Quest 22: Into Fangorn

Lord of the Rings LCG Campaign 

The 22nd Quest: Into Fangorn

With Mugash captured, it was thought the mission was over. The orc leader escaped however, and fled into Fangorn Forest.  In pursuit the two groups found the trees themselves oppose their intrusion

Starting Threat

Party One     Théoden (12), Mablung (10), Théodred (8)

Party Two    Indraen (11), Beravor(10), Dúnhere (8)

Opening draw

Party One: Unseen Strike, Sneak Attack, Winged Guardian, Warden of Helm’s Deep, Hail of Stones, Vassal of the Windlord

Party Two: Westfold Horsebreeder, Éomund, Stand and Fight, Westfold Traveller, Westfold Horsebreaker, Ithilien Archer

Staging Area

Edge of Fangorn (guarding Mugash), Heart of Fangorn

 

1 - 1 ffg_edge-of-fangorn-voi   2 - 2 ffg_into-the-woods-voi   3 - 1 ffg_heart-of-fangorn-voi

Turn 1

Draw: Party One    Descendent of Thorondor                       Party Two:   Mustering the Rohirrim

Before entering the forbidding forest, Théoden called on a Winged Guardian to help defend his group while Idraen had to make do with a Westfold Horse-breeder. The pursuit did not begin well.  With seven scouts ahead, both groups found themselves short of provisions which had the effect of weakening Mablung, Théodred, Grima, Beravor and Dúnhere and badly hurting the two leaders,Théoden and Idraen.  The nearby presence of a Dark-hearted Huorn somewhere nearby was the only danger detected as they set off for the Heart of Fangorn.

That danger was easily handled. Before the enemy could move up to engage either party a Descendent of Thorondor made a Sneak Attack, darting in and out before the Huorn could react.  A Hail of Stones from the Winged Guardian finished it off.

As the end of the day approached, Beravor took advantage of the lack of fighting to search around and found signs that the titles of Wingfoot and Protector of Lórien could be available. Then everyone rested in preparation for the second day.

Threat 31/30

Heart of Fangorn:                         Travel Nil

Into the Woods:                 Travel 5, Time 3

Turn 2

Draw: Party 1         Support of the Eagles       Party 2          Ride to Ruin

A Vassal of the Windlord joined his fellow eagle and Éomund arrived to support Idraen’s group, already strengthened by Beravor’s nomination to be Wingfoot. The added members allowed the exploring party to be larger.  Another Dark-Hearted Huorn was found, as well as a path into the Tangled Woods.  These could not prevent them from reaching the Heart of Fangorn and making good progress Into the Woods, allowing a detour to the Tangled Woods.

4 - 1 Dark-Hearted-Huorn  5 - 1 ffg_hail-of-stones-rtr6 - 1 ffg_tangled-woods-voi

The Dark-Hearted Huorn came close to Théoden’s group but did not attack, instead intending to slow the party down and create concern. There was little that could be done, but Beravor found more promises of future assistance.  She already was known as Wingfoot, so that would not help, but a hint that a call of Stand and Fight was possible was definitely worth knowing.

-1 Travel from Into the Woods (Dark-Hearted Huorn)

Threat           32/31           

Tangled Woods:                 Travel Nil

Into the Woods:                 Travel 10, Time 2 

Turn 3

+1 Threat to Party 1 (now 34) from Dark-Hearted Huorn

 Draw: Party 1        The Eagles are Coming     Party 2          Stand and Fight

A cry that “The Eagles are Coming” told everyone that another Winged Guardian was on the way as well provoking a repeat of the call that promised another Descendent of Thorondor could be expected. They would have to wait, as Théoden claimed the Support of the Eagles.  While all this was happening, Beravor was declared a Protector of Lórien and a Steed of the Mark was provided to Théoden.

The number of scouts increased to nine so although another Dark-Hearted Huorn and a Deadly Huorn loomed into sight the adventurers still reached the Tangled Woods and the pursuit of Mugash continued.   In fact they closed in on the escapee, entering into the Edge of Fangorn.  This alerted an Angry Huorn, but it could be ignored for now.

