The Line Unbroken – NC4: Nightmare The Ring Goes South

The Line Unbroken is returning to the Nightmare campaign with Nightmare Road Darkens. Note that while the stop at Rivendell does afford the players the opportunity to exchange heroes without incurring a starting threat penalty, I am planning for this campaign to stick with variations on the same decks throughout and will thus not be availing myself of this opportunity.
My campaign pool, if you’ve forgotten, is Gandalf’s Delay, Mr. Underhill, Skilled Healer on Gandalf, Valiant Warrior on Haldir, and Eaten Alive!
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Deck: Treebeard, Master of Social Distancing

I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you that the world is going through some difficult times right now. Well, one of the ways I tend to react to difficult or otherwise interesting times is to look at through them through the lens of the media I enjoy, including this game. And so I found myself contemplating the idea – could it be viable to run a deck demonstrating the ultimate in social distancing/self-isolation, to whit, only one character. I mean, some people might just have the idea and then throw something together to make the joke, but I always prefer to put in the effort and ensure that my gimmick decks are also somewhat viable.
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Epic Multiplayer Annuminas 27/3/20

This is just a quick post to announce to anyone who is interested and didn’t already know: Tomorrow, the 27th of March (or the 28th for some people depending on time zones), a bunch of LotR community members including me will be playing and streaming an Epic Multiplayer game of Siege of Annuminas. Copy-pasting the full announcement:

Hello everyone! We would like to announce a truly epic Lord of the Rings LCG event this weekend! Three groups of players will attempt to play The Siege of Annuminas in Epic Multiplayer Mode over the internet. All three games will be simultaneously live-streamed for your viewing pleasure.

When: Friday 27th March / Saturday 28th March (depends on your timezone)

What time: 5:30pm PDT / 8:30pm EST / 12:30am GMT (Saturday) / 11:30am AEDT (Saturday)

Proceedings will be overseen by the great Thanatopsis, who will jump between streams and do his very best to ensure that the games stay in sync.

THE PLAYERS

Table 1. Rebuilders of the Defenses – Quest cards A/B
BGamerjoe, Samthemangamgee, Nhoj263 and Mr. Underhill
Encounter deck run by Vardaen
Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uf7AaPtoP9U

Table 2. Raisers of the Levee – Quest cards C/D
TheChad, Salted Pork, Old Tobey McShire and PocketWraith
Encounter deck run by The Purple Wizard
Watch: https://www.twitch.tv/cotrpodcast

Table 3: Delayers of the Enemy – Quest cards E/F
Tritonwreck, Shellin, Goonsky and Bigfomlof
Encounter deck run by The Wandering Took
Watch: https://www.twitch.tv/wanderingtook

CHAT

Join the Discord server to discuss the event while it’s happening!
https://discord.gg/J7D9Hm2

For the benefit of interested parties, I’m going to post all the links I have to the decks people are using:

Table 1
Nhoj263: https://ringsdb.com/decklist/view/15106/huntingvictoryepicannuminas-1.0
Mr. Underhill: https://www.ringsdb.com/decklist/view/15159/thewhitewizardarrives-1.0

Table 2
Full fellowship: https://www.ringsdb.com/fellowship/view/8389/epicannuminasgroup2

Table 3
Shellin: https://ringsdb.com/decklist/view/15110/siegeofannuminasdefenseandhealing-1.0

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Deck: A Regular Bears’ Meeting

A hazard of keeping up with the news in this game (and preferring not to use proxies) is that you come up with deck ideas and then forget about them by the time you have access to the cards you need to build them. This is why a little while back I found myself thinking I needed to build more decks and realised that I only had to take a cursory glance at the cards (mostly the heroes) released in the Ered Mithrin cycle to recall multiple ideas I just never got around to building. This is the third such idea I’ve pieced together (after “Two wizards” and “Thranduil/Elvenking/action advantage stuff”). This time the basic concept I’m pursuing is “Bears.”
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The Line Unbroken – Nightmare Ringmaker Wrap-Up

Well, it is time to wrap up another cycle of Nightmare quests in The Line Unbroken. The Ring-maker cycle didn’t have the best quests to start with in my opinion, and as tends to be the case the Nightmare decks accentuate what’s already there, which can lead to additional frustrations… that said, looking back I’ve still had a decent experience with this Nightmare cycle on the whole, because even in the cases of frustration, it has been the frustration of a challenge I need to work to defeat, which is something I appreciate, though others might not. I do think I would be less appreciative of these quests if I were just bringing in generic prebuilt decks rather than custom building for each one.
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The Line Unbroken – N42: Nightmare The Antlered Crown

Alright, I’ve reached the end of the Ringmaker cycle once again, coming to the Nightmare version of the Antlered Crown. Antlered Crown is a quest I’ve always quite liked, with the proviso that it has a lot of effects to keep track of and so it can be very easy to misplay something. This problem has arisen both times I had to record playthroughs of it for The Line Unbroken.
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The Line Unbroken – N41: Nightmare Celebrimbor’s Secret

In contrast to the previous quest, Celebrimbor’s Secret I think is generally more accepted by the community at large, but I’ve never really liked it. Between a bit too much Surge and Bellach’s Scour effect, there’s an annoying chance of getting totally flooded with encounter cards, and it just ends up frustrating if you don’t have the right kind of deck(s).
It’s also the quest which in the past I felt suffered the most from the Time mechanics needing to be shoehorned into every single quest in the ring-maker cycle, though a full discussion of why would be a topic for another blog post.
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Deck – the Elves Must Take Action

Back when Fire in the Night was originally announced, I had this (among other things) to say about The Elvenking:
“It also potentially fits in nicely with decks that just rely on powerful heroes since it provides action advantage and allows such a deck to recycle Naith Guides or Greenwood Archers for more action advantage – this doesn’t have to be a dedicated Silvan deck so no real need for Celeborn but Thranduil would be right at home. Leadership Imrahil and Tactics Eomer will also love this idea.”
It has taken quite a while, but I finally got round to building the deck. This is it.
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The Line Unbroken – N40: Nightmare The Nin-in-Eilph

The Nin-in-Eilph I think would be most commonly described as frustrating, and the descriptor is difficult to argue. The transition to Nightmare certainly does nothing to change that. But at the same time, I’d say I’ve become better disposed towards the Nin-in-Eilph over time and playing it more. As much as it can be frustrating to deal with, for me it’s the kind of frustration which motivates me to keep trying to beat the quest. So it’s not a quest I’d want to play all the time, but I do appreciate the challenge it poses.
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The Line Unbroken – N39: Nightmare Trouble in Tharbad

Trouble in Tharbad, like Encounter at Amon Din in Against the Shadow, was very much the easy quest of the cycle. However unlike Amon Din, the Nightmare transition did not turn Tharbad into a complete monster. In fact, while the Nightmare deck throws in some interesting points, the quest ultimately remains on the easier end of things, certainly by Nightmare standards.
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