Free’s Heroes Complete The Passage Through Mirkwood! #MiddleEarthMonday

December 13, 2021 by fcostin

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Happy #MiddleEarthMonday Adventurers! My Journey Through Mirkwood ended abruptly on my last adventure. The forces of Sauron were hungry for both chaos and kibble. Taking me through the first scenario of Lord of the Rings LCG. The kibble was not enough. What did I learn from my last adventure: the watchful eye of Sauron does not ever sleep. And Smeagato may have had a little too much fun amongst my hobby supplies. Mixing all cards together to try to deter me from the path!


Passage Into Mirkwood Scenario // The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game

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I had been pondering the game since I last played, utilising my discard pile a little more specifically. As with my prior adventure - I found to be hit by an overwhelming amount of locations - stopping me from journeying forwards. I had to be prepared for less card-hoarding and some unusual tactics. But that was not going to stop me from hoarding resources using a deck from the Core Set.

So, I started the journey with the same deck, but, as it is December and Festive Season - with my Dragon Shield 2021 playmat in tow. I will attempt to take on the Journey Through Mirkwood in completion - the first scenario in the Core Box in a one-handed solo playthrough. This time, taking on all three quests without the interruption of my Gollum-esk kitten!

Card List...

  • Heroes -
    Beravor, Éowyn & Théodred
  • Allies -
    3x Gandalf
    3x Guard of the Citadel
    3x Snowbourn Scout
    2x Miner of the Iron Hills
    2x Northern Tracker
    2x Erebor Hammersmith
    2x Faramir
    2x Gléowine
    2x Daughter of the Nimrodel
    1x Beorn
    1x Henamarth Riversong
  • Attachments -
    2x Forest Snare
    2x Steward of Gondor
    1x Unexpected Courage
  • Event -
    3x Stand and Fight
    3x Lore of Imladris
    2x A Test of Will
    2x Hasty Stroke
    2x Sneak Attack
    2x The Galadhrim's Greeting
    2x Will of the West
    1x Lorien's Wealth
    1x Beorn's Hospitality
    1x Grim Resolve
    1x Dwarven Tomb
    1x For Gondor!
    1x Fortune or Fate

Let's see how things shake out this time around!

Quest Card 1: Flies And Spiders – 8 Quest Points

What I will say is that when you first set up the game it can be quite a bit of a nightmare to put together. The Core Box is not exactly laid out for organisation - therefore each time you set it up - you will need to sort around the box. But, once you know what you are looking for, both decks are all ready and set up - you are good to go!

1 - Setup

Last time, it was quite difficult for you all to see the full scope of what was going on. Most of the time I have kept everything in vision so you can see everything that is happening in play. However, sometimes due to the number of cards in play and the cat being a demon, I moved the threat level and both decks off-screen to save there being too much on the table.

2 - Resource My Heroes

Before you set off anywhere! Do not forget to give out your resources to your heroes. I am lethal for hoarding resources, and it is easy to forget that at the start of each round to resource each hero in play.

3 - Cat Interference

I had barely gotten out of the Resource phase before I had interference. No orcs or spiders on the table, just a devious minion lurking to distract (so he can steal resources).

First Move: Sneak Attack. I learned a lot through my initial Journey Through Mirkwood, and that was to never underestimate the diversity of Gandalf. Also, he is expensive. Right at this moment, I didn't have the resources to pay for him just yet, so a Sneak Attack to gain more cards was my first tactic.

5 - Gandalf In Play

That’s a resource taken from Theodred to place Gandalf out for the phase, without haemorrhaging resources early on.

6 - Questing

Throwing myself into the game - what’s the point of journeying through a spooky forest if you are not going to hit that objective! I will be hacking and slashing Mordor’s finest for days until the threat level kills me off otherwise. I chose to discard the card on the left to use Eowyn’s Ability to increase her willpower by one.

The Willpower committed to the quest was a cumulative total of eleven against the threat level of the Staging Area of six. The difference gets added to the progress of the quest. I wanted to power through, but adventuring is never easy. I had two locations to get through and a Forest Spider waiting to give me a slap.

8 - Gandalf Out

Gandalf has returned back to my hand, and another resource has been added to Eowyn for committing Theodred to the quest. Old Forest Road has been moved into the play area.

9 - Readying Beravor

Fortunately, due to the Travel reaction on the Old Forest Road card, I was able to ready Beravor to defend the onslaught from the Spider lurking overhead.

10 - Encounter

I drew from the Encounter Deck and received a Mountains of Mirkwood Card, and this went straight into the Discard Pile. Beravor could defend the incoming attack and break-even from both the Spider and incoming damage from the card pulled.

