Core Campaign Escape from Dol Guldur 8 & 9 – March 20, 2022

Introduction

I decided to retcon my campaign. Instead of letting Eowyn take the most damage to become the prisoner, now it is going to be Beravor. I could replay Journey Along the Anduin to make that happen, but I want to keep trying Escape from Dol Guldur. Besides, I had plenty of healing and that scenario well in hand. I don’t see this retcon a stretch of the imagination. I’m back to playing at Normal difficulty. I think the changes I made can handle it. If not, I can always go back to Easy mode after a few tries. I also plan to be a little quicker to concede if the setup isn’t good for me.

Modified Warlock000’s strongest Core Set deck for solo play – revised for 2022

Main Deck

Hero (3)
Beravor (Core Set)
Éowyn (Core Set)
Glóin (Core Set)

Ally (24)
1x Beorn (Core Set)
1x Erebor Hammersmith (Core Set)
2x Faramir (Core Set)
3x Gandalf (Core Set)
1x Gléowine (Core Set)
3x Guard of the Citadel (Core Set)
1x Henamarth Riversong (Core Set)
1x Longbeard Orc Slayer (Core Set)
1x Miner of the Iron Hills (Core Set)
3x Northern Tracker (Core Set)
3x Snowbourn Scout (Core Set)
1x Son of Arnor (Core Set)
3x Wandering Took (Core Set)

Attachment (12)
2x Celebrían’s Stone (Core Set)
2x Self Preservation (Core Set)
3x Steward of Gondor (Core Set)
2x The Favor of the Lady (Core Set)
3x Unexpected Courage (Core Set)

Event (13)
3x A Test of Will (Core Set)
1x Ever Vigilant (Core Set)
1x For Gondor! (Core Set)
2x Hasty Stroke (Core Set)
3x Sneak Attack (Core Set)
3x Stand and Fight (Core Set)

Campaign (1)
1x Mendor’s Support (Revised Core Set (Campaign Only))

3 Heroes, 50 Cards
Cards up to Revised Core Set (Campaign Only)

Sideboard

Ally (4)
2x Erebor Hammersmith (Core Set)
2x Miner of the Iron Hills (Core Set)

Attachment (9)
3x Dark Knowledge (Core Set)
3x Forest Snare (Core Set)
3x Protector of Lórien (Core Set)

Event (4)
1x Ever Vigilant (Core Set)
3x Lore of Imladris (Core Set)

Decklist built and published on RingsDB.

Play by Play Attempt 8

Starting Hand after mulligan

  • Unexpected Courage
  • Ever Vigilant
  • Miner of the Iron Hills
  • Steward of Gondor
  • Stand and Fight
  • Gandalf
  • (Steward, Gandalf, Unexpected Courage, Stand and Fight plus Miner I can discard to target. This seems like a decent hand.)

Setup

  • Shadow Key guarded by Endless Caverns.
  • Surge reveals King Spider
  • Dungeon Torch is guarded by Dol Guldur Orcs.
  • Gandalf’s Map guarded by Cavern Guardian.
  • Threat – 30

I scoop on setup. 3 enemies that will all engage first turn is too much.

Play by Play Attempt 9

Starting Hand

  • For Gondor!
  • Self Preservation x2
  • Northern Tracker
  • Steward of Gondor
  • Wandering Took
  • (I don’t like having 2 dead cards to start. I do like having Steward and Northern Tracker to start. That I can play turn 2 and handle locations especially if I get a location heavy start.)

Setup

  • Shadow Key guarded by Great Forest Web
  • Dungeon Torch is guarded by Mountains of Mirkwood.
  • Gandalf’s Map guarded by Dol Guldur Orcs.
  • (This is not ideal. I’ll play at least the first turn. If it doesn’t go well. I’m going to reset.)
  • Appointed by Fate and Valor attached to Gloin.
  • Threat – 28

Turn 1

1.3 Draw

  • Hasty Stroke 1.3 Action(s)
  • none

2.2 Planning

  • Steward of Gondor attached to Eowyn.
  • Exhaust it for resources. (I’ll exhaust it from now on during the Resource Phase essentially giving her 3 resources per round.)

