The Line Unbroken – N12: Nightmare Flight from Moria

Flight from Moria was always an interesting quest with some problems in it. I think it definitely benefitted from the transition into Nightmare, but there were still some problems left unfixed. The main premise of the quest is thematically great, but the execution in the encounter deck is spotty and some cards can cause massive difficulty swings. I’d be pretty interested to see how a quest like this would turn out if it was designed now with the more experienced and mature design philosophy that has turned out the last few cycles of fantastic quests. That pipe dream aside though, let’s get into Nightmare Flight from Moria.

Despite some misgivings, I do feel that the Nightmare version of this quest represented a positive shift in many ways. The changes to the encounter deck while they still leave in some problematic things do make the quest more mechanically focused; the changes to the quest deck add some additional interest, though there are some cases where I might question the design; and the fact bypassed quest cards are shuffled into the quest deck rather than placed on the bottom makes for more interesting decision-making as to whether you complete some quest stages instead of repeatedly bypassing. I also really like it thematically – it gives the feeling of being lost blundering in the dark, which you can mitigate by fully exploring a quest stage, but narrowing down the directions you may be going in turn makes it more difficult to avoid the Nameless Fear which is hunting you through the mines. I could go on about this but I’ve been thinking of starting up another article series (because obviously I don’t have enough yet) about quest design and I think NM Flight from Moria would be a great one to look at so I’m going to save some thoughts for that.
In terms of building for this quest, the big thing is controlled questing and preferably controlling the threat in the staging area – you want to be cautious about actually completing quest stages since they’ll power up The Nameless Fear, but at the same time there are effects which can end up flooding the staging area with cards so you want to be ready to power up your questing or reduce the threat lest you quest unsuccessfully by a lot. So location control and effects which cancel threat in the staging area are good, as are effects which can add willpower after staging. One strategic point to bear in mind is that I’ve found it’s often effective to stay on one quest stage for a while, not completing it or bypassing it, while you establish a solid board-state, rather than continually cycling the stages and thus having to face the various annoying when revealed effects on them. The other big thing besides controlled questing and encounter deck manipulation to the same end is considering the danger of A Foe Beyond. It’s good to have an answer to it if possible.

Deck names are hard, I can’t be bothered right now

Heroes:
Brand Son of Bain
Glorfindel (Sp)
Fatty Bolger

Allies (18):
Northern Tracker x3
The Riddermark’s Finest x3
West Road Traveller x3
Arwen Undomiel x3
Envoy of Pelargir x3
Bofur (Sp) x1
Elfhelm x1
Landroval x1

Attachments (16):
Light of Valinor x3
Unexpected Courage x3
Ancient Mathom x3
Rivendell Bow x3
Blade of Gondolin x3
Rivendell Blade x1

Events (16):
A Test of Will x3
Elrond’s Counsel x3
Feint x3
Foe-hammer x3
Late Adventurer x2
Hasty Stroke x2

Thoughts: In my continual struggle not to just use the same three Spirit heroes all the time I was delighted to realise that Fatty Bolger’s ability can be highly relevant in this quest by cancelling threat in the staging area to control questing progress more tightly. I couldn’t really avoid Glorfindel though since I wanted to get the full benefit from Asfaloth to keep the locations clear. The Riddermark’s Finest should also help a bit with that, and of course Northern Trackers if I can get them in.
Late Adventurer was of course a card I didn’t think I’d ever find a use for, but considering this quest I realised this is kind of the perfect quest for it – I’m looking for controlled questing, with over-questing being probably worse than under-questing so the ability to add extra willpower occasionally after staging is actually potentially valuable. I can also use it with Northern Trackers to get extra progress on locations revealed during staging. Spirit Bofur of course works on a similar principle to Late Adventurer in the sense of quest insurance, as does Elrond’s Counsel (in addition to the threat reduction counteracting the downside of Fatty).
Besides those points, obviously I’m stacking up card draw so I can find all the important things, and making sure I’m set up for combat – that concern is why Arwen is a x3, and likewise 3 copies of Rivendell Bow even though it’s only there for Glorfindel so I can get up my Ranged attack power to keep enemies clear and get best use out of Brand’s readying.
The one speculative copy of Landroval could obviously save a hero from A Foe Beyond, and if I can get Brand questing with Unexpected Courage then Theodred could help me to afford it. It’s not likely though.

Don’t have a deck name here either

Heroes:
Theodred
Bifur
Denethor

Allies (19):
Bombur x3
Envoy of Pelargir x3
Faramir x2
Dori x2
Gleowine x2
Warden of Healing x2
Gandalf (Core) x2
Henamarth Riversong x1
Gildor Inglorion x1
Haldir of Lorien x1

Attachments (13):
Steward of Gondor x3
King Under the Mountain x3
Asfaloth x3
Protector of Lorien x2
A Burning Brand x2

Events (18):
Gildor’s Counsel x3
Out of the Wild x3
Daeron’s Runes x3
Deep Knowledge x3
Campfire Tales x3
Sneak Attack x3

Thoughts: Here I have a few things focused on quest control – Bombur can cancel the threat of any location in this quest because they’re all underground, Asfaloth will help clear those locations, Gildor’s Counsel (possibly combined with Denethor or Henamarth) can keep the threat from staging much more under control and Out of the Wild can just remove cards from the encounter deck that I really want to avoid. And then Faramir and Protector of Lorien can provide more willpower boosts for quest insurance. Affording all this won’t be anything like as difficult as you might imagine between Theodred, Bifur, Envoys of Pelargir in both decks to transfer resources, and of course Steward of Gondor will be played onto Bifur.
Dori is my best solution to A Foe Beyond, since he can die instead of the hero. Burning Brand should make Denethor a really solid defender, and otherwise the deck is mostly full of card draw.

RingsDB:
http://ringsdb.com/fellowship/view/3152/the-line-unbroken-nm-flight-from-moria
http://ringsdb.com/decklist/view/6090/the-line-unbroken-nm-flight-from-moria-deck-1-1.0
http://ringsdb.com/decklist/view/6091/the-line-unbroken-nm-flight-from-moria-deck-2-1.0

Youtube: https://youtu.be/Fv-9gq3pvqs

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