There and Back Again

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Darksatin
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There and Back Again

Post by Darksatin »

There and Back Again

"Far over the misty mountains cold
To dungeons deep and caverns old
We must away ere break of day
To seek the pale enchanted gold."
-The Hobbit


It was well known in the Shire that when a Wizard comes knocking at your door, adventures are not far behind, and respectable folk had best go inside. Bilbo perceived his peril, yet something Tookish in his blood pushed him forward when a prudent retreat behind his little round door would have saved him much trouble. Before his clock struck noon the next day, the Hobbit was off to the mountains, caught in the affairs of Dwarves and Wizards. And that can be a very messy business indeed!

You choose a Hobbit and take him on this legendary quest. Seek an adventure and then return home to tell about it.

Note: This scenario is designed for solitaire play.

Card Layout :

* Lay out the following region cards in a row, in the order listed: The Shire, Arthedain, Rhudaur, High Pass, Anduin Vales, Woodland Realm, and Northern Rhovanion.
* Contained in a row under these regions, lay out the following site cards with each card under the region in which it is contained: Bag End, Rivendell, Goblin-gate, Beorn's House, Thranduil's Halls, and The Lonely Mountain.
* Movement for this scenario will be handled by moving a counter (a die or some convenient token) around on this array of location cards. The location of the counter represents the location of the company. At the start of the scenario, place the counter in Bag End - this represents that the Hobbit and his Dwarven companions are departing from this site.

Deck Construction :


* Construct two decks: a hazard deck and a resource deck. Use the following exact guidelines, paying particular attention to the card count.
* The hazard deck contains 29 cards: 2 Dragon's Desolations (or proxy cards), 15 creatures keyed to wilderness (only two of each fulfilling this role may be included), 6 creatures keyed to double wilderness (three of each of these are allowed), and 6 creatures keyed to border-lands (three of each of these are allowed). A creature included to fulfill one of these requirements may also coincidentally fulfill another requirement, but the creature may not also be counted towards the other requirement. Within these guidelines, try to construct the weakest hazard deck you can; this is part of the challenge of this scenario.
* The resource deck contains any 25 resource cards you choose plus one Wizard. Have at least one greater item included in the resource mix (practically though, you should include at least two greater items).

The Company of Dwarves :

* Start with a company that contains one Hobbit and the rest Dwarves. Each Dwarf counts as half a character like a Hobbit. You have 30 points of general influence, and each character with a mind stat of 3 or greater has +1 direct influence. With these modifications, you can construct the company of Dwarves from The Hobbit: Bilbo, Thorin II, Glóin, Balin, Óin, Kíli, Bifur, Bofur, Nori, Fíli, Ori, Dwalin, Bombur, and Dori. Gandalf is conspicuously missing from this list, but he will pop up before you are finished.
* You have one and only one company for this scenario. The company starts with no minor items.

Turn Sequence :

To start the game, draw a hand of 5 cards from your resource deck. Each turn, use the following turn sequence phase by phase. If an aspect of the turn sequence is not addressed below, then it is to be interpreted as it is written in the rulesbook.

1. Untap Phase: Untap all tapped characters and move all wounded characters to tapped position if the company is at any site (not just a Haven). If the company is in a region at the start of the turn, skip this phase.
2. Organization Phase: If the company is in a site, the company may move the location counter to an adjacent region. If the company is in a region, the company may move to the site that the region contains (located under the region) or to an adjacent region. A company may opt to not move the location counter.
3. Long-event Phase.
4. Movement/Hazard Phase: The company faces any hazard creatures, in the order they were drawn, showing face up on the table (as described below) that can be keyed to the company's location card.
Following these encounters, if the company is in a region or moved to a region, draw a hazard card. If it is a creature, it attacks the company. If it is a creature that cannot be keyed to the company's region or Dragon's Desolation, then place it face up. All face up hazards should be put in a row that shows the order in which they were drawn during the game.
Draw and resolve a second hazard card in the same manner, if the company is in a region or moved to a region.
If the company moves to High Pass, Woodland Realm, or Northern Rhovanion, draw and resolve a third hazard in the same manner. If the company began the turn in one of these three regions and chooses not to move, a third hazard is not drawn.
If the company is in a site or moved to a site, do not draw any hazard cards.
Location cards are not discarded during this scenario. The company can feel free to backup to any site. No cards are drawn at the end of this phase (unless dictated by a card).
5. Site Phase.
6. End-of-Turn Phase: Draw one resource card. If you then have six cards in your hand, discard a card to the resource discard pile. You will always draw one and only one resource card a turn via the normal turn sequence.

