Breaking of the Fellowship - Specialist Deck Series
The Road Darkens comes to a close with Breaking of the Fellowship. For an explanation of the series and to see the deck for the first quest, look here: https://ringsdb.com/decklist/view/18970
This is probably my favourite Saga quest. I love the separate staging areas, especially since you can still interact with the other players, and the successful questing bonuses are really fun.
With that in mind, I wanted to do something a little special for this quest. For the first, and possibly last, time in my life I've decided to try out a three deck Fellowship. It helps that this isn't the most difficult quest, so trying something unconventional doesn't mean we can't also have success. I've only played this quest solo and 2-player before. Playing solo feels like the quest is missing something, but I think any form of multiplayer is really fun.
There are obviously a lot of card choices to talk about this time, and I'll leave the bulk of that to the deck list descriptions. However, I'll give a brief overview below:
There are essentially two parts to this quest. First, where you can't engage enemies at all and we just want to quest through as quickly as possible to stop them building up - for this reason we'll have a relatively high starting among our heroes. Second, where the decks are separated to different staging areas - we have a few tricks for interacting between them.
The first of these tricks is Aragorn, the third of his standard iterations we'll see before we are joined by the versions. This is my favourite of the three we have used and his abilities are both fun to use and very effective. His deck will be filled with attacking allies to make best use of his ability.
I'd also like to finally include all members of the Fellowship, which shouldn't be too hard between 3 decks. To this end, Aragorn is joined by the heroes Sam Gamgee and Merry. Merry makes a great combo with Aragorn as you can repeatedly engage and kill enemies from anywhere on the board. This sphere combination also allows the inclusion of the ally versions of Boromir, Gimli and Legolas.
The next deck will include the last of our Fellowship members in Pippin and finally beating out his ally version, Gandalf. As seemed appropriate, I also decided to make this deck a Fellowship Contract deck. Finally, to ensure we didn't have any issues in the quest phase, Éowyn returns as the third hero. With 3 players, she can reach 7 , which should see us easily quest successfully. The rest of the deck will mostly be built from Gandalf's toys and our unique Fellowship allies.
Given the more awkward logistics for managing these decks, I tested in OCTGN whereas I usually play with the cards. I also only tested the decks once, since it is pretty burdensome to manage. Luckily I got the win on the first go, despite Merry Falling to Evil on the very first turn. The quest necessarily gives you a couple of turns before enemies will engage, which is just what is needed for these decks to build up and deal with them handily, especially the Silvans. Unfortunately, the ally-hating effects prevented the Fellowship Contract from ever flipping (those Uruk-hai Archers!), but that didn't end up mattering. Two of the decks are very strong at questing, which meant it was easy to leverage the beneficial effects on the Stage 3 quest cards and in turn made it easier for the third deck to succeed also. Between Aragorn and Haldir, the enemies never lived very long either.
The choice for hero is not so important this time around, since Frodo will be absent for half of the quest. Even so, I still favor his Mountain of Fire incarnation, since the extra resources will give the decks an extra boost to get started - as he did in my test game. Once again, the version which comes from this very expansion seems like a poor fit, since he'll have almost no opportunity to use his ability. Either of the other two would be fine, with potentially useful applications for their abilities.