Upkeep Delight

Card draw simulator
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McDog3 1

This is a well rounded deck that I have used to beat the entirety of the first campaign on Hard with achieving 250+ scores. The strategy, for most quests, is to turtle in the first or second stage to get set up and then roll right through the remaining stages as quickly as possible. Gandalf is often used for threat reduction to stay at or below 40 (which rewards full points during scoring).

Opening Hand

Usually it is enough to get by with some assortment of allies and attachments. Between Legolas and the other direct damage allies, short work can be made of the weaker enemies. Advance Warning helps to not allow Sauron to get the early action advantage. Seeing Erkenbrand early means you can have a solid defender for several rounds - perhaps keeping him around even longer by healing with both Arwen and Imladris Caregivers.

Once an ally or two are on the board, Zigil Miner can be laid out to start doing his thing. He will pump out many resources by the end game if he's kept behind a shield of guarding allies. Forest Snare and Feint help control some of the more annoying enemies.

Arwen, Aragorn and Imladris Caregiver are the primary willpower/fate outputters.

General Play

Round Shield will first go on Legolas as the AI seems to prioritize ranged characters. This saves a bunch of healing in the early game before getting allies out that can guard for you. I have found that Arwen, Imladris Caregiver, and Beorn's Hospitality are typically enough to keep the heroes at moderately high health levels by the end game.

Most of the allies will end up being guards, Erebor Watchman, Guard of the Citadel, Veteran Axehand, and Westfold Outrider all fit that space. I wait to send out a Zigil Miner until there are at least one or two other allies on the board so that they don't get taken out right away by enemies. The miner can spend the majority of the game in play so I have found an abundance of resources possible with this deck - it may be that a few cards could be swapped for more expensive allies.

Advance Warning is best as an early game card or something to play right before traveling - basically a time when Sauron will have the most enemies/actions against you. Most of the events are "stalling" cards, Gaining Strength, Ever Vigilant, Beorn's Hospitality are events I'll play when I'm waiting for Sauron to drop another enemy or hazard. Due to Sauron's disposition to randomly discard all of your events (in certain scenarios), it's best to not stockpile too many at once. Feint is fantastic to use on any high attack/stalwart enemy.


Sep 11, 2018 unkarsthug 25

So do you typically find guard to be worth it? I've often found it to be too slow, but maybe I'm using it wrong.

Sep 11, 2018 McDog3 1

@unkarsthug It may partially add up to play styles, but yes I find guard to be extremely worth it. I use it for a few situations:

1) It keeps healing pressure off of my heroes and makes sure that I am able to use the stats of my allies without them dying beforehand. It will often weaken up an enemy just enough so that a hero can take it out in a single shot.

2) It allows me to turtle and be responsive to what Sauron ends up playing. I tend to wait to attack until after Sauron begins playing his hand (unless I can outright kill an enemy who has not attacked yet), so guard/fate are useful to kick the action back to Sauron. Once he starts playing out new enemies, I try to take them out before they have a chance to swing back at me.

3) When Sauron passes and you have done all that you want, any remaining offensive allies can be used to guard. The guard will carry over into the next round until it is attacked or you activate that ally. In this sense, an ally can guard twice in a single round (provided the initial hit doesn't defeat it.)