3.1 Quest Phase 3.1 Action(s)

  • none

3.2 Committed Characters vs Main Quest

  • Eowyn
  • (I’m leaving Gloin ready for the orcs.)
  • Total Quest Power = 4

3.2 Action(s)

  • none

3.3 Staging

  • Dol Guldur Beastmaster (A bit rough but at least it won’t engage this round.)
  • Total Staging Area Threat = 8

3.3 Action(s)

  • none

3.4 Quest Resolution

  • Threat – 32

3.4 Action(s)

  • none

4.2 Travel

  • none

4.2 Action(s)

  • none

5.2 Optional Engagement

  • none

5.2 Action(s)

  • none

5.3 Engagement

  • Dol Guldur Orcs

5.3 Action(s)

  • none

6 Combat Phase

6.2 Action(s)

  • none

6.3 Enemy Attacks

6.4b Enemy – Dol Guldur Orcs

  • 6.4b Action(s)
    • none
  • 6.4.1 Defender – none
  • 6.4.1 Action(s)
    • none
  • 6.4.2 Shadow – Discard all attachments (Cavern Guardian) canceled by Hasty Stroke.
  • 6.4.2 Action(s)
    • none
  • 6.4.3 Determine combat damage – 2 damage assigned to Gloin and +2 resources
  • 6.4.3 Action(s)
    • none

6.7 Player Attacks

6.8b Target – Dol Guldur Orcs

  • 6.8b Attackers
    • Gloin
    • Exhaust Valor to deal 1 damage (1 / 3) and heal 1 damage on Gloin.
  • 6.8.1 Action(s)
    • none
  • 6.8.2 Total Attack – 2
  • 6.8.3 Damage Dealt – 2 (3 / 3)
  • 6.8.3 Action(s)
    • none
  • Target destroyed and Gandalf’s Map is not guarded.

7 Refresh

  • 7.3 Threat – 33
  • 7.4 Action(s)
    • none
  • (I don’t want to engage Beastmaster yet, but I could get the staging area relatively clear in a couple turns. I’m going to try it.)

Turn 2

1.3 Draw

  • Stand and Fight

1.3 Action(s)

  • Exhaust Steward.

2.2 Planning

  • Northern Tracker

3.1 Quest Phase 3.1 Action(s)

  • none

3.2 Committed Characters vs Main Quest

  • Eowyn
  • Gloin
  • Northern Tracker
  • +1 Great Forest Web (1 / 2) and Mountains of Mirkwood progress (1 / 3)
  • Total Quest Power = 7

3.2 Action(s)

  • none

3.3 Staging

  • Enchanted Stream
  • Total Staging Area Threat = 8

3.3 Action(s)

  • none

3.4 Quest Resolution

  • Threat – 34
  • (I could discard a Self Preservation to avoid engaging Beastmaster next turn. I think I’ll end up doing that anyway unless I draw Gandalf or another Northern Tracker.)

3.4 Action(s)

  • none

4.2 Travel

  • none

4.2 Action(s)

  • none

5.2 Optional Engagement

  • none

5.2 Action(s)

  • none

5.3 Engagement

  • none

5.3 Action(s)

  • none

7 Refresh

  • 7.3 Threat – 35
  • 7.4 Action(s)
    • none

Turn 3

1.3 Draw

  • Celebrian’s Stone (I wish it was my draw last round.)

1.3 Action(s)

  • none

2.2 Planning

  • Claim Gandalf’s Map and rescue Mendor.
  • Mendor +1 damage (1 / 3)
  • Threat – 37
  • Celebrian’s Stone on Eowyn
  • Wandering Took

3.1 Quest Phase 3.1 Action(s)

  • none

3.2 Committed Characters vs Main Quest

  • Eowyn
  • Northern Tracker
  • +1 Great Forest Web progress (2 / 2) and explore it.
  • +1 Mountains of Mirkwood progress (2 / 3)
  • +1 Enchanted Stream progress (1 / 2)
  • Total Quest Power = 7

3.2 Action(s)

  • none

3.3 Staging

  • Enchanted Stream (I’m glad it is not another enemy because now I can deal with the Beastmaster.)
  • Total Staging Area Threat = 8

