Journey of Years 3 - Dungeons Deep and Caverns Dim
Welcome to the part 3 of my Tale of Years playthrough, where I aim to play through every scenario in chronology order. This series follows the thematic hero suggestions from the awesome fan made mega-campaign ruleset and also aims to only change up the party at the narrative pauses noted in that ruleset. All cards and scenarios are from the official and AleP releases.
Bilbo gets separated here amd forced to engage in a battle of wits to save his life, while the rest of the group is chased down by relentless goblins.
Dungeons Deep and Caverns Dim
Like the prior quest, this scenario is split into two goals. Unlike the last one, they are carried out at the same time. The plan from the get go is to handle as many riddles successfully as we can while keeping things under control in the "Frying Pan".
Use Bilbo's ring every turn to keep as many resources as possible on him. These are a safety net when riddles go awry to get a "do over". While Out of the Frying Pan is doubling the encounter draw, the majority of the cards have the option to be taken as a riddle. The riddle option should be taken as often as possible - as both a means to advance the Riddles in the Dark stage and to keep the enemy count low in the Frying Pan staging area. Every riddle requires shuffling before revealing, so take that opportunity to sift through your deck and crunch the odds for the most favorable pull. As long as you succeed by one or more, call it a win and take the progress. Do not spend resources to improve a good result, reserve them for riddles that would fail. On particularly hard riddles with low odds, such as those that require three conditions to match, consider letting Bilbo take a hit from Gollum if he's otherwise healthy. As a last resort, the ring can also be used to cancel all damage he would receive at a terrible rate of 3 threat.
In the other arena, focus on keeping on top of enemies. Keep the field as clear as you can and quest conservatively. There is no need to rush progress as the riddles stage will usually take longer.
When stage 3 is reached you'll need to be ready to push hard on progress. Things stack up faster once the riddles are eliminated. Keep enough defense to manage the enemies engaged with you but focus on clearing the quest. Once that progress is made it won't matter how heavy the swarm of enemies is.
Mulligan for resource generators (Gandalf's Staff, Resourceful) or Word of Command to pull one. Strider is the obvious setup grab with The Grey Wanderer, but if it ends up in your initial hand, pull Wizard Pipe. This deck also runs heavily on Lore sphere, so Song of Wisdom is also a good card to start or tutor for.
Between one of the resource attachments and Grey Wanderer, Gandalf will be generating four resources or more a round, usually allowing him to drop a single costly ally per turn. These allies favor heavy defense and attack to easily handle attacks from the goblins and wargs this scenario will throw at you.
Expecting Mischief pairs well with the damage from your dwarf partner's questing Thalin, and can drop goblin enemies before they can contribute to the staging area.
This deck is unchanged from part 2 and plays about the same here.
Hard mulligan for We Are Not Idle, which can be an incredible boost on turn one. With four dwarf heroes, it'll give you a first turn with eight(!) resources to boost early game.
Turning on the "five dwarf" bonus is easy with four heroes, meaning you only need to drop one more dwarf to enable them. Ori should provide a lot of extra cards over the course of the game because of this.
Your threat starts very high at 37, so aim to play as many dwarves as possible to trigger Nori's reduction.
Quest often with Thalin - he'll tack on free damage that can be combined with Goblin-cleaver to drop enemies before they can attack. Your friend Gandalf can alos contribute some direct damage to supplement this.
Lure of Moria is a get of jail card - if the number of enemies get out of control it can allow putting up a good defense and then heavily counterattacking. It can also act as insurance when making a heavy quest push should you fall short of clearing it after going all-in.