7 - 1 ffg_deadly-huorn-voi  8 - 1 ffg_support-of-the-eagles-rtm  9 - 1 ffg_angry-huorn-voi

With both parties being tailed by a Dark-Hearted Huorn a steady loss of progress could be noted, even if no combat took place with these creatures. The Deadly Huorn had no such fear of getting close but the Winged Guardian countered its attack without taking any damage.  That creature would have to be dealt with later.   It was more pressing to destroy the Dark-Hearted Huorn that was sapping the courage of the group: Théoden, armed with the Support of the Eagles, together with the Vassal of the Windlord, cut it to pieces.  The Vassal, its job done, left immediately.

-2 Travel from Into the Woods (2 x Dark-Hearted Huorn)

Once more Beravor was not needed and could look for anything useful nearby. Another Westfold Horsebreeder was not far away, and there was a rumour that Astonishing Speed could reached in the future.

Threat           35/32

Edge of Fangorn:               Travel Nil

Into the Woods:                 Travel 16, Time 1

Turn 4

+1 Threat to Party 2 (now 33)

Draw: Party 1         Vassal of the Windlord     Party 2          Ride to Ruin

The presence of the Angry Huorn, even at some distance, caused the Winged Guardian to flee, but its loss was more than compensated by the arrival of a Vassal of the Windlord, a Warden of Helm’s Deep and a Descendent of Thorondor. The last to arrive dealt the Angry Huorn a couple of wounds as it passed it.  Idraen could only greet a solitary Westfold Horsebreaker.

The number of scouts had to be sharply reduced because of the need to defend against the surrounding Huorns, but no amount of reconnaissance could have prevented the parties being Turned Around. Instead of closing in on Mugash at the Edge of Fangorn, they had the heartbreaking sight of the orc escaping into The Angry Forest.  To add to the confusion, a track to the Tangled Woods was found.

10 - 1 ffg_descendant-of-thorondor-thoem 11 - 2 ffg_the-angry-forest-voi12 - 1 ffg_MEC31_138

Even so, they made it to the Edge of Fangorn and penetrated a short way into The Angry Forest. Unfortunately even that small amount of progress was reduced by the lurking Dark-Hearted Huorn and there was nobody to spare to examine the path to the Tangled Woods.  Worse was to come: the Deadly Huorn slaughtered the Descendent of Thorondor.  (Though it did deliver a couple of additional wounds to the Angry Huorn before it expired).

Idraen called a Vassal of the Windlord to Stand and Fight and with its assistance she and the rest of her group slew the Dark-Hearted Huorn that was holding them back and causing anxiety. Straightaway Théoden used the Strength of the Eagles to boost his power and with another Vassal and the Warden finally has his revenge on the Deadly Huorn.  Both Vassals then departed.

Threat           36/34

The Angry Forest:              Travel 3, Time 2

Turn 5

Draw: Party 1         Rohan Warhorse   Party 2          A Good Harvest

Another Winged Guardian gave Théoden’s group some much needed defence capability and Idraen would have the benefit of an Ithilien Archer. A small number of scouts were sent out, which was a fortunate decision.  The Forest’s Malice was revealed, as an Angry Huorn attacked Théoden’s party and yet another Dark-Hearted Huorn attached itself to Idraen’s group.  The only other discovery was a second path to the Tangled Woods.

Again nobody could be spared to travel down either path to the Tangled Woods and then the Dark-Hearted Huorn forced them back a short way out of the Angry Forest.

In the fighting that followed, the Warden of Helm’s Deep fell to the onslaught of the Angry Huorn that was engaged with Théoden’s party. By using an Unseen Strike that Angry Huorn was cut down, and the one that still held back was damaged further when Idraen called a Descendent of Thorondor to Stand and Fight.  That eagle also lent its talons to the attack on the Dark-Hearted Huorn that saw that tree tumble to the ground.

