I agree with you that you have to be lucky to win with the Tactics deck, however...
Having 0 Allies with any willpower is just brutal. Hopefully a few expansions changes that.
Beorn has 1 willpower! Gandalf has 4 willpower! I totally use both of them for questing when playing Tactics.
Got much further on my latest attempts, when using PoL to its full potential, but still haven't beat the first scenario with Lore. It's a real pain that Glorfindel is the best attacker and quester, and its always a pain only effectively being able to one or the other well each round
Its difficult to get any serious damage dealt with the deck (which to be fair isn't its forte), and despite a few forest snares coming to play (need 3 of those babies really..), due to the high threat of the starting heroes i keep finding myself being overwhelmed with enemies; Chieftain Ufthak is particularly troublesome!
I will continue to try though
I had an easy ride to beat the Passage through Mirkwood with the Lore deck several times...but the tactics deck! It's so weak?!
I just never had enough willpower to do any progress on the quests and thus locations kept stacking up in the staging area. The few enemies that turned up to allow Legolas to put quest-markers on the quest, were all buffered by the active locations (since you cannot ignore them with like a combined willpower of 4). Allies are few and number and have zero willpower.
I really like the mechanic though, advancing quests by killing of enemies, but it just doesn't work if you draw 2-3 locations. I always end up with the staging area cluttered up with locations, denying any quest-attempts and thus raising the threat level to 50 with lightning speed.
I almost had success with the Lore Deck. Gandalf got discarded from my hand and I believe that this is the only thing that killed me off.
My corruption was in the 40's, but I was at the second step of the quest and had ample allies in play. There were a lot of locations in play, I never drew many actual enemy cards. I did have Spawn, but he was thoroughly snared and ready to be killed when we got to the third quest.
I piled on the willpower, exhausted almost everyone, with the intent of flying past Fork in the road, and hoping for the "Kill Ungolant's Spawn" quest...Then drew the Treachery card that does one damage to every exhausted character. In that instant I lost two heroes, about five allies, and my willpower went from 12 to 5. I ate 5 corruption, my dial reached 50 and it exploded.
I'm sure that if I had packed my deck with more Gandalfs, I would have won, somehow. Regardless, Lore isn't a bad deck. Just not quite to my taste the way Leadership is.
Finally got success against the intro scenario with the lore deck.
I burned through the deck as quick as possible to get lots of allies and the table, and was helped by getting 2xPoL on the table early on too.
I found Riversong's ability to be really useful in determining how best to play either the quest phase or the combat phase by knowing either the new staging card in the quest phase i was about to turn or what the shadow card on my worst engaged enenmy was about to be; he seems really useful in solo play. The multiple encounter cards on the go in multi player probably makes him less useful the more players there are
Also used Beravor's power more than i had in previous games and resisted using her to quest/attack in favour of picking up more cards. Once there's a PoL on the table, using her power to pull cards (and then burn those cards to defend or quest if needed) seemed a better strategy and i only used her for defending or attacking if the number of enemies i was engaged with really made it necessary.
Gonna give it another go tonight to see if it was just a fluke.
I found the ability to know what's coming is key to winning with Lore. Henemarth Riversong is quickly becoming one of my favorite characters. I always use him (or Denethor early on) before questing. That way I know exactly how much I need to commit to questing and how much I have to hold back if something nasty is coming.
Also, I tend to allow one enemy through, put the damage on Glorfindel and then heal it with a Daughter of Nimrodel or Self Preservation. That keeps Glorfindel free to attack any engaged enemies. Once you have multiple reusable heals on the table you can almost ignore most enemies.
Step 1: What is coming?
Step 2: How much damage can I heal this turn?
Step 3: Figure out how many defenders you need to keep the total damage healable and the quest with everybody else.
I kicked ass with the Lore deck against the first scenario - and I was playing Protector of Lorien as discard 1 card, once per round - though re-reading the card i can see that its not necessarily so!
I used Denethor's ability pretty much every turn to get a look at the encounter deck and plan accordingly. I could then decide whether it was safe to quest or to hold back characters for combat, or whether I should just ditch the card and take a chance. I would ditch the card rarely unless it was something really bad like Hummerhorns. I also played Dark Knowledge on Denethor. That way there were no surprises! I used lots of card draw powers and abilities to get through the deck to find Gandalf as well. Had so much Healing going on as well that my Heroes could soak up attacks.
I havnt tried this deck against the first scenario yet but it was quite effective in the second one. The only problem I have with it really is that its terrible at threat management. I think if you splice it with either Leadership or Spirit it should really pay off! Especially if you mix with discard recursion like stand and fight etc.
Tactics on the other hand requires luckyness, I got pretty far with it in the second scenario (further than with any other solo-sphere deck) but sometimes lose the first. I think the intention for all the decks in core set is to have the mixed with other spheres. Its probably why apart from Leadership they all run a little bad solo.
Its impressive how different each sphere is though, if you really think about it its insane how much potential there is in each sphere!
"Hodor" said Hodor - A Storm of Swords
LORE is a lot of support. Heals, and Draw for ally support mostly.