Quest 23: The Dunland Trap

Lord of the Rings LCG Campaign

The 23nd Quest: The Dunland Trap

After a short but welcome rest at Orthanc the rangers and Rohirrim must set off again, this time in search of knowledge of the Celebrimbor’s Forge and the making of the Rings of Power. As they make their way down the Old South Road from Isengard to Tharbad, the Wild Men of Dunland spring a deadly trap.

 

Starting Threat:

Party One     Théoden (12), Mablung (10), Théodred (8) = 30

Party Two    Indraen (11), Beravor(10), Dúnhere (8) = 29

Both Théodred and Beravor have a resource at the beginning of the scenario as a result of the victory point expenditure from the previous scenario

Opening draw

Party One: Feint, Guthlaf, 2 x Gaining Strength, Heir of Marsil, The Eagles Are Coming

Party Two: Lore of Imladris, Protection of Lorien, Secret Paths, Mustering the Rohirrim, A Test of Will, Thror’s Key

Active Location: Old South Road

Each party has a Boar Clan Stalker already engaged

1 - 1 ffg_boar-clan-stalker_the-dunland-trap_17    2 - 1 ffg_the-road-to-tharbad_the-dunland-trap_11  3 - 1 ffg_old-south-road_the-dunland-trap_16

Turn 1

Draw: Party One    Sneak Attack           Party Two:   Ithilien Archer

(+1 Resource on each engaged Boar Clan Stalker)

Under attack already, the leaders of both parties did their best to react positively. Shouting “The Eagles are Coming”, Théoden gained foreknowledge of the arrival of some Eagles of the Misty Mountains, and after Gaining Strength twice in a row, Théodred named Théoden as the Heir to Marsil.  Idraen was named a Protector of Loríen and by Mustering the Rohirrim a West Road Traveller was found nearby.

Théodred, Théoden, Grima and idraen were ordered to search for a way out, though Théoden was of course ready to defend against attack due to his use of his title when given assistance by Théodred. There was a thought that the parties were In Need of Rest, but that danger was removed by a Test of Will.  That they were Low on Provisions could not be avoided: all members of Théoden’s group were weakened, while Idraen was close to death.

4 - 1 ffg_in-need-of-rest-voi   5 - 1 ffg_westfold-horse-breeder-voi   6 - 1 ffg_low-on-provisions-voi

Nevertheless, the lack of fresh enemies allowed them to move off the Old South Road which was a great relief. They made it a short way towards Thorbad before being forced to fight the Stalkers.  The first was deceived by a Feint, but the second, which attacked Berevor, although it did no damage, was able to move out of range of counter-attack.  Although that was annoying, a Sneak Attack by the Eagles of the Misty Mountains, together with Théoden and Mablung, killed the first Stalker.

Having survived the initial impact, both parties braced for the onslaught to come.

Threat 31/30

Road to Tharbad:              Travel 6, Time 1

Turn 2

Draw: Party 1         Rohirrim Warhorse           Party 2          Westfold Horsebreeder

(+1 Resource to Boar Clan Stalker engaged with Party Two)

Reinforced by the Eagles of the Misty Mountains and a Westfold Horsebreeder, (who brought news of a Steed of the Mark) the parties were a little better prepared than before. The Lore of Imladris was used to heal Idraen and four scouts set out.

They soon found the way blocked by a Dunland Chieftain and Tribesman. The latter lead to the discovery of a nearby Vassal of the Windlord and a hint of Radagast’s Cunning, but it also boosted the strength of the Stalker.  Still, by using her power as a Protector of Loríen, Idraen made sure a lot of progress was made.

Neither of the newly discovered enemies could force combat, and neither of the parties were willing to choose a fight with them just yet. The Stalker attacked, killing the Westfold Horsebreeder, but it fell to the combined arms of Idraen, Dunhére and Grima.  Unfortunately time was running out, and all the accumulated knowledge the parties had gathered off nearby allies and advantages was rendered useless.  Théoden did hear of the Support of Eagles and that Gwahir was not far away, and Idraen became aware of a Westfold Horsebreaker and found that Radagast’s Cunning was still available.

With that they would have to be satisfied.

Threat           32/31             

Road to Tharbad:             Travel 12, Time 2

Turn 3

Draw: Party 1        Westfold Outrider  Party 2          Steed of the Mark

Théoden was assured of the Support of the Eagles, but Idraen’s party had to make do with the arrival of a Westfold Horsebreaker. It was not a lot, not with the enemy threatening.  Six members were send out to explore.

7 - 1 ffg_off-track-voi   9 - 1 ffg_westfold-horse-breaker-thfg   8 - 1 ffg_hills-of-dunland_the-dunland-trap_20

That was not enough scouts to ensure success: the Hills of Dunland loomed up ahead, they found they were Off Track and a Dunland Ambush was sprung. That last event had no effect, but the surge that followed did allow a Frenzied Attack.  In the ensuing confusion, the Westfold Outrider was left behind, but a Rohan Warhorse was located and Idraen’s group recovered their Test of Will.

