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Subject: Newbie questions on solo play rss

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Giacomo Fusetti
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Hi,
I just bought the core set and played my first solo game yesterday. Solo is my main interest for this game. Probably I've missed it on the rulebook, but my questions are:

1. how do I adjust the difficulty level on the encounter deck? I mean, do I use all the required cards as in the two-players game, or less?
2. is there a specific or suggested number of cards for the encounter and the player deck? Yesterday I played with a mono sphere of influence, and used all the cards available (I just discarded the encounter ones that had a different symbol from the ones on the quest cards);
3. I know that they suggest to buy a second core set, but is it possible, stretching some rules a little, to play a three players game?

Thank you!
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Andrew Brown
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1. there are a few difficulty levels. the main difficulty level involves playing the deck (and rules) normally.

'story mode' is a bit easier and involves giving every hero one extra resource at the beginning of the game (so every hero effectively starts with 2 resources, but ONLY ONCE. don't give heroes 2 resources every turn)
additionally, remove all the cards from the encounter deck with the gold ring of them. some older versions don't have gold rings, so you may need to look up which cards to take out.

these links should help:
https://www.fantasyflightgames.com/en/news/2013/5/14/play-at...

http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/ffg_content/lotr-lcg/suppo...


2. when making encounter decks, look at the 1A side of the quest and include all quest cards with those symbols. you'll do this for every quest, and, in this way, you'll reuse some 'sets' of cards (cards with the same symbol) in multiple quest scenarios


3. imo, playing with the starter decks (all lore, all leadership, tactic, or spirit + 1 Gandalf each) is fine. if you want to play with 3 or 4 with just one copy of the core, you'll need some 10-sided dice or pencil and paper to track the threat, but other than that, you'll be fine.
you also may need to use other tokens to track damage and resources, but again, i don't think this is a huge problem.


also, welcome to the game! hope you enjoy it.
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Daniel B-G
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1) There is an optional set of rules for easy mode. This isn't included in the main rulebook as it was introduced later. Subsequent expansions have included a quick way of making the deck easier but you can find the cards to remove to put yourself in story mode here

2) If you are playing with the starter deck, use all the cards in the sphere you've picked. If you are building a custom deck, make it 50 cards. Be warned, some of the mono sphere decks struggle in solo. You will find that a dual sphere deck will be much more resilient. The encounter decks really didn't take solo gamers into consideration when they were built. This has improved (not uniformly) over time.

3) The main thing you are missing are the tokens. It also makes the deckbuilding options a lot better.
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Arrrrr'lex
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lexpweller wrote:
Hi,

1. how do I adjust the difficulty level on the encounter deck? I mean, do I use all the required cards as in the two-players game, or less?
The difficulty is adjusted by the number of cards drawn from the encounter deck (1 per player per round)
lexpweller wrote:

2. is there a specific or suggested number of cards for the encounter and the player deck? Yesterday I played with a mono sphere of influence, and used all the cards available (I just discarded the encounter ones that had a different symbol from the ones on the quest cards);
This question I don't understand completely. You use the encounter cards specified by the scenario you played.
lexpweller wrote:

3. I know that they suggest to buy a second core set, but is it possible, stretching some rules a little, to play a three players game?
As far as I can tell, you only need the second core set for the threat wheel... Hence the joke in the first picture in the gallery. Since you have 4 pre-consructed decks in starter box, if you find a way to record threat for the two additional players you can even play a four player game.
 
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Giacomo Fusetti
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Thank you all for the quick replies!
Can't check at the moment, but I'm quite sure my edition doesn't have the gold circles to determine the difficulty level... the easy mode guide will be most helpful.
 
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Nathan Huntley
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lexpweller wrote:
1. how do I adjust the difficulty level on the encounter deck? I mean, do I use all the required cards as in the two-players game, or less?
Just in case you have missed the rule: when you are revealing encounter cards each turn, you reveal one per player, so if you are playing solo you only reveal one card instead of two. Thus, to some extent, the game naturally adjusts the encounter deck's influence based on the number of players.


When playing with just one core set and building custom player decks, I recommend ignoring the 50-card minimum deck size, unless you are using heroes of 3 different spheres.


Finally, note that the third adventure in the core set is essentially impossible solo with just core set cards. Play this one with several player decks, or adjust the rules yourself, otherwise you will become sad.

Have fun!
 
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Chris
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Hey welcome to the LoTR LCG community!

All the advice offered so far is absolutely fantastic, but just a couple of extra points:

-Once you expand your collection beyond the core set, the minimum player cards in your deck becomes 50. (No max number, but I strongly advise you stick to 50, as it makes things more consistent).

-For that reason, I would suggest playing the core set dual sphere, and putting all the cards from two spheres together. Experiment, have fun!

-Don't get too frustrated if you can't beat the Dol Guldor scenario. This is punishing, particularly when playing alone! Go buy more expansions for other new quests!

