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Subject: Need advise on expansions rss

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krunsH himself
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Hi!
I bought this game and i was eager to play it solitary. After failing the mirkwood quest 6-7 times, which SHOULD be difficulty 1 (!), with a single sphere default deck i read a lot of threads here on how to improove the game (and my gameplay).
I will start building multicolour decks but also

I'd like to know which expansions are the easiest / and best ones?

Are there expensions which, actually, have a difficulty level 1, and are easier than mirkwood?

Is there a list of the expansions in order of their difficulty level?

Which are the best expansions overall? Are there some "must buys"?

thanks in advance!
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Phil Crompton
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Re: Need advise on expansions and game improvement
Hi,
you might find it easier if you use two decks when you 'solo' play. This will also give you the opportunity to use more of your cards that might not have been good for one single deck. I always play solo with 2 decks, in fact Escape from Dol Guldur is virtually impossible with one deck.
As for the expansions - I've found them all to be pretty good. The more plays under your belt the more competent at quests you beome so don't get put off by difficulty levels. Buy Khazad Dum and then dip into the other smaller boxed sets. Leave the Hobbit aside - it's a different creature altogether.
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Robert Taylor-Smith
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Re: Need advise on expansions and game improvement
You should be able to get through the Passage Through Mirkwood with the base game cards. Although none of the quests are easy for single deck solo. Certainly the Escape from Dol Guldur is really, really difficult. Have you tried all the single sphere base game starter decks? Some are better suited for solo play than others, ie. not the Tactics starter deck.

None of the expansion quests can be described as easy as Passage Through Mirkwood. None of them are really 'must buys'. If you like the game system then you'll want the expansions.

I's suggest trying to play the base game quest as two-headed solo. That is playing solo but using two decks. Like a two player game but actually just one player, yourself, running both decks. That way you'll see how the ranged and sentinel keywords really work. It's a perfectly acceptable way to play solo, after all the object is to have fun.

Another suggestion is to build constructed decks without the suggested 50 card minimum limit, ie. try 30 or 40 cards as the size. It might help.
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krunsH himself
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Re: Need advise on expansions and game improvement
Thank you, I appreciate your advice about how i could get better at the base game. I am aware of the fact that I quite surely just lack the skill to cope the first quest and I will train hard to get better. Anyways I do not really need more help concerning different options on how to improve the base game at this point. i read a lot about this in different threads and i find that quit sufficient.
I do not want to play solitary with two decks as I play enough two player games. And if possible I would like to stick to the (tournament) rules as much as possible, meaning I will try and use a ~50 card deck and only 3 heroes, and hopefully i do not need to come up with houserules to be able to finish the first quest.

I don't want to sound rude, but please continue to answer specific to my questions

Thank you on your advice regarding Khazad Dum. I will have a look at what that expansion has to offer.

It's a pity to hear, that there are no expansion packs that are easier than passage through mirkwood, as mirkwood is in fact quite challenging.
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Michael
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I don't think any expansion is easier than Passage through Mirkwood.

However, you have to keep in mind that the game gets "easier" with the number of cards at your disposal (more options --> more deck synergy --> stronger decks --> higher win rates).

The official difficulties (copied from the main page) are as follows:

Core Set:
Passage Through Mirkwood (Difficulty level = 1)
Journey Down the Anduin (DL= 4)
Escape from Dol Guldur (DL= 7)

Adventure Packs:

Shadows of Mirkwood Cycle
The Hunt for Gollum (DL= 4)
Conflict at the Carrock (DL= 7)
A Journey to Rhosgobel (DL= 6)
The Hills of Emyn Muil (DL= 4)
The Dead Marshes (DL= 5)
Return to Mirkwood (DL= 7)

Dwarrowdelf Cycle
(The Khazad-dûm expansion is required to play the following adventure packs)
The Redhorn Gate (DL= 6)
Road to Rivendell (DL= 4)
The Watcher in the Water (DL=5)
The Long Dark (DL=7)
Foundations of Stone (DL=6)
Shadow and Flame (DL=8)
Against the Shadow Cycle
(The Heirs of Númenor expansion is required to play the following adventure packs)

Print on Demand expansions:

The Massing at Osgiliath (DL= 8-9)
The Battle of Lake-town (DL= 9-10)

Deluxe Expansions:
Khazad-dûm includes 3 scenarios:
Into the Pit (DL = 5)
The Seventh Level (DL = 3)
Flight from Moria (DL = 7)

I don't recommend to take these DLs at face value as they are subject to multiple factors (e.g. number of players, deck, expansions owned...).