11 - Round Two

We are on the next round which means resource up, a new card to be drawn and threat level up by one, ready to take a deep hard look at my hand to prepare me for the next onslaught that Mirkwood has to offer!

12 - Ready Up

Take two resources from Eowyn and give the Unexpected Courage Accessory to Theodred. This will allow me to ready him later on when I may have already activated him for a quest. Which means you can always use his ability to generate more resources.

13 - New Enemy

Readying both Theodred and Eowyn to the quest (+1 resource to Eowyn for committing Theodred), and drawing for the Staging Area. With two enemies to hack and slash my way through along with two locations - I realised that I already had a lot to do - and I had barely touched the Encounter Deck.

14 - NFR Progress

The threat from the level in the playing area was lower than the willpower committed to the quest. Therefore allowing +2 progress to Old Forest Road, and a new enemy in play.

15 - Readying Theodred

Fortunately, due to the accessory I have attached to Theodred, I can ready him for battle too!

16 - Location

Readying Theodred to defend the next hit, another location has been drawn. No Shadow Effects in play, the Spider continues to hit for two. Theodred has one defence and takes one damage.

17 - x2 Damage

There is a Shadow effect on this card, however! As this has been drawn from the Encounter Deck on top of the Forest Spider, the damage has been increased by one due to the Shadow Effect, leaving Beravor to take one damage.

18 - Interferrence

Pascal has recently adopted a new “Toy”. Regardless of how much we buy him, he seems to adore this small ring of fluff and leather. I have no idea where it came from, but it is aptly named “The One Ring” as he seems completely besotted by it. This came into play several times throughout the campaign. Unfortunately, it did not provide me with any benefits! Only a messy playmat.

19 - Round 3

Opening turn, the resources added then allowing us to play Steward of Gondor using Two resources from Theodred. I used this card instantly and started to stack up my hoard by adding +2 resources to Eowyn.

20 - Heroes Ready

I did forget to up my threat level, so I added it here. Looking forward to the quest, I got Eowyn and Theodred committed, whilst adding +1 resource token to Eowyn as part of Theodred’s ability.

21 - OFR

After resolving the quest, Old Forest Road takes +2 progress and is moved into the Discard pile.

As part of the Travel Phase, Forest Gate is moved into play. As a response to this - I was able to pick up two cards from my deck. I activated Theodred’s Unexpected Courage to allow him to defend. From the Encounter Deck, I drew a Forest Spider which activated the Shadow Effect of forcing me to discard an attachment that is equipped. I am quite attached to my attachments!

22 - Attack

I then paid one resource from Eowyn to then activate Hasty Stroke, which stops the Shadow Effect from the incoming attack.

After adding one damage to Theodred, and exhausting him from battle. It was Beravor’s turn to engage. The King Spider was drawn from the deck and its Shadow effect would force us to exhaust a character - as we had nobody left to exhaust, the shadow effect did nothing! With an attack of two coming in and two defence, this did no damage to Beravor. On to the next round.

23 - Round Four

All heroes are resourced up, a new card has been drawn and the Threat Level has risen. As per usual, we are activating Steward Of Gondor for some sweet sweet resource tokens.

24 - Gandalf Out

Using the ‘Stand And Fight’ card, and paying five for Eowyn’s resource - we bring Gandalf back into play. Just because the spider situation was looking a bit hairy it seemed like it was time to bring out the big guns and simply delete it from existence.

25 - Quest

We have committed Eowyn, Gandalf and Theodred to the quest, added one resource to Eowyn and drawn Necromancer’s Pass into the Staging Area. More Locations! We resolve this quest and add four progress tokens to Forest Gate removing it from play and adding it to the Discard Pile.

26 - MOM

Gandalf has now left the building, turning up, taking names and squashing all hopes and dreams that spider-kind may have had. Theodred has readied for battle thanks to his accessory and Mountains of Mirkwood is moved down into play. As the Mountains of Mirkwood card has been moved down, we are forced to draw one card from the Encounter Deck.

27 - Theodred

After pondering between Bervaor and Theodred to take the incoming damage from the incoming mandible to the face. I decided Theodred was going to take one for the team. Luckily, no Shadow effects on this one. So Theodred takes his characteristic one damage.

28 - Beravor

Beravor’s turn to take a slap from the orcs. The Shadow Effect on the Forest Spider card forced us to remove an accessory from one of our Heroes. As we had an abundance of resources, it was best to remove the Steward of Gondor from Eowyn… for now. The Forest Spider runs into the Discard Pile and we prepare ourselves for the next round.

