Skip to content

Thorin and Company: We Must Away, Ere Break of Day

by on January 2, 2014

roast_mutton_by_daroz-d5cqqcx

Last week I introduced my deck for Thorin and Company, designed to play through all The Hobbit scenarios. In the first quest, the company doesn’t yet have any treasures, and none of them has very strong attack. It’s time to see how Thorin and Company fare when faced with three large trolls and plenty of sacks. I’m not tweaking my deck for each scenario, but it’s helpful to look at general strategies in order to play this scenario effectively.

GENERAL STRATEGIES

Stage one is mostly harmless in this quest, but stage two can be devastating. My best characters get trapped in sacks, and threat goes up quickly if I don’t return the trolls to the staging area, which results in more sacks. The best way to approach this quest is to go slowly in stage one, and not advance to stage two until I have several key cards in place.

A way to remove sacks: I want to have a copy of Troll Camp in the staging area, and ideally to have Fast Hitch tomand several resources on Bilbo.

A way to quickly kill Tom: Tom prevents me from attacking trolls with more than character. This prevents me from killing trolls, meaning I have to worry about threat, sacks, and troll attacks. Ideally I’ll kill Tom in two rounds, using Thorin with an attached Dwarrowdelf Axe for two attacks, totaling 6 damage, Durin’s Song for a boost of 2 attack for one round, and Gandalf’s 4 damage. If either Dwarrowdelf Axe or Durin’s Song is missing, I can still kill Tom in two rounds if I use Gandalf twice, with Sneak Attack. If Gandalf’s missing, I can kill Tom in three rounds using Dwarrowdelf Axe and Durin’s Song. Bofur can help me to find the Dwarrowdelf Axe during stage one. As soon as Tom’s dead, it’s good to have many allies ready to quickly kill another troll.

A way to defend against troll attacks: I try to minimize chump blocking, so ideally Balin will have Ring Mail, Self Preservation, and Unexpected Courage. If I don’t have Ring Mail but do have Durin’s Song, I might play Unexpected Courage on Thorin, so that he can defend at 3 and then attack Tom. Healing Herbs can be helpful, and Gandalf’s a good defender. There’s only one shadow effect in the encounter deck that boosts attack or lowers defense: Wind-whipped Rain, which lowers defense by 1. If Balin has a resource for his ability, it’s pretty safe to defend with a hero against a troll, even if it will leave that hero with 1 hit point.

A way to get the treasures: I want to have either Troll Key or Cave Entrance in the staging area. (With the errata from the FAQ, Troll Key and Troll Purse stay in the staging area if revealed during stage one, and then attach to a troll at the beginning of stage two.) The main problem that would prevent me from getting the treasures is if Troll Key is a shadow card in stage 2. Cave Entrance can solve that problem, since I get to decide the order in which I discard shadow cards at the end of the combat phase, so I can have Troll Key on top, and then get added to the bottom of the encounter deck. It would then be tricky to get the key and explore the Troll Cave before advancing to stage three, but it should be possible.

Of course, it can be difficult to stay on stage one long enough to get all this set up without questing unsuccessfully and reaching very high threat. I’ll normally want to break even on questing, or quest successfully to clear a location. When choosing who to commit to the quest, it’s helpful to know that no encounter cards are more than three threat. Bombur and Nori (Longbeard Map-Maker) both provide a way to adjust the total willpower minus threat, after staging but before quest resolution. Oin (Longbeard Elder) can also be helpful, since his ability lowers his willpower unless a location shows up. In general, I want to be less than 38 threat when I reach stage two, to avoid four sacks in one turn. With three copies of Gandalf and two Sneak Attacks in the deck, I can usually afford to have Gandalf lower threat once before stage two and still have a copy to use against Tom. While I wait for the key cards to show up in stage one, I’ll also be playing the members of Thorin’s Company, getting to five dwarves as soon as possible and trying to have them all in play by the end of the scenario. Wind-whipped Rain can be devastating, so I’ll delay playing my key attachments, especially those that only appear once in the deck, until I have a copy of A Test of Will that I can play.

Note: Text in green is flavour text. It describes what happened in the past round according to the cards, but with the underlying influence of Tolkien’s story.

SESSION REPORT

Heroes: Thorin Oakenshield, Balin, Ori, Bilbo Baggins
Starting Threat: 29
Starting Hand: Dwalin, King Under the Mountain, Narvi’s Belt, Unexpected Courage, Ring Mail, We Are Not Idle
Thoughts: Even though it is low on allies, this is a very good opening hand. King Under the Mountain provides me with early card draw to get those allies, Narvi’s Belt gives me resource flexibility, and We Are Not Idle gives a resource boost to quickly get to 5 allies. Ring Mail and Unexpected Courage are two of the cards I want to help me defend in stage two.
Encounter Deck Set-up: Wind-whipped Rain. Harmless, and nice to see discarded.

ROUND 1 (0 threat in staging area, 0/7 progress on 1B, Active Location – None, 29 threat)

PREPARATION
Resources: Thorin Oakenshield – 1, Balin – 1, Ori – 1, Bilbo Baggins – 1
Draw: Oin (Longbeard Elder)
New Hand: Oin (Longbeard Elder), Dwalin, King Under the Mountain, Narvi’s Belt, Unexpected Courage, Ring Mail, We Are Not Idle
Planning: I play King Under the Mountain on Thorin and use it, keeping A Good Harvest and discarding Lure of Moria. Playing King Under the Mountain might mean a delay in playing Oin, but I care more about drawing another ally that I can easily play. I want to control 5 dwarves, not 4 dwarves.
Resources After Planning: Thorin Oakenshield – 0, Balin – 0, Ori – 1, Bilbo Baggins – 1
Dwarves in play: 3

QUESTING
Commit Characters: I commit Ori to the quest, since I want to go slow and there are many 0 threat treacheries.
Staging: Troll Camp (3 threat, 3 quest points). I’m happy to see this in the staging area, and will leave it there until stage 2 so that I can remove sacks.
Resolution: With 2 willpower against 3 threat, I raise my threat by 1 to 30. I don’t want to travel and there are no enemies in play, so I proceed to Refresh, raising my threat by 1 to 31.

