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Thorin and Company: Over the Misty Mountains Grim

by on January 20, 2014

OverTheMisty-Roberto F Castro and John Howe

Now that Thorin and Company have successfully escaped the trolls and discovered three fine elven blades, they’re faced with a journey up a treacherous and stormy mountain pass, with nearby goblin caves adding to the danger. I’m not tweaking my deck between quests, but I add the newly discovered treasures to my deck, bringing it to a total of 54 cards. I’ll take a look at strategies for this quest before the session report.

GENERAL STRATEGIES

This quest starts with fairly high threat in the staging area. Stone-Giants have a high engagement cost, so stage two is not combat heavy. The primary dangers are threat buildup in the staging area and three harmful treacheries: Wind-whipped Rain, which can cripple the buildup of my forces; Guffawing of Giants, which forces me to engage a Stone-Giant whether or not I’m prepared; and Galloping Boulders, which often surges and kills an ally or leads to unsuccessful questing. Stage three is much more combat focused, with the Great Goblin bringing out more goblins, lots of shadow effects, and some encounter cards that become tougher after the Great Goblin is killed. It also requires 20 quest points, so questing can’t be ignored. Here are a few priorities I’ve found for this quest:

Prepare early for Guffawing of Giants: This can mean getting two allies out quickly (one to be discarded and one to defend), having a hero who can defend against the Stone-Giant and survive (such as Balin with Ring Mail), or having a way to cancel Guffawing of Giants. At the beginning of the game, the last option is the best because a Stone-Giant engaged with me will likely kill a character every round until I’m able to kill him, which is difficult early on.

Build up willpower quickly, and quest heavily: There’s at least 4 threat in the staging area at the beginning of the game, and locations and additional Stone-Giants can quickly add to that. I need to play allies quickly to increase my willpower. Sting is the obvious treasure to get in stage one, since it boosts willpower. I should consistently be questing successfully and clearing locations to avoid too much threat accumulation in the staging area. Since Galloping Boulders can remove willpower from the quest and then surge into a high-threat encounter card, I should overquest and I need to always have someone committed to the quest that I’m willing to have as the target of Galloping Boulders. If there’s too much threat buildup, I can engage a Stone Giant once I’m able to handle it. (Optionally engaging the last Stone-Giant in the staging area also has the advantage of removing surge from Galloping Boulders. For thematic reasons, I prefer not to engage Stone-Giants when feasible.)

Use stage two to build up forces: Despite the treacheries, stage two is probably less dangerous than stage three. If I have enough willpower to quest successfully and my threat is not too close to 40, I don’t need to worry about multiple Stone-Giants in the staging area: they’ll disappear when I reach stage three. So if I’m in a stable situation, I can afford to spend some time playing the different members of the company before advancing to stage three. Baggins resources are not essential in this quest, but I should have two before advancing to stage three. If I can play A Test of Will or if both copies of Wind-whipped Rain are in the discard pile, I’ll also play my key attachments during stage two.

Be prepared to complete stage three quickly: I need someone who can defend against the Great Goblin and ideally survive (since I prefer to avoid chump blocking). Possibilities include Gandalf, Balin with Ring Mail or Durin’s Song, and Bilbo with Sting and Ring Mail. There are no shadow effects that increase attack or lower defense by more than 1, so it’s safe to defend with a hero if the hero can survive against 6 attack. To avoid a swarm of goblins, it’s good to kill the Great Goblin quickly, and it shouldn’t be hard to do so if most of the company is already in play. Once the Great Goblin’s dead, however, Goblin Bent-Swords gain surge and their shadow effect becomes more deadly, increasing attack by 2. The best option, especially since I’m trying to finish the scenario with all the members of Thorin and Company in play, is to avoid heavy combat by only spending a few rounds on stage three. With most or all of my allies in play, I should have enough willpower to quickly finish the stage even while holding some characters back for combat.

Note: As in the last quest, 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, Bofur, Gandalf, Self Preservation, Orcrist, A Good Harveststone-giant

I mulligan.

New starting hand: Gloin, Fili, Song of Travel, Orcrist, Durin’s Song, Will of the West

Thoughts: The first hand hand wouldn’t let me control five dwarves by turn 2, and didn’t have King Under the Mountain or Legacy of Durin to quickly draw key cards. My new starting hand is much better. Fili will ensure I control five dwarves by turn 2, Gloin has 2 willpower, Song of Travel and Gloin provide early resource flexibility, and Durin’s Song can give a boost when needed.

Encounter Deck Setup: For stage one, I search my deck for Sting and add it to my hand. I then advance to stage two, adding a copy of Stone-Giant (4 threat) to the staging area and revealing Cave Entrance (1 threat, 3 quest points). Cave Entrance is fairly harmless.