Threat           37/35

The Angry Forest               Travel 6, Time 1

Turn 6

Draw: Party 1         Warden of Helm’s Deep   Party 2          A Test of Will

Neither group could find any assistance in the form of additional members or equipment, but there was little opposition ahead so seven scouts were sent ahead. As if it had been waiting for the chance, the Forest’s Malice struck again.  A Deadly Huorn attacked the second party and a fourth Dark-Hearted Huorn came close to the Théoden’s group.  As the leaders considered how to deal with these new enemies, once more the Forest’s Malice was revealed as the Deadly Huorn charged the Descendent of Thorondor, killing it with a single blow.  That blow, however, also brought about the end of the Angry Huorn that had been wounded earlier.  It died without ever closing with the pursuers.

Théoden led the groups into the Tangled Woods as the Dark-Hearted Huorn delayed them and the Deadly Huorn attempted without success to defeat the Winged Guardian. Idraen and her companions made short work of the Deadly Huorn and then sent the Westfold Horsebreaker away on a Ride to Ruin, allowing considerable progress to be made into the Tangled Woods.  Grima, who had done nothing that day, was able to provide the chance of an Unseen Strike.

Time had run out for the expedition however, and they were forced to restart their search of The Angry Forest, attracting the attention of two more Deadly Huorns. Gritting their teeth, the adventurers forged on.

Threat           38/36

Tangled Woods                  Travel 3

The Angry Forest               Travel 15, Time 3

Turn 7

+1 threat to Party 1 (now 39)

Draw: Party 1         Westfold Outrider  Party 2          Lore of Imladris

Despite the steady loss of companions, new recruits could still be found. A Westfold Outrider was accompanied by another Warden of Helm’s Deep and another shout to Stand and Fight attracted one more Descendent of Thorondor, who followed the practice of his predecessors by delivering several blows to a waiting Deadly Huorn.  Mustering the Rohirrim (only possible with a Good Harvest) however did not locate any more prospective members.

13 - 1 ffg_ithilien-archer-eaad  14 - 1 ffg_the-forests-malice-voi  15 - 1 ffg_westfold-outrider-voi

For once no more sentient trees were found, just a sidetrack to the Heart of Fangorn. That good news was offset by the discovery that Idraen was In Need of Rest: she had to return to camp and warned that her health was declining.  The lack of opposition did mean that they cleared the Tangled Wood and thanks to an effort by Mablung could move into the Heart of Fangorn.

The wounded Deadly Huorn attacked the first party, the other closed on the second. (The Dark-hearted Huorn still trailed Théoden’s group, slowing them down).  Between them the Winged Guardian and the Warden of Helm’s Deep held off the two trees without suffering any injury and concerted attacks by both parties ended the threat they posed.

That was all well and good, but time was passing and that caused Idraen to tell her companions that her life was ebbing away.

Threat                       40/37 

Heart of Fangorn               Travel Nil

The Angry Forest               Travel 18, Time 2 (+1 Wound Idraen)

Turn 8

+1 Threat to Party 1 (now 41)

Draw: Party 1         Vassal of the Windlord     Party 2          Astonishing Speed

Another Vassal of the Windlord showed up, and a West Road Traveller showed them the way to change their path away from the Heart of Fangorn into the Tangled Wood. A rumour that they were Low on Provisions was only quashed by a Test of Will, which was fortunate as it could have ended the quest there and then.  Again none of the trees that had caused so much pain and delay were located, and they pushed through the Tangled Woods with ease.  Idraen took the time to use the Lore of Imladris to heal herself completely, but she warned she was still In Need of Rest, though she was ready to push on to the Heart of Fangorn.

16 - 1 ffg_in-need-of-rest-voi  17 - 1 ffg_lore-of-imladris-core  18 - 1 ffg_low-on-provisions-voi

All that remained to be done was get rid of the annoying Black-Hearted Huorn: with the Support of the Eagles and the some help from the Warden and a shot or two from the Ithilien Archer it was left behind, its delaying tactics ended. Grima had tried to get more assistance, but all he could find was a Rohan Warhorse.