In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, who after an unexpected party with 13 dwarves and a wizard, dreamed of adventure and found himself the next morning dashing off to meet up with Thorin, Balin, and Ori at the Green Dragon Inn. The rest of the company was scouting ahead or gathering supplies. Thorin revealed himself as the rightful King under the Lonely Mountain, and the company set off towards it.

ROUND 2 (3 threat in staging area, 0/7 progress on 1B, Active Location – None, 31 threat)

PREPARATION
Resources: Thorin Oakenshield – 1, Balin – 1, Ori – 2, Bilbo Baggins – 2
Draw: Bifur. I then use King Under the Mountain, keeping Dwalin and discarding Bifur.
New Hand: Oin (Longbeard Elder), Dwalin x2, Bifur, Narvi’s Belt, Unexpected Courage, Ring Mail, We Are Not Idle, A Good Harvest
Planning: The only way for me to reach 5 dwarves this turn is to play We Are Not Idle and A Good Harvest. I decide I can afford to wait one more turn, hoping to benefit from both Dwalin and Bifur’s responses, so I play nothing.
Resources After Planning: Thorin Oakenshield – 1, Balin – 1, Ori – 2, Bilbo Baggins – 2
Dwarves in play: 3

QUESTING
Commit Characters: I commit Thorin and Balin to the quest.
Staging: A Suspicious Crow (1 threat). Its When Revealed effect reveals Wind-whipped Rain from the discard pile, discarding King Under the Mountain. This is bad, but not devastating. Once I have five dwarves I’ll get good card draw from Ori and perhaps soon find another copy of King Under the Mountain.
Resolution: I have 5 willpower against 4 threat, so I place 1 progress on 1B. I don’t want to travel, so I proceed to Combat with the Suspicious Crow that engages me.

COMBAT
Enemy attack: Bilbo (1 defense) defends against the Crow (1 attack). The shadow card, Dreary Hills, has no effect, so Bilbo is unharmed.
Player Attack: Ori (2 attack) easily dispatches the crow (1 defense, 1 hit point). When discarding the crow and its shadow card, I discard the crow first to avoid a potential string of crows, each revealing another card. I then Refresh, raising my threat by 1 to a total of 32.

As the company travelled, they came across an evil-looking crow, who cawed ominously. Just then a downpour began, soaking everyone so that Thorin did not look kingly at all. “This is a fine start to my adventure!” grumbled Bilbo. The crow flew at Bilbo, who batted it away, and Ori threw rocks at it until it flew away.

ROUND 3 (3 threat in staging area, 1/7 progress on 1B, Active Location – None, 32 threat)

PREPARATION
Resources: Thorin Oakenshield – 2, Balin – 2, Ori – 3, Bilbo Baggins – 3
Draw: A Test of Will
New Hand: Oin (Longbeard Elder), Dwalin x2, Bifur, Narvi’s Belt, Unexpected Courage, Ring Mail, We Are Not Idle, A Test of Will, A Good Harvest
Planning: Saving a resource on Balin, I play Oin (Longbeard Elder). I then exhaust Balin, Ori, and Oin to play We Are Not Idle, putting 3 resources on Thorin and drawing Sneak Attack. I was hoping for an ally (so that I could benefit from both Dwalin and Bifur’s responses) but now I’ll play A Good Harvest and choose Spirit to play Dwalin (with Bilbo’s resources) and Unexpected Courage (with resources from Thorin) on Balin, and then play Bifur, drawing Bofur and Dori. [Note: I was misreading Bifur’s response, thinking I needed to control five dwarves before playing Bifur in order to draw two cards. I should have played Bifur before Dawlin and benefitted from both of their abilities.]
Resources After Planning: Thorin Oakenshield – 1, Balin – 1, Ori – 0, Bilbo Baggins – 0dreary hills
Dwarves in play: 6

QUESTING
Commit Characters: I ready Balin with Unexpected Courage, and commit Thorin and Balin to the quest.
Staging: A Suspicious Crow (1 threat), which reveals Dreary Hills (3 threat, 2 quest points) from the discard pile and adds it to the staging area.
Resolution: I have 5 willpower committed against 7 threat, so I raise my threat by 2 to 34. Trying to go slow led me to underquest, and threat is becoming an issue.

TRAVEL
I travel to Dreary Hills. I then proceed to Combat with the Suspicious Crow that engages me.

COMBAT
Enemy attack: Dwalin (2 defense) defends against the Crow (1 attack). The shadow card, Hobbit-lands, has me move the top card of the encounter discard pile, A Suspicious Crow, to the top of the encounter deck. Dwalin is unharmed.
Player Attack: Bifur (2 attack) easily dispatches the crow (1 defense, 1 hit point). I then Refresh, raising my threat by 1 to a total of 35.

Oin returned from scouting ahead, and together with Balin and Ori he called out for Dwalin and Bifur, who had been with him. The two of them returned with a pack of food they’d bought for the journey, and as the company grew, Balin felt ready to face anything. As they continued on their way into dreary hills, another crow flew at them, startling Dwalin before Bifur drove it away.

ROUND 4 (3 threat in staging area, 1/7 progress on 1B, Active Location – Dreary Hills, 35 threat)

PREPARATION
Resources: Thorin Oakenshield – 3, Balin – 2, Ori – 1, Bilbo Baggins – 1
Draw: We Are Not Idle, Bofur
New Hand: Dwalin, Bofur x2, Dori, Narvi’s Belt, Ring Mail, Sneak Attack, We Are Not Idle, A Test of Will
Planning: Dreary Hills will force me to randomly discard a card when I put progress on it, so I’ll play Narvi’s belt (using Balin’s resources) on Thorin, and use it to play Ring Mail on Balin. I now have some key attachments out that I don’t want discarded by the remaining copy of Wind-whipped Rain. This turn I know I’m not getting that during staging, and next turn I can use Narvi’s Belt for Spirit during the quest phase to enable A Test of Will.
Resources After Planning: Thorin Oakenshield – 1, Balin – 0, Ori – 1, Bilbo Baggins – 1
Dwarves in play: 6

QUESTING
Commit Characters: I know that A Suspicious Crow will reveal Hobbit-lands from the discard pile for a total of 5 threat in the staging area, so I want 7 willpower to clear Dreary Hills. I commit Thorin, Balin, and Ori.
Staging: A Suspicious Crow (1 threat), which reveals Hobbit-lands (1 threat, 1 quest point) from the discard pile and adds it to the staging area.
Resolution: I have 7 willpower committed against 5 threat, so I place two progress tokens on Dreary Hills, randomly discarding A Test of Will. Bilbo gains a resource when it leaves play.

