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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Quick update including second Hobbit box initial impressions

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
I've been quiet for last two weeks but this does not mean that the blog is dead or anything. Just to keep you up to date what I am up to and not let myself get out without writing anything about the game for too long ... here is "state of things":

1. I am two-thirds into the second Hobbit box. Just to give you an idea of my initial reactions:

a. I like the first scenario - spiders delux. It was a bit confusing at first on how it should be played solo and even the errata was not answering my questions. Once I got it straight though I very much liked it. It has two high points (namely "Captured by spiders" and "Battle with spiders" and because of this it brakes the standard flow of other scenarios which is great.

The scenario is fairly beatable with core + hobbits cards and is also exciting with "up-to-date" card pool. Great job.

b. I do not like the second scenario. The set-up with treasures and lonely mountain is great and I love that you can decide how hard you want it to get. On the other hand the Smaug infinite attacks skill is just too absurd (I've already suffered 9 and 8 attacks in a row in my games). Simply put you can not do anything about it. It feels that you play this wonderful game in the second stage just to go to stage three through random series of card flips you get destroyed (show me a deck that can survive 9 attacks from Smaug) or you get out for free (no burgle on first card).

Additionally it is clear that the Mountain was not tested with one player in mind - 10/12 + number of questers is hard to pull off solo even with pure spirit deck (and good luck in killing Smaug with this deck).

Since the main difficulty lies in random nature of Smaug it is equally hard with full card pool and restricted (core+hobbit boxes). One note though: you would have to be crazy lucky to get all the treasures with restricted card pool. With full card pool it is possible to get all the treasures solo (I've managed to do it twice - but in both cases lost in stage 3 after >5 attacks from Smaug).

c. I am looking forward to playing the battle of 5 armies scenario.

2. As I already mentioned the main reason for slowing down with the blog is the fact that my new game is going to have its premiere this Essen. Hence my "hobby time" is fully booked. I will not write much about Metallum here but please have a look at it here: Metallum. Thanks in advance!

3. I am eager to come back to the Against the Shadow cycle. I like the sagas but "Heris ..." box really wetted my appetite for what else is coming.

4. Because of the above I am not too keen on dwelling into "Black Raiders" yet. Although I am pretty sure this will change once I get my dose of "rear-end" kicking from the encounter deck in "Against the Shadow".

5. "The Voice of Isengard" looks awesome. New doomed mechanic on player cards is GREAT idea. It brings the very thematic concept "power corrupts" in to our game. Very thrilled.

4. At the moment my prediction is that until the end of the month I will not have much to report on LOTR front but hopefully after the Essen fair is over with things will pick up again. Until that time let me know what you are looking forward to in LOTR:LCG!
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