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Elrond’s Counsel: Conflict at the Carrock

by on November 2, 2015

conflict_at_the_carrock_by_diegogisbertllorens-d5o46ne

Welcome readers! My name is Everett, and I will be writing a new column here at Tftc, Lore of the Rings. I starting playing the game ten months ago, and have become addicted to it, playing it all of the time. Now I know what you’re thinking. “A newbie is going to write articles?! What has the world come to?!” But that’s the nice thing about Lotr, it has a wonderful community. Normally Ian would be lynched for letting me do this if it were any other game. DISCLAIMER: ELROND’S COUNSEL AND LORE OF THE RINGS ARE NOT LIABLE FOR ANY LYNCHINGS, SUDDEN DEATHS, COURT-ORDERED DEATHS, OR MYSTERIOUS DISAPPEARANCES WITHIN 20 MILES OF THE GATHERING GROUNDS OF TROLLS, BOTH LITERAL AND FIGURATIVE. But that’s what the game is all about, sharing, learning and cooperating. We all have our own unique perspectives that people can learn from.

Everyone here on the Tftc team has their own perspective on the game, and is looking at the game from their own angle. However, my articles will be a little different. We will cover a variety of topics in our journey together, each with a different title, but they will all go back to the same idea: playing the game with a limited budget.

Some of us don’t have the money to buy everything that FFG offers, and others of us joined the game well after its release and are slowly attempting to catch up with the game, but still have a limited card pool. I find that there is not enough help out there for people who have a limited cardpool. I aim to change that.

I will be reviewing scenarios that I recommend for new players, showing you how to build decks with a limited card pool, and creating challenges that force you to break the boundaries of the meta and do something interesting in order to get the most out of your collection.

So today I would like to provide you with a scenario review, otherwise known as Elrond’s Counsel, and next week I will show you how to build a deck to beat it with as few packs as possible, which is called Deck-building With Sticky Fingers. In my scenario reviews, I will be reviewing scenarios for new players, and therefore seasoned veterans won’t really need to read these. This scenario is one that I recommend to all new players, and was the first AP that I ever got. It provides the challenge that was lacking in the base game, great player cards, and my favorite creatures in Middle-Earth. That’s right, today we are going to fight some Trolls in Conflict at the Carrock.

One of this scenario’s best qualities is that it maintains a diversified mix of enemies, locations, and treacheries. While this is essentially a boss fight, you still need solid quest power for clearing out locations and some form of cancellation, otherwise you will be deep in a mound of troll dung.

So how these reviews will work is first I will have an overview that goes over some basic stats and strategies about the scenario, which is useful when preparing a deck. Then, I will go over the cards that come in the pack and how they fit together with the cards from the other encounter sets in the scenario. Then, I will give a little surprise at the end.

Scenario Overview:

Sets: Conflict at the Carrock, Journey Down the Anduin, Wilderlands

Cycle: Shadows of Mirkwood

Quest Stages: 2

Quest stage quest points: 8

Required location quest points: 6 (The Carrock)

Enemies: 19

Locations: 20

Treacheries: 13

Direct Damage effects: No

Trolls or other bosses: Yes (obviously)

Condition attachments: Yes

Tftc Scenario Fun Factor: 4/5

FFG Difficulty rating: 7

LoreOTR New Player Difficulty Rating: 8/10 –  This scenario is somewhat difficult to beat with a limited cardpool, but is far from impossible.

LoreOTR Solo Difficulty Rating: 8.5/10- There are so many aspects to this scenario that it is difficult to build a well-rounded deck that can still crush Trolls.

LoreOTR Multiplayer Rating: 6/10– Having more than one player makes this scenario a million times easier, since each player can take on some of the many parts of this scenario. Having all four spheres represented is crucial when playing multiplayer.

So what exactly will the heroes face on their journey? Well, for starters, the quest itself is pretty short. However, on stage two, the Carrock, a very nasty location, becomes the active location, and four massive, powerful Trolls come into play, each with two threat. So despite the fact that progress is not needed, willpower is definitely needed when tackling stage two, Against the Trolls.

So the goal when playing this scenario is to stall on stage one until you feel ready to take on the trolls. Make sure that your threat stays at thirty or below, or you could find yourself fighting all of the trolls at once instead of just one at a time. Make sure to clear all locations from the staging area (except Banks of the Anduin) so that you have as little threat as possible when starting the fight.

This quest, despite its apparent focus on willpower and locations, is still at heart a boss fight. Each Troll has its own special effect that boosts all Trolls in play, making it important to deal with them as quickly as possible. This is a race against the clock, since taking the trolls all at once spells doom for your party, so you have to time things out. This makes the theme a little shaky, but slaying trolls is just too fun, and so you shouldn’t really care. So enough overview, now let’s look at the cards!

