James Bentley
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I'm looking into getting a good "rpg"-ISH card game, that can be played solo (either designed for solo, or a co-op game that also includes solo rules).

I've been reading reviews and watching videos on the above referenced games, but I'm still having a struggle deciding. Obviously what one person likes another person may not enjoy, but I'm still seeking input on these games, or if there's another game that may fit the bill, I'm open to suggestions.

But I've heard the Lord of the Rings game is pretty complicated rules-wise, and that's not the experience I'm looking for...I want a nice fun experience without having a brain-hurting session...

And as far as Pathfinder goes, I know the huge majority of it's players love the game, but I've read a few really negative reviews stating that it's really just not that fun. Plus, I'm not too keen on stats, stats, stats...is Pathfinder really a bookkeeping game? Or Lord of the Rings, for that matter?

Anyway, I hope I've given an idea of what I'm looking for. And I already own Friday, which I love, but I'm looking for something a little more "campaign-ish" if you get my drift...

Thanks for the input...
jrbentley
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Paul DeStefano
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I wanted to love LoTR but found it just too fiddly. It requires deckbuilding, so if you love that, go there.

Love Pathfinder.
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Chris Broggi
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Based on what you wrote, you will probably like Pathfinder and not Lord of the Rings. LotR is a much more complex game and requires more thinking, especially when it comes to building your deck. If you enjoy the pre-game aspect of building and tuning your deck, you will like LotR.
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I was one rather critical of Pathfinder. It's not a bad game, and if you are looking for something RPG-ish, then you might absolutely adore it. My beef was that the game's worth doesn't come within a light year of living up to the outrageous hype it is getting. It was getting so silly that in the recommendations forum people were recommending Pathfinder no matter how far afield it was from the op's criteria. I half-expected, "Other games like Galaxy Trucker?" Pathfinder! "Recommend me a good worker-placement game." Pathfinder!
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Thanee
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I havn't tried Pathfinder, yet, so cannot say much about it.

The Lord of the Rings LCG is great for solo play (and coop, even simulated coop, when you play as two players solo).

As has been mentioned above, a large aspect of the game is building your own decks. If that part does not appeal to you, it might not be the game you want.

It's not overly complicated, but there are a number of rules and keywords to watch out for and might be a bit complex initially.

There are tons of cards around and a large amount of expansions, but you can always start small and expand at your leisure, so that shouldn't be an issue. You do not need all of the expansions to have fun, after all, but eventually you will want some to keep the game interesting.

There are dozens of different scenarios out, often requiring to build a different deck, which adds a lot to the replayability.

The game is very thematic (though, obviously, it is not perfectly in line with the happenings in the Tolkien literature) and doesn't feel abstract to me, but it can be brutal and in general is quite difficult (esp. in the beginning).

Bye
Thanee
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Thanee
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Here's a pretty good and detailed review of Pathfinder, which looks quite objective.

I have nothing good to say about this game. So why can't I stop playing it? (A crazy couple's co-op review)

Bye
Thanee
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Brian M
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Thanee wrote:
Here's a pretty good and detailed review of Pathfinder, which looks quite objective.

I have nothing good to say about this game. So why can't I stop playing it? (A crazy couple's co-op review)


Lol. Thanks! Though I'm not sure I'd call it "objective".

While both are fantasy co-op games, I think the play experience is very different.

I think the LotR card game will give you more of a "puzzle" experience. The focus of the game is on constructing decks (prior to actually playing) and then carefully using the elements of your deck to solve the adventure.

Pathfinder is a game about leveling up your characters. You draw cards, roll dice to see if you succeed, and gradually get cooler stuff and better bonuses. There's not a lot of decisions, but there's a pretty hefty dose of fun.
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Aviad
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As long as you're not expecting an RPG in a box, Pathfinder is a good game, not great imho but good.

Personally I find LOTR more enjoyable and much deeper, especially if you're playing solo (for me at least) but it does require you to pick up some expansions to open up the deck building options and some of the better scenarios.

Pathfinder felt a bit overly simplistic and easy for my taste, not to mention it never felt as intense as LOTR.

on the flip side I highly recommend you watch either a tutorial or a playthrough video for LOTR before picking it up, the rule book is badly written and over complicated.

Neither of the games offers anything that remotely resembles an RPG experience, tho LOTR those feel more like a "quest" or a journey.


If you're looking for a solo RP game you might want to give the D&D board games a shot. thoe they offer very little choice, the combat and scenarios are top notch.
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Miah
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I haven't played PACG. I've thought about it, but it just isn't calling my name. I love story-driven RPGing, but don't like "RPG" experiences that are all about buffing your character and picking up series of incrementally more powerful Daggers of Mighty Thrustings - and it sounds like that is exactly what PACG is. Pick your character, kick down the door, look for trouble, pick up your new Dagger of Mighty Thrustings. Lather, rinse, repeat. Level up, buy the new expansion pack. Repeat.

I'm open to the possibility that I'm completely wrong about this game. But I'm just not sensing a story in it all, or anything like real characterization.

