Massing At Osgiliath: Playthrough

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

Encounter Deck Set-up:
Add Wainriders, Wolves from Mordor and Snaga Scouts to the Staging Area

Set The Witch-King aside, out of play.

Player Deck Set-up:

Deck One
Threat: 30
Denethor (Leadership)
Boromir (Leadership)
Prince Imrahil (Leadership)

Deck One Starting Hand:
Steward of Gondor
Favor of the Valar
White Tower Watchman
Favor of the Valar
Knight of the White Tower
Squire of the Citadel

Decent cards, but for this deck we really need either Steward of Gondor or Pillars of the Kings to get a burst of card draw at the beginning

Deck One Mulligan:
A Very Good Tale
Veteran of Osgiliath
Strength of Arms
Visionary Leadership
For Gondor
Steward of Gondor

This is much better. Resource acceleration with Steward and AVGT, the Veteran is an excellent ally and Visionary Leadership will be key to getting our willpower up and running

Turn No.1
Stage: 1B (0/7)
Active Location: N/A
Staging Area:
Wainriders (2 threat)
Wolves from Mordor (1 threat)
Snaga Scouts (1 threat)

Resource Phase
Hand (New Card in Bold):
Denethor (2), Boromir (1), Prince Imrahil (1)
A Very Good Tale, Veteran of Osgiliath, Strength of Arms, Visionary Leadership, For Gondor, Steward of Gondor, Pillars of the Kings

This is the perfect card to get now. Our threat will be in the danger zone, but the 4 extra cards ought to help accelerate our deck to keep up

Planning Phase
Steward of Gondor-Boromir (We won’t need to worry about our resource flow for the rest of the game now, and we can be confident in being able to consistently give every ally an extra attack, not to mention the willpower boost when we get Visionary Leadership on the table)

Exhaust Steward of Gondor to give Boromir 2 extra resources

Pillars of the Kings. Raise Deck One’s threat to 40 and draw 4 cards: Citadel Custodian, Soldier of Gondor, A Very Good Tale, Visionary Leadership (So we’re now in Valor mode, which can be a risky bracket to be in, especially because it means every enemy will be coming after us. But it also means that Veteran of Osgiliath gets his stat boost, and the Valiant Sword will get its additional point of attack. Also, these cards are exactly what we need to get things going. It also means that this next card can operate on a higher level)

Soldier of Gondor: Veteran of Osgiliath, Strength of Arms, Hauberk of Mail, Herald of Anorien, Soldier of Gondor (These are all amazing cards for this deck, and I’d hate to discard any of them. We’ll take the Herald of Anorien and the Soldier of Gondor so that we can keep accelerating our deck.) Add Veteran of Osgiliath, Herald of Arnorian and Soldier of Gondor to hand.

Herald of Anorien. Doomed 2. Put Soldier of Gondor* into play: Pillars of the Kings. Knight of the White Tower, Strength of Arms, Valiant Sword, Knight of the White Tower. Add Knight of the White Tower and Knight of the White Tower to hand. (These are expensive allies, but they have hero-level stats and are well worth the cost)

Quest Phase
Prince Imrahil-2
Soldier of Gondor-1
Soldier of Gondor*-1
Herald of Anorien-1

Total willpower: 5

1: Pelennor Fields (1 threat) (Not the worst by any stretch, but there are a lot of progress points to get through here)

Total threat: 5

Questing drawn.

We held our own this time, but the horde is coming.

Travel Phase
The quest stage prevents us from travelling to Pelennor Fields so we are just going to have to sit and wait.

Encounter Phase
Deck One is engaged by Wainriders, Wolves from Mordor and Snaga Scouts

Here we go, they are all descending.

Combat Phase
[Defense]
Shadow Card dealt to Wainriders
Denethor defends (3)
Wainriders revealed as Shadow
Wainriders attacks (3), deals no damage

This is an especial relief as the Wainriders can escalate our threat rapidly if we aren’t careful

Shadow Card dealt to Wolves from Mordor
Boromir defends (2)
Massing at Osgiliath revealed as Shadow
Wolves from Mordor attacks (4), deals 2 damage to Boromir (3/5)

Fortunately Boromir has a healthy reserve of hitpoints, but we can’t do this too often

Shadow Card dealt to Snaga Scouts
No defender declared
Wolves from Mordor revealed as Shadow
Prince Imrahil takes 1 damage (3/4)

This Scout isn’t a beefy enemy, but we may well die from death by a thousand cuts

Refresh Phase
Raise our threat by 1: 43

Turn No.2
Stage: 1B (0/7)
Active Location:
Staging Area:
Pelennor Fields (0/7, 1 threat)

