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A Guide to Playing Two-Handed

by on February 6, 2013


Recently, I have seen a few players asking how to go about playing “two-handed”. This term refers to tackling a scenario solo but controlling two decks and sets of heroes instead of just one. It is actually my favorite way of playing the game, although I started out with a preference for what I like to call “pure solo” (a.k.a. “one-handed”). I made the switch for a variety of reasons, mostly because I wanted to be able to use and experience the various multiplayer effects included in the game (ranged, sentinel, etc.). I also wanted to experiment with building two decks that could work together and cover different aspects of play instead of one deck that did everything. Both types of solo play are great fun and provide different challenges, but oftentimes players feel overwhelmed by the prospect of controlling and building more than one deck at a time. The purpose of this guide is to make that option a bit less intimidating.

Deck-Building for Two

In some ways building two decks that work together is not too different than just imagining that you are building one big deck of 100 cards. What I mean is that just as you are aiming to build synergies and including a range of abilities when you are designing one deck, when you are building two decks, you are hoping to create synergy between both sets of cards. The difference, of course, is that you get to include a lot more cards overall and can make each deck specialized. With pure solo play, you need to cover all realms of play, including questing and combat, all in one deck. However, with two-handed play, one of the most popular approaches is to designate one deck as the questing specialist and the other as the combat specialist. There are other ways to divide up responsibilities, but this is a good place to start.

Another aspect to consider is how to distribute spheres between the two decks. You can have two mono-sphere decks, two tri-sphere decks, two dual-sphere decks or any combination in between. For example, you could have your combat deck be a mono-Tactics powerhouse, while your questing deck is a tri-sphere build of Leadership, Lore, and Spirit. The sky really is the limit. However, to begin, I think it makes sense to keep things simple by making sure all four spheres are represented in a very clear-cut way, by having each deck consist of two spheres. What sphere combinations work best? All are viable, but they bring something different to the table:

* Lore/Spirit: This is the quintessential questing and support deck. Spirit can provide enough willpower to carry both decks, along with threat management and treachery cancellation. Lore makes sure that both decks have card draw, as well as encounter deck manipulation and healing. These spheres work well together because they both focus on support and questing. The biggest weakness tends to be combat ability and a lack of resource generation. Of course, that’s where the other deck comes in.

* Leadership/Tactics: This is the classic combat deck combination. Leadership provides the resources necessary to pay for Tactics cards. It also is a balanced sphere and can help cover for some of the glaring weaknesses of Tactics, while also being no slouch in combat either. The red side of the equation has one job and one job only: destroy enemies. These two spheres can form one of the most potent combinations as far as combat is concerned.

Spirit/Tactics: At first glance, this may seem like a clash of opposites, and in some ways it is. However, this is a pretty well-rounded combination, providing both combat and questing capabilities in one deck. I find that this also can work well in that Spirit can provide an uber-defending hero in the form of Frodo or an all-rounder like Glorfindel, which forms a natural counterpart to Tactics. Keep in mind that which sphere you emphasize changes how this combination works. The Tactics-heavy version focuses on pumping out allies and killing enemies, while Spirit mostly spends its resources on treachery cancellation and threat reduction. The Spirit-heavy version focuses on questing with a concentrated dose of hard-hitting Tactics characters to provide some teeth and Tactics events like Feint to protect the more vulnerable allies.

Leadership/Lore: This can be a very natural and powerful combination as Leadership provides the resources to pay for expensive Lore cards. A well-balanced pairing, this type of deck can either focus on questing or combat (or both). It also combines two of the most powerful abilities in the game: resource generation and card draw. For this reason, I sometimes fear that the other deck (Spirit/Tactics) will suffer a bit, but as long as you are conscientious about spreading the wealth (and cards), everything should be fine.

Leadership/Spirit: This can be an absolute questing powerhouse. Spirit is known for its willpower boosting, but Leadership brings a lot to the table in this regard as well: Faramir, Sword that was Broken, Celebrian’s Stone, etc. There ia plenty of natural synergy between these two spheres. As such, this kind of deck can handle most, if not all, of the questing progress without much assistance from the other deck.

