E2 – Die Hard Fans

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25 thoughts on “E2 – Die Hard Fans

  1. Three spheres is not impossible, I do it when I play solo. I actually managed to get the best possible score on the first scenario.

    I’m still listening, but I just felt I had to respond to that 🙂

    • Not to spam comments, but could I ask what heroes you use? I was thinking about trying out Gloin, Denethor and Eowyn when I have some time to mess around. I figure that Denethor can take care of defense initially, but that Gloin will take over once I can get some reliable healing on him (optimally, Self Preservation), so that he can generate massive leadership resources while eating incoming attacks. If I use Dark Knowledge, I could also make certain he never died to undefended attacks (safely generating the maximum possible resources), and that would keep him ready so he can help strike back with 2 attack strength to boot. Eowyn of course would handle questing, and I’d probably throw a Steward of Gondor on her as soon as I could so that I could quickly afford things like the amazing Northern Tracker and The Galadhrim’s Greeting.

      • I used Aragorn, Beravor, and Eowyn on the first scenario. With Gleowine in play, and Unexpected Courage on Beravor I was able to draw many cards. There’s a spirit card that shuffles your discard into your deck, and I eventually got all my allies into play. I had also defeated the enemies with victory points, so they weren’t coming back. Plus Henemarth Riversong is amazing in a solo game, as you always know whats coming off the top of the encounter deck (unless it has surge…). At this state you have enough control over the game that you can just sit back and reduce threat and get a perfect score.

        So far my first attempt at the second quest, I managed to kill the hill troll. But then just as I was about to finish the quest, the other hill troll came off the encounter deck and I lost. I will be retrying this later, but I’m trying to not play my cards too much before I get sleeves.

  2. As someone who is in love with Beravor, allow me to make the case for using her over Bilbo, and explain why I am very underwhelmed by Bilbo Baggins in general… Prepare yourself for an essay.

    Sure Bilbo allows you to draw a card without having to exhaust him. At first glance this seems amazing, a free card each turn? Wicked! But you only have so many heroes in play, and you really need every one of your heroes to count. With having only 1 Willpower, 1 Attack, 2 Defense, and 2 Health points, and still having an initial threat cost of 9, Bilbo would be stupid to use if he had no ability. Beravor on the other hand has 2 of each Willpower Attack and Defense, and has 4 health, and only costs 10 initial threat. Clearly she is better in every respect aside from the abilities, so now lets analyse those abilities.

    Beravor lets you draw 2 cards upon exhausting her. Bilbo lets you draw one card without having to exhaust. Let’s pretend you’re in a fortunate situation where there are no enemies to engage, so you have at least one hero who can just sit around and do nothing. You can exhaust Beravor and get a whole extra card over Bilbo, or you can use Bilbo and get one less card, but only contribute one measly Willpower to a quest… lame. Even if you do think that extra 1 Willpower from Bilbo is a great help in questing, what happens if you turn over a Treachery card that deals damage to exhausted characters? He could get knocked out or at least half dead from something like The Necromancer’s Reach, and drawing two back to back in a multiplayer game means his end. Whereas Beravor can take the damage and get healed later.

    Or lets pretend you’re in a situation where you’re getting attacked by multiple enemies, or even a strong enemy. You need someone to defend, and you need people to hang back to attack and eliminate this threat for future turns. Bilbo only has 1 attack, he’s not going to vanquish any foes. He also has only 2 life, which means anything powerful will kill him, or a bad shadow card could mean his end. Beravor on the other hand has twice as much health! She can easily withstand an attack and still keep on ticking. Plus you can use self preservation or a healing card on her to much great effect (healing 2 or 3 wounds over healing only 1 wound ever on Bilbo).

    But what is that you say? If you use Beravor to defend then you can’t draw cards with her? Well yes that’s true. But imagine a situation where you can EVER take undefended damage with Bilbo, or imagine yourself using Bilbo as an attacker or defender. He’s incredibly underwhelming in those regards, and the only way to make him worth using in any role is to buff him through the use of attachments… but that leads to a new discussion. Why would you attach things to Bilbo to make him decent and waste all those cards and resources when you already have a nearly doubly as good hero you could attach things too instead? If you attach Unexpected Courage to Beravor, you can use her much better stats and then also exhaust her for her ability and draw TWO cards, instead of Bilbo’s one card.

    With Unexpected Courage on Beravor, she essentially becomes nearly twice as good as Bilbo. Not only can you exhaust her for her ability and then ready her again, but she can actually take hits and contribute her better stats to attacks or quests.

