The Line Unbroken – 54: Raid on the Grey Havens

And The Grey Havens is rounded out by Raid on the Grey Havens. After two gentler quests to start off with, the third in the box is a much bigger challenge, following the same rough pattern as The Lost Realm before it (though of course all the details are totally different).
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The Line Unbroken – 53: Fate of Numenor

Continuing on The Grey Havens, Fate of Numenor brought us the first instance of what could perhaps be seen as another theme within this cycle – of doing interesting and different things with locations. It’s also the key moment in the beginning of the story for the cycle, which I love. The theme here is arguably rather more interesting than the quest itself (though it’s still a fine quest).
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The Line Unbroken – 52: Voyage Across Belegaer

Well. Turns out I’ve been doing Nightmare quests in The Line Unbroken for over a year at this point. I didn’t antiipate it being quite so long, but I am now returning at last to standard difficulty for The Grey Havens. This is somewhat reminiscent of my comments on The Lost Realm, but I really like this box both thematically and mechanically. As a reminder, my general opinion is that from Lost Realm onwards (so obviously including Grey Havens) the game hit a very standard of design which hasn’t dipped since.
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Deck: Beregond’s Gondorian Armoury – Everything Free!

So Wilds of Rhovanion has been out for a while and we’ve seen many variations on the Dale deck spring up and show off how powerful they are. But one other idea which I think many people had when cards were being spoiled but which few people have actually tried to build since the release, is the basis of this deck. The idea is simply to combine Tactics Beregond with the Long Lake Trader to effectively play all your weapons and armour for free (by playing them for free on Beregond and then moving them to other characters using the Long Lake Trader).

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The Line Unbroken – Nightmare Against the Shadow Wrap-Up

Well, having completed another cycle of Nightmare, let’s take a look back and wrap-up my experience. This has been a drastic improvement on the Hobbit saga in terms of my enjoyment. To my mind this cycle marked a turning point in Nightmare mode much as it did in standard, where everything takes a step up to a more consistently higher quality. Of course that’s partly inevitable because the Nightmare decks have to build on what’s already there, but regardless this to me is where Nightmare really starts to get interesting.
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The Line Unbroken – N33: Nightmare The Morgul Vale

Alright, here we are once again at the end of the Against the Shadow cycle. After this (and a wrap-up post for this nightmare cycle) I can go back to playing quests in standard difficulty again. But for now, Morgul Vale. It’s a fun quest, the transition to Nightmare certainly focuses it nicely, though it retains a couple of horrible cards from the original quest which I’d rather didn’t exist. The tighter focus of the Nightmare deck can also lead to some frustrating moments but it’s a better kind of frustration, the kind I accept as an inherent part of this game.
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Deckbuilding Challenge – Unrestricted Escape

Well, it has been a while since I last did a deckbuilding challenge, but I have a pretty interesting one here which I’ve been sitting on for a while, among other reasons because it required me to use hero Quickbeam and thus I needed to wait for OCTGN card images for Crossings of Poros.
The key inspiration for the challenge started from Quickbeam, because with his release we reached a card pool containing three heroes who cannot have Restricted attachments – Quickbeam, Treebeard, and Beorn (who cannot have any attachments, Restricted or otherwise). This means that without engaging in shenanigans, this is a hero lineup who are completely incapable of completing the third Core Set quest, Escape from Dol Guldur – since you have to claim the three objectives to advance through the first two quest stages, and the objectives are all Restricted. The challenge then, is to successfully execute the required shenanigans to allow them to complete the quest anyway.
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The Line Unbroken – N32: Nightmare Blood of Gondor

Ah, Blood of Gondor. My least favourite quest in the Against the Shadow cycle by a wide margin. Its primary mechanic, hidden cards, tends to turn the levels of randomly getting screwed by the shuffle of the encounter deck to levels which are rarely if ever matched in this game. And as with earlier Nightmare decks for quests I didn’t like, the Nightmare deck here leans into that primary mechanic which just makes it worse from my perspective.
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News Thoughts – Fire in the Night (mostly)

As you know, I don’t generally write blog posts about the news in the game, certainly not about individual pieces of news. It’s not a hard and fast rule, just a matter of what really catches my interest and prompts enough thoughts that I think it’s worth a post. The one previous time I wrote about a specific piece of news was the most recent FAQ, and aside from that there’s just the two times I talked about the things I was looking forward to from everything which had been spoiled in news articles around the times. This post will be somewhere between the two – I specifically want to voice my thoughts on the most recent news article announcing the third quest of the Ered Mithrin cycle but some points will benefit from me also addressing the context of other spoilers and recent releases, and I may as well make a bit of a drive-by acknowledgement of other interesting things.
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The Line Unbroken – N31: Nightmare Assault on Osgiliath

Assault on Osgiliath was one of my favourite quests from the Against the Shadow cycle. The mechanic of taking control of locations mixes things up enough to be interesting but mostly the quest just stands on the solid basic game mechanics. It did however have some issues which potentially allowed the quest to be completed much faster than intended, and of course Power of Mordor and The Master’s Malice made appearances. The Nightmare version fixes these problems.
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