ROUND 1 (5 threat in staging area, 0/16 progress on 2B, Active Location – None, 29 threat)

PREPARATION

Resources: Thorin Oakenshield – 1, Balin – 1, Ori – 1, Bilbo Baggins – 1

Draw: Gandalf

New Hand: Gloin, Fili, Gandalf, Song of Travel, Orcrist, Sting, Durin’s Song, Will of the West

Planning: I play Orcrist on Thorin and Sting on Bilbo. I’m don’t need Song of Travel yet, so I don’t play anything else.

Resources after Planning: Thorin Oakenshield – 1, Balin – 1, Ori – 1, Bilbo Baggins – 1

Dwarves in play: 3

QUESTING

Commit Characters: I commit everyone to the quest, for a total of 9 willpower. There’s not much point in holding back a defender, since none of my heroes could survive an attack from a Stone-Giant if I get Guffawing of Giants, and taking A Suspicious Crow’s attack undefended is not dangerous. [That was probably a mistake. I forgot that with Durin’s Song, Balin could have defended if I had gotten Guffawing of Giants.]

Staging: A Suspicious Crow (1 threat). There are no cards in the encounter discard pile, so its effect does nothing.

Resolution: I have 9 willpower committed against 6 threat, so I place 3 progress tokens on 2B.

TRAVEL

I travel to Cave Entrance. I then proceed to combat with the Suspicious Crow that engages me.

COMBAT

A Suspicious Crow (1 attack) attacks, and I don’t declare a defender. The shadow card, Guffawing of Giants, has no effect. I assign 1 damage to Ori, who has 2 hit points remaining. I’m relieved to see a copy of Guffawing of Giants discarded. There’s only one left in the deck, though another Suspicious Crow next turn would also reveal it. I then Refresh, raising my threat to 30.

 After a restful, merry and, Bilbo thought, too brief stay in the Last Homely House of Elrond, Thorin and company set out again for the Lonely Mountain on a midsummer’s morning, hoping to reach it by Durin’s Day. Thorin had learned with interest that the blade he had claimed from the troll cave was an ancient elven blade named Orcrist, or Goblin-cleaver. As Thorin, Balin, Ori, and Bilbo approached the Misty Mountains that they would need to cross, Thorin remembered how his grandfather had been killed by goblins, unsheathed Orcrist, and said, “May it soon cleave goblins once again!” Bilbo, who knew that there were goblins in these mountains, shivered and clenched his short sword. The company came across a large cave beside their path, and a crow flew out of it and pecked Ori, who gave a startled cry.

ROUND 2 (4 threat in staging area, 3/16 progress on 2B, Active Location – Cave Entrance, 30 threat)

PREPARATION

Resources: Thorin Oakenshield – 2, Balin – 2, Ori – 2, Bilbo Baggins – 2

Draw: Unexpected Courage

New Hand: Gloin, Fili, Gandalf, Unexpected Courage, Song of Travel, Durin’s Song, Will of the West

Planning: I play Fili, searching my deck for Kili and putting him into play. I could play Song of Travel on Bilbo (since Baggins resources are less essential in this quest) and then play Unexpected Courage on Thorin, but I don’t really need it now and there’s a risk of Wind-whipped Rain.

Resources after Planning: Thorin Oakenshield – 0, Balin – 1, Ori – 2, Bilbo Baggins – 2

Dwarves in play: 5; Ori has 1 damage.

QUESTING

Commit Characters: I commit Thorin, Balin, Ori, and Fili to the quest, for a total of 8 willpower. This is less than I’d like, but I’d like to be able to kill the crow (with Bilbo) and to have an available sacrificial defender (Kili) in case I get Guffawing of Giants (on its own or through another crow).

Staging: Dreary Hills (3 threat, 2 quest points).

Resolution: I have 8 willpower committed against 7 threat, so I place 1 progress token on Cave Entrance. I need to clear Cave Entrance next round to avoid threat build-up in the staging area. I can’t travel and I don’t want to engage Stone-Giant, so I proceed to combat.

COMBAT

Enemy attack: Kili (1 defense) defends against A Suspicious Crow (1 attack). The shadow card, Lone-Lands, has no effect. Kili is unharmed.

Player attack: Bilbo (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 to 31.

Fili and Kili had been travelling a bit ahead of Thorin, but they heard Ori’s cry and headed back. Fili volunteered to take a look in the cave. When the crow flew at Kili, Bilbo struck it down with his short sword.

ROUND 3 (7 threat in staging area, 3/16 progress on 2B, Active Location – Cave Entrance with 1/3 progress tokens, 31 threat)

PREPARATION

Resources: Thorin Oakenshield – 2, Balin – 2, Ori – 3, Bilbo Baggins – 3

Draw: Self Preservation, Ring Mail

New Hand: Gloin, Gandalf, Unexpected Courage, Ring Mail, Self Preservation, Song of Travel, Durin’s Song, Will of the West

Planning: I’m not drawing allies and I’m not drawing cards that help me to draw faster. I play Gandalf, using Bilbo’s resources and two from Ori, and draw 3 cards: Legacy of Durin, We Are Not Idle and A Test of Will. I play Legacy of Durin on Thorin, and then play Gloin, drawing Dori and adding two resources to Ori’s pool. I play We Are Not Idle, exhausting Fili and Kili to add two resources to Ori’s pool and drawing Narvi’s Belt. I then play Dori, drawing Bofur. I spend Ori’s last resource to play Song of Travel on Balin, so I’m able to play A Test of Will.

