The Line Unbroken – 7: Hills of Emyn Muil

Sound the triumphal march, set the merry joy-bells ringing and make a joyful noise unto the skies, because the Line Unbroken has officially arrived at the most boring quest in the game!
I suppose a point in favour of Emyn Muil is that it’s thematic? Searching endlessly through those hills for signs of where Gollum might be probably would have been dull and tedious. On the other hand, games are supposed to be fun. Now if I’m honest, I do still tend to enjoy playing this quest a bit simply because I like this game, and I’ve never had particularly bad experiences with it. But it is an incredibly boring quest.
Then, one might hope that with a lacklustre quest would come some nice players cards to make up for it. And the answer would be… yes and no. I said at the outset that I wasn’t going to do player card reviews for the Line Unbroken, but I’m going to go into these a little. Brand son of Bain is actually one of my favourite tactics heroes. You know the poll currently going on at the Hall of Beorn for people’s favourite attacking heroes, with 1 vote for Brand? Yeah, that vote was me. Mock me all you like, and I’ll admit his art’s not the best, but I love readying effects and ways to have separate decks really support each other, emphasising the co-operative aspect of the game. Then in the other cards, Gildor Inglorion is a premier Lore ally, and some of the other cards are at least situationally useful, though personally I think the Descendant of Thorondor is overpriced. But then on the other hand this pack also brought us such coasters as Meneldor’s Flight, Rear Guard and the infamous Keen-eyed Took, on which I must concur with the opinion expressed in the Tales from the Cards 16 Stages of LotR LCG Addiction.
So all those negatives aside, I still have to play this quest. So what do I need? Location management, location management, more location management, and a few cards that can help me manage locations would probably fit the bill as well. Another reason why this quest is boring – it’s not just that its primary focus is dull, it’s that its primary focus is pretty much all there is. It’s not uncommon to go through the entire quest, as long as it can sometimes take, without even seeing a single enemy. So with that in mind, here are my decks:

We will cover more ground on horseback

Heroes:
Theodred
Eowyn
Dunhere

Allies (15):
The Riddermark’s Finest x3
Westfold Horse-Breaker x3
Escort from Edoras x3
Snowbourn Scout x3
Northern Tracker x3

Attachments (14):
Dunedain Mark x3
Ancient Mathom x3
Steward of Gondor x3
Celebrian’s Stone x2
Unexpected Courage x3

Events (21):
Ride to Ruin x3
Valiant Sacrifice x3
Strength of Will x3
Test of Will x3
A Light in the Dark x3
The Galadhrim’s Greeting x3
Dwarven Tomb x3

Thoughts: All the Rohan allies provide questing power, and some location control through Riddermark’s Finest and Ride to Ruin. You may note that for the first time I left out Gandalf, simply because I really don’t think this quest will need him. I should have plenty of opportunities to trigger Ancient Mathoms. My only combat capabilities are Dunhere+Dunedain Mark, but I don’t think I’ll need more than that. To be honest, as much as I did try to build this deck well, 3 copies of Northern Tracker are all you really need for HoEM. Hero-wise, Eowyn quests, Theodred gives Eowyn extra resources (for future Northern Trackers) when he quests, and Dunhere can provide the occasional attack.

I can’t think of a name for this deck

Heroes:
Brand son of Bain
Beravor
Denethor

Allies (25):
Gildor Inglorion x2
Descendant of Thorondor x2
Winged Guardian x3
Rivendell Minstrel x3
Haldir of Lorien x2
Gondorian Spearman x3
Daughter of the Nimrodel x2
Gleowine x2
Northern Tracker x3
Gandalf x3

Attachments (13):
A Burning Brand x3
Song of Wisdom x1
Blade of Gondolin x2
Horn of Gondor x2
Protector of Lorien x3
Song of Travel x2

Events (12):
Strider’s Path x3
Feint x3
Secret Paths x3
The Galadhrim’s Greeting x3

Thoughts: Strider’s Path is potentially significant in this quest for faster exploring of locations or avoiding the odd nasty travel effect. Blades of Gondolin also allow more location exploring. Extra copies of Galadhrim’s Greeting, playable only through Song of Travel are in case we get stuck for a while with threat mounting up, and also allow us to stay low for use of Dunhere and Descendants of Thorondor (though the latter are mostly in the deck because they’re new). Gleowine is good card draw along with Beravor. I included some defensive options just in case, but I may well not need them. Similarly to the first deck, all that really matters is Rivendell Minstrels to fetch Songs of Travel which allow the playing of Northern Trackers. Hero-wise, Brand was compulsory per my rules, Beravor draws cards, and Denethor can scry the top of the encounter deck and sink anything that’s not a victory point location.

RingsDB:
http://ringsdb.com/fellowship/view/1197
http://ringsdb.com/decklist/view/2896
http://ringsdb.com/decklist/view/2897

Youtube video: Hills of Emyn Muil

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