We Must Away, Ere Break of Day: Playthrough

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

Here we go on another adventure. If you have read my alternate Lord of the Rings Saga, thank you for returning and giving this a look. If you are new, welcome! We’ll be going through all 7 quests set during the events of the Hobbit, then writing the narrative that was dictated by the unfolding of the cards. I hope you guys enjoy this first chapter of our Hobbit Saga Playthrough.

Player Deck Set-up:

Deck One
Threat: 28
Bilbo Baggins (OHaUH)
Thorin Oakenshield
Bifur
Nori

Deck One Starting Hand:
A Test of Will
Sneak Attack
Far-sighted
Gloin
Daeron’s Runes
Erebor Record Keeper

Well I’m not really sure we can ask for anything better than this. We basically have everything here we need to get our ball rolling.

Encounter Deck Set-up:
Remove and shuffle the 7 Sack cards into a Sack deck and set it aside face down. Remove the 3 Troll enemies and the Troll Cave from the encounter deck and set them aside out of play. Then, shuffle the encounter deck. Deck One reveals 1 card from the top of the encounter deck and adds it to the staging area: Troll Camp

While this is good to have for removing Sack cards, right now it is a location with 3 threat, which isn’t insignificant at the start.

Turn No.1
Stage: 1B (0/7)
Active Location: N/A
Staging Area:
Troll Camp (0/3, 3 threat)

Resource Phase
Hand (New Card in Bold):
Bilbo (1), Thorin (1), Nori (1), Bifur (1)
A Test of Will, Sneak Attack, Far-sighted, Gloin, Daeron’s Runes, Erebor Record Keeper, Saruman

Fantastic ally, but I’m not sure we are ready for him to come in quite yet.

Planning Phase
Daeron’s Runes. Draw 2 cards: Dori, Daeron’s Runes. Discard Saruman from Deck One’s hand. (We’ll find another copy later. In the meantime we got a solid ally and some more card draw, so I’m seeing that as a win.)
Daeron’s Runes. Draw 2 cards: Dwarrowdelf Axe, Legacy of Durin. Discard Sneak Attack. (The Axe is useless for us until we can get Narvi’s Belt on the table, but Legacy of Durin is just what we need to keep our engine chugging along)
Legacy of Durin-Thorin (There’s no particular reason, except that he is the most senior ranking Dwarf and is of Durin’s line.)
Far-sighted. Trigger Doomed 1. Look at the top 5 cards of the encounter deck: Hobbit-lands, Troll Key, Cave Entrance, Hungry Troll, A Suspicious Crow. (Now we know exactly how much we need to be questing during the next few turns to avoid losing threat or placing too much progress on the quest so that we don’t advance too quickly. All this for 1 threat, which we will soon recoup.)
Trigger Bifur to pay 1 resource from Nori to give 1 resource to Bifur (This ability means we can always make the most of all the resources we have)
Erebor Record Keeper. Trigger Nori to reduce Deck One’s threat by 1. Exhaust Legacy of Durin to draw a card: Woodmen’s Clearing (I would have preferred another Dwarf ally, but we’ll take it. Free threat reduction is not to be passed on lightly)

Quest Phase
Thorin-3
Bilbo-1

Total willpower: 4

1: Hobbit-lands (1 threat) (We knew this was coming off. It means that next turn we ought to be able to draw an extra card from this location)

Total threat: 4

Questing drawn, no progress placed.

Travel Phase
Travel to Hobbit-lands (0/1).

There’s not even any travel cost! We’d better enjoy it while we can.

Encounter Phase
N/A

Combat Phase
N/A

Refresh Phase
Raise our threat by 1: 29

Turn No.2
Stage: 1B (0/7)
Active Location: Hobbit Lands (0/1)
Staging Area:
Troll Camp (0/3, 3 threat)

Resource Phase
Hand (New Card in Bold):
Bilbo (2), Thorin (2), Nori (1), Bifur (1)
A Test of Will, Gloin, Dori, Dwarrowdelf Axe, Woodmen’s Clearing, Dwalin

A decent ally even without his cost reduction. But once we get our five dwarves out, he is one heck of a bargain.

Planning Phase
Woodmen’s Clearing-Hobbit Lands

When we explore this location, we’ll be getting a nice drop in our threat as well as the card draw now.

Quest Phase
We know what is coming so this should be straightforward enough.

