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Subject: Cards that could have been better... rss

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Yuriy Matuhno
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This article is an expression of my sadness for missed opportunities that could actually have been a valid deck picks.

I'll only list extremes in this article.



Summary: Well, this is just plain bad. This card expects us to pay loads of resources just for little top of the deck rearrange + drawing of 1 card. There is little to no use for this card in any deck at all, even if you have nothing to replace it with.
Salvation: Card cost should have been set to 0-1(or even exhaustion of Lore character/hero) and X in the card text tied to something else, like number of Lore heroes you control, or else. Even then, card would be optional, but at least considerable.



Summary: Should I even say something? A waste of a slot in your deck.
Salvation: Lowering the cost to 0 and/or boosting threat reduction to -2 would be most straightforward solution which would give it some potential. Upping the cost to 3~ and lowering the threat of attached location to 0 would be another pseudo-decent solution.



Summary: 1 willpower at the cost of 2 SPIRIT resources? No, thanks. By the way, Dunedain Quest suffers the same fate, but at least it's from rich Leadership sphere.
Salvation: Reducing cost to 1 and adding something like "Limit 1 per hero.", so you can't stack it all on somebody dedicated to questing, like Eowyn and you can't quire utilize it if you don't have a set of questing heroes.



Summary: This card contains one of the worst game design flaws - being tied to a very specific element of the ENCOUNTER deck. And cards is very limited on without it (requires a dwarf, requires it to exhaust, can only target the active location). And with all those limits, it still costs you a resource.
Salvation: Just make it less restricted and more reliable. Like, dropping this location trait thingy, so it can exhaust any character to place the progress, but if you exhaust a Dwarf, you get additional progress.



Summary: While being so simple, it's so situational for the given cost. It targets only one player, it costs 3, it assumes you're gonna fail at questing, and it will sit in your hand for long before you'll have a real reason to play it. In most of the cases it's just better to build willpower to quest instead of canceling the threat from failing it.
Salvation: This one is extremely tough, I see no immediate solution to make it worth a slot in a leadership deck. Lowering a cost to 2 would be a nice touch.



Summary: Another case of the worst game design, this ally costs a lot and brings nothing but Power in the Earth action in the quests outside of the Khazad cycle.
Salvation: Simply making him the location version of Ithilien Tracker would solve the issue.



Summary: And here we go again. There is a few of Mountain location appearances outside of the Khazad-dum. Tying card to a location trait will most certainly make sure this card is never seen.
Salvation: Increasing cost to 1, making it unique and removing the location trait requirement.



Summary: It requires you a lot of copies, it requires you to kill stuff, and it negates itself when you actually utilize it's bonus. Oh, and it destroys your resource token supply if you actually attempt to use it.
Salvation: The card should be reworked completely. I would make it a response attachment, which gives attached hero bonus attack when an enemy is destroyed without attached hero participating.



Summary: A failed attempt to complement the secrecy pool. Hardly usable and too random, does not rewards you enough if you can actually pull the effect.
Salvation: Should have been simply a 2 cost card with Secrecy 2 keyword, that deals 2 damage and lets you draw 2 cards. With probably, some limitation, like controlling less allies than there is enemies in play or something.
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Jeremy Avery
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Nice write-up, and I agreed with some of your early picks, but all the cards you dislike because they are specific to mountains, well...

Having come from years of Magic play, and be a person who loves deck-building, I really like that LOTR TCG allows and even necessitates constant building and re-building decks. Mountain specific cards would be bad if you only built one deck and tried to blow through all scenarios, but for someone like me who likes building decks for quests, these mountain cards are great!
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Yuriy Matuhno
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My problem with those cards is that they are practically dead outside of the mountain quests. I have some CCG background too, and I love the deck-building elements of most card games. LOTR LCG has a lot of limitations and sometimes I feel like the game dictates me how to build the deck. And being tied to an encounter card trait is worst kind of impairment to me.

Examples of some bad early enemy trait dependances were also Longbeard Orc Slayer and Blade of Gondolin, but they have some uses besides their trait interaction, so I let them slide.

Example of matured trait dependent card is Goblin-cleaver: all it needs is weapon and difference between orc and non-orc is just 1 damage.
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Simon Porteous
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I actually found a half decent use for power in the earth in the dead marshes scenario. I used it to lower the threat of impassable bog to 0 and just let it sit in the staging area, not that it stopped its enter play effect resolving though.

My candidate for this post is Brok Ironfist, average stats, poor ability and very high cost.
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Yuriy Matuhno
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Well, if you don't attach power in the earth to impassable bog - it's still an 1 threat and nothing forces you to travel there.

