The Line Unbroken – 5: Conflict at the Carrock

I tend towards the opinion that on the whole, this game has gotten better over the course of its life so far. Of course the attendant implication of this is that the game was less good earlier, and therefore that I don’t like the stuff in Shadows of Mirkwood as much as later quests. And so it is to some extent, but Conflict at the Carrock is one quest which I still enjoy quite a bit. It certainly presents more of a challenge in general than say, Hunt for Gollum (My video playthrough was an outlier in how ridiculously unchallenging it was, but that quest is usually still pretty easy).
It’s the first of a few quests which kind of imitate events from the books, thus making it slightly awkward when the saga expansions came around and they had to represent those events directly without using the same mechanics – in this case, the encounter with the trolls in The Hobbit. In my opinion, Conflict at the Carrock is definitely the superior troll quest, I enjoy it much more than We Must Away.
It’s also the first case where I wonder if there was specific intent in which player cards the designers chose to include in this adventure pack rather than putting them elsewhere in the cycle, taking the quest into account: For a quest which culminates in a battle with four reasonably hard-hitting trolls, we received Frodo, a powerful defensive hero; the Dunedain Warning, a simple but effective defensive attachment; A Burning Brand, one of the most powerful defensive attachments in the game to date; and Song of Wisdom, which allows us to attach ABB to any hero we like. It seems to me like too big a defensive focus to be a coincidence when it all comes with a scenario requiring good defences.

The other requirements of this scenario besides being prepared to fight a bunch of trolls are: being able to potentially exercise fine control over your questing to avoid crashing the trolls’ party too early, leadership resources come in handy for getting Grimbeorn on your side, including condition removal to get rid of those pesky sacks before your heroes get roasted, and keeping your threat down will make the final confrontation easier by allowing you to engage one troll at a time rather than them all mobbing you at once.
With all this borne in mind, let’s see what I threw into my decks this time around:

I think this Hobbit is carrying a torch for me

Frodo Baggins

Allies (19):
Longbeard Map-Maker x2
Rivendell Minstrel x3
Northern Tracker x2
Daughter of the Nimrodel x2
Henamarth Riversong x2
Miner of the Iron Hills x3
Gleowine x2
Gandalf x3

Attachments (16):
A Burning Brand x3
Song of Wisdom x3
Unexpected Courage x3
Forest Snare x2
Protector of Lorien x3
Self Preservation x2

Events (15):
Strider’s Path x3
Strength of Will x3
Hasty Stroke x3
A Test of Will x3
The Galadhrim’s Greeting x3

Thoughts: Obviously the point here is to apply the points I mentioned above about the new cards in this pack by giving Frodo a Song of Wisdom and A Burning Brand. It may be difficult to afford the Rivendell Minstrels if I get them before the songs themselves with only one real Lore hero, but this is just how my deckbuilding fell out. Protector of Lorien is also there to help with defending and potentially that precisely controlled questing that can be handy to stay on stage 1 until I’m prepared for the trolls; the Longbeard Map-Makers can also help with that fine control of questing if I have spare Lore resources. Galadhrim’s Greeting of course will help me stay below the trolls’ engagement cost (hopefully), and I think this is the first time I’ve put the maximum three copies of Miner of the Iron Hills in a deck, to remove sacks. The rest I think is just fairly standard stuff. Hero choices – obviously Frodo I had to have by my own rules for the Line Unbroken, Eowyn is important for questing power, and Beravor for the card draw to get those key pieces in play faster.

Other quarrels set aside


Allies (16):
Snowbourn Scout x3
Gondorian Spearman x3
Beorn x1
Miner of the Iron Hills x3
Gandalf x3
Guard of the Citadel x3

Attachments (19):
Steward of Gondor x3
Celebrian’s Stone x3
Citadel Plate x2
Horn of Gondor x2
Unexpected Courage x3
Dunedain Mark x3
Dunedain Warning x3

Events (15):
Sneak Attack x3
Grim Resolve x1
Feint x3
The Galadhrim’s Greeting x2
Hasty Stroke x3
A Test of Will x3

Thoughts: The title was thinking of the line in The Hobbit about how the dwarves, elves and men forget their previous quarrel over the mountain when the goblins turn up. I imagine that trolls would elicit a similar response (I was thinking more of the point in the council of Elrond when Gloin is annoyed that Gollum was treated better by the elves of Mirkwood than he was, but I couldn’t find a suitable quote). The Guard of the Citadel is an ally I thought I wouldn’t be putting into a deck until I reached Heirs of Numenor and wanted to build a Gondor deck, but there aren’t a lot of Leadership allies in the card pool at this point, so there he is. The Miners of course will only be playable once someone receives a Song of Wisdom from the other deck, but I was sufficiently bothered about sacks to go for that idea. It also allows cross-table Burning Brands, either on Gloin so he could defend to gain resources and guaranteeably not die to a shadow effect, or Aragorn because he’s Sentinel. I’ve once again thrown in Spirit cards to be funded via Celebrian’s Stone. One copy of Grim Resolve, because it’s not a significant thing that I feel I need, especially given the cost – but between Steward and Gloin I may well be able to afford it, and it could make for a good power turn possibly killing multiple trolls. This deck is even shorter on Tactics cards than would generally be expected with only one Tactics hero, but that just makes it more likely I can save up the 4 resources for Citadel Plate (which of course is meant to go on Gloin for better resource generation). As for the heroes, the desire for plentiful Leadership resources to get Grimbeorn on my side pointed naturally to Gloin as an option, and to having Leadership as a majority sphere; and then Aragorn is the powerful Leadership hero, so you want someone like him around for fighting trolls. Finally Legolas is a good attacker, and lower threat than Gimli.


Youtube video: Conflict at the Carrock

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