The Line Unbroken – 22: Peril in Pelargir

Nipping back forwards in time and down south to the land of Gondor, The Line Unbroken has reached the Heirs of Numenor deluxe expansion, somewhat infamous as representing a notable paradigm shift in the game – everything suddenly got harder, with in particular a tendency towards front-loaded quests that hit you hard right out of the gate. Of course it also saw the first appearance of Battle and Siege questing, and additionally produced some very powerful player cards which remain staples to this day (Beregond and Ranger Spikes being perhaps the biggest instances, but there are a fair number of other good things in this box).

And just as this box represented something of a paradigm shift for the game, so too shall it represent a paradigm shift for the Line Unbroken, at least in how I approach deluxe expansions, because with the higher difficulty of these quests, this is where I stop trying to take the same pair of decks through all three quests and start building more specifically. It’s not that I don’t think I could build decks that would be able to beat all three quests, but given that I also want to keep using as much of my available card pool, it’s a lot easier this way. If I just wanted to beat every quest I’d probably just build Dwarf decks most of the time but I’d show off a lot less of the card pool, making the series definitely less interesting for me and I imagine also for you. I prefer this option.

So, with that said, let’s talk about the things from the card pool that I want to include. Anyone somewhat familiar with this game will tell you that fitting in Beregond is really not a problem. Leadership Boromir is less popular, and was less popular still at the time of his release, drawing inevitable unflattering comparisons to Dain as the key hero providing global stat boosts to a trait. That said, even at this point with noticeably less good Gondor allies available he’s still pretty good, and he’s helped along by the presence of Battle questing – If the quest is a Battle, then he is Dain for Gondor allies, no not-yet-available attachment required, and the disparity narrows to the fact there are more good allies for the Dwarf trait than the Gondor trait. In particular, I’ve found it quite handy that if you take Boromir to Into Ithilien, his boost applies to Celador.
Since I’m splitting up the quests, I’m also going to split up discussion of the additions to the card pool. More to come in the preamble to Into Ithilien.

Which brings me to the quest. The central thematic point of Peril in Pelargir is Alcaron’s Scroll, but in gameplay terms it’s not that much of a consideration – you start with it, possibly drop it deliberately to avoid the Forced effect on The Leaping Fish, and eventually need to pick it up again. Gameplay-wise, what makes this quest stand out is that it’s the first appearance of Battle questing (for the first two stages), and the tight encounter deck offers some nasty enemies, which mostly penalise you for engaging them, worse if it wasn’t an optional engagement, and there are no optionals on stage 3 of the quest, which puts us back on standard willpower questing so you can’t completely ignore willpower all game. So here’s what I came up with to hopefully beat the barfight quest:

Leaders of Men

Boromir (Ld)
Prince Imrahil

Allies (20):
Errand-rider x3
Citadel Custodian x3
Envoy of Pelargir x3
Guard of the Citadel x3
Faramir x2
Snowbourn Scout x3
Gandalf (Core) x3

Attachments (10):
Dunedain Warning x3
Steward of Gondor x3
Path of Need x1
Cram x3

Events (20):
Mutual Accord x2
Second Breakfast x2
For Gondor! x2
Sneak Attack x3
Valiant Sacrifice x3
We Are Not Idle x3
Campfire Tales x3
Fresh Tracks x2

Thoughts: Even at this early stage in the development of the Gondor trait, mono-Leadership works reasonably for it. Trying to be somewhat thematic, I’ve filled in the gaps in the Gondor with Rohan, hence Theodred (who of course is better at Battle questing than regular, as is Prince Imrahil) and the Snowbourn Scouts. Other than that, I’ve got a few interesting things thrown in here – Path of Need fits in reasonably, since mono-Leadership should have no trouble affording it if I draw it, and if I don’t I don’t mind too much. Second Breakfast of course can recycle Path of Need as well as Cram, and there are a couple of disposable attachments in deck 2 as well. Fresh Tracks is potentially handy for stage 3 of the quest, allowing me to dodge an enemy with a nasty engagement effect (by which I mean the Umbar Assassin) and hopefully find a means of killing it in the staging area. And I put in all the card draw available so I should get a decent amount of useful stuff.

Loyal Stalwarts of the Realm


Allies (19):
Defender of Rammas x3
Envoy of Pelargir x3
Eomund x3
Gondorian Spearman x3
Horseback Archer x3
Elfhelm x1
The Riddermark’s Finest x3

Attachments (17):
Spear of the Citadel x2
Ancient Mathom x3
Born Aloft x3
Horn of Gondor x3
Unexpected Courage x3
Keeping Count x3

Events (14):
Behind Strong Walls x3
Feint x3
Hasty Stroke x3
A Test of Will x3
Hail of Stones x2

Thoughts: Hama is in partly for thematic reasons (as I said on the previous deck, I’m going for Gondor+Rohan) and partly because I’ve hardly ever used him. Handily this box has given us another good Tactics event to recycle in the form of Behind Strong Walls. Hail of Stones is in as another potential silver bullet against the Umbar Assassin appearing on stage 3 of the quest. Keeping Count could come in handy if I can find 2 copies, because I stick one copy on Hama, who’ll be killing things, and the other on someone like Theodred or Imrahil, who’ll be questing using their ever-increasing attack power. Horseback Archer is in because I’ve never used it and I’m going for this thematic Gondor/Rohan thing, which limits my options, and makes the Horseback Archer my only choice for a Ranged keyword. Finally, Born Aloft. It triggers Imrahil and recycles Gandalf, and is recycled itself by Second Breakfast, which are already ideas I wanted to try and fit into a deck at some point. But on top of that there’s one combo which is somewhat unlikely but which I’d love to see if I can pull off, the form of Mutual Accord+Born Aloft+Eomund. Since all my heroes and all my allies apart from Gandalf are either Gondor or Rohan, this would probably ready every character in play, which could make for some really powerful plays at key moments.


Youtube video: Peril in Pelargir

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2 Responses to The Line Unbroken – 22: Peril in Pelargir

  1. INK1ing says:

    Putting Path of Need on Pelargir Docks was a great trick. I never thought of putting it on a location in the staging area. I am going to steal this excellent idea!

    Hands upon the Bow got me through this quest. Having Legolas ping an enemy during questing really sped up progress especially when the effect on The Leaping Fish kept spewing out enemies on turn 1.


    • Steven A says:

      Yeah, HUtB can be fantastic, especially with Legolas. I remember a memorable occasion playing Over the Misty Mountains Grim 3 player, when Qwaz used HUtB to kill a goblin, thus clearing the active location which was giving +1 threat to all goblins, meaning Legolas effectively contributed the equivalent of about 10 willpower to the quest. To be honest the main reason I didn’t have Legolas instead of Hama for this was because I was going for the thematic Gondor/Rohan thing.

      Liked by 1 person

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