Road Goes Ever On, Wild Stallion, Unexpected Courage, Poisoned Counsels, Elfhelm, Northern Tracker, Fast Hitch, Warden of Healing, Map of Rhovanion. (Once again, with the quest stage being called ‘Rohan has Come!’, we’ve no real choice other than to go with Elfhelm.) Put Elfhelm into play, shuffle Deck Two’s deck.

War Mumak:
Amarthiul attacks (6), deals 3 damage to War Mumak (3/9)

Our damage is capped remember, otherwise we’d have stripped off an extra point. We’ve finished our counter-attacks, we’ll keep the Mordor Orcs around to keep our Dunedain powered up.

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

Refresh Phase
Raise each player’s threat by 1
Deck Two: 34
Deck One: 31

We’re not in the danger zone yet, but some threat reduction soon wouldn’t be unappreciated.

Trigger Minas Tirith to deal it 1 damage (44/50)

Next turn we need to make sure that staging area is as clear as possible

Turn No.7
Stage: 4B (-/-)
Active Location: N/A
Staging Area:
Minas Tirith Health: 44/50
Grond (0/3, 1 threat)
Southron Champion (2 threat)
Fire-filled Trench (0/3, 2 threat)
Pelennor Field (0/4, 2 threat)

Resource Phase
Deck One Hand (New Card in Bold):
Guardian of Arnor, Celebrian’s Stone, Deorwine, Ranger of Cardolan, Knight of Minas Tirith, Dunedain Warning, Fornost Bowman
Amarthiul (2), Halbarad (1), Merry (1), Aragorn (1)

Having a third one is no bad thing, especially as we move into the closing stages of the quest.

Deck Two Hand:
East Road Ranger, Elladan, Wild Stallion, A Test of Will, Prince Imrahil, Elrond’s Council, Rider of Rohan, East Road Ranger, Rally the West
Idraen (3), Beravor (1), Thurindir (1), Thalion (1)

We’ll be pushing to finish this one as soon as possible to get Thalion access to the Spirit sphere. We may even forgo getting the bonus damage from Stage 4.

Planning Phase
Deck One:
Celebrian’s Stone-Aragorn (Now he can pay for Spirit cards and is up to 6 willpower when questing)
Dunedain Warning-Aragorn (We’ll let him have this so he can make the most of Anduril’s ability)

Deck Two:
Exhaust Steward of Gondor to give Idraen 2 resources.
Exhaust Beravor to allow Deck Two to draw 2 cards: Hama, A Test of Will (Really we need to get rid of Fire-filled Trench next so we can actually use these Test of Wills)
Exhaust Gleowine to allow Deck Two to draw a card: Legacy Blade (Excellent! With 3 side quests already completed, this becomes a boost of 3 attack for no cost!)
Rally the West (As I say, doing this more for Thalion’s resource sphere than the actual effect, helpful though it is)
Legacy Blade-Thalion (Because he can ready at the start of the combat phase, we can quest with him and then make use of this)
Rider of Rohan (An extra 2 willpower and attack every turn will be most appreciated)
Hama (So that’s the fourth Rohan ally put into play since this time last turn. The cavalry has come!)

Quest Phase
Trigger Grond: place 1 resource on Grond (2) and deal 2 damage to Minas Tirith (41/50).

That damage is going to increase exponentially unless we take out that ram. The soonest we could do it though would be next turn.

Trigger Ithilien Tracker. Rally the West is the active quest (We don’t really need the extra damage, the horde of Orcs is keeping our Dunedain engine ticking over nicely so we’re as well to go for the side-quest)

Aragorn-5
Halbarad-4
Boromir-2
Andrath Guardsman-2
Thurindir-5
Thalion-2
Rider of Rohan-2
Rider of Rohan*-2

Total willpower: 24

Hopefully this will be enough to finish off the side-quest in one shot

1: Spells of Ruin (While this wouldn’t destroy us, it would put a dent in our questing power. We’ll put the damage on Minas Tirith instead) Place 5 damage on Minas Tirith (36/50)
2: War Mumak* (0 threat) (Well huzzah! Now there are two! I suppose we’d better get to work then)

Total threat: 8

Win by 16, complete Rally the West and add it to the victory display.

Trigger Stage 4B: advance to Stage 5A.

We’re in the Endgame now.

