Trouble in Tharbad

This is a real gem of a quest in this cycle. It is not very difficult and is the go-to quest for any deck that wants to include some Secrecy cards. The quest also introduced us to the biggest let-down in terms of objective allies, Nalir the Dwarf. This objective is anything but helpful during the quest. The quest has an interesting gimmick where you must reduce your threat to 0 before going back up. The Time mechanic in this quest will lower your threat elimination level, making this a difficult quest to stall in.

Trouble in Tharbad

  • Found in: Ringmaker cycle, Adventure pack 3
  • Official Difficulty: 4
  • Community Difficulty: 4
  • Encounter sets: Trouble in Tharbad, Misty Mountain Orcs
  • Quest cards: 2
  • Play if: You have a deck you would like to test that does not centre around threat reduction, you have a Secrecy deck you want to play, you want to play a relatively easy quest but are sick of Amon Din.
  • What is different about this quest?: Threat is reduced towards 0 if you make progress, threat elimination level is reduced as time ticks down, highly thematic locations, Boss level enemy
  • Solo or Multiplayer?: I personally enjoy this scenario with as few players as possible. This makes Nalir far more manageable and you will find yourself exploring stage 1 faster. In multiplayer, you can easily get locked with locations and some players may lag behind in terms of threat, which can lead to 3 players at 0 threat for a couple of turns while the final player tries to get there. Try this scenario solo or with a friend, but don’t bring the whole gang.
  • Can I run Side-Quests for this scenario?: This is not the ideal quest for side-quests. In order to progress to the second and final stage, you need to make progress on the main quest to reduce your threat in order to advance. If you keep exploring side-quests, you’ll find that the time will tick down faster than you can make progress. This will cause you to be eliminated due to threat. The second stage is just a sprint to the finish, so there is no need to pick a side-quest over the main quest. Since both quests have the Time keyword, stalling is also a bad idea and can force players to lose due to threat issues.

The Quest

Setup

To start the quest off with, the players have to look for Bellach and the Crossing at Tharbad location and set them aside out of play. Then, each player finds a copy of Spy from Mordor and adds it to the staging area. This makes the starting threat in the staging area 2 threat per player before the first staging step. The first player takes control of the Nalir objective ally and makes The Empty Mug the active location. This location restricts the players to not be able to reduce their threat. Threat reduction won’t be a problem though, as the other side of this quest card explains.

Quest card 1: Double Dealings – Time 4

This stage does not have any quest points on it, instead, the players will reduce each of their threat by the number of progress tokens that they would place on the main stage. This allows the players to rapidly reduce their threat once they get their willpower going. It also allows them to be a bit less careful with their Doomed player cards, as their threat will automatically go down as long as they make progress on the main quest.

The Time keyword on this quest starts off with Time 4. While this may look like enough time to stall a little and let it tick down, there are a lot of effects that accelerate the ticking of the time counter. One of these cards will already be in the staging area at this point, The Spy from Mordor who removes a Time counter each time he attacks. There are also locations that prevent time counters from being removed and locations that will add time counters, effectively buying you some more time before the keyword reaches 0.

Once it does reach 0, the threat elimination level of each player is reduced by 10. This level starts off at 50, but can quickly go down to 40, then 30, 20 and so on. After the Time keyword has run out, players place 4 new time counters on the stage to start the cycle again. It is imperative that the players quest like crazy in order to reduce their threat before the elimination level is reduced. This also means that the players will have a maximum of 20 turns (not counting Time counters being added) before the elimination level reaches 0. At that point, players will have lost the game as they cannot have negative threat.The-Empty-Mug.jpg

The players will start off with The Empty Mug as the active location. This location will prevent players from lowering their threat while it is in play. It also provides a 4 quest point buffer between the players and the main quest. There is no real way around the effects on the location, unfortunately. Once the location has been explored, the players will be able to use threat reduction with their player cards. However, once that card triggers, it immediately gets removed from the game. This makes Galadriel a poor hero to bring to this quest, as you won’t be able to use her unless you get Nenya out. Ally Elfhelm is also a less than ideal card, as it will only lower your threat by 1 and then leave play.