All heroes are back and ready for action. The card has been drawn, resources have been added and most importantly - I remembered the Threat Level at the right time! Paying two resources from Beravor taking out the Erebor Hammersmith which allows us to get our Steward of Gondor back from our Discard Pile. I activate this instantly by adding two resources to Eowyn.

Choosing to Discard the Lorien’s Wealth Card to take our Willpower committed to the Quest to six.

On the quest, a card is drawn from the Encounter Deck and into the Staging Area. Driven by Shadow was taken from Sauron’s side. However, I was fortunate enough to take a resource from Eowyn and use the card A Test Of Will to nullify any incoming effect.

Image 33 - Progress

Both the Driven by Shadow and A Test of Will cards go to their respected Discard Piles. Mountains of Mirkwood was resolved with +3 progress, removing it from the play area. When Mountains of Mirkwood leaves the play area, players will pick up one card from the top five in their deck and add it to their hand, adding a new string to my bow.

Theodred has reactivated thanks to his accessory, and Beravor steps up to defend against the Forest Spider and newly drawn Black Forest Bats from the Encounter Deck. As there is no shadow power, Beravor tanks it like a boss, leaving the battle unscathed.

The Erebor Hammersmith gives it his best as he steps up against the Dol Guldor Orcs, however, a Travel Card is drawn from the Encounter Deck, ensuring he takes one damage total thus exhausting him. Now, the tank himself Theodred is stepping up to the plate forcing +2 damage to the Dol Guldor Orcs.

36 - Round Five

Same as usual, draw a card, up that threat level and resource the heroes up because this round is going to get medieval. Steward of Gondor has also been activated, adding two more resources to The Bank of Eowyn.

37 - SOG

Paying x2 resources from Theodred to take out the Steward of Gondor card to place behind Beravor. You know what that means? That is two of the heroes in play generating a nice amount of resource to help us later on in the quest. #DOITFORGONDOR 

38 - All Healthed

Removing five resources from Beravor, Beorn’s Hospitality is now in play which happily healths up all of our heroes to prepare for the onslaught. Forgetting that Beravor has other uses, she gets activated to draw two cards.

39 - Complete

Eowyn and Theodred are activated to quest ahead, providing one resource to Eowyn. As I didn't want to spend much longer on this quest, I chose to discard one card from my hand (Guard of the Citadel) to gain one extra willpower for the quest - taking our total up to six. Old Forest Road is Drawn, Flies and Spiders is resolved adding +2 progress taking us into the next quest - A Fork in the Road.

41 - Dol Guldor

To finish off the round, Theodred’s accessory was activated, bringing him back into battle. Necromancer's Pass is moved down into play forcing me to remove two cards from my hand. Theodred begins his defence against The Forest Spider and another location is drawn above from the Encounter Deck. No shadow power, as per usual, Theodred takes one damage.

The Dol Guldur Orcs are defended by the Erebor Hammersmith. As the Encounter Card had no Shadow Power, combat resolves as normal dealing one damage to the Hammersmith, the end of the round and on to A Fork in the Road.

Quest Card 2: A Fork In The Road – 2 Quest Points

From this point onwards there were a lot of moves happening per phase. I started to spend the resources that I had behind me whilst keeping Smeagol/Pascal from attacking the components. Standard Resourcing to start of the quest with your threat level etc being added. And the standard Steward of Gondor for the extra resource generation.


Remove four resources from Eowyn to bring out the Northern Tracker and one resource from Theodred to bring out the Snowborn Scout. One progress on the Necromancer’s Pass due to the Snowborn Scout’s ability. Committed Eowyn, Theodred and the Northern Tracker to the quest. The Tracker’s ability lets us add one progress to everything in the Staging Area. Add +1 resource to Eowyn due to Theodren’s ability.

43 - Questing
Accumulating a total of six willpower across all of my heroes, the Enchanted Stream gets drawn to the Staging Area, giving us a +2 progress on the Necromancer's Pass. We now ready Theodred by using his accessory. Old Forest Road moves into play allowing us to ready our Northern Tracker to defend. We use the Scout to defend from the Forest Spider, and Ungolian’s Spawn is drawn.

44 - Ungol Spider

Unfortunately, the poor cannon fodder did not make it. The scout died. However, due to the Shadow effect of the Ungolian’s spawn, we had to increase the threat level up by 4.

Next on the hit list is Bervor to defend from the Dol Guldor Orcs. The King’s Spider is drawn and thank’s to Shadow Effect, we have to exhaust one of the champions in our hand. Erebor Hammersmith drew the short straw here. No damage was taken by Beravor.