    I’m fairly certain that there might be some kind of specific use or buffs for Bilbo present in the adventure pack, and he might be worth using purely for flavour in that quest. But overall, when it comes to general purpose deckbuilding in order to face any threat, I am picking Beravor over Bilbo any day of the week.

    I’m a big fan of the show, sorry if this rant is too long or rambly as a comment. Keep up the great work guys, and maybe give me your thoughts on this whole Bilbo vs Beravor thing. Like I said there might be some Bilbo specific stuff in the adventure pack, and I may be way off base but I have a lot of love for Beravor.

    From your resident Beravor fanboy
    – Matt

    • @ Matt C

      You bring up some very good points about Bilbo, and I agree that there definitely appear to be a lot of inherent risks and sacrifices with picking him as a Hero over Beravor (too many, in my opinion). You mention that revealing back to back Necromancer’s Reach could be his undoing, but hell, if he happens to be your only questing character and you’re unlucky enough to pull a Dol Guldur Orcs card, that “when revealed” effect means he’s instantly dead meat, and if he can’t even quest safely… well, what exactly can he do? Like you point out, he’s pretty inept at attacking, and as a defender I’m not exactly comfortable with the odds of him getting gibbed by an unlucky shadow card…

      Plus, whereas Bilbo’s card draw ability benefits only the first player, with Beravor you actually get to pick a target, and for me that has been extremely useful, especially when someone really needs to hunt for a Forest Snare or something and/or you have an/some Unexpected Courage(s) attached to her.

      Like you mentioned though, I’m really curious too to see whether there will be any “specific rules or buffs” that make Bilbo worth playing, once we get to see the actual cards in the Adventure Pack. I wonder if there might be something like “Sting” or “Mithril Armor” that gives him (or maybe Hobbits?) some kind of special bonus, similar to Celebrian’s Stone for Aragorn, or Dwarven Axe. I could picture maybe some kind of “chance to mitigate all damage when defending” ability for Bilbo… but I’m not sure how that mechanic would work.

    • Matt you make a good case for Beravor! I think it will come down to the support for Bilbo, because taken alone he is a little to fragile. Having a dead hero is so brutal just from a resource generation stand-point, so yeah, that is a huge risk. Unexpected courage is quickly becoming my favorite card no matter what hero it is attached to, but it has particularly good synergy with Beravor. I like to try and sneak out 4 cards by activating her twice from time to time which just feels insane in terms of value.

      Unfortunately we have to wait SOOO long for the first adventure pack, but I am looking forward to a time when we do have decisions to make, rather than just using the core set stuff over and over and over!

      Thanks for the amazing reply!

  3. Great second episode! I particularly liked the discussion of the value of specific cards (i.e., Grim Resolve, etc), and hope to hear a lot of that type of content in the future, or the situational uses of certain cards. Hearing you discuss the pros and cons of using cards I’ve never really gotten around to using (i.e., Light in the Dark), was great to listen to, and there are definitely plenty of less-often used cards that are worthy of analysis.

    In regard to the rules stuff you mentioned, sorry to break it to you guys (though I’m sure plenty of others have already), but throughout the cast you mentioned having multiples of Celebrian’s Stone in play at once… and it’s unique 😦

    Also, in regard to whether Banks of the Anduin’s “Forced” effect activates as a shadow card, I can’t find a spot in the rulebook where it explicitly says to ignore anything that isn’t underneath the “shadow effect” icon, but I think the tutorial video FFG released does exactly that. I’ve always played shadow cards in a way that, unless the card specifically says “Shadow effect: whatever,” it does absolutely nothing and is discarded at the end of the phase.

  4. I’ve enjoyed the podcast so far. It has me thinking about cards that I didn’t really like at first.

    Bilbo’s ability is great, but his stats are terrible, especially for the cost. It makes me think that there’s going to be some cards that will make him really good or they just made a mistake in costing him (in thinking that his ability is really worth that many threat.) I also love Beravor and think she is superior to Bilbo.

    The biggest problem right now is that the card pool right now is very limited and I’m a little annoyed that we have to wait another month for the first expansion. Most people haven’t heard of the X-Men trading card game, but besides the terribleness of the game, it also got killed because it didn’t release boosters at the same time as the starters were released.

    Now, LotR TCG is a vastly superior card game in every way compared to the X-Men game, but I think FFG is really hurting themselves by not getting the expansions out faster. I heard that there were some problems, which is excusable, but I think a 3 month period between the core set and the first expansion, especially with only a few cards in it, is not.

    Also, I hope that every expansion doesn’t always have shadow cards in them. I think we need more player cards, not more shadow cards. I hope that the next expansion run after the first big expansion is player cards only.