Trigger Stage 5A: The first player adds The Witch-king to the staging area, Sorcerer side faceup. He searches the encounter deck for a copy of Fell Beast and attaches it to The Witch-king. Shuffle the encounter deck. Deck Two reveals an encounter card: The Black Serpent. (Oh no.) Trigger The Black Serpent makes an immediate attack against Deck One:
-Shadow Card dealt to The Black Serpent
-Defender of Rammas defends (4)
Orc of the Eye revealed as Shadow
-The Black Serpent attacks (6), destroys Defender of Rammas. Trigger Stage 5B, deal 1 damage to Minas Tirith (35/50) (We’re going to need to be more careful. They’re bringing out the big guns)

Trigger Campaign Card The Battle of the Pelennor Fields: Add Haradrim Soldier to the staging area. (And that’s the guy who slipped past us in Journey to the Crossroads. Back for another bite of the apple it seems)

Well that went well. We’ve now got an extra Mumak, the leader of the Nine, the King of the Haradrim and one annoyed spearman on our plate. Wish us luck.

Travel Phase
Travel to Fire-filled Trench (0/3).

We need to be able to play our Test of Wills, otherwise we are at the complete mercy of the encounter deck.

Encounter Phase
The Witch-king engages Deck One and makes an immediate attack:
-Shadow Card dealt to The Witch-king
-Andrath Guardsman* defends (1)
-Siege Tower revealed as Shadow
-The Witch-king attacks (6), destroys Andrath Guardsman*. Trigger Stage 5B, deal 1 damage to Minas Tirith (34/50) (This is why we built up our army of allies, for exactly this situation, to absorb attacks that would otherwise take down our heroes)

Deck One engages The Black Serpent and War Mumak.

Deck Two engages Haradrim Soldier and it makes an immediate attack.
-Shadow Card dealt to Haradrim Soldier
-Idraen defends (2)
City Wall revealed as Shadow
-Haradrim Soldier attacks (3), deals 1 damage to Idraen (2/4)

Southron Champion engages Deck Two.

Between the two decks we have 9 enemies engaged, including The Witch-king, two Mumaks and The Black Serpent. The Combat Phase is going to be fun!

Combat Phase
Trigger Archery 4: Deal 2 damage to Fornost Bowman (1/3), 1 damage to Fornost Bowman* (2/3) and Boromir (1/4). Trigger Boromir and ready him.

Anyone else find it funny that Boromir works best when shot at by arrows?

Trigger Thalion and ready him.

[Deck One defense]
Shadow Card dealt to Mordor Orc
Vigilant Dunedain defends (2)
Orc of the Eye revealed as Shadow
Mordor Orc attacks (3), deals 1 damage to Vigilant Dunedain (2/3)

We’ll start with the weaker ones just in case we need the Vigilant Dunedain for one of the bigger guys afterwards

Shadow Card dealt to Mordor Orc*
Vigilant Dunedain defends (2)
Morgul Captain revealed as Shadow
Mordor Orc* attacks (1), deals no damage

Shadow Card dealt to Mordor Orc^
Vigilant Dunedain defends (2)
Saruman’s Voice revealed as Shadow
Mordor Orc^ attacks (1), deals no damage

Shadow Card dealt to War Mumak
Amarthiul defends (4)
The Rammas is Breached revealed as Shadow, deal 3 damage to Minas Tirith (31/50)
War Mumak attacks (5), deals 1 damage to Amarthiul (2/3)
Exhaust Armoured Destrier to ready Amarthiul and discard the Shadow from The Black Serpent

I know that was less than ideal, but we’re not really in a position to take an extra Mumak attack

Shadow Card dealt to War Mumak*
Aragorn defends (4), exhaust Forewarned to discard Shadow from War Mumak*
War Mumak* attacks (5), deal 1 damage to Aragorn (3/5)
Trigger Anduril to allow Aragorn to attack War Mumak*
Aragorn attacks (5), deals 3 damage to War Mumak* (6/9)

Aragorn’s health is getting low, we’ll need to be careful with him in future combat

Shadow Card dealt to The Black Serpent
Amarthiul defends (4)
Shadow discarded by Armoured Destrier
The Black Serpent attacks (5), deals 1 damage (1/3)

Now the counter-attack is going to be tricky because we can’t attack him with more than one character at a time

Shadow Card dealt to The Witch-king
Guardian of Arnor defends (8)
Spells of Ruin revealed as Shadow
The Witch-king attacks (8), deals no damage

And that is the power of the Dunedain at work right there.

