One of the best things about The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game is how well it represents the peoples and events from Tolkien’s writings. In many cases, these cards are some of the most powerful cards in the game. In instances where the power of these cards is not as immediately obvious, some players will express frustration. I prefer to see these cards as a challenge. Forth Eorlingas is one such card. While thematically brilliant, it represents something of a strategic conundrum. As someone who finds great enjoyment in building unique decks, these are some of cards that I enjoy most. Powerful, but not in as obvious of way as many other power cards, these kind of effects require a carefully-crafted deck.
As a 2 cost Tactics event, I’m sure many players immediately ignored this card as too expensive. To be fair, I was also rather skeptical at first glance. However, when you look at cards like Spear of the Mark, along with some other effects like Unseen Strike which have been around for a long time and have never quite found a niche, the broader picture starts to become more clear. Let’s be clear from the outset: this is a very specific deck, and it will not fair well against all scenarios. However, like any niche tool, when it works – it works to perfection.
For the most part, this deck remains very thematic. The one exception is Steward of Gondor, which was a necessary concession given the expense of this particular combo. The idea is to load up Háma with as many resources as possible. This allows us to combine Háma’s ability to recycle Tactics events when he attacks with the effect of Forth Eorlingas to allow him and his compatriots to attack the staging area. Thematically, this represents the Rohirrim riding down their enemies before the hapless whelps know what has hit them.
With Théodred and Éowyn committing to the quest each round, this strategy at first seems impossible. However, each of the Rohan heroes can then take advantage of Steed of the Mark to quest and immediately ready by spending a resource. Errand-riders, while not of Rohan, arrive on the scene to help with resource smoothing. This and the resource acceleration from Théodred and Steward of Gondor are needed to help pay for the various mounts and weapons that form the core of our strategy.
Forth Eorlingas is a rather expensive, at two resources, but the hope is that we won’t need to use it every round. Ideally, with the help of Spear of the Mark, Dagger of Westernesse and Firefoot, a single foray into the staging area should fell an enemy before they ever get close enough to swing their sword. Then, we can spend another round or two to build up resources and rally our troops.
With the high willpower that is the hallmark of the Rohan trait, along with support from Snowbourn Scout and West Road Traveller, we should be able to handle locations without too much of a problem. For scenarios with troublesome treacheries or condition attachments, feel free to add A Test of Will or Power of Orthanc. For being so tightly-focused on the cavalry theme, this deck still has some very real flexibility.
With such a reliance on the mount and weapon attachments, card draw becomes paramount. This is where Westfold Horse-breeder, Ancient Mathom and Foe-Hammer all play important roles. In case of low-engagement enemies that slip between our ranks, Feint, Sneak Attack and Quick Strike are all excellent solutions. Another trick which is quite fun is to use Westfold Outrider, after enemy attacks, to pull an enemy that would have engaged the following round. Because enemy attacks have already occurred, we get a full round of attacks on the enemy, risk-free.
With a strategy based primarily on staging area attack, threat control is of vital importance, so Gandalf and the Galadhrim’s Greeting should be used accordingly. One last note: the quantities in this deck were specifically designed to work with a single Core Set. For those with multiple Core Sets, or who don’t mind using proxies, an extra copy of some of the key cards like Feint and Steward of Gondor can help improve this deck’s consistency. Fare thee well, and ride forth into glorious victory!
Snowbourn Scout (Core) x2
Westfold Horse-breeder (VoI) x3
Errand-rider (HoN) x3
Westfold Outrider (VoI) x2
West Road Traveller (RtM) x3
Gandalf (Core) x3
Ancient Mathom (AJtR) x3
Dagger of Westernesse (TBR) x3
Spear of the Mark (TMV) x3
Firefoot (TDT) x2
Rohan Warhorse (VoI) x2
Steed of the Mark (TMV) x3
Steward of Gondor (Core) x2
Foe-Hammer (TH:OHaUH) x3
Unseen Strike (TRG) x2
Sneak Attack (Core) x2
Feint (Core) x2
Forth Eorlingas! (TMV) x3
Quick Strike (Core) x2
The Galadhrim’s Greeting (Core) x2