Resource Phase
Hand (New Card in Bold):
Denethor (1), Boromir (1), Imrahil (1)
A Very Good Tale, Veteran of Osgiliath, Strength of Arms, Visionary Leadership, For Gondor!, Citadel Custodian, A Very Good Tale, Visionary Leadership, Veteran of Osgiliath, Knight of the White Tower, Knight of the White Tower, Prepare for Battle

I doubt we’ll get it in play or completed this turn, but once we do the cards we draw each turn doubles

Planning Phase
Exhaust Steward of Gondor to give Boromir 2 extra resources

Veteran of Osgiliath (An excellent ally to have at this threat level, now bringing hero-level stats for only 3 cost)

Exhaust Veteran of Osgiliath and Soldier of Gondor* to play A Very Good Tale: Pillars of the Kings, Faramir, Hauberk of Mail, Squire of the Citadel, Veteran of Osgiliath (As much as I hate to lose a Veteran, we need to get as much value out of this event as possible, and we can’t pass up the chance to get Faramir into play). Put Faramir and Squire of the Citadel into play, discard the other cards.

Citadel Custodian (As we now have 6 Gondor allies in play, this is a free body to put into battle.)

Exhaust Citadel Custodian and Faramir to play A Very Good Tale (Let’s go again, summon the armies!): Soldier of Gondor, Visionary Leadership, Knight of the White Tower, Faramir, Squire of the Citadel. (Well there’s really no contest here. We can’t put a second copy of Faramir into play, and Squire of the Citadel doesn’t carry the same weight as the other allies) Put Soldier of Gondor^ and Knight of the White Tower into play, discard the other cards

And we’ve tripled the number of allies in play from 3 to 9. This is the might of Gondor at work. Especially when we do this:

Strength of Arms. Ready each ally in play.

Here are Gondor’s armies, ready to defend her borders.

Quest Phase
Herald of Anorien-1
Soldier of Gondor-1
Squire of the Citadel-0
Citadel Custodian-1

Total willpower: 3

1: Uruk Vanguard (2 threat) (We won’t face him just yet, we’ll need to deal with the allies we are currently facing)

Total threat: 3

Exhaust Faramir to give each character 1 extra willpower

Total willpower: 7

Win by 4, place 4 progress on Stage 1B (4/7)

That’s much more like it. We don’t want to progress quite yet to avoid the stranglehold Stage 2 puts on us, but it’s good to get some progress down.

Travel Phase
N/A

Encounter Phase
N/A

Combat Phase
[Defense]
Shadow Card dealt to Wainriders
Denethor defends (3)
Wainrider Captain revealed as Shadow
Wainriders attacks (3), deals no damage

And again Denethor holds them back, though ideally we’ll get armour on Denethor to increase his capability

Shadow Card dealt to Wolves from Mordor
Knight of the White Tower defends (3)
Ranger of Ithilien revealed as Shadow. Deal 2 damage to Wolves of Mordor (1/3) and exhaust Soldier of Gondor* to take control of Ranger of Ithilien (An extra free ally hidden in the encounter deck is a fantastic eucatastrophic touch the developers added in for us)
Wolves of Mordor attacks (4), deal 1 damage to Knight of the White Tower (2/3)

A brilliant turn of events, and now we should have the capacity to counterattack effectively

Shadow Card dealt to Snaga Scouts
Soldier of Gondor defends (1)
Snaga Scouts revealed as Shadow
Snaga Scouts attacks (1), deal no damage

Now it’s our turn.

[Attacks]
Wainriders:
Boromir attacks (3), Prince Imrahil attacks (3), destroys Wainriders

Wolves from Mordor:
Ranger of Ithilien attacks (2), destroys Wolves from Mordor

Snaga Scouts:
Veteran of Osgiliath attacks (3), destroys Snaga Scouts

And just like that, the board is cleared. Long live the White Tree!

Refresh Phase
Raise our threat by 1: 44

Turn No.3
Stage: 1B (4/7)
Active Location: N/A
Staging Area:
Pelennor Fields (0/7, 1 threat)
Uruk Vanguard (2 threat)

Resource Phase
Hand (New Card in Bold):
Denethor (1), Boromir (1), Prince Imrahil (1)
Visionary Leadership, For Gondor!, Visionary Leadership, Veteran of Osgiliath, Knight of the White Tower, Knight of the White Tower, Prepare for Battle, Hauberk of Mail

A little bit of defensive support here, we’ll give this to the Knight to bring him up to 4 defense.