Thorin-3
Bilbo-1

Total willpower: 4

1: Troll Key (This coming out at an earlier point in the quest means that we are better prepared for seeking out the treasures later on)

Total threat: 3

Win by 1, explore Hobbit Lands. Trigger Hobbit Lands to allow Deck One to draw a card: Ring Mail (We’ll be needing this to get our defenders ready, because we don’t actually have any characters ready to handle a Troll’s attack from the start). Trigger Woodmen’s Clearing to reduce Deck One’s threat by 3: 26

Trigger Bifur to pay 1 resource from Nori to give 1 resource to Bifur (Right now we need more Lore resources than Spirit ones)

Travel Phase
N/A

Encounter Phase
N/A

Combat Phase
N/A

Refresh Phase
Raise our threat by 1: 27

Turn No.3
Stage: 1B (0/7)
Active Location: N/A
Staging Area:
Troll Camp (0/3, 3 threat)
Troll Key

Resource Phase
Hand (New Card in Bold):
Bilbo (3), Thorin (3), Nori (1), Bifur (3)
A Test of Will, Gloin, Dori, Dwarrowdelf Axe, Dwalin, Ring Mail, Untroubled By Darkness

When it comes to the next stage, we will probably fair better by questing as hard as we can through the encounter deck than by actually defeating the Trolls. We’ll made great use of this later.

Planning Phase
Dori (And we’ve hit 5 Dwarves. Now we can see our deck come together with Thorin’s extra resource and all the benefits we get from our allies). Trigger Nori to reduce Deck One’s threat by 1. Exhaust Legacy of Durin to allow Deck One to draw a card: Bofur (Once we get Narvi’s Belt we are going to be spending a glut of Tactics resources, including getting this fantastic ally on the table)
Dwalin (And now he only costs 1 resource for a very handy ally to have around). Trigger Nori to reduce Deck One’s threat by 1.
Gloin. Trigger Gloin to place 2 resources on Thorin. (The plan is for Thorin to be able to build up enough resources so that he can eventually pay for all the Tactics cards at once). Trigger Nori to reduce Deck One’s threat by 1. (And just like that we’re now down to 24 threat. Whoever said Dwarves weren’t still top-tier?)

Trigger Bifur to pay 1 resource from Thorin to give 1 resource to Bifur (Just to spread that love around)

Quest Phase
Remember that we know Cave Entrance is the next encounter card, so we can still quest precisely.

Thorin-3
Bilbo-1
Nori-2

Total willpower: 6

1: Cave Entrance (1 threat) (As we suspected. This means we have just beaten the threat in the staging area and so place minimal progress on the quest)

Total threat: 4

Win by 2, place 2 progress on Stage 1B (2/7)

Travel Phase
Travel to Cave Entrance (0/3)

We may as well keep our threat in the staging area as low as we can for now.

Encounter Phase
N/A

Combat Phase
N/A

Refresh Phase
Raise our threat by 1: 25

Turn No.4
Stage: 1B (2/7)
Active Location: Cave Entrance (0/3)
Staging Area:
Troll Camp (0/3, 3 threat)
Troll Key

Resource Phase
Hand (New Card in Bold):
Bilbo (4), Thorin (3), Nori (1), Bifur (2)
A Test of Will, Dwarrowdelf Axe, Ring Mail, Untroubled by Darkness, Bifur, Soldier of Erebor

An excellent ally, though we can’t afford him just yet. Part of me wonders if we shouldn’t have saved Gloin for this turn so we could keep Legacy of Durin drawing extra cards.

Planning Phase
Pay 1 resource from Bilbo to give Bifur 1 resource.

Quest Phase
Thorin-3
Bilbo-1
Nori-2
Gloin-2

Total willpower: 8

1: Hungry Troll (There are no Trolls, and so this gains Surge) Trigger Surge
1.1: A Suspicious Crow (1 threat) (We have reached the end of our Far-sighted streak, so this next move will take us into the unknown) Trigger A Suspicious Crow to reveal Hungry Troll.
1.2 Hungry Troll (Here we go again…) Trigger Surge
1.3 Roast ‘Em or Boil ‘Em! (Ouch!) Deal 1 damage to Gloin (2/3), Dwalin (2/3), Dori (2/3) and destroy Erebor Record Keeper.