Lore/Tactics: The Lore/Tactics pairing can make enemies’ lives completely miserable. Between the outright destruction of Tactics and the neutralization and healing of Lore, this deck can take care of combat duties with confidence. My concern with this combination is just the lack of resource-generation for two spheres that can sometimes be expensive. The Horn of Gondor with some Song-splashing can help to smooth this wrinkle over a bit.

Play Area Set-up

Playing two-handed definitely requires more table space than pure solo. There are a variety of ways you can set everything up, but the main consideration is to make sure that there is a clear delineation between the two decks you control. You don’t want to become confused during play as to which cards belong to which deck, and where enemies are actually engaged. At the same time, it becomes a bit of a pain if you have to continually reach across the table to grab what you need. With that in mind, I will provide a sample set-up here as to how I arrange my play area to give an idea of what things could look like.

play setup


As you can see I have one deck on my left and the other on the right, separated by a fair bit of space. The hands for each deck are directly below the heroes, spread face-up so that I can see what I have available at all times. I place my allies in a line above my heroes. Finally, the enemies engaged with a certain deck are placed above the allies. The staging area runs down the center of the table in between the play spaces of each deck. I choose this method instead of having the staging area placed higher up the table, because it minimizes the amount of reaching I have to do. The draw and discard piles for each deck are placed on the edges of their respective sides of the table to make sure they never get confused or inadvertently mixed. Certainly, there is no need to copy my model exactly, but hopefully it gives you an idea of how you can arrange your two decks so that everything is visually distinct and easy to access. This goes a long way towards making two-handed play seem less overwhelming.

Rules Refresher

When you are used to playing pure solo for the majority (if not all) of your games, you will often need to brush up on the turn sequence and rules in terms of multiplayer play. You may make some mistakes the first few games because of this unfamiliarity, I know I did. In particular, which deck is currently the “first player” is often very important for action sequences. Here’s a quick guide to the most important rules when it comes to playing two-handed, divided up by phase:

Resource phase: Both decks receive resources and draw their card simultaneously. Obviously, you can’t do this as one person (barring cloning technology). It technically doesn’t matter which deck you take care of first, but I tend to start with placing resources for the “first player”. If nothing else, this gets you in the habit of paying attention to player sequence, and serves as a reminder if you forgot to move the first player token in the previous round’s refresh phase.

Planning phase: It can be very easy to forget the proper player sequence here, and simply default to playing cards first from whichever deck is on your left or is closer. However, it’s very important to play cards from the “first player” hand first, and totally complete that planning before moving to the second deck. There are certain situations where it matters if cards are played before certain other cards, and you don’t want to inadvertently cheat by putting cards into play out of the proper sequence. Note that this pertains to allies and attachments only. Events can normally be played freely throughout the phase, regardless of player order.

Quest phase: To follow the proper sequence, you should finish committing characters from the first player deck before you commit any of the characters from the second deck. This especially matters for card effects like Theodred’s, as if he is part of the first player deck on a given turn, he can only throw his bonus resource onto one of the other heroes that are part of his deck. As the second deck’s heroes have not technically committed to the quest yet, they couldn’t receive Theodred’s resource. This is just one example, but make sure that you are paying particular attention to the timing of effects that happen when characters commit to the quest. Depending on how you feel about playing a tad loose with the rules, you can go back and commit some more of the first player deck characters if you do the math and feel like you don’t have enough after committing the second deck characters. However, if you want to be a stickler, do all the math beforehand and don’t allow yourself to go back to the first deck to commit characters after you have moved on.

Travel phase: Nothing too important here. Technically, the first player makes the final decision about whether to travel or not, according to the rules. In this case, feel free to agree with yourself!

* Encounter phase: Each player gets the benefit of choosing one enemy to optionally engage. Make the choice for the first player deck, then the second deck. Then run through engagement checks back and forth for both decks, in the proper player sequence.

Combat phase: Here is where things can get a bit messy if you are not vigilant. Again, people adhere to the rules to different degrees. I tend to be very strict with myself, as if you do things out of sequence during combat, it can dramatically affect the way matters play out. However, do what works for you. Here’s the proper combat order:

1) Deal shadow cards to enemies. Start with the enemies engaged with the first player deck. Deal shadow cards to all those enemies, in order of highest engagement level to lowest. Then move to the enemies engaged with the second deck, deal shadow cards to all those enemies, again in order of engagement level.

