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Derek Thompson
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Since its release earlier this year, Fantasy Flight’s newest Living Card Game Lord of the Rings: the Card Game has been climbing the charts on BoardGameGeek and expanding at a rapid pace. Designed by Nate French, it blends two of the more recent trends in analog gaming: collectible/expandable card games, and cooperative gaming. Designed for play with some friends or by yourself, Lord of the Rings will have you building your own deck of powerful heroes, allies, equipment, and events. You’ll complete quests by traveling to treacherous locations and thwarting enemies left and right. It sure sounds awesome.

Before I began my formal review, I want to talk about the format of the game and my experience with it. I usually discuss these kinds of things in the “Components” section, but there’s a lot to be said here. As you may know, I have played the collectible card game (CCG) Magic: the Gathering for many years, and I sunk a lot of money into both the primary and secondary markets for that game. Fantasy Flight’s Living Card Game (LCG) format is an alternative for players who like a game with that kind of expandability but are tired of the high cost associated with staying competitive in CCGs. That means that the contents of the base game — and every expansion — are known before you open them; there’s no randomization. In the case of Lord of the Rings, a new expansion appears once a month, with new player cards for every sphere to help build your deck, along with a new quest/scenario and associated baddies. The packs retail for $15 each and several packs form a “cycle” (and the current one is almost finished). The quests tell a story in sequence, and at the conclusion of this cycle, Fantasy Flight intends to release a separate, large expansion, followed by another cycle of small $15 expansions that require the large one.

So while it’s not as bad as the CCG situation, this is not a game that is going to stop growing, or eating at your wallet, anytime soon. As with any game expansions, you inevitably find yourself wondering if the game you are playing without them is only a part of the real experience, and if you really enjoy the game, you’ll find yourself eventually wanting to pick them up. If you think you are perfectly happy without them, either you’re kidding yourself or you have much more willpower than I. Either way, even though I am reviewing the base game, I am reviewing it with this expandable framework in mind. Here’s a reminder of my scoring categories:

Components – Does the game look nice? Are the bits worth the money? Do they add to the game?
Accessibility – How easy is the game to teach, or to feel like you know what you are doing?
Depth – Does the gameplay allow for deeper strategies, or does the game play itself?
Theme – Does the game give a sense of immersion? Can you imagine the setting described in the game?
Fun – Is the game actually enjoyable? Do you find yourself smiling, laughing, or having some sense of satisfaction when it’s over?

Components: Inside the box, you’ll find a few tokens, two cardboard “Threat Counters”, and a lot of cards. Given the title of the game, this shouldn’t be surprising. The cards are relatively quality stock, but they require a lot of shuffling, so it was no time at all before I sleeved them. Fortunately, they are standard Magic card size. Unfortunately, the box insert is relatively useless, and even the pretension of it working to hold the cards is a little frustrating. However, I think the $40 MSRP is reasonable for the amount of material in the box.

My real complaint isn’t with the amount of components, but the specific contents. As I stated above, you know the contents of the base game and expansions ahead of time, in an attempt to appease gamers by making the Living Card Games less of an obvious cash grab than collectible games. Since the rulebook dictates that proper “tournament decks” (I’m not sure how you run a tournament of a cooperative/solo game) should be 50 cards minimum, with at most 3 of any one card, the expansions contain 3 of each unique player card. Note that I said the expansions follow this pattern. The base game includes a seemingly random mix of cards, with 3 of some cards, 2 of some others, four of one card, and only one of some of the very best cards. (Four copies of Gandalf are included so that one can go in each of the four “preconstructed” decks, but even if you want to play with three or four players, only two Threat Counters are included!) That means you’ll be stuck buying a second copy of the base set if you want to flesh out your set, and even then, you’ll still be missing your third copy of some really strong cards. The fact that the decks I’m building at the moment are a shadow of what is actually possible is infuriating. Yes, I could put proxy cards in the sleeves, but that is very far from the point. It is a ridiculous cash grab, the exact opposite of what the LCG system is supposed to mean, and it kept me from trying the game for a long time.

