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Contest: Mûmak Hunt

by on May 27, 2014

The Mûmak of Harad, by Ted Nasmith

It’s been awhile since I’ve run a contest here at Tales from the Cards, but I just so happen to have some extra Nightmare packs from the Core Set that have been begging to be shipped out to some fortunate reader out there. It’s only fitting that earning a Nightmare pack should entail some nightmarish feat. With that in mind, I’d like to announce the great Mûmak hunt of 2014! Your job is to hunt down and slay a Mûmak (in the game, not real life; poachers need not apply!). Obviously, this is quite a tough feat, as the Mûmak, with its 3 damage restriction each round, is one of the toughest enemies around. This is a bit of a different contest than the ones I’ve run before, but it will hopefully be great fun. This is how it will work.

In order to participate, you must play one of the quests that feature the Mûmak, which are Into Ithilien, Siege of Cair Andros, and Assault on Osgiliath. Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to kill a Mûmak while still completing the quest successfully. This task is even more challenging as there is only 1 copy of the Mûmak in its particular encounter set, so you might want to include some tricks to make sure it emerges or you can bring it back if it is discarded as a shadow (hint, hint). You can try this feat as many times as you want. While I will be suitably impressed if you can accomplish this task, that is not what will ultimately determine the winner of this contest. What I’m really interested in is hearing your best story about this great Mûmak hunt adventure. In the comments below, pick your best attempt and tell me what happened with as many or as few details as you desire. I will rate the stories (in my own head) on a completely subjective scale, with bonus points for being creative, entertaining, and sliding down the trunk of a Mûmak like a slip and slide. I’ll also be trying to bag my first Mûmak during this time as well, so I’ll share my own story when I announce the winner.

The victor in this contest will get their pick of Passage Through Mirkwood Nightmare, Journey Along the Anduin Nightmare, or Escape from Dol Guldur Nightmare. I’ll keep this contest open for the next 2 weeks, to give plenty of time for Mumak hunting, with the close date for entries being June 10th. Good luck!

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  1. No slain Mumak yet. The idea of a Mumak slain by hobbits amused me so I picked up my hobbit deck and trekked Into Ithilien. The hobbit deck has some fun tricks, but being good at Battle and/or Siege questing isn’t among them. So I thought I’d give it another go with my Spirit/Tactics Rohan deck. This time things didn’t go perfectly, but noticeably better. I got to stage 3, the one that is regular questing but without engagement checks, and the Mumak stumbled right in! I figured this would be perfect, Dunhere, with his Spear of the Mark, could just plink away at the Mumak and some Forth Eorlingas could bring Eomer and Allies in to help keep from getting swamped with other enemies… Unfortunately, my deck, with both Spirit and Rohan, somehow failed to either muster enough Willpower to keep up with the staging area or any threat reduction (lack of card draw did me in) and a Southron Support caused me threat out when I had the dang Mumak on ELEVEN damage!

    Man, Into Ithilien is not an easy quest… but it is the one I had set up and I had one more deck I’ve been meaning to try out. It’s a Lore Aragorn, Spirit Glorfindel, and Frodo deck; I know this deck has been considered a powerful combo for quite some time now, but I’ve honestly never played it before and wanted to try it with a few new twists, like including Silver Lamp and Small Target.
    I was having a hard time getting allies into play at first, but that was okay as I did get Light of Valinor, Fast Hitch, and Unexpected Courage out in short order so I was being able to get essentially two actions out of each of my heroes every turn! The Mumak lumbered into the staging area while I was still on stage 1b. As Frodo had already soaked up a few hits, I was forced to engage him on the next turn. Then I pretty much had my heroes tangle with the beast for four rounds. Frodo would defend and the combined attacks of Aragorn and Glorfindel were exactly enough to get through the Oliphant’s 3 defense and deliver the maximum allowed 3 damage. I did chump block a time or two, when the Silver Lamp revealed a shadow card that bumped up the Mumak’s attack value, as my threat was rising fast. But I slew the beast just as I finished the first stage.
    Celedor was on two damage from my chump blocking, but still in the game so I got to advance to stage three. By this time I’d used Aragorn’s threat reset and a Galadrim’s Greeting, but that was undone by two copies of Southron Support. A pair of mercenaries peppered me with arrows as I tried to push through this stage with haste.
    When I got to stage four my Threat was just enough to make it be Siege questing. Definitely not my strong suit, but by now I’d gotten out a few more allies and every little bit helped. Unfortunately, stage four also has the forced effect of making you raise your threat by an extra 2 every round. This pushed me over forty before I even got to start questing on that stage. I chump blocked as much as possible while also trying to get as much defense committed to the quest as possible. Soon I found myself with a Threat of 47! During the next round I NEEDED to either complete the stage or draw a card with threat reduction. I drew (into an otherwise empty hand)… a second copy of Light of Valinor… But I did get Gleowine down the turn before, I used him and drew a Radagast’s Cunning. At this point I had managed to deal with the staging area pretty effectively. There were no locations, active or otherwise and just a set of bats and some Haradrim Elite, both in some Ranger Spikes. The Haradrim’s three threat was lowered to just one and I had managed to get eight out of the 15 Progress tokens needed. I wasn’t in bad shape, but like I said, it HAD to be this turn. So I commit absolutely everyone I can and muster 10 defense total for the Siege questing. I draw a Secluded Glade, three threat. That means I’m making six of the seven progress needed. BUT Gleowine had drawn me that copy Radagast’s Cunning, I play that to cancel the single threat being contributed by the Haradrim Elite which gives me EXACTLY enough to complete the stage!!!!