2) Resolve all enemy attacks for the first player deck. Handle them one by one, but the order is completely up to you. In fact, the order in which you choose to handle enemies is a ripe area for strategy. Whatever you choose, finish all enemy attacks for the first player before you resolve enemy attacks for the second deck. Remember that characters with “sentinel” can defend across the board against attacks from enemies who are engaged with the other deck.

3) Now, the first player deck characters can declare and resolve attacks against enemies. Finish all of these player attacks before moving to the second deck. Remember that characters with “ranged” can attack across the board against enemies engaged with the other deck. They can do this during either deck’s attack turn.

* Refresh phase: It doesn’t matter too much what order you handle refreshing and raising threat in, but this is an easy time to be forgetful. So I find it helps to keep to a strict order. I ready all characters on the board, raise each threat dial by 1, and then pass the first player token. I generally keep the token right next to the deck or the heroes controlled by the designated first player, just to remind myself. I also double-check to make sure that there are no encounter card effects that happen at the end of the turn.

Sample Decks

Here are two sample decks that I have had great success using together on a variety of quests. The first is a modified version of my “Where Eagles Dare” deck that I explained in a previous article. It is a Leadership/Tactics combat-oriented deck. The second one is a Lore/Spirit support deck that I like to call “Travellers and Paths”.

**Where Eagles Dare**

Boromir (TDM) x1
Prince Imrahil (AJtR) x1
Legolas (Core) x1

Ally (24)
Descendant of Thorondor (THoEM) x3
Eagles of the Misty Mountains (RtM) x3
Vassal of the Windlord (TDM) x3
Winged Guardian (THfG) x3
Snowbourn Scout (Core) x3
Gandalf (Core) x3
Gondorian Spearman (Core) x3
Radagast (AJtR) x3

Attachment (12)
Steward of Gondor (Core) x3
Horn of Gondor (Core) x2
Born Aloft (CatC) x2
Support of the Eagles (RtM) x3
Rivendell Blade (RtR) x2

Event (16)
Feint (Core) x3
Hands Upon the Bow (SaF) x2
Sneak Attack (Core) x3
Swift Strike (Core) x2
Valiant Sacrifice (Core) x3
A Very Good Tale (OHaUH) x3

**Travellers and Paths**

Glorfindel (FoS) x1
Aragorn (TWitW) x1
Bifur (KD) x1

Ally (22)
Arwen Undomiel (TWitW) x2
Dori (OHaUH) x2
Escort from Edoras (AJtR) x2
Gandalf (OHaUH) x3
Gleowine (Core) x3
Warden of Healing (TLD) x3
West Road Traveller (RtM) x2
Master of Lore (HON) x3
Longbeard Map-Maker (CatC) x2

Attachment (14)
A Burning Brand (CatC) x2
Asfaloth (FoS) x2
Light of Valinor (FoS) x3
Ranger Spikes (HON) x3
Unexpected Courage (Core) x2
Thror’s Map (OHaUH) x2

Event (16)
A Test of Will (Core) x3
Elrond’s Counsel (TWitW) x3
Gildor’s Counsel (THoEM) x3
Hasty Stroke (Core) x3
Radagast’s Cunning (Core) x2
Secret Paths (Core) x2

Final Thoughts

What happens when you realize you made a mistake during the game?

It’s truly up to you. Just know that this will happen fairly frequently, although the mistakes will diminish the more you play. If possible, you can backtrack and retrace your steps to the point where you made the mistake and play on from there. You can rectify matters on the spot, but not necessarily backtrack. For example, if you forgot to put a resource on a hero or draw a card, you could simply do this the moment that you remember. Or if you forgot to place archery damage on your characters (this is an easy one to lose track of, trust me), then place it when you have your “uh-oh” moment. You are doing this with the advantage of a bit of hindsight, so if you can’t live with yourself, then you’ll have to backtrack. If you’ve gone too far to turn back or it is impossible to address the mistake, you can move on and chalk it up as a lesson learned. I tend to be the type of player where mistakes really stick in my mind and haunt me with the question of whether I truly earned a victory, so it is really hard for me to do this, but at times you’ll have no choice.  However, don’t let mistakes dampen your spirit. Acknowledge what you messed up, analyze what issues keep coming up, and think about solutions for the future. If you continually forget to draw Bilbo’s extra card at the beginning of turns, for example, maybe you put a progress token on the first player token to remind yourself.

