E12 – Who Let The Bees Out

Click here to download this episode!

– Welcome
– Trivia winner + trivia

– News
– Dwarrowdelf Adventure Packs

– The Redhorn Gate Awaits You

– A True-Hearted Man for The Dead Marshes

– Content
– THoEM play experience
– Top 5 Tactics cards

    – Fan-made turn sequence chart


    – Homebrew card generator


    – Listener emails

– Sign off

24 thoughts on “E12 – Who Let The Bees Out

  1. As always, highly enjoyable show. One quibble: you guys are way off base regarding Rain of Arrows. A deck centered around Boromir and Fortune or Fate will be an unbelievably epic, awesome experience for all the Pippins in the community. Think about it: Beorning Beekeeper and Descendant of Thorondor soften up the enemies in the staging area. Then, once they engage, Legolas plinks them all with a Rain of Arrows, and Boromir goes nuclear to wipe the board. Then, resurrect him with Fortune or Fate and do it all over again. Flesh out the rest of the deck with Swift Strike, Gondorian Spearman:D

    Obviously, it’s not the most competitive deck ever made, but it will be a heck of a lot of fun. Zombie Boromir: coming soon to a scenario near you.

    Anyway, keep up the great work!

    • I’m calling it now – the second adventure pack of the Dwarrowdelf cycle will be “Rise of the Beekeeper.”

      Just for fun, and inspired by your suggestion:

      Boromir, Thalin, Dunhere

      Allies (18):
      Beorning Beekeeper x3, Descendant of Thorondor x3, Gandalf x3, Gondorian Spearman x3, Northern Tracker x3, Horseback Archer x3

      Attachments (9):
      Ancient Mathom x3, Unexpected Courage x3, Horn of Gondor x3

      Events (23):
      A Test of Will x3, Feint x3, Fortune or Fate x3, Hasty Stroke x3, The Galadhrim’s Greeting x3, Swift Strike x3, Stand and Fight x2, Rain of Arrows x3

      Although utterly terrible at questing, it combines almost every direct damage option in the game while trying to include some of the best cards from the Spirit sphere (so that it can have Fortune or Fate to combine with Boromir). Unfortunate to have to rely on the luck of drawing a Horseback Archer to play Rain of Arrows instead of Legolas, but I thought that Thalin’s ability would serve this deck perfectly.

      Another interesting option would be trying to do a Leadership/Tactics/Spirit, so that you can try to make use of Steward of Gondor, Dunedain Cache, and perhaps Silverlode Archer instead of Horseback Archer…

  2. Brian, we talked about the Arwen card and the way FFG named the card to *maybe* bring her back in another AP on The Fellowship of the Cards last week.

    Although after hearing you guys discuss it this morning, I’m agreed that there really isn’t a reason or a place for an ‘upgraded’ version, hero or ally. Unless it was tailored specifically to interact with a quest, I just don’t see it.

  3. Hey guys. Very interesting show. I enjoyed it a lot. I like the idea of going through and picking the top 5 (and bottom 5) cards for each sphere. I am interested to see what you say about the other 3 spheres.

    Your lists of Tactics cards inspired me to go through all of the Tactics sphere and rate them on a scale of 10 with 10 being the best. It is unfortunate that some cards have a poorer score because we are in the middle of an Adventure cycle. I would disagree that “The Eagles are Coming!” is a bottom 5 card. Except for Conflict of the Carrock, there are more and more eagles showing up. I think this card will definitely need to be looked at again once we have all 6 packs. (This could lead to a part of the show that discusses changing thoughts. New thoughts on cards that seemed like they sucked.) I do think that “Meneldor’s Flight” is bad, much worse than “The Eagles are Coming”. Right now, the only Eagle ally you would want to return to hand is Descendant of Thorondor and he is 4 cost. I understand that this should be looked at once we get the last 2 Adventure packs but I don’t think we will get a cheap Eagle that we want hopping up and down.

    Without further ado, here are my top 5 and bottom 5 Tactics cards.

    Top 5
    5. Gondorian Spearman – This one was difficult to decide. However it won the 5th slot because it is useful in solo and multiplayer games and was cheaply costed. Winged Guardian would have beat out the Spearman if the Eagle did not need to be “fed” to stay around.
    4. Quick Strike – This is number 4 because you need to choose a “character you control”. If it was any character, then it would definitely be number 2.
    3. Blade of Gondolin – Progress can always help. The more progress you can make, the faster you can win.
    2. Horn of Gondor – More resources, more options.
    1. Feint – It is so good to stop any attack for a turn.

