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

Subject: Too many opaque rules: I need some relief! rss

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SPACEBOY
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Hi there,

I just want to express myself and share with you my frustration with all the rules vagueness that, in my opinion, LotR:LCG has, all of which, sadly, detracts from my enjoyment of this, otherwise, wonderful game.

Here I give you just an example of what happened to me this afternoon when trying to run through the first quest of The Land of Shadow, Saga Expansion, called "Across the Dead Marshes".

To the point: Stage 2B of Across the Dead Marshes reads: "Forced: At the end of the staging step, if the number of locations in the staging area is less than the number of players in the game, reveal the top card of the encounter deck." But it doesn't instruct what to do with the revealed card. Well, I supposed there was a missing text: "...and add it to the Staging Area". So, I wondered myself: why that part has been omitted? Are they changing the wording of the game?

The fact is in previous adventures I remember that kind of instructions clearly written.

In the same way, I found that the location encounter card "Soft Mires" (part of the same adventure) was another case of missing/unclear text. It reads: "Mire 1. Forced: When Soft Mires is discarded by the Mire keyword, the first player reveals an encounter card.
Travel: Raise each player’s threat by 1 to travel here." 
(For those who are not familiar with this expansion, "mire" effects are a forced mechanism that "auto-explore" locations in the Staging Area.)

Mire effect just says "reveals", nothing else. So it apparently is a positive effect (allowing players just to see the next encounter card). So, I wondered myself: why on earth would a player travel there? (Specially when the game mechanism of this particular scenario "explores" locations itself, and taking into account that the forced travel requirement of Soft Mires is rising the player’s threat level.)

So, confused with that, I decided to try to figure out what I was missing there, so I came to the conclusion that, apparently, the purpose of the "reveal" forced effects on such cards (Soft Mires, etc) is to trigger just the nasty "when revealed" effects on some encounter cards, which, in my understanding, would be a particularly bad thing in this scenario because, otherwise, if the text of those cards would instruct players to "reveal AND add...", then, some urgently needed locations would be added to the Staging Area (the absence of locations to explore can become a pain in the ass in this scenario since stage 2B cannot be completed until there are at least 4 locations in the Victory Display). So, it seemed to me like a logical conclusion: just revealing those pesky events but not adding those needed locations. Harsh but thematically meaningful and challenging! arrrh

Unfortunately...

The core rulebook, under PHASE 3: Mission; Step 2: Staging, says: "...reveal one card per player from the encounter deck. This is called Staging. These encounter cards are revealed one by one and their "when revealed" effects are solved one at time before showing the next card. Enemy and location cards revealed this way are placed on the Staging Area..." (translated from my Spanish rulebook of the game).

So what? Well, the problem is that I don't understand why (oh! WHY) the absolute majority (if not ALL) the encounter AND mission cards of all the previous LotR, LCG adventures I have played before, when giving instructions to reveal and add encounter cards to the Staging Area, they do in this way: "reveal (x) AND add (x) to the Staging Area", which is not the case of the aforementioned cards in this scenario.

After many hours trying to get a logical answer to these doubts, trying to enjoy a "simple" game of LotR:LCG... I felt exhausted. I know there are lots of fanboys around that will tell me things like "you're the problem, not the game", but I've played many many board games with straightforward rules without experiencing all the issues I have found with LotR:LCG (even though, I still love this game, do not misunderstand me) meeple

The thing is, after breaking my brain trying to figure out how to interpret all this contradictory stuff, I'm tired. ¿Do I follow the rulebook guidelines or do I guide myself by the intuition/experience gained from all the adventures I have previously played (where ALL that kind of encounter and mission cards clearly states "reveal AND add to the Staging Area")?

I'm tired... Tired because a player shouldn't have to feel like working when playing. Yeah, sure some of you would say that I'm overdoing here, but an incorrect interpretation of those "mire" effects and "reveal" instructions would change dramatically the outcome of the game and I want to play the game in the supposedly correct way! So yeah, exhausted of trying to figure out how to solve a clueless puzzle.

Sadly, this kind of rule vagueness, this sort of wording inaccuracies, this type of "obscure corners" is something that drags me down... To me some games of LotR:LCG have become a stressful experience (don't find better words to describe it).

Even sadder taking into account that I'm a serious Tolkien fan and that LotR, LCG is one of my all-time favorite games (or was) soblue

Felagund

---
PS: Unfortunately, what happened to me this afternoon is just one of lots of similar cases. Seriously, FFG should improve drastically the rulebook structure of their games. Also, they should carry the use of keywords to another level of precision. At least that's what I think, and I'm certainly sure that I have the right to point all my complaints out, as a customer of their products, which I am.
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charles wohlganger
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I agree wholeheartedly. More recent scenarios have been clearer with regards to rules, but Fantasy Flight is notorious for producing unclear rulebooks and inconsistent terminology at the early points of their card games. Putting them through the translation process makes them even harder to follow, I would assume.
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Colin Thomas
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As I pointed out in your other thread, "reveal" is the same as "reveal and add". FFG does have a weakness when it comes to card text templates; however, I think this is often a weakness of games with constantly growing card pools.

Instead of guessing, you need to reference the FAQ (just treat it as an extension of the rule book). The latest one can be found here (look at the FAQ section under "Support"): https://www.fantasyflightgames.com/en/products/the-lord-of-t...
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Fred Buchholz
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Hmmm where to begin? I haven't had a problem wih the instruction to reveal as you describe, I follow the Rule that states if you ca ndo the card and the rules book then do so. Thus the Legolas "ruling that if he defeats a enemy the 2 progress tokens go on the active location if there is one before the quest card. I always found it annoying that they said reveal and add to the staging area, I assumed the rule you cited covered it. I see now that maybe it doesn't as it is referring to the quest phase and staging step.
 
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Colin Thomas
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Dren608 wrote:
Hmmm where to begin? I haven't had a problem wih the instruction to reveal as you describe, I follow the Rule that states if you ca ndo the card and the rules book then do so. Thus the Legolas "ruling that if he defeats a enemy the 2 progress tokens go on the active location if there is one before the quest card. I always found it annoying that they said reveal and add to the staging area, I assumed the rule you cited covered it. I see now that maybe it doesn't as it is referring to the quest phase and staging step.


You were correct in your first assumption. The FAQ says thay "reveal" is the same as "reveal and add" (FAQ item 1.45). Thus, doing a reveal will add the card to the staging area if it is an enemy or location (and trigger any surge, "when revealed" effect, etc.)
 
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Thanee
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FinrondFelagund wrote:
Seriously, FFG should improve drastically the rulebook structure of their games. Also, they should carry the use of keywords to another level of precision.


To be fair, they are doing exactly that.

If you look at the newer games, like the A Game of Thrones 2nd Edition LCG, those come with a rules reference, which is really, really good.

I expect the same with the upcoming Arkham Horror LCG.

Bye
Thanee
 
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It might help to take a pragmatic attitude toward it--at first you'll get some rules wrong, sure, but some of your errors might help you win while others hurt. My guess is that the direction of the errors balances out over the course of a game. There are several threads on BGG about "rules that are commonly played wrong" by new players, and I recommend reading through them. There is also a lengthy thread on FAQ questions. I'm sorry you are frustrated, and good luck!
 
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