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

Subject: Game difficulty.... rss

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Aaron Mesnar
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Does this game have a steep learning curve? I am new to board games in general but bought this. I read instructions and it seemed like so many steps and trying to remember who is doing what and so forth made it hard to follow. I leant the game to a buddy of mine who has been gaming since Magic and he told me this was very complicated. Have others found this to be rough to pick up?
 
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Ryan B
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Learning the game takes a bit of time just to get used to all of the phases of each round. I found the easiest way to figure everything out was to just sit down and just go step by step through a game with the book in my hands to reference and ensure I was doing all the steps correctly. Once you get a hang of the mechanics, you will find that the game itself is also quite difficult, though that is part of what makes it so great. There is a lot of opportunity for tinkering with your deck to make it go from getting decimated by the encounter deck to powering through somewhat easily.

Of course, you can always come back here to ask us questions while/after playing. We would all be more than happy to help you out with any specific issues you are having with the mechanics of the game or individual rulings on cards.
 
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Brad McGown
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It looks more intimidating than it is. It is pretty easy after you go through a few turns. Repetition is key. Watch Rodney Smith's Watch It Played series on YouTube, it lays out the game perfectly. That is what I used to learn the game. I just used the rulebook as a reference for different circumstances that arose. So, to answer your question, it looks like a lot but it is simple to play once you learn the steps. It is my favorite game at the moment. Feel free to geek mail me if you have any questions.



Mez2112 wrote:
Does this game have a steep learning curve? I am new to board games in general but bought this. I read instructions and it seemed like so many steps and trying to remember who is doing what and so forth made it hard to follow. I leant the game to a buddy of mine who has been gaming since Magic and he told me this was very complicated. Have others found this to be rough to pick up?


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Sam Cook
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I think it is a little rough to pick up. I was surprised that there wasn't any kind of separate quick reference guide included, since each turn has a lot of different phases, and most of them have multiple sub steps to them.

It seems the game is intended to be something played regularly where you are constantly tinkering with decks and buying new adventure packs, so you won't need refreshers on the rules. This is different from a game you keep on your shelf most of the time and play only once every few months. I haven't played any other LCG, but I did play Magic the Gathering for a while, and this is much closer to that experience than other board games.
 
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Scott Wheelock
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bm_eagle wrote:
It is pretty easy after you go through a few turns.


This simply isn't true. A lot of games, maybe, but a few turns isn't going to make things easy.

Quote:
Repetition is key.


This is definitely true. Play a lot, have a player aid (from the files section) nearby, or your rulebook, and be sure to read a lot of threads in the Rules section here. There are many rules that get asked about a lot, and if you familiarize yourself with these, you're ahead of the game.

Also, this game can be very hard. Do yourself a favour and don't try to use the beginning Tactics deck by itself. That's a real soul-crushing way to start off your LotR journey.
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Aaron Mesnar
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Thanks all for the replies. I bought this because it has a solo play. Most of the games I have are not solo so it would be nice to have something to play when friends arent coming over, and I cant get my wife to play anything.
 
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Nigel McNaughton
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Donkler wrote:
I think it is a little rough to pick up. I was surprised that there wasn't any kind of separate quick reference guide included, since each turn has a lot of different phases, and most of them have multiple sub steps to them.


Universal Head to the rescue. I had these printed out before I even owned the game.

Universal Head THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE CARD GAME Rules Summary & Reference
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Tom Howard
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I'll second everything said here.
Here's a link to the Watch it Played series for this game:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=80gFPirxZA0
The first two videos are rules overview and setup, and it gets into the actual gameplay on video 3.

Note: Although Rodney plays with the Tactics deck, I don't recommend it when starting out... Yes, it's possible to win with the solo Tactics deck (if you're lucky), but many new players get frustrated with how hard it is.

Some other excellent resources for new players:
Tales from the Cards: New Player Guides
Beorn's Path
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Jeremy Schmitz
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I'm with you my friend, my wife won't play any games with me either and I just picked this game up a couple of weeks ago. I find the level of difficulty is what makes this game fun. If it was too easy it would have been right back up for auction, you know what I mean? I just open to the last page of the instruction manual and follow the turn sequence step by step until I had it memorized and if I had any questions on the card plays I just jumped on BGG real quick found the answer and kept going. That is the plus side of playing solo because there is no one waiting for you. Have fun with the learning part, because that is half the fun.
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Eddie
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You'll internalize the "rules" after just a few plays. As a card game, cards constantly throw off the rules and you do find yourself often double checking a detail, or googling/bgg'ing some particular timing or interpreting or card/rule interplay...

but overall the game is not what I would call "very complicated". The trickiest thing I remember and still struggle with is the rules around when you are allowed to play cards, and when you are not. Here's the thing though - go easy on yourself, it's OK if you play things a bit wrong once, you can correct it some other time. And some things you can choose to be a bit loosey-goosey... for example (as I play mostly solo with two decks as if I was two players), there are strict rules about the order the players play each cards in each "planning phase". I probably adhere to the strict ordering about 90% of the time, other times I just let the second player do something that the first player then reacts to, that might not be legal...

OK I'll stop; some of this stuff will only make sense later, but I'll say it again. I do not think LOTR LCG is "very complicated". It is in fact "simple" with subtlety and complexity needed so cards can play tricks on every little part of the game. And really the tricks and wierd things come into play later in expansions that are trying to show off the crazy new things they can come up with (and they do! kudos to the designers)...
 
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Aaron Mesnar
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Thanks all for the help. Looking over the links you mentioned and doing some printing out as well
 
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