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

Subject: Do expansions feel like cheating? rss

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Guy Heinz
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I have two core sets and have defeated first and second scenarios (mirkwood and anduin) solo. Very much still trying different things with anduin as win rate is abysmal, but I want to continue playing solo one deck game. Because I like this game, I ordered khazad dum and some exp packs for it as well as return to mirkwood. As these expansions are released, are they supposed to be beatable with only their said release and all previous ones? In other words, should I be able to beat dol guldur with only the core set (x2) and none of the gollum expansions or others released after the core set? It seems like cheating if you put better more powerful later released cards into your deck to defeat an earlier scenario. I really want to do these in order using only the cards that would have been available at the time of release of whatever exp i am playing? I know this is highly personal, but really I want to master the deck building in this game, and common sense tells me that each scenario should be beatable with only what was available at its release time. Thoughts? Opinions? Comments?

Thanks all

Guy
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Chris Fuller
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It can feel like that, but I dont think it is, ESPECIALLY solo. With the 4 spheres, I feel like this game was really optimized for 2 players. Take Gol Duldur for instance. Losing 1 of 3 heroes isnt nearly as bad as 1 of 6.

As the game gave grown, I think the developers have tweaked the quests to scale well(using language on cards depending on how many players are involved, etc.), where as I think this wasnt done as well for Core. Take the first quest for example. In most quests, you reveal 1 encounters card PER PLAYER. Not in this one. 2 cards no matter what. Add on another and questing/dealing with that spider right away can get tricky.

Using expansions makes the game much more fun IMO, trying to make some thematic decks, etc.

Best part about a game like this is that since its cooperative, you can pretty much play whatever way is the most fun and not worry too much.
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Dave Kudzma
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Ere away the light of day! from Over and Under Hill is a tough quest no matter how many players you have, so I agree with Chris that they've done a great job of developing quests that work well with any number of players. I doubt as you play more and more quests that you'll feel as though you're cheating.
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Well, let's see.
I think the most important thing to keep in mind is: you're playing solo (or coop), make it your game! There are no deck lawyers judging you or anything.

Older scenarios definitely (for the most part) get easier as you get more and more cards to build your deck from. But I think that is a huge opportunity for even more fun. In the Core set you'll have to make due with what you've got.
A bigger card pool allows you to make more interesting decisions during deck building. Sure, you can make a deck that only uses the strongest cards but you also have the opportunity to experiment with thematic decks, or try to hightlight a certain mechanic in a deck.
If you advance progressively some cards don't make much sense by themselves. You have to get more expansions to make good use of them. A good example is Mustering the Rohirrim (allows you to search your deck for Rohan cards) that comes in the first pack of the Mirkwood cycle with a lot of Rohan allies in the following packs.

I'd still suggest playing the expansions in order of release at least once, if it weren't for their limited availability.

If you are interested in playing the expansions in order with the limited card pool, you could check out The LOTR LCG Progression Series in which 2 guys are doing exactly that.

Edit: Typos
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Guy Heinz
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I guess its not really feeling like cheating, but that a good well rounded game should not depend on cards that are not yet produced in order to be winnable. I don't have a problem using other cards, but really I want opinions as to whether the core set times two is doable consistently without later cards.


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Guy
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guyheinz wrote:
I guess its not really feeling like cheating, but that a good well rounded game should not depend on cards that are not yet produced in order to be winnable. I don't have a problem using other cards, but really I want opinions as to whether the core set times two is doable consistently without later cards.


Thanks

Guy


Passage through Mirkwood - yes
Journey down the Anduin - somewhat
Escape from Dol Guldur - I don't think so

I think it's not meant to be beaten consistently. In order to create some sort of adventure feeling you need uncertainty. It is part of the game and can only be mitigated.
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John R
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Guy:

I shared the same concerns when I first started buying expansions. Now that I've been playing for a few months, I don't believe the expansions to be considered cheating. However, I think that the Passage Through Mirkwood has to be discounted once you start understanding the game fully. Any properly constructed deck will make mincemeat of that quest, which is why when I'm fine-tuning a deck I use Journey Down the Anduin as a gauge of deck strength.

Now that I've got the Dwarrowdelf APs, I find that even core encounter cards can wreck your day. Running the classic Elrond + Vilya + Imladris Stargazer combo, I found that a timely Necromancer's Reach could still wreck my day as it killed the Gazer and destroyed my ability to look at the top five cards of the deck and put them in order to get the most use out of Vilya.