3.3 Action(s)

  • none

3.4 Quest Resolution

  • Threat – 38

3.4 Action(s)

  • none

4.2 Travel

  • none

4.2 Action(s)

  • none

5.2 Optional Engagement

  • none

5.2 Action(s)

  • none

5.3 Engagement

  • Dol Guldur Beastmaster

5.3 Action(s)

  • none

6 Combat Phase

6.2 Action(s)

  • none

6.3 Enemy Attacks

6.4b Enemy – Dol Guldur Beastmaster

  • 6.4b Action(s)
    • none
  • 6.4.1 Defender – Wandering Took
  • 6.4.1 Action(s)
    • none
  • 6.4.2 Shadow – none (Endless Caverns) and put Ungoliant’s Swarm into play engaged with me. (Ungoliant’s Swarm)
  • Gloin and Mendor exhausted (So much for dealing with Beastmaster.)
  • 6.4.2 Action(s)
    • none
  • 6.4.3 Determine combat damage – 2
  • 6.4.3 Action(s)
    • none
  • Wandering Took destroyed.

6.4b Enemy – Dol Guldur Beastmaster

  • 6.4b Action(s)
    • none
  • 6.4.1 Defender – Wandering Took
  • 6.4.1 Action(s)
    • none
  • 6.4.2 Shadow – none (Endless Caverns) and put Ungoliant’s Swarm into play engaged with me. (Ungoliant’s Swarm)
  • Gloin and Mendor exhausted (So much for dealing with Beastmaster.)
  • 6.4.2 Action(s)
    • none
  • 6.4.3 Determine combat damage – 2
  • Wandering Took destroyed.
  • 6.4.3 Action(s)
    • none

6.4b Enemy – Ungoliant’s Swarm

  • 6.4b Action(s)
    • none
  • 6.4.1 Defender – none (I could Stand and Fight Wandering Took, but I can always hope for a bigger ally to do that next turn. Also if I’d rather lose this turn than next if the undefended attack doesn’t go well.)
  • 6.4.1 Action(s)
    • none
  • 6.4.2 Shadow – none (Mountains of Mirkwood)
  • 6.4.2 Action(s)
    • none
  • 6.4.3 Determine combat damage – 2 assigned to Gloin and +2 resources.
  • 6.4.3 Action(s)
    • none

7 Refresh

  • 7.3 Threat – 38
  • 7.4 Action(s)
    • none

Turn 4

1.3 Draw

  • Gleowine (Not an ally I hoped to draw.)

1.3 Action(s)

  • none

2.2 Planning

  • none

3.1 Quest Phase 3.1 Action(s)

  • none

3.2 Committed Characters vs Main Quest

  • Eowyn
  • Northern Tracker (I could leave them up to help with combat, but getting rid of 4 staging area threat means I can just let Eowyn quest next turn.)
  • +1 Mountains of Mirkwood progress (3 / 3) and Enchanted Stream 1 progress (2 / 2) to explore both of them.
  • +1 Enchanted Stream progress (1 / 2)
  • Skeleton Key and Dungeon Torch both not guarded.
  • Total Quest Power = 7

3.2 Action(s)

  • none

3.3 Staging

  • Great Forest Web
  • Total Staging Area Threat = 4

3.3 Action(s)

  • none

3.4 Quest Resolution

  • +3 quest progress (3 / 9)

3.4 Action(s)

  • none

4.2 Travel

  • none

4.2 Action(s)

  • none

5.2 Optional Engagement

  • none

5.2 Action(s)

  • none

5.3 Engagement

  • none

5.3 Action(s)

  • none

6 Combat Phase

6.2 Action(s)

  • Stand and Fight to put Wandering Took into play.

6.3 Enemy Attacks

6.4b Enemy – Dol Guldur Beastmaster

  • 6.4b Action(s)
    • none
  • 6.4.1 Defender – Wandering Took
  • 6.4.1 Action(s)
    • none
  • 6.4.2 Shadow – none (Eyes in the Forest and Caught in a Web)
  • 6.4.2 Action(s)
    • none
  • 6.4.3 Determine combat damage – 2
  • 6.4.3 Action(s)
    • none
  • Wandering Took destroyed.