    • The lack of expansions is killing us. The current decks aren’t made with creativity, they are made out of necessity with the tiny card pool. I will certainly stick with the game becasue I have already invested so much into it with the podcast, but the average games might find something new in this lull when they are bored with the core set cards, which I think is already starting to happen. I know personally I usually only have time to focus on one game, and any old games fall by the wayside completely.

      I think they need to keep previewing cards to at least give us some food for though in an attempt to sustain the initial momentum that is going to be lost. I am convinced this game will survive this drought, but it is going to hurt it.

      As for Bilbo, there are going to be support cards, there has to be, otherwise he will NEVER see play!! Thanks for listening!

      • OK, so I’ll bite. You only have time to focus on one game? What does that mean? Do you play one game to the exclusion of all others until something else becomes The One Game? I don’t think I ever focus on only one game.

    • It bothers me how everyone is over exaggerating and making it out to seem like such a huge wait for the first adventure pack.

      Apr->May = 1 month
      May->June = 1 month

      1+1 = 2

      That is not 3 months, no idea how you got three months. I do kinda agree that its sucky to have to wait for new packs, but if they had waited until the booster pack was ready to release then we’d just be waiting for the whole game instead. But I guess psychologically you could apparently handle that better, I tend to not be bothered by such things though.

      Also we have three quests to play over 2 months. From now on it’s going to be one new quest a month. So while we are getting more player cards, you will never have as many quests to play over the time as you do right now… I don’t feel like there’s a particularly large shortage of content.

      Then again I loathe CCGs, so I don’t have the need to build a new deck all the time, I just enjoy playing the game with the best deck I can make.

  5. I think you guys are really underestimating Faramir. He’s one of the best allies in the game – I would say only Gandalf, Northern Tracker, and maybe Beorn are better. If a player has a few allies out, even ones with 0 willpower like Snowbourn Scout, his ability can become very powerful. With even 3 characters questing his ability is well worth using, and even in other situations his stats are pretty good. Plus you can decide if you want to to use his ability AFTER the encounter cards are revealed, which gives him a lot of flexibility.

    Sometimes I even stick him in a spirit deck to toss him with Eowyn and then play him with Stand and Fight.

  6. Do you really need your own rules wizard? I’m sure you have enough listeners like myself who are more than happy to keep you in line when we hear things go astray in the podcast. 🙂

    Banks of Anduin – As you guessed, you’re doing that wrong. Whether or not the card is ever in play when used as a Shadow card is irrelevant. You only read the text on the bottom of a Shadow card so the “boomerang” text would never even activate.

    You play fast and loose with your terminology at times and I don’t think you can afford that when you’re talking about CCGs. Terms and wording are CRUCIAL in such games. This last time I noticed you calling the first stat on a character card both Spirit and Willpower at different points in the podcast. Lock on to WILLPOWER. 🙂

    Faramir – You talked about not using him with Eowyn because he’d only add 1 WILLPOWER to her and you said that’s helpful, but maybe not such a big deal. It seems to me that you’re not addressing the real issue here. Faramir’s ability is only useful is he’s enhancing at least three characters. Period. If you’re playing with Eowyn, you might feel pretty confident in your questing and prefer to have a different card in your deck than Faramir, but talking about what he would do for her individually doesn’t really make sense.

    Gandalf’s Search – I’m not a big fan of this card either, but it does have a utility you didn’t mention. If a particular card is needed in my deck, it can be expensive to dig for it and get it played. However, if a teammate really needs a card and I don’t really have anything else to do with my resources at the time, I can let them dig in their deck AND play it.

    Light in the Dark – Again, I think you underestimate this card. It’s in the same deck as Dunhere for a reason. He can shove an enemy away, save you from having to defend, AND allow Dunhere to attack with +1. That can be a lot of help. If I was using a deck without Dunhere though, I’d agree that the card has a bit less use.

    • Faramir is pretty good even if he’s only boosting two characters, because you get to decide whether to boost them after you know what encounter you’re up against that round.

  7. Most of you are probably aware of this by now, but FFG has released the first FAQ. It’s not nearly as good as it should be at this point, but it’s something. And now there’s subject matter for the next podcast. 🙂

  8. Really enjoying the shows, keep up the good work!

    I’ve only played the game a few times but am really happy with it.

    One thing that I think they should of done is made the resource tokens match the spheres they come from. If they are planning on making more cards like Celebrian’s Stone and Song of Kings telling one token from another could get confusing.

    Looking forward to the next show.

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