The Line Unbroken – 16: The Long Dark

The Long Dark is an AP I have mixed feelings about. The quest I’m not very fond of, as I’m sure I’ll have a chance to elaborate on in the video playthrough. Hama is a hero I’ve never really used, as the infamous Hama-lock, constantly recycling Feint, just seems to cheesy a strategy to me. On the other hand, TLD contains the Warden of Healing, which is just such a massively key card. By far the best form of healing under most circumstances, just that one card is enough to jump TLD up from being easily skippable as an early purchase to being potentially a really important one to grab up asap.
With that being said, I have to play it here, so what am I going to do? What do I need? Well, I have to use Hama. Since his event recycling comes at the cost of discarding a card from your hand, he works better if you have more cards in hand, so card draw is important. On the other hand, the gimmick of The Long Dark as a quest is the locate tests, which require you to discard cards for a chance at passing them. So… card draw again? A lot of Lore would make sense. And since I’ve been doing a bit of a thing this cycle of missing out spheres from my decks and this quest can tend towards the easy end of things, let’s omit Spirit this time round and see if it makes things any more challenging! I actually find omitting Spirit to be an interesting and in some ways liberating experience sometimes, because it means no Test of Will, so you don’t have to worry about whether or not you have it available, holding back a resource for it, or umming and ahhing over whether it’s worth cancelling this effect or if you should save it for later. When revealed effects just happen and you simply have to deal with them. Less to consider, though it is also more difficult to not have that cancellation on hand.

You hear a lot of stories as a doorman

Bilbo Baggins

Allies (18):
Warden of Healing x2
Gondorian Spearman x3
Henamarth Riversong x1
Gleowine x2
Gandalf x3
Erebor Record-Keeper x3
Mirkwood Runner x2
Erebor Hammersmith x2

Attachments (15):
Ring Mail x2
A Burning Brand x2
Blade of Gondolin x3
Horn of Gondor x2
Fast Hitch x2
Rivendell Bow x2
Born Aloft x2

Events (17):
Word of Command x2
Feint x3
Quick Strike x3
Swift Strike x2
Stand Together x2
Secret Paths x3
Hail of Stones x2

Thoughts: As it turns out, I fitted all the card draw stuff into this deck, so I guess I didn’t really need to have Lore in the other deck as well, but I’d already picked out my hero lineups before I added the other cards, and didn’t feel like changing them. Obviously the basic idea here is to draw a load of cards to go on Hama’s event recycling and Locate tests, but there are a few interesting points in there. The enemies in this quest mostly aren’t that tough, and I have the option of Hama recycling Feint anyway, which is why I’m fairly short on defensive options, the primary one being Bilbo, who can take advantage of A Burning Brand and Ring Mail to actually be a pretty solid defensive option, plus he has that cheap readying from Fast Hitch. I’ve got Word of Command in there to potentially dig out key cards like Feint if they don’t turn up in a timely fashion, Born Aloft to recycle Gandalfs for both decks, and Erebor Hammersmith to recycle Born Aloft. I have less copies of some important cards than I might usually like, relying on my card draw to make sure I get them anyway and thus allowing for more versatility.

Striding before the Mark

Aragorn (Lo)

Allies (23):
Landroval x1
Haldir of Lorien x1
Faramir x2
Snowbourn Scout x3
Gandalf x3
Erebor Record-Keeper x3
Dunedain Wanderer x3
Bombur x2
Gildor Inglorion x1
Erestor x1
Arwen Undomiel x2
Beorn x1

Attachments (14):
Steward of Gondor x3
Celebrian’s Stone x3
Unexpected Courage x2
Sword that was Broken x3
Resourceful x3

Events (13):
Sneak Attack x3
Valiant Sacrifice x3
Out of the Wild x2
Timely Aid x3
Needful to Know x2

Thoughts: When Watcher in the Water was released, there was a preview article containing a Secrecy deck with these two heroes, and it did strike me as a fairly effective pairing. While your starting threat is 20 and so you only get one round of Secrecy, you can mulligan for some important cards to get going, and then later when your hand starts to fill up with good Secrecy cards which are overpriced now your threat’s gone up you can simply use Aragorn’s threat reset ability and then play them all at once. The choice of allies in this deck is heavily skewed by the presence of Timely Aid and Sneak Attack allowing for more high cost options, two of whom I don’t even have a sphere-match for. I did slightly cheat my ‘no Spirit’ idea with Celebrian’s Stone, but I’ve only put in Arwen and Unexpected Courage, still no Test of Will. Ally Bombur is an odd choice, a card I would never include in a more generic deck, but in this instance he’s well worth it because every location in the deck is Underground. All in all, combining some of the best effects in Secrecy with the power of Aragorn and his toys should work out pretty well.


The only flies in my ointment are a potential lack of early willpower and no cancellation, that is to say, my omission of Spirit might come back to bite me. But this is usually a very easy quest, so having it actually present me with problems (even if they’re mostly self-inflicted) would make a nice change. Let’s see how it goes: The Long Dark

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2 Responses to The Line Unbroken – 16: The Long Dark

  1. SauronTheGreat says:

    do you know what your missing card draw wise? foe hammer! with hama, you draw it up, kill an enemy, draw three cards, next round, kill another enemy, pick it back up and discard 1 of the 3 that you got last turn, and do it again. you actually end up getting two extra cards a turn which is pretty good for tactics.


    • Steven A says:

      Foe-Hammer wasn’t released until the Hobbit saga boxes, so I can’t include it yet. Otherwise, yes, I know Foe-Hammer is an excellent event to pair up with Hama.


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