Fellowship Event 2016: Siege of Annuminas

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I realise Siege of Annuminas is kind of old news at this point, but due to shipping delays my local Fellowship event didn’t actually happen until yesterday. And just because it’s a bit late compared to the US isn’t going to stop me typing up some thoughts, especially since this was the first time I got to attend a Fellowship event.

So, of course I’m very pleased with the alt art hero since I’m quite a fan of Faramir (Ld), and I love the playmat, but the big point of discussion here is of course the quest. Now my local play-group is small, just the three of us, so we just played the quest in the standard mode rather than epic multiplayer. I get the distinct impression that epic multiplayer is more difficult than standard. On the other hand, while the three of us did make a cursory attempt at making sure our decks would work together (avoiding uniqueness clashes, making sure we didn’t all bring combat decks, that sort of thing), we didn’t customise them for the quest at all, we just went in blind and we still managed to beat it on the first attempt, which I feel is a not insignificant achievement.

Now I imagine some people may be like me and want to play the quest blind the first time, so for the benefit of those people I’m going to avoid bringing up any specific details of the quest for this post. I’ll get into more detailed stuff in another post some time in the next few days.
Just general points though – I really like the quest. It starts off relatively gently and then ramps up. It is of course quite a challenging quest, as the GenCon/Fellowship quests traditionally are, when I said it starts off ‘relatively gently’ what I really meant was that it starts off at kind of the level of a regular quest before ramping up into really high challenge territory.
As you might expect from a quest about defending a fortress, combat is a significant focus of the quest. If you can’t keep the enemies under control then you’re likely screwed. As far as the combat goes, while playing I felt like there weren’t so many shadow effects as I would’ve thought, and looking on Hall of Beorn it looks like around half the encounter deck has shadow effects, which is certainly lower than some quests. I think on some level I was expecting this to be another Battle of Carn Dum, and certainly in terms of the proportion of shadow effects it is not that.
In general I’d say that this quest is an excellent example of how hard quests should be done in contrast to how they sometimes have been done – there aren’t a few effects which are just so much worse than anything else in the encounter deck so you just randomly get completely screwed from time to time, but rather everything is on a fairly consistent level of high difficulty to deal with. Some of those classic encounter card ratios like enemy engagement cost/attack or location threat/quest points/punishing effects are really not messed with here, they follow the sort of patterns which tend to be pretty standard. There are some effects in the encounter deck which can be particularly punishing, but we found them to be not as bad as we might have expected them to be. For the most part I’d say the really bad things only reach their full potential to be punishing to the players situationally rather than just screwing everyone over universally.

Alright, those are my generic impressions, and just to round out the post, here are the decks we used to beat it. Mine and my brother’s decks were built with one limited card pool, while Qwaz’s was built with a differently limited card pool.

Me – Combat

Heroes:
Faramir (Ld)
Aragorn (Ta)
Merry (Ta)

Allies (27):
Gandalf (Core) x3
Errand-rider x3
Defender of Rammas x3
Legolas x3
Mithlond Sea-watcher x3
Trollshaw Scout x3
Westfold Outrider x3
Beorn x2
Skinbark x1
Rumil x1
Anborn x1
Gimli x1

Attachments (9):
Steward of Gondor x3
Gondorian Shield x3
Secret Vigil x3

Events (12):
Sneak Attack x3
Valiant Sacrifice x3
Feint x3
Skyward Volley x3

Side-quests (2):
Gather Information x1
Send for Aid x1

Qwaz – Location Control

Heroes:
Glorfindel (Sp)
Idraen
Bifur

Allies (19):
Northern Tracker x3
West Road Traveller x3
Westfold Horse-breeder x3
Warden of Healing x3
Master of the Forge x2
Arwen Undomiel x2
Gleowine x2
Ithilien Tracker x1

Attachments (16):
Unexpected Courage x3
Thror’s Map x3
Asfaloth x2
Light of Valinor x2
Ancient Mathom x2
Elf-stone x2
Thror’s Key x2

Events (15):
A Test of Will x3
Hasty Stroke x3
Elrond’s Counsel x3
Daeron’s Runes x3
Secret Paths x3

My Brother – Questing

Heroes:
Eowyn (Sp)
Eleanor
Elrond

Allies (18):
Galadriel’s Handmaiden x3
Imladris Stargazer x3
Master of the Forge x3
Envoy of Pelargir x3
Arwen Undomiel x2
Bilbo Baggins x2
Gildor Inglorion x1
Galdor of the Havens x1

Attachments (15):
Vilya x3
Miruvor x3
Ranger Spikes x3
Light of Valinor x2
Unexpected Courage x2
Silver Harp x2

Events (17):
A Test of Will x3
Hasty Stroke x3
Elrond’s Counsel x3
Daeron’s Runes x3
Deep Knowledge x3
The Galadhrim’s Greeting x2

Things didn’t entirely work out as planned. I got through about half of my deck without seeing a Gandalf or a Sneak Attack, while my brother ended up with both Gildor and Galdor in his opening hand when he intended to Vilya them from his deck. He would’ve brought in Gildor with Elf-stone but on the relevant rounds first we had an active location which was immune to player card effects and second we didn’t have an active location at all so he just saved up the resources (helped by Miruvor and Envoys of Pelargir). He also never drew an Imladris Stargazer all game. Qwaz drew better by comparison but ended up getting wrecked by treacheries towards the end of the game. Qwaz took photos of our respective final board-states:

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3 Responses to Fellowship Event 2016: Siege of Annuminas

  1. Qwaz says:

    Yeah it was great! I liked how we never even knew the kit was there. We just turned up ready to throw down at the Prancing Pony and Annuminas was waiting for us. Lovely little surprise.

    Working with our respective limited card pools is refreshing too but i do worry a touch when going up against modern quests!

    This ended up working out well though. We came quite close to losing at some points but pulled it back.

    Check out my twitter for my nomination for Shadow Card MVP if you don’t mind spoilers 🙂

    Like

  2. Pingback: Siege of Annuminas Review | Warden of Arnor

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