I play mostly solo and found the Dead Marshes one of the easiest, whereas the Journey to Rhosgobel and Return to Mirkwood felt very hard. I recently started a review series of the adventure packs aimed at new players to the game. I haven't gotten around to review the Mirkwood cycle, but there are already some really good reviews on the respective expansion pages. For most of the Dwarrowdelf cycle, here are the links to my reviews:

The Hobbit Saga Expansion: http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/855801/the-hobbit-is-the-lot...

Return to Mirkwood: http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/864850/the-frustrating-concl...

Road to Rivendell: http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/866846/ambushed-by-sleeping-...

Watcher in the Water: http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/864713/day-of-the-tentacles
Also have a look at this review by Hassan Lopez for a second opinion: http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/850223/a-thematic-but-frustr...

The Long Dark: http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/864687/light-and-darkness-in...

Foundations of Stone: http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/861624/a-light-in-the-darkes...

Shadow and Flame: http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/861586/the-epic-conclusion-o...
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Peter Kossits
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If you haven't done so yet, watch a few of the videos in the Cardboard Of The Rings group. My game improved dramatically after watching some of those.

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Matt Duckworth
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Quote:

It's a pity to hear, that there are no expansion packs that are easier than passage through mirkwood, as mirkwood is in fact quite challenging.


You would be surprised at how much your win percentage will improve with time. However, don't get too caught up in the difficulty 1 of the Mirkwood cycle. I like to use this scenario to test new deck designs because it is actually fairly well balanced (as far as combat vs. questing, location vs. treachery, etc. etc.), and may in fact be the most "generic" scenario of the game and a great one to get a feel for all aspects of it. It is still in my top 5 for scenarios I greatly enjoy.

After 100s of hours of solo play, countless decks designed, and atleast 1 solo success on every scenario to date with the exception of Dol Guldur, Shadow and Flame, and To Dungeons Dark and Caverns grim (which is a surprisingly nasty and tricky little scenario.. moreso with my usually diverse deck designs). I still LOSE Passage to Mirkwood sometimes.

The point is that the difficulty level on Passage or any other scenario is meaningless... and more meaningless for solo play than coop for which the DLs are actually scaled. Sure, Passage is "slightly" easier than most of the scenarios and a "good deal" easier than the hard ones, but it is still all relative.

As far as what expansions to get, that depends on what you are looking for. I have written a series of reviews (posted in the review forum of the respective pages) on the Mirkwood cycle. However, if you are looking for player card review, they probably aren't what you are looking for because I solely covered scenario designs.

If you are looking for good learning scenarios, I would recommend Carrock, Emyn Muil, Road to Rivendell, The 7th Level, and Rhosgobel. These all have pretty straightforward mechanics and really teach you a lot about deckbuilding as you confront the challenges of them.

Some scenarios have advanced mechanics/subleties/confusion and I would recommend staying away from these until you are more advanced. This would include Flight from Moria, Foundations of Stone, Dol Guldur, Return to Mirkwood, Dead Marshes, Osgiliath, and all of the Hobbit scenarios.

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krunsH himself
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Thank you for your answers!
Today I bought Khazad Dum expansion and i was surprised how few cards for the decks were in the expansion (I should have read it on the backside of the box, derr blush).
Anyways it looks like a good buy and i will play the quests sooner or later.

Thx @peterk1 for the "Cardboard Of The Rings group"-hint! I watched their first video and it was quite enlightening. The kind of synergies one can build their deck around is crazy.