TRAVEL
I travel to Hobbit-lands. I then proceed to Combat with the Suspicious Crow that engages me.

COMBAT
Enemy attack: Dwalin (2 defense) defends against the Crow (1 attack). The shadow card, More Like a Grocer, discards Bilbo’s 2 resources. Dwalin is unharmed.
Player Attack: Bifur (2 attack) easily dispatches the crow (1 defense, 1 hit point). I then Refresh, raising my threat by 1 to a total of 36.

Uncertain of what might lurk in these hills, Balin donned his trusty shirt of steel rings. Fortunately the company passed through the hills without trouble, and Bilbo was relieved to see friendly hobbit-lands ahead. Yet another crow flew at Dwalin, but Bifur with a well-thrown stone knocked it senseless.

ROUND 5 (3 threat in staging area, 1/7 progress on 1B, Active Location – Hobbit-lands, 36 threat)

PREPARATION
Resources: Thorin Oakenshield – 3, Balin – 1, Ori – 2, Bilbo Baggins – 1
Draw: Fast Hitch, Fili
New Hand: Fili, Dwalin, Bofur x2, Dori, Fast Hitch, Sneak Attack, We Are Not Idle
Planning: I want to build myself up more before advancing to stage 2, but the one remaining copy of Wind-whipped Rain is worrying now that I no longer have A Test of Will. I use Narvi’s Belt to play Bofur. I exhaust him for his ability, but don’t find my one copy of Dwarrowdelf Axe.
Resources After Planning: Thorin Oakenshield – 0, Balin – 1, Ori – 2, Bilbo Baggins – 1
Dwarves in play: 7

QUESTING
Commit Characters: I commit Thorin and Oin to the quest, and use Oin’s ability. The top card of the Encounter deck (A Nice Pickle) is not a location, so Oin gets -1 willpower.
Staging: A Nice Pickle. I raise my threat by 1 to 37 and return More Like a Grocer and A Suspicious Crow to the bottom of the Encounter Deck.
Resolution: I have 4 willpower committed against 3 threat, so I place 1 progress token on Hobbit-lands, clearing it and drawing Gandalf. Since I don’t want to travel and there are no enemies in play, I proceed to Refresh, raising my threat by 1 to a total of 38.

Bofur rejoined the company at an inn he had found while scouting ahead. Bilbo was sorry to leave the inn, unsure of when he might find another.

ROUND 6 (3 threat in staging area, 1/7 progress on 1B, Active Location – None, 38 threat)

PREPARATION
Resources: Thorin Oakenshield – 2, Balin – 2, Ori – 3, Bilbo Baggins – 2
Draw: Self Preservation, Gloin
New Hand: Gloin, Fili, Dwalin, Bofur, Dori, Gandalf, Self Preservation, Fast Hitch, Sneak Attack, We Are Not Idle
Planning: I’m getting close to being ready for the trolls. I play Gloin, returning 2 resources to Thorin, and then Fili, who brings out Kili. I also play Dori. I then play We Are Not Idle, exhausting Balin, Ori, Dwalin, Dori, Bifur, Gloin, Oin, Fili and Kili to give Thorin 9 resources and drawing A Test of Will. I exhaust Bofur for his ability, but don’t find the Axe.
Resources After Planning: Thorin Oakenshield – 9, Balin – 0, Ori – 0, Bilbo Baggins – 2
Dwarves in play: 11

QUESTING
Commit Characters: I ready Balin with Unexpected Courage, and commit Thorin, Balin and Bilbo to the quest. I use Narvi’s Belt to choose Spirit, so that I can play A Test of Will.
Staging: Dreary Hills.
Resolution: I have 6 willpower committed against 6 threat, so I break even.

TRAVEL
I travel to Dreary Hills. Since there are no enemies in play, I proceed to Refresh, raising my threat by 1 to a total of 39.

Gloin, Fili, Kili, and Dori rejoined the company, having worked hard to find supplies in the hobbit-lands that the company had just left. Bilbo groaned inwardly as they entered more dreary hills.

ROUND 7 (3 threat in staging area, 1/7 progress on 1B, Active Location – Dreary Hills, 39 threat)

PREPARATION
Resources: Thorin Oakenshield – 11, Balin – 1, Ori – 1, Bilbo Baggins – 3
Draw: Fili, Dwarven Tomb. Bofur uses his action, but doesn’t find the Axe.
New Hand: Fili, Dwalin, Bofur, Gandalf, Self Preservation, Fast Hitch, Sneak Attack, A Test of Will, Dwarven Tomb
Planning: I don’t want to lose a valuable card from the random discard of Dreary Hills, so I’ll sneak attack Gandalf to reduce threat during the quest phase. I just need more offense (Dwarrowdelf Axe, Durin’s Song, perhaps another Gandalf or Sneak Attack) before taking on the trolls. I play Fast Hitch on Bilbo.
Resources After Planning: Thorin Oakenshield – 11, Balin – 1, Ori – 0, Bilbo Baggins – 3
Dwarves in play: 11

QUESTINGtroll key
Commit Characters: I play Sneak Attack to bring Gandalf into play and reduce my threat by 5, to 34. I commit Gandalf, Thorin, and Bilbo to the quest, and exhaust Narvi’s Belt to choose Spirit.
Staging: Troll Key. Excellent! I’m now in a good position to get the treasures.
Resolution: I have 8 willpower committed against 3 threat, so I clear Dreary Hills and place 3 progress tokens on 1B, for a total of 4/7. Because of Dreary Hills, I randomly discard Self Preservation and add 1 resource to Bilbo. (Perhaps I should have used Narvi’s Belt to play Self Preservation on Balin, but I didn’t want to risk not having Spirit to cancel Wind-whipped Rain.) At the end of the phase, Gandalf returns to my hand. Since I don’t want to travel and there are no enemies, I proceed to Refresh, raising my threat by 1 to a total of 35.

