My new Lord of the Rings Card Game deck with the three Elves smashed some serious spider face.
The little Fellowship has been tasked with couriering a message from the King of the Wood Elves to Lady Galadriel far south in Lorien. (Lady Galadriel was Cate Blanchett in the movies). The first stage of the journey is through the gloomy forest of Mirkwood.
A previous group of messengers had left some days earlier and had never been heard from again.
As the three Elf Lords, Elrohir, Elladan and Glorfindel, lead the band down the Old Forest Road and the gnarled trees begin to loom over their heads, they can hear rustling among the foliage.
One of the spearmen curses as his pike becomes entangled in a web spread high above the path.
The rustling stops.
Elladan glances at his twin brother Elrohir and silently draws his sword. Glorfindel signals to the rest of the company and they fall into a defensive formation.
There is silence. Water drips onto moss. Metal scrapes on metal as someone shifts their stance. The eerie silence continues.
Glorfindel, listening, raises his hand to give the sign to continue.
Then the spiders attack.
A huge forest spider slams into Elrohir’s shield, but Elladan and Glorfindel quickly dispatch it. Glorfindel calls out and the company advances into the forest, followed by skittering spiders the size of cows.
They make it to the foot of the Mountains of Mirkwood where they can avoid being surrounded, but not before another spider devours one of the Dwarven Axehands.
Leaving the Dwarf’s remains wrapped in webbing, the spider lunges towards the rest of the party. The spearman steps forward and impales it on his pike.
Suddenly, a group of Orcs from the Necromancer’s tower at Dol Guldur emerge from a tunnel in the mountainside and hurl spears at the heroes.
One spear pierces Glorfindel’s side, but the Orcs are no match for Elladan and his Rivendell Blade.
Not wanting to wait for more spiders or Orcs to appear, the party ascends through the Necromancer’s Pass and eventually comes to a fork in the road.
Which way to go? Both ways look the same. Glorfindel is unsure.
They decide to head East, hoping to exit the forest and reach the river.
They cross an enchanted steam which makes them feel sleepy, and while they are slowed, they hear a fierce buzzing behind them. There must be a Hummerhorn nest nearby. These giant hornets are among the deadliest creatures in the forest.
The whole company is drowsy from the stream’s effects, but they struggle on as the buzzing gets ever closer.
A King Spider swoops down from the sinister boughs above, but the Elf Lords drive the party on and with one final push they are clear of the trees and blinking in the sunlight.
Leaving the forest and its frightening denizens behind, they make their way towards the river and the rest of the journey south.
This was a much better performance. There were a couple of dicey moments but this new deck made it through.
I didn’t encounter the Big Bad in this scenario, the huge spider Ungoliant’s Spawn. (Ungoliant was the spider queen mother of Shelob, the giant spider that Frodo and Sam encounter in the tunnel to Mordor).
At the Fork in the Road it is 50/50 whether the final win condition is having to kill the Spawn immediately or travel a long path to the exit and having to deal with a bunch more monsters on the way.
I drew the long path card. This is still risky as the Spawn can turn up along the path if you are unlucky, but I did ok.
Things I noticed:
- Playing lots of allies is good. They can add to quests and attacks, and can chump block to save a hero from an undefended attack.
- Cards costing 4 are probably too expensive for a three-sphere deck.
- The Steward of Gondor’s extra resources can be a bit wasted as they only help one hero.
Rules I kept forgetting:
- I often forgot to deal the shadow cards on enemies before combat.
- I kept forgetting Arwen’s defence bonus.
Next, the three Elves travel along the river Anduin on their journey to Lorien. What awaits them on the way?