    Bottom 5
    5. Thicket of Spears – Even though Song of Battle is coming out soon will make this card easier to use, it is still a 3 cost event with limitations on how you pay for it.
    4. Stand Together – Multiple characters defending is an interesting concept. But with the FAQ saying that you cannot spread out the damage among your defenders the usefulness of this card drop.
    3. Meneldor’s Flight – This is only useful for 1 Eagle for ability purposes and 1 Eagle to remover damage. Both allies are cost 4+
    2. Rain of Arrows – Would always much rather just attack with my Ranged character. But this is so much easier to use than To the Eryie.
    1. To the Eryie – You need an ally be destroyed, 2 resources, an unexhausted Eagle, and this card in hand. Too many pieces to return an ally to hand.

    I can’t wait to see what you have next episode.

    • Hey James – you bring up a lot of very good points. First off, after doing some math, I think that you’re absolutely right about The Eagles Are Coming! (TEAC), since the odds for that card “whiffing” used to look much more bleak when it first came out and we had about half as many Eagles available. Taking a look at it now (and spending a bit of time with a spreadsheet!), it seems like TEAC works out to be a pretty reasonable play. For the sake of analysis, lets say that a hypothetical deck is using 3 copies of all four of the current cards with the Eagle trait (Landroval, Winged Guardian, Descendant of Thorondor, and of course, TEAC).

      To start things off, it looks like in a 50 card deck with 12 Eagle cards, the player has about an 87.4% chance of starting the game with some manner of Eagle in their opening hand of 7 cards (6 to start, plus the first round’s draw of 1). Although the exact odds break down like this…

      Odds of drawing 1 Eagle: 33.17%
      Odds of drawing 2 Eagles: 33.17%
      Odds of drawing 3 Eagles: 16.26%
      Odds of drawing 4 Eagles: 4.18%
      Odds of drawing 5 Eagles: 0.56%
      Odds of drawing 6 Eagles: 0.04%
      Odds of drawing 7 Eagles: 0.00%

      …under “ideal” circumstances (in favor of TEAC’s ability being most effective), lets say that that player starts the game with only 1 Eagle card (1 copy of TEAC), in their opening hand. If they choose to play it immediately, they have a 79.1% chance of revealing *at least* one Eagle card from the remaining 43 cards in their deck when they reveal the 5 cards that TEAC instructs them to.

      With 43 cards remaining in the deck, 11 of which are Eagles, when they reveal 5 cards…

      Odds of drawing 1 Eagle: 41.09%
      Odds of drawing 2 Eagles: 28.34%
      Odds of drawing 3 Eagles: 8.50%
      Odds of drawing 4 Eagles: 1.10%
      Odds of drawing 5 Eagles: 0.05%
      Total odds: 79.1% chance of 1+ Eagles being drawn

      Of course, the odds become exponentially worse if you have fewer Eagle cards left in your deck (that is to say, begin with more than 1 in your opening hand), but become better the more cards that you draw without drawing any Eagles. However, if you happen to stick with that same starting hand of 1 TEAC and over the course of the game and drawing more cards still don’t come across any additional Eagles, TEAC does become far more powerful:

      If 40 cards remain in the deck, 11 of which are Eagles:
      Odds of drawing 1/2/3/4/5 Eagles: 39.70/30.54/10.18/1.45/0.07
      Total odds: 81.94% chance of 1+ Eagles being drawn

      If 35 cards remain in the deck, 11 of which are Eagles:
      Odds of drawing 1/2/3/4/5 Eagles: 36.01/34.29/14.03/2.44/0.14
      Total odds: 86.91% chance of 1+ Eagles being drawn

      If 30 cards remain in the deck, 11 of which are Eagles:
      Odds of drawing 1/2/3/4/5 Eagles: 29.92/37.4/19.8/4.40/0.32
      Total odds: 91.84% chance of 1+ Eagles being drawn

      If 25 cards remain in the deck, 11 of which are Eagles:
      Odds of drawing 1/2/3/4/5 Eagles: 20.72/37.68/28.26/8.70/0.87
      Total odds: 96.23% chance of 1+ Eagles being drawn

      In any case, TEAC is much better than I had given it credit for on the cast, and definitely more useful than Meneldor’s Flight (which is really only useful for the Descendant of Thorondor gimmick, and *maybe* to once in a blue moon save a Winged Guardian from being discarded after blocking).

