The Hills Are Alive With The Sound Of Questing #MiddleEarthMonday

February 28, 2022 by fcostin

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Gollum, Gollum, Gollum! A slippery little fellow he has been for myself and the heroes. We are on Adventure Pack number four as part of the Shadows of Mirkwood Cycle for The Lord of the Rings The Living Card Game. We have been running around Mirkwood taking down the dark forces of evil, hacking through goblins, bats and orcs in our presence. The running theme though, along with a varied scope of scenarios, is that we are on the hunt for Gollum.

The Hills of Emyn Muil - Featured Image

The Hills Of Emyn Muil // The Lord of the Rings The Living Card Gane

We’re back on focus this week, heading to The Hills Of Emyn Muil with no distractions this time! No eagles needing a health-up, no trolls needing a shift-delete - just one focus, with one objective, on one quest card: to find Gollum.

The Hills of Emyn Muil Adventure Pack - The Lord of the Rings The Living Card Game

The Hills Of Emyn Muil Adventure Pack // The Lord of the Rings The Living Card Game

We are heading down South with a new tactic in catching Gollum in his tracks. Across Rauros Falls and The Hills of Emyn Muil, our heroes are going questing in a location-heavy encounter deck.

In hopes for more answers from Gollum, locations in this pack have victory points for completing them. To finish the quest, you much have obtained 20 victory points from questing through these locations. Then you will be awarded the +1 progress to the quest.

Card List...

Heroes -

  • Éowyn
  • Elrond
  • Arwen Undomiel

Allies -

  • 3x Jubyar
  • 3x Master of the Forge
  • 3x Gandalf
  • 3x Firyal
  • 2x Treebeard
  • 2x Marksman of Lorien
  • 2x Warden of Healing
  • 2x Northern Tracker
  • 2x Gildor Inglorion
  • 1x Faramir
  • 1x Elfheim
  • 1x Beorn

Attachments -

  • x3 Vilya
  • x2 Steward Of Gondor
  • x1 Unexpected Courage
  • x1 Golden Shield

Events -

  • 3x Elven-Light
  • 2x A Test of Will
  • 2x Galdrian's Greeting
  • 2x Heed the Dream
  • 2x Out of Sight
  • 1x Fortune Or Fate
  • 1x Will of the West

To battle the effects on the locations that appear, along with the nasty amount of enemies waiting in the wings to attack over in the encounter deck. Our sole mission is to quest to obtain the victory points whilst trying not to be derailed too hard by the effects of each location. Gollum is no fool - he is leading us into peril.

My own goal: get as many allies out as possible so we can mitigate the threat and let our heroes be at the forefront of the main goal and quest.

We should be one with the Anduin by now with the number of times we have been up, down and around it! We’ll be making our way past Rohan, and eerily close to the dark lands of Mordor to the Hills of Emyn Muil.

Quest Card 1: The Hills of Emyn Muil – 1 Quest Points

Quest 1 - The Hills of Emyn Muil - The Lord of the Rings LCG

Quest 1 - The Hills of Emyn Muil // The Lord of the Rings LCG

Before I could set up, Pascal knew what time it was, and wanted to check out my heroes before I started playing. I gave him a chance to visit early on - but due to the number of cards I knew I was going to have out; setup once again mid-game would have been a nightmare!

Heroes have been stacked up with their resources, the hand has been drawn and the two quest cards Amon Hen and Amon Lhaw have been put into the Staging Area as directed by the quest inviting you into two location cards straight away.

Quest 1 - Setup

These cards do not have to be cleared immediately, but due to the text on the cards, you have to be strategic in when you clear them. For example, Amon Lhaw makes all of our attachment cards useless, and Amon Hen renders you unable to play event cards. Considering my deck has been tailored around event cards and attachments - it is in my best interest to tactically remove these when I choose.

Six Victory Points Check-In!

The journey began to get tense, and the Staging Area was beginning to look intimidating. I was concerned about the threat level becoming an issue, especially considering even when forced to commit all of our characters to the quest thanks to Rourus Falls, we cannot take it down in one go. This means we have to soak an undefended attack. Thankfully with the combination of Hasty Stroke to cancel shadow cards and The Warden of Healing to top up our heroes: we can soldier on.

6 Point Check In

Treebeard deleted the Eastern Crows - so we should not be pestered for the foreseeable. And after a cheeky Galahdrim’s Greeting, we won’t be forced to fight the Orc Horse Thieves for a while. This will help us get a handle on the Staging Area.

Fourteen Victory Points Check-In!

Using Gildor Inglorion allowed us to get our second Steward of Gondor out, which means we are able to manipulate our cards to use Vilya on. By doing so, we can stack attachments for free that we would not normally be able to play. Such as Steward of Gondor.

14 Point Check In

Once we got enough Will Power across our allies to clear Amon Hen in one go, regardless of what card was dawn, we took the opportunity to clear it giving us an extra five victory points. Prior to this, we cleared another Rourus Falls for another three Victory Points. Taking our running total up to 14.

Nineteen Victory Points Check-In!

Since you last tuned in, we used Gildor Inglorion and x2 Heed the Dream to locate our Northern Trackers from the Draw Pile, which enabled us to pay for one and scrounge the other via Vilya. This allows us to control the staging area a lot easier when questing as they do not have to be our active locations to be solved.

19 Point Check In

For clearing Amon Lhaw, we made sure that we had enough resources etc so that our Steward of Gondors card, which we couldn't use, didn't impact us. We went questing with 22 willpower, so this ended up being quite a nice stroll through the location! Rather than the gruelling quest that was intended.

Quest Completed - Twenty Victory Points!

We went questing for the final time. The Encounter Deck - we drew The Necromancer's Reach, thankfully allowing us the difference in Threat to clear the quest.

Winning Image

Unfortunately, The Warden of Healing was a casualty of this effect. Making him the sole casualty of The Hills of Emyn Muil - good thing we have two more! Success.

Final Thoughts

The Hills Emyn Muil is an interesting Adventure Pack, that takes the foot off of any hard combat - although there are some dirty enemies in the Encounter Deck - for example, the Dol Guldor Beast Master that we thankfully did not come up against. If you are looking to head into this pack, be sure to prep a Will Power-heavy deck, as it is extremely quest focused.

Gildor Inglorion - The Hills of Emyn Muil

Gildor Inglorion // The Hills of Emyn Muil

A real stand out card that comes with The Hills of Emyn Muil is Gildor Inglorien. He is a high-cost (5) champion with really good stats and adds a new layer to a Vilya Deck as a whole, as well as players who play decks who rely on single cards that they need to get as soon as possible.

The Dead Marshes - LOTR LCG

The Dead Marshes Adventure Pack // The Lord of the Rings The Living Card Game

Technically, we did not find Gollum but we did pinpoint his location - and we are travelling to The Dead Marshes. Why? Gollum has zero interest in being found and he will make it more and more increasingly difficult to put the dark forces in our way.

New mechanics are introduced into the game, proving Gollum to be more slippery than we anticipated with Escape tests. In the hope to escape us once more, Gollum will be placing us in the forefront of beasts and friendly fiends of Mordor to gain some distance as we are hot on his trail in another Will Power-heavy quest. Can we get Gollum in the bag?

Another week of hunting down Gollum, hopefully, we can actually get some information out of him next week! 

"Be sure to prep a Will Power-heavy deck, as it is extremely quest focused...."

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