Given the rules on table talk, isn’t two-handed play “cheating”?

I’ve heard this before, and I suppose it depends on your point of view. Personally, I never really understood the logic behind the table talk rules. During multiplayer, players are not allowed to name specific cards or read card text out loud. However, you can simply refer to cards with euphemisms, substituting say “resource generating attachment” for Steward of Gondor, or “brother of Boromir” for Faramir. To me, this just forces us to speak in convoluted ways for a benefit that is not clear. To be fair, the spirit of the table talk rule is to force players to communicate with each other and be creative if they want to string combos together. There’s no way to get around the fact that playing two-handed allows you to see both deck’s hands at all times, whereas in a two-player game you wouldn’t have the benefit of that knowledge unless you talked at length with each other. Still, I don’t find this to be cheating. Perhaps two-handed play does allow you to maximize synergy and play with a greater degree of foresight than would be possible with two players, but I find this just rewards strategic thinking, and I don’t see that as a negative.

How do I keep track of what I have in two different hands?

I recommend playing with both hands face-up on their respective sides of the board. This way you can see what you have available at all times, and you will be less likely to forget that card that you wanted to play during a specific phase.

Is two-handed play easier than pure solo?

It all depends on the quest. Generally, pure solo play is more challenging. However, there are certain quests where playing pure solo actually is an easier experience. To me, the joy of playing two-handed is not in trying to decrease difficulty, but in unlocking new realms of strategy and synergy.



That’s it for now. Feel free to shoot any questions my way about two-handed play. I included in this guide the most common concerns that I have heard, or what I felt would be most useful, but I would love to add to it!

From → New Players

  1. I really like these decks. The more that I use him, the more convinced I am that Bifur is one of the best “glue” heroes in the game. Having his resource smoothing really makes higher-cost Lore cards a much more viable option in decks like yours. The fact that he has such low starting threat just makes him that much easier to fit into existing strategies.

    • scwont permalink

      Indeed, and in that vein I’m surprised not to see Errand-Rider in the Leadership/Tactics deck. It performs a similar role to Bifur, but can be a lot more versatile since the resource can go to any hero.

      Excellent overview of two-handed solo play though. I play about half my solo games with 2 decks and I think you’ve covered pretty much everything. The biggest issue I find personally is keeping track of the first player. You touched on this, and what’s worked best for me so far is keeping the first player token on top of the appropriate deck, making it harder to overlook. It’s slightly annoying when you come to draw cards, but I’ve found it worthwhile.

      I’ve seen the “cheating” arguments come up in various forums, and I agree with this article about the table talk rules. They just seem too forced and arbitrary to be of much use anyway. and as a possible counterargument to that: in cases where 2 players each have their own pool of cards to build decks from, they will have a potential advantage over a single player building 2 decks – i.e. it’s much more likely they will be able to include more than 3 copies of the same card in total between the 2 decks.

    • TalesfromtheCards permalink

      Beorn, Bifur is definitely one of my favorites. He is also one of the few Dwarf heroes that I feel comfortable sticking in non-Dain decks. Between Master of Lore and Bifur, Lore really is able to pump out some cards nowadays.

      scwont, Errand-Rider definitely could fit into the Leadership/Tactic deck. The Snowbourn Scout has worked out well for me just to provide a dab of location control, but mostly as a chump blocker to get Imrahil ready. I wouldn’t want to include ER in my deck just to kill him, and resources haven’t been too big of a problem for these decks. Still, I might give it a try at some point to see if it makes things hum along a bit smoother. Also, I like your point about 2 players actually having a card pool advantage compared to two-handed play. It would be nice to have a gazillion Unexpected Courages and Test of Wills to throw around!

