The Line Unbroken – 13: The Redhorn Gate

Continuing the trend of imitating events from the books, The Redhorn Gate is taking us over Caradhras. Though the quest technically has us going over the mountains in the opposite direction than the Fellowship attempted.
I personally think this quest is decent mechanically, but it has issues in its randomness. The quest requires you to get a certain number of victory points so you can have serious issues if you take too long to find the victory point mountains (more of an issue with less players) or if they get discarded as shadow cards. On the other hand, since I’m building specifically for the quest in this instance I can be more prepared for these potential difficulties. I also need to make sure I have plenty of willpower to deal with Caradhras, and preferably no 0 willpower characters, as they would die the instant I hit stage 3 of the quest.
Otherwise, this pack has some interestingly varied player cards. We have the introduction of the Secrecy keyword, including one of its most useful instances in Timely Aid, but also some more questionable cards like Taking Initiative, Keeping Count and Ravenhill Scout (that ability is potentially useful, particularly in this quest since the mountains aren’t immune to player card effects and they cause problems when they’re the active location, but the ally is just too expensive, plus he’s 0 willpower which makes him a dubious prospect for this quest). I can try to make use of them though.
Also, I will now for the second time be breaking my standard rules for TLU by not using the newly released hero – for obvious reasons, I’m not going to put Elrohir into a deck until I have Elladan to go with him, since they’re really not designed to work separately from each other. This is actually going to present a bit of a challenge in the deckbuilding, because it means I have no natural starting point (other than plenty of willpower, and Shadow of the Past to recover lost mountains). On the other hand, I suppose that makes this a good opportunity to see what cards I can fit in which I’ve previously had to skip over. So let’s get started:

“Where will wants not, a way opens”

Heroes:
Aragorn
Frodo Baggins
Eowyn

Allies (23):
Escort from Edoras x3
Faramir x3
Snowbourn Scout x3
Lorien Guide x3
Northern Tracker x3
West Road Traveller x3
Bofur x2
Gandalf x3

Attachments (12):
Steward of Gondor x3
Celebrian’s Stone x3
Ancient Mathom x3
Unexpected Courage x3

Events (15):
Sneak Attack x3
The Galadhrim’s Greeting x3
A Test of Will x3
Shadow of the Past x3
Parting Gifts x3

Thoughts: Of course that quote comes from an entirely different point in the story, but it comes from Eowyn, and it seems to me that it fits fairly well here – we seek to open a way by setting our wills against the mountain. In terms of the actual construction of the deck, while I’ve used Celebrian’s Stone to turn Aragorn into a Spirit hero before, I’ve always done so to get Spirit into both decks, whereas here I’m using it to have a mostly mono-Spirit deck with a splash of Leadership. Between Aragorn with CS and Eowyn, we’re pretty well set for willpower. Escorts from Edoras and West Road Travellers will also help in that respect, as will Faramir. Faramir is also key for letting the 1 willpower allies quest against Caradhras when we hit stage 3. And the extra progress from Northern Trackers and Lorien Guides will let us explore the important mountain locations that much easier. Threat reduction is important to counteract Frodo, Shadow of the Past will allow me to recover any mountains which get discarded as shadow cards, and Parting Gifts allows me to move Aragorn’s resources around if I don’t draw the Stone in a timely fashion, or if I feel I need more resources on the other deck. Otherwise it’s all just standard stuff.
This does also mark another first in The Line Unbroken, possibly in my deckbuilding full stop, in that I’ve gone for the ultimate in a consistent deck – sixteen cards with x3 copies each and one x2. This came about by chance as it happens, I wasn’t intentionally pursuing consistency as a definite end, it’s just that all the things I wanted to definitely have in this deck I definitely wanted to get quickly, so three copies of each of them, and nothing else was that important, especially since allies with low willpower were going to be of limited use (The Snowbourn Scouts are an exception, they’re intended to be played early for the extra progress tokens on the mountains – though even on stage 3 I could use them just to transfer one of Aragorn’s resources across the table via Horn of Gondor).

Wisdom and Craft

Heroes:
Glorfindel
Beravor
Denethor

Allies (21):
Haldir of Lorien x3
Gleowine x3
Gandalf x3
Henamarth Riversong x2
Miner of the Iron Hills x2
Mirkwood Runner x3
Gildor Inglorion x2
Rivendell Minstrel x3

Attachments (16):
A Burning Brand x3
Song of Wisdom x1
Protector of Lorien x3
Fast Hitch x3
Song of Battle x1
Horn of Gondor x3
Forest Snare x2

Events (13):
Secret Paths x3
Shadow of the Past x3
Strider’s Path x2
Feint x3
Infighting x2

Thoughts: A mono-Lore deck set against a scenario which demands a lot of willpower obviously gets round it by being crafty, negating threat and the like. To be honest, to a large extent this deck is just a support deck, but it can support rather well.
Corefindel finally makes an appearance on The Line Unbroken – his resource-intensive ability is less of an issue in mono-sphere and with objective ally Arwen to provide some extra resources. He’s also the intended target for the Horn. His ability aside though, he seemed a good choice here just for his 3 willpower. The 3 attack could also be relevant.
Another first for this series – I’ve omitted a sphere from my hero lineup. Originally I’d omitted Tactics entirely, but my couple of test plays indicated resource issues, which could be helped by the Horn of Gondor, and some problems with combat, so Feint (also Forest Snare and Infighting, let’s see if I can make those work). The Rivendell Minstrels were already in just because they’re 2 willpower in Lore and they could fetch the Song of Wisdom so Frodo could have A Burning Brand; so adding in another Song wasn’t too big an issue.
The main intention of this deck is to use Beravor (preferably with Unexpected Courage) and Gleowine to make sure both decks draw as fast as possible, giving me the options to do whatever I want – I can boost willpower (or defence) with Protector of Lorien, giving me another use for those extra cards, negate threat with Secret Paths, speed up the location exploring process with Strider’s Path, provide a certain amount of willpower and combat strength, and scry with Denethor, potentially sinking things I don’t want to see.

RingsDB:
http://ringsdb.com/fellowship/view/1495/the-line-unbroken-the-redhorn-gate
http://ringsdb.com/decklist/view/3422/the-line-unbroken-the-redhorn-gate-deck-1-1.0
http://ringsdb.com/decklist/view/3423/the-line-unbroken-the-redhorn-gate-deck-2-1.0

So let’s see how I do with no tactics heroes and the core Lore trio.
Youtube video: The Redhorn Gate

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3 Responses to The Line Unbroken – 13: The Redhorn Gate

  1. INK1ing says:

    I just completed this last night! Two successes so far. One where the heroes limped over the line and another 6 turn spectacular where the quest engine kicked in straight away.

    Nice use of the Dimrill Stair by the way. I would never have tried what you did but it really paid off.

    Like

    • Steven A says:

      I know from past plays of this quest that Dimrill Stair is a game-changing card if you can get it to work for you. Of course if it turns up after you’ve already explored one of the big mountains it’s probably not be worth it, but otherwise a threat reduction of 11 is too good to pass up if you can get it.

      Like

  2. Pingback: My Top 10 Favourite Cards Which I Never Use | Warden of Arnor

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