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

Subject: Got thousands of cards--- now what? rss

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Sherri Haight
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A very kind person donated thousands of LOTR TCG cards--- and they are gorgeous and sorted now! But PDF of rules aside, how the heck to do I construct playable decks out of all these cards, and how do a learn to play? I want to create several playable decks to carry to game club
meetings.

It looks dauntingly complex yet it looks lovely and fun and I can't wait to try.

Perhaps somewhere there is a suggested starter ratio, like X weapons, X locations, etc.

I know strategy will involve fiddling with ratios of deck construction, but I'm looking first to just create several playable decks to bring to game club meetings to start with.

Or maybe there is an easy to understand list of the cards in each released starter deck and I can just rebuild them from the collection. I'm also trying to figure out if there is a base amount of tokens of certain colors needed for each deck, etc. to put with them.

I looked through the files section, and the specialty forums, and didn't quite see anything like these questions, but perhaps I just didn't recognize what I needed out of overwhelment.
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Johannes Haglund
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One suggestion is to start building decks from one set, or at least one block, as those cards are made to work together.
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Sherri Haight
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Actually i relooked and for some reason I found what I couldn't find before. A list of what was in each starter deck, and a link to a site that in turn had a link to a BEGINNERS rule book. (the comprehensive rule novella I printed is pretty intimidating but I'm sure it will be useful once I know whats going on)

Still would welcome much advice on getting started if anyone has hints on playing, learning, or creating decks beyond starter.
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Chris Stanton
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Useful site for decklists- will give you an idea of what to create
http://www.decktech.net/lotr/decks/index.php

For ease of learning, I'd not use any cards that mention Initiative to begin with- just an unnecessary complication
If you do know someone that plays the game, that'd be the best way to learn.
If you have cards from different sets, split them into sets 1-10 & the rest. It's not a good idea to mix these two sections as they don't work well together.

If you want a quick & easy deck idea-
Aragorn(preferably Defender+1), Gandalf, Legolas & Gimli- with all their weapons & bows, a couple of pumps to keep Frodo from being overwhelmed
Team with a Shadow side thats Site 5 or below (the number at bottom-left) so you don't get a clogged hand.

That should be decent & straightforward enough to use while learning the game


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Sherri Haight
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Wow I thought I had them organized but trying to find the cards to match the list of starter decks is a real chore--- I gotta figure out how to organize them better because category isn't enough.

Also, I don't appear to have all the starter cards i can't find several of them, or I am short one or two, from the list.

And the deck list says, "+3 rares" I'm not sure how to work that in. Also, I find references that the starter decks aren't "legal" and I have to add cards.

I REALLY wish I had a friend who had played this game, it would make it a lot simpler. I have three degrees, yet looking at these tons of pretty cards, and the starter rules and the comprehensive rule books I printed, I STILL feel like I don't know how to get two decks built so I can try running through the game.

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Sherri Haight
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Toc13 wrote:

Useful site for decklists- will give you an idea of what to create
http://www.decktech.net/lotr/decks/index.php




That looks like a potential gold mine I will definitely check that out, its not a site I have found previously. And thanks for hint on "initiative"

For what its worth, I have never played a collectible card game before in my life. It looks like it has incredible variation and replay value, and the ability to use your skills to construct playing decks, but it also looks like a HUGE learning curve. I'm more used to things like Dominion and Thunderstone, which are deck building, but in a different mechanic.
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Chris Stanton
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The learning curve isn't too bad on this- no MtG timing issues & the like. Think of it as Dominion except you get to build your engine first without having to buy it a piece at a time.

Cards number is down at the bottom right & gives which set something is from. Probably easiest to sort by Set, then by culture.
Card 10C110 (A Marvel) is Set 10, Common, Card number 110

Without knowing which cards you have or even which sets, it's a bit tricky to talk about particular builds so I'll try & do a general idea.

Pick out a Frodo & a Ring that you like
Pick out sites 1-9 (if they are not numbered 1-9, then you have Region cards...they're a bit trickier). You can do this at the end so you pick sites that suit the deck.

The rest of your deck has to be minimum 30 Free Peoples & 30 Shadow. The number of cards for each side must match (so if you have 32 FP, you MUST have 32 Shadow)

You are allowed 4 points worth of Starting Companions. These will be 'played' before the game starts. Aragaorn, Gandalf, Gimli/Legolas & Boromir/Merry are popular. Because they start in play, you will only want 1 copy in your deck.

For other companions in your deck, you will want at least 2 copies (possibly 3) if they are a key part of the deck. If they're just nice without being vital then 1, maybe 2.

Toys- You will want at least 1 Hobbit Sword. At the start, it's very easy for Frodo to get Overwhelmed (monsters with double his strength) so a Sword on him gets him out of the immediate danger.
Swords/ Axes for your Starting Companions are also a good idea. That way they might win fights.
General rule of thumb- if the Character is a Starting one or one that you're running 3 Copies of, you can stick in their named toys. Otherwise general toys will be better.

Pumps-
Cards that give Hobbits +Strength will be very handy
Cards that give you Starting Companions +Strength will also be needed.
If it helps kill Monsters, generally it'll be handy

Card Drawing- Card Drawing is good. Card Drawing is very good. Elves are good at this. Dwarves can be very good at this. Smeagol- Poor Creature is a very good Starting Companion because he gets your cards flowing. Having the cards flow in the right way is important. If your deck is just not working well & the cards aren't drawing, try splitting the FP & Shadow & pairing them up with another deck. Hobbit/Uruk-Hai may not work but Hobbit/Nazgul might.