The players can only progress once every player has 0 threat. This may cause some issues as some decks tend to start off with a higher threat than others. Hobbit decks will start between 15 and 20, taking only a few turns to drop down to 0 if they quest hard enough. The average threat for regular decks tends to be around 30, depending on your heroes. This will make some decks take longer to get down to 0 threat than others. When they do finally reach 0, all players immediately progress to stage 2.

Quest card 2: Escape from Tharbad – Time 3

The second that the last player lowers his threat to 0, all players advance to this second stage. The set aside Crossing at Tharbad location and the Bellach enemy are added to the staging area. Players won’t be able to travel to the Crossing, and I will also recommend they do not travel to any other location at this point. Any progress that would be placed on the main quest card is instead placed on the Crossing at Tharbad location. The location will soak up 10 progress plus an additional 2 per player. This is another instance where having fewer players will see you finish this scenario a lot faster.Bellach

The Bellach enemy will try to prevent this tough. He has a passive ability that grants Orcs and Creatures a -30 engagement cost and +1 point of threat. While you are not required to kill him, it will get rid of his passive abilities. His engagement cost reduction is annoying since it will force you to engage more enemies during the combat phase than you might be able to handle. Any other enemies that are left in the staging area will receive their threat bonus, making it more difficult to make progress. Note that once you do kill Bellach, he isn’t discarded but instead goes into the encounter deck. He might show up again if you do not clear the stage fast enough.

Besides adding the unique location and enemy to the staging area, players must also shuffle the encounter discard pile into the encounter deck and start to discard cards. They must continue to do this until X Orc enemies are discarded from the encounter deck, where X is the number of players. Then, all of the Orc enemies are added to the staging area. They do not trigger any When Revealed effects though. This effect does not trigger on the Orc Hound, as it is a Creature enemy. This discard effect is a good way to get rid of some nasty card in the encounter deck, but will eventually add even more threat to the staging area. Between this effect and the 2 cards you added earlier, you are looking at a nett increase in threat of 2+3.5X (counting Bellach‘s Boost) where X is the number of players. “Fortunately”, you will likely be engaging some enemies at this point as they have a lower engagement cost. Try to remove as much threat out of the staging area as you can at this point, so that you will be able to push past the final stage next turn.

The stage is beaten when the players have explored the Crossing at Tharbad location. This location is immune to player card effects and cannot leave the staging area. Players will have to make 10+2 times the number of players points of progress on the stage to explore the location in order to beat the quest. Killing Bellach will help in keeping the threat in the staging area low, but is not a prerequisite to defeating the scenario.

This stage also has a Time keyword to pad out the quest card. Players will put 3 Time counters on this stage when they flip it over. When the last counter is removed, the players must either raise their threat by 3 or Bellach makes an attack against Nalir. The threat raise seems innocent enough, but remember that your threat elimination level is no longer 50 at this point. You will have less of a buffer before you threat out. The attack against Nalir can be blocked by the controlling player, but that does mean an additional 5 attack strength attack against that player.The-Crossing-at-Tharbad

Chumping at this stage is a very poor strategy as well, though you may want to do this as there will be a lot of enemies to defend. The quest card also has an easily overlooked Forced effect that forces the players to raise their threat if a character leaves play by 2. This only counts for the controlling player, but this can quickly ramp up. Note that this effect counts characters that leave play, not destroyed. This counters the Silvan synergy, Sneak Attack, Tactics Imrahil, and some other cards that cheat allies into play and then returning them to your hand. If you are bringing one of those decks, you may find yourself raising your threat a lot at this point.