As the almost complete company travelled through the hills, the dwarves sang loudly a song of stolen gold and revenge. Gandalf joined them for a few moments and reminded them that unfriendly creatures might overhear them. The dwarves sang softly, and Bilbo, shivering yet comforted by a handy coil of rope in his bag, told himself that he would show the dwarves that he could be useful if they ran into trouble.

ROUND 8 (3 threat in staging area, 4/7 progress on 1B, Active Location – None, 35 threat)

PREPARATION
Resources: Thorin Oakenshield – 12, Balin – 2, Ori – 1, Bilbo Baggins – 5
Draw: Durin’s Song, Kili. Bofur uses his action, but doesn’t find the Axe.
New Hand: Fili, Kili, Dwalin, Bofur, Gandalf, Durin’s Song, A Test of Will, Dwarven Tomb
Planning: Durin’s Song helps, but I still need another Sneak Attack or Gandalf or the Dwarrowdelf Axe to be able to kill Tom in two turns. I’ll wait a bit longer, and I don’t play anything.
Resources After Planning: Thorin Oakenshield – 12, Balin – 2, Ori – 1, Bilbo Baggins – 5
Dwarves in play: 11

QUESTING
Commit Characters: I commit Thorin and Balin to the quest, and exhaust Narvi’s Belt to choose Spirit.
Staging: A Suspicious Crow (1 threat), which reveals Dreary Hills from the discard pile and adds it to the staging area.
Resolution: I have 5 willpower committed against 7 threat, so I raise my threat by 2 to 37. This is bad, because it will probably force me to engage all three trolls together (unless I use Gandalf to reduce threat again instead of saving him for Tom).

TRAVEL
I travel to Dreary Hills. I then proceed to Combat with the Suspicious Crow that engages me.

COMBAT
Enemy attack: Dwalin (2 defense) defends against the Crow (1 attack). The shadow card, Troll Camp, has no effect. Dwalin is unharmed.
Player Attack: Dori (2 attack) easily dispatches the crow (1 defense, 1 hit point). I then Refresh, raising my threat by 1 to a total of 38.

Bilbo began to think that adventures were not all that dangerous and mostly unpleasant, as they entered yet more dreary hills. Another crow flew at Dwalin, who wondered what was attracting them to him, before Dori gave the crow a solid blow with his travelling stick.

ROUND 9 (3 threat in staging area, 4/7 progress on 1B, Active Location – Dreary Hills, 38 threat)

PREPARATION
Resources: Thorin Oakenshield – 14, Balin – 3, Ori – 2, Bilbo Baggins – 6
Draw: Fili, Song of Travel. Bofur uses his action, and finally finds my copy of Dwarrowdelf Axe.
New Hand: Fili x2, Kili, Dwalin, Bofur, Gandalf, Dwarrowdelf Axe, Song of Travel, Durin’s Song, A Test of Will, Dwarven Tomb
Planning: I could take on the trolls this turn, but I can only use Gandalf once, either to reduce threat and avoid four sacks in one turn, or to damage Tom. I’ll take the more leisurely approach and wait for another Sneak Attack or Gandalf, so that I can reduce threat to avoid engaging William the first turn and still take out Tom in two turns. I play Song of Travel on Balin and use Narvi’s Belt to play Dwarrowdelf Axe on Thorin. I want both Gandalf and Durin’s Song in my hand, so I’ll take my chances on the random discard.
Resources After Planning: Thorin Oakenshield – 12, Balin – 3, Ori – 2, Bilbo Baggins – 6
Dwarves in play: 11

QUESTING
Commit Characters: I commit Thorin, Balin, and Ori to the quest. Unless I get the last Troll Camp in staging, I’ll clear Dreary Hills.
Staging: Wind-whipped Rain. I use one of Balin’s resources to play A Test of Will and cancel it.
Resolution: I have 7 willpower committed against 3 threat, so I clear Dreary Hills and place 2 progress on 1B, for a total of 6/7. Because of Dreary Hills, I randomly discard Gandalf and add 1 resource to Bilbo. Losing Gandalf is painful. I don’t want to travel and there are no enemies in play, so I proceed to Refresh, raising my threat by 1 to a total of 39.

Bofur pulled a sharp-looking axe out of his bag and gave it to Thorin. “Just in case there’s anything nasty in these hills,” he said. The wind picked up and rain poured down, soaking into and ruining much of the food, but the company resolutely continued on.

ROUND 10 (3 threat in staging area, 6/7 progress on 1B, Active Location – None, 39 threat)

PREPARATION
Resources: Thorin Oakenshield – 14, Balin – 3, Ori – 3, Bilbo Baggins – 8
Draw: Nori (Longbeard Map-Maker), Healing Herbs.
New Hand: Fili x2, Kili, Dwalin, Bofur, Nori (Longbeard Map-Maker), Healing Herbs, Durin’s Song, Dwarven Tomb
Planning: I really want another copy of Gandalf before engaging the trolls. I use Narvi’s Belt to play Nori, who will allow me to quest exactly the right amount to break even. I also play Healing Herbs on Ori. Since there are no more copies of Wind-whipped Rain in the encounter deck, I don’t yet use Dwarven Tomb to retrieve A Test of Will.
Resources after Planning: Thorin Oakenshield – 11, Balin – 3, Ori – 3, Bilbo Baggins – 6
Dwarves in play: 12 (just missing Bombur)

QUESTING
Commit Characters: I commit Ori and Nori to the quest.
Staging: Hungry Troll. Since there are no trolls in the staging area, it has no effect and surges into Cave Entrance (1 threat, 3 quest points). I pay a resource from Ori to give Nori +1 willpower until the end of the phase.
Resolution: I have 4 willpower committed against 4 threat, so I break even.

TRAVEL
I travel to Cave Entrance. There are no enemies in play, so I proceed to Refresh, raising my threat by 1 to a total of 40.

