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

Subject: Playing solo with one deck or two decks? rss

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Scott
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Hey gang,

I'm just getting into this game; I've ordered it, but haven't played it yet. (I have a lot of experience with complex/challenging solo-able games, such as Mage Knight, Space Empires 4X, and Rune Age.)

I expect I'll be playing this game solo for the most part. If I want more complexity and difficulty is it worth learning the game and playing from the start with two decks? (This is what I've grown accustomed to doing in the above listed games.)

As a solo player, is the game more or less difficult/interesting if you play 'coop' with two decks? Do the individual scenarios scale depending on the number of 'players'?
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Marlene Thornstrom
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I find it much easier to play with two decks and most of the adventures seem to be designed with 2P in mind. I like that I get to use a wider variety of cards.

Playing with one deck is more of a challenge.
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Tom Howard
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Oftentimes it seems like 2-players is the "sweet spot" in a lot of quests. In the early quests, the trend was that the more players you had, the easier the quest was. Though, that's not always the case (some recent scenarios are quite the opposite of that!).

1-Deck solo players find a good challenge with this game since your deck will need to be able to do a bit of everything well. Playing "two handed" allows you to specialize each deck a bit more (e.g.: one deck focuses more on questing, the other on combat). That's not to say that it's 'easy' with 2 players, since you'll be revealing more encounter cards each turn (this is the primary scaling factor). Furthermore, playing with 2 or more players (or decks) allow you to take advantage of tactics and keywords that are useless in 1-Deck solo games (ranged, sentinel, etc).

So, if you feel comfortable, you're more than welcome to jump right in playing 'two handed'. The default advice to all new players is to start with the pre-built single sphere decks -- so pick two spheres, and away you go (note: the Core Set comes with 4 copies of neutral Gandalf, feel free to put 2 copies in each deck). That way, you can get comfortable with the game without having to worry about deckbuilding. Furthermore, you'll start to get a feel for the advantages/disadvantages of each sphere, and what their playstyles are. We often warn new players not to use the pre-built Tactics deck since it's terrible at questing, but pair that up with Spirit or another sphere, and you'll allow the Tactics deck to do what it does best!

Good luck, and welcome to the game!
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Jeremy Santiago
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My shortest answer to this is to just go with a two-handed solo experience.

Since you've played games like Mage Knight, the complexity should be manageable for you; even as a newbie. I just think it makes the game a lot more interesting, and fun. Being able to play with 6 heroes (seven when you get to use Frodo BR or Bilbo OHaUH) is just frikin awesome! Its also more thematic for certain scenarios like those in The Hobbit expansions, when you can take nearly all of Thorin's company along for the journey.

Lastly, you'll find that you may favor only certain heroes or spheres; leaving the rest lonely in the box. Playing two-handed should allow for you to explore various team combos, and strategies in general, while getting use out of all your heroes and player cards.

P.S. If you don't know who GeckoTH (above commenter) is, then just check out his extensive LOTR: LCG files, and this game will become that much more enjoyable.

Hope that helps,
WELCOME TO THE GAME!
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I play single-handed solo, mainly because I prefer not to have to deal with the overhead of managing two decks. Mind you, I don't mind fiddly and highly procedural games (on your list, I love Mage Knight), but with LotR I feel that because of the relatively short length of a play session, it's better to keep it less fiddly.

Playing solo vs 2 player are almost two different games, IMO. The deck you create knowing that you'll have a partner is (usually) very different from a deck that can succeed solo. As others have already said, for the most part, the game seems to have been balanced for 2 player, while playing solo offers more of a challenge.

You might have to give it a try both ways and see what works better for you.
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Rob Rob
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Bear in mind, because of its mechanic the second core quest is nearly impossible to beat single deck.
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Matthew D
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Personally, I don't think you get the full experience playing with only one deck. The encounter deck rarely gets a chance to combo with itself when it only flips over one card.

I used to be a solo-only player - that is, until I played my first multi-player game. Since then, I've never looked back. It's so much more fun to see what the encounter deck can do when you reveal 2+ cards, than a solo play through (i.e. one encounter card per turn).
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Justin Davis
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2H Solo is best, generally.

Once you've had your fill of that or want a change-of-pace, you could do a single deck secrecy build, or something similar. Would feel really different.
 
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kimchi fried rice
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I follow this rule:

If you're short on time and don't feel like building mutiple decks, or if you have space constraints, play one handed.

If you have plenty of time and can sprawl all over the dining table and/or want to use the sentinel/ranged mechanics, play as many hands as you want.

I've occasionally played as 3 or 4 hands solo when I've had the time to build the decks (doesn't happen often), and can afford to leave everything out on the dining table for more than several days at a time.
 
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Andy E
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I definitely prefer 2- or 3-handed solo, mainly for the more interesting deck building possibilities. I've played most quests both single handed and 2/3-handed, because they are very different challenges. But mainly, once you own a large card pool of the cards, you just want to use more of them.

That said, for me a lot of the enjoyment comes from the deck building. I like building different decks for different quests, trying to build combos that work between multiple decks, and so on. Many people find that they don't like the deck building as much, and they just want to build one deck that works for all quests. I think if I were doing that, I would probably stick with 2-handed.
 
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Brother Leon
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i PREFER two-handed, but i always play one handed. Two handed is more fiddly.

If i want to 'see' more cards i just build various one handed decks. All scenarios can be beat one-handed.

I choose 3 heroes from 14 randomly dealt (the 8 from the cycle in question plus 6 more) and rebuild the deck to suit each quest. One (or two) decks for every single quest bores the ass off me.
 
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Rauli Kettunen
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Robrob wrote:
Bear in mind, because of its mechanic the second core quest is nearly impossible to beat single deck.


First, I think you mean the third quest. Second, there have been decks posted, especially the one here on BGG, that can beat Escape from Dol Guldur solo, single deck 70%+ of the time.
 
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Kevin M
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I certainly prefer to play multiplayer but probably 80% of my playing is solo which is also fun but quite different as far as strategy. I'm about 1/2 way through the Mirkwood cycle now (having also done the Hobbit Saga and Kazhad Dum) and haven't had too much trouble with any of the scenarios other than two or three I ended up just doing on Easy Mode.

I only use one deck and if I had to start using two to get through each scenario solo then I'd stop playing the game. That's just too much overhead for my tastes.
 
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