Objective:

Grimbeorn The Old

Grimbeorn-the-OldMy motto is, “If there ain’t an objective card, it’s not a real (non-core) scenario!” This motto holds up against nearly every worthwhile quest, with an exception being The Redhorn Gate, which is awesome, yet objective-less. Meanwhile, the Hills of Emyn Muil also doesn’t have an objective. Hmm… Alright, enough rant. Grimbeorn, unlike most other objectives, is basically key to surviving this quest. He has incredible stats, and can defend Trolls without exhausting, freeing him up to use his strong four attack against the trolls, while preventing you from having to defend some massively strong bosses. If you end up engaging the trolls all at once, make sure you have him or you will be dead as Durin. His one drawback is that he costs a hefty price of eight leadership resources, but in the end, the quantity won’t annoy you as much as having to put two leadership heroes in a deck that requires battle and quest strength, not just a bunch of well-rounded stats. If I could just use Eowyn, Gimli, and Frodo, and still get Grimbeorn, I would be happy. But, then again, I like being forced to do something interesting with my cards, something that you will see a lot of in the future in my articles. Thematically, Grimbeorn works pretty well, but the only thing is that the process of finding him (resources, bee pastures) seems a little lackluster and doesn’t really make much sense.

Theme: 2/5

Innovation: 2/5

Artwork: 4/5

 

Enemies:

From the Encounter Set:

Louis (unique)-

LouisSo first we’ll start with the bosses. Louis is the leader of this gang of trolls and therefore features the strongest ability. All of the unique trolls (except Rupert) grant abilities to all of their troll buddies, but Louis’s effect is the most deadly. While Louis is engaged, you have to raise your threat by three every time a Troll attacks you, making for a quick death if he is not slayed quickly. Overall, this makes sense. Keeping Louis in the staging area for as long as possible is key to this scenario, as it should be. Great artwork too by the way!

 

Theme: 4/5

Innovation: 2/5

Artwork: 5/5 (cover)

Morris (unique)-

 MorrisOur next troll is the more aggressive of the pack. While Morris is engaged, all Trolls get a bonus attack, allowing them to hit harder and defeat the heroes quicker. Thematically, this makes little sense. “Now that I’m fighting Morris the trolls are stronger,” just doesn’t cut it for me. As for strategy, there really is no clear consensus on when you should take Morris on. In my opinion, wait until you have set up a good defense, unless your attack is also lackluster, which in that situation, don’t take on the next troll, Stuart, and instead go with Rupert.

 

Theme: 2/5

Innovation: 1/5

Artwork: 5/5

Stuart (unique)-

StuartThis guy is the defensive expert, the toughest of the Trolls. He boosts his buddies’ defense by one, making them stronger and harder to kill. This works a little better thematically, since Stuart could be protecting his other troll buddies from harm, but it still only makes sense, like Morris, if you engage just the one troll. I’d personally wait until you have a strong attack before taking on Stuart, as he has a tendency to hang around for awhile if you don’t beat him when you first engage him.

 

Theme: 2/5

Innovation: 1/5

Artwork: 5/5

 

Rupert (unique-

RupertRupert appears to be the lowest troll, as his specialty is sacking things, not fighting like the others. He doesn’t help his fellow trolls, in fact, all he does is shuffle all copies of the Sacked! treachery card back into the deck when he attacks. My advice, if there is one or fewer sacks in the discard pile, take him on. If there are two or more, do Stuart and Morris first before Rupert. Unfortunately, his artwork isn’t as good as the other trolls either. Perhaps a designer choice, since he is just a lowly servant of the trolls and therefore doesn’t deserve a grand painting.

 

Theme: 3/5

Innovation: 2/5

Artwork: 3/5

Muck Adder-

Muck-AdderSo now we’re on to the other enemy in the pack. The muck adder is a poisonous snake found in the river lands and swamps of the Anduin. If it bites you, you’re dead. This is accurately reflected in the card, which kills any character it damages. This means you either have to have a Blade Mastery ready, chump block, or waste your best defender, one that would’ve been defending a Troll. When playing two player, choose the weaker of the two players to fight this. When playing solo, defend with allies. It’s for the best. Thematically this card is great, and it adds a bit of spice to the scenario. Good choice on the designer’s part.

