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Subject: So I caved... Plus Questions rss

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Tristanie Gamest
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I've always LOVED the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings, being a huge fan of the books even before the movies came out.

I also love games and ones with solo play are a bonus to me because I rarely have someone to play with...

However I've never so much as given this game a passing glance and the reason for that is...

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Board Game.

That is probably the worst game in this history of games as far as playability goes. Mainly because you can't play it. The rules make no sense.

But this is not a review on the board game...

Why was I unfairlyjudging this card game on a totally unrelated board game? Well that game was my first ever experience with movie themed board games and it pretty much turned me off of all movie/tv themed games. I just figured they were all "made in a rush with no playtesting just to promote the movie and capitalize on collectors who wouldn't actually play it."

(My one exception was games like LOTR Risk that were themed versions of already existing games)

But since joining this site recently I've heard nothing but great things about the Lord of the Rings card game and so I just splurged and ordered my first core set! I'm super excited.

I can't afford all the expansions but I'd eventually like to get the Hobbit and Saga ones as the themes interest me.

Questions: Can I PLAY the Saga and Hobbit ones without anything else but the core deck? Or do I need some other expansions first to make them work?
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Michael Wheal
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Yes, you can play the Saga expansions with just a Core set, but it's going to be a challenge without a bigger card pool / choice.

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8-Bit Bastard
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As long as you have a core set you can play any of the saga and hobbit expansions. It is suggested that if you want to build a more focused deck that you get an additional core set so that you have more copies of some of the cards that you only get one of.

If you start buying adventure packs you need to make sure you have the corresponding deluxe set that is apart of the pack's cycle.

Welcome to the game. I hope you enjoy it and build your up collection.
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Tristanie Gamest
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Wow quick answers! Thanks guys!

I'm not saying I'll NEVER get the other sets but... For NOW I'll probably get the Saga/Hobbit ones and then eventually over a few years try go grab some of the other ones or another core set. I'd love to expand the game completely, I just have no money LOL!
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Juan Valdez
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This is great game!

Here's a few unsolicited pointers, drawn from personal experience:

1. Play Passage Through Mirkwood with the provided Leadership deck first. It may take a few tries, but Leadership will definitely beat this first scenario. Play Easy Mode, also known as "Story Mode."

2. Play either Lore or Spirit next, a bit tougher than Leadership, but doable.

3. Attempt Passage Through Mirkwood with pure Tactics after being comfortable with the other decks. It's doable, just harder. Do not play this one on Easy Mode, it's actually easier on Normal Mode because of more enemies.

4. Build the Back to Basics deck at some point, and give it whirl with that. Find it here: http://ringsdb.com/decklist/view/951/back-to-basics-a-killer....0 There is also a fair bit of discussion here in the forums about this deck.

This should be enough for hours of fun. I'd post more but don't want to spoil it.
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Juan Valdez
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Cehsja wrote:
Wow quick answers! Thanks guys!

I'm not saying I'll NEVER get the other sets but... For NOW I'll probably get the Saga/Hobbit ones and then eventually over a few years try go grab some of the other ones or another core set. I'd love to expand the game completely, I just have no money LOL!


I can definitely relate.

For me, it's the kind of game where I'll forego other spending to save for this one.

From where it looks right now, everything should be in print into the foreseeable future (i.e., next couple of years at least), no need for FOMO.
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Tristanie Gamest
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Thanks Juan!!!!

I appreciate the tips for sure!
 
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Daniel Schulz
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This is a great game, but it is deep and takes practice. If you solo, I highly suggest you play 'two fisted', that is to say play two hands. There is a lot of play in the core set. Play the scenarios over and over until you feel comfortable. Don't just start buying expansions, as you can be easily overwhelmed.
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Tristanie Gamest
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mtngrown wrote:
Cehsja wrote:
Wow quick answers! Thanks guys!

I'm not saying I'll NEVER get the other sets but... For NOW I'll probably get the Saga/Hobbit ones and then eventually over a few years try go grab some of the other ones or another core set. I'd love to expand the game completely, I just have no money LOL!