Accessibility: This is somewhat difficult to discuss because of my background in Magic: the Gathering. Although I feel like the interesting new concepts and cooperative gameplay let Lord of the Rings stand on its own, its debt to Magic is so steep that it’s never going to be repaid. When a Fantasy Flight rep first taught us the game at GenCon, I heckled him by always referring to a keyword by its obvious Magic parallel (Exhaust = Tap, Ready = Untap, Resource = Mana, and so on). If you have any amount of experience with Magic, Lord of the Rings will be a cinch to learn. Not all mechanics are identical, and it took a verbal explanation and some practice for me to understanding how “questing” and “traveling” work (which are very basic, foundational actions of the game).

Having someone explain the game to me was important; in typical FFG fashion, the rulebook is atrocious. In addition, the wording on the cards has resulted in a lot of rules ambiguity for specific instances. Although some are covered in the FAQ on FFG’s website, it’s still annoying. Fortunately, because the game is cooperative, you and your teammates can make an agreement on your personal interpretation and move on without any worry of fairness — although as a rule of thumb, the right ruling is usually the one that’s the worst for the good guys. When someone explains the basic mechanics of the game, it actually is not very complicated at all, but the rules ambiguities or an unfamiliarity with CCGs can make it somewhat difficult.

Depth:
Once you’ve created your own personal deck and appropriate Encounter deck (the pile of bad guys), it’s time to go questing. The base game has three scenarios (each expansion adds another), and you are free to mix and match the Encounter cards to make your own scenarios. Each scenario has a difficulty rating from 1 to 10, so you have a bit of an idea what you’re getting into. You’re given a lot of tough decisions each turn: trying to decide how to allocate your resources and cards, who to engage, how to attack and defend. Furthermore, a lot of the depth comes from the game outside the game: deck building. Some scenarios just can’t be won with the wrong kind of deck, so you’ll often find yourself going back to the drawing board to find the right combination of cards and heroes. Although a few of the cards are seemingly useless, overall the power level of the cards is strong and relatively even, making deck building an interesting exercise even with the relatively small card pool.

Although the game is interesting to play, I have one very strong complaint. The game scales for different numbers of players by revealing one Encounter card per player each round, but the actual setup of the quests is not scaled for the number of players. For example, one quest requires that a hero randomly be taken “prisoner” and is unavailable at the beginning of the scenario. If one hero is gone from the twelve distributed among four players, that would be manageable, but when one of your three heroes is gone in a solo adventure, the game becomes nigh impossible, more frustrating than fun. The fact that the quests are not completely scaled for number of players is an extreme oversight, especially considering that solo play is one of the main appeals of the game.

Theme:
Tolkien purists who expected a game that matches the books are going to be very disappointed. The game takes a pretty liberal approach with the license, but at the same time, I feel that both the art and the individual card mechanics do a good job of evoking not only the characters, but also the locations and the feel of Middle Earth. There are times when thinking about the best decision to stay alive has me thinking about how to “game the system,” and in those times I definitely feel like I’m back in reality crunching numbers and not questing through a fantasy realm. For the most part, though, the game sucks you in to a wonderful fantasy realm in imminent danger.

Fun: So far, my review has not been particularly positive. And certainly my complaints are strong ones, ones that would have left me abandoning this game without much thought, except that it is extremely fun. It scratches the same itch as Magic, in the deck-building and min/maxing resources and moves, but without the competitive atmosphere. Although I love competitive play, I spent many years living in the countryside where Magic players were few and far between, building decks that I could only play against myself. Finally, Lord of the Rings gives that kind of player a chance to have fun building decks and actually play with them as well. Even if you fail a quest, you’ll quickly find what you did wrong, tweak your deck, maybe start from scratch with a different sphere, and go at it again. The game doesn’t pull any punches and can be very punishing at times, which makes it all the more interesting. I love playing the game with others as well, but one of the best things about the game is the option for solo play. In addition to Magic, I’ve also spent many hours on role-playing videogames, and to me the game feels like an RPG that you can play at your own pace. It’s great fun.

