|The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game | Published 17 November 2010|
Enemies are amassing in southern Mirkwood under the watchful eyes of King Thranduil’s scouts. The Necromancer’s legions are growing and Lady Galadriel of Lórien must be warned. King Thranduil entrusts an urgent message to a band of capable heroes. On their journey ahead, these heroes must traverse the spider-infested regions of Mirkwood, make their way down the Anduin River, and face the perils of Dol Guldur itself.
The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game is a cooperative card game of heroes, quests, and epic adventure. Previously we were given a grand overview of the game and some of its mechanics. Today we will start a series of previews that will focus on different elements of The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game. In this first preview, we will take a look at one of the most unique aspects of the game: the scenarios.
Since The Lord of the Rings is a cooperative game, players join together and focus their efforts on completing a scenario. At the start of each game, the players choose a scenario, which consists of two elements: the Quest deck and the Encounter deck. Let’s take a closer look at each of these decks, and how they function in the game.
The Quest deck is a small, fixed sequential deck that provides the backbone and narrative arc of the scenario. During the game, the players attempt to progress from one stage of the quest deck to the next by committing heroes and allies to the Quest. Each quest card has a number of quest points that determines how much progress the players must achieve before advancing to the next stage. Additionally, most Quest cards have some kind of conditional game text that affects what the players can and cannot do while on that stage of the quest. In the easier scenarios, these effects are typically minor, but in some of the more difficult scenarios they can be daunting. For example, the Beorn’s Path card forces players to evade or kill Ungoliant’s Spawn before they can beat the Passage Through Mirkwood Quest.
In addition to progressing from one stage of the Quest to the next, the players will also have to contend with the larger randomized Encounter deck that is a part of each scenario. There are several different subsets of encounter cards in the core set, and each scenario’s quest deck provides the information the players need to build the encounter deck for that scenario. As the players quest, the encounter deck throws random challenges at them in the form of enemy cards that will attempt to harm the party, locations that need to be explored, and treachery cards that represent unexpected events and happenings. For instance, the players might have to fight Chieftan Ufthak, who progressively grows stronger in combat, or they might have to travel to the Enchanted Stream, which prevents them from drawing cards until they have finished exploring the location.
The 3 Quests included in the Core Set are narratively linked, following the heroes as they set out from King Thranduil’s palace in Mirkwood, fight their way down the Anduin River, and attempt to free one of their captured heroes from the dungeons of Dol Guldur. These Quests become increasingly challenging, and, since they are each a chapter of a growing story, can be played sequentially to create an epic adventure.
The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game is a Living Card Game, meaning it can be expanded through monthly expansions called Adventure Packs. Not only do these Adventure Packs include new heroes, allies, events, and attachments, but they also feature new challenges and stories for players. Each Adventure Pack contains a brand new quest for players to experience, letting them follow the tales of their heroes as they continually explore and face the perils of Middle-earth.
Once you experience the Core Set later this winter, the journey will have only just begun...
Check back soon for our next preview of The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game!
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.