Recommend
 
 Thumb up
 Hide
10 Posts

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

Subject: Core Set + 3 players - Next Step? Advice Please rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Steve E
United States
Lafayette
Indiana
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks in advance for any advice on the following.

Basically, I've ordered the core set and am waiting for it to arrive. It really sounds like an amazing game! The intent is to play this game with my family (me, my wife, and our daughter). We all love LotR and anticipate buying some expansions as we go.

The issue is, the more I've read about the game, the more confused I become! Since I don't have it yet, maybe after it arrives and we play the game some, I will be less confused. But right now, I am wondering the best path forward regarding deck building and having 1 core set for 3 players.

My understanding is that having 1 core set for 3 players will limit the effectiveness of the decks we can build. The way I see it, there are 3 ways around this limitation:
1) Buy another core set.
2) Buy "partial" core set via eBay (extra copy of 2x core set cards)
3) Slowly build better decks using the cards from the expansions

For #1, it seems a little wasteful as there will be duplicate encounter and quest cards that I don't think I would ever need. But the extra threat counters and other chits would be nice.
For #2, it seems like it might be a cost effective way to add some important cards (a set of 1 each of the 38 "2x cards" from the core set is about $9). But then we need another way for tracking threat level for the 3rd player (pencil and paper, dice, etc.)
For #3, I am still unsure how single expansions will work for 3 players. I think 1 copy of a particular expansion will provide the necessary quest and encounter cards for the 3 of use, but the player and hero cards might be a little thin. That would mean deck options for 3 decks would build up slowly.

I realize there is likely not a single best answer, but i would like to hear from others that may be in a similar situation.

Thanks for reading. Hopefully I am not too far off base with my questions...

2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Rob Rob
United States
Tampa
Florida
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: Core Set + 3 players - Next Step? Advise Please
aNationalAcrobat wrote:
The issue is, the more I've read about the game, the more confused I become! Since I don't have it yet, maybe after it arrives and we play the game some, I will be less confused. But right now, I am wondering the best path forward regarding deck building and having 1 core set for 3 players.
Bottom line up front, there's plenty of play value in just a core set for three to enjoy many, many games before feeling the need to expand.

Quote:

1) Buy another core set.
2) Buy "partial" core set via eBay (extra copy of 2x core set cards)
3) Slowly build better decks using the cards from the expansions
Buying extra core sets is expensive and wasteful. Especially since you'd have to buy three to complete the single cards. Not saying you aren't made of money and don't enjoy throwing away 50% of that second game and probably 90% of the third but maybe not? If you surf eBay (or here) you might find spares of the x2 cards. You might also make your own paste ups or use online printer services (Printer Studio, ArtsCow) to fill in your set to the three per card limit.
Quote:
For #3, I am still unsure how single expansions will work for 3 players. I think 1 copy of a particular expansion will provide the necessary quest and encounter cards for the 3 of use, but the player and hero cards might be a little thin. That would mean deck options for 3 decks would build up slowly.
You only ever need one copy of an adventure pack. Adventure packs have 60 cards, three of each. They include a new hero, a new quest, the adventure cards for the quest and a more or less even mix of sphere cards.

One option I might recommend is play the core set through the three initial quest (to make sure the family likes the game) then consider picking up the two Hobbit expansions. They are self contained and if you like them, go for the first cycle.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Patrick
United States
Saint Louis
Missouri
flag msg tools
badge
Btȝ patrem nrum, Benedictum
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I agree with robrob's take on your questions, steve. Play the core set when you get it. Start with the starter decks, playing multiplayer they should function okay, although you still will lose some (you lose a lot in this game).

After playing with the starter decks, experiment with deck-building. You may find that the whole family doesn't enjoy this part, so maybe only one or two of you build decks that everyone plays.

If your family enjoys it, buy the first cycle of cards (Shadows of Mirkwood; about $90 (MSRP) for the whole set), OR the Hobbit Saga expansions (about $60 MSRP) to build up you.

There's a great buyer's guide at "Tales from the Cards" (one of the great blogs about this game) and deck-building strategy there, too, and at Hall of Beorn (another great blog).

HAVE FUN!
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andy E
msg tools
mbmbmb
Just to play devil's advocate, I think buying a full three core sets can be beneficial. Yes, the extra encounter cards won't be very useful. (Although that doesn't mean they'll be trash. You could replace an encounter card that gets damaged from frequent use. Or you could try to put together your own custom scenarios from the extra cards.) But buying extra core sets isn't just about getting full sets of three copies of each card. Especially since you've got three players, you'll probably want more than three copies of lots of cards. For example, you'll probably want everybody to have 3 Gandalfs in their decks. If you have multiple players playing the same sphere, you'll want each player to have a full set of the standard, powerful cards in their sphere, like A Test of Will or Sneak Attack.

