News for August 2010
Build Your Fellowship 61
Announcing The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game, a cooperative LCG
The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game | Published 03 August 2010

“You have done well to come,” said Elrond. “You will hear today all that you need to understand the purpose of the Enemy. There is naught that you can do, other than to resist, with hope or without it. But you do not stand alone. You will learn that your trouble is but part of the trouble of all the western world.”
      –“The Council of Elrond,” The Fellowship of the Ring

An ancient evil stirs in the black lands of Mordor, and the people of Middle-earth speak of a terrible doom approaching from the east. The Dark Lord Sauron is gathering his forces, and should he acquire the power he seeks, he will cast the world into eternal shadow. The only hope lies in a heroic few who must work together to stem the tide of evil...

Fantasy Flight Games is proud to announce the most recent in our line of Living Card Games, The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game! This latest addition to our catalog is a game of heroes, perilous journeys, and adventure set in the lands described the epic fantasy masterpiece, The Lord of the Rings.

The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game is a cooperative card game that puts 1-2 players (or up to four with two Core Sets!) in control of the most powerful characters and artifacts of Middle-earth. Players will select heroes, gather allies, acquire artifacts, and coordinate their efforts to face Middle-earth’s most dangerous fiends. By cooperating to overcome the obstacles drawn from the encounter deck, you will complete the quest before you and claim victory!

In The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game, players take on the roles of heroes attempting to complete dangerous quests. These quests take place during a broad span, beginning near the end of The Hobbit, and culminating near the beginning of The Fellowship of the Ring. Instead of directly retelling the classic stories that have previously been narrated, this game provides players with a variety of elements—characters, settings, enemies, events, items, artifacts, scenarios—that allow them to embark upon new adventures and share new experiences with these beloved characters during this ominous period of Middle-earth history.

And as an LCG, The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game is a constantly expanding game experience. A Living Card Game (LCG) offers an innovative fixed distribution method that breaks away from the traditional Collectible Card Game model. While LCGs still offer the same dynamic, expanding, and constantly evolving game play that makes CCG’s so much fun, they do away with the deterrent of the blind-buy purchase model that has burned out so many players. The end result is an innovative mix that gives you the best of both worlds! Check out our LCG website to get all the details of this exciting concept in gaming.

Head to our description page to learn more, and this fall, unite to combat the growing evil!

The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game is a cooperative card game that puts 1-2 players (or up to four with an additional Core Set) in control of the most powerful characters and artifacts of Middle-earth. Players will select heroes, gather allies, acquire artifacts, and coordinate their efforts to face Middle-earth’s most dangerous fiends. The Living Card Game format allows players to customize their gaming experience with monthly Adventure Pack expansions to the core game.

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Comments (61)

Published: 11/21/2010 7:11:26 PM

 It has so beautiful design! Can't wait to learn more about this game!

Published: 11/17/2010 7:30:13 PM

 Talarius, my hope exactly! FFG should definitely acquire MECCG or at least take a long look at the game while designing this one (I'm sure they have). I too have literally thousands of MECCG cards and miss playing with them.  Although, with this game being cooperative you lose some of the flair of MECCD where you could have a party of Orcs led by a Nazgul go up against Aragorn and Friends. Or you could have the Balrog or a fallen Wizard try to take the ring for themselves.

For me, the biggest thing is that the game is not trying to follow the books in terms of adventures/storyline. Decipher's game was primarily a reenactment, while MECCG allowed you to actually explore the world of Middle Earth.

Anyways, very excited!

Published: 10/25/2010 2:44:07 PM

 I am thrilled to see this game. As soon as I can get my hands on it, my gaming guild will be having an all-nighter to play until we pass out.

Published: 8/27/2010 9:48:05 AM

This sure sounds like a cool game

Published: 8/11/2010 2:07:14 PM

Great - like the 1 player option

Published: 8/11/2010 4:37:59 AM

As a big lotr fan I will definitively pick up a Core Set. Based on the playtime and enthousiasm that receives within my play-group I will add expansions. Looking forward to this though, hope to playtest it and buy the core set at the Spiel in October.

The Thing In The Attic
Published: 8/6/2010 12:46:47 PM

Another cool feature about this game, if i understand the design right is that only one player needs buy the set because it's a two player game by design, and a four player game if you buy two base sets. so again unlike the CCG's of old, where deck building and complex strategies really did require players to collect thier own sets two player dudes can play this right out of the box with one set .