Lord of the Rings: the Card Game is a great game – the first cooperative board or card game I’ve ever really enjoyed, and the first game good enough to suck me into the LCG model. Unfortunately, the great design behind the game makes its shortcomings all the more irritating – the game could have been so much more than it is. If you can live with the game’s shortcomings, you’ll find Middle Earth is an excellent place to quest – by yourself or with some companions.


Originally posted on http://meepletown.com
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Bart Rachemoss
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Re: Review: Lord of the Rings the Card Game
aldaryn wrote:
Although the game is interesting to play, I have one very strong complaint. The game scales for different numbers of players by revealing one Encounter card per player each round, but the actual setup of the quests is not scaled for the number of players. For example, one quest requires that a hero randomly be taken “prisoner” and is unavailable at the beginning of the scenario. If one hero is gone from the twelve distributed among four players, that would be manageable, but when one of your three heroes is gone in a solo adventure, the game becomes nigh impossible, more frustrating than fun. The fact that the quests are not completely scaled for number of players is an extreme oversight, especially considering that solo play is one of the main appeals of the game.

I disagree that the lack of scaling is an extreme oversight or even an oversight at all. IMO solo play and cooperative play are very different and it makes sense for the solo experience to be significantly more difficult.

When playing with others, there is a tremendous feeling of cooperation. This is the main draw of the cooperative game and it is, of course, totally lacking in solo play. For me, when playing solo, the main draw is overcoming the challenge. As soon as I start winning most of the time I lose interest. When I can barely win at all then I throw myself into it and examine the encounter deck and my cards and try to come up with winning tactics and a winning strategy. To some extent the interaction with other players is replaced by a greater interaction with the cards.

IMO, whether by chance or intention, they managed to set the difficulty of solo play just right including Escape from Dol Guldur which many people find to be impossible solo. What some people find impossible is found by others to be a wonderful (and winnable) challenge.

I think the difficulty of cooperative play is also appropriate. When I'm playing with others I want to spend my time playing with others, not analyzing the encounter deck.
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John Steinbach
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Re: Review: Lord of the Rings the Card Game
aldaryn wrote:
(Four copies of Gandalf are included so that one can go in each of the four “preconstructed” decks, but even if you want to play with three or four players, only two Threat Counters are included!)

I don't think this is particularly egregious. The box clearly says it's for 1-2 players. I don't think it's fair to expect component support for more than that number. Even then, dice or a pen and paper work just fine should you wish to include additional players. You definitely don't need a second Core Set to play with 3-4 (contrary to the passage in the rule book shake), but that doesn't mean a single box marketed for 1-2 players should have bits for additional participants.

aldaryn wrote:
Having someone explain the game to me was important; in typical FFG fashion, the rulebook is atrocious.

I see this complaint a lot, and I can never understand it. I learned the game from the rule book, and I think it's fine. It has a component breakdown complete with card anatomies, so it's pretty easy to know what a given card is and does. It offers a detailed, step-by-step walkthrough of turn phases, a glossary of keywords, and ends with a thorough turn sequence reference chart. I will grant that the diagrams contain a few eyebrow-raising errors, but even those don't really hinder understanding in my estimation. Could you elaborate on your dissatisfaction?

aldaryn wrote:
In addition, the wording on the cards has resulted in a lot of rules ambiguity for specific instances. Although some are covered in the FAQ on FFG’s website, it’s still annoying.

This I agree with. Stand and Fight, for instance...shake
Even though I understand that the game emphasizes theme and fun over consistent terminology, it would be nice to see FFG make more of an effort in this department.

aldaryn wrote:
Although the game is interesting to play, I have one very strong complaint. The game scales for different numbers of players by revealing one Encounter card per player each round, but the actual setup of the quests is not scaled for the number of players.

This is definitely true of the Core Set scenarios (although less so for Journey Along the Anduin, which reveals one card per player in addition to the Hill Troll). You might be pleased to know that most of the setups in Adventure Pack scenarios are scaled to the number of players in the game (either through the number of cards revealed or through locations with threat levels that scale based on the number of players). Will not--and should not--affect your review of the Core Set, but it's worth keeping in mind if you continue to play the game.


aldaryn wrote:
Unfortunately, the great design behind the game makes its shortcomings all the more irritating – the game could have been so much more than it is.

