The Battle of Carn Dûm progression
A fellowship with which I succeeded to beat the battle of Carn Dûm.
The quest hits hard in many different ways, so the fellowship also offers various solutions.
- you can boost Dúnhere with Spears of the Mark / Dúnedáin's Marks so he can snipe enemies from the staging area
- you can attach Gondorian Fire, Blood of Númenor and Steward of Gondor on Boromir who becomes basically invincible
- you can try going the Forest Snare (and to a lesser extent, Ranger Spikes) route and let trapped enemies absorb a huge amount of shadow cards. Don't forget to discard those with Shadows Give Way before advancing to stage 2.
- the fellowship offers some level of protection against the same-named-cards-hate by mostly running singletons, except for the really important key cards
- Faramir gets boosted by enemies in the staging area - those are likely to remain there for some time because of Thaurdir's effect granting +10 engagement cost
- finally, there's obviously the Vilya+Stargazer combo that lets you play costly allies for free.
The main biggest weakness is the potential lack of willpower, so to make it through, you need to be just about making things even when battle questing before you build up your armies / before another location turning the quest into a battle turns up. There's also very little threat reduction besides Gandalf, but you should be able to play him often enough with Vilya and sneak attack. Ideally, you want to see Vilya, Stargazer and Steward on your starting hands (and Gildor out of it) - if you scoop until you get those and then make it through the first two rounds, you stand a chance.
P.S. when the quest first came out, Boromir had not received his errata yet, so feel free to use his readying ability at will. I didn't need to, but I think it's definitely in the spirit of progression gameplay to use the card as it was used back then, especially against a quest this difficult.