Hunt for the Dreadnaught: Playthrough

The Decks I used can be found here and here. Narrative is coming soon…

Quest played in Standard Mode. Players prepare their fleet: Deck One: Eithiliant (We’re wanting to get as much willpower as we can so we can consistently quest successfully and, hopefully, gather as many Gondorian Warships as we are able pater on). Deck Two: Pride of Lebennin (This defensive boost means that from the very beginning Beregond will be able to soak up practically any attack that comes our way).

Prepare the Corsair deck: Remove all non-ship, non-unique Corsair enemies from the encounter deck and place them into the Corsair deck. Set aside all 7 unique enemies, including the Dreadnaught.

Shuffle the encounter deck and discard cards from the top until 2 locations are discarded: War Galley, Boarding Party, Slave Ship, Overworked, Mouths of Anduin, Wicked Cove

The first one isn’t horrible, but the second needs to go if we are to keep a handle on locations. Guess where we’ll be travelling first?

Flip the set-up card over and place it next to the quest deck.

Player Deck Set-up:
My wife would like to go on the record now and say that she drew the following cards for me.

Deck One
Threat: 30
Cirdan the Shipwright
Arwen Undomiel
Galdor of the Havens

Deck One Opening Hand:
A Test of Will
Narya
Imladris Caregiver
Silver Harp
Elwing’s Flight
Light of Valinor

To be perfectly honest, this is pretty much a perfect opening hand. We will keep all of these.

Deck Two
Threat: 31
Boromir (Tactics)
Beregond (Tactics)
Mablung

Deck Two Opening Hand:
Raven-winged Helm
Vigilant Guard
Soldier of Dol Amroth
Feint
Thicket of Spears
Knight of Minas Tirith
The Hammer-stroke
Spear of the Citadel
Soldier of Dol Amroth
Tireless Thoroughbred
Honor Guard

There is plenty here to love. I think we’ll definitely keep the damage cancellation as this is the only way to pre-emptively heal our ships using our player cards.

Trigger Pride of Lebennin to shuffle Feint, Thicket of Spears, Knight of Minas Tirith, The Hammer-stroke and Soldier of Dol Amroth back into Deck Two’s deck.

Now we’re as prepared as we can be. Wish us luck!

Turn No.1
Stage: 1B (0/16)
Active Location: N/A
Staging Area:
Mouths of Anduin (0/5, 2 threat)
Wicked Cove (0/4, 2 threat)

Resource Phase
Deck One Hand (New Card in Bold):
Cirdan (1), Arwen (1), Galdor (1)
A Test of Will, Narya, Imladris Caregiver, Silver Harp, Elwing’s Flight, Light of Valinor, Wandering Exile, Steed of Imladris

Of the two, we can afford to pay for the Steed sooner than we can the Exile. We’ll find more of her later though.

Trigger Cirdan to discard Wandering Exile

Deck Two Hand:
Boromir (1), Beregond (1), Mablung (1)
Raven-winged Helm, Vigilant Guard, Soldier of Dol Amroth, Spear of the Citadel, Tireless Thoroughbred, Honor Guard, Secret Vigil

As soon as we get a beefy enemy, this will help us keep our threat in check.

Planning Phase
Deck One:
Silver Harp-Cirdan (Now we will be able to keep both cards he draws for us, doubling our card economy in one fell swoop)
Trigger Arwen to discard Steed of Imladris and give Arwen 1 resource. Exhaust Silver Harp to return Steed of Imladris to hand

And we’ll leave it there, just in case we need to play Test of Will later on.

Deck Two:
Raven-winged Helm-Beregond (It’s unlikely that he’ll get damaged just yet, with a healthy 5 defense thanks to Pride of Lebennin, but it’s all part of a larger plan)
Spear of the Citadel (And so the direct damage opportunities begin)
Soldier of Dol Amroth (Not an obviously good card, but as long as we have other Tactics cards we can play, it allows us to maximise our resource economy on the turn we play him) Trigger Soldier of Dol Amroth to reduce the cost of the next Tactics card played this phase by 1
Honor Guard (3 hit points to soak up archery damage, and we get to cancel damage. This will suit us very nicely)

Quest Phase
Cirdan-5
Arwen-4
Eithiliant-5

Total willpower: 14

This should see some progress placed, but we’ll see how we go

1: Out of the Mist (No enemies in the staging area, so we’ll see something else instead coming out of the mist). Trigger Surge:
1.1: Black Sails (4 threat) (Not bad at all, though Deck Two is itching to get their hands on some enemies)
2: Ballista Barrage (Okay, the story writes itself here. From out of the mist, a ship with Black Sails emerges and fires off a Ballista Barrage at us. Brilliant! Well it still hurts, but I’m loving the theme of this!) Trigger Doomed 1.

Total threat: 8

Win by 6, place 6 progress on Stage 1B (6/16). (Hopefully only a few more turns on this stage, but we need to be ready to face the Dreadnaught when it arrives. Personally I give us…one chance in three.)

Travel Phase
Travel to Mouths of Anduin (0/5)

We need to be able to cancel effects, so we’ll go here first.

Encounter Phase
Deck Two engages Black Sails. Trigger Boarding 2 to reveal the top 2 cards of the Corsair deck and put them into play engaged with Deck 2: Southron Sailor, Corsair Plunderer. Trigger Mablung to give him 1 resource.

Here we go. Prepare to receive boarders!

Combat Phase
Trigger Archery 2 to deal 1 damage to Honor Guard (1/3) and Beregond (1/4). Exhaust Raven-winged Helm to cancel 1 damage dealt to Beregond.

The hope is that eventually we have enough damage cancelling effects to negate any Archery there may be.

Shadow Cards dealt to all enemies in order of engagement cost.

[Defense]
Black Sails:
Pride of Lebennin defends (5)
Wicked Cove revealed as Shadow (Well I guess we’re not attacking this ship just yet)
Black Sails attacks (5), deals 1 damage to Pride of Lebennin (1/16)
Exhaust Honor Guard to cancel 1 damage dealt to Pride of Lebennin

And that is how we shall keep our ships alive folks

Southron Sailor:
Mablung defends (3)
Tolfalas Landing revealed as Shadow, raise Deck Two’s threat by 1
Southern Sailor attacks (2), deals no damage

Corsair Plunderer:
Beregond defends (5). Trigger Spear of the Citadel to destroy Corsair Plunderer

And this is how we will whittle away at our enemies before Boromir finishes them off

[Attacks]
Southron Sailor:
Boromir attacks (3), Soldier of Dol Amroth attacks (1), deals 3 damage to Southron Sailor (3/4)

Next turn we can use Beregond to finish him off

Refresh Phase
Raise each player’s threat by 1
Deck One: 32
Deck Two: 34

Turn No.2
Stage: 1B (6/16)
Active Location: Mouths of Anduin (0/5)
Staging Area:
Wicked Cove (0/4)

Resource Phase
Deck Two Hand (New Card in Bold):
Boromir (1), Beregond (1), Mablung (2)
Vigilant Guard, Tireless Thoroughbred, Secret Vigil, Gondorian Spearman

We will need to be very careful about who we get this guy to defend if we want him to stick around for long

Deck One Hand:
Cirdan (1), Arwen (2), Galdor (2)
A Test of Will, Narya, Imladris Caregiver, Elwing’s Flight, Light of Valinor, Steed of Imladris, Lembas, Imladris Stargazer

We shall keep both of these, both will be very helpful in the turns to come. The Stargazer can alternate helping Deck One and Deck Two as needs be.

Trigger Cirdan to discard Lembas. Exhaust Silver Harp to return Lembas to hand.

Planning Phase
Deck Two:
Gondorian Spearman (We’ll try and save this guy for enemies who only have the one hit point left)

Deck One:
Narya-Cirdan (The utility this brings to our game is immense. None of our allies have willpower, but the chance to attack a second time or to counterattack is huge. If only there was a way to negate having to exhaust Cirdan)
Light of Valinor-Cirdan (Would you look at that! Now he can quest as well as motivate our allies to keep going!)
Trigger Arwen to discard Elwing’s Flight and give Arwen 1 resource.
Steed of Imladris-Arwen (We now have the ability to turn the extra card we get from Cirdan into an extra 2 progress each turn)

Quest Phase
Cirdan-5
Arwen-4
-Trigger Steed of Imladris to discard Lembas and place 2 progress on Mouths of Anduin (2/5)
Galdor-3

Total willpower: 12

1: Taking on Water. Attach to Pride of Lebennin. (We’ll go for Pride because it has the larger pool of hit points compared to Eithiliant)
2: War Galley (3 threat) (And now the next wave of Corsairs will come. We need to kill these ships before they kill ours)

Total threat: 9

Win by 3, explore Mouths of Anduin.

