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Day Five: The Best Troll is a Dead Troll
“Mutton yesterday, mutton today, and blimey, if it don’t look like mutton again tomorrow.”
-Troll, The Hobbit
Our party awakes on Day Five despondent, for the threat against them has risen and they have made little progress in their quest. The fourth day was an utter disaster, and all they can do is hope this new day will bring some modicum of success.
There are, fortunately, no creatures in the staging area. Our party consists only of our three heroes – our two allies were vanquished in the previous turn. Theodred has 2 resources and two wounds, Eowyn has one token and no wounds, and Beravor has no tokens and two wounds. In our hand, six cards: Gandalf, Faramir, Snowbourn Scout, Hasty Stroke, Lore of Imladris for healing (drawn at the end of Day Four), and Unexpected Courage. The current location remains the Gladden Fields.
Threat Level 36
Our threat level jumps from 34 to 36 – rising two, rather than one, because of the ‘forced effect’ of Gladden Fields.
Resource Phase. We draw another ally, the Northern Tracker. We add resource tokens to our heroes, and tap Theo’s Steward of Gondor attachment. This gives Theo 5, Beravor 1 and Eowyn 2.
Planning Phase. Eowyn pays 2 to place the attachment Unexpected Courage on Beravor.
What a great card. It basically allows you to use a hero twice in a turn – you can, for example, commit them to a quest, then tap the attachment to use the hero for battle. Or, a hero could defend, then be readied to attack.
Continuing our spending spree, Theo pays 1 token to summon the Snowbourn Scout (again), which in turn lets us add one progress token to the Gladden Fields (now at 2 out of 3 needed to close). We now need to two more progress tokens to close that location.
Then – a move that is desperately needed to lift the spirits of our party: Theo spends 4 and Beravor spends 1 to summon the second Gandalf card in our hand.
As you recall, upon summoning, Gandalf brings you three options, one of which is to reduce the threat level by 5. And that is precisely what we do now.
Threat Level 31!
Quest Phase With no cards in the staging area, we commit just one hero, Eowyn, to questing. The Encounter card we draw is Treacherous Fog:
Since this is a treachery card, it has no effect on the questing. This means the quest resolves as:
Eowyn’ 4 minus 0 = 4 progress!
So we caught a break. One of the four progress tokens are applied to Gladden Fields, which closes that location, and the remaining three are applied to the current quest, “To the River.” This leaves us just one shy of the 8 needed to close it.
Combat Phase: Again we face two creatures, the Hill Troll, severely wounded (just one health left) and ensnared (so unable to attack) and Misty Mountain Goblins, who lost one health point out of three in the previous battle.
Time to die, Troll!
Since the Hill Troll is unable to attack, we need not declare a defender. We do though declare a single attacker – the wonderful Gandalf, who is as adept with an axe as with magic. His damage is 4, the Troll’s defense is 3, and the single damage is enough to slay the Troll.
Thus we have finally rid ourselves of the creature that loomed from the very start of this quest.
But the Goblins are still about. We declare our Snowbourne Scout as the defender, he of the redshirt. The encounter card drawn is the East Bight location, which has no shadow effect. But the Goblins’ attack alone (2) is enough to slay the Scout.
Next, Beravor and Theodred attack the goblins: 4 attack minus 1 defense - 3 damage. Dead goblins.
The day closes with some planning ahead: we play the card Unexpected Courage (shown above) to ready the exhausted Beravor, then exhaust Beravor again in order to draw two more cards: Faramir and Dwarven Tomb.
Finally the party catches its collective breath: there are no more creatures in the encounter area, nor looming in the staging area. They can relax. But only briefly, for more danger awaits.