I can definitely relate.

For me, it's the kind of game where I'll forego other spending to save for this one.

From where it looks right now, everything should be in print into the foreseeable future (i.e., next couple of years at least), no need for FOMO.


Good to know Thanks. After reading up on this game and looking at pictures of the beautiful set I'm super excited for my order to get here...
Probably be a few weeks at least though haha. I didn't speed up shipping due to cost.
 
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Todd
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MWAlbion wrote:
Yes, you can play the Saga expansions with just a Core set, but it's going to be a challenge without a bigger card pool / choice.


And that is an understatement. I found the LotR Saga quests very difficult (playing Normal), and having more Hobbit cards definitely made them more fun. Just my 2 cents.
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Hedyn Brand
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Well, this isn't a movie-based game (even if the art sometimes is inspired by them!)

Yes, you can play with a core and nothing else, but I strongly recommend you get BOTH Hobbit expansions right away. They were designed together, so there are player cards in both that you can benefit from all through it. FFG say only a core is required, but people have mixed opinions on how valid that is.

On the Doorstep has Balin, who can cancel shadow effects. Without certain cards from the first two cycles he's your only way to do that. A nasty shadow effect can really ruin your day.

Many of the dwarf characters have abilities working off you having 5 dwarves in play, which can be a little tricky without the earlier cycles. Either you have too few dwarves to reliably get 5 of them quickly on the table, or you have too few cards which let you work through the deck quicker.

The core has 3 dwarven heroes, but only 2 allies, one of them unique, for a total of 7 dwarves if luck is with you (but sometimes all 4 cards are at the bottom of the deck). Khazad-Dûm and the Dwarrowdelf cycle adds 2 heroes and 4 allies (non-unique) for another 14.

If you're feeling rich:
Since The Hobbit sagas came after Dwarrowdelf I suspect FFG expected the player base to mostly have the first cycles already.

I recommend at least getting the Mirkwood packs for ways to get dwarf allies out on the table, return them from discard, mitigate damage and shadow effects - and ways to gain resources to equip them. Invest deeply in Khazad-Dûm and Dwarrowdelf to fill your deck with all things dwarven
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Tristanie Gamest
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Thanks for all the tips guys!!!!

I love this! You're making me more excited than I was and I still have to wait for it to arrive lol! I'll be coming back to this thread a lot when it gets here I think
 
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With a limited card pool you may want to stick with 30-card decks and play Easy Mode.

I have found some scenarios play well with one deck, and others are better with two decks (playing solo but with 2P rules). I have found pros and cons to both types of play.

With one deck, only one card is revealed during questing and the game can feel more manageable (unless the scenario has a lot of surge effects). But with two decks, more card synergies are possible and there are usually more options available. But playing two decks means there's more to manage.

A Deluxe box here, an AP there... eventually the player card pool will be big enough to build a variety of 50-card decks.

I did have two core sets early and with rare exception, I have played Standard Mode with 50-card decks.
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Tristanie Gamest
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gnurf wrote:
Well, this isn't a movie-based game (even if the art sometimes is inspired by them!)

Yes, you can play with a core and nothing else, but I strongly recommend you get BOTH Hobbit expansions right away. They were designed together, so there are player cards in both that you can benefit from all through it. FFG say only a core is required, but people have mixed opinions on how valid that is.

On the Doorstep has Balin, who can cancel shadow effects. Without certain cards from the first two cycles he's your only way to do that. A nasty shadow effect can really ruin your day.

Many of the dwarf characters have abilities working off you having 5 dwarves in play, which can be a little tricky without the earlier cycles. Either you have too few dwarves to reliably get 5 of them quickly on the table, or you have too few cards which let you work through the deck quicker.

The core has 3 dwarven heroes, but only 2 allies, one of them unique, for a total of 7 dwarves if luck is with you (but sometimes all 4 cards are at the bottom of the deck). Khazad-Dûm and the Dwarrowdelf cycle adds 2 heroes and 4 allies (non-unique) for another 14.