Other tricks- other cards are dependent on what your deck is trying to do. Unless it's something fairly specialized like Knights & Fortifications, you can get away without using much else than is already listed (at least until you've learnt a bit more about the game)


For the Shadow side.
Nazgul are big & beefy. They tend to corrupt rather than kill. A bit pricey so can be a bit slow-moving
Goblins are small but numerous. These are a favourite for sending out a swarm. Occupy other companions with 1 each & gang-up on Frodo with the rest.
Uruk-Hai do damage & don't mind getting hurt in the process.
Sauron Orcs tended to require a lot of Rares in order to be very effective & their late site number means they can be quite slow
Warg-riders/Wildmen I found these to be okay for slowing down the FP but not great at killing.


A good tip for playing FP side. Playing a 5th Companion can be bad. Playing a 6th IS bad.....very, very bad. Lots of nasty things can happen.

When playing, bear in mind that each card you play gives your opponent more resources to use against you (it was this mechanism that made this such a good game). Ask yourself if playing those 2 cards is worth an extra monster coming at you. Nazgul may cost 5-6 per monster but they stop roaming (costing 2 extra) at Site 3. That 1 card could be an extra Goblin (or 2...or 3).



If you have question wrt decks, playing, whatever- feel free to give a yell. It's been a while since I've played it much but for the first 10 sets I was playing a game a day on average so I know that half fairly well
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Sherri Haight
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That is some very good information, some of it I understand now, some I will learn to appreciate after I play.

I think some of my confusion was that Free Peoples cards apparently include the categories of Conditions and Events and Allies AND Companions. Shadow cards seem to be included in all those categories, plus Minions category.

I sorted my bonanza for card type, then alphabetical. I thought that would be important and easier than trying to find by card number via a paper with just a list of titles/serial numbers. Unfortunately I kept finding rules referring to "free peoples" cards which weren't fully explained. I wonder if I should have put event and conditions in same category, and allies and companions in same. But eventually I won't just be looking for titles, I will want my own decks. But then, there are online databases for that.

You've come closest to saying "pick X of this kind, X of that kind, etc" which is useful for a starting deck. I will try to use that to help fill in any holes I find in trying to get the starter decks made from the list. You've also given me a pretty good very basic overview.

The cards donated were wonderful--- they include rares, foils, promos, and lots and lots of stuff. I'm talking two large boxes over twenty pounds each packed full of non sorted cards. Its been fun trying to sort them, while looking at all the lovely art :) but now I'm trying to get to play and feeling intimidated.
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Chris Stanton
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Free Peoples is any 'good side' cards.
Hobbit, Dwarf, Elf, Gondor, Gandalf, Rohan (...think that's all of them)

Shadow is any 'evil side' cards
Nazgul, Isengard, Moria, Sauron, Dunland, Southron/Easterling.

It's probably easiest to sort by Culture (those are Cultures listed above) first as most of your building is going to be based on one or two cultures per deck. Then split the Culture down into each card type
I'd also sort sets 1-10 & 11-19 seperately as with set 11 the Shadow cultures changed so the older cards don't work well with the new ones.

'X of each' is a bit tricky as it really does depend on the deck.
FP can have between 2 & 9 Companions
Possessions- typically 4-8
Allies- Maybe 1 or 2 very useful ones but none is also commmon
Conditions- Ones that are key to the deck or keeping people alive. Hobbits & Dwarfs seem to use more than the other cultures
Events- These will probably be about half the deck & are typically there for doing one of three things. Card-drawing, Removal, Skirmish pumps.
Removal is mostly for getting rid of nasty Conditions- 3-4 copies of a removal card should suffice.
Card-drawing- Elves used to be very good at this, Gandalf is decent, Dwarfs can be very good at this. If your deck is quite fast-flowing, you don't need so much. If you have big & clunky monsters, you probably need more
Skirmish pumps- 8-10 is a typical number for most decks. They're in there to keep your guys alive & to help clear monsters out of the way for double-moving.


Shadow side
Usually single Culture although a splash of 2-3 copies of a particularly big & nasty creature is common (Ulaire Enquea gets used in this way a lot)
Generally, the larger the monsters, the less of the deck is devoted to them.
Nazgul- 50% monsters, 40% Conditions & Events, 10% Possessions
Uruk-Hai- 70% monsters
Moria- 90% monsters
Those are typical numbers but adjust as necessary
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J Stratton
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Check out online LOTR at

http://www.gempukku.com/gemp-lotr/hall.html

There is a lobby and you can watch games being played in real time, in a variety of different blocks.

I suggest starting with only FoTR, and building 2 decks, and focus each deck's shadow on a particular culture. Moria and Isengard (Uruk Hai) are probably your best starting points.

For the free peoples side, I think its tough to not just build a "rainbow" deck (a little of each culture) as you probably will not have a lot of culture specific stuff in this environment (its probably possible to build a Hobbit only deck, but building only dwarves or only Gondor is a bit tougher), just make sure you put in good hobbit protection (Boromir, Hobbit Stealths/Intuitions, Hobbit Sword) - and then start tinkering around.

Maybe pair it Hobbits/Gandalf and Hobbits/Gondor for your first two decks.

Sam is probably the best companion to include, I always put him in my decks. Frodo + Sam + Boromir at site 9 is a shadow player's nightmare.
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Sherri Haight
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I finally broke down and got two starter decks from FoTR (aragorn and gandalf) and thus have it all ready to play-- sleeved, tokens, read through beginning instruction books. Now I just need someONE to play with! I moved to a new town so not with my good game group anymore.

After I play a few rounds of that, I should have a good enough idea on how to take the advanced cards (many many many) and then make sense of the advice here on making custom decks.

I keep getting error messages with that web site, but it looks interesting. I may try to check it out with other browsers and see if I can get one that works.
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