Special Rules for Hazards :

* A hazard creature, once it attacks, goes into a hazard discard pile, regardless of the attack outcome.
* Deep wilderness creatures may only be played keyed to Rhudaur and High Pass.
* If a resource card prevents creatures from being played on the company that is in a region or moved to a region, two cards are drawn for the hazard deck anyhow and placed in the row of face-up cards.
* To determine which character will take a strike under circumstances when an opponent would normally determine this, the character with the highest mind stat is selected first. If there is a tie, select the character with the most direct influence. If there is still a tie, select the character with the lowest body. If there is still a tie, select the character with the lowest prowess. If there is still a tie, randomly select the character.
* After the second Orc or Troll creature is played, Minions Stir is considered to be in play for the rest of the game; i.e., all Orc and Troll attacks receive +1 strike and +1 prowess.
* After the second Wolf, Spider or Animal attack is played, Wake of War is considered in play for the rest of the game; i.e., all Wolf, Spider, and Animal attacks receive +1 strike and +1 prowess.
* After the second Undead attack is played, Plague of Wights is considered in play for the rest of the game; i.e., all Undead attacks get +1 prowess.
* Each Dragon's Desolation remains face up on the table until you declare the company will confront the automatic-attack at The Lonely Mountain. At this point, discard all face-up Dragon's Desolations and give the automatic attack +2 prowess and +1 strike for each discarded.
* When the hazard deck is exhausted, shuffle the hazard discard pile; it becomes the new hazard deck.

Special Rules for Resources and Characters :

* Marshalling points do not count for this scenario.
* Untapped characters must choose to take strikes before tapped and wounded characters do.
* A Wizard is not played as a character. He is played as a short-event that can cancel an attack, untap a tapped character, or move a wounded character to an untapped status. When the Wizard is played, he does not go to the resource discard pile, but rather is shuffled back into the resource play deck.
* After a greater item is given to the Hobbit at The Lonely Mountain, discard two Dwarves during each organization phase in which the company moves to a region.

Victory Conditions :

You lose if the Hobbit is eliminated or if you draw the final card from your resource deck. You win during the organization phase when the Hobbit moves to Bag End and is bearing the greater item played at The Lonely Mountain.

There and Back Again can be found on pages 62-63 of Middle-earth: The Wizards Companion and is copyright ©1996 ICE.

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Darksatin
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Location: Chalon sur Saône, France

Re: There and Back Again

Post by Darksatin »

There and Back Again : a sample deck

Resources : 25
Orcrist
The Mithril-Coat
3 * Trickery
3 * Many Turns and Doublings
2 * Escape
3 * Risky Blow
3 * Lucky Strike
3 * Flatter a Foe
3 * Dark Quarrels
3 * Concealment

Wizard :
Gandalf

Hazards : 29
2 * Dragon's Desolation

15 creatures keyed to wilderness :
2 * Lesser Spiders
2 * Brigands
Light-drake
Land-drake
Huorn
2 * Wolves
Orc-raiders
Orc-warriors
2 * Wargs
2 * Orc Patrol

6 creatures keyed to double wilderness :
Giant Spiders
Thunder's Companion
Cave-drake
Dire Wolves
Stirring Bones
Wild Trolls

6 creatures keyed to borderlands :
Ambusher
Lawless Men
Wolves
Orc-raiders
Orc-warriors
Wargs

Characters :
Bilbo
Thorin II
Oin
Ori
Nori
Kili
Gloïn
Fili
Dwalin
Dori
Bombur
Bofur
Bifur
Balin

Sites :
Lonely Mountain
Beorn's House
Thranduil's Halls
Goblin-gate
Bag End
Rivendell

