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I am about to finish up a busy cycle in work and have a little bit more time to myself. Also at the end of August I'll take my family vacation (young kids - everyone except me is asleep by like 9pm).

So I wanted to have something to do and I went and got myself a Core set and some kind of a filler pack from eBay plus the 6 Saga expansions to date and Khazad Dum.

I'm a huge fan of the books and films (well not the Hobbit films but what can you do). I cannot wait to sit down and try this out. I've read rules and watched gameplay videos on youtube and as a newcomer to LCG/CCG it looks really interesting but most importantly for me, extremely heavy on the theme, which I love.

My plan is to stay with the Core set until I feel I have a handle on the mechanics. Granted I got a bit carried away with the expansions but I got some great prices on them. After I feel I have the mechanics down I will start the Saga expansions in sequence. I understand that the Hobbit saga is considered very tough with just a Core set, hence picking up a filler-upper and Khazad Dum. I think I'll try it with the Core just for the experience but these should help me avoid frustration at the difficulty I think?

Basically I'm going to have a blast - I feel like I have enough game here to do me for a long time. While I might have some regret over not getting on board this one when it kicked off, I am like a kid in a candy shop with the amount of options I have to go in so many directions with expansions.

Anyone still reading? Hope to see you in the forum and I wish you happy gaming


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Josh Walton
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Coler wrote:
Is it uncool to just post because I'm so excited to try this game?


I'll allow it.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
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mathew rynich
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Na you are in good company judging by your post. Also you have a wealth of content in front of you if you plan to stick with the game. Don't feel rushed to get it all. There is really no reason to do that unless you are just too excited about getting all the player cards.

Are you playing it solo or are you playing with a group? I find it plays just fine solo though I usually will play two hands even when playing by myself. I find it's easier to cover all the types of threats that way. Also lots of card effects only work once you move to two or more decks (sentinel and ranged keywords for example).
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Josh Walton
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Seriously though I'm super excited for you!! I've been playing since shortly after it came out and it just gets better and better. Sometimes I wish I could go back and relive the early days. Such great fun to be had with this game.

And the community's awesome too. You'll find everyone's quick to answer questions and share in your enthusiasm. Welcome!!
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Chad
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Add it to the list:

 
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Nigel McNaughton
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Indeed, samples are cool!
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Walt B
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Welcome from the guy who just started his first game a few hours ago! Lol
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Lee Broderick
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Nice to have you in the club. Enjoy!
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Reloc 8
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Thank you all for your enthusiastic welcome.

Well, I finally got it on the table last Friday, and it's just great. I was deliberately underplaying my expectations to avoid disappointment but it was really good fun.

I played Passage Through Mirkwood, of course. The first three times I used the Core Leadership Deck, and I won x 3. I bet I made some rules errors in the first run through especially but by the third go-around I think I had it mostly right. My time spent watching playthroughs on Youtube really worked for me - I felt like I had 'done it before' when I sat down to play.

Then last night I moved on to the Core Tactics deck, same Quest.

Ouch. Nought for 5.

And that's all I have to say about that laugh

But I can see why that deck didn't work out for me, which is a great learning point.

I am playing solo solitaire by the way.

Tonight I'm going to try one of the other decks, staying with Passage Through Mirkwood.

I have a lot of content ready to run but I am thinking I will dwell on the Core set for quite a while now. There is obviously a lot to learn about deck-building which seems to be half of the fun. I think if I just launch into 00's more cards I will feel overwhelmed.

I think I'll play around with the Core set for the next week or so before deciding what to do next. I have Khazad Dum and the full Dwarrodelf Cycle sleeved and ready to go. I also have the Hobbit and LOTR Sagas up to Flame of the West on my shelf.
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Lee Broderick
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Sounds like you had a great weekend! And also that you have loads of content to keep you going for quite a while.
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Josh Walton
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Coler wrote:
Thank you all for your enthusiastic welcome.

Well, I finally got it on the table last Friday, and it's just great. I was deliberately underplaying my expectations to avoid disappointment but it was really good fun.

I played Passage Through Mirkwood, of course. The first three times I used the Core Leadership Deck, and I won x 3. I bet I made some rules errors in the first run through especially but by the third go-around I think I had it mostly right. My time spent watching playthroughs on Youtube really worked for me - I felt like I had 'done it before' when I sat down to play.

