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Atanasije Stojkovic
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OK, I own the core set of the game and nothing else. I've played through with a lot of people quite a number of times the first two scenarios and have never beaten through the 3rd one (the one where there's a captive at Dol Guldur) which I assume may be nigh impossible to play unless with a full stack of four players and quite some bit of luck with very good card draws (rarely played with 4; mostly 2, occasionally 1 and 3).

Here's the thing - I really love this game. The theme and everything in general is so wonderful. It's thrilling, immersive and overall I think quite a nice game. I don't know where to go from here.

To underline, I am interested in the thematic storyline of The Hobbit and The Lord of The Rings. I would never buy any of the other eventual expansion packs unless they in one way or another tie in with those expansions. Also I am primarily interested in a thematic experience, recreating the events from the books as close as it is possible.

However, here's where a problem arises. I've posted a few threads here, but mostly people had been directing me to websites in order to check through the endless heap of cards and choose among them what would best suite my/our playstyle. That hadn't been very helpful, as I did not really succeed in finding out what would be the next most probable step.

I've checked FFG's own pdf files regarding the first Hobbit story deck and it seems that they recommend it bought twice just for a very few cards (when we look at the recommendation). Additionally some people had been recommending me to purchase another core set in order to mix it along with the current one and create some more custom decks which would be more powerful (eventually being able to defeat the 3rd base game scenario in that manner, also).
 
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Sarandongo
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Relax. This is a great game that needs to be enjoyed slowly and with gusto. It's easy to get overwhelmed with all the expansions, but the good thing about it is that you can take your time.
Buy a second core set to get fundamental cards, like "unexpected courage".
Buy the first cycle (6 adventure packs) and play each one in order, adding new player cards as you go.
Download the first episodes of the awesome podcast Cardboard of the rings. They commented on the expansion packs as they were published. Follow their lead. But, again, taking your time, play every new scenario a whole bunch of times.
There are blogs and other useful resources (like ringsdb), but for now, you're good just trying your first decks and getting the most out of the game.

Finally, this guide could be also useful:

https://boardgamegeek.com/blogpost/16397/guide-new-lotrlcg-s...

Enjoy!
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Jason Walker
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New Player Buying Guide:
https://talesfromthecards.wordpress.com/2013/09/13/new-playe...
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Dr Johnson
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Sargeras777 wrote:
To underline, I am interested in the thematic storyline of The Hobbit and The Lord of The Rings. I would never buy any of the other eventual expansion packs unless they in one way or another tie in with those expansions.


This is a bit of an issue because if you go straight from the core set to the sagas (The Hobbit and LoTR packs that Andrew listed above) the game can become frustrating. To be specific the saga packs are pretty difficult and although theoretically people can play them with just the core sets, it's pretty hard to win if doing so.

My general recommendation is to get at least the Mirkwood and Khazad Dum cycles and adventure packs first, then play the Hobbit saga, and then play the LoTR saga. The reason for this is that you will have lots of player cards (and especially Dwarves) that will allow you to take on the harder quests with some hope of winning!

As for a 2nd core set, that is a 'nice to have' rather than 'essential'. Get the cycles and sagas first.

Hope that helps and enjoy!
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Stephan Wimmer
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Sargeras777 wrote:

I've checked FFG's own pdf files regarding the first Hobbit story deck and it seems that they recommend it bought twice just for a very few cards (when we look at the recommendation). Additionally some people had been recommending me to purchase another core set in order to mix it along with the current one and create some more custom decks which would be more powerful (eventually being able to defeat the 3rd base game scenario in that manner, also).


Do not buy multiple sets except for the Core Box. All expansions come with 3 copies of all player cards!

Unless you know exactly what you are doing, you do not need to buy multiples of expansions ever. You might strongly consider a 2nd Core Set (for a few cards) though. The cards in question are disproportionally powerful in a way that they are relevant in almost all quests you will play.

[q="Sargeras777"]
To underline, I am interested in the thematic storyline of The Hobbit and The Lord of The Rings. I would never buy any of the other eventual expansion packs unless they in one way or another tie in with those expansions.

