If an encounter card with the doomed keyword is revealed during the staging step of the quest phase or in setup, each player must raise his threat level by the specified value.
When an encounter card with the surge keyword is revealed during the staging step of the quest phase or in setup, reveal 1 additional card from the encounter deck. Resolve the surge keyword immediately after resolving any when revealed effects on the card.
Tom and Kris are playing the scenario "Into Ithilien," and two copies of Southron Mercenaries are in play. Southron Mercenaries has the keyword archery X, where X is the number of players in the game. This gives a cumulative archery value of 4. At the beginning of the combat phase, the players decide to deal 2 damage to Kris' ally Gandalf, and 2 damage to Tom's hero Denethor.
While a card with the archery keyword is in play, players must deal damage to character cards in play equal to the specified archery value at the beginning of each combat phase. This damage can be dealt to characters under any player's control, and it can be divided among the players as they see fit. If there is disagreement as to where to assign archery damage, the first player makes the final decision. If multiple cards with the archery keyword are in play, the effects are cumulative. Remember that does not block archery damage.
The Siege of Annúminas can be played in one of two game modes: standard game mode and epic multiplayer mode. Standard game mode supports 1"“4 players and requires only 1 copy of The Siege of Annúminas. Epic multiplayer supports 3"“12 players and requires three copies of The Siege of Annúminas. To play standard game mode, follow the Setup instructions on the double-sided setup card labeled "Standard Game Mode." To playing epic multiplayer mode, follow the Setup instructions on the double-sided setup card labeled "Epic Multiplayer Mode."
Epic multiplayer mode divides a group of 3"“12 players into 3 teams who play at 3 different stages simultaneously. Each stage is its own game and requires its own encounter set to play. The teams at each stage must work together in order to defeat the scenario card.
Setting Up Epic Multiplayer Mode
The Setup instructions on the epic multiplayer mode setup card instruct the players to create 3 separate staging areas with 3 different quest decks. To do this, take the quest card from a single copy of The Siege of Annúminas and arrange them into 3 separate quest decks: 1A"“3A, 1C"“3C, and 1E"“3E. Remove the unused quest cards from the event.
Next, the players divide themselves into 3 teams, one team for each stage. At least 1 player must be assigned to each stage, and no more than 4 players can be assigned to a single stage.
Only 1 copy of the epic multiplayer mode setup card should be used by the group while setting up the game. After completing the Setup instructions, flip over all 3 Setup cards and place 1 next to each quest deck.
Playing Epic Multiplayer Mode
Players at each stage are the only players in the game at that stage. That means it is possible for two players at different stages to use the same hero. However, players at the same stage must observe the game restrictions on unique cards. Player cards cannot target or affect cards at a different stage.
When a team ends a round at their stage they do not advance to the next round of play until each other team in that group is ready to advance. Furthermore, abilities that trigger at the end of the round resolve in alphabetical stage order. (Resolve end of round effects at stage 2B before resolving end of round effects at stage 2D, etc.)
"City strength" is a value that represents the amount of damage the city of Annúminas can take before it is overrun by the enemy. To set the city strength of Annúminas during setup, take a threat tracker, place it next to Annúminas, and set its value to the correct amount. That threat tracker is the "city strength tracker" for the rest of the game. Any time Annúminas takes X damage, reduce its city strength by X. If the city strength of Annúminas reaches 0, the players lose the game.
To play normal mode, just follow the setup instructions on the quest card.
When you play normal mode (or easy mode of course) and if you're new to the game, you can also play the "Basic Game" defined in the core set rules:
Newer players or players who want a more basic experience can play and enjoy the game by not dealing shadow cards during the combat phase. This eliminates an element of surprise that could make the game too challenging for a beginner. Once players are comfortable with this experience, they can then add the shadow effects to make combat less predictable and more exciting.