Well at the very least we managed to explore the active location so we can move onto the next one.

Travel Phase
Travel to Wicked Cove (0/4)

Encounter Phase
Deck Two engages War Galley. Trigger War Galley to increase its Boarding value by 1. Trigger Boarding 2 to reveal the top 2 cards of the Corsair deck and put them into play engaged with Deck 2: Daring Buccaneer, Umbar Captain. Trigger Mablung to give him 1 resource.

We’re going to be pretty hard done by here. Hopefully we can weather this, though we aren’t even allowed to attack these ships until the Captain is dead.

Combat Phase
Trigger Archery 2 to deal 1 damage to Boromir (1/5) and Beregond (1/4). Exhaust Raven-winged Helm to cancel 1 damage dealt to Beregond.

Shadow Cards dealt to all enemies in order of engagement cost.

[Defense]
Black Sails:
Pride of Lebennin defends (5). Trigger Taking on Water to deal 2 damage to Pride of Lebennin (2/16)
Isle of Fortune revealed as Shadow
Black Sails attacks (6), deals 1 damage to Pride of Lebennin (3/16)

War Galley:
Eithiliant defends (3)
Wicked Cove revealed as Shadow
War Galley attacks (5), deals 2 damage to Eithiliant (2/13). Exhaust Honor Guard to cancel 1 damage dealt to Eithiliant.

Southron Sailor:
Gondorian Spearman defends (1). Trigger Gondorian Spearman to destroy Southron Sailor.

This is how we’ll use our Spearmen, delivering the final blows to enemies whittled away

Umbar Captain:
Beregond defends (5). Trigger Spear of the Citadel to deal 1 damage to Umbar Captain (1/5)
Tolfalas Landing revealed as Shadow, raise Deck Two’s threat by 1.
Umbar Captain attacks (5), deals no damage

Daring Buccaneer:
Mablung defends (3)
Violent Tempest revealed as Shadow. Deal 1 damage to Mablung (1/4)
Daring Buccaneer attacks (3), deals no damage. Trigger Pillage 3 to discard the top 3 cards of Deck Two’s deck: Tireless Thoroughbred, Knight of Minas Tirith, Secret Vigil

We’ll do our best to clear the decks, but we won’t be able to finish off everyone.

[Attacks]
Daring Buccaneer:
Boromir attacks (3), Soldier of Dol Amroth attacks (1), destroys Daring Buccaneer

Exhaust Cirdan and Narya to ready Soldier of Dol Amroth and Honor Guard, giving them each 1 extra attack and defense

Trigger Boromir to raise Deck One’s threat by 1 and ready Boromir

Umbar Captain:
Boromir attacks (3), Soldier of Dol Amroth attacks (2), Honor Guard attacks (1), dealing 3 damage to Umbar Captain (4/5)

We could have readied Gondorian Spearman instead and killed the Captain then and there, but by saving him for a turn we can get Secret Vigil on him and drop our threat.

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

Turn No.3
Stage: 1B (6/16)
Active Location: Wicked Cove (0/4)
Staging Area:
N/A

Resource Phase
Deck One Hand (New Card in Bold):
Cirdan (2), Arwen (1), Galdor (2)
A Test of Will, Imladris Caregiver, Imladris Stargazer, The Evening Star, Elven-light

We can use this now to help keep our card draw ticking over.

Trigger Cirdan to discard Elven-light. Exhaust Silver Harp to return Elven-light to hand.

Deck Two Hand:
Boromir (2), Beregond (2), Mablung (2)
Secret Vigil, Tireless Thoroughbred, Vigilant Guard, Defender of Cair Andros

Now we have another solid defender, but what we really need right now is attacking power

Planning Phase
Deck One:
Trigger Arwen to discard Elven-light and give Arwen 1 resource.
Imladris Stargazer (This will let us pick out exactly what we want to draw from our top 5 cards.) Deck One exhausts Imladris Stargazer to allow Deck One to look at the top 5 cards of their deck: Elrond, Lindon Navigator, Stone of Elostirion, Elrond’s Counsel, Glorfindel. (Now there are a few really great cards here, but if we take the Stone next we can accelerate our cards draw and see them all quicker). Deck One returns the looked at cards to the top of his deck in this order: Elrond, Lindon Navigator, Elrond’s Counsel, Glorfindel, Stone of Elostirion. (Just to be clear, the Stone is now on the top of my deck, allowing me to do this)
Deck One plays Elven-light and adds it to Deck One’s hand to draw a card: Stone of Elostirion (Fantastic! Once we explore the location this is attached to, we will be able to get yet another card with our Noldor deck, bringing us up to 3 each turn with Cirdan’s ability as well)
Stone of Elostirion. Trigger Guarded (location): Belfalas Shipyard (4 threat). Attach Stone of Elostirion to Belfalas Shipyard. (Well that was straightforward enough. Obviously we’ll be exploring this location as soon as we can to upgrade one of our ships and heal the damage from them)

Deck Two:
Secret Vigil-Umbar Captain (We should be able to kill him this turn and drop everyone’s threat by 4 as a result)
Vigilant Guard-Beregond (We now have another way to siphon damage from our ships, which Beregond can also negate with his Raven-winged Helm)

Quest Phase
Cirdan-5
Arwen-4
-Trigger Steed of Imladris to discard Elven-light from Deck One’s hand and placing 2 progress on Wicked Cove (2/4)
Gildor-3

Total willpower: 12

1: Cobas Haven (2 threat) (Once we travel here, this will be the ideal place to engage Ship enemies as their Boarding value is reduced)
2: Isle of Fortune (3 threat) Trigger Isle of Fortune to place 3 progress on it. (On the other hand, extra resources are always helpful. And this does contribute a larger threat than Cobas Haven. We’ll need to see which is more pressing)

Total threat: 9

Win by 3, explore Wicked Cove and place 1 progress on Stage 1B (7/16).

Nearly halfway through this stage, but I think we need a turn or two yet before we are ready to take on the Dreadnaught.

Travel Phase
Travel to Belfalas Shipyard (0/6)

It will take a hefty amount of willpower, but we should be able to explore this all in one turn

Encounter Phase
N/A

Nothing to engage here, but we can do this:

Deck Two exhausts Boromir, Beregond and Soldier of Dol Amroth to discard Taking on Water from Pride of Lebennin.

Trigger Boromir to raise Deck Two’s threat by 1 and ready Boromir

Now our ship won’t take 2 damage every time it tries to do anything

Combat Phase
Trigger Archery 2 to deal 1 damage to Mablung (1/4) and Beregond (1/6). Exhaust Raven-winged Helm to cancel 1 damage just dealt to Beregond.

Shadow Cards dealt to all enemies in order of engagement cost.

[Defense]
Black Sails:
Eithiliant defends (3) (We’re defending with this ship with the hope of healing it next turn with the Belfalas Shipyard next)
Mouths of the Anduin revealed as Shadow
Black Sails attacks (6), deals 3 damage to Eithiliant (4/13)

As I say, hopefully we can heal that all off next turn

War Galley:
Pride of Lebennin defends (5)
Ballista Barrage revealed as Shadow, deal 1 damage to Beregond (1/6) and 1 damage to Boromir (2/5). Exhaust Honour Guard to cancel a point of damage just dealt to Boromir (I have a feeling the amount of damage we can cancel may be the difference between victory and defeat)
War Galley attacks (5), deals no damage to Pride of Lebennin

Captain:
Gondorian Spearman defends (1). Trigger Gondorian Spearman to deal 1 damage to Umbar Captain and destroy it. Trigger Secret Vigil to lower each players’ threat by 4.

Another Coup de Grace for our spears.

