The Line Unbroken – N16: Nightmare The Long Dark

The Long Dark is a quest I was pretty negative about in standard mode, being as it is based around a mechanic I felt was rather poorly implemented. So it should come as no real surprise that the Nightmare version is also one I don’t like much, since it mostly focuses on that central mechanic without altering the basic broken nature of it. Though much as with Journey to Rhosgobel in the first cycle, the Nightmare cards are mostly well designed, just let down by the quality of the mechanics they had to work with – there are maybe a couple of ridiculous bits in there, but there’s still a greater quantity of really unbalanced encounter cards coming from the original quest rather than the Nightmare deck.

I’ve talked before about the problems with Locate tests and Lost effects, so there’s little point in reiterating all that now. The ideas behind the mechanic are not inherently bad, but they suffered from wild inconsistency in the necessity of making the tests, the chances of success at them, and the penalties for failure. Honestly, I don’t think it’d be impossible to salvage the mechanic and make it work, but the encounter deck would need to be a lot tighter and a lot of thought put into the severity of the Lost effects and the frequency of both Lost effects and Pass cards for the tests. As it is, the Nightmare deck fixes some issues by ensuring there is always at least one Lost effect in play, and otherwise hits players both with Lost effects, locate tests, and card discarding to make the tests harder. It doesn’t do as much as I’d like to solve the other issues though, the encounter deck is still somewhat bloated and inconsistent.

In building decks for this quest, besides the standards of strong questing and combat, the big things I’m looking for are perhaps a bit of location control and mostly just card draw so I have discards available to pass the tests with. Nothing else really matters. There are various ways I could’ve pursued those ideas, but this is what I came up with:

Rise from the Dark

Glorfindel (Sp)

Allies (27):
Imladris Stargazer x3
Zigil Miner x3
Northern Tracker x3
Blue Mountain Trader x3
Pelargir Shipwright x3
The Riddermark’s Finest x3
West Road Traveller x3
Arwen Undomiel x1
Emery x1
Elfhelm x1
Damrod x1
Dwalin x1
Bofur (Sp) x1

Attachments (8):
Light of Valinor x3
Map of Earnil x3
Warden of Arnor x2

Events (15):
Fortune or Fate x3
A Test of Will x3
Dwarven Tomb x3
Elrond’s Counsel x3
Hidden Cache x3

Thoughts: I can’t actually remember why my mind landed on Caldara, possibly just because I was considering different Spirit heroes, possibly because I was looking for location control and Caldara is a great means of acquiring Northern Trackers, possibly because while Caldara isn’t a deck type I associate with good card draw, Caldara decks obviously work fine with discarding the cards for e.g. Locate tests. On the location control and different Spirit heroes front Idraen was obviously a good choice, and she allowed me to use my namesake. Beyond that it’s all pretty standard Caldara, which I’ve done before, so I don’t really need to go over it again.

Coming Home

Thorin Oakenshield

Allies (24):
Gandalf (Core) x3
Longbeard Elder x3
Erebor Record Keeper x3
Erebor Hammersmith x3
Ered Nimrais Prospector x3
Warden of Healing x2
Erebor Battle Master x2
Fili x2
Kili x1
Gloin x1
Bifur x1

Attachments (9):
Legacy of Durin x3
Expert Treasure-hunter x2
Asfaloth x2
King Under the Mountain x2

Events (17):
A Good Harvest x3
Daeron’s Runes x3
Deep Knowledge x3
We Are Not Idle x3
Sneak Attack x3
Lure of Moria x2

Thoughts: This wasn’t my original plan, since in looking for card draw naturally my first thought was Beravor, but then thinking of other card draw options took me to Legacy of Durin and King Under the Mountain. I tend to avoid Dwarves a lot of the time, but that means they don’t get stale for me, and of course I am still playing Dwarves without Dain so I don’t feel too dirty about it. On the rare occasions I do play Dwarves, Thorin/Ori/Bombur I think is still my favourite lineup.
Expert Treasure-hunter and Asfaloth are obviously intended to be played cross-table to help the Caldara deck’s draw and get that location control working.
As is standard for Dwarves of course I’ve stuffed in plenty of Dwarf allies, plus Gandalf and Wardens of Healing. I elected to use A Good Harvest instead of Narvi’s Belt just because it’s cheaper.
King Under the Mountain being only a x2 seems odd, and actually having my 51st card be another King Under the Mountain might have been a more efficient choice than being 50 cards with only 2, but my general feeling was that I had plenty of draw. Legacy of Durin draws as I play allies, Ori brings extra passive draw, Daeron’s Runes of course, Deep Knowledge was a must since it draws for both decks, and We Are Not Idle is a little extra draw, in addition to providing me with more resources because I am actually playing Dwarves.



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