The Line Unbroken – 59: A Storm on Cobas Haven

The Dream-Chaser cycle to my mind has a bit of a slump in the middle, both in difficulty and interest in the mechanics (others might disagree of course). But coming to the final two quests of the cycle we’re back to top quality and high difficulty. Storm on Cobas Haven and City of Corsairs are both outstanding quests.

The player cards fall into the categories of niche, not very good, Windfola and Ioreth. Personally I’m a definite fan of some of the niche cards, but it would be idle to deny that there are a lot of decks they just don’t fit into, and I’m not sure I’ve ever seen the Linhir Sea-captain used in any deck ever.

As to the quest, Storm on Cobas Haven is really *the* Sailing quest. Voyage Across Belegaer is kept fairly simple as it serves as a tutorial, Flight of the Stormcaller has more of a focus on the race on the parallel quest cards, and City of Corsairs only has you Sailing for one quest card – Storm on Cobas Haven on the other hand is a big naval battle and thus is all about Sailing, Ships and Boarding. I know some people when the quest was released were disappointed that it didn’t evoke more of the feeling of a huge naval battle, but the content is there if you choose to engage with it. Unfortunately it is admittedly somewhat influenced by player count – a solo player is much more likely to get by just questing past everything while in a 4 player game it’s much more likely you’ll be fighting your way through a swarm of ships and corsairs. As I’m playing 2-handed I’m somewhere in the middle, but I’m going to deliberately try to direct my decks and play towards the ship combat side of things as it’s more interesting that way, and it shows off the quest better (which of course is part of the point of this series).

So to the building of my decks. In line with my usual desire to show off all the player cards I can I would also like to use all of the different Ship objectives in a Sailing quest. As I’ve already used Narelenya and the Dawn Star, that leaves me needing to use Silver Wing for this quest. Fortuitously, the hero attack boost ties in very neatly with my desire to engage in a lot of ship combat.
So this directs me to a very clear split between a dedicated combat deck in which preferably all three heroes can be used as attackers, including Na’asiyah; and a dedicated questing deck. Both decks also need to be able to sail well – if I’m going to be engaging a lot of Ship enemies then I want the Dream-Chaser to be defending them, which means I need to be able to pass Sailing tests consistently without it. As such, lots of cheap allies are definitely a good idea.

Wings of Silver

Boromir (Ld)

Allies (24):
Gandalf (Core) x3
Envoy of Pelargir x3
Errand-rider x3
Squire of the Citadel x3
Pelargir Ship Captain x3
Herald of Anorien x3
Defender of Rammas x3
Honour Guard x3

Attachments (8):
Steward of Gondor x3
Heir of Mardil x3
Visionary Leadership x2

Events (16):
Sneak Attack x3
Captain’s Wisdom x3
We Are Not Idle x3
Feint x3
Horn’s Cry x2
Rallying Cry x2

Side-quests (2):
Gather Information x1
Send for Aid x1

Thoughts: To get maximum benefit out of Silver Wing I want all three of my heroes to be attackers. However, I also need defenders, and I can’t rely entirely on allies for that purpose, since apart from anything else that would require me not to engage anything until I had played said allies, which is going to be more difficult since Na’asiyah can’t pay for them. Enter Beorn, who is both great as a big attacker and an early-game defender before I get allies out. Since the Ship objectives are encounter cards, his immunity doesn’t block the attack boost, and thanks to a ruling on Proud Hunters a while back we know that Beorn’s resource pool does not share his immunity so he can have resources moved to and from his pool – to being the relevant point for playing allies. Then I just sorted heroes in descending order of attack and Boromir seemed a reasonable one to use. Leadership/Tactics is a good sphere combo for a combat deck, and there are a lot of good cheap Gondor allies to combine the synergy of Boromir and Sailing. The extra attack may also be useful, because for all that my heroes have 13 attack between them before Na’asiyah starts spending resources, plus a 4 attack Ship, it still might not be enough as I’ll have a lot of enemies to deal with.
The selection of allies were chosen primarily for their low cost (other than Gandalf). Aside from the ease of playing them normally this also keeps them all within reach of Herald of Anorien’s optional Doomed. That said, they also cover a decent amount of attack (with Boromir), defence/chumping, resource movement, and potentially willpower (with Visionary Leadership).
Captain’s Wisdom I’m hoping to get early on when I’m more able to cope with losing Boromir’s action for the round – though since I can use the resources to pay for more allies it has the potential to partly even out. Later on of course it’s possible I may have Heir of Mardil to regain the lost action. And on rounds without Captain’s Wisdom Heir of Mardil can be triggered by Steward.
Feint and Horn’s Cry obviously allow me to mitigate some of the risks of mass combat, especially Horn’s Cry, intended to be used once I’m in Valour, at which point it will 0 the attack of many Corsairs and in general allow many things to be safely taken undefended.
Visionary Leadership may seem like a natural inclusion, but in fact, since this deck is intended to be devoted more or less entirely to combat, while it may provide some additional questing power the actual reason it’s in the deck is the same reason I’ve included Rallying Cry – for taking control of Corsair Skirmishers. Taking control of Corsair Skirmishers requires discarding allies with at least 3 willpower after destroying it as an enemy. With Visionary Leadership in effect I can discard lower willpower allies, and therefore less, more expendable and cheaper allies and still take control of the Skirmisher. Furthermore, with Rallying Cry in Valour I can return the allies to my hand and play them again on a subsequent round. I don’t anticipate resources being much of a problem, but keeping a lot of allies in play will be significant for Sailing.

Chasing Dreams

Cirdan the Shipwright
Eowyn (Sp)

Allies (32):
Ioreth x3
Gleowine x3
Erebor Record Keeper x3
Galadhrim Minstrel x3
Warden of Healing x3
Galadhrim Weaver x3
Galadriel’s Handmaiden x3
Wandering Took x3
Blue Mountain Trader x3
Envoy of Pelargir x3
Arwen Undomiel x1
Henamarth Riversong x1

Attachments (3):
Unexpected Courage x3

Events (12):
A Test of Will x3
Elrond’s Counsel x3
Daeron’s Runes x3
Deep Knowledge x3

Side-quests (3):
Gather Information x1
Double Back x1
Scout Ahead x1

Thoughts: This deck requires rather less in the way of explanation. Since this deck is intended to handle all of the questing load, I picked the two 4 willpower Spirit heroes who can actually quest, and Bifur to keep balancing the spheres easier. The events are standard, Unexpected Courage is to be played cross table on Boromir and Na’asiyah, and then the allies. The allies were chosen for willpower, healing and low cost for Sailing tests. The only things which really need be noted are the Blue Mountain Trader and Wandering Took – moving resources around can help with efficiently playing cards of course, and moving threat can help with the fact I want the first deck to engage all the enemies and this deck to engage none, but of additional significance is the fact that since these allies can be moved between decks, they can be used for Sailing tests every single round if necessary, potentially relieving the pressure for both decks to have so many allies.

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