6.4b Enemy – Ungoliant’s Swarm

  • 6.4b Action(s)
    • none
  • 6.4.1 Defender – Mendor
  • 6.4.1 Action(s)
    • none
  • 6.4.2 Shadow – Gloin exhausted (Gloin)
  • 6.4.2 Action(s)
    • none
  • 6.4.3 Determine combat damage – 1 (2 / 3)
  • 6.4.3 Action(s)
    • none

7 Refresh

  • 7.3 Threat – 39
  • 7.4 Action(s)
    • none

Turn 5

1.3 Draw

  • Snowbourn Scout (Well at least this will let me keep Northern Tracker up for combat.)

1.3 Action(s)

  • none

2.2 Planning

  • Snowbourn Scout
  • +1 Enchanted Stream progress (2 / 2) and explore it.

3.1 Quest Phase 3.1 Action(s)

  • none

3.2 Committed Characters vs Main Quest

  • Eowyn
  • Total Quest Power = 6

3.2 Action(s)

  • none

3.3 Staging

  • Driven by Shadow
  • Total Staging Area Threat = 3

3.3 Action(s)

  • none

3.4 Quest Resolution

  • +3 quest progress (6 / 9)

3.4 Action(s)

  • none

4.2 Travel

  • none

4.2 Action(s)

  • none

5.2 Optional Engagement

  • none

5.2 Action(s)

  • none

5.3 Engagement

  • none

5.3 Action(s)

  • none

6 Combat Phase

6.2 Action(s)

  • none

6.3 Enemy Attacks

6.4b Enemy – Dol Guldur Orcs

  • 6.4b Action(s)
    • none
  • 6.4.1 Defender – Snowbourn Scout
  • 6.4.1 Action(s)
    • none
  • 6.4.2 Shadow – none (Mountains of Mirkwood and Dungeon Jailor)
  • 6.4.2 Action(s)
    • none
  • 6.4.3 Determine combat damage – 2 and defender destroyed.
  • 6.4.3 Action(s)
    • none

6.4b Enemy – Ungoliant’s Swarm

  • 6.4b Action(s)
    • none
  • 6.4.1 Defender – Northern Tracker
  • 6.4.1 Action(s)
    • none
  • 6.4.2 Shadow – Raise Threat by 2 (Under the Shadow)
  • Threat – 41
  • 6.4.2 Action(s)
    • none
  • 6.4.3 Determine combat damage – 0
  • 6.4.3 Action(s)
    • none

6.7 Player Attacks

6.8b Target – Dol Guldur Beastmaster

  • 6.8b Attackers
    • Gloin
    • Deal 1 damage to Beastmaster (1 / 5) and heal 1 damage on Gloin (2 / 4)
    • Mendor
  • 6.8.1 Action(s)
    • For Gondor! To give all characters +1 attack (I wanted it for the Nazghul but I really need to stop losing allies every turn. I will likely advance in the next turn or 2.)
  • 6.8.2 Total Attack – 5
  • 6.8.3 Damage Dealt – 4 (5 / 5) and target destroyed.
  • 6.8.3 Action(s)
    • none

7 Refresh

  • 7.3 Threat – 42
  • 7.4 Action(s)
    • none

Turn 6

1.3 Draw

  • Sneak Attack (This is great to see. I really hope Gandalf or Beorn follows it next turn.)

1.3 Action(s)

  • none

2.2 Planning

  • none

3.1 Quest Phase 3.1 Action(s)

  • none

3.2 Committed Characters vs Main Quest

  • Eowyn
  • Total Quest Power = 6

3.2 Action(s)

  • none

3.3 Staging

  • Chieftain Ufthak
  • Total Staging Area Threat = 4

I’m calling this attempt there.

Postmortem

I finally got the staging area under control but I don’t have the combat power to deal with another beefy enemy. The Ungoliant’s Swarm coming out as a shadow really set me back. I think also if I didn’t have to deal with an enemy right off set up, that would help. Another attempt with all locations or some combination of locations and treacheries at set up should be much easier.

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