No expansions tie into the Hobbit or LotR storylines except for the saga expensions. The other expansions tell stories between the Hobbit and the events of LotR.

So if you want to re-live the Hobbit and LotR within this game, here is my proposed buying plan in order:

* --Optional-- Return to Mirkwood Adventure Pack. This pack includes the Dwarf hero Dain Ironfoot who passively boosts other dwarfs. This is a very strong effect in all 6 Hobbit quests and the Hobbit expansions are significantly harder without this hero.
* Hobbit: Over Hill and Under Hill. This contains the first 3 quests spanning from leaving the shire to crossing the misty mountains. You will get other dwarf heroes and allies that will synergize very well with Dain Ironfoot and themselfs.
* Hobbit: On the Doorstep. This contains the secound set of 3 quests spanning from crossing mirkwood to the eventual battle of five armies. Again this expansion contains a lot of dwarfs and the quests 2 and 3 are a very hard nut to crack with your cardpool (even if you have Dain in play)!
* --Optional-- Heirs of Numenor expansion: This expansion comes with a handful of very powerful cards and will be your backbone for the LotR quests. Beregond in particular can make your experience much better.
* --Optional-- Against the Shadows Adventure Pack. This pack is the first released after Heirs of Numenor and gives you access to the Gondorian Shield and most Outlands cards. Both again make your experience in the LotR quests much more enjoyable.
* Lord of the Rings: Black Riders. Contains the first 3 (of 18!) quests following the story in the LotR books. These quests bring you out of the shire and into rivendell.
* Lord of the Rings: The Road Darkens. Contains the next 3 quests detailing the parties trek along the misty mountains, through moria and the breaking of the fellowship.
* Lord of the Rings: The Treason of Saruman. Contains again 3 quests following the kidnapping of the hobbits, the eventual confrontation with Saruman and the siege of Helms Deep.
* Lord of the Rings: The Land of Shadows. It tells the story of frodo, sam and gollum and their journey through the emyn muil, the black gate and the nasty spiders in the mountains surrounding mordor.
* --NEWLY RELEASED-- Lord of the Rings: The Flame of the West. Again 3 quests about the siege of minas tirith and the rallying of the ghost army. Don't know that much about it.
* --UNRELEASED-- Lord of the Rings: Saga Box 6. It has not been anounced. Release will be probably next year or so.

Including the optional purchases, it's the minimum I would recommend. Playing the saga expansions with just 1 core box might be okay, but it will be very hard.
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Dale Stephenson
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jacenat wrote:
[q="Sargeras777"]
To underline, I am interested in the thematic storyline of The Hobbit and The Lord of The Rings. I would never buy any of the other eventual expansion packs unless they in one way or another tie in with those expansions.

No expansions tie into the Hobbit or LotR storylines except for the saga expensions. The other expansions tell stories between the Hobbit and the events of LotR.


Only the saga expansions depict the events directly that happen directly during The Hobbit or Lord of the Rings. However, I wouldn't feel comfortable saying that they don't "tie in" to the Lord of the Rings. The first cycle (Mirkwood) has a story line about seeking for and capturing Gollum, that certainly "ties in" to the Lord of the Rings, and the main text talks about that very task being done by Gandalf and Aragorn, finally accomplished by Aragorn alone. The Ringmaker cycle also very much ties into the LotR. There are also quests in every cycle where failure might have materially altered events in the Lord of the Rings. (Fewest in the second cycle, where aside from Redhorn Gate and Road to Rivendell, it's *success* that would mess with the historical timeline.)
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Atanasije Stojkovic
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Perenetre wrote:
Relax. This is a great game that needs to be enjoyed slowly and with gusto. It's easy to get overwhelmed with all the expansions, but the good thing about it is that you can take your time.
Buy a second core set to get fundamental cards, like "unexpected courage".
Buy the first cycle (6 adventure packs) and play each one in order, adding new player cards as you go.
Download the first episodes of the awesome podcast Cardboard of the rings. They commented on the expansion packs as they were published. Follow their lead. But, again, taking your time, play every new scenario a whole bunch of times.
There are blogs and other useful resources (like ringsdb), but for now, you're good just trying your first decks and getting the most out of the game.