Nori had been scouting ahead, and returned to let the company know that there was a cave ahead, where they could find shelter from the rain. He’d also found some fresh-smelling herbs, which he gave to Ori, who tended any injured in the company.

ROUND 11 (3 threat in staging area, 6/7 progress on 1B, Active Location – Cave Entrance, 40 threat)

PREPARATION
Resources: Thorin Oakenshield – 13, Balin – 4, Ori – 3, Bilbo Baggins – 9
Draw: Narvi’s Belt, Lure of Moria
New Hand: Fili x2, Kili, Dwalin, Bofur, Narvi’s Belt, Lure of Moria, Durin’s Song, Dwarven Tomb
Planning: There are 15 cards left in my deck, including 2 copies of Gandalf, 2 copies of King Under the Mountain that will let me draw faster, 1 Sneak Attack, and 2 copies of Bombur to complete the company. I really want Gandalf! I don’t play anything.
Resources after Planning: Thorin Oakenshield – 13, Balin – 4, Ori – 3, Bilbo Baggins – 9
Dwarves in play: 12

QUESTING
Commit Characters: I commit Fili, Kili, Ori, Nori and Dori to the quest (6 willpower total).
Staging: A Nice Pickle. I raise my threat by 1 to 41, and put Hungry Troll and Dreary Hills on the bottom of the encounter deck.
Resolution: I have 6 willpower committed against 3 threat, so I clear Cave Entrance. I don’t want to travel and there are no enemies in play, so I proceed to Refresh, raising my threat by 1 to a total of 42

After the rain died down, the company left the cave. They hadn’t had a good supper because they were low on food, and they saw a fire in the distance. Perhaps whoever was there would have some extra food.

ROUND 12 (3 threat in staging area, 6/7 progress on 1B, Active Location – None, 42 threat)

PREPARATION
Resources: Thorin Oakenshield – 15, Balin – 5, Ori – 4, Bilbo Baggins – 10
Draw: Gandalf, King Under the Mountain
New Hand: Fili x2, Kili, Dwalin, Bofur, Gandalf, Narvi’s Belt, King Under the Mountain, Lure of Moria, Durin’s Song, Dwarven Tomb
Planning: Gandalf shows up in the nick of time! I can reduce my threat to 37, so I won’t have to engage William this turn and I’ll only face two sacks. I first play King Under the Mountain on Thorin and use it, keeping Legacy of Durin and discarding Dori. I play Legacy of Durin on Thorin and play Gandalf, lowering my threat by 5 to 37. I just hope I don’t get a Doomed encounter card. I use Dwarven Tomb to retrieve A Test of Will, since it can cancel the threat increase from Lots or None at All. I’d still like my last copy of Gandalf to help me kill Tom, but I should draw it soon, so I’m not worried. Time to face the trolls!
Resources after Planning: Thorin Oakenshield – 8, Balin – 4, Ori – 3, Bilbo Baggins – 10
Dwarves in play: 12

QUESTING
Commit Characters: I commit Gloin, Oin, Fili, Kili, and Nori to the quest (7 willpower total).
Staging: Cave Entrance.
Resolution: I have 7 willpower committed against 4 threat, so I complete stage 1B and advance to stage 2. I add Bert, Tom, and William (4 threat each, since Troll Camp is in the staging area) and the Troll Cave (2 threat, 4 quest points) to the staging area and attach the Troll Key to William. I shuffle the encounter discard pile into the encounter deck, which now has 29 cards.foul sack

TRAVEL
I travel to Cave Entrance.

ENGAGEMENT
Tom and Bert engage me, so I get two sacks. A Foul Sack attaches to Thorin. A Worn Sack attaches to Bilbo. Bilbo exhausts and pays a resource to remove his own sack, then readies using Fast Hitch and does the same thing to remove Thorin’s sack.

COMBAT
Enemy attacks: Gandalf (4 defense) defends against Tom (5 attack). The shadow card, Dreary Hills, has no effect. Gandalf takes 1 damage (3 hit points remaining). Balin (3 defense) defends against Bert (5 attack). The shadow card, Roast ’em or Boil ’em?, makes me search the encounter deck for a copy of Troll Camp (3 threat, and increasing each troll’s threat to 5) and add it to the staging area. Balin takes 2 damage (3 hit points remaining).
Player attack: Thorin (4 attack) attacks Tom (2 defense, 11 hit points). Tom takes 2 damage, plus 1 from Dwarrowdelf Axe’s response. Tom has 8 hit points remaining. At the end of the combat phase, I raise my threat by 2 (to 39) to prevent Tom and Bert from returning to the staging area. I then Refresh, raising my threat by 1 to a total of 40. At the end of the round, Gandalf leaves play.

Thorin, confident in role as leader of the company, recalled the importance of their quest to avenge his kin killed by Smaug. Since they needed food, he asked Bilbo to quietly scout out the fire while the rest of the company waited in a small cave close by. Bilbo soon realized to his dismay that there were three brutish trolls around the fire, eating roast mutton and arguing. The damp had gotten into Bilbo, and he suddenly sneezed. An owl seemed to hoot at the same time, so the troll on the far end of the fire paid no attention to the sneeze and continued eating his mutton. The two nearby trolls, however, perked up. “Someone’s over there, Bert, and he’s sure to be tastier than mutton,” said one. Each grabbed a sack and headed towards where Bilbo was hiding. Thorin heard the troll and hurried to join Bilbo, only to find a sack popped over his head by one troll a moment before Bert stuffed Bilbo into a sack. Fortunately, Bilbo was good at squeezing out of tight spots, and managed to also pull Thorin out of his sack. One of the trolls was about to pound Bilbo with a heavy blow when a voice called out, “You’re a fat fool, Tom.” The troll spun around and threw a rock at the troll who was still eating, which missed him and went into the bushes. Thorin took advantage of Tom’s distraction to hit him with his axe, but it only seemed to enrage the troll. Meanwhile, Balin had hurried towards the commotion, and grunted as Bert hit him on his mail-covered chest.