Radagast’s Cunning fooled the Dunland Chieftain, and the parties forced their way down past the waiting enemy. They might have made to the end of The Road to Tharbad, but it would have fatal to Grima to keep going so they did not take advantage of the Idraen’s power as Protector of Loríen.

They did however head for the Hills of Dunland, which not only revealed a Snowbourn Scout and a Westfold Horsebreeder, but also a Dunland Berserker which immediately drew close to Idraen’s party. Théoden, deciding that the Dunland Chieftain must be removed, engaged it, but that triggered the arrival of a Boar Clan Stalker.  The Chieftain attacked the Eagles of the Misty Mountains who would have survived had the enemy not used a nasty trick to increase its strength.  Nobody bothered with the attack of the Stalker as it was powerless, but Dunhére volunteered to block the Berserker, getting slightly wounded in the process.

Théoden and Mablun between them accounted for the Stalker, but Idraen could only hit the Berserker twice and the Chieftain was unharmed.

The effect of being Off Track led to the loss of all information again, but this time Théoden found how to deal an Unseen Strike not once but twice, and Idraen again recovered the Test of Will and added some Unexpected Courage. That boost for Idraen’s party came at cost: the Berserker attacked again, wounding Idraen with a skilful blow.

Threat           33/32

Hills of Dunland:                 Travel Nil

Road to Tharbad:              Travel 17, Time 2

Turn 4

Draw: Party 1         Winged Guardian  Party 2          Wingfoot

Another attack by the Berserker was defended by Beravor: no damage was taken. A Winged Guardian joined the first party, but that was all the help received.  Only four scouts could be spared  but with A Test of Will countering being Low on Provisions, the only new challenge to be faced was the Hithaeglir Stream.  As a result, the Hills of Dunland were scaled and the end of the Road to Tharbad reached.  That meant that they had to proceed down the Munun Dun Ravine where there was only room for one ally per party.  In fact, all their hard won assets had to be left behind as they found themselves in A Well Laid Trap, each party faced with a Boar Clan Warrior.  The only consolation was that the emblem of the Heir of Marsil was relocated as was the way to the Secret Paths.  (Though that caused yet another attack by the Berserker, who wounded Dunhere twice.)

The subsequent fighting was ferocious. Grima was wounded by a Berserker and Idraen by a Warrior. The Winged Guardian died at the hands of the Dunland Chieftain and Mablung was badly hurt by the other Warrior.  In the only retaliatory attack, Théoden slew the Chieftain with two Unseen Strikes.

10 - 1 ffg_munuv-duv-ravine_the-dunland-trap_15   11 - 1 ffg_a-well-laid-trap_the-dunlad-trap_12  12 - 1 ffg_chief-turch_the-dunland-trap_14

After that bloody battle, the adventurers found themselves out of the trap but there seemed No Way Out. They must outlast their attackers, now led by the dread Chief Turch who engaged Idraen’s party.

Threat           34/33

No Way Out:                       Time 8

Munun Dun Ravine           Travel Nil

Turn 5

Draw: Party 1         Gandalf         Party 2          Test of Will

Once more Idraen’s party had to face the Berserker, but this time Idraen turned it away without suffering any harm. She was then given some Unexpected Courage while Beravor was granted Wingfoot.  Théoden was again recognised as Heir of Marsil but the great news was the arrival of Gandalf, who killed the Warrior that was engaged with Idraen’s party as he reached the beleaguered heroes.

It was essential to get out of the Ravine as it gave the attackers far too great an advantage. Idraen used her Unexpected Courage to lead the way forward and they did escape the dangerous terrain, to find themselves in front of the Plains of Enedwaith.  (Another Frenzied Attack was halted by A Test of Will).

13 - 1 ffg_plains-of-enedwaith_the-dunland-trap_21   14 - 1 ffg_no-way-out_the-dunland-trap_13   15 - 1 ffg_hithaeglir-stream_the-dunland-trap_22

They ignored the Plains, preferring to follow the Hithaeglir Stream. Chief Turch changed his target but in the fighting he was matched by Gandalf.  The Warrior concentrated on Théoden, wounding him twice.  Beravor took a wound from the Berserker, but that was the last damage it would do, as Idraen and Dunhere were finally able to destroy him.  Mablung could only manage one wound on the Warrior.

Threat           35/34

No Way Out                         Time 6

Hithaeglir Stream              Travel Nil 

Turn 6

Draw: Party 1         Winged Guardian, Eagles of the Misty Mountains

            Party 2          Ithilien Tracker, West Road Traveller

(No shadow cards available for Boar Clan Warrior)

Hoping the worst had passed, Théoden called on some Eagles of the Misty Mountains and a Winged Guardian, while Idraen was fortunate to encounter an Ithilien Tracker and a West Road Traveller. The latter pointed out a way to change from the Hithaeglir Stream to the Plains of Enedwaith, an opportunity gladly taken.