Finally, this guide could be also useful:

https://boardgamegeek.com/blogpost/16397/guide-new-lotrlcg-s...

Enjoy!


Thanks for the link; a lot of useful content there.

As for the next scenarios like I wrote I am interested primarily in those so-called "Saga" expansions.
I did only recently almost go and grab it, however was eventually put off from doing it after I read that FFG recommends we buy two such sets in order to play it efficiently.
 
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Nigel McNaughton
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As above.

jacenat wrote:


Do not buy multiple sets except for the Core Box. All expansions come with 3 copies of all player cards!
.


Could you link to where FFG are supposedly making this recommendation?
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Casey Lent
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I imagine it has to do with three Gandalfs in each Hobbit deck. One of those decks uses the alternate Gandalf included in that box. The other uses the core box Gandalf, of which you should have four from one core set.
 
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Jim . K
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Yeah, I'm at a loss as to why they would make this recommendation, other than to fleece you for your money! Only ONE set is required.
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Atanasije Stojkovic
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BathTubNZ wrote:
Could you link to where FFG are supposedly making this recommendation?


https://images-cdn.fantasyflightgames.com/filer_public/55/f7...

The way I understood it, the "Burglar Baggins" card is pivotal. For a two-player game, FFG's official decklist recommends three copies for both decks/players to be able to use him (due to the fact he rotates).

The game comes, as ordinarily, with only 3 copies of the card.

So FFG expects 2 copies..? In this case it actually also seems important...
 
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Patrick
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Sargeras777 wrote:
BathTubNZ wrote:
Could you link to where FFG are supposedly making this recommendation?


https://images-cdn.fantasyflightgames.com/filer_public/55/f7...

The way I understood it, the "Burglar Baggins" card is pivotal. For a two-player game, FFG's official decklist recommends three copies for both decks/players to be able to use him (due to the fact he rotates).

The game comes, as ordinarily, with only 3 copies of the card.

So FFG expects 2 copies..? In this case it actually also seems important...

If your playing solo (1 deck) it's moot. If you are playing 2p just proxy the extra copies (better than $30 for a bunch of extra cards)
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Atanasije Stojkovic
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John85 wrote:
Sargeras777 wrote:
BathTubNZ wrote:
Could you link to where FFG are supposedly making this recommendation?


https://images-cdn.fantasyflightgames.com/filer_public/55/f7...

The way I understood it, the "Burglar Baggins" card is pivotal. For a two-player game, FFG's official decklist recommends three copies for both decks/players to be able to use him (due to the fact he rotates).

The game comes, as ordinarily, with only 3 copies of the card.

So FFG expects 2 copies..? In this case it actually also seems important...

If your playing solo (1 deck) it's moot. If you are playing 2p just proxy the extra copies (better than $30 for a bunch of extra cards)


I must say it seems a lack of experience presents itself a major obstacle in that case. I've already tried such a similar thing once in the past with A Game of Thrones and it failed miserably. Aside from the problem itself of finding a good printer for aligned double-sided printing (and the general problem of matching the paper girth etc) I ended up with, after quite a costly and time-consuming (scanning, all the work in the photoshop preparing the scans) endeavor (I think it would've almost made cheaper to buy another copy) quite worn cards after just two uses which completely opened up the inherent issue of card secrecy (i.e. the problem of preserving it thereof). Putting them in sleeves did not really help all that much, unless we're talking about those thick high-quality sleeves (with clean white backs) which, their ugliness - aesthetically speaking - aside, are so expensive it may actually cheaper to buy an entire extra copy of the saga deck.

P. S. By the way, technically speaking, should that actually be legal?
 
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Nigel McNaughton
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'Official' decklist is overstating it, that's a suggested thematic deck. It also says you can make both them with the contents of the core and this box, so it was an oversight on the deck designers part. Certainly not the only time FFGs 'official' suggested decks were broken. If you're dedicated to running those decks, just proxy the extras.
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Nigel McNaughton
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Sargeras777 wrote:
Aside from the problem itself of finding a good printer for aligned double-sided printing (and the general problem of matching the paper girth etc) I ended up with, after quite a costly and time-consuming endeavor (I think it would've almost made cheaper to buy another copy) quite worn cards after just two uses which completely opened up the inherent issue of card secrecy (i.e. the problem of preserving it thereof). Putting them in sleeves did not really help all that much, unless we're talking about those thick high-quality sleeves (with clean white backs) which, their ugliness - aesthetically speaking - aside, are so expensive it may actually cheaper to buy an entire extra copy of the saga deck.


