Khazad-Dûm and the Dwarrowdelf Cycle

banania 1006


Returning to Moria and the Dwarves in our whole game playthrough!


For our complete run-through, see:

  1. The Hobbit Saga
  2. Core Set & Shadow of Mirkwood Cycle
  3. Khazad-Dûm & Dwarrowdelf Cycle
  4. Heirs of Númenor & Against the Shadow Cycle
  5. The Voice of Isengard & Ring-Maker Cycle
  6. The Lost Realm & Angmar Awakened Cycle
  7. The Grey Havens & Dream-chaser Cycle
  8. The Sands of Harad & Haradrim Cycle
  9. The Wilds of Rhovanion & Ered Mithrin Cycle
  10. A Shadow in the East & Vengeance of Mordor Cycle
  11. Thematic Campaign ~ From Bag-End to Rivendell
  12. Thematic Campaign ~ Fly you Fools!
  13. Thematic Campaign ~ A Red Sun Rises
  14. Thematic Campaign ~ To Mordor

The Decks

Returning to Moria and the Dwarves: As we had just a cycle-worth of non-Dwarves when we played Shadow of Mirkwood Cycle, I did not want to use any of the heroes we used then (Thorin Oakenshield, Thorin Stonehelm, Dáin Ironfoot, Gandalf, Balin and Nori). Even, some of those Dwarves are even dead by the timeline of Khazâd-Dûm Deluxe expansion and Dwarrowdelf Cycle.

So I went down the old Dáin Ironfoot swarm deck, accompanied by Glóin for resource generation (that's why I'm not using We Are Not Idle) and Bifur for resource smoothing.

As we'll be facing lots of Goblins and Orcs with low hit points (and mostly low attack) value, the combat deck is ran with Gimli, Dwalin and Thalin. That team do the damage!

Overall, I am pretty statisfied with those two decks. They have a very vintage feel of the early times of this game, of course with all the new toys we received since then. They remain very thematic, and the combat deck is even a mining deck of sort. There's absolutely not a single "if you control 5 Dwarf" card in there that we used and abused (very thematically) for Thorin's Company. We like to go hardcore with theme!

Hardy Leadership

This is your standard swarm deck, but your primary mission is to get the Khazad! Khazad! deck running, by:

Khazad! Khazad!

This is a discard deck, probably not the most effective, because you'll have to discard blindly, but give it a go! You'll see it's a lot of fun!

  • Mulligan for everything that helps you discard and of course Will of the West
  • Especially try to get Longbeard Sentry out. Having a 3 3 Hit Points Sentinel defender is always nice and once that guy (or those even!) are on the table and you have a Will of the West in hand, just start using their Action every phase. Yes. Every phase. I mean, why not? :) That's 14 cards discarded per turn. Get those Hidden Cache and Ered Luin Miner out quickly!

Quest Log

  • Into the Pit: 1/1 on normal, a real breeze, then we decided to go Nightmare, for the rest of the cycle if possible. So expect the win-rate to be decreasing significantly, but those deck can still beat those! Nightmare win in the 11th attempt. I have made a list of Nightmare adjustment that can be done to improve the reliability of the decks. We sometimes did those changes, but tried each scenario with the original thematic decks (check on "Consistency Changes").
  • The Seventh Level Nightmare: 1/2 The first try was a blind run (because I've never played any Nightmare until now) and honestly, we had it. We were a resource away of playing Lure of Moria but a hazardous defense with Glóin to get that last resource left him dead due to a bad shadow card, and we had to call it off. The second try, knowing the stage 2B enemy surge, we just bought our time on stage 1B until we were ready, and we killed the encounter deck.
  • Escape from Moria Nightmare: 1/1 We got lucky because the first stage 2 we revealed through a "randomize a new stage"-treachery was... the exit! Then, we bought our time, dealt with what was coming, found the Abandoned Tools and cancelled a last "randomize a new stage"-treachery to finally get out. A breeze.
  • The Redhorn Gate Nightmare: 1/4 That one was painful AND not funny. I mean Caradhras + Snow Storm + that location that forbids you to use player card effects as booster is just not fair. On the last try, I included Saruman and Mirkwood Explorer just to deal with that location, and they never showed up. We won by pure chance, so I am still going to consider we won with unmodified decks (because based on the first 3 attempts I knew we could win, but only by pure chance, which happened).
  • Road to Rivendell Nightmare 1/6. It was honestly not fun. Sleeping Sentry is just a dumb card and the nightmare version did not even bothered "fixing" that, though it's totally what's Nightmare is (also) to be about, in addition of the added difficulty of course.
  • The Watcher in the Water: 1/1. To this point, we reverted back to normal, because even if it more challenging, it was slowing us down and the idea is really for me and my partner to discover the game more smoothly, with fun archetype and interaction. Although, it was a bit easy I have to admit. Another reason is that the Dwarrowdelf cycle is by far the worst in the game in my opinion in terms of both quality of design and especially quality of the narrative (well the narrative is non-existent...). At this point we also had a Dwarf-fatigue since we had already played those guys during the The Hobbit saga run. I must say a Dwarf-fatigue is also incredibly reminiscent of the early days of this game...
  • The Long Dark 1/1. Nothing specific.
  • Foundations of Stone 1/1. Same. I would argue that this quest is the best in the cycle, followed by the quests from the Deluxe. The other 5 quests are not worth returning to in my opinion, ever. As a fun fact, this was actually the first time I played the last 3 quests of the Dwarrowdelf cycle. My encounter cards were still in their factory order!
  • Shadow and Flames 1/1. Same (but we used the consistency changes below).

More-consistant changes

/ deck Bring the deck to 50 cards: +3x We Are Not Idle -2x Longbeard Map-Maker -2x Ancestral Knowledge -2x Dwarven Shield

/ deck It's mostly a matter of getting the deck closer to 50 cards to increase reliability of discarding the Hidden Cache and the Ered Luin Miner. -2x Armor of Erebor -3x Dwarf Pipe -1x Ring of Thrór -1x Heavy Stroke -3x Erebor Battle Master