Then last night I moved on to the Core Tactics deck, same Quest.

Ouch. Nought for 5.

And that's all I have to say about that laugh

But I can see why that deck didn't work out for me, which is a great learning point.

I am playing solo solitaire by the way.

Tonight I'm going to try one of the other decks, staying with Passage Through Mirkwood.

I have a lot of content ready to run but I am thinking I will dwell on the Core set for quite a while now. There is obviously a lot to learn about deck-building which seems to be half of the fun. I think if I just launch into 00's more cards I will feel overwhelmed.

I think I'll play around with the Core set for the next week or so before deciding what to do next. I have Khazad Dum and the full Dwarrodelf Cycle sleeved and ready to go. I also have the Hobbit and LOTR Sagas up to Flame of the West on my shelf.


Sounds like you're off to a great start! I'm glad you didn't try Tactics first lol. Often people do and that tends to frustrate them greatly.

I agree with your thoughts of staying with the Core for awhile. I dove right in with a lot of stuff right away and looking back I kind of wish I didn't. Have fun getting to know the cards slowly that way when new cards make some older cards a little less shiny at least you got to appreciate them for awhile!
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Walt B
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I really enjoyed the Killer deck created just using core cards..I won a few scenarios with it.
A nice introduction to multi sphere building.
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Reloc 8
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As I play more I like it more.

I'm now contemplating that rather than jump into Hobbit Saga at this point, or Khazad Dum, I will pick up the Mirkwood cycle Adventure Packs and play through them in order of their release first, adding the cards to my pool as I work through the quests.

This is my first LCG/CCG of any sort and I feel like I really need to develop learn and learn to love deck-building in order to get full value from this game.

Plus it seems that while there is criticism of the Mirkwood quests in relative terms when matched against later more sophisticated releases, there is a widespread view that the Mirkwood adventure packs will provide a good tutorial experience. It strikes me that the Mirkwood cycle will give me maximum enjoyment at this time when I am starting out, rather than at a later time if I returned to it to pick up the player cards/heroes.


Can't leave without a postscript in gushing terms - the artwork on all of the cards is really extraordinary - a treat in and of itself - especially for someone like me who came to the game because of my love of the Books.
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Lee Broderick
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Coler wrote:
Plus it seems that while there is criticism of the Mirkwood quests in relative terms when matched against later more sophisticated releases, there is a widespread view that the Mirkwood adventure packs will provide a good tutorial experience. It strikes me that the Mirkwood cycle will give me maximum enjoyment at this time when I am starting out, rather than at a later time if I returned to it to pick up the player cards/heroes.


Can't leave without a postscript in gushing terms - the artwork on all of thecards is really extraordinary - a treat in and of itself - especially for someone like me who game to the game because of my love of the Books.


Yes, yes and yes.
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Hedyn Brand
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Coler wrote:
This is my first LCG/CCG of any sort and I feel like I really need to develop learn and learn to love deck-building in order to get full value from this game.

Yep. Love the major aspects, or leave it

Deckbuilding is so essential you can't get past it. It's like equipping yourself for adventure.

Quote:
it seems that while there is criticism of the Mirkwood quests in relative terms when matched against later more sophisticated releases, there is a widespread view that the Mirkwood adventure packs will provide a good tutorial experience.

I think so too. I'm preparing for a tutorial session soon, and it will start with Mirkwood scenarios. I'll skip the core and move on to later cycles if there's time.

Quote:
the artwork on all of the cards is really extraordinary

When I really like some art with people in it, I usually find that it's drawn by Magali Villeneuve
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I Played twice tonight, once with Leadership and once with Spirit, won both with relative ease. I feel I have a really good handle on the mechanics now after about 10 playthroughs of Passage Through Mirkwood albeit I have only used Leadership, Spirit and Tactics deck so far.