Exhaust Cirdan and Narya to ready Soldier of Dol Amroth and Gondorian Spearman, giving them each 1 extra attack and defense

[Attacks]
War Galley:
Boromir attacks (3), Mablung attacks (2), Soldier of Dol Amroth attacks (2), Gondorian Spearman attacks (2), destroys War Galley

With that we have no more Archery to deal with, and we can start sinking the Black Sails

Refresh Phase
Raise each player’s threat by 1
Deck One: 30
Deck Two: 34

Turn No.4
Stage: 1B (7/16)
Active Location: Belfalas Shipyard (0/6)
Staging Area:
Cobas Haven (0/4, 2 threat)
Isle of Fortune (0/5, 3 threat, 2 resources)

Resource Phase
Deck Two Hand (New Card in Bold):
Boromir (2), Beregond (2), Mablung (1)
Tireless Thoroughbred, Defender of Cair Andros, Foe-hammer

Well the only weapon we actually have on the board is Beregond’s Spear, so we need to make sure he can kill something, somehow.

Deck One Hand:
Cirdan (2), Arwen (1), Galdor (2)
A Test of Will, Imladris Caregiver, The Evening Star, Elven-light, Glorfindel, Elrond’s Counsel

I don’t think we can get Glorfindel in this turn, but we can certainly use the Counsel right away.

Trigger Cirdan to discard Glorfindel. Exhaust Silver Harp to return Glorfindel to hand.

Planning Phase
Deck Two:
Defender of Cair Andros (He’s defending for 3 right now, which isn’t bad at all. But his real value will kick in when we get into Valour and can use him to deal damage to attackers as well)

Deck One:
Discard Elven-light to give Arwen 1 additional resource.
Exhaust Imladris Stargazer to look at the top 5 cards of Deck One’s deck: Lindon Navigator, Elrond, Imladris Caregiver, The Evening Star, Sailor of Lune (We’ll be wanting to get The Evening Star next to help us with our location problem, and the Navigator will also be helpful in ramping up our willpower, so we’ll put those on top) Deck One returns the looked at cards to the top of his deck in this order: Imladris Caregiver, Sailor of Lune, Elrond, Lindon Navigator, The Evening Star
We’ll refrain from paying for Elven-light just yet, we need to save up for Belfalas Shipyard

Quest Phase

Deck One plays The Evening Star to place 2 progress on Belfalas Shipyard (2/6)

Cirdan-5
Arwen-4
-Trigger Steed of Imladris to discard Imladris Caregiver from Deck One’s hand and place 2 progress on Belfalas Shipyard (4/6)
Galdor-3

Total willpower: 12

1: Tolfalas Landing (2 threat) (We need to explore this as soon as we can to so that we can keep our draw engines going without our threat skyrocketing)
2: Mouths of Anduin (2 threat) (And now we are punished for cancelling any treacheries that may be particularly nasty by giving us an extra encounter card if we do. More than that though, we have now been given 5 locations in 2 turns, and we need to get some location management organised or we shall be overwhelmed)

Total threat: 9

Win by 3. Explore Belfalas Shipyard and place 1 progress on Stage 1B (8/16). Trigger Belfalas Shipyard: Deck One spends 4 resources and Deck Two spends 1 resource to heal all damage from Eithiliant and flip it to its Upgraded Ship. Attach Stone of Elostirion to Cirdan.

Trigger Eithiliant to explore Tolfalas Landing.

We could have also shuffled our discard pile back into our deck, but given that we actually benefit from several cards being in our discard pile, and we know exactly what we will draw next turn thanks to the Stargazer, we shall refrain from doing so. But now, by himself Cirdan will draw 3 cards each turn and quest for 8 willpower. Which is what you’d want from one of the oldest and wisest beings in Middle-earth.

Travel Phase
Deck One travels to Mouths of Anduin (0/5)

We’d be better served by being able to safely cancel our treacheries than by the extra resources, I think

Encounter Phase
N/A

Combat Phase
Shadow Card dealt to Black Sails
Eithiliant defends (4)
War Galley revealed as Shadow
Black Sails attacks (6), deals 2 damage to Eithiliant (2/15). Exhaust Honour Guard to cancel 1 damage dealt to Eithiliant. Trigger Vigilant Guard to cancel 1 damage dealt to Eithiliant and deal 1 damage to Beregond. Exhaust Raven-winged Helm to cancel 1 damage deal to Beregond. (And now with our damage cancellation online, excess damage on ships is siphoned off and dissipated into the ether)
Exhaust Cirdan and Narya to ready Honour Guard and give him 1 extra attack and defense
Boromir attacks (3), Beregond attacks (1), Mablung attacks (2), Defender of Cair Andros attacks (1), Gondorian Spearman attacks (1), Honour Guard attacks (1), Soldier of Dol Amroth attacks (1), Pride of Lebennin attacks (2), and destroys Black Sails.

At long last we have sunk this enemy warship and are free of opponents. For now that is. Because the last two turns have turned up nothing but enemies, we shall see more over the next turn or two I imagine. But now we can draw more cards at least.

Deck Two plays Foe-hammer and exhaust Citadel Spear to draw 3 cards: Thicket of Spears, Golden Belt, Spear of the Citadel

A decent crop, we shall certainly make the most of these in the coming turns

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

Turn No.5
Stage: 1B (8/16)
Active Location: Mouths of Anduin (0/5)
Staging Area:
Cobas Haven (0/4, 2 threat)
Isle of Fortune (0/5, 3 threat, 2 resources)

Resource Phase
Deck One Hand (New Card in Bold):
Cirdan (1), Arwen (1), Galdor (1)
A Test of Will, Imladris Caregiver, Glorfindel, Elrond’s Counsel, The Evening Star, Lindon Navigator, Elrond

All of these will come in very helpful, but after upgrading our ship we really need more resources over anything else.

Trigger Cirdan to discard Elrond. Exhaust Silver Harp to return Elrond to hand

Deck Two Hand:
Boromir (1), Beregond (1), Mablung (1)
Tireless Thoroughbred, Thicket of Spears, Golden Belt, Spear of the Citadel, Warrior Sword

I think we now have Boromir’s entire toolkit now in our hand. We just need to find a means to pay for it all.

Planning Phase
Deck One:
Trigger Arwen to discard Glorfindel to give 1 resource to Cirdan.
Exhaust Imladris Stargazer to look at the top 5 cards of Deck One’s deck: Sailor of Lune, Imladris Caregiver, Unexpected Courage, To the Sea, to the Sea!, Wandering Exile (Well these are all cards we would very much like in our hand. These will go right up to the top of our deck.) Deck One returns the looked at cards to the top of his deck in this order: Sailor of Lune, Imladris Caregiver, Unexpected Courage, To the Sea, To the Sea!, Wandering Exile

And that’s where we shall leave it. We’re needing to save our resources to be able to afford to pay for our cards.

Deck Two:
Warrior Sword-Boromir (As soon as we engage one ship and have its enemies board us, this will increase our attack by at least 2, more likely 3 attack)
Spear of the Citadel-Boromir (On the other hand, if we need to defend multiple attacks, this will ensure that each time he does, the enemy will not escape unscathed)
Golden Belt-Boromir (This will let us get the final piece of Boromir’s core kit next turn, that is the Tireless Thoroughbred which will give Boromir sentinel and ranged)

Quest Phase
Cirdan-8
Arwen-5
Galdor-4

Total willpower: 17

1: Violent Tempest. (Alright this isn’t horrendous, and we ought to be able to mitigate this damage) Deal 1 damage to Arwen (1/3) and Galdor (1/4). Exhaust Honour Guard to cancel 1 damage dealt to Galdor. Trigger Vigilant Guard to cancel 1 damage dealt to Arwen and deal 1 damage to Beregond. Exhaust Raven-wing Helm to cancel 1 damage dealt to Beregond (That’s that treachery taken care of. Let’s see what else the encounter deck has for us)
2: Taking on Water. Attach Taking on Water to Pride of Lebennin. (Not terrible at all. What this means however is that the encounter deck is even smaller and the enemy ships will be packed even tighter.)

Total threat: 5

Win by 12, explore Mouths of Anduin and place 7 progress on Stage 1B (15/16)

Nearly there, I imagine we shall move forward next turn.

Travel Phase
Travel to Isle of Fortune (0/5)

I doubt we’ll get a chance to gather these resources, but it’s worth a shot

Encounter Phase
Exhaust Gondorian Spearman and Soldier of Dol Amroth to discard Taking on Water from Pride of Lebennin.