Resources after Planning: Thorin Oakenshield – 0, Balin – 1, Ori – 0, Bilbo Baggins – 0

Dwarves in play: 7; Ori has 1 damage.

QUESTING

Commit Characters: I commit Thorin, Balin, Ori, Gloin, Bilbo, and Gandalf to the quest, for a total of 15 willpower. Dori can provide damage control or kill a crow if one shows up.

Staging: Stone-Giant. This is unfortunate, but not disastrous.

Resolution: I have 15 willpower committed against 11 threat, so I clear Cave Entrance and place 2 progress tokens on 2B, for a total of 5/16. Threat in the staging area will be an issue, but I might be able to avoid engaging a Stone-Giant if I continue to build up willpower and quest successfully.

TRAVEL

I travel to Dreary Hills. I don’t want to engage a Stone-Giant, so I Refresh, raising my threat to 32. At the end of the round, Gandalf leaves play.

Gandalf overtook the company and rode by Thorin’s side for a few moments, who spoke longingly to him of the former glory of Erebor. Gandalf mentioned that Gloin and Dori were close behind him as the sky darkened with thunderclouds. Fili and Kili hung back to help them catch up without losing their footing on the treacherous narrow path. As Gloin and Dori joined them, the company began to climb the hills into the mountains, with Balin softly singing “Far over the misty mountains cold…” Bilbo fancied he saw shadowy figures like giants in the distance and heard crashes of massive rocks, though it was probably just the thunder.

ROUND 4 (8 threat in staging area, 5/16 progress on 2B, Active Location – Dreary Hills, 32 threat)

PREPARATION

Resources: Thorin Oakenshield – 2, Balin – 2, Ori – 1, Bilbo Baggins – 1

Draw: Dwalin, Dwalin

New Hand: Dwalin x2, Bofur,Narvi’s Belt, Unexpected Courage, Ring Mail, Self Preservation, Durin’s Song, A Test of Will, Will of the West

Planning: I play Dwalin, drawing Nori (Longbeard Map-Maker). I don’t play anything else. Next turn I’ll play Narvi’s Belt and either Bofur or Nori.

Resources after Planning: Thorin Oakenshield – 2, Balin – 1, Ori – 1, Bilbo Baggins – 1

Dwarves in play: 8; Ori has 1 damage.

QUESTING

Commit Characters: I commit Thorin, Balin, Ori, Gloin, Dwalin, Fili, Kili, and Bilbo to the galloping bouldersquest, for a total of 14 willpower (keeping Dori back).

Staging: Galloping Boulders, which knocks out Dwalin and surges into No Campfire. I raise my threat by 1 to 33, then reveal Guffawing of Giants. I pay a resource from Balin to cancel it with A Test of Will. There are no copies of Guffawing of Giants left in the encounter deck.

Resolution: I have 13 willpower committed against 8 threat, so I clear Dreary Hills, randomly discarding Unexpected Courage and giving Bilbo a resource. I also place 3 progress on 2B, for a total of 8/16. I don’t want to engage a Stone-Giant, so I proceed to Refresh, raising my threat to 34.

As the company headed higher into the mountains, they reached Dwalin, who had paused under a ledge to get a moment’s respite from the thunderstorm. The company continued on, when suddenly a boulder came galloping down the mountainside and grazed Dwalin, knocking him off his pony. Balin cried out and rushed to help Dwalin, but it was impossible in the storm to build a fire and tend to him. Balin carefully positioned the senseless Dwalin in front of him on his sturdy pony, and they were ready to continue when they heard a nearby boisterous bellow that was definitely not thunder. Bilbo froze in terror, but Thorin said, “We have no quarrel with the giants, nor they with us. If we proceed quietly, they should let us be.” “Giants…?” Bilbo said weakly, but no one heard him, and he had no choice but to carry on if he did not want to be left alone.

ROUND 5 (8 threat in staging area, 8/16 progress on 2B, Active Location – None, 34 threat)

PREPARATION

Resources: Thorin Oakenshield – 4, Balin – 1, Ori – 2, Bilbo Baggins – 3

Draw: Kili, Bombur

New Hand: Kili, Dwalin, Bofur, Bombur, Nori (Longbeard Map-Maker), Narvi’s Belt, Ring Mail, Self Preservation, Durin’s Song, Will of the West

Planning: I spend a resource from Balin and one from Thorin to play Narvi’s Belt on Thorin. I exhaust it and choose Tactics to play Bofur, drawing A Good Harvest. I don’t play anything else this turn. Balin has no resources for his ability, but I’m not anticipating combat and in any case there aren’t any horrible shadow effects in this encounter deck.