Threat will definitely become your worst enemy at this stage, not only will the quest card raise your threat, but Nalir will too. Remember that you will still have to remove any threat reducing cards from the game after you triggered them because of The Empty Mug. This really puts you under pressure to move past the Crossing fast. You will likely have about 4 rounds of gameplay before threat really starts to hurt at this stage. This, of course, is influenced by how long you have stalled on stage 1 and if you are removing Time counters on this stage more than once per round. Try to rush this part of the quest so that you do not threat out.

After the players have defeated this stage, they win the game and have fled Tharbad. They must now take the road to Ost-in-Edhil through the treacherous Swanfleet swamp. This next quest is a big cause of frustration for players, as it features a fearsome boss, shifting quest stages, and more time counters that go off than most decks can initially handle. Next time: Nin-in-Eilph.

The Encounter deck

Global

  • The encounter deck has a total of 36 cards to reveal in Normal mode and 28 in Easy mode.Tharbad
  • Shadow effects are not very common, as only 44% of cards have a Shadow effect in Normal mode. This goes down to 35% in Easy mode.
  • Average threat on cards revealed is 1.6 threat per card in both Normal and Easy mode
  • Surge is present of 27% of cards in Normal mode and 25% in Easy mode, Lanwyn can work in this quest, even more, if you add Rangers of the North or Eagle of the North.
  • While there are no cards that have the Doomed keyword, there will be plenty of encounter cards that will want to raise your threat. Be careful if you are planning on bringing Doomed of your own.
  • There is no Archery in this quest.
  • Immunity
  • Time counters can be optionally removed because of 14 cards in the encounter deck. This is usually one of the options if the other one is not picked.

The encounter deck has a decent distribution of locations and enemies, with just slightly fewer treacheries. The stats above do not count Nalir, Bellach or any of the unique locations as none of these cards are revealed by the encounter deck. I did add all of the Spies from Mordor, even though some get picked out at the start of the game.

Objective

Honestly, the less we can talk about this objective ally, the better. The community is in agreement that Nalir is one of the (if not the) worst objective ally in the game. Sure, Lord Alcaron tried to kill you in the end, but at least his ally cards were useful. Nalir is a Dwarf with stats that make him a decent defender. The crux is that you don’t want to be defending with Nalir though, as the players will lose the game. So his stats are useless, but perhaps Nalir has a great ability that you would like to use.

Sadly, he doesn’t. In fact, it would have been better to have him blanked for the entire game instead of having to suffer his ability. His ability instructs the player who controls him (the first player) to raise his threat at the beginning of the refresh phase by the number of players in the game. This ability can be worse than that of Gollum from Return to Mirkwood! During the first stage, he will stall the first player from reaching 0 threat, and in the second stage, he will cause the players to raise their threat incredibly fast, drawing ever closer to that adjusted threat elimination level.

The best way to use Nalir is probably in a Dwarf deck with Dain Ironfoot. At least Nalir is a Dwarf and will count towards your total Dwarf count if you are playing a Swarm style deck. Dain Ironfoot will boost Nalir so that he can contribute to the quest or attack together with other characters against enemies. Nalir’s Dwarf trait also grants you access to cards like Ancestral Knowledge and Untroubled by Darkness, which can make questing a bit easier. But besides a Dwarf deck, you won’t find him doing much for you.

Nalir

Enemies

The enemies in this scenario are the Orcs who are also after the map of Nalir. They are lead by Bellach and can pose quite a serious threat to decks that aren’t well suited for combat. The Orcs can be avoided if you quest hard and keep a low threat as a result, but there are effects that lower their engagement costs.