Combat Phase
N/A

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

I think we need Deck Two to draw the best possible card next turn

Exhaust Imladris Stargazer to look at the top 5 cards of Deck Two’s deck: Quick Strike, Knight of Minas Tirith, Soldier of Dol Amroth, Foe-hammer, Captain of Gondor (We are putting Captain of Gondor right at the top of the list. We need to get Boromir to as high levels as we possibly can to make the most of his action advantage). Deck Two returns the looked at cards to the top of his deck in this order: Knight of Minas Tirith, Quick Strike, Soldier of Dol Amroth, Foe-hammer, Captain of Gondor

Turn No.6
Stage: 1B (15/16)
Active Location: Isle of Fortune (0/5, 3 threat, 2 resources)
Staging Area:
Cobas Haven (0/4, 2 threat)

Resource Phase
Deck Two Hand (New Card in Bold):
Boromir (1), Beregond (1), Mablung (1)
Tireless Thoroughbred, Thicket of Spears, Captain of Gondor

Ok, here’s the plan. We only buy Captain of Gondor this turn so that we can afford to use Thicket of Spears later on as well

Deck One Hand:
Cirdan (3), Arwen (2), Galdor (2)
A Test of Will, Imladris Caregiver, Elrond’s Counsel, The Evening Star, Lindon Navigator, Elrond, Wandering Exile, To the Sea, to the Sea!, Unexpected Courage

Well this last card is going straight onto Boromir. And To the Sea will finally give us some resource acceleration for this deck.

Planning Phase
Deck Two:
Captain of Gondor-Boromir (With our ship, when we optionally engage an enemy we can get 5 defense and between 5 and 7 attack, depending on Warrior Sword)

Deck One:
To the Sea, to the Sea!-Arwen (Now we can start getting our Elven allies onto the board)
Unexpected Courage-Boromir (With the storm that is surely just around the corner, we will need as much action advantage as possible)
Exhaust To the Sea, to the Sea! and discard Imladris Caregiver and Lindon Navigator to reduce the cost of the next Noldor ally played this phase by 2
Elrond. Trigger Elrond to allow each player to draw 1 card. Deck One: Lindon Navigator (Hopefully we can play this next turn and benefit from her solid willpower.) Deck Two: Foe-hammer. (And now we can draw another handful of cards after we slay an enemy)

Quest Phase
Cirdan-8
Arwen-5
Gildor-4
Elrond-3

Total willpower: 20

Here we go…

1: Corsair Skirmisher (3 threat) (We can board and claim this ship as our own, but first we must slay the boarders and then overcome the ship itself). Trigger Isle of Fortune to discard 1 resource from it.
2: Corsair Skiff (1 threat) (A small wee ship, but it all adds up, and we will be seeing another card as well). Trigger Isle of Fortune to discard 1 resource from it. (And that’s the last resource gone from the treasure trove) Trigger Surge.
2.1: Corsair Skiff* (1 threat) (It never rains but it pours apparently. We shall face this ship as well, and face Surge yet again)
2.2: Corsair Warship (3 threat) (And so we have 4 ships coming at us this turn. We will have no choice other than to face them head on!)

Total threat: 10

Win by 10, explore Isle of Fortune and complete Stage 1B. Trigger Stage 2A and add Dreadnaught to the Staging Area.

And here we have it. A ship with black sails, crewed by the damned, and captained by a man so evil, that hell itself spat him back out. Or am I getting confused here?

Travel Phase
Travel to Cobas Haven (0/4)

Now we can mitigate the onslaught of Corsairs that are to come.

Encounter Phase
Deck Two engages Corsair Skiff. Trigger Mablung to give him 1 extra resource. Trigger and exhaust Captain of Gondor to give Boromir 1 extra attack and defence.

Corsair Skiff* and Corsair Skirmisher engages Deck One. Trigger Corsair Skiff and Corsair Skiff* to grant them both Boarding 1.

Now because we are at Cobas Haven, none of these ships can send any Boarders our way, which is a lucky escape for us.

Corsair Warship engages Deck Two. Trigger Boarding 2 to put Fierce Marauder and Brash Corsair into play, engaged with Deck Two

The Corsair fleet has well and truly arrived.

Combat Phase
Trigger Archery 2 to deal 2 damage to Elrond (2/3) (We may as well damage him as he will be gone at the end of the round as it is)

Shadow Cards dealt to all enemies in order of engagement cost.

Deck Two plays Thicket of Spears to prevent any attacks against Deck Two (We’re more capable of dealing with the damage on our ships than the discarded cards from pillage. Of course, the Dreadnaught will still be attacking us though)

Dreadnaught:
Deck Two triggers Stage 2B to raise their threat by 4 and cancel Dreadnaught’s attack

Dreadnaught:
Deck One triggers Stage 2B to raise their threat by 4 and cancel Dreadnaught’s attack

We can’t face the Dreadnaught just yet, but soon. Soon…

Corsair Skirmisher:
Pride of Lebennin defends (5)
Isle of Fortune revealed as Shadow
Corsair Skirmisher attacks (4), deals no damage

Corsair Skiff:
No defenders declared
Violent Tempest revealed as Shadow (No defender declared, so no target I suppose)
Corsair Skiff attacks (2), deals 2 damage to Pride of Lebennin (5/16)

Corsair Skiff*:
No defenders declared
Ballista Barrage revealed as Shadow. Deal 1 damage to Galdor (1/4) and Cirdan (1/4)
Corsair Skiff* deals 2 damage to Eithiliant (2/15). Exhaust Honour Guard to cancel 1 damage to Eithiliant. Exhaust Vigilant Guard and cancel 1 damage to Eithiliant to deal 1 damage to Beregond. Trigger Raven-winged Helm to cancel 1 damage to Beregond.

That could have been worse, but we need to get rid of those ships as soon as we are able.

[Attacks]
Fierce Marauder:
Boromir attacks (7), destroys Fierce Marauder
Exhaust Unexpected Courage to ready Boromir. Deck Two plays Foe-hammer and exhausts Warrior Sword to draw 3 cards: Soldier of Dol Amroth, Quick Strike, Knight of Minas Tirith (Excellent! Now we can get an ally with decent attacking strength into play)

Corsair Warship:
Boromir attacks (7), Beregond attacks (1), Mablung attacks (2), Gondorian Spearman attacks (1), Defender of Cair Andros Attacks (1), destroys Corsair Warship. Raise Deck Two’s threat by 1 to ready Boromir.

Exhaust Cirdan and Narya to ready Gondorian Spearman and Defender of Cair Andros and give them each 1 extra attack and defense.

Brash Corsair:
Boromir attacks (6), Gondorian Spearman attacks (2), destroys Brash Corsair

Corsair Skiff:
Defender of Cair Andros attacks (2), Soldier of Dol Amroth attacks (1), deals 1 damage to Corsair Skiff.

And that’s Deck Two’s board wiped, other than the last little skiff itself.

Corsair Skiff*: Eithiliant attacks (4), deals 2 damage to Corsair Skiff* (2/5)

It’s not much, but it’s a start. And those of you keeping count know what is coming next from the encounter deck…

Deck One plays Elven-light to draw a card: Lembas (To be honest, we’ll probably play this on Boromir to give him yet more action advantage. He’s got the tools, so let’s put him to work.) Deck One discards Elven-light to give 1 resource to Arwen.

Refresh Phase
Raise each player’s threat by 1
Deck Two: 41
Deck One: 36

Trigger Elrond to discard him from play.

Turn No.7
Stage: 2B (-/-)
Active Location: Cobas Haven (0/4)
Staging Area:
Dreadnaught (4 threat)

Resource Phase
Deck One Hand (New Card in Bold):
Cirdan (2), Arwen (2), Galdor (2)
A Test of Will, Elrond’s Counsel, The Evening Star, Wandering Exile, Lindon Navigator, Lembas, Wandering Exile, Sailor of Lune, Imladris Stargazer

The cards are coming in thick and fast, we’ll make good use of them

Trigger Cirdan to discard Sailor of Lune. Exhaust Silver Harp to return Sailor of Lune to hand.