I had the same feeling with the Core Set. This is where I think the LCG model really benefits the game. Those deficiencies you mentioned can, for the most part, be progressively eliminated through the constantly-evolving design process. The setup scaling issue, for instance, has been largely addressed in the latest expansion cycle. It remains to be seen how well the FFG team will recognize and correct such problems, but I think the early indicators are promising.

Anyway, solid review. I think you hit on most all of the game's key features, both good and bad. Most importantly, though, I wholeheartedly agree that this game is a ton of fun
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Derek Thompson
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Re: Review: Lord of the Rings the Card Game
Starhawk77 wrote:
aldaryn wrote:
(Four copies of Gandalf are included so that one can go in each of the four “preconstructed” decks, but even if you want to play with three or four players, only two Threat Counters are included!)

I don't think this is particularly egregious. The box clearly says it's for 1-2 players. I don't think it's fair to expect component support for more than that number. Even then, dice or a pen and paper work just fine should you wish to include additional players. You definitely don't need a second Core Set to play with 3-4 (contrary to the passage in the rule book shake), but that doesn't mean a single box marketed for 1-2 players should have bits for additional participants.


Right, they shouldn't. But why "half"-do it and have enough Gandalfs for four participants if you're not going to cover everything else?

Starhawk77 wrote:

aldaryn wrote:
Having someone explain the game to me was important; in typical FFG fashion, the rulebook is atrocious.

I see this complaint a lot, and I can never understand it. I learned the game from the rule book, and I think it's fine. It has a component breakdown complete with card anatomies, so it's pretty easy to know what a given card is and does. It offers a detailed, step-by-step walkthrough of turn phases, a glossary of keywords, and ends with a thorough turn sequence reference chart. I will grant that the diagrams contain a few eyebrow-raising errors, but even those don't really hinder understanding in my estimation. Could you elaborate on your dissatisfaction?


I think to me the rulebook was just dense. It was hard to visualize what they were saying. But it might be just that the game itself is a little dense.

Starhawk77 wrote:

aldaryn wrote:
In addition, the wording on the cards has resulted in a lot of rules ambiguity for specific instances. Although some are covered in the FAQ on FFG’s website, it’s still annoying.

This I agree with. Stand and Fight, for instance...shake
Even though I understand that the game emphasizes theme and fun over consistent terminology, it would be nice to see FFG make more of an effort in this department.

aldaryn wrote:
Although the game is interesting to play, I have one very strong complaint. The game scales for different numbers of players by revealing one Encounter card per player each round, but the actual setup of the quests is not scaled for the number of players.

This is definitely true of the Core Set scenarios (although less so for Journey Along the Anduin, which reveals one card per player in addition to the Hill Troll). You might be pleased to know that most of the setups in Adventure Pack scenarios are scaled to the number of players in the game (either through the number of cards revealed or through locations with threat levels that scale based on the number of players). Will not--and should not--affect your review of the Core Set, but it's worth keeping in mind if you continue to play the game.


aldaryn wrote:
Unfortunately, the great design behind the game makes its shortcomings all the more irritating – the game could have been so much more than it is.

I had the same feeling with the Core Set. This is where I think the LCG model really benefits the game. Those deficiencies you mentioned can, for the most part, be progressively eliminated through the constantly-evolving design process. The setup scaling issue, for instance, has been largely addressed in the latest expansion cycle. It remains to be seen how well the FFG team will recognize and correct such problems, but I think the early indicators are promising.

Anyway, solid review. I think you hit on most all of the game's key features, both good and bad. Most importantly, though, I wholeheartedly agree that this game is a ton of fun


Thanks for the comments!
 
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Re: Review: Lord of the Rings the Card Game
aldaryn wrote:
But why "half"-do it and have enough Gandalfs for four participants if you're not going to cover everything else?

