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For those of you who are coming from my blog, I have been writing reviews for a while and you can check them out here.

For those of you who are coming from my reviews, I have been writing a LotR:LCG blog and you can check it out here.

Lord of the Rings: The Hunt for Gollum (Card Game Review)

Designer: Nate French
Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games
Number of Players: 1 - 4
Playing Time: 60min
Category: Fantasy Living Card Game
Mechanics: Hand Management, Co-Operative, Variable Player powers
RRP: £11.99
Web: http://fantasyflightgames.com/edge_minisite_sec.asp?eidm=129...

Living Card Games are not my normal area of expertise, however after some hesitance I decided to explore LotR:LCG. This has resulted in something of an unhealthy addiction as I play and review every adventure pack, along with some thoughts on my blog.

The first expansion to come out for LotR:LCG was highly anticipated, taking several months after the game's initial release to hit the shelves. Coming into the game late, I wasn't subject to the same frustration as those who bought the game at release, but I can relate. The Core Set provides three great adventures, with a range of difficulties that continue to challenge after a number of games, however the core set's lack of player cards severally hampered the ability to explore the deck building that is such a large part of LCGs.



At the request of Gandalf, the heroes are searching for Gollum in the Anduin Valley between the Misty Mountains and Mirkwood forest. Rumours have suggested that Gollum is in this area, and the heroes are looking for clues that might put them on the elusive creature's trail.

The stage is set for the first cycle of adventure packs: Shadows of Mirkwood. Each Adventure Pack contains 60 cards: a new hero, a new quest, a new deck of encounter cards for the quest & three copies each of nine new player cards (two for each sphere and one neutral)

Bilbo Baggins

Some players may well have been surprised at the lack of hobbit heroes present in the Core set, however Bilbo at last makes an entrance here. Bilbo offers a relatively low starting threat but little power either. This lore hero's two wounds is the most crippling thing about him however his ability gives the first player an additional card draw without needing to exhaust him which is pretty handy when compared to Beravor, sadly the low stats mean I haven't kept him in any deck as I find he can easily die.

Lore Cards

Rivendell Minstrel is a rather expensive chump blocker, able to quest and take a single hit but that's about it. The special ability allows you to pull a song from the deck and put it into your hand. There is only one song so far (see below) but I suspect we will be seeing more of those shortly. At the moment The minstrel's use seems a little limited, and I wonder whether there won't be more general deck searching options as well that will make this card a little redundant.
The second Lore card - Strider's path, offers a means of quickly switching out the current location for the one that has just come off the encounter deck. This seems like a handy way of avoiding the travel effects of some cards and could be useful in travel heavy quests but maybe not worth permanent inclusion


Leadership Cards

The first of the cards that I am going to talk about is actually a sphere-less card (much like Gandalf in the Core Set. The reason that I have included it as a Leadership card is the effect that it applies. 'Song of Kings' is a card that allows the character it is attached to add Leadership to the spheres he is associated with meaning he is effectively able to be dual sphere on his own.
Campfire tales offers cheap card draw, most useful with multiple players, this card highlights the issues with this game for single players... paying one resources for one extra card draw is simply not worth it.
Dunedain Mark is a fantastic card offering +1 attach for a cost of one that can also be moved to another player if needed.


Spirit Cards

Mustering the Rohirrim is a great way of pulling out Rohan allies... a potential keeper for a Rohan deck, however I have not seen enough Rohan allies I'd be desperate to pull out of the deck.
Westfold Horse-breaker is a prime example of a card I wouldn't be searching the deck for. A questing chump blocker a bit like the Rivendell Minstrell however the ability to discard to ready a hero can get you out of a tight corner.


Tactics Cards

Winged Guardian is an interesting card, a low initial cost that requires maintenance cost to keep the Guardian. An interesting card and one with possibilities for comboing to give strong defense.
The Eagles are coming... but they aren't here yet which leaves me wondering why they released this card in the first of the adventure packs.

Quest

I will leave the Quest details out of this review as I greatly enjoy the surprise on my first play and assume that many of you feel the same way. It is an interesting quest that differs greatly from the ones in the core set. I am not a huge fan of the quest at the moment but I think a few more plays and it will grow on me.

Summary
This adventure pack was a little underwhelming for me. I am still finding the lack of player cards is really hampering the deck building options. I think revisiting this pack after some more packs come out, it'll look a lot better.
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