Planning Phase
Exhaust Steward of Gondor to give Boromir 2 extra resources

Prepare for Battle (We should be able to complete this in one shot, and from then on out we’ll have the card draw to match our resources)

Visionary Leadership-Boromir (But just to be sure, we’ll give Boromir this as well, meaning that with Faramir exhausted, each Gondor character gets 2 extra willpower)

Hauberk of Mail-Knight of the White Tower (If he were a hero this Knight would start with 13 threat, now with 3 willpower, 3 attack, 4 defense and 3 hitpoints. This is including Boromir’s attack boost and the bonus from Visionary Leadership, but not including Faramir’s additional willpower bonus.)

Quest Phase
Prepare for Battle is the active quest

Herald of Anorien-2
Squire of the Citadel-1
Soldier of Gondor-2
Soldier of Gondor*-2
Soldier of Gondor^-2
Citadel Custodian-2
Ranger of Ithilien-3

Total willpower: 14

1: Captured Watchtower (1 threat) (We are unable to travel here either, but 1 threat is not too bad at all as we shall see)

Total threat: 4

Win by 10, complete Prepare for Battle and add it to the victory display.

I think next turn we will have to progress to the next stage before the truly nasty treacheries get revealed.

Travel Phase
N/A

Encounter Phase
Deck One engages Uruk Vanguard

We need to get rid of this before we cross, of else face his boosted attack. There is no time like the present.

Combat Phase
[Defense]
Shadow Card dealt to Uruk Vanguard
Knight of the White Tower defends (4)
Cut Off revealed as Shadow. Discard Knight of the White Tower from Deck One’s hand
Uruk Vanguard attacks (2), deals no damage

It could have been worse, but an additional Knight would have been nice.

[Attacks]
Uruk Vanguard:
Boromir attacks (3), Prince Imrahil attacks (3), Veteran of Osgiliath attacks (3), destroys Uruk Vanguard

Those 8 hit points are a sizeable force to get through, but it is no match for the forces of Gondor!

Refresh Phase
Raise our threat by 1: 45

Turn No.4
Stage: 1B (4/7)
Active Location: N/A
Staging Area:
Pelennor Fields (1 threat)
Captured Watchtower (1 threat)

Resource Phase
Hand (New Card in Bold):
Denethor (1), Boromir (2), Prince Imrahil (1)
For Gondor!, Visionary Leadership, Veteran of Osgiliath, Knight of the White Tower, Valiant Sword, Citadel Custodian

So as we are over 40 threat we can get 2 extra attack here with the sword, as well as a free ally.

Planning Phase
Exhaust Steward of Gondor to give Boromir 2 extra resources

Veteran of Osgiliath* (We could have gotten a second Knight, but given that our defense is pretty well taken care of I think I’d prefer the extra attack)

Valiant Sword-Boromir (And this takes him up to 5 attack, worthy of Gondor’s first son)

Citadel Custodian* (It’s a free ally, so we’ve no reason to keep him back and not to throw him into the fray)

Quest Phase
I reckon we are at a stage now where we can move forward. We’ll throw our allies into questing, and see how we do.

Herald of Anorien-2
Squire of the Citadel-1
Citadel Custodian-2
Citadel Custodian*-2
Soldier of Gondor-2
Soldier of Gondor*-2

Total willpower: 11

1: Wainrider Captain (3 threat). Trigger Wainrider Captain to move Snaga Scouts from the encounter discard pile to the staging area (1 threat). (Probably one of the harshest draws we could have expected, but I reckon we can destroy them both this turn.)

Total threat: 6

Win by 5, complete Stage 1B. Advance to Stage 2.

We are now prohibited from playing more than 1 card each turn, so to escape from this stranglehold we’d better advance as quickly as we can.

Travel Phase
N/A

Encounter Phase
Wainrider Captain and Snaga Scouts engage Deck One

Combat Phase
[Defense]
Shadow Card dealt to Wainrider Captain
Knight of the White Tower defends (4)
Emyn Arnen revealed as Shadow
Wainrider Captain attacks (3), deals no damage

Now the Knight has his Hauberk on, he is a wall that will not be moved

Shadow Card dealt to Snaga Scouts
Veteran of Osgiliath* defends (2)
Cut Off revealed as Shadow (We now face the choice of losing a Veteran of Osgiliath, or a Knight of the White Tower as the only ally in my hand. I think I’d prefer to have the ally already in play and save the resources for later) Discard Knight of the White Tower from Deck One’s hand
Snaga Scouts attacks (1), deals no damage

And we’ve lost our last copy of Knight of the White Tower, but our allies survive another day

[Attacks]
Wainrider Captain:
Boromir attacks (5), Imrahil attacks (3), destroys Wainrider Captain

