6 AP Challenge: Return to Mirkwood & The Long Dark

As planned, I played Return to Mirkwood and The Long Dark on stream for the 6 AP Challenge last Sunday to kick this off. Both went pretty well, though as expected return to Mirkwood presented more problems than The Long Dark, and my victory was much more contingent on luck of the draw.

So let’s talk a bit about my decks. Building decks for these was very difficult as I kept going “Oh yeah, that’s great I can use X,” only to then remember that X is from an AP I’m not allowed to use.

Return to Mirkwood

Heroes:
Dain Ironfoot
Gimli (Ta)
Eowyn (Sp)

Allies (18):
Naith Guide x3
Veteran Axehand x3
Longbeard Sentry x3
Blue Mountain Trader x3
West Road Traveller x3
Gandalf (Core) x3

Attachments (15):
Steward of Gondor x3
Ranger Provisions x3
Ring Mail x3
Unexpected Courage x3
Steed of Imladris x3

Events (21):
Sneak Attack x3
Feint x3
Horn’s Cry x3
Elven-light x3
A Test of Will x3
The Galadhrim’s Greeting x3
The White Council x3

Return to Mirkwood was the quest which worried me the most when I randomly selected it. It’s not actually the most difficult of them, but solo and with a limited card pool it’s a bit of a problem. My best chance of beating it was always going to involve questing through as fast as possible before I hit 50 threat or revealed anything too horrible which would kill me. To that end I figured this would be the place for Eowyn and Dain – although Dain isn’t as effective as he usually would be here because I have a rather limited selection of Dwarves to use. Rounded it out with Gimli because he’s a 2 willpower Dwarf with Dain so I’d get decent starting willpower, and he’s generally useful if I can get him some extra actions.
With this limited card pool, card draw is an inevitable issue, but handily I do have Elven-light, and I was probably going to want Steward on Eowyn anyway just so I could afford multiple Greetings if I drew them. The deck isn’t completely dependent on getting the Elven-light train rolling though, I went with three copies of everything so it’s pretty consistent. Plus I included multiple options for things – all the Tactics cards except Veteran Axehands help with defence in case I did have to handle one of the big enemies; Naith Guide, Unexpected Courage and The White Council can all provide readying (probably for Gimli); Gandalf is also a possibility for threat reduction and helps with everything else as well. There’s definitely less I wanted from Leadership than the other two spheres, but that then made Ranger Provisions a great fit.
In the end, this one was always going to be draw dependent. I think even once I was set up, an ill-timed Attercop, Attercop or the wrong Tantrum could’ve still gotten me killed. It’s worth noting that I have no healing, so Gollum’s Bite + Mirkwood Bats was definitely a potential concern, but as I say, I was just completely focusing on winning as fast as possible, because I don’t think I really had any other viable option.

The Long Dark

Heroes:
Thalin
Eleanor
Beravor

Allies (23):
Gondorian Spearman x3
Longbeard Sentry x3
West Road Traveller x3
Galadhrim Weaver x3
Gleowine x3
Gandalf (Core) x3
Wellinghall Preserver x2
Warden of Healing x2
Henamarth Riversong x1

Attachments (9):
Unexpected Courage x3
Ever My Heart Rises x3
Protector of Lorien x3

Events (18):
Feint x3
A Test of Will x3
Stand and Fight x3
Secret Paths x3
Shadow of the Past x3
The White Council x3

The Long Dark is probably the easiest of the quests I randomised, hence this hero lineup. Running out of decent willpower was a serious concern as I was assigning heroes to quests, so the easiest quest got the total starting willpower of 4 because I figured I could get away with it. Eleanor is a great hero but not so much in solo. That said, Thalin and Beravor are reasonable choices – there are some low hit point enemies in this quest which can be taken out by Thalin + Gondorian Spearman, and the Locate tests depend on discarding cards from hand so extra draw is good (as soon as Beravor can be relieved of questing duties or get an Unexpected Courage).
Having arrived at this hero lineup and put in a few obvious things my main focus was just putting in enough cheap willpower to make up for not starting with much. Secret Paths obviously also helps with questing, and Protector of Lorien can likewise give more willpower. Galadhrim Weavers can retrieve cards from my discard pile after Locate tests as well as being cheap willpower, and that recursion is potentially bolstered by Stand and Fight and The White Council. Speaking of Locate tests, Shadow of the Past can be used to recycle a ‘Pass’ card if I know a test is coming up (such as when I advance the quest). In general though, so long as I get my willpower up and running and don’t get completely randomly screwed by a Locate test, this quest is a cakewalk. And the ‘randomly screwed by Locate test’ possibility is limited since I’m only revealing one card per round. Some Locate tests I could pretty much just ignore because the penalty for failing was negligible.

I ended up playing each quest multiple times to show off how well the decks work (as noted, the Return to Mirkwood deck was much less consistent). The VOD of the stream divided in two and cut out a little bit for some reason, but I’ve spliced the two sections together into one, and here it is:

This coming Sunday, 2nd of July, I will not be continuing with this challenge, instead I’ll be just playing some random quests with some of my generic decks, but I will be streaming, 8pm BST as standard if people want to watch.

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One Response to 6 AP Challenge: Return to Mirkwood & The Long Dark

  1. Pingback: 6 AP Challenge: The Dunland Trap/Across the Ettenmoors Preamble | Warden of Arnor

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