Hello all, I recently wanted to start a solo game, and this one was highly recommended. I got the core set, and I was looking for some answers on some things from those more experienced.
1. The primary rules question, when do locations go away/when do quest cards switch? Some allies add progress tokens when summoned or when questing. If that is the last progress marker on the location, does it immediately go to the discard pile, and it's threat isn't counted for the quest resoluation? EX if the brown lands is in the staging area, and i use the swiftborn scout to put a counter on it, or the northern tracker quests, does that remove it immediately?
2. It is suggested to have a minimum of 30-50 cards in decks. With just the core set, I can't build a deck I am happy with at either of those counts. At what point which I have a large enough card pool to make decks of those sizes? I know it depends on which parts I buy next, but I want a rough idea when I should make full sized decks reasonably.
Thanks in advance for the responses.
Welcome to the game!
1. You got it right. As soon as the last needed progress token for exploring is added to a location it immediately goes to the discard pile.
In your example the Brown Lands would immediately be explored and therefore its threat would not count for quest resolution.
2. There is probably no general answer to this question.
When I started with the game I just played the first two core set quests excessively with the starter decks. Then I tried to build dual-sphere decks but never actually thought much about card count. I just made sure they were at least 30 cards big.
Pack by pack I added the first adventure sets of the first cycle and always added the cards to my decks which I liked or thought could be valuable. I never concentrated much on card count. Sometimes I built decks smaller than 50 cards, sometimes even bigger; I experimented around a lot.
If I remember right it was at the point when I got the last pack of the first cycle that I exclusively began to build decks with at least 50 cards.
Maybe this impression helps you a little bit. I want to encourage you to feel free and don't give card count to much of a meaning. This is not a competitive game and you don't have to come up with a tournament legal deck right from the beginning.
Buy some packs or a deluxe expansion, throw all the cards you like or you think could synergize well together and try the deck out. I think you will get a feel when you have a cardpool big enough to always aim for the 50.
Or just buy the Black Riders saga expansion. It comes with enough cards and a decklist to build one 50 card tournament legal three-sphere deck together with the core set.
I wish you a lot of fun playing!
Welcome to the game!
1. Any time the number of Progress Tokens on a location is equal to its Quest Points, that location is considered explored and is placed on the encounter discard pile, even if the location is in the Staging Area.
For instance, if Northern Tracker places a Progress Token on The Brown Lands in the Staging Area, The Brown Lands will be immediately explored and placed on the encounter discard pile, and it will not then contribute its Threat Strength when you resolve the quest.
Usually the quest will advance immediately when the number of Progress Tokens on the current quest card is equal to or greater than the current quest card's Quest Points.
Sometimes there will be additional requirements, such as defeating a specific enemy, in which case the quest advances when all advancement conditions are met and a sufficient number of Progress Tokens has been placed.
Usually the quest will advance in the Quest Resolution step of the Quest Phase, but the conditions for advancement could arise anytime.
2. By combining spheres, there are enough cards in the core set to build a 50-card deck. As you collect expansions, your deck will develop and become stronger (hence the Living Card Game aspect of LotR). If you collect the expansions in order, you will already be able to build pretty strong decks by the time you finish the first cycle (Shadows of Mirkwood). You could also jump to The Hobbit: Over Hill and Under Hill and that would give you a lot of extra card options.
Have fun adventuring in Middle-earth!
Check out Hall of Beorn at https://hallofbeorn.wordpress.com/beorns-path/
His blog discusses getting into the game with just those cards from the core, and building a good usable deck out of them, then progresses through the additions of the first cycle's 6 adventure packs, and using them for improving the deck.
It helped me out a ton as I've gotten into the game over the last few months!