Total threat: 4

Win by 4, explore Cave Entrance and place 1 progress on Stage 1B (3/7)

That stung, but if there had been Trolls we’d be looking at 2 damage each instead of just one, so we’ll focus on the silver linings

Travel Phase
N/A

Encounter Phase
Deck One engages A Suspicious Crow

We may as well kill it and get rid of its threat

Combat Phase
Shadow Card dealt to A Suspicious Crow
Dwalin defends (2)
More Like a Grocer revealed as Shadow, discard all resources from Bilbo Baggins (Oh, that sucks!)
A Suspicious Crow attacks (1), deals no damage
Dori attacks (2), destroys A Suspicious Crow

Well at least the Crow is deal, but losing all three resources really doesn’t help!

Refresh Phase
Raise our threat by 1: 26

Turn No.5
Stage: 1B (3/7)
Active Location:
Staging Area:
Troll Camp (0/3, 3 threat)
Troll Key

Resource Phase
Hand (New Card in Bold):
Bilbo (1), Thorin (5), Nori (2), Bifur (4)
A Test of Will, Dwarrowdelf Axe, Ring Mail, Untroubled by Darkness, Bofur, Soldier of Erebor, Kili

We should be able to play him next turn, and find his twin in the process.

Planning Phase
Soldier of Erebor (That’s a nice beefy ally who will serve us well when the Trolls show up). Trigger Nori to lower Deck One’s threat by 1. Exhaust Legacy of Durin to allow Deck One to draw a card: Bombur (An extra ally is helpful, even if he nearly functionally useless here)

Quest Phase
And we step out into the unknown…

Thorin-3
Bilbo-1
Nori-2

Total willpower: 6

1: Lone-Lands (2 threat) (The good part about this stage of the game is that most things coming off the encounter deck are locations and not enemies)

Total threat: 5

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

The clock ever ticks on

Pay 1 resource from Bilbo to give Bifur 1 resource.

Travel Phase
Travel to Lone-Lands (0/3)

We’ll lose a resource when we explore here, but we will also get one for Bilbo when we do, so it is a bit of a trade-off.

Encounter Phase
N/A

Combat Phase
N/A

Refresh Phase
Raise our threat by 1: 26

Turn No.6
Stage: 1B (4/7)
Active Location: Lone-Lands (4/7)
Staging Area:
Troll Camp (0/3, 3 threat)
Troll Key

Resource Phase
Hand (New Card in Bold):
BIlbo (1), Thorin (2), Nori (3), Bifur (5)
A Test of Will, Dwarrowdelf Axe, Ring Mail, Untroubled by Darkness, Bofur, Kili, Bombur, Dwarrowdelf Axe

Another Tactics card we cannot play until we get Narvi’s Belt. Also I think we only had the two weapons, so Bofur will only be good for his stats now.

Planning Phase
Bombur (We’ll knock off some threat each turn, but he’ll probably be the most useful when the Sacks arrive as a shield for someone else). Trigger Nori to lower Deck One’s threat by 1. Exhaust Legacy of Durin to draw a card: Untroubled by Darkness

This will be very helpful for when we need to quest as fast as we can next phase

Pay 1 resource from Thorin to give Bifur 1 resource.

Quest Phase
Exhaust Bombur to reduce the threat of Troll Camp by 1. (For what it’s worth, we may as well)

Thorin-3
Bilbo-1
Nori-2
Gloin-2

Total willpower: 8

1: Troll Camp* (3 threat) (Oh brilliant. A second one. We need to clear at least one before the Trolls appear or we will allow each Troll to get an extra 2 threat each)

Total threat: 5

Win by 3, explore Lone-Lands. Trigger Lone-Lands to discard a resource from Thorin and to give a resource to Bilbo

And now the wee Hobbit is back to 2 resources.

Travel Phase
Travel to Troll Camp* (0/3)

It’s just cleaner to keep the original in the Staging Area.

Encounter Phase
N/A

Combat Phase
N/A

Refresh Phase
Raise our threat by 1: 26

Turn No.7
Stage: 1B (4/7)
Active Location: Troll Camp* (0/3)
Staging Area:
Troll Camp (0/3, 3 threat)
Troll Key

Resource Phase
Hand (New Card in Bold):
Bilbo (3), Thorin (2), Nori (4), Bifur (5)
A Test of Will, Dwarrowdelf Axe, Ring Mail, Untroubled by Darkness, Bofur, Kili, Dwarrowdelf Axe, Untroubled by Darkness, Woodmen’s Clearing

A nice wee bit of threat reduction, we’ll gladly accept this.

