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

Subject: Not sure I'm playing this right... rss

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Hi,

Got this game recently, and had two games last night (2 player).

Now have a few questions...

Firstly, it mentions something about 50 cards per deck. We only had 28 (a starter deck plus 3 heroes).

Second, we each had a threat tracker, but I couldnt see why, as we both had the same threat all the way through - i.e. We started with 29, we quested as a group so any shortfall was added equally to us both and at no point did either of us gain threat when the other one didnt.
Was this right?

Third - it seemed REALLY easy... the first 2 cards, a location and a monster were a threat of 4, plus another monster (2) and an event. Total of 6 - I had Aragorn with an item that gave him +2, so between us we could easily put out 8-10 each time, which was always more than their threat, and meant we could add trackers each time.
With legolas we could add another 2 each time he killed a monster, and we could keep 2 allys back each round to use as defenders. We did take damage, and lost one hero, but eventually we reached a stage in Part 3B where no monsters came up and we just put down 12 threat between us and won in one go.

I'm fairly sure we must have missed something otherwise I am unsure what all the posts here about how to win are about. You just buy lots of Allys, put down a ton of threat each round, keep a few back to use as cannon fodder and you're done...

We couldnt see any rules about hand limits, and there were no monsters that were especially difficult (you just used a cheap 1 cost defender each time, using your powerful hero to damage it).


So, have we missed something here? Or is this just the easy starter mission, and the other 2 in the box are more interesting / challenging? If not, then there seems very little replayability...

Cheers!
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Vladimir Lehotai
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Those decks with 50 cards are for tournament rules, but even though there aren't any tournaments I know of, everybody adheres to that rule. With less cards, the game may become more easier, because you have greater chance of drawing what you need.

If you started with the same threat then maybe, bud if you start dabbling in deckbuilding, you will usually have different threats. And you would want to deckbuild, because those starter decks are pretty bad.

First quest is indeed easy, but most of the complaints about that one are from the solo players, who did the worst thing they could and played with the tactics deck, which is admittedly good at killing stuff, but at questing it is terrible.

The other two quests are indeed more challenging.
 
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Jay K
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kniknax wrote:
Firstly, it mentions something about 50 cards per deck. We only had 28 (a starter deck plus 3 heroes).


At the start it suggests you stick with one sphere: Tactics, Leadership, Spirit or Lore. I am pretty certain there are more than 28 cards of each type. You're including multiple copies right?

kniknax wrote:
Second, we each had a threat tracker, but I couldnt see why, as we both had the same threat all the way through - i.e. We started with 29, we quested as a group so any shortfall was added equally to us both and at no point did either of us gain threat when the other one didnt.
Was this right?


Did you both have three different heroes? You should have different starting threat generally. There are some card effects that just cause the active player to gain threat. Plus some cards allow you to choose a player to reduce threat.

kniknax wrote:
Third - it seemed REALLY easy... the first 2 cards, a location and a monster were a threat of 4, plus another monster (2) and an event. Total of 6 - I had Aragorn with an item that gave him +2, so between us we could easily put out 8-10 each time, which was always more than their threat, and meant we could add trackers each time.
With legolas we could add another 2 each time he killed a monster, and we could keep 2 allys back each round to use as defenders. We did take damage, and lost one hero, but eventually we reached a stage in Part 3B where no monsters came up and we just put down 12 threat between us and won in one go.


Was this passage through Mirkwood? If so it is meant to be an introductory scenario. Try the other two in the core set, they should provide a more testing challenge.

kniknax wrote:
I'm fairly sure we must have missed something otherwise I am unsure what all the posts here about how to win are about. You just buy lots of Allys, put down a ton of threat each round, keep a few back to use as cannon fodder and you're done...


Works for some, but not all the scenarios. Try later ones.

kniknax wrote:
We couldnt see any rules about hand limits, and there were no monsters that were especially difficult (you just used a cheap 1 cost defender each time, using your powerful hero to damage it).


That's a good starting strategy and will evolve as you play new scenarios


kniknax wrote:
So, have we missed something here? Or is this just the easy starter mission, and the other 2 in the box are more interesting / challenging? If not, then there seems very little replayability...