Resources after Planning: Thorin Oakenshield – 0, Balin – 0, Ori – 2, Bilbo Baggins – 3

Dwarves in play: 8; Ori has 1 damage.

QUESTING

Commit Characters: I commit Thorin, Balin, Ori, Gloin, Bofur, Fili, and Bilbo to the quest, for a total of 14 willpower (keeping Kili and Dori back).

Staging: Galloping Boulders, which knocks out Fili and surges into A Suspicious Crow, which reveals Dreary Hills from the encounter discard pile.

Resolution: I have 13 willpower committed against 12 threat in the staging area. I put 1 progress on 2B, for a total of 9/16.

TRAVEL

I travel to Dreary Hills. I don’t want to engage a Stone-Giant, so I proceed to combat with the Suspicious Crow that engages me.

COMBAT

Enemy attack: Kili (1 defense) defends against A Suspicious Crow (1 attack). The shadow card, Overhanging Rock, has no effect. Kili is unharmed.

Player attack: Dori (2 attack) easily dispatches the crow (1 defense, 1 hit point). I then Refresh, raising my threat to 35.

Bofur caught up with the company, and the company continued to climb higher. Suddenly another boulder came crashing in the midst of the company, seemingly thrown from below. Fili was thrown from his pony and hit his head against a rock. Kili rushed to help Fili and was bundling him onto his pony when a bedraggled crow flew at Kili. Dori quickly swatted it away and the company continued up, looking for shelter to revive Dwalin and Fili.

ROUND 6 (8 threat in staging area, 9/16 progress on 2B, Active Location – Dreary Hills, 35 threat)

PREPARATION

Resources: Thorin Oakenshield – 2, Balin – 1, Ori – 3, Bilbo Baggins – 4

Draw: Dwarrowdelf Axe, Fast Hitch

New Hand: Kili, Dwalin, Bombur, Nori (Longbeard Map-Maker), Ring Mail, Dwarrowdelf Axe, Self Preservation, Fast Hitch, Durin’s Song, Will of the West, A Good Harvest

Planning: I play Nori (Longbeard Map-Maker), drawing King Under the Mountain. I exhaust Narvi’s Belt for Spirit, and play Dwalin, drawing Fili.

Resources after Planning: Thorin Oakenshield – 1, Balin – 1, Ori – 0, Bilbo Baggins – 4

Dwarves in play: 9; Ori has 1 damage.

QUESTINGhighpass

Commit Characters: I commit Thorin, Balin, Ori, Gloin, Bofur, Kili, Dwalin and Nori to the quest, for a total of 14 willpower (keeping Bilbo and Dori back).

Staging: The High Pass (1 threat, 5 quest points).

Resolution: I have 14 willpower committed against 9 threat. I clear Dreary Hills, randomly discarding Bombur and giving Bilbo a resource, and add 3 progress to 2B, for a total of 12/16.

TRAVEL

I travel to The High Pass. I don’t want to engage a Stone-Giant, so I proceed to Refresh, raising my threat to 36. At the end of the round, the forced effect of The High Pass removes 1 progress from 2B, leaving it at 11/16.

Nori overtook the company as they were approaching what seemed to be the highest part of the pass. Just then Dwalin groaned and opened his eyes. To everyone’s joy, Dwalin seemed largely unhurt. Kili, however, looked at Fili anxiously.

ROUND 7 (8 threat in staging area, 11/16 progress on 2B, Active Location – The High Pass, 36 threat)

PREPARATION

Resources: Thorin Oakenshield – 3, Balin – 2, Ori – 1, Bilbo Baggins – 6

Draw: Sneak Attack, Healing Herbs

New Hand: Fili, Kili, King Under the Mountain, Ring Mail, Dwarrowdelf Axe, Self Preservation, Healing Herbs, Fast Hitch, Durin’s Song, Sneak Attack, Will of the West, A Good Harvest

Planning: I play King Under the Mountain on Thorin and exhaust it, keeping Glamdring and discarding Nori (Longbeard Map-Maker). I play Glamdring on Ori. I’m waiting for A Test of Will or to reach stage three before playing my remaining attachments, to avoid losing everything to Wind-whipped Rain. I’m holding on to Fili in case Kili dies from another Galloping Boulders and I can play them together. I don’t play anything else.

Resources after Planning: Thorin Oakenshield – 1, Balin – 2, Ori – 1, Bilbo Baggins – 6

Dwarves in play: 9; Ori has 1 damage.

QUESTING

Commit Characters: I commit Thorin, Balin, Ori, Gloin, Bofur, Kili, Dwalin, Nori and Bilbo to the quest, for a total of 16 willpower (keeping Dori back). I exhaust Narvi’s Belt and choose Lore.

Staging: More Like a Grocer. Bilbo loses his six resources.

Resolution: I have 16 willpower committed against 8 threat. I clear The High Pass, and place 3 progress on 2B, for a total of 14/16. I then proceed to Refresh, raising my threat to 37.

