The Line Unbroken – Nightmare Dwarrowdelf Wrap-Up

Another cycle of Nightmare done. And oddly not much comes to mind to say about it in general. Perhaps the most noteworthy thing about this cycle of Nightmare is that a lot of it just didn’t make a strong impression on me. Of course I’m not particularly enthusiastic about a lot of the base quests in this cycle either, but notably the Nightmare decks largely failed to rehabilitate them from my perspective.
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The Line Unbroken – N18: Nightmare Shadow and Flame

Well, I’ve reached the end of the second cycle of Nightmare. Shadow and Flame’s Nightmare deck doesn’t do one thing people might have hoped for or at least expected – it doesn’t stop people breaking it – but it does certainly ramp up the challenge significantly and in some fairly interesting ways if you’re not breaking the quest.
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A Tribute to the First Age of Cardboard of the Rings

This post isn’t really about the game, rather it’s about the community of the game since a significant change is occurring therein.
If you haven’t been paying attention to the news emanating from Cardboard of the Rings, the big occurrence is the end of the ‘First Age’ of CotR, marked by the departure of three of the hosts. As Cardboard of the Rings has actually been running since slightly before the game was even released and has been pretty central to a lot of the online community for as long as I’ve been aware of it, this is a momentous occasion which deserves to be marked. And as I write a blog about the game, I unlike so many other people have an easy means by which to broadcast my thoughts on it to more of the community.
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The Questions of Deck Testing

I talk a fair bit about testing my decks, and indeed deck testing accounts for a significant proportion of my time playing this game, but I’ve never before really detailed how I test decks, which it strikes me as a fruitful line of discussion. Now I should mention at this point that I don’t think there is a definitively correct way to test your decks. You do whatever works for you regardless of what other people might prefer. But there are definitely worthwhile insights to be found by examining the question.
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The Line Unbroken – N17: Nightmare Foundations of Stone

Well here we are at Foundations of Stone. This was my favourite quest from the Dwarrowdelf cycle originally so naturally I’m very pleased to have come to it in Nightmare. This was always a quest with a bunch of interesting ideas, and the Nightmare deck is well realised to (mostly) focus on those interesting ideas, and as a result the quest probably remains my favourite from the cycle.
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Deck: Paths Little Known and Seldom Trodden

The ability to cancel threat in the staging area has been an interesting province of the Lore sphere ever since the Core Set. Back then it often tended to be Lore’s primary contribution to questing. The selection of cards able to do it has gradually expanded to the point where it’s definitely possible at this point to build a whole deck around the concept, and so I decided to do so.
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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.
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The Line Unbroken – N15: Nightmare Watcher in the Water

Watcher in the Water is an odd quest for me. The first several times I played it I didn’t use the most effective strategy for it, that being scrying. I have since tried using scrying against the quest and now I can’t think how I managed so well without it.
The Nightmare deck of course further accentuates how good scrying can be against this quest by making the Doors of Durin compulsory and putting in even more Tentacles. On the other hand this also makes the quest that much more focused.
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What Might Have Been: Escape from Dol Guldur

This is an idea for an article series which I’ve been toying with for a while. I’ve talked a fair amount on this blog about how I don’t like the design of certain quests for a variety of reasons, and that line of thought inevitably leads into considering how those quests could be ‘fixed’ (in my view). I’m not planning to come up with fully fleshed out reimaginings of quests, nor to do this for every quest I’ve ever criticised, but for some quests the ideas present themselves very strongly and I think I can put together at least a decent broad strokes idea of what I might have liked to see as opposed to what we actually got. In general I’m likely to look more at Nightmare quests than Standard mode, because in addition to the increased difficulty the Nightmare tend to be the more focused and refined versions.
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The Line Unbroken – N14: Nightmare Road to Rivendell

Road to Rivendell is a quest I have an interesting relationship with. Actually that’s a lie, I don’t have much of a relationship with Road to Rivendell to speak of, but the reasons for that are kind of interesting. As I think I’ve noted elsewhere, Road to Rivendell is a quest where I actually really like the quest mechanics, but hate the encounter deck. As such, it’s a quest which plausibly could have been rehabilitated by the conversion to Nightmare if the designers were willing to go with a significant overhaul of the quest. That was never very likely though because as stupidly randomly punishing as it is, Sleeping Sentry is kind of a defining feature of the quest, so of course it’s still here.
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