The Under-grottos

"The problem about caves is you don't know how far they go back," or under. In fact, the following site played a vital role in the defeat of Sauron, all do to "a chance meeting, as we call it in Middle-earth."

The Under-grottos # Site # Ruins & Lairs # Under-deeps # Opponent/You draw: 3/1
Adjacent Sites: Goblin-gate (0), The Under-leas (8), The Under-gates (8)
Playable: Items (minor, major, gold ring)
Automatic-attacks (2): (1st) Orcs - 4 strikes with 7 prowess
(2nd) Opponent may play as an automatic-attack one non-unique hazard creature
from his hand normally keyed to a Shadow-hold
Special: When a gold ring is tested in a company at this site, the result of the roll is modified by +2.

This site is, of course, wehre My Preciousssss was STOLEN ah ah, BAGGINS! we must have the ring! Sorry. The art and the card's ability both well reflect this fatefull event.

First of all, this is a pretty decent Under-deeps site. It's a Ruins & Lairs, so you aren't in as much danger against cards like Nazgul ands Undead without certain cards. It also means, though, that you can't get Aiglos or Dragon-helm, but most companies heading to The Under-grottos have a motive other than big weapons and helms. Also, since it's a Ruins & Lairs, you can sneakily play two Saplings of the White Tree in one turn, if you're so inclined. While the site's somewhat out of the way (requiring a roll of 8 to move to or from any other under-deeps site), the draw is only 3, unlike 4 for many of them. And while the site doesn't allow you to play greater items, you can get a couple major and/or gold ring items and then possibly walk away with an extra 6 MPs, something even no greater item can do. Plus, the attack is pretty decent, the equivelant of Moria or Carn Dum, plus one Shadow-hold creature (watch out for Chill Dousers in the hazard phase and then an undead during the site phase).

The special ability of this site is what makes it so cool. You can drop in to Goblin Gate and grab a Precious Gold Ring. Then, on the next turn, you can drop down to The Under-grottos and grab two more. Then, during the next organization phase, have one Hobbit with the Scroll of Isildur, someone with two of the rings, and your intended ring bearer. Wizard's Test the ring, if that fails, pass the bearer-to-be another, failing that, another. You've got 6 chances to roll 6 or better :-) This is, of course, a case of extreme preparedness. It's much more likely that you'll have a company down here with a ring or two (possibly without the Scroll), needing a roll of 8 to get The One. With a couple tests, these aren't too long of odds, and is probably preferable to going to grab the corruption-laden Scroll first. Of course, The Under-grottos is a nice place for a Dwarven Ring deck, as they are even easier to get out. Head into the Under-grottos with a decent Dwarven company and head out with a company ready to kick some butt in the under-deeps. Watch out for corruption, though...

Ratings for The Under-grottos:
Isildur: 9.0
Bandobras Took: 9.0
Farmer Maggot: 8.0
Samwise: 9.0
Strider: 7.5
Fingolfin: 9.0
Beorn: 6.8
Frodo: 8.5
Legolas: 9.0
Average: 8.4

More back issues

Card names and text copyright 1996 by Iron Crown Enterprises, all rights reserved. This document copyright 1997 by Trevor Stone. Permission given to duplicate so long as no profit is made and the copyright notice is kept in tact, blah, blah, blah.