The Line Unbroken – N6: Nightmare Journey to Rhosgobel

To say that Journey to Rhosgobel is not my favourite quest would be a sizeable understatement. I don’t like the quest. I have never liked the quest. Between the bloated and inconsistent encounter deck; the out-of-nowhere nature of your potential loss on the final quest card; the requirement to custom-build and bring full heals to win consistently; and the excessively brutal amounts of direct damage, this quest has just never appealed to me. The nightmare version doesn’t really do anything to improve my outlook on it either. Including both standard and nightmare, this will be the sixth time I’ve played this quest (once solo/two-handed, once multiplayer and once for The Line Unbroken in each mode) and it may well be the last.

In the evolution of nightmare decks, we can note this one as worthy of interest, being the first time nightmare mode introduced a positive change to the quest mechanics – in this case, allowing you to shuffle Athelas from the discard pile back into the encounter deck, so you can’t just lose them all as shadow cards. A welcome change to be sure, but certainly not enough to redeem the quest. Meanwhile it also adds surge to the first creature revealed each round, and as we know, everyone hates surge, so that’s obviously not a popular change. In terms of the alterations to the encounter deck, it actually cuts back a bit on the ridiculous direct damage effects, which is something, but it then brings in a couple more things to put and keep damage on Wilyador specifically, and puts more into the whole “Only Eagles and characters with Ranged can attack or defend” thing. I suppose that was a fairly unique feature of this quest so it sort of made sense to emphasise it, but it was also a mechanic which I rather disliked, so I don’t see much positive in having more of it.

So how do I build for this quest? Well, as in the non-nightmare version, I stock up on full heal effects for Wilyador and card draw to find them. I want a Ranged hero so I can kill those annoying enemies, though some backup options may be helpful too. Since some of the direct damage treacheries do still exist (not to mention the potential undefended enemies because I don’t have the Ranged characters for them), Gloin seems a natural fit. I’ll need a bit of healing for myself as well though not necessarily massive amounts. Finally having an expanded card pool compared to when I did this in standard mode offers me more options for sneakily exploring Rhosgobel while still on stage 1 so I can heal Wilyador without removing the relevant cards from the game.

Strangers from Distant Lands

Brand son of Bain

Allies (21):
West Road Traveller x3
Imladris Stargazer x3
Master of the Forge x3
Envoy of Pelargir x3
Arwen Undomiel x2
Gandalf (Core) x2
Elfhelm x1
Beorn x1
Gleowine x1
Gildor Inglorion x1
Haldir of Lorien x1

Attachments (14):
Healing Herbs x3
Unexpected Courage x3
Vilya x3
Rivendell Bow x2
Rivendell Blade x2
Light of Valinor x1

Events (17):
A Test of Will x3
Hasty Stroke x3
Elrond’s Counsel x3
Feint x3
Daeron’s Runes x3
Lore of Imladris x2

Thoughts: A lot of this is just pretty standard Elrond/Vilya, plus questing, a few staple combat cards and the full heal cards for Wilyador. Since I’m fitting all those different things into one deck I’m only really able to fit in the bare bones of each, but it should work out all the same. Master of the Forge is going to be potentially key to find some of those key attachments (and as is often the case, helped with the deckbuilding by letting me cut down on copies of some of them). Regardless of draw though, my hero lineup is pretty potent so that should help. And of course Elrond in particular will make it much easier to handle the required healing.

Understanding, making and healing

Glorfindel (Lo)

Allies (12):
Master of the Forge x3
Dori x3
Gandalf (Core) x3
Envoy of Pelargir x3

Attachments (22):
Steward of Gondor x3
King Under the Mountain x3
Dunedain Mark x3
Healing Herbs x3
Ranger Spikes x3
Thror’s Map x3
Asfaloth x2
Boots from Erebor x2

Events (18):
Sneak Attack x3
Campfire Tales x3
Lore of Imladris x3
Daeron’s Runes x3
Gildor’s Counsel x3
Infighting x3

Thoughts: This deck is almost entirely focused on healing – primarily healing Wilyador. To that end, it also includes Thror’s Map and Asfaloth to either make Rhosgobel active or explore it in the staging area. Steward of Gondor is intended to go on Glorfindel, to give me enough resources for some of the more expensive Lore cards and have some left over for healing with. Gildor’s Counsel, aside fro being a generally great card, can either let me control my questing more tightly when I haven’t found enough healing yet, or make it easier to all-out sprint-quest when I’m ready to end the quest. It’s also particularly welcome given the surge potential from the nightmare card. Dori can potentially save a hero from death to direct damage or an attack. Finally a couple of bits of combat help – Dunedain Marks obviously will be handy for Brand, while Infighting is a hold-over from an earlier version of these two decks where I was trying to manage without Tactics. Since I did put in Brand, I could probably take out Infighting, and in retrospect this deck would probably be better at 50 cards instead of 52, with no Infighting and 3x Asfaloth, but I already recorded the video so never mind. Failing that, I probably would also have been better served with 3x Asfaloth and only 2x Thror’s Map. Whatever, it still works.


Youtube: NM Journey to Rhosgobel

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2 Responses to The Line Unbroken – N6: Nightmare Journey to Rhosgobel

  1. walkofgames says:

    While i dont like the original Journey to Rhosgobel, i definitly think the Nightmare Version does a great job of upgrading this quest. With the new Athelas mechanic, all you have to do is survive through the encounter deck once and you will have all your copies of Athelas. Sure you still need specialised decks full of healing, but nonetheless, the nightmare gave that quest a boost where i am going to probably revisit the quest (meanwhile the original quest is sealed in some grave in rhudaur)


    • PocketWraith says:

      I don’t agree, but I see where you’re coming from. Actually I realised on reflection that I’m pretty OK with all the new cards added in the Nightmare deck, my big problem lies in the fact they’re still tied to the mechanics of the original quest which I don’t like.


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