Thorin led the company up to a high point of the pass, determined to reach the Lonely Mountain, his rightful kingdom. Just then a flash of lightning lit up the mountains, and Bilbo saw to his horror the nearby brutish form of an enormous giant stooping to pick up a boulder. He also saw that the narrow path he was on was bordered by a precipitous drop to jagged rocks far below. More than anything, he wanted to be safe, warm and dry in Bag End: he wasn’t a burglar, and this dangerous folly was no business of his.

ROUND 8 (8 threat in staging area, 14/16 progress on 2B, Active Location – None, 37 threat)

PREPARATION

Resources: Thorin Oakenshield – 3, Balin – 3, Ori – 2, Bilbo Baggins – 1

Draw: Oin (Longbeard Elder), Gandalf. I use King Under the Mountain, keeping A Test of Will and discarding Oin (Longbeard Elder).

New Hand: Oin, Fili, Kili, Gandalf, Ring Mail, Dwarrowdelf Axe, Self Preservation, Healing Herbs, Fast Hitch, Durin’s Song, Sneak Attack, A Test of Will, Will of the West, A Good Harvest

Planning: I spend a resource from Thorin and two from Balin to play Oin (Longbeard Elder), drawing Bombur. Now that I have A Test of Will, I can play attachments without worrying about Wind-whipped Rain. I exhaust Narvi’s Belt to choose Tactics and play Ring Mail on Bilbo. I’m choosing him as my primary defender because he’ll have Fast Hitch (Unexpected Courage was discarded). I also play Healing Herbs on Ori. I’m about ready to complete stage two, but I’ll wait so I can build up a little bit more before stage three.

Resources after Planning: Thorin Oakenshield – 0, Balin – 1, Ori – 2, Bilbo Baggins – 1

Dwarves in play: 10; Ori has 1 damage.

QUESTING

Commit Characters: I commit Thorin, Balin, Gloin, Kili and Nori to the quest, for a total of 9 willpower. If I underquest, I can increase Nori’s willpower.

Staging: Wind-whipped Rain. I cancel it with A Test of Will. There’s one more copy of it in the remaining encounter deck of 10 cards, together with one copy of A Suspicious Crow that would reveal it from the discard pile and two copies of Galloping Boulders that would surge. I’m fairly likely to get it again soon, so I want to advance to stage three next turn, hopefully before that happens.

Resolution: I have 9 willpower committed against 8 threat. I add 1 progress to 2B, for a total of 15/16. I then proceed to Refresh, raising my threat to 38.

Balin had seen Bilbo shiver when the flash of lightning revealed the stone-giant. He handed Bilbo his mail shirt, since he didn’t expect to need it soon and he thought it might encourage Bilbo. Bilbo felt ridiculous putting on the oversized armour, but was grateful to Balin and felt determined to stick with the dwarves. Oin rejoined the company from scouting ahead. He had found an overhanging rock that would provide a bit of shelter from the storm. He also gave Ori some healing herbs that he’d brought from Rivendell. As the company hurried towards shelter, the wind picked up, lashing freezing rain into their faces. Concerned for Fili, the company pressed on.

ROUND 9 (8 threat in staging area, 15/16 progress on 2B, Active Location – None, 38 threat)

PREPARATION

Resources: Thorin Oakenshield – 2, Balin – 1, Ori – 3, Bilbo Baggins – 2

Draw: We Are Not Idle, Gloin. I use King Under the Mountain, keeping Sneak Attack and discarding Bofur.

New Hand: Gloin, Fili, Kili, Bombur, Gandalf, Dwarrowdelf Axe, Self Preservation, Fast Hitch, We Are Not Idle, Durin’s Song, Sneak Attack x2, Will of the West, A Good Harvest

Planning: I play Bombur, drawing Dori. I exhaust Narvi’s Belt and choose Lore, playing Fast Hitch on Bilbo. I plan on advancing to stage three this turn.

Resources after Planning: Thorin Oakenshield – 1, Balin – 1, Ori – 0, Bilbo Baggins – 2

Dwarves in play: 11; Ori has 1 damage.

QUESTING

Commit Characters: I commit Balin, Dwalin, Oin, Gloin, Kili, Bofur, Nori and Bilbo to the greatgoblinquest, for a total of 13 willpower. I use Fast Hitch to ready Bilbo. I’m keeping back Thorin for attack, Ori for attack or healing, Bilbo and Bombur for defense, and Dori for attack or emergency damage control. Even if I get Wind-whipped Rain, I should be able to manage.

Staging: Overhanging Rock (2 threat, 3 quest points). Nice and harmless.

Resolution: I have 13 willpower committed against 10 threat. I complete stage two and advance to stage 3A, shuffling all encounter cards into the encounter deck, switching encounter decks, and adding The Great Goblin (3 threat) to the staging area. I advance to 3B, spend Bilbo’s 2 resources to reduce the number of encounter cards revealed to one, and reveal The Goblins’ Caves (3 threat, 3 quest points).

TRAVEL

I travel to The Goblins’ Caves. I then proceed to combat with The Great Goblin who engages me.