Regions :
Woodland Realm
Northern Rhovanion
Anduin Vales
The Shire
High Pass
Rhudaur
Arthedain

praetorian7
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Re: There and Back Again

Post by praetorian7 »

Awesome thank you for this Dark

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Khamul the Easterling
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Re: There and Back Again

Post by Khamul the Easterling »

I tried this scenario a few times and would make the following suggestions:

Remove Goblin Gate from the site deck and play without. While in the High Pass region, your company may only move to another region but not to a site.
Add a site for the Arthedain region, like Weathertop, for example.
Add Laketown as an additional site. You may move from Lake Town to the Lonely mountain and vice versa during your turn. You may not heal characters while at the Lonely Mountain.

If you attempt to cancel the automatic attack at the Lonely Mountain while Dragon's desolation (DD) has been discarded, only the DD's effect is cancelled. (If two copies of DD have been discarded, only card's effect is cancelled for each cancelling attempt you do). So, e.g., if two copies of DD have been discarded, you'd need three cancelling attempts (1 not at home, 1 concealment, 1 escape for instance) to cancel the attack completely.

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CDavis7M
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Location: California

Re: There and Back Again

Post by CDavis7M »

I've been playing this scenario a bit with modified rules.

Company: Thorin and Co. + Bilbo
25 Resources + Gandalf: 2x The Mithril-coat, Sting, 2x Precious Gold Ring, 2x Halfling Strength, 3x Halfling Stealth, 3x Excape, 3x Concealment, 3x Dark Quarrels, 3x Risky Blow, 3x Lucky Strike, + Gandalf
29 Hazards + The Great Goblin: 2x Dragon's Desolation, Bert, Tom [-me_wi-][-me_wi-], William, 2x Giants [-me_wi-][-me_wi-], Orc-Lieutenant, 2x Orc-warriors, 2x Orc-Raiders, 2x Orc-Patrol, 2x Orc-Warband, 3x Wargs [-me_bl-], 3x Wolves [-me_bl-], 3x Giant Spiders [-me_wi-][-me_wi-], 2x Lesser Spiders, 2x Crebain, (+The Great Goblin as a house rule).

This scenario is a bit funny. In the Hobbit everything is going wrong on their way to The Lonely Mountain and then Bilbo has an uneventful trip back. In this scenario, Thorin's company can hold it together during the trip there, but then everything falls apart on Bilbo's way home.

One difficulty is self-created: I'm including 3 almost worthless thematic cards for fun (picking up 1 is possible at Goblin Gate, maybe a 2nd at The Lonely Mountain). Looking at Khamul's house rules, I think I'll make some changes. I'll add Ettenmoors under Arthedain (not Rhudaur) and just place Sting with it. And then place the precious gold ring at Goblin Gate. Then I'll have 25 real cards in my deck.

Another difficulty is that the creatures can stack up in the hazard hand and then hit you really hard one turn. And you only draw 1 card a turn. Even just the first move to The Shire, you are stacking 2 creatures so that you have 4 creatures played on you when you move to Arthedain (my border-hold wargs/wolves also hit wilderness). This early on, I still have plenty of characters and cards, but later on the stacked up cards can be brutal. Especially the double-wilderness creatures since they are only played at High Pass and Rhudaur. So if you didn't see many of these on the way there, they will all be waiting for you on the return journey (including The Great Goblin).

The biggest difficulty though is the discarding of 2 Dwarves each time you move to a region on the return journey. By the time that you move to High Pass( [-me_wi-][-me_wi-]) you've discarded 8 dwarves. And you've probably already lost one or two from the huge number of dice rolls.

The Scenario tells you to create an "easy" hazard deck. No kidding!


As for house rules, I'm playing with 2 copies of The Mithril-coat. So I usually get 1 by the time the company arrives on the doorstep. And I also don't let the characters heal at Goblin Gate, Thranduil's Halls, or The Lonely Mountain before facing the dragon. Healing happens at Rivendell, Beorn's House, and The Lonely Mountain after facing the dragon. And I also don't let the dragon attack be canceled. If you are lucky, you only have 1 Dragon's Desolation and so 1 dwarf can be a chump blocker and another dwarf can be supported by enough of the others to tackle the strike.