Deck Two Hand:
Boromir (1), Beregond (1), Mablung (1)
Tireless Thoroughbred, Soldier of Dol Amroth, Quick Strike, Knight of Minas Tirith, Gondorian Shield

A quick upgrade for Beregond here, to make him nigh unassailable

Planning Phase
Deck One:
Should have had this in the refresh phase, but here we go.
Exhaust Imladris Stargazer to look at the top 5 cards of Deck One’s deck: Sailor of Lune, Stone of Elostirion, Lindir, Elrond’s Counsel, Ancient Mathom (We’ve got some decent cards in here, most of which we will see next turn). Deck One returns the looked at cards to the top of his deck in this order: Stone of Elostirion, Lindir, Sailor of Lune, Ancient Mathom, Elrond’s Counsel.
Deck One plays Elven-light to draw a card: Elrond’s Counsel (As a zero cost event, we can take this immediately to try and ensure we can get enough willpower to obtain a Gondorian Warship this questing phase). Deck One discards Elven-light to give 1 resource to Arwen.
Deck One exhausts To the Sea, to the Sea! and discards Lindon Navigator, Wandering Exile, Sailor of Lune and Imladris Stargazer from hand to reduce the cost of the next Noldor ally played this phase by 4.
Deck One plays Glorfindel from their encounter deck (And now we have one of the best allies in the game on our side, and all for 1 resource)
Lembas-Boromir (Just in case we ever need to heal him or call on emergency actions)

Deck Two:
Soldier of Dol Amroth* (An extra body we can use to chip in with attacks or use to defend an attack for us. And the cost-reduction isn’t half-bad either)
Tireless Thoroughbred-Boromir (And now he can throw his attack or defense anywhere we need him on the board. Though now our noble Captain is stacked up with as many attachments as we can get on him this game, so he is in his ultimate form. Unless we count the extra boost an upgraded Pride of Lebennin will bring that is…)
Gondorian Shield-Beregond (Who now sits at 7 defense, which is enough for all but one of the unique Corsairs we can see at the close of the scenario)

Quest Phase
Now for those of you counting at home, you will know we only have 2 cards left in the encounter deck, and they are both the same so we know exactly how much we need to quest.

Cirdan-8
Arwen-5
Glorfindel-3
Galdor-4

Total willpower: 20

1: Sea Monster (2 threat) (That’s right, it’s just the big bad beastie that’s left, both copies of her.) Trigger Sea Monster to destroy Corsair Skiff*. (And it has dragged a ship down to the depths)

2: Sea Monster* (2 threat) (Both of these coming at once probably can be translated to one bigger monster) Trigger Sea Monster to destroy Corsair Skiff (That’s two pulled down to Davy Jones’s Locker!)

Shuffle the encounter discard pile into the encounter deck.

Total threat: 8

Deck One plays both copies of Elrond’s Counsel to raise Cirdan’s willpower by 2 and reduce Deck One’s threat by 6.

Total willpower: 22

Win by 14. Explore Cobas Haven and place 10 progress on Stage 2B (10/-)

And now we can call for reinforcements with this progress.

Trigger Stage 2B to remove 10 progress from the Stage and shuffle one copy of Gondorian Warship into the encounter deck.

This is the worst possible time to shuffle it, but better sooner than later just in case it comes out earlier than the odds would suggest.

Travel Phase
N/A

Encounter Phase
Deck Two optionally engages Sea Monster. Trigger Mablung to give him 1 extra resource and trigger Captain of Gondor to give Boromir 1 extra attack and defense

Sea Monster* engages Deck One.

Given the amount of hit points each of these have, I imagine they may be sticking around for a while.

Combat Phase
Trigger Archery 2 to deal 2 damage to Glorfindel (2/4) (He is easier to justify damaging because we can summon him out of the discard pile again)

Shadow Cards dealt to all enemies in order of engagement cost.

Dreadnaught:
Eithiliant defends (4)
Black Sails revealed as Shadow
Dreadnaught attacks (7), deals 3 damage to Eithiliant (3/15)

Dreadnaught:
Pride of Lebennin defends (5)
Isle of Fortune revealed as Shadow
Dreadnaught attacks (7), deals 2 damage to Pride of Lebennin (7/16).

That hurts, we’d better hope we can find a Shipyard sooner rather than later to heal our ships.

Corsair Skirmisher:
No defender declared
Corsair Skiff revealed as Shadow
Corsair Skirmisher attacks (4), deals 4 damage to Eithiliant (7/15). Exhaust Honour Guard to cancel 1 damage to Eithiliant. Exhaust Vigilant Guard and cancel 1 damage to Eithiliant to deal 1 damage to Beregond. Trigger Raven-winged Helm to cancel 1 damage to Beregond.

That’s the best we can hope for just now, we’re desperate for more allies to come out on our side.

Sea Monster:
Beregond defends (7). Trigger Spear of the Citadel to deal 1 damage to Sea Monster (1/11)
Wicked Cove revealed as Shadow (This will make it harder to strip away their hit points this turn, though it must be said we have other, more urgent targets to deal with first)
Sea Monster attacks (4), deals no damage

Sea Monster*: Defender of Cair Andros defends (4). Trigger Defender’s Valor Action to deal 1 damage to Sea Monster* (1/11) (Slow going work, but given enough time we will chip away.at the Monster)

Exhaust Cirdan and Narya to ready Defender of Cair Andros and Glorfindel and give them each 1 extra attack and defense

[Attacks]
Corsair Skirmisher:
Boromir attacks (6), Glorfindel attacks (4), destroys Corsair Skirmisher. Trigger Corsair Skirmisher to discard Glorfindel and take control of Corsair Skirmisher as a ship-objective. Exhaust Unexpected Courage to ready Boromir.

We now have an extra ship that we can use to defend attacks from the Dreadnaught. But crucially as well, the Skirmisher is not exhausted so for Deck One’s attacks we can also do this.

Dreadnaught:
Boromir attacks (6), Corsair Skirmisher attacks (4), deals 6 damage to Dreadnaught (6/30)

Now we are limited to only being able to deal 10 damage to the Dreadnaught each round, but that ought to be doable enough, especially with the number of allies Deck Two can call on.

Trigger Boromir to ready Deck Two’s threat by 1 and ready Boromir

Dreadnaught:
Mablung attacks (2), Boromir attacks (6), deals 4 damage to Dreadnaught (10/30)

And that’s our limit for this turn. It’ll take at least 2 more turns to whittle the ship down to a point where we can sink it.

Sea Monster*: Defender of Cair Andros attacks (2), Gondorian Spearman attacks (1), Soldier of Dol Amroth attacks (1), Soldier of Dol Amroth* attacks (1), deals 5 damage to Sea Monster* (6/11)

This should be taken care of as well next turn.

Refresh Phase
Raise each player’s threat by 1
Deck One: 31
Deck Two: 43

Exhaust Imladris Stargazer to look at the top 5 cards of Deck Two’s deck: Warrior Sword, Gondorian Spearman, Book of Eldacar, Golden Belt, Raven-winged Helm. (There’s a decent crop here, all of which would be helpful to us. I think we’ll put the Helm on top so we have another alternative for soaking up the Archery from the Dreadnaught). Deck Two returns the looked at cards to the top of his deck in this order: Book of Eldacar, Golden Belt, Warrior Sword, Gondorian Spearman, Raven-winged Helm

Turn No.8
Stage: 2B (-/-)
Active Location: N/A
Staging Area:
Dreadnaught (4 threat)

Resource Phase
Deck Two Hand (New Card in Bold):
Boromir (1), Beregond (1), Mablung (2)
Quick Strike, Knight of Minas Tirith, Raven-winged Helm

The best part about this is that it is not restricted, so Boromir can still take it even with all his toys.

Deck One Hand:
Cirdan (3), Arwen (2), Galdor (2)
A Test of Will, The Evening Star, Wandering Exile, Ancient Mathom, Sailor of Lune, Lindir

Trigger Cirdan to discard Lindir. Exhaust Silver Harp to return Lindir to hand.

Ancient Mathom is a welcome draw, because we can use it to generate more cards for Deck Two to draw, though it won’t be for another turn or two.

Planning Phase
Deck Two:
Raven-winged Helm-Boromir (With 4 defense right now, it’s unlikely most enemies will be able to damage him. But we are able to cancel a point of Archery with this each turn, so that’s always good to have)

Deck One:
Deck One plays Elven-light to draw a card: Stone of Elostirion (This is a second copy here, but is still welcome purely because we need cards to discard and fuel our Noldor toys). Deck One discards Elven-light to give 1 resource to Arwen.
Exhaust To the Sea, to the Sea! and discard Sailor of Lune, Lindir and Stone of Elostirion to reduce the cost of the next Noldor ally by 3
Glorfindel (And he’s back, with 3 willpower and attack for us to use wherever we need it the most)

Quest Phase
Our goal now is to get at least 10 quest points on the quest card each turn so we can get more Gondorian Warships into the encounter deck.

