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

Subject: Giving this as a gift? rss

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Chad Phares
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My brother in law is a fan of LotR, and he currently lives alone so I thought about getting him this to solo play. He's not super into board games, but last year I got him dead of winter and he said he liked it. (If he lied to protect my feelings that's on him because I told him not to)

1. Is this game accessible enough that it won't scare him away before he ever gives it a chance? I know that's a pretty generic question and without knowing him you might have trouble answering. If you can compare it's complexity/difficulty to learn to other games that might help me figure it out.

2. Many of the first cycle adventure packs are very hard to find. Should I get him just a core set and help him track stuff down if he gets into it? I was thinking about adding the Khazad-dum deluxe expansion to give him some more stuff to explore and deck build with.

Any thoughts are helpful, thanks!
 
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Alan Castree
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Core set is good. Use Beorn's Path to help with solo if he's not all that into deckbuilding.

Rather than Khazad-dum I'd recommend the saga expansions. Either the two Hobbit expansions or the two Fellowship of the Ring expansions. Since he likes the books and not as much into gaming, he may be more interested in the stuff that relates to the actual stories.

Hope he digs it! (Also, have him keep two decks together so you can hop in and do two player sometime)
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Gene Moore
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It's a tough sell, in my opinion. LOTR:LCG is a great game, but the core set does a terrible job of convincing people to invest more into it (looking right at you, Escape From Dol Guldur). You kinda have to know that you're going to go deep into it before you even get started.

I would not recommend it for someone who is new to board games.
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Chris Mabry
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I love this game, but the rule book is about 26 pages so it certainly might scare someone away. That also doesn't include the incredibly lengthy FAQ and errata list.

I'd recommend that if you were to give it as a gift, you play with him the first time with strong knowledge of the rules. Even though there are lots of rules, it is easy to pick up the game when someone teaches you.
 
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Danwarr
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BurtHoovis wrote:
My brother in law is a fan of LotR, and he currently lives alone so I thought about getting him this to solo play. He's not super into board games, but last year I got him dead of winter and he said he liked it. (If he lied to protect my feelings that's on him because I told him not to)

1. Is this game accessible enough that it won't scare him away before he ever gives it a chance? I know that's a pretty generic question and without knowing him you might have trouble answering. If you can compare it's complexity/difficulty to learn to other games that might help me figure it out.


LotR:LCG is notoriously difficult especially for new players as not only are they trying to figure how to make the system go, but many of the cards that come out of the encounter deck are extremely punishing. Additionally, the game requires decks to be pre-constructed before going into any given scenario, so half of the fun of the game for some people is that the game scratches that deck building itch without having to worry about playing against another person with a "try-hard" deck. So if your brother-in-law does not really like board games, he might not find the game very approachable. However, I have seen a number of cases where people hating deck crafting, so they simply copy decks from places like http://ringsdb.com/ to power through scenarios, so that is always option for him.

BurtHoovis wrote:

2. Many of the first cycle adventure packs are very hard to find. Should I get him just a core set and help him track stuff down if he gets into it? I was thinking about adding the Khazad-dum deluxe expansion to give him some more stuff to explore and deck build with.

Any thoughts are helpful, thanks!


FFG is currently in the process of reprinting all of the LotR:LCG as far as I know, so finding some of the early quest packs should be too difficult. However, if you can find the first cycle stuff and want to get him Khazad-dum, I would recommend getting both of the Hobbit expansions and the Return to Mirkwood pack as well, as these include a decent number of Dwarf cards to make a solid deck that can tackle a significant number of quests without too much difficulty.
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Mr. D
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I am a huge fan of LotR: LCG.

I would absolutely not recommend this game to someone who is not into board gaming. The rules are pretty dense. Turn structure, timing issues, hero/ally stats, exhausting, Actions vs. Responses, combat and on and on.

If somebody doesn't have a good amount of experience with modern rulesets, then I can't recommend this game. If somebody doesn't have at least a rudimentary understanding of character stats (a la D&D), then I can't recommend this game. Heck, I know people that don't even understand Hit Points -- seriously!

LCGs are extremely complex beasts with a huge learning curve to someone without modern game experience.
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Ron Price
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Another "no" vote. The game takes commitment--to learning the rules, to building decks, to losing over and over while learning the rules and building decks, etc.

I don't think there's really a way to approach the game casually unless you're playing as somebody's Player 2 with a deck they built and they guide you through it.
 
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E D
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I also think no ... there are youtube tutorials but it's still going to take couple hours to watch them and read rules and intimidating in my opinion. I'm into board games and let this sit on my shelf for many months before attempting it. It's not very casual friendly in my opinion.
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Hedyn Brand
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This is a gamer's game. Have you started shaping him into a complete nerd? Start softly by bringing board games to try before unleashing the collectathon that is LCGs on him
 
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Chris Eckes
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I'm going to be a 'Yes' vote on this one.