You don't sleeve in general? because the easiest way to proxy is to rip off a slip of paper, write the details you need on it and slip it inside the sleeve with another card you aren't using.
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Patrick
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Sargeras777 wrote:
John85 wrote:
Sargeras777 wrote:
BathTubNZ wrote:
Could you link to where FFG are supposedly making this recommendation?


https://images-cdn.fantasyflightgames.com/filer_public/55/f7...

The way I understood it, the "Burglar Baggins" card is pivotal. For a two-player game, FFG's official decklist recommends three copies for both decks/players to be able to use him (due to the fact he rotates).

The game comes, as ordinarily, with only 3 copies of the card.

So FFG expects 2 copies..? In this case it actually also seems important...

If your playing solo (1 deck) it's moot. If you are playing 2p just proxy the extra copies (better than $30 for a bunch of extra cards)


I must say it seems a lack of experience presents itself a major obstacle in that case. I've already tried such a similar thing once in the past with A Game of Thrones and it failed miserably. Aside from the problem itself of finding a good printer for aligned double-sided printing (and the general problem of matching the paper girth etc) I ended up with, after quite a costly and time-consuming endeavor (I think it would've almost made cheaper to buy another copy) quite worn cards after just two uses which completely opened up the inherent issue of card secrecy (i.e. the problem of preserving it thereof). Putting them in sleeves did not really help all that much, unless we're talking about those thick high-quality sleeves (with clean white backs) which, their ugliness - aesthetically speaking - aside, are so expensive it may actually cheaper to buy an entire extra copy of the saga deck.

P. S. By the way, technically speaking, should that actually be legal?

Beside the legality issue (which I'd generally not woody about, you've bought their product...) all you need to do is sleeve your deck (in any sleeves), print a b/w copy (or 3), and slide them in front of ANY 3 player cards your not using for your deck. No alignment issues, problems with color printing, or any thing else.
 
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Atanasije Stojkovic
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jwalker1140 wrote:


I've already skimmed through that side before; thanks.

As I had already planned to start with The Hobbit: Over Hill and Under Hill, if I understood him correctly, the guy recommends also getting Khazad-Dum and Return to Mirkwood?

dalestephenson wrote:
jacenat wrote:
[q="Sargeras777"]
To underline, I am interested in the thematic storyline of The Hobbit and The Lord of The Rings. I would never buy any of the other eventual expansion packs unless they in one way or another tie in with those expansions.

No expansions tie into the Hobbit or LotR storylines except for the saga expensions. The other expansions tell stories between the Hobbit and the events of LotR.


Only the saga expansions depict the events directly that happen directly during The Hobbit or Lord of the Rings. However, I wouldn't feel comfortable saying that they don't "tie in" to the Lord of the Rings. The first cycle (Mirkwood) has a story line about seeking for and capturing Gollum, that certainly "ties in" to the Lord of the Rings, and the main text talks about that very task being done by Gandalf and Aragorn, finally accomplished by Aragorn alone. The Ringmaker cycle also very much ties into the LotR. There are also quests in every cycle where failure might have materially altered events in the Lord of the Rings. (Fewest in the second cycle, where aside from Redhorn Gate and Road to Rivendell, it's *success* that would mess with the historical timeline.)


I was a bit unclear. When I wrote "tie in", I actually meant "add more thematic flavor" (without rendering the game neither too easy meaning I'd have to get Nightmare Decks to make the game fun, nor too hard to nigh impossible levels, naturally).

P. S. I've just recently found out about this website; this might be very useful: http://ringsdb.com/decklist/view/1726/bombur-s-dark-knowledg....0 . Haven't seen a lot of comments though and not sure if those decklists had been really playtested...
 