Snaga Scouts:
Veteran of Osgiliath attacks (4), destroys Snaga Scouts

Refresh Phase
Raise our threat by 1: 46

Turn No.5
Stage: 2B (0/5)
Active Location: N/A
Staging Area:
Pelennor Fields (0/7, 1 threat)
Captured Watchtower (0/2, 1 threat)

Resource Phase
Hand (New Card in Bold):
Denethor (1), Boromir (3), Prince Imrahil (1)
For Gondor!, Visionary Leadership, Strength of Arms, Favor of the Valar

Given that we’re floating at a pretty high threat here, having this parachute on hand could well prove invaluable if I get a string of Doomed effects

Planning Phase
Exhaust Steward of Gondor to give Boromir 2 extra resources

Favor of the Valar (We need this when playing a Valor Deck to save us from threating out)

Quest Phase
We need to move off from this bottleneck as soon as possible

Herald of Anorien-2
Squire of the Citadel-1
Citadel Custodian-2
Citadel Custodian*-2
Soldier of Gondor-2
Soldier of Gondor*-2
Soldier of Gondor^-2

Total willpower: 13

1: Wolves from Mordor (1 threat) (A nasty bite with 4 attack, but I reckon our Knight of the White Tower can stand up to them)

Total threat: 3

Win by 10, complete Stage 2B. Advance to Stage 3.

Now fortunately we have already drawn a Ranger of Ithilien so we don’t have to sacrifice a hero to commit our characters to the quest.

Travel Phase
N/A

Encounter Phase
Wolves from Mordor engages Deck One

To be honest, we have so many spare characters that one enemy isn’t much of a threat at this point.

Combat Phase
[Defense]
Shadow Card is dealt to Wolves from Mordor
Knight of the White Tower defends (4)
Uruk Vanguard revealed as Shadow
Wolves from Mordor attacks (5), deals 1 damage to Knight of the White Tower (1/3)

He’s down to his last hit point, and I have no healing in the deck. Once the Knight is down, he’ll be staying down.

[Attack]
Wolves from Mordor:
Boromir attacks (5), destroys Wolves from Mordor

Refresh Phase
Raise our threat by 1: 47

Turn No.6
Stage: 3B (0/1)
Active Location: N/A
Staging Area:
Pelennor Fields (0/7, 1 threat)
Captured Watchtower (0/2, 1 threat)

Resource Phase
Hand (New Card in Bold):
Denethor (1), Boromir (5), Prince Imrahil (1)
For Gondor!, Visionary Leadership, Strength of Arms, White Tower Watchman, Ancestral Armour

An extra ally that can soak up an undefended attack if needs be, and a fantastic defensive boost for one of our characters.

Planning Phase
Exhaust Steward of Gondor to give Boromir 2 extra resources

White Tower Watchman (The best thing about this guy is you do not have to exhaust him to use his ability to siphon off undefended damage, so we can utilise him for questing as well)

Ancestral Armor-Knight of the White Tower (This attachment can go on any Leadership or Noble Character, not only heroes. As such, our Knight now has a mighty 6 defense and 3/5 hit points remaining. He should survive against all but the strongest of foes)

Quest Phase
Trigger Stage 3B: discard Ranger of Ithilien to be able to commit characters to the quest

It is a relief we were able to find the Ranger, otherwise we’d have to sacrifice one of our heroes instead.

Herald of Anorien-2
Squire of the Citadel-1
Citadel Custodian-2
Citadel Custodian*-2
White Tower Watchman-2

Total willpower: 9

1: Dark Pursuit (There are no Scout enemies in play, so we’ll just breeze on by). Trigger Surge.
1.1: Wainriders (1 threat) (We should be able to overcome this enemy relatively easily this turn)

Total threat: 3

Win by 6, complete Stage 3B. Trigger Stage 4 and add The Witch-King to the staging area.

With a monstrous 6 attack, only our Knight of Minas Tirith has any hope of surviving a blow from the Lord of the Nine

Travel Phase
We can finally travel to West Bank locations, though we are compelled to go to the Pelennor Fields first.

Travel to Pelennor Fields (0/7)

Seven extra progress is no small amount, bringing us up to 22 required to finish Stage 4

Encounter Phase
The Witch-King and Wainriders engage Deck One

Now the real test will be to see if we can defeat them both

Combat Phase
[Defense]
Shadow Card is dealt to The Witch-king
Knight of Minas Tirith defends (6)
Wolves from Mordor revealed as Shadow, deal 2 damage to Knight of Minas Tirith (1/5)
The Witch-king attacks (6), deals no damage

Ancestral Armor is really pulling its weight here, but the Knight is down to his last hit point. But have a look there at the second part of The Witch-king’s ability: that’s right, we’re in trouble.