If you're feeling rich:
Since The Hobbit sagas came after Dwarrowdelf I suspect FFG expected the player base to mostly have the first cycles already.

I recommend at least getting the Mirkwood packs for ways to get dwarf allies out on the table, return them from discard, mitigate damage and shadow effects - and ways to gain resources to equip them. Invest deeply in Khazad-Dûm and Dwarrowdelf to fill your deck with all things dwarven


Haha, single mum on one parttime income here.. I'm NEVER feeling rich. But I'm willing to add slowly as I can afford it and it really helps having tips on what to get next, so thank-you soooo much!
 
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Tristanie Gamest
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skybreak wrote:
With a limited card pool you may want to stick with 30-card decks and play Easy Mode.

I have found some scenarios play well with one deck, and others are better with two decks (playing solo but with 2P rules). I have found pros and cons to both types of play.

With one deck, only one card is revealed during questing and the game can feel more manageable (unless the scenario has a lot of surge effects). But with two decks, more card synergies are possible and there are usually more options available. But playing two decks means there's more to manage.

A Deluxe box here, an AP there... eventually the player card pool will be big enough to build a variety of 50-card decks.

I did have two core sets early and with rare exception, I have played Standard Mode with 50-card decks.


Thanks

So would you guys recommend a 2nd core deck as my next purchase before ANY expansions, or getting the Hobbit Expansions and then a 2nd core?
 
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Juan Valdez
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Cehsja wrote:

Thanks

So would you guys recommend a 2nd core deck as my next purchase before ANY expansions, or getting the Hobbit Expansions and then a 2nd core?


Maybe do a few plays before making that decision.

The game can be absolutely brutal on new players, so it would be good to be sure you like it.
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Tristanie Gamest
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Oh I plan on it. I probably won't buy anything else until the new year, unless I happen to see a great deal somewhere, but when I do, I was wondering what would be better, or does it matter?

And I don't mind "brutal" on new players. I have another solo card game that I lose 95% of the time but I still love it and play just to play so I'm sure I'll be fine

Thanks again all
 
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Joe
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Based on previous threads, there are players who enjoy the game owning one, two, and even three core sets.

For me, this game is a two core set deal at minimum if 50-card decks and Standard Mode. That's simply due to the 1x and 2x cards. Some of those cards are very useful, even with a large card pool, and bumping up the quantity of those cards can be helpful.

In my opinion, 30-card decks and Easy Mode is a perfectly fine way to approach the game. And you probably only need one core for that.
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Hedyn Brand
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Cehsja wrote:
single mum on one parttime income here

I know how that is, but the good news is that the end of the game is probably within sight. Maybe one more cycle for the main products, last saga is shipping to stores now. And with the popularity of the game they'll continue reprinting everything, so you can slowly complete a collection.

If you ever manage to get all the sagas AND all the other regular expansions, there are nightmare decks if the basic game is too easy. They aren't quite at the end of that line either.

Quote:
I'm willing to add slowly as I can afford it and it really helps having tips on what to get next

Chronological additions worked for me. Mirkwood seemed like a necessity in retrospect, and Khazad-Dûm was refreshing after that. Every cycle since has quite a rollercoaster of difficulty, but the player cards are still great additions.

Once you have the first two cycles and all 8 saga expansions you can technically buy the other cycles out of order, depending on what you like.

Every little pack you add gives you options for your decks and another scenario to play. When you just want something meaty to play there are the standalone scenarios (these are the hardest to find it seems though).

This is my go-to link for the first few cycles:
https://www.bookdepository.com/search?searchTerm=lord+of+the...

They have the first four cycles in and out of stock, and I think six saga expansions. Free shipping to much of the world.

I'm personally fine with one core. With all the cards I have now I have something to compensate for just about anything I have 1x or 2x of in the core.
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Tristanie Gamest
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Thanks so much!!!

So I'm thinking just play the core until I add and then add:

2x Hobbits, Mirkwood, Khaza-Dum, Saga Expansions in order... and then decide if I want a 2nd core or just add other extentions I like the looks of the most haha.