COMBAT

Enemy attack: Bilbo (3 defense) defends against The Great Goblin (5 attack). I use Sting’s response and discard Great Cavern Room, dealing 2 damage to The Great Goblin. The shadow card, Goblin Axeman, gives Bilbo -1 defense. Bilbo takes 3 damage and has 1 hit point remaining. The Great Goblin’s forced effect has me add Goblin Miners (2 threat) to the staging area. For thematic reasons, I pay a resource from Thorin to sneak attack Gandalf, killing the Goblin Miners.

Player attack: Gandalf (4 attack) and Thorin (5 attack) kill The Great Goblin (2 defense, 6 hit points remaining), who is added to the victory display. Thorin gains a resource from Orcrist’s response. Ori exhausts and discards Healing Herbs to completely heal Bilbo. At the end of the phase, Gandalf returns to my hand. I then Refresh, raising my threat to 39.

Bombur caught up with the company as they huddled under an overhanging rock, which provided some shelter now that the wind had died down. “My cousin Bifur is just behind me,” he puffed, while Ori crushed the herbs to make a poultice and examined Fili. Bilbo felt cold, wet, and useless, but as he looked idly at his coil of rope he noticed that there was a crack opening up in the mountainside. He gave a shout just as goblins came out of the crack and pulled the company into their caves. They were too surprised to resist, and were led before the Great Goblin. “Who are these miserable persons?” said the Great Goblin. Then he saw Orcrist, which the goblins knew as Biter and hated, and with a howl of rage he charged at Thorin. The goblin who had grabbed Bilbo was intent on this, and Bilbo slipped from his grip. Feeling both foolish and brave, he jumped in front of Thorin with his short sword out. The sword pierced the Great Goblin’s arm as he struck Bilbo heavily on the chest, knocking him down. Suddenly the cavern went dark, and then there was explosion of white sparks that killed many of the Goblins. Gandalf had heard Bilbo’s shout and returned! Thorin grabbed Orcrist, and together with Gandalf he killed the Great Goblin. Meanwhile, Ori examined Bilbo, who had been saved by the mail shirt, and revived him with the poultice.

ROUND 10 (0 threat in staging area, 0/20 progress on 3B, Active Location – The Goblins’ Caves, 39 threat)

PREPARATION

Resources: Thorin Oakenshield – 3, Balin – 2, Ori – 1, Bilbo Baggins – 1

Draw: We Are Not Idle, Lure of Moria. I use King Under the Mountain, keeping Fili and discarding King Under the Mountain. I want to win this turn with Bifur in play, so I pay a resource from Thorin to sneak attack Gandalf during the resource phase and draw Narvi’s Belt, Bifur, and Dawn Take You all. Gandalf returns to my hand at the end of the resource phase.

New Hand: Gloin, Fili x2, Kili, Bifur, Dori, Gandalf, Narvi’s Belt, Dwarrowdelf Axe, Self Preservation, We Are Not Idle x2, Lure of Moria, Durin’s Song, Dawn Take You All, Will of the West, A Good Harvest

Planning: I play A Good Harvest and choose Lore. I pay a resource from Bilbo, one from Ori, and one from Balin to play Bifur, drawing Lure of Moria, King Under the Mountain, and (from Legacy of Durin) Bifur. I play Fili with my last resources from Thorin and Balin, drawing Dwarven Tomb. I now play We Are Not Idle exhausting all dwarves to add 13 resources to Balin’s resource pool, and drawing the last card in my deck, Gandalf. I then play Lure of Moria, followed by another We Are Not Idle, exhausting all dwarves to add 13 resources to Thorin’s resource pool. I pay 3 resources from Balin’s resource pool to again play Lure of Moria. I pay 5 of Balin’s resources to play Gandalf, lowering my threat to 34. I then play Dwarven Tomb, returning A Test of Will to my hand.

Resources after Planning: Thorin Oakenshield – 13, Balin – 1, Ori – 0, Bilbo Baggins – 0

Dwarves in play: 13! Ori has 1 damage.

QUESTING

Commit Characters: I commit everyone to the quest, for a total of 25 willpower. I exhaust goblinscavesNarvi’s Belt and choose Lore.

Staging: Goblin Miners. I spend a resource from Balin to play Durin’s Song, increasing Thorin’s willpower by 2. Thorin spend 13 resources to increase Nori’s willpower to 14.

Resolution: I have 40 willpower committed against 3 threat. I clear The Goblins’ Caves and complete stage 3B, winning the game.

At the same time, Bifur hurried into the cave with Fili, whom the goblins had left on the mountain pass. Bifur had been bringing most of the provisions from Rivendell, and when he saw Fili, he poured a few drops of an elvish cordial into his mouth. Fili, sputtering, had come to and pulled himself up, and Bifur had helped Fili down the tunnel to rejoin the others. Now all the company was reunited, but in the midst of goblin caves. They gathered together, determined to reach the Lonely Mountain. As Thorin looked at the Great Goblin’s body, he remembered the many pyres for his kin who had died fighting goblins in the Battle of Azanulbizar, and softly sang, “And ever so our foes shall fall!” Then he beckoned the rest of the company to follow Gandalf, who knew how to reach the eastern side of the Misty Mountains from these caves. Bilbo couldn’t move as quickly as the dwarves, so Dori unceremoniously carried him on his back, and the company hurried forward as the goblins began to regroup behind them.