    Facing down the Mumak presented a nice challenge for me during the early game, fortunately I had it pretty well in hand, but it was enough of a stumbling block that the delay and threat increases it caused nearly kept me from getting to Cair Andros in time. That ended up being a very thrilling and memorable game!

  3. OssderOssmane permalink

    This was not how one of the Rohirrim should fight. Since boarding the ship south, to escort an Elven lord to Gondor (not that Glorfindel needed any escorting, this was more about helping him through the messy parts of Gondor’s cities), Dunhere had missed sitting in the saddle, riding through the plains, charging Orcs and see them trampled. Now he was the one about to be trampled.
    The whole thing had gotten off to a bad start in Pelargrir. He had been in bar fights back home, but the drunk brawlers here were quite a different breed, unforgiving and fast with the dagger. They had made the acquaintance of a guardsman of the white tower, a serious man with a footsoldier’s stubbornness and lack of initiative. And then they had set of into the forest with a letter for the steward’s son. And when they met a band of rangers, trying to ambush southerners, of course they tried to help them. But the plans of the enemies are not so easily foiled. Wargs slew many of their companions, the Haradrim kept charging in, the leader of the rangers lay slain already, when in the distance Dunhere saw a moving mountain, a creature he had believed to only exist in legend.
    He had to act fast if he didn’t want to end like the countless orcs slain by his folk. What did the Dunlendings do to even the fight with horsemen? The key was to get them out of the saddle, even with the saddle was as big as a house. Dunhere charged, and before the enemy noticed him, he was next to the creature, and cut one of the ropes holding that strange construct on it back. Using the enemy’s suprise, he got the second one.
    Then he saw that his comrades had moved onto an open round. The creature turned and charged towards them. Beregond turned, shouted to get the Haradrim’s attention, and then, with surprising speed for one so heavil armoured, stepped aside to avoid being trampled. The elf lord saw what Dunhere was up to, and helped him to cut the third rope, with only one remaining. Beregond yelled, drawing all the Mumak-riders’ attention towards him, cowering behind his shield as they shot arrows and threw spears, and as Glorfindel and Dunhere cut the last rope, the whole platform came tumbling down, and the oliphaunt ran off into the distance. Ahead of them, they could already see Cair Aindros. Surely, things would get easier from here…

    My first succesful playthrough of Into Ithilien. Used a Glorifndel-Dunhere-Beregond deck, had a pretty horrible start with lots of enemies and allies getting killed by blocking wargs and bats. When I got the Mumak, decided to give the contest a shot. The first two rounds I could keep it in the staging area and attacked with Dunhere plus Dagger of Westerness and Unseen Strike. Then, an Ithilien Road came up, but I had a handy Feint. Finally blocked it with Dunhere with shield and spear, and with a then clear staging area, pushed through the last stage, ending on 43 threat. Into Ithilien is one tough (and awesome) quest!

  4. Thanatopsis permalink

    Bilbo crept carefully down the narrow, deserted streets of Osgiliath. He felt fear deep inside, the same utter dread he and his comrades had felt when Boromir had tasked three Hobbits to lead the battle to retake this ancient city. In an uncharacteristic turn of events, the champion of Gondor had listened to his brother Faramir’s request to use secrecy and deception to liberate the city. The destiny of Gondor now fell on three little Hobbits. Sam and Pippin were each cloaked amongst the rubble only a few short paces from Bilbo. Faramir too was with them, his Ranger’s cloak barely visible amongst the shadows. Their company’s scout, Henmarth Riversong, was a full one-hundred paces ahead. His lightfooted steps allowed him to seemingly dance amongst the rubble, always keen to what lied ahead.