I must acknowledge a great run of cards tonight - very few Shadow Cards in the first game and and with the Spirit Deck, Northern Trackers x 3 came up very quickly together Stand and Fight just when I needed it (twice). I also drew Favour of the Lady x 2 in the early game. I was able to win both games having chosen to play against Ungoliant's spawn in the finale so I am very happy with that cool

In both games I drew the Hummerhorns in the staging phase but my threat level was sufficiently low that I could win the game before they came to attack me. I have a rules question on this card: It states that I must deal 5 damage to a Hero when the Hummerhorn engages me. Can I avoid this by playing a card which allows me to engage the Hummerhorns, or by optionally engaging the Hummerhorns despite my threat being sufficiently low to avoid the Hummerhorns engaging me? i.e., if it is me who engages the Hummerhorns, can I avoid this Forced effect?

edit : I answered my own question - no I cannot, as according to the rules no matter how the engagement commences the enemy is considered to have engaged me and I am considered to have engaged it.
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Lee Broderick
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Yeah, those hummerhorns can be nasty. Good work avoiding them!
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Sky Zero
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The joy before the game soul crushes your spirit and forces you to abandon all hope of victory.

Wait, that was my experience . I still have nightmares from those damn hill trolls.
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Reloc 8
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I've yet to take the trolls on gulp

There was a brilliant moment at the end of my second game with the Spirit Deck. I thought I had Ungoliant's Spawn covered every which way to nail the win - had played a Gandalf the turn before and after my attack I needed only one more hit on the Spider to finish. However my heroes were unbowed but all carrying wounds, I also had a couple of Northern Trackers out but both have been badly hit (carrying 2 wounds each).

Meanwhile the Hummerhorns are in the staging area together with a 2 threat location, my threat level is 37.

Basically I have enough offence to get this across the line, but, in retrospect, my defense is very brittle given the amount of wounds my people are carrying. So I am superficially strong but if the encounter deck draws well it can put me in a lot of trouble.

Also I have no cards due to a Treachery the turn before which required me to discard all events, which was all my hand. I have lots of Resources but nothing to play. I drew a Stand and Fight at the start of this (ultimately) final turn, which turned out to be crucial.

I figured I would Quest with Eowyn, who has Favour of the Lady +1.

Then defend the Spider with one Northern Tracker, and use the second fellow, plus Eleanor and Dunhere to finish. Eleanor has 2 wounds, Dunhere 1.

Staging - drew Chieftain Ufthack. Huh. That's not ideal.

I chose not to optionally engage the Hummerhornds (derrrr).

I defend Ungoliant's Spawn with one Tracker and the Chieftain with the other. Plan is to combine Eleanor and Dunhere to attack the Spider and finish the game.

Shadow Cards - the one I draw on the damn Spider requires me to exhaust a character. All I have left are my two wounded heroes. Combined they give me an attack of three but if I lose either from the attack I can't make the hit...no Shadow effect on the Chieftain's card.

So, I exhaust Eleanor and the Spider and Chieftain Ufthack finish off my two Northern Trackers. In my action phase (after determining combat damage)I play Stand and Fight and I have enough resources to bring back a Tracker!

That allows me to attack with the Tracker and Dunhere to finish off Ungoliant's Spawn and the game ends.

If I had not had Stand and Fight to play, then, it seems to me, I would have been facing two boss-class enemies with just my three wounded heroes to mark them, threat level 38 with Hummerhorns waiting in the staging area (engage on threat level 40...), together with a location threat 2, plus whatever else the encounter deck might spit out during staging, which might itself trigger threat level 40 and effectively kill me off.

So, what a wonderful finale - proof if it were needed that Solo Gaming can have great drama. In fairness I expect that most people on this forum will not need that proof but this game was vindication for me of my choice to get into LOTR LCG - I generally play solitaire of necessity but I don't think anything I have played 'both sides' (including various monster war-games) was as satisfying as this 'little' card game was last night. The way the encounter deck played the last round was very much in the manner of how a competent human opponent would have tried to turn the tide.
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Well, I haven't gotten as much play in as I would have ideally liked as I got busy with my business just before heading off on Holidays.

I got a couple of cheap but effective zip up card holders from eBay and I'm planning to pack my core set and fillers and the Mirkwood AP's with Khazad Dum plus AP's. I feel that once I get into this I might start ripping through AP's pretty quick for at least these two cycles, so I think I'll sleeve up the Hobbit Saga expansions and bring those too.
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Brent Brown
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Love your enthusiasm! Feel free to get yourself a Lord of the Rings micro-badge on me, if you like.

https://boardgamegeek.com/microbadge/16977
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