Planning Phase
Kili. Trigger Kili to search Deck One’s deck for Fili and put him into play, then shuffle the deck. Trigger Nori to lower Deck One’s threat by 1. Exhaust Legacy of Durin to allow Deck One to draw 1 card: Narvi’s Belt (At long last! Now we can start getting out our Tactics cards)
Narvi’s Belt-Bifur (Given that he can glean resources from any hero, this is probably the best bet)
Exhaust Narvi’s Belt to give Bifur the Tactics sphere until the end of the phase
Ring Mail-Soldier of Erebor (With 4 defense and 4 hit points so far, he will be our first line of defense against the Troll menace.)
Dwarrowdelf Axe-Thorin

Dwarrowdelf Axe-Thorin (Now with 5 attack and 2 points of direct damage per attack, Thorin will be our primary answer for the Troll enemies)
Woodmen’s Clearing-Troll Camp* (We should be able to clear this location during the quest phase and net us the threat reduction)

Well that was a productive turn. We’ll probably wait until next turn before advancing to face the Trolls, but we’re nearly ready.

Pay 1 resource from Nori to give Bifur 1 resource.

Quest Phase
Exhaust Bombur to reduce the threat of Troll Camp by 1.

Thorin-3
Bilbo-1
Gloin-2
Kili-1

Total willpower: 7

1: No Campfire. Trigger Doomed 1. (Of our choices here, I think that taking the extra threat is the poorer option. We’ll go for the extra encounter card.) Trigger No Campfire to reveal an extra encounter card.
1.1: A Nice Pickle. Trigger Doomed 1. Place the top 2 cards of the encounter discard pile at the bottom of the encounter deck. (Other than the Doomed 1, this does nothing that negatively impacts us right now. It does take us up to 27 threat however.)

Total threat: 2. Win by 5, explore Troll Camp* and place 2 progress on Stage 1B (6/7). Trigger Woodmen’s Clearing to reduce Deck One’s threat by 3.

And the threat is back down again, though not as low as we would have liked.

Travel Phase
N/A

Encounter Phase
N/A

Combat Phase
N/A

Refresh Phase
Raise our threat by 1: 25

Turn No.8
Stage: 1B (6/7)
Active Location: N/A
Staging Area:
Troll Camp (0/3, 3 threat)
Troll Key

Resource Phase
Hand (New Card in Bold):
Bilbo (3), Thorin (2), Nori (2), Bifur (3)
A Test of Will, Untroubled by Darkness, Bofur, Untroubled by Darkness, Ring Mail

I suppose this means that Bofur will need to wait another turn, we need to get the defense of our Soldier of Erebor up as high as we possibly can.

Planning Phase
Exhaust Narvi’s Belt to give Bifur the Tactics sphere until the end of the phase
Ring Mail-Soldier of Erebor (Now with 5 defense, it will take a shadow card for a Troll’s swing to break through.)

Quest Phase
Exhaust Bombur to reduce the threat of Troll Camp by 1.

Bifur-2
Gloin-2
Kili-1
Fili-1

Total willpower: 6

Here we go, let’s see if we are advancing

1: Lone-Lands (2 threat) (Here we go!)

Total threat: 4

Win by 2, complete Stage 1. Trigger Stage 2A: Add the set-aside Troll enemies and Troll Cave to the staging area then shuffle the encounter discard pile into the encounter deck.

Attach Troll Key to a random Troll in the staging area: William. (This was indeed random, as picked out by my wife)

To be honest that is probably the worst of the three Trolls to have the key. Bert is coming down anyway, so we have to deal with him regardless. Tom prevents enemies from being ganged up on, so ideally he would have been the first to go. We’ll probably leave William in the staging area for now and bring down Bert as quickly as we possibly can.

Pay 1 resource from Thorin to give Bifur 1 resource

Travel Phase
Travel to Lone-Lands (0/3)

Hopefully we should be able to clear this straight away and get Bilbo those resources he needs

Encounter Phase
Deck One engages Bert. Trigger Sacked 1: A Foul Sack. Attach A Foul Sack to Thorin Oakenshield.

If we can kill him off quickly enough, handling William should be that much easier. Now we’ll just rescue Thorin.

