Alessandro Crespi
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Bologna
Bologna
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Hi guys,
I've recently bought this game and managed to find all these deluxe boxes / saga expansion / adventure packs.

Core Set (1x)
Heirs of Númenor
The Voice of lsengard
The Lost Realm

The Hobbit
- Over Hill and Under Hill
- On the Doorstep

Shadows of Mirkwood
- A Journey to Rhosgobel
- The Hills of Emyn Muil
- The Dead Marshes
- Return to Mirkwood

The Ring-maker
- The Three Trials
- Trouble in Tharbad
- The Nin-in-Eilph
- The Antlered Crown

The Lord of the Rings
- The Black Riders
- The Treason of Saruman
- The Land of Shadow

Against the Shadow
- The Drúadan Forest
- Encounter at Amon Din
- Assault on Osgiliath
- The Blood of Gondor
- The Morgul Vale


Several questions have arisen so I'm here asking for your help answering them (I'm sorry if these answers have already been given somewhere).

1) Game Progress
I've only opened base gamebox. Would you advise me to start only with that? Or maybe add some more cards from other boxes?

2) Stocking
I've found some card dividers in file section. Do you suggest for me to open all boxes and group them by types like Leaders, Ally, Attachments...? Or it would be better to keep things separated in each box?
Maybe adding adventure packs inside "saga expansion" bigger box?

3) Card Sleeves
I've already bought 4 card sleeves packs. Do you think it would be better to sleeve every single card or maybe stock them unsleeved and only sleeve them if/when needed?
Maybe I could keep sleeved player deck only? Or maybe I could completely sleeve cards from core box if you suggest for me to play it several times before proceeding with expanions...

4) Solo Gaming
I think I'll go for solo play a lot of time so what's your advice about that? Is it safe to use a single deck?
Do I have to use 2 separate decks simulating a 2 player game?

Thank you in advance for your feedback.
Alessandro
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Hi, and welcome to the world of lotr lcg!

1) I'm a purist so I would advice to follow the natural game progression as close as possible. I would say, play the core first a few times and then the shadows of mirkwood and then continue to what's closest next (should be both Hobbits and Heirs of Numenor in your case). That means using player cards in order as well.
https://boardgamegeek.com/wiki/page/LotR:LCG_Releases_by_Date

2) I would suggest storing all the cards in a bigger card box or a binder or similar. I store cards from each sphere seperate and then the encounter cards stored in order of release.

3) Sleeving every single card will be extremely expensive, but that's up to you. I'm currently trying to sleeve as much as possible. Most people just sleeve their deck however.

4) I'm playing with just a single deck, and that works just great. I know later expansions (I'm quite early in the progression currently) could be a bit harder to solo, though.
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Caesar wrote:
1) Game Progress
I've only opened base gamebox. Would you advise me to start only with that? Or maybe add some more cards from other boxes?

Absolutely start with only the core box first. Learn the game, understand the different player spheres, their strengths and weaknesses and how to use what type to meet the various challenges that you encounter and what helps to move you along the quest. Start with that foundation and it will greatly help your understanding on how to prepare your deck for each game.

I suggest using each of the mini solo sphere decks alone first to learn the spheres, but don't start with the Tactics (red) deck. That is the hardest sphere to play alone. Then combine 2 spheres and even try a tri-colored sphere.

Another tip if you want to enhance your immersion in the game is to don't look through the encounter deck or quest cards before you play it. Discover the adventure as you play. You will very likely lose the first (few) games you play a new quest, but that's part of the learning process and how to discover what you need in your deck for the next game.


Caesar wrote:
2) Stocking
I've found some card dividers in file section. Do you suggest for me to open all boxes and group them by types like Leaders, Ally, Attachments...? Or it would be better to keep things separated in each box?
Maybe adding adventure packs inside "saga expansion" bigger box?

For player cards, I first sort by sphere (color) and then secondarily sort by type (heroes, allies, attachments, events). As I play through expansions, I add cards into a single collection. Some people want to stick strictly by setting in which case maybe you'd want to separate by cycle, but I'm find mixing everything in to have access to whichever cards I need.


Caesar wrote:
3) Card Sleeves
I've already bought 4 card sleeves packs. Do you think it would be better to sleeve every single card or maybe stock them unsleeved and only sleeve them if/when needed?
Maybe I could keep sleeved player deck only? Or maybe I could completely sleeve cards from core box if you suggest for me to play it several times before proceeding with expanions...

At first I sleeved everything. As my card pool grew, the number of sleeves grew more costly. I ended up sleeving only player cards I'm using. It's up to you what you want to sleeve.


Caesar wrote:
4) Solo Gaming
I think I'll go for solo play a lot of time so what's your advice about that? Is it safe to use a single deck?
Do I have to use 2 separate decks simulating a 2 player game?

I suggest giving both a single deck and double-handed play a try and see what you prefer to do. I prefer true solo playing only a single deck but some quests really benefit from the additional hand, but when I first started playing, I found managing 2 hands a bit overwhelming.
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Todd
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1) Start with base game quests and cards, just to learn the game. Once you're more comfortable, add in all player cards. You'll need them - this game is difficult.

2) Yes, group by sphere, then by type. It will make things much easier when you start deck building.

3) I only sleeve player cards, not encounter cards.