ROUND 13 (13 threat in the staging area, 0/1 progress on 2B, 26 cards in the encounter deck, Active Location – Cave Entrance, 40 threat)

PREPARATION
Resources: Thorin Oakenshield – 10, Balin – 5, Ori – 4, Bilbo Baggins – 9
Draw: King Under the Mountain, Nori (Longbeard Map-Maker). I use King Under the Mountain, keeping We Are Not Idle and discarding Will of the West. Keeping Will of the West would be the safer move, but I think I’ll be fine without recycling my discard pile. I play We Are Not Idle, exhausting Fili to put a resource on Ori and drawing Dawn Take You All.
New Hand: Fili x2, Kili, Dwalin, Bofur, Nori (Longbeard Map-Maker), Narvi’s Belt, King Under the Mountain, Lure of Moria, Durin’s Song, Dawn Take You All, A Test of Will
Planning: Without Gandalf, I won’t be able to kill Tom this turn, so I need to focus on questing and play defensively. Next turn I’m guaranteed that I’ll be able to draw Gandalf. I don’t play anything.
Resources after Planning: Thorin Oakenshield – 10, Balin – 5, Ori – 5, Bilbo Baggins – 9
Dwarves in play: 12; Balin has 2 damage.

QUESTING
Commit Characters: I commit Gloin, Oin, Bifur, Bofur, Kili, and Nori to the quest (9 willpower total). I exhaust Narvi’s Belt and choose Lore. (I can use Nori’s ability to make up whatever’s lacking, while keeping Thorin, Balin, and Dwalin for combat, Bilbo for removing sacks, Ori for healing, and Dori for emergency damage control.)
Staging: No Campfire. I increase my threat by 1 to 41, and reveal A Nice Pickle. I increase my threat by 1 to 42 and return No Campfire and Roast ’em or Boil ’em? to the bottom of the encounter deck. I then spend seven of Thorin’s resources to increase Nori’s willpower from 1 to 8.troll camp
Resolution: I have 16 willpower committed against 13 threat. I clear the Cave Entrance, but make no progress on the quest.

TRAVEL
I travel to (one copy of) Troll Camp.

ENGAGEMENT
William engages me, resulting in 2 sacks. A Large Sack attaches to Thorin and A Smelly Sack attaches to Dori. Bilbo, using Fast Hitch, pays two resources to remove both of them.

COMBAT
Enemy attacks: Balin (3 defense) defends against William (5 attack). The shadow card, Troll Purse, has no effect. Balin takes 2 damage and has 1 hit point remaining. Ori exhausts and discards Healing Herbs to completely heal Balin. Balin readies with Unexpected Courage, and defends against Bert (5 attack). The shadow card, A Suspicious Crow, gets shuffled back into the encounter deck and Balin takes 2 damage (3 hit points remaining). Dwalin (2 defense) defends against Tom (5 attack). The shadow card, Roast ’em or Boil ’em?, makes me search the encounter deck for a copy of Troll Camp (another 3 threat) and add it to the staging area. Dwalin gets knocked out.
Player attack: Thorin plays Durin’s Song and with renewed strength (6 attack) hits Tom (2 defense, 8 hit points remaining) again. With the extra damage from the axe, Tom takes 5 damage and has 3 hit points remaining. At the end of the combat phase, I raise my threat by 3, to 45, to prevent the trolls from returning to the staging area. I then Refresh, raising my threat by 1 to a total of 46.

As the rest of the company realized what was happening, they gathered their courage and rushed to join Thorin, Balin and Bilbo near the troll’s fire. Ori noticed that Balin was hurt, and began to crush his herbs to form a poultice. “William! Come over here and we’ll be eating dwarves,” called out Bert. The troll who had been absorbed by his mutton grabbed two sacks and hurried over, popping one on Thorin and another on Dori. Bilbo stealthily helped them out of their sacks. William then hit Balin, knocking him down. Ori rushed to him and applied the poultice. The fresh smell reinvigorated Balin, and he bravely stood up and took a hit from Bert. His brother Dwalin rushed forward, but a hefty blow from Tom left Dwalin sprawled senseless. Seeing this, Thorin furiously sang out “The dwarves no more shall suffer wrong!” and struck Tom with his axe, leaving a large gash.

ROUND 14 (8 threat in the staging area, 0/1 progress on 2B, 23 cards in the encounter deck, Active Location – Troll Camp, 46 threat)

PREPARATION
Resources: Thorin Oakenshield – 4, Balin – 6, Ori – 6, Bilbo Baggins – 8
Draw: Bombur, Oin (Longbeard Elder).
New Hand: Oin (Longbeard Elder), Fili x2, Kili, Dwalin, Bofur, Bombur, Nori (Longbeard Map-Maker), Narvi’s Belt, King Under the Mountain, Lure of Moria, Dawn Take You All, A Test of Will
Planning: I play Dwalin, as the hardy dwarf picks himself up from Tom’s attack, and use Legacy of Durin to draw Bombur. I play Bombur, completing the company, and use Legacy of Durin to draw Gloin. There are two cards left in my deck, and I know that they’re Gandalf and Sneak Attack. Unfortunately, my threat is high enough that I need Gandalf this turn, so I use King Under the Mountain, keeping Gandalf and discarding Sneak Attack. I play Gandalf, using 1 resource from Bilbo, 2 from Thorin, and 2 from Balin, and lower my threat by 5 to 41.
Resources after Planning: Thorin Oakenshield – 2, Balin – 3, Ori – 3, Bilbo Baggins – 7
Dwarves in play: 13! Balin has 2 damage.

QUESTING
Commit Characters: I commit Thorin, Balin, Ori, Gloin, Oin, Fili, Kili, Dwalin, Bofur, Bifur, Dori and Nori to the quest, for a total of 19 willpower. I exhaust Bombur to lower the threat of one of the Troll Camps by 1. I’m planning to use Lure of Moria this turn.
Staging: A Nice Pickle. I raise my threat by 1 to 42 and put Troll Purse and Roast ’em or Boil ’em at the bottom of the encounter deck.
Resolution: I have 19 willpower committed against 7 threat in the staging area. I clear Troll Camp and discard the top 9 cards of the encounter deck. There are 15 cards remaining in the encounter deck.

TRAVEL
I travel to (one copy of) Troll Camp.

