62 – Book Club XX – To Battle!


The full Grey Company (!!) takes on The Siege of Gondor, The Ride of the Rohirrim, and The Battle of the Pelennor Fields! We talk bravery, World Wars, and cards.

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We didn’t get to talk about them on the show, but here are some awesome custom cards with commentary by Phil:

Grimbold led one of the first three éoreds during the charge of the Rohirrim, together with Éomer and Elfhelm. He is the only man of Rohan mentioned in the list of the dead at the end of Chapter 6, before the song of the Mounds of Mundburg. In the song, he is the only rider of Rohan, except for King Théoden, who is given a description: doughty, meaning fearless. Unfinished Tales recounts how he fought in both battles of the Fords of Isen, where he fought off those who had mortally wounded Theodred and delayed Saruman’s advance into Rohan. After successfully retreating with most of his men, he was sent by Gandalf to join Erkenbrand, so he may have participated in the charge at the end of the Battle of the Hornburg. I’m confident that he’s the most significant Rohan character from LotR to have not yet appeared in hero form. My version of Grimbold has two willpower because the ally version has two willpower. His ability is inspired by his bold counterattack when he saw Theodred near death.


Húrin the Tall, Warden of the Keys, participated in the sortie from Minas Tirith during the Battle of the Pelennor Fields. He is mentioned together with Prince Imrahil, Hirluin, and Forlong as coming to the aid of Éomer, who was surrounded by enemies. He was left in command of the men of Gondor in Minas Tirith when Aragorn and Imrahil marched to the Black Gate and Faramir was in the Houses of Healing, and together with Faramir he led the procession at King Elessar’s coronation. I wanted him to synergize with Gondor’s focus on resources, and, based on his flavour text, to boost Gondor allies. Like Heir of Mardil, he can lead players to make interesting decisions about when to use Steward of Gondor (or cards like Errand Rider or Wealth of Gondor).


Much of The Siege of Gondor is focused on the fencing match of wills between Gandalf and Denethor. I wanted to give Gandalf a counterpart to Steward of Gondor, since he tells Denethor “I also am a steward” (in chapter 1). The focus on new traits fits with Gandalf going to many places to encourage the various free peoples to prepare for war, and fits with the mission of the Istari as described in Appendix B: they “were messengers sent to contest the power of Sauron, and to unite all those who had the will to resist him.”Steward-of-Hope-Front-Face

About shoreless

shoreless is Derek Kamal, writer and teacher. If you are Mel Brooks, please get in touch.
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