Threat                       42/38

Heart of Fangorn               Travel Nil

The Angry Forest               Travel 20, Time 1 (+1 Wound Idraen)

Turn 9

Draw: Party 1         Heir of Marsil          Party 2          Steed of the Mark

Mablung was declared to be the Heir of Marsil (though it was found later that as he was not of Noble birth, he was ineligible for the honour). The battered parties had no other reinforcement or repair: they must continue despite their wounds and growing unease.

The situation was already grim but it got worse. First they found that they were Off Track, which they could have dealt with (they expected to reach the Heart of Fangorn within the hour) were it not immediately followed by the discovery that they had been Turned Around.  Suddenly the track to the Heart of Fangorn disappeared and the loss of a lot of time threatened the life of Idraen.  Then a burst of hope: Mugash was sighted!  That hope was almost destroyed when it was found that both groups were Low on Provisions.  It was a disaster.  The Warden, Outrider and Westfold Horsebreaker died, and virtually every other member of the parties was weakened, some badly.

19 - 1 ffg_off-track-voi20 - 1 ffg_escape-from-fangorn-voi21 - 1

They stumbled on, regaining the path to the Heart of Fangorn, but time was running out fast. Grima and Beravor used their remaining energy to look for anything that could help, finding some Secret Paths, knowledge of Radagast’s Cunning and word of an approaching Ithilien Tracker.  Dunhere made an effort to seize the now unguarded Mugash, as they began the Escape From Fangorn.  The road would not be easy: it was a long way to travel and two Dark-Hearted Huorns were already barring the way.  The dire effects of having wandered Off Track were still being felt as half the time available to make that journey evaporated and Idraen again grew close to death.

Threat 43/39

Heart of Fangorn               Travel Nil

Escape From Fangorn       Travel Nil      Time 2

Turn 10

Draw: Party 1         Support of the Eagles       Party 2          Astonishing Speed

It was time for one last surge to break free of the grip of the forest. They could not survive more combat against the trees.  A Descendent of Thorondor and and a Westfold Horsebreeder were welcome additions, but they could would not last long against the power of the Huorns.  Everyone was encouraged to search for a quick way out.  The Forest’s Malice brought two Angry Huorns and another Deadly Huorn lurched toward them, ready to kill and maim.

Speed was essential. Radagast’s Cunning deceived the Deadly Huorn for now, but it was the use of Astonishing Speed that was critical.  Each of the Rohirrim present had their enthusiasm boosted and with that huge increase in the ability of the scouts to find a safe path, the parties burst past the Heart of Fangorn and escaped the forest.  It was a very close thing, and it was fortunate that now all would have time to recuperate before their next quest.

Results

Party One Final Threat:    43

Party Two Final Threat:    39

Heroes Dead                        Nil

Heroes Wounded               Théoden, Idraen, Dúnhere, Beravor    3 wounds each

Mablung, Théodred                                  2 wounds each

Victory Points 

Edge of Fangorn                 1

Normal difficulty                The Ring Maker: 2 x 4 points

Total VPs                               9

Spending Victory Points

3 x 2                                       One extra resource for Théodred and Beravor

3                                              One extra mulligan for Party 1

Overall Score

Party One                             43

Party Two                             39

Less VPs                                – 9

Plus 10 x 9 Rounds             90

Total                                       163

Comments

One of the toughest quests to date. Had I not had a Lore of Imladris I would have lost my first hero.  The key, as with all these “time’ quests, is to use the time allowed to build up strength.  That includes allowing the time to expire if the negative effects are bearable – there is no point in leaping into the next stage when you are in no shape to deal with the new threats.

Killing Huorns is not easy, even with the Support of the Eagles turning one hero into a superhero. You must try to keep their numbers down, although I accept that is easier to say than to do.  In this quest I found that the amount of questing power needed was relatively low and it is possible to keep a sizeable force for fighting, though this is made much easier if you have some way to revitalise your best damage dealers.   Having combat pumpers is always a good idea, but against Huorns it is essential.

Deck contents

With the death of Gléowine, the two copies of that card were removed and replaced with 2 x Ithilien Archer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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