The Line Unbroken – 8: The Dead Marshes

Out of the hills, into the marshes, we are closing in on the creature Gollum, tricksy as he is. The Dead Marshes is the first quest to introduce a whole new mechanic as its quest-specific gimmick, in the form of the Escape tests. They don’t complicate matters too much, because all you need to be good at escape tests is willpower, which you already need for questing, though it can be action intensive. Fortunately, and again perhaps not coincidentally, this pack also provides us with a hero who after you exhaust all your other characters for escape tests during the quest phase can take on the full load of combat all by himself: Tactics Boromir.
While I know he’s a very useful hero, I’ve never been overly enthusiastic about this version of Boromir. Of course that’s partly because he’s incredibly powerful, and at times that can make things seem too easy. But I think it’s also because due to the out-of-order sequence my brother was gifted bits of the game, this being my introduction to it, I encountered Leadership Boromir well before the Tactics version, and got invested in the idea of Gondor decks as a possibility, so why would I allow the key piece of them to be displaced by this threat-raising upstart? Whereas obviously most people had their exposure to the two Boromir heroes the other way around and may well have had a comparable experience in reverse.
Regardless of all this, I’m obviously going to be using him here, and as noted it is very handy that he can have so many actions since so many from other characters may be used up on the combination of questing and escape tests. On top of this, Hills of Emyn Muil being what it is I didn’t have a proper chance to get use out of Brand there, so I felt like bringing him out again, and this naturally led me to the idea of just putting out as many readying effects as I could lay my hands on – and again, more actions helpful as the escape tests require additional actions on top of what’s normal in this game. So, on to the decks:

Unwearied Pursuit

Brand son of Bain

Allies (23):
The Riddermark’s Finest x3
Winged Guardian x2
Westfold Horse-Breaker x3
Landroval x1
Escort from Edoras x2
Veteran Axehand x2
Gondorian Spearman x3
Beorn x1
Gandalf x3
Northern Tracker x3

Attachments (14):
Ancient Mathom x3
Blade of Gondolin x3
Horn of Gondor x2
Unexpected Courage x3
Song of Travel x3

Events (13):
Feint x3
Quick Strike x3
The Galadhrim’s Greeting x2
A Test of Will x3
Dwarven Tomb x2

Thoughts: All fairly standard at this point. I believe this is the first time I’ve had a deck using none of the new cards from the pack (other than the hero), and certainly the first time I’ve had a deck where every card is one I’ve used previously in this series. The Songs are there mostly for Northern Trackers I think, because those guys are just so useful, though it’s probably superfluous. I suppose there were a fairly limited number of Tactics cards that I really wanted to include, so I had to fill out the deck somehow.

Inescapable Trackers

Prince Imrahil

Allies (19):
Faramir x1
Snowbourn Scout x3
Daughter of the Nimrodel x2
Gleowine x2
Gandalf x3
Haldir of Lorien x1
Gildor Inglorion x1
Rivendell Minstrel x3
Dunedain Watcher x3

Attachments (17):
Steward of Gondor x3
Celebrian’s Stone x3
Dunedain Warning x3
A Burning Brand x2
Song of Wisdom x3
Dunedain Mark x3

Events (14):
Sneak Attack x3
Valiant Sacrifice x2
The Galadhrim’s Greeting x2
A Test of Will x2
Secret Paths x3
Gildor’s Counsel x2

Thoughts: Gildor’s Counsel is a card from HoEM which I really like, but I left it out of the decks for that scenario because reducing your encounter draws seems counter-productive when you’re deliberately trying to dig through the encounter deck to find all those locations. So I brought it out here, along with a bunch of other standards. Songs of Wisdom to be fetched by minstrels and allow passing of Burning Brands as well as resource-smoothing of course. The new Dunedain Watcher from this pack is a decent enough ally so I threw her in. To be honest I don’t think I had much specific in mind for these two decks beyond the hero choices for all the readying. Beravor of course is a prime target for being readied by Brand if she hasn’t used her ability yet in a given round. I suppose the one slight point of possible interest in this deck is the couple of Spirit cards accessible via Celebrian’s Stone on Aragorn. Threat reduction may be relevant if I lose Gollum into the encounter deck and have to tread water until he reappears, and there are some problematic treacheries to be cancelled.


Follow Gollum’s trail to youtube: The Dead Marshes

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1 Response to The Line Unbroken – 8: The Dead Marshes

  1. Uruk-hello says:

    Nice job hitting some of those escape tests! Also, I thought your Gollum voice was just… precious, just preciousssss! Can’t wait to see how the Return to Mirkwood goes!


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