Carla
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I've been collecting all the saga expansions as you know, that was panic buying lest they become unavailable. We hadn't really played much but knew we liked it when we did...

So LOTR LCG is on my Hardcore Challenge and we at last got out our new (to us) playmat we bought at a convention recently and put together the pair of 'Killer Core' decks and I took Leadership/Spirit and hubby took 'Tactics/Lore'. First night we decided to try Journey Along the Anduin again after about 5 months of not playing. We kept getting confused about what happens in the phases -- even though we remembered how to use the Forest Snare to defeat that Hill Troll, we didn't finish the game because we had messed up details so many times.

The next night we regrouped, got out Passage Through Mirkwood and decided to play it on Enjoyable Mode + one extra resource token to be assigned to hero of your choice each resource phase. We finished Mirkwood easily, so reset it all and played through Passage of Mirkwood again on regular mode and felt very satisfied to complete it handily. We decided we would approach every adventure that way -- first try using easy modifiers, then regular mode once it's been defeated that way.

Tonight, we played through Journey Along the Anduin using Enjoyable + extra resource. We used the Forest Snare to kill the Hill Troll, then in the third scenario, wouldn't you know he turned up again in the staging area! I managed to kill him myself over three rounds using chump blockers and Aragorn's mighty refresh for one token power, with Theodred having the Unexpected Courage attachment. Ranged Legolas helped on two of those three rounds, but I got him that last round by bringing out Son or Arnor and engaging him without having to quest and all that. Faramir and the Wandering Took died, but them's the breaks.

So tomorrow, we will try Journey Along the Anduin in regular mode.

We feel very satisfied with ourselves! I do wonder at what point this will all become such second nature that it starts to feel more thematic and less like a drill in simple arithmetic. I suppose that will be when I know the cards so well I automatically know who will beat what without having to add it up?

We like this game a lot and will no doubt play it loads over the coming years!
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Chris
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Good job! I felt incredible too when I first won the Anduin scenario two handed, especially since I didnt go in keeping a low profile, so I basically had to massacre the whole encounter deck. Im playing the first cycle too by the way, at least the scenarios that I have. They are very unimaginative compared to later cycles, but contained some important player cards. (And some other cards basically become straight useless as you progress to other cycles because of similar stronger cards.)
But since I mostly play alone and have a very small desk at the place where I currently live, I prefer to play one handed, which also makes the game fairly harder. What helped me a lot is the "BACK TO BASICS: A Killer deck using only cards from a single Core set" topic. The guy explains how to use the deck, it feels like re-learning the game. With his deck I was able to beat Anduin three times in a row! It also helps to watch others playing who know the game well, because its easy to miss action windows, which can put you in a win-loss situation.
I wonder if you guys will like "The Dead Marshes" one, that was straight painful for me.
 
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Seth Dortch
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Sparta
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Nice! Yeah the Hill Troll is the first real game major enemy you face. That threat increase is no joke. So kudos for being able to chump him and not threat out!
 
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Todd
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Congrats on the win. That quest is a good test. It usually takes me at least one "practice" game to refresh me after switching to a new quest - mainly remembering all the Forced effects.

I've found what I call "Fun" mode to be my sweet spot - 1 extra resource for each hero first round only, and all cards. In between Easy and Normal. This way round 1 isn't a waste, and the quests are still challenging.
 
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Carla
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HOLD FAST wrote:
What helped me a lot is the "BACK TO BASICS: A Killer deck using only cards from a single Core set" topic. The guy explains how to use the deck, it feels like re-learning the game. With his deck I was able to beat Anduin three times in a row! It also helps to watch others playing who know the game well, because its easy to miss action windows, which can put you in a win-loss situation.


We have the pair of Back to Basics: Killer Deck, which abbreviate to "Killer" or "Killer Core" in my game notes when I record a game on BGG. We intend to continue playing with these decks until we know every card in them very well, then we will swap decks and play them out to learn the other spheres. I've stared with Leadership/Spirit and hubby has Tactics/Lore. This seems like a good way to learn.

I would like to know when the game feels more thematic and less like maths drills, but I do suspect that's after I know the cards so well, I just know by looking at my hand and tableau what will beat what's in the staging area, and that's a matter of getting to know the cards very well.
 
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Carla
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uuneter wrote:
Congrats on the win. That quest is a good test. It usually takes me at least one "practice" game to refresh me after switching to a new quest - mainly remembering all the Forced effects.

I've found what I call "Fun" mode to be my sweet spot - 1 extra resource for each hero first round only, and all cards. In between Easy and Normal. This way round 1 isn't a waste, and the quests are still challenging.