  • Bellach: Possibly a reference to the Indiana Jones series, especially with the archaeology during Celebrimbor’s Secret. Bellach is the boss enemy of this scenario and is after your piece of the map. Though killing him is not a prerequisite to completing the quest, it can make your life a little easier. Bellach has a variable threat value scaling with the number of players in the game, this makes him less of a threat in solo, but in multiplayer he can reach up to 4 threat. At that point, it would be advisable to draw him down and start getting his threat out of the staging area. His engagement cost of 50 is not reduced by his own effect, but cards like Cornered. This means that if you can only optionally engage Bellach, this may have consequences for who gets which other enemies, but that depends on the situation. Once engaged, Bellach will hit for 5 attack strength, but this can easily be boosted by shadow effects or treacheries that went off earlier in the round. Since chump blocking is not the best strategy (because of the quest card), I would suggest either cancelling his attack or using a big beefy defender who can survive the hit. Attacking Bellach back will also take some attention as he has a combined defensive stat of 11. This means that Tactics Eowyn cannot kill him on her own without any weapons or other support. Teaming up against Bellach with Ranged characters or allies can quickly get you to 11, thereby killing him. Note that Bellach gets shuffled back into the encounter deck once he is destroyed. This means that you may come across him again if you are unlucky. The chances of running into him again are larger in a multiplayer game, but if you can cross the ruined bridge within 2 turns, you will likely not see him. Since the encounter deck was refilled with the discard pile during the transition between stages, there is about a 1 in 30 chance that Bellach will pop up again.
  • Spy from Mordor: Though the 40 threat engagement cost on these enemies means you are unlikely to have to engage them, it is advisable that you engage these spies if you are capable of killing them on the same turn that you engaged them. These Orc enemies are not a big deal when in combat, but can be a big threat in the staging area if they are left up there. Since they are spies, Constant Tail will boost their threat to 4 per enemy. It is therefor vital that you get these guys engaged and kill them as soon as you can. You start off with 1 per player in the staging area, so you will likely spend your early game rounds together with at least one Spy from Mordor. The really nasty thing about these enemies is that they remove a time counter each time that they attack. This can be troublesome, as in a 4 player game, this immediately reduces the Time keyword to 0 on the quest card on round 1. The way around this is to cancel their attacks. They are not immune to anything so you will be better off using a Feint against them to prevent Time from running out. In a solo game, these guys are less of a problem, but will still have to be destroyed if you cannot quest hard enough to keep ahead from the closing threat elimination level. The generic stat line of the Spy isn’t too hard to overcome in combat, just be sure that he will attack as little as possible.
  • Bellach’s Marauder: Speaking of stat lines, this one is pretty heafty. Bellach’s Marauder clocks in with 5 attack and 4 defence, along with a decent pool of hitpoints to counter a Gandalf bomb. The exact stat line from this enemy matches that of a campaign Ringwraith, so this enemy is nothing to sneeze at. While this enemy might not be immune to player card effects, he does have an ability that can stack shadow cards on him. Whenever a time counter is removed and the Marauder is engaged with a player, the enemy gains 2 shadow cards. This is unlimited and hearkens back to the days of Against the Shadow. To best deal with this guy, I would advice chumpblocking on stage 1 (or 2 if you can handle the threat). With a tower of shadow cards, a Burning Brand might also be worth it to include. The 4 defence on this enemy may be hard to crack, so consider bringing Rivendell Blades or a Marksman of Lorien to your deck so you can lower its defence a little. Direct damage and especially Skinbark are also worthy cards to bring with you against this Orc. Skinbark allows you to bypass his defence stat, so if he is already hurt from direct damage, Skinbark can finish him off.

Bellach's-Marauder

Locations

The locations in the encounter deck depict the ruined streets and houses of Tharbad. Travelling to these locations can either hide you from your enemies or expose you to them when travelling in the open. This makes travelling far more thematic when compared to other quests.