4) Start with single deck only. Once you're more comfortable with the game, try two-handed too. Some quests are fine single deck, but others demand two (like the 3rd quest in the base game).
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Fred Buchholz
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First try the first scenarios with each Mono sphere core deck, do expect to win them all, but it should get you through basic mechanics
Then to help you get started for more in depth play try this link:

https://hallofbeorn.wordpress.com/beorns-path/

It helped me understand not only game mechanics but how to combine/build decks etc. Beorn does a wonderful job of explaining why each card is chosen etc.

Welcome to Middle Earth


sauron
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Seth Dortch
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Caesar wrote:
Hi guys,

3) Card Sleeves
I've already bought 4 card sleeves packs. Do you think it would be better to sleeve every single card or maybe stock them unsleeved and only sleeve them if/when needed?
Maybe I could keep sleeved player deck only? Or maybe I could completely sleeve cards from core box if you suggest for me to play it several times before proceeding with expanions...


Personally I keep my player cards in a binder. Keep any decks I am using sleeved. As far as the quests go I keep them in cardboard boxes. I use penny sleeves on the encounter decks.
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elitusprime
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Man, Sub-creator, the refracted Light through whom is splintered from a single White to many hues, and endlessly combined in living shapes that move from mind to mind.
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If you'd some help building your first deck, checkout out this post

BACK TO BASICS: A Killer deck using only cards from a single Core set
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Cristiano
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The other guys have already gave you useful suggestions.
I don't want to duplicate the others.

I warmly suggest to read carefully the strategy tips and suggestions of the following sites:
https://talesfromthecards.wordpress.com/

https://visionofthepalantir.com/

Personally I suggest to play "progression style", since the game was originally developed considering the slowly raising content of cards available to be chosen for the deck assembly.
Some quest become too much easy if you mix too much cards of newer cycles, and the fun lowers...cool

Pay attention that the saga expansions are on their own and are not mixed with the other deluxe expansions.
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Personally I sleeve all my cards. I use Ultra Pro premium sleeves, and despite the name are inexpensive. I believe this helps keep the cards in good condition when handling (even cards that are not used get handled occasionally when sorting and such).

I use deck boxes or other boxes for storage of player cards. For encounter sets I generally keep them in the appropriate deluxe box. I can fit a cycle of encounter cards in its deluxe, using baggies for each encounter set. This make assembling scenarios easy.

I also recently began building permanent decks that I plan on leaving intact and using a sideboard method to modify, retrieving cards in storage as necessary. For these decks I think I'm going to slowly switch over to Ultra Pro Eclipse sleeves. These are more expensive but very nice and shuffle easily. I'll use these sleeves for decks only. But having all cards sleeved means I can build temporary decks and just leave the original sleeves on and shuffle and play with them as-is.

The game plays well single-deck solo. I think after playing this game awhile, I prefer playing with two decks (as if it were two players) but I do like playing single-deck solo as well (it often depends on the scenario as I find single-deck to generally be more difficult than two-handed).

I don't pay any attention to published date when considering player cards. Old cards can be as strong or stronger than newer cards and I find that published date makes little to no difference on whether or not a deck is too powerful. If a deck is too powerful, it's easy to adjust the power level by replacing certain cards, but those cards could have been published at any point in time.

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Edy Ferreira
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Dren608 wrote:

Then to help you get started for more in depth play try this link:

https://hallofbeorn.wordpress.com/beorns-path/

It helped me understand not only game mechanics but how to combine/build decks etc. Beorn does a wonderful job of explaining why each card is chosen etc.

:sauron:


Do this... Hall of Beorn was my entry point for understanding and loving this game
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Alessandro Crespi
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Just for information I'm posting here how I set things apart...

Enounter Decks


Spheres
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Thanee
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Don't use rubber bands. Rubber bands are evil!

Bye
Thanee
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Dale Stephenson
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Rubber bands can be easily/cheaply replaced with bands that won't damage the cards. I get packages of hairbands with no metal parts at the dollar store, and they work great.
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Alessandro Crespi
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Thanee wrote:
Don't use rubber bands. Rubber bands are evil!

sauron

I used them only to separate unsleeved encounter decks.
Don't worry, I'll not use them on sleeved cards.
 
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John Middleton
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eferreira wrote:
Dren608 wrote:

Then to help you get started for more in depth play try this link:

https://hallofbeorn.wordpress.com/beorns-path/

It helped me understand not only game mechanics but how to combine/build decks etc. Beorn does a wonderful job of explaining why each card is chosen etc.

sauron


Do this... Hall of Beorn was my entry point for understanding and loving this game



I third this.

The walkthrough tutorial of the first box and expansion wave is an excellent way to learn and start thinking about the game.
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Thanee
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Caesar wrote:
I used them only to separate unsleeved encounter decks.
Don't worry, I'll not use them on sleeved cards.


Unsleeved is worse than sleeved, actually.

The problem with rubber bands is, that in a few years they dry out and then have a tendency to "stick" to the cards (essentially merging the card's surface with some of the rubber stuff). That will damage the cards badly.

Don't use them.

Bye
Thanee
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Alessandro Crespi
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My fault! I forgot to mention that I'm actually sleeving all encounter cards.
Will keep them unsleved + rubberbanded for only a week or so.
Thank you.
Ale
 
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Thanee
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That should be fine!

Bye
Thanee
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Andrew Maxwell
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One thing I would say: given what you have, don't try to play progression-style. Because you don't have any of the dwarrowdelf cycle, when you get to Heirs of Numenor you will get very frustrated. That's one of the hardest deluxe sets.

I would just use cards from every set. You can always do progression-style later, but I feel like it is just unnecessarily limiting yourself early on.
 
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