Dustin Taylor
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Ok. So I love LotR and the idea of a cooperative card game is somewhat appealing, maybe? But I had previously gotten Pathfinder Adventure card game after much recommendation from everyone here in the community. About how it was so immersive and sucked you in, having it said it was "like Descent in card form", basically endless praise.

And my god, I played 1 game and it was the worst thing I've played in my life. You draw a card and try to kill it. You draw a card and try and kill it. You draw a card and useless item you can't use. You draw a card and useless spell you can't use.

"Exploring multiple locations" boiled down to drawing from different decks. I felt no sense of story, no sense of adventure, no sense of fun whatsoever. It was just "draw a card and deal with that card".

I traded it away after the first game, everyone in my group hated it so bad.

So my question is, is this game similar? Do you "draw a card and deal with the card by playing cards from your hand"? For example, you draw an enemy and then play "attack" cards or something like that from your hand to kill it? Then draw the next card? Because that does not sound fun.
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James
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I love this game but the game could be very much like what you describe in Pathfinder for you. In fairness, I am not sure how a straight card game could offer much more in terms of the gameplay when it is reduced to the steps in your post, but you should play what is fun for you, of course! I strongly recommend watching the Watch it Played series of videos with Rodney in the videos section. You will get a good idea of the experience of the gameplay and see how some might find it engaging - or why you wouldn't.

If you take the plunge, there will be more questions to be asked (what expansions to get, how you beat that @#% hill troll) so it is good that you are looking before you leap.
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Wally Jones
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Pathfinder is extremely slow deck pooling.

LotR is a true deck builder.

You MUST build a deck first then run through an Adventure. It requires card knowledge.

Plus the game is rather difficult. Be prepared to run each Adventure numerous times before you succeed.

Otherwise, I think it is the best card game going.
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Jake Courtney
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LoTR is a much, much better game than Pathfinder. However, I'm not even sure a card game is what you're looking for.
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For what it's worth, I really, really wanted to like PACG, but it felt like playing fantasy-themed solitaire. I had to add a lot of house rules. I don't feel that way about LOTRLCG. I think that theme is handled much better, there are multiple ways to play.

That being said: On the one hand, it is a card game, so you will be playing cards from your hand to interact with locations and enemies in play. On the other hand, it's a deck-building card game, so you should run into issues with cards you can't use. There's also much, much more player and character interaction in this game.
 
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Matthew Roskam
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LOTR tells a much better story, rather than just plowing through stacks looking for cards. However, it takes more commitment to build decks, which may not be for you. But there is definitely a reward for the effort with LOTR.
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Michael Schwarz
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spunXtain wrote:
So my question is, is this game similar?
At a conceptual level... it sounds like it is. Though there's some turn intricacies in LotR, I don't know if that's true or not with Pathfinder.

Here's my question to you, what do you want out of a card game?

You might honestly be better off with something like the Game of Thrones LCG, where the coop elements are forming adhoc alliances versus other players.
 
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from what i understand from your post and other reviews i've read online, LotR:LCG is a bit more complex than pathfinder

this may be a good or bad thing depending on the person, but it seems perhaps you want a bit more engaging of a game.


yes, you play cards from your hand to battle things that are drawn from a deck, but hopefully i can explain what might be some key differences:

you play characters and other permanent cards from your hand at the beginning of the turn (the planning phase)

then you quest, and in this requires committing characters with a certain stat (willpower) to that particular quest that round

you then draw cards from the deck and resolve their effects, one at a time (you typically draw one card per player, but some can draw additional cards). you can play only certain cards during this phase, response effects that may cancel or redraw certain cards.

after the quest cards have been added and resolved, you add up the total threat of those cards and compare to your willpower for that round. if you have a higher commitment, you gain that much in progress on the current location (if there is any) and then the current quest.