COMBAT
Enemy attacks: Gandalf (4 defense) defends against Bert (5 attack). The shadow card, Wind-whipped Rain, subtracts 1 defense from Gandalf. Gandalf takes 2 damage (2 hit points remaining). I use both of Thorin’s resources and 1 of Balin’s resources to play Lure of Moria. Gloin (1 defense) defends against William (5 attack). The shadow card, Dreary Hills, has no effect. Gloin is stunned, senseless. Balin (3 defense) defends against Tom (5 attack). The shadow card, Cave Entrance, has no effect. Balin takes 2 damage (1 hit point remaining).
Player attacks: Thorin (4 attack) attacks Tom (2 defense, 3 hit points remaining). He deals 2 damage, and the remaining point of damage from the axe kills Tom. Balin readies using Unexpected Courage. Balin, Ori, Oin, Fili, Kili, Dwalin, Bofur, Bifur, Dori and Nori (total 14 attack) attack William (2 defense, 12 hit points), destroying him. Bilbo exhausts to claim the Troll Key. I raise my threat by 1 to 43, preventing Bert from returning to the staging area. I then Refresh, raising my threat by 1 to a total of 44. At the end of the round, Gandalf leaves play.

Balin bent over Dwalin, and was overjoyed to see him slowly shake his head and then pull himself up. “A little shaken, but I’ll be alright,” said Dwalin. All of a sudden, Bombur rejoined the group. He had been gathering additional supplies and had only now caught up with the rest of the company, drawn by the light of the fire, the sound of fighting, and the smell of roast mutton. The complete company formed a ring around the fire, some holding fiery branches, and all the dwarves determined to overcome this and reach the Lonely Mountain. The trolls hesitated for a bit as night advanced. Then Bert grabbed a huge branch and prepared to swing at Thorin. “You’re a lout, Bert,” called out a voice, and Bert angrily turned and threw the branch at William. It missed him, and there seemed to be a groan from the bushes as it flew into them. Tom stepped forward and hit Balin, who now looked rather pale. William threw a large rock at Gloin, and he fell down stunned. That was enough for Thorin. He drove his axe into Tom, who fell down dead. Inspired by this bravery and concerned for Gloin’s life, the rest of the company charged at William and beat him with their fiery branches until he stopped fighting and was still. Bilbo spotted a key that had fallen out of William’s pocket and picked it up.

ROUND 15 (5 threat in the staging area, 0/1 progress on 2B, 12 cards in the encounter deck, Active Location – Troll Camp, 44 threat)

PREPARATION
Resources: Thorin Oakenshield – 2, Balin – 3, Ori – 4, Bilbo Baggins – 8
My deck is empty.
Current Hand: Gloin, Oin (Longbeard Elder), Fili x2, Kili, Bofur, Bombur, Nori (Longbeard Map-Maker), Narvi’s Belt, King Under the Mountain, Dawn Take You All, A Test of Will
Planning: I play Gloin, who recovers from the blow that stunned him, returning two resources to Thorin.
Resources after Planning: Thorin Oakenshield – 2, Balin – 2, Ori – 4, Bilbo Baggins – 8
Dwarves in play: 13; Balin has 4 damage on him (1 remaining hit point from Ring Mail).

QUESTING
Committing characters: I commit Bilbo, Balin, Gloin, Oin, Fili, Kili and Nori to the quest, for a total of 10 willpower. Bilbo readies with Fast Hitch and Balin with Unexpected Courage.
Staging: Hungry Troll. Since there are no trolls in the staging area, it has no effect and surges into More Like a Grocer. I pay a resource from Balin to cancel it with A Test of Will. Bombur exhausts to reduce the threat of Troll Camp by 1.
Resolution: I have 10 willpower committed against 4 threat in the staging area. I clear Troll Camp and discardtroll cave the top 3 cards from the encounter deck. There are 7 cards remaining in the encounter deck.

TRAVEL
Since Bilbo has the Troll Key attached, I pay 5 Baggins resources to travel to Troll Cave.

COMBAT
Enemy attack: Before Bert attacks, I pay a resource from Thorin and one from Balin to play Dawn Take You All, and discard Bert’s shadow card. Balin (3 defense) defends against Bert (5 attack). There is no shadow card, so Balin would take 2 damage. Dori, however, exhausts to take the 2 damage instead (1 hit point remaining).
Player attack: Bilbo, Thorin, Ori, Bifur and Bofur (total 11 attack) attack Bert (2 defense, 10 hit points). Bert takes 9 damage, and Thorin doesn’t use the Axe’s response to finish him off: Dawn is about to arrive. At the end of the phase, I raise my threat by 1 to 45, preventing Bert from returning to the staging area. I then Refresh, raising my threat by 1 to a total of 46.

“Give me a hand,” Gloin said weakly. Thorin rushed over and helped Gloin up, who began to feel more like himself again. Bilbo looked more closely at the key, remembering that the dwarves had thought he looked more like a grocer than a burglar. By the light of the moon, he saw troll tracks leading towards a stone slab that looked like it might be a door to a cave. Since the dwarves seemed to have the remaining troll in hand, he steeled his resolve and brought the key to the slab. It had a hole in which the key fit perfectly, and the stone door swung back. He saw the gleam of gold in the moonlight, and rushed back to tell the dwarves. Meanwhile, Bert was waiting for a good opportunity to smash a dwarf, and was careful not to let any dwarves get to close to him. Realizing that dawn had almost arrived, he quickly hit at Balin, but Dori jumped in the way and took the brunt of the blow, saving Balin. Several dwarves and Bilbo then attacked Bert, who was almost beaten.

ROUND 16 (3 threat in the staging area, 0/1 progress on 2B, 6 cards in the encounter deck, Active Location – Troll Cave, 46 threat)

PREPARATION
Resources: Thorin Oakenshield – 2, Balin – 1, Ori – 5, Bilbo Baggins – 4
My deck is empty.
Current Hand: Oin (Longbeard Elder), Fili x2, Kili, Bofur, Bombur, Nori (Longbeard Map-Maker), Narvi’s Belt, King Under the Mountain
Planning: I play nothing. Dawn’s almost here!
Dwarves in play: 13; Balin has 4 damage and Dori has 2 damage.

