The Line Unbroken – 39: Trouble in Tharbad

Back to the Ring-maker cycle, we come to Trouble in Tharbad. Trouble in Tharbad falls into something of a similar mould to Encounter at Amon Din, being the third quest in the cycle and one where the mechanics are compelling but the difficulty is very much on the easy side. The theme is excellent with the mechanic of questing to reduce threat down to 0 and escape your pursuers. The whole idea of altering your threat elimination level is also very interesting, the rulebook in the Core Set mentioned the possibility but this was the first (and so far only) time it happened.

This pack also gave us some pretty great player cards. The Silvan deck really started coming together with the Galadhrim Minstrel and O Lorien! Herald of Anorien and Lembas also remain pretty widely used to this day, while the others are more niche, but still good. Finally of course, Haldir is an incredibly popular hero. He’s also one who is very well suited to this particular quest. The fact you are not only able but required to drop your threat all the way down to 0 makes it well suited for all sorts of low threat options, among them Secrecy and of course staging area attack, which Haldir can do with his combat action.

Which brings me to building for this quest specifically. Since I’m going for staging area attack, all that really matters is some attack options and a bunch of willpower. Threat reduction obviously fits though it’s not really needed given the ability to lower threat by questing. That makes for a very simple setup. I’m also including Secrecy cards to make use of that big threat drop. So here we go:

Can’t see a deck name through the pipe smoke

Sam Gamgee
Frodo Baggins

Allies (19):
Galadriel x3
Arwen Undomiel x3
Gandalf (Core) x3
Rivendell Scout x3
Bilbo Baggins x2
Faramir x2
Northern Tracker x2
Bill the Pony x1

Attachments (15):
Steward of Gondor x3
Resourceful x3
Hobbit Pipe x3
Unexpected Courage x3
Nor Am I a Stranger x2
Light of Valinor x1

Events (16):
Sneak Attack x3
Timely Aid x3
A Test of Will x3
Elrond’s Counsel x3
The Galadhrim’s Greeting x3
Swift and Silent x1

Thoughts: My brain jumped directly from working on low threat to Hobbit Pipes, which is not actually that good a fit since questing will give me all the threat reduction I need. It’s still an efficient way of drawing cards though, and at least I suppose I can stay at 0 threat after advancing the quest easily enough. Other than that I’ve got some Secrecy cards, some standard stuff, a speculative Light of Valinor for Haldir, and Nor Am I a Stranger may finally see some valid use for me because of the setup in the other deck…

This deck didn’t engage a name this round

Haldir of Lorien

Allies (12):
Master of the Forge x3
Galadhrim Minstrel x3
Ithilien Lookout x3
Gleowine x2
Ithilien Tracker x1

Attachments (18):
Resourceful x3
Ranger Spikes x3
Dagger of Westernesse x3
Spear of the Mark x3
Rivendell Blade x2
Fast Hitch x2
Black Arrow x1
Asfaloth x1

Events (20):
Forth Eorlingas! x3
Foe-hammer x3
Hands Upon the Bow x3
Daeron’s Runes x3
Deep Knowledge x3
Out of the Wild x3
Noiseless Movement x2

Thoughts: Forth Eorlingas is a difficult to work with sometimes, but when you can endlessly recycle it with Hama and you drop everyone’s threat to 0 it’s a lot easier to pull off. And in such a context it becomes worth giving the Rohan trait to more heroes to make use of it. If nothing else, it’s actually potentially useful to make Haldir Rohan in this context, because that way he can join in an attack with the other Rohan heroes rather than only being able to attack on his own using his ability. As in Morgul Vale, Tactics Theoden is actually a decent choice since I want to be somewhat Tactics heavy (for Forth Eorlingas) but I mostly just need questing power, especially early on to make sure I get down below engagement costs. Though I’ve got Noiseless Movement in case engagement costs get lowered too much and I’d have to take something otherwise. Beyond that, once again it’s mostly just some standard stuff and some Secrecy stuff. And plenty of card draw to fuel Hama of course.


Youtube video: Trouble in Tharbad

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