The Hunt for Gollum is the first adventure pack in the Shadows of Mirkwood series for the base game The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game. As with all of these adventure packs, it includes a new hero, extra player cards and a new scenario replete with enemies, locations and treachery cards for the players to face.
The scenario is a fairly decent one, albeit not one of the best. Rated difficulty 4, it’s comparable to the “Journey Down The Anduin” scenario from the core set. Where this adventure improves on those in the core set, is that it does a decent job of adjusting itself to the number of players, with a lot of cards relying on the number of players or allies in the game. In general, the enemy deck is fairly location heavy, which means there is relatively little fighting here, and no particularly large enemies to face.
As to the player cards, unfortunately this aspect of this adventure pack is fairly weak. The hero card, Bilbo Baggins, is fairly ‘expensive’ for his ability, although he suits players who like to play the game solo. There is the first of many ‘song’ cards here, which allow players to cheaply earn specific resources, as well as the first of a number of ‘mark’ cards, which adjust heroes’ stats. However, there are also a couple of cards here which only show their true worth once you’ve bought some more of the adventure packs. If you aren’t set on playing these adventures in the order in which they were released, it might make sense to take one of the later releases first, or at least to buy more than one at once.
Overall if you enjoyed the main game and want to breath some new life into it, this is a reasonable little adventure, not too challenging, yet satisfying at the same time. It’s not one of the most exciting scenarios, but it scales well, so makes playing solo or with 4 players equally challenging. Unfortunately, some of the player cards only prove their worth later, so if it doesn’t bother you to play out of order, and you only want to buy one, it would be worth picking up one of the later adventure packs first.