Your Fun Mode is probably still too hard for us, we intend to make things as easy as we need them to be in order to move through an adventure, so that we can learn where the toughest spots are for when we go to regular mode. We might need to play through each one several times, but what else is the game but a time killer?
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Chris
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Solanum wrote:

I would like to know when the game feels more thematic and less like maths drills, but I do suspect that's after I know the cards so well, I just know by looking at my hand and tableau what will beat what's in the staging area, and that's a matter of getting to know the cards very well.


Its hard to be truly thematic lore-wise if you want to go by the best available tactic, certain cards will fit in almost any deck (like the steward of Gondor). Or putting in Beorn with sneak attack f.e.
As for knowing the game well to make it feel less of a chore, I think you will soon reach that point. But around the end, if you have a lot of allies and the staging area is flooded a pen and paper will always help.
 
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I have a number track and use an orange cube for staging area threat and a green cube for questing willpower. It's still mathy but makes the process a bit easier by helping prevent recalculations. The game is necessarily mathy (there needs to be mechanisms driving the game in order for theme to function within), but the theme does come through. This might depend a bit on specific quests which can feel more or less thematic. For example, I thought the sailing quests in the Dream Chaser cycle were quite thematic, in some of the Dwarrowdelf quests I felt the theme, and I thought The Black Riders saga quests felt quite thematic, to mention just some examples. All mathy though.
 
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Carla
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skybreak wrote:
I have a number track and use an orange cube for staging area threat and a green cube for questing willpower. It's still mathy but makes the process a bit easier by helping prevent recalculations. The game is necessarily mathy (there needs to be mechanisms driving the game in order for theme to function within), but the theme does come through. This might depend a bit on specific quests which can feel more or less thematic. For example, I thought the sailing quests in the Dream Chaser cycle were quite thematic, in some of the Dwarrowdelf quests I felt the theme, and I thought The Black Riders saga quests felt quite thematic, to mention just some examples. All mathy though.


Ooh, there are two tracks on my play mat that run to 40. I could do this! Thanks for the idea!
 
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John Hitchens
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I find as my card pool expands, it becomes more thematic. My solo Spirit deck is definitely Rohan-themed, and my solo-Lore deck is a lot of elves right now. But I do liken it a bit to playing Freecell in Middle Earth
 
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Carla
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Makofan wrote:
I find as my card pool expands, it becomes more thematic. My solo Spirit deck is definitely Rohan-themed, and my solo-Lore deck is a lot of elves right now. But I do liken it a bit to playing Freecell in Middle Earth


I don't know how much card pool will expand, as I have only the saga expansions and don't intend to get more (though when I bought the base game, I also didn't intend to get more, so there is that...)
 
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Dr Johnson
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Solanum wrote:
Makofan wrote:
I find as my card pool expands, it becomes more thematic. My solo Spirit deck is definitely Rohan-themed, and my solo-Lore deck is a lot of elves right now. But I do liken it a bit to playing Freecell in Middle Earth


I don't know how much card pool will expand, as I have only the saga expansions and don't intend to get more (though when I bought the base game, I also didn't intend to get more, so there is that...)



Congrats Carla. I know you're focussing on the Sagas, but if you enjoyed defeating one Hill Troll, you should keep an eye out for the Conflict at the Carrock AP....where you take on 4 of them!

I agree with the others that your decks will become more thematic as your card pool grows. I've bene playing right from the start and have 8 permanently set up theme decks (Hobbits/Ents, Leadership Gondor, Leadership Dunedain, Rohirrim, Noldor, Sindar, Gondor-Outlands, and Dwarves). It's fun trying them all out against APs.

 
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Carla
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JonMarsh30 wrote:
Solanum wrote:
Makofan wrote:
I find as my card pool expands, it becomes more thematic. My solo Spirit deck is definitely Rohan-themed, and my solo-Lore deck is a lot of elves right now. But I do liken it a bit to playing Freecell in Middle Earth


I don't know how much card pool will expand, as I have only the saga expansions and don't intend to get more (though when I bought the base game, I also didn't intend to get more, so there is that...)



Congrats Carla. I know you're focussing on the Sagas, but if you enjoyed defeating one Hill Troll, you should keep an eye out for the Conflict at the Carrock AP....where you take on 4 of them!

I agree with the others that your decks will become more thematic as your card pool grows. I've bene playing right from the start and have 8 permanently set up theme decks (Hobbits/Ents, Leadership Gondor, Leadership Dunedain, Rohirrim, Noldor, Sindar, Gondor-Outlands, and Dwarves). It's fun trying them all out against APs.



We beat him twice, so surely it was two!
 
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