Not many travellers could be spared for reconnaissance. It did not matter: the main danger was not enemies but a recurrence of being Low on Provisions.  Absorbing the damage caused by hunger was difficult and it was fortunate that only the West Road Traveller died from its effects.  The only new foe discovered was a solitary Boar Clan Warrior, so they were able to cross the Plains of Enedwaith and regain the Hithaeglir Stream.

Chief Turch switched back to Idraen’s party and killed the Ithilien Tracker, and Théoden lured the Warrior to his group. One Warrior then attacked the Winged Guardian which easily held if off, while the other hit the Eagles of the Misty Mountains which was caught off-guard by a stratagem and died.  Dunhère was able to hit the Dunland Tribesman who was still hanging back and the team of Théoden and Mablung killed the previously unwounded Warrior.

16 - 1 ffg_ithilien-tracker-hon   17 - 1 ffg_boar-clan-warrior_the-dunland-trap_18   18 - 1 ffg_west-road-traveller-rtm

At that time Beravor searched around for help, finding A Good Harvest and remembering the Lore of Imladris. (That gave the remaining Warrior a chance for a more effective attack, but it was considered worth the risk).

Threat           36/35

No Way Out                         Time  3

Hithaeglir Stream              Travel Nil

Turn 7

Draw: Party 1         Feint, Landroval     Party 2          Mustering the Rohirrim, Protector of Lorien

Only those party members who could also defend the camp were allowed to leave: the defence of the camps was the priority and all that could be done to strengthen it was for Théoden to be healed by the Lore of Imladris and to be named as Protector of Lorien.

Even so, they did advance a short way, only to find the Plains of Enedwaith again, and to undergo another Frenzied Attack. That actually served to improve their chances, as they learned of a way to make a Sneak Attack.  They also learned of nearby Ithalien Tracker, but he was found to have left almost as soon as they heard of his existence.

They were not satisfied with that, asking Grima to see what he could find. He claimed The Eagles Are Coming, and that a Winged Guardian and a Descendant of Thorondor could be expected at any moment.

That was in the future. Right now, Chief Turch moved back to the first group and cut down the Winged Guardian.  The last remaining Warrior, with at least four combat tricks up its sleeve, was thwarted by a Feint.  Dunhère weakened the Tribesman a little more and Théoden and Mablung, now used to fighting together, had no trouble eliminating the Warrior.

Beravor was again asked to look for help, but this time for the other party. She did locate the old battle cry, “Forth Eorlingas” but that was not much use at the moment.  The presence of Gwaihir was not much more helpful.

Threat                       37/36

No Way Out                         Time  1

Hithaeglir Stream              Travel 2

Turn 8

Draw: Party 1         The Eagles Are Coming    Party 2          Éomund

Rumours that The Eagles Are Coming were welcome, as was the word that Éomund was close. As it was, the Descendant of Thorondor made a Sneak Attack, finishing off the Tribesman who died just before he was ready to engage Théoden’s group.  With the help of a Good Harvest, Éomund joined Idraen.  This would be the final clash, the last attempt by Chief Turch to slaughter the expedition.  Nobody could be spared to scout, all were required to stem the assault.

A Frenzied Attack followed by the sight of a Boar Clan Warrior provided a slight increase in the sense of danger. The lack of exploration made everyone more concerned but that could wait.  Chief Turch again altered his direction of attack which signalled this would be the last offensive.  He slew Éomund, but the Warrior could not damage anyone.

The enemy withdrew, unaware that another attack would have found the adventurers virtually defenceless. Supporting each other as they went, the two groups made their way to safety.

Results

Party One Final Threat:    42

Party Two Final Threat:    41

Heroes Dead                        Nil

Heroes Wounded               Mablung, Idraen                                        3 wounds each

Théodred, Dunhère                                   2 wounds each

Beravor                                                         1 wound

Victory Points

Old South Road                  1

Munuv Duv Ravine                        3

Normal difficulty                The Ring Maker: 2 x 4 points

Total VPs                               12

Spending Victory Points

11points to heal all characters, one point wasted

Overall Score

Party One                             42

Party Two                             41

Less VPs                                – 12

Plus 10 x 7 Rounds             70

Total                                       139

Comments

I must admit that I had to play this scenario several times to win: the requirement that no heroes die on the final stage was incredibly hard to meet. Not because of the enemies so much as the events.  For some reason I kept getting hit with multiple copies of the same treachery which always killed someone or left the parties unable to meet the next combat round.

I would have accepted the deaths were it not for the fact that by losing I would have to repeat the quest, with less chance of success than originally.

So a very tough quest, at least for these parties. The enemies are not easy to kill outright and can deliver heavy blows.  Some of the treacheries are hard to take and the scenario rules make it difficult to prepare for what is to come.

No doubt in my mind that it has been by far the most difficult to date.

Deck contents

 

With the death of Éomund, the two copies of that card were removed and replaced with 2 x Rider of the Mark

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