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The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game» Forums » General

Subject: Best couple expansions for solo play rss

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Matt Halowell

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The introduction of the new Arkham Horror LCG rekindled my interested in the LOTR LCG. I also just finished reading the LOTR trilogy this morning, and it was amazing. I'm a huge fan of both the books and movies.

I don't own the base game yet, but I've been looking for a great main solo game. I was wondering what would be the best couple expansions to get if I only plan on playing solo?

If recommendations do not differ for solo play, I can base my choice off of other threads, I was just curious if some are especially good or bad solo so I know what direction to go in. I would plan on acquiring packs/expansions very slowly, and may only end up getting a few things all together.

I definitely feel overwhelmed by the expansion choices, and am not sure if going for a big box expansion first would make sense before buying packs for the base game. I want to have the best experiences that I can with this game with the smallest financial investment. Being a completionist is not important for me with this one.

I know similar topics have been posted before, so hopefully this isn't annoying! I appreciate the feedback.

Thanks guys!
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Sérgio Alves
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As a soloist myself and been also overhelmed by the multitude of existing content, my suggestion is:

Core Box (obviously) and the Saga boxes. You'll get lots of theme for the smallest investment!

And if you like the experience then get some of the other key deluxe boxes and AP's. You can find which are the best one on other threads.

Have fun
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Lee Broderick
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I think it's widely agreed that the best buying guide can be found here: https://talesfromthecards.wordpress.com/2013/09/13/new-playe...

Click through and have a look around.

In general, most of the quests are pretty balanced for solo play. Unfortunately, one of the exceptions is one of the ones in the core box. Additionally, although there hasn't been power-creep in the cards per-se, the quests have got harder as time has gone on and people have been able to construct better decks. So I'd advise to start near the beginning - the Mirkwood cycle adventure packs, Khazad-Dum or the Hobbit or Black Rider saga packs.
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David Renaud
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Specifically considering quests that are particularly good solo, I think the Khazad-Dum deluxe expansion is a great addition. The first quest, Into the Pit, is a great quest featuring a variety of hazards, while the second quest, The Seventh Level, is good for when you want a swarm-of-small-monsters combat grind. I don't love the last quest, Flight from Moria, but the other two more than make up for it.

This opens your options up to any of the Dwarrowdelf Adventure Packs. Foundations of Stone is fantastic for player cards, but the quest loses its je ne sais quoi in single player. The other packs are somewhat polarizing in opinions, from what I've seen. Skip Redhorn Gate for now, as the inability to use zero willpower characters is very limiting for a small card pool. I love Road to Rivendell, but I've seen a lot of dislike for it. Watcher in the Water feels kind of like a puzzle for single player. Personally, I'm not a fan of The Long Dark, although cards like Warden of Healing are nice. Shadow and Flame has Elrond, who is both fun and powerful, but the quest might be challenging with a small card pool.

I haven't had the pleasure of playing the quest, but Conflict at the Carrock seems to have a good reputation and includes many valuable player cards. I'd be inclined to suggest that one, as well as Khazad-Dum, and address the Dwarrowdelf quests if you're looking for more in the future. Road to Rivendell, for example, gets far more manageable when you have tools like A Burning Brand to deal with the terrifying shadows.

Some may suggest the Black Riders. I find the player cards to be excellent and the heroes to be very engaging, but I don't find the quests to be the type I can play repeatedly.
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Matt Halowell

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cyberalien18 wrote:
As a soloist myself and been also overhelmed by the multitude of existing content, my suggestion is:

Core Box (obviously) and the Saga boxes. You'll get lots of theme for the smallest investment!

And if you like the experience then get some of the other key deluxe boxes and AP's. You can find which are the best one on other threads.

Have fun


Did you get all of the Saga expansions and just play through the whole story? I'm wondering if you get one, like the Black Riders, if I would feel like I needed all of the Saga expansions after that?
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Matt Halowell

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Rathje wrote:
Specifically considering quests that are particularly good solo, I think the Khazad-Dum deluxe expansion is a great addition. The first quest, Into the Pit, is a great quest featuring a variety of hazards, while the second quest, The Seventh Level, is good for when you want a swarm-of-small-monsters combat grind. I don't love the last quest, Flight from Moria, but the other two more than make up for it.

This opens your options up to any of the Dwarrowdelf Adventure Packs. Foundations of Stone is fantastic for player cards, but the quest loses its je ne sais quoi in single player. The other packs are somewhat polarizing in opinions, from what I've seen. Skip Redhorn Gate for now, as the inability to use zero willpower characters is very limiting for a small card pool. I love Road to Rivendell, but I've seen a lot of dislike for it. Watcher in the Water feels kind of like a puzzle for single player. Personally, I'm not a fan of The Long Dark, although cards like Warden of Healing are nice. Shadow and Flame has Elrond, who is both fun and powerful, but the quest might be challenging with a small card pool.