Trigger The Witch-king to raise Deck One’s threat by 3 to 50. Discard Favor of the Valar to reduce Deck One’s threat to 45.

If it wasn’t for that parachute, either the game would be over or we would have to quest past The Witch-king next turn with his willpower sapping effect.

Shadow Card is dealt to Wainriders
Denethor defends (3)
Morgulduin revealed as Shadow
Wainriders attacks (3), deals no damage to Denethor

Fortunately this hasn’t come up as a shadow earlier, or else this could have wrecked havoc with our questing capabilities.

[Attacks]
The Witch-King:
Boromir attacks (5), Prince Imrahil attacks (3), Veteran of Osgiliath attacks (4), Veteran of Osgiliath* attacks (4), Soldier of Gondor attacks (2), destroys The Witch-king

And the quarter-back is down. It just occurs to me that The Witch-King does not get added to the Victory Display, which means he can come back for a second round. Appropriate I suppose, for he shall not be slain by the hand of any living man. But now for the homeward stretch!

Wainriders:
Faramir attacks (2), Soldier of Gondor* attacks (2), Soldier of Gondor^ attacks (2), destroys Wainriders

Here we see the true might of the Gondor swarm, being able to muster this much attack power at will. And this is without playing For Gondor!, which would have given everyone 1 extra attack and defense.

Refresh Phase
Raise our threat by 1: 46

Turn No.7
Stage: 4B (0/15)
Active Location: Pelennor Fields (0/7)
Staging Area:
Captured Watchtower (0/2, 3 threat)

Resource Phase
Hand (New Card in Bold):
Denethor (1), Boromir (3), Prince Imrahil (1)
Strength of Arms, Visionary Leadership, For Gondor!, Angbor the Fearless, Citadel Custodian

Two allies with very different abilities. All are welcome however under Gondor’s banner.

Planning Phase
Exhaust Steward of Gondor to give Boromir 2 extra resources

Citadel Custodian (One last copy, for free, just to bump up our willpower that bit more)

Angbor the Fearless (Here is an ally that would have been welcome at any stage in the game, and is still useful now in the closing stage)

Quest Phase
It’s all or nothing now.

Exhaust Faramir to give each character 1 extra willpower.

We’ll do this again I think. Nothing quite like overkill for effect.

Deck One plays Strength of Arms. Exhaust Faramir to give each character 1 extra willpower.

Boromir-3
Prince Imrahil-4
Denethor-3
Soldier of Gondor-4
Herald of Anorien-4
Soldier of Gondor*-4
Veteran of Osgiliath-5
Squire of the Citadel-3
Citadel Custodian-4
Soldier of Gondor^-4
Knight of Minas Tirith-5
Veteran of Osgiliath*-5
Citadel Custodian-4
White Tower Watchman-4
Citadel Custodian-4
Angbor the Fearless-5

Total willpower: 65

And while this serves no purpose, because I doubt we’ll get another chance I really want to end on this note…

Deck One plays For Gondor!

1: Wainrider Captain (3 threat) (Worst possible enemy as he summons 2 extra enemies out of the encounter discard, but somehow I doubt it will be enough). Trigger Wainrider Captain to search the encounter discard pile for Wainriders (2 threat), and Wolves from Mordor (1 threat), adding them to the staging area.

Total threat: 9

Win by 55. Explore Pelennor Fields and add it to the Victory Display. Complete Stage 4B.

Victory.

Victory Display: Prepare for Battle (1), Pelennor Fields (1)

Score: 70 for turns taken + 46 threat + 2 for damage on Boromir + 1 for damage on Prince Imrahil – 2 for Victory Points = 117

Well I must admit I was blown away by how quickly the host of Gondor was able to get her forces onto the battlefield. There are now so many effects to accelerate that growth so that for a turn or two the power increase rose exponentially. At that point, there was nothing the encounter deck was able to do to catch up to us. Any enemy was struck down on the same turn, and any location was explored by the vast stock of willpower we could bring to bear.

I’m not sure there was anything we could have done better, things progressed as smoothly as we could ask. Looking back over the report I realise I should have given Denethor an extra resource, but on balance I don’t think it negatively affected us too much. The question now becomes, where to next? My new Hobbit series is in the works, and I have a new ‘What-If?’ scenario coming out soon, but I’d still like to do one or two of these individual scenarios every now and then. Do you have any suggestions or ideas? Let us know down below, or send a message and get in touch.

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