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Subject: Should I buy the base game? rss

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Darth Heisenberg
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I've checked this game and I've seen there are loads of expansions for it.

Is the base game any good on its own? Does it provide enough gaming/adventures?

I wouldn't mind getting some expansions in the future, but certainly just a few, not ALL.

For instance, I like Kazhad Dhum, would I be able to play that expansion without having to buy anything extra, but the base game?

I know it's a LCG, and that's why I'm afraid if I only own a small portion of the cards I might not enjoy it or even have the resources to build a good deck.


Edit: I forgot to mention I plan on playing solo.
 
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Chris Gordy
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Any expansion is playable with just the core set. You don't have to have other expansions unless you want. Everything needs the core though.
 
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Dominic B
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First of all I love this game and am all-in on it. I am also playing purely solo (one- and two-handed) and consider this one of the best solo games I have ever played. Just to let you know that you get the opinion of a fan here.

I would recommend buying the core set and try the game especially if you are not just into cardgames but also like the Lord of the Rings. I purchased mine for about 25 € and what I got from it was more than worth the price. I invested a lot of playtime just in the core set alone. First playing all the quests witht the preconstructed decks of every sphere, then began experimenting with deckbuilding and mulit-sphere decks. Imho the core set has enough stuff to play the game for many hours and get a lot out of it. I still get a feeling of joy when thinking back at the days when I was exploring the core box and quests for the first time.
Nevertheless you should know that one of the three core quests is very, very difficult if not almost unbeatable without expansions. For some people it is a big criticism that one third of the scenarios is too hard and seems to force you to buy expansions in order to succeed. I never felt that way and had a lot of fun just by trying to overcome the challenge of that quest but I can understand the critique.

What is hard for me to comment on is the question if Khazad-dûm or other deluxe expansions are enjoyable wth just the core set at hand. It will surely make the experience more difficult. I know that the LOTR Saga expansions expecially the first one The Black Riders are designed to be playable with just one core set, still the quests will be hard to beat. The Black Riders is also such a great designed box that I can nothing but to recommend getting it (Khazad-dum is great too, I am just not such a big fan of dwarves).

Still there is an official Easy Mode (sometimes also called Thematic Mode) for every adventure pack and box for players who want to lower the difficulty a bit and/or have a smaller cardpool available. The game will still stay challenging even in Easy Mode and that is something you have to like. If you mind losing this game is probably not made for you.

I recommend browsing the forums here and read some reviews (if you did not already) there are a lot of threads with a similar question as yours.
If you want to see how the game is played I can recommend the Watch-it-Played Watch It Played LOTR LCG Playthrough and the blind playthrough from Black Belt Gaming both totally sold me to the game (or at least the core set).

To cut a long story short I recommend buying the Core Set if you feel that you like what you saw about the game so far. You will get enough out of it to justify the price and even if you not plan on collecting more sets you hopefully will still have a good time with it.

But one important last warning: This game can be highly addictive!!
Back when I got the core set I planned on buying only some expansions from time to time if I'd like the game... only a few...

Good luck with your decision! laugh
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Darth Heisenberg
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Thanks a lot!
I believe I'll have to definitely give it a try. I've been reading a lot and I believe I'm beginning to understand now how the deluxe expansions, sagas and adventure packs work, and what's needed for each and not etc.

I love TLOTR books and movies, also the hobbit. I'm no stranger to deck building games, I used to play MtG many maaaaany years ago. Though that's a CCG, I've never really tried a LCG, but I've played some Dominion, Smash Up and I'm currently learning to play Pathfinder ACG.

I'll check those videos.

Even though I plan to buy just some expansions I know deep inside I'm a completionist, which scares me since this game can get expensive.

Another thing that worries me is whether I'll be able to find the sagas/APs/deluxe expansions in the future if the game grows on me, or if they will get out of print.

Thanks again for your help
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Kelly B
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FFG reprints out of print packs all the time. It's just a matter of waiting. You have no worries there.
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Colin Thomas
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Gumps wrote:
Any expansion is playable with just the core set. You don't have to have other expansions unless you want. Everything needs the core though.