I haven't had the pleasure of playing the quest, but Conflict at the Carrock seems to have a good reputation and includes many valuable player cards. I'd be inclined to suggest that one, as well as Khazad-Dum, and address the Dwarrowdelf quests if you're looking for more in the future. Road to Rivendell, for example, gets far more manageable when you have tools like A Burning Brand to deal with the terrifying shadows.

Some may suggest the Black Riders. I find the player cards to be excellent and the heroes to be very engaging, but I don't find the quests to be the type I can play repeatedly.


Thanks for the suggestions!

So it kind of sounds like it's best to start with the earlier releases like Khazad-Dum or the Saga Expansions (hobbit or LOTR). In general do the Saga expansions have less replay value than the other ones?
 
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David Renaud
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I don't necessarily think they have less replay value, but I think the start of the LOTR Saga includes some mechanics that I personally don't feel like planning for all the time (like Hide checks on top of questing requirements), so I think they're better when you have a few questing options available already. I can't speak for the Hobbit quests, as I haven't tried them yet.
 
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Jim Fardette
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cornishlee wrote:
I think it's widely agreed that the best buying guide can be found here: https://talesfromthecards.wordpress.com/2013/09/13/new-playe...

Click through and have a look around.

In general, most of the quests are pretty balanced for solo play. Unfortunately, one of the exceptions is one of the ones in the core box. Additionally, although there hasn't been power-creep in the cards per-se, the quests have got harder as time has gone on and people have been able to construct better decks. So I'd advise to start near the beginning - the Mirkwood cycle adventure packs, Khazad-Dum or the Hobbit or Black Rider saga packs.


Which of the base quests is considered unbalanced in solo play? Surely not the first, that is pretty easy.
 
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Nigel McNaughton
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Escape from Dol Guldur, it's hard in general, solo it's brutal.
 
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Hedyn Brand
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mhalowel wrote:
So it kind of sounds like it's best to start with the earlier releases like Khazad-Dum or the Saga Expansions (hobbit or LOTR).

I'm with the chronological order crowd on this subject: Buy everything in order of release, one cycle at a time. Stray into sagas, two boxes at a time, as you feel like it.

Quote:
In general do the Saga expansions have less replay value than the other ones?

After playing it correctly, play it wrong. Who says you even NEED dwarves to escort that hobbit?

Apart from trying different hero+deck combinations in the sagas, they also come with about 15+ new player cards (x3) which are useful anywhere, and a bunch of heroes (about 8 between two saga boxes). With the Mirkwood and Dwarrowdelf cycles (including deluxe) and The Hobbit (Over Hill and Under Hill + On the Doorstep) you'll have a full set of dwarves, for example. The LotR sagas add all the hobbits you could wish for with the first couple of boxes, I think.
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Stoyan Taskonidis
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BathTubNZ wrote:
Escape from Dol Guldur, it's hard in general, solo it's brutal.


Among the early adbenture packs Return to Mirkwood is pretty tough for Solo as well, but it has some very good cards to build your deck - Dain Ironfoot, West Road Traveller, Rumour from the Earth etc.

Conflict at Carrock it's not pleasant as a solo for a novice player with a limited card pool, as you have to deal with four strong opponents, which boost each others to become even stronger (and If by any bed luck you have the hill troll as well in play ).

The other 4 of this cycle are much more suitable for solo play.....
 
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Matt Halowell

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Thanks for the feedback guys!

So if you only owned the base game, and had about $50-$60 to spend on expansions (with no plans to expand beyond that), what would you go for?

I'm not looking to make this a lifestyle game, so I want to go into it with a plan so I don't get carried away with a desire to buy a ton of stuff.

Edit: I realized I'm basically asking the same question. I'm just indecisive I guess. Haha, I will do more research based on your guys suggestions and probably pick up a couple of the earlier expansions like most people have said. Thanks for the help everyone!
 
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Sérgio Alves
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mhalowel wrote:


Did you get all of the Saga expansions and just play through the whole story? I'm wondering if you get one, like the Black Riders, if I would feel like I needed all of the Saga expansions after that?


Yep. That's right.

I started with the Hobbit Saga (2 boxes) and now the LotR Saga (waiting for the last one cool).

It's too much costly to get all the stuff , so i decided to just get the Saga ones and it works for me.

I just failed my "rule" to get the Khazad-Dum deluxe box because it's awesome.
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Matt Halowell

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The Saga expansions are tempting but I feel like I would want to have the whole story if I started down that line...
Starting to lean towards Khazad-Dum + Watcher in the Water and Foundations of Stone. Hoping that will give me a great replayable set of quests that I can enjoy for a long time.
 
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Sérgio Alves
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That's a great combo. Plenty of good quests and a good selection of player cards.

Have fun
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David Russell
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I only play solo and i have put up my own thoughts on the expansions that i have played on my website. Have a read through as it may help you decide.

http://crusadersgolf.co.uk/board-games/lord-of-the-rings-lcg...