-I find easy mode can be a bit too easy. So my preferred approach would be to start the game with 2 resources per hero, but leave in all of the 'gold ringed' cards. Again, experiment, have fun, it's a co-op game, so as long as you are enjoying yourself, you are doing it right!

-Even when playing alone, you should consider playing 'two handed'. In other words, you are essentially playing as two players in parallel. This will make some punishing quests more manageable and also give you significantly more scope for tricksy interactions between cards/spheres (which is where much of the fun comes from!).

-If you do want to play with other humans, check out OCTGN, which allows you to play a ton of FFG card games online. Only request, use cards you actually own when playing online. We want to keep this game going

-Tactics is by far the coolest sphere, and anyone that disagrees is just wrong! But if you do continue playing alone, you may want to stick to Leadership sphere, as that is the best 'all-rounder'. (Or buy the black riders deluxe expansion and build a ti-sphere hobbit deck.
 
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Giacomo Fusetti
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Thank you, you are really helping me out a lot.
I've played two quests, the first with leadership (it went smoothly), and the other one with tactics... this one was a bit more complicated, especially because I realized too late that the only way to complete scenarios was to defeat enemy using heroes' and attachments' special abilities to put tokens on the quest (no way to commit characters the usual way, since all the allies have zero willpower).

I noticed that drawing only one encounter card is a way to tune the difficulty... I just wondered if there was another, involving decks' customization.

I'll check OCTGN and look into some expansions... I know it's a very discussed topic, but since you guys seem to impressively master the game, I'll ask: which one/ones are a MUST-buy? Keep it on the first six little ones for now... we'll talk deluxe if I really get into the game in the future.

Thanks again!
 
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David Goulette
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Quote:
I've played two quests, the first with leadership (it went smoothly), and the other one with tactics... this one was a bit more complicated, especially because I realized too late that the only way to complete scenarios was to defeat enemy using heroes' and attachments' special abilities to put tokens on the quest (no way to commit characters the usual way, since all the allies have zero willpower).
You are correct about your analysis here. Mono-sphere tactics in the core set is very difficult to win with. It is a great deck for two players in conjunction with one of the other spheres with better questing. I play solo some and I don't mind playing two handed (I know some don't like to do that). I use long card holders for each hand so I don't have to keep picking up each hand or lay them out on the table.

Quote:
which one/ones are a MUST-buy? Keep it on the first six little ones for now... we'll talk deluxe if I really get into the game in the future.
You might want to read this fabulous blog post (and many other awesome posts found here):
https://talesfromthecards.wordpress.com/2013/09/13/new-playe...

Unfortunately some of the first cycle of adventure packs is not available right now. BUT DON'T OVERPAY FOR THEM. They are in print and will be available at MSRP soon (at least that is what FFG games says on their web site).

Quote:
Thanks again!
No problem! Welcome to an AWESOME game and a really great community.
Cheers!
 
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Chris
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Quote:
which one/ones are a MUST-buy? Keep it on the first six little ones for now... we'll talk deluxe if I really get into the game in the future.
You might want to read this fabulous blog post (and many other awesome posts found here):
https://talesfromthecards.wordpress.com/2013/09/13/new-playe...

Unfortunately some of the first cycle of adventure packs is not available right now. BUT DON'T OVERPAY FOR THEM. They are in print and will be available at MSRP soon (at least that is what FFG games says on their web site).

Quote:
Thanks again!

That link is absolutely the best resource to help you choose what packs to buy. Unfortunetly as there is so much content out there for this game it can be massively daunting.

My suggestion, pick a faction or theme that you think would be pretty cool. Then on that link will be a buying guide for that faction. Obviously you should play whatever you enjoy, but a couple of suggestions:

Outlands - Designed specifically to be 'new player' friendly (and therefore gets a lot of hate from some old timers!) The entire outlands is basically contained within one or two expansion packs, so small barrier to entry.

Dwarfs - Still the most powerful combo to date. This is a very smart group to pick if you are playing alone.

Hobbits - Mostly self contained within black riders expansion (You will need 2-3 other small encounter packs).

Rohan - My personal favourate to play with, especially with recent packs!

But don't feel you *have* to build a deck from one faction (the game totally was not designed this way), it just makes it simpler to plan your purchases.
 
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Jim . K
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Riki39561 wrote:
Quote:
which one/ones are a MUST-buy? Keep it on the first six little ones for now... we'll talk deluxe if I really get into the game in the future.
You might want to read this fabulous blog post (and many other awesome posts found here):
https://talesfromthecards.wordpress.com/2013/09/13/new-playe...

Unfortunately some of the first cycle of adventure packs is not available right now. BUT DON'T OVERPAY FOR THEM. They are in print and will be available at MSRP soon (at least that is what FFG games says on their web site).