ISTM FFG is in a no-win situation here. Since you are allowed up to three copies of any one card in your deck and since Gandalf is probably the most powerful card in the set, people would be screaming bloody murder if FFG didn't include at least three copies of Gandalf. Adding one more copy of Gandalf allows two players to have two copies each and allows 4 players to have one copy each. This seems reasonable to me. If they only included 3 copies then people would complain that they should have included one more. Now you seem to be complaining that they included too many copies of Gandalf compared to the number of threat counters.

Insisting that they include 4 threat counters if they are going to include 4 copies of Gandalf seems a little short sighted to me. As Starhawk77 said, it is trivial to get replacements for the threat counters. It is less trivial to get replacement Gandalf cards.

I have to admit that I come from a CCG background so for me, getting 3 core sets for less than the cost of one booster box seems like a great bargain. Perhaps if I was coming from a board game background I would be more sympathetic to complaints about not enough stuff being included in the core set.


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Re: Review: Lord of the Rings the Card Game
Quote:
Even though I understand that the game emphasizes theme and fun over consistent terminology, it would be nice to see FFG make more of an effort in this department.

Amen. There's no excuse for this; it leaves players wondering if card text worded differently means something, or is just sloppy FFG editing and the cards are supposed to have the same effect.
 
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Re: Review: Lord of the Rings the Card Game
BitJam wrote:
I have to admit that I come from a CCG background so for me, getting 3 core sets for less than the cost of one booster box seems like a great bargain. Perhaps if I was coming from a board game background I would be more sympathetic to complaints about not enough stuff being included in the core set.




The issue to me is not so much getting 'not enough' stuff in the core set, as them deliberately giving 'not enough' of several highly desirable cards (that you get one of) whilst giving more than enough of several less than desirable cards (that you get 3 of). No one has suggested a reason for that other than gouging.
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Re: Review: Lord of the Rings the Card Game
AnnuverScotinExile wrote:
BitJam wrote:
I have to admit that I come from a CCG background so for me, getting 3 core sets for less than the cost of one booster box seems like a great bargain. Perhaps if I was coming from a board game background I would be more sympathetic to complaints about not enough stuff being included in the core set.




The issue to me is not so much getting 'not enough' stuff in the core set, as them deliberately giving 'not enough' of several highly desirable cards (that you get one of) whilst giving more than enough of several less than desirable cards (that you get 3 of). No one has suggested a reason for that other than gouging.


Agreed. I've said it elsewhere before (and Richard has given good reason why it won't happen), but I really wish they'd do a print on demand set to fill out a single core set up to 3 copies of each card. I could proxy cards, but why should I have to? FFG should not money gouge people they want to hook into this game for the next several years.
 
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Re: Review: Lord of the Rings the Card Game
polychrotid wrote:
AnnuverScotinExile wrote:
BitJam wrote:
I have to admit that I come from a CCG background so for me, getting 3 core sets for less than the cost of one booster box seems like a great bargain. Perhaps if I was coming from a board game background I would be more sympathetic to complaints about not enough stuff being included in the core set.




The issue to me is not so much getting 'not enough' stuff in the core set, as them deliberately giving 'not enough' of several highly desirable cards (that you get one of) whilst giving more than enough of several less than desirable cards (that you get 3 of). No one has suggested a reason for that other than gouging.


Agreed. I've said it elsewhere before (and Richard has given good reason why it won't happen), but I really wish they'd do a print on demand set to fill out a single core set up to 3 copies of each card. I could proxy cards, but why should I have to? FFG should not money gouge people they want to hook into this game for the next several years.


Right, especially if the appeal of the LCG model is that it ISN'T money-gouging like a CCG.
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Re: Review: Lord of the Rings the Card Game
aldaryn wrote:
polychrotid wrote:
AnnuverScotinExile wrote:
BitJam wrote:
I have to admit that I come from a CCG background so for me, getting 3 core sets for less than the cost of one booster box seems like a great bargain. Perhaps if I was coming from a board game background I would be more sympathetic to complaints about not enough stuff being included in the core set.




The issue to me is not so much getting 'not enough' stuff in the core set, as them deliberately giving 'not enough' of several highly desirable cards (that you get one of) whilst giving more than enough of several less than desirable cards (that you get 3 of). No one has suggested a reason for that other than gouging.