[Deck Two defense]
Shadow Card dealt to Southron Champion
Hama defends (2)
Siege Tower revealed as Shadow
Southron Champion attacks (3), deals 1 damage to Hama (1/2)

We’re going to need more Wardens of Healing sooner rather than later I think.

Shadow Card dealt to Haradrim Soldier
Elfhelm defends (2)
Mordor Orc is revealed as Shadow
Deck Two engages Mordor Orc’ and deals it a Shadow Card
Haradrim Soldier attacks (3), deals 1 damage to Elfhelm (2/3)

And now we have yet another enemy to deal with, as if things couldn’t get any more hectic

Shadow Card dealt to Mordor Orc’
Sulien defends (2)
Dread and Despair revealed as Shadow, discard Map of Rhovanion from Idraen
Mordor Orc attacks (1), deals no damage

That last attack was more annoying than anything, but hopefully we’ll be able to clean up that extra Orc this turn

[Deck One attacks]
War Mumak:
Fornost Bowman attacks (7), deals 3 damage to War Mumak (3/9)

Almost there, hopefully just one more volley

The Black Serpent:
Amarthiul attacks (4), deals 2 damage to The Black Serpent (3/5)

We’re saving our other big gun for someone else, but we ought to be able to take down The Black Serpent next turn

Mordor Orc^:
Vigilant Dunedain attacks (3), destroys Mordor Orc^

We’re taking off some of the pressure on this deck, especially since the Vigilant Dunedain is wounded now.

The Witch-king:
Fornost Bowman attacks (6), Merry attacks (3), Legolas attacks (3), Boromir attacks (3), Knight of Minas Tirith attacks (2), Defender of the Rammas attacks (1), deals 11 damage to The Witch-king (3/14).

So close. We threw everything we could at him, but it was not quite enough. Hopefully our brothers in Deck Two can do the trick next turn.

[Deck Two attacks]
Southron Champion:
Glorfindel attacks (3), Ithilien Tracker attacks (1), Rider of Rohan attacks (2), destroys Southron Champion

Now that’s more like it

Haradrim Soldier:
Thalion attacks (5), Rider of Rohan* attacks (2), destroys Haradrim Soldier

Both those fellows were able to quest and attack, making sure we really get our money’s worth out of them.

Mordor Orc’:
Deck Two discards East Road Ranger from his hand to ready Glorfindel.
Glorfindel attacks (3), destroys Mordor Orc’

And that’s how you do it. Overwhelm them with decent allies and they can’t recover.

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

Refresh Phase
Raise each player’s threat by 1
Deck One: 32
Deck Two: 35

Trigger Fell Beast, return The Witch-king to the staging area.

So not only do we have an extra 7 threat in the staging area now, this happens too.

Trigger Minas Tirith to deal it 1 damage (30/50)

I’ve got to say, this past turn has not gone well for the White City.

Turn No.8
Stage: 5B (0/20)
Active Location: Fire-filled Trench (0/3)
Staging Area:
Minas Tirith Health: 30/50
Grond (0/3, 2 threat)
Pelennor Field (0/4, 2 threat)
The Witch-king (7 threat)

Resource Phase
Deck Two Hand (New Card in Bold):
East Road Ranger, Elladan, Wild Stallion, A Test of Will, Prince Imrahil, Elrond’s Council, A Test of Will, Poisoned Counsels
Idraen (1), Beravor (1), Thurindir (1), Thalion (1), Aragorn (2)

…oh wonderful. I was afraid I was getting too many cards in my card. Now if Dread and Despair hits us we’ll be devastated.

Discard all cards from Deck Two’s hand except Poisoned Counsels.

Deck One Hand:
Guardian of Arnor, Deorwine, Ranger of Cardolan, Knight of Minas Tirith, Fornost Bowman, Sword that was Broken
Amarthiul (2), Halbarad (1), Merry (2)

But at least now we never have to worry about questing in this scenario again

Planning Phase
Deck Two:
At least Poisoned Counsels came before Beravor and Gleowine had drawn me extra cards, that’s all I will say.
Exhaust Beravor to allow Deck Two to draw 2 cards: Legacy Blade, Elrond’s Counsel
Exhaust Gleowine to allow Deck Two to draw 1 card: Wild Stallion
Exhaust Steward of Gondor to give 2 resources to Idraen.

Now at least we have a card to play.