after that, you can 'travel' to any location. this removes its threat from the staging area for later quests, but adds more progress needed to finish the quest

then, you may engage one enemy. oftentimes, enemies will engage you automatically. once engaged, they no longer contribute their threat for future quests.

any characters you have left who did not quest can choose to defend against attacks

any characters who did not quest or defend can then attack engaged enemies


so there is a lot of balancing between what you want to do with your available resources (in this case, characters). should you quest with everything? you'll get a lot of progress, but you won't be able to defend against an enemy. if you only leave a defender and no attackers, it will still be around next round to attack you.
should you travel to that location? it'll make questing easier but make progressing harder, and some have really nasty effects if you travel to them, some have equally nasty effects if you leave them alone.

yes, you play cards from your hand to defeat things that the quest deck spits out at you, but there's a lot of cost analysis about what is the best course of action, and you typically won't know what the best course of action would have been until after you have had to make those decisions
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Brent Brown
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You might want to take a look at some videos of game play, and see what you think.

I'd recommend the LOTR LCG Progression Series.
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Drake Coker
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While I can't predict whether or not you'll like LotRTCG, it is rather a lot different from Pathfinder and I don't think any your experience with that game will transfer over. While LotRTCG is definitely not "Descent in card form", it is intricate and pretty demanding. You don't have to just get lucky, you must craft the right kind of deck, and still get a little lucky

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Jake Courtney
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Lord of the Rings Living Card game is legit. Just get it.
 
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The two games are very, very different. You're right in saying that PACG is basically flip a card and deal with that card. And that by rolling dice. It's very random, and most of the time doesn't feel very thematic. There are no dice in this game, and everything that happens makes sense. Each adventure is carefully constructed to create the feel of whatever it is you're supposed to be doing. The quest cards are very cleverly done in that each one has specific rules that change slightly how things work. And since you build your own deck beforehand it's up to you how to deal with the immense challenge the game will throw at you.

Long story short, if you're looking for a fantasy adventure in a card game, nothing else even comes close.
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I own both. I still play LOTR LCG but Pathfinder is gathering dust in the cupboard. The two are very differnt, and I agree with your assessment of Pathfinder. I will say that if you are a fan of LOTR then I think you will find that FFG has done a great job with their cards. I will add though that you need to like deck builders. If you don't like deck building then I wouldn't recommend it.
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jcourtney wrote:
LoTR is a much, much better game than Pathfinder. However, I'm not even sure a card game is what you're looking for.


I agree. LoTR is extremely well developed and implements the mechanics to it's theme so well, I doubt another card game can equal it in that manner.

But to obtain the best play, you'll have to buy more than the base set. Even so, if you dislike building your deck to travel and kill well, you probably won't enjoy this game.

Play it at your FLGS or a friends house a few times to determine if it'll surprise you enough to want a copy of your own.
 
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In Lord of the Rings, you start out with three Heroes and a deck of cards (which you have to put together before playing... which requires quite a bit of thought and experimentation).

On the other side, there is a scenario, which has multiple stages (usually). Those can be very different. They always tell a story, including a good amount of flavor text.

The game then progresses through several phases.

First you can bring more cards into play. Allies to help your heroes, or Attachments, which are pieces of equipment, skills, etc. to improve your Heroes.

Then, you can send some of your characters out on the quest, which is the usual way to add progress to the scenario. The scenario will then present you with some obstacles in the form of Enemies, Locations, or Treacheries.

These must be overcome, immediately or at a later time, but if you cannot deal with them quickly, they add up and up and might become overwhelming in time.

Enemies will sometimes just lurk in the area (hindering your questing), sometimes they will attack you. Most of the time, you have the option to attack them (which makes it easier to progress on the quest, but puts you in combat with them, which is dangerous, of course).

Locations are places in the vincinity, which cause problems to your questing and you will have to deal with them one by one. You can travel to one of the locations in play, thus exploring it and during the questing, you will be able to clear it out and thus put it away, making the way free again.