CONCLUSION

This quest went well. A Guffawing of Giants in round 1 would have been disastrous, but I was able to mitigate the risk for round 2 and had A Test of Will ready as of round 3. Using Gandalf to draw 3 cards helped me to get set up early with Legacy of Durin. After both copies of Guffawing of Giants were in the discard pile, I could take the time to play the different dwarves of Thorin’s company. I didn’t have to deal with Galloping Boulders surging into another copy of itself, though Balin and Thorin were potential targets if needed. I had 2 dwarves “temporarily die” from Galloping Boulders, and none from defending. I was lucky not to get Wind-whipped Rain during round 9, though I could have had Dori defend against the Great Goblin and played him again in Round 10. With a full hand of events and the full company assembled, stage three was completed very quickly. There are plenty of goblins chasing the dwarves to avenge their leader, however, and Bilbo will need all his wits, courage and luck in Dungeons Deep and Caverns Dim.

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From → Strategy

3 Comments
  1. Goblin King permalink

    The Hobbit Challenge
    Play the scenarios in order using one deck. The Heroes of the deck must be Thorin Oakenshield and two other dwarves in his party (in other words no Dain). Also, the playing deck must include at least one of every dwarf in Thorin’s party that is not one of your three heroes.

    My Hobbit Challenge Deck
    Heroes

    Thorin Oakenshield
    Bombur
    Oin

    Colorless
    Gandalf x2 core
    Gandalf (not core)
    2x Boots of Eredor

    Red
    Bofur
    Erebor Battle Master x3
    Khazad! Khazad!

    Green
    Bifur
    Dori
    Erebor Hammersmithx2
    Erebor Record Keeperx2
    Miner of the Iron Hills
    A Burning Brandx2
    Healing Herbsx2
    Legacy of Durinx2

    Blue
    Bofurx2
    Dwalinx2
    Kilix2
    Thror’s Key
    Untroubled by Darknessx3
    A Test of Willx3

    Purple
    Filix2
    Gloin
    Longbeard Elder
    King Under the Mountainx3
    Narvi’s Belt x3
    A Very Good Tale
    Lure of Moria x2
    We are Not Idlex3
    Sneak Attack

    Over the Misty Mountains Grim
    Initial Hand:
    Lure of Moria, King Under the Mountain, A Test of Will x2, A Burning Brand, Dori, Fili
    Initial Staging Area: Stone Giant and Cave Entrance (5T)
    Turn 1
    Resource
    Draw: Boots of Erebor
    Thorin 1, Oin 1, Bombur 1, Bilbo 1
    Planning
    Play Boots on Bombur
    Quest
    Quest with Thorin, Oin, Bilbo (6W)
    Add Suspicious Crow to Staging (6T)
    0p on Quest 2B (0)
    Travel
    Cave Entrance

    Encounter
    Engage Crows
    Combat
    Bombur Defends Crows 0D

    Refresh
    Threat = 29

    Turn 2
    Resource
    Draw: Khazad! Khazad!
    Thorin 2, Oin 2, Bombur 2, Bilbo 2

    Planning
    Play nothing

    Quest
    Quest with Thorin, and Bilbo (4W)
    Add Wind-Whipped Rain to Staging (4T)
    0P to Quest 2B (0)
    Travel
    none
    Encounter
    none
    Combat
    Bombur Defends Crows (0D)
    Oin kills Crow

    Refresh
    Threat = 30

    Turn 3
    Resource
    Draw: Erebor Battlemaster
    Thorin 3, Oin 3 Bombur 3, Bilbo 3
    Planning
    Play Dori (Bombur 0)
    Play Fili and Kili (Thorin 0)

    Quest
    Quest with Bilbo, Thorin, Oin (6W)
    Add The High Pass to Staging (5T)
    1P on Cave Entrance
    Travel
    none
    Encounter
    none
    Combat
    none

    Refresh
    Threat = 31

    Turn 4
    Resource
    Draw: Sneak Attack
    Thorin 2, Oin 4, Bombur 1, Bilbo 4
    Planning

    Play King Under the Mountain on Thorin (Thorin 0)
    KUtM to add Legacy of Durin to hand.
    Play LoD on Bombur (Bombur 0)
    Play Erebor Battle Master (Oin 1) and draw Healing Herbs

    Quest
    Quest with Bilbo, Oin, Thorin, Dori Fili (8W)
    Add Galloping Boulders to Staging Area. Cancel with A Test of Will (Oin 0) (5T)
    2P to Cave Entrance and discard
    1P to Quest 2B (1)

