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 has committed the characters Gandalf and an Ithilien Tracker to the quest card Ambush in Ithilien (1B), which has the battle keyword. When resolving this quest, instead of using his characters' , Tom counts their total . Gandalf has an of 4, and the Ithilien Tracker has an of 1, for a total of 5. Tom compares this total against the in the staging area, which is currently a 3. Tom therefore quests successfully, and makes 2 progress on the quest.
If a quest card has the battle keyword, when characters are committed to that quest, they count their total instead of their total when resolving the quest. Enemies and locations in the staging area still use their in opposition to this quest attempt.
If a quest card has the siege keyword, when characters are committed to that quest, they count their total instead of their total when resolving the quest. Enemies and locations in the staging area still use their in opposition to this quest attempt.
When playing The Battle of Five Armies, stages 2, 3, and 4 will be in play at the same time. While each stage is in play, its game text is active.
At the beginning of each round, before players have collected resources, the first player must decide which stage will be the current quest stage for that round. Progress cannot be placed on any quest stage except for the current quest stage, and any card effects that affect the current quest can only affect the quest stage chosen for that round.
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.