      • scwont permalink

        Indeed, I’d conveniently ignored the issue of which cards Errand-Rider would replace! You’re right about the comparison with Snowbourn Scout – despite having the same sphere and cost, the two perform very different roles. I hadn’t looked at the rest of your decklist closely enough to notice that Prince Imrahil was one of your heroes. SS is the quintessential chump blocker and therefore good fuel for Imrahil’s ability.

        I’d be tempted to cut 1 x Radagast and either the Born Alofts or Swift Strikes to make way for Errand-Rider instead.

        Errand-Rider also works very well with Steward of Gondor (as if that card needed any help). Share those abundant resources around!

      • TalesfromtheCards permalink

        Cutting Born Alofts to make way for Errand-Rider might be worth a try. With Sneak Attacks available, the Born Alofts could be a tad redundant.

  2. My primary deck from the very start has been a Spirit/Tactics combo and I still use it.

    Two-handed is still a bit awkward to me. I try to play with one deck whenever a quest is manageable that way.

  3. I played 2 handed when I started but the card pool is stronger now so I prefer the ease of solo play. Not that 2 handed was very hard – I used a set up much like yours & its well worht it to play the badly scaling quests & get to use more of your cards.
    I also sleeve my decks in different colour sleeves, whihch helps with avoiding mix ups though noone else seems to think this is worth the effort.

    • TalesfromtheCards permalink

      I like the different colored sleeves idea. Unfortunately, I switch up my decks often enough that I wouldn’t have the patience to keep changing the sleeves.

  4. MariChi permalink

    Good coverage. I should try it again, but if there is one thing I mix up its raising the threat at both the end of questing if failed and at the end of the phase. Then I try to figure out how I messed up and then suddenly both the threats are out of whack and I have no idea where I am, and then I get frustrated and abandon. I’m going to try it again because I know its makes some quests easier, but by default its been Spirit/Tactic for me. Specifically dwarves, with a sprinkle of Eowyn sometimes. But the worst is when you are trying to enjoy a victory just to realize that you’d been playing a card wrong, making it null.

    • TalesfromtheCards permalink

      I definitely know the feeling, committing a crucial mistake makes it hard to feel like you earned the win. Maybe some kind of visual reminder, either a note or use of tokens, might help you remember the threat increases?

  5. I only started playing after Christmas and am taking my time adding packs so some scenarios seemed very tough to beat solo for me. I particularly look at escape from dol guldur as an example here. Solo, you automatically have to slog through the first stage at two thirds of optimal. After losing this a few times I got someone to play with me with a second deck I designed. Return to Mirkwood was like this too. I would threat out, or build a deck just to deal with threat and then suffer in combat. Two deck solo play was what I came up with to work around my small player card pool problems against tougher scenarios.

    You are right about the first player token. Two things I do that help me are to include it as a step right before threat raise by placing the token on or near the threat meter for the first player and to use some spare tokens (damage are plentiful) to keep track of the number of turns so far. Then if it is really important and I am unsure if I kept up with it I can count it out.

  6. TalesfromtheCards permalink

    Those are both good suggestions: placing the first player token on the threat meter and keeping track of turns using damage tokens. Visual reminders that force you to remember a mechanic are extremely helpful, especially when playing two-handed.

  7. Silverthorn permalink

    I’ll have to try this since it seems like a good idea.

  8. flounder permalink

    Thanks for the tutorial. Nevertheless I’ve a few questions about two-handed mode.

    Should I draw two cards from the encounter deck in the quest phase?. It is a solitaire but two decks…so…
    How is the damage managed in certain cases? I mean. Gandalf decreases 5 damage for both counters? Or only for the deck that plays this ally?

    • TalesfromtheCards permalink

      Good questions. Basically you follow all the rules for a two-player game, except in this case you are both players. So you draw 2 cards during staging, any encounter cards that refer to number of players would count “2” instead of “1”. So think of each deck you control as a separate player. An ally like Gandalf would only have an effect on the deck that plays it, so it could only lower threat or draw cards for that deck.

