The Line Unbroken – C4: The Ring Goes South

It’s saga campaign time again! Alright, once again I’m going slightly out of order here, because the obvious narrative break in the Ring-maker cycle is after Three Trials when we’ve just dealt with the little sidetrack into the Dunland stuff rather than after just narrowly escaping Tharbad and running into a swamp with Nalir. This does have the additional point of placing The Road Darkens in my sequence where it was expected to be if not where it actually was released – everyone, FFG included, thought that Road Darkens would be at GenCon, but it turned out to be late and turned up a little while afterwards.

In any case, I’m back to my campaign here. The Road Darkens for me is where campaign mode really starts to take off. The amount of stuff in the campaign pool gets built up enough here to make the campaign version of the quests really distinct to the non-campaign versions. The Road Darkens also, to the relief of many players I’m sure, gave us the first opportunity to swap out heroes without incurring a threat penalty. Of course this makes perfect sense in story terms – Aragorn and the other Hobbits got Frodo to Rivendell, but at that point there was plenty of time and counsels and so on and the Fellowship was formed with a bunch more people. I also have to imagine that regardless of the thematic considerations, they will have wanted to have such point, because guaranteeably, some people will be playing through a campaign as the boxes are released, and you don’t want to deny them access to all the cool new heroes released between one saga box and the next (including but not limited to the one(s) in the latest saga box).

So let’s talk about my Line Unbroken campaign in particular. A quick reminder of my campaign pool carrying forward (I’ll also go over this in the video):
From Shadow of the Past I took the Gildor Inglorion boon and The Ring Draws Them.
From The Old Forest I took Old Bogey-stories.
From Fog on the Barrow Downs I took Ho! Tom Bombadil!
From A Knife in the Dark Frodo has Noble Hero and Aragorn has Valiant Warrior.
From Flight to the Ford I got Overcome by Terror.

None of this factors particularly into decision-making at this point, I just wanted to remind people so they wouldn’t have to go back and check if they were curious. Well, it does factor in because it means I don’t want to remove Aragorn from my fellowship, but I was never going to remove him in any case. So swapping out heroes. By standard Line Unbroken rules, I have to bring in Gandalf. I’m throwing Balin out (so I guess he can now quickly run off to Moria and die so as not to screw with the timeline too much), and in general I want to be fairly thematic and stick to the Fellowship from the books. This prevents one slight problem as the only member of the Fellowship of the Ring who exists as a Spirit hero at this point in the card pool is Frodo, and I can’t have him because he’s the Fellowship hero. So I guess I haven’t gotten rid of Fatty Bolger just yet (I mean I could use a different Spirit hero but I’ve come this far with Fatty so I’m going to stick with him a bit further). Furthermore I’ve decided to make one other change, partly for thematic reasons and partly to handle the demands of The Ring Goes South in particular (though he’ll be useful in future quests too) and brought in Legolas in place of Sam. The thematic concern is that of course Sam will be going to Mordor with Frodo like in the books, but the next opportunity to change heroes is after The Uruk-Hai, so I’d have to still have Sam for that quest if I included him at this point. This way he drops out temporarily and then I bring him back in for Land of Shadow. And the other aspect is that Legolas being a strong Ranged attacker will be generally useful, especially for Ring Goes South, which I’ll talk about as I discuss the decks.
The Ring Goes South is not an overly complicated quest. Mostly you just have to quest hard and try not to get eaten by wargs along the way while swallowing several negative effects for damage on locations – which mostly happens when you engage enemies. So there’s a lot to be said for not engaging enemies wherever possible while progressing rapidly. Hmm… I do believe I smell an idea here…

Trust to Friendship

Pippin (Lo)
Fatty Bolger

Allies (9):
Elrond x3
Arwen Undomiel x2
Bilbo Baggins x2
Warden of Healing x2

Attachments (18):
Gandalf’s Staff x3
Ranger Spikes x3
Expert Treasure-hunter x2
Wizard Pipe x2
Hobbit Pipe x2
Unexpected Courage x2
Fast Hitch x2
Fellowship of the Ring x2

Events (23):
A Test of Will x3
Daeron’s Runes x3
Deep Knowledge x3
The Galadhrim’s Greeting x3
Shadow of the Past x3
Take No Notice x2
Frodo’s Intuition x2
Message from Elrond x2
Hands Upon the Bow x2

Thoughts: Ranger Spikes will of course assist me in my goal to engage as few enemies as possible and thus dodge the nasty effects for damage on locations. Galadhrim’s Greeting will also help there, as will Take No Notice (which will cost either 1 or 0 depending on where Frodo is at the time) and otherwise this deck will mostly just draw through itself fast and muster willpower. I’m still bringing Shadow of the Past to manipulate the encounter deck and in particular to recycle Gildor. The one additional wrinkle in this deck is the inclusion of Message from Elrond and Hands Upon the Bow. Although Gandalf could play it from the top of the deck, this deck has no Ranged characters to use Hands Upon the Bow. However the second deck has Legolas, who is great with HUtB, and I can simply use Message from Elrond to pass it across the table as needed.

Your Hope is in Speed and Secrecy

Aragorn (Ld)

Allies (10):
Galadriel x3
Envoy of Pelargir x3
Erestor x2
Elrond x2

Attachments (14):
Steward of Gondor x3
Rivendell Blade x3
Dunedain Mark x3
Sword that was Broken x2
Celebrian’s Stone x2
Black Arrow x1

Events (26):
Sneak Attack x3
Valiant Sacrifice x3
Fresh Tracks x3
Hands Upon the Bow x3
Foe-hammer x3
A Test of Will x3
Shadow of the Past x3
A Good Harvest x3
Feint x2

Thoughts: Much the same, this deck is simply designed to muster willpower and have Legolas Hands Upon the Bow everything before it can engage me. Fresh Tracks is another card which can stop enemies engaging, Black Arrow if I find it will be helpful for either the Warg Chief or the Watcher. Good Harvest can help smooth out resources early on, though once I get established there’s not much in this deck that’s expensive. And once again of course I have a bunch of card draw so I find the important things in a timely fashion. Only two copies of Feint since hopefully enemies won’t be engaging me and thus I won’t need it. One final note is that both decks have ally Elrond and this deck has Sneak Attack to go with him. While I could use his healing and could certainly use his card draw, his primary reason for being here is to remove Lust for the Ring if it gets attached, since raising my threat by 5 to leave it out of the encounter deck would run counter to my strategy of not engaging enemies.


Youtube video: The Ring Goes South

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1 Response to The Line Unbroken – C4: The Ring Goes South

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

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