Wild Stallion. Trigger Wild Stallion to attach it to Glorfindel. (Because Glorfindel can ready himself, he’s the best person to get this universal boost)
Legacy Blade-Idraen (She should be able to ready after questing so she’ll be good for combat)

Deck One:
Sword that was Broken-Aragorn (And now with this and the Banner of Elendil everyone in Deck Two questing with Aragorn gets an extra 2 willpower)

Quest Phase
Trigger Grond: place 1 resource on Grond (3) and deal 3 damage to Minas Tirith (27/50).

And just like that we’re down to nearly half-way. We’d better get our act together.

Trigger Ithilien Tracker.

Aragorn-7
Idraen-5
Thurindir-9
Thalion-5
Rider of Rohan-4
Rider of Rohan*-4
Sulien-5
Halbarad-3
Ghan-buri-ghan-4

Total willpower: 46

Deck Two plays Elrond’s Counsel to increase Aragorn’s willpower by 1 and decrease Deck Two’s threat by 3.

With each hero questing alongside Aragorn getting buffed by 3, we shouldn’t lack for willpower for the rest of the game. Elrond’s Counsel was purely for the threat reduction, that’s how much spare willpower we have.

1: Gate of Gondor (5 threat) (We’ll need to remember this effect for any Daggers of Westernesse if we travelled here)
2: City Wall (3 threat) (And another location, making the bottle-neck even more congested)

Total threat: 20

Win by 27, explore Fire-filled Trench and place 23 progress on Stage 5B (24/20). Trigger Idraen to ready her.

All that’s left to do is slay the Lord of the Nine. No biggie. (Ha-ha-ha, and I thought my jokes were bad…)

Travel Phase
The Gate of Gondor is contributing the most threat for now, but if this game drags out then we can’t afford for Grond to be stuck in the staging area. We’ll just have to weather The Witch-king’s attacks and be done with it.

Travel to Grond. Trigger Travel effect, The Witch-king makes an attack against each player in order.

Deck Two:
Shadow Card dealt to The Witch-king
Ithilien Tracker* defends (0)
Followed by Night revealed as Shadow
The Witch-king attacks (7), destroys Ithilien Tracker*

This is exactly why we brought him along, so don’t feel bad about it.

Deck One:
Shadow Card dealt to The Witch-king
Guardian of Arnor defends (6)
City Wall revealed as Shadow
The Witch-king attacks (7), deals 1 damage to Guardian of Arnor

And this is the problem we faced, if we travelled here before The Witch-king got his Fell Beast, would we have had an easier time defending, or did we need the extra time to prepare for him?

Encounter Phase
The Witch-king engages Deck Two and makes an immediate attack:
Shadow Card dealt to The Witch-king
Rider of Rohan* defends (0)
Fire-filled Trench revealed as Shadow
The Witch-king attacks (7), destroys Rider of Rohan

If we get a Dread and Despair next turn, there’s a real danger Deck Two may threat out because of how many allies are in their discard pile.

Deck Two spends 1 Lore resource to trigger Ioreth and heal 3 damage from Boromir

Now he’s up at full health, Boromir can now absorb some Archery for us.

Combat Phase
Trigger Archery 4, deal 3 damage to Boromir (1/4) and 1 damage to Ghan-buri-ghan (1/2).

And that is why we healed Boromir. We just need to knock out a War Mumak this turn and we’re ahead of the curve.

[Deck Two attacks]
Shadow Card dealt to The Witch-king
Rider of Rohan defends (0)
Morgul Captain revealed as Shadow (Oh shoot)
The Witch-king attacks (7), destroys Rider of Rohan. Trigger Morgul Captain and return The Witch-king to the staging area

Well, we’re not finishing this game on this turn. There go our plans for our counter-attack and ending the game this turn.

[Deck One]
Shadow Card dealt to The Black Serpent
Aragorn defends (4)
Mordor Orc^ revealed as Shadow and is added to the staging area
The Black Serpent attacks (5), deals 1 damage to Aragorn (2/5)
Exhaust Anduril to allow Aragorn to attack The Black Serpent (4)
Aragorn attacks (4), deals 2 damage to The Black Serpent (1/5)

So very nearly there. Just one more attack ought to do it. Also, we’re all out of Shadow Cards so now we can proceed knowing exactly what’s coming.

Aragorn pays 1 resource to move Dunedain Warning from him to Amarthiul

And now Amarthiul is up to 5 defense so he can handle a Mumakil attack for us

No Shadow Card dealt to War Mumak
Amarthiul defends (5)
War Mumak attacks (5), deals no damage
Exhaust Armoured Destrier to ready Amarthiul

No Shadows to discard, but the extra action is always good.

