Assault on Osgiliath - Progression
Similar to the Siege of Cair Andros, this scenario obviously encourage using less spheres of influence and specifically using primarily tactics. This is due to a few encounter cards penalizing other spheres. Of course it is not required to take all tactics but we thought we give it a shot and it worked out pretty well. If I were to change the fellowship I would likely have 1 deck be monosphere spirit. It would still avoid the worst treachery because it would be monosphere and only be minimally affected from some of the other cards (although I don;t like the one where non-tactics cant spend resources). From spirit I would obviously like cancellation but specifically I'd like Unexpected Courage and overall higher willpower.
It turned out that there were a rough few questings at the beginning (which is why I was at 49 threat when we won, yikes !), but we just took Bard and Gimli questing until I got Eagles of the Misty Mountains out (two actually) to use them for traditional willpower questing. Of course, with East and West Quarters you do get some battle and siege questing which is a breeze. We also got extremely unlucky with The Eagles Are Coming. I had 2 in my opening hanf and used Hama to attack every turn so we were able to cycle it many times. After using it 5 times (looking at 25 cards) I only drew 4 eagle cards ! Then I used it more (due to Hama) and I started getting my eagles finally.
There are currently 10 tactics heroes. The 4 we left behind were for the following reasons: Elladan is not good without his brother. Although there are a lot of enemies, Brand is not consistent in both killing an enemy on the opposite side of the board and that player having a character that would be relevant to ready. Especially because Brand cannot wield a Rivendell Blade (he could contribute to an attack with Legolas but it would often be overkill). I think Beorn would be a good option. The main reason I take Beorn is to help stabilize the early game setup by taking some hits from enemies that make the start of the game tough, however, in this scenario we start with location not enemies and further the locations can take some undefended attacks and help stabilize so Beorn is less needed. Landroval is one of the few cards that can interact with Beorn and we brought Landroval so he was still a strong consderation but was still left behind. Thalin cam with use to Cair Andros but we left him behind this time because more enemies tended to have more health and we now had the option of Bard. Overall, of the 10 tactics heroes I think the only objectively wrong choice is Elladan.
Additionally, I minorly tweaked the decks from Cair Andros to include more ranged hero specific cards (i.e., Hand Upon the Bow and Black Arrow) because we now had Bard on one side and Legolas on the other. It just so happened that we used neither (didn't even draw Black Arrow). Also, we kind of only threw in Black Arrow and Khazad Khazad to help take down the Mumakil and it was discarded as a shadow card so they weren't needed.
This is obvious but put archery damage on Gimli.
We choose the two 1-threat unique locations (certainly there are arguments for choosing others depending on your deck and playstyle) and 2 weak of the weak enemies that get buffed when you control locations (because you don't control any at the start they stay weak). An alternate choice for your first enemies could be the bigger dudes with the when revealed that brings back the top orc from the discard (that way you don't have to face that effect) but I think these decks would struggle with traditional willpower at the start with those enemies.
This scenario honestly ended up being a breeze and only took a few turns but I could definitely see getting location/Osgiliath location blocked a lot and stopping you from getting the win condition. Even though it was an easier scenario I had fun because I rarely play monosphere decks and enjoyed the change of pace.