  9. joezimjs permalink

    My biggest thing that I have difficulty remembering is putting cards into the victory display instead of discarding them. Even if you don’t get all the way through the encounter deck, you can’t just search the discard pile because many of those cards were shadow cards.

  10. peter permalink

    ” Leadership/Lore: This can be a very natural and powerful combination as Leadership provides the resources to pay for expensive Lore cards”. so it means can i play different resources for different sphere cards ?

    • TalesfromtheCards permalink

      No, you have to pay for cards of a particular sphere using the appropriate resources. What I meant by this comment is that you can use Leadership resources to pay for a card like Steward of Gondor, which generates extra resources each turn, and then attach it to a Lore hero. That way, you’ll have plenty of resources to pay for Lore cards.

  11. Olórin permalink

    Has anyone tried playing three or even four handed? Does this work the same or does it have a downside?

    Solo play is what most interested me in the game and now I’ve got the core set I’m thinking I’d eventually really like to attemp the lotr saga sets with 9 heroes after rivendell, but playing solo.

    I guess four handed could mean having four pure sphere decks?

    • TalesfromtheCards permalink

      I’ve never done three or four handed before, but there’s nothing to stop you from doing it. I know some players have tried it and seem to enjoy it. The only downside would be having to control and manage three or four different decks (and needing more table space, I suppose), but if that doesn’t bother you, then it should work fine!

      • Olórin permalink

        Based on the a Black Riders, which I don’t yet have, do you think here will be rules for expanding your fellowship post-Rivendell and setting out with 9? Maybe play BR two handed and then start the bpnext saga expansion 3 handed?

        Like the idea do replacing pippin with Fatty and replacing legolas with Glorfindel. That kind of thing.

        • TalesfromtheCards permalink

          Hmm, I’m not sure if “expansion” opportunities will be included. You could certainly do such a thing yourself, with the “new player”/new heroes perhaps not being able to benefit from any of the previously collected boons.

  12. I interpreted the table talk rules as “don’t give away any cards on your hand”, i.e. referring to Boromir as “Faramir’s brother” would be cheating. Of course there’s always a fine line, because you have to work together somehow, and people who know each other and each others decks might be able to guess what the other is doing anyway.

    • TalesfromtheCards permalink

      The table talk rules are actually quite controversial, at least what the “spirit” behind them is and how players should follow them. The actual rules are pretty clear:

      Players are permitted and encouraged to talk to one
      another during play, and to work as a team to plan and
      execute the best course of action. Players can discuss
      anything they would like, but they cannot name or read
      out loud directly from cards in their hand, or from cards
      that they have seen but the rest of the players have not.

      Thus, as long as you don’t read the actual text of a card or the name, then you can’t be considered to be “cheating”, according to what’s actually in the rulebook. Thus, “Faramir’s brother” would be fair game and not cheating. Of course, some have argued that the actual spirit of what was intended is different, but that can’t really be used as a guide to say something is cheating (only what’s actually stated in the rules can do that), unless the designers themselves ever chime in on the subject one way or another.

      Many players seem to disregard the table talk rules, while others swear by them and enforce a more strict interpretation on themselves. Whatever works for a particular person or group is fine, but the “spirit” of the rules remains open for debate.

  13. IronWill permalink

    I’ve been playing (solo) for several months now, and was inspired by your two-handed guide to give it a try. It was a great experience, and I anticipate playing this way quite a bit going forward. I gave Escape from Dol Guldur a shot, since that has been a thorn in my side (especially since I’m playing with a limited card-pool).

    It was still rough going, but I managed to pull out a victory on the first try! Thanks for putting this guide together and providing the example of your layout.

    • TalesfromtheCards permalink

      Awesome! I’m glad it was helpful. I definitely encourage you to experiment with the layout that makes the most sense for you as you play more and more.

  14. I really need to consider this soon. I have so far played entirely pure solo and love this game but I do hate having zero use for Sentinel and Ranged and also excluding cards from deck building that blatantly have a multiplayer use. 2 Handed Solo might be the way to go.

