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The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game» Forums » General

Subject: How far can I enjoy this game without deck building? rss

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Damon Asher
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Jefferson
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From the reviews I have seen (and the excellent Watch It Played series), I think that I would really enjoy playing this game. I’m sure I would also want to add variety with new encounters and challenges. However, I am not so keen on spending time messing around with deck building. I like the way games like Summoner Wars and Blue Moon handle this: you can build if you want, but you’re just fine if you only play the premade decks.

So here is my question to all the LotR Card Game experts. Is there a way to expand and enjoy this game using only pre-constructed decks?
 
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John Whitmer
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I would say absoutely not for solo play.
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Drake Coker
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Multiplayer you can mix two of the pre-made 'spheres' together and have fun. Solo with the pre-mades is pretty sad.

That being said, the game is definitely oriented around creating decks and should not be viewed as an out-of-the-box play experience beyond the first few games.
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Matt
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Lots of people have offered their own constructed decks that are already tuned to handle specific quests. If you have the patience for it, you could search the forum for decks that other people have constructed for particular quests before buying the associated adventure packs.
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Drew Dallas
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No but there are hundreds of decks here and on cardgamedb that you can just copy and play.
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Aaron Morgan
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For the lowest-difficulty quests, the four premade decks are OK (but not great).

The game really only shines once you get into constructed decks, but there are plenty of decks online to cover various themes, card synergies, and which are tuned to beat specific quests, so you don't need to do the "homework" if you don't want to.
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Colin Houghton
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You can play it solo with most quests but unless you want your ass kicked every time you'll need to make some ... adjustments... (that's "cheats" in any other language).

Level 1 adjustment. Choose your starting hand of 6 cards
Level 2 adjustment. and.. have the encounter deck face up
Level 3 adjustment. Have Gandalf on the side (perhaps I ought to rephrase that!)so instead of drawing a card you can "summon" Gandalf into your hand once.

Purists will gag and protest. But if it works for you as it did for me, then go for it. I'd rather enjoy a game with some tweaky-cheats, than let it gather dust in the attic because I got fed up with keep losing...

Now let slip the dire wolves of war and cry havoc (oops wrong game)
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HenningK
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For solo play, it's basically impossible to consistently succeed without deckbuilding. For 2-4 players, you certainly can win now and then with the preconstructed decks, but the game will always feel somewhat incomplete. Also, it will be a lot easier with custom decks. Re-building decks also significantly increases replayability.

My girlfriend also dislikes deckbuilding, but she enjoys playing with new cards and having lots of synergies in her decks. So the duty of deckbuilding always falls to me.

In short, you need SOMEONE to build decks, or you won't get the complete experience.
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Tony Cocks
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I have the base set and K-Dum. I've played a few solo games and consistently get a drubbing, I haven't incorporated the expansion yet. Without any other add on decks is my solo experience limited? My other half will and does play games but for some reason she isn't interested in this so 2 player isn't likely.
 
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Richard Morris
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Trantor42 wrote:
In short, you need SOMEONE to build decks, or you won't get the complete experience.
Unfortunately, for the more difficult scenarios at least, you also need to understand how to play the deck. In many cases, specific cards are in the deck for a specific reason. If you don't know why it is there, you almost might as well have any card. If you get to the point of understanding how a deck works, then you know enough to start to build your own. If you never get to that point, you will not do very well, and probably not like the game because of it.
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Chris Flood
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I got about 15 plays out of this using only the pre-constructed decks. When I played solo, I simply used two decks as if I were in a two-player game, making the scenarios beatable but still challenging. I also had no interest in constructing decks and didn't want to get sick of the game, so I traded it after beating the scenarios. I definitely feel like I got my money's worth and kind of miss the game, especially now that I know the Star Wars LCG won't be using its mechanics.
 
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Patrick Brennan
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With just the core set, only the first of the three scenarios is realistically beatable without deck building.

As you buy each adventure pack, each sphere's deck gets bigger and slightly more powerful. There comes a point when you have more than 50 cards in each sphere. I took on the challenge of playing each scenario solo with each single sphere deck, taking the approach of quickly weeding out cards pre-game that might not suit that scenario, and throwing in some of the standard neutrals each time. Still single-sphere, not deck-building, but rather deck-weeding.

Once the 6 adventure packs are bought, following the deck-weeding approach, it still doesn't make the latter 2 scenarios in the core set readily beatable solo single-sphere. They're tough. Of the 6 new scenarios, The Hunt For Gollum, The Hills Of Emyn Muil and The Dead Marshes are all beatable following this approach though.

Once you buy Khazad-dum (and get yet more cards in each sphere), the deck-weeding solo single-sphere approach can readibly beat the 3 Khazad-dum scenarios.

So, at this point, about half the scenarios are playable and beatable this way. Some spheres work better than others with each scenario, so you may need a few attempts in a given sphere to get a win. But it's do-able.
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Patrick Brennan
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And if you're playing multi-player, if each player takes a single sphere (which is the way we usually play), you have a realistic shot at winning any scenario. More so if each player does some deck-weeding and neutral-adding beforehand though, as you'd expect, but still. So no, you don't need to be a deck-building whiz to enjoy the game.
 
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Pauli Vinni
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Adding some fan made scenarios can extend the time you can play the game without deck building, but as many have said. Deck building is in the core of this game!
 
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