Exhaust Bilbo and pay 1 Baggins resource to discard A Foul Sack from Thorin

Combat Phase
Shadow Card dealt to Bert
Soldier of Erebor defends (5)
Hungry Troll revealed as Shadow (Fortunately, Thorin was freed just in time to avoid nearly being eaten)
Bert attacks (5), deals no damage
Thorin attacks (5) deals 3 damage to Bert. Trigger both Dwarrowdelf Axes to deal 2 additional points of damage to Bert (5/10)
Raise Deck One’s threat by 1 to prevent Bert from returning to the Staging Area.

Just one more turn and Bert is down.

Refresh Phase
Raise our threat by 1: 27

Turn No.9
Stage: 2B (0/1)
Active Location: Lone-Lands (0/3)
Staging Area:
Troll Camp (0/3, 3 threat)
Troll Cave (0/4, 2 threat)
Tom (4 threat)
William (4 threat)

Resource Phase
Hand (New Card in Bold):
Bilbo (5), Thorin (2), Nori (2), Bifur (3)
A Test of WIll, Untroubled by Darkness, Bofur, Untroubled by Darkness, Dwalin

We’ve got him in play already, but it is handy to have a spare in case we lose the original

Planning Phase
Exhaust Narvi’s Belt to give Bifur the Tactics sphere until the end of the phase
Bofur (This ally will serve us better with his willpower right now than with his attack or his special ability). Trigger Nori to reduce Deck One’s threat by 1. Exhaust Legacy of Durin to draw a card: Saurman. (This is perfect, the White Wizard has arrived!)
Saruman. Trigger Doomed 3. Trigger Saruman to remove Troll Camp from play. (By removing this we not only get rid of the threat of Troll Camp, but we also reduce the threat of each Troll in the staging area by one, so we have a swing of 5 threat)

Quest Phase
Exhaust Bombur to reduce the threat of Troll Cave by 1.

Nori-2
Bifur-2
Gloin-2
Bifur-2
Fili-1
Kili-1
Dori-1
Dwalin-1

Total willpower: 12

1: Wind-whipped Rain (Well we cannot allow this, we have too much riding on our attachments right now) Deck One plays A Test of Will to cancel Wind-whipped Rain.

Total threat: 7

Win by 5, explore Lone-Lands and place 2 progress on Stage 2B. Trigger Stage 2B to discard the top 2 cards of the encounter deck.

Only about 40 to go, but it is a start.

Travel Phase
N/A

Encounter Phase
Deck One engages William. (We need to get that Key off him if we are to find the treasures for the remainder of the Saga.) Trigger Sacked 2: A Worn Sack, A Tough Sack. Attach A Worn Sack to Bilbo, attach A Tough Sack to Saruman.

Exhaust Bilbo and pay 1 Baggins resource to discard A Worn Sack from Bilbo

We need Saruman’s attack this turn if we are to make a dent into the Trolls, but we need Bilbo to claim the Key next turn. Unfortunately this means we don’t actually get to use Saruman’s stats, but his removal at the end of turn means his Sack will be

Combat Phase
[Defense]
Shadow Card dealt to William
Soldier of Erebor defends (5)
Lone-Lands revealed as Shadow
William attacks (5), deals no damage
Discard three cards from the top of Deck One’s deck to ready Soldier of Erebor

That’s a hefty cost that fits best in a Dwarf Mining deck, but if it means staving off the Trolls, it is one we are more than willing to pay

Shadow Card dealt to Bert
Soldier of Erebor defends (5)
Troll Camp revealed as Shadow
Tom attacks (5), deals no damage

And that’s that. Now it’s our turn.

Bert:
Thorin attacks (5), triggers both Dwarrowdelf Axes and destroys Bert, adding him to the victory display.

One down, two to go. Let’s do this.

Raise Deck One’s threat by 1 to prevent William from returning to the staging area.

Refresh Phase
Raise our threat by 1: 31

Discard Saruman and add Troll Camp to the staging area.

