This Sunday I will be hopefully finishing off the 6 AP Challenge by playing Treachery of Rhudaur and The Dread Realm. I expect these final two quests to be the two most difficult for me to actually win, but I think I should be able to manage it.
For Treachery of Rhudaur there’s nothing in particular to consider as far as specific requirements for the quest except the need to deal with Thaurdir on stage 2. My hero lineup is Aragorn/Theodred/Legolas. The hope is that Legolas’ ability will help me make progress despite my willpower possibly being a bit sub-par. I start out pretty OK for combat since Aragorn can be ready (with help from Theodred) as well as Legolas, so hope for enemies to kill early on. The initial location may well be a significant roadblock since it has high quest points. The fact Aragorn can get a Spirit icon from Celebrian’s Stone should help me get that bit more willpower as well as handily enabling Unexpected Courage. I can double down on Legolas progress with Blades of Gondolin. One definite potential difficulty is just having enough card draw to keep up with my resources though – and that draw is potentially very significant given that I’ll be wanting chumps for Thaurdir.
This has the potential to be the most difficult of the lot – partly because I could probably do with having more card draw than I have access to, and partly because apart from Return to Mirkwood the way I’ve been getting through these quests has mostly involved taking my time to build up at the start of the quest and just very gradually amassing enough of a board-state to deal with everything. That won’t necessarily work so well here because there’s an absolute time limit on stage 1, so if I’m not ready to face Thaurdir after 5 rounds, tough, I don’t have a choice. Given the slow burn tendencies I’m also not sure about my chances of getting through any of the side-quests on stage 1, which in turn will make stage 2 that bit harder to get through and it could all just come crashing down on me.
For Dread Realm I have Gloin/Dori/Denethor. Gloin can take advantage of some of the lower attack enemies in the quest to gain extra resources and I can use Gondorian Spearmen to help get rid of the Sorceries when I’m dealing with Daechanar. Beyond that, willpower is possibly the biggest hurdle for me with no Spirit access at all. If I had some means of giving Gloin additional resource icons that’d be great, but I don’t. All the same, there are some reasonable options. Citadel Plate for Gloin might be a bit on the expensive side since I can’t get him to pay for it himself. If I can get established with some extra willpower on the board I should be OK, though combat also carries potential concerns – I have limited attack power, though my defences are pretty solid between Denethor, Dori and the fact I actually want Gloin to be taking damage. It’s very fortunate for Gloin that I got Long Dark as one of my random APs since that means Wardens of Healing.
The biggest problem will be Daechanar. Depending on how many Sorceries in play, it could be a few rounds before I can even try to kill him, and then I may not have enough attack power to do it in one hit. We’ll just have to see.
Since I’m coming to the end I’ll just reflect now on some of the interesting aspects of this challenge. Restricting the card pool like this gives much more weight to the Core Set, which takes us back to the original delineations of the four spheres. It has been really noticeable doing this challenge that without one of the spheres I end up struggling to some extent to muster resources, attack, willpower or card draw. Even in the sphere nominally good at each thing I’ve found myself with limited options – for example, card draw has mostly come down to Gleowine. The other thing which has been somewhat brought home is the quality of some cards which are often dismissed – when you have so few options, you really start appreciating the ones you do have. I mentioned The White Council, and that’s been the main stand-out case, but Protector of Lorien has been pretty significant as well. On the other hand there are cards which definitely aren’t so good, but you still end up using them because they’re better than nothing – Dwarven Axe, for example. 2 resources for 1 attack is not a particularly good deal, but when it’s your only real option you take it regardless.
I’ll be streaming my attempts at the final two quests this Sunday.