Thanks so much everyone for all your help
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Kristof Bastiaensen
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Quote:
1. Play Passage Through Mirkwood with the provided Leadership deck first. It may take a few tries, but Leadership will definitely beat this first scenario. Play Easy Mode, also known as "Story Mode."


I'm new to the game, and I tried playing this with the Leadership but I failed every time. I first used the spirit deck, and found it a breeze. I probably got lucky with the cards too. I used Dunhere to attack enemies in the staging area before they became a threat. Eowyn had enough questing points for the quests, and I could reset the threatlevel a few times, managed to avoid many effects. By the time the spider spawn came up, I had gandalf to help defeating it.

The leadership deck gives me many troubles. I don't have enough questing points to progress, while keeping some heroes and allies free to attack and defend. The staging area just keeps growing, and I find myself defeated after a few turns. I read that I should use the 3 gandalf cards instead of one, but that feels like cheating...
 
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Juan Valdez
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noobius wrote:
Quote:
1. Play Passage Through Mirkwood with the provided Leadership deck first. It may take a few tries, but Leadership will definitely beat this first scenario. Play Easy Mode, also known as "Story Mode."


I'm new to the game, and I tried playing this with the Leadership but I failed every time. I first used the spirit deck, and found it a breeze. I probably got lucky with the cards too. I used Dunhere to attack enemies in the staging area before they became a threat. Eowyn had enough questing points for the quests, and I could reset the threatlevel a few times, managed to avoid many effects. By the time the spider spawn came up, I had gandalf to help defeating it.

The leadership deck gives me many troubles. I don't have enough questing points to progress, while keeping some heroes and allies free to attack and defend. The staging area just keeps growing, and I find myself defeated after a few turns. I read that I should use the 3 gandalf cards instead of one, but that feels like cheating...


It absolutely is not cheating.

Take the "extra" Gandalfs out later, once you have a good grip on the mechanics.

For Leadership deck, try to get Faramir out very early, right after getting the initial spider dealt with. It will make a difference. In fact, mulligan for Faramir or just deal him into your hand to try him out. Once you have a few allies out, you should be able to stomp Mirkwood with Leadership.


 
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patrick mullen
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Cehsja wrote:
I've always LOVED the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings, being a huge fan of the books even before the movies came out.

I also love games and ones with solo play are a bonus to me because I rarely have someone to play with...

However I've never so much as given this game a passing glance and the reason for that is...

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Board Game.

That is probably the worst game in this history of games as far as playability goes. Mainly because you can't play it. The rules make no sense.

But this is not a review on the board game...

Why was I unfairlyjudging this card game on a totally unrelated board game? Well that game was my first ever experience with movie themed board games and it pretty much turned me off of all movie/tv themed games. I just figured they were all "made in a rush with no playtesting just to promote the movie and capitalize on collectors who wouldn't actually play it."

(My one exception was games like LOTR Risk that were themed versions of already existing games)

But since joining this site recently I've heard nothing but great things about the Lord of the Rings card game and so I just splurged and ordered my first core set! I'm super excited.

I can't afford all the expansions but I'd eventually like to get the Hobbit and Saga ones as the themes interest me.

Questions: Can I PLAY the Saga and Hobbit ones without anything else but the core deck? Or do I need some other expansions first to make them work?


Oh man those movie based LOTR games were the worst. I think they may have been the last board games I played before like a 10 year dry spell.
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Joe
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Sneak Attack + Gandalf is a powerful tool and probably should be considered in any deck running Leadership.

3x of a card (by title) in a deck is a fundamental aspect of this game's design.
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Tristanie Gamest
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saluk wrote:

Oh man those movie based LOTR games were the worst. I think they may have been the last board games I played before like a 10 year dry spell.


I bought it with my brother when I was in my teens and we planned to buy the first two as well but after playing this one we changed our minds haha! I still have it, only because I like the character pieces in my display cabinet lol! But I don't see myself pulling it out to actually play again.
 
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