    He beckoned the company to halt. He listened, lowered his ear to the cobbled road, and waited. Something very large was coming down this ruined road. Soon, Bilbo felt it. At first it was just a murmur, but then the gentle drum beat came to them a little louder. They were deep and melancholy, enough to fill his soul with dread. Bilbo imaged an orc war party led by the most gruesome of orc drummers. He panicked briefly as he imagined hobbit skinned drum heads, orcs were the vilest of all creatures. He collected himself when Henemarth gave everyone the signal to prepare themselves. They would use a carefully orchestrated ambush devised by Faramir. Bilbo knew his role and it terrified him.

    They waited. The minutes crept slowly by as the drumming grew louder and louder. Sound grew to such horrific levels that Bilbo suddenly realized that this could be no orc war party but something even more terrifying. Suddenly, one of the ancient and decrepit walls blew asunder before them. A magnificent creature of legend burst through the cloud of dust and Bilbo was momentarily stunned. This indeed was no rabble of orcs, it was a Mumak of the Haradrim.

    Bilbo was reminded of the gifts that the Lady of Lothlorien had bestowed upon him. She had bestowed upon him the duty to protector of all that was good in the world. With this duty came the wisdom and strength to face great peril. He was also reminded of the soft words of inspiration passed to him by the Lady’s granddaughter, Arwen.

    Bilbo stepped out of hiding to face the mumak. At that moment, a brilliant silver light was cast through the clearing. Pippin beheld a wondrous lamp of the Elves that cast away the shadow and all vileness from the battlefield. The mumak lifted one of its mighty feat in an attempt to crush Bilbo. With the agility and speed becoming of all Hobbits, Bilbo dashed and ducked away from the mumak’s strike.

    His friends joined the fray. From every crevice and crook a familiar face appeared. Dori, a dwarven friend of many prior adventures, leapt out at their foe. A newer companion, a swordsman of the Southern Gondorian kingdom, also lent his steel. Sam, had also mustered his courage and lent his valor to the fight. Alongside him, his loyal pony Bill kicked, bit, and spat at the creature.

    But it was not enough, the giant before them continued its attack, this time rearing its great tusks towards Bilbo. Again he avoided the giant’s attack and again his friends fought back… to no avail. The creature still stood. Again it set its sight on poor Bilbo. In a frantic dive it, Biblo, was just missed by one of his foe’s massive feet. He did not know if he had the strength in him to keep avoiding this creature. It had taken every bit of his wit to stay out of harm’s way. His friends again lashed out against the enemy. They too were nearing the end of their strength.

    Just when all seemed hopeless and at an end, in a rush of violent swirling energy, a burst of light shined forth from a nearby rooftop. The mumak reeled back in agony, its great mass falling to the ground in a lifeless heap. As the light subsided and the blindness left Bilbo’s eyes, he saw a robed figure, clad in gery standing on the rooftop. It was none-other than Gandalf. Bilbo smiled and heaved a heavy breath of relief.

    There was no rally cry no cheer for victory. The company crept back in to the shadowy ruins of Osgiliath, set on retaking the city.

    Yes, I’m pandering to the judge. The “Float Like a Butterfly” deck is surprisingly good at Assault on Osgiliath. As long as none of the big enemies come out in the first round or two, this deck can build up pretty quickly with its massive card draw. Bilbo + Arwen + Hobbit Cloak + Protector of Lorien (2 cards discarded each round) makes defending the mumak pretty easy.

  5. OssderOssmane permalink

    Oh my, a fan fiction competition. What have I done?

    In all seriousness though, very cool approach to the Mumak. Wouldn’t have thought that siege questing with hobbits could be a thing.