I was originally drawn to this game for the LotR theme as well. Now, I dabbled in Magic / YuGiOh / other CCGs in the past, so I was at least in part familiar with some of the overall ideas of card games like this (deckbuilding, the concept of turn structure / timing windows, etc.) and knew that I liked card games in general. I'm not sure if your brother is in the same boat (familiar with basic card game concepts) or not.

Although it would be easier if he was, I think either way this would be a good gift for someone like him, who has shown an interest in board games, lives alone, and loves LotR. The theme definitely pulled me through some of the early-on learning curve. I love the LotR aspect of the game and the general puzzle that it presents. If your brother is into puzzles I'd lean more toward a strong 'Yes' vote. If not, then maybe 'No', or just a weaker 'Yes'.

If you do end up getting this for him, I would strongly recommend you teach him how to play - as a new gamer, the rules could be overwhelming. If you have someone to help you over that initial "what the hell do I do now" hump, I think learning the game would go much more smoothly.

Do you have your own cards? If so, I would recommend bringing them along when you give the gift - offer to play with him with your own cards so that he gets a taste of what the game is like. Then give him the gift receipt and let him know if he doesn't like it he could return the game and get his money back instead
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Dominic B
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I am with Chris here and will also vote for Yes.

Reason is that i wasn't really a "gamer" myself before I started with LotR LCG.
Ok, I played some Magic (but not even near competitively) and always was into pen and paper rpgs, so I may have been already used to the idea of complex rule systems. I also loved boardgames as a kid. But I had actually not much clue about modern board- and cardgames and the common systems or complexity of them, I even had no idea at all that there exist games that you can actually play by yourself. It all started with the LotR LCG (maybe it started with Onirim and LotR short afterwards but anyways): me discovering BGG, getting into the LCG and getting into boardgaming in general.

So in my experience getting into the LotR LCG without much knowledge beforehand is possible. Especially with you being able to teach him the game and the availibility of some good How-to-play videos out there.

Still I think two traits may be needed. Having kind of a nerdy vein and really liking The Lord of the Rings and the Middle-earth universe. Kind of like Chris already described it, I think if you are into the theme it will make you want to invest in the game and its sometimes complicated rules system.

Wish you best for your decision!
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Greg Darcy
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No camp.
But for quite a different reason.
There are two possible outcomes of buying this as a present:

1. he will not like it. No major harm done. But a great game (and money) wasted.

2. He will love it. On the face of it, a great result. But what you have done in this case is get him a present that will cost him real money into to future. I think any present that (potentially) costs the recipient than the cost to giver is a poor choice of present. It doesn't matter if this is a board game with a collectible component; or a ticket to Disneyland, but without the flights and accommodation to go with it. (Unless he is already going there)

If he was already into it, an expansion would not go astray as you are saving him money by getting him something he would end up getting anyway. But to kick start the addiction is just plain wrong.
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Aaron Edwards
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Question 1). I am in the No camp. The game art is fantastic and would surely be adored by any LOTR fan, but the game itself is pretty complex and takes a good bit of work to learn. This is definitely a game that you have to be motivated to want to break out and play. Even I, who love heavy games and this game in particular, often leave it on the shelf because it can be a chore to break out and re-familiarize myself with. I could be wrong, but someone who is not especially into board games probably will not have the necessary motivation.

Question 2) If you do get him a copy of the game and he ends up liking it, the next step in my opinion is getting one of the Saga expansions. Where the "Deluxe" expansions are meant to introduce and set up the adventure pack cycles, the "Saga" expansions are more self-contained. They give you a few scenarios and some thematically appropriate player cards to use. I recommend The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game – The Hobbit: Over Hill and Under Hill and The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game – The Hobbit: On the Doorstep
 
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Jesse B
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I'd have to vote no simply given that he doesn't have a ton of background in board gaming already. There's a lot going on in this game and I could see someone pretty fresh to the hobby just having very little idea of what to do with it all.
 
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secoAce -
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For a casual gamer, I would say No.

I found the game to be incredible immersive and true to the LotR theme. Being a former Magic player myself, I would say the rules are not that hard to grasp after a going through them a few times. And you would start with the pre-constructed mono-sphere decks that come in the core box (whatever you do, DON'T play the red Tactics deck by itself as it has probably a 95% chance of failure by itself.)

But the game does require a dedication to learn and appreciate. This is not a casual game. I'm not talking about the rules or even the pre-game deck construction which can but enjoyable for those that like preparing for games. This is definitely one of that games that the better you know the game, the better it becomes.

But probably the biggest struggle I think a casual gamer would have, other than everything else everyone has mentioned too, is that the game is HARD! You will lose a LOT especially in the beginning and with only the Core box.

If your friend prefers casual games and doesn't want to get serious into games, then likely he will get frustrated pretty quickly with this game. For that reason, I'd say this isn't the game for him.


 
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