While yesterday's card may be on everyone's list of the 10 worst cards, the card for today has become more useful since the original release.

Halbarad # Character # Sage/Diplomat Dunadan # 1 Mind # 1 DI # 0 MP # 0/5 # Home Site: Cameth Brin
Unique. +2 direct influence against the Hillmen faction.

Halbarad's not anything to shout about, but he is a useful character. If sent adventuring he must be virulently protected, but there's lots he can do if he stays at home.

No one will advocate picking fights with Halbarad, though he can be a nice sacrificial goat to save the company from a Nazgul. His prowess of 0 lets him have a chance of being wounded even by Crebain and his body of 5 means he won't be around for long after that. He can take part in adventuring, as I have shown in a deck where he used Horn of Anor to influence Gondorian factions, though he was eliminated several times even in that safe environment. This is a pretty decent use, though, giving you 4 DI against 7 and 8 influence factions for just one mind. In fact, he and Ioreth make a nice team, giving you two uncorrupt sages for the price of 1 general influence. It's not an ideal pair for adventuring, but who says you have to send all your characters on an adventure?

Halbarad's primary use is to sit around. Many decks include either him or Ioreth in their starting companies so that the player always has a sage handy for Marvels Told. Master of Wood, Water, or Hill also works well in this situation, as does Hall of Fire. Another nice use for Halbarad is to use items. Have your company head to Moria to grab the Book of Mazarbul and then head back to Rivendell and have Halbarad talk it over with the knowledgeable folks at Elrond's home. Or send some company to get a Palantir to bring back to Halbarad. Palantir of Osgiliath, Align Palantir, and someone like Mablung to help with corruption checks (perhaps also Three Golden Hairs) gives you an infinite Marvels Told with close to the same chance of failing a corruption check. The Palantiri of Orthanc and Amon Sul are also good ones to use over and over. And Elven decks can benefit greatly from having Halbarad manning the Palantir of Elostiron. He would be the ideal character to have wait for his faction to show up, but even he needs better than a 6 to bring in the 1 MP Hillmen, another card few people pack (though I saw a tournament deck with them in it once). You can use his 1 DI and diplomat skill with cards like New Friendship to influence away characters that show up at the haven he's at. Talk about an annoying little squirt, that's like an agent which can play Marvels Told ;-)

So Halbarad can be an interesting utility character, not ideal for adventuring but just the sort of guy to leave at home.

Ratings for Halbarad:
Isildur: 7.0
Bandobras Took: 3.0
Farmer Maggot: 6.0
Samwise: 6.5
Strider: 7.0
Fingolfin: 2.0
Beorn: 6.9
Frodo: 8.0
Legolas: 5.0
Average: 5.7

More back issues

Card names and text copyright 1996 by Iron Crown Enterprises, all rights reserved. This document copyright 1997 by Trevor Stone. Permission given to duplicate so long as no profit is made and the copyright notice is kept in tact, blah, blah, blah.