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The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game» Forums » Rules

Subject: Newb questions after 1st play rss

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Tony Alonzo
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I just finished reading the rulebook and tried the first quest. I have a few conceptual questions regarding how the game actually plays out.

1. When locations are placed into the staging area, their threat numbers play into the total that your willpower stat has to compete with in order to progress in the active quest. Choosing to make a location active by traveling to it moves that location card out of the staging area but now requires tokens to resolve the location number before placing tokens on the quest card. The decision to leave location cards in the staging area or making one the active location through travel is really deciding if you want to deal with the location as its threat score, or dealing with it as overcoming its adventure token number and possibly benefiting from its bonus when resolved at the cost of adding the quest tokens to the location instead of the quest, right?

2. During each round, what you are really deciding to do with your characters is to exhaust them to either explore the quest, OR to defend an attack, OR make an attack. Unless you have a card or ability that lets you refresh before the end of the round, you are only going to use each character to do one of these three choices per round, correct? What became difficult was trying to get a character to quest and make progress on the quest, while trying to defend attacks to avoid automatically placing damage on a hero, while having a character available to attack and eliminate enemies. I am guessing this is the core mechanic of the game, trying to figure out how to best deal with the dilemma of only choosing one of these three main actions per turn.

3. Allies are tied to the player, not a hero, correct? If so, then is it usually advantageous to place the allies as quickly as possible as to increase the number of characters you have decision making abilities with? The allies then act just like a hero in that regard, engaging in questing, defending, and attacking decisions independent of a hero? I guess the only thing you can't do is assign them to take damage if an attack goes undefended. Because Hero abilities may usually be more powerful or effective at questing or attacking, then maybe you usually use allies to soak an attack so it doesn't go undefended, or support on a quest if they can add one or two points there?

I think for the most part I am getting the rules down, but the rulebook does not explore conceptually what is really happening regarding game dynamics and best practices and strategy based on the rule limitations.

By the way, I was really impressed and blown away at how engaging and complex this game was without a board, dice, miniature cards, etc... I was also playing the first quest, and with the default deck build. Can't wait to really learn and get into this game.
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Mr. D
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habanero wrote:

1. When locations are placed into the staging area, their threat numbers play into the total that your willpower stat has to compete with in order to progress in the active quest. Choosing to make a location active by traveling to it moves that location card out of the staging area but now requires tokens to resolve the location number before placing tokens on the quest card. The decision to leave location cards in the staging area or making one the active location through travel is really deciding if you want to deal with the location as its threat score, or dealing with it as overcoming its adventure token number and possibly benefiting from its bonus when resolved at the cost of adding the quest tokens to the location instead of the quest, right?


yes

Quote:
2. During each round, what you are really deciding to do with your characters is to exhaust them to either explore the quest, OR to defend an attack, OR make an attack. Unless you have a card or ability that lets you refresh before the end of the round, you are only going to use each character to do one of these three choices per round, correct? What became difficult was trying to get a character to quest and make progress on the quest, while trying to defend attacks to avoid automatically placing damage on a hero, while having a character available to attack and eliminate enemies. I am guessing this is the core mechanic of the game, trying to figure out how to best deal with the dilemma of only choosing one of these three main actions per turn.


you are correct.

Quote:
3. Allies are tied to the player, not a hero, correct? If so, then is it usually advantageous to place the allies as quickly as possible as to increase the number of characters you have decision making abilities with? The allies then act just like a hero in that regard, engaging in questing, defending, and attacking decisions independent of a hero? I guess the only thing you can't do is assign them to take damage if an attack goes undefended. Because Hero abilities may usually be more powerful or effective at questing or attacking, then maybe you usually use allies to soak an attack so it doesn't go undefended, or support on a quest if they can add one or two points there?


Yeah, you've got it. Good job. Have fun.

-TR
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James Ludlow
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habanero wrote:
I guess the only thing you can't do is assign them to take damage if an attack goes undefended.

Or collect resources, unless a card effect says otherwise.