Cirdan-8
Arwen-5
Galdor-4
Glorfindel-3

Total willpower: 20

1: Boarding Party (I’d really prefer to avoid the extra enemies for now. It even gets past the responses of Mablung and Captain of Gondor, which rely on optional engagements) Deck One plays A Test of Will to cancel Boarding Party
2: Belfalas Shipyard (4 threat) (It’s about time. We’ll choose the Pride of Lebennin and heal damage from her so she can withstand attacks from the Dreadnaught until the close of the game.)

Total threat: 8

Win by 12, place 12 progress on Stage 2B (12/-). Trigger Stage 2B to remove 10 progress from the Stage and shuffle one copy of Gondorian Warship into the encounter deck.

That’s two in there now. If only we’d brought Rangers of the North, or Eagles of the North, to really maximise our odds of pulling something good from the encounter deck.

Travel Phase
Travel to Belfalas Shipyard (0/6)

It’ll be expensive to trigger the Shipyard’s response, but is absolutely worth it for all the benefits

Encounter Phase
N/A

Combat Phase
Trigger Archery 2 to deal 1 damage to Glorfindel (1/4) and 1 damage to Boromir (2/5). Exhaust Raven-winged Helm to reduce the damage dealt to Boromir by 1.

And we’re now dealing with half the Archery.

Shadow Cards dealt to all enemies in order of engagement cost.

Dreadnaught:
Pride of Lebennin defends (5)
Ballista Barrage revealed as Shadow. Deal 1 damage to Honor Guard (2/3) and Defender of Cair Andros (1/3)
Dreadnaught attacks (7), deals 2 damage to Pride of Lebennin (9/16). Exhaust Honour Guard to cancel 1 damage to Pride of Lebennin. Exhaust Vigilant Guard and cancel 1 damage to Pride of Lebennin to deal 1 damage to Beregond. Trigger Raven-winged Helm to cancel 1 damage to Beregond.

This Honor Guard and Vigilant Guard has saved us a heap of damage, and probably the game.

Dreadnaught:
Corsair Skirmisher defends (4)
Mouths of Anduin revealed as Shadow
Dreadnaught attacks (7), deals 3 damage to Corsair Skirmisher (3/6)

Sea Monster*: Defender of Cair Andros defends (4). Trigger Defender’s Valor action to deal 1 damage to Sea Monster* (7/11)
Violent Tempest revealed as Shadow. Deal 1 damage to Defender of Cair Andros (2/3)
Sea Monster* attacks (4), deals no damage

Sea Monster:
Beregond defends (7), trigger Spear of the Citadel to deal 1 damage to Sea Monster (2/11)
Overworked revealed as Shadow
Sea Monster attacks (5), deals no damage

Exhaust Cirdan and Narya to ready Defender of Cair Andros and Glorfindel and give them each 1 extra attack and defense

[Attacks]
Dreadnaught:
Boromir attacks (5), Defender of Cair Andros attacks (2), Mablung attacks (2), Soldier of Dol Amroth attacks (1), Soldier of Dol Amroth* attacks (1), Gondorian Spearman attacks (1), deals 8 damage to Dreadnaught (18/30)

Dreadnaught:
Glorfindel attacks (3), Eithiliant attacks (4), deals 2 damage to Dreadnaught (20/30)

And that’s the Dreadnaught down to it’s last 10 hit points. We may be able to finish things off next round, but we’ll see how things play out.

Refresh Phase
Raise each player’s threat by 1
Deck Two: 43
Deck One: 31

Trigger Dreadnaught to flip it over. Each player puts 1 random set-aside Corsair enemy into play, engaged with them. Deck Two: Varjax; Deck One: Ophidian

There we have it. The final two foes we need to slay before we can bring down the mighty Dreadnaught. Victory is within our grasp!

Exhaust Imladris Stargazer to look at the top 5 cards of Deck One’s deck: Narya, Ancient Mathom, Light the Beacons, Evening Star, Elwing’s Flight. (We’ll definitely move Elwing’s Flight to the top, so too Evening Star. Light the Beacons could be good, it is definitely a late game card and we are in the closing turns) Deck One returns the looked at cards to the top of his deck in this order: Narya, Light the Beacons, Elwing’s Flight, Evening Star, Erestor

Turn No.9
Stage: 2B (2/-)
Active Location: Belfalas Shipyard (0/6)
Staging Area:
Dreadnaught (3 threat)

Resource Phase
Deck One Hand (New Card in Bold):
Cirdan (2), Arwen (2), Galdor (3)
The Evening Star, Wandering Exile, Ancient Mathom, Erestor, The Evening Star, Elwing’s Flight

This should set us up nicely for the last turn or two. Erestor will chip in his willpower and keep our card draw turning over. The Evening Star should also make sure we keep on top of locations by nuking them from orbit for us.

Trigger Cirdan to discard Erestor. Exhaust Silver Harp to return Silver Harp to hand

Deck Two Hand:
Boromir (2), Beregond (2), Mablung (1)
Quick Strike, Knight of Minas Tirith, Gondorian Spearman

Another very useful ally that can bite back, even if he ends up being slain in his efforts

Planning Phase
Deck One:
Deck One discards Erestor to give Arwen 1 extra resource. (We have plenty of card draw right now, but we’ll need every resource we can get)
Ancient Mathom-Belfalas Shipyard (We ought to be able to explore this immediately and capitalise on doing so)
Exhaust To the Sea, to the Sea! and discard Elwing’s Flight and The Evening Star to reduce the cost of the next Noldor ally by 2
Wandering Exile (My best way to describe this ally would be ‘Diet Ally-Glorfindel’. Discard a card to get 2 actions out of her, and she’s got pretty decent stats to back up the ability. Extra points for theme in that, with the exception of Elrohir, the only Noldor Heroes who can pay for her are Cirdan with Narya, and Gildor Inglorion, both of whom are associated with the Noldorin exiles still in Middle-earth. The former ferries them home, the latter is one himself.)

Deck Two:
Gondorian Spearman* (Another body to swell Gondor’s ranks.)

We really wanted to get the Knight as well, but we need to contribute resources to the Shipyard and upgrade our vessel.

Quest Phase
Again, looking to place enough quest points for more Gondorian Warships, as well as exploring the Belfalas Shipyard.

Cirdan-8
Arwen-5
Galdor-4
Glorfindel-3
Wandering Exile-2
-Trigger Wandering Exile to discard The Evening Star and ready Wandering Exile
Pride of Lebennin-3

Total willpower: 25

1: Mouths of Anduin (2 threat) (This puts a damper on any ideas we may have about cancelling any treacheries that may come our way)
2: Corsair Skiff (1 threat) (Not dangerous by itself, but it does bring out a second card)
2.1: War Galley (3 threat) (I knew we couldn’t count on avoiding more enemies for long)

Total threat: 10

And before we trigger Ancient Mathom we’ll do something else, seeing as we have no cards in our hand.

Trigger Galdor to draw 6 cards: Steed of Imladris, Elven-light, Light the Beacons, Ancient Mathom, The Evening Star, Imladris Caregiver

And just like that we have a new hand of cards. I’m just remembering we didn’t pack any copies of Will of the West. Our deck only has a limited amount of time left.

Win by 15. Explore Belfalas Shipyard and place 10 progress on Stage 2B (11/-). Trigger Ancient Mathom to draw 3 cards: Narya, Ancient Mathom, Elwing’s Flight (Together with Galdor’s ability, we’ve drawn 15% of our original deck. Not bad for a staging phase) Trigger Belfalas Shipyard and pay 2 resources from Deck One and 3 resources from Deck Two to heal 5 damage from Pride of Lebennin and flip it to its upgraded side. Ready Pride of Lebennin. Trigger Pride of Lebennin to heal 1 damage from Boromir and place Overworked and Ballista Barrage from the encounter discard pile into the victory display.

Trigger Stage 2B to remove 10 progress from the Stage and shuffle 1 copy of Gondorian Warship into the encounter deck.

And both of our ships are upgraded now. We can move forward with all the might we can muster.