  15. Mårten permalink

    I wanted to say thanks for answering my e-mail (TftC Mailbag: Deck Building #2).
    It feels like it was ages ago (almost is) and I never ended up building four decks unfortunately.
    What I have done though is just started playing the game again after a long break.

    After asking this I have bought most of the expansions (not over time but in 2 big chunks, being a completionist sucks sometimes haha).
    What I have also done (since I love to get my head bashed in) is to buy a lot of the Nightmare expansions.

    Since I recently got an ok video recording device I’m planning to start playing nightmare from the start (core set and moving forward) and actually recording my plays and putting it on youtube.
    Sometimes I will be able to bring a friend (to play a second deck), but probably it will mostly be myself playing.
    A couple of questions:
    1. Are people actually interested in watching someone else play the game?
    2. Would you prefer a solo deck or two-handed?
    3. What is the maximum time you would spend actually watching someone play a scenario?
    4. I do realise you could this with OCTGN, but it feels wrong when I actually have the cards and a camera that works. Is a top down angle ok? That is, seeing everything from above?

    If playing with a solo deck I was thinking of either playing a deck that I have tried already (thanks to Beorn for sharing this, all credits go to him, hope it’s ok to share it here).
    another option
    This time by the author of this website.
    Another deck I found quite some time ago.
    Power in Hobbits (cannot find the source anymore 😦
    Hero (3)
    1x Merry (The Black Riders)
    1x Pippin (The Black Riders)
    1x Sam Gamgee (The Black Riders)

    Ally (16)
    Barliman Butterbur (The Black Riders) 1
    Bill the Pony (The Black Riders) 2
    Boromir (The Road Darkens) 2
    Elrond (The Road Darkens) 2
    Errand-rider (Heirs of Numenor) 2
    Farmer Maggot (The Black Riders) 1
    Gandalf (Core Set) 3
    Haldir of Lorien (A Journey to Rhosgobel) 1
    Master of the Forge (Shadow and Flame) 1
    Warden of Healing (The Long Dark) 1

    Attachment (14)
    1x A Burning Brand (Conflict at the Carrock)
    2x Celebrian’s Stone (Core Set)
    3x Dagger of Westernesse (The Black Riders)
    3x Fast Hitch (The Dead Marshes)
    3x Hobbit Cloak (The Black Riders)
    2x Protector of Lorien (Core Set)

    Event (20)
    3x Daeron’s Runes (Foundations of Stone)
    2x Feint (Core Set)
    3x Halfling Determination (The Black Riders)
    3x Peace, and Thought (Shadow and Flame)
    3x Sneak Attack (Core Set)
    3x Take No Notice (The Black Riders)
    3x Unseen Strike (The Redhorn Gate)
    3x Take No Notice (The Black Riders)
    3x Unseen Strike (The Redhorn Gate)

    Do you think any of these three could make it (as a solo deck).
    Of course I could also play either Dwarfs or Outlands, but that feels kinda boring to do it like 20 times. Of course I could switch it up but I have kinda of a plan.

    I would start with one deck (if going with pure solo play) and have some rules.
    1. The deck has to be tournament legal (50 cards).
    2. For every new quest you are allowed to change x cards (I think 5-10 would be fine). The idea is to keep the core idea of the deck). You can never go more than x cards away from the starting deck.

    I’m really excited to actually start using all cards that are just laying there doing nothing at the moment.

    Thanks for a great blog.

  16. Sweetness Whachacha permalink

    Thanks for the article!

    I put my first player marker on top of the deck as someone else noted. I move it when I draw my card for the turn.

    I agree about table talk, honestly it just saves time. I think the extra synergy you get is obviously a bonus, but you are also handicapped some in that playing for 2 people and running the game is a large mental load, and I think that in a lot of cases if I was playing with another player I might optimize my own deck and choices, as I have less to think about. You have more “time” or ability to analyze a smaller workload, for lack of a better term.

    Where eagles dare is a great name for a deck, little jealous

  17. Mark permalink

    I know this is older material but just a quick tip that helps me with remembering the First Player. I put the token on the deck of the current first player. When refresh comes along, it triggers me to change the token. Simple but effective.

    • Mark permalink

      Should have read all the comments. My “secret” is hardly one at all.

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