As we pass the halfway point of the Angmar Awakened cycle we get into the stuff I really like. I do enjoy the quests in the first half, but theme-wise fending off undead in ancient ruins and fighting a pitched battle against the forces of Angmar both interest me more than trekking across the wilderness and escaping from prison; meanwhile on the gameplay front the last 3 quests are sometimes harsh but well-balanced challenges. Treachery of Rhudaur in particular is a quest I’ve used a fair bit as a deck tester – it hits you in all areas and has a well-defined structure with five rounds of buildup and then the big confrontation at the end. Meanwhile the encounter deck doesn’t do anything crazy that would particularly invalidate certain deck types like some quests do. Continue reading
I once described Across the Ettenmoors as ‘Continue to Escape from Mount Gram: Now with 100% more trolls!’ As far as the story is concerned, that is what’s happening, but in gameplay terms and in terms of what’s actually happening this is much more similar to Wastes of Eriador, we’re just trekking across a different bit of the wilderness and being harassed by a different set of enemies. This isn’t particularly a bad thing, just to be clear – the quest still has its own mechanical identity and is enjoyable for different reasons to the other quests it bears a similarity to, but the similarities certainly exist. Continue reading
Time for another deckbuilding challenge, I figured following on from two weeks ago doing Shadow of the Past I’d do another scenario specific challenge. It’s also neat timing since I’ve just played Escape from Mount Gram for The Line Unbroken. So, the challenge I’m doing this time was suggested by rsdockery on the FFG forums, and was to play Escape from Mount Gram having no cards captured other than my two additional heroes. Continue reading
Following a lengthy trek through the wilds in Wastes of Eriador, the card game subjects us to one of the great bugbears of video games and has us captured in a cutscene. This doesn’t actually annoy me too much, though inevitably there can be something of a disconnect between the gameplay and the story text if you’ve been handling all the wargs just fine and aren’t particularly weakened at all by the end of the quest – as was the case for me. The story text suggests additional time passing in which your rations run short of course, but that then begs the question of why we’re not weaker at the start of Escape from Mount Gram since we’ve been short of food… whatever, we’re here, we need to break out of the dungeons and it does make for interesting gameplay. Continue reading
This is the third deck I built which branched out from the basic concept of “Warrior allies + Raiment of War.” While putting together the set of Warrior allies I could choose from I realised that a great candidate for Raiment of War is ally Boromir, since his ability depends on taking damage so the additional hit points are especially worthwhile, and he has innate readying to use the bonuses to both defence and attack in the same round without even needing Narya.
Alright, back to the Angmar Awakened cycle. My favourite cycle of the game thus far. None of the preceding cycles remotely stand up to it in my opinion, whereas I still haven’t actually played the last two quests in the Dream-chaser cycle so I can’t properly judge. I think I may still prefer Angmar Awakened even once I’ve played those two though. Continue reading
Alright, next challenge I’m taking from my list of suggestions is one from Authraw on the FFG forums, who challenged me to: “Defeat A Shadow of the Past without using any Lore, Leadership or Spirit cards.” A tricky one to be sure. Since he specified the spheres I was not to use rather than saying “with a mono-Tactics deck” I can’t loophole any shenanigans with A Good Harvest or Songs or Gandalf. At least I still have Neutral cards to work with. Continue reading