  • The Empty Mug: This location starts off as the active location during setup and has already been covered a bit during the quest analysis. As long as this location is in play, you are unable to lower your threat. While there are complicated ways around this, the quest isn’t worthy for such levels of shenanigans that involve multiple cards in your hand at the start of the game. When player explore this location, they add it to the victory display and are allowed to lower their threat by means of player card effects. The catch is that you will have to remove the threat lowering card from the game after your threat has been lower because of its effect. This cancells any multiple uses out of any one card. Your best bet will be to use good old Galadhrim’s Greeting, as it is a big 1 time event you can trigger to quickly drop your threat. Cards like Elfhelm and Galadriel are terrible options, as they will have to be discarded after they have lowered your threat once.
  • The Crossing at Tharbad: This is the final destination of your journey through Tharbad. Once this location has been cleared, you have won the game. To prevent this from making things too easy, the location is immune to any player card effects and has a base of 10 quest points, with 2 being added by each player for a maximum of 18 quest points in total. These quest points can be explored by putting progress on quest stage 2, making this location essentialy a quest card of its own. Players will be unable to travel to this location, but can travel to other locations instead. After that initial location has been explored, excess progress is placed on the Crossing. There are no real tips or tricks to this location, other than using as much willpower as you can to try and clear the Crossing in time. Try to avoid travelling to other locations if they absorb more progress than they would prevent if they are left in the staging area. Examples of this are the Ruins of the Second Age locations.
  • Streets of Tharbad: The streets of Tharbad are a high threat location that is harmless when in the staging area (besides adding 3 threat to the total) but a real pain as the active location. The location is immune to progress while in the staging area but can be interacted with via player card effects. While the location is active, all enemies get -20 to their engagement cost, stacking with other active effects from Bellach or treacheries. There are a couple of ways around this location. First off, you can simply travel here if you have no enemies in the staging area and are sure you can clear the location next turn, this way, you don’t have to care about the penalty unless you are playing a Hobbit/Ranger deck. Second, you can use Warden of Arnor to immediately discard this location when it is revealed. During the window of this interaction, the Streets are not considered to be in the staging area yet. Third, you can use effects like Woodmen’s Path or Strength of Will to immediately clear the location when it becomes active. You can then use Thror’s Map as an action to travel to another location in the staging area if you want/can. In the end, the location isn’t a big problem, but it can get annoying if you leave it in the staging area long enough, especially with Ruins of the Second Age in the same staging area.
  • Tharbad Hideout: This innocent 1/1 location provides players with the option to take down some Spies from Mordor and trigger some other effects that would otherwise remove Time counters. While this location is active, no time counters can be removed from the current quest, allowing players to catch up on the quest without lowering their threat elimination level every other turn or so. The location does surge, which is nasty, but if you get the option to travel here, do so. While it doesn’t remove a lot of threat from the staging area, it will help you catch your breath. That is, unless you explore it right away with Warden of Arnor. Since the location is not immune to player card effects, players are free to use any tools at their disposale to get rid of the location. Note that this location will get explored at the start of the next quest phase, regardless of whether you travelled to it or not. This means that you will only have the option to travel here once, before it gets discarded.
  • Ruins of the Second Age: This is a generic boosting location that raises the threat of every City location in the game by 1 while it is in the staging area. Note that this effect will stack with any other copies of Ruins of the Second Age. If you are trying to get rid of this location by travelling to it, you will have to deal each enemy an additional shadow card while it is active. The best way around this location is to put progress on it while it is in the staging area. The buffer of 5 quest points for a 2 threat location tends to not be worth it, unless you are struggeling with location lock. A great attachment for this location is Thror’s Key which will blank the location from both of its passive abilities. This way, you can leave it in the staging area forever, where it will just be a 1 threat location as long as no second copy pops up.
  • Seedy Inn: Trying to hide in another inn while running from your pursuers? Bad idea! This 3/3 location has nothing else but a Travel cost that requires you to find a Spy enemy and add it to the staging area. In the worst case scenario, you will be forced to find Bellach if all the Spies from Mordor are taken. The Travel effect on this location can easily be solved with Ghan-Buri-Ghan or Thror’s Map, but I don’t find myself doing this all too often. I tend to leave this location in the staging area and exploring it slowly with Northern Trackers or Rhovanion Outriders. This way, you avoid the 3 quest point buffer and the additional threat you add to the staging area in the form of a Spy enemy.
  • Hidden Alleyway: This is another Time controlling location, but instead of being unable to remove any time counters, this location adds more to the quest, prolonging the time counter from ticking down. In order to travel here, players should raise their threat by the number of enemies in play. I tend to travel here when there are no enemies in play, thereby bypassing the travel cost. Of course, there are plenty of player card effects that can bypass this effect as well. Note that the ability to add a Time counter is independant to this travel cost, so you can still add time to your stage if you chose to bypass the travel cost. In solo games, 1 time counter may buy you an additional round, but in multiplayer games, 1 time counter tends to make less of an impact. Still, it will be best if you travel here if you can. The 5 progress tokens required may keep you occupied for a round, but should prove to be too difficult.
  • Decrepit Rooftops: This card is wonderful for decks that prioritise willpower over combat abilities. The location returns all engaged enemies to the staging area and makes them not make engagement checks. This way, you can avoid enemies if you want to, you can still optionally engage 1 enemy if you want to. This might thin the herd that is massing in the staging area at that point. The downside to this location is that the enemies in the staging area all get +1 threat while you are running over rooftops. This will bump the threat in the staging area up by a lot, so be sure to quest hard. A great event to use with this location is Arrows from the Trees. This will deal damage to all enemies in the staging area, potentially killing some. The kicker of this one is expensive, but can really save you if you were struggeling with combat. This setup will require some coordination with fellow players, to make sure you have enough resources to spare for this event.