      In regard to your bottom 5 Tactics cards, the only card that I am hesitant to agree with is Thicket of Spears – although my fellow hosts didn’t have anything good to say about it (and I myself have never used it!), after recently playing through The Massing at Osgiliath quite a few times I cannot help but feel as though that with the appropriate deck(s) to support it (that is to say, in a 2+ player game), it could be an absolute killer in TMaO or a similarly combat-heavy scenario, like Conflict at the Carrock.

      It always blows my mind a little when I hear someone mention a “mono-sphere” deck, because I am so used to playing dual-sphere, but in a deck with 3 Tactics heroes (or 2 and a Song of Battle, etc), the ability to engage as many enemies as possible and deliberately save your resources for Thicket of Spears (since you know you have it in your hand and can plan accordingly), can save you the trouble from having to waste any existing characters’ actions on defending, and in addition to keeping them entirely out of harm’s way, keeps them ready to go all out in attacking, and maybe if combined with Boromir’s self-readying ability used aplenty, this could be an utterly devastating way of wiping the table of enemies while putting your characters at minimal risk (i.e., no attacks means no shadow effects).

      All too often in TMaO specifically, I found myself having to exhaust far too many characters just to defend, or wasting way too many resources than I would like just to be able to play enough chump blockers to survive to see another round – with Thicket of Spears, not only would it in many cases be a cost-effective way of defending myself for a turn, but it would allow all of my characters like Gimli, Legolas or even Boromir to be completely free to lay down the hurt on the enemy. Also, although you essentially need to save an entire round’s worth of resources to play Thicket of Spears, the card essentially does allow for you to dedicate all of your characters to either questing or mopping up whatever enemies you have engaged with you, since it basically buys you a free round of not having to worry about being attacked. The way I see it, is that if you have other players that can take care of when revealed effects and locations, etc., Thicket of Spears, maybe once the card pool expands a little more, could become an extraordinarily useful card. The potential is there, but I’m not entirely certain if the current card pool is ready to support it yet.

      In any case, thanks for listening and thanks for the great input!

      • I can’t believe you did all the math for TEAC. I would have never done that. I do understand that the later in the game you draw the card, the less likely you will get Eagle cards. But normally I just play it as soon as I draw it unless I feel like it would be better to boost Eowyn by 1. And it will get even better once the Dead Marshes comes. A 1 cost Eagle ally is exactly what is needed to improve Eagle decks.

        However one mistake you made is that Melendor’s Flight is not a save event. It is just an Action. So my understanding is that there is no window to return Winged Guardian before you have to pay his resource.

  4. Another quality podcast, guys. I appreciate getting your thoughts on Emyn Muil. I’d been on the fence about whether to even buy it, and after listening to the podcast, I’m inclined to skip it entirely. Brand does not really interest me much as a hero, and while some of the player cards do look decent, I don’t feel like they’re worth the price of the pack with such a dreary quest. I do have high hopes that the Dead Marshes will be better, and early indications are that it is a better AP and a better quest.

    I agree with you guys that seeing Arwen as an objective card was disappointing. Tolkien’s works are just so void of good female characters that the relegate one of the few to objective status seems a waste. I do hope they revisit Arwen in the not-too-distant future. The game started off better than expected as far as female characters go and even provided enough female heroes to build a deck around, but we’ve yet to see another female hero released. I understand that there are lots of popular male characters they want to include in the game, but I don’t think one new female hero per cycle is too much to ask. And as one of you said, it is precisely because characters like Arwen are so minor in the books that FFG has a great opportunity to cover new ground by fleshing out their back stories. I think they would be missing an opportunity if they did not take advantage of that.

    And just to toss my 2 cents in on the best Tactics cards discussion, here’s my list:

    1. Feint
    2. Blade of Gondolin
    3. Winged Guardian
    4. Quick Strike
    5. Citadel Plate

    • When is FFG going to stop seeing women as being nothing more than objects! err… I mean, objectives 😛

      For the sake of the equality of the sexes and political correctness, though, I am also really surprised that they didn’t take advantage of making Arwen into such an “obvious” female hero – I mean, they used their own, original characters Beravor and Eleanor, but then they don’t seem to be taking advantage of using some of the scant few female characters provided by the source material? Seems more than a little strange to me.