The only thing that feels like cheating to me at this point is two-handing dwarf decks using the Hobbit expansions. In the end, I think if you take all the Dwarf cards in the game right now, they are far more powerful than any other traits or synergies. However, I have found that if I just play with Dwarves minus the Hobbit expansions, they are nicely balanced with other types of decks.

Have fun! It's a great game.
John
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Kevin C
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I would agree with all the comments thus far, but add that, while some cards- to me- do feel a little cheat-y... I still get my ass kicked more often than not, so take that as you will. I feel a little cheap playing song effect cards and giving certain characters multiple sphere abilities, but I think, thematically, it makes sense many times, too. Why SHOULDN'T Eowyn be able to add Leadership to her natural Spirit ability? Why COULDN'T Aragorn have Lore on top of his core set's Leadership card? But even when it feels weird (Denethor having Tactics? ehhh) it's not game-breaking by any means, so I say why not? Sometimes I do try to stick myself to thematic boundaries, playing decks where all the cards make sense for whatever the quest is. But even when I don't, I have found very few instances where I feel like I have any kind of unfair edge. I had the same concern before I started buying APs. I felt like I really wanted to nail down the core set before I experimented with APs and expansions, but once I dipped into APs, I felt like I wished I had done so sooner.
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Thanee
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I would say that, with the exception of Escape from Dol Guldur, which is insanely hard solo, all quests are doable with just the cards released at that time (if you play solo).

Escape from Dol Guldur is doable with two players.

Of course, if you have a larger card pool (i.e. include later expansions), the game as a whole will be easier.

But this isn't cheating, it is just a matter of playstyle and finetuning the difficulty of the game.

Just do what feels right to you!

Bye
Thanee
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Maya
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ins3kT wrote:
Passage through Mirkwood - yes
Journey down the Anduin - somewhat
Escape from Dol Guldur - I don't think so

I think it's not meant to be beaten consistently. In order to create some sort of adventure feeling you need uncertainty. It is part of the game and can only be mitigated.


My feelings exactly. I think the balance in the core game is perfect. You've got your intro quest, which you can beat after a couple of plays and thereby learn the game mechanics. You've got the mid-level quest which kicks your posterior pretty easily until you've really started to master the game. And you've got the insane difficulty "Master Quest" for the long-term challenge. Of course, all of this just whets your appetite for more cards and new challenges, but the game itself is very well balanced. "Well balanced" doesn't mean easy!

To put it another way, it's like the difficulty settings on a really brutal video game. When you're first learning the controls on an FPS, you might want to set the game to Easy, with auto-lock and few enemies. Later on, you need the Excessive Brutality setting to keep the game fresh.
 
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Matt Duckworth
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I'm not sure if this has been specifically covered or not, but this game is not really designed to play expansions based on core set + said expansion player cards. This is especially true for Heirs of Numenor, who's quests are so difficult that only experienced players with the entire card pool have a shot at them, and even then often only if running the grossly over powered dwarf decks.

My advice to everyone playing this game is that if you are going to buy expansions, buy them in order of release. Trying to beat Into Ithilien with just a core set and Heirs of Numenor card pool is just an exercise in fruitless frustration... and could quite possibly turn you off of the game for awhile due to it's difficulty, as it did me.
 
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Charles Lasky
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mjd83 wrote:
I'm not sure if this has been specifically covered or not, but this game is not really designed to play expansions based on core set + said expansion player cards. This is especially true for Heirs of Numenor, who's quests are so difficult that only experienced players with the entire card pool have a shot at them, and even then often only if running the grossly over powered dwarf decks.

My advice to everyone playing this game is that if you are going to buy expansions, buy them in order of release. Trying to beat Into Ithilien with just a core set and Heirs of Numenor card pool is just an exercise in fruitless frustration... and could quite possibly turn you off of the game for awhile due to it's difficulty, as it did me.


(Although if you get the Core set, Heirs of Numenor, and the Stewards Fear, you will have more of a chance, as Outlands are pretty powerful. This may be cheating, but it's a good cost/power ratio, so that's better than say the dwarves which are across 16 or so expansions.)
 
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My brother and I are working through all the releases in order using only the cards available at that time, with one excetion: for the hobbit we skipped ahead, and used cards from KD and DDelf in order to build decks that are as true to the hobbit book as possible.

Working great so far.
 
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Adrian Zettlemoyer
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I'm playing the sets in order, and using each set I beat as an unlock for the player cards released in that set. so it's not cheating, it's like a progression. It's fun.

And since it's solo, if I get stuck on a quest that I can't beat, I'll let myself unlock those cards anyway after playing it several times.

Also, no one mentioned yet, but now with the easy mode rules, I can switch to easy mode to try to unlock the player cards.
 
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