The Line Unbroken – 36: Into Fangorn

And so we round out our all-too-brief tour of Rohan and Isengard with a quick jaunt into Fangorn Forest. This quest was unfortunately a disappointment which didn’t really live up to the coolness of its theme, but it’s inevitable that such failings will happen from time to time when you keep coming up with these innovative new mechanics.

So the subject of new quest mechanics is the one aspect of Voice of Isengard which I still want to briefly address. The Hinder keyword in Into Fangorn and the out of play deck for To Catch an Orc are quest-specific gimmicks, but Fords of Isen introduced us to the card-hating Dunlendings, who were to recur a couple of times in the cycle, and all three quests in the box used the Time mechanic, which remained throughout the cycle and has even appeared in a couple of places since.
The Dunlendings were rather a harsh thing to spring on people playing the quests blind, since loading up on card draw was a fairly standard strategy and remains so, for good reason. They are perhaps the single greatest example of the designers specifically using quest and encounter card mechanics to directly combat the standard metagame and strategies commonly used to beat other quests.
Time of course also countered some particular strategies, going directly against those decks which would control and deliberately limit their questing in order to more reliably gain absolute control over the board-state. It’s harder to do that when you’re operating under a time limit before some nasty thing happens to you. Of course, a lot of people’s favourite implementation of the Time mechanic was in To Catch an Orc, when it actually was possible to keep replenishing the time counters and thus stave off disaster and go back to stalling and control strategies. Of course we saw what may have been a bit of a proto-Time mechanic in Stone of Erech with the Night objectives, and it’s an obvious enough idea to have, so it’s good to have it neatly codified like this. Some specific uses of it are more frustrating than others, but personally I think I’d say all the ones in the deluxe box are good.

So back to Fangorn. This quest is unfortunately rather an easy one. The Huorns are not that threatening, the Hinder keyword didn’t do all that much, and it’s often possible to just sprint through the quest at high speed. So let’s just put together something interesting to throw at it. Or… well, to be honest if I take anything with willpower I’m likely to just steamroll so let’s just go all out and make it utterly ridiculous.

An Outlandish Doom

Hirluin the Fair
Aragorn (Lo)

Allies (22):
Denethor x1
Orthanc Guard x3
Forlong x3
Warrior of Lossarnach x3
Knights of the Swan x3
Ethir Swordsman x3
Anfalas Herdsman x3
Hunter of Lamedon x3

Attachments (7):
Steward of Gondor x3
Sword of Morthond x1
Keys of Orthanc x3

Events (21):
A Very Good Tale x3
Legacy of Numenor x3
Men of the West x3
Daeron’s Runes x3
Deep Knowledge x3
The Seeing-stone x3

Thoughts: OK, so this is mostly an excuse to get those other Outlands cards used so I can cross them off the list of cards I haven’t used yet in the controlled environment of a quest which I don’t mind crushing. Showing off a glimpse of the potential power to be had by combining Doomed and Outlands may be instructive as well. Oh, and the Orthanc Guard is in here because I figure he works nicely with A Very Good Tale. Denethor + Sword of Morthond is unlikely to come to fruition, but whatever, it’s Outlands, I don’t need it anyway.

The Rider and the Holbytla

Frodo Baggins
Fatty Bolger

Allies (15):
Arwen Undomiel x3
Escort from Edoras x3
Silvan Refugee x3
West Road Traveller x3

Attachments (18):
Dagger of Westernesse x3
Ancient Mathom x3
Hobbit Pipe x3
Unexpected Courage x3
Good Meal x3
Song of Travel x3

Events (17):
Halfling Determination x3
A Test of Will x3
Children of the Sea x3
Elrond’s Counsel x2
Power of Orthanc x3
The Galadhrim’s Greeting x3

Thoughts: You might observe that there’s no real reason for Eomer to be in this deck, and you’d be absolutely right. I mean I could’ve put together something that would make it practical for him to actually kill off some Huorns, but honestly I don’t expect the game to last long enough for it to matter. Just throw out some willpower and everything should work out fine.


Youtube video: Into Fangorn

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1 Response to The Line Unbroken – 36: Into Fangorn

  1. INK1ing says:

    That reminded me of my experience of the The Long Dark which introduced a new mechanic that became irrelevant if you mustered enough willpower to blow through it. The two times I played it I finished it on the third turn. It will never see the light of day again.


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