Wednesday, March 12, 2014

An Unexpected Journey into the Desolation of Smaug


I have been a huge Tolkien fan since I first read the Lord of the Rings back in High School and College. Crazy right? I waited that long before reading some of the best fantasy writing in existence. I am also currently reading the Hobbit and enjoying it quite a bit. Needless to say, I love Lord of the Rings and Hobbit themed games as they feed the fantasy genre kick that I have had ever since I fell in love with knights long before I knew of the existence of Lord of the Rings.

Well, the other night Sarah, my fiancee, and I picked up a couple of new games: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and the Lord of the Rings Card Game. We already owned The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug so we decided to play the two hobbit games back to back as they were intended to be played.

We had a trial run at Outback where we went to dinner after the big purchase and we proceeded to get demolished by the game in short order. We became painfully aware that the boards in An Unexpected Journey would be significantly more difficult than in Desolation of Smaug. So, here we go.

We setup the board and dealt out the dwarven company cards as instructed. Off to a bad start. We lost 3 of the dwarves that give the golden die and Balin who can provide 2 rabbits for running without rolling.

Off to a bad Start.
Thankfully, the dice saw fit to be relatively gracious in our rolling and we managed to get out of the area with only 1 additional adventure added to the board while using 3 starting resources and losing none.

So far so good.
 After the setup for the second board we noticed that once again we were without Thorin at the start. We were also down Fili and Kili which are two of Sarah's favorites as their abilities are quiet useful.

Second board setup. We should be ok here.

Second board dwarves in the discard to start.
Again, we made it through the second board relatively unscathed despite all of the additional adventures that needed to be completed thanks to some good dice rolling.

Second Board Results

Managed to get both treasures from the first two boards!
 We began board three with almost a full assortment of resources and were ready to keep the good game going. However, Thorin was yet again in the discard to start as was Fili and Kili!

Board Three setup.

Despite the Thorin having a prominent role in the story, he doesn't really want to do much in the game.

Board 3 resources carried over from the first game.
 This is the point where I started to get a bit tired and my memory gets hazy. We had to do a load of additional adventures on this one and I think we may have actually exhausted the event deck leading to losing a board 4 resource. We also had to use half of the resources we came over with but we did get the treasure here as well.
Board 3 Finished
 Here is where my memory finally lapsed and I actually forgot to take pictures of the board 4 setup and end. We had a great board here and managed to roll fantastically well constantly leading us to being victorious with 39 points! Next time we play, we'll have to up the difficulty!

Survivors of the whole quest i.e. those not in the discard at the end of the game. Looks like Thorin finally showed up.

Final score including maxed dragon points and all four treasures!
Let me know what you guys think if you have played this game or if you have any comments!