In this week’s Read the Flipping Card, we’re going into the just released Drowned Ruins Adventure Pack for LOTR LCG and considering the new tactics event: Battle-Fury (The Drowned Ruins #86). We’ll give this card the usual treatment to see whether it’s fury is fitting in battle.
But first let’s get a picture of the card…
No errata applies to this card.
The ‘staging step’ is the point after players have committed characters to the quest but before encounter cards are drawn.
So each player will assign their characters to questing, exhausting them as normal (and then perhaps readying with an appropriate effect). Then this card gets played, the hero is exhausted and resolves its attack on that enemy. Once that attack has resolved the players can spend 1 spirit resource from within their ranks to commit the character to the quest, adding that characters willpower to the group total.
Then encounter cards are drawn as normal.
Let’s take a look at some of the considerations for that sequence of activity:
- The attack must be against an enemy that the hero could legitimately attack; for most heroes this is an enemy engaged with them. Note that even heroes with the Ranged keyword cannot attack enemies engaged with other players as that keyword is declared when it is that players turn to attack.
- If you want to buff the attack then you need to do that before this event is played as there is no window to play another action between this event being played and the action being executed. That means the buffs need to be ‘to the end of the phase’, ‘end of the round’ or ‘the next attack made’
- There’s nothing special about the attack, so the enemy’s defence is still encountered as usual
- The Hero exhausts to make the attack; the Hero must exhaust as it is part of the cost of the event. The Hero can be readied, and this would happen after any spirit resource was spent to commit to the quest
- There is no declare step in the attack so other players with Ranged cannot join in the attack
- Technically speaking if some players want to spend the spirit and some players don’t, then the first player is the one that decides. This could mean the player who spends the spirit didn’t want to spend it. In most multiplayer stuff, this would be bad etiquette so I’d strongly avoid forcing a player to spend a resource like that
So, when would you want to play this card?
The card is a form of action compression: it allows you to do more actions than you would normally have.
In this case, an attack and committing to the quest. If you don’t have readying but want to do both of those moves then this card allows it.
If you are able to kill the enemy in that attack it also saves you the action of defending against the attack, which saves actions (the defender or healing from taking the attack undefended) and reduces the variance of Shadow cards.
With readying it speeds up the pace of kills: you effectively get to attack twice against the same enemy. Consider this a Quick Strike with the ability to then go ahead and quest.
What makes this card better?
Anything that benefits from having enemies engaged before the questing step, but at the point that it might get swamped. Dunedain such as Amarthuil for instance might want to have no more than one or two enemies engaged and a good way to get rid of them before more get pulled down would be welcomed.
Enemies with low armour and low to mid-range hit points. High armour is the bane of this card as it means that the likelihood of removing the enemy is lowered without it comboing with other cards. A fantastic scenario would be Tactics Eowyn triggering her ability, playing this card and getting a lovely 9 atk power hit in and then questing for her 4! But that’s at most a once in a game possibility.
High attack heroes that have shakier defence companions. A valid approach might be to stack buffs to get high attack power and use cards such as Battle-Fury, Hands Upon the Bow, Quick Strike to minimise the number of attacks that have to be defended against by allowing attacks out of sequence.
What makes this card worse?
Unfortunately, the worse condition is also a common condition: high armour enemies with reasonable hit points, combined with high attack heroes with low willpower.
The former makes it harder for the enemies to be chipped away at; the latter makes it less worth spending the resource to commit the hero afterwards. Unfortunately, that is a very likely set of circumstances, particularly in modern quests and it makes the card a different prospect. If you’re running Quick Strike in multiplayer this would be a straight swop, but for my part I think that there are likely to be more helpful tactics events that might want space in the deck.
Got a different view? Hit us up in the comments below or through the usual channels!