Not technically true as the scenarios for a particular cycle require the deluxe for that cycle. E.g. Foundations of stone requires kahzad-dum
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Ira Fay
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I thought I'd add my opinion that the base game is a perfectly worthy investment, and to enjoy the game, you don't need all the expansions (though I also find the expansions to be worth it too)!
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James C
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I'd certainly suggest picking it up.
For the three adventures that come in the box, it's worth the money.
If it isn't your cup of tea, you could always resell or give the game away.
But I don't think you'd find it a waste of cash.

If you do like it, and get into it, that might be even worse --- at about $10 a pop, the adventure packs begin to add up!
 
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Robin Munn

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Gumps wrote:
Any expansion is playable with just the core set. You don't have to have other expansions unless you want. Everything needs the core though.


This isn't quite right. There are three kinds of expansions:

Saga expansions, playable with just the core set. These are expansions that let you play through the events of the Lord of the Rings novels: Bilbo going to the Lonely Mountain, Frodo and company leaving the Shire and hiding from Wraiths on the road, and so on. They come with three scenarios each, as well as several new player cards.

Deluxe expansions, playable with just the core set. These come with three scenarios each, as well as many new player cards. They also form the base for a "cycle" of six adventure packs.

Adventure packs are the third kind of expansion, and they are NOT playable with just the core set; they require you to have the core set plus the deluxe expansion that they're based on. For example, the Foundations of Stone adventure pack is part of the Dwarrowdelf cycle, and requires you to own both the Core Set and the Khazad-dûm expansion in order to play its scenario. (Its player cards can be used without owning any other sets, though). Each adventure pack comes with one scenario, and ten new player cards. (Three copies of each card, except for heroes which have only one copy each).

Hope this helps you figure out what you want to buy!
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Kevin
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hi
first off I'm a fan of the game however whilst the game is very good it does get expensive.

I bought into it for the first couple of years but be warned, unless you don't mind playing with proxy cards, you will need at least 2 core sets, ideally 3, since some of the "core" cards in the core sets, have only a single copy in the core set and you will want 3 of them in a deck.

Also unlike magic, you cant build a deck that will be good against several sceario's, rather you will have to keep building a deck for a specific scenario, so expect to be doing a lot of deck building.

You need to treat each scenario as a "puzzle" and build decks specific to solving that particular puzzle.

Also I found it isn't just one deck you need to build, you will need to build at least 2 decks to play against a sceanrio, since you are often using the hammer and anvil strategy. ie one deck will be focused on questing and the other on combat.

I personally found the game too expensive in the end, like all of the FFG LCG's and unlike CCG's, there is no market for buying specific cards as everyone wants the same ones, so you cant just buy extra copies of a particularly useful card since everyone thinks the same. Check ebay to see what I mean, you just can't buy extra copies of say "a test of will" and if you do find them then it is probably just as cheap to buy another core set.

After first liking the idea of a LCG I now think in the long run a CCG actually is a better and cheaper model.

However having said all this, LOTR LCG is still a good game but I hope you have deep pockets
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Rob Rob
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rmunn wrote:

Adventure packs are the third kind of expansion, and they are NOT playable with just the core set; they require you to have the core set plus the deluxe expansion that they're based on. For example, the Foundations of Stone adventure pack is part of the Dwarrowdelf cycle, and requires you to own both the Core Set and the Khazad-dûm expansion in order to play its scenario. (Its player cards can be used without owning any other sets, though). Each adventure pack comes with one scenario, and ten new player cards. (Three copies of each card, except for heroes which have only one copy each).

Not that it would be easy and certainly not recommended, but couldn't you at least theoretically play a game with just the deluxe expansion (E.G. Khazad-dûm) and a bunch of that cycle's adventure packs?

I know you'd be short threat meters, tokens, etc, but do any of the cycles after the core cycle require core set encounter cards?
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Dominic B
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Robrob wrote:
I know you'd be short threat meters, tokens, etc, but do any of the cycles after the core cycle require core set encounter cards?