No Shadow Card dealt to War Mumak*
Guardian of Arnor defends (6)
War Mumak* attacks (5), deals no damage

And now we watch as the Dunedain engine gets into gear.

No Shadow Card dealt to Mordor Orc
Vigilant Dunedain defends (2)
Mordor Orc attacks (1), deals no damage

No Shadow Card dealt to Mordor Orc*
Vigilant Dunedain defends (2)
Mordor Orc* attacks (1), deals no damage

No Shadow Card dealt to Mordor Orc^
Vigilant Dunedain defends (2)
Mordor Orc^ attacks (1), deals no damage

And since The Witch-king has returned to the staging area, it’s only Deck One that can actually counter-attack

[Deck One attacks]
The Black Serpent:
Legolas attacks (3), destroys The Black Serpent and adds it to the victory display
Trigger Legolas, Deck One draws a card: Ranger of Cardolan

I love these guys! They keep coming back to save me, because now I can use him to chump a Witch-king attack

War Mumak:
Fornost Bowman attacks (6), destroys War Mumak and adds it to the victory display. Trigger War Mumak to lower each player’s threat by 4.

That brings us down to a cool 28 each. Our threat will not be the death of us this game. Minas Tirith, maybe. But not our threat.

War Mumak*:
Fornost Bowman* attacks (5), deals War Mumak* 3 damage (3/9)

And unfortunately that is all we can do. We need to keep the Orcs around just so that we can keep our Dunedain engine running, but that’s alright.

Refresh Phase
Raise each player’s threat by 1
Deck Two: 29
Deck One: 29

Exhaust Warden of Healing to heal 1 damage from Amarthiul and Idraen

Trigger Minas Tirth to deal 1 damage to it (22/30)

Ok that wasn’t as severe as last turn, but we still need to be super careful here.

Turn No.9
Stage: 5B (24/20)
Active Location: Grond (0/3)
Staging Area:
Minas Tirith Health: (22/50)
Gates of Gondor (5 threat)
City Wall (3 threat)
Pelennor Field (2 threat)
The Witch-king (7 threat)

Resource Phase
Deck One Hand (New Card in Bold):
Guardian of Arnor, Deorwine, Ranger of Cardolan, Knight of the White Tower, Fornost Bowman, Ranger of Cardolan, Prepare for Battle
Amarthiul (2), Halbarad (1), Merry (1), Aragorn (2)

There is literally no reason why we should not complete this side-quest for the sake of a victory point. We already have our required progress, we are all set. Just the small matter of the Witch-king, but we’ll deal with him.

Deck Two Hand:
Poisoned Councils, Elrohir
Idraen (2), Beravor (1), Thurindir (2), Thalion (2)

He’s a bit late to the party, but it’s still good to see him arrive.

Planning Phase
Deck One:
Deorwine (Just a little bit extra defense, as a precaution)
Prepare for Battle (Again, more of an insurance measure than anything else)

Deck Two:
Exhaust Beravor to allow Deck Two to draw 2 cards: The Road Goes Ever On, Northern Tracker

To be perfectly honest, these could have come in real handy a lot earlier. Ah well, beggers and choosers, etc.

Exhaust Gleowine to allow Deck Two to draw a card: Elladan

There he is! The boys are back in town!

Elladan
Elrohir

It probably won’t affect the final outcome but I do love it when I can get them both out.

Quest Phase
Shuffle the encounter discard pile back into the encounter deck.

Prepare for Battle is the active quest.

Trigger Grond: place 1 resource on Grond (4) and deal 4 damage to Minas Tirith (18/50).

Things are getting very risky, we need to be careful even this late in the game.

Trigger Ithilien Tracker.

Aragorn-7
Halbarad-5
Knight of Minas Tirith-4
Grimbold-4
Thurindir-7
Thalion-3
Rider of Rohan-3
Glorfindel-5
Sulien-4

Total willpower: 42

All we need to do is win by 9 and we’ll complete the side-quest and explore Grond.

1: Spells of Ruin (Well if we take the damage then we’ll lose a few of our questers, so I’m afraid we’re going to have to send it over to Minas Tirith.) Deal 5 damage to Minas Tirith (13/50)
2: Black Dart (We need to retain as much willpower as possible, so we can make sure we’ll successfully quest) Attach Black Dart to Thalion and remove him from the quest.

Total threat: 17

Total willpower: 39

Win by 22, complete Grond and add it to the victory display. Complete Prepare for Battle and add it to the victory display.

