22 June 2009

The Shadows Darken

The newest preview of Middle-earth Quest!

The lands around Mount Gundabad are mountainous and inhospitable. Only a few paths lead in, and only one is easily passable. It is a dark place, and the forces of the Shadow are strong within this mountain stronghold. These forces are led by the fearsome Gothmog of Gorgoroth, Lieutenant of Sauron.

Combining the close combat orientation of the Black Serpent with the area of effect abilities of the Mouth of Sauron, Gothmog is a deadly foe.

First is his combat prowess. Gothmog draws from the Ravager deck, the same as the Black Serpent. This deck is more focused on the up close and personal aspect of combat. Gothmog boasts a fairly impressive Fortitude and Strength, both of which are seven. This will allow him to play a fair number of cards, as well as maintain a fairly large hand size. In addition he has a Wisdom of two, the same as the Mouth of Sauron. Wisdom allows the Sauron player to build up Influence in areas near the minion. With Gothmog’s Wisdom of two, the Sauron player can put Influence in up to two different spots, building his empire of evil.

A Hero’s Wisdom attribute is used to determine if an area is perilous or not. If the Wisdom attribute is equal to or higher than the amount of Influence in an area it is safe. If it is not, Sauron gets to exert his will over the area. The Sauron player draws three cards from the deck of perils. He may choose one of these cards to inflict on the wayward hero. One such card is Khazad-dûm. This card is exclusive to the mines of Moria, and forces a hero to immediately fight the wickedly powerful Balrog! The noble hero, Eleanor, has a mighty Wisdom of three. This lets her move through areas that have seen a fair amount of Sauron’s influence.

Gothmog’s ability is where he begins to shine. “All non-Haven locations within 1 space are considered perilous.” This goes a long way, both to his longevity as well as his ability to hinder the heroes movements. Havens are places for heroes to train and heal, and are few and far between. The heroes will have much trekking to do to defeat this vile creature. He appears in Mount Gundabad, a location found in the heart of many of the heroes quests and missions.

Gothmog must be wary of the strong fighters in the heroes party. Thálin can be a deadly opponent for Gothmog, as he has high Strength and Fortitude, and has a fair number of devastating close combat abilities. Using his ability, Sauron’s lieutenant can put a bunch of influence between Thálin and himself. Only boasting a Wisdom of 1, Thálin is not adept at avoiding perilous locations. Eometh can move very quickly, and also has fairly high Strength and Fortitude. Using the higher Wisdom and his ability, Gothmog can build a deadly barricade between the horseman and himself.

Three minions have been revealed, two more are yet to appear. The heroes will have much to do, if they wish to foil Sauron’s plans.

Middle-earth Quest is a game of adventure and conflict set in the time leading up to the creation of the Fellowship. One player will adopt to mantle of Sauron and do his best to spread his evil influence across the lands. Up to three players become heroes and will do their best to foil Sauron's foul plots, and rally the peoples of Middle-earth to their side.

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