Mark Griffiths
United Kingdom
Wrexham
Wrexham
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I don't normally write session reports, but I'm so elated at just how well this game went, I felt a need to share it with the world! I just think I'd better point out before I start that this is not a card-by-card analysis of my game, more a finely-distilled retelling of the highlights, along with some general impressions of the game as a whole.

Firstly, however, I'd like to say how impressed I am with the quality of the Print on Demand service, and also just how generally awesome the artwork is on some of these cards. In particular, I feel a need to mention Pelennor Fields (card 10) and Ruins of Osgiliath (card 11). Wow!

(As a disclaimer, I've likely either misunderstood some rules, or missed vital points out of my description that could make it look like I have misplayed some cards. If anyone can point out such things, please feel free to do so!)


The game progressed quite normally at first; I suppose, having read so much about the sheer brutality of this scenario, I was expecting to die in the first five minutes of it, but no! I was playing solo, with a Leadership/Lore deck comprised of Aragorn, Theodred, and Beravor, for a pretty high starting threat of 30, but I have experience of Aragorn and Theodred working well together, and I wanted a Lore hero other than Glorfindel to use for a change, so thought it worth the risk!

So as I said, play was pretty average at first. Beravor was wounded when I had one too many enemies come out of the encounter deck, so had to leave one attack undefended after all my allies and Theodred were committed to the quest, with Aragorn the only other attacking hero. But I think it's best to go after those Wainriders and let the Snaga Scouts do their worst.

The big highlight of the first two rounds of the quest was the Uruk Vanguard coming out, Aragorn and the Silverlode Archer managed to get rid of him in two rounds, thankfully.

By the time I'd made it Through the Ruins, I was actually feeling quite smug with myself for getting so far with just one wound on one hero. Shortly before I completed this stage, my merry fellowship came across a Ranger of Ithilien in said Ruins, which proved a turning point for completing that stage, and also allowed me to keep all of my heroes for stage 3, Anduin Crossing. Aragorn, equipped with Celebrian's Stone, was keeping the questing quite effective, with just Pelennor Fields, Morgulduin and the occasional Wainrider coming up in the staging area.

Of course, as soon as I'd crossed the Anduin, the Witch-king turned up and I was beginning to panic. All seven of my allies were committing to the quest, but with just one or two willpower, so with the Witch-king's ability giving everyone -1 willpower, I wasn't getting very far. Faramir turned up in my hand when the threat level was at 45, so although he effectively negated the Witch-king's ability as far as Willpower is concerned, things suddenly got out of hand.

The Witch-king was, thankfully, now tied up with Aragorn, Beravor and Theodred attacking him with the Silverlode Archer, doing three damage at a time. But with only breaking even on the questing, I stood no chance of wrapping this all up. I played Radagast's Cunning on the Witch-king, as it's an event and not an attachment, so did manage to get some progress, but then up popped a Wainrider, and with no-one available to attack him he damaged three of my allies, increasing the threat to 48 with that. By the next round I was cusping on disaster. Fortunately, an ace-in-the-hole came in the shape of For Gondor! - with that played, I actually managed to see off the Witch-king, but at the expense of the game.

So I lost, but it was a good defeat!

Without any way of lowering the threat level (checking my deck when I finished, Gandalf was nearer the bottom than I would have liked), I was pretty much doomed from the off. But as I said at the start, I was expecting to be demolished a lot earlier than actually happened, so I am pretty impressed to have gotten to the fourth stage - and to have been able to put a progress token on that stage, too! 15 Quest Points for the final stage is just an incredible number though, and combined with all the card effects that increase threat etc once you've crossed the Anduin, I don't foresee completing this scenario anytime soon. But it was fun, I enjoyed it immensely, and can see me trying again, maybe once Khazad-dum has been released, and the player card pool has increased. Or just with a different deck...

I don't want to turn this into a review, but is a really good scenario, and somehow provides a more epic experience than anything so far released singly. As I said, the artwork is beautiful, and the quality of the Print on Demand cards amazing. For someone like me, who isn't all that fussed about winning, but more about having an enjoyable gaming experience, then this mini expansion is a lot of fun.
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Michele Esmanech
Italy
Milano
Milano
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Dystopian:the manhunt: a worker placement game of investigation, murder and mystery, set in the futuristic megapolis of DYSTOPIA
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I had the exact same experience: I too went smoothly to stage 4B, with all my heroes in pretty good shape...
Then came the witch king... And everything turned bad...

This guy, alone, can negate a whole scenario... Even if things are going quite smoothly.

Cheers
 
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