 
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Jan Probst
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Regarding 1. it is also important to remember, that barring special card effects (Northern Tracker etc), at the very best (ie given sufficient spare willpower), you will clear one location per turn, while conceivably more creatures can be dealt with per turn (especially multiplayer).
Leaving locations in staging, even if it seems short term beneficial from a threat score versus quest points comparison, can backfire and choke you up with more than you can handle if more locations come up in batches.

No comments on 2 and 3, I agree with your ideas on them.

habanero wrote:
By the way, I was really impressed and blown away at how engaging and complex this game was without a board, dice, miniature cards, etc...

Same here, was pretty much love at first sight with the automation engine upon reading the core rules on a whim.
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Rob Rob
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Weltenreiter wrote:
Regarding 1. it is also important to remember, that barring special card effects (Northern Tracker etc), at the very best (ie given sufficient spare willpower), you will clear one location per turn, while conceivably more creatures can be dealt with per turn (especially multiplayer).
Leaving locations in staging, even if it seems short term beneficial from a threat score versus quest points comparison, can backfire and choke you up with more than you can handle if more locations come up in batches.

Very true. While there are multiple ways to deal with enemy encounters, you are quite limited in options to clearing locations.
 
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Tony Alonzo
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Thanks for the insights and ideas. I think it would be beneficial to explore locations for the theme of the gaming experience, and obtaining rewards for some locations.
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Ian M
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On issue number 2- Okay... I'll chime in here since this is close to my issue too. It was my understanding that each action is an option per round (denoted by the term "a player may commit characters to a quest/travel/etc" in the rulebook). Where you are exhausting Heroes/characters to accomplish what you need to that round. Worker placement style. So first round spiders and flies I opted out of the questing phase to handle the spiders and reduce the enemy threat for next round questing. No? Meaning that new staging only occurs when questing? Is this wrong?
 
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James Ludlow
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Deltron Zed wrote:
So first round spiders and flies I opted out of the questing phase to handle the spiders and reduce the enemy threat for next round questing. No?

No.

You can certainly decide to commit zero characters to the quest, but you still have to go through all of the steps of the quest phase, including revealing cards from the encounter deck and raising your threat when you fail the quest.

Game phases are not optional.

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Ian M
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Okay then that was confusing to me. It seemed to me like you're only drawing encounter cards after you were actively questing. I mean, you don't travel regardless of the travel phase. You're choosing to resolve that current part of the quest... fighting your current battles and then questing further. If encounters constantly pop out regardless, when do you have time to do anything but handle the attacks that WILL be coming in the encounter phase? Choose one hero to quest and its likely not enough score to beat the staging area's. Choose more and you're heroes will die off in no time with no one left to defend. That seems outrageously hard when shadow effects are coming in to play. Leaving my best option for getting anywhere in a quest to attacking with the blade of gondolin or something with that effect.

Edit: " but the rulebook does not explore conceptually what is really happening regarding game dynamics and best practices and strategy based on the rule limitations."

I think this was my problem seeing the quest as conceptual idea where you are making the moves instead of the moves being made on you. Where each quest is functioning as a gauntlet you are running and not a series of steps you are taking.
 
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Ian M
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How do you ever win, then, if you either constantly take "damage" (threat) from not questing or not defending and losing your heroes and therefore your ability to play cards? Either way the game will heap damage on you in a few rounds and its over.
 
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James Ludlow
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Deltron Zed wrote:
How do you ever win, then, if you either constantly take "damage" (threat) from not questing or not defending and losing your heroes and therefore your ability to play cards? Either way the game will heap damage on you in a few rounds and its over.


The game is hard. As for "how to win", that would be better asked in the general or strategy forums.
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Kelly B
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Deltron Zed wrote:
How do you ever win, then, if you either constantly take "damage" (threat) from not questing or not defending and losing your heroes and therefore your ability to play cards? Either way the game will heap damage on you in a few rounds and its over.


Try watching some vids. It can be rough if you aren't familiar with the cards but seeing the game in action by good players will build your confidence that a win is possible. It is a challenging game and some scenarios will seem impossible, but know there is a path to victory.
 
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