Brok Ironfist is like a hero under the circumstances of a Dain Ironfoot and he can be utilized outside of his printed ability. Just discard him with Daeron Runes or King Under the Mountain and use To Me O My Kinsfolk to let him help you with his 3 wp and 3 attack when you need it. (or you can even very good tale him for that purpose)
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Simon Porteous
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TrueLolzor wrote:
Well, if you don't attach power in the earth to impassable bog - it's still an 1 threat and nothing forces you to travel there.


This is true, like i said half decent use, other than that I can't think of any other reason you might want to include this (I only got mirkwood packs and hobbit OHUH).
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Tim Alabaster Smitty
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I would point out that a couple of those cards aren't as bad if you don't have all the cards to choose from (i.e. you haven't collected every card available) AND you are playing some of the specific scenarios. Overall, they might not be the best, but nearly all of the cards in this game are situational.

At the same time, yeah, most of these don't make it in to my decks ever and I mostly have the core, Mirkwood cycle and KD cycle...so lots of dwarves and underground/mountains.
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Allan Clements
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Keeping Count is indeed super bad. Way too "thematic", and with no way to actually grab the other copies out of your deck, it just isn't going to happen.

I also agree that Ever my Heart rises is a bad card. Way too specific. The other ones are not, as I think their effect is ok without the matching encounter card.

Being able to reduce the threat of a location AFTER encounter cards have been revealed is definitely useful, often you want to get your contribution to the quest to a specific number (such as if you want to delay finishing the stage)

Willpower is 2 cost for 1 point. It is costed different from attack and defense.

Ever Onward is a good card, in solo at least you can simply not quest with anyone, avoid threat loss and smack lots of enemies in the face.

Power in the Earth is situtational, but there are many locations which have positive effects if left in the staging area, so this could be used to reduce it's threat. Sure it could just be a 1 willpower ally but various quests hurt lots of allies (and yes I know some quests hurt attachments too)
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Yuriy Matuhno
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Kamakaze wrote:
Being able to reduce the threat of a location AFTER encounter cards have been revealed is definitely useful, often you want to get your contribution to the quest to a specific number (such as if you want to delay finishing the stage)

Willpower is 2 cost for 1 point. It is costed different from attack and defense.

Ever Onward is a good card, in solo at least you can simply not quest with anyone, avoid threat loss and smack lots of enemies in the face.

Power in the Earth is situtational, but there are many locations which have positive effects if left in the staging area, so this could be used to reduce it's threat. Sure it could just be a 1 willpower ally but various quests hurt lots of allies (and yes I know some quests hurt attachments too)
Being able to reduce it by 1 is worthless. Ignoring it's threat is good indeed, but it's so specific - you wont be able to use it anywhere else. And this is bad.

Well, that's not an arguement, that's a constatation of fact. Another fact is that 1 willpower is not worth of 2 resources, especially of 2 spirit resources, period. Unexpected Courage costs 2.

Ever Onward is a bad card, the use you listed requires a very specific and rare situation, and even then you'll probably be wasting stats of your quest dedicated characers, and also paying 3 resources for it, which is another huge waste.

Power in the Earth is not situational, each quest has decent number of location. It's just bad because it's so ineffective.
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Anatole
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The game designers have made will power cost 2, even though there are exceptions and sometimes it costs 1.5, it general it is more expensive than the other traits.
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secoAce -
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I agree with your card assessments except for The Favor of the Lady.
I think 2 resources for an additional +1 Willpower is costed right. It's not just +1 Willpower as a one-time event effect or an activated effect. It's straight-up +1 permanently. A +1 Willpower can make a BIG difference just when you need it.

And I disagree with saying the solution to make any card better is to just reduce the cost, otherwise you can use that same rationale on ANY card and legitimately say that it would be BETTER if it costed less. Would I like all cards to cost less? SURE! Of course, but would that break the balance of the cards and make it TOO easy?! Like I said, I think The Favor of the Lady is fairly costed.

My biggest wish is if they could have made the Ranged and Sentinel keywords relevant to single decks for solo play since the game has such a strong and dedicated solitaire play.
And cards like the Wandering Took are reduced to plain vanilla cards for solo play.
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Tim Alabaster Smitty
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secoAce wrote:
My biggest wish is if they could have made the Ranged and Sentinel keywords relevant to single decks for solo play since the game has such a strong and dedicated solitaire play.
And cards like the Wandering Took are reduced to plain vanilla cards for solo play.