And Treacheries are very diverse events, that can do a lot of different things, from causing harm to your adventuring party, hindering your progress, bringing new Enemies into play, improving Enemies, etc, etc.

The game is full of decisions. While, at the core, it also has a flip a card and deal with it mechanic, the big difference is, that each card you flip will integrate into the whole scenario.

The game is very thematic. Sometimes, of course, there are some situations, that might feel strange (for example, characters can either attack or defend against an enemy, but not both - that feels a bit strange at first), but most of the time, the scenarios feel very much alive and the story is there.

However, while the scenarios are very much derived from Tolkien lore, the game does not follow Tolkien canon 100%. You could make a party of any mix of characters, like Frodo adventuring alongside Denethor and Glorfindel. That part is up to you, though... and you can make far more thematic decks to play, if you prefer to do that.

The deck building (which is done before the game) is a large part of the game. Easily half of it. It's not a game you put on the table and just play. That is one step, that is difficult for a lot of players, that are not used to this kind of game.

Bye
Thanee
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Cracky McCracken
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spunXtain wrote:
........
So my question is, is this game similar? Do you "draw a card and deal with the card by playing cards from your hand"? For example, you draw an enemy and then play "attack" cards or something like that from your hand to kill it? Then draw the next card? Because that does not sound fun.


Yeah it's similar. You draw cards, fight monsters, quest, draw more cards etc etc. Both are card games trying to be an entire fantasy campaign in a card game form.

I think most games need more than one play through to be fairly judged. But if you totally hated PACG from play one, why even bother with another card game of the same ilk? It's still pretty much the same concept.

I disliked LotR tCG at first and I shelved it. Came back to it like a year later and found my taste and understanding of card games had evolved. Saw it in a new light and enjoy it as a travel game. Personally, I like Pathfinder much better fwiw.
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Ramble time...(TL;DR: LOTR LCG 1, Pathfinder ACG 0)

Pathfinder failed hard in our group. Several of us bought the core set and most of us subscribed and got all of the promos, etc... Suffice to say we wanted desperately to like the game. We tried it, tried variants, and tried again. I still have the whole of Rise of the Runelords but have no compulsion to play it.

Lord of the Rings LCG has stayed strong within our group for over two years and there is no end in sight. Other games serve as distractions to the main event, that being LOTR LCG. Okay, so I'm speaking for myself there but never-the-less, LOTR LCG is very special.

Why did Pathfinder fail? It's not as if the Pathfinder box was devoid of fun. It reminded me a lot of the old Rogue computer game (and now I see that there is a Rogue-style variant, I might have to try that). My disappointment was centred around the simplistic mechanics of the game. I know that flipping cards and rolling dice are part and parcel to board gaming (Elder Sign fan here) but in Pathfinder things just felt disconnected and mechanical...flat even.

Lord of the Rings has never, ever felt flat. One or two encounter decks have bored me, most have overwhelmed me. I return to completed quests with as much enthusiasm as I start new ones. The artwork is always worthy of contemplation, I have spent many hours just looking at the cards. The mechanics are far richer than Pathfinder ACG, while the learning curve is steeper in LOTR LCG I find the experience more immersive.

I will be letting go of my Pathfinder collection soon. Will I miss it? Very likely not.
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I too found Pathfinder boring, repetitive, and random. I love LotR LCG since it is the opposite of those things. The strategy is much deeper, the gameplay is more interesting, and whether you win or lose depends much more on how well you played.
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Dustin Taylor
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Thank you so much for all of the responses guys. I watched Rahdo's vids since he is one of my favorites anyway! And yes, from the very setup this game just screams Pathfinder to me. And I have no interest in building decks. I've decided it's just not for me. Thanks again!
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Late to the thread and it sounds like you've already made up your mind, but fwiw, the two games have very little in common. In short, the stories that develop in LotR quests are more memorable, there is more quest variety, and the game mechanics offer more decision making due to large variety of card effects and resources in the game. More in this thread.