This assumes that you are interested in the deck building aspect of the game. I know many people are perfectly happy to take the pre-made decks that come with the core set and play with those, but the deck building was a big part of the enjoyment for me, so buying three copies of the core set opened up a lot of possibilities.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Craig Sawatzky
Canada
Randolph
MB
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Welcome to the game Steve (so much fun and frustration await)! I would recommend the second core set.

First: even with the wasted cards it is probably still the best bang for your buck in terms of cards added to each deck/$. Especially when the cost on ebay of the completion cards will run you around $30 for both the core set singles + the core set doubles. A lot of the OLGS have LOTR for under $30.

Second: I bought a number of the expansions right away and found myself overwhelmed with the options for deck-building. I had 0 experience when it came to deck-building and having fewer options would have been better for me. A second core set only adds more of the same so it shouldn't make things too much more confusing.

Third: I really liked adding the extra threat counters. Obviously a pen and paper work but it is just a preference. I started out playing 3-player and each person had a dial and we used the other for counting turns.

My final suggestion would be to follow the expansions in order. Mirkwood - Khazad-dum - Dwarrowdelf - then the saga's. The reason being that I found the saga expansions to be a more difficult jump from the core set than the others. Plus all the early expansions tend to focus on dwarfs quite a bit which is nice for KD and the ensuing AP's.

Crogstad
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sap Sap
United States
flag msg tools
Sap the Sapient
badge
Wanted: More time for games.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm going to agree with the others and say to play the game with your family several times before doing anything. In fact, I think you will be able to decide for yourself whether an additional core set is worth your money at that point. If you want more robust decks right away, get another core set. If you are happy with your decks growing more slowly, but want new challenges, move on to the AP's.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Miah
United States
New Haven
Connecticut
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
If your household has three players that actually want to play at least semi-regularly, I might actually recommend a second Core set. It's not as wasteful as it seems at first, because it allows you to do a lot more deckbuilding, you can keep encounter sets complete and ready to play anytime, and you have an extra box. Sooner or later, if you keep playing the game and buying expansions, you're going to tell yourself, "gee, I wish I had an extra box for all these cards!" (The expansion boxes are super pretty but useless for card storage.)

I would definitely sit down and play BEFORE you go ordering that extra Core, though. You can get a fair amount of play out of the basic monosphere decks in the Core set. Threat can be tracked with pen and paper, dice, or if you have a knitter/crocheter handy you can borrow a row counter from them. And you'll be able to figure out if all three of you actually enjoy the game and want to keep at it.

You are right that your deckbuilding options will expand slowly if you keep playing with three players. But I don't think it will be too bad if you guys are working with complementary spheres and not duplicating each other too much (which should be your deckbuilding goal anyway). There might be an expansion here and there that you want to buy two copies of, but most of the time you will be okay.

I would definitely buy Saga expansions before the other ones in your case, as they give you a lot more heroes and player cards than non-Saga expansions.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nigel Harris
United Kingdom
Sale
Cheshire
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmb
Steve, hope you enjoy the game as much as I do. I won't try to repeat the all of the sound advice you've already received, however I will reinforce the point about waiting and seeing if your family get "into it" or not before investing further.

My family love the LOTR theme, but (alas!) they don't like this game - from their point of view it's very structured, can be "fiddly" and depending on the quest there are several situations where you need to think hard and long about how to interpret the rules. Finally, it can be brutally difficult.

I think the easy mode that has been introduced tackles the difficulty (so maybe start with easy mode!). It's a superb solo game too, a massive "puzzle" and I very much enjoy it! And I guess I did go on to buy all of the expansions too... whistle

All the best
Nige

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Pauli Vinni
Finland
Espoo
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I agree with the above. Second core is really nice if you play with more that two player. More of those very good cards and more of those just good cards to multible playrs. I have used those extra encounter cards for fan made custom scenarios and even tun out of suitable replasemant cards in there. Those fan made scenarios are very good and offer a cheap way of expanding the game while only using core box card!
I did play long time with just two core boxes and fan made expansios. After that I did buy more core boxes and all those expansions. But the beginning was very fun. I did know all my cards, there was very much different scenarios to play against and hone your skills! After that I have allways been behind the loop, and never leaned how to use all those new cards to their fullest until there was a new expansion and loop did beging before I explored all the posibilities. Not complaining because I know there is a lot af stuff to play with later, but I still think that the beginning was the plast and allso the first new expansions with eagles was something that I really loved. I dropped the ball around the Chazad Dum and newer recovered after that...
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steve E
United States
Lafayette
Indiana
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Wow! Thanks for all of the great advice. I didn't expect so many answers so quickly - this game is really popular.

I think we will play with the core set and see how things go. We really like to play Middle Earth Quest, so I think we will be OK with this game as well (Not that they are similar in gameplay, but in complexity and fiddliness maybe)

If I can find another core set on the cheap, I will likely get one, just so we can have the extra threat tracker, some more of the "good" cards, and spare quest & encounter cards just in case of damage, etc.

If we get through the core set and are still itching for more, we will definitely get some expansions.

Thanks again for all the great advice!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls