The Line Unbroken – 40: The Nin-in-Eilph

Ah, the Nin-in-Eilph. Widely considered one of the most frustrating quests in the game (if not the most). Also pretty thematic, since trudging endlessly through a swamp would be very frustrating. Doesn’t necessarily make it any more fun to play. That said, as I commented in my post about difficult quests, I feel it has become more palatable over time. Still can be frustrating though. Either way, I’ll still take a quest that is frustrating for simple difficulty in progressing over one which has fundamentally flawed mechanics (e.g. Riddles in Dungeons Deep and Caverns Dim) or which is imply boring (Hills of Emyn Muil).

Nin-in-Eilph also brought a fairly spectacularly good set of player cards – resource gen, Silvans, Secrecy, the deceptively useful Mirkwood Pioneer, and Wingfoot. The only question marks are on Follow Me! and Defender of the West, both of which are cards I’ve always wanted to use for how interesting they are but I’ve never managed to slot them into decks. Despite this, in what I believe may be a first for The Line Unbroken, I have used no player cards for my decks here that I haven’t used before in other quests, except the new hero. It might not actually be true – maybe for Massing at Osgiliath or Lake-Town I didn’t use anything I hadn’t used before, but then those were packs which didn’t include player cards of their own, so this still stands out.
I did actually go through some possibilities which did use some new player cards but then I remembered the thing I specifically wanted to do for this quest, which was focused on one specific frustrating aspect of the quest, that being the lodestone around our necks of having to bring along the most annoying objective ‘ally’ we’ve yet had in the form of Nalir the dwarf. Gollum was more annoying but he wasn’t technically defined as an ally, though that’s an interesting comparison since Nalir is essentially a better balanced version of Gollum in Return to Mirkwood, since his threat raise is proportional to the number of players in the game and thus it doesn’t screw over solo players who can’t share the load. Anyway, the point is that I was determined to actually make Nalir contribute to my success in some way, and the easy way to do that is to play Dwarves. Which resulted in me not using any new player cards other than Mablung because there have only been two new Dwarf cards since the Hobbit boxes – Well-Equipped didn’t really fit, and Blue Mountain Trader I have already used elsewhere.
The only additional concerns I faced in my deck-building were targeted at the scenario – the location Sinking Bog can be very frustrating, reducing characters’ stats by the number of items they have attached, so I’ve carefully avoided including any item attachments in my deck, at which point the Bog becomes just 1 threat in the staging area which I can happily ignore for the most part. Also direct damage can be a concern so I want to be ready for that.

Stepping out of the Past

Thorin Oakenshield

Allies (23):
Warden of Healing x3
Erebor Record-keeper x3
Erebor Hammersmith x3
Longbeard Elder x3
Dori x3
Gandalf (Core) x2
Miner of the Iron Hills x2
Ered-Nimrais Prospector x2
Gloin x1
Bifur x1

Attachments (12):
Steward of Gondor x3
King Under the Mountain x3
Hardy Leadership x3
Legacy of Durin x3

Events (15):
Sneak Attack x3
We Are Not Idle x3
Lure of Moria x3
Daeron’s Runes x3
Deep Knowledge x3

Thoughts: Since Bombur counts as two dwarves, this deck starting as first player with Nalir will mean Thorin and Ori’s abilities will actually apply right from the start of the game (so long as I don’t randomly get the quest stage which prevents you gaining resources or drawing cards through player card effects). I still want to be able to play another Dwarf as fast as possible of course to ensure that I’ll still have 5 after the first player token sends Nalir to the other deck, but starting with the boost will make that easier to achieve. A lot of this deck is pretty standard Dwarf fare – Miners of the Iron Hills are in particularly because this quest contains In Need of Rest, which can be a hero-killer if you don’t remove it. In deference to the amount of direct damage this quest can throw around I also included 3x Warden of Healing and Hardy Leadership, which usually would be only x2 cards for me. Deep Knowledge is in general of course a pretty great addition to the basic Dwarf deck chassis from Dwarrowdelf and the Hobbit boxes, but in this case threat is somewhat of a concern so they’re basically only there to accelerate my start or for emergency deck digging when I really need to find a particular card. Steward of Gondor and Legacy of Durin are both intended for Nori in the other deck to give it some more resources and card draw.

Forming New Alliances

Dain Ironfoot

Allies (29):
Envoy of Pelargir x3
Squire of the Citadel x3
Imladris Stargazer x3
Zigil Miner x3
Blue Mountain Trader x3
Veteran Axehand x3
Erebor Battle Master x3
Gandalf (Core) x2
Arwen Undomiel x2
Fili x1
Kili x1
Bofur (Sp) x1
Dwalin x1

Attachments (9):
Unexpected Courage x3
Blood of Numenor x3
Gondorian Fire x3

Events (12):
Sneak Attack x3
To me! O my kinsfolk! x3
Feint x3
A Test of Will x3

Thoughts: Once again, mostly pretty standard Dwarven fare, with some snippets of Gondor for Mablung. Between Squires, Envoys and his own ability, there’s an OK chance he may be able to stack enough resources that Blood and Fire will become relevant to my combat, though equally they might be irrelevant because Dwarves. Resources can also be supplemented with the Stargazer/Miner combo if need be, and Blue Mountain Traders can grab some from the other deck. Nori will help keep this deck’s threat down a little bit, Mablung’s resources can in addition to Blood and Fire be used to pay for Battle Masters, who should be pretty potent once the deck gets rolling. In retrospect I probably should have included some Hasty Strokes in the deck, but I should mostly be able to manage without, I hope.

The decks seems solid enough, Dwarves are still very potent, so lets’ see how I do.


Youtube video: The Nin-in-Eilph

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2 Responses to The Line Unbroken – 40: The Nin-in-Eilph

  1. INK1ing says:

    Great idea having Nalir as the 5th dwarf and triggering Thorin and Ori. I occasionally have him block if I am feeling brave but apart from that I haven’t been able to make much use of him.

    I have never actually completed this quest as I generally seem to get clogged up with enemies and then I just get slower and slower before gettting choked by the bog. Renmants of Elder Days always seems to come up early which is strange as there is only 1 copy of the damn thing.


    • PocketWraith says:

      Well, it’s not so strange as it would be in some quests, because Nin-in-Eilph does have a very small enccounter deck. Still pretty bad luck though, especially since getting clgged up with enemies is a pretty clear path to failure in this quest – ideally I always want to be killing enemies the same round the enter play so they can’t trigger their ‘after a time counter is removed’ effects. In general I guess there’s limited margin for error in this quest – once things start to go wrong it’s really easy for them to just start spiralling completely out of control towards the inevitable loss.

      Liked by 1 person

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