    Travel
    Travel to The High Pass
    Encounter
    none

    Combat
    none

    Refresh
    Threat = 32
    Remove 1P from Quest 2B because of High Pass (0)

    Turn 5
    Resource
    Draw: A Burning Brand
    Thorin 2, Oin 1, Bombur 1, Bilbo 5
    Planning
    KUtM for Narvi’s Belt
    Play Narvi’s Belt on Thorin (Thorin 0)

    Quest
    Quest with Thorin, Oin, Bilbo, Dori, Fili (8W)
    Add Guffawing of Giants staging area (4T)
    4P to High Pass
    Engage Stone Giant and discard Fili

    Encounter
    none

    Combat
    Bombur Defends Stone Giant (4W)
    Battle Master and Kili attack Stone Giant 7 + Khazad! (7W)

    Refresh
    Threat = 33

    Turn 6
    Resource
    Draw: A Very Good Tale
    Thorin 2, Oin 2, Bomur 2, Bilbo 7
    Planning

    Play Healing Herb on Bombur
    KUtM for Dwalin
    Exhaust Bombur to use Healing Herbs
    Play Dwalin (Oin 1) and draw Erebor Record Keeper.
    Play Record Keeper and draw Longbeard Elder.
    Exhaust Dwalin and Kili to play A Very Good Tale and Gandalf (v2)

    Quest
    Quest with Gandalf, Thorin, Oin, Bilbo and Dori (11W)
    Add Lone Lands to staging area (2T)
    Add 1P to High Pass and discard.
    Add 8P to Stage 2B (8)

    Travel
    Travel to Lone Lands
    Encounter
    none
    Combat
    Gandalf defends Stone Giant (2W)
    Battle Master attacks and kills Stone giant.

    Refresh
    Threat = 34
    Keep Gandalf = 36
    Turn 7
    Resource
    Draw: We are Not Idle
    Thorin 4, Oin 2, Bombur 3, Bilbo 7
    Planning
    KUtM for We Are Not Idle
    Exhaust Dori Dwalin Kili and play WANI (Thorin 7) and draw Dwalin
    Play Dwalin (oin 1) and draw Untroubled by Darkness.
    Play Longbeard Elder (Thorin 4) and draw Boots of Erebor
    Play Boots on Bombur
    Play Burning Brand on Bombur
    Quest
    Quest with Gandalf, Thorin, Oin, Bilbo and Longbeard (12W)
    Add Wind-Whipped Rain to the staging area. Cancel with Test of Will (Oin 0)
    3P to Lone Lands (Bombur 2) and discard (Bilbo 8)
    9P to Quest 2B (17) and discard.
    Add the Great Goblin to Staging Area
    Bilbo Reduces the # of revealed cards to 1 (Bilbo 6)
    Add Goblin Runners and Great Cavern Room to the Staging area.
    Travel
    Great Cavern Room
    Ready Thorin with ERK (Bombur 1)
    Encounter
    Engage Goblin Runners and The Great Goblin
    Gandalf 2W and discarded
    Combat
    Bombur defends the Great Goblin (3W and no other effects)
    Dwalin Defends Goblin Runner (1W)
    Thorin attacks Goblin Runner and kills it
    Battle Master Kills Great Goblin (3V)

    Refresh
    Threat = 37

    Turn 8
    Resource
    Draw: Fili
    Thorin 9, Bombur 2, Oin 1, Bilbo 7
    Planning
    Play Fili (Thorin 6) and Draw Untroubled by Darkness Play Kili
    KUtM for Erebor Battle Master
    Play Battle Master (Oin 0, Thorin 4) and draw A Test of Will

    Quest
    Quest with Thorin, Oin and a lot of dwarves and 1 hobbit Untroubled by Darkness (Thorin 2) (25W)
    Add Goblin Driver to staging area. (3T) Exhaust a Dwalin.
    3P to Great Cavern Room and discard
    19P to Quest 3B (19)

    Encounter
    Engage Goblin Driver
    Exhaust ERK to Ready Dwalin
    Combat
    Dwalin defends Goblin Driver
    Battle Masters Kill Goblin Driver

    Refresh
    Threat = 38

    Turn 9
    Resource
    Draw: Narvi’s Belt
    Thorin 4, Bombur 3, Oin 1, Bilbo 8
    Planning
    Play nothing
    Quest with a lot of Dwarves untroubled by Darkness and one hobbit (27W)
    Add Goblin Runners to staging area. (2T)
    VICTORY!!

  2. LordofChance permalink

    Thanks Estel and Globin King. You inspired me to try a Thorin deck both of you and do a solo playthrough of The Hobbit: Over Hill and Under Hill. It went well untile the last quest. I killed poor old Bilbo so many times, and even after much tweeking, I was able to keep him alive, my threat doomed me. Did you complete Riddles in the Dark with your heros from this quest? I finaly gave in and replace Thorin with Dain, and I’m feeling a cheat. FYI, I did not take cards from later expansions. I’m kind of doing my own progression series.

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