Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Lord of the Rings LCG Session Report


Last night I played a game of Lord of the Rings LCG core set using the tactics deck because I love dwarves. Since then, I have found that this is a very poor idea due to the low questing skill of the 3 heroes in this deck. This can lead to a buildup of locations in the staging area, effectively negating any questing score you could muster while still forcing a failed quest due to their threat overrun. Needless to say, many inexperienced players new to the game have fallen into this trap. I am now one of them.

A quick note on the photos, some of them have some pretty bad glare as I was using my camera phone and it was very late last night that I played this. Also, I will do my best to remember what exactly happened when but I will be relying on the pictures to tell the majority of the story I believe.

I setup the game per the first location in the Passage Through Mirkwood quest deck. A Forest Spider and Old Forest Road were added to the staging area and my heroes placed at the fore, ready to  kill things. 

Starting Setup. 29 Threat.
My starting hand was excellent with several events, a dwarven axe and two dwarf allies. I proceeded to play one of my allies and I quested with a total value of three being Thalin and Gimli. The encounter deck produced a location, one of the many to follow so I failed to quest and gained 1 threat. Then I traveled to the Old Forest Road and Readied Gimli for the encounter phase. Gimli defended against the Forest Spider taking one damage. Unfortunately, the card revealed on the Spider's attack was Eyes of the Forest I believe so I was foced to discard all of my events. That was 4 cards. I then attacked back with both my Dwarven Ally and Legolas dealing the foe three damage in total leaving him with 1 hitpoint.

End of the Refresh Phase, Turn 1. 31 Threat.

Ouch. 4 Event cards gone in turn one.
At this point I was still feeling relatively confident knowing that I would be able to kill the Spider with Legolas and gain some Progress Tokens. I began turn 2 with this plan in mind. I played another Dwarven Ally to the table during the planning phase as well as a dwarven axe. I then quested with Gimli and Thalin. I revealed another location card from the encounter deck with a 2 threat. This combined with the current location card to cancel my combined willpower of 3 leading me to a tie. Then the combats began. I blocked with one of my Dwarven Allies and the shadow card was nothing. The Ally took 1 damage and then I slayed the beast with Legolas, earning 2 progress tokens...the only 2 I would get for the game.

End of Refresh Phase, Turn 2. 32 Threat.

This is where I began to get a bit worried as the current threat total in the staging area was already at 3. The total willpower of all 3 of my heroes was only 4 so I knew I would need to quest with all of them and trust my allies to take any monsters that might appear. I played nothing during the planning phase and quested with all 3 heroes. I drew Hummerhorns, when he engages you, a hero loses 5 life. Awesome. Though Thalin did do 1 damage to him, so that was good. That put the threat total up to 4 in the staging area leading to a tie again. I did not engage the monster and he did not engage me as I still had some room until I hit 40.

End of Refresh Phase, Turn 3. 33 Threat.

I fell into a bit of luck here and managed to draw the Citadel Plate. I played this on Gimli preparing him to take the engage hit from the Hummerhorns. I quested with all 3 heroes and drew the treachery card Caught in a Web. I placed it on Legolas since he had 1 resource token and only 1 willpower. During the combat phase I engaged the Hummerhorns, dealing 5 damage to Gimli, defended with a Dwarven Ally and attacked with the other Dwarven Ally, eliminating it and gaining 4 victory points. I was in trouble.

End of Refresh Phase, Turn 4. 34 threat.

On to turn 5. I played nothing during the planning phase but did remove Legolas from the web. I quested with Gimli and Thalin. I revealed Enchanted Stream raising the threat in the staging area to 5. I failed by 2, raising my threat as much.

End of Refresh Phase, Turn 5. 37 threat.

This would be the last turn, though I didn't know it at the time. With Enchanted Stream in play I could not draw any cards and did not already have Gandalf in my hand. So, I trudged along and quested with all 3 heroes. I revealed Necromancer's Reach so all received a damage. I failed the quest by 1 point and added another point at the end. I was now at 39 (the picture says 40 but what can I say, I was tired) and still had not completed the first Old Forest Road card. That being said, I resigned out of some frustration and exhaustion.

End of Refresh Phase, Turn 6. 40 threat, though it should only be 39.
All in all it was still relatively fun but without monsters for Legolas to kill, thus supplying progress tokens through his ability, it is easy for the base Tactics deck to get overwhelmed with numerous locations looming large in the staging area. 

I suppose Gimli had it right when he said the following: "I'm wasted on cross-country! We Dwarves are natural sprinters, very dangerous over short distances."