So, appearances (in a playthrough) can be deceptive, and IMO, similarity to PACG shouldn't deter you from trying LotR.

That being said, if you strongly feel like you don't want to build decks, you are indeed better off passing on the game...
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spunXtain wrote:
And I have no interest in building decks.


Yeah, then it might not be the right choice.

Bye
Thanee
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happycatmachine wrote:
Why did Pathfinder fail? It's not as if the Pathfinder box was devoid of fun. It reminded me a lot of the old Rogue computer game (and now I see that there is a Rogue-style variant, I might have to try that). My disappointment was centred around the simplistic mechanics of the game. I know that flipping cards and rolling dice are part and parcel to board gaming (Elder Sign fan here) but in Pathfinder things just felt disconnected and mechanical...flat even.


I wanted to like Pathfinder too. Tried it at a friend's who has the Rise of the Runelords set. Pathfinder appealed to me for several things:
- RPG-like evolution of your character, gaining extra points of stats and skills, like the ability to carry weapons and stuff...
- a lot more cards for the same value. That player card pool slow growth is mildly annoying in LOTR LCG (and that's about the only thing for me)

Well, it has it all. But, wow, this game is so dull. The narrative is nearly absent, I rarely made any choice, I just flipped cards over and over. I absolutely hated that game. Bad mechanics, absent theme, horrible art.

LOTR LCG is vastly superior.

spunXtain wrote:
felt no sense of story, no sense of adventure, no sense of fun whatsoever. It was just "draw a card and deal with that card".


LOTR LCG tells stories in narrative arcs of 3, 6 or 9 scenarios. It's really immersive. Not as RPG-like as Pathfinder but there's a Campaign Mode you might like.

If you're not into building decks, I don't see it as an issue. You can always find deck list on the internet and stick to the list. If you love LOTR, the theme, there's absolutely no point in overseeing this game. I mean, just get it.

I think a good solution for you would be to get the Core Set, and then to add replayability, to get the Saga Expansions only. The Saga Expansions are big boxes expansions of 165 cards (3 scenarios and a good bunch of powerful player cards) which retells in scenario form the events of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings novels.

As of today, there are four of them:
- The Hobbit: Over Hill and Under Hill
- The Hobbit: On the Doorstep
- The Lord of the Rings: The Black Riders
- The Lord of the Rings: The Road Darkens
There will be 4 more for The Lord of the Rings novels (basically 2 boxes per novels, so the first two boxes above tells The Fellowship of the Ring story).
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Do you guys remember the person who posted a few months ago the same criticism's the OP did about LOTR, that it was just flipping cards, there was no theme... etc. They posted this after watching a youtube video.

They came back after playing it and said they were wrong in their original estimation of the game and that they loved it.

I can't help but wonder if the OP made the same error by only judging it from a youtube video.
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Anatole69 wrote:
Do you guys remember the person who posted a few months ago the same criticism's the OP did about LOTR, that it was just flipping cards, there was no theme... etc. They posted this after watching a youtube video.

They came back after playing it and said they were wrong in their original estimation of the game and that they loved it.

I can't help but wonder if the OP made the same error by only judging it from a youtube video.
or this guy who clearly didn't understand the mechanics of the game before posting a huge rant, bumping a lot of old threads, and then drifting into obscurity after a few people pointed out what were his most probable rules mistakes (ignoring quest phase and increasing threat on turns where he just didn't feel like questing)


i would say just a few plays (or even one!) is not nearly enough of a chance to figure out if you like something, but i usually watch several videos and read about mechanics before buying any game anyway.

but that said, it seems that it was recommended by quite a few people, they bought the game, then tried it out, and realised they didn't like it.
i don't think OP necessarily just watched a video and decided that they didn't like the game, but watching a video before buying probably would have saved some disappointment
 
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LotR LCG and PACG are two completely different games banded only by one thing: using cards as a main game component.
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