While Spiral Knights is Down, Lord of the Rings: The Card Game

Spiral Knights is currently down for maintenance. It started at 4pm PDT, and the window is supposed to be 1 to 2 hours.

In the meantime, I played through my seventh solo run at The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game, the Passage Through Mirkwood scenario, and this time using my own constructed deck.

If you’ve never played this newest LotR franchise game, Fantasy Flight Games wrote up a wonderful video tutorial. The rulebook [pdf] is pretty thorough, too.

The solo game is considered pretty rough, although someone managed to beat Mirkwood with each of the pre-constructed mono-sphere decks after several goes. This game is, no doubt about it, a brain-burner, one that rewards careful tactics and skill over rushing in and beating everything with a sword. Much like Spiral Knights, in point of fact.

I constructed my own deck after playing through the mono-sphere decks and two of these dual-sphere decklists. This would be the first game I ever won against the game engine, and it is a monster of an engine. My final score was

Final Threat Level: 44
+ Threat cost of dead Éowyn: 9
+ Damage tokens on Legolas and Thalin: 8 (yay Citadel Plate)
– Additional victory points: 0
= 61

The lower the score, the better the game. The example game scoring in the rulebook has a result of 52, if you’re interested in a preliminary baseline for winning scores.

The Deck

Éowyn (Spirit)
Thalin (Tactics)
Legolas (Tactics)

2x Gandalf
none (this weakness was problematic to the deck)
2x Beorn
3x Gondorian Spearman
3x Veteran Axehand

3x Power in the Earth
2x Unexpected Courage
3x Blade of Gondolin
3x Citadel Plate
2x Horn of Gondor

3x Hasty Stroke
2x Fortune or Fate
3x The Galadhrim’s Greeting
2x A Light in the Dark
2x Stand and Fight
3x A Test of Will
1x Will of the West
3x Blade Mastery
3x Feint
3x Quick Strike
2x Swift Strike

This deck has no particular combos in mind to carry off. I was always more of a holistic deck constructor back in my Magic: the Gathering days than not. Spirit does rather play like Blue. There’s quite a bit of synergy between various cards, but at the same time there’s not the right balance of the type of synergies needed (for instance, being able to keep heroes around in several different ways is a bit much; and not being able to bring more allies to the table was definitely not a good idea).

I felt that Éowyn would help conquer threat in the staging area (she did), Thalin would help damage enemies before they got to me (he did), and Legolas would make tracks with progress tokens as he killed enemies (he did). Running three of the Galadhrim’s Greeting meant I was able to drive threat low enough to speed through Mirkwood.

I think I might have done better had I chosen to mulligan, but otherwise the threat deck and mine were very evenly matched.

Of course, that was Mirkwood. Probably wouldn’t work for Dul Goldor. Definitely needs more tweak.