Hidden-Alleyway

Treacheries

The treacheries in the encounter deck deal with threat raising and encounter cost reduction on enemies. This makes combat more likely and will decrease your chances of sneaking by your enemies. The treacheries also deal with Nalir, who is escaping with you to the ruined Bridge.

  • Constant Tail: This can be a very troublesome card to reveal in the later stages of the game, but it will also hurt in the early game. This treachery returns all enemies engaged with a player to the staging area. Then, regardless of whether or not any enemies were returned in this way, the first player must decide to either remove a Time counter or allow every Spy enemy in the staging area to get +2 threat for the rest of the phase. In the early game, the players will each have added a Spy enemy to the staging area during setup. If the players have not yet killed these enemies, they are now becoming a 4 threat enemy each, unless a time counter is removed. In the later stages of the game, Bellach will also be affected by this treachery. Returning engaged enemies to the staging area alone is reason enough to consider cancelling this treachery. If you are unable to cancel it, check if there are now any Spy enemies in the staging area and make the decision on the second part of the treachery yourself. I personally opt for removing the Time counter most of the time, but that is personal and situational opinion. If there are no enemies engaged with the players, and there are no Spy enemies in the staging area, this effect will be avoided and the players should count themselves lucky.
  • Conspicuous Lot: I like this card for thematic reasons, as you are unlikely to be sneaking around with a full party of Dwarves or Outlands characters. This is likely also one of the cards that inspired the Mt. Doom scenario years later. This treachery will force each player to raise their threat by the number of allies they control. Nalir counts as well. Then, if you are still under 20 threat after this effect triggered, the treachery surges. This is a great time to be using Free to Choose, as it can negate a big chunk of threat that you would otherwise gain. You can also choose to cancel the treachery with A Test of Will, but frankly, there are better targets for that. The treachery will stall you for a while, but if you are running a lot of allies, you should be able to quest past it within a few turns. This treachery is also great to get out early, as you will be unlikely to have less than 20 threat and you will also not have many allies in play yet.
  • Cornered: This is quite a basic treachery and gives the first player the choice of either removing a Time counter or giving each enemy -20 engagement cost and +1 attack strength until the end of the round. This -20 engagement cost can stack with other effects, forcing you to engage more enemies than you might have anticipated. The +1 attack strength is also quite nasty and can make big enemies even bigger. I tend to lean towards removing a Time counter in case that there are a lot of enemies that I would rather pick off one at a time. If there are no enemies in the staging area and the players have enough defence left, they can choose the other option. This is again not a treachery that is worth the cancellation, but it can save the players a round of Time if they do decide to cancel this treachery.
  • Get That Dwarf!: Contrary to popular belief, it is not the Orcs shouting this, but rather the heroes shouting this to the Orcs: “Get that Dwarf! He is over here you guys!”. This really goes to show how fed up the players are with Nalir. The treachery itself can be both a blessing and a curse. When this treachery is revealed, the enemy in the staging area with the highest attack stat engages the player who controls Nalir and makes an immediate attack against that player. The player is allowed to use other characters than Nalir to defend (reference). This attack can easily be cancelled with Feint, Grimbold or Feigned Voices. The downside to this treachery is that the engaged enemy will attack again in the combat phase. The best thing to do is probably to cancel this treachery if you do not have the ability to block the engaged enemy twice. If there are no enemies in the staging area at the moment this treachery triggers, the card just surges. The silver lining of this treachery is that it removes some threat out of the staging area since the enemy engages you.

