Lord of the Rings:LCG - reviews and general thoughts

It all started with accepting 100 plays challenge and pledging to comment each play. Soon my thoughts outgrew the BGG comment format and also FFG's forum. I decided to post them in a form of a blog here. In time I got rid of session reports and replaced them with expansions reviews. Enjoy.
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Summary of my opinions on Khazad-Dum

Wojtek Wojcik
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Board Game Designer
I very much like designing games but I think I prefer to play them.
Metallum ... game I most proud of.
Microbadge: Terraforming MarsMicrobadge: Metallum fanMicrobadge: Podcast listenerMicrobadge: Plays Games With FamilyMicrobadge: 15 Year Geek Veteran
Here is a review of the Khazad-Dum composed of quick looks at each scenario and player cards.

Into the Pit
8/10 - Your journey into the mines starts here. I very much like the initial step with a "journey through the most iconic" locations in Moria. Love the torch mechanic. You need to take preventive measures against insta-kill treacheries. The end feels a bit anticlimactic.

The Seventh Level
5/10 - Very weak thematically, very random. Very, very hard for solo (IMHO second only to Escape from Dul Guldur) - forces you to optimize your deck to the last card and it is one of the its few redeeming qualities. Some interesting tactical fighting.

Flight From Moria
7/10 - Excellent idea (bordering on genius) on quest stages and Nameless Fear, good thematic feel. Its full potential is wasted by huge shortcuts taken toward the end of its development (you almost always bypass quest stages - making mr. Fear laughable, one of escape stages=flip the card to see if you are eliminated is just ridiculous). Can be easily house ruled to make interesting.

Heroes - Two dwarves - There are a lot of dwarves already present and some strong synergies emerge so if you are planing to run dwarves deck you might find them useful but if you look at them in a vacuum ... they look fairly weak. Also at this point the dwarven deck is not fully ready yet (although Dain Ironfoot that came with last Mirkwood pack has an ability that is so strong that you can still succeed).

Player Cards - Dwarven theme taken to the max but in the end only one card gets my full recommendation. That is "Khazad! Khazad!". Zigil Miner used to be excellent (adding a tremendous resource generation to the Spirit sphere) but its ability underwent an errata (and is better now in my opinion as Spirit is already very powerful) and now is just ok. Of the other cards nothing stands out as great or particularly terrible. I think most of them will find their place in a specialized deck.

Final Rating:
As value for your money goes it is great you get 3 quests for price of two adventure packs. Player cards are very consistent and have a thematic feel. So it all comes down to quests. Here it looses points because two of them are almost excellent. A little more development/testing and this "almost" would be gone and my review would be glowing. Note, my opinion is a bit colored by the fact that people used to tell me (when I was playing the first cycle) that KD is the best thing since sliced bread - well it is not. It is (just) good.

How about you? What are your opinions on KD and/or particular scenarios?
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