Turn No.10
Stage: 2B (0/1)
Active Location: N/A
Staging Area:
Troll Camp (0/3, 3 threat)
Troll Cave (0/4, 2 threat)
Tom (4 threat)

Resource Phase
Hand (New Card in Bold):
Bilbo (5), Thorin (2), Nori (2), Bifur (1)
Untroubled by Darkness, Untroubled by Darkness, Dwalin, Erebor Record Keeper

A nice cheap ally that will give us some much needed action advantage

Planning Phase
Pay 1 resource from Thorin to give Bifur 1 resource
Erebor Record Keeper. Trigger Nori to reduce the threat of Deck One by 1. Exhaust Legacy of Durin to allow Deck One to draw a card: Sneak Attack (When we get Saruman back in our hand, this will be perfect for an extra questing bomb)

Exhaust Bilbo and pay 1 Baggins resource to discard A Worn Sack from Bilbo

Quest Phase
Exhaust Bombur to reduce threat of Troll Camp by 1.

Thorin-3
Nori-2
Bifur-2
Dori-1
Gloin-2
Kili-1
Dwalin-1
Fili-1
Bofur-2

Total willpower: 15

Exhaust Erebor Record Keeper and pay 1 Lore resource to ready Thorin.

1: A Nice Pickle. Trigger Doomed 1. Place the top card of the encounter discard pile on the bottom of the encounter deck. (It makes it slightly harder to out-last the encounter deck, but otherwise this doesn’t really harm us all that much)

Total threat: 8

Deck One plays Untroubled by Darkness to increase the willpower of each Dwarf character by 1.

Total willpower: 24

Win by 16, place 16 progress on Stage 2B. Trigger Stage 2B to discard the top 16 cards of the encounter deck.

And that is one hefty chunk gone. We are well on our way to the completion of the quest.

Travel Phase
N/A

Encounter Phase
N/A

Combat Phase
Shadow Card dealt to William
Soldier of Erebor defends (5)
A Suspicious Crow revealed as Shadow
William attacks (5), deals no damage
Thorin attacks (5), triggers both Dwarrowdelf Axes, dealing 5 damage to William (7/12). Trigger Troll Key to exhaust Bilbo Baggins and attach Troll Key to Bilbo Baggins.

We have the Key, next turn we can travel to the Cave and claim those Treasures for the future.

Raise Deck One’s threat by 1 to prevent William from returning to the staging area.

Refresh Phase
Raise our threat by 1: 33

Turn No.11
Stage: 2B (0/1)
Active Location: N/A
Staging Area:
Troll Camp (0/3, 3 threat)
Troll Cave (0/4, 2 threat)
Tom (4 threat)

Resource Phase
Hand (New Card in Bold):
Bilbo (5), Thorin (3), Nori (1), Bifur (1)
Untroubled by Darkness, Dwalin, Sneak Attack, Daeorn’s Runes

A tidy wee piece of card draw that should help us find the last few bits of our deck.

Planning Phase
Daeron’s Runes. Draw 2 cards: Narvi’s Belt, Far-sighted (There’s no contest here. We have a copy of the Belt already in play, so we’ll ditch that)
Far-sghted. Trigger Doomed 1 to look at the top 5 cards of the encounter deck: Hobbit-lands, Hungry Troll, Troll Purse, No Campfire, Troll Camp (And now we know exactly how much we need to quest this turn.)

Quest Phase
Exhaust Bombur to reduce the threat of Troll Camp by 1 until the end of the phase.

We know that we’re getting Hobbit-lands this turn. We also want to avoid Hungry Troll as a Shadow card, so we’ll be questing for 10 in order to beat the quest and discard 1 card from the encounter deck.

Nori-2
Bifur-2
Gloin-2
Bofur-2
Fili-1
Kili-1

Total willpower: 10

1: Hobbit-lands (1 threat) (It’s a shame this came out so late, an extra card would have been so welcome)

Total threat: 9

Win by 1, place 1 progress on Stage 2B. Trigger Stage 2B to discard the top card of the encounter deck.

We’ve just a handful of cards left in the encounter deck, but first we need to explore Troll Cave before we do that.

Travel Phase
Pay 5 resources from Bilbo to travel to Troll Cave (0/4)

Encounter Phase
Tom engages Deck One. (We knew it was coming, but that doesn’t mean we have to like it.) Trigger Sack 1: A Large Sack (Yeah, it was almost a certainty that Thorin would get Sacked. As the character with the highest printed hitpoints, willpower and attack, most attachments and most resources, 5 of the 7 Sacks apply to him.)

Combat Phase
We know exactly what the next two Shadow Cards will be, so we shall plan accordingly.

