The Line Unbroken – N8: Nightmare The Dead Marshes

The Dead Marshes is a quest which I originally had no particular problem with, but I like less the more I consider it. Of course I talked about the problems of Escape tests in my post on the general issues with the design of tests in quests in this game, and they’re really central to how this quest functions. On top of that there’s the fact that the quest can sometimes be beaten fairly trivially if you just throw enough willpower at it. And as with the last two quests, those problems are so inherent in the nature of the quest design that the change to Nightmare mode really doesn’t fix them. Continue reading

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The Line Unbroken – N7: Nightmare Hills of Emyn Muil

Well, having criticised Journey to Rhosgobel no end in the last Line Unbroken post, don’t think we’re done yet, because now we come into The Hills of Emyn Muil, which when I did it in standard mode I described as the most boring quest in the game. I think I would still stand by that assessment as well, and the switch to Nightmare does little to improve matters. OK, so there are now some giant worms whose appearance is so hauntingly familiar we might wonder if they actually formed part of the inspiration for ruining the third Hobbit film, but while a bit of combat is more interesting than just endlessly trudging through imaginary mountain ranges it doesn’t fix the general feeling in this quest that you’re not going anywhere, achieving anything or in any way making meaningful progress. Also even without them reminding me of the third Hobbit film I don’t much like the Tunnelling Nameless Things, since they’re pretty brutal to have to deal with, especially early on, and the only way to avoid them is to not travel – which is difficult since always travelling is pretty standard in general, but might be said to approach mandated in this quest where exploring locations is the only thing you need to do. If you don’t want to deal with the 6 attack behemoths which take 14 to kill then you can’t actually advance towards the end of the quest, which drags on painfully enough as it is. Continue reading

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Decks: Hero’s Fall

It has happened a few times since I started doing card reviews on RingsDB that something I come up with in a review inspires me towards deckbuilding. Somewhat to be expected, since some of the reasons I review cards is based on thinking they’re under-rated (possibly including by me) or that they’re difficult to use (including if I haven’t managed to use them much myself). And in particular of course, for one reason or another all of My Top 10 Favourite Cards Which I Never Use made their way onto the lists. Right now I’m a bit tempted to do something involving the Henneth Annun Guard since I just wrote that review, but a couple of weeks back it was The Fall of Gil-Galad. Continue reading

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The Line Unbroken – N6: Nightmare Journey to Rhosgobel

To say that Journey to Rhosgobel is not my favourite quest would be a sizeable understatement. I don’t like the quest. I have never liked the quest. Between the bloated and inconsistent encounter deck; the out-of-nowhere nature of your potential loss on the final quest card; the requirement to custom-build and bring full heals to win consistently; and the excessively brutal amounts of direct damage, this quest has just never appealed to me. The nightmare version doesn’t really do anything to improve my outlook on it either. Including both standard and nightmare, this will be the sixth time I’ve played this quest (once solo/two-handed, once multiplayer and once for The Line Unbroken in each mode) and it may well be the last. Continue reading

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2016 Hero Championship – Judged on power

Once again, the forum-based Hero Championship finished at new year (funny, that, almost like it’s an annual thing). I wasn’t initially planning on repeating this idea from last year, but on reflection I realised the results based on power level would be rather different this time around. Fun factor not necessarily so much so I’m not repeaing that one. I don’t have much to say on the actual results, obviously I disagree with some of them, I was surprised by some of them as they don’t quite line up with what I was under the impression were prevailing views in the community, there were some engaging, heated and amusing debates on some of the matchups. Business as usual essentially. Anyway, on to the main point here, how I personally would’ve called the championship if I picked each winner based on power level and nothing else. Continue reading

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Miscellaneous bits from 2016

Happy new year! 2016 was certainly an eventful year for the game and this blog, so as last year I’m going to go over some things that have happened.
In terms of the game in general we actually had two deluxe expansions released in the same year for the first time ever, Grey Havens and Sands of Harad. That was pretty cool, though with Sands turning up in December, we only just managed it.
In the community, we’ve had a couple of new blogs pop up; the Cardboard of the Rings Discord has taken off; CotR had their fantastic 100th episode (seriously, even if you don’t care about the podcast in general and listen to nothing else, if you’re seriously interested in this game you should definitely consider listening to CotR Episode 100 Part 2, the triple developer interview); the Progression Series was revived/rebooted; and RingsDB was created. This year has been frankly huge for the LotR LCG community. Continue reading

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Deck Spring Cleaning: Viable

OK. With my usual level of efficiency, I started this whole Deck Spring Cleaning thing in August 2015 and am just now finishing it. That said, I am finishing it, this is the last folder I need to sort. Since I now do all my deckbuilding on RingsDB, it’s unlikely I’ll ever need to do this again, so this may be the end of the series. Or maybe I’ll continue it by taking a look at some of the decks I decided to keep and talking through my thought processes on updating them to work in a modern card pool. This makes something of a milestone either way.
So here I am, looking at my ‘Viable’ deck folder. That is, all the decks which I thought weren’t gimmicky enough to be considered gimmicks, but were finished and in a state I thought was probably usable. In some cases, particularly with some of the older decks, I think I was wrong about that, but I’ll get to those as I go. Continue reading

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