Campaign Mode: Flight to the Ford (Part 2)
My preparation for the Flight to the Ford scenario continues in Part 2. In this article, I will be making tweaks to my two decks, explaining the changes as I go along. The modifications I made in anticipation of A Knife in the Dark ended up being key to victory, and I’m hoping to have similar success here. I know that it can sometimes feel tiresome to have to make changes to your decks for each quest, and I’ve actually had success in playing through the entire expansion without such tweaks, but generally I find it enjoyable to make strategic deck building decisions before each new scenario.
Part 2 – The Decks
* Note: If you haven’t yet read Part 1 of the Flight to the Ford Campaign Mode article, now is the time to do so, as the deck building decisions I have made here are directly related to the general strategies I am looking to employ.
I have no plans to make changes to my hero line-up until it’s truly necessary or one of my heroes falls, keeping in mind the threat penalty for hero replacement that is part of Campaign Mode.
Dunedain Watcher (TDM) x3
Son of Arnor (Core) x3
As I emphasized in Part 1, it is imperative to bring along as much shadow cancellation as possible when facing Flight to the Ford. Dunedain Watcher is an underrated ally that can be used as an emergency option to counter shadows. Son of Arnor does have some uses in this quest, as it can be used to engage with an enemy right before the Ford of Bruinen is explored (which discards all engaged enemies), but shadow cancellation is a much higher priority. I will leave the rest of the allies as they are, because willpower is king in this scenario, and this set of characters performs very well in that department.
Thror’s Key (OtD) x2
I included Thror’s Key last time around in order to compensate for some of the prominent and troublesome locations included in the A Knife in the Dark scenario. Flight to the Ford does not really feature such locations, so I can safely remove the two copies of this attachment in order to make room for something more useful. The other attachments here form a core part of the deck, so I’ll leave them untouched, while I’m not adding any new ones to replace Thror’s Key, as I’m actually looking to use that space for a specific event.
Dwarven Tomb (Core Set) x2
If there’s one thing that will stand in my way (aside from Nazgul), it will be encounter card effects. A Test of Will and Hasty Stroke provide some protection, but I will want maximum usage out of those cards, so I will include Dwarven Tomb to recycle them. I’m likely going to be looking to draw a copy of A Test of Will in my opening hand, so that I can use it within the first few rounds, and hopefully draw either another copy or Dwarven Tomb to recycle it.
I love my Hobbit heroes and they aren’t going anywhere!
I made just a few minor changes here, mostly in favor of stronger willpower options. First, I replaced Landroval, who provides a nice emergency option to prevent hero death during Campaign Mode, with Haldir, who has higher willpower and well-balanced stats. Both are essentially Elf-stone targets, so it’s pretty much a straight swap in terms of effective cost (although Haldir is cheaper in conventional terms). Second, I decided to take out Farmer Maggot. It broke my heart to do so, as he is an awesome thematic match for this deck and has a useful gameplay effect as well, but Bofur is perfect for this scenario. He has a fantastic willpower of 2 and can help fetch the all-important Dagger of Westernesse from my deck.
I’m going to stand pat here, as this set of attachments has proven to be vital and irreplaceable.
Radagast’s Cunning (Core) x3
Hail of Stones (RtR) x3
Hail of Stones was a logical option for A Knife in the Dark as a solution to Bill Ferny and enemies trapped in the staging area by Midgewater. However, while it still can find use here, I feel ok about removing it to make space for Radagast’s Cunning. With questing quickly my primary goal, and with high threat Nazgul lurking about (including the Fell Riders that begin the game in the staging area), this Lore event can secure an extra 2-3 progress tokens for only 1 resource. I wanted to make space for Ravens of the Mountain, to gain even more progress and some scrying, but I’m going for the more consistent and safe option here.
One thing you might notice from this outline is that many times certain cards in your deck become linchpins, while others end up as movable parts that can be changed out based on the quest you are facing. This is a good deck building approach, as not only is it convenient, but it also is the sign of a successful deck. If you have to completely alter your deck for each scenario, then it might be fundamentally unsound.
Well folks, Part 2 ends, which means that it’s time to pit these decks against Flight to the Ford. Campaign Mode must come to an end (for now), so let’s hope for an exciting finale!