Get-That-Dwarf

 

Tips and Tricks

  • If you are considering bringing a Dwarf Swarm deck, and you are the first player, bring Bombur. He will allow you to get to the 5 Dwarf threshold from the start in conjunction with Nalir. This can accelerate your gameplay a lot.
  • Secrecy cards are a real bargain in this quest. With your threat being reduced each time you quest successfully, you will drop below 20 threat eventually. At that point, you will be able to play Secrecy cards at Secrecy prices. This also makes Leaf Brooch a great card to lower the cost to play events.
  • You will be able to play with a lot of high threat heroes. Since your threat is being reduced if you quest successfully, there isn’t a great penalty for bringing big heroes with you. You will have to stay at stage 1 a bit longer, but high-cost heroes will be a great addition to your deck and will likely pump out willpower like crazy. This is a great quest to experiment with high threat combinations like TreebeardQuickbeam, ElrondGandalf, and many others.
  • Don’t bring Valour cards. Chances are your threat elimination level will quickly be at 40, rendering their Valour effect useless. You will still be able to play the regular effect on the cards, but it will be less powerful.
  • With your threat being so low, almost every enemy will have an engagement cost higher than your threat. This works great with Hobbit decks, who can really shine in this quest. Be careful though, as there are effects that lower the engagement cost of the enemies by Bellach, Streets of Tharbad, Cornered, and Orc Hunting Party.
  • The enemies in this scenario can get really big, and attack for more than 5 attack strength. This can be enough to scare off all but the sturdiest defenders. Attack cancellation is, therefore, a great mechanic to exploit in this quest. This will also keep a character ready who can help to kill the enemy.
  • Damage cancellation can be a real lifesaver in this quest. Nalir will be the focal point of many attacks and shadow effects. If you can cancel the damage or redirect it, you will be able to save the Dwarf from an untimely death. Honour Guard, Vigilant Guard, and Close Call may prove to save Nalir’s life during the quest. Healing is of course also a decent option to bring if you can’t cancel all the damage that is being dealt.
  • Nalir can also be equipped with attachments like Boots from Erebor and Ring-mail to improve your chances of him surviving. If Hardy Leadership is in play, he might be able to survive some direct damage or tank an untimely attack. Healing will still be important for him so you could consider Self Preservation on him. The real question you must ask is if you are willing to spend this money on a pesky Dwarf that doesn’t cooperate.
  • It has been a while since we had a lot of Orcs in the encounter deck, so cards like Blade of Gondolin, Dwalin, and Skinbark have a natural advantage against the majority of enemies in this encounter deck. Be careful with Balin’s threat reduction though!
  • There are quite some travel effects on the locations in this encounter deck. Consider bringing tech like Ghan-Buri-Ghan and West Road Traveller in order to circumvent paying this cost. Blanking certain locations can also be a good thing, so Thror’s Key is a valuable attachment if you can get it on the right location.

Playthrough

With this AP out of the way, I will return to the regular progression order, all to avoid Nin-in-Eilph which would be next in line. Into Fangorn will introduce Huorn enemies and the Hinder keyword. Hopefully I will be able to post articles more frequently in a few weeks, as uni tends to take up a lot of my otherwise spare time.

 

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