Agreed. I've said it elsewhere before (and Richard has given good reason why it won't happen), but I really wish they'd do a print on demand set to fill out a single core set up to 3 copies of each card. I could proxy cards, but why should I have to? FFG should not money gouge people they want to hook into this game for the next several years.


Right, especially if the appeal of the LCG model is that it ISN'T money-gouging like a CCG.



Exactly. Oh, and nice review, btw.
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Re: Review: Lord of the Rings the Card Game
AnnuverScotinExile wrote:
The issue to me is not so much getting 'not enough' stuff in the core set, as them deliberately giving 'not enough' of several highly desirable cards (that you get one of) whilst giving more than enough of several less than desirable cards (that you get 3 of). No one has suggested a reason for that other than gouging.


OK, then, I will - balance. The game scenarios are devised around decks containing no more copies of any given card than can be found in one copy of the base set. FFG set a maximum copy limit of three, but that's just an arbitrary restriction to prevent players buying four or five base sets and building a deck made of nothing but Gandalf, Sneak Attack and Will of the West.

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Re: Review: Lord of the Rings the Card Game
Jedit wrote:
AnnuverScotinExile wrote:
The issue to me is not so much getting 'not enough' stuff in the core set, as them deliberately giving 'not enough' of several highly desirable cards (that you get one of) whilst giving more than enough of several less than desirable cards (that you get 3 of). No one has suggested a reason for that other than gouging.


OK, then, I will - balance. The game scenarios are devised around decks containing no more copies of any given card than can be found in one copy of the base set. FFG set a maximum copy limit of three, but that's just an arbitrary restriction to prevent players buying four or five base sets and building a deck made of nothing but Gandalf, Sneak Attack and Will of the West.



Nice try, but no coconut.

They could have issued an edict that said that the limit of how many cards you can have in a deck is the number that appeared in the pack that the car came in. Thus, for ever and ever, only 1 unexpected courage. If they had, then I would have no complaint whatsoever (and it would not have affected me at all - I have just the one core set). But they didn't. They encouraged you to buy more than 1 core set.

They could also have issued 2 of every card (give or take - they might have had to slightly adjust the mix between player cards and encounter cards, or reduced the cards from each sphere by 1, and added a second neutral card) in the core set. Then buying a second core set would have got you to at least 3 of everything, plus the extra threat counters, and the 'waste' of the duplicate encounter cards, etc., would not have been so bad. I would not have called that gouging.
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Re: Review: Lord of the Rings the Card Game
AnnuverScotinExile wrote:
They could have issued an edict that said that the limit of how many cards you can have in a deck is the number that appeared in the pack that the car came in. Thus, for ever and ever, only 1 unexpected courage.


There is a reason why Magic: the Gathering dispensed with a restricted list in every format except Vintage - because it's a PITA trying to remember whether you can play one, four or zero copies of a card. In a game like LOTR where you'll usually build a new deck for each scenario, it slows down game play and it isn't fun.

You've also failed to account for Gandalf, who would require at the very least a clarifying rule and possibly a rule of his own.
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Re: Review: Lord of the Rings the Card Game
Jedit wrote:
AnnuverScotinExile wrote:
They could have issued an edict that said that the limit of how many cards you can have in a deck is the number that appeared in the pack that the car came in. Thus, for ever and ever, only 1 unexpected courage.


There is a reason why Magic: the Gathering dispensed with a restricted list in every format except Vintage - because it's a PITA trying to remember whether you can play one, four or zero copies of a card. In a game like LOTR where you'll usually build a new deck for each scenario, it slows down game play and it isn't fun.

You've also failed to account for Gandalf, who would require at the very least a clarifying rule and possibly a rule of his own.


So what? I was just demonstrating that your 'balance' argument against the 'gouging' claim was spurious, because if that was really the reason (which is pretty obviously isn't) they would have behaved differently. I was not advocating that they should have acted that way - by far my preferred approach would have been the core set near enough as is, and a 'completion' set with the 'missing' cards to get you up to 3 each, and 2 more threat counters.
 