Travel Phase
Travel to Mouths of Anduin (0/5)

Encounter Phase
We need to get rid of that ship in the staging area, and Deck Two is much better equipped to handle it than Deck One.

Deck Two optionally engages War Galley. Trigger War Galley to increase its Boarding value by 1. Trigger Mablung to give him one extra resource. Trigger Captain of Gondor to give Boromir 1 extra attack and 1 extra defense until the end of the round.

Trigger Boarding 2 to put Corsair Plunderer and Fierce Marauder into play engaged with Deck Two

Deck One engages Corsair Skiff. Trigger Corsair Skiff to raise its Boarding value by 1.

Trigger Boarding 1 to put Daring Buccaneer into play, engaged with Deck One

Right then, we have some work to do.

Combat Phase
Trigger Archery 5 to deal 2 damage to Boromir (2/5), 1 damage to Defender of Cair Andros (2/3) 1 damage to Wandering Exile (1/2) and 1 damage to Glorfindel (1/4) Exhaust Raven-winged Helm to cancel 1 damage dealt to Boromir.

Shadow Cards dealt to all enemies in order of engagement cost.

Dreadnaught:
Deck One raised its threat by 4 to cancel this attack

I’m afraid we simply don’t have the ability to withstand this attack, we need all hands on deck to handle the others.

Dreadnaught:
Pride of Lebennin defends (6)
Wicked Cove revealed as Shadow
Dreadnaught attacks (5), deals no damage to Pride of Lebennin.

Corsair Skiff:
Corsair Skirmisher defends (4)
Cobas Haven revealed as Shadow
Corsair Skiff attacks (2), deals no damage

Ophidian:
Boromir defends (5). trigger Ophidian to deal 2 damage to Boromir (3/5). Exhaust Honour Guard to cancel 1 point of damage dealt to Boromir. Trigger Vigilant Guard to cancel 1 point of damage dealt to Boromir and deal 1 point of damage to Beregond. Exhaust Raven-winged Helm to cancel 1 point of damage to Beregond. (Once again, the wonder of damage cancellation at work here, saving our butts in all likelihood)
Isle of Fortune revealed as Shadow
Ophidian attacks (6), deals 1 damage to Boromir (2/5)

Exhaust Unexpected Courage to ready Boromir. (With all the attachments on Boromir, I’d actually forgotten that he had this on him. I could have saved myself about half a dozen points of threat. Learn from my mistakes!)

Exhaust Cirdan and Narya to ready Glorfindel and Honor Guard.

Sea Monster:
Boromir defends (5). Trigger Spear of the Citadel to deal 1 damage to Sea Monster (3/11)
Gondorian Warship revealed as Shadow, deal 5 damage to Sea Monster (8/11) (We would have preferred to see this revealed during Staging, but at least it helps us whittle down the Sea Monster, and goes back into the encounter deck.)
Sea Monster attacks (4), deals no damage

Trigger Boromir to raise Deck Two’s threat by 1 and ready Boromir

Daring Buccaneer:
Boromir defends (5). Trigger Spear of the Citadel to deal 1 damage to Daring Buccaneer (1/2)
Taking on Water revealed as Shadow
Daring Buccaneer attacks (3), deals no damage. Trigger Pillage 3 to discard the top 3 cards of Deck Two’s deck: Warrior Sword, Golden Belt, Book of Eldacar

The amazing thing about Spear of the Citadel is that it does its damage every single time your guy defends an attack. It doesn’t exhaust and there is no round limit. But it is a shame to lose the Book of Eldacar. Getting our Thicket of Spears back would be more helpful than ever now.

Varjax:
Beregond defends (8)
Tolfalas Landing revealed as Shadow, raise Deck Two’s threat by 1
Varjax attacks (7), deals no damage

If I’d been able to put The Day’s Rising on Beregond, he would easily have brought us in an extra resource each and every turn

Sea Monster*: Defender of Cair Andros defends (4). Trigger Defender’s Valor action to deal 1 damage to Sea Monster* (8/11)
Mouths of Anduin revealed as Shadow
Sea Monster* attacks (4), deals no damage

War Galley:
Eithiliant defends (4)
Wicked Cove revealed as Shadow (This all but guarantees we won’t be able to sink the Galley this turn)
War Galley attacks (5), deals 1 damage to Eithiliant (6/15). Exhaust Honor Guard to cancel 1 point of damage dealt to Eithiliant.

Corsair Marauder:
Mablung defends (4)
Isle of Fortune revealed as Shadow
Corsair Marauder attacks (3), deals no damage. Trigger Pillage 3 to discard the top 3 cards of Deck Two’s deck: Defender of the Rammas, Gondorian Shield, Defender of Cair Andros

Just look at all that defensive potential getting flushed straight down the pipes.

Corsair Plunderer:
Gondorian Spearman defends (1). Trigger Gondorian Spearman to deal 1 damage to Corsair Plunderer and destroy it.

As soon as I saw a 1 hit point enemy was in the Corsair deck, I just knew we would be taking a direct damage deck with us, and squeezing every drop of value that we could out of it.

So that was 10 attacks we just dealt with. We don’t have a lot of options for counter-attacking, but we’ll give it our best shot.

[Attacks]
Sea Monster:
Glorfindel attacks (4), destroys Sea Monster

At long last, the first Monster has been destroyed.

Sea Monster*: Soldier of Dol Amroth attacks (1), Soldier of Dol Amroth* attacks (1), Gondorian Spearman* attacks (1), destroys Sea Monster*

And now 2 of our most powerful defenders are freed from their duties so that they can pitch in with other attacks.

Refresh Phase
Raise each player’s threat by 1
Deck One: 36
Deck Two: 46

Turn No.10
Stage: 2B (2/-)
Active Location: Mouths of Anduin (0/5)
Staging Area:
Dreadnaught (3 threat)

Resource Phase
Deck Two Hand (New Card in Bold):
Boromir (1), Beregond (1), Mablung (2)
Quick Strike, Knight of Minas Tirith, Thicket of Spears

We’ll definitely be keeping a hold of this for the combat phase. This will mean it’s only a handful of attacks we’ll have to face off.

Deck One Hand:
Cirdan (2), Arwen (3), Galdor (2)
Steed of Imladris, Elven-light, Light the Beacons, Ancient Mathom, The Evening Star, Imladris Stargazer, Narya, Elwing’s Flight, Ancient Mathom, A Test of Will, To the Sea, to the Sea!, Silver Harp

Test of Will is good insurance in case the worst happens, the rest is fuel for our discard mechanics

Trigger Cirdan to discard Silver Harp. Exhaust Silver Harp to return Silver Harp to hand.

Planning Phase
Deck Two:
There’s nothing we’ll be doing here

Deck One:
Ancient Mathom-Mouths of Anduin (One last bit of card draw for Deck Two. This will almost certainly be the last turn, one way or another)
Trigger Arwen to discard Narya and give Arwen 1 resource

Quest Phase
Cirdan-8
Arwen-5
Galdor-4
Glorfindel-3
Wandering Exile-2

Total willpower: 22

Deck Two plays Evening Star to place 4 progress on Mouths of Anduin (4/5)

Just a little bit of insurance…

1: Black Sails (4 threat) (It never rains, but it pours. We’ll be seeing more Corsairs engaged with us before the turn is out)
2: Corsair Warship (3 threat) (But that won’t be enough to stop us from getting the last Gondorian Warship into the encounter deck)

Total threat: 10

Win by 12. Explore Mouths of Anduin and place 11 progress on Stage 2B (13/-). Trigger Ancient Mathom to allow Deck Two to draw 2 cards: Foe-hammer, The Hammer-stroke, Soldier of Dol Amroth (I have an idea, but we need one more card in our deck to make this work. We have one shot at this, but if we can pull it off, I’ll be delighted)

Trigger Stage 2B to remove 10 progress from the Stage and shuffle 1 copy of Gondorian Warship into the encounter deck.

Travel Phase
N/A

Encounter Phase
Deck One optionally engages Corsair Warship. Trigger Boarding 3 to put Southron Sailor, Daring Buccaneer* and Corsair Plunderer into play engaged with Deck One

Deck Two optionally engages Black Sails. Trigger Boarding 2 to put Fierce Marauder into play engaged with Deck Two, reset the Corsair deck and put Southron Sailor into play engaged with Deck Two. Trigger Mablung to give him 1 resource, and exhaust Captain of Gondor to give Boromir 1 extra attack and defense.