Quote:
Thanks again!

That link is absolutely the best resource to help you choose what packs to buy. Unfortunetly as there is so much content out there for this game it can be massively daunting.

My suggestion, pick a faction or theme that you think would be pretty cool. Then on that link will be a buying guide for that faction. Obviously you should play whatever you enjoy, but a couple of suggestions:

Outlands - Designed specifically to be 'new player' friendly (and therefore gets a lot of hate from some old timers!) The entire outlands is basically contained within one or two expansion packs, so small barrier to entry.

Dwarfs - Still the most powerful combo to date. This is a very smart group to pick if you are playing alone.

Hobbits - Mostly self contained within black riders expansion (You will need 2-3 other small encounter packs).

Rohan - My personal favourate to play with, especially with recent packs!

But don't feel you *have* to build a deck from one faction (the game totally was not designed this way), it just makes it simpler to plan your purchases.

Re Outlands : Is that the Heirs of Numenor Expansion and cycle?
 
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Andrew Brown
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there is one Outlands card in the Heirs of Numenor box, Hunter of Lamedon, an ally who benefits from your other outlands allies but provides no bonuses of his own. allows you to discard the top card of your deck when you play him and draw it if it's an outlands card though

most of the Outlands cards are included in the first pack of the cycle: The Steward's Fear. get this one if you want to play outlands

there are a couple of other cards throughout the cycle:
Forlong in The Druadan Forest (unique ally that benefits from your other cards but doesn't increase anything on his own)

Men of the West in Assault on Osgiliath (event that can pull Outlands cards from the discard to your hand)

Sword of Morthrond also in Assault on Osgilith (attachment that gives an ally the Outlands trait. it's somewhat useful but not necessary)

Lord of Morthrond in Encounter at Amon Din (attachment that lets you draw whenever you play tactics, spirit, or lore allies if all of your heroes are leadership sphere. very good for card draw for outlands since you have access to up to 12 such allies in your deck)


EDIT: here's a link to all of them. also a link to a good search tool
http://hallofbeorn.com/Cards/Search?Query=outlands
 
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Gandalf the Greyjoy
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This silly newbie question of mine does not deserve a separate thread:

In solo game I control only one player, not two, right?

I might get confused by Rahdo gameplay video, so I'm just making sure...
 
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Dean Winchester
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You can control 2 players (hands) if you want. You can also just play 1 player (hand) too.
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Ian Bennetts
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Libero03 wrote:
This silly newbie question of mine does not deserve a separate thread:

In solo game I control only one player, not two, right?

I might get confused by Rahdo gameplay video, so I'm just making sure...
Yes, usually solo play means one player with one player deck, 3 heroes, one threat tracker, and a single hand of cards.

Some players prefer, when playing alone, to set it up as if it's a two player game, two player decks, 6 heroes, two threat trackers, two hands of cards. This potentially gives more options for balancing your spheres of influence, and gives you a better chance of completing the Dol Guldur adventure that comes in the box.
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Gandalf the Greyjoy
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Thanks for answers! BTW what is stopping me from playing this up to 4 players other than lack of 2 threat trackers? There are 4 player decks so if threat is tracked on a piece of paper then we're good. Are there any other cons?
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Jan Probst
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Libero03 wrote:
Thanks for answers! BTW what is stopping me from playing this up to 4 players other than lack of 2 threat trackers? There are 4 player decks so if threat is tracked on a piece of paper then we're good. Are there any other cons?
Table size.

(Therefore, nothing. I happily play Eldritch 8 investigator solo as well.)

Edit: Well not so much table size, as ability to set up 4 play areas in such a way that they are in easy reach - you'll want to put down hands open too for convenience, which eats extra space.
A table that can handle 4 meat body multiplayer might not handle 4 handed solo well.
(Slightly easier with things like Eldritch, which can have pretty compact player areas)

Edit2: oh, you were actually talking about multiplayer. Nothing, but without card pool to build a bunch of decks from you're largely limited to the monosphere starter decks. Which is fine to play the Core quests with at any rate, my preferred format to introduce people to the game.
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James Bjork

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I'm glad I searched for an existing thread on solo play with the base game than starting my own thread. I'm glad to see that others may find it tough. I too just picked up the base game primarly for solo play, and had my Free-peoples arse handed to me playing "one-handed" with the stock single-sphere leadership deck (Aragorn and leadership friends). I played the suggested Passage Through Mirkwood.

It seemed to me that with one resource token per hero, it was just not enough to cope with the 4-threat bleed right off the top with the starting staging area cards, and only one player's worth of Willpower to commit to locations/quests each round.

I guess I'll try starting with an extra token for each hero at the very beginning.
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Brendan Riley
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I am glad to find this post too. Both of my first two games ended this way, trapped by a pileup of locations in the staging area.

Will try a dual sphere deck next.
 
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