Travel Phase
Now Grond is out the way, there’s no reason we shouldn’t get the next highest threat location out of the way.

Travel to Gate of Gondor (0/3)

Encounter Phase
The Witch-king engages Deck One and makes an immediate attack:
Shadow Card dealt to The Witch-king
Guardian of Arnor defends (6)
Orc of the Eye revealed as Shadow
The Witch-king attacks (8), deals 2 damage to Guardian of Arnor (1/3)

Deck One pays 2 resources and puts Ranger of Cardolan and Ranger of Cardolan* into play

That was a narrow escape, our best defenses were nearly breached. At least we have two extra Rangers to help us out.

Deck Two spends 1 Lore resource to trigger Ioreth and heal 3 damage from Aragorn. Exhaust Warden of Healing to heal 1 damage from Halbarad and Thurindir.

Now we’ve got all our heroes back up to full health, ready for combat.

Amarthiul spends 2 resources to pass 2 copies of Dunedain Warning to Aragorn.

Combat Phase
Trigger Archery 2, deal 1 damage to Legolas (2/3) and Glorfindel (3/4). Trigger Thalion to ready him.

Deck One defense:
Shadow Card dealt to The Witch-king
Aragorn defends (5)
Shadow of Mordor revealed as Shadow
The Witch-king attacks (7), deals 2 damage to Aragorn (3/5)

Nearly there, just one last attack left and we can bring it down.

Shadow Card dealt to War Mumak*
Ranger of Cardolan* defends (2)
Voice of Saruman revealed as Shadow
War Mumak* attacks (5), destroys Ranger of Cardolan*

Well that was brutal as it was inevitable. But that’s what we got him here for.

Shadow Card dealt to Mordor Orc
Vigilant Dunedain defends (2)
Pelennor Field revealed as Shadow
Mordor Orc attacks (2), deals no damage

Shadow Card dealt to Mordor Orc^
Vigilant Dunedain defends (2)
Fire-filled Trench revealed as Shadow
Mordor Orc^ attacks (1), deals no damage

Shadow Card dealt to Mordor Orc*
Vigilant Dunedain defends (2)
Siege Tower revealed as Shadow
Mordor Orc* attacks (1), deals no damage

And with nothing engaged with Deck Two we move onto our counterattacks

[Deck One attacks]
War Mumak*:
Fornost Bowman attacks (6), destroys War Mumak* and adds it to the victory display. Trigger War Mumak* and lower each person’s threat by 4.

At long last, its down!

The Witch-king:
Legolas attacks (3), Amarthiul attacks (6), Merry attacks (4), destroys The Witch-king and adds it to the victory display.

Victory

Victory Display: The Storm Comes (1), Keep Watch (1), Wraith on Wings (5), Send for Aid (1), Wraith on Wings (5), Rally the West (1), The Black Serpent (4), War Mumak (4), Grond (4), Prepare for Battle (1), War Mumak (4), The Witch-king (6)

Score: 25 threat + 25 threat + 90 for turns taken + 3 for damage on Aragorn – 37 for victory points = 106

We have triumphed upon the field of battle this day, but against the forces arising from the encounter deck, can there ever be true victory? Once we got out a few of our stronger allies everything seemed to go relatively smoothly. A key part in our victory was the clutch of Mordor Orcs held in check by our resident Vigilant Dunedain/Keep Watch combination, and in turn fueling the strength of our other Dunedain mechanics. Our Fornost Bowmen took down the Wraiths on Wings before they did us too much damage, and then proceeded to knock down the War Mumaks in as timely a fashion as they were able. And then once Aragorn arrived on the field, our questing went into overdrive with Sword that was Broken and Banner of Elendil increasing everyone’s willpower by 2, and this was driven to ridiculous levels once Rally the West boosted our heroes even further.

I think we’ll stick with a similar set of decks for The Black Gate, but I’m still not 100% sure. We got out our allies at a very good pace, and had a fairly decent level of card draw to keep the paces of our decks sustainable. The next quest we’ll be doing is The Tower of Cirith Ungol, returning to our hobbits as we begin the final stretch. I’m still undecided as to how we will proceed with those decks, so if you have any suggestions please do let us know.

Add Esquire of Gondor to the campaign pool
Add Esquire of Rohan to the campaign pool
Add Wraith on Wings to the campaign pool
Add Wraith on Wings to the campaign pool
Remove Haradrim Soldier from the campaign pool
Remove The Corsair Fleet from the campaign pool

 

FFG- Siege of Minas Tirith.jpg

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