This, this, and this. I know you can "house rule" these, but making this part of the actual rules would be so much more meaningful.
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Yuriy Matuhno
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secoAce wrote:
I agree with your card assessments except for The Favor of the Lady.
I think 2 resources for an additional +1 Willpower is costed right. It's not just +1 Willpower as a one-time event effect or an activated effect. It's straight-up +1 permanently. A +1 Willpower can make a BIG difference just when you need it.

My biggest wish is if they could have made the Ranged and Sentinel keywords relevant to single decks for solo play since the game has such a strong and dedicated solitaire play.
And cards like the Wandering Took are reduced to plain vanilla cards for solo play.
I don't know about you, but I can't justify an +1 wp attachment at the cost of 2. I would never play it unless it's the last card in my hand. And, to be fair, Unexpected Courage costs 2 and it can bring you far more than +1 wp per quest. To be more fair, I'll update the salvation section for Favor of the Lady, to make the cost more reasonable.

Well, the Ranged keyword is pseudo-incorporated into solo with player cards like Black Arrow and Hands Upon the Bow. But still... yeah.
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chadgar24
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I used Ever my Heart Rises alot in the Road to Rivendell, Redhorn, scenarios. I really liked it. But outside of that I have not used it. I do like that there are certain cards that I only use for certain quests, makes it feel like I am somewhere different. But what about Rear-guard?

Rear Guard
Type: Event Sphere: Leadership
Cost: 1

Quest Action: Discard a Leadership ally to give each hero committed to this quest +1 Willpower until the end of the phase.

DISCARD an ALLY for +1 willpower to your heroes?!?! that is so SO much worse than Favor of the Lady. Has ANYONE ever used this card? it has to be a leadership ally, it only affects your heroes...which have to be committed to the quest. So best case, you play Snowbourn scout, place a progress token, commit all your heroes, pay 1 resource, and gain +3 WP(more of course in a multi-player game).
Or just play Gloin for 3, get 2 back, have +2 willpower for the rest of the game.
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Yes, I have Rear Guard in my Hobbit deck and it's quite useful. It allows me to discard extra Bill the Ponies after I have already played one.
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Yuriy Matuhno
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chadgar24 wrote:
DISCARD an ALLY for +1 willpower to your heroes?!?! that is so SO much worse than Favor of the Lady. Has ANYONE ever used this card? it has to be a leadership ally, it only affects your heroes...which have to be committed to the quest. So best case, you play Snowbourn scout, place a progress token, commit all your heroes, pay 1 resource, and gain +3 WP(more of course in a multi-player game).
Or just play Gloin for 3, get 2 back, have +2 willpower for the rest of the game.
We used it to the great success in multiplayer. Don't forget you have a window to play events after the cards were revealed from the encounter deck. So, if you have not enough willpower to finish off location or quest card... and it increases it's usefulness in multiplayer. Also, triggers responses, for example in last game where he was used, he gave +6 willpower and readied Prince Imrahil just by discarding Guardian of the Citadel with 1 wound on him.
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Maya
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Ever Onward is hardly situational. It gives a solo player a lot of flexibility in games where you are under heavy attack. Yes, it's only useful if you fail in your questing. This, unfortunately, is something that happens all the time. It doesn't really "assume" that. You can play the card during the action window after the staging step.

I think the Favor of the Lady is a pretty good card, too. +1 WP for the rest of the game? Sure, I'll take that for two resources. Yes, Spirit is generally lacking in resource acceleration. But there are also a multitude of cards in the game that allow you to move resources between the heroes or grant a hero a Spirit resource icon (Celebrian's Stone, Vilya, Song of Travel...)
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Ed T
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chadgar24 wrote:
Quest Action: Discard a Leadership ally to give each hero committed to this quest +1 Willpower until the end of the phase.

DISCARD an ALLY for +1 willpower to your heroes?!?! that is so SO much worse than Favor of the Lady. Has ANYONE ever used this card? it has to be a leadership ally, it only affects your heroes...which have to be committed to the quest. So best case, you play Snowbourn scout, place a progress token, commit all your heroes, pay 1 resource, and gain +3 WP(more of course in a multi-player game).
Or just play Gloin for 3, get 2 back, have +2 willpower for the rest of the game.


There are cards that take advantage of allies leaving play (say, Prince Imrahil, Horn of Gondor, Grave Cairn, Eomer).... I don't see what's so bad about this all.
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Yuriy Matuhno
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Gryphon Tracks wrote:
Ever Onward is hardly situational. It gives a solo player a lot of flexibility in games where you are under heavy attack. Yes, it's only useful if you fail in your questing. This, unfortunately, is something that happens all the time. It doesn't really "assume" that. You can play the card during the action window after the staging step.