The whole Mirkwood Cycle is very useful to add in new player cards and build up some strength in your deck. It also has a lot of variety of quests in it. Best solo quests are Hunt for Gollum as a pretty easy one and i like the theme of Journey to Rhosgobel myself. These are good first steps but are not the very best quests, these come in ...

Khazad Dum and Dwarrowdelf which definately offer the most fun questing - your selections are pretty good but may be quite tough with just the core deck. I like The Long Dark, Redhorn Gate and Watcher in the Water.

The Black Riders saga box is a good one as it gives you the hobbit heroes synergy (which can become quite powerful) and some nice quests that are very solo playable - albeit all are a bit similar.

Personally unless you want to build in a more dwarven deck theme i wouldnt go for the hobbits boxes as most of these quests are not that solo friendly or fun. Also i wouldnt go with the Ringmaker Cycle or Numenor either due to the difficulty levels.

I like theme and adventure rather than difficult puzzles, Conflict at Carrock and Shadows of Flame have quite specific deck requirements so i would avoid these early on as well.

In the end you cant fault the theme and playability of Khazad Dum so thats my choice and if you are struggling to complete it then add in some of the Mirkwood Cycle to get new player cards to help you. Watcher in the water is a great boss fight and one i would get too.
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Matt Halowell

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crusaderlord wrote:
I only play solo and i have put up my own thoughts on the expansions that i have played on my website. Have a read through as it may help you decide.

http://crusadersgolf.co.uk/board-games/lord-of-the-rings-lcg...

The whole Mirkwood Cycle is very useful to add in new player cards and build up some strength in your deck. It also has a lot of variety of quests in it. Best solo quests are Hunt for Gollum as a pretty easy one and i like the theme of Journey to Rhosgobel myself. These are good first steps but are not the very best quests, these come in ...

Khazad Dum and Dwarrowdelf which definately offer the most fun questing - your selections are pretty good but may be quite tough with just the core deck. I like The Long Dark, Redhorn Gate and Watcher in the Water.

The Black Riders saga box is a good one as it gives you the hobbit heroes synergy (which can become quite powerful) and some nice quests that are very solo playable - albeit all are a bit similar.

Personally unless you want to build in a more dwarven deck theme i wouldnt go for the hobbits boxes as most of these quests are not that solo friendly or fun. Also i wouldnt go with the Ringmaker Cycle or Numenor either due to the difficulty levels.

I like theme and adventure rather than difficult puzzles, Conflict at Carrock and Shadows of Flame have quite specific deck requirements so i would avoid these early on as well.

In the end you cant fault the theme and playability of Khazad Dum so thats my choice and if you are struggling to complete it then add in some of the Mirkwood Cycle to get new player cards to help you. Watcher in the water is a great boss fight and one i would get too.


Thanks for sharing your thoughts David! That is encouraging to have some confirmation about going towards Khazad-Dum. It sounds like it's a good place to start. Would you recommend getting most of the Khazad-Dum adventure packs, besides Shadows of Flame?
I am hoping for the best experience with the smallest financial investment, so I want to be picky about which ones I get.
 
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David Russell
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My most enjoyable quests are where i feel like i am on an adventure rather than say trying to beat a difficult specific puzzle or where there are so many effects to remember all the time.

On this basis the most fun solo quests i enjoyed included all of the Dwarrowdelf cycle hugely. Even Shadows of Flame has great theme and appeal but it is quite a difficult quest and one of the last you should buy of this cycle. I would get all of Dwarrowdelf for the quests ahead of pretty much any other cycle. I did really like saving the eagle in Journey to Rhosgobel though.

So if you want to keep outlay to a minimum i would say for me the best quests were Khazad dum and Dwarrowdelf. However if you start to struggle to beat them you may need to consider Mirkwood Cycle packs to boost your deck, if you do then the better solo quests are Rhosgobel, Hunt for Gollum and Return to Mirkwood (with a solo player threat rule tweak). It is tricky to balance the quests v the player cards but i always rate packs by the quest enjoyment whereas most like to rate player cards.

The Ringmaker Cycle quests though has so far been a dissappointment, with too many unnecessary fiddly time rules and a very high difficulty level. Numenor also was said to have high difficulty and was very outland orientated which i didnt like as much. The Hobbit box quests have some horrible quests to solo and for me are not worth getting unless you want dwarves. It is likely that the developers up the difficulty level for each cycle on the basis they think you have all the cards from all the previous cycles to use, which may not be the case for most of us. The Ringmaker cycle is essential for Silvan Elf cards so i still like what i got to build a strong elf party. Black Riders saga is a good all round box to get your hobbits going.

The shorter answer is that Khazad dum and Dwarrowdelf is the sweet spot of the game for me comparing quest enjoyment and difficulty. If you find you cant beat Khazad dum then look at what deck style you wish to improve. An alternative way would be to just go saga only starting with black riders and working your way through.
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Matt Halowell

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Thanks man! I appreciate you taking the time to type that all out. That's very helpful.
 
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