Try other scenarios, and re read the rules. Sometimes even experienced players make mistakes. For example ensure you are playing cards only during the action windows. Ensure you are only playing allies and enhancements in the planning phase etc.
 
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Jan Probst
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Single color starter decks are smaller, yes. Once you construct you'll go up to 50.

Threat is separate by player, yes. Failed questing always affects everyone equally, but depending on hero choices, it may not start the same, depending on (quest-specific) effects and cards it may not increase the same, depending on player card play it may not reduce the same.

First quest in particular is tutorialish and starts you off with really little bad stuff out in the staging area, most later quest have more (to the tune of at least 1 random card per player, often, plus then what first staging brings), so you'd mostly not start out ahead on questing power.

No hand limit is correct.

"Bulk monsters" tend to not be that hard (but tend to get harder in later quests), but most quests tend to have harder bossish ones thrown in. Also, "chump blocking" as you describe there may be punished by some mechanics, so isn't always a desirable solution (as you'll see next quest).
 
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Scott Frazer
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1) If you only have one Core set I wouldn't worry about the 50 card minimum. If the game grabs you and you start buying additional sets, 50 cards gets to be pretty easy to hit.

2) Certain effects will change only one player's threat, and each player could start with a different threat based on their starting heroes. The fact yours stayed in lock-step was just coincidence.

3) You were playing Passage through Mirkwood, right?

That's one of the easier scenarios in the game, certainly. It sounds like you were playing the questing part correctly (started with 2 things in the staging area, then adding two more -- one for each player -- each time you quested.)

Later additions to the game alter the dynamics a bit. As an example the latest scenario they released at GenCon has an event that adds 1 threat to the staging area for each character controlled by the first player. Other enemies punish the "chump-blocker" strategy (Hill Troll in the core set is an example of this)

For your other questions: There are no hand limits by default (Can't remember if there are cards that impose one or not)

If you're confident that you're playing correctly, definitely move forward to the next scenarios. They are different and more difficult.
 
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Try watching a few playthroughs on YouTube like this one https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tHHOLzy2T5U. You may pick up something you're been doing wrong.

The general rule of thumb with this game is - if you're confused about a rule but one option will make it easier for the player(s), then the other option is likely the correct one
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Josh Walton
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kniknax wrote:
I'm fairly sure we must have missed something otherwise I am unsure what all the posts here about how to win are about.


Ha well that is usually the case when someone says they won their first game easily. However based on your post it sounds like you did things right. Getting Celebrian's Stone on Aragorn early is a huge help, plus with two players Passage shouldn't be too much trouble. Still kudos for having a good grasp on the game from the start!
 
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Jason Nopa
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Things that make the game challenging:

1: resource matching is very strict in this game. You cannot spend resources from different spheres to pay for a card in a single sphere without special abilities.

2: characters exhaust to do anything. You can quest, defend, or attack. Rarely can you do more than one of those things with a single character. Balancing the three is where the challenge comes in.

3: engagement checks and current threat level play a big part in this game. Increased threat is almost unavoidable, so more and more enemies will engage you. Compounding problems you have to deal with. All enemies with engagement costs lower than your threat level will engage you, so it can be disastrous to be overwhelmed.

4: land locking is a thing, and occurs where you get more locations in the staging area than you can explore, since you can only have a single active location a turn.

5: treachery cards will find a way to mess up your plans, and fast. Bad treacheries can make you lose the quest when you're not prepared.

6: shadow cards on enemy attacks will do the same.

7: undefended attacks kill heroes incredibly fast, but sometimes there's nothing you can do about it.

You may not have encountered any of the above, but later scenarios you should find much more challenging. For instance, the hill troll in journey down the anduin can be a real pain if he comes out at the right time. And the third quest can be devasting, depending on who gets captured. Being down a hero is huge.

One of the biggest strengths of this game is that the design team is very imaginative in their quests. Very few quests feel samey. They all feel very unique and continually surprise me, even with all the cycles and releases...there is a ton of challenge in this game.
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Thanks for the feedback everyone. Sounds like we were playing correctly.

Will give the next one a go and see how we get on
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Greg Burkett
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Oh, it definitely gets more challening.

The third core set scenario, Escape from Dol Guldur, is considering by many to STILL be one of the hardest in the game (especially if you play it solo).
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