      I hadn’t really thought about it until I read your post, but beyond just not having any additional female heroes released, the *only* female ally released in any adventure pack so far has been Rivendell Minstrel, and that isn’t even a unique character.

      At least we’ve yet to see any chain-mail bikinis, but only time will tell…

      • I think it’s an easier, and more forgivable, task to create heroes that cannot be disproved as opposed to creating character lore that would contradict actual written history.

        The love tale of Aragorn and Arwen has certainly been recorded and Arwen was really never a major character in the LotR novels save to allow Frodo to take her place on the White Ships sailing to the Undying Lands since she had chosen mortality to be with Aragorn.

  5. My list of favorite Tactics cards:

    1. Feint
    2. Horn of Gondor
    3. Winged Guardian
    4. Taunting Song (from Dead Marshes)
    5. Landroval

    I completely agree with your opinion about the Emin Muil quest. While I was listening to your (great) podcast today I had an idea about improving it with two optional rules (in addition to the special quest rules of Emin Muil):

    1) After both Amon Hen and Amon Lhaw have left the game draw one more encounter card during the quest phase

    2) All enemies get:

    Forced: If this enemy is dealt a shadow card with no effect, return this enemy to the staging area after it attacks, and

    Forced: After this enemy is defeated, shuffle it at back into the encounter deck.

    This will provide the quest with the hit and run dangers of the enemies that will pursue the heroes through Emin Muil (like proposed by FFG in the preview). The danger will increase the more locations the players have removed from the game (less locations in the encounter deck but same amount of enemies), so its a build in “danger timer”.

    The rule about Amon Hen/Lhaw gives the players a tactical choice remove them fast from the game and suffer one more encounter card each quest phase or eat the threat and try to live with it.

  6. I was at GenCon and was sitting next to Greg M playing the Massing at Osgiliath Scenario. Right before sitting down to play, I was talking to the winners of the Warhammer Invasion tournment. One guy had won the uncut sheet of The Dead Marshes AP, but didn’t seem very excited about it.

    I thought about offering $20 for it, but thought it would be crass.

    I’m a computer science student, and building the LOTRLCG.com site is the first real project I’ve done, so having and uncut LOTR sheet would have been amazing.

    10 minutes later, he walks up behind us and says he is going to give it away!

    I think that was my biggest shouldacouldawoulda moment of year.

  7. You asked about what other people do we put Citadel Plate on. When we only had the core set I remember I would put one sometimes two on Denethor and he became an indestructible wall who could take the beating from the hill trolls and the Nazgul of Dol Guldur.

  8. We can all extol the virtues of Boromir’s card mechanics, but what about his portrait? Is he somehow related to Brand son of Bain? Or is he just putting on a douchey duck-face because he knew someone was taking his MySpace photo? ZING!

    • I just wish that at the VERY least he would have been portrayed as holding a sword! As is, it looks like he’s ready to bash someone over the head with the Horn of Gondor…

      Also, if they want him to pull the whole cliche Myspace lip look, they should’ve drawn him like http://tinyurl.com/3jgluqo

      • I’m not excited about Boromir’s picture either but at least it’s not as abysmal as Brand’s. I can’t imagine playing Brand – regardless of how good he might be – he just gives me eye sores…

  9. Picked up Dead Marshes yesterday before it was officially released. Can’t wait to hear what you guys have to say about it after running the quest a few times.

  10. So are you gonna talk about the new FAQ like you did in the older episodes? I liked it when you did before so hopefully you will about the new additions.

  11. I appreciate the love you guys are showing to this game. Its rather unique as far as Card Games go and I just adore it. The game is becoming more and more of a main stay at my gaming table now that it has expanded slightly, and like you guys I am unbelievably excited for Khazad-dum. You each have wonderfully colorful personalities that complement each other very well.
    As one Canadian to a couple others I just want to say “What a great game, eh?”

    As for a question I was wondering what you think about the utility of a 3-4 sphere deck now that the Songs have all been released? I like the Idea of trying to create a deck that covers as many aspects as possible. Is this at all possible? or are we still at a point where a deck of that style is not feasible.

    Thanks for the cast I enjoy it greatly. I’m encouraged to start my own LotR-LCG podcast but don’t know what avenue to take, I know that I would call it The Return of the Sleeves though.

    Lester Crow

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