  6. Pengolodh permalink

    Boromir and Thèoden headed the defense, standing at the front of the gate. directly behind them stood Beregond, hefting the heavy Gondorian shield and a spear of the Citadel. Brand son of Bain accompanied the archers, a black arrow in his quiver. Bringing up the rear beside a stout Gondorian spearman, Merry Brandybuck wielded a dagger of Westernesse, prepared to save Cair Andros from Mordor.
    Leading the defense stood Boromir, and inside his heart burned a Gondorian fire, and the son of the steward was ready to defend his kingdom. Beside him stood Glorfindel, the light of Valinor upon his brow, and with it he feared nothing. On his back he carried a bow from Rivendell, and in his sheathe a Rivendell blade, and all enemies wavered before its might.
    Glofindel, Boromir, Beregond, and Merry stepped forward to scout out the battlegrounds before them. Suddenly, arrows flew towards them, and Boromir faltered as two arrows pierced his chest. Orc arbalesters appeared near the bank below. However, Merry was the first to spot the looming menace approaching.
    “A mûmak!” he cried, leaping back in horror. The heroes ran to the bank in hopes of distracting the heavily armored beast from Cair Andros.
    “I will do what I can,” the spearman declared, then he valiantly charged towards the mûmak. The others watched in horror as the spearman disappeared in the swarm of Orcs shadowing the great creature. It was all he could do to stab the Oliphant in the leg before vanishing under one of its gigantic feet. Angered by the wound, the mûmak reared, its riders trying to maintain balance. Glorfindel fired arrows at the beast’s exposed underbelly, wounding it further. He darted out of range as the crazed animal swiped with its tusks at the retreating Elf.
    A knight sent from Minas Tirith joined the heroes’ ranks, and Brand acquired a new bow wrought of yew, and he proudly strings it for battle. Merry, Glorfindel, Theoden, and the knight stayed behind while the rest ventured forth down the shores of the Banks. All tactfully ward off the scourge of Mordor, but Glorfindel could not escape the Master’s malice, and he neared death.
    Meanwhile, Theoden knocked away the arbalesters’ arrows with his sword and looked on as the mûmak pierced the brave knight on his ivory tusk. Merry avenged the knight’s death by charging forward and slicing a good chunk off the animal’s trunk. Blood spurted out and the beast roared with a new ferocity. Glorfindel seized this opportunity to fire an arrow into the mûmak’s mouth.
    Help unlooked for came then form the north; an eagle, Landroval, bearing on his back a Zigil miner from Moria. then Beregond bestowed Theoden with a shield form his country. “it will serve you well,” he promised.
    Bravely defending the Citadel, the heroes discovered an Orc war Camp far too close for their liking. Orc arbalesters shot two arrows at Landroval, injuring the mighty eagle.
    “I shall ride forth against this monster. let him face Beregond of the Tower guard!” Beregond exclaimed, and he charged into the camp. the Haradrim mercenaries riding atop the mûmak, yet his Gondorian discipline allowed him to avoid the arrows. Lifting the spear of the Citadel, he thrust it into the air, his spear tearing a hole into the creature’s ear. The animal reeled, giving Glorfindel the chance he needed.
    “Quick! Landroval! Fly me over the wall!” he cried, and Landroval obeyed. Glorfindel aimed at the Oliphant’s large eye and shot an arrow at it, and the mûmak roared once more as the arrow hit its mark. One more attack and it will be gone, Merry thought, relieved.
    Guthlaf, captain of Rohan, arrived to aid the heroes, and as he did, the worst arrived. Two battering rams, fueled by dozens of Orcs, smashed against the doors of the Citadel. Merry gasped. they had to hurry. Otherwise, the Citadel would be lost to the enemy. He watched as the Approach was overrun by the enemy. Surely, all hope is lost, Merry thought despairingly.
    Beregond was looking on, and suddenly a wild fire blazed in his eyes. Seized with unexpected courage, he dashed to the mûmak and plunged his mighty spear into its side. It howled in agony, and, enraged, threw the warrior on to the ground. Glorfindel, seeing his chance, fired an arrow straight at the mûmak’s bleeding trunk. The Valar must have gifted his shot, for it travelled up a vessel and hit it’s brain.
    The mûmak bellowed in agony and swayed, trumpeting all the while. Merry leaned on Boromir for support and plugged an ear with his free hand as the ground shook. Finally, the magnificent beast collapsed, a cloud of dust enveloping the group. The ground trembled, and the tremor traversed throughout the entire battlefield, rocking Orcs and Gondorian soldiers alike. After a hard fought battle, the mûmak was dead.
    The heroes took heart at this feat, and led by Thèoden, they fought back the overwhelming forces from the Citadel, receiving their fair share of wounds in return. Despite the heroics of the mûmak battle, the tide was turning for the worse, when out of the blue, Gandalf appeared on the horizon, hope in his wake. Thus revived, the warriors fought the armies of Mordor with a new relish.
    After slaying many Orcs and defeating two battering rams, Thèoden cried, “Up Eorlingas! Fear no darkness!” With this shout, he led the army to the last battle.
    Alas, tragedy struck. The Master’s hatred towards Gondor drove one of several trolls to do battle with the mighty Elf Glorfindel. He was unsuspecting, and thus the troll channeled his master’s malice by swinging a mace into the mûmak slayer’s stomach.
    Merry yelled as he witnessed Glorfindel crumple to the ground, his blood staining it crimson. Sorrow grasped the heroes’ hearts, and vengeance. With Boromir and Theoden leading the charge, Gondor destroyed the remaining forces of Sauron. But although the battle was won, a valiant hero had fallen.
    Forgive me for this long entry, but I love to write stories, and this contest gave me a wonderful opportunity. Just to clear this up, the troll is an imaginary enemy and does not exist in The Siege of Cair Andros. It was actually Master’s Malice that destroyed Glorfindel in our final push of questing to win the game. Our final score was 82 due to high damage and threat, but it was well worth it.

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