QUESTING
Committing characters: I commit everyone to the quest (total of 20 willpower) except Bombur, whom I exhaust to reduce the threat of Troll Camp to 2.
Staging: Lone-Lands (2 threat, 3 quest points).
Resolution: I have 20 willpower committed against 4 threat in the staging area. I clear Troll Cave, adding it to the victory display, and discard the five last cards in the encounter deck, advancing to stage 3. Bert is now stone, and I have discovered Sting, Glamdring and Orcrist.

Several dwarves joined Bilbo to explore the troll’s cave as the first light of dawn broke over the hill, and Gandalf said from the bushes to Bert, “Dawn take you, and be stone to you!” Bert stiffened into stone, and the company discovered, among the gold and supplies, two magnificent ancient elven blades and a hobbit-sized short sword. “More like a grocer, indeed!” thought Bilbo, buckling the short sword to his side.

SCENARIO CONCLUSION

That was a slower playthrough than I had hoped. There were lots of suspicious crows and dreary hills in stage stingone, which discarded some key cards (A Test of Will, Self Preservation, and Gandalf). I also didn’t have as much card draw as this deck normally has, since Legacy of Durin and two copies of King Under the Mountain were near the bottom of the deck (the third copy being discarded early by Wind-whipped Rain). The deck worked pretty well, though. I had a good opening hand, was able to manage threat with Gandalf, and was generally prepared for what the encounter deck might throw at me. I got a bit lucky with staging in Round 12, since I didn’t have to increase my threat and engage all three trolls at once. I also got lucky for staging in Round 16. Since I no longer had A Test of Will, Wind-whipped Rain would have discarded Ring Mail, killing Balin, and Roast ’em or Boil ’em? would have killed Dori. It took me three rounds to kill Tom instead of two, and I chump blocked twice, but I ended up getting the treasures (and 11 victory points) with all the members of Thorin’s company in play. They’re ready to head Over The Misty Mountains Grim.

Advertisements

From → Strategy

9 Comments
  1. Tonskillitis permalink

    Great report and nice playthrough- well done on getting those precious treasures. I have to say this is one of my least favourite quests (although in theory troll-slaying sounds like fun) simply because it is quite slow and very fiddly to retrieve the treasures (which, to me, is the main objective of the quest). I guess thematically, the slowness of the quest represents the party equipping themselves for the perils of their journey. Although the encounter deck tries to inject a degree of haste with some nasty treacheries, this just necessitates the inclusion of test of will. However, looking forward to your reports of the next two quests which I really like…

  2. medouneu permalink

    It’s nice to see a thematic deck work against what can be a tricky encounter. You had some nasty roadblocks – such as cards you had to discard – but managed to work around them. I’m sure you’ve thought about what a difference a card like Dain or the Erebor Battle Master would have made in that encounter, but then you lose the fun of the thematic deck. Grats to you for pulling it off.

    • Estel Edain permalink

      Thanks, it was fun. When I first designed this deck, I used the Battle Master to represent Nori instead of Longbeard Map-Maker because I thought I needed him for Tom. I realized, however, that with this deck’s card draw (including Bofur), even 1 copy of Dwarrowdelf Axe could significantly boost Thorin. Besides being more thematic, Longbeard Map-Maker is incredible, especially for The Lonely Mountain (appropriately, since they used the Thror’s Map).

  3. Chris permalink

    Awesome writeup. Why do you mention it would be a problem if Troll Key was a shadow card? If it’s discarded, you add it to Staging

    • Estel Edain permalink

      Thanks, it was fun designing and playing this deck, and describing the play so that it fit with the events of The Hobbit.

      You’re right. I was under the impression that the “If Troll Key is discarded…” text wouldn’t apply when it shows up as a shadow card, since the Banks of the Anduin question from the FAQ says, “When a card is drawn as a Shadow card, only its Shadow text is considered to be active.” However, in an answer I just discovered posted on BGG (http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/843685/troll-key-and-troll-purse), Caleb confirmed that it gets added to the staging area even when discarded as a shadow effect. (I guess the key difference compared to Banks of the Anduin is “is discarded,” which would apply after it is no longer a shadow card, instead of “leaves play.”)

      Based on this, I should have added Troll Purse to the staging area and attached it to a troll at the end of the combat phase of round 13. Cave Entrance is less important than I thought when preparing for stage two, though it would give some extra time to get the key and travel to Troll Cave if Troll Key is near the bottom of the encounter deck.

  4. Landroval permalink

    isn’t there another troll which stops direct damage? or is it just trolls in the staging area?

    I’ve alway found this a pretty tough quest, mainly because i have no interest in dwarf decks, and it just doesn’t *feel* right playing without dwarves

    Thanks

  5. Goblin King permalink

    Bravo! I had doubts about this deck when i read it, but you have shown me the error of my ways. Well done on getting the treasure. I have yet to successfully claim the treasures. I look forward to reading other play through accounts. I will post mine as well.

  6. Drew permalink

    I just beat this quest last night for the first time! I only used cards from the Core Set and the first Hobbit box, plus a few from Khazad Dum because I have a fairly limited card pool at this point (just those 3 sets and Foundations of Stone, but I don’t think I used anything from Foundations of Stone).

    Rather than fighting the trolls, I built up an army of allies and boosted their willpower with Faramir. I was able to burn through the encounter deck in two turns and only had to engage the first troll. It was gratifying to watch them turn to stone.

    I realize that Faramir was not a very thematic inclusion, but he was my MVP. I satisfied my thematic urge by using Thorin, Ori, Bifur, and Bilbo as my heroes. However, the actual playthrough was quite different from the book/movie as Bilbo was sacked right away; he was the only one to get sacked; and he never got out of the sack!

    I had a lot of fun, but I did not get the treasures. Previously when I played this quest and tried to fight the trolls with my limited card pool, I was very frustrated. The “quest heavy” method may seem cowardly to some, but it’s more consistent with what really happened in the book/movie. 🙂

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Thorin and Company: Over the Misty Mountains Grim | Tales from the Cards

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: