Lord of the Rings: mission accomplished

Hey everybody,
Much like my post from a couple of months ago, I’m here today to celebrate having made it to 10 games of Lord of the Rings LCG, marking the second of my 10×10 goals as complete. I think I’d almost made it with this game for a while, but just couldn’t seem to bring myself to play the game. However, I’ve now clocked up my tenth play, and so thought I’d share with you some rambling thoughts, as per usual!

Lord of the Rings

Trouble in Tharbad

Following on from the last game in the Ringmaker cycle, The Three Trials, I think I was growing weary of this game once more, because of the preponderance of “gotcha!” moments. I know I’ve probably had this whinge before, but the game is no fun if there is simply no chance of beating it. If I know I’m unable to win from the get-go, why would I ever waste my time? Even when you know something awful is coming, the forced effects throughout the scenarios can mean there is very little you can do to plan ahead, as you’re just swept up in the torment of it all.

However, Trouble in Tharbad is a bit different. The Time X mechanic is still front and centre, but this scenario takes the very intriguing idea of playing with your threat level; instead of placing progress on the quest, instead you lower your threat. The Time counters do reduce your threat elimination level by 10, however, meaning you need to make sure you quest like the wind before you’re eliminated at 40 rather than the usual 50.

It’s a bit like many other scenarios, in that you’re basically trying to race away from an enemy mob at your back, and in this instance you’re trying to make it to the river crossing in time. This is represented by a location card that needs an unholy amount of progress, and can only be attempted once the quest has been achieved – the upside here, though, is that your threat will be starting from 0, albeit with plenty of effects that will raise that. It’s a really interesting quest that I would tentatively say I’d play again! I think it’s just a very interesting mechanic, playing with the threat like that, and one that I thought was very intriguing to see work.

For my next game, I’m going straight to the last cycle of the game! It’s been almost a year since I first played the Shadow in the East quests, and at least one of the decks I was using for those games has now morphed into something else, but I thought it would still be fun to see how I get on as I take a look at the final scenarios for the game.

Lord of the Rings

Wrath and Ruin

I really like this one. After learning the terrible truth about the mastermind behind the goings-on during our time in the profane temple to Sauron, the heroes have returned to Dorwinion to regroup, only to be pursued there by Thane Ulchor and his Easterlings! What follows is a scenario reminiscent of earlier quests, with the heroes battling to control locations in order to advance. The basic premise of this quest is therefore quite simple – as a location leaves play as explored, it comes to the players instead of going into the encounter deck. If there are more locations under the players’ control than there are in the staging area, then the players are winning.

However, so much is layered on top of this, with cards that can bring locations back into the staging area, or cards (like Ulchor himself) who can add more locations to the staging area as soon as a location leaves play. It really is quite representative of that tug-of-war style of play. We have the Easterling Raiders encounter set in here once again, which I really like in principle, but is tough to play against as it adds treachery cards to enemies as attachments, buffing those enemies (who are no pushover, to begin with!) 

Locations are also immune to player card effects, meaning that no amount of trickery is going to help here. The only thing that I felt gave me a bit of an edge was Legolas’ ability to add progress to the quest when he successfully slays an enemy – and there are plenty of them here! There was no early-game Light of Valinor to get double duty out of Glorfindel, either, so I was basically playing this as properly as it comes! Still, I was able to scratch a victory and so the next game will see me heading off to the City of Ulfast. 

I’m pretty sure I’m going to keep playing this game throughout the year. If nothing else, I’m mid-way through three cycle playthroughs, as well as possibly still playing the Fellowship Saga. I doubt if I’m going to clock up as many miles with this as I have with Marvel Champions, though, which is interesting in some respects because I do generally think of Lord of the Rings as “my favourite game”. I think the issue I have with it is just how difficult it got to play – especially if you don’t start to house-rule things to make it more palatable. I know I could deck-build for each scenario and play through it possibly quite well, but I like to have a deck ready to go for the whole event, and don’t really have the time for deck-building as much as I used to!

I think I currently have six decks built for Lord of the Rings, and I have been thinking I might disassemble everything when I’ve finished playing through these cycles, and have a fresh start. Some of those decks had been built years ago, and while they work really well, they have hampered subsequent decks because a lot of the good cards were already taken, etc. So I am pondering whether to just wipe the slate clean. I definitely want to keep going with Angmar Awakened, and I think I want to do the same with the Ringmaker, so I suppose it makes sense to just plod along for now.

Anyway, I’m rambling, so it’s time to shut up! There’s plenty more Lord of the Rings blogs on their way as the year goes ever on, though!

5 thoughts on “Lord of the Rings: mission accomplished”

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