Thematic Saga: A Shadow of the Past

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This is the first entry in my attempt at a thematic saga campaign with my limited card pool (I am proxying The Shirefolk because I couldn't pass it up). It's got all of the hobbity good stuff which is pretty standard at this point, plus a few non-thematic allies to help out where needed.


The usual Black Riders hobbits Sam Gamgee, Pippin, and Merry are very good at what they do, as always. Merry is a killing machine with two Dagger of Westernesse -- add in Rosie Cotton's boost or Halfling Determination and he can one-shot the Nazgul in this scenario. Pippin keeps enemies at bay and draws cards. Sam Gamgee is good at everything -- quest with him and he'll ready whenever you need him, especially if Halbarad is on the table.

Rosie Cotton is the star of the show. Attach Celebrían's Stone and Friend of Friends and two Fast Hitch and she'll carry the whole team.

Tom Cotton is a really good defender. This is the first time I've actually played with him and I'm impressed. To be honest I rarely use his abilities; I just load him up with Hobbit Cloak, a few Dúnedain Warning, and two Staff of Lebethron and he's invincible. Once Arwen Undómiel is on the table he's got sentinel so he can defend for everyone. One Fast Hitch is for Tom.

Fatty Bolger is really good at... paying for A Test of Will.

Card Draw

These decks draw a lot of cards (especially in this scenario, with the starting location Bag End). In my playtesting it was not uncommon for both decks to run out by the end.

In the Rosie deck: Pippin, Gandalf, Gléowine, Master of the Forge, Daeron's Runes, Peace, and Thought, Valiant Sacrifice.

In the Tom deck: Bilbo Baggins, Legolas, Hobbit Pipe, Foe-hammer, Frodo's Intuition

Other stuff

Both decks have some expensive allies that are good targets for Elf-stone. In the Rosie deck, Halbarad is important for the late game, as he essentially reduces your threat by 10. Gimli is good for hide tests, since he will pop up when a Nazgul is revealed from the encounter deck.

Grappling Hook goes on Merry so you can leave him up if you're anticipating a hide test, then send him on the quest later if you need a burst. Arod goes on Merry or Legolas and really helps you avoid having to travel to some of the nastier locations. The Evening Star is also in there for location control, especially on the last stage when you're trying to clean up all the leftover locations in the staging area before you can travel to the Bucklebury Ferry.

The hardest part of this scenario is surviving the first one or two turns; if you can make it past that, you'll probably be fine.