Road to Rivendell: There and Back Again

Regiments of black crows are flying all over the land between the Mountains and the Greyflood. Hollin is no longer wholesome for us: it is being watched…”

Another new exciting quest this week, and we start directly where ‘The Redhorn Gate’ ended – our Heroes have crossed the Misty Mountains. They are still escorting Arwen to her father in Rivendell. This quest I remember had possibly the nastiest collection of Treachery cards so far – including the infamous Sleeping Sentry. This was a terrible card idea that can be game-ending instantly, so I will tweak it a little for Story Mode:

  • Sleeping Sentry: Replace ‘characters’ with ‘allies’ on this card (so Heroes are immune to the effects).

The quest also introduces the clever Ambush mechanic too which sadly (or not!) hasn’t made a re-appearance.

Favourite player card: Out of the Wild is expensive but can be mitigated by some Secrecy and can be SO useful in many quests where certain cards can spell certain doom for a player. Imagine playing through ‘Return to Mirkwood,’ for example, and being able to remove Attercop, Attercop or some of those horrible Treachery cards? And in this quest, you have 2 Treachery cards you don’t want to face – Orc Ambush and Sleeping Sentry – so it definitely went into my deck here!

Since this quest follows directly from the last one and I had great fun with my Noldor, Rivendell deck. I’m keeping mostly the same deck and the same family of Heroes – the twins Elladan and Elrohir, plus Elrond as a Lord in the Rivendell Haven (other families go on picnics…). My starting threat is 23, and I also kept the same starting attachments of Rivendell Blade, Song of Wisdom, and Song of Travel respectively.

Decklist link (Will follow later)

My first attempt was successful although I have to admit that I was hugely lucky with the Encounter deck, and none of the nasty Treachery cards appeared – although I did get lots of attachments stolen by Orc Raiders. I did manage once again to get my Rivendell engine up and running with Master of the Forge, Imladris Stargazer and Erestor helping enormously, and Elrond with Agent of Rivendell (my Steward of Gondor re-theme) being able to scry the encounter deck and pay for expensive allies like Gildor Inglorion who could help the twins questing.

My second attempt was pretty much the same story, with a fantastic opening hand with all the Attachments I needed from the first turn. Coupled with a kind Encounter deck, I managed to get Arwen to Rivendell safely.

However, my third and fourth attempts were a completely different story, and it really showed how much I was dependant on that kind encounter deck. It seemed that every encounter card was an Enemy that attacked or ambushed me from the start. This meant that I couldn’t get much questing up and going with the twins who were fighting these enemies off and was overwhelmed by them after a few turns.

Favourite card combo: I love the theme of Rivendell Blade emphasising that the Elves are all about precision and can cut through an Enemy’s defences easily. It is a really lovely card that can be used on Elladan and Elrohir (plus Legolas and others, of course) and can also be used as a starting attachment. Putting a Rivendell Blade plus a Blade of Gondolin on Elladan makes him quite the powerhouse warrior.

A Hero’s story

Elladan: He hardly needs any introduction as the twin brother of Elrohir, who gets a nice Attack bonus this time if with him. Elladan is clearly the more practical of the two and a skilled fighter since he is from the Tactics sphere and has the ability to ready and be used to attack twice in the combat phase. Together, the sons of Elrond can prove a very capable combination in all areas of Questing, Defence ,and Attack. No wonder they allied themselves with the Rangers to protect the North from evil.  

‘Road to Rivendell’ is once again all about speed. You need a lot of progress tokens on those quest cards so you have to quest as hard and as fast as possible. I have to say that the inclusion of the ‘Plundering Goblins’ set leads to some very odd and jarring encounters; however, as one round you can be in a Pathless Country or Barren Hills as an active location, and the next you’re seemingly underground with a Plundered Armoury. Luckily this is fixed in the Nightmare version of the quest, which will be discussed on the blog soon. I did very much like using Fresh Tracks in this quest, however, to avoid nasty Ambush cards and it was very thematic too.

So the heroes have fulfilled their quest and escorted Arwen back to her father at Rivendell, but there’s no rest for them as Elrond senses something evil stirring in the depths of Moria. I have a nasty feeling I might be due for a return journey underground…

“The Road Goes Ever On…”

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