The Line Unbroken – G2: Battle of Lake-Town

Here goes the second GenCon quest, which handily fits into the sequence of the Hobbit quests at this point. Smaug in The Lonely Mountain was actually not too difficult to deal with, it being possible to just quest him into oblivion. Smaug as we encounter him in Battle of Lake-Town is another kettle of fish entirely. He’s a big threat to have to handle. And that problem is exacerbated by the fact that playing Progression-style, not only does Battle of Lake-Town precede the release of the Gondorian Shield, when I investigated the precise release sequence I found that it also preceded Heirs of Numenor, and thus my super-defender cannot be Beregond.
So this will represent a different level of challenge to what I’ve experienced with previous plays of this quest. Perhaps this will cause me to find it more interesting than I usually do, though I’m not sure, as the issue with the quest is not the level of challenge – it remains one of the more difficult quests to this day – but the absolute simplicity of it, wherein as I’ve said previously, it becomes a very mechanical procedure of pure numbers with not a lot of meaningful decisions.

So putting aside my issues with the scenario, what do I need to beat it? The answer is willpower, location control, and either a strong defender or a continual supply of chumps. Concerns beyond that simply involve accounting for certain specific cards in the encounter deck – Close to the Flame encourages me to go for allies with more hitpoints, and Great Bridge makes Will of the West a definite consideration (though I’ve found on previous occasions that I’ll put it in and then get it discarded by the Great Bridge itself, so maybe I should just hope it doesn’t happen); plus just a general desire for me to make sure I have good access to cancellation for both treacheries and shadows. I want to be careful about my starting threat, since it’s going to be easier if I can avoid having to engage Smaug right at the start, until I’m set up and ready to tank the hits. Finally, while I will need to kill the dragon at the end, many typical combat options will be ineffectual either because they target enemies and Smaug is immune or because they trigger off getting a kill, and there are no enemies but Smaug, whose death ends the quest. So let’s put together a couple of decks:

The Flying Dwarves


Allies (18):
Faramir x2
Snowbourn Scout x3
Eagles of the Misty Mountains x3
Landroval x1
Vassal of the Windlord x3
Winged Guardian x3
Gandalf (Core) x3

Attachments (18):
Steward of Gondor x3
Dunedain Warning x3
Horn of Gondor x3
Citadel Plate x3
Support of the Eagles x3
Song of Battle x3

Events (14):
Sneak Attack x3
Khazad! Khazad! x3
The Eagles Are Coming! x3
Valiant Sacrifice x3
Campfire Tales x2

Thoughts: One additional condition I placed on myself was that I wanted to do something I hadn’t seen before – which primarily means not using a Dain dwarf swarm approach since that featured in both the Tales from the Cards strategy article on the quest and the Progression Series video for it. A powered up Gimli for the kill is something I have seen before, but I don’t recall Eagles being a feature. This deck is primarily focused on getting the combat side of things set up, and on providing resource generation. Gloin can potentially generate some of his own by soaking up burn damage (if I can afford to exhaust him). As far as the combat goes, Gimli is intended to stack up Citadel Plates and Support of the Eagles for a massive attack value by the end of the quest (And good defence and hit points for defending in the meantime). Hopefully I should be able to find all the Eagles by having Hama attack Smaug every other round and recycle The Eagles Are Coming! (As soon as I’m ready to engage Smaug every round, that is).

Fight Fire with Fire

Glorfindel (Lo)
Frodo Baggins

Allies (18):
Arwen Undomiel x3
Northern Tracker x3
West Road Traveller x3
Gleowine x3
Warden of Healing x3
Gandalf (Core) x3

Attachments (15):
A Burning Brand x3
Asfaloth x3
Song of Wisdom x3
Unexpected Courage x3
Ancient Mathom x3

Events (17):
A Test of Will x3
Elrond’s Counsel x3
Hasty Stroke x3
The Galadhrim’s Greeting x2
Daeron’s Runes x3
Secret Paths x3

Thoughts: Again, going for something different to what I’ve seen before, thus avoiding Spirit Glorfindel (also making it a bit more challenging). I considered an Elrond/Vilya approach, which certainly could be very effective, but I only had room for one high threat Lore hero, and I decided I’d rather still have full-power Asfaloth. Plus I should get some actual use out of Corefindel’s ability, since this deck is really focused on getting a few key components into place, and once they’re down it can easily end up with resources to spare for some additional healing. Meanwhile Frodo solves defence for this deck, with threat raises and some help from the Dunedain Warnings in the other deck getting played across. I really wanted to fit in Will of the West, as I mentioned above, but couldn’t find anything to cut for it so I figured I’ll just have to hope the Great Bridge doesn’t screw me over, or I have A Test of Will available for it. Speaking of cancellation, Eleanor is going to help me feel a lot more secure against some of the horrible treacheries in this quest. My starting willpower is admittedly limited, but I should be able to build up quickly enough to cope, especially helped along by some location control effects and quickly getting Smaug out of the staging area to reduce the threat against me.
All in all, this pair of decks, while unorthodox, should be entirely capable of putting up the required numbers to win this quest so long as they manage to get set up. The big question is whether they manage that or die in the starting blocks. Let’s see how we go.


Youtube video:
Battle of Lake-Town

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2 Responses to The Line Unbroken – G2: Battle of Lake-Town

  1. Laco says:

    Hi! I am very curious for this play.
    Do you think it is playable solo in progression style? I will try it, but without success so far.


    • Steven A says:

      I definitely think it should be doable, though a solo deck may struggle more to cover everything at once, so you might be more susceptible to getting wrecked by bad shadow effects, say. This may be a case where you’d really have to pull out some of the standard power-cards, like Elrond/Vilya, Spirit Glorfindel, or Dain.


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