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Re: Review: Lord of the Rings the Card Game
jobes2007 wrote:
Just to throw this out there: I don't build new decks for each scenario. We are trying to make one deck that can handle all of the scenarios, and so far we've been doing alright. I don't know if that's super relevant to what you're talking about though.


No, it's perfectly relevant because campaign play is part of the game. Sounds to me as if you haven't tried Rhosgobel yet, though - that scenario requires certain things in your deck before it's realistically possible.

Richard: you do not get to say my argument is spurious just because you threw out a suggestion and I explained why it wouldn't work. Regardless, FFG have changed their policy on this game since its release to give three copies of everything in each Adventure Pack; this also extends to Khazad-Dum. If they wanted to gouge, they didn't have to do this.
 
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Re: Review: Lord of the Rings the Card Game
Jedit wrote:
Richard: you do not get to say my argument is spurious just because you threw out a suggestion and I explained why it wouldn't work. Regardless, FFG have changed their policy on this game since its release to give three copies of everything in each Adventure Pack; this also extends to Khazad-Dum. If they wanted to gouge, they didn't have to do this.
Well if you are not reading/misrepresenting me, there is no point in continuing this. You are, however, obviously totally wrong.
 
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Re: Review: Lord of the Rings the Card Game
jobes2007 wrote:
We actually just played Rhosgobel last night and cracked up, we ran through the quest and got to the last part with only 1 of the herb and died (my sister and I don't like looking at the quest cards until we're supposed to so we didn't know the objectives). We did actually decide to rebuild a bit by adding some more card draw into her deck (Tactics and Lore) and making mine a little more martial (Leadership and Spirit), but we are hoping that this new deck will be able to handle the other quests as well.


If you have Return to Mirkwood, throw in a couple of copies of the Spirit ally who lets you swap a location in the staging area with the active location. It can get rid of Rhosgobel for you, allowing you to heal Wily in Stage 1.
 
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Re: Review: Lord of the Rings the Card Game

I agree with alot that has been said. i do think it is a great game and works well with two players, but ti think sometimes the solo option has been overlooked and made far to difficult.

I also think that the expansions/ advantures packs could have been put into the initial box, and maybe charged more for the core set. same with the new Kazad- Dum set. they could have bought out an expansion every six months or so but have all the adventure packs in it.

It is basically turning into a money making exercise from FFG, to go along with the Game of thrones LCG. i have just bought the Kazad - Dum expansion and was dissapointed with the lack of actual cards you can use to build your deck. the box is big enough but is just taken up by cardboard. more cards less waste.

Iam seriously considering whether to carry on with this title as it is going to get ridiculous financialy.

Cheers Ogunner
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Re: Review: Lord of the Rings the Card Game
Ogunner wrote:

I agree with alot that has been said. i do think it is a great game and works well with two players, but ti think sometimes the solo option has been overlooked and made far to difficult.

I also think that the expansions/ advantures packs could have been put into the initial box, and maybe charged more for the core set. same with the new Kazad- Dum set. they could have bought out an expansion every six months or so but have all the adventure packs in it.

It is basically turning into a money making exercise from FFG, to go along with the Game of thrones LCG. i have just bought the Kazad - Dum expansion and was dissapointed with the lack of actual cards you can use to build your deck. the box is big enough but is just taken up by cardboard. more cards less waste.

Iam seriously considering whether to carry on with this title as it is going to get ridiculous financialy.

Cheers Ogunner


Yeah, good reply. I think the same, and I only have the core plus the firsts two APs, and I considering to continue the game because of the lack of player cards among other things.
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Derek Thompson
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Re: Review: Lord of the Rings the Card Game
Just wanted to comment that since writing this, I've played with the new Khazad-Dum / Redhorn Gate cards, and certainly a lot of things are better - the quests seem much more balanced and still very thematic and interesting, and of course you get 3 of every new card... it just would have been nice for these things to be in the original game. And of course I did end up buying a 2nd core set, but I sure would love that 3rd Unexpected Courage.... *sigh*
 
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