Updated: Sep 18, 2019
A while back I introduced LOTR LCG to a friend of mine by resetting the game back to its roots and playing through the core set and Mirkwood cycle, introducing a handful of new cards at a time to change up the game and our decks.
It's been a fun time going backwards, rediscovering old combos, like the Eagles and their vast power, or card which in solo play lack the punch needed to make them useful, like Hail of Stones.
Our story began as we trekked through the snow covered misty mountains escorting Arwen from the wooded glades of Lorien to the last homely house at Rivendell. I took a blue deck focusing on heavy questing to progress through the heavy snow drifts, while my friend took a Red Purple deck, taking Arwen’s older brothers and their cousin from the forest kingdom, Legolas.
Things went badly and over a two hour session we lost ally after ally and hero after hero until we were spent and lay dying on the cold slopes of Caradhras.
After that we changed things up. My friend switched from an elf focus to a dwarf focus, taking Dain and Thalin, but keeping Legolas for ranged attack. I, meanwhile, ditched the blue and went for a full green deck, focusing on manipulation and card draw. I took Bilbo, Beravor and Glorfindel allowing us to get plenty of healing and card draw and drop a green ally in at least once a turn.
Things went much better for us after that and soon enough we cleared the mountain and set about navigating the foothills on the far side of the Misty Mountains. Turn one of the Road to Rivendell and Bilbo was killed immediately by an unforeseen Treachery card. Assuming this to be bad luck we reset and off we went once more.
Quickly we realised our bad luck would continue as Bilbo narrowly avoided meeting the same fate again. Bears and Goblins ambushed us from all sides and we came close to losing a hero on multiple occasions as well as Arwen herself. We entered the final part of the quest with Dain taking a massive hit, putting him just one counter from death, but we pushed on through and with a sigh of relief we reached the safe haven of Rivendell, our charge was battered and bruised but safe and her father was pleased to see her home.
We may have reached the Last Homely House but our road stretched ever on and soon we will be embarking on the dark road into Moria and facing the Watcher in the Water.