Also, I recommend just throwing a copy of Minions Stir, Wake of War, and Plague of Wights into the hazard hand at the start of the game so that you don't forget about their effects.

Uwe
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Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2008 7:41 am

Re: There and Back Again

Post by Uwe »

Hi,
i play this scenario for years and made a lot different decks for it.With the new DC cards out there are new possibilities to make this scenario more fun.Play as Thorin Dwarf-lord, Carc,play Bilbo´s Magic Ring at The Under-grottos and some new hazards (Bolg).I also changed the scenario in a way that i included the Battle of the 5 armies and King under the Mountain.I also put Gandalf out of play after Beorn`s House as he was on his on trip.He was shuffeld back when the company was in Northern Rhovanion.For me,so i`m following the story from he book more closely and the main adventure is done after the war and the way back home is indeed unspectular.I even played as Thorin DL and included minion Dwarves and played them once but it didn`t felt right because they never were a part of the company.But as Thorin DL you have access to minion resources and they bring new fun.
Uwe

Hamfast
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Re: There and Back Again

Post by Hamfast »

I have really enjoyed this scenario and am looking forward to playing it again soon.

I am still familiarizing myself with the game rules and trying to keep the scenario rules in mind. I have a couple of questions if there is anyone out there that could weigh in:
  1. If an attack is cancelled but not as part of a hazard being played to a region - does the hazard stay in the lineup of hazards to be played on future turns?
  • If multiple characters are wounded do they all heal to a tapped position in the organization phase at a site?
  • The starting company is able to take all of the dwarves listed in the sample list because the company is constructed using both the 30 general influence and the direct influence - modified by the rule that dwarves with mind 3 have +1 direct influence - to control the full list of characters, correct?
I also tried a few house rules to add a little thematic flavor after the first few attempts:
  1. I place The One Ring, Gollum, and The Riddle Game with the Goblin-Gate. I also include a gold ring in my resource deck. If I have the gold ring in hand and can tap the hobbit at the Goblin Gate to play the item that triggers an attempt at The Riddle Game against Gollum - if successful, The One Ring is placed with the hobbit and he returns to the company; if unsuccessful, the hobbit alone faces an attack from Gollum and both players roll 2d6 - adding their prowess as normal - to resolve the attack. I also tried an option to include The Great Goblin as an automatic attack the hobbit faces on the way back to the company if The One Ring is successfully played.
  • I place Smaug At-Home with The Lonely Mountain to strengthen the automatic attack and allow the hobbit to attempt Riddling Talk against Smaug alone. If the riddling attempt fails, then the company faces the automatic attacks, cannot play the Greater Item and Smaug Ahunt is played to Northern Rhovanion; If the riddling attempt is successful the automatic attacks are cancelled and the Greater Item can be played with the hobbit.
I will try to add in the deck lists that I have been trying for this.

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CDavis7M
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Location: California

Re: There and Back Again

Post by CDavis7M »

Hamfast wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 6:45 am
  1. If an attack is cancelled but not as part of a hazard being played to a region - does the hazard stay in the lineup of hazards to be played on future turns?
  • If multiple characters are wounded do they all heal to a tapped position in the organization phase at a site?
  • The starting company is able to take all of the dwarves listed in the sample list because the company is constructed using both the 30 general influence and the direct influence - modified by the rule that dwarves with mind 3 have +1 direct influence - to control the full list of characters, correct?
1) I'm not quite sure what you mean by "not as part of a hazard being played to a region." My understanding of the rules is that if the attack cannot be keyed to a region, then it is placed face up (If it is a creature that cannot be keyed to the company's region or Dragon's Desolation, then place it face up.). Regardless, the rules state "* A hazard creature, once it attacks, goes into a hazard discard pile, regardless of the attack outcome." So it would be discarded (not returned to the face-up line of cards).

2) Yes, multiple characters can heal .The rules state "Untap Phase: Untap all tapped characters and move all wounded characters to tapped position if the company is at any site (not just a Haven). If the company is in a region at the start of the turn, skip this phase." The untap phase works as normal, except that it only happens at a site.