It’s do or die now. Wish us luck.

Deck Two plays The Hammer-stroke to engage Corsair Warship, Corsair Skiff, Southron Sailor, Daring Buccaneer, Daring Buccaneer* and Corsair Plunderer. Trigger Boarding 4 to put Fierce Marauder^, Umbar Captain, Daring Buccaneer^ and Brash Corsair into play engaged with Deck Two

For the record, that’s the Dreadnaught, 4 enemy Ships and 11 Corsairs engaged with Deck Two.

Combat Phase
Trigger Archery 5 to deal 1 damage to Boromir (2/5), 1 damage to Soldier of Dol Amroth (1/2), 1 damage to Soldier of Dol Amroth* (1/2), 1 damage to Cirdan (2/4) and 1 damage to Galdor (1/4). Exhaust Raven-winged Helm to cancel 1 point of damage just dealt to Boromir.

Shadow Cards dealt to enemies in order of engagement cost

We don’t actually have enough encounter cards to go around so the Dreadnaught doesn’t actually get any Shadow Cards

Deck One plays Light the Beacons

We now have a chance to survive all these attacks and focus our efforts on the enemies we need to kill to win the game. This is better than Thicket of Spears here, because Beregond is now defending for 10 and will ping each and every enemy he can for a point of damage, making the counterattack that bit easier

Deck Two plays Quick Strike to allow Boromir to attack Corsair Skiff

Corsair Skiff:
Boromir attacks (7), destroys Corsair Skiff
Deck One plays Foe-hammer and exhausts Warrior Sword to allow Deck One to draw 3 cards: Defender of Rammas, Stand Together, Warrior Sword (And there it is. The final piece we needed!)

Exhaust Unexpected Courage to ready Boromir. Deck Two plays Stand Together (Now is the time, now we stand together!)

[Defence]
Dreadnaught:
No defender declared
No Shadow Card revealed
Dreadnaught attacks (5), deals 5 damage to Pride of Lebennin (7/19)

Dreadnaught:
Corsair Skirmisher defends (4)
No Shadow Card revealed
Dreadnaught attacks (5), deals 1 damage to Corsair Skirmisher (4/6)

And hopefully that is the last time the Dreadnaught will get to attack

Corsair Warship:
Pride of Lebennin defends (6). Trigger Brash Corsair to attack Deck One
Brash Corsair attacks Deck One
-Boromir defends (7), Gondorian Spearman defends (3), Gondorian Spearman* defends (3). -Trigger Spear of the Citadel and both copies of Gondorian Spearman to destroy Brash Corsair. (And this is how we shall survive this onslaught.)
Corsair Warships’s Shadow Card revealed as Slave Ship
Corsair Warship attacks (8), deals 2 damage to Pride of Lebennin (9/19)

Nearly halfway there, but she’s not sunk yet

Black Sails:
Eithiliant defends (4)
Violent Tempest revealed as Shadow, deal 1 damage to Eithiliant (6/15)
Black Sails attacks (6), deals 2 damage to Eithiliant (8/15)

War Galley:
No defender declared
Boarding Party revealed as Shadow
War Galley attacks (7), deals 7 damage to Pride of Lebennin (16/19)

Mercifully, that was the last Ship attack, the rest can be defended by our heroes and allies.

Varjax:
Beregond defends (10)
War Galley revealed as Shadow
Varjax attacks (7), deals no damage

And thanks to Light the Beacons, this absolute wall can go again

Ophidian:
Beregond defends (10). Trigger Ophidian to deal 2 damage to Beregond (4/4) (Normally this would destroy him, but we still have our damage cancellation). Exhaust Honour Guard to cancel 1 damage dealt to Beregond. Exhaust Raven-winged Helm to cancel 1 damage dealt to Beregond (See, just as good as before)
Tolfalas Landing revealed as Shadow, raise Deck Two’s threat by 3 (Deck Two is now on 49 threat. It is this turn on which we win or lose)
Ophidian attacks (6), deals no damage

Now the rest of the Corsairs shall die upon our Spears

Southron Sailor:
Boromir defends (7), Beregond defends (10), Gondorian Spearman defends (3), Gondorian Spearman* defends (3). Trigger Spear of the Citadel, Spear of the Citadel, Gondorian Spearman and Gondorian Spearman* to destroy Southron Sailor.

And now we repeat. None of our defenders exhaust, all of them defend together. This is a meat-grinder now.

Southron Sailor*: Boromir defends (7), Beregond defends (10), Gondorian Spearman defends (3), Gondorian Spearman* defends (3). Trigger Spear of the Citadel, Spear of the Citadel, Gondorian Spearman and Gondorian Spearman* to destroy Southron Sailor*.

So we lather…

Daring Buccaneer:
Boromir defends (7), Beregond defends (10). Trigger Spear of the Citadel and Spear of the Citadel to destroy Daring Buccaneer.

And rinse…

Daring Buccaneer*: Boromir defends (7), Beregond defends (10). Trigger Spear of the Citadel and Spear of the Citadel to destroy Daring Buccaneer*.

And repeat…

Daring Buccaneer^:
Boromir defends (7), Beregond defends (10). Trigger Spear of the Citadel and Spear of the Citadel to destroy Daring Buccaneer^.

Corsair Plunderer:
Boromir defends (7). Trigger Spear of the Citadel to destroy Corsair Plunderer.

Fierce Marauder:
Boromir defends (7), Beregond defends (10), Gondorian Spearman defends (3). Trigger Spear of the Citadel, Spear of the Citadel and Gondorian Spearman to destroy Fierce Marauder.

Fierce Marauder*: Boromir defends (7), Beregond defends (10), Gondorian Spearman defends (3). Trigger Spear of the Citadel, Spear of the Citadel and Gondorian Spearman to destroy Fierce Marauder*.

How many men must be killed before they learn their lesson?

Fierce Marauder^:
Boromir defends (7), Beregond defends (10), Gondorian Spearman defends (3). Trigger Spear of the Citadel, Spear of the Citadel and Gondorian Spearman to destroy Fierce Marauder^.

Just their Captain left, alone and nameless.

Umbar Captain:
Boromir defends (7), Beregond defends (10), Gondorian Spearman defends (3), Gondorian Spearman* defends (3), Defender of Cair Andros defends (6). Trigger Spear of the Citadel, Spear of the Citadel, Gondorian Spearman, Gondorian Spearman* and Defender of Cair Andros to destroy Umbar Captain.

Now it’s my turn.

[Attacks]
Varjax:
Boromir attacks (7), Gondorian Spearman attacks (1), Gondorian Spearman* attacks (1), destroys Varjax, adding him to the Victory Display.

Discard Lembas to ready Boromir and heal all damage from him.

Now for the finishing blow.

Dreadnaught:
Boromir attacks (7), Beregond attacks (1), Mablung attacks (2), Soldier of Dol Amroth attacks (1), Soldier of Dol Amroth* attacks (1), Defender of Cair Andros attacks (1), destroys Dreadnaught and adds it to the Victory Display.

Victory

Victory Display: Overworked (0), Ballista Barrage (0), Varjax (10), Dreadnaught (99)

Score: 36 threat + 49 threat + 100 for turns taken + 2 damage on Cirdan + 1 damage on Galdor + 2 damage on Boromir + 3 damage on Boromir + 2 damage on Beregond + 1 damage on Mablung – 109 Victory Points: 93

Well that came down to the wire. 1 more threat raise would have spelt doom for our entire effort. But we made it, thanks to that Sterling combo there at the end. This is probably the only effective use for Stand Together, but when it works it sings. You saw how those Corsairs were mown down by the defenders, something I doubt I’ll ever be able to pull off again.

I’m happy with how our decks performed, though I should have packed A Test of Will for the Noldor deck. It was immensely satisfying to see them draw 3 cards each and every turn. And as for the Gondor deck, well the damage cancellation kept me in the game. Otherwise I’m sure we would have lost a Ship or two before the game’s end. And the direct damage to attacking enemies proved its weight in gold here. Next we’ll be back to The Hobbit quests, but I do hope you’ve enjoyed this interlude upon the High Seas. Let me know what quest you’d like me to look at next. A stand-alone PoD perhaps, or the start of a new cycle? The choice is entirely yours. Until next time, may fair winds fill your sails to bear you to your next haven.

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