[Defense]
Shadow Card dealt to William
Soldier of Erebor defends (5)
Troll Purse revealed as Shadow
William attacks (5), deals no damage
Deck One discards 3 cards from the top of his deck to ready Soldier of Erebor

That’s one attack. Now the Troll Purse does get discarded as a Shadow at the end of the phase, bounces into the staging area and then on to a Troll, but as I can guarantee this will not have any effect on us, I shall fail to mention all this at the appropriate junctures.

Shadow Card dealt to Tom
Dwalin defends (2)
No Campfire revealed as Shadow, Deck One raises their threat by 2
Tom attacks (5), destroys Dwalin

Now there is a logic to this. We can replace Dwalin and trigger Nori and Legacy each, one last time.

[Attack]
Tom:
Soldier of Erebor attacks (3), deals 1 damage to Tom (10/11)

Tom and William return to the staging area.

We can overcome their threat next turn, no sense in taking on any extra threat raising just now.

Refresh Phase
Raise our threat by 1: 37

Turn No.12
Stage: 2B (0/1)
Active Location: Troll Cave (0/4)
Staging Area:
Troll Camp (0/3, 3 threat)
Hobbit-lands (0/1, 1 threat)
Tom (4 threat)
William (4 threat)

Resource Phase
Hand (New Card in Bold):
Bilbo (1), Thorin (4), Nori (2), Bifur (2)
Untroubled by Darkness, Dwalin, Sneak Attack, Lure of Moria

Now the Sack card says nothing about collecting resources, though it does prohibit triggering abilities. That’s why I have given Thorin 1 extra resource. Though on that note:

Exhaust Bilbo and spend 1 Baggins resource to remove A Large Sack from Thorin

And we’re good to go.

Planning Phase
Exhaust Narvi’s Belt to give Bifur the Spirit sphere until the end of the phase

Dwalin. Trigger Nori to lower Deck One’s threat by 1. Exhaust Legacy of Durin to allow Deck One to draw a card: Saruman (There he is! Last card of the game to see us over the finish line!)

Quest Phase
Exhaust Bombur to reduce the threat of Hobbit-lands by 1

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Saruman.jpg

Deck One plays Sneak Attack to put Saruman into play. Trigger Doomed 3. Trigger Saruman to put Troll Camp aside, out of play.

Thorin-3
Nori-2
Bifur-2
Dori-1
Gloin-2
Kili-1
Fili-1
Bofur-2
Soldier of Erebor-0
Erebor Record Keeper-1
Dwalin-1
Saruman-3

Total willpower: 19

That should be it…

1: Troll Camp* (3 threat) (We bump off one, and another appears, so we’re no better or worse off than before)

Total threat: 11

…but just for fun we’ll do this.

Deck One plays Untroubled by Darkness to increase the willpower of each Dwarf character by 1.

Total willpower: 30

Win by 19, explore Troll Cave and add it to the victory display. Place 15 progress on Stage 2B. Trigger Stage 2B to discard the remainder of the encounter deck and advance to Stage 3.

Trigger Stage 3B: Remove all Troll and Sack cards from play. Troll Cave is in the victory display and so Deck One has found Sting, Glamdring and Orcrist.

Victory.

Victory Display: Bert (3), Troll Cave (2)

Score: 39 threat + 120 for turns taken – 5 victory points = 154

Well that was a long, drawn-out slog. I’m not a fan of turtling as a general deck strategy, but with this quest I don’t really feel like I had a choice. My deck seemed to work smoothly enough, though the lack of firepower I brought meant that taking down the Trolls was always going to be a protracted affair. I’m just glad that the defenses of the Soldier of Erebor held up long enough for us to find the Troll Key and win us some treasures. And Untroubled by Darkness was hugely helpful in getting us over the finishing line.

As we go through this Hobbit Campaign, I am going to exploit the freedom to change my heroes from quest to quest, one that was denied to me during the Saga, where I would need to go two or three quests with the exact same line-up. Now most times this was not a problem, but your decks do seem to run together in your mind. Certain heroes need certain tools to function best after all. This time round, I am going to use different styles each and every single time. Next time I’m planning on using a Bond of Fellowship deck featuring a hero I’m ashamed to say I’ve never tried out before: Dori. What other types of decks would you like to see throughout the Hobbit Campaign? Which heroes should I take with Dori? When do you think should I feature Saruman in the hero line-up?

Add Glamdring, Orcrist and Sting to the Campaign Pool

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