I started Deckbuilding today and I won 2 out of 4 Passage through Mirkwood games with my new taktics-spirit deck.
Deckbuilding is quite fun, unfortunatly the options are quite limited with the few cards I have.

One question I came up with now is

Do the small quest-packs contain more cards for deckbuilding?

Do you adjust your deck for every quest, or do you play with the same cards?

Should the quests of a "cycle" be played in the correct order? (I kind of wonder why the difficultys of the quests in a cycle don't increase from easy to hard?)


I am going to research this soon, but maybe someone of you could answer this for my convenience

thanks a lot all!
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Michael
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capnkrunsh wrote:

1. Do the small quest-packs contain more cards for deckbuilding?

2. Do you adjust your deck for every quest, or do you play with the same cards?

3. Should the quests of a "cycle" be played in the correct order? (I kind of wonder why the difficultys of the quests in a cycle don't increase from easy to hard?)



1. Nine different cards per pack (three copies of each) and one hero. For specific cards in each set, have a look at some of the reviews or here: http://www.cardgamedb.com/index.php/lotr/lord-of-the-rings-c...

2. I find that some adjustment is needed in most quest. For my main decks, I have a certain fix set of cards (around 35-40) and swap the rest according to what I expect in the scenario.

3. It makes thematic sense. For instance, you hunt Gollum throughout most of the Mirkwood cycle, eventually catch him and bring him to King Thranduil for safekeeping. In the Dwarrowdelf cycle, the first two quests spin around accompanying Arwen before setting out to Moria where you have to get in, look around and finally defeat the big boss. I find it fun to try completing a full cycle with one deck, but more often I find myself just playing a single scenario here and there to have a break from studying.

Have fun with Khazad-dum! Some great quests in that one!
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Steve Shrock
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capnkrunsh wrote:

One question I came up with now is

Do the small quest-packs contain more cards for deckbuilding?

Do you adjust your deck for every quest, or do you play with the same cards?

Should the quests of a "cycle" be played in the correct order? (I kind of wonder why the difficultys of the quests in a cycle don't increase from easy to hard?)



Actually, I think that's three questions...

Each small expansion pack will have 8 or 9 different player cards (3 copies of each), plus a new hero, so while any one pack is not going to dramatically expand your card pool, they definitely make a difference, and over time and multiple packs, make a big difference. If you enjoy the deck-building aspect of this game, you will appreciate the increased options.

I build a deck for each quest, but others do not. The goal of finding "one deck to rule them all", i.e. a single deck which can defeat any (or at least most) quests, is often discussed.

The only real reason to play quests of a cycle consecutively is because there is somewhat of a continuing story woven through a given expansion cycle. I have tried to play them in order of release, and to win each quest regularly with only those player cards that were available at the time of its release, but that is just a self-imposed goal, and not at all necessary. Do whatever you feel like!

Have fun!
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Matt Duckworth
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Quote:
Do you adjust your deck for every quest, or do you play with the same cards?


I can usually make it through 2 or 3 scenarios with the exact deck I built before having to swap in a few cards. I usually try to do this thematically (i.e. using all dwarves, all elves, or some thematic combination like Aragorn, Elladan, and Elrohir). As you play, you will notice certain cards that would be fun to build a deck around, and then it becomes fun to design a concept deck and attack various scenarios in no particular order.


Quote:
Should the quests of a "cycle" be played in the correct order? (I kind of wonder why the difficultys of the quests in a cycle don't increase from easy to hard?)


I always play them in order the first time, than it's fair game.
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No No No Sheep
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mjd83 wrote:
I still LOSE Passage to Mirkwood sometimes.



how can you lose to Passage of Mirkwood if you are veteran player and deckbuilder ? bad deck ?
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Matt Duckworth
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Bad luck. PTM is still loseable even with a good deck. An early draw of Ungoliant's Spawn and a few Caught in Webs without counters can wreck a game fairly quickly.
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