“Fly! This is a foe beyond any of you!”
Welcome to my article detailing the last quest from the ‘Khazad-dum’ Deluxe expansion as our heroes try to escape from the Mines of Moria. This was another really easy preparation as I didn’t change many cards from my previous deck, kept the same heroes, the same starting attachments and the same Erebor Haven too.
Although there are some nasty cards there, I decided on no Encounter deck tweaks for Story Mode.
I did consider swapping out Dwalin and replacing him with Thalin. I could still have used Narvi’s Belt or given Thalin a Song of Travel to access Spirit cards and with all the low hit point goblins that were coming out of the encounter deck in ’The Seventh Level’, if Thalin were questing he would do a point of damage to them as they were coming off the deck. If you equipped him with a Dwarrowdelf Axe, he could do another point of damage and kill the goblin before it drew its spear or sword too. This could be useful in this scenario but I had a feeling that Dwalin’s threat reduction might be even more important in this scenario with that nasty Nameless Fear lurking in the shadows, and I wanted to keep my ‘campaign’ heroes too.
What I did add however was some copies of Risk Some Light as I wanted the chance to see what I might be facing from time to time – I think that this could be important here…
The first time out with this quest was successful although it almost wasn’t for two good reasons. As I’ve said before, I don’t read through the encounter or quest deck before I tackle it so when I started through the quest, I wasn’t at all sure of what could turn up, so when my second 2B quest card was ‘Escape from Darkness’ I thought that this was the ONLY way out. So my logic was to stay with this card and try to get the Abandoned Tools Objective from the encounter deck. Luckily, it didn’t take too long to come out (and also fortunately it didn’t appear as a Shadow card as that would’ve meant another trawl through the encounter deck). I was just chipping away with my Abandoned Tools when New Devilry appeared and shuffled ‘Escape from Darkness’ back into the quest deck! I was aghast, and thought this could add another half hour to the game as I trolled through the quest deck again, but with an enormous amount of luck, it popped out after the shuffle.
My second attempt saw me getting stomped on properly! An early Hasty Council going into the Victory Display meant that The Nameless Fear had a Threat of 4 from the first turn and I just never got enough Willpower on the table before the locations piled up and then the goblins swarmed out of the tunnels and engulfed me – and A Foe Beyond killed off Dwalin too!
The third time out was a ‘worst nightmare’ scenario – even though I won. An early ‘Escape the Darkness’ quest card meant that I trod steadily through the Encounter deck waiting to get the Abandoned Tools until, yes, you guessed, it came out as a Shadow card! Not looking forward to going through the Encounter deck again, I chose to bypass the Quest card and after a ‘Heading Up’ got Blocked by Shadow. Now here’s where Risk Some Light was absolutely brilliant as I knew what was next, didn’t get a Treachery card ‘instant lose’ but instead with my Longbeard Mapmaker, finished the quest card in 1 round!
For my final attempt at the quest, I added the Moria Stronghold for the ultimate challenge as this Stronghold has a really nasty effect if lots of Quest cards are completed. This was a fun and successful play-through where everything went according to plan. However by the end, The Nameless Fear had a Threat of 7 which was a bit (appropriately) scary. Thank goodness I didn’t draw A Foe Beyond….
Favourite card combo: Lure of Moria from ‘Road to Rivendell’ has just been terrific in all my Dwarf decks of this set and been really thematic too as they quest through the dark halls of Moria, always ready for encounters.
My first thought with this quest is how unique the Quest card mechanic plays. It is completely different from the usual setup which gives a really fresh feel and it also means that the tactic this time is not just to rush through the quest cards as quickly as possible (as I first thought). Unfortunately, the random nature of the quest deck means that you can either have a breeze-through or a real toil in getting out of the Mines!
So I managed to escape Khazad-dum and am looking forward to more dwarf-themed quests…
Hang on, it seems like Arwen wants an escort over the Misty Mountains? Since when do dwarves escort elves…?
“The Road Goes Ever On…”