 

Theme: 5/5

Innovation: 4/5

Artwork: 4/5

 

Other Notable Enemies:

 

Hill Troll-

Hill-TrollAdding the Hill Trolls, and the rest of Wilderlands, to this scenario made it infinitely harder. All of the Troll synergies that the encounter deck throws at the heroes apply to these guys as well. This is why the scenario is harder for new players. “Have everything running smoothly? Here’s a hill troll for you. Love, Sauron.” Destroy these as quick as possible, leaving the Carrock trolls for later. His theme doesn’t make too much sense: A wandering hill troll joins a pack of mountain trolls instead of fighting them. Really?

 

Theme: 2/5

Fits in with main set: 4/5

Artwork: 6/5 (it’s even my home screen)

 

Misty Mountain Goblins-

Misty-Mountain-GoblinsThe strategy with these guys is that if you haven’t found Grimbeorn yet and are on stage one, just set someone up defending and use them to stall until you are ready to fight the trolls.

 

Theme: 1/5 (Goblins buy time so that you can wait to fight trolls. Really?)

Fits in with main set: 5/5

Artwork: 4/5

 

 

 

Wargs-

WargsMore high attack enemies. More threat in the staging area. I think I’ve said enough.

 

Theme: 3/5

Fits in with scenario: 4/5 (Why not?)

Artwork: 4/5

 

 

 

Marsh Adder-

Marsh-AdderA mini-boss that raises threat. Why, cruel world?

 

Theme: 2/5

Fits in with Scenario: 5/5

Artwork: 3/5

 

 

 

Also Included:

-Wolf Rider

-Goblin Sniper

Locations:

From the encounter set:

The Carrock (unique)-

The-CarrockThis location is the heart and soul of the quest. It provides a strength boost to all Trolls while it is the active location, which makes it dangerous to attack the trolls before this is cleared out. However, if you don’t take a troll, eight threat from them will be in the staging area, and you will be in a world of pain. So the Carrock ends up using its effect more than the heroes would like. Basically, you have to quest extremely hard to get rid of this, then start slaying the trolls. I’m not sure about the theme on this one. As you may know, the Carrock is the location of the Hall of Beorn (no Dan, it’s not in America). And this landmark is supposedly where the trolls are. So why do we find Grimbeorn before we reach the Carrock? And why do the trolls get bonuses while we are in the middle of Beorning territory?

 

Theme: 1/5

Innovation: 3/5

Artwork: 5/5

Bee Pastures-

Bee-PasturesThis card is one of those “breathe a sigh of relief cards”, as it is the most reliable way to find Grimbeorn, and it is a wimpy 1-2 location that won’t hurt a fly (or a bee). In difficult scenarios such as this, cards like Bee Pastures find their way into the set to provide balance. And this scenario is remarkably balanced difficulty-wise. No strategies for this. Great Artwork too!

Theme: 3/5

Innovation: 2/5

Artwork: 5/5

 

 

 

River Langflood-

River-LangfloodThis card is a pain. I’m just going to put that out there. When one of these comes in, explore it as soon as possible. That threat-boosting Troll action is just painful and can ruin a perfectly good plan. The issue is that this could back up behind the Carrock, leaving you with high threat in the staging area and a pack of trolls in your camp. Not fun. Thematically this makes no sense either, but as this is obvious I will let you infer this on your own.

 

Theme: 1/5

Innovation: 2/5

Artwork: 4/5

 

Oakwood Grove-

Many new players will make the mistake of relying on this card to provide Leadership. Don’t rely on it! Use it instead to get Grimbeorn quicker, but make sure that there is a backup plan.

 

Theme: 1/5

Innovation: 3/5

Artwork: 3/5

 

Other Notable Locations:

 

Gladden Fields-

Gladden-FieldsThis is one of the strongest locations in the game, and rightfully so. This is the place where Gollum stole the ring and fled into the mountains, and it is a dangerous swamp that holds many dangers. So naturally it has both high threat and threat raising abilities. These are dangerous, and there are three methods of dealing with them. 1. Use Legolas and Blade of Gondolin to clear it. 2. Use Northern Tracker, Riddermark’s Finest, Asfaloth, etc. to clear it without traveling there. 3. Just travel to it like a normal location and hope that your threat doesn’t get raised. Notice only one of these options would work while the Carrock is the active location, and it is pretty unreliable and slow. Backed up locations and high threat are trademarks of this scenario, forcing you to forget trying to build a mono-tactics boss fight deck.

 

Theme: 4/5

Fits in with Scenario: 5/5

Artwork: 4/5

 

Brown Lands-

The-Brown-LandsThis location continues the theme of backed up locations, by causing a real headache if it falls behind the East Bight or Carrock. In a scenario that requires not raising threat, this makes it so much harder. Keep some sort of location management around or face the consequences. The consequences being: Getting finely diced and then roasted by Trolls. Not a good way to go, in fact it is quite an embarrassing way to go, as every Blood Bowl player knows (Bonus points if you know why! I’ll be asking really stupid questions about random games like this often. Get used to it.)