I remember buying Deciphers Star Wars and Lord Of The Rings starter decks and feeling short changed by not being able to play the game properly straight out of the box. 

I'm going to take my thoughts over to the forum on this topic now as this space is really for first impressions and i've given mine below. see you all over there.


Published: 8/6/2010 1:58:51 AM

I may just buy this for the art. My friend will love this game being a LotR geek.
Neodymium Magnets

Published: 8/5/2010 6:37:56 PM

This announcement is *nearly* a dream come true.

I'm a fairly dedicated MECCG fan, with several thousand cards in my collection.  If I could only keep one game from my collection (~150+?) MECCG would be it. 

My ideal scenario would be FFG acquiring the rights to the game design from I.C.E. (as I believe they still hold the rights to the game design, just not the intellectual property license) and re-publish MECCG.  IMHO, I.C.E. treated the license with unparalleled care and respect, producing a game with incredible depth.

Failing that pipe-dream I had  thought maybe FFG could still acquire the game design license and use it with their Midnight setting, which they own the I.P. for outright.  Use the old rules with the new setting for a fresh experience.  I've meant to write an email with that idea for at least a year to... someone at FFG... maybe Eric Lang?  Dunno.

Anyway, this is probably the closest I'll get to either of those ideas.  As a co-op game, this can't be too close to MECCG, as in that game you built a deck of good characters, items, events to play for your own victory while also including hazards (creatures and events) to prevent the success of your opponent.  Should be interesting to see how this game works, but if it's going to be co-op, then it'll be a different experience.  That also makes me wonder at the "LCG" tag, as that seems somewhat unique... an LCG where the players don't compete against each other for victory?  Interesting.

As a Tolkien nut and MECCG fan in particular... I can't wait to get my hands on this game and see what we've got!

Thanks FFG.  Now feel free to call up I.C.E. and buy up the MECCG game design anyway, please!  ;-)

Arma virumque
Published: 8/5/2010 5:17:45 PM


It's not quite the same as Dominion, because Dominion releases expansions with lots of cards (250-500) maybe twice per year, at a price point of about $50 each.  By comparison, the LCGs release smaller expansions (60 cards) at a smaller price point ($15), but do so much more often (every month).  So you will end up spending more in total for an LCG than you would for Dominion, if you want to own every card.

The other big difference is that once you start buying expansion sets for an LCG, you lose the ability to just grab it off the shelf and play it (as you can with Dominion and its expansion sets), because you have to spend time between games to choose specifically which cards from the expansion sets you want to include in the deck of cards you bring to the table.  Once you have a lot of expansions, that can be a difficult, time-consuming task.  It can also be very rewarding, depending on your enthusiasm for the game, but your mileage will vary.

Does this mean you should stay away it from it because it's not a "complete in the box" experience?  Not necessarily.  With the other LCGs, FFG did a good job of creating the Core Set in such a way that it's fun to pick up and play without buying any expansions.  So there's no reason not to try it out with the core set, to see how enthusiastic you are.


In a nutshell, LCGs can comfortably fill every niche from "game" to "hobby" to "obsession."  Where you fall on that scale will depend on the amount of money you want to spend and the amount of time you have to spare.

Published: 8/5/2010 2:03:46 PM

Thanks again Thingy for the complete description, my friends have gotten into dominion and it seems to fit the living card game concept

The Thing In The Attic
Published: 8/5/2010 12:09:31 PM

in reply to c8tiff

No CCG's and the LCG,s are different and here's why.

CCG or TCG stands for Customizable card game or Trading card game. the emphasis on these types of games was that you had to chase the set, usually throwing a load of money at it to buy in bulk and there by beat the randomness of getting rares you needed to complete the set or a bunch of swaps, the other way to complete sets being to trade cards but that was only possible in card game rich communities or events like Gen Con

gamers got wise to this and stopped collecting (possibly bankrupting themselves too. 

FFG innovatively and proactively beat the slump in the CCG market  and gave rise to the Living card game where gamers now purchase base sets and small monthly add on packs. the expansions are regular small and cheap there by allowing you to buy all the cards in one cheap hit and gives the designer more control on how the new sets interact with the playing environment.

for gamer and designer its win win all the way to the bank.

incidently FFG's two main LCG's started off as CCG's and there is an excellent article in the archives explaining why they became LCG's

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