3) There is no company size limit for the starting company. The only limit is the 30 General Influence:
  • Bilbo (5 mind, 2 DI) -- Dori (1 mind) and Dwalin (1 mind) following
  • Thorin II (8 mind, 5 DI) -- Glóin (5 mind) following
  • Balin (5 mind, 4 DI) -- Bifur (2 mind) and Bofur (2 mind) following
  • Óin (3 mind, 1 DI) -- Ori (1 mind) following
  • Kíli (3 mind, 1 DI) -- Bombur(1 mind) following
  • Nori (2 mind)
  • Fíli (2 mind)
I believe that you have 2GI left over but since the rule state that Dwarves count as half a character, presumably the 7 characters in a company limit applies (1 Hobbit and 13 Dwarves). The extra GI will let you swap in Dain or Gimli if you want.[*]

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Hamfast wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 6:45 am
I also tried a few house rules to add a little thematic flavor after the first few attempts:
How do you handle the guessing part of The Riddle Game and Riddling Talk? Do you draw cards for the hazard hand and guess against that?

I find The Lonely Mountain to be un-fun if the attack is canceled. So I put forth my best effort to defeat at least one or two strikes, not just chump block with Bombur.

Hamfast
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2019 5:15 am

Re: There and Back Again

Post by Hamfast »

CDavis7M wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 5:26 pm
1) I'm not quite sure what you mean by "not as part of a hazard being played to a region." My understanding of the rules is that if the attack cannot be keyed to a region, then it is placed face up (If it is a creature that cannot be keyed to the company's region or Dragon's Desolation, then place it face up.). Regardless, the rules state "* A hazard creature, once it attacks, goes into a hazard discard pile, regardless of the attack outcome." So it would be discarded (not returned to the face-up line of cards).
I could have asked that more clearly!

I was also referring to the special rule for hazards that you referenced: "If a resource card prevents creatures from being played on the company that is in a region or moved to a region, two cards are drawn for the hazard deck anyhow and placed in the row of face-up cards."

I wanted clarification about attack cancelling events like Concealment or Escape. If an attack is cancelled with an Escape, for example, does that hazard go to the discard pile or back to the row of face-up cards. I was interpreting "canceling an attack" to mean the attack never happens and is treated similarly to the special rule for hazards as it is preventing the card from being played.
CDavis7M wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 5:26 pm
2) Yes, multiple characters can heal .The rules state "Untap Phase: Untap all tapped characters and move all wounded characters to tapped position if the company is at any site (not just a Haven). If the company is in a region at the start of the turn, skip this phase." The untap phase works as normal, except that it only happens at a site.

3) There is no company size limit for the starting company. The only limit is the 30 General Influence:
  • Bilbo (5 mind, 2 DI) -- Dori (1 mind) and Dwalin (1 mind) following
  • Thorin II (8 mind, 5 DI) -- Glóin (5 mind) following
  • Balin (5 mind, 4 DI) -- Bifur (2 mind) and Bofur (2 mind) following
  • Óin (3 mind, 1 DI) -- Ori (1 mind) following
  • Kíli (3 mind, 1 DI) -- Bombur(1 mind) following
  • Nori (2 mind)
  • Fíli (2 mind)
Thank you!

-----
CDavis7M wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 5:26 pm
How do you handle the guessing part of The Riddle Game and Riddling Talk? Do you draw cards for the hazard hand and guess against that?

I find The Lonely Mountain to be un-fun if the attack is canceled. So I put forth my best effort to defeat at least one or two strikes, not just chump block with Bombur.
I was treating it as a roll off between the two characters and omitting the text about guessing a card. I like the suggestion in your question of guessing against some randomly drawn cards in the hazard deck. You would have knowledge of what could be in there and the knowledge of what has been played against you making it a more informed guess.

I was also thinking that canceling the Lonely Mountain attack makes it less fun so I was adding in Smaug at Home to make the automatic attack more challenging. Perhaps just leaving Smaug at Home and some other trigger to send Smaug Ahunt out into Northern Rhovanion would change that sequence in an interesting way.

Thank you for your comments!

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