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Sargeras777 wrote:
As I had already planned to start with The Hobbit: Over Hill and Under Hill, if I understood him correctly, the guy recommends also getting Khazad-Dum and Return to Mirkwood?


Yep, Khazad Dum gives you lots of Dwarves and Return to Mirkwood supplies Dain who is pivotal to any Dwarf deck.

 
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Atanasije Stojkovic
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BathTubNZ wrote:
Sargeras777 wrote:
Aside from the problem itself of finding a good printer for aligned double-sided printing (and the general problem of matching the paper girth etc) I ended up with, after quite a costly and time-consuming endeavor (I think it would've almost made cheaper to buy another copy) quite worn cards after just two uses which completely opened up the inherent issue of card secrecy (i.e. the problem of preserving it thereof). Putting them in sleeves did not really help all that much, unless we're talking about those thick high-quality sleeves (with clean white backs) which, their ugliness - aesthetically speaking - aside, are so expensive it may actually cheaper to buy an entire extra copy of the saga deck.


You don't sleeve in general? because the easiest way to proxy is to rip off a slip of paper, write the details you need on it and slip it inside the sleeve with another card you aren't using.


It's a habit I'm only just acquiring recently.

Besides, I often have troubles finding just the right sleeves (I have sleeved my AGoT copy and, considering how it's a bit hard to shuffle the cards, decided to wait until better sleeves appear at stock).

The issue of storing sleeved cards, which seem to automatically take up a far, far greater space than before, is, of course, coming up with a number of games.

P. S. Sleeving some games with a huge number of expensive card sleeves (special model) has been quite costly; I guess I've never experienced so far regret for not putting sleeves onto something after feeling the consequences. My friend claims the protection offered is quite meager at best.
 
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Stephan Wimmer
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Sargeras777 wrote:
BathTubNZ wrote:
Could you link to where FFG are supposedly making this recommendation?


https://images-cdn.fantasyflightgames.com/filer_public/55/f7...

The way I understood it, the "Burglar Baggins" card is pivotal. For a two-player game, FFG's official decklist recommends three copies for both decks/players to be able to use him (due to the fact he rotates).

The game comes, as ordinarily, with only 3 copies of the card.

So FFG expects 2 copies..? In this case it actually also seems important...


A few things:

* Burglar Baggins isn't pivotal. It's a nice card, but if you have a full card pool up until then, you wouldn't even consider including it.
* Burglar Baggins can be played even if you don't control Bilbo (i.e. you are not the first player). So even if only one player has the 3 copies from the expansion, they aren't going to be dead cards.

You are tight though that it's only included 3 times in the expansion and the sample deck lists are listing 6 copies. This is why I recommende buying Return to Mirkwood for Dain Ironfoot. He alone outweights the benefit of all 6 copies and you are perfectly fine with running just 3 copies in one of the decks (even up to 4 players I'd say).
 
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Dale Stephenson
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Another proxying option is to take an unused card and use it as a straight substitute, just remembering it. For example, if you really wanted both players to have Burglar Baggins, you could substitute Stand and Fight in the lore/tactics deck -- since it is neither lore or tactics, it should be easy to remember that it is actually a Burglar Baggins card.

Of course, I second the recommendation to not worry about having each deck use Burglar Baggins cards. The sample decks aren't optimal, as you can guess from the presence of Brock (sic) Ironfist in one of them. Swap out the three Burglar Baggins in the tactics/lore deck for 2 Miners of the Iron Hills and the third copy of Gondorian Spearman.
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Atanasije Stojkovic
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OK, to get back to this thread after a bit of thought, the gist of it is - get the two Hobbit Saga expansions and it should be fine with just the core deck (albeit hard)?
 
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Stephan Wimmer
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Sargeras777 wrote:
OK, to get back to this thread after a bit of thought, the gist of it is - get the two Hobbit Saga expansions and it should be fine with just the core deck (albeit hard)?


Yes. The very last quest will be very hard. significantly harder than Escape from Dol Guldur in my opinion. But it might be doable. Never tried it.
 
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Atanasije Stojkovic
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Seems out of luck a bit. None of the local retailers has them in stock and they're out of stock with all of their suppliers. About half a year ago they were quite packin'.

Darn.
 
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