Don't know how, but I received my Hunt for Gollum pack last week. Unfortunately I had to go away so wasn't able to play some games until this morning.
SPOILER ALERT FROM HERE
Started off by putting Bilbo into my tri-sphere Lore/Spirit/Leadership deck and played a few Mirkwood games to see if he was better or worse than Beravor. Although I beefed him up with Favour and Celebrian's Stone, his lack of hit points made it a big gamble to actually use him for questing with Necromancer's Reach and Dol Guldur Orcs in the encounter deck, so I swapped him for Beravor again before moving on to the Hunt for Gollum quest. I hope there will be Hobbit-boosting resources in the future, he's too risky right now I'd say
The first surprise was the encounter sets used in this quest. I was expecting Wilderlands, but instead it's Journey Down the Anduin and Sauron's Reach. That means no big enemies: no Troll, Adder, Spawn, Beastmaster, Ufthak, Dol Guldur Orcs or King Spiders. The encounter deck does not have big enemies other than 5 (!) copies of the Hunters from Mordor, who become brutal once there are Clues in play. (This encounter deck obviously means that the main Bilbo killers as listed above are not in it)
In my deck, I included Strider's Path, Westfold Horse-breaker, Dunedain Mark, Song of Kings, Rivendell Minstrell from the new set.
Of those, Strider's Path is the killer card. It basically allows you to travel to a location during the quest phase, swapping with the active location if necessary. It means threat and location control during questing in one go. The synergy with the Northern Tracker can be huge, and in one game it got me out of a big roadblock in 3 turns. Song of Kings helped me out in playing Leadership cards a couple of times, and the Horse-breaker settled into a 'quest and discard' routine which was very handy too at times. The Minstrel with its 2 Willpower was a welcome addition to the quest. Dunedain Mark had the luck of the draw against it and has not seen action so far.
The scenario is location-heavy, and most locations have pretty nasty effects, including increased costs for allies, attachments and events which can really screw your strategy. And the Gladden Fields are there as well.
Timing when to claim Clues, and how many, is key to this quest. Without Clues, you can't go to stage 3B, because you will effectively just rest the quest to the start of 2B. Too many Clues and the Hunters from Mordor become horrible (with 4 Clues in play, they are 10 Threat and 10 Attack), Then there are Shadow effects which either punish you for having Clues or punish you for being Clueless.
In my second game, I was making very fast Questing progress but had to hold back finishing 2B because I did not control a Clue card. I had one which got discarded, the 2nd one was a Shadow card...and then the 3rd and 4th showed up together with 2 Hunters from Mordor, making them 6 Threat and 6 Attack each. Together with 4 locations in the SA, that was game over really quickly from a position of relative strength.
So no success as yet, but this is again a Quest which plays completely differently from the previous three. Well done FFG!