No, not that I know of. In theory it would totally be possible to just buy a deluxe or saga expansion, downlaod the rules, use whatever you want as tokens and pen and paper for tracking threat and just play the game. Still you would need to buy some additional packs to get enough player cards to actually build a real deck with it. The thought is actually kinda funny

But in the end we all know what rmunn meant and that it is really not recommended that way. And to add a little serious opinion, the core set has a solid base of player cards and some are still very useful if not auto includes in many decks.
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Jonathan Nicol
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My experience, for what it's worth...

I got about 6 weeks fairly solid play out of the core set before I got the itch to start buying expansions. 3 months later I am still getting lots of play from the core set both in terms of its player cards, encounter decks (which are used in every scenario in the Shadows of Mirkwood cycle) and its scenarios, which I replay to test new decks I've built.

A common concern for new players is that the game is going to be expensive, but in truth it's only as expensive as you want it to be. LOTR LCG is not a competitive game, so there is no need to buy all the most powerful cards to keep up with other players. You can expand you card pool at a pace dictated by your enjoyment of your game and your gaming budget.

I pace myself by only starting one new scenario every 2 weeks, which is a US$5 investment each week (based on CSI prices) for a game I play almost daily.

I don't think you'll regret buying the core set, and if you do you'll have no trouble selling it again.

In terms of which expansions to buy, and in what order, Tales from the Cards buying guide is the place to start. Myself, I have been buying in the order of release so that I can experience the game's evolution as the designers intended. Some players prefer to jump straight to expansions that will let them build powerful decks.

rmunn wrote:
Adventure packs are the third kind of expansion, and they are NOT playable with just the core set


Except the Shadows of Mirkwood cycle adventure packs, which require only a core set to play.
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Jonathan Nicol
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chainsaw_ash wrote:
unless you don't mind playing with proxy cards, you will need at least 2 core sets, ideally 3


I don't think it is necessary to buy multiple core sets. I have one core set, and that has gotten me through the Shadows of Mirkwood cycle just fine. I'm not saying I wouldn't like to be running 3 copies of Unexpected Courage , but I have never been unable to beat a quest due to a lack of core set player cards.

In any case I would recommend that any new player buy at least one deluxe/saga expansion or cycle of adventure packs before they pick up an additional core set. You will get a lot more bang for your buck from new player cards and scenarios than from duplicates of cards you already own.
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Joke Meister
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Just to add my 2c into the mix. With just the base game, I managed to get in 18 plays before I moved on to the expansion packs. Those 18 plays were done with some limited deck building in terms of I built a deck to beat the quest and then stopped.

I didn't really play around with multiple deck builds but this was primarily as I felt that the deck I had was a good fit for those quests already. Another issue is that I thought that deck building was very limited with just the core set. It seemed like deck building consisted primarily of taking out the most expensive cards as there really aren't enough cards to properly build a 50 card deck (which is prob why I read threads about people building smaller decks).

Part of the reason I moved on when I did was because I wanted to grow my card pool in order to open up more deck building options. The other reason was that I was loving the game and wanted to start playing other quests beyond just those in the core set. If I hadn't been in such a rush to get more quests and cards, I could have easily played just the base set a lot more as I still find the quests in the base game both challenging and fun. Also worth mentioning that I fully intend to return to the quests in the Base game once I get more deck building options.

Ultimately, I think the core game is a good value for money proposition and, from my pov, it was absolutely worth the price.
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Darth Heisenberg
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Thanks all for your feedback, I will get the core game and see how it rolls
 
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Robrob wrote:
Not that it would be easy and certainly not recommended, but couldn't you at least theoretically play a game with just the deluxe expansion (E.G. Khazad-dûm) and a bunch of that cycle's adventure packs?

I know you'd be short threat meters, tokens, etc, but do any of the cycles after the core cycle require core set encounter cards?

Other than a lack of player cards to build a deck from, the biggest hurdle would be the lack of heroes to choose from. You'd only have the two from the expansion and one per adventure pack not giving you a lot of choice to go with. I can't really see it being possible to build a deck to beat the quests without the cards from the core set.
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I'm still getting good value out of the base set. I can see that I will probably buy some more cards soon but there is a lot of (pretty hard) gameplay in the base set.
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