The Line Unbroken – G1: Massing at Osgiliath

The point of the Line Unbroken, and the Progression Series before it, is/was partly to explore how the card pool has evolved over time; partly to show off a bunch of different player cards and all the scenarios; and partly to experience each scenario the way it was originally experienced when it was first made available to people. To be honest, as great as the first two points are, the third is the real reason I’m doing the Line Unbroken – I wanted to have that experience, and then I figured I might as well document it. So with that being my particular focus, I wanted to be absolutely as faithful to that premise as I could. So while in deference to maintaining the flow of the cycle as a thing I’ve left Massing at Osgiliath to the end of Shadows of Mirkwood, since it is entirely separate, nevertheless I will actually be using only cards which were available at the time of its debut at GenCon 2011 – which some research between the FFG forums and google revealed to be only as far as Conflict at the Carrock.
So before facing probably the most challenging scenario released at this point in the game’s development, let’s just revert our card pool back four boxes. Frustrating, to be sure. I have no doubt that some more Eagles or Rohan allies would help greatly with the combat and questing demands of this scenario respectively – but such are the sacrifices I make for attempting strictest possible accuracy.

So then, what are the particular demands of this scenario? The immediate answer appears to be “be good at everything”. And that is somewhat the case, which suggests the utility of either very focused decks, or use of readying effects and powerful heroes. Other than that, there are some particular cards to look out for – while being allowed CatC means Frodo, he could potentially be destroyed by an untimely Wolves from Mordor shadow effect – so shadow cancellation is obviously key (good thing Carrock also gave us Song of Wisdom and Burning Brand). Wolves from Mordor also vanish back into the encounter deck after killing something, which can actually be helpful – so this suggests definite value in including chump-blockers for them, particularly ones who can be played round 1. There are other cards to be concerned about of course, but mostly they just demand the same things I’ve already said, plus a healthy dollop of the ‘good at everything’ approach.
Here, then, are the decks I will be using:

The Dunadan and the Elf-Prince

Heroes:
Aragorn
Theodred
Legolas

Allies (19):
Guard of the Citadel x3
Faramir x2
Snowbourn Scout x3
Veteran Axehand x2
Gondorian Spearman x3
Gandalf x3
Winged Guardian x3

Attachments (20):
Steward of Gondor x3
Celebrian’s Stone x3
Blade of Gondolin x3
Horn of Gondor x2
Unexpected Courage x3
Dunedain Warning x3
Dunedain Mark x3

Events (11):
Sneak Attack x3
Feint x3
A Test of Will x3
Hasty Stroke x2

Thoughts: This is actually the first time I’ve pulled out one of the classic Core Set combos – Aragorn + Theodred, so Aragorn can always ready after questing. Given the desire to be good at everything in this scenario I felt like getting two actions out of Aragorn right from the word go would be a good approach. Having two Leadership heroes also means round 1 Steward, and I can have Snowbourn Scouts and Guards of the Citadel to chump-block Wolves from Mordor. Beyond the standard things, I’ve also of course repeated my favoured option of getting more Spirit in via Celebrian’s Stone on Aragorn. After all, I want plenty of readying and cancellation. The two signal attachments give me flexibility to build up combat power. Legolas and the Blades will allow me to speed through the quest before anything too bad happens. Most of the allies in this deck aren’t really very important – it’s more about building up Aragorn and Legolas to do everything.

The Lady and the Halfling

Heroes:
Eowyn
Frodo Baggins
Beravor

Allies (24):
Northern Tracker x3
Eomund x1
Longbeard Map-Maker x2
Westfold Horse-Breaker x3
Rivendell Minstrel x3
Lorien Guide x2
Erebor Hammersmith x3
Henamarth Riversong x2
Gleowine x2
Gandalf x3

Attachments (11):
A Burning Brand x3
Song of Wisdom x2
Unexpected Courage x3
Protector of Lorien x3

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

Thoughts: Eowyn is still the premier quester, Frodo is an amazing defender so long as he’s not messed up by shadows (and I have ways to deal with those), and Beravor will hopefully help both decks to get their key pieces into play fairly quickly. The Northern Trackers, though they are expensive, can be crucial for their ability to explore the locations which we can’t travel to because they’re on the other side of the river. Defensive options with Burning Brands and Songs of Wisdom to spread them around I’ve already covered. Strider’s Path can be handy for some annoying locations in this quest. Otherwise it’s mostly standard stuff and whatever allies I felt like at the time to fill out the numbers.

RingsDB:
http://ringsdb.com/fellowship/view/1213
http://ringsdb.com/decklist/view/2922
http://ringsdb.com/decklist/view/2923

Youtube videos: Massing at Osgiliath
Massing at Osgiliath (attempt 2)

Question to my viewers – when I do get horrible draws, do you mind me choosing to just abandon the playthrough and reset, or would you rather see me play it out to the inevitable bitter end? I try not to be too negative and reset the quest at the first sign of trouble (to be honest I was worried about that first attempt just based on my starting hands, even before the first staging), but it gets kind of depressing trudging through the remains of a game I know for a fact I’m going to lose. However if people would really like to see that, I can make more effort to keep going until my heroes actually die.

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2 Responses to The Line Unbroken – G1: Massing at Osgiliath

  1. edvandofilho says:

    I think you should play one more round and call it a day if it still look hopeless. Sometimes we give up too fast.

    Like

  2. Qwaz says:

    The game’s for enjoying. If the game’s become an exercise in letting the encounter deck kick you in the nads then scoop when you want. Always remember our epic coeback in Drudan forest though. Don’t scoop while hope still lives on!

    Like

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