On the other hand, LOTR definitely isn't an RPG. But it feels like you're playing a story. Maybe it's because your goal isn't just picking up treasure (although there is treasure in the Hobbit Saga expansions), or slaying a certain monster (although LOTR does have some epic boss fights). It feels deeper and richer than what I'm reading about in PACG.

And yes, on the surface the games share some similarities due to being expansion-driven collectathons. But LOTR just doesn't feel like that. I don't feel like I have to get every expansion to enjoy the game. Mind you, the base game is just your jumping-off point. You won't get the complete LOTR experience until you have at least a couple of expansions to mess around with deckbuilding. But not too many - I would say you can have some great fun with just a few expansions. And many of the expansions give you very different scenarios to quest through. In one your goal might be as simple as "escape from Moria, here's a torch". In another one it's "this eagle has been poisoned. Find some athelas plants and heal him at any cost." Fight hill trolls. Find Gollum in the trackless wastes. Defend Gondorian cities. Rescue one of your heroes. The stories and the mechanics that are used to bring them to life are endlessly interesting. I love this game!

The rules are complicated, but not too complicated in my opinion. I'm a complete newbie to modern boardgaming, and I rarely have problems since my first couple of games.

There aren't really any campaign rules in the base game, but starting with the newly released Black Riders expansion, campaign play is possible. The new Saga expansions will follow the plot of the books, and there is permadeath and persistent curses and boons. I haven't played Black Riders yet, but it's definitely something I look forward to.
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David Boeren
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Lord of the Rings is a puzzle sort of game and the focus is on building your deck and then executing your planned strategy during the game. The fun is in beating a difficult scenario with your friends. Different deck

Pathfinder is much less deep, it's just some silly random fun. A lot more luck, a lot less tough choices. The fun is in just hanging out and slinging some dice and then at the end of the quest getting to tune up your character a little bit. However, this is more a "season to taste" thing to make your character yours - it won't really change how they play that much.

For what you've said, I think you'd prefer Pathfinder. I think it's a decent game but hugely over-hyped right now. Then again, I'm the opposite of you, I want complex games with lots to study in order to get good at the game.
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Dave B
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I own and like both games. At this point, if I had to choose one or the other, I'd go with the Pathfinder game. But I've only played a couple games of it so far. I found it more engaging in that I pick my character and play that character through various scenarios. With the LOTR I don't feel like I'm playing the charcaters so much; more like I'm running a party of characters. Also, I'm not that into deck-building and trying to optimize which cards and combos to take. That feels too "gamey" to me. I agree that Pathfinder seems a bit simplistic in some ways; on the other hand, it's quick to play. And as soon as I finished one scenario I wanted to go on and play the next one. For me, it's the kind of game I can grab quickly and play through in a pretty short amount of time (under an hour), which is just right with my busy schedule and lack of energy for things that take more time to setup, play and put away. It seems like there is enough variety in the scenarios, locations, monsters, etc., to keep things from getting stale; and all of those alos help to build a story in my admittedly limited experience so far.
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Thomas
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Don't get the LOTR lcg unless you want to spend most of your time preparing to play and then after you think you have your deck the way you like it get ready to start from scratch when you proceed to the next scenarios. I hear pathfinder is a little better though there in still a lot of prep time. If you are open take a look at Runebound (Second Edition). It's a better choice IMHO.
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James Bentley
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UPDATE: I was leaning towards Pathfinder, then just last evening, my wife and I went to a bookstore and guess what they had...? Pathfinder! So, I went ahead and took the plunge and bought it. Man, that is One Big Box!

I got to peruse the rules a little, but we got back late and I was tired, so I didn't read for very long. Hopefully, I'll check it out in the next day or two. Our granddaughter is staying with us and no game in the universe holds a candle to that... So the game will wait...

I'm really excited about the game, though, and I'm even anxious for the expansions to come out...

Quick question: Should I go ahead and get the Character Add-on Deck?

Thanks everyone for all the input...
jrbentley
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Paul Doherty
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LunarSoundDesign wrote:
Don't get the LOTR lcg unless you want to spend most of your time preparing to play and then after you think you have your deck the way you like it get ready to start from scratch when you proceed to the next scenarios. I hear pathfinder is a little better though there in still a lot of prep time. If you are open take a look at Runebound (Second Edition). It's a better choice IMHO.


I haven't played Pathfinder but I'd agree that for an RPG lite game Runebound is a great choice. And it has a MAP, unlike the Pathfinder game, which as silly as it sounds, makes a LOT of difference (at least to me).
 
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James Bentley
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LunarSoundDesign wrote:
Don't get the LOTR lcg unless you want to spend most of your time preparing to play and then after you think you have your deck the way you like it get ready to start from scratch when you proceed to the next scenarios. I hear pathfinder is a little better though there in still a lot of prep time. If you are open take a look at Runebound (Second Edition). It's a better choice IMHO.


Thanks for the input... I looked at Runebound, which does look good, but I didn't want anything with a board at this time...cards only.

Thanks,
jrbentley
 
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Eric T
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I would get the character pack, it adds characters and cards to use. Not essential but adds to the game.
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