 

Theme: 2/5

Fits in with Scenario: 5/5

Artwork: 3/5

 

East Bight-

The-East-BightContinuing the theme of location clog, the East Bight can delay the time it takes to get through locations like the Gladden fields and Brown Lands even longer, causing more threat and less time. There is really nothing you can do about this other than praying that it doesn’t come at the wrong time. Thematically, horrible. I’ll go over the horrible theme of some cards later on in the year.

 

Theme: 0/5 (apparently I can vote zero!)

Fits in with Scenario: 5/5

Artwork: 4/5

 

 

Other Locations:

Banks of the Anduin

 

Treacheries:

From the Adventure Pack:

Sacked!-

SackedThis is another major threat that the heroes will have to face, as if there weren’t already enough. If you lose a hero to a sack, you have to kill a troll or play Miner of the Iron hills to free them. Thankfully, the amount scales depending on the number of players. This is a danger to prepare for, especially as it cannot be cancelled, so plan ahead. It’s going to happen.

 

Theme: 5/5

Innovation: 4/5

Artwork: 4/5

 

 

Roasted Slowly-

Roasted-SlowlyI love this card. It usually provides a respite from the onslaught that is this scenario’s locations and it thematically works well too! However, there is a slight problem with it. As discussed earlier, stalling is key, and if you expected two threat and got this card instead, that’s two extra progress that you didn’t expect. And occasionally, the trolls finally decide that they want to roast your sacked hero, instead of boiling, mincing, or dicing him, leading to quite the sticky situation. The trick is to get rid of the sacks as quickly as possible, and to put that one copy of Fortune or Fate in. My only complaint is that this should’ve probably had surge.

 

Theme: 5/5

Innovation: 3/5

Artwork: 4/5

 

A Frightened Beast-

 A-Frightened-BeastThis card exists for two reasons. First, to keep people from doing the low-threat strategy. Two, to convince people to put Eagle cards in their deck, since that was the main focus of the cycle. It failed at both. People still do the low-threat thing, which in my opinion is for the better. And people would put Eagles in anyway, since they’re so awesome, so why add another incentive? And even the theme of this card isn’t great! This is one of those cards that sounds good on paper, seems stupid on review, and seems great in play. Just give it a try. Then you’ll see why it’s in.

 

Theme: 2/5

Innovation: 4/5 ( I know right? An interesting Mirkwood card!)

Artwork: 4/5

 

Other Treacheries:

 

Despair

Massing at Night

 

So there you have it. We covered every danger that you might face in the Carrock, and how to counter it. This scenario is probably one of my all-time favorites, along with The Redhorn Gate and The Watcher in the Water. That is why I chose it for this first article, to show an example of what will be coming in the future.

Dain’s Daily Challenge

At the end of many of my articles, I will assign a challenge to the readers, in order to force them to break the boundaries of the usual meta. Sometimes these will be angled towards new players, in order to help them make the most out of their cards, while others are purely for fun. So today’s challenge is this. I want you to build a deck that relates to Trolls in every way possible. This could be done by using cards that are from the encounter during The Hobbit, or it could be cards that naturally are anti-troll, thematically that is. It doesn’t have to be great, but still make it good enough to have a chance against the Anduin. If you make one of these decks, send it to me (zuraseve18@sad1.org) with explanations for each of the cards, strategic or thematic, and I will include the best decks in my next article. Until next time, when I show you how to build to beat this scenario with with limited cards. Happy Struggles! (Erm… Questing)

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7 Comments
  1. This was fun to read. I did have to skim a few parts since I’m at work right now but overall I really enjoyed this, and I’m not exactly a new player. I have some friends getting into this game the same as you and I’ll definitely be passing this along.

    Nice work, sir!

  2. Great! Can’t wait for the strategy to tackle this one, as I’m planning to play this adventure the coming weekend…

  3. Jill permalink

    Redhorn Gate has Arwen as an objective ally.

  4. Silver Swan permalink

    One thing you didn’t mention – Despair’s shadow effect means the defender does not count his defense. That means when it’s dealt to Marsh Adder, either you need shadow cancellation or you lose the defender. It can be tempting to use a strong defender to block Marsh Adder before the trolls are out, but that can be fatal.

  5. SanguineSleet permalink

    Do the trolls go in the normal encounter discard when destroyed? Seems odd you’d have to reshuffle them back into the encounter deck and face them again after you have already beaten them?

  6. Laurj permalink

    Just stumbled across this post as I am facing the challenge on the carrok and want to thank you for this great article. It is very helpful!

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