I think the Favor of the Lady is a pretty good card, too. +1 WP for the rest of the game? Sure, I'll take that for two resources. Yes, Spirit is generally lacking in resource acceleration. But there are also a multitude of cards in the game that allow you to move resources between the heroes or grant a hero a Spirit resource icon (Celebrian's Stone, Vilya, Song of Travel...)
For Ever Onward to be worth it, you need the hell of the threat in the staging area, which takes some build up, which is the situational situation. ANd if you fail it like that, you probably going to fail it the next turn too.

Rest of the game? Yeah, like you're not playing LotR LCG with it's wealth of attachment discarding effects.
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Andy E
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Instead of considering these missed opportunities, how about future opportunities? What cards would have to be printed to make these otherwise useless cards playable (or even good)? For example, what if to go along with Gandalf's Search, FFG printed the rest of a cycle of events in each sphere doing sphere-appropriate things:

Gandalf's Cunning
Tactics Event
X
Action: Deal 2 damage to up to X different enemies.


Gandalf's Preparation
Leadership Event
X
Action: Ready up to X different characters. They each get +1 Attack, +1 Defense until the end of the round.


Gandalf's Exploration
Spirit Event
X
Action: Reduce the threat of X players by 2. (You may choose a player multiple times.)


And perhaps finish off with a hero whose ability is along the lines of "Response: Any time you play an event whose cost includes an X, you may double the value of X."
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Yuriy Matuhno
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The effects you listed are overpowered and they would make Gandalf's search look even more useless and worthless in comparsion.
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TrueLolzor wrote:
Gryphon Tracks wrote:
Ever Onward is hardly situational. It gives a solo player a lot of flexibility in games where you are under heavy attack. Yes, it's only useful if you fail in your questing. This, unfortunately, is something that happens all the time. It doesn't really "assume" that. You can play the card during the action window after the staging step.

I think the Favor of the Lady is a pretty good card, too. +1 WP for the rest of the game? Sure, I'll take that for two resources. Yes, Spirit is generally lacking in resource acceleration. But there are also a multitude of cards in the game that allow you to move resources between the heroes or grant a hero a Spirit resource icon (Celebrian's Stone, Vilya, Song of Travel...)
For Ever Onward to be worth it, you need the hell of the threat in the staging area, which takes some build up, which is the situational situation. ANd if you fail it like that, you probably going to fail it the next turn too.

Rest of the game? Yeah, like you're not playing LotR LCG with it's wealth of attachment discarding effects.


I've certainly had occasions when failing to heavily quest would lead to disaster, but failing to save my characters for combat would lead to catastrophe. I imagine that Ever Onward could give you a turn to clear out some enemies, and be a better investment than adding another character.

As for Favor of the Lady, it is true that attachments are in danger of leaving play. But that is the case for character's too. I'd say a card like this is not useless. Rather, it is going to be used in fewer decks than the average card.
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Andy E
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The Tactics one was a typo. I meant that to be 1 damage per enemy. Other than that, why are these cards overpowered? There are plenty of readying effects that would compete with the Leadership card, and the Galadhrim's Greeting/Elrond's Counsel are more efficient than the Spirit card.

Granted, these cards weren't particularly carefully thought out. The idea was to create situational cards (the Tactics card as a last ditch effort to avoid an onslaught; the Leadership card for one large attack; and the Spirit card to get out of threat trouble). Then Gandalf's Search would gain some value by being able to dig for a card which is powerful, but which you might not want to run multiples of.
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TrueLolzor wrote:
The effects you listed are overpowered and they would make Gandalf's search look even more useless and worthless in comparsion.


Agreed. It would be better to use synergistic effects to improve these cards.

Gandalf' Whatever
Spirit Event
Cost 5
Do something awesome
If this card was chosen using Gandalf's search, put into play for free.

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Jim Hansen
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Kamakaze wrote:
Keeping Count is indeed super bad. Way too "thematic", and with no way to actually grab the other copies out of your deck, it just isn't going to happen.

I actually had some success with Keeping Count in a Legolas/Elladan/Elrohir deck. As long as you get one copy early in the game and throw it on Legolas, it can build up in the early game. Elladan mostly quests for me early (until I get more allies), so when late game comes around and Elladan has extra resources I can drop a second copy on him and all of the sudden he is attacking for 10 damage several times in one turn.
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