45 - Beravor Slapping

Next attack is coming from Theodred to take down the Dol Guldor Orcs and off the playmat, and set the tracker on the Forest spider for a total of one damage.

All ready for a reset, doing the normal activities in the phase such as readying and resourcing my heroes, adding one to the threat level, and activating Steward of Gondor - as per usual!

Three of Beravor’s resource tokens get spent to bring out Daughter of Nimrodel who is instantly exhausted for her effect, which clears the damage taken by the mighty tank of Rohan, Theodred. Eowyn and the Northern Tracker are committed to the quest. +1 progress is made to the staging area due to the Tracker’s effect.

46 - DON

Necromancer's Reach is drawn from the Encounter Deck, and Eowyn pays -1 resource to cancel out the effect with A Test of Willpower, and we can say goodbye to that card. Due to our Willpower commitment, we are then able to add +3 progress to Old Forest Road and make it through the location. The Enchanted Stream from the Staging Area gets pulled down. Beravor readies herself to defend from the Forest Spider and Dol Guldor Orcs are drawn from the Encounter Deck for backup. Due to the backup, Beravor takes +1 damage, Theodred steps up and repays the favour, dealing +1 damage to the Spider.

47 - Theodred the Tank

Rest time, more money to hoard, a looming threat, and time to reset our heroes.

Due to the forces of Sauron conspiring against me, sending his Minions (Pascal the Avaricious), our resource bank was under siege. The Royal Bank of Eowyn stepped up, as the Rohirrim began to sell their favourite trinkets and worldly goods to help the cause.

DISCLAIMER: Cat ate the tokens. I used crystals, shells and various other items to display the ridiculous wealth that the heroes were raking in. It did not take him long to be interested in the updated currency.

48 - CAT

No card is drawn this round due to the Enchanted Forest being in play. Eowyn and Theodred get committed to the quest, and the Dol Guldor Orcs are placed into the Staging Area with a threat level of 2. Due to the committed Will Power, +3 progress is added to the Enchanted Stream taking it off the Play Area which (finally) allows cards to be drawn again! Hooray!

Not that I didn't already have a stash…The Orcs are moved into play, Theodred steps up (of course) to take the hit. A Location Card is then drawn from the diminished Encounter Deck, with zero Shadow power attached, causing +1 damage to Theodred.

49 - Orcs And Progress

Beravor defends from the Orcs, a Shadow Power is drawn of +1 Damage from the replenished Encounter Deck. Beravor takes one damage, taking us into the next round once again.

50 - Resources

New round - which means The Royal Bank of Eowyn had to once again take out a loan to all of the villagers. Donating more of their worldly good that she’s becoming a lil snowed under! Plus, new card, up the threat level and continue journeying forward. Both Stewards of Gondor are activated (because we can never have enough resources).

Using five resources from Eowyn, the card Stand and Fight is placed, bringing the card-drawing, spider-slaying, threat-reducing and fear-inducing Wizard himself, Mandalf out for some mandible-smashing fun. As he swoops in with finesse taking that threat down 5, and dipping straight into a quest with Eowyn and Theodred - equating to +9 Willpower committed. Thanks to Theodred’s commitment to Rohan and the quest, he adds one resource to Eowyn. Mountains of Mirkwood get drawn into the Staging Area, and smites the Fork in the Road, with a stacked up band of heroes behind me.

51 - Fork in the Road

Heading off down the path of my favourite Skinchanger, we make our way down Beorn’s Path as the next and final part of the quest. Sadly saying goodbye (not for the final time) to Gandalf, and onwards with our other heroes. Theodred is keen to get back into some action, readying himself by the lovely ability on his equipped accessory, Unexpected Courage. Mountains of Mirkwood comes down from the Staging area. As a result of its effect, we have to draw another Encounter Card and The Great Forest Web is drawn.

Quest Card 3: Beorn's Path – 10 Quest Points

Time for the Tracker to prove his worth in battle defending from the Forest Spider.

53 - Tracker Ready

The Spider is backed up by The East Blight Patrol’s Shadow Power causing the Tracker +1 Damage.

54 - Tracker Slapped

Beravor absorbs a hit from the Dol Guldor Orcs, who are thankfully backed up by a wonderful Forest! So no shadow powers are incoming! The Orcs then go on to take 3 damage by being deleted from existence by an Irked Rohirm Soldier and a thoroughly f**ked off Dwarven Blacksmith - who even I was surprised was still limping along behind our heroes. Daughter of Nimrodel does her thang and heals up Theodred, by lowering his damage by -1.

New round, reset everything back to the norm. Restock the Royal Bank of Eowyn, the new branch over at Bank of Beravor begins to spill over. It is nice to know that if you are a Steward of Gondor - you can claim that much in tax relief!

55 - New Round

Committing the Northern Tracker, Theodred and the RBOE (Royal Bank of Eowyn) to the Quest, adding +1 progress to the Staging Area thanks to the Tracker. Old Forest Road is then drawn and we progress the Mountains of Mirkwood with +3, moving it out of the Play Area.

A mighty thanks to the effects held on Mountains of Mirkwood, a secondary Tracker is added to the mix turning both my Trackers into deforestation experts. Theodred has readied thanks to his Unexpected Courage which is very much expected at this stage, as he defends from the Forest Spider. Another Forest Spider comes out to play from the Encounter Deck, causing us to remove one attachment. Sadly the Bank of Beravor has gone into default, putting her Steward of Gondor status into the Discard Pile and leaving Theodred with +1 damage. She wasn't too happy about the closure of her branch and causes the Spider +1 damage.

56 - Bank Closure

Reset time, fortunately, the RBOE is still raking it in from the wealth of Rohan, and we get to draw a card, up the threat level, and resource up our heroes. Of course, Steward of Gondor is activated for more worldly goods to maybe spend on cards at some point.

57 - RBOE Rakes it In
To begin spending some of the income, -4 resources are taken from Eowyn to bring out the second Norther Tracker. Let the deforestation commence.

DISCLAIMER - There were no Ents or Elves harmed in the progression of this quest.

Theodred, Eowyn and both Northern Trackers are committed to the Quest. Both Trackers effects allow us to put +2 on the staging area which removes the Great Forest Web from play and adds +6 progress (out of 10) towards Beorn’s Path. Old Forest Road comes into play and allows us to ready one Tracker.

58 - Tracker Ready

We had to make some really hard decisions here, as the maximum amount of units were currently in our Fellowship. The Erebor Hammersmith decided to nobly sacrifice himself for the Party to continue. Stepping up to defend against the Forest Spider. The King Spider was drawn with their Shadow Power forcing us to exhaust one of the team. Daughter of Nimrodel soaked this like a champ, but unfortunately, our brave blacksmith became spiderbait.

You know the drill, threat, new card and drain Rohan’s resources. It’s time for a new round and it is feeling a little bit magical.

59 - Staked Up

-5 Resources from the RBOE, before we attract too many Dragons for: The Return of Mandalf. Taking down the treat by five once more, it is hard to feel threatened with Mandalf at your beck and call. Once he has controlled the threat and scared the forces of Mordor into submission, both himself and The Daughter of Nimrodel get cosy and committed to a quest.

60 - Mandalf

The Forest Spider is drawn to the Staging Area, allowing us to finish off Old Forest Road, sending it to the Discard Pile along with Mandalf after wrecking the scene. *Mandalf Leaves For Cigarettes*.

61 - Mandalf Dips

The Forest Spider comes down for some action. Beravor defends taking zero damage as no Shadow Effect card was drawn. For some reason, I didn’t need to cause Spider Genocide before the next turn and let it live to see the upcoming onslaught.

Final reset, new card, up the threat level and pay into the RBOE (along with all of our other heroes) #TheOnePercentOfMiddleEarth

Taking five resources from Beravor’s meagre retirement fund to pay into The Second Coming of Mandalf.

62 - Second Coming

As we do not need any more cards and we are threatening enough, we bring an end to the Spider’s fear of forest-levelling fireballs and deceiving Wizards: by putting it out of its misery. +4 Damage to the Spider, adios. The whole party rejoice and commit to the quest together. Discard a card to add +1 to Eowyn’s willpower - merely to add insult to injury - equating to 14 Will Power total. Forest Gate is drawn from the Encounter Deck, and +12 Progress nukes Beorn’s Path - Winner!

63 - End

As we emerge our way out the lighter side of Mirkwood, we leave to rest many an Old Forest Road, and many a large inconsiderate spider. Next week, we will make our Journey Along The Anduin. As we head to the River to make our way into the next forest, The Forest of Lorien.

Join me for #MiddleEarthMondays every week, as I journey my way through Lord of The Rings The Card Game from Fantasy Flight Games in a solo-handed play through.

How have you managed to fight your way through the first scenario? Did you utilise Mandalf and the RBOE